{YA Book Club is the brainchild of writer/blogger Tracey Neithercott.
For guidelines and additional info, click the image above.}

November’s YA Book Club selection is
Allegiant by Veronica Roth

From Goodreads – 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.

*Warning :: This post includes thinly veiled spoilers.*

I read Allegiant nearly a month ago, and my opinions are still rather muddled. It’s definitely one of those all the feels books. I liked so much about it…

  • The stark-but-arresting prose. Veronica Roth writes emotion beautifully. I felt Tris’s and Four’s affection, worry, sadness, anger, and passion completely.
  • Tris’s strength. She doesn’t back down when she believes in something, and it’s been fascinating to watch her grow and come into her own as this trilogy progressed.
  • Four (because I will not call him Tobias) and everything he stands for. He’s clearly damaged, but he’s just so inherently good. Tris’s love for him makes total and complete sense.
  • The world beyond the wall. I was desperately curious about what the gang would find, and I was not disappointed.
  • The backstory concerning Tris’s mom and her introduction to life Chicago. I found her history riveting, and I  liked that Tris continued to feel a connection to her.
  • The idea of genetic purity, and the weight it held for different characters in the story. Compelling stuff.
  • Veronica Roth’s fearless storytelling. She writes ruthlessly, with more concern for the integrity of the narrative than the rath it might invoke in some fans. So admirable.
  • Speaking of which… The ultra-shocking death of a Very Important Character did not enrage me. I would have personally preferred a HEA, but I thought the conclusion felt bleakly appropriate.

While I enjoyed Allegiant, I had a couple of issues with it…

  • There were a few instances in the story where the pacing felt off. There were stretches when not much happened at all, then bursts of action that were awesome, but also sort of dizzying.
  • I did not like the dual POV as much as I thought I would. For me, Tris’s voice blended with Four’s, and there were scenes where I became confused as to whose head I was in.
  • Again, this is purely personal, but I preferred knowing Four only through Tris’s adoring eyes. In the first two books he had his flaws, but he was portrayed as powerful and solid and indestructible — nearly fearless. In Allegiant, there were times when he seemed a little… whiney? Not that guys can’t have feelings of doubt and inadequacy, but Four never felt like that guy before. Is it awful that I want him to be purely badass?
  • As far as conflict, did anyone else feel like there was one antagonist too many? Marcus, Evelyn, Nita, Caleb, David, the various serums, the Big Bad Government… Sometimes I wasn’t sure who the true villain was. I suppose that speaks to the complexity of the plot, but at times I found it all a bit overwhelming.

I’ve been so invested in Tris and Four and their supporting cast for the last few years, and the end of their story truly did a number on me. Overall, I thought Allegiant was a courageous and fitting conclusion to a fantastic trilogy.

What did you think of this month’s YA Book Club selection?
(Book Clubbers: Don’t forget to drop by Tracey’s blog to add your link!)

Hello, 2012!

Pinned Image

{Hmm… How long will it take me to get used to writing 2012?}

Ringing in the new year with my girlie…

First, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to everyone who participated in last week’s Class of 2011: YA Superlative Blogfest. It was an absolute delight to visit the blogs of all you participants and to read about the books you fell in love with last year. My To-Read list thanks you as well. 🙂

And another HUGE THANK YOU to my three lovely friends and fellow Superlative Blogfest hosts:  Jessica LoveTracey Neithercott, and Alison Miller. This whole shebang would not have been nearly as successful without your brilliance, and it definitely wouldn’t have been as fun.
You girls ROCK!

If you’ve yet to read my Class of 2011: Superlative posts (or if you’d like to reread them) check out my header. I’ve given the blogfest its very own tab for easy access to all of the amazing 2011 releases I read. A perfect place to visit if you’re ever in need of book recommendations.

And, as the final category of my last Class of 2011: YA Superlative Blogfest post, I asked you to tell me your:

Most Anticipated 2012 Release

You responded overwhelmingly with mentions of this book:

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

Other titles named: Nevermore, Perigee Moon, Butter, If I Lie, Cinder, Partials, Hallowed, The Fault in Our Stars, The Lost Girl, Unspoken, Bitterblue, Girl of Nightmares, Ditched, and A Million Suns

My Most Anticipated Release of 2012? As if I can pick just one!

If I LieThe Selection (The Selection, #1)

Under the Never SkyCinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)In HonorThe Fault in Our StarsDitched: A Love StoryA Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)

And, speaking of 2012 releases I can’t wait for… My incredible CP Jus Accardo has one such book. It’s the follow-up to her debut, Touch, and it’s called Toxic (a perfect title, in my opinion!). Jus finally has the go-ahead to share Toxic‘s cover and summary, and (good news!) I get to help in that reveal. Without further ado, the cover of Toxic

(She is so Dez!)

And the summary… When a Six saved Kale’s life the night of Sumrun, she warned there would be consequences. A trade-off. Something taken for the life they gained. But Dez never imagined she’d lose the one thing she’d give anything to keep… And as if it’s not enough, Dez finds her immunity to Kale fading and the Six brought in to help Kale learn to control his killer touch starts drooling on him the moment they meet. Worse than that? Jade can touch Kale. But bimbo Barbie is the least of Dez’s problems. After Dez and Kale got away at Sumrun, her father lost not only his most powerful weapon but an important piece of the Supremacy project. Forced by Denazen to remedy the situation, he poisons Dez and offers her a choice—surrender to Denazen for the cure…or die. Determined to find a solution that doesn’t involve being bagged and tagged—or losing someone she loves—Dez keeps the poison a secret.  But when a rash of Denazen attacks hit a little too close to home, Dez is convinced there’s a traitor among them. Jade. Sacrifices, broken promises, and secrets. Dez will have to lay it all on the line if there’s any hope of proving Jade’s guilt before they all end up Residents of Denazen. Or worse, dead…

I’ve read this one, guys, and it’s fantastic! Full of adventure and action and Dez’s snarky wit, it had me feverishly flipping pages. Toxic is available May 1, 2012, and you can find it on Goodreads HERE.

Tell me: How did you ring in the New Year?