dystopian

Identity Crisis!

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Formally:  Kay_Reads

So as you can clearly tell, I’m having a sort of “identity crisis..”  When I originally started this blog, I was so eager to write my book reviews that I just picked the most uncreative name I could think of.  I was never a fan of “Kay_Reads,” it didn’t speak to me, it didn’t stand out… it was just something to use for the time being.  I read everywhere that changing your identity was a bad idea, blah blah blah.  But the only thing I had to change with every platform I was using were the user names!  I didn’t lose any of my wonderful followers, I didn’t have to ask anyone to ‘like’ this one, follow this new page, and the best part of all, I didn’t have to spend several hours customizing and reposting everything 😀

So I apologize for any confusion, but the new name is here and it is here to stay!

So with that, I re-welcome you to the not-so-new:

TheNerdyBookmark

Thank you for your understanding & Happy Reading!

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Divergent Series Wrap Up

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Series Description:

Divergent: One choice can transform you. This debut is a gripping dystopian tale of electrifying choices, powerful consequences, unexpected romance, and a deeply flawed “perfect society.”

Insurgent: One choice can destroy you. This story continues the dystopian thrill ride. As war surges in the factions 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.

Allegiant: The explosive conclusion to the Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers.

Four: A Divergent Collection: A companion volume to the Divergent series, told from the perspective of Tobias. The four pieces included—”The Transfer,” “The Initiate,” “The Son,” and “The Traitor”—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers a fascinating glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the Divergent trilogy.

My Rating: 5/5

Some might argue that Four: A Divergent Collection should not be included in the series. Do you need to read it? Absolutely not. But if you’re a fan of Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant than I must urge you to grab this companion novel. To me, it IS apart of the series – it gives you insight on some scenes throughout the trilogy that will may you go, “ahhh – that’s why he did that!”

This series is a series that will stay on my bookshelf probably forever. If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner series, there’s no doubt in my mind that you won’t enjoy what Veronica Roth has to offer. And it’s set in Chicago gaiz, greatest city everrr 😛 (Yes, I’m biased). You will be taken on an emotional roller coaster, you will experience heart pounding action, you get romance, you get breathtaking scenery. Everything you could want in a YA/Dystopian novel, you get that and more. I personally hope we get to read more of Veronica Roth in the future :] Thank you for taking me on an incredible adventure, Mrs. Roth!

Here are my links to each separate review:

Thanks for reading! :]

2015 October Wrap Up

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Total Books = 7
Average Rating = 4

Overall, a great month for reading! 😀

1.) City of Words by Steven J. Carroll – 3.5/5
2.) Allegiant by Veronica Roth – 5/5
3.) Four by Veronica Roth – 4/5
4.) The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin – 4/5
5.) Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – 5/5
6.) Breed by Chase Novak – 3/5
7.) Far Far Away by Tom McNeal – 3.5/5

How many books did you get through this colorful month?

2015 October Bookhaul

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Welcome to my October 2015 Bookhaul! Wooo! I think I have to put on the brakes after this one though cause in the last 2 months I’ve acquired 52 books that I gotta get through… eash. Plus with Thanksgiving around the corner (which my husband and I host for our military family) and then Christmasssss, oye!

On to the books! I’ll have a list below of each book pictured, where I got them, paperback or hardcover, special editions and how much my total purchase at each place was! If you have any more questions – or comments – about this months haul, please feel free to leave/ask them below 😀 Happy reading!

Total Books: 24
Total Amount Spent: $72

Barnes & Noble – $14
1.) The Host by Stephenie Meyer; paperback
2.) Fiend by Peter Stenson; hardcover
3.) Beautiful Chaos, Bk. 3 (Caster Chronicles/Beautiful Creatures Series) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl; paperback

The Book Exchange$22
1.) The Sea of Monsters, Bk. 2 (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan; paperback
2.) Reckless, Bk. 1 (Mirrorworld) by Cornelia Funke; hardcover
3.) Redwall, Bk. 1 (Redwall) by Brian Jacques; paperback
4.) The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling; hardcover
5.) Deep Blue Bk. 1 (Waterfire Saga) by Jennifer Donnelly; hardcover
6.) Asylum, Bk. 1 (Asylum) by Madeleine Roux; paperback

