The Hunger Games vs. Divergent

Hello dearest readers, today we have a matchup for the ages! Two very popular YA series pitted against each other.

On one hand, we have The Hunger Games series, the other the Divergent series.

Both series will go head to head in a battle of five different categories, but only one series can come out on top.

If you have any ideas for a future vs. battle, let me know in the comments or on social media.
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The World Before the Books

The world of the Hunger Games is a small dystopian nation split into 12 different Districts, each responsible for producing a certain resource. Meanwhile, each of the 12 Districts needs to give a tribute each year for the Hunger Games – a battle royale mainly used for entertainment, but also to make the Districts submit to the government.

Divergent on the other hand is a relatively happy society. People are sorted into one of five different factions based on their personality. There are outliers called “Divergents” that present multiple characteristics for the factions. We find out later that they are in a sort of experiment and are being watched and their memories reset if needed.

This Round Goes To: Hunger Games.
Though I think Divergent has a better premise overall, it takes too long to learn they are being observed. We don’t get to find out till the final book. Hunger Game’s concept is going right from the start, so they take this round.


The Story

The Hunger Games focuses on Katniss surviving her hunger games, and another one, and then leading a revolution to overthrow the government. It has a nice progression to it, and there are only minor hints of the story being too ridiculous.

Divergent focuses on Tris as she trains to become a member of the Dauntless faction, her living with her Divergent nature, and then fighting in a civil war, before finally discovering she has been living in a social experiment.

This Round Goes To: Divergent
I loved the thrill that was the Hunger Games, but it didn’t explore the grittiness enough, and Katniss was more along for the ride than being a key player. Tris was a key player from the start, and though she had a lot of help along the way, she was never a background character in the story.


The Characters

The Hunger Games had a lot of interesting characters, some with some captivating backstories. We didn’t dive too deep into them, but when we did they were some of the best parts of the story. They were often damaged, hardened characters, and they played a key role in the story.

Katniss herself was a great protagonist in my opinion. She had a good depth to her, and I think she was a nice perspective for a YA Dystopian novel. She wasn’t the perfect protagonist that we too often get from YA novels. She had her flaws, she had her emotional struggles, but we got to see her get through them.

Divergent didn’t have a broad character list. Yes, we got to see a lot of different people while Tris did her thing, but they all felt like the same person. To me it felt like you could mold a few characters together and the story wouldn’t be lost at all.

Tris was Divergent, so we got to see her struggle with that reality, and her need to hide it from society. She had some depth to her, and she was a strong part of the entire story. She didn’t really take a back seat and let others tell her what to do.

This Round Goes To: Hunger Games
There was more diversity to the entire character list. Though both protagonists were a great part of both stories, the range of characters was what put Hunger Games through to win this round.

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The Ending

I’ll be honest. I hated the end of the Hunger Games. I felt like it was too rushed, and we didn’t get to flesh it out fully. I don’t think the characters got the justice that they deserved (Finn). I will admit that I am glad it wasn’t an entirely straightforward ending. With Prim’s death and Katniss killing the District 13 leader, I don’t think a lot of characters were expecting it to end that way, but it felt like the ending wasn’t true to the story, and the characters were just sort of left to deadlines and publisher’s demands.

Divergent wasn’t much better for me. Another series where I didn’t like the ending. I was fine with them all being a part of an experiment, and Tris dying in the end, but again the ending didn’t feel complete. Tris ends up dying, which isn’t common for YA novels in my experience, but she did have a change of perspective which is even more rare.

This Round Goes To: Divergent
The only reason Divergent wins this round (just barely) is because of Tris’ death and her change of heart. I liked that Katniss didn’t live happily ever after, Tris dies when she finally realizes she was in the wrong. I liked that a series wasn’t scared to kill its’ protagonist, so Divergent takes this round.


The Popularity

The Hunger Games was immensely popular with a lot of audiences, and the series seemed to take the world by storm for a few years.

Divergent, though seemingly popular with a younger audience, didn’t seem to get as much hype, though I think it was deserved.

This Round Goes To: Hunger Games


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The Winner: Hunger Games!!!

