I've watched that movie! Not read the book though...

Monday, 28 April 2014
One thing you may as well all know about me is that I'm impatient. Even if I know a certain movie has been adapted from a book, if that movie looks good and I have access to it, I will watch it. Even without having read the book beforehand. *cringes* Let me stress, however, that I am getting BETTER. To prove this: I bought and read both The Maze Runner and The Fault in Our Stars earlier this year because I knew they were being adapted into films and actually wanted to have read the book beforehand! Forgive me? Thought so! ;)

So today I thought I'd share some book-to-movie adaptions where I've only watched the movie and not read the book. I figure you may get mad when you see some of the books I've not read so just remember... I love you! ;P

First up, Twilight. Believe it or not, I don't actually hate this movie. Sure, it's not my favourite movie, but I don't necessarily dislike it. Kirsten Stewart's acting may be a little... strange at times but it doesn't affect my enjoyment of the movie as much as it does others. Twilight is one of those movies where I sometimes just, unexplainably, crave it. No pun intended. ;) I do actually want to read this book though. Not because I want to trash the author or anything, I simply want to read it just because of how much fuss there is over it. I want to know whether I, personally, will love it or hate it. Simple as that.

Yes, I know, another Stephenie Meyer book. What can I say, I'm curious about her books! I rather enjoyed The Host movie. It was a breath of fresh air to me at the time I watched it. It was an alien movie that wasn't a crude comedy and I just really appreciated the uniqueness of it all. The setting really drew me in too. I also really want to read this novel (even though the size is quite daunting)! I did at one point take it out of the library a couple years back so I do regret never actually giving it a good ol' go.

My gosh, I haven't seen this movie for YEARS! Such a shame too because I adore it! It's just so unique and unlike any other movie I've seen, which makes me think how unusual the book could be. I'm always hearing good things about the book series from a few booktubers and so every time it's brought up now, I cry a little inside because I want it that much. It looks freaking fantastic!

Again, another unique movie which I kind-of adored. I can actually defend myself with this one though because when I watched the movie of this, I had no idea it was a book! Then, when I did find out, I remembered my mum having had a copy of this (with the cover above!) somewhere around the house but, when I'd asked, she'd had no idea where she'd put it. I am hopefully one day going to manage to find my own copy and get started on it because I'm desperate to!

Okay, so everyone has got to have seen The Princess Diaries, right?! It's like every pre-teen girl's fave chick-lit! ;) I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in the 'watched the movie, not read the book' department for this one! ...Imma right? *crosses fingers* This movie can easily cheer me up because it never fails to take me back to my younger years. *sighs happily* Believe it or not, though, I'm not sure if I even want to read this book. I don't know if it's too fluffy for me. I may end up reading it out of guilt. I have read and adored one of Cabot's books before though - Avalon High - so I don't know why I'm so hesitant!

I don't know what sort-of reaction I'm going to get when I tell you I actually like the Percy Jackson movie. Maybe this is because I haven't read the book but... Yeah, I like it. I'm quite the Logan Lermen fan, truthfully, but still. The movie's unique - ALL THESE MOVIES ARE UNIQUE, K?! - and action-packed, just my cup of tea! I am planning on reading the book series of this though. This is definitely one of the ones I'm embarrassed about having not read. *hides face*

Not my favourite movie but not too shabby y'know. It certainly had it's comical moments ('Don't be creepy, don't be creepy...')! Like with The Princess Diaries, I'm not actually too fussed about reading this. It doesn't look like my type of thing but, again, I may pick it up one day just so I can compare the two.

I don't have such a good excuse for not reading the book beforehand for this one. *facepalm* I watched this only a few months ago and knew, just before it started, I could easily, first and foremost, read this book. And I didn't. My curiosity got the best of me and I watched it. Would it help if I said it was really good? The cinematography was rather incredible? ... I WILL pick this one up. Probably. Maybe.

Yes. I haven't read this. *cries* The movie was beautiful, sweet, heart-warming, cute and I haven't read this book. I blame the fact that Logan Lermen and Emma Watson were in it! They were the reason I watched it in the first place! I BLAME THEM! So, yes, wasn't my fault I hadn't read this book beforehand. I'm sure I'll get on to it someday. Hopefully.