Half Price Book Store$7
1.) The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates; paperback
2.) Stoneheart, Bk. 1 (Stoneheart Trilogy) by Charlie Fletcher; paperback
3.) The Awakening, Bk. 2 (Darkest Powers) by Kelley Armstrong; hardcover
4.) The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Bk. 3.5 (Twilight) by Stephenie Meyer; hardcover

BookOutlet$30
1.) Dreamspinner, Bk. 7 (Nine Kingdoms) by Lynn Kurland; paperback
2.) House of Secrets, Bk. 1 (House of Secrets) by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini; hardcover
3.) Battle of the Beasts, Bk. 2 (House of Secrets) by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini; hardcover
4.) Eve & Adam, Bk. 1 (Eve & Adam) by Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate; paperback
5.) The Calling, Bk. 1 (Endgame) by James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton; hardcover
6.) Storybound, Bk. 1 (Storybound) by Marissa Burt; paperback
7.) Dream A Little Dream, Bk. 1 (The Silver Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier; hardcover
8.) Crank, Bk. 1 (Crank) by Ellen Hopkins, paperback
9.) Glass, Bk. 2 (Crank) by Ellen Hopkins, paperback
10.) Quintessence by David Walton; paperback

Giveaway Books FREE
1.) Haze, Bk. 2 (The Rephaim) by Paula Weston; paperback

ARCsFREE (I get these from work)
6 Romance Novels – these won’t be included in the total. I get these from work but I do not keep them, instead, I pass them on to my momma to read because she loves romance novels – and I do not… *shudder*

Four by Veronica Roth

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Book Description:

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.
Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

My Rating: 4/5

Thank you, thank you, thank you for making this book! It was the perfect remedy for my hangover ending the Divergent series! If you’re like me and REALLLLY enjoyed the series, then definitely get your hands on this book. After finishing Allegiant, I really learned to enjoy reading as Tobias so this was a great way to indulge in his life that much more.

I, personally, enjoy when the author releases more books that tie into the series – IF – it’s done well, and I feel this did just that. Although some people like when series end *ehhhhh*, I really enjoy getting one more book to celebrate it; I enjoy getting one more piece of cake before it’s gone – especially when it’s really good cake like chocolate, and this was my chocolate cake :]

A fun fact when I bought this book: I ordered it off of Amazon because it offered the best price. I also ordered it with a few other things. Anyway, upon receiving the book (which everything was in perfect condition), I noticed the jacket of the book was tucked away a couple pages in. Naturally, I open to that page because I want the jacket to be lying where it’s suppose to be lying and to my surprise, I find my book’s signed by the marvelous Veronica Roth herself 😀 WOOHOO! Of course it said this on the outside of the book as well, but I did not pay attention to that by any means. So unknowingly, I guess I ordered a signed copy! I is so heppy >:]

Now to the book itself: There wasn’t really much I didn’t enjoy. I think you get this book knowing what you’re getting in to so I feel you already have that idea knowing if you’re going to enjoy it or not. I was super stoked to grab it and naturally, I came out of this book super stoked that I nabbed it.

When we read with Tobias on BEFORE he meets Tris, we are introduced to him going through his simulations. I LOVE what they did here because we did not get this in the series. Here it shows Tobias going through his Marcus simulation. In the original series, it’s just regular ol’ Marcus being cruel as usual. But when Tobias first starts using the sims, we learn that Marcus didn’t always look like Marcus. Tobias was so fearful of him that he saw him as the monster that he is. He was Marcus but not Marcus having dark pits for the eyes and the mouth with razor tip fingers. Now that is something to be terrified of! But further in, as Tobias confronts his Marcus sim over and over again, Marcus tends to become more human like as Tobias realizes that Marcus ISN’T a monster, but just his father. His cruel father. So overtime, Marcus loses these holes for eyes, for his mouth.. and eventually becomes. . . Marcus.

