Guest Post: Di does…Insurgent!

insur 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.

It turns out I don’t need to review Insurgent which I finished last week, because my friend Di got hammered and wrote this hilarious and strangely almost-insightful rant/review and sent it to me. She’s probably regretting that right now. But it’s too good to not share.

Here she goes…[I am butting in in square brackets]

When I was first handed Divergent it was with the promise of the Hunger Games but with guns. That seemed OK to me because of the Hunger Games shaped hole in my life that no matter how many times I reread, it never filled that first anxious fist-chewing time.

I did not have this feeling reading Divergent. In fact I don’t even recall a feeling. I was jet-lagged, it was 3 AM and it filled a space of time in my life that needed filling. And I don’t know if I even liked it, it was just… Fluff.

So, imagine my surprise whilst reading Insurgent to find that I’m so transfixed I can barely use my phone to inform Lipsy [Hi] of this unexpected glee. IT’S THE HUNGER GAMES ALL OVER AGAIN I believe was all I could text whilst not looking at my phone. Followed by FOUR IS BEING A DOUCHEBAG….This is amazing!

After that day, whilst a bit pissed reading The Sun in a kebab shop, I found a double page spread in which the chap playing Four in the film (not hot enough) [agreed x 1000] was heralded as ‘THE NEXT RPATZ’ and I stifled a smirk. Is this actually the new Twilight?

Fact: Factions, Districts, Tributes, Divergents – Hungervergents.[LOL]

[Anyway] Whilst reading Divergent, I spent a lot of time thinking (as you do) GOOD LORD I COULD HAVE WRITTEN THIS WHEN I WAS 20. Then I read that it was in fact written by a 25 Year old.

RESPECT!

Where Divergent was a bit meh, [I could not disagree more] Insurgent soars. Tris and Four argue a lot, it’s great. They are real people that you get pissed off with for their petty reasonings before remembering they are 16 years old. Also the make out scenes are hot. So much hotter than divergent, SRSLY [this I do agree with].

The relationships are real. Christina and Tris as Bffs is REAL YOU GUYS. Four and Tris as teenagers in love, real in the lamest way possible. As it should be.

HOWEVER what the Hunger Games lacked in hotties (let’s be honest, the movies tried and failed to make either Peeta or Gale ‘leading males’ – the Hunger Games is 100% Katniss…OK and a bit of Gale being moody) Divergent probably fills the Twilight / RPatz void.

Four is unavailable, distant, hot, moody, difficult, all the things we apparently want in a teen heart-throb (srsly though) and it’s strange to see the film version neatly slotting into the void left behind by Twilight, when the books are so obviously more Hunger Games in nature. It’s an interesting case study… except we know it’s all trash (apart from the Hunger Games which is genius). [Anyone getting a bit lost here?]

Let’s talk about the end of this book. ***no spoilers*** The end of this book… is perfect [I thought it went on a bit tbh] I could see it coming a mile off (to the point where I was like ‘that’s too obvious and clearly not going to happen’) then it HAPPENED and woah. Perfect.

In hindsight, Insurgent is a lot more like a Margaret Atwood novel than any YA I’ve read. You know, maybe… The Handmaids Tale or Oryx & Crake. I have heard nothing but REALLY BAD things about Allegiant, the final novel in the Divergent series, but controversially, I am gagging to read it and think it will be amazing. But then, I really loved Mockingjay so…

THIS HAS BEEN A DRUNK REVIEW WRITTEN BY DIANNE TANNER. [She wrote that, not me, honest!]

Di Di has a photo blog called Icefloe, which is awesome. You can go there by clicking on the image.

Di & Lipsy do…Divergent

For those of you that don’t already know, Di is my YA BFF and when we get together we get a bit carried away ranting and/or swooning over our latest reads. We are not allowed to discuss The Hunger Games in public, or watch Twilight in the cinema because we get into trouble. A lot.

Our latest joint YA adventure was DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth.

If you want to read an actual review of Divergent, you might want to go elsewhere…but this is pretty much everything you need to know! Oh, and if you haven’t read Divergent, there aren’t any huge spoilers here, but continue at your own risk.

DIV

Did you have any preconceptions/expectations of Divergent before you started it?

