Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth

Title: Four: A Divergent Story Collection
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Year of Release: 2014
ISBN: 9780062285683

Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 208

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling DIVERGENT series, told from the per-spective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—THE TRANSFER, THE INITIATE, THE SON, and THE TRAITOR—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the DIVERGENT trilogy.

I really enjoyed this book. After reading the Divergent series, if you've read my reviews on those books, you should know that I didn't really enjoy them very much. In summary, I thought the writing was poor, the characters weren't written well, and there was definitely not enough detail. The combination of these three things really prevented me from enjoying the book as much as I know I would have should these three key things been included. (Writing, characters, detail- that's how a book wins my heart). 

It's safe to say that I didn't have very high expectations of this book due to how disappointed I was with the Divergent series as a whole. So, imagine my surprise when I realised that I actually truly liked  this book. 

Four was actually a really great read! Short, sweet and simple, but very engaging. I really liked the fact that it was written from Tobias' perspective, I feel like we didn't get enough of it in Allegiant. I loved the short stories, I really liked the insight we got into Marcus and the way he treated his son, and Tobias' thought process at the Choosing Ceremony. 

It was a very interesting and insightful book, and made me love Four even more than I already did. His initiation into Dauntless, his beef with Eric, and his detailed experiences in his fear landscape was particularly interesting, and I liked the path Roth chose to take when writing about these events. We hear brief mentions of them during the series, but to have it explained in detail was super interesting. 

It may be possible that I enjoyed this book more than the entire series. Perhaps if the series had been written from Tobias' perspective to begin with, it would have been much better in terms of writing quality and detail. I still believe the character development needed a bit more work, but overall, I loved this book! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: Love & Misadventure and Lullabies by Lang Leav

Love & Misadventure: 
Title: Love & Misadventure
Author: Lang Leav
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Year of Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4494-5614-6
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 155

Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair- from the initial butterflies to the soaring heights- through to the devastating plunge. Lang Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over 
the world. 

Title: Lullabies
Author: Lang Leav
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing 
Year of Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4494-6107-2
Source: Gifted
Number of Pages: 248

A sequel to the hugely popular, best-selling Love & Misadventure, Lullabies continues to explore the intricacies of love and loss.
Set to a musical theme, love's poetic journey in this new, original collection begins with a Duet and travels through Interlude and Finale with an Encore popular piece from the best-selling Love & Misadventure. Lang Leav's evocative poetry speaks to the soul of anyone who is on this journey.
Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over the world.

Both these books have a very similar, almost identical style, feel and structure, and I have very similar things to say about both so I thought I would review both these books simultaneously. 

I read Love & Misadventure back in July, and Lullabies in November, and I can honestly say that I was blown away by both of them. They are such beautiful books that contain the most exquisite and well-written poetry. 

Lang Leav has a very unique way of appealing to the hearts, minds and souls of her readers through her words, something that many poets and authors struggle to do. This connection has allowed readers to truly identify with the poems she writes.

Her poetry, both simple and elaborate, is so beautifully written that it not only allows you to apply it to your own life and experiences, but even makes you feel a bit better in knowing that there is someone else who has shared this experience and understands, despite the fact that it was under completely different circumstances, at a completely different place and time, and with another person. 

If anyone has loved and lost before, Lang Leav's poetry will, without a doubt, truly speak to you and capture your mind and heart in a whirlwind of artfully strung together words and cleverly designed poetry. 

Her writing style is one that is very rare to find amongst the waves of new books and authors breaking into the industry, and I am so pleased to have discovered this poet. She is my absolute favourite.

In both her books she has managed to utilise her experiences with love and loss in such a way that you can feel her emotions. This is a skill I cannot hope to achieve myself, and I greatly admire Lang Leav for not only being able to do it, but for doing it so well. 

The feelings I got when I was reading her poetry are ones I can only describe as the ones you get when you listen to a beautiful song that sounds like it was written specifically for you, about your life.

I highly recommend both these books, they are truly wonderful, and the perfect antidote for a broken heart, or the cause of a lot of nostalgia. 