Fast forward now the when Tobias has met Tris. There’s a scene in particular that they recall from Divergent where Tris is breaking down somewhat over the fear simulations and Tobias kind of snaps at Tris instead of comforting her. Now to the reader, I felt just as shocked as Tris felt with his reaction – not knowing what Tobias was really intending. And in Four, they clear this up. The reason he responds to Tris in the ways that he does is because Tobias knows more than what we’re led to believe in the series. He knew they were being watched – ACTUALLY being watched! He knew there were cameras, he knows where they are and that they can see and hear anyone whenever they choose to tune in. Because of this, he can’t talk about certain things and because of this, he has to be stern with Tris at times, to protect him. . . to protect her . . . to WARN her. Even if she doesn’t know it or particularly like it.

I really enjoyed these 2 scenes in particular. They brought a sense of “ah-ha!” and were cleverly done. They fit in to the past stories very well which I am so grateful for!

All in all, if you LOVED the Divergent series as much as I did but have NOT grabbed this book, then my question to is: WHY?! What are you waiting for? Go get it now! RIGHT MEOW!

Insurgent (Movie Edition) **WARNING: Kind Of Spoiler-y**

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Directed by Robert Schwentke

My Rating: 4/5

I’d like to start by saying apart from the book, I enjoyed this movie wholeheartedly and if I did not read books, it would easily get a 5/5! But because I DID read the book and because, well, this is a book blog with book-to-film comparison reviews, I can not give it a 5/5 sadly :[

I feel like with this movie, they changed way too much. The further you get into the movie, the more it strays from the book itself.

Peter Eric Amity Betrayal

We see this in the very beginning of the movie when Tris, Tobias and Peter make it to Amity. One of the scenes added to the movie that was NOT in the book was Peter betraying Tris and Tobias and the Amity compound. When Eric and the rest of the Dauntless traitors show up for an unexpected raid, Peter, Tris and Tobias are caught upstairs with nowhere to go. Once they decide their only option is to climb out of a window to escape, Peter claims he’ll be the lookout for them until he shouts at Eric that they’re all upstairs and he needs to come get them quick (as if he wasn’t a runner himself…??). Can anyone say c-o-w-a-r-d. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy this scene. I really did, that cheeky bastard. I love to hate Peter. BUT it wasn’t in the book!

Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley in a scene from the motion picture "The Divergent Series: Insurgent." CREDIT: Andrew Cooper, Lionsgate [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

They also tweaked the scenes where Tris is getting tested to open to box. In the book, the machine Tris is hooked up to is no where near as intricate or spider like as they painted it in the movie. Again, nothing I disliked, just NOT IN THE BOOK.

Tris and Tobias Amity

Oh and can we talk about Tris and Tobias? Their relationship in this book in particular was confusing. They had only recently met, fell “in love” and were now arguing with each other. Wuuuut?? Das a lil cray and completely unrealistic. But they did not decide to go this route for the movie. Instead, Tris and Tobias seem to be their same happy go lucky selves in a shitty “Imma keel yew” world. Now this is one thing I’m glad they didn’t portray into the movie BECAUSE IT WAS AWKWARD TO READ! They should not have been in that state throughout the book, IMO.

Now I know there was a lot of nonsense written throughout Insurgent that they wouldn’t/couldn’t have the time for, therefore, screenwriters have to condense and make the story make sense, which means, adding new scenes or tweaking for the sake of visual stimulation so I am not going to be too harsh with this one because I was not angry with this movie. At all. It was still a fantastic watch and I would recommend it to both readers and non readers a like! GO SEE THIS MOVIE IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY!

City of Words by Steven J. Carroll

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Book Description:

The all-powerful ruling authority, the Common, implants sensors into its citizens, sensors into the eyes and into the ears. They can see what you see and hear what you hear, and everything is monitored and recorded. One wrong word, or action, and you can lose your citizenship, which means death.

This is the world that Alpha has survived in for thirteen years, and he’s good at it. At the School, he’s an instructor rank, the highest ranking, which means almost no mistakes, for years. But now everything is unraveling. The Common has set their sights on him, systematically testing him to determine his allegiances. And what’s worse, they’re bringing Theta into this, the only person in the world that he cares about, and they might even kill her to get to him.

And the only way that this gets resolved, and the only way he can keep Theta safe, is if Alpha finds a way to escape the School. But how can you run from an enemy who can watch you at all times, an enemy who knows everything about you? When a single misspoken word can destroy you?