Ack! This is probably the book I want to read most out of all the above! Luckily, I do have it on my bookshelf! I just need to find time to read it. Again this was a movie I adored in my younger years. I loved the feeling of adventure and I was easily thrown into the fantastical world on screen. I'm hoping I find the same escape in the book! When I finally do get on to reading it. *scowls at school and every other distraction*

Wow. I didn't know this post was going to turn out so long. If you read it all, I applaud you. I hope you aren't *too* mad at some of the books I haven't read... I'll be getting on them soon! Most likely.

And you? Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Have you watched the movie too? How did the two compare? Are you like me and have seen the movie but not read the book? Or had you read the book then watched the movie? Comment below!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Review: The Screaming Staircase

Sunday, 20 April 2014
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Edition: Doubleday ARC/Proof
Released: 29th August 2013
Series: Lockwood & Co. #1
Pages: 440 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

I am ashamed. So deeply, deeply ashamed. This book (or should I say, proof copy of this book) came through the post to me sometime last year. It was completely unexpected, a complete surprise and I hadn't given it much thought. I hadn't heard too much about it nor did it instantly appeal to me. Last night I picked it up on a whim, more or less due to the UKYA readathon and all I can say is that I'm very glad I ended up doing so, because it was rather incredible - I adored it.

It wasn't what I was expecting. At all. I didn't know I was in for a story that would complete transport me into another world. Nor did I imagine I would fall head over heels in love with the characters. It was just such a unique, refreshing and completely unexpected gem of a book. I seriously hadn't realised how much I was craving something different until I read it. It was a real adventure that locked me in and kept me hooked.

The world. That was the thing I was probably the most surprised about. I was expecting some world-building, not the exceptionally well-developed world I got. I'm not complaining though, it's probably one of my favourites in terms of setting development. I easily got lost in the sinister London Stroud had created and didn't want to leave. The world-building is extremely admirable and definitely worthy of applause (or a good cup of tea and a sugary doughnut - whatever floats your boat).

The characters, oh my, the characters. At first I thought Lucy (our narrator) was going to be slightly pretentious and overly mature but, luckily, this didn't turn out to be the case. She ended up being a relatable teenager, someone strong who could handle herself but someone you would want to look out for anyway. Her relationship with George was entertaining and definitely lightened up some gloomy situations in the book - when they were together I couldn't help but smile. Lockwood, well, he's another story. He's sure as heck different from any other male character I've ever come across before. He's eccentric, unusual, deviously charming and maybe a little impulsive and I'm just a little bit in love with him. He's nothing like the male leads I usually fall for yet... I just couldn't help but fall for him in this book.

To conclude, The Screaming Staircase ended up being a great read and definitely one of the best UKYA books I've ever read. It was different and intriguing and I ended up adoring it. A lot. A whole lot. If anything, I would say that at some points, and these were few and rare, I questioned the solidity of the plotline and the mystery but this book ended up shaming me because I had cast it aside so quickly without giving it a chance. It really was a brilliant read and I recommend it if you're looking for something different and exciting. The world building and diverse array of characters make it one you'll be sorry you missed out on!

Huge thanks to Random House for sending me out a copy of this book!
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo
PS: I'm even more ashamed that I never realised the talented author had signed my proof and there was a letter (addressed to me, with my name and everything!) inside from Mr Lockwood himself. Not only that, but after I downloaded the Totally Random Book app and pointed the camera at the cover of the book and a photo of the author on the back, both came to life! I will now treasure these precious gifts and profusely thank the author and Random House! 

Review: The Maze Runner

Thursday, 10 April 2014
Author: James Dashner
Edition: Chicken House Paperback
Released: July 2010
Series: The Maze Runner #1
Pages: 371 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade - a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze.

Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to be there, or what's happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to find out.
I pretty much bought this book a couple days after the movie trailer was released. After watching the trailer for the first time and being blown away by it, I decided then and there that I was going to have to read The Maze Runner before the film's release. And I did. Though I didn't love it, I'm still glad I read it and can go into the movie knowing more of the backstory behind it!
First of all, let me stress how hard it is for me to get along with a male lead. I don't know why, maybe it's because I'm female and have no first-hand experience of the male brain but, incredibly, I didn't want to break Thomas in two. I actually got along with him. *gasps* This is a big deal for me - you may see me reviewing more books with male narrators now! Even though Thomas wasn't the best character, he was smart, reliable and possessed a number of qualities you'd look for in an admirable leader. I never didn't understand something he'd do - I could always see the reason behind why he was doing it and could admire him for it. There are very few characters you can point at and say they'd make a great leader, Thomas is one of them.
The actual plotline of the story wasn't as complex as I would have liked. It was slightly underwhelming. However, this made the book more of a light read - which I know a lot of people enjoy when all they've been doing is reading heavier novels. I can say though, with almost complete assurance, the ending of this book (I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!) has set up a more complex storyline for the sequel, The Scorch Trials. There were points in this book that, admittedly, I did find slow-going and, at one point, I did sit the book down and leave it there for a few days but the build up to the ending was more fast-paced and thrilling and I found myself flicking to the last page much sooner than I'd expected because I was so hooked.
To conclude, The Maze Runner is a novel I enjoyed and am glad to have read. Although it wasn't complex plot-wise and sometimes slow-going, there were redeeming qualities - the main character and the unforeseen plot twists. I'll probably pick up the sequel, The Scorch Trials, at one point or another but I'm not making it a priority. I do recommend you pick The Maze Runner up if you enjoy action/adventure stories and if you're interested in going to see the movie when it comes out!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: If you were planning on buying The Maze Runner but are now a little discouraged, go check out Sunny's glowing, five-star review HERE! :)

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Kitty Hawk

Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading.

This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.


Back Where The Entire Adventure Began

As soon as the engine began to sputter, I knew that I was in real trouble. Up until then, I had somehow managed to convince myself that there was just something wrong with the fuel gauges. After all, how could I possibly have burnt through my remaining fuel as quickly as the gauges seemed to indicate? It simply wasn't possible. But with the engine choking and gasping, clinging to life on the last fumes of aviation fuel, it was clear that when the fuel gauges read, "Empty," they weren't kidding around.

The lightning strike that took out my radio and direction-finding gear hadn't worried me all that much. (Okay, I admit it worried me a little bit.) It wasn't the first time that this had happened to me, and besides, I still had my compasses to direct me to where I was going. But I did get a little bit concerned when I found nothing but open ocean as far my eyes could see at precisely the location where I fully expected to find tiny Howland Island—and its supply of fuel for the next leg of my journey—waiting for me. The rapidly descending needles on my fuel gauges made me even more nervous as I continued to scout for the island, but only when the engine began to die did I realize that I really had a serious problem on my hands.

The mystery of the disappearing fuel.

The enigma of the missing island.

The conundrum of what do I do now?

"Exactly," the little voice inside my head said to me in one of those annoying 'I-told-you-so' kind of voices. "What do you do now?"

"First, I am going to stay calm," I replied. "And think this through."

"You'd better think fast," the little voice said, and I could almost hear it tapping on the face of a tiny wristwatch somewhere up there in my psyche. "If you want to make it to your twentieth birthday, that is.  Don't forget that you're almost out of fuel."

"Thanks a lot," I replied. "You're a big help."

Easing forward with the control wheel I pushed my trusty De Havilland Beaver into a nosedive. Residual fuel from the custom-made fuel tanks at the back of the passenger cabin dutifully followed the laws of gravity and spilled forward, accumulating at the front and allowing the fuel pumps to transfer the last remaining drops of fuel into the main forward belly tank. This maneuver breathed life back into the engine and bought me a few more precious minutes to ponder my situation.

"Mayday, mayday, mayday," I said, keying my radio transmitter as I leveled my flight path out again. "This is aircraft Charlie Foxtrot Kilo Tango Yankee, calling any ground station or vessel hearing this message, over."

I keyed the mic off and listened intently for a reply. Any reply. Please? But there was nothing. There was barely even static. My radio was definitely fried.

