Allegiant - Veronica Roth Somewhere out there in the world, Natalie is probably smiling or cackling; let's be real here

Here comes another angry review from the "I only review books I hate" grumpy girl...

I haven't finished this book yet, but I'm rating and marking it as finished to motivate myself to complete what I started, but I reallyyyyyyyy don't want to. One fifth of the way in and I'm not feeling it. A final book should be the most exciting and not a whimpering struggle to the finish. I don't know if it's because it's been nearly 200 books since I've plowed through the first two, or if my growing distaste for dystopia as a genre whole is influencing me, but this book has been nothing but problems for me.

The Problems (oh yes, we're breaking out the lists now):

Summarizing summarizing summarizing! It's book three now, do I really need a review of things if I've hung on this long? Especially when it's on feelings rather than events that happened? Maybe I'd expect this in the first chapter or so, but it's still happening further along in. I don't need my hand held or to be corralled along in case I missed some kind of subtext in the previous books.

Awkward and choppy scenes. Man this book is a hot mess for scene placement. It jumps all over the place both between POVs (which I will get to in a minute) and just throws everything out there with no logical flow. Random makeout session, followed by a long boring talk with someone I don't care about and gained no new information from (other than Tobias/Tris directly telling me things in their thoughts), followed by some chatting with the peripheral friends I have no real attachment to, then we're on the run, then someone dies in the most uneventful quick way possible, etc. And every single moment in all of this is completely devoid of substantial feeling through actions.

The unnecessary addition of Tobias's point of view. The option of adding another POV, in my personal opinion, is there for the reader to gain new insight, not give them the same thing we can pretty much obtain from the main character's eyes by observing actions and dialogue. There were times when reading that I'd bookmark halfway through a chapter and come back having no idea whose POV I was in. Tobias is nearly indistinguishable from Tris in his voice and thoughts. To make matters worse, I don't obtain anything new from this experience. Everything he blatantly tells me in his thoughts, I already knew from Tris's, also blatant, interpretation. Keeping out of Tobias's head added at least a small layer of suspense because you never knew entirely how he was going to react, so if anything, this addition just steals from the momentum this slow moving book was already lacking in.

Tell me everything why don't you. This is an extension of the summarizing point and the non distinguishable POVs point but honestly, I feel I can't say it enough. This book is holding my hand and telling me what to think and feel. I'm not a big "show don't tell" snob screaming it at all the little mistakes authors make, but when it takes up so much of the prose that I'm no longer given anything to feel for myself, I will disengage, which is exactly what has happened here.

God help me survive the rest of this book. I feel like it can only get worse...

*Food for thought: I'd like to leave a deep question I asked myself as I waded through some of the purple prose found in more than one of the awkwardly placed and emotionally devoid romance scenes in this book. What the fuck does wind and/or saftey even smell like that Tobias seems to always be scented by it? And why should I care?
The Book of Three - Lloyd Alexander The Book of Three: Book 1 in The Chronicles of Prydain. It’s all Crunches and munches and what the hell kind of name is Fflewddur Fflam? Okay no. Let's backtrack a bit...

I didn't hate this book, which is surprising because I was about ready to chuck it early on. Near the beginning, all the nonsense that flooded the pages had me thinking it was going to go in my Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland pile of children’s fantasies full of nonsense I can't stomach. I soldiered on though because I love middle grade books.

Some adults look at the middle grade genre as beneath them and that’s cool, but there’s a lot you can do in a middle grade book that you really can’t pull off in the adult or even a young adult genres. Nonsense is apparently one of those things, but I think that’s unfair to children to assume that's all the genre can offer. A child can understand emotional stories, and feelings just as much as an adult. Nonsense always bothers me because I feel like it's adult writers treating children like their minds are full of nonsense, which itself is complete NONSENSE.

Mind you, this book was published in the 60s, so I’m a little more forgiving given the state of its genre at the time.

Anyway, a few chapters in, new characters arrived and some semblance of chemistry started to make its way to the surface, and this is when I started thinking I might survive to the end. If you know me at all, character interaction can really save even the crappiest of books in my reads which is exactly what this did. I honestly didn't care about the story line from start to finish, sorry to say, but the characters and their interactions started working as I want on, and that was enough to get me through. The main character, Taran, also kept me from losing my head. Unlike crackheads, Alice and Wendy in their respective stories full of nonsense, Taran at least points out some of the nonsensical things as absolutely ridiculous instead of being entirely ridiculous himself. I need that. I need someone to ground it all back to normalcy if you’re going to throw this kind of stuff at me.

