Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant 1

TITLE: Allegiant
AUTHOR: Veronica Roth

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4)

 

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that captivated millions of readers and film fans in Divergent and Insurgent. This paperback edition includes bonus content by Veronica Roth!

One choice will define you. What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

Told from a riveting dual perspective, this third installment in the series follows Tris and Tobias as they battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and their selves—while facing impossible choices of courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Buy it HERE on Amazon!

THE CRITICAL POINTS

WRITING: I have enjoyed Veronica Roth’s writing style with this series, however it changed in book 3. Books one and two were told from Tris’ point of view, which I LOVED. Book 3 however, jumps back and forth between Tris and Four… it was jarring and seemed out-of-place for the series.

STORY: I love the idea of this story and the trilogy is very good, especially books one and two. However, book three seemed repetitive, not with the other books but with itself. Jumping back and forth from Tris’ perspective and Four’s perspective led to reading the same information multiple times with a slight change in thought. It felt like Roth was pushing us toward the end of the story instead of letting us just come along for the ride.

The ending was a giveaway, I guessed it early and wasn’t to pleased. Not only because I like a good surprise, but because it seemed like the predictable choice.

I read each of the first two books in two or three sittings, but book three seemed to drag. It took me much longer, almost a full week, to read because I just didn’t feel as invested in the story. I love a good story line that pulls me into the action, character development, and relationships, but after a while of listening to Tris and Four go head to head with their back and forth love you – don’t trust you – love you – don’t trust you… I found myself disconnecting.

The last thing I will say is this… Not every story has a happy ending, and I’m ok with that, but this one builds you up to the hope and real possibility of a happy ending, just to let you down in the end.

Still, it is a good story and a must-read trilogy! If you’ve read it, I’d love to know your thoughts, so comment below and tell me what you thought of Allegiant or the whole Divergent series.

Next week, I’ll be reviewing Four, book 4 in the Divergent series.

APPEARANCE: The cover is a swirl of water… a wave. The symbolism is there… in one of Tris’ fears, but could be easily lost in the content of the book. Although appealing, I don’t know that the cover of this one connects to the story as well as the covers on books one and two.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“I wonder if fears ever really go away, or if they just lose their power over us.”

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I must have now.”

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

NOT YET RECORDED

Check out the official movie trailers here:

https://youtu.be/0G0C-vMHcQY
https://youtu.be/2CY5TQ0K1Ls
https://youtu.be/_fLg8PsLWQ0

allegiant 2

 

Movie Information:
After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four beyond the wall that encircles Chicago, to finally discover the shocking truth of the world around them.

Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Noah Oppenheim, Adam Cooper, and Bill Collage (screenplay) / Veronica Roth (novel)
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels

Author Interview – Brenton Porter

I’d like you to meet Brenton Porter, the 5th and final teen author included in the A Door To Our Minds anthology.

Brenton

 

What name do you write under and is it a pen name? Brenton Porter is my real name and what I write under

How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing about 2 years now

What is the name of your most recent story? It is called The Trials of Gebhuza

 

 

Trials of G.

How would you sum up The Trials of Gebhuza? Amerellius and Amy are just two ordinary citizens serving the empire and living a normal life. That all changes when the emperor comes to town. After a failed attempt to take the emperor’s life, the Gebhuza, an elite force, is tasked with protecting the emperor and his empire from any and all threats. The time to put that force to use comes sooner than expected when trouble brews within the kingdom’s borders. Can Amerellius and Amy lead the Gebhuza and save the kingdom from utter desolation or will it fall in flames?

 

 

Is The Trials of Gebhuza part of a series or anthology? It is, it is one of the five stories in an anthology called The Door To Our Minds. The other stories are The Spark by Lilly Brown, The Peculiar Case of Matthias Chase by Bethany Martin, Years in a Blink by Bearcina, and There is Love in War by Jordan E. Lasater.

ADoor-Final - FRONT COVER

Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your story? Just whatever mood I was in is what I listened to

How did you come up with the title for your story? The title was just a random thought that sounded cool to me

As a reader, do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? I prefer either paperback or hardback because it’s physically there

What is your favorite film based on a book? The Chronicles of Narnia series would probably be my favorite book movies

What is your favorite book genre at the moment? Fantasy is my favorite generally

What authors inspire you? Rick Riordan and J.R.R. Tolkien inspire me

If you are interested in reading The Trials of Gebhuza and purchasing your own copy of a Door to Our Minds, fill out the information form below and I’ll be sure to email you more information as soon as the anthology is released.

