L.A. Times Festival of Books 2014: Day One and Day Two Recap Vlogs!

Guys, doctor I just had SUCH an amazing weekend. This weekend was the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at U.S.C., where the entire weekend is dedicated to the amazing culture of reading. It’s one of my favorite weekends of this year, and this year was no disappointment.

There was a team of five us: me, Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels, our friends Cassandra and Alexandra and my sister, Jessica. We had our game plans, and despite minor hiccups along the way, we managed to do everything that we wanted to do.

I met (and met again, for some) amazing authors this weekend: John Green (OHMYGOD), Rainbow Rowell, Lauren Oliver, Marissa Meyer, Sarah J Maas, Robin Benway, Veronica Roth, Lauren Myracle, Leigh Bardugo, Deb Caletti, Kiersten White, Andrew Smith and Stephanie Perkins.

But I won’t keep you from seeing my awesome vlogs. I vlogged while at the Fest so you get some pretty awkward and hilarious moments from me, a short video of my conversation with John Green and…lots of awkwardness haha.

Check it out!

Day One!

Day Two!

Yay! I hope you enjoyed seeing the awesomeness that was my weekend!

I managed to grab extra copies of Cinder, Anna and the French Kiss and Fangirl for a giveaway. There will NOT be a giveaway for the month of April (as of now), but there is a HUGE giveaway coming for my Blog Birthday in May so keep an eye out to see how you can get your hands on these books!

Oh! And don’t forget you can check out ALL the pictures on the What A Nerd Girl Says Facebook page here!

Happy Reading Everyone!

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Tuesday Top Ten-Characters Names that I’d Steal for My Children

Now, see this week’s Tuesday Top Ten is a little different than what I normally do.

People often times ask me where I get my names for my characters, erectile and honestly, sildenafil it mostly comes from the baby name book or a baby name website. I like kind of…different names, not weird just different.

But often, it comes from names that I wish I could name my future children.

And then that got me thinking about the different names that I like from books. I tend to try and name my pets after book characters and I would really like to do the same when I eventually have children (my boyfriend is SO rolling his eyes right now as he reads this…). I’m not talking weird names, for the most part. I like nice, normal names.

So this Tuesday Top Ten is kind of a fun, short, silly one. These basically come from two places: actual liking of the name, and liking of the character as well.

Names have always just been important to me. I was obsessed with mine for such a long time. My name is Sara, not exactly a unique and in my small group of friends in high school, three of us were named Sara (though they were the traditional spelling of Sarah). I wanted to change my name for years, or perhaps start going by Liz or Beth because my middle name is Elizabeth. Now, though, I’ve really come to appreciate my name. I really embody my name, and I think these characters below do as well.

So here we go!

10. Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird

Number 10

This one kind of makes me laugh if only for the fact that …well I named my dog Scout haha. So I guess I could never name my child Scout because of that….its just too weird. But I always liked the name Scout for a little girl. Its unique without being totally weird, you know? And yes, I do realize that Demi Moore and Bruce Willis named one of their daughters, Scout, but they also named their daughters Rumor and Tallelulah which are just ridiculous names. So yeah it might a totally weird name for a child, especially because of my dog, but I really do like the name and I would totally name my kid Scout.

9. Sirius from Harry Potter

Number 9

I love the name Sirius and I think that its a really cool name, but its not a weird one, you know? I don’t think I’d name my kid Sirius but I could see using it as a middle name. Its not just from Harry Potter, but from the dog Sirius, the constellation in the sky as well. Sirius is also my favorite HP character besides Luna Lovegood so that’s kind of cool too, a way to commemorate that.

8. Keladry from Protector of the Small

Number 8

I think Keladry is an absolutely beautiful name and I think that she would be a wonderful character to name a daughter after. All of Tamora Pierce’s characters are strong, admirable characters but I think Kel might be one of the most admirable ones because she is so focused on her goals and doing her job as a knight that she ends the series without a man (sorry, spoilers, I guess haha). She’s the only one so far in Tammy’s series that doesn’t end up with anyone and Tamora gets asked all the time, if she ever ends up with someone, and she says that this wasn’t the point of Keladry and there’s a reason that she doesn’t have a significant other. Its not that she’s alone, she’s just so focused and driven and she’s surrounded by people who love her, and make her life interesting. I think that this is pretty cool character to name your kid after.