It was hard to believe that it would all come down to this. After the months of preparation and training. After all the adventures that I'd had, the friends I'd made, the beauty I'd experienced, the differences and similarities I'd discovered from one culture to the next and from one human being to the next. All of this in the course of my epic flight around the entire world.

Or I should say, "my epic flight almost around the entire world," in light of my current situation.

And the irony of it was absolutely incredible. Three-quarters of a century earlier the most famous female pilot of them all had disappeared over this exact same endless patch of Pacific Ocean on her own quest to circle the globe. And she had disappeared while searching for precisely the same island that was also eluding me as I scanned the horizon with increasing desperation.

"Okay," I thought to myself. "Just be cool and take this one step at a time to think the situation through." I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing, slowing it down and reining in the impulse to panic. Inside my head, I quickly and methodically replayed every flight that I'd ever flown. Every emergency I'd ever faced. Every grain of experience that I had accumulated along the long road that had led me to this very moment. Somewhere in there was a detail that was the solution to my current predicament. I was sure of it. And all I had to do was find it.

Maybe the answer to my current situation lay somewhere among the ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia? Or in the steamy jungles of east Africa? Or inside the towering pyramids of Giza? Or among the soaring minarets of Sarajevo? Or on the emerald rolling hills and cliffs of western Ireland? Or on the harsh and rocky lava fields of Iceland?

Wherever the answer was, it was going to have to materialize quickly, or another female pilot (me) would run the risk of being as well-known throughout the world as Amelia Earhart. And for exactly the same reason.

"It's been a good run at least," the little voice inside my head observed, turning oddly philosophical as the fuel supplies ran critically low. "You've had more experiences on this journey around the world than some people do in their entire lifetime."

"That's it!" I thought.

Maybe the answer to all this lies even further back in time? All the way back to the summer that had inspired me to undertake this epic journey in the first place. All the way back to where North America meets the Pacific Ocean—the islands and glaciers and whales of Alaska.

All the way back to where this entire adventure began. 

Now on to the exciting part! If this book has caught your eye, you can enter to win one kindle version of it. The giveaway will be open from 8th April until the 16th April at 00:00AM. Anyone can enter because it's an e-book copy, just make sure if you're under 14 years old, you have parents permission. Also take into account that I will have to pass on your email address to the publishers so they can send you a gift copy through Amazon. If all this is okay with you, then all you need to do is enter via Rafflecopter below! :)

Good luck!
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Something to make you think...

Monday, 7 April 2014
Okay, so a thought has just struck and, while it's fresh in my mind, I need to blog about it.

The primary role of a book blogger is to review books. We all know this, of course. It's not exactly a theory. But, if you think about it, book bloggers, though they can enhance a reading experience, can also taint it.

Once you've read a review of a book, parts of it automatically go into your subconscious. You may not realise it but, during the time you're reading that particular book, you're picking up on the little things bloggers spoke of in their reviews. Whether good or bad. Small things which you might not have picked up on otherwise. Sometimes you can be grateful for it - it may make you appreciate the novel in a different way or help you understand a particular plot twist - but, horrifyingly enough, sometimes it can affect the way people enjoy the book.

It was rather slow paced to begin with.
This character got rather irritating after a while.
I didn't get the instant attraction.

I have more or less said these things - as well as numerous other comments - in my reviews at one point or another. Does that mean that I'm responsible if, after reading my review, that person also found the start of the story slow-paced or thought the romance was too much like insta-love? Maybe. Maybe not.

We all know about the hype monster. When the blogosphere just blows up over a particular book. Everyone raving here, there and everywhere. This book's incredible. This book's AMAZING. This book's perfection! Those of us who haven't yet picked up this 'fantastic' book instantly have high expectations. More often than not, for me, personally, anyway - and I'm sure for a lot of other people as well - the book falls short. You simply expected too much from it.

Quickly flash-back to when you didn't blog or when internet wasn't as popular. You opened up a book with no expectations. Nothing. And you loved it. You loved it a lot. You loved it because you, and you alone, read it through untainted eyes. You perceived it the way you did. There was nothing niggling away in your subconscious. Sometimes I miss that feeling. Knowing you really did love it, it wasn't because someone said this or someone said that. It was all you.