I think this was a close battle, despite Hunger Games taking the crown. They were both great YA series, and both had good and bad things about them, but Hunger Games pulled through because of the worldwide popularity it seemed to gain.


Do you think Divergent should have won, or is Hunger Games deserving of the crown? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media.
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A Fitting Romance: Prodigy by Marie Lu Review

Title: Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Rating: ★★★★☆

Hello my fellow Prodigies, we’re looking at Book #2 of the Legend Series by Marie Lu today. This series was one I fell in love with back in high school, and enjoyed thoroughly. I followed up with it till the end, and I am happy to share my thoughts with you today.

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

Now it has been some time since I read this book, but there was one thing that I remember sticking out to me. I read it during the time when The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and all the other Young Adult series were really taking off, but Prodigy stood out to me.

It wasn’t as simple as an exciting book, filled with teens getting into insane action packed fights, doing death defying stunts, and saving the world.

It was characters, solving the puzzles and hardships of their environments, trying to make it a better place. It was much deeper rooted than kids with bows and arrows, its dilemmas and principles at the forefront of the conflict. It’s making that hard choice in order to do what you think is right.

That’s what makes Prodigy so brilliant.

Prodigy doesn’t fall prey to being a sequel, which too often don’t live up to expectations. Prodigy doesn’t just live at the same level of Legend, it exceeds it. Prodigy goes deeper, and doesn’t pull its punches.


There is also the very obvious romance. Sometimes romance can ruin a book. It’s forced, or poorly executed, or unnecessary.

With Prodigy, it seems more natural. It seems like it belongs. Day and June don’t fall in love because of circumstance. That is a factor, but they fall in love, because of the chemistry they have. They see the world from two sides of the same coin.

They each grew up in different worlds, but they both analyze their environments, process the information, and come to their own conclusions.

Day and June are so similar. You could probably mistake the two of them at times, but the two different worlds they lived in makes their connection that much stronger.


What did you think of Prodigy? If you haven’t read it, it’s a great YA book to read that has a bit of action and romance mixed together.
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Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived: A Character Analysis

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Hello dear readers, I hope you are doing well. Today I am going to give you a new post idea that I am excited for.

I wanted to do a character analysis on some of the more famous characters in literature. This won’t be anything that goes into the nitty gritty details, but it will have some depth to it, so I hope you enjoy!

The first will be about someone I would argue is in the top 10 most well-known book characters of all time.

These are opinions are my own, and I understand some may disagree with them. If you do, let’s talk about it!

From the beginning, Harry is a loyal lapdog to Dumbledore. He sees that Dumbledore is often right, and knows more about what is going on, so Harry decides to put his absolute trust in Dumbledore. Even when being loyal to Dumbledore gets him into trouble, Harry follows him without question.

Harry creates an order of underage wizards, calling them Dumbledore’s Army, to fight against the rising threat of Voldemort. Of all the magical items, beings, and creatures in his world, he names his army after the man he looks up to the most.

When Dumbledore ultimately dies, Harry is determined to follow in his footsteps, and fulfilling his destiny of defeating Voldemort.

This loyalty to Dumbledore is supplemented with his loyalty to his friends, Ron and Hermione. He befriends them in his first year of Hogwarts, and only grows closer to them as the years go on. Though he is loyal to them, and trusts them completely, he sees them more of an equal than a mentor.

It is because of these three relationships that Harry grows into a curious, determined, brave wizard, one fitting the Gryffindor name…

But what does being a Gryffindor ultimately mean? It’s one simple word. Brave.

The only real requirement to be considered a Gryffindor is bravery, but that’s a vague ideal. Bravery can mean many things. Cedric Diggory was brave, but ultimately he wasn’t Gryffindor. All those who joined the DA? Yeah, some were Gryffindor, but some weren’t. They were all brave because they knew they could get into trouble.

We know that Harry should have been a Slytherin, but he told the hat he wanted to be anything but. The next natural choice? The house he almost perfectly fits into.

Harry isn’t particularly smart, he’s not overly skilled at anything but flying a broom, and I would argue he is slightly better than average in a fight.