7. Asher from The Giver

Number 7

Asher is such a small character in the actual novel. But his name always, always, always stood out to me. I thought I was really weird until I worked at a little kid’s portrait studio about five years ago, and a little boy named Asher came in. I asked the mother if she named him after the character in The Giver and she looked at me like I was a serious crazy person. So I guess it’s an actual name. But I think its a really unique name without being really weird. I hate really super weird names, like the poor baby that came in once whose entire first name was “Destiny Sky Rainbow”. Poor kid. I wonder how she’s dealing now. But Asher is a great name, and is one of the ones on this list that I would actually petition really hard for when it comes time (in the very FAR future) for Jon and I to have kids.

6. Felicity from A Great and Terrible Beauty

Number 6

I think this mostly comes from the actual character than just the name. Most of the names on the list are just names I like, really, but this one really comes from the character. Felicity is a seriously ambitious, mischievous, amazing female character in Victorian London who also ends up being a lesbian…in Victorian London! That’s crazy. And sure, she doesn’t broadcast it because that would be absolute crazy talk but she still remains an extremely strong character, and definitely my favorite of the entire series. Felicity is a beautiful name and it would be honorable and sweet to name a daughter with that name, when named after such a heroine.

5. Alianne from Trickster’s Choice 

Number 5

I really like this name because its simply and it can be shortened to Ally, which I think is really really pretty. Alianne is also another really strong female character that I’ve basically worshiped since I was 15 years old and I would love to name my daughter Alianne. Its just weird enough to be cute and unique but its not like, uh, your name is WHAT? Again, I’m not a fan of that. In the book, she shortens her name to Aly, but I like Ally better. But its a seriously beautiful name, and its one that has always stuck out to me. I also had a weird obsession with Elsren, who was a little boy that she cared for, for the LONGEST time, until I realized that its still a super cute name but its too weird. How do you even shorten that!

4. Raisa from the Seven Realms series

number 4

I love Raisa’s full name, her princess name, Raisa ana Marianna. So many “a’s” but I just love it. Its a beautiful name. And sure, Raisa is also another super badass character that any girl would be lucky to be named after but its also just a beautiful name. I think what stands out to me about this name is that its simple, almost like Sara, but its a little prettier. (Please do not misunderstand me-MOM!-I do love my name. It took me kind of a long time to do so, but I do love it). I don’t think this is a name that would cause raise eyebrows but I do think people would compliment it on how pretty it is.

3. Auden from Along for the Ride

number 3

I love that Auden is named after a literary figure and one that isn’t really that known, especially to the target audience of the book. It doesn’t come off pretentious in the slightest; I actually just really like it. Its unique. I kind of like McClean (Ma-Clane) from What Happened to Goodbye. Its almost like a family name. I have a liking for last names as first names. Its something that isn’t done very often but its really beautiful. I don’t know that I’d actually name my child this, which is funny considering its so high on the list, but I think its one of those names that I wish I could name my kid but probably wouldn’t have the guts to do so. My boyfriend would roll his eyes, and say no, my family and his family would raise their eyebrows, so it takes guts to name your kid Auden. But it doesn’t stop it from being a beautiful name.

2.Alexander from The Mortal Instruments/Delirium series

number 2

Jon really has no ifs, ands or buts about this one. I want to name my child Alexander. And sure, a small part is due to Alexander Lightwood of the TMI series. But a majority is just that I love the name for a boy. Its such a strong, traditional name and I think its absolutely beautiful and perfect. I would shorten it to Alec, like in TMI, but to Alex, like in Delirium. I just really love it. Honestly, its my main character’s name in the novel that I am currently working on. I really love the name. With girls, I like names that are a little different but not weird, like Summer. But with boys, I love traditional names and Alex, Alexander, is such a great example. If I have a boy one day, I really want to name him Alexander. And Alexander Lightwood is a good person to be named after, especially since he is tied for first as my favorite character in the Mortal Instruments series. He’s one of the strongest characters in the novels, and I don’t think people recognize that as much.