My Rating: 3.5/5

Before I get to my review, I would like to start off by saying that I received this book for free as a giveaway winner via Goodreads.com (sponsored by the author/publisher/other individual or entity) and by no means does this impact my review. Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest. And with that, I thank you!

This book was good. Not great, but good. It starts off strong; the first chapter had me hooked and that’s always a good thing! It was intense and had me wondering what happens next. If you like dystopian/sci-fi genres, then I would definitely recommend this book for you, although I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who dislikes younger reads. The only reason I say that is because I find Alpha to be a little too whiny, even for my taste. Not saying that every leading male character has to be brooding and strong willed and oh-so-dreamy, but Alpha was a little much to take sometimes. Like a fly that keeps flying around your face that you can’t get rid of. Eventually the fly lands and you don’t seem to mind it’s presence anymore. You accidentally bump it’s new found resting place and all of a sudden he’s back to flying around your face for the next 10 minutes or so. That is Alpha in a nutshell! One thing I don’t understand about him though is how can he go from this whiny person one minute to willingly getting his neck cut open the next and then back to being whiny? (This particular scene though was wonderfully intense – just kind of makes me think Alpha pretends to be stronger than he really is or just likes the attention when he whines).

The Enjoyable Things:

Can I talk about this cover first? I am a cover snob. I’m sorry, if you put effort in to your writing I feel like you need to put just as much into the appearance. I am a
“judge a book by it’s cover” type of gal. Why would I want to read your book if you clearly don’t put any effort to initially draw me in? Make me pick up the book with just the picture – make me want to read the book jacket! But this is a completely different conversation for another day. Getting back on track, this cover is great! It’s what made me read the book description in the first place. It really captured my eye and I love the idea of holding a picture of a ‘before world destruction’ over the ‘after math’. Kudos for the outer display!

Another thing I enjoyed in this book was Chapter 22 in particular! Without spoiling anything, I really enjoy who they introduced here. I, personally, did not see it coming and that always makes for a fun read :]

The Not So Enjoyable Things:

I really feel that this book should’ve been a “book 2” because I don’t feel like there was much background info before things started falling apart and they – Alpha & Chi – were on the run. THAT or they should add a few more chapters to the beginning. I’d really like to know more about where they came from, where they were growing up and I’d definitely like to know more about Alpha and Theta’s relationship. I want to believe Alpha on this whole ‘saving Theta’ quest but all I can think of is puppy love because I don’t know much about them.

Which leads me into their age. I don’t know their age. How can I draw a picture in my head if I don’t know how old I should be picturing these people? Being whiny makes me think Alpha and Theta are younger but they can’t be THAT young to be going through what they’re going through, they were too mature in certain areas. On the back of the book, it says “This is the world that Alpha has survived in for 13 years,” so at least I know he’s 13+ .. but I can’t imagine he’s only 13. If this was explained, I completely missed it, so don’t quote me that it wasn’t – I’m not entirely certain. HALP!

I did enjoy the scene where Alpha and Theta are thrown up against each other to fight – I got so excited reading about it but then it seemed to fall flat. I was really engulfed in this build up but felt like it went no where. Again, this is a scene where I feel like Alpha’s whiny and unruliness comes in to play. He just needs to stop.

One last thing I’d like to point out because it was hard to stay enveloped in the book when this happened (and it happened frequently) but at the same time, I was informed that this in an ARC so it may or may not be something that will change. So instead of saying “this is awful blah blah blah” I would like to consider this a suggestion: There are a lot of areas where the writing seems to repeat itself. I don’t need to be reminded you’re in a forest 10 times in the same 2 sentences. I got you were in the forest the first time (exaggerated example but sometimes I felt this to be true).  It would be great to change this in the final print/version because it really took me out of the story.

Example from the actual book pg. 199-200 end of paragraph into the beginning of a new page:

“…..They considered their labors menial and ignorant, and so the Leaders of the Common made plans to forcibly confiscate the land from the farmers. And so, the Leaders sent out messages, this was before the days of implanted sensors……”

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All in all, I would recommend this book – and being at the end it quotes “End of Book One” I would definitely be interested in getting my hands on book 2 and seeing where this story goes!