If you have read either of these, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

You can buy both these books from The Book Depository (links below) for very affordable prices, and I think these books would make the perfect Christmas gift for a special someone in your life. *winks*
Love & Misadventure ($14.14 AUD)
Lullabies ($14.63 AUD)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review: Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Oblivion
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Atria Books
Year of Release: 2014
ISBN: 9781476759586 
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 320
The Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster phenomenon continues in the first heart-pounding new adult romance in The Maddox Brothers series.

Fiercely independent Camille "Cami" Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since before she could drive, and moved into her own apartment after her freshman year of college. Now tending bar at The Red Door, Cami doesn’t have time for much else besides work and classes, until a trip to see her boyfriend is cancelled, leaving her with a first weekend off in almost a year.

Trenton Maddox was the king of Eastern State University, dating co-eds before he even graduated high school. His friends wanted to be him, and women wanted to tame him, but after a tragic accident turned his world upside down, Trenton leaves campus to come to grips with the crushing guilt. 

Eighteen months later, Trenton is living at home with his widower father, and works full-time at a local tattoo parlor to help with the bills. Just when he thinks his life is returning to normal, he notices Cami sitting alone at a table at The Red. 

As the baby sister of four rowdy brothers, Cami believes she’ll have no problem keeping her new friendship with Trenton Maddox strictly platonic. But when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever—even if she is the only reason their already broken family could fall apart.

In the first installment of the Maddox Brothers books, readers can experience the rush of reading Beautiful Disaster for the first time, all over again.

These Maddox boys are just impossible to hate. Or ignore. They're so addictive, their characters, their stories, everything. I thought it would be impossible to like this book more than Beautiful Disaster, and while I was right, it was pretty close! 

Trent and Cami. Their relationship is hinted at and mentioned briefly throughout the series, but we as readers never got an insight into how they started dating, why, or their relationship in general. In this book, all is revealed.

Trent is an amazing character though. He's hilarious and very easily likeable. Some of his commentary and wit is honestly laugh-out-loud funny! I loved that he was one of the main characters in this book and that his character was built upon so wonderfully.  

This book is set in the same time period as Beautiful Disaster, and while that's great, it's starting to become very repetitive. Which becomes annoying. While it's from another character's POV, I think I would have enjoyed the book, and the series as a whole, much more if it was less repetitive. 

Cami is a great character, however repetitiveness comes into play again with her. Apart from her personality differences to Abby, both protagonists are hiding something when they fall in love with their Maddox boy and try to distance themselves from them. They then fall into denial when they start to develop feelings for them. 

As for their love interests, both Travis and Trent love their women fiercely. While I understand it's a family trait, it was repetitive. 

Beautiful Oblivion felt a lot like I was reading Beautiful Disaster again, just with a new centre couple. It was annoying. 

I really loved the ending though. The plot twist was brilliant and I really liked the way that it had been built upon throughout the novel, and not revealed until the very last page. Other than that and Trent's humour, there's not much else I really enjoyed about this book. 

Definitely a must read though for Beautiful fans!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review: A Beautiful Wedding by Jamie McGuire

Title: A Beautiful Wedding
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Atria Books
Year of Release: 2013
ISBN: 1476759545 
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 146

You know that Abby Abernathy unexpectedly became Mrs. Maddox. But what do you really know?

Why did Abby pop the question?
What secrets were shared before the ceremony?
Where did they spend their wedding night?
Who else knew about it . . . and didn’t tell?

Everything about Abby and Travis’s elopement was top-secret . . . until now. Fans of Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster will get all of their questions answered in this whirlwind tale of the wedding day (and night!)—and as with all good stories, this one will definitely have been worth the wait.

I wasn't expecting much from this book, considering both the length and the fact that it's a .5 book in the series. While I wouldn't say it blew me away, it was certainly a very good read!

This novella was short, sweet, and answered a lot of questions left open at the end of Beautiful/Walking Disaster. Definitely a must read for fans of this series! Don't expect too much from it, but it is a lovely book. 

