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Divergent Movie

Recently a friend and I saw the movie based on the popular young adult trilogy called Divergent. Having read the first book some time ago it was a little difficult to remember what all went on in it, especially little details that dedicated or more recent readers would’ve been angry about the filmmakers missing. The movie stars Shailene Woodley as the main heroine, Tris, and Theo James as Four. Woodley is also in The Fault in our Stars that comes out on June 6th, a day that I think that I will never be emotionally prepared for (really, go read the book). She did a decent job of playing Tris, a shy girl that ends up being a major player of the rebellious faction called Dauntless. If you need a refresher of the plot you can go to my posts here and here. I say she did decently because she just seems like a meek person overall and I didn’t really see her playing a character that risks it all to join a faction that jumps off trains. However, she had nice hair and that’s really all that matters. Theo James played the love interest, Four. I honestly think he was cast because of his sex appeal because that boy was fine. He played the part well, though and I liked how caring he was with Tris even though he wanted people to think he was all tough (typical). Since I haven’t read the book in a while, the movie seemed to follow it pretty accurately but some have said major characters are left out. According to Flixster, the next installment of the trilogy Insurgent is set to come out on March 20th, 2015 so I’ve got a little time to read the other books and find out what happens to the dystopian society that Tris and Four are revolting against (Hunger Games reference, anyone?). The movie theater I work at had a big promotion for the movie coming out. We had faction bowls like they had in the books where people could submit their names to win prizes. We also had a big board where you could anonymously write down your fears. Some people were less-than-intelligent and wrote twitter usernames or inappropriate things but others wrote clever things like “oblivion” or “daleks”. All the employees got to dress up according to what the factions in the book wore. The first day I was Dauntless and I wore leather leggings and combat boots, along with some temporary tattoos I got at Hot Topic that were identical to the ones Tris gets in the book. The second and last day I was Erudite, and I wore a blue dress. A lot of the employees participated and it was a really good promotion overall, regarding participation. Did you go see Divergent when it came out in theaters?

 

Jellicoe Road

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Photo credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/272256739943836661/

 Before I start this post, I want you to do something. Say ‘jellicoe’. Say it a few more times. Now say it with an Australian accent. Wasn’t that fun? Now that you’ve gotten that out of your system, you can continue to read this post. This book has raving, all-praising reviews on Goodreads, which I read before starting the novel. Here’s a challenge: go find one review of this book other than mine that is negative. Once you come back, whining about how it was impossible, I’ll let you in on a secret- you can’t find a negative review about this book. It honestly sounded like this was going to be the next big obsession of mine and I started to read the first few pages. That’s when things began to go downhill. The parts of the book that people admittedly stated were confusing were not confusing to me. I don’t know if I just wasn’t reading with devoted attention or if the book was really that bad, but I don’t see what all the fuss was about. Fans of this book should probably not read this post, for my safety and yours. I have some specific issues with this book, number one being that it was based in Australia. Of all places to have a book, you pick a giant, barely inhabited island that was colonized by prisoners. I have nothing against the people of Australia, however. Your accents are gnarly and I probably miss Steve Irwin as much as you do. Now that we’ve got stereotypes out of the way, we can get back to the important topic of the setting. I have read a grand total of two books that were based in Australia now and I didn’t like either one of them. Personally, I think it’s time for me to stop reading books based on the huge island of kangaroos and koalas and other creatures that start with ‘k’. My second problem with this book is the characters. Everyone on Goodreads said these characters were believable and awe-inspiring. I felt that they were underdeveloped and just out of nowhere, if that makes sense. The main characters are ensued in a territory war. Why highschoolers are fighting with rich people from town and military cadets in training over land is beyond me. This war wasn’t really explained well, all that I got from it was it’s been a tradition since people can remember. The people are very strict about the territory boundaries; some girls from the Jellicoe school accidentally crossed over borders and the cadets took them hostage in their tent. A little extreme, if you ask me. There was also a story within the story about five teenagers and their experiences on the Jellicoe Road and the beginning of the territory wars. This added to my problems with character development because the people in the story turned out to be real people in the bigger story. That’s the part most people found confusing. I just didn’t see much change between the way they were and they way they became. Overall, the only things I enjoyed about this book were the cutesy quotes that most everyone likes and trying to read it in my head with an Australian accent. The latter proved to be quite difficult. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as everyone said I would but we all have those books every once in a while. Now that all the people of Australia have completely lost their respect for me, I might go watch Finding Nemo in the hopes that that will somehow make up for all I’ve said. Happy reading.

