Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Sunshine: Tough Going Edition

Um, the book I finished this week was Allegiant, so...this is not a particularly sunny Sunday post.  (Serves me right: I assigned my students Unspoken this week.  My reading quiz started with the words, "I'm so, so sorry" because pretty much all my kids came in and just draped themselves over their desks, drowning in sorrow.)

Anyway, before my thoughts on Allegiant, let me share with you the thing that is making me SO SO SO happy this week: ice dancing.  Olympic ice dancing.  (Yes, I have some serious issues with the political situation in Russia, no, I am not boycotting the Olympics coverage because I'm not convinced that it would do anything, especially since we are not a Nielsen family.  If I thought it would help, I would boycott.)   I hate to be a bad patriot, but I can't help rooting for reigning gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.  (Seriously, follow the link and watch them dance.  On skates.)  They just have the most amazing chemistry of any two people I've ever seen.  Of course, I also adore the American team of Charlie White and Meryl Davis--and I love that all four of them are training partners and good friends!

What I Read This Week: 

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Allegiant by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm way more destroyed than I thought I would be. I can weigh in on what I gather was a controversial ending and say I think it was perfect and it couldn't have gone any other way. I really admire Veronica Roth for staying true to her characters and I feel absolutely satisfied. The only thing I take issue with is (SPOILERS--highlight to view) the way Tris and Four's sexual relationship played out in relation to Tris's death. I think all of Tris's decisions--sex and war--made sense, but there's a pretty deep literary tradition of killing off unmarried women who have sex (or anyone else who breaks sexual norms) and this fits into that tradition more than I'm comfortable with. I wish they had made the decision to have sex sooner--maybe during that cute picnic?--so that Tris's death didn't seem like such a direct response. (It's like the dad from Freaks and Geeks: "I knew a girl who had sex before marriage. You know what happened to her? She DIED.") To balance that, though, I will say that I enjoyed the subtle allusions to Romeo and Juliet in the morning-after scene. I don't know for sure that it was an intentional nod, but starting with the birds, and basically all the dialogue...well, I was pretty sure after reading that scene that it was not going to end well for Tris and Four. Overall, though, this was probably my favorite of the whole series.

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  1. What a mean teacher! :D (Seriously, though I wish I had been assigned books like Unspoken when I was in school!)

  2. I hold the same opinion on watching v. boycotting the Olympics. I think the athletes are the only ones who get hurt by boycotts. A friend of mine was calling on a boycott of corporations who sponsor the Olympics, but the ridiculous thing about that is that they fund Team Canada so again it hurts our athletes. Anyway, enough about that. I love, love, love Virtue and Moir. Their ice dancing talent just mesmerises me. I'm kind of sad that they're going pro after these Olympics. Davis and White are pretty darn good too! It would be so hard to judge both of those couples because their styles are so different and yet they're both phenomenal. Ice dancing is one of my favourite Winter Olypmics sports too.

    About ALLEGIANT... I wasn't a fan for a bunch of reasons, mostly unrelated to the ending (which I also had issues with). I know I'm probably in the minority here, but the only book of the trilogy that I really liked was DIVERGENT. Ah, the subjective nature of books, hey? Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday, Jess!

    P. S. I have to agree with the commenter above: I wish I'd been assigned books like UNSPOKEN in school too!

  3. Interesting point about the…event. I wish it had happened differently too--maybe even happened in Insurgent. I loved the way Tris and Four's relationship progressed in the book--they chose to be together, didn't just stay together because True Love and Destiny; it took work. Definitely give props to V.Roth for staying true to the characters and the story--I don't think there are many authors who would have stuck to their guns the way she did.

  4. I have to echo pretty much everything Jaime said in her comment. My first impulse was to think that Canada shouldn't even be participating in this year's Olympics, but after a little more thought, my opinion changed quite a bit. Boycotting the Olympics just seems counterproductive, because it hurts the athletes and takes away their right to compete. I think the best thing we can do is support the athletes, especially since the whole point to the Olympics is to celebrate peace and diversity (even if that point sometimes gets missed for different reasons). I love that you're cheering on Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir! They're fantastic to watch!

    I'm also with Jaime on Allegiant (unfortunately). I didn't have a problem with how Veronica Roth chose to end the book, but I thought what happened did undermine another character's chance at redemption. I won't get into my issues with the book here, but I was disappointed. I'm glad you found it to be a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy though! :)


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