I don't quite know where I'm going with this post. This isn't an indirect way of telling you I'm not reviewing anymore. I will continue to review books because I love doing it. This also isn't a dig at book bloggers - I will also continue to read other book blogger's reviews. It just strikes me as interesting that a community such as our own can truly affect readers in different ways.

What do YOU think of all this?

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Divergent Week: Final Rankings!

Sunday, 6 April 2014
So Initiation finished last night at midnight and the points for each faction were totalled up this morning. The final rankings for each faction are as follows:
The winning faction with 408 points is... Candor!

Divergent Week
Followed by Abnegation with 372 points, Amity with 268 points, Dauntless with 248 points and Erudite with 114 points!

I am so proud of all the factions and all the initiates who participated this week! On the risk of sounding cheesy, everyone is a winner in my eyes - I am humbled by the effort a bunch of you put in!

So, yes, that's Divergent Week over. I'm sad to see it go, I've had a lot of fun with it over the past seven days and I hope all you initiates have had fun too and, to my readers, I hope it's been something slightly different yet fun for you to read on this blog! :)
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Who knows, we may do something similar to this in the future! ;)

Divergent Week: Miscellaneous!

Saturday, 5 April 2014
Okay, so I got out of the cinema twenty minutes ago and I am determined to pick up some more points for my amazing faction, Dauntless.

how cool is this?

What I liked most in the movie:
  • The 'jumping off the train' scene. The cinematography of the scene where Tris and Christina jump off the train is amazing and perfect and I just love it so much.
  • The 'jumping off the building' scene. I LOVED this. It just looked so real
  • The zip line scene. It was, put simply, beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. It made me feel airborne and free, flying through the air just like Tris. The view/landscape during that scene was breath-taking too.
  • Plain and simple the movie brought to life my favourite book. 'Nuff said.
  • The pretty eye candy of Theo James - y'know, I am a female, can you blame me? ;3
Sidenote: If you'd like a more in-depth review (including what I didn't like in the movie) then tell me in a comment! I'm curious and may write up a full review once I've sorted through my thoughts!

Why I love the book, Divergent:

If you didn't know already, Divergent, is my all-time favourite book. I LOVE it so, so much. I'm actually reading it right now 'cause I always turn to it when I'm in need of comfort or in a reading slump (it's so fantastically amazing that it always gets me out of a slump)! One of the reasons I love it so, so much is the fantastic storyline. I love dystopian/action stories and the plotline in this one is so unique and perfectly paced. I just love the idea of factions, it's an amazing idea and I wish I knew where Veronica Roth gets her ideas from. I'm so thankful to that brilliant woman for writing my fave novel! Tris is also one of my favourite characters of ALL time. She is just so brave, strong and admirable and definitely my role model. I'd love to be as amazing as her. I see a lot of myself in her at times and so I never fail to empathise with her or understand where she's coming from. She's just so brilliant and I love her to pieces. I also love Will and Uriah - both are perfect side characters. Overall, I love this book with all my heart and soul and I definetly want everyone to experience its sheer awesomeness.

Specific Tasks for Dauntless:

I was brave and talked to someone new yesterday in my maths class. Though there is no way I can prove this, I can promise you I am not lying! I also, believe it or not, did something I'm scared of doing and that's going to the cinema. Yes, I went to the cinema tonight and I am super proud of myself. Though I can't give you proof that going to the cinema is actually quite a hard thing for me to do, I can give you some backstory. Basically, I have anxiety. I've been suffering from anxiety since I was about 9 but it's a long story to tell you how it came about. When I was going through a particularly bad phase of anxiety, myself and my family went to the cinema - now, I had tried to be brave and had, admittedly, kicked up a bit of a fuss before leaving the house but, because I was so young, I wouldn't have been allowed to stay home alone. So, as I was sitting in my seat watching, specifically, WALL.E - people who have anxiety can tell you that they remember little details when they're having a panic attack - when I felt a panic attack coming on. I felt extremely sick and my internal flight response was really kicking in. I had to leave because I was getting so worked up. Now I always get scared before going to the cinema because I subconsciously replay that scene in my head as well as other episodes I've had at the cinema. Even though it may sound a little unbelievable, I'm truly proud of myself for going to the cinema tonight. Especially since I was going to be so disappointed in myself if I left because I would be walking out of D. I. V. E. R. G. E. N. T. I had to leave Catching Fire last year because of my anxiety and it sure as heck was not fun, let me tell you! So I sat through it tonight and am proud. That's as much proof as I can give, I'm afraid.

