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“Insurgent” by Veronica Roth: a reaction to the novel

This is not a traditional review. It’s a reaction. And I’m doing this because I don’t feel like writing today, plus this is a second novel in a series by Veronica Roth, and I don’t want to waste your time if you’re not interested in the series. If you are curious though, please read my first blog review about the first novel HERE to decide if it’s worth your time.

The truth is, with every author writing a trilogy or worse, it’s hard to get genuinely excited for a series anymore. A lot of these author in Young Adult take a premise that could be a book or two at best and make them between three and seven obnoxious, money grabbing books. If you read my blogs from the past few months, you’ll know I complain about this regularly.

That said: I can honestly say the “Divergent” series is deserving of the buzz and should be THE NEXT BIG THING. A movie will come, and when the third book is out, this will hit the roof, just like Mockingjay did for Collins’ and her less than impressive “Hunger Games” Series.

Divergent is better. I’m sticking to it.

Which brings me to the reaction to “Insurgent” which came out in MAY 2012:

This was the best sequel to a “book one” I’ve ever read in Y.A.

It had the impact of Harry Potter while being Sci-Fi. It carries weight and angst and romance and violence. Veronica Roth continued to write a fast-paced story here, and, yes, it’s not perfect writing and can sometimes go on a bit, but nowhere near the extent of other Y.A. authors. You read Veronica Roth’s work because it’s so visual and has a lot of energy. It’s the series I would equate most to “reading a movie.” This is not poetic or artsy writing, in fact it is very utilitarian in its use, but you can’t turn the pages fast enough.

You read because the plot and story rules. She works with her strengths well. She does what she does damned good.

So I give it a 4/5, just like the first installment. These are not really sepearate books, but a three part, very long story. “Insurgent” picked up exactly where “Divergent” left off, which will be jumbling to someone who hasn’t read the first book in ten months, but it’s nothing a brief wiki visit can’t fix. Overall, this continued the adventure at the same calibur as the first one, which isn’t always the case for sequel movies and books. God knows there’s a lot of shit out there. But if you liked Divergent or if my PREVIOUS REVIEW entices you, go NOW to your library.

And the Ending, the last chapter, no, the last page, is a Holy Crap Moment. Enjoy that.

I’m sad there’s only one book left.

The stakes are raised, people die, and this plot runs deeper than affecting just five factions.

I’ve said too much already. Go. Go!



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THE HUNGER GAMES: an Opening Weekend Review

It was just after midnight. No, not on the Thursday night midnight showings. No one could make it with me then. SO I waited for the Friday night opening day. I walked out of the theater from my 9:50pm movie with a smile on my face, more than glad I spent the $12 and 2 hours and 22 minutes on something done right.

This is how you adapt movies. This is one of the best book adaptations since Lord of the Rings. Better than the Twilights, and better than half of the Harry Potters, and I loved the Harry Potters. I stand by these claims.

On its’ opening Friday, it set a record with $68.25 million in one day for a non-sequel movie. No movie has ever done that one a Friday opening. None of the super-hero films, Avatar, Batman, or LOTR: Return of the King. No midnight shows have done these numbers either, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2… and some of you know how big that was. I was there.

It is the first “Must See” of 2012. Anything changed or left out was not missed or made sense. Anything altered was to improve the story. Anything added was to enhance the tale. The best part is: not much had to be changed, and the book you read was really, really close to this movie. Bravo for real.

Techically and artistically triumphant. Excellent tone setting and camera work. Incredible sound design, editing, costuming, and cinematography. Taut, chilling, cold, thrilling, and atmospheric. Really went above my expectations. Anybody will like this movie whether you read the book or not. Pushes the bounds of PG-13 and actually got my adreneline up and bumped up my temperature at parts with frothing anticpation.

Aside from little details, this screenplay hit the nail on the head, and is just as good as Collins’ novel. I did not go into this thinking I would support it like this, but I am. I’m on this for the long haul, and considering the second and thrid novels were frustrating reads for me, I have all the confidence in the world that the next two films WILL out-do the books. There are thing s to iron out, alter, and change in the coming two films. The first installment needed the least change-ups. What will be neat is still around the corner. This thing has just, just begun.

Exceptional direction and set design, truly. Bring on the 75th Hunger Games! Please, please, please!



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