Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: Champion by Marie Lu

Champion by Marie Lu
Published:  November 5, 2013
Putnam Juvenile
369 (Hardcover)
Legend #3
My Rating:
4 of 5 stars

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic-and each other0 and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the republic, working within the government's elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

It seems like so many series have been coming to an end recently. And those endings have so far been heartbreaking. If you thought the ending of Prodigy was sad, wait until you read Champion.

I will never get tired of reading about protagonists like June. She's fierce and able to hold her own in a world ravaged by a tyrannical government and war. Yet, she isn't completely fearless and that's what makes her human. Without some weakness it would be impossible to connect with her. June still fears Commander Jameson no matter how much she tries to convince herself that she doesn't and she isn't a coldblooded killer. Day is another example of a character that I love. He's strong, but he isn't invincible. In the first book, it seemed that he could do almost anything, but since Prodigy that has changed. His character development was very well done. He went from a boy that would do anything to see the Republic fall to a someone that wanted to protect the Republic.

June and Day's relationship in this book is strained after the end of Prodigy. It's clear that both of them love each other, but it took them awhile for them to get past the eight months of separation that they put themselves through. It was a little frustrating, but it wouldn't have been realistic if everything went back to the way it was before. It's also very clear that Anden is in love with June, but their relationship isn't annoying, probably because I knew exactly how June and Day feel.

The beginning of the book isn't slow, but it isn't as exciting as the rest of the book. Once the story got going, it is basically nonstop action. It was interesting to get to learn more about how the Republic's political system works and a little about the rest of the world.

Champion is for anyone looking for a thrilling conclusion to an action packed series. It's always sad to see characters go, especially after such a heartbreaking ending, but at the same time the ending was pretty satisfying.

Monday, December 23, 2013

End of Year Book Survey 2013

best books 2013 end of year survey

Best In Books 2013

1. Best book you read in 2013? (If you have to cheat- you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs backlist)

Dystopian-All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Paranormal- The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Science Fiction- The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Contemporary- This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Fantasy- The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't?

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people the most in 2013?

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill or Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Leila Sales

7. Best book that was out of you comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

1984 by George Orwell

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

I read Everbound by Brodi Ashton in a day

9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Ronan from The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

14. Book you can't believe you wainted until 2013 to finally read?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013?

“I think everything is happening all the time, but if you don't put yourself in the path of it, you miss it.”
― Gayle Forman, Just One Day

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2013?

Longest- Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (570 pages)
Shortest- Macbeth by William Shakespeare (132 pages)

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

I was dying to talk about basically everything about  The Dream Thieves after I finished it

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013 (be romantic, friendship, etc.)?

Athena and Odysseus from Antigoddess

19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you've read previously?

Tie between The Eternity Cure and The Dream Thieves

20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower 

21. Genre you read the most from in 2013

Either Dystopian or Fantasy

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Finn from All Our Yesterdays

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

All Our Yesterdays

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Either Siege and Storm or The Dream Thieves

25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013?

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013?

Allegiant, The Eternity Cure, and Clockwork Princess

27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Looking Ahead...

1. One book you didn't get to in 2013 but will be your number 1 priority in 2014?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2014 (non-debut)?

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa or Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

3. 2014 debut you are most anticipating?

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

4. Series ending you are most anticipating in 2014?

The Forever Song, Dreams of Gods & Monsters, and Evertrue

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2014?

I want to try and post more often. I know I was gone for awhile during October-December because of school but I really want to try and get a lot of reading done this year and post some new stuff.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Published:  October 22, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
526 (Hardcover)
Divergent #3
My Rating:
3.5 of 5 stars 

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 meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature--and of herself--while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Initially, I was disappointed by Allegiant. It didn't have the same feel that the other books had and I ended up having to put it down for awhile because I wasn't sure if I wanted to find out how it ends. If you're feeling the same way, then keep reading because the ending was by far the best part of the book.

The beginning to about midway through the book was basically Tris and Tobias kissing at the end of every chapter. Normally I wouldn't have a problem with that, but after awhile it just got old and I wanted something more exciting to happen. I was glad that they worked out most of their problems, but the whole thing with Nita was a tad annoying. Tobias was completely convinced that Tris was jealous of him spending time with Nita because she was pretty. While Tris wanted to convince him that there was something going on. To be honest, the way both of them went about solving that problem was wrong. Tris should not expect Tobias to blindly follow whatever she says. That's just ridiculous. And Tobias shouldn't automatically think that Tris is jealous of Nita just because he would probably be jealous if the positions were reversed. Thankfully they got past that problem, otherwise it would be like the lying in Insurgent all over again.

The dual point of view took awhile to get used to and I understand now that the ending probably wouldn't have been as good if the book hadn't started with Tobias and Tris's point of views. It was hard to tell the difference between the perspectives and I found myself flipping back to the beginning of the chapter to see which point of view it was. They both sounded like Tris to me. There were a few clues that told me that it was Tobias, but his chapters didn't stand out from Tris's and I think that's the first thing that disappointed me.

The ending was heartbreaking and powerful. I realized a little more than halfway through the book what the ending would be, but it still hit me hard. I was fighting back tears as I read so that I could see the pages. Allegiant was weaker than the first two books in the beginning, but it definitely has the best ending.