Okay, so I have under five minutes left until Divergent Week is over. So I have to go now before none of these points count. Bye!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Divergent Week: My Fan Fiction!

Thursday, 3 April 2014
So... I'm being brave and posting up some fan fiction. *takes deep breath*

I'll warn you now, I have been said to have an unusual writing style so... just don't expect too much, okay?! I'm doing this because I really want to contribute and earn my faction some points... it may have been quite fun to do as well. ;3 I'll leave a linky at the bottom of this post so all you other initiates can share the links to your own Divergent fan fiction too! :D

DISCLAIMER: These characters and setting and stuffness do not belong to me, I didn't come up with any of them, the wonderful, talented Veronica Roth did! ALSO, my fan fiction does reveal a minor event in the book, so if you haven't read it and want to go into it knowing absolutely nothing, maybe don't read on. ;P

~ ~ ~

She looked so weak, so small, like if you were to brush against her, even if just for a second, she’d crumple to the ground like a scrunched up paper bag.

            I was standing to her left. Two metres or so of gravel separating us. She wasn’t remarkable looking in any way; her ordinary, blonde hair was pulled back, wispy, dull blonde strands framing her ordinary face.

            It had been surprising to a lot of people – me included - when she’d chose Dauntless. She didn’t hold herself with assurance and purpose, nor did she give off an air of defiance. She was too fragile, too bland, too Stiff. The only thing that made you question her façade were her eyes. They were curious, holding a spark of something that had not yet found its way to burn.
            Maybe she’d find what she was searching for in Dauntless. I doubted it though.
            Until she stepped forward.
            I wasn’t expecting it, neither was Peter. He barely repressed a growl. He lived for the weak, the spirits he could toy with until they finally snapped, shattering like sugar glass around his feet. I had spent most of my childhood hiding from him, acting like I was his loyal slave so he wouldn’t hurt me. He had a strange power over me, one that refused to grant an escape route. I was a coward. But Dauntless would change that. They would make me strong. They would make me worthy.
            She walked up to the edge, her movements controlled, her face devoid of any fear. The spark was already igniting.
            Peter cracked a joke, already trying to assert his dominance, his superiority. There were a few sniggers, mainly from Molly and Drew. For her sake, I hoped he’d get bored quickly, focus in on some other poor, precarious soul and grant her a reprieve.
            She unclasped her loose-fitting shirt and threw it in his direction. It hit him directly in the centre of his chest.
            His eyes locked in on her, his jaw clenching.
            Turning back around, she planted both legs beside one another and bent her knees. One heartbeat. Two heartbeats. She jumped.
            All of us ran to the edge and watched as her small frame disappeared into the black hole. I don’t know what we expected. A loud thunk as her body hit solid ground? A scream? Nothing.
            “Who’s next?”
            Christina stepped forward and, after two exasperated breaths, jumped.
            I watched as all the other initiates clambered up to the ledge, one after the other, and disappeared, then:
            “You. Al, is it? Move."
~ ~ ~


Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Linky will be coming shortly!

Divergent Week: Initiation Begins!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014
GATHER AROUND INITIATES! It's time you get your initiation tests. There will be a selection of tasks you can ALL do and a selection of tasks for initiates in each faction to do. You can do as many or as little as you like and, after you've completed a task, you simply shoot your faction leader an email (you will hopefully have heard from them by now and have access to their email address) letting them know which task you've done (with evidence that you've actually done it) and they will start keeping track of the points you receive! At the end of the week the points will be totalled for each faction and the winning faction will be announced! Without further-a-do, here are the initiation tasks!

