Veronica Roth – Allegiant

Veronica Roth – Allegiant
The blurb:The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: romance, science-fiction, dystopia, young adult
Date I started this book: 06/05/16
Date I finished this book: 11/05/16

What did I think? I have huge respect for Veronica Roth and how she decided to conclude the series. While the story didn’t take the route I was expecting, I’m finally at the place where I can understand why the events transpire in such a way. I will admit I wasn’t so rational about the dramatic conclusion the first time I read it! I do now feel as though the events are in keeping with the tone of the book and Tris’s story. Sometimes ugly crying is cathartic, and to be honest, I’m happy with the ending.

I remember being frustrated with Four the first time I read Allegiant. His POV was so different to the strong warrior I’d been more than I little obsessed with. What I’ll take away with me after sitting down and reading the book properly without rushing to get to the end to see what transpires, is that he’s not a superhero, but just a guy in a bad situation. He may be strong, but is prone to mistakes and misjudgement. This is okay, he’s allowed to rely on others without being weak.

Divergent will always be the series that made me think it’s okay to not have a neatly tied up Happily Ever After

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I Love York

And no, I don’t mean ‘New York’. I mean York, England. I was born here, I grew up here, I choose to stay here and I love it. I could wax lyrical about this city for hours if you let me, but I’ll try and keep it to a decent length post.

York-on-Map-of-UKYork, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a historic walled city at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events in England throughout much of its two millennia of existence. It now offers a wealth of historic attractions, of which York Minster is the most prominent, and a variety of cultural and sporting activities.

The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and later of the kingdoms of Northumbria and Jórvík. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained.

In the 19th century, York became a hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre. In recent decades, the economy of York has moved from being dominated by its confectionery and railway-related industries to one that provides services. The University of York and health services have become major employers, whilst tourism has become an important element of the local economy.

I love walking around the city – along the rivers or the walls (the most complete in England), up the narrow medieval cobbled streets – feeling wrapped up in it’s history. I love York Minster (the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe), I love the old architecture, I love the museums. I like the fact we have distinct seasons, and a drier and warmer climate than the rest of the region. We have theatres and music and food & drink, we’ve sport, we’re a founding National Science City, we’re part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a city of Media Arts.

What’s not to love?

Gypsy

Oops. I seem to have acquired a second cat. A kitten. Or, I will have her in a few weeks when she’s old enough to come home.

One of the ladies at work, her cat has had a litter of kittens. She was showing us pictures of these tiny little fluffy things and lamenting how she didn’t know how she was going to home them etc etc. Clearly she was angling towards sympathy/people offering to take one, and even though I knew that was what she was doing… I fell for it.

A little grey short-haired kitty, tentatively called Gypsy, will soon be joining me and Cookie. She’s not sure what cat got her ‘British Blue’ pregnant so she’s definitely of a mixed breed but her colouring is beautiful – and I’m curious to see how it changes as she grows.

Introducing them could be interesting, Cookie’s been a lone-kitty all her life but I’m reading up on how to do it. Cookie’s always been pretty laid back so hopefully she’ll just go with the flow

When confronted with a birthday in a week I will remember that a book can be a really good present, too.

Well, Happy Birthday to me.

Or not, as the case has been. I’ve spent it curled up in bed with a fever and a bad stomach – napping, reading, running to the bathroom. Just how I wanted to spend the day. I’ve planned on having a lovely day out at some of the local museums that I love, before meeting up with my parents for a meal.

My mum came round this afternoon though, with a couple of bottles of lucozade, some chicken broth and some crackers. And my birthday presents – a new shower curtain, toilet seat and towels. I’m planning on redecorating my bathroom this summer and hd chosen the accessories I wanted to match my colour scheme.

My friends mostly got me various fun flavoured coffess and chocolates, and giftcards for some local bookstores. Oh, and some information leaflets about how to rent an allotment, since I’m getting into gardening which is difficult when you’re in a first-floor flat.

I’ve spent some time on social media too. I now have a Twitter (although I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to do with it) and a Pinterest which I am completely in love with and can see myself losing many many hours too.
I also re-wrote my bio on my profile page.
Exciting, no?

I’m probably going to curl up in bed with my book and some music for the rest of the night.

Veronica Roth – Insurgent

Veronica Roth – Insurgent
The blurb:I HAVE DONE BAD THINGS.
I CAN’T TAKE THEM BACK,
AND THEY ARE PART OF WHO I AM.

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever… because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.
My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, dystopia, romance, science-fiction
Date I started this book: 02/05/16
Date I finished this book: 05/05/16

What did I think? Insurgent is the second book in Veronica Roth’s amazing Divergent series and I admit, I started it the moment I finished Divergent, desperate to know what happened next. Insurgent paints a bigger picture of the world, giving us a chance to learn more about the other factions and their members. Equally intriguing for me was the development of Tris and Tobias’ relationship. I loved how Divergent ends with Tobias’ confession of love, but just as Divergent wasn’t a love story, neither is Insurgent; Roth is not to be distracted by their relationship and doesn’t lose focus from the main point of the story.

However, by far the best part of Insurgent is the secret. We learn quite early on that Marcus is keeping a rather large secret that will affect the entirety of the world in which they live and may even be behind the war. The secret generally remains in the background of the story, but Roth brings it to the foreground on occasion, tantalising and tempting, reminding the reader that there is still a lot we don’t know. Yet the biggest thing this secret does is differentiate it from similar dystopian books. It makes the Divergent series stand out because there is now more to this series than overthrowing a corrupt leader and therefore also establishes the point of the trilogy.

If you’ve read Divergent, read Insurgent. It is just as good as the first. Many sequels don’t live up to the first book (the Hunger Games trilogy is a good example of this), but Insurgent is different. It isn’t repetitive as some sequels are; it has a point all of its own that leads nicely on from Divergent, using Divergent as a solid foundation on which to build. It does take a while to get into it so if it doesn’t grip you immediately, don’t worry. The second half absolutely makes up for this. It is infectious and impossible to put down.