Thursday, 31 May 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Tris is back after the trauma she faced in Divergent. Since her youth in Abnegation, her life has turned upside down and the world seems to be following the same track. Yet it isn’t over, and as Tris comes to terms with her own demons, she has to deal with the next stage in the plot, leading to the unexpected.

I’m having the same problem many reviewers have with book. I want to sit here and talk your ear off about almost everything that happened in the novel, but in doing so I’d ruin the entire thing for you and anyone else. And then the double-sided blade scenario comes into play because I don’t want to spoil Divergent for you either: it is just as gripping and awesome.

So the best I can do is a bit of relativity of Insurgent in comparison to Divergent.

There was huge anticipation for this book and sometimes all that hype can ruin a book. It was somewhat similar with Divergent. Last time, for Divergent, I really got caught up in all that and frankly it lived up to that gargantuan expectation. The thing was, I tried to not get mixed up with the stuff prior to Insurgent for two reasons. One was purely personal, and if you follow me on twitter you probably have a general idea of that. The other was that I’ve been disappointed about hype a few times since I started blogging and the method I’m slowly developing is to not get involved in it and so I can’t be disappointed. The only reason I say all this is that I genuinely think this book deserved what hype I was exposed to and I genuinely think it was a great book.

I think this book was about as action-packed as Divergent- they are dauntless after all! In some ways this was something I was expecting, since I rarely find myself so involved in fighting sequences in books. But these tended to draw me in, though they lacked some of the lustre of Divergent- but I think that was Tris’ influence. She loves her faction, but she’s still recovering psychologically and the almost manic loss-of-self in the action is less pronounced.

Four/Tobias was really great. In Divergent, my memory was that he went from International Man of Mystery to…well, Tobias. Without getting into it too much, it’s almost as though Four and Tobias are actually different people, which then links back to the Divergent things. Holy… I think pontificating actually rendered something vaguely sensible.
Tris got on my wick a little bit though. I don’t begrudge her being depressed, nor do I dislike the occasionally spontaneity of her, but I find part of me just wants to grab her and shake her. As Tobias puts it, she’s so frustrating. Not wrong, not hateable, she just makes me grind my teeth sometimes. I think the problem is that I can see, understand and even emphasise a bit with her, but I think she seems narrow-minded sometimes or inconsiderate of other things. It’s more of a niggle but meh.

I thought the plot was like a train journey before a huge crash. Strangely, this is a good thing. It started off fairly slowly, which made sense, and then when it got into the actually meat of the story it stayed fairly interesting. I think Divergent was more involving as a story for the middle section and I would stand by the belief that though the plot was good, it wasn’t perfect. It seemed sometimes too straight-forward or bit repetitive, but like an action movie. You sort of know what will happen, but you can still enjoy it. For me, the whole ending sequence was just brilliant. This is why I use the train crash analogy: you’d notice when you start to move, and you’d notice when you were on the main section of the journey, but you simply can’t ignore it when you crash. I don’t want to give away a thing about the ending though- I just want to say I thought it was utterly brilliant.

Conclusion (!)
A great book, and definitely a commendable sequel. It might not have been special in a particular way, but that might only be because it followed Divergent which was so fantastic. It’s a solid 5 for what it is and I’m oh-so-grateful to Karen for getting this for me! If anyone liked Divergent, they should definitely look into this.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

It's been a while...

So I haven't posted in a while, the last time was over a month ago. I'm just going to say my piece then get out of your hair.

This was kind of unexpected stop. I'd been trying to stick to my reading so that I could post things, but then exams started bearing down on me and they basically dominated my time in terms of revision and extra lessons and then just moments of sheer overload where I had to just sit there and try yo quell the storm in my mind. I couldn't do anything in those moments and it was exhausting to have them.

And then there was the whole psychological side of it. I try to keep actual personal blogging to a minimum here, but it slipped in occasionally. Basically I had a really bad few weeks in February which I dropped off the radar for a while. I sort of moved past that for a while, but then it hit me again around mid-March, I think. I still kept up the blogging but it was just so forced. I felt in some ways I had to and in other ways that by doing it I would be able to move past my issue and just get back to being normal, happy, readersome me. It didn't actually happen, but I forced myself through most of George R. R. Martin's books before I hit a immovable wall- and, frankly, I was too exhausted to bull my way through it. I'm not completely past it, but at least it quiet for the moment. To be honest with y'all, I imagine that in the next few weeks it will resurface and I might go dark again. I didn't let myself get distracted by my brooding or depressive outlook since I had exams but since they're more or less out of the way, I don't know how long I can keep this up.

So that's it. That's why I was gone. And this isn't an "I'M BACK!!!" it's more of a "Hey, I was just thinking about you" that may lead to "I'm still thinking about you" in the acceptable total normal way.

I've read two books in the past few weeks whose reviews I'll post in the next week or so and, unless I genuinely feel interested, I'm going to stop myself making myself do memes. I love them, I do, but I need to just need to do what I want when I want until I get out my funk. And I've got make some decisions about University and Degrees and all sorts which is going to take forever to decide.

The only final thing is that I wonder if anyone would like to do an actual bloggy blog? Not a review one, just one where you log on and talk for however long about whatever happens to be on your mind. Then you incline your head and get on with your day. I'm not making this too committal, I'm just thinking I'd like to do one but in know way could I bear the burden of a second blog. I think I'd just blink out of existence.

Thanks for your time!