DT: I was given my copy by a friend who sold it to me as “The Hunger Games but with guns and stuff” so this is pretty much what I was expecting. I’m still not sure if that was my take-away from it though.

L: I saw so many bloggers rave about it but I never really thought it would be that good. I knew it was Dystopian so expected it to be like THG, because everything is these days!

What do you think of the cover? (It’s sooooo much better than The Hunger Games & TMI covers, I think)

DT: I think it’s shit, but it might just be the version I have. Why is it holographic!?

L: What is wrong with you, what’s not to like about a holographic cover!?? It’s better than these atrocities:

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Overall concept:

L: I thought it was imaginative in places (the fear simulation for one) but too similar to other recent dystopian YA. Factions/Districts/Casts…enough already!

DT: The fear simulation bits were pretty good. I am not sure what I make of the idea of “factions” I think this reminded me more of The Selection than The Hunger Games, [yeah me too!] I think it’s interesting that a lot of books are starting to sort us into categories in our dystopian, shitty futures, in different ways. I think I quite liked the way it was done in this book but I basically think the Dauntless were obviously set up to be “the cool kids” right? Ooh they all wear black and jump off trains they are so DANGEROUS.

L: Yeah I think the idea behind Dauntless was a bit thin. Their Manifesto was pretty ridiculous. I think Roth just really wanted a reason for people to be tattooed & pierced. But I’m OK with that, it was hot.

DT: The Erudite made me think of FRINGE. You know the bald guys, they were well Erudite. [HAHAHAHA yes, THE OBSERVERS!] I also like that I have no idea how to say any of the names of the factions out loud and I also had to look them up online because I couldn’t remember any of them. Nice one.

L: I can only remember Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless, what were the others….

At one point I was kind of expecting President Snow to pop up and start sending Mutts into the simulation tests….


DT: Let it go, it’s not the Hunger Games!

😦

What Faction….

A) Do you think you are most suited to?
DT: DAUNTLESS OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE I AM AWESOME AND WEAR BLACK ALL OF THE TIME AND HAVE TATTOOS.
L: Naturally! I think I would be a bit rubbish at being Dauntless, but it’s still the one that appeals the most. They hang out wearing black and getting drunk. That is already my life.

B) Would you want to choose?
DT: Weirdly I did find myself thinking this while reading the book which is something I didn’t do with The Selection or The Hunger Games (although for the record in The Hunger Games I would choose district 12 because even though they are starving and stuff they have the best clothes, I really love the whole coal miner/lumberjack look (read: Hemsworth). I think I would probably choose Amity because then I could have a pony. Except I’m not sure how I feel about being happy ALL OF THE TIME.

L: AMITY…I’d forgotten about that one. Are they just really nice? No offence Di, but you couldn’t be Amity. Being happy all the time? Hahahaha as if! And while we’re talking about clothes, why does the Divergent poster have them in Hunger Games wetsuits? Just wrong. IT IS NOT THE HUNGER GAMES.

HGPosters

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Characters:

What did you think about Tris? (I hate that she called herself Tris btw. I don’t like it)
DT: Tris is a shit name. At first I really hated her and I thought I was going to give up like I did with Uglies, but it turned out to be OK, we made peace. There was some pretty H.O.T making out on a train segments I totally spaffed over, and she was pretty great towards the end.
L: Yeah it took me a while to warm to her too, but she was pretty badass in the end.

We obviously have to talk about Four:

L: I thought he was a great love interest for Tris, but I only found him hot until he started calling himself Tobias. (What’s wrong with me?) I have a pretty sexy-in-my-pants image of him. Obviously, I have casting rage where the film is concerned.

DT: I TOTALLY ONLY THOUGHT HE WAS HOT AT THE END AS WELL!!![No! I thought he was hotter BEFORE we found out his name is Tobias. That really put me off!] Do you think it was when he took his shirt off and the hot tattoos etc, whatttt![That was pretty fit though] In the film he is hilariously being played by the guy that died in series 1 of Downton Abbey – MR PAMUK hahaha, he is not hot at all. Sad times! I quite liked him as a character as well but thought his whole story line was pretty obvious. NO SPOILERS.