1. Jace from The Mortal Instruments series

number 1

I really would love to name my kid Jace but I know there is NO way in hell my boyfriend would ever let me do that. Like….there’s no way. Even though its kind of fitting. Even though we learn that its not the truth, Jace is Jonathan Christopher shortened. Of course, he’s not the ACTUAL Jonathan Christopher but that’s okay! My boyfriend’s name is Jonathan and his brother’s name is Christopher. I could name my son that, and call him Jace. It totally works out perfectly and I seriously love it; I think its a fun name but there’s no way it’ll ever happen. But it doesn’t stop me from having it as my number one pick for a character name that I’d steal for my child!

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Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Tuesday Top Ten!

I hope if you are at the City of Bones Mall Tour event in Glendale, that I’ll see you there!

Check out last week’s TTT, which were my Book Deal Breakers.

What are some character names that you love? Would you name your child after them? Have you named your child after them? As always, share in the comments!

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books 2013! Featuring Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Veronica Roth, Morgan Matson, Sarah Dessen and more!

I had to come back up to this paragraph to reintroduce this post…because I didn’t realize how long it was going to be! I maybe should have seen the signs from the really super long title…but rest assured, viagra buy this post is mostly pictures, view less words so you don’t have to worry too much! Just enjoy my awesome post, there and stop complaining already!

I’m still kind of recovering from the event. It was an absolute blast but I got sunburnt, and really worn out, and I’m all sore from all the walking and lugging the heavy books around and I got a heat rash and all of that. It was a fun weekend that beat me up haha. I’m still totally recovering.

So, this past weekend was the annual event, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. For those of you who don’t know, it is an event held every year, two days, with tons of authors and poets and book-related things at the University of Southern California (USC). I have been to this event several times in my past, when it was at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). It has always been a super fun event, and I’ve met authors like Meg Cabot and Eoin Colfer there.

This year, though, there was so much excitement and SO much going on.

First off, I’ve had the seriously amazing opportunity to meet Tatiana from City of Shadowhunters, Sylvia from FanGirlFeeels and our partner in crime, Megan (who you can follow on Twitter @yugenbliss) through Twitter, and the love of the Mortal Instruments and other fandoms. We all were at WonderCon (Tatiana and Sylvia were in the special meet and greet for TMI too!) and didn’t even realize it! So we planned a Shadowhunter meet up on Saturday, to meet more fans! Check out our cool photo!

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These girls were all SO awesome, and I had a fantastic time meeting them. You can also check out Paulina’s blog, all about the Divergent fandom.

The first event on the agenda was seeing Cassandra Clare (I know, again, I have an obsession…) and Harald Zwart, the director of City of Bones. I was unable to make the actual panel; Sylvia and I went to wait in line for the autographs. One thing that the Festival of Books didn’t do so well, was schedule all the young adult authors overlapping each other. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl were from 2-4, Cassie was from 3-5 and Veronica Roth was from 4-6. Silly. So Sylvia and I waited in line while Megan, Tatiana and my sister Jessica went to the panel.

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Cassandra Clare and Harald Zwart discussing the City of Bones movie :)

Then possibly the coolest thing in the entire world happened. Jessica and Megan joined Sylvia and me in line for Cassie. Now, Sylvia, Tatiana and I were part of the VIP meet and greet at WonderCon and Megan was at WonderCon as well and we were bummed that Harald wasn’t there! Well, he was walking around so we got to meet him finally! I got to have my City of Bones book signed, which had already previously been signed by Cassandra Clare, Jamie Campbell Bower, Lily Collins, and Kevin Zegers. Harald and his family was super nice.

After Sylvia, Megan and I basically assaulted him, a ton of people started coming up to him and his son was like “Daddy, you’re famous!” It was adorable.

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Then a professional photographer saw me showing Harald my Fearless rune tattoo and asked to take a picture of him pretending to draw the rune on my shoulder…and then for some reason, he signed his name on my arm haha. I had to wash it off but I got a picture of it!