It picks up right where Beautiful/Walking Disaster left off, with Travis and Abby booking a flight to Vegas for their wedding. I was really annoyed at Abby in this one. Travis is so in love with her, and the main reason she's marrying him is so he'll have an alibi. Poor Travis. Either way though, these two are head over heels for each other.

The writing in this book felt a little rushed, like no effort had really gone into it. While the details of the wedding, both before, during and after were certainly there, the writing itself wasn't all up to scratch. 

As for the details of the wedding night, well, let's just say it was detailed. 

The very end of the book was beautiful though! It reminded me a little of the '19 years later' in Harry Potter. It was such a wonderful conclusion to the series and very well thought-out. 

There's not much more I can say about this book, despite the negatives, it's definitely a book to read for fans of the series.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Walking Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Atria Books
Year of Release: 2013
ISBN: 1476712980
Source: Gifted
Number of Pages: 433

Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. 
Can you love someone too much?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.
In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.
Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

It's like this. Once you get inside Travis' head, you never want to leave it. 

He's an excellent narrator- incredibly funny and torturously saddening. If you liked Beautiful Disaster, then you'll love this! It's basically the same book, just from Travis' point of view. While that may make it sound repetitive, it's surprisingly different! 

All the hype this series is receiving may be a little overrated though - it's excellent, but don't let high expectations allow these books to be a let down for you. Just appreciate them for what they are. 

This is another well-written and well-structured book by McGuire. Travis is just so addictive! You'll be bringing this book with you everywhere, telling everyone about it, and you certainly won't be able to get it off your mind. If you are, let me know how the hell you managed it! 

Walking Disaster is a phenomenal book, with amazingly well-written characters and a story line to die for. It's the perfect read when in need of a distraction, after a disastrous  day, or after a disastrous relationship. 

Just read Jamie McGuire! This author is one of the best romance writers on the shelves.

Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year of Release: 2011
ISBN: 9781476712048
Source: Gifted 
Number of Pages: 416

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

I'll start by saying what a brilliant romance writer McGuire is. I haven't read a romance/drama book in quite some time, and this book was the perfect way to re-introduce myself to it. I have only wonderful things to say about this spectacular piece of art. 

While my first thoughts about this book was that it was kind of cliché, which it is, I still think it is an amazingly well-structured, written and executed book. The plot itself is brilliant and the characters are so well-written and easy to fall in love with. 

Particularly Travis, who has been so accurately portrayed in pictures by the actor Colton Haynes (Teen Wolf, Arrow). Let me show you what I mean: 

 It's a little impossible to not fall completely in love with this character. And then there's Abby. Sweet, smart, beautiful Abby, known by everyone as the 'good girl'. Abby has a dark secret though, something that connects her to Travis in a way she doesn't want to accept.

This is a ridiculously addictive book, it's incredibly hard to stop reading it. Or thinking about it. Don't let the cliché factor turn you off! The writing is brilliant, the characters are brilliant, the plot is brilliant, and that's all there is to know!

Pick up a copy of this book and get reading guys, this one is definitely a must!

What do you think will happen to Abby's father?
How did you feel about the ending?
Did you want to punch Megan in the face as much as I did? 

Monday, July 07, 2014

Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Year of Release: 2005 (this edition-2012)
ISBN: 0141346094
Source: Gifted

Number of Pages: 213

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart 
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

I'm going to get the bad stuff out of the way first before I go on to tell you what's good about this book. 

Things this book lacked:
- Consistent and unpredictable plot
- Flexibility
- Length
- Well-written characters

Things this book definitely did not lack:
- Anagrams
- Footnotes
- Math
- Tangents
- The words 'fug', 'fugging' and 'mother fugger'
- Arabic words

Overall, I really did like this book, but my goodness was there a lot of boring, tiresome and irrelevant sh*t in there. I get that that it is part of the storyline and supposed to build upon Colin's character, but some of it was just completely immaterial. 

