Theo James

‘Allegiant’ controversial ending: Veronica Roth speaks out

Good insight, but I’ll still be sad it had to end this way. (Except it means Tobias is single, so… I’m okay with that.)

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Book List Update #9: 41-45

Even though I’ve completed my goal for the year, I’m continuing my busy reading for the year. Here are the latest updates.

Bridget Jones's Diary

41. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding

I’ve been a fan of the film adaptation of this novel since it came out 10 years ago, so I was very excited to read the book. Though I may be biased, I believe the film fixed the book’s problems. Most of the characters are more likeable in the movie, particularly Bridget’s mother, and even Bridget herself. Also, the movie does a much better job of developing Daniel and Mark as characters, allowing the audience a better understanding of Bridget and her often confusing decisions. If you’re new to this story, I would definitely recommend the movie over the book, but I’m the type of person who likes to be thorough. Either way, the story is great.

Repotting Harry Potter

42. Repotting Harry Potter, James W. Thomas

As you may know, I’m in the process of writing my undergraduate Honors thesis project on the literary merits of the Potter series, and this is one of the many sources I’ve collected on the subject. I read a shorter article by James W. Thomas previously that I enjoyed, and this book is essentially an expansion of that article, giving book-by-book breakdowns of the Potter series and analyzing it chapters at a time. I think Thomas’s writing gets a bit repetitive at times, but he makes great points and offers insights into all kinds of minor details us Potter fanatics love. On a related note, Thomas also referred to Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner many times throughout this book, references which are quite pleasing to me being a major fan of those authors as well. I intend to refer to Thomas’s writing in my own project, so this was definitely a worthwhile read.

A-Streetcar-Named-Desire_Chicago_1951_front-cover

43. A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams

Reading classics is always fun, especially when they’re as good as A Streetcar Named Desire. I’m really anxious to watch the movie, because I’m a firm believer in seeing plays as they’re meant to be seen. This is a great American story comparable to The Glass Menagerie or Death of a Salesman. If you’re interested in theatre, this is a must read.

'salem's Lot

44. ‘salem’s Lot, Stephen King

This has certainly been my slowest reading venture of the year, but sometimes school must take precedence over fun. However, I’m happy I didn’t finish this until mid-October, because it certainly fits in well with the Halloween season. This is great for fans of Stephen King, Dracula, or anything of the horror genre. It’s a long book, but apart from a few slower parts, it’s an entertaining read.

Allegiant

 

45. Allegiant, Veronica Roth

Over the summer I became a quick fan of the Divergent series, so the release of the final installment last week was a highly anticipated event for me. I had my suspicions about the book’s ending early on, and as much as I wish I hadn’t been correct, I was. Without giving away any spoilers: it’s a very bittersweet ending. Overall, though, it’s a satisfying conclusion to this trilogy, though the story is a bit slower and less riveting than in the two previous novels. Either way, I’m very excited for the first movie installment to be released in March, and I certainly expect to revisit this series from time to time in the future.

Book Update #7: 31-35

I can’t believe that I’ve been making progress so quickly! For the past few years, I’ve come in at just under 40 books for the whole year, so I think my progress thus far has been pretty great. Anyway, here are my reviews for my most recent reading ventures.

Insurgent

31. Insurgent, Veronica Roth

As I said in my last post when I reviewed Divergent, I’m kind of obsessed with these books. The sequel puts heroine Tris in more dire situations as she and her cohorts struggle in a war between factions, and the war against Divergent citizens continues to worsen. One thing to note about this series: author Veronica Roth does not hesitate to kill off important characters in a way that can be surprising for the pacing of the books. This novel definitely ends with a bigger cliffhanger than its predecessor, so I’m already anxious to be able to read the final installment when it’s released this October. Until then, I’ll be keeping up with filming updates for the Divergent movie which is scheduled for release in March of 2014.

The Penultimate Peril

32. The Penultimate Peril, Lemony Snicket
I must say, The Penltimate Peril was one of my very favorite books in this series. Though there isn’t a ton that gets accomplished during this novel, it’s still quite important to the story and provides lots of great humor. (Side note: I was reading this on a flight back home from New York and couldn’t stop laughing at this line: “But the three siblings were not born yesterday. Violet was born more than fifteen years before this particular Wednesday, and Klaus was born approximately two years after than, and even Sunny, who had just passed out of babyhood, was not born yesterday. Neither were you, unless of course I am wrong, in which case welcome to the world, little baby, and congratulations on learning to read so early in life.”). I’m really looking forward to finally reading the last book in this series, but I’m sure it will be a bittersweet conclusion. However, I’ll be very thankful to have closure on this wonderful story of the Baudelaire orphans.

Fifty Shades of Grey

33. Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James

Okay, the most embarrassing thing about this is that this was my second time reading this book. Yeah. So… I was on an airplane and wanted some mindless entertainment and this was on my iPad, so voila, that’s how a girl ends up reading the Fifty Shades trilogy for a second time. Whatever. In terms of review: um… Christian didn’t bother me a much as he did when I first read this a year ago, but I assume that’s because I know where the story is going. And I guess because I’m in a phase of crappy entertainment, I’m probably going to be rereading the other two books as well. Thank God for summer break when reading can be this silly.

Fifty Shades Darker

34. Fifty Shades Darker, E.L. James

Okay, again, this is embarrassing, but it happened, so oh well. This is my guilty pleasure summer indulgence reading at its finest. There isn’t really much to say about it, except that I have enjoyed the characters more during my reread. Other than that… It’s silly, trashy, mindless entertainment, which is sometimes exactly what you need.

The Cuckoo's Calling

 

35. The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith

Being a huge J.K. Rowling fan, it was absolutely necessary for me to purchase The Cuckoo’s Calling once the news leaked that the book had been written by Rowling under a pseudonym, and I’m very happy to say it did not disappoint. The Cuckoo’s Calling features a fairly minor group of characters in comparison with Rowling’s other works, but this allows readers to get a better sense of who these characters really are. The story centers on Cormoran Strike, a detective who’s been hired to investigate the alleged suicide of supermodel Lula Landry. The pieces in this mystery come together very slowly, but they ultimately result in a satisfying conclusion. If you’re a fan of Rowling’s other works, this book definitely contains her characteristic writing flair, and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a good read to end your summer. Rowling proves herself as an intriguing crime author, including enough twists and turns to bring Agatha Christie to mind. I’m very interested to see if Rowling decides to continue with these characters in a series. If so, count me in.

Next stop: The End, the conclusion to A Series of Unfortunate Events. Stay tuned!