My 2 Cents… Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting

Movie Title: Tuck Everlasting
Director: Jay Russell
Screenplay Writer(s): Jeffrey Lieber
Book Title: Tuck Everlasting
Book By: Natalie Babbitt
Stars: Alexis Bledel, Jonathan Jackson, William Hurt, and Sissy Spacek

 

 

MOVIE RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Acting: ★★★
Overall: ★★★ (3.66)

Blurb:
A young woman meets and falls in love with a young man who is part of a family of immortals.

Storyline:
Winnie Foster has everything a young woman could desire. She comes from a well-bred, wealthy, and respected family. She dresses in the finest clothes and is afforded every opportunity to refine herself. But Winnie finds that the heat of summer is not nearly as stifling as her gilded cage. She longs for freedom, for adventure. She escapes one morning to explore the woods surrounding her family’s home, and encounters the Tucks, a close-knit family with a mysterious past that begs the question: If you could live forever, would you? And just when Winnie believes she has answered that question for herself, a mysterious man looking to profit from the source of the Tuck’s immortality that will have her question her life, her desires, and what is the right thing to do. And in the end, learns, that death is not what is to be feared, but an unlived life. Written by Alyssa B.

BookBook Blurb:
The classic novel about a young girl who stumbles upon a family’s stunning secret
What if you could live forever?
Is eternal life a blessing or a curse? That is what young Winnie Foster must decide when she discovers a spring on her family’s property whose waters grant immortality. Members of the Tuck family, having drunk from the spring, tell Winnie of their experiences watching life go by and never growing older.
But then Winnie must decide whether or not to keep the Tucks’ secret—and whether or not to join them on their never-ending journey.

By your copy of Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt HERE!

My 2 Cents:
This wasn’t a movie I would have selected, however my son read the book at school and LOVED IT! He had just been telling me about it the day before it popped up as a rental on my TV. When he saw it, he was so excited… which made me excited too.

The movie wasn’t great… Acting was sub par, the writing was decent, but the story was intriguing. I do believe that ten-year old me would have loved this story (book and movie) just as much as my son did. So, if you have a little one, grab the book and/or movie and enjoy some quick entertainment.

You can watch the official trailers here:
https://youtu.be/rXbbAbDvifw

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

insurgent 1

TITLE: Insurgent
AUTHOR: Veronica Roth

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4.5)

 

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
One choice can destroy you. Veronica Roth’s second #1 New York Times bestseller continues the dystopian thrill ride that began in Divergent.

A hit with both teen and adult readers, Insurgent is the action-packed, emotional adventure that inspired the major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and Octavia Spencer.

The paperback edition includes special bonus content by Veronica Roth.

As war surges in the factions of dystopian Chicago all around her, Tris attempts to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Buy it HERE on Amazon! 
THE CRITICAL POINTS

WRITING: Veronica Roth is a true YA author, and one I can stamp as mom approved. Insurgent, like Divergent has no swearing or sexual content. I think the most heated it got was a kiss or two between Tris and her boyfriend. There is a LOT of fighting and action, but nothing overtly ‘adult’ to the point where young readers couldn’t enjoy it. If this series is within their reading level, I say by all 4 books and watch them dive into the world Roth created!

STORY: I can’t say enough how much I am enjoying this series. It is a teenage coming-of-age adventure with a post-apocalyptic dystopian twist. The characters get more and more intriguing with each chapter and the dystopian world that Roth has created is scary and exciting all at once.

In the first book we watched Beatrice and the others be ‘tested’ to see which of the factions they best fit into; Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Candor, or Amity. We watch as families are torn apart and lives are changed forever. Then, in Insurgent, we get to see how Beatrice, now known as Tris, blends with her newly claimed family, how her life changes, and how her views on the world change.

I don’t have to have a love story to enjoy a book, but I will say that the building relationship between Tris and Tobias (Four) was one I really enjoyed.

I could give you more… but, I don’t want to. I want you to read the story for yourself and tell me what you think! If you’ve already read it, please comment below and tell me what you thought. Next week, I’ll be talking about Allegiant – book 3 in the Divergent series.

APPEARANCE: I LOVE this cover! The tree, spinning in the wind, reminds me of the tree of life. Seeing as Tris is coming into herself, discovering who she is and what she believes in throughout this book; the symbolism of the tree of life is perfect.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“I am his, and he is mine, and it has been that way all along.”

“People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.”

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

NOT YET RECORDED

Check out the official movie trailers here:

https://youtu.be/suZcGoRLXkU
https://youtu.be/UtgPdoxU-SY

Movie Information:
Insurgent 2

 

Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side.

Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, and Mark Bomback (screenplay) / Veronica Roth (novel)
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Theo James

NANOWRIMO 2018 UPDATE

Nov. 1 2018 NANOWRIMO

On November 1st, I started my NANOWRIMO novel! It’s a big deal, all around the world, as people commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in just one month. Do they all succeed? NO, but just putting yourself out there to try is something to be proud of. Do I think I’ll finish my novel? I’m not sure, but I’m working hard to do it. If I don’t get there, at least I know I’ve got a good solid foundation to work with to complete the draft by the end of the year… but, I think it will be done in November. Cross your fingers for me. 

Today is Thursday, November 22nd and here is my NANOWRIMO 2018 Update:

Let me introduce, my 2018 NANOWRIMO Novel: The Doctor (It’s a working title and WILL BE CHANGED!)

Synopsis: Austin discovered at the young age of ten that fairies aren’t exactly what Disney made them out to be and that blood tastes a lot like honey. Now, as an adult, he struggles to balance his public life with the one he’s so desperate to keep hidden. With the discovery of a body he thought was long forgotten, will he be able to keep his secret or will his world come undone?

I love how NANOWRIMO allows you to easily track your word count goals. Here is my chart as of Tuesday, November 20th:

nanowrimo 1

Yeah, I was a little behind. On the 20th, I should have had 33,340 words to be on track but my word count was only 31,619. 😦 Have no fear, I still think I can make the goal of 50,000 by November 30th. I’m just hoping the NANOWRIMO word counter works the same as my Microsoft Word program. I’ve heard the count can be off… not in a good way. 

Check out all the fun badges I’ve received so far:

nanowrimo 2

I can’t wait to get my 40,000 word badge… knowing that there are only 10,000 words left to write will make those last few days go a lot faster. I think! 

OK, I’ve been writing, have you? Comment below and share your title and synopsis, or just tell me your word count and if you’re on track. It takes a comunity, and a great support group, to get through an intense month of writing. I hope you have a support system cheering you on like I do!

Author Interview – Jordan E. Lasater

Jordan BookWhat name do you write under and is it a pen name?
I write under Jordan E. Lasater, it isn’t a pen name.

What or who inspired you to start writing?
It was less of an inspiration and more that author Amanda Porter forced me while in a teen writing group she was leading.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for four years now.

What is the name of your most recent story and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
The name of my most recent story is There is Love in War. I’d sum it up by saying, Gods and Goddesses turn into werewolves and griffons and fight for love against each other.

Is the above story part of a series or anthology?
It is not part of a series but it is included in the anthology a Door to Our Minds with four other short stories. A Door to our Minds is set to be published later this month or early December 2018.

ADoor-Final - FRONT COVERHow did you come up with the cover design idea/concept?
I just used what my mind thought of and Amanda Orneck, the cover artist, made it way better.

Love in War - Jordan LasaterDid you listen to any particular songs while writing your story?
I listened to a lot of Taylor Swift and also some classical music.

How did you come up with the title for your story?
I was acting stupid with my friend, Bethany, and it just came to me.

As a reader, do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?
I prefer hardcover.

Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Only one, The Shadow and it was only because of editing.

Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Oh yes!

What is your favorite film based on a book?
The Outsiders

What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
Fantasy/Romance

What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
Evermore! I read Everless and Fell In Love! Shout out to Sara Holland, I need it!

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I’m reading some random werewolf Wattpad book right now.

If you could invite any authors (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite?
J.K. Rowling and Jane Austen

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Shut up and write what you want, you can always fix the messes later.

What authors inspire you?
All of them! It is really inspiring to me, for someone to write a book and have it published for the whole world to see. It is very vulnerable and I appreciate it so much because I love books.

If you are interested in reading There is Love in War and purchasing your own copy of a Door to Our Minds, fill out the information form below and I’ll be sure to email you more information as soon as the anthology is released.

My 2 Cents… Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Movie Title: Leave No Trace
Director: Debra Granik
Screenplay Writer(s): Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini
Book Title: My Abandonment
Book By: Peter Rock
Stars: Thomasin McKenzie and Ben Foster

 

 

MY MOVIE RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Acting: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★ (5)

Blurb:
A father and his thirteen year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake derails their lives forever.

Storyline:
Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland. The film is directed by Debra Granik from a script adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini. Written by Bleecker Street.

