Saturday, March 31, 2012

march news

I haven't been doing very well with posting this month, have I? It was a glorious miracle that I didn't die of suffocation from under a pile of old library books. That is how much reading I have been required to do recently. Not that I have actually been doing all of it. It paints a pretty picture though, doesn't it? Lying on a table tragically dead from a downpour of books. 

I wanted to let you know, and ask you to please add me as a friend on Goodreads! The button is to the left of the page. 
It's a good way of getting updates on the books that are currently on my reading list. Many of them are texts for uni - for example, recently we've been discussing a lot of Virgil, Chaucer, and next week, Shakespeare! And those aren't even for my english units! 

Next month I'm going to really try to post more frequently. :) Do you like seeing more posts? Or do you like occasional ones like this month? 
Also, I might do another whole bunch of "The Time Will Come" posts on Thursdays. I have so many books that fit that meme. Do you like those ones? Also, what kinda of posts would you like to see more of? 
Let me know in the comments, I would really, really appreciate it. Maybe more reviews, or discussion type things of stuff I've been learning in my course? Or maybe something else I haven't done before? 

I'm also trying to get a header for Chimneys and Magic really soon! It's just that... I'm lazy, and also I'm really fussy about that sort of thing. It has to be perfect, you know? 
If you have any thoughts on that, or any skills of the trade you'd like to share and help me out, I would love to hear from you. 

Things to look forward to on C&M
- a review on Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn
- more New on my bookshelf posts
- more posts in general! 

I hope you had an awesome March, I did! The Taylor Swift Speak Now World Tour concert definitely made my month. I have videos from the concert if you're interested:

Friday, March 30, 2012

review: divergent by veronica roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth
young adult dystopian // harpercollins // 2011 // paperback // 487 pages

I had this book sitting on my shelf for way, WAY too long. I waited way too long to read it. 
I bought this online back when I was still studying engineering! Which seems like ages ago. It was almost a year ago. 
I remember this because I was at uni really early in the morning in the maths computer labs because I needed to work on my stupid Process assignment. I was on the internet reading book blogs instead and I read like, one measly review (or rather, epic review) of Divergent and ordered it immediately. Right then and there.
One year later, here we are.

I just watched a review of divergent on Youtube by one of my favourite beauty girls Elle Fowler, aka AllThatGlitters21. She really went into depth explaining the dystopian world, each faction of society and their extremist ideals, etc. It really stirred up my love for the book again. I actually read it several weeks ago and was planning to do my review immediately after but I've been procrastinating ever since then. I could write an analytical essay on this novel, it had that much of an impact. Anyway, enough of me explaining why I took so long to write about Divergent.

Divergent is set in a dystopian world - a city (which used to be Chicago) that is now fenced off from the rest of the world. The society is split up into five factions that correspond to personality - Abnegation (The Selfless), Dauntless (The Brave), Candor (The Honest), Amity (The Peaceful) and Erudite (The Intelligent). The main character is Beatrice (or Tris as we know her later), a 16 year old girl who was raised in Abnegation. Abnegations are only allowed to look at mirrors every three months. They eat plain food (never had hamburgers or cake), and they feed the factionless. Beatrice has never felt truly at home in her faction. Complete selflessness isn't exactly second nature to her, even after almost sixteen years of training.

Every year there is a Choosing Ceremony, for the kids who turned 16 that year. At the Choosing Ceremony each person is allowed to choose whether they will stay in their faction of childhood, or transfer to any one of the other factions and leave their families and past lives behind. But before the ceremony, each person must undergo the Aptitude Test. The result of the Aptitude Test determines which faction each teenager is most suited to (according to the decisions the person makes in different scenarios), regardless of the faction of birth.

