Divergent by Veronica Roth

13335037Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Synopsis:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My Thoughts:

I’m actually halfway through the second book now and thought I better stop and write up something about the first, but I’m still at a loss as what to. I flew through Divergent then immediately went out and watched the movie, and that totally screwed with my head, I think. They changed a fair bit in the movie, but I think I would have enjoyed it if I hadn’t just read the book as I kept thinking to myself – It didn’t happen like that etc.

Anyway back to the book; so I read Divergent in two days, it would have been One if I hadn’t had to get some sleep to go to work the next day – So that shows what a gripping book it was. It’s quite easy to read and flows really fast. I know it’s been compared to the Hunger Games a lot, but I don’t think that comparison does it justice. So even if you weren’t keen on the hunger games don’t knock this one back as just another dystopian YA. We get a strong female lead, Friendship, Love, evil bad guys to hate on and standing up for what’s right all rolled up in this crazy fast engrossing story.

These Days

Today is Photo Day at My son’s Day-Care center so I’ve dressed him up all spiffy in an adorable and highly appropriate yellow Little Monster t-shirt. Yes it will be interesting to see how dirty it is by the time they take his photo – I’ll let you know.

Riley’s newest obsession is shoes. If you leave a pair out he will slip his teeny tiny feet inside them and try to walk around, it is quite amusing to watch. He has also discovered throwing tantrums. The past two weeks I’ve gotten a tantrum every time I’ve tried to drop him off at Day-care, a tantrum every time I’ve taken something off him he isn’t supposed to play with (like his father’s work computer), tantrums when he wants to run off down the street and isn’t aloud, tantrums here tantrums there. Picture this; after a day a work you are having a glass of wine, while your toddler is trying to swipe your glass off of the table, you tell him No and hold the glass up in the air, he proceeds to throw himself on the ground and scream like a banshee – yeah I pretend he’s not there and finish my glass, her usually gives up after a while. I give him cuddles at Day-care and ignore the tantrums the rest of the time. I don’t know whether or not it’s the “right” way to handle it, but really I don’t care.

We’ve only got a few boxes left to unpack and we’ll be settled into our new home. You know the kind of boxes I mean, the ones where you stuff all the random stuff you don’t want to get rid of but have no place for – yeah four boxes of the left overs. I can’t bring myself to go through them so they are just sitting in the front room, I’m hoping if I leave them there long enough they will magically sort themselves out.

When we first moved in I planted a vertical herb garden in the backyard, shortly after our dog attacked and ate most of the said herb garden, so it has now been moved out the front to hide from her along with my Yakka’s and Native flowers.

In the rental property we lived in before we bought our house we never had a land line phone, just our mobiles (and mobile internet) but as we are now living in our own place we decided to get a land line Phone (mainly so we could get fast and reliable internet). I’ve only given the land line number to my mother as we don’t really intend on using it as a phone BUT the phone rings regularly – Dreaded Telemarketers.  I don’t answer our new phone.

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan

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Synopsis:

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

 My Thoughts:

The seven demigods of the prophecy Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Leo, Piper, Hazel, and Frank are going on their final adventure to defeat Gaea, while Nico, Reyna and Coach Hedge attempt to bring the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood  – Ok, awesome high action and high-jinx to come – Right?

What I was hoping to get out of this final instalment, keeping in mind I’ve invested ten books worth of emotion into this world of Riordan’s:

  • More of Reyna.
  • Nico coming out.
  • Percy being awesome and he and Annabeth living happily ever after.
  • Leo recusing Calypso.
  • An Epic finale.
  • Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter staying separate, but forming a truce and maybe even hinting at inter camp events later on.

The Blood of Olympus is the fifth and final book in The Heroes of Olympus series and the Tenth book if we look at it as one massive Percy Jackson Demigod Olympus saga, Which I Do.

The Blood of Olympus is fast paced and quick to get into the action. The last instalment definitely doesn’t disappoint on action and suspense. It has all the Riordan elements and style I have come to love, even if the Percy awesomeness is a little light (more on that later). We get monster battling and butt kicking, parental god drama, sibling rivalry, bromances and sister hoods forming.

In the five Percy Jackson and the Olympians books Percy was the viewpoint character, The Heroes of Olympus books swap chapter by chapter between the seven demigods of the prophecy. In Blood of Olympus the chapters are from the perspectives of Jason, Piper, Leo, Reyna and Nico, making this book the first time in the series that someone other than one of the seven demigods of the prophecy are the viewpoint character.

