Divergent – Book to movie

In January, I went out for dinner for a friend’s birthday. We went to a Chinese restaurant and the first thing I saw when I walked in was the book “Divergent”. I mentioned I wanted to read it, then pretty much forgot about it as we sat down and proceeded to birthday it up. It was only later, when I was leaving, that I saw the book still on the table. I asked the owner about it, and he said it had been there for about a week. Then, he said these magic words: “You can have it, if you like.”

I read the book and saw the movie, then reviewed both. I wrote about the book as I was reading it, so it’s not really a review, but my thoughts on the story. I’m not revealing more than what you can see in the trailers for the movie, but if you really, really, don’t want to know anything about the story before you read the book or see the movie, maybe you should skip this post!

Book

Page 17

Wow, This book is going to be good, I can feel it. It’s kind of like The Hunger Games, but it’s not. There’s a girl, and she has to make a choice, but somehow I have a feeling that’s where the similarities will end. They mention the Sears tower, so the story takes place in what used to be Chicago. There are five factions. When you’re 16, you take a test to determine which faction you should chose.

Page 48

Holy crap, things move fast in this book. The girl’s name is Beatrice. I don’t know how I feel about that.  The test does not work on Beatrice. She is divergent. She choses a different faction than the one she grew up in. She’s pretty brave, I probably wouldn’t have done that, especially after her brother did what he did.

Page 60

Beatrice changed her name to Tris. I knew that name was wrong.

Page 209

I’ve been reading for most of the afternoon, but who needs a clean house anyways? Being divergent is dangerous. Of the five factions, Beatrice shows aptitude for three. There is Abnegation, which is selflessness (where she grew up), Erudite, which is the pursuit of knowledge, and Dauntless, which is bravery. She chose Dauntless. I probably would have been Amity, which seems to be hedonism. There’s also Candor, who only speak the truth (like the citar in Moulin Rouge!)

She’s going through initiation. If she fails, she’ll be factionless. There’s a lot of fighting and blood and people being mean.

Page 345

My neck hurts. Also, it’s 12am and I work tomorrow. It’s not easy kicking butt and being awesome. (We’re talking about Tris now, not me.) Why do people always pick on the smart, strong heroine? Oh, yes. Jealousy.

Page 462

I wonder, if this were real, if I would be content to be Amity, like I first thought. They’re not mentioned much in the book. As much as I want to be happy, I don’t want to be bored, either. I don’t think a system like this would work for very long, which is probably why it’s cracking in the book. Tris is Divergent, therefore she’s considered dangerous, a rebel. She threatens the system because she doesn’t fit into a mold. Sounds like high school, or society in general, don’t you think?

Page 487

What? No, it can’t be done yet! What happens next? Although I knew it would end without an ending, I thought I had a few more pages left. Argh! Store is closed, must wait until tomorrow.

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Movie

I saw the movie a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed it, and it was pretty true to the book. Obviously, there were some parts of the book that didn’t make it into the movie, but that always happens. I kept comparing it to The Hunger Games, because some of the basics of the story are the same. I liked the Hunger Games more than Divergent, but it was still a good movie.

I liked the choice of Shailene Woodley as Tris. In the book, it’s mentioned several times how small she is and how young she looks. Ashley Judd was as wonderful as ever as Tris’ mom. However, I had a bit of an issue with Tony Goldwyn as her dad. He’s the president of the United States! He’s not some Abnegation, selfless man who’s against fighting! (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you need to watch Scandal!)

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After I read the first book, I ran out and bought the other two in the series. They were ok, but nowhere near as good as the first book. I enjoyed the first half of Allegiant, the last book. There are some questions that have been brought up in the previous books that are finally answered. However, after that, I felt like the book dragged on a little. I still recommend that you read Divergent if you enjoy teen-lit series where the girl kicks butt.

 

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What would Zooey Deschanel wear?

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not very good at fashion. I like what I like (mostly dresses), so I wear a lot of the same kind of outfits. I like bright colours and sparkle, but sometimes, putting together an interesting outfit can be challenging. It’s one of the reasons I wear so many dresses. You put it on, and voilà! you’re done.

I like Zooey Deschanel’s style, and recently discovered What would Zooey Deschanel wear? It’s a website with outfits she wears, both in real life and on her tv show, New Girl. Now, I can’t afford all of the exact same pieces, but I decided to try to recreate some of my favourite looks.

