**spoiler alert** Huh. I think this book singlehandedly restored my faith in the YA genre.
A book that has well written action scenes, a plethora of d...more**spoiler alert** Huh. I think this book singlehandedly restored my faith in the YA genre.
A book that has well written action scenes, a plethora of different characters and moral gray area with some strong inner ethics guiding the main character and plot? I didn’t think authors of teenage books were capable of doing that anymore. I found Tris, the main character, to be very complex for a sixteen-year-old girl. I loved her, and that was probably because of how unlovable she was. She had a very refreshing voice (this book is in first person) that is honest, reflective, smart and even occasionally funny in a sarcastic kind of way. She was not cute or sweet or innocent but she was *capable*. You could take her seriously. The same could be said for her love interest, Four. He’s not some sappy poet that goes around living for the sole purpose of the heroine, moping whenever she so much as gets a paper cut and blaming it on himself. The romance was okay, not the best, but I was able to buy it. They didn’t just sit around looking into each other’s eyes making speeches of who loves who more. I looked forward to their scenes together, my favourite scene being Four’s fear landscape scene which was amazing, especially during his claustrophobia.
The only reason I can’t give this a perfect rating is because of the stupid climax. Up until that point, I was completely enthralled by the story – I could not put it down. Tris wasn’t an idiot: I actually liked that she realized that in difficult situations, you have to make difficult decisions. She had no qualms shooting Will because she knew it had to be done. Cold, but understandable. She kept saying that every second she wasted another person died. And then. And then she decides that her stupid boyfriend is an exception to this, and decides she can’t live without him and lets him shoot her. She was willing to let her whole faction die ... because she couldn’t shoot her boyfriend. I would expect this from the average wet noodle heroines but NOT Tris! And of course, love saves the day. Excuse me while I throw up in a hat. (I’m not exactly a romantic)
Other than that, though, I really enjoyed this one. Did I mention the author is only 22 years old? This should make most college students froth at the mouth with envy. She definitely has a lot of natural talent. And one last thing: This should NOT be compared to the Hunger Games; they aren’t alike in the least, besides being in the same genre. I actually preferred this one, as blasphemous as that may sound. ;) (less)
This book proved what I have been trying to tell people for ages – Stephenie Meyer doesn’t have any untapped potential. Zip. Nothing. The premise of t...moreThis book proved what I have been trying to tell people for ages – Stephenie Meyer doesn’t have any untapped potential. Zip. Nothing. The premise of this book had me so excited – an alien “soul” being inside a human girl, with both of them being in love with the same person. And it’s told from the alien’s point of view. What could go wrong, this book sounds amazing. And it probably would’ve been, if anybody else had written it besides Stephenie Meyer. My point is, if she can take an awesome premise like this and muck it up, then I don’t see how people can still back her up and say she has this “great hidden talent”.
I can just imagine all the different routes this book could have taken, how much she could have done with it. It’s one of those ideas that make you go, “Hey! I wish I had thought of that!” but as usual, Meyer screws it up by focusing on all the wrong things, mainly pages upon pages of angsty internal monologue and a sappy, annoying love-quadrangle. The most interesting part of the book for me was the beginning before all the relationship stuff starts and all the “human love is more powerful than anything” crap. *vomits* (Yes, I have a heart of stone) I also liked Wanda talking about her previous lives – another thing that if delved into could have been really interesting, but is barely mentioned. The ending picked up as well, and it became a fun read when they went into town to steal the medicine. It’s really too bad the book just didn’t end on the second last chapter. You know, before that page break that makes you think that’s where it ends – it would have been quite moving that way, instead of slipping back into Stephenie Meyer quality again.
The characters however, drove me crazy. Wanda is annoyingly perfect, clingy, whiny, nice and everyone loves her to a fault – where the HELL have I heard that before? Jared is a beautiful, controlling rage-a-holic – that one sounds familiar too. Ian was a bit better I guess, but still annoyingly perfect whose sole existence revolves around the heroine. Melanie I liked except for her insistence that Jared is her soulmate. She is so tough otherwise, I don’t see why she puts up with this Neanderthal ... no wait, I know why, it’s because he’s so beautiful. *chuckles* Silly me.
Anyways, three starts for the premise and the parts of the book that weren’t about feelings. Unfortunately, there was way too much talk about feelings. Don’t let the genre deceive you – this is not adult. This is young adult, trust me.
Oh, and one last thing – Stephenie Meyer seems to be incapable of understanding metaphors. Your heart does not LITERALLY BREAK when you are in emotional turmoil, Steph. Nor does it stop when you kiss or become audible to other people when you’re happy and all that other stuff a heart does not literally do that just makes you just seem really melodramatic. Bloody hell. (less)
I'm not an insane Hunger Games fan, but there's just one thing I want to applaud here that everyone seems to harp on (especially with all the Hunger G...moreI'm not an insane Hunger Games fan, but there's just one thing I want to applaud here that everyone seems to harp on (especially with all the Hunger Games buzz lately):
I get pretty annoyed when people get all bent out of shape about the ending of this book because of Katniss's breakdown. As if this somehow negates her as a "strong female character" (and don't get me started on how this phrase in itself annoys me).
I call bullshit.
The fact that this girl, this CHILD, was able to hold it together through her father's death, having to support her family in poverty, surviving two sets of Games and being the figurehead of a freaking war at the ripe age of seventeen proves how strong she is. The fact that she reached her breaking point because the person she loved most in the world - her innocent little sister - doesn't make her weak. It makes her human. If she had had any other reaction I would've thrown the book across the room, because Katniss's reaction was how real people behave. And then you know what she does? She picks herself up again, shoots Coin (which was incredibly smart on her part)and settles down to live as happy a life as she can. Because that's what "strong" people do.
I see movies with stereotypical kickass female protagonists that kill all the bad guys looking sexy the whole time without any signs of distress over it which, usually, are movies written by men. I read books like "Graceling" in which the main character kicks a lot of ass and doesn't like dresses but hates other women and can't have a functioning relationship because marriage is for weaklings. These characters aren't strong. They're caricatures.
I'm so glad Suzanne Collins had Katniss get depressed and drug herself up and suffer over her loss. It made the ending that much sweeter when she was able to be happy again.
Don't get me wrong - it's fine if you don't like Katniss because of her personality or her lack of agency in certain parts of the series (especially this book), but not liking her over that? Ridiculous, in my opinion.