So whoop whoop we got plenty of Reyna as she was a viewpoint character – it was awesome I loved being in Reyna a Nico’s heads.

BUT I really missed Percy’s voice. It began with him and I wanted it to end with him. I was totally fine with another demigod saving the day (I love the others too), but I wanted to hear it or rather read it from Percy – major let down.

I was getting quite agitated at one stage when it felt like the book was turning into a bag-out-Percy-a-thon. I felt that maybe a few of Piper or Jason’s chapters could have been given to Percy and it would have made me love the book 100% – Like there was a really sweet scene between Percy and Annabeth, but it was from the perspective of Piper – Seriously, give me some insite into that Seaweed Brain.

Nico finds his place in the end and intends to stay on at Camp Half-Blood. He even opens up and tells Percy about the crush he had harboured for years. I was really nice to see Nico finally at peace with himself.

Leo, that adorable lil Latino and Festus his super-awesome-mechanical-bronze-save-the-day-dragon, Yes! Festus is back! And together they kick dirt mother butt (with help from Piper and Jason) and rescue Calypso from her island prison. Gods Yeah Leo!!!!

In the end a friendship is formed between Camp Half-blood and Camp Jupiter, where weekend visits and inter camp exchanges take place and they band together in times of need etc. So it’s a queasy-cheesy-happily-ever-after that all the demigods deserve.

It leaves me imagining old Percy and Annabeth in New Rome with grandkids running amuck as Percy stirs them up.

OR Leo and Calypso, exploring the world before returning to camp half-blood year’s later to accidently (and to everyone’s glee) gate crash Piper and Jason’s wedding.

4.5 stars because Leo is so Awesome, but it lost the 0.5 because there wasn’t enough Percy.

Jump Girl by Leigh Hutton

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Book two of The Go Girls Chronicles is coming November 22nd, 2014!

JUMP GIRL is set in the thrilling and glamorous scene of international show jumping and tells the gripping story of foster teenager, Ebony Scott Harris, and her struggle to prove the truth about her adoptive mother’s death, save her horses and jump for gold at the World Equestrian Games.

It’s an exciting blockbuster story for readers of all ages (10+) craving action, mystery, global travel, romance and friendship (both human and equine), including some of your favourite characters from REV GIRL . . .

My thoughts:

Jump Girl the second instalment of the GO Girl Chronicles gives as a look into the fierce yet glamorous world that is Show Jumping with a backdrop of some of Canada’s most beautiful terrain, as well as; Love & Romance, Action & Adventure, Murder & Mystery, Redemption & Self Discovery, all woven together beautifully in this fast paced coming of age novel.

I have been lucky enough to read Jump Girl before its release and let me say it is brilliant. Awesome job Leigh. It made me yearn to have a Monster or Gallant of my own. I immediately fell for Ebony. Her life felt so real and I was drawn into it heart first. I could not put the book down. I practically read it in one sitting.  I was so pleased to see Dallas Cash again (Dallas was a major part of Clover’s journey in the first Go Girls book Rev Girl) It was heart-warming to see him turning into the man I always knew he could be.

I cannot really say much more than that without giving too much away. You should head on over to Goodreads and add Jump Girl or to Leigh’s website and pre-order yourself a copy you won’t be sorry (details below).

go girl

The Go Girls Chronicles

An exciting new blockbuster series for the reader craving action, adventure and romance, these empowering coming of age novels will entertain, inspire and tug at the heartstrings. Stories are set among the worlds of horse show jumping, motocross, surfing, racing cars, snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX, rodeo riding and more . . .

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REV GIRL, OUT NOW!

JUMP GIRL, November 22nd (in time for Christmas) 2014!

REV GIRL and the Land of Oz (REV GIRL sequel), coming mid-2015!

SURF GIRL, coming 2016!

WEBSITE: www.leighhuttonbooks.com

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/LeighHutton

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/revgirlbook & https://www.facebook.com/jumpgirlbook

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/26534505-leigh-hutton

Potions, Pills and Nightmare Chills OH MY!

  • I’ve been trying so hard to go pain killer free, but my body continues to argue with me about it. Pain radiates from my lower back into the base of my skull and I can’t handle it anymore. I’ve got an appointment with a Physio, so we’ll see what they say. I figured I should try and get back into yoga to stretch and strengthen my back. I had been going really well, off my Antidepressants and off painkillers, using only natural remedies. But earlier his week the darkness returned with the loss of our beloved Buster and set me back a bit. Interestingly enough the return of the darkness has coincided with my back flaring up again – hmmm linked much!