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Then we met Cassie again!

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I gave her a letter that I had written her and she signed the picture of this two of us at the Mission Viejo library event. She totally remembered me and Vivi from Hebel Designs, who designed the Clockwork Angel necklace that I got from Cassie, was there which was suepr cool.

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After we all met Cassie, we busted a move to the other side of campus to meet Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth. Lauren Oliver, of course, is the author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, who I met back in March at the Mission Viejo library. Veronica Roth is the author of the Divergent trilogy.

I’ve already met Lauren Oliver so Sylvia, Jessica and Tatiana went to meet her and had a blast with her, as she is an absolutely lovely person :) Then we all met Veronica Roth, which was REALLY exciting, as she is super famous now and she’ll only get bigger now that movie Divergent comes out next year.

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She was SO beautiful and awesome. And I just had to tell her how much I admire her, as she is six months younger than me, and so successful and super talented and I think she’s an absolute inspiration. I also had her sign an extra copy of Divergent and I’m giving it away as a prize, until May 4th. Find out how to win it HERE.

Day TWO!

Day Two was even more fun. We spent the whole day chasing authors around!

First we went to the Penguin booth, put on by Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop to meet Maureen Johnson, the author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes and the Shades of London series (I just reviewed The Name of the Star last week). She was so incredibly sweet, and HILARIOUS. I mean, that girl is SO funny.

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She always makes the most fantastic faces. She’s a character. Her tweets the next day all about being in the airport, were just too funny to handle. You should follow her.

After Maureen Johnson, we headed to the Young Adult Fiction: Call Me Maybe panel to hang out with Gayle Forman, Morgan Matson, Sarah Dessen and Robin Benway. The panel was amazing because that’s EXACTLY the type of literature that I want to write, the literature that they write. I write contemporary YA and they had amazing advice and stories, and they really helped me to believe that even though I’m 25, and feeling super unaccomplished, that there is a chance for me. Robin Benway‘s stories of struggling through writing and Gayle Forman talking about the three years it took her to get back into college, it just makes me feel so much better. They were amazing.

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Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay, and other such novels. I’ve never read her books but they are now on my “to-read” list on GoodReads and I can’t wait to read her books.

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An extremely blurry picture of Robin Benway. I had never heard of her, but after that panel, I NEED to go and read her books. She was exactly me. She was talking about working crappy jobs and wanting to write and feeling like nothing was going to work out but it did work out and it was so incredibly inspirational to someone, like me, who feels like they just aren’t accomplishing anything. I can’t wait to read her books.

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Me telling Morgan Matson that she is absolutely fantastic. I adore her two books “Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour” and “Second Chance Summer“. She is such an inspiration for me as well, and I was sooooooo excited to meet her. I don’t think she expects that or something because she was SO happy. She deserves all the praises and more.

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After Morgan Matson, Gayle Forman and Robin Benway, a couple of us (not me), went to meet Melissa de la Cruz, the author of the Blue Bloods series. Here’s a picture of my sister, Jessica, meeting her :)

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After THAT, we all booked it back to the Penguin Booth to meet the AMAZING, AMAZING Sarah Dessen. I was most excited about meeting her ALL weekend. I have been reading Sarah Dessen since I first read Someone Like You when I was 12 years old. I wrote her a letter to tell her, and I pretty much hyperventilated in her presence.

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She LOVED how beat up my Along for the Ride book was, said it looked super super loved (which it totally is), and was just super sweet. Her name is Sarah Elizabeth and I’m Sara Elizabeth and yeah, I got a total kick out of that :) We also were able to take a nice group picture with her as well!

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Tatiana, me, Sarah Dessen, Meg, Sylvia and Jessica.

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In all honesty, it was an absolutely fantastic weekend. I got to meet some amazing authors, get my books signed and I met some incredibly people while I was out, people that I dont know how I wasn’t friends with before.

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Sylvia, Megan, Tatiana and me. We spent hours at Barnes and Noble shopping for books and talking books :)

If you’d like to see more pictures from Festival Books, you can HERE and HERE.