L: It was really obvious, but I was OK with that. He’s damaged. That’s hot. I have no idea who that actor is, but he’s deffo not how I pictured Four.

Christina: What happened to her!? Oh, she’s going to be heartbroken when she finds out about Will. Sigh.

DT: I DON’T REMEMBER ANY OF THIS I was way too jetlagged and really should have read it again before answering these questions, but I am trapped forever reading THE HOST which is THE MOST DULL BOOK EVER.

L: Take that back!!!

Caleb?
I’m hoping he will have a bigger part in the next one too. I think he’s gonna end up being pretty awesome.

DT: WHO THE FUCK IS CALEB?
L: You are RUBBISH.

Favourite Part/Scene?

DT: Hot make out scene on the train, blates.
L: Blates.

What do you want from the next book?

L: I’m scared to read it in case it is rubbish.
DT: Yeah I’ve heard loads of really bad things and I really don’t know if I want to read it. Except that I obviously do, and obviously will.
L: I’m not going to buy or anything, but you are clearly going to lend it to me, right. RIGHT???

I give Divergent all the Unicorns. Take them all!

unicorn rating

Di has an awesome photography blog called Icefloe. You should it check it out!

Related: Di & Lipsy do…The Selection

Di & Lipsy do The Selection!

A couple of days ago I officially declared my LOVE for The Selection by Kiera Cass but I was finding it hard to put my love into words so I enlisted my BFF Dianne of the Tanner to help me. Read my original post here. But if you’re too lazy to go and read that (shame on you), here’s the lowdown on The Selection again.

View on Goodreads

View on Goodreads

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

To my delight Di didn’t hate The Selection. WIN. We talked about the book, the similarities to the Hunger Games (because we are a bit obsessed with the Hunger Games) and the TV show that will or won’t or possibly already happened (!?). And of course, we had to decide: Team Aspen or Team Maxon.

Our rant went something like this:

ME: I’d never heard of The Selection until I saw it on Amazon and WOWed at the cover. I thought it was so pretty and looked magical and I HAD to buy it. When I handed it over to you however, you did what can only be described as a guffaw and said it looked terrible.

What were your actual first impressions from the cover and the premise? DT: Oh lord. My initial reaction when I saw the cover was ‘have you given me a Princess Diaries book to read?’ The cover is hilariously awful but I kind of love it. I felt pretty amazing reading it on the tube.

I really had no idea what to expect from the premise and initially was a bit wtf until about 3 pages in when I realised it was a bit HUNGER GAMES and perked up. Oh they live in America gone wrong in the future, it’s fine this I can get into.

What did you think of America Singer initially…apart from the stupid name of course? Aw bless her, she is trying so hard to be a stereotypical “tough girl” in a “hard world” who looks after other people and has no idea what others see in her – a bit over done at this point! *Katniss*
-Yeah it’s nice to have that ‘hardness’ and it not be about violence though. That’s refreshing. It’s all about her CHARM.
hunger_games_addict_sticker_bumper

Did the similarities to The Hunger Games annoy you? I thought it was a bit of a rip off at first but I thought the Casts were actually a pretty good idea in the end… Frankly anything that is vaguely similar to the Hunger Games to fill the gap since there is NO MORE HUNGER GAMES can only be a good thing so I have no idea what you are talking about.
-Haha true dat. I was just anticipating you hating it.

How did you picture Aspen? A bit fit obviously, but what a douche.
-SUCH A DOUCHE! Almost as bad as Peeta!

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The dialogue was pretty laughable on some occasions, OK on most occasions…especially the way Maxon talks. I bet you hate him don’t you? I actually really loved him! I KNEW you expected me to be Team Aspen. I wonder if maybe we didn’t get to spend enough time with him. He sounds like a bit of a douche, but then he gets all muscles and stuff later on so maybe IDK. Wait this question was about Maxon. What?

Oh yeah. He was quite lovely. I feel like he has a nice smile.
-I REALLY DID EXPECT YOU TO BE TEAM ASPEN. I was all ready for a ‘hunger games’ debate about it. I’m a bit disappointed in you really. WE NEVER AGREE, SO WELL DONE KIERA CASS. Also…haha ‘quite lovely’. Indeed.

