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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I Don’t Mind Spoilers

Hello my dear readers, I hope life is treating you as well as it can. If you’re reading this, you’re back for yet another Thursday Thoughts post.

This week’s topic? I don’t mind spoilers.

Seems pretty straightforward, so let’s get into it!

Everyone reads books, watches Netflix, TV, plays video games, or takes in some form of entertainment that can be spoiled.

Sometimes it’s inevitable. We can’t help things being spoiled for us. That new movie is just too good for strangers not to talk about on the bus, or that big sports game is flooding TVs everywhere you go, or even the series finale of your favourite show is being talked about all over social media.

It is very difficult to avoid them. Spoilers are everywhere you go in life. Sometimes they are obvious with articles or videos being made about them, sometimes they are less obvious, where spoilers are in memes.

But to be honest?

I don’t mind spoilers. I don’t mind stories being ruined for me. I don’t mind discussing the end of a book series with someone, knowing I am three books from the end. I want to know what happens at the end of the TV season, because the middle is often too boring.

I actually enjoy it. I enjoy spoilers.

I CRAVE to know the ending of whatever book, movie, or TV series I am taking.

If someone won’t tell me, I will look it up. I’ll spend hours clicking through the Wiki, putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

I’m always looking up a character’s ending, or when this event happens, or when someone might die.

I can’t wait to find out the answer on my own by reading the book or watching eight more episodes.

I NEED to know what happens.


Very few people I know of are the same as me. Most people hate having things spoiled for them, because it ruins the fun.

It ruins the adventure, it ruins the surprise.

That makes sense to me, and I can agree that the moments I didn’t have spoiled for me get a larger reaction out of me. I remember literally fist pumping when Andolin Kholin (Stormlight Archive) dueled a bunch of shard bearers solo. That moment wasn’t ruined for me, and it was AMAZING.

But having things “spoiled” for me actually makes me more excited for a book. It makes me more excited to get to that point and see it unfold for me.


If you’re one of the few people who don’t mind spoilers, let me know in the comments. Please tell me I’m not alone!
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Owning Vs. Borrowing: Where Do You Stand?

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Hello dear readers, I bring you to the debate of the century. Having just borrowed my first book from the library in probably 15 years, this topic is fresh on my mind.

Before I went into the library, I was on the side of owning the book over borrowing it from the library. I loved having the physical copy in my hands, and then sitting on my bookshelf when I was done with it. It meant more to me knowing I could pick it up at any time and read a certain part of it if the urge struck me.

Now though, I’m not so sure.

Owning the Book

Let’s start on the side of owning the book.

There are some clear benefits right off the hop.

Always have the book available.
There’s no need to worry about being put on a wait list, or going out of your way to find a copy. It’s just sitting on your shelves. I love looking at my beautiful books, remembering the stories and the fond memories.

Get books NOW.
Depending on the book, there’s a chance you can get a book before its official release. If not, you can get the book the day it comes out…no long lines or waitlists. I can be at my favourite bookstore in 15 minutes, and a brand new book in my hands 10 minutes after that.

Supports Authors
Buying a book is more beneficial to authors, big and small. It supports them and gives us more books on the shelves.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

But there are some obvious cons to owning the book.


Not liking the book.
If you bought it and don’t like the book, it’s sort of a waste of money. Nobody will force you to read the book, but you won’t be getting your money back for it. There have been a few duds that I’ve given away as soon as I finished them.

Money Money Money.
You will spend a lot of money on books…trust me, I know. I’ve gone into a book store meaning to spend $20 and ending up with a bill over $100. No regrets.

Sustainability
In this modern world we live in, sustainability is a major concern. Buying more books means that more paper products are being produced. Though it’s not the worst thing in the world, it is a concern to think about.

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Borrowing the Book

There can be quite a few pros to borrowing a book from the library.

If you don’t like it, you can bring it back.
There’s no obligation to finish the book, and you don’t have to worry about the money you spent on it. You just have to bring it back to the library.