Then what makes him a good main character? Despite all his flaws, he is brave. He is always the first out of the gate, whether it’s chasing down the Dark Lord, going to his death in the Forbidden Forest, or running through Platform 9 3/4 after just discovering magic.

His bravery is the one thing that holds him above the rest, and his loyalty to his friends, to Dumbledore, and to his destiny are accounts to that.


If you tear away all of the Boy Who Lived prophecy talk about Harry, and look at who he is as a wizard, he is extremely ordinary. He pales in comparison to the famous witches and wizards we hear of. Dumbledore, Voldemort, Snape, McGonnagal. They’re all amazing at what they do, but Harry isn’t. Harry wouldn’t be special in any sense of the word if it wasn’t for his destiny.

I would even argue it is because his destiny, that he is who he is. He grew up not knowing anything about his true self, but when he finally discovers it, he lets it shape him. He lets it fill his every fiber and turn him into the true Gryffindor.

We lose sight of how unremarkable Harry really is when he arrives at Hogwarts.

When he is with the Dursleys, he is treated like trash, but he is definitely far from special. There’s nothing about him that stands out other than he is abused and mistreated. When he gets to Hogwarts, the tides change and suddenly he is like a hero out of legend.

The Boy Who Lived is whispered around the halls, and suddenly he’s the hero of a world he never knew existed. It takes some time, but not much until Harry experiences confidence in himself.

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With his newfound fame and confidence, Harry could become the next Lockhart, boasting about his accomplishment.

Instead he doesn’t. He doesn’t particularly like his fame. He treats those that could be seen as less than him, as equals. He detests Malfoy’s use of the word Mudblood, he treats a house elf with kindness and respect, he doesn’t detest Filch as a squib.


But with this internal sense of respect, Harry also has an internal sense of what is right and wrong, often to the point of putting himself and loved ones in danger.

He doesn’t let others tell him what to do, he decides for himself. If it means breaking the rules for the greater good? Then so be it.

Harry decides what is right and what is wrong, and often answers the evil with violence. We rarely see him think before acting. Whenever Harry needs to think to solve a problem, he has Ron, Hermione, or any one of his Hogwarts friends and allies to help him.

Instead of coming up with a plan to defeat his enemies, Harry is often lucky, or gets help from someone. It is rare that he thinks a problem through before acting.


But that is part of what makes Harry the hero that he is. He isn’t special in a lot of ways, but he is loyal and he is trusting. He has allies that he can rely on and that rely on him. Friends, classmates, mentors, family. He has people beside him almost every step of the way to lift him up when he needs the help.

Sirius, the Weasleys, Hermione, Ron, Lupin. These and many more help Harry, whether it is through connections in the past, or a connection to Harry.

Harry’s true power isn’t being the most powerful wizard. His true power is uniting people, and relying on each other to vanquish the darkness. He never had a true family, but the love of his parents, and the family he makes through his time at Hogwarts is what helps him defeat Voldemort.


With his reliance on others, comes weakness. Harry isn’t perfect, he is human. He gets angry. He gets stressed. He falls in love. He feels the wait of Umbridge’s reign of Hogwarts.

It is the weakness that makes him relatable. It makes him someone who can be understood, someone that readers can see themselves as.

Harry loses many friends and family members along the way. Family he never knew, family he came to love over time, and family he only realized he had when it was too late.

These losses make Harry a stronger person. They hurt him, but at the same time they mold him, shape him into who he is. The losses show him that life is painful, that it isn’t all magical as he sometimes forgets.

Harry could give up at any point in his many years at Hogwarts. Each year he struggles with friends, school, and is constantly fighting for his life. He rarely has a moment of rest, but that was Voldemort’s mistake. Each struggle, each battle, each hardship gives Harry the strength he needs to endure, and an ally that will support him till the end.


A lot can be taken away from studying Harry’s character, whether good or bad. Some say he is too headstrong, acting without thinking, and other potentially harmful behaviour.

Others see Harry as a good example, one who follows through with his actions, is a loyal friend and will do what he believes is good.

Everyone will have their own opinions, and they are welcome to.