    On Monday I had a really bad day; I felt absolutely useless, was in physical pain and spent most of the day crying or screaming at my husband. I had a horrible nightmare about my son dying the night before and it just shut me down. I had never felt true fear until I became a mother! My f*#ked up brain always takes me ‘there’, when I get the slightest bit down and then I feel the need to smother Riley with kisses. But I love my brain anyway; I wouldn’t be me without it.

    I have been keeping up my essential oil routine of; Young Living “Joy” Essential Oil blend rubbed on my wrists in the morning and Young Living “Peace & Calming” Essential Oil blend rubbed on my writs at bed time along with Lavender on my temples and Progressence Phyto Plus on my feet.

    I’ve also been taking quality supplements; a Multi Vitamin, Zinc, B2 in the morning and Magnesium at night before bed. I’ve have been sleeping better than I can ever remember. I’ve felt more alert and clear headed than I ever did on antidepressants. It’s only been this week that things have taken a turn, but I’m positive I can get on track, fix the physical issues and continue on with my journey to good overall health.

    I recently read that Yoga means “Union” and as we all know it is supposed to bring the body, mind and spirit back into alignment. Sounds good huh? I’d love to get my shit together and be one with myself. I am definitely getting there; I’m much closer to feeling whole than I was a year and half ago, when I was at my worst. A Yoga Centre opened up a little while ago in the old library of my town. I was thinking it was a sign that I should get back into yoga (as well as my back being a little bitch). I haven’t been to a class or done any poses since before I was pregnant with Riley.

    So back to the Yoga Union thing: Well, I’ve always been down with My Spirit, I love that girl. My Mind and I have had a rough relationship. It took me 27 years to love her, she caused my all sorts of pain until I could except and love her for who she is. We’ve been sweet for the past six months and it’s been really nice. But My Body, that bitch is causing me all sorts of pain at the moment. From about the age of eight I’ve hated her. Having my son forced me to appreciate and respect her. I am thankful for and love the things she’s given me, but not her – but I am working on that.

    I have come to truly love the ‘me’ within and I am looking forward to the day I can love the outside ‘me’ and we can all salute the sun together.

Bittersweet

We got the keys to our own real home last Wednesday and last Thursday I made my first trip to Bunnings as a homeowner. I picked up the few shower/plumbing items I needed and then made the mistake of walking past the tantalising display of light fittings and lamps on my way out. I was struggling. There was a beautiful $130 floor lamp I wanted, but did not need. I could not bring myself to walk away from the lamp. I bargained with myself that if I didn’t buy the lamp I could go and get a little plant instead. I managed to talk myself around and only left with the necessaries and a plant, and a pot for the plant and a little bag of potting mix. I’ve been back to Bunnings five times since then and I am now no longer allowed to go to a homemaker centre/ garden centre/ hardware store by myself.

We made the big move on the Saturday and had some wonderful friends and family help us get it all carted out by early afternoon.

Later on Saturday some ‘not funny at the time’ things happened. I was driving Shane’s Landcruiser from our ex-rental to our home, I jumped on the brakes like I would in my Lancer and nearly shit myself as it felt like the 4wd wasn’t going to stop (it did, eventually) – then I was driving Shane’s cousins Landcruiser and it broke down on me. Damn thing. So that then left me to drive the hire truck, ahhhhh, felt like I was driving a bus, but least it had good brakes and didn’t break down.

I lost my Buster boy on Monday. I haven’t told anyone other than my mum and grandmother until now and I’m tearing up as I write this. We had to put him down.

I’m so angry.

He was a fifteen-year-old wolfhound-X and a total sook. He had gotten crook in June and been on medication since. The poor boy was in constant pain. We had no choice, he was suffering. I will never forget him and I hurts that Riley didn’t get to have more time with him. I have cried and cried as a child wanting her best friend back. I’m so angry that there was nothing I could do. I feel I’ve let him down and I do not want to let him go. Buster didn’t even get to see our house.

Ellie our (four-year-old wolfhound-X) has been staying at my mother in-laws since the move, as we have had to put up a fence to keep her and Riley in. I cannot wait to get Ellie back so I can snuggle her endlessly and embrace the love and joy that she radiates. Dogs can bring so much light and love into our lives; it is just not fair that they don’t live as long as us.

So I’ve gotten Riley’s bedroom and bathroom set up, the rest of the House is still full of boxes, but the fence is up and Ellie is coming home tomorrow.