TFioS Trailer

 So if you have read my blog at all, you know by now that I am a big fan of everything by John Green. I am a proud Nerdfighter, and I can honestly say The Fault in Our Stars is one of the most amazing pieces of literature that I have ever laid my eyes on. And that’s saying a lot. Since I finished Mockingjay, the third and final book in the Hunger Games series, I decided I would reread An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, which I will be blogging about later on in the week. All anyone on Twitter has been talking about recently is the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars, the movie adaptation of the book which comes out June 6th of this year (this is where working at a movie theater really pays off). Hazel Lancaster will be played by Shailene Woodley and Augustus Waters will be played by Ansel Elgort. Personally, I didn’t particularly like Woodley being cast to play the leading lady but hopefully it all works well in the end. The trailer was definitely a tear-jerker, like if you didn’t feel one ounce of emotion while watching it, you need serious help. It seems to follow the book pretty well, but I will probably read it again just to refresh myself before seeing the movie (if I don’t end up bawling through the whole thing). The trailer came out yesterday and it already has over 4,000,000 views so a lot of people are anticipating this movie. Throughout the last year, John Green has been posting things on Twitter and Tumblr about his involvement of the production of the movie and it seems like he had his say in a lot of it, but he seems pretty giddy that his book is being made into a movie, and I can’t blame him for it. Kudos to John Green and all the fabulous people who decided to make this astounding novel a movie. I will anxiously wait until June, but until then I’ll just read some more. What did you think of the trailer?

Divergent (Part Two)

Continuing from my previous post on the first installment of this series, Divergent definitely left me wanting more. The main character, Beatrice, or known as Tris later on, switched her factions from Abnegation to Dauntless. In the society that the reader soon figures out is based in Chicago, the five factions basically rule your life. A repeating mantra throughout the book is “factions before blood.” The Dauntless recruits go through initiation and are ranked according to their skills and development during the trials they are up against. During the novel, a romance ensues with Tris and one of the instructors, Four. The last phase of initiation is the fear landscape, where the initiates are required to face everything they fear in a simulation. Meanwhile, another faction called the Erudites, the faction of Tris’ brother, is planning war against her home faction of Abnegation. To be honest, following all of the factions and the relationships between them got a little confusing during the course of reading this book, but that is nothing a little Wikipedia can’t fix. The entirety of the Dauntless members are turned into sleepwalking murderers the night after the evaluations after the last test, overrunning the Abnegation compound and killing anyone in sight. Because Tris and Tobias are divergent, the serum that the Erudites used on the Dauntless to make them become killers without even knowing it. However, the leader of the Erudites, Jeanine, has figured out how to create a serum that works on divergents as well and injects Tobias with it making him the controller of the simulation. In the end, through the sacrifice of her parents, Tris saves Tobias from his trancelike state and the Dauntless refugees escape to the Amity compound where they hope they will be accepted. However, I believe as Tris does, that this is not the end of the conflict between the factions in this series.

This book can actually be comparable to the Hunger Games in many ways, the most obvious being that it’s a trilogy. I really did enjoy this book, and while I don’t feel as invested in it as other fandoms that I’m involved with (ahemDoctorWhoahem) I will finish the other two books and watch the movies. Have you read Divergent? What did you think about it?

Divergent (Part One)