Every book you can hope for.
If your library is any good, you’ll have more options than you could possibly hope for. You’ll have books you’ve never even heard of just waiting to be checked out.

Free Space.
If you don’t own the book, it can’t take up room in your home right? I have lost hours of sleep rearranging books to make sure they all fit nicely together. And yes…I have a big stack of books in the corner of my room that haven’t been read yet. There’s never enough room.

Saving the trees.
By borrowing books, you’re stopping trees from being cut down. You’re reusing something that other people will then reuse over and over, without the extra waste.


BUT, borrowing from libraries can be a hassle.


Waiting lists can suck.
If you’re not lucky enough to be high up on the list, you can end up waiting weeks to read a book that you want. Some people are okay with that, but others need their books ASAP.

You don’t own it.
As much as you might love the book, at the end of the day it isn’t yours anymore. It belongs to the library and you don’t get to keep it.

You don’t support the author.
If you borrow books, authors get less money. This might not be such a bad thing, but if we want to keep reading the authors we love, they’ll need our financial support.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

Where do you stand in this great debate? There are obviously pros and cons to both sides, but in the end I think I still fall slightly more towards owning the book. I like having the physical copy for as long as I want it, but I do see the benefit to adopting a healthy balance of owning vs. borrowing.

Let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media!
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Why Is Reading So Important?

Hello dear readers, welcome to a bit of a longer post.

Reading is such a big part of a lot of people’s lives. Whether its for entertainment, research, or just stress relief, reading is important to a lot of people for different reasons.

Since reading is so important, I thought I’d do a bit of a discussion piece about it…so I hope you enjoy!

Reading is Fundamental in Society

Reading is obviously important for everything you do. Reading this post, reading a recipe, or something more common like road signs. Reading is everywhere, even if you don’t really think about it.

Developing reading habits when you’re young is important, because without at least a base level of skill, things become frustrating to you. Following instructions, filling out an application, or even finding a job can be that much harder if you don’t have reading skills.


Reading Develops the Mind

Reading helps develop your mind in so many ways. Your mind is a muscle, and any muscle needs exercise. What’s one way to exercise it? By reading, and developing your language skills.

Reading also develops the imagination.With reading, a person can go anywhere they want. They can literally imagine fantastical worlds. Non-readers don’t get to explore these worlds like a reader does. It helps build your creative skills. It gives you a chance to imagine the story how you want it, and your mind changes the story with each new piece of information it receives.


Reading Helps Us Discover New Things

How do you discover new things if it wasn’t for reading? Sure you could watch a show, but you read what that show is about, you read that new magazine, that new book, that review. You read to discover new things that you might enjoy.


Reading Improves your Focus

The internet has fundamentally changed our world for good and bad. For many people, a large part of their day is spent mindlessly surfing, chatting, watching videos, or doing other mindless things online.

Reading draws your attention. It draws your focus to the page, and forces you to concentrate on what you are reading. It helps us to train our brains to live in the present.


Reading can do some marvelous things if you let yourself sit down and do it.

What does reading do for you? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media!
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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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The Ultimate Literature Showdown

Hello friends, Romans, countrymen. I come to you today, with a plan, with a chance for glory.

Authors, protagonists, plot lines, entire series. None are out of the question when it comes to The Ultimate Literature Showdown.

What to expect?

Once a month, I will be pitting two series, two authors, two characters, etc. against each other.

I will analyze them based off of five different characteristics, and determine which I think is better.

I have a few ideas in my head of Showdowns I will be posting, but I want to hear from you. What would you like to see pitted against each other.

Some ideas I have are as follows:
Harry Potter vs. ShadowHunters
Game of Thrones vs. LOTR
Nancy Drew vs. Hardy Boys
Hunger Games vs. Divergent
Gandalf vs. Dumbledore
Naruto vs. Luffy

There are dozens of different Showdowns that can happen, so I want your suggestions.

Let me know on social media, or comment on this post. Any help is appreciated.
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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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