Such a beautiful book, but very, very sad. You get the feeling that you know Esther, that Esther is your friend, and that even though she's now been g...moreSuch a beautiful book, but very, very sad. You get the feeling that you know Esther, that Esther is your friend, and that even though she's now been gone nearly four years (and you didn't even know she existed until recently), she is here, and dying, in the present tense. This is a beautiful book containing Esther's diaries, blog posts by her and her family, and pieces of writing to and about Esther by those she knew, loved, and inspired. It's a tragic book, and I spent so much time crying, and having to stop reading because I couldn't see through the tears. But I think I took away what Esther would have wanted people to take away from reading the book, that time is short and relationships are what matters, and make sure people know that you love them. (less)
**spoiler alert** Ok, so some thoughts. With spoilers, of course.
I read these three books really quickly, and with basically nothing else in between....more**spoiler alert** Ok, so some thoughts. With spoilers, of course.
I read these three books really quickly, and with basically nothing else in between. So I was really immersed in to the world of dystopian Chicago, the city with all the factions and the war. I get really invested in the characters, mainly of course, Tris and Four. I liked Divergent the most, more than this one, even though they're getting equal star reviews. However, I have feelings and thoughts about this one, and so it gets a rare review. I can now understand all the uproar that it got on tumblr when it was first released.
However, I saw a lot of people saying how awful it was that Tris died and how much they hated it. I've seen a lot of low reviews for it, brought down obviously by that fact, and it gets me thinking. It was really terrible that Tris didn't survive, a fact that should have been obvious with the dual perspective of Allegiant. There seems to be this unwritten rule that main characters don't die, can't die (although this is being shattered by George R.R. Martin, but he's different, there are so many characters). It makes me think of what John Green has said about books, that characters don't always have to be likable (not relevant here), but that also, books don't always have to make the readers feel good. Terrible things happen, and people die, even though main characters always seem to be protected by their place in the story, and often survive unimaginable acts of tragedy and cruelty. Main characters shouldn't be untouchable, because they are people, just like the other characters. And people die, especially in war and rebellions. Tris's death, while completely tragic and unexpected enough to make me cry a lot, shouldn't decrease the value of this story. It shouldn't make people hate it. Tris died a good death, a noble death, and while it's sad, and perhaps not necessary, Veronica Roth chose to write it that way, and so that is how the story goes. We get attached to characters, and the last few chapters of Four's dealing with her death were awfully sad and tear worthy, I still think it's a good end to the trilogy. Tris died for a reason, and it had a major impact in the trajectory of the plot line. Maybe she didn't need to die, but we are not the author of this story. I actually get a bit restless when everything is all neat and nicely tied up for the end of a story, sometimes it just all seems a bit too unrealistic. And so while I am hugely upset by Tris's death, I'll still give this book five stars, because even though main characters "aren't supposed to die," I think it fits in well with the ending of the trilogy and the beginning of the new world that these characters now get to live in. Allegiant was still as well written, immersive, and fast paced as Divergent and Insurgent, and while everybody does have their own opinions, I don't think that this book should suffer because of a death. Sad, yes. Necessary, maybe not. All nice and resolved, yes and no. Realistic, as fiction should aim to be, even in dystopia (which is taken, of course, from our society and built upon), yes I really think it is. There are tragedies in the real world, and so there are tragedies in fiction, even if that tragedy is the death of a loved main character. It reminds us that the people in the story are just like we are, and sacrifices have to be made, as they do in fiction. I did hope that she would somehow survive, but she didn't, and while upsetting, it's ok. (less)
An excellent side to the Harry Potter series, though I wish it were longer and more involved. It's great to have a Harry Potter "text book." And, as a...moreAn excellent side to the Harry Potter series, though I wish it were longer and more involved. It's great to have a Harry Potter "text book." And, as a bonus, money from the sale of this book goes to charity to provide education to poor children around the world. (less)
My edition of this book has a mini review comparing it to Gone Girl. For a while I thought that comparison might be a little overstated; in my opinion...moreMy edition of this book has a mini review comparing it to Gone Girl. For a while I thought that comparison might be a little overstated; in my opinion, Gone Girl is a work of genius with all its tangles and intrigue. However, coming to the startling end of Reconstructing Amelia has me rethinking my first ideas on the comparison. Reconstructing Amelia is a great novel that keeps you in suspense right until the very end. It's the classic whodunit with a modern twist; emails, blog posts, text messages, plus a (spoilers) lesbian romance and a secret club, that leaves you guessing right until the very end, when you just think you've got it all figured out. Fair warning however, the book can be a little intense in its discussion of bullying and suicide, although this is definitely one to read. (less)
This is one of the rare occasions where I want to add a half star to a review, because it was pretty damn good, but it had some flaws. And spoilers ah...moreThis is one of the rare occasions where I want to add a half star to a review, because it was pretty damn good, but it had some flaws. And spoilers ahead, so beware.
I write a thoughts post on my tumblr here: http://booksfrommyshelf.tumblr.com/po... with spoilers. This was mostly thoughts about minority characters and how certain types of characters (women, minority racial groups, minority sexuality and gender identity groups) seem to be disposable characters. All of these sorts of characters end up dead, killed by the serial killer protagonist. I couldn't decide exactly what this meant, whether these ideals were supposed to be from the serial killer, or whether they were supposed to be targeted because of the ideals and values of the time period each victim came from. Given the premise that Harper, the serial killer, seems to have found himself in a house with all of his victims preset in a way that isn't explained, seems to lead to the conclusion that he didn't pick these victims, and so then, why the selection of minority groups? This is what has me knocking half a star off for rating.
This book was simple, but it flowed. It could have been a totally different book with the premise of the time travelling serial killer. It definitely wasn't sci-fi, and not even crime really. I enjoyed the idea, and I enjoyed the multiple point of view writing, between three main characters and other, disposable, minority characters. The ending had a sense of justice, a sense that everything was right again. It tied up nicely and quickly. The flow of the story line and the ending and how interesting it actually was make up for the minority character annoyances. If it wasn't so interesting and easy to read, it definitely would have annoyed me more. (less)