untitled Working at a movie theater is a great opportunity with many perks. Free popcorn, soda, 25% discount on everything else along with a free movie with a guest every week is beyond awesome. However, this also spoils a TON of movies for me. I saw at least half of Frozen in bits and pieces during theater checks before I actually had the time to sit down and watch it all (and even then I have the overwhelming urge to tell people to put their phones away during the movie because my job is weird and addicting). A few weeks ago, I realized that a movie called Divergent was coming out and it was based on a book. After my coworkers basically shunned me and freaked out about how I hadn’t read the book, I gave into the peer pressure and checked out the book at the library. So far, it’s a pretty good read. I’ve always been a fan of dystopian novels and this is just that. This book is about a society that puts you into factions for life based on your personality and choices that you make in a test that you participate in when you come of age. I am not that far into the book so the factions are a bit hard to follow, but I found a website here that helps make sense of them and what they stand for. Abnegation (the main character’s faction since birth) is the group of people that are plain and selfless. Candor people never lie. Amity people are peaceful and calm. The Erudites are smart and clever. The Dauntless are the rebels of society and they are very daring. The test that everyone takes at the age of 16 helps them choose which faction they want to be in. Some people deviate from the factions they are born into and that faction no longer recognizes them as their own, even their families don’t speak to them. Some, however, remain in their factions. Those who diverge from any faction whatsoever are societal outcasts. The main character is one of the factionless and the story is about her choices and how those affect her and her society, as well as how people view her. I can’t wait to read the rest of this book and the two that follow it before the movie comes out in March. Stay tuned for the second part post of this book later on in the week.

(Book cover photo from http://bookriot.com/2013/10/14/beyond-bestsellers-youve-read-divergent/)

Life of Pi (Part 1)

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Picture from: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/322102-life-of-pi-3d-blu-ray-review/

Let me just start off with an apology: this was one of the few books I read after I watched the movie. All the literary greats can shun me for what I’ve done, and I regret it. My mom always asks me why I read books and then watch the movie, saying ‘it ruins the ending of the movie’. To this I have no words.  As you all have read before in my post about reading comprehension, I kind of have to watch the movie if I don’t understand the book, which is usually all of the time. That’s what I love about reading, the mystery that my brain can’t ever figure out.

Yann Martel is a superb author. The style that he writes with is uncanny and I love the way his sentences are kind of choppy, but artful. It just somehow makes him seem intelligent and articulated. The story starts out with an author’s note, describing how he was experiencing some writer’s block before composing this novel and how he came about to writing this one. It is about a man named Piscine Molitor Patel, Pi for short because of some people who teased him in school, and his life on the family zoo in Pondicherry, India and an adventure he endured when he and his family were moving to Canada. Having already see the movie, I knew what was going to happen. (*SPOILERS* but my blog is a never ending spoiler so you shouldn’t be surprised). While on their way to Canada with a majority of the animals, the boat mysteriously sinks, with Pi, a tiger named Richard Parker, a zebra, and a hyena being the lone survivors. Eventually, it’s just Pi and the tiger left, with Pi wondering how he will survive on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with a tiger on board.

What’s great about the dialogue in this book is that it seems that Pi is telling the story specifically to Martel, when he really is just talking to the main narrator. This makes it almost seem like a nonfiction novel, or a biography. So far, I’m really liking this book, but I still regret watching the movie first because now I have a permanent picture of the characters and scenes in my head, so I can’t make up my own.

The Fault in Our Stars

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 Cover title from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11870085-the-fault-in-our-stars

Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.” -The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

If you haven’t heard of John Green, you either aren’t from planet earth, or you just don’t check your social networking sites a lot. John Green is an up and coming young adult author that writes about topics that really apply to teens, but at the same time could be controversial. One of his books Looking for Alaska, a personal favorite of mine, is on the banned book list even though it contains issues that coincide with life, something that someone could really relate to. The Fault in Our Stars is a book about kids who have cancer. I’m sure you’ve read a book about a teenager having cancer, for example, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (a real tugger on the heartstrings-watch the movie if you don’t believe me). This book, however, is different. What John Green brings to this novel is unprecedented in so many ways, from the way he looks at teenagers with cancer from more of their perspective to how he chooses his words and makes you think, even though it is a book for young adults. This book is about a girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster who meets a dashing young man named Augustus Waters at a cancer support group meeting. The two fall in love and actually travel to Holland together but you will have to read the book to find out why, I will spoil nothing about this novel because I want you to go out and read it and find out what it’s all about! It’s just that good! I recommend this book to absolutely everyone. My mom, my boyfriend, his mom, and my art teacher have all read it and they all said it was a really good read. My best friend, who has so willingly been sucked into the world of nerdfighteria with me has also read it and we are definitely planning to see the movie at midnight when it comes out on June 6th, 2014. Now drop what you’re doing and go read this book! It will change your life and leave you thinking differently in so many ways.

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”  -The Fault in Our Stars, John Green