Synopsis:
Will is a veteran with PTSD. Homeless by choice and withdrawn from society, his life is both comforted and complicated by the fact that he is raising his daughter as a single dad. When the curtain goes up we find them living in the woods near Portland, Oregon. His daughter, Tom, is about 14 and doesn’t remember her mom. They tend a small garden, cook mushrooms, and keep their canvas shelter patched against leaks. Once a month they trek into Portland to shop for necessaries with Will’s disability check. Will teaches her all the survival skills he knows, including how to bug out and hide so as not to get “burned” by the park rangers for squatting on public lands. Nevertheless Tom is seen one day and they soon get burned and turned over to Social Services. We cringe with Will as he sits down to take the intake exam, 435 questions to assess his psychological state. He tries but stops answering when the computer-voiced questions get too close. On the other hand Tom does well as the lady social worker soon discovers that she not only reads better than most kids her age but that Will has been a loving and responsible parent in spite of the circumstances. The social workers reunite them and place them in a vacant house where Will is expected to work at the local Christmas Tree farm. We smile as he is instructed on how to prune a young pine to a perfect point on top to meet the expectations of California customers. Meanwhile Tom meets an older boy who is framing his own tiny house. She takes a liking to his pet rabbit as he describes the floor plan of his trailer-sized home. He invites her to the local 4H club where she learns some rabbit handling skills. Whether Tom feels any attraction to this nice young man is totally left up to our imagination. (Happily there are no sexual encounters anywhere in this film apart from the concern of the various strangers they meet as to Will’s intentions toward Tom.) Tom likes it in their new home but Will is restless. He says that this is not really our house, our food, our furnishings, much less our life. You have to cooperate, he explains, like showing up at church, to keep on their good side. One day he tells Tom to pack only the stuff she needs and they make a break for it, eventually hitching a ride with a trucker who drops them off at a logging road up in Washington State. They spend a freezing night covered in branches and find a vacant cabin the next morning, where they break in and help themselves to some canned food. Will leaves Tom in the cabin while he heads downhill to find a store to get more groceries, but he never makes it. The next morning Tom finds him injured and unconscious by a stream. She gets help from a family that is camping nearby where a former Army medic nurses Will back to health. The family provides them with a trailer to live in for the time being in their little settlement of old, run down RVs. Tom likes this new found community of fellow misfits and refugees from civilization and learns some beekeeping skills from the wife of the medic who tended Will’s foot . Tom helps her fill a rucksack with supplies for someone who lives alone in the hills as a hermit. Periodically the woman hangs the rucksack from a tree and comes back later to retrieve the empty bag. Will is determined to leave this little community as soon as his foot heals. When the day finally comes and Tom finds him packing, she confronts him with the realization that whatever is wrong with him is not wrong with her and that she no longer wants to keep on picking up stakes and obediently following him to the next camp. Will realizes the truth of what she says, but knows that for himself things will never change. They part ways. We know that Tom will be all right but feel sorry that Will, a prisoner of his tortured memories, chooses a hermit’s existence. The curtain comes down as Tom hangs a rucksack from the tree one day, presumably for the hermit father she will always love.

BookBook Blurb:
NOW A MAJOR FILM, LEAVE NO TRACE, DIRECTED BY DEBRA GRANIK AND STARRING BEN FOSTER AND THOMASIN HARCOURT MCKENZIE

“Poignant . . . My Abandonment lingers in the mind, leaving you as haunted as its mesmerizing characters.”—New York Post

“This is probably the recent novel I recommend most… [a] short, disciplined, unsettling book.”—Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life and The People in the Trees, for GQ

A thirteen-year-old girl and her father live in Forest Park, an enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. They inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water’s edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts. Once a week they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake allows a backcountry jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight.
Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of its young narrator, Caroline, My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.

“Original, unusual, and addictive.”—Oregonian

“[A] beautiful, strange novel . . . Fascinating and moving, it tells with great tenderness how human love goes wrong.”—Ursula K. Le Guin

By your copy of My Abandonment by Peter Rock HERE

My 2 Cents:
WOW… JUST WOW!

I haven’t read the book – YET, but I plan to. This movie popped up as a rental and looked interesting. I didn’t know it was based on a book, or did I know that the book was based loosely on actual events.

I can’t tell you enough that the writing was perfect, the story was heartbreaking, and the acting was beautiful. New comer Thomasin McKenzie is sure to be scooped up by every studio after this movie.

If you haven’t seen it yet, rent Leave No Trace. Just make sure you have tissues on hand because it is full of feels!!!

You can watch the official trailers here:
https://youtu.be/_07ktacEGo8