Tuesday, 22 April 2014

This was supposed to be useful...

Hi everyone!

So this will be a really short, informative (hopefully) post, because I have about 45 minutes until I need to get my stuff together and leave for the airport, and as per usual I planned a really cool, beautiful blog about my future adventures but never got to writing it because I swear I am the laziest person on this entire planet.

I’m not even joking. I’ve been talking about this stupid tour and planning a cool blog and everything for months now, but – being the professional procrastinator that I am – I left it to the absolute last minute and now I have to rush it. Thanks, brain.

Anyway… I’m going away to an Arts tour of Europe with my school for the next two weeks, so unfortunately I will not be posting anything amazingly awesome to brighten up your sad, miserable lives (that’s meant to be ironic because I have barely been posting anything and when I do it’s hardly incredible – sorry again). Basically, it’s a tour of Paris, Rome, Vienna, Venice, Florence, Tuscany and Prague, and I am super excited. I pinky promise, swear on my (in)sanity that I will do a blog when I get back on all the stuff I did and how I publicly embarrassed myself several times (we all know it’s inevitable).

Because I’m away for two weeks in a strange country with thirty teenage girls, I will also not be posting an April Nerd List. THIS TIME IT WILL BE INTENTIONAL THAT I DO NOT POST IT. It’s not a repeat of the “oops-it’s-already-March-and-there’s-no-February-Nerd-List” incident. I do have a legitimate excuse this time. I will do a joint April-May Nerd List when I get back, because hopefully I will spend the entire flight begging forgiveness for my sins and reading instead of watching movies on those cool little TVs.

I hope everyone’s had a good Easter (well, great. I forgot to do that blog as well. Ultimate failure.) Be safe if you’re travelling during the holidays, and be safe if you’re at school or work instead.

As a further apology for my past, present and future absence, please enjoy this cute gif that I found mildly amusing.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Date finished: 10 April 2014

Series: The Fifth Wave, #1

Rating: 5*

View on Goodreads.

Rick Yancey, I am utterly enraged.

I have a couple of questions before I begin my review. Okay, maybe only one question. Are you mental? Seriously, though, I think you need to have a brain scan or some sort of testing, because this book was insane, for lack of a better word. Everything about it - the storyline, the characters, the writing – took my breath away and shoved it into some deep dark black hole in my soul, and only really released it when I turned that stupid last page and – Oops! There are the Acknowledgements, and an advertisement for “The Next Wave” in place of the other three hundred-or-so pages that I expected.

When I turned that page, I let loose. The First Wave: about five solid minutes of gasping as I flipped through the pages, desperate to see if I missed something, to check that Yancey hadn’t just ended the novel at possibly the worst moment in the history of literature. The Second Wave: incoherent speech as I tried to verbally process exactly what just happened. The Third Wave: denial, as tears started running down my face and ruining that last stupid page of the book. The Fourth Wave: screaming, shouting and questioning. A lot of it. It may or may not have involved an almost-flinging of the book at the wall.

And the Fifth Wave?

No one knows.

But it’s coming.

I think it requires a certain amount of craziness to come up with a story as incredibly gripping and original as this one. The 5th Wave is, hands down, the best futuristic Sci-Fi novel I have ever read. I love everything about it except the ending, and even then I love the ending when I hate it with all of my being but it’s so beautiful that I love it.

Yancey, you and I need to have a little chat about cliffhangers and the importance of closure before you write any more novels, is that understood? It has detrimental effects on my sanity.

Rick Yancey’s writing was absolutely fantastic. After alien-type stories have been written and filmed to a slow and painful death, The 5th Wave was refreshing in its multiple narratives and unique storyline. The intellect behind it, and the way Yancey kept throwing the story on its head with plot-twists, left me in a states of elation and excitement that were only ever interrupted by states of horror and despair at Cassie’s story. By the time the novel ended, my brain had been flung in so many directions that it probably resembled a mashed-potato-type mush, and my emotions had been so overused that I practically dissolved into a teenage-girl-coloured puddle on the floor.

I highly recommend reading The 5th Wave, and praise Rick Yancey on his execution of a brilliant novel that will most definitely rank high on my list of “Books That Ruined My Sanity and Made Me Cry.”

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Divergent Film Review

Rating: 5*

If you have been following my blogs, you are probably super-aware of the fact that I am in love with Veronica Roth’s Young Adult Dystopian Series: The Divergent Trilogy. It is extremely high up on my “Best Books Ever” list that I recommend to almost everyone, and there is a very strong chance that I will judge you – very, very harshly – if you are a teenage girl and have not read at least the first novel in the Divergent series. Veronica Roth is one of my most highly acclaimed authors.

Given the above information, it’s probably not a shock to you that I have been counting down the days to the release of the Divergent film for a very, very long time. The hype created by my friends and me around the film was pretty phenomenal, so by the time it was finally released yesterday, we had already stalked the cast, gone onto several spoiler websites that leaked some of the photographs from the set, drooled – several times – over Theo James, and engaged in various heated debates over whether he and Shailene Woodley would live up to our expectations of the characters of Four and Tris.

As a person who strongly believes in reading the book before seeing the movie, I have pretty much trained myself to go through a process of severely lowering my expectations in the weeks leading up to the movie release, and therefore pretty much undoing all of the excitement and self-hype it took me so long to subconsciously build up. However, after losing myself in towering mountains of school tests, essays and assignments, I was astounded to realize that the release date of Divergent had completely snuck up on me, and I only had about a day to prepare myself for the worst.

Luckily, my expectations did not need to be lowered.

Divergent was incredible. From the moment Shailene Woodley’s voice introduced the story, to her last monologue of the film, I was in a state of absolute and utter elation. I believe the film was a perfect mixture of exact scenes from the book and the director’s “artistic license.” In fact, I could not have imagined a better version of the film. Sure, there were parts where I compared it to the book and wasn’t completely satisfied, but hat is the price every author and reader has to pay when a great novel is converted to a movie. No movie will ever be able to live up to its book, and that is something I believe we need to accept – even cherish – as readers.

For those of you who have not yet read the books, or even the synopsis of the film, Divergent is a action-adventure that tells the story of sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior, who lives in a world divided into factions based on personality traits. As she approaches her own choosing ceremony, in which she must decide the faction in which she will spend the rest of her life, she discovers that she is Divergent – her personality is suited to more than one faction. She is forced into a life of secrecy as her Divergence begins to threaten both her own life, and those of the people she loves.

To be perfectly honest, I do not believe the film would’ve been as successful without Veronica Roth’s intervention as co-producer. In this, she was able to include her own vision in the creation of the film, and satisfy her readers who were going to watch the film, as well as viewers who had not read

Overall, I highly recommend watching Divergent – and reading the series. I guarantee you will not regret wasting time on the novels, although you may be an emotional mess by the time you’ve finished Allegiant, much like I was. But of all the ways to ruin your mental stability, reading and then watching Divergent is probably the most enjoyable (and I mean that in the best possible way – it’s so good you’ll go a little bit crazy, in a good way of course.)