The story, basically, is based around a child prodigy named Colin who gets dumped by the nineteenth girl he's dated named Katherine and his best friend Hassan takes him on a road trip with no particular destination in mind. Eventually they end up in this crappy town called Gutshot in Tennessee and start living with a girl they meet there named Lindsey and her mother, because apparently it's normal to start living with complete strangers in an unfamiliar town. 
Throughout the book, Colin is trying to develop a formula to predict the future of all romantic relationships, specifically, who will dump who in said relationship.  
While this is really interesting, it's also stupid. Logically, how can one predict the future with math? The future is unpredictable, something Colin eventually came to realise in the conclusion of this book. While the math involved is arguably interesting to those who understand and like math, it was certainly mind-numbing to me. 

Then there is the issue of the appendix. Appendices do not belong in fiction. Sometimes there are exceptions, but as a general rule, I do not think they should be present in fictional work. Fiction requires no real explanation, no justification. Appendices are pointless in fictional books. 

Now for the positive stuff. Overall, I did enjoy this book. I always enjoy John Green's work, I think he is a very talented writer and I enjoy his books immensely. The writing in this book was excellent. Without his wonderful writing, this book would have bombed and I probably wouldn't have made it to the end. I did find some parts of it funny, particularly the Colin and TOC fight, which was downright hilarious. Hassan was a particularly humorous character, and he was fun to read about. 
I was really intrigued by this book and is one I will most probably read again! 

The good in this book definitely outweighs the bad, and I think it is worth reading if you're interested. 

Why did Colin and Hassan move in with total strangers?
What's Colin's and Hassan's parents been doing? 
When do they finally go home?
Do you think this book needed a few more anagrams? 

Friday, July 04, 2014

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Huge spoilers!)

Title: Allegiant 
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year of Release: 2013
ISBN: 9780007534944
Source: Gifted
Number of Pages: 526

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. 

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. 

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.


Told from the alternating points of views of Tris and Tobias (for which there is an important reason for), this book really is a powerful conclusion to the series! While I was still struggling to form emotional attachments to these characters, I certainly did not expect the ending! 

The backlash it received as a result was phenomenal! I read an article addressing this backlash and I want to talk about it with you guys. I know most people may be starting or just finishing the series, as after the movie was released it has attracted a lot of new readers, so what do you guys think? 

This book was kind of slow and boring, to be 100% honest, a problem I've experienced throughout my reading of the entire series. I feel like this book had so much potential to finish the series in a wonderfully meaningful way, and it just, well, didn't. I understand the concept of self-sacrifice for love and I liked that Roth built upon this idea throughout the course of the series, but I just feel like it shouldn't have been the heroine who had to learn that lesson. 

This book could have had a million different endings and all of them would have been more fulfilling than the one Roth chose. This is the first series I've read where the main character dies and it sucks! While the whole 'standing out from the crowd' idea is great, there's so many different ways to do that than being one of the only book series that kills off the main character. 

We should probably talk about the book in its entirety now. I have one word to describe it: slow. Nothing happened! After the initial shock of there being a whole new world outside the faction-based society the characters have lived in all their lives and the fact that it was one of many experiments to repair 'damaged' genes, it was just aimless wandering around the Bureau and then a few small uprisings here and there. The most exciting thing was the unfortunate injury of Uriah and then the almost-breakup of Tris and Tobias.

There was so much that could have happened in this book, Roth could have done so much more with it, and I feel like this book has just ruined the series for me. Not because of the ending, but because of how boring and slow it was. I mean, did anything even happen? 

Overall, I was really disappointed with this series as a whole. I expected so much more, and all I got was senseless deaths, irrelevant plot twists, crappy writing, and bad character developments. There was no closure to the series. 

I don't think I'll be reading this series again any time soon. 

How come Tris' mum showed up after she died instead of her dad? 
Do you ship Natalie and David?
What's Susan up to these days?
Did you expect Tris to die by gunshot, of all things? 
Did you love or hate Caleb by the end of this book?
Think Tobias will ever fall in love again?

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Spoilers!)

Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year of Release: 2012
ISBN: 9780007442928
Source: Gifted
Number of Pages: 525


One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Insurgent was such a brilliant improvement! Albeit, it still isn't my favourite book ever, but it was much better than the train-wreck that was Divergent. This book allowed for wonderful character development and the plot was excellently executed in this book. 