But back to Fflewddur Fflam... I really couldn't read half the names in this book. Names for people, names for places... I'm not big on made up names when they're just randomness that sounds good to the author's ears instead of following some kind of naming tradition, but I'm even more critical over hard to read names whether legit names or not. I'm under the impression that the names in this book are Welsh inspired, but if some of these are legit well... ugh... choose easier ones!? I don't know how to pronounce half the people and places in this book so my mind just registered everything as garbled letter mashes and hoped it could recall the correct combinations when they came back a few pages later. I don't read words out in my head, so it's not too big of a deal, but it's annoying.

I didn't come into this book with high or low expectations so nothing was gained or lost for my time spent. Really, I read this book more to get myself to book 2 in the series: The Black Cauldron. It’s a Newberry Honor winner, which means crap all to me because I don’t seek out those kinds of books, and it’s apparently the source material for my sister’s favorite Disney movie. Therefore, by her rules, I MUST read it, so onward we go!
Shift  - Jeri Smith-Ready This rating is entirely in spite of myself.

God, this series. I keep reading it, but it's not actually good. I really can't stand how Zach's accent is written. He sounds like an old man. I can't stand Logan. He's possessive and selfish. And everyone loves Aura no matter how much flip flopping she does or hypocrisy she throws around. The fact that Logan's little brother got thrown in the mix of all her affairs just had me LOLing.

I guess, at the same time, that's why I'm so drawn to this series. It doesn't take itself too seriously and hits the mark when it needs to at the right times.

Some of the characters seem incredibly cartoony, but high school drama in real life can get pretty cartoony too, so I can't find myself judging it too harshly.

I laughed a lot at how preoccupied with sex all these kids were too, but again... high school.

*reaches for the last book* god help me...
Let the Sky Fall - Shannon Messenger A boring girl, a total creep of a guy, repetitive fluffers, proclamations of undying love based on no substantial build up other than "sparks", and a heck of a lot of ellipses abuse (must every second sentence end in "..." ?) pretty much sums up this book for me.

The Canadian stereotypes were such a piss off too. Thanks for that. I appreciate being treated like an idiot when I read.
Shadow Heir (Dark Swan 4) - Richelle Mead 5 stars. Except for the ending... WHY!?

Seriously... one line from the main character could have fixed everything and made this book perfect. ONE LINE!!!

Ahh. Fix it fics, here I come...
Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare My favorite YA series has been degraded to this...

I'm still trying to figure out how this book is from the same series that gave me Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince. Everything I loved about those books was missing here. I started skimming scenes because certain story arcs felt so unnecessary for a final book and stole from whatever weak amount of momentum it had going for it. This was a final book that had so much suspense leading up to it the odds of it ending weakly were slim to none. I don't understand what happened here. It flat lined early on and just dragged itself pathetically over the finish, and I'm left wondering if I'm being trolled and the real CP2 is still out there somewhere waiting for me to read it.

So many things were sacrificed in logic and emotion just to ensure everyone got a happy ending, and I'm not just talking about the core triangle (though I do feel there was so much potentially epic and tragic story telling left to rot on the whole parabatai bond). I didn't feel any of the triangle's three relationship sides very strongly in this book, but I also didn't feel anything for the other relationships that fluffed up the rest of the pages where intense story telling should have been happening either. This book took no risks and didn't put me in any emotional state that could have had me feeling for its characters. Everyone was paired off, and no one of great emotional importance died. To top this off every issue both newly introduced and long term from previous books had a convenient solution that just got whipped out without much thought. I felt like I was being handed excuses instead of a story with hurdles.

When I finished, I was numb. I didn't feel anything for a ridiculous 600 pages of reading, but now that it's finally hit me about how much potential was lost and how much some of my favorite characters of all time got ripped off like this, I'm mad. Perhaps my expectations were too high. This series had taken over my life with how obsessed and in love with it I became.

But seriously, what the hell happened...

Sever - Lauren DeStefano My heart... I'm going to need a while to get over this. It ended the only way it really could, but I still wasn't ready for it.