Personally I am not a fan of the Harry Potter series as a whole, but I do realize that it is something that a lot of people love.

It has lessons that can be learned, it has characters that can be aspired to, it has ideals that can be upheld.

What do you think of Harry. Was he someone you looked up to, or was he a brash fool. I don’t think there is one correct answer to this, so let’s talk about it in the comments or on social media.
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Bookish Habits that I am Guilty of

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Hello dear readers, I come to you with another Top 5 Tuesday list, this time all about some bookish habits that I have. Top 5 Tuesdays are hosted over at Bionic Book Worm, and you definitely need to check out her blog if you love books.

Some habits are probably things that a lot of book readers do, and some might be more specific to me.

Bringing my Book EVERYWHERE

Almost everywhere I go, I have a book with me. Whether it’s to work, hanging out with friends, or even waiting on the elevator on the way to take my dog for a walk I have a book with me. Short bursts of reading actually gets a lot done if you do it often enough.


Multiple Books on the go

I have gotten much better at this in the last few years, but I tend to have two or three books and a manga or two going on at the same time. Usually they’re of different genres, but I usually jump back and forth now and then to keep things interesting.


Bad Book Buying Habits

I think all book lovers can appreciate this one, but if you leave me alone in a book store, I ALWAYS come out with a book or two. I’ve actually had my girlfriend drag me out of the store to prevent me from buying something.


Progress Bookmarks

I like to see the progress that I make when I am reading, so I like to have two bookmarks in my books. The first is where I started at the beginning of the day, or week and the second is where I am currently. It’s nice seeing big chunks of the book being finished a time.


Spoiler Free

You can’t spoil a book for me more than I do myself. As soon as I am hooked, I am searching on the internet for what comes next, what happens to the characters in the end, who gets what sort of magical powers. That doesn’t ruin the story for me either, because it is the adventure that we go on that I really enjoy.


What are some of your bookish habits? I know we probably share one or two, but I want to hear about what weird things you might do when it comes to books.
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Manga Review: Pygmalion

Title: Pygmalion
Story & Art: Chihiro Watanabe
Rating: 4.5 / 5

At the National Local Mascot Festival, children all across Japan can meet their favorite local mascots. But as the festival gets underway, it becomes clear that what’s inside these costumes aren’t people – they’re something much darker, with a taste for human flesh. Amid the chaos spreading through the entire country, Keigo Ayahara, his little brother Makoto, and his friend Ako must now fight for their survival and their humanity.

I found out about Pygmalion from a fellow book blogger; Brunette Reads, and I am so happy that I found it.

It’s a gory, horrific, fast-paced thrill ride that keeps readers hooked enough to fly through its 19 chapters in one sitting.

It’s very short, like I said its only 19 chapters, and each chapter can probably be read in about 5-10 minutes, depending on how long you want to look at the artwork.


The story is pretty simple, and with only 19 chapters, there are no moments that feel out of place or part of a side story.

We follow Keigo Ayahara as he fights for survival in this now mass murdering mascot world.

That’s the brilliant part of the story too. We get very few moments that don’t follow Keigo or his group, because this story isn’t supposed to be about the entire world, or all of Japan where it is taking place. The story is meant to focus on one guy, and what he discovers and goes through during the killings.

I’m glad this story was so short, because I didn’t want a word-wide story. I didn’t want a huge world-ending survival story that takes hundreds of chapters to be resolved. I wanted a quick, down in the dirt story.


If you can handle kids being exploded into bits, heads being ripped off, and men being impaled by a giant mascot …thing… then this is the manga for you.

It hasn’t been turned into an anime yet, and I’m not sure it ever will, but I think living its life as a manga is worth it.

The artwork fits well with the story too. It’s scary, without being nightmare inducing. It’s graphic, without being sickening. It’s detailed, without being complicated or busy.


Overall, Pygmalion is a great read if you don’t mind the gore. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re a manga fan.

What manga have you enjoyed recently, I’m always looking for more to read. Any suggestions? Let me know in the comments or on social media.
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My Oldest Books

Hello dear readers, you’re in for a treat today whether you like it or not, because today I am going to share the oldest books that I own!

