Sunday, March 30, 2014

Divergent: movie review

(Butt pose poster. Because it makes me laugh.)

I just went and saw Divergent with my friends. Well, it wasn't a disaster, I can assure you that at the very least. If you want to read my review of the book from forever ago here, and that doesn't have any spoilers…(I think?)  But from here on out THIS review WILL have ALL THE SPOILERS FROM THE BOOK AND MOVIE. :)

You have been cautioned.
(And I'm sorry but there is bad language in here.)

And as always, I'll try to make this organized, but you know how that doesn't ever actually work. I try. There will be word vomits.

Final rating: 
4 out of 5 stars for fans of the book.
3 out of 5 for those who haven't read the book.

What was changed/left out/added:

  • A lot. There were in fact many of the same scenes, but they sort of mixed them up weirdly sometimes, which I didn't think was necessary. Not BAD per say, but…why. The order they were written in…were written in that order for a reason.
  • Visiting Day did not exist. And that's one of my favorite scenes in the book! Damn. There was a made-up scene that became a weak weak replacement for it, but okay fine.
  • Why our rating is lower for people who haven't read the book. Well, SO much of what Tris explains about the WHYS of things make the story about ten times as rich. Yes I know it's a movie and is different than the book, but even small things like why she got her tattoos of three hawks along her collarbone because they symbolized her family members dear to her heart…see there wasn't an easy way to convey that, and I understand? But it's more than just "ooh I'm a badass and 16 so I'll get a tattoo!" because it's NOT just that. That's one example.
  • Hm the end zombie-Dauntless part. When in the book, Tris goes into the control room and the scene's with just her and Four where he's under the new drug? Well they completely reinvented that. I didn't mind the change, because they did something good with it and made it more visually appealing and lasted about 30 minutes longer, but that may have bothered some people. It was completely different though.


  • The romance between Four and Tris didn't overwhelm the actual plot. *claps* and that is why I loved the book so much. If you remember, Four isn't even mentioned in the book blurb at all. Because this story is about HER and her character developing. Ohh tangent coming I can't stop it: I saw quite a few reviews claiming how it's "all about her finding herself so stupid" (that's slightly paraphrased) and I'm thinking while watching…well yes it's all about her finding herself, it's a fucking young adult novel and that is what that whole genre is for. Finding an identity and having an adventure and learning about yourself. Being a young adult is a very self-oriented lifestyle. (Assuming you're not Abnegation.)
  • Two of the three of us agreed on this point: The Pit was very different than we pictured. I'm not sure, I guess I just imagined it HUGE and made of a real 'chasm' and 'waterfall thing' not an indoor rock climbing gym. I'm sorry that was harsh. It wasn't bad. Overall all the sets and scenes were very authentic, and you can tell this movie actually had a budget. *coughthehostcough* Very impressed, there was no "um that's totally a stage" feeling. For me at least.
  • I loved the training scenes/initiation section of the book. Awesome! The training took a large amount of the book and movie and I'm glad they didn't cut much at all from that part. All the people looked greatly beat up, and also, realistically, not looking awesome and stable the whole time. Good Determined-Tris montage too in there. Initiation is almost 90% of the book, so thank you movie-people, for paying attention! (Yes, it could have been expanded upon, I know I wouldn't have minded watching a four hour Divergent movie if I got to see more fight practices.)
  • The fear simulations. They were well done and gave great insight. That's basically it. Especially Four's regarding his past. And Tris's last fear on her final test…..YES. I could watch that again.
  • Erudite. We just get a glimpse, but I remember from Insurgent I loved how we finally get to see a lot more of the other factions and lifestyles. The costumes/designs were great from what little we see, and I can tell it's going to be pretty awesome when there's more Candor and Amity.

Neutral opinions about:

  • Caleb. Could have been expanded. Wasn't in the trailer at all? I think he has potential though, because the actor isn't bad. Also where's his Erudite glasses (which according to the the general consensus of two people: it is pronounced ErUdite. Not ERUdite.) (we're probably wrong.) I look forward to seeing his character grow because his relationship with Tris is very…essential to certain things in the second and third book. Seriously. Just think on that for a sec. Caleb had better become more three dimensional. He has potential. I feel the need to say that twice to convey that did I like it.
  • I wish Tris talked with her friends more. I didn't get to know them as well as I'd have liked to. They're there and she does converse, and I am so thankful there wasn't an overwhelming amount of googley eyes between her and Four, but they (Christina, Will, Al, esp Peter) are still borderline for depth.
  • Parents dying. Not as heroic as it sounded in the book? It was all right? I didn't shed any tears. But when her mom died, damn she did some great acting.
  • Paintball! Okay. It was paintball in the book, but in the movie, they shot these wicked not-bullets that felt like you actually got shot, but only lasted a few hours. Very cool. That whole scene from the ferris wheel to the flag catching, I really liked. It showed how much everyone had improved, and set the skills from theory to actual use.
  • Last scene/ending. Sort of abrupt. But so was the book! 
  • Quotes. I'm always torn when quotes verbatim are used in movies. I reread Divergent the day before seeing it, so many lines of explanation rang bells in my head. For the most parts it was okay, there were only a couple lines, and I think they were Four's, that I thought were stupid. Oh! And near the end when Tris shoots Peter? Remember? Well in here she just kind of says something snarky and shoots him in the side, but in the book she shoots him in the hand and when Caleb asks if that was necessary, she responds neutrally (paraphrasing) "well I didn't shoot his leg, he can still walk to show us" which I liked much better. (again that's an extremely small peeve)


