Divergent Book & Movie Review

Heads up this is going to be a long post, sorry but it’s worth it!

I love to read! I’m one if those people who gets absorbed in books, I love to live in the world that books create! Not many of my friends read for fun and growing up my dad always told me that he was so proud that I love to read for fun. He told me that no matter how our finances were, he would always have money to buy me books even if we had to cut back in budgeting somewhere else.

Barnes and Noble is my bookstore of choice, I just love it. When I bought Hunger Games it suggested Divergent for those who read and enjoyed the Hunger games series. It sounded good but I didn’t pick it up immediately. When I saw the preview for Divergent I got excited to see it and my friend Kristy told me I should hurry up and read it before it came out. I like to have books on my bookshelf but it was the week to pay bills so I couldn’t buy it, Kristy sent me a link she found to read it for free online.

I saw the movie last night and here is my review for both the book and the movie! My review is about things I liked and didn’t like about the movie and book so I’ll try to do this without spoiling too much but SPOILER ALLERT!!!!!

Divergent the book: (with a synopsis)
I could not put it down!! I finished the book in 5 days, during a week where I had school and worked 38 hours. I stayed up late to read it and read it during class (MAJOR case of senioritis and a love for books).

Tris is a citizen of the Abnegation factor, which is known for being selfless. Although she finds it hard to be naturally as selfless as the rest of her faction. It’s her time to take the test which tells people what faction they are best suited for based on their choices in a simulation test. When Tris takes the test she is able to control it in the way that she reminds her self that the situation isn’t real so she can manipulate the outcome.

Because of the way she can control the simulation her test results are inconclusive, she is Divergent. When the time comes to choose which faction she will live in, she chooses Dauntless which is known for bravery. The initiation stage of becoming Dauntless are brutal. The first stage pushes them to their breaking point physically day after day. The second stage tests their mental strength and the third stage tests them emotionally. The fights are brutally vivid, and Tris’ Divergent status makes her a target so she must keep it a secret.

Tris finds herself falling for the initiate leader Four who is strong, stern, and deals Tris some tough love. When the faction Erudite (known for being smart) creates a simulation system that controls the Dauntless, they use the Dauntless soldiers to attack and over throw the Abnegation leaders who are the governmental type decision makers.

When the simulation serum doesn’t work on Tris’, her Divergent side is revealed she must protect herself as well as the ones she loves and the people of Abnegation. Tris finds out that Four is Divergent as well and together they set out to fight and make things right.

The book is intense and has the message of self discovery as well as standing up for what you believe in and what is right. It made me miss kickboxing (random thoughts that come up while reading about the fights), and want to work out to become stronger.

Divergent the movie:
It’s said that movies aren’t as good as the books they are made from, but the Divergent movie was up to par! Just like the book I loved it!

The movie was longer than I expected, and seemed long while watching it but it was with it. They didn’t miss the important details, and I’m glad they didn’t cut back.

I understand that it’s a movie is targeted at teens but the fighting in the book was brutal and the movie didn’t capture how intense the training/initiation was, and this is bit sadistic but there was a beautiful quality to how brutal and vivid it was. It showed how they pushed through and became stronger because of it. It was their transformation into becoming Dauntless.

Since I read the book, I know about the little details about how the characters act and think. I wish that during Four’s fear simulator he seemed more stressed out. It’s suppose to be his biggest fears and In the book, Tris is the one who talk Four through them and into claiming down and overcoming the situations, it shows Four’s vulnerable side and it makes their relationship stronger. I also wish they showed how evil Peter is, instead they just made him seem a little bit like a bully and in the movie you don’t really grasp how cruel he was. They also didn’t fully express how close Tris was with Christina, Will, and Al. So when Al dies it doesn’t seem as emotional and same goes with when she has to kill Will.