First up (actually, only outfit so far) is a mint green dress with yellow cardigan. I wouldn’t have dared to put these colours together, but it looks great and very appropriate for spring. My pieces were a little different, but I’m going for inspiration here, not copycat-ing.

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On New Girl, Zooey’s character Jess is a teacher, like me. I decided to recreate this pose too, although I opted not to stand on my desk!

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This last picture isn’t actually that great, but I wanted to include at least one photo that had my shoes in it!

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What do you think? Am I channeling Zooey Deschanel / Jess Day?

 

Moloka’i

When I went to Costa Rica, I brought three books. I was gone for a week, so the original plan was to bring 4. However, apart from reading on the plane and while waiting around in airports, I didn’t read that much when I was there. It was hot, there was lots of sand, and there was too much to do!

Before I left, I took a trip with a friend to the bookstore to stock up. I ended up going on a teen-lit kick, buying  Anna dressed in Blood, Alice in Zombieland and Vampire Academy. While other people at the yoga retreat were reading books about finding inner peace, I had books about a ghost, zombies and vampires.

I did buy another book as well. When I picked it up and decided to buy it, my friend said “Really? Lepers?” What can I say, I was intrigued.

The book was Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert. I didn’t end up reading it while I was in Costa Rica. I started it yesterday and finished it this morning. Yes, it’s one of those books. You, know, the kind that draws you in, shutting out the rest of the world. It broke my heart, it made me smile and I now need to go to Hawaii.

It tells the story of Rachel, a young girl living in Honolulu in 1891. She’s 5 years old and she loves to ask questions, which drives most of the adults in her life quite crazy! One day, her uncle Pono is arrested on suspicion of being a leper. He is sent to Kalihi, a hospital, where he is kept in quarantine. Just as the family is starting to get over the shock and shame of having a relative with leprosy, Rachel’s mother finds a pink blemish on the little girl’s thigh.

Her mother tries everything she can to cure her daughter, while keeping it a secret. Hawaiians, at that time in history, were quickly dying of diseases brought over by haoles, white people. Having never been in contact with these germs, they had no immunity against them. Not much was know about leprosy, except that it was contagious.

Rachel is eventually found out, and sent to Kalihi, where she reunites with her uncle Pono. Small, afraid, and separated from her family, Rachel is poked and prodded by doctors for a year before they decide they cannot help her and she must be sent away to a leper colony on Moloka’i. She is ripped from the only life she has ever know and sent to an island where she expects to die.

When she arrives, however, she discovers a world apart from anything she has ever known. Her life is not always easy, but it is a life worth living. She watches friends die and her body being taken over by the bug. She loves, she grieves, but most importantly, she lives.

This book was so well written. It informative without being boring. I have long been fascinated by leprosy, and learning about it through the story of people’s lives was much more interesting than reading a textbook. The beginning of the story was intriguing, the middle captivating and the ending satisfying. If you’re looking for your next book to read, here it is.

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Smash book

My blog turned two in March. My trip to Costa Rica happened just before this anniversary. Such perfect timing.

I feel like, since I’ve started blogging, try has become a word I use a lot more. Sure, I’ll try that. Let me try! I want to try that. I don’t know what will happen, but I’ll try!

It’s not that I didn’t try before. But I started my blog the year I turned 30 and something seemed to shift in my head. It was like I could do anything I wanted, no matter what anybody else thought. The people close to me always support me, so who cares about other people?

In Costa Rica, I found some of that energy I felt I’d lost recently. I tried everything! I was happy, blissed out and exactly where I was meant to be.

Since I’ve come home, I feel much more motivated to write. I used to write in my head all the time, and have to look for bits and pieces of paper to make sure I didn’t forget any of it. (Yes, it would make sense to carry a journal around. What can I say, I like post-its!) I’m doing that again! It’s a small thing, but it makes me happy.

I haven’t been writing here very much, but I have been creating. I’ve started a smash book. It’s kind of like a cross between a journal and a scrapbook. I could never get into scrapbooking, because I could never get it to look just right, but a smash book, now that’s my kind of book. You basically just smash everything you want it there.

At first, my book was mostly just words, but I’ve been adding images too. I tried something new, and I’m having fun with it!

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