How To Successfully Fail NaNoWriMo: A Step-By-Step Guide | Motley Monday

image

This past month has been NaNoWriMo. After a lot of dithering around, I finally decided to participate, in the hopes that I’d actually get somewhere with my novel that I started around this time last year.

Well, I got somewhere. Not very far, but somewhere.

image

That looks so depressing.

I wrote a grand total of 10,557 words. I would say that that’s 10k words more than I’ve written before, but I already had 5k ish, and I actually used most of that, line editing it as I went. So I really only wrote about 5k.

So. I have written a guide to failing NaNoWriMo, because apparently I’m really good at that. If I ever decide to do NaNo again, I’ll look back at this and do the opposite. Or try to, at least.

1. Live in a country with exams in November
This will give you plenty of free time to write, except that you should be spending that free time studying. This will cause enough stress to make you throw everything aside and spend your days on the internet doing nothing.

2. Be an expert procrastinator
If you waste all of your time on useless nothingness, you will definitely not succeed at NaNo. I advise practicing this beforehand, to ensure that you have the skills to avoid everything that is important, including NaNo. DO NOT use NaNo as a procrastination device; this will help you to get words written. If you want to successfully fail NaNo, you must ensure that the procrastination devices you are using will not benefit you in anyway, and completing NaNo doesn’t fall into this category.

3. Get behind on the first day
This causes discouragement and stress, both of which are key to failing. Whatever you do, don’t get ahead. This just makes the ultimate goal of completing NaNo seem more realistic, which we don’t want under any circumstances.

4. Have very few ideas about your novel
Very important. Ideas = a higher word count, and a higher word count = getting closer to winning NaNo. The fewer ideas, the better. Especially if you are a planner. Starting with a clean slate will help you to have no clue what to write, ultimately helping you to fail.

5. Use up all your ideas after 10k
If you happen to have ideas, you need to make sure that you use them up quickly and dry up your mind. If you continue to get new ideas, you will feel the urge to write them down, which will increase your word count. Fewer ideas = lower word count.

6. Try a new writing method
Do you write well using the snowflake method? Then skip that and just start writing. Do you normally start right away? Try the snowflake method. Switch things around, especially if you’ve already successfully written multiple novels using the same method. This will most likely confuse your brain and make it more difficult to achieve your goal.

7. Do everything differently
Like the above point, if you are used to doing things a certain way, and have found success doing it that way, then switch them up. In such a stressful time, this will confuse your brain and make it difficult to adjust. If you write better with others, then write alone, and vice versa. If you write best in silence, then blast the music. Doing things differently will slow productivity.

8. Ignore your novel for a few days
We all need a break at times. I advise taking a five day break (or longer) after the second or third day. This will help you lose all momentum and motivation. Trust me, it worked for me.

9. Spend all of your time on the internet
The more time that you spend on the internet, the less time that you spend writing. If you are going to attempt to fail NaNo, then it is crucial that you distance yourself from the novel, especially if you actually have decent ideas.

10. Don’t have a routine
Be sporadic and random with your writing times. If you get into a routine, you’ll feel obligated to write. If you don’t have a routine that includes writing, you won’t feel as obliged to write.

11. Just don’t write
Avoid it. Don’t open your document or notebook. Completely ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist. The only surefire way to fail NaNo is to stop writing.

There you have it! How to successfully fail NaNoWriMo. You’re welcome.

Arohanui,
Tessa Ann

Advertisements

Book Review: She Is Not Invisible | Wordy Wednesday

image

Two things before I begin the review:

1. I’ve finally actually started using Goodreads. I made an account back in Juneish, but never went on it. I downloaded the app on Monday, and now I’ve started actually using it, which is nice, because it means that my TBR is getting even more uncompleteable, and making me even more depressed because there are now so many books on it that the library doesn’t have. But oh well. Feel free to add me. Tessa Ann Christensen. Also I added the Goodreads widget, displaying my TBR. So if you ever feel like randomly sending me a present, feel free to look at that.