Most of my books are from this century. Even if it was a book written before 2000, I probably have a modern version of it.

There are a few exceptions however, but before I show them to you, I’m going to tease you a bit more.

When I went to University, every few weeks there would be this man that would show up with hundreds of used books for sale.

He’d get these books at garage sales, other book stores, estate sales, or even from people who left their large collections to him in their will.

He had recent books, he had old books, he had books everyone has heard of, and he had books that you’ll never hear the name of again.

I probably spent way too much money on his books, at a time when I definitely couldn’t afford it, but I’m a sucker for a book sale.

I didn’t buy these two books together, but when I did buy them, my friend and I were having a competition to see who could find the older book.

My friend is currently winning, unfortunately, but I haven’t given up hope yet.

BUT

Without further adieu ladies and gentlefolk…here are my oldest books!

These two were only from the 1970s, but they’re on the older end of things for me.


1921 was a good year for Tennyson Poems, and I love the texture of the cover too!


And last, and definitely the oldest book in my collection…More Tennyson poems from 1893!


What’s your oldest book? I’d love to see it if you’re willing to share.
Show me in the comments or on social media.
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Movie Review: Ready Player One

Hello dear movie lovers, welcome to a Movie Review of Ready Player One. The book was written by Ernest Cline in 2011, and released in 2018 as a movie.

After the death of James Halliday, the creator of the virtual reality world, his pre-recorded message reveals the hidden fortune, which makes Wade Watts, a teenager, embark on a quest.

An action, adventure Sci-fi movie is something I will usually want to watch, and Ready Player One was on my list for a while.

I heard good things about it after it came out, but I kept pushing it back because I was never in the mood for it.

Well past me, I am blaming you for missing out on this movie, because it was truly something amazing.

At first, it was a movie I threw on in the background, but it didn’t take long at all before I was hooked.

The story: above average.
The nostalgia: awesome.
The Special Effects: jaw dropping.

Ready Player One’s story isn’t something new or overly interesting. We see the hero and his allies going on a journey to find the ultimate treasure.

We’ve seen the story before, and we will see it again and again. It’s not a bad story at all, but its not ground breaking.

Wade Watts dives into the Oasis to find the treasure left behind by a tech mogul. The treasure in question: shares equalling half a trillion dollars and complete control over the virtual reality world the Oasis.

It was an interesting enough story to keep me hooked, and I think that was all the movie needed; a simple story that is easy enough to follow.

Now let’s get to the nostalgia, because that was on a whole new level.

Some of it went over my head, because I was only a small kid when the movies would have come out, or I don’t get the same feeling of nostalgia as others when The Shining is referenced.

There was still plenty of references that I did understand, and many that were made about modern geek interests like Overwatch and Halo.

It was cool seeing childhood interests in a modern sci-fi movie being used in different ways. Whether it was the Delorean from Back to the Future, the Iron Giant, or even something simple like a Rubik’s cube.

Those were some of the more obvious call backs, but there were plenty of frames in the movie where you could pause it and see a half-dozen different “geek culture” references.

I’m sure someone has gone through the movie frame by frame to see all the nostalgic references, and I’m sure there are too many to count.

The visual effects were also something to be amazed by. When we are in the regular world, the effects were minimal but they were present as they are in any movie.

It’s when we got to step inside the Oasis that the effects took over.

Every inch of the screen was covered in special effects, and every inch looked spectacular.

The sheer number of different character designs, the environment, and the overall effects and feel to the movie were inspiring and beautiful.

I don’t know what beat it in the awards shows in that year, but this movie was more than worth it.

I mean it must have taken a lot of man hours to do each scene, and the movie is over two hours long.

As much as I enjoyed the effects, the ones that really stood out to me were the moments where it was entirely computer generated; like the cars being built around the players, the mecha-godzilla vs. Gundam fight scene, and even the player’s displays that would pop up.

Overall, I recommend this movie to anyone who likes an action movie and is older than 5 years-old. It is fun, exciting, and full of a lot of “ohh look its the ninja turtles” moments.

Did you enjoy Ready Player One? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or message me on social media.
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