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Harry Potter. The Hunger Games. The Mortal Instruments. The Infernal Devices. Divergent. The Kingkiller Chronicle. The Study Series. The Inheritance Cycle. Cherub. Alex Rider. The Maze Runner. John Green. Emily Bronte. William Shakespeare. Margaret Atwood. Evelyn Waugh. Charles Dickens. Throne of Glass.

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Review: Divergent (film)

It’s taken me a while to get around to writing this review but I’m glad I’ve had time to think about what I liked and didn’t like about the film. I was excited to see what they would do with Divergent because I read it a little while ago so was looking forward to being reminded of how much I liked it. 

I was impressed with how closely it stuck to the book. There may have been small changes that I didn’t notice due to not remembering all the small details of the book but it seemed to stick to the story well. I really enjoyed the small details that were kept in to explain larger or future plot points. For example, I liked when Tris made to defend the boy who was being bullied in the queue for the Choosing ceremony and how Caleb stopped her. A small thing but it helped show why she might have wanted to join Dauntless. Also the bit where she just looks at a factionless person on the street after she has taken the aptitude test spoke for a couple of plot points - Tris’ reluctance to be as selfless as Abnegation requires and her society’s fears about being factionless. You can see that thought went into setting up the society’s extremely structured system. 

I’m guessing this may be a pretty unpopular opinion (I haven’t read any reviews yet…) but I didn’t think that Theo James and Shailene Woodley had much chemistry. I’m sorry! Four and Tris are a good couple in Divergent because they challenge each other and their developing relationship is great to read but I didn’t really feel this came across. The only time I felt much emotion from them was their fight scene towards the end, (I don’t think that’s too much of a spoiler.) Shailene was a really good Tris though. I don’t really know what I expected but she brought out Tris’ rebellious spirit and made it seem like Tris was a fun character to play.

The film is quite like the book in that there is a lot of action and it felt very fast-paced. I think this worked for the film but it might have been nice to see a few more quieter moments, such as Tris talking with Al to set up the reasoning behind why he turns on her later.

I’ll look forward to seeing what they do with Insurgent…

Rating *** 3 stars

Filed under review film divergent 3 stars

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My Week Ahead in Books #14

This post is a little late this week because I couldn’t decide what to read! I have bought/been given lots of books recently which is a great problem to have and I couldn’t decide. I’ve chosen Half Bad by Sally Green which I definitely bought because it has a pretty cover (see earlier post). I started reading it this morning and the writing style is very compelling, I’m intrigued to see where it will go.

What are you reading this week?

Filed under my week ahead in books half bad sally green books ya reading rtw

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Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

In a world dominated by a military lifestyle, Kestrel, the General’s daughter, is trying to find her place. When she pays over the odds at auction for a slave, for reasons unbeknownst to even herself, she sets off a trail of events which force her to make some important decisions about her future. The slave, Arin, has many secrets which will impact upon Kestrel’s life and the lives of those around her.

This book is set in a militaristic alternate world which owes a lot to the Greco-Roman traditions. I really like that while this is still a kind of fantasy, it’s almost an alternate history because some of the traditions and social systems can be found in our own history books. What is particularly refreshing about this book is that Kestrel is not an amazing fighter by any means, but she does have a brilliant mind. She thinks through strategies and shows her intelligence. The way in which she reads people’s emotions and motives reminds me of Katniss in The Hunger Games. It is always good to read about a YA heroine who is valued for her sharp mind.

The characters are well drawn, particularly the two main ones, Kestrel and Arin. Kestrel and Arin’s interactions are dominated by what the slave/mistress dynamic means to them and how it changes everything. This makes for interesting reading as their relationship is constantly shifting and they cannot take any truth for granted. The plot moves on at a fair pace and is certainly one that you’ll be thinking about when you’re not reading it.

This is the first in a trilogy and it is set up brilliantly for the next book. When I was reading, I could not think how there could be any kind of ending to this but Rutkoski manages it and is able to really open up the story to leave you wanting the next instalment right away.

Well worth a read! Check it out when it is published in the UK on 3rd July. The perfect series to begin reading this summer.

Rating - **** 4 stars

Filed under the winner's curse marie rutkoski books ya review 4 stars

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Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Em and Finn are trapped in cells next door to each other and the only way to change their situation is to travel back and change the past. The stakes are pretty high for these two teens as they attempt to thwart the controlling influences which have so dramatically impacted on their lives. In a world where time travel has become possible, Em and Finn must ensure that the power to control the past, which has fallen into the wrong hands, is used only for the right reasons.

The plot is interesting and I like the ideas that it presents. Em and Finn must avoid running into their younger selves even though they play pivotal roles in the mission they have to complete. They also have to try and change different elements of their recent history to see what has the greatest effect in the future. The book is fairly fast-paced and will ensure you are eager to find out how the complexities can be resolved.

The writing isn’t brilliant, particularly in the first half of the book. There are a few dodgy similes when a simple description would’ve sufficed. I enjoyed the plot and the fact that it kept me interested but its conclusion left me slightly baffled. I won’t give away any spoilers but it wasn’t as clear and satisfying as I was hoping for.

It’s a diverting read and will engage you but it’s not quite what I feel it could’ve been with a little more editing and character depth, perhaps.

Rating - ** 2 and a half stars.

Filed under review all our yesterdays cristin terrill books 2 stars

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Here are some photos I took at today’s Divergent premiere in Leicester Square. I was by the area where the stars arrived and got out of their cars. Theo James, Kate Winslet, Shailene Woodley and Veronica Roth all spent a long time signing autographs and posing for photos before heading down the rest of the red carpet. Shailene looked stunning in a blue dress, I didn’t get a good photo of that. It was a great atmosphere, everyone was very excited and the stars gave as much time as they could to the fans before being lead away. It was a very fun day! I have a few other photos on my phone which I’ll post too.

Very excited to see the film, hopefully going on Friday!

Filed under divergent divergent premiere books veronica roth ya theo james shailene woodley kate winslet premiere film Leicester square

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I went to the Divergent fan experience at Leicester Square today! You could do activities like rock climbing and target practice and then get tested and put into a faction. My friend and I took the test and I got Divergent (shhh, don’t tell anyone or I’ll be in danger, you know how this goes…) and she got Abnegation so we were feeling very like Tris! Then they gave you faction tattoos which was very exciting. The people running the event were very into Divergent. I was impressed. They were all dressed in leather and tattoos and looked perfectly Dauntless. There was also Erudite people overseeing the test who threatened to come and find you if you were Divergent. One woman asked me my Dauntless name and I was not prepared for this so just told her my actual name, she was not impressed. I should really have prepared for these questions. It was a very cool experience and there were lots of people having fun Divergent-style! The premiere starts at 2pm tomorrow in Leicester Square so head down early to try and do some star-spotting! Very excited to see this film now, I also may have bought the Divergent movie companion which looks cool. Did anybody else head down to the fan experience today?

Filed under divergent divergent fan experience Leicester square ya books film Veronica Roth dauntless abnegation factions