If you’d like to follow my fellow nerd friends,

Tatiana‘s Blog and Twitter

Sylvia‘s Blog and Twitter

Megan‘s Twitter

Also don’t forget to enter the autographed Divergent contest!

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Were you at the Festival of Books? Who did you meet, what was it like? Or do you have an author event that you attended that you’d like to share? As always, share in the comments!

Book of the Week: Requiem

Note:

I’ve had some complaints from people (I feel kind of complimented that enough people read the blog to actually complain…) that I post spoilers when I do my Book of the Week reviews. I do the best that I can to not post spoilers but for the most part, rx there are going to be spoilers. I try to warn beforehand but I don’t always. I am sorry if I have ruined books for some people, viagra 60mg but I do post that. If it becomes a problem, I can start posting a blanket warning in front of each Book of the Week post. Anyway, enjoy!

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In just two days, I will be heading down the freeway to the Mission Viejo library to meet Lauren Oliver, the author of the fantastic novel, Before I Fall, and her dystopian best seller, The Delirium trilogy.

I’ve been to this library twice for author events, to meet Meg Cabot (for the fourth time…I kind of stalk her…) and to meet Cassandra Clare (who, incidentally, I will be meeting in the same spot later this month!). They seriously rock, I have to give mad props to Allison Tran, the teen librarian, and A Whale of a Tale bookstore, for setting up such epic events.

Moving on though, Lauren is hitting the road to promote the last book in her Delirium trilogy, Requiem, which just came out this past Tuesday, the 5th. Of course, I picked it up that day and finished it by that night, somehow managing to do that in between my four hour physics class and my nanny job.

And I thought, in honor of the fact that I will be meeting her for the first time on Sunday, this week’s Book of the Week should be dedicated to her.

On another side note, her hit trilogy will be hitting TV screens most likely this fall, as it has been optioned by Fox and casting has already begun. Emma Roberts, of Nancy Drew and Unfabulous fame, has been cast as Lena Haloway. Gregg Sulkin has been cast as Julian Fineman, and Daren Kagasoff, also known as Ricky from The Secret Life of an American Teenager, will be playing Alex (not sure how I feel about that). Lastly, it was just announced Jeanine Mason will be playing Hana Tate.

So here you go:

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

9780062014535_0_Cover

Genre:
young adult, romance, dystopian

Part of a Series?:
Yes, the third book and conclusion to the Delirium series

You May Like it If You LIked:
Matched series, Divergent series, the Hunger games series

Plot Summary:

In the Delirium series, we meet Lena, an almost eighteen year old girl who lives in a society much like ours except one really major difference: love is a disease (amor deliria nervosa) and everyone must get cured at their eighteenth birthday. Then they will be sent off to college, and paired with someone who matches them logically, and will be married. Romantic, right? Lena is ready to be cured, can’t wait to be cured,especially since her mother died, killed herself when she was overcome by the disease. That is, until she meets Alex and contracts the disease. With this, Lena starts to question whether love really is a disease. The trilogy follows Lena as she discovers truth and lies about the society she lives in, and the truth of her mother’s death, and it doesn’t take long before she is involved in a rebellion (because what’s a dystopian novel without a little rebellion?). Requiem is the final chapter of this trilogy and is the story of the resistance. The first two books have led up to this point.

The Good:

There is good in this novel. I swear that there is.

First off, Lauren Oliver is a good writer. The girl has talent and the story was there. I really liked her story. At first, I felt that instant similarity between Delirium and Matched by Ally Condie. I do, however, think the books go into different directions. I think Oliver had a really strong story; it just wasn’t executed well. Dystopian novels are nothing new, especially nowadays but Lauren Oliver had a slightly more unique idea and I do admire her for that. In the Matched trilogy, you are allowed to love. Sure, they pick who you love, but you’re allowed to love. Love exists in all these other dystopian novels, even if its not in the most romantic sense. In these books, love is a disease and you’re cured into indifference, living your life with someone on the basis that you are creating a new generation and thats it. I do think she had a very good starting point but I don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been.