Beatrice ends up with an inconclusive result. This is rare and dangerous for her, because that means that she is Divergent. Being Divergent means that you are suited to more than one faction - Beatrice's Aptitude Test outcome concluded that she could be in either Abnegation, Dauntless or Erudite. I won't tell you why exactly it is so dangerous, but it certainly fuels the direction of the Government. Erudite has been ferociously feuding with Abnegation, so for the Choosing, Beatrice rules out Erudite because she hates them. At the Choosing Ceremony, she decides to transfer to Dauntless. By the way, the Choosing Ceremony itself is quite the spectacle. I won't spoil it for you, but I think it's pretty cool.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The 22nd of March: AKA The Hunger Games Day!

Two nights ago I went to the midnight screening of The Hunger Games!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I feel like that statement deserves a lot more exclamation marks than that. Like a gazillion more. 
I'd been waiting for that day for well over a year now, so you can imagine the build up of excitement. 

The film was so good. It was better than I expected and it fulfilled all my hopes for it. 
The movie stayed quite true to the book, unlike a lot of book-to-film adaptations, so for that I was glad. 
I can't really pinpoint anything that disappointed me, except the the film's tame portrayal of the Capitol. I was really looking forward to seeing the scene at the party with those drinks that make you regurgitate your food so you can eat more. It also would have been nice if they mentioned the Avoxes, even a little bit. Katniss in the movie did very vaguely mention cutting off tongues but she wasn't even talking about Avoxes even though it was an indirect reference to them. I know that the film already was so long because they had to fit in so much into the movie, but I would have liked the non-book reading audience to really understand the wicked insanity of the people living in the Capitol, because the movie didn't really capture it as well as I hoped.
Also, I thought the tracker jackers would be way, way, bigger than they were.

There was a group of highschool girls sitting on the right side of me, and they could not contain their emotions... particularly the girl sitting next to me. She was almost openly weeping - loud, heavy breathing and loads of crying in every emotional scene (of which there were many). 
I really liked Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman. He was funny. :P

The cinematography really did the book justice I feel, and it totally had a dystopian feel - not Hollywood-y at all.

Anyway, I had a 10am test for Greek the next morning, so I only managed about 3 or 4 hours sleep. I was sitting in a cafe on campus before class and in front of me sat two girls, both sitting alone, reading books from the Hunger Games trilogy. One was reading Mockingjay and the other The Hunger Games. I was silently really proud of Suzanne Collins at that moment. 
Later that day quite a few other people in my lecture and tutorial were talking about The Hunger Games movie as well. :) 

On another note, I'm sorry I haven't been blogging very much recently - I highly underestimated the enormity of my reading requirements for my combination of units this semester. In fact, yesterday I was in a two hour long tute where I hadn't done much of the readings and it was quite obvious because I was the only slacker in the class. So in order for me to stop looking like and acting like an insubordinate, lazy fool I really need to step up my game. O, but if only studying were really a game. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

new on my bookshelf!

Folks, today I ventured outside for you to bring you this new-on-my-bookshelf post.
It was really sunny and warm out, but I really wanted to take these snapshots in front of my favourite plant in our garden (bar the fruit trees, lemon & fig in particular). 
I hope you enjoy! 

BEAUTY by Robin McKinley (1978)
A retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney film. I heard wonderful things about this book and decided that I needed to get my hands on more fairytale retellings, so I ordered it off the Book Dep!
Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to read it very soon because my reading load for uni is pretty epic as it is, so leisurely reading will be reduced enormously. :(

THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY by David Levithan (2011)
I already mentioned this in my post about the Perth Writers Festival, which is where/when I bought this one. 
It's signed, new, beautiful and I can't wait to read it.

WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by John Green & David Levithan (2010)
The only thing that would make this book even better is John Green's personalised signature in there too! But I'm pretty satisfied with the way it is for now. ;) See this post to find out what David wrote inside!

TOUCH OF POWER by Maria V. Snyder (2012)
I won this in a competition and was pretty stoked about it because I don't really enter very many blog giveaways (however I used to be a giveaway-entering maniac back in the day). I haven't really heard of the author before but the book sounds exciting even though I don't understand what they were trying to do with the cover model's hair. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

day 28: favourite title


I couldn't possibly choose one. Here are a few of my favourites:

What are yours?