General tasks that everyone can do!
  • Put both buttons (the general 'Divergent Week' button and your faction button) on the sidebar of your blog or, if you don't have a blog, wherever you can put them on. You can find the different buttons at the bottom of this post! - 10 points.
  • Make your social media profile pictures an image to do with Divergent (whether it be a movie still, movie poster, book cover etc) - 2 points per profile picture.
  • Write a post (which can be on your blog, tumblr, goodreads, other suitable websites etc.) about what you're looking forward to seeing most in the movie (if you haven't seen it already) or what you liked most in the movie (if you have seen it) - 20 points.
  • A 'Why I Love Divergent' - the book - post - 30 points.
  • Fan fiction - which can be a scene in an alternate point of view, a scene expanded... anything under the sun really! Just make sure if it's going to include a spoiler from the book you warn people! The minimum word count for this is 400 words and you can post this on your blog, tumblr etc. - 50 points.
Tasks for Abnegation:
  • Do some housework without being asked - 10 points.
  • Leave a note in a copy of Divergent in a library/bookshop saying why you love being in Abnegation/what you admire about Abnegation - 10 points.
  • Donate some things to a charity shop. This could be books, old toys, whatever! - 10 points.
  • Buy something from a charity shop/donate some money. We're not asking you to spend much, maybe pick up a little something! 10 points.
  • Make an Abnegation poster. This could be a quote from Abnegation, something from the manifesto... The possibilities are endless! 10 points.
Tasks for Amity:
  • Leave a note in a copy of Divergent in a library/bookshop saying why you love being in Amity/what you admire in Amity. 10 points.
  • Make an Amity poster - can be about anything Amity! 10 points.
  • Carry out a random act of kindness - the possibilities are endless with this one too! 10 points.
  • Make a little present for one of your best friends - can simply be a little card/drawing/origami bird/cupcake, again the possibilities are endless! 10 points.
  • Go on a blog commenting spree - you should comment on at least 10 blogs! 10 points.
Tasks for Candor:
  • Make a Candor poster - a quote, drawing of a Candor character... anything Candor related! 10 points.
  • Leave a note in a copy of Divergent in a library/bookshop saying why you love being in Candor/what you admire about it. 10 points.
  • Do a completely honest review of a book/movie on either your blog, Tumblr, YouTube, Goodreads etc. 10 points.
  • Recommend a book to a friend that you honestly think they’ll love. 10 points.
  • Spend a day telling absolutely no lies – not even white lies. 10 points.
 Tasks for Dauntless:
  • Do something you would usually be scared to do (this could simply be going on the bus, whatever you're a little nervous about! Please, oh please do not go jumping off trains or parachuting off a skyscraper)! 10 points.
  • Go somewhere new (again this could simply be a little café etc)! 10 points.
  • Make a Dauntless poster - again this could be on anything Dauntless related! 10 points.
  • Leave a note in a copy of Divergent in a library/bookshop saying why you love being in Dauntless/what you admire about it. 10 points.
  • Talk to someone new (this could be someone in your class, club, even a little old lady waiting to cross the street - please do not approach someone shady ;3)! 10 points.
Tasks for Erudite:
  • Play chess/scrabble/Pictionary - something that requires a little bit of thinking! 10 points.
  • Make an Erudite poster - on anything Erudite related; a quote, a character drawing etc! 10 points.
  • Leave a note in a copy of Divergent in a library/bookshop saying why you love being in Erudite/what you admire about it. 10 points.
  • Research something you’re interested in but don’t know too much about - provide a few points on the subject in your email to the faction leader/somewhere on your blog etc. 10 points. 
  • Watch a documentary and do a little review on it - on your blog, tumblr... whatever floats your boat! 10 points. 
PLEASE PROVIDE EVIDENCE WHERE YOU CAN - THROUGH A PHOTO, A LINK ETC. We do still want this to be relaxed and fun so we won't get on your back if you can't - we trust that you won't cheat. ;P Remember this whole week is just for fun anyway! :D ALSO, faction leaders CAN take part in the tasks and win points for their faction. Disclaimer: myself and all the other faction leaders have not prepared any of the posts that could win us points already - we're not cheats! ;P

The cut off date to complete tasks is Saturday the 5th at midnight.

Here is the general 'Divergent Week' button as well as all the buttons for the different factions you can put up on your blog for points! :D

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Good luck! I hope you all survive Initiation! ;D