2. Due to needing to rate books on Goodreads to get recommendations, I’ve finally come up with a rating system that works for me. I’d previously avoided that, because I didn’t feel like I could compare books in that way. But it is necessary, so here’s how it goes.

1 star: I hate it. Get it out of my life. What a waste of time.
2 stars: Not the worst thing I’ve ever read, but I wouldn’t recommend it or read it again.
3 stars: Kind of meh. Nothing to be yelling about, but not awful. Just didn’t really do much for me, although I can see why it might be liked.
4 stars: I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it, but I didn’t absolutely love it.
5 stars: OH MY GOODNESS YES ALL THE YESES LOVE LOVE LOVE

There ya go. How I rate books. If you’re interested to see how I’ve rated books that have been reviewed on here in the past, I encourage you to check out my Goodreads, because every book I’ve reviewed on here now has a star rating on here. Also, in the near future, I might sort my Book Reviews page by rating. We’ll see.

image

Laureth Peak’s father is a writer. For years he’s been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he’s obsessed, Laureth thinks he’s on the verge of a breakdown. He’s supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong. On impulse she steals her mother’s credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.

I can’t find the blurb for the edition I read online, but I like this one better anyway.

Why did I choose to read this book?

BECAUSE SHE’S BLIND.

I have, and always have had, a strange fascination with being blind. It’s probably related to the fact that I have many eye problems. So, when I saw this book, I was like YES PLEASE. And then I forgot about it, before rediscovering my Goodreads account, where I had saved it as to-read. I got it out from the library and read it on Monday.

What did I think? AMAZING.

So the main character, Laureth (love the name, even if her mother doesn’t), kind of kidnaps her younger brother Benjamin, and goes to New York to try find her dad, who just so happens to be obsessed with coincidence. There was a lot about coincidence (or co-inky-dink), some of which went over my head. But there were other parts that blew my mind and that I really loved, so it wasn’t completely lost.

The plot was basically the two kids trying to find their dad in the middle of an unfamiliar country. It was interesting and suspenseful, and was dotted with pages from the dad’s notebook, about coincidence and the birthday paradox and all that. I loved how we got to see the dad’s character and personality, even though he wasn’t around when events were occurring.

But my absolute favourite part?

The way that Laureth’s blindness was shown.

It was like the reader was blind. Seriously, it was amazingly accurate. There were things that seeing people would pick up on that she didn’t, and that MOST DEFINITELY came through to the reader. It was so amazing. You could clearly tell that she was blind, and it was so well written. The way that Benjamin communicates with her; the way that she hid it from strangers; the way that things were revealed to the reader at the same time as they were revealed to her… It was incredible. Writing from the first person perspective of someone who is blind is risky and it could go completely wrong, but Marcus Sedgwick pulled it off so well. I felt like I was definitely experiencing the world the same way that she did.

I’m still so impressed by it. Gahhhh it was wonderful.

5 stars: OH MY GOODNESS YES ALL THE YESES LOVE LOVE LOVE

Please recommend any books with blind MCs that you know of. I’m desperate to read more.

Arohanui,
Tessa Ann

Popular Trends And Why I Don’t | Motley Monday

image

Apologies for the lack of posting over the weekend. I’ve been kinda sick, and I’ve been studying (ha!) so I wasn’t really in the mood for posting anything.

Two weeks ago, I had my English exam. For the exam, I was required to write two essays and analyze three unfamiliar texts. The essays were relating to the texts that we had studied earlier in the year – the film A Few Good Men, and the play The Importance of Being Earnest. For my essay about TIOBE, I wrote about society and how it affected the lives of the characters in the play. One particular point that I made was that society dictates people’s decisions, as they often make decisions based on what society will think.

I, however, am a rebellious pickle, and I don’t follow trends. So here’s a few trends that are/have been popular, and why I don’t follow them.

1. Zombies/Vampires/Werewolves/Other Creepy Stuff
Everyone seems to be somewhat obsessed with these kinds of things. I am not. I like things that don’t give me chills and that don’t make me scared to leave my room, even if I know they aren’t real. I don’t see the point in this kind of thing. Just… no.

2. Not Wearing Glasses To Fancy Events
