Internet highlights – w/c 23rd October 2016

29 10 2016

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Divergent – by Veronica Roth

28 10 2016

Having loved the Hunger Games trilogy, I wasn’t sure about trying another YA attempt at utopia which begins to fall apart, but my friends raved about it, so I thought I should give it a try.

This time we have a society split into five “factions”

  • Erudite – values intelligence
  • Candor – values honesty
  • Amity – values peace
  • Dauntless – values bravery
  • Abnegation – values selflessness

On one day every year, all the 16 year olds are assessed to see which faction they are, and then they choose where they will live out the rest of their days. This might be the faction they grew up in, or they may transfer. And they don’t have to choose the one they get in their test results.

It turns out though, that some people just don’t fit into any given faction, their test results are inconclusive, these people are “divergent”. Society doesn’t really acknowledge this and so the best thing to do is pretend you’re not.

For those who fail initiation in their new factions, they are deemed “factionless” and have to go and live outside of society, a little like being homeless I imagined it. But this is at least accepted, better that than being known to be divergent.

It’s not hard to guess that our lead character doesn’t have a smooth ride of it as we join her on the day of assessment and choosing her faction, and from there, follow her through her initiation.

As I alluded to before, of course this system is not perfect. Problems are arising between some of the factions, all is not as it seems on the outside… I think I’ll leave it there for you to discover yourself.

So is it as good as Hunger Games? No I don’t think so, but it’s a good book in itself. I will read the other two, but I spent so long on this one due to things like moving house and going on holiday and changing hours at work…. I think I’ll read something else before getting started on the sequel.


Internet highlights – w/c 16th October 2016

22 10 2016

A very British would-you-rather

Tiny things that are crazy annoying

Now allowed a cat-flap? Build a ladder!

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Internet highlights – w/c 9th October 2016

15 10 2016

Things that are genius

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Internet highlights – 18th September – 8th October 2016

8 10 2016

[I’ve been away! I’ve tried to thin this out a bit so it’s not three times as long as usual… but I promise nothing.

Yea it’s long. Sorry!]

Eggs and Flour to leave the Bake Off

Why do we only compliment weight loss?

Iceland the country might sue Iceland the shop

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Flawed – by Cecelia Ahern

3 10 2016

Cecelia Ahern published another book, so of course I had to read it!

The difference this time is that this is her first “Young Adult” novel. This is a concept I’m struggling to get my head around – Wikipedia defines “Young Adult” as age 12-18, but as someone in my 20s, I’d like to think that makes me an adult who is young?! Anyway, I loved hunger games and that’s technically young adult, so I wasn’t going to avoid it just because I’m “old”.

As all of these books seem to be set in a dystopian society. As well as a criminal system, they also have the concept of people who are “flawed”. These are people who have made done something immoral. If someone is flawed, they are branded as such, and wear a red armband to show who they are. I’ll let the book explain further:

“For bad decisions, it’s their temple.
For lying, it’s their tongue.
For stealing from society, it’s their right palm.
For disloyalty to the Guild, it’s their chest, over their heart.
For stepping out of line with society, it’s the sole of their right foot.”

“They are not imprisoned; they haven’t done anything illegal, but they have carried out acts that are seen as damaging to society.”

They live a life of reduced quality. They live by a curfew, they can only eat plain food, they have to sit on certain seats on the bus, and they can only ever have 2 of them together in one place, any more and there must be a “perfect” person. Even sat in a row, you couldn’t have more than two sat together.

We meet Celestine, who is dating the son of the head of the Guild and totally believes in the system. And yet, she has a moment where she helps a Flawed, which itself is a crime, and she is taken away to be tried. I don’t want to go much further because it would give away some of the major twists, but just to say that I couldn’t put it down as it progressed.

I cannot *wait* for the sequel!

Some of my favourite quotes below:

  • “The trouble with being punctual is that there’s nobody there to see it.”
  • “I’ve learned that to be courageous is to feel fear within, every step of the way. Courage does not take over; it fights and struggles through every word you say and every step you take. […] It takes courage to overcome, but it takes extreme fear to be courageous.”
  • “Piano always seemed to stress me out. I played it for other people. I played it for Angelina in class, I played it for my parents when I practised. […] I never played for myself.”
  • “If you make a mistake, you learn from it. If you never made a mistake, you’re never the wiser.”
  • “I had enough friends so that I wasn’t a weirdo, but not too many so that I was popular. I was average. I worked so hard to be average.”
  • “If you can’t solve a problem, there is an easier problem you can solve: find it.”