There was a twist in the ending. Instead of Four shutting the Erudite system down after Tris snaps him out of the simulation control, Together Four and Tris fight the Erudite running the system. In quick thinking to get Janine to shut the system down (since she’s willing to die instead), Tris injects Janine with the simulation control serum and demands her, which she has to obey because of the simulation, to shut the system down. Personally I liked the ending in the book because that’s how it was but I liked the small change in the movie ending better.

Overall I loved both the book and the movie! I definite recommend reading and seeing it! I’m going to start posting reviews of other books I’ve read so you can get a sense of the types of books I like to read (although there is a wide variety). If you have the same taste in books hopefully I can share some new ones with you!

I’m always looking for new books!
What are some of your favorite books?

– K

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Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookies!

HAPPY ST. PATTY’S DAY!!

Today being St Patricks Day I wanted to bak e something fun for the occasion! Last year I made Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with a Whiskey Butterscotch filling and Baileys Irish Buttercream Icing!

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Today I decided to whip up some Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookies!

Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookies:

1 (12-oz) bottle Guinness extra stout
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips

In a saucepan, combine the Guinness and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture has reduced and is thick and syrupy (about 20-30 minutes). You should have just over 1/3 cup left once reduced. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightl, this will help it to thicken as well.

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While the beer is reducing you can sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. I forgot to bring my sifter to the boys house so I had to improvise with a mesh strainer.

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In your mixer, or mixing bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy.

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One at a time, add the eggs and the egg yolk, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly add the cooled Guinness syrup and beat until incorporated.

Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing just until everything comes together.

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Mix in the white chocolate and milk chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

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Preheat your oven to 325 F. and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a small cookie scoop/ice cream scoop, scoop the dough on top the cookie sheet. Place them about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

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Bake for about 18 minutes (rotating the baking sheets halfway through), or until the edges are set. I like mine crispy with a soft center, you can feel this when you check on your cookies, if they give too much when you tap the top then give them a bit more baking time.

These cookies are soft like brownies but they have the crispy edges that I like!

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Do you have any fun St. party’s Day recipes? (Sweet or savory?)

-K

Tea Parties and a Bridal Shower

Today I got to celebrate once of my best and oldest friends getting married! The wedding is in a couple of weeks but her bridal shower was today! It was held at The Garden Gate Tea Room in Mt. Dora. The room was so pretty!

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The food was really good, it might just have been the best chicken salad I’ve ever had!!

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They had a couple of teas available for us to drink, a hibiscus, and their southern belle which was peach tea. I choose the peach tea because it doesn’t get much better than that!

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We played games and the bride to be opened her presents.

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Kelly and I have been best friends since kindergarten, and although we got separated by college and distance at times, our friendship was always there! I was so happy I was able to celebrate this with her and I can’t wait for her wedding!

What’s your favorite tea room? I’m always looking for great tea places!

– K

St. Party’s day and Graduation

I’ve been a bit of a slacker with the blogging, I’ve been super busy with school and work. Since St. Patrick’s day is Monday I am planning on making some delicious cookies for the occasion! Triple Chocolate Guinness and Sugar Cookies with a Royal Baileys Icing! So look forward to those recipes to come!

As for graduation and it’s right around the corner and I’m freaking out a little! I have ordered invitations for my party and they have officially arrived, I just need to send them out. The stressful part is trying to figure out what I’ll be doing with my life after graduation. I have been looking for jobs to send my résumé out but I haven’t actually sent any out yet because I don’t know what I should do. I have lived in Orlando my whole life and I am ready to get out! I love Boston and I would love to live there (or Massachusetts in general) one day, and I wouldn’t mind living in other states. My current lease isn’t up until October. So the dilemma…….. Do I immediately apply for out of state jobs and hope that if I get one I can find someone to sublease my current place, or do I stay with my current job at a cookie bakery or look for a local professional job until my lease is up and then move out of state?

Moving out of state also requires moving expenses I have to save up for (I already have a good chunk in savings). I’m hoping that once I talk to my Aunt I’ll have some good parental guidance on what the better decision would be for my life.

How did post graduation job applications go for you? Any advice?

– K