I also really liked that even though it starts off about love, it doesn’t end that way. It could have gotten super cheesy, super fast (although, it does get cheesy). The rebellion isn’t really about love, but about the idea of choice. They want the freedom of choice, even if it is the wrong choice. They aren’t preaching love, but they are preaching free thought. Even though the idea of free thought in a dystopian novel isn’t exactly new but it was unique in this story. I wasn’t expecting the rebellion to have free choice, even the wrong choices, as their belief. I would have expected it to be love.

I even liked the alternating points of view, mostly because the other point of view we get in the story is the point of view of Hana, Lena’s best friend from when she was part of the society, the valids and not the Invalids. Hana is on the exactly opposite side of where Lena is; she is still in society and she’s been cured of the disease. You see things from her point of view, and how she feels sort of blissfully empty and painless without all those confusing feelings you feel when you’re only a teenager. I still think that I would be on the side that Lena is on, because no matter how much love HURTS at times, its worth. And it is nice to have your own choices, to mess up and  all that. But I liked being able to see Hana’s side; it gave some humanity to the other. I feel like we never really get the other side when reading a dystopian novel. In the Delirium trilogy, Hana gives us some humanity because even though she is cured and she can’t really fully love anymore, and she doesn’t feel like she used to but she still cares. She feels the cruelty from her future husband and she feels enough to want to help Lena’s family.

The Bad: 

With the good being said, it’s time to move on to the bad. Lauren Oliver was on a roll to making me feel better about Requiem versus the previous book, Pandemonium. The whole premise of Delirium is that Lena discovers that love is not a disease and she falls in love with Alex. Then Alex dies, and in Pandemonium, she starts falling for Julian. Now other than my reader’s loyalty to Alex, I just felt it ruined her point. Especially when we learn Alex is NOT dead and Requiem has the dreaded love triangle. I find love triangles to be fairly annoying and unnecessary to begin with but it bothered me a lot more here. It seemed to fall into society’s ideas of love as a disease and causing irrational thoughts and chaos. Lena is ready for the cure in Delirium, she wants it, and falling in love isn’t easy for her. For a long time, she feels like she is contracting the disease…so I find it hard to believe that she would just love two different boys like that. Or if she really did, she would have thoughts of the disease because she was trained to believe that her whole life.

I also had an issue with how quickly she was able to work things out with her mom. She has thought her mother dead for years, and she finds out this is not true in Delirium, that she has broken out of the prison where she was kept for many years. She has to be bursting with so many questions and confused feelings. She has to be angry. I don’t think that she would have forgiven her mother that easily and would have developed a relationship with her that easily. I do think forgiveness, and love would come but just not as soon as it did. It just seemed too unbelievable to me.

Which means me to my least favorite thing about the book; it just ended so quickly. There was all this build up; all this moving around. There was a battle basically when they tried to destroy the dam to bring water back to the Invalids. Then they made all their way back to Portland and the battle that ensued there…it was just, it was really fast! Everything just seemed to happen so fast. One minute, Hana is getting married, then she’s not and she’s “capturing” Lena and letting her go, and letting her husband die in the bomb implanted house. Lena went from kind of having a relationship with Julian to suddenly realizing she loves Alex and he loves her and they’re going to be together. She finds her cousin, Grace, and saves her. They tear down the wall that separates society from the Wilds and the book ends with everyone celebrating. It just seemed really really fast, and not very realistic. I felt like it was a lot of build up and not a lot of action. I think rebellions take a lot more work than what happened. I think it was going well and going in the right direction, it just ended entirely too quickly.

Rating?:

3 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not:

Yes, if you’ve already read Delirium and Pandemonium and you’d like to read the end. I do recommend the trilogy though; Lauren is a great writer and has the potential to create great stories. I hope to see more from her soon.

However, I definitely recommend reading her novel, Before I Fall, because its fantastic!

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I can’t WAIT to meet Lauren Oliver on Sunday and I will definitely have a post for you guys soon after to share what it was like and what she revealed about new projects and the new TV show!