The beginning was a little slow, but overall, the plot of this book was great. I loved the whole idea of there being another world outside their own, one they had no idea about, it was an excellent plot twist. The writing in this book was also much better than the writing in Divergent. 

The best improvement however, was the development of the characters. They each grew in their own individual ways, and that was fantastic to read. I was still struggling to form emotional attachments to these characters in this book, but the fact that they were allowed the opportunity for growth was a start. 

The evolution of the relationship between Tris and Tobias was both heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. It felt a little rushed in Divergent, but in this book, it was built upon and made it feel all the more real. 

The factionless were also introduced in a lot more detail in this book and that was very intriguing. The way they lived, so reflective of today's homeless society, was eye-opening. Towards the end of the book however, I was kind of hating them. 

The ending of Insurgent included a huge cliffhanger, one that would make people rush out to their closest bookstores to grab the last book in the trilogy and begin reading it immediately. That was one of the best things about this book. 

Overall, this book was a huge improvement from the first one, and is definitely worth reading, if only for the numerous and unpredictable plot twists throughout. 

What's Tris and Tobias' ship name?
Thoughts on Evelyn? 
Did you want to throw your book at the wall after reading about Caleb's betrayal? 
Expect Jeanine to die so soon? 
Love or hate Edith Prior's video?

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year of Release: 2011
ISBN: 9780007420421
Source: Gifted 
Number of Pages: 487

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I was never really interested in reading this book. I'd see it in every bookshop I entered, hear about it in the media and read book reviews on it, but for some reason I never felt compelled to read it. I was gifted with the trilogy last Christmas and only began reading it a few days ago (whoops). Unfortunately, this book is not going to receive a sparkling, positive review from me though. 

I'll start with the good things: Divergent had an excellent story line. The plot was amazing, very well thought out and interesting. I loved Roth's ideas and all this business with the factions and being Divergent was so interesting to me and I really loved it. It's a brilliant idea and fits in well with all this dystopian fiction that's really popular now, after The Hunger Games made it's debut. Unfortunately though, that's about all I really liked about this book. 

The writing was not good at all. Every sentence was short and poorly constructed. The book jumped from scene to scene really quickly and exhibited a severe lack of detail - I hate that. The characters weren't very well written either. I think that after the plot and story-line, what really makes or breaks a book is the characters. In order for a book to be truly brilliant, a writer needs to make his/her readers fall in love with their characters. 

For me, the characters in this book felt rushed and dull. Lifeless. There was no connection. That, I think, was the worst part about the book. If the characters had been written better and the book more detailed, I think Divergent would have been one of my favourite books. 

I rarely say this (actually I never say this), but I think in this case, the movie may be better than the book. I'll let you know my thoughts on that after I see the movie though! If you'd like to see another post similar to the one I wrote on the Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters movie for Divergent, which you can find here, please let me know! 

To sum up my thoughts on this book: the plot was amazing, but the actual writing wasn't. The book was definitely not detailed enough for my standards and I was severely disappointed at how badly the characters were written. Hopefully Insurgent is an improvement!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thoughts? Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters Movie

So the Vampire Academy movie was released a few weeks ago in Australia and I wanted to write a post to let you guys know my thoughts on it as a very concerned VA fan. In the anticipation of the movie, it received so much hype and awesome advertising that made me that much more excited for it, and then I went to see it and I was sorely disappointed.

Let's start with the obvious. As you've probably heard, Vampire Academy was directed by the same guy that directed Mean Girls, which provoked a flurry of worries in my little heart when I found that out. 

Mean Girls? Seriously? 

I was worried that Vampire Academy would be turned into some Mean Girls remake with the added detail of vampires. And while the first book was kind of high-school-ish, I didn't want that to be the main focus of the movie because the book certainly has a lot more depth and seriousness. Vampire Academy is not a chick flick. 

But when I went to see the movie, I was so disappointed after these worries were confirmed. The movie was waaaaaaay too comedic and witty to really grasp the dark, distressful mysteriousness of the book. The book is supposed to be scary. Not funny. 

