Monday, 18 November 2013


Today the YA Book Club is discussing ALLEGIANT, the third book in Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy. Want to join in? Eitherwrite a post and link it up on Tracey's blog, then jump around to see what everyone else has to say, OR join the discussion in the comments over there!

{Created by Excellent Supreme Leader Tracey Neithercott}

So. ALLEGIANT. This book needs no introduction, I'm sure. So I'll skip it and get right to the good stuff.

Okay. I liked it. I really liked it. And I have to say, it's mostly because of the [spoiler] that I guess a lot of people are upset about.

Don't get me wrong, this way definitely not a perfect book. No, I didn't really buy the whole genetic-purity thing as the reason for Tris' world being the way it was. I didn't really get how they could leave the city and join the outside world so easily. I would have loved some more explanation as to how the world got to a point where these kinds of experiments could take place, where parts of the US were just abandoned and things were completely and utterly broken.


I loved seeing Tris through Four's eyes. I loved that their relationship was not all we-are-destined or he-is-my-soulmate or I-would-die-without-her. They had problems that they worked through together. They made choices.

I loved that Veronica Roth was (get ready for the cheese) brave enough to write an ending that she probably knew a lot of people wouldn't like. I mean...I can't do it anymore, I'm going to have to drop the BIGGEST SPOILER WARNING DO NOT READ AHEAD IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW, OKAY?

I loved that she killed Tris off. And kept her dead. No magical serums to bring her back, no twists to get out of it...and a real ending. A like a happily ever after as much as the next romcom lover, but life doesn't always wrap up in magical special ways, and great stories don't, either. I mean, I'm seriously fangirling right now because I have so much respect for V. Roth actually killing off her protagonist and--well, I don't know if that's the way she always planned the story to go, but if she did (and even if she didn't), she went with it. She really went for it, and I am so happy to have read a series where the ending didn't leave me feeling like the author wussed out and gave the ending she thought fans would want.

So yeah, some things didn't work for me; I found it hard to get used to the switching POVs, and I couldn't keep all the characters straight in my head (Cara, Caleb, Christina...Tris, Tobias, it just me?!), and for such a long book there still seemed to be a ton of stuff crammed in so that the story felt rushed.

But the fact that this story did not wrap up with a nice pretty bow, that there was loss and pain and sacrifice, won me over.

So what did you think of the final installment in the series? Don't forget to swing by Tracey's blog and find out what the rest of the Book Club thought!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

What's Up Wednesday: First Draft Dunzo Edition

{click here for a full list of participants!}

What I’m Reading:

I’m kind of in a reading slump at the moment—I have a ton of library books that I keep renewing and new books waiting to be read, but somehow I’m rereading an old favourite: SHRIMP by Rachel Cohn. I love rereading books that I know so well I can recite them from memory; it’s like slipping into a well-worn t-shirt after being trapped in stiff new clothes. (SHRIMP is the sequel to the forever-fave GINGERBREAD which you should definitely, definitely check out if you haven’t already.)

What I’m Writing:

Right now I’m writing nothing, because I FINALLY FINISHED DRAFTING!

 photo tumblr_lmpkt2ZkiR1qclt3z_zpsd7c0c112.gif

Yes, on Sunday, after months of writing 500-1000 words a day, I banged out 7.5k so I could just get to the end already. That’s the most I’ve ever written in one day and I’m pretty sure it’ll never happen again. I was just that desperate to finish.

My total wordcount was 101k. Looking at that on Sunday was the very first time I knew my wordcount since I started writing. I didn’t get to celebrate any milestones, no 10k cheering, no 50k relief, but I have learnt that really, it doesn’t matter. It’s nice to have those moments for yourself, as a way to celebrate and feel good during the awful drafting phase, but as the same time it doesn’t make a difference to where the story ends up. And I’m really glad I didn’t know when I was at 50k because apparently that was only the halfway point for this story and that would have sucked the life out of me if I’d known.

Query update: oh, you guys are the best. In my last WUW I was all “Querying sucks, rejections suck, I suck” and you were all “Yeah, querying sucks, rejections suck, but keep going anyway!” Which I am. And that same week, I got another request, so…swings and roundabouts, I guess.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

I love this essay on The Rumpus, this writing advice from Courtney Summers, this song by Placebo/Kate Bush, and this picture which is perfect for Future WIP 3.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Learning a fun/difficult piece in dance class for a show; taking my first ever pilates class; roadtripping with friends; watching Orange is the New Black; looking at houses I will never be able to afford; dreaming of this horizontal shower. Oh good heavens.

And that’s about it. Tell me, what have you been up to lately?