Everything came together as it should. All the emotional baggage was addressed in ways that were appropriate, and I was left with the bittersweet, yet oddly satisfied, feeling of what if just one little bump and twist in this story of sad and cruel events played out differently...
Obsidian - Jennifer L. Armentrout An acquaintance on tumblr recommended this book to me a while back. I strongly regret listening to their advice...

I lost track of the number of times this idiotic girl tripped and fell into the hot guy's arms. I think I would have burned the book if it happened one more time. I'm sorry, but it didn't feel like build up when it was the same thing happening over and over. Tripping, falling, extremely close proximity, his mouth near hers, leaning his desk forward etc.

There were also a lot of scientific elements that I wish were never brought up. These were quickly brushed away with comments by the characters saying they didn't know how they could do what they did just that they knew it defied the laws of physics or whatnot. It seemed unnecessary and wound up frustrating me. If you're not going to explain it, you're just wasting my time.

There's a lot I hated about this book, but I don't want to go off on a haterade storm. I have nothing bad to say about the people who like this series, but I just couldn't stand it.
Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry One word: CHEMISTRY.

Essentially, I really loved the relationship between the two main characters in this book, in spite of the annoying pet names Noah had for Echo and some minor moments of cheese. I liked their personalities and both their point of views, and I liked them together. I'm that easy.

I wouldn't recommend this book to many of my friends on here because I can see their eyes rolling a mile away already, but I rather liked it.
Crossed - Ally Condie I got passed half way, but personally, I wasn't a fan of how much there was of walking in the middle of nowhere with nothing happening. I'll probably skim the ending later for the sake of finishing, but this series doesn't seem to suit my simple and more childish fun tastes.
Matched - Ally Condie This book and its sequel have such a huge list of holds at my library. I had to see what the fuss was about.

I'm not usually too concerned with world building or the minute details of how a society functions when I read dystopia novels, so I can't comment much on that. What I can say is that this book was a fairly easy read that wasn't bogged down with boring language. It also had a handful of cute moments dispersed here and there that I liked.

That said, I felt like the story didn't capitalize on suspense or my curiosity as much as I would have liked. The stakes weren't raised high enough for me to worry, and situations weren't fast paced enough to leave me dying for the next chapter.

Still, I'm curious about how it will all end so I'll probably read the whole trilogy eventually.
The Golden Lily - Richelle Mead There were a lot of predictable scenarios, but I DO NOT CARE! Not even a little bit.

I'm so beyond in love with Adrian and Sydney's cute relationship that it got to the point that I couldn't put the book down. Why yes, this book was a one sitting read THEY ARE TOO DAMN ADORABLE. They're dorks that are completely full of win! Ugh. I hate that I love them so much. I've since reread their scenes so many times, the golden plating on my hardcover is wearing off from use and abuse.

I think the Bloodlines series has its greatest strength in how Richelle progresses Adrian and Sydney's relationship making sure she explores each step. While the first book gets them comfortable around each other and builds up an easy going friendship, Golden Lily plays a lot with their chemistry and dynamics as friends that could become something deeper given the effect they have on each other.

Fever - Lauren DeStefano .
Black City - Elizabeth  Richards What the "fragg" did I just read...

Seriously, I wanted to bash my head against a wall and just bleed out all my frustration every time I encountered that stupid made up swear word. It was so horribly annoying and made the characters sound like idiots, but I put up with it because I was interested in where this story was going at the start...

But I should have went with my gut and stopped at "fragg"... It all became a hot mess of soulmate insta-love and things happening for the sake of happening with no real emotional logic around the halfway point and just kept getting worse from then on.

Like I said though, I liked the start, and the premise sounded interesting, in fact, I've been anticipating this book for months. I should feel extremely disappointed, but I kind of loved how much I hated it. It got so ridiculous I couldn't stop laughing especially at the end when the boy became like Jesus and resurrected after dying on a cross.

So do I recommend this book to any of my friends? Well... only if you want a good laugh guys, and don't say I didn't warn you.

2 stars instead of 1 because it was so bad I liked it.

Currently reading

The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #6)
C.S. Lewis
The Queen of Attolia
Megan Whalen Turner
The Iliad
Homer, E.V. Rieu, Peter Jones, D.C.H. Rieu
Jane Eyre
Michael Mason, Charlotte Brontë