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.

 

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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Book to movie challenge

In January, somewhere in the wonder that is blogland, I found this post. It’s a book to movie challenge. Basically, you read a book, then see the movie and review both. Is there anything more fantastic than this? I think not. There are different levels to the challenge.

Movie Fan – read 3 books and watch their movies
Movie Devotee – read 6 books and watch their movies
Movie Lover – read 9 books and watch their movies
Movie Aficionado – read 12 books and watch their movies
Movie Auteur – read 24 books and watch their movies

I think I’m going to go with movie devotee, so six books. You can change levels at any time, so I can always move up.

I’m not going to stick with movies coming out this year or books I read this year. For example, I read Gone Girl last year, and the movie is coming out this year, so it will probably make the list. Also, I just read Stardust, and I want to watch the movie. Both came out several years ago, but they are new to me, so they will make the list also. I might do a few books-to-tv-shows as well.

I’ve read and reviewed Divergent, by Veronica Roth, but I’m going to wait until I see the movie so I can post both reviews together. These are several books-to-movies that I hope to review this year.

Serena, by Ron Rash

The fault in our Stars, by John Green

Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn

Orange is the new black, Piper Kerman

If you have any good books to suggest, please do! (Even if there’s no movie coming out. I’m always on the lookout for good book recommendations!)

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Gone Girl

When you’re a bookworm, you know what it’s like to get caught up in a story.  Have you read Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn?

I had my name on the waiting list at the library for a while, but I was 12th, so I wasn’t expecting it for weeks. Suddenly, it was available, and I only had it for a few weeks. Saturday was a rainy, cold day. It was perfect for reading.

I heard a lot about Gone Girl, but no one would really say what it was about. Everyone said the book was awesome, amazing, fantastic, and I just had to read it. But when I asked what it was about, no one would tell me anything.

Well, guess what? I can’t tell you anything about it either.

All I can say about the story is pretty much what’s on the back of the book: A woman goes missing and her husband is a suspect.

What I can tell you, is that this book seriously messed with my head. I could not stop reading it. I felt like I was being manipulated by these people. Sometimes, I got frustrated, shut the book, and put it down. I’d stare at it for a little while, then, unable to resist, pick it back up and keep reading.

I kept expecting to have one of those moments where I discovred I’d figured out a part of the story. I love those moments, they make me feel smart, like getting the answers right on Jeopardy. That moment never came. Never. The whole time, I had no idea what was going on, or who was doing what. All I knew is that somehow, they were making me think things. Think what they wanted me to. It wasn’t the author, it was the people in the book.

I think it might take a few days before I can read something else. I believe this is what’s referred to as a “book hangover”.

Now go, read it!

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Read me!

If you’re a book lover/bookworm like me, you buy books when you feel inspired. You might not have time to read it just then, or maybe you’ve already got a big pile of to read books. It doesn’t matter. You want it, you buy it. It’s a book, so it’s ok. It’s never a bad idea to buy a book.

But then, you end up with a nice pile of “I just had to buy this book but now it’s been sitting of the shelf for a while” books. It’s a nice problem to have, and it’s this week’s prompt for The Broke and the Bookish’s top ten Tuesday.

1. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

anna karenina

Even before the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory tries to get Dean to read Anna Karenina, I’ve wanted to read it. It’s been called the best love story of all time. The thing is, I’ve tried to read this. I get lost in all the characters and their names. I mean, does Katherine really need to be Katie, Kitty, Ekaterina and Katherine? I’ll try again. I’m determined to read this even if I know how it ends.

2. Fall of Giants, Ken Follett

fall of giants

I loved, loved, loved Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, so when Fall of Giants came out, I was super excited and bought it right away. I read a few chapters, but it’s about the first world war, and that’s not my favourite subject, so I put it aside and haven’t gotten back to it yet.

3. Shadow Princess, Indu Sundaresan

shadow princess

I totally judge books by their cover and this one is a great example of what draws me in. I love stories set in India and this one seems to have some sort of sibling rivalry mystery.

4. 7 ans après, Guillaume Musso

7 ans après

I’ve read several of Musso’s books, and I enjoyed them, so I didn’t hesitate to buy this one. I read about half, but then I lost interest. (Humm, maybe my top ten should be “Books I bought, then read a little and put away”.

5. Marie de la Mer, Annie Lavigne

marie de la mer

When I saw this book at the store, I snatched it up right away because I really liked the first one. When I realized it was a trilogy, I decided to wait for the third one to be published, so I wouldn’t have to wait between books two and three. Yes, I know that is a little strange.

6. The science of yoga, William J. Broad

science of yoga

To be fair, I only bought this book a few days ago. I haven’t started it yet, but since it’s not a novel (which is what I normally read) I’ll probably read it in bits and pieces while I read other books.

7. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

book thief

Also a book I bought last weekend (because obviously, I need more books). Ever since I heard the title, I’ve been wanting to read it.

8. The Constant Princess, Philippa Gregory

the constant princess

When I saw the movie The Other Boleyn girl, I decided to read the book. I bought this one instead and I can’t remember why I never read it. I bought it a few years ago.

9. Stones into schools, Greg Mortenson

stones into schools

This book isn’t even mine. I got it for my mom after we read and loved Three cups of tea. As soon as she was done reading it, I grabbed it from her and, well, I haven’t read it yet. But you know that, because there’s a whole theme going on here.

10. Beautiful Darkness, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

beautiful darkness

I liked Beautiful Creatures, so I bought the second book in the series. I’ve actually started reading it, so it doesn’t really belong on this list, but I ran out of books. It’s not great litterature, but it’s entertaining.

Writing this post was actually a great idea! I feel like I have a bunch of new books to read. Have you read any of these books? Which one should I start with?

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Snow days

I love snow. It’s like magic. I’m serious. There’s something special about it. Of course, I’m not crazy, so I don’t love it when I have to shovel it. I always think I’m in great shape until I try to shovel the driveway.

I was on holidays for two weeks, and I went back to work on Monday. On Sunday, I was planning to run errands, go to a yoga class, maybe go shopping (I need new dress pants, it’s no coincidence Dressember was so easy for me. All I wear are dresses!) It was going to be a busy, productive day.

Then I woke up to this.

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Yes, it is a terrible picture, but that’s what you get when you open the back door, stick your arm out and take a picture. I was snowed in. It wasn’t a lot of snow, but I knew, from experience, that I would get stuck if I tried to drive through it.

So here I was, stuck at home on the last day of my holidays. It only took me a few minutes to realize how perfect this was. Who needs errands and a busy day, when you can curl up on the couch and read an amazing book about a little girl who wanders out of the forest, not talking, but growling at everyone who tries to get close to her. (Magic Hour, by Kristen Hannah. Read it.)

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The only thing I was a little disappointed in was missing my yoga class.

Yesterday was a very different kind of snow day.

It was the kid’s first day back at school and Tuesday is my recess-duty day. It was the perfect day. It wasn’t cold or windy, the snow was sticky and there was a lot of it, and the kids were still happy enough to be with their friends after the holidays that they didn’t fight.

Some of the little girls in my class asked me to make a snowman with them. This is a lot harder than I remember! It took about four of us to put him together. How do kids do this? There were snowmen all over the school yard.

The girls named him Jack.

I love the very centered photo of Jack and I taken by a second grader.

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Added bonus? Building a snowman was number 53 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days! Awesome.

What do you love about snow?

30 day book challenge

I’ve said it before, but I love books! I don’t just love reading, I love actual books. No e-readers for this girl. There’s something about the way a book feels when you hold it, the sound you hear when you turn the pages, the smell of a new or old book, that just can’t be found in an electronic device.

I also love a good challenge! I found this 30 day book challenge with a prompt for every day. I’ve decided to do it as a photo challenge. The prompt for day 1 is favourite book.

My favourite book has been Little Women since I first read it about 20 years ago. I always wanted to be like Jo, because she has such great adventures. I wanted to go skating with her and Laurie (but not fall through the ice!) and work in a big old manor with a talking parrot. Also, Jo loved to read, just like me. I did not, however, want to cut all my hair off! I still read this book every now and then.

I won’t be posting here every day, but if you would like to follow my challenge, you can like my facebook page, where I’ll be posting the pictures!

Here are the prompts, if you want to play along!

Day 1: Favorite book

Day 2: Least favorite book

Day 3: Book that makes you laugh out loud …

Day 4: Book that makes you cry
Day 5: Book you wish you could live in
Day 6: Favorite young adult book
Day 7: Book that you can quote/recite
Day 8: Book that scares you
Day 9: Book that makes you sick
Day 10: Book that changed your life
Day 11: Book from your favorite author
Day 12: Book that is most like your life
Day 13: Book whose main character is most like you
Day 14: Book whose main character you want to marry
Day 15: First “chapter book” you can remember reading as a child
Day 16: Longest book you’ve read
Day 17: Shortest book you’ve read
Day 18: Book you’re most embarrassed to say you like
Day 19: Book that turned you on
Day 20: Book you’ve read the most number of times
Day 21: Favorite picture book from childhood
Day 22: Book you plan to read next
Day 23: Book you tell people you’ve read, but haven’t (or haven’t actually finished)
Day 24: Book that contains your favorite scene
Day 25: Favorite book you read in school
Day 26: Favorite nonfiction book
Day 27: Favorite fiction book
Day 28: Last book you read
Day 29: Book you’re currently reading
Day 30: Favorite coffee table book