We are supposed to be worried for Lissa after dead animals keep finding their way into her room. Scared when she starts to become depressed and self-harm. Concerned for her mental health when she starts using spirit and compulsion again. The book is laid in mystery, suspense and darkness. I felt like the movie was making a joke of this. It was horrible. 

They have the most antagonistic relationship, why did that hug exist? Someone?



Why was it played down? Rose and Dimitri are supposed to have this undeniable, unfathomable connection despite the fact that they can't be together. When they are under the lust charm, even though they are being compelled, they are still opening up to each other for the first time. It was a milestone in their relationship and one of the most important moments in Vampire Academy so why the hell did Rose say, "Sweet sassy molassy"? 

That was so not okay. 

Also, Lissa was not supposed to find out about Rose and Dimitri's feelings for each other until Shadow Kiss. Why did she know about it in the movie?

Compared to the book, the movie was awful. I am so disappointed. Even though they followed the plot of the book well, it just didn't feel like Vampire Academy. 

It felt like a comedic, watered-down version of the amazingness that it really is. The books were not done justice with this movie. 

After I watched it, stepping out of the movie theatre feeling sad and let down, I spoke to a few girls who had also watched it and they said "I hated it. It was worse than Twilight." Though I can't go as far as to say it was worse than the disgrace that is the Twilight movie, it still definitely did not live up the the expectations of a lot of fans. So therefore, I have constructed this letter to the film industry:

Dear Film Industry, 
If the Vampire Academy movie goes on to produce Frostbite, please please please do not ruin it and Adrian Ivashkov, you f*cking ridiculous bunch of money-grabbing pr*cks. 
Seriously Upset VA Fan

If film adaptions are made for the rest of the books in the VA series, this movie did a horrible job of setting itself up for them. What was with the ending, with the vampires and Sonya in the cave? 

Just why?

They only things I can say the film did sort of well was the casting, following the main plot/story-line of the book, and the fight scenes. They were awesome. 

Overall though? Such a disappointment.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #4: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday, we pick a book we're eagerly awaiting and this Wednesday, my choice is Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Summary (from Goodreads):
What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you? 

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most? 

Julie Murphy’s Side Effects May Vary is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.

Expected Publication: March 18th, 2014

Are you looking forward to this one? Let me know in the comments and link me back to your Wow this week! :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I'd NEVER Want To Trade Places With

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we'll make a list of our top ten something*, and this week, it's the Top Ten Characters I'd NEVER Want To Trade Places With. 
*In no particular order

1.  Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter)
He's ugly, evil, and meets a horrible end.  

2. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
She's one of the best literary heroines to ever be written, but let's face it, her life sucks. 

3. Hazel Grace Lancaster (The Fault In Our Stars)
I love her, but she has a shitty life too. There's no way I'd be able to handle the emotional and physical trauma she experiences throughout the book. 

4. Tessa Gray (The Infernal Devices)
Even though she wins the hearts of two amazingly beautiful Shadowhunters, having to deal with what she went through with her brother and her identity crisis would suck. 

5. Pi Patel (Life of Pi) 
Yeah, nobody would want to trade places with that kid. 

6. Lucinda Price (Fallen)
Imagine loving someone as much as she loves Daniel and then have to die every time they gave in to each other? Not to mention her history, before she went to Sword & Cross. 

7.  Bree Tanner (Twilight)
What a poor, unfortunate character. 

8. Sydney Sage (Vampire Academy/Bloodlines)
She's a great character, but her life sucks. However, I may be persuaded to trade places with her if I was promised two words: Adrian Ivashkov.

9. Clary Fray (The Mortal Instruments) 
Forget the demons and Valentine; imagine falling into absolute love with someone only to find out he was your brother?!  

10. Bella Swan (Twilight)
She is just so miserable and... ugh, awful. 

That's all for this week guys, I hope you've enjoyed my list. Remember to leave me comments telling me which of these characters you agreed/didn't agree with and links to all of your TTTs so that I can check them out. Follow me to read my future TTTs and reviews, yo. 

Just an update, also. I won't be reviewing for a while because I am currently re-reading the entire Vampire Academy series to get myself pumped for the movie! I won't be writing reviews for these books.