  • Opening scene…."CHICAGO"

…wait what. We are not told that. There are many references during the series to the Sears Tower and huge lima bean statue, etc (O'Hara), but Tris does not know her city is named Chicago. And now the audience knows. Not necessary. On the related subject on why they're in such a secluded city, some things were said which will alter the storyline a bit? (but that's more in later books so never mind for now.)

  • I'd say 80% of the music (because I'm a complete score/soundtrack critic snob) was okay. It wasn't as bad as the music for The Host. I only really noticed it because when a dramatic scene happened: (and hello action movie when isn't there a dramatic scene) there came this sort of epic Avatar music! Cut to scene for tattoo area: Futuristic Night Club Music! And then: Leftover Twilight Soundtrack! WTF.
  • Personally, I hated the aptitude test. This is near the beginning of the movie, and it was completely different than the book! So different!!! I hated all those weird mirrors and what what what. And Tori was an inconsistent character throughout, so none of it sat well with me. Unfortunately. The aptitude scene in the book was just as easy to make (coming from the person who can't upload something onto youtube) as the actual fear simulation, so I'm not sure why they decided to screw that up so badly.

Any specific character notes:

  • Let's see am I missing anything….OH RIGHT WHERE THE FUCK DID URIAH GO. If you look on the cast list, there isn't a Uriah. Did the writers read the second two books? Do they know how essential to the story he is and his friendship to Tris? They had his name on the board, so I'm now positive they will randomly add him in the second movie like oh yeah he was here the whole time. But he's so essential to gahhh I need to stop. My point is made.
  • So I found this slightly amusing. Shailene Woodley is in three different movies. This one she plays sister to Ansel Elgort. TFiOS they play lovers. In Divergent, she and Miles Teller are enemies and in The Spectacular now they're lovers. She is a great actress, and I'm now discovering she can play diverse characters, and isn't boxing herself into a genre. Go Shailene!
  • Second amusing thing I discovered during my late night pondering. What is it with the trend of YA books-to-movies where the lead love interest guy (actor) is English but plays American? Do you need examples? 
Twilight: yes
The Host: yes
Divergent: yes
City of Bones: yes
And I'm sure that's only the recent obvious ones. Well this fact made me laugh a little. Let's end on that happy note. Because I won't be the one to complain about the abundance of hot English dudes.


What are your thoughts? Besides commenting to complain how freaking long my movie rants are, because I know those thoughts are there. Did you enjoy the movie? How will the next one be...

And thanks for putting up with my (parenthesis addiction.)


Friday, March 28, 2014

North and South: review

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Published: 1855
Summary: When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction. In North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell skillfully fuses individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale creates one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature.

My thoughts

For the most part, that was pretty awesome.

Margaret Hale is an interesting character. I like how when she moves to the factory town of Milton she is able to 'befriend' people from both classes. The workers like Mr Higgins and his daughters show her how wealthy and privileged she is. Mr Thornton's view of 'master' to these hundreds of workers was news to me. How the Irish were hired sometimes because they didn't charge as much to do the work, which in turn made the English workers even more mad. Master and worker didn't communicate enough WHY maybe he couldn't pay them as bountifully as they would have liked. There's two sides to everything, and Margaret's position allowed us to see both. 

Since this book was originally printed periodically in the newspapers, there are parts where it seems episodic. Maybe that's why I read it so quickly. Near the end especially was…melodramatic? There was 50 pages nearing the end where Margaret was annoying and couldn't decide what she wanted with ANYTHING. When the last chapter came, then the book finally took a turn to the interesting and ended rather suddenly. 