But would you be his ‘Dear?’ LOL. Most certainly. I feel like there is a WHOLE LOAD of unwritten dark shit going on with the country and stuff and lets be honest he is clearly going to sort that shit out. [Let’s hope so] This book is so predictable I feel like I could write the next 3 – 4 in the series.
-Yeah I really wished that element of the story was explored more. It is a little bit in the next book but still definitely not enough. It could be a really cool dystopian series if that was concentrated on more but I guess with the dystopian element being left in the background we could focus on swooning over Maxon and hating on all the other girls. I am such a girl-hater sometimes.

America is feisty though, I love her. After all, she did kick the Prince in the balls. Discuss: In the thigh IT WAS HIS THIGH. I love how often they use the word “groin” in this book. She is feisty but it felt a little forced. Oh like you have to be the feisty one who is “true to herself” right because that’s what all girls can relate to. Unless you are Bella Swan then you are just LAME.
-(Ignoring that Bella comment!)Are you sure it wasn’t the balls? Surely ‘groin’ is just YA code for BALLS?

May Vs Prim? I liked May. Much better than Prim.God Prim is so annoying.

OK we can’t put it off any longer….ASPEN OR MAXON??? Maxon. Everything about Aspen just wound me up I feel like if he ever actually had sex with America he would be like meh.
-YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS I CAN’T BELEIVE WE ACTUALLY AGREE. And now we will have to compete for his affections.

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Pick one thing you LOVED about The Selection… I liked that although it was clearly aimed at 14 year olds, there were parts that were quite dark with regards to the “dystopian” nature of the world they live in. As I said, I feel like there is a lot more of that to come out in further books. I was like 1 chapter from the end going “but how can this book be about to end they haven’t even done anything.”
-Yeah I remember flicking through the pages that were left and I was like THERE IS HALF THE BOOK MISSING, SURELY. I’m quite worried you will be disappointed by The Elite because there is still not enough Book. THERE WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH.

And one thing you HATED?
I don’t think there was any need to end this book when it did. Right in the middle of everything, its such a short book I feel like they could have expanded a lot. I can’t work out what age group exactly it is aimed at because there is quite a lot of HEAVY PETTING.
-HAHAHA HEAVY PETTING. That is all.

Now please explain to me why I loved it so much?? Because you love trash, Lauren.
-Too right.

Would you like book #2, The Elite? Yes immediately please.
-I might not see you for a few weeks. I will post it to you if you’ll post The Selection back. I NEED IT BACK PRONTO.

What else do we need to talk about?
The One (#3) isn’t out until MAY 2014 – What kind of bullshit is that!?

I refuse to believe it takes that long to write these books.

AND, THE TV SHOW: The powers that be have been trying to turn The Selection into a TV show for a while now. Apparently the first pilot starred Ethan Peck as Maxon and PETER PEVENSIE as Aspen but wasn’t picked up.
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Another pilot is said to be in production with none other than GILES!!!!! WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!
I had heard that this was already a straight to TV movie actually. PETER PEVENSIE IS THE PERFECT PRINCE MAXON! [He was Aspen, Di…oh never mind] Who is Giles playing, THE KING??? KING GILES???

KING GILES IS THE KING OF ALL KINGS!

KING GILES IS THE KING OF ALL KINGS!


OF COURSE HE IS PLAYING THE KING! It will fill the King Giles-sized hole that Merlin took away from me! IT HAS to get made.

WE WILL WATCH THIS SPACE!

About Di
I first met Di on the streets of London YEARS AGO (let’s not think about that!) when we used to stalk the same band up and down the country. She knew my name and it freaked me out. I signed her enormous NZ flag (YUSS, she’s Kiwi) and realised that she was even louder than me. It kind of went from there and long after said band disappeared and we got a bit grown-up (eurrrgh!) we have remained friends. Even though we live on opposite sides of London, we meet up for book-swapping, film-watching and ranting over a few (a lot of) drinks as often as possible. Di is a self-taught photographer and jewellry maker. She blogs about these things plus books and life n’ shiz at Icefloe. Go say hi, she is lovely.

TEAM MAXON!