This is my first book of Gaskell's and I do like her writing. Besides the overly dramatic parts, which are probably only caused by the actual character of Margaret. It's neither sad or happy, rather gloomy like the setting. While reading I could sort of feel put down by the smoky town and floating particles of cotton. There isn't much of Society as I'm used to reading in Austen's work, so that was different for me. Not as many dances or gossip. Anyway, I definitely recommend getting to this classic if you have the chance.

-Jane :)

Post script- The BBC mini series was amazing, and they did tweak some events near the end, which was good and I ended up liking the ending in the show better than in the book.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lux: Beginnings- cover reveal!

Here it is, Lux: Beginnings is Obsidian & Onyx in one binding, and it looks pretty cool! (keep scrolling!)

For the two books that make up Lux: Beginnings,

Obsidian:  There's an alien next door. And with his looming height and eerie green eyes, he's hot...until he opens his mouth. He's infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, he lights me up with a big fat bulls-eye. Turns out he has a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal his abilities and the only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to him until my alien mojo fades. If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Onyx:  Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro alien connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems. I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

 # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and her website.

Also, don't forget to enter this awesome raffle for chances to win two fan inspired artwork from fans of the Lux series sent from Jennifer L. Armentrout herself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Don't Look Back: review

Don't Look Back
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Release Date: April 15, 2014
My Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Summary: Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend. 

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash. 

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?


Oh no, I was thinking, not another amnesiac teenager story. But then, there's murder involved. And it's Jennifer Armentrout. I'll at least get a few hot guys in the story, that's a given. 

Guys, I was initially skeptical, but yes, Jennifer Armentrout can write contemporary. According to this post, this was her first contemp written (but I think not first published, including her J Lynn works?) and I think it's done really well. I wasn't missing any aliens or supernatural things. Mostly.

I'd classify this novel as a mystery/thriller and it's one that keeps you on your toes. Sure a lost memory is always hard to deal with, but then wondering if you're a murderer to top it? And don't forget, you were an absolute bitch to the world before you went missing a few days ago. Even your parents seem to be hiding things. Great, you get a chance to start over, but there are also people who'd take advantage to that in a second.

These are Sam's problems. 

Sam, or Insanity Sam as her friends call her now, is desperately trying to remember what happened that night in the woods. Appearing on the side of the road after missing for four days; with mysterious injuries and a missing best friend, everybody is just glad to have Sam back. And not so worried about finding Cassie. But Sam is a different person now, without her memories and Cassie's horrible influence. Most aren't happy about the development, but why could that be?

Don't Look Back does have a high school setting, but we're more in the point of view of the clique-who-rules-the-school this time. Sam used to be the rich popular bitch queen co-ruling with Cassie, but now Sam sees things differently…and not all of it is real. Memories are surfacing in bursts; people are lying to her, almost everyone in some way or another. And the more memories she grasps, the more she wonders, did she do it? Could she, kill her best friend?

Trust your instincts on this mystery; don't trust anyone.

And watch your back for an absolutely killer ending.

-Jane :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mortal Gods book cover is heeere!

In which I jump with glee. 

In case you haven't seen it yet, the second Goddess War book cover now exists! The book, Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake, comes out on September 1st! (great scott that's so damn far away I just realized)

Well you have a whole 6 months or so to read the first, Antigoddess, if you haven't yet. There isn't even a synopsis of Mortal Gods yet, but keep an eye out and don't forget to add the book on Goodreads.

(Speaking of, if someone plans on rereading Antigoddess it's not up on the Recaptains site yet, and I can't remember the details so much, it's been so long! I hope there's a recap on there before September! :))

While we're talking about Kendare's work, click to see my reviews for her other series, Anna Dressed in Blood (#1), and Girl of Nightmares (#2) if you're looking for something wicked cool and creepy as hell to tide you over till autumn.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jane :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spring Cleaning Part Two (and three)

Guys. I need my bookshelf space. :)

I have almost 60 or so. There has to be something you're looking for. All my books are listed on the exchange. 90 percent are available, anything published 2013 or before. They're YOURS if you paypal me the $4.00 for shipping (or if you're trying to get rid of some old books...) First come first serve when you email me!

Here they are:

Part two of my post. I am on the search for a co-reviewer. Anybody interested in helping me out with this site? I would love another opinion on here, and maybe a little revamp if they have coding skills. Mine are in rudimentary training still.

Please go to my contact tab if you're interested in either of these things, books or reviewing!

Happy reading!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spring Cleaning '14

I have a number of ARCs I'd like to get rid of. Listed below, and they're YOURS if you paypal me the $4.00 for shipping (or if you're trying to get rid of some old books...) First come first serve when you email me! Hope there's at least a few desirable ones in the batch!

I know it's still winter-like where most people are, but it's spring where I live, so happy March!


(and if these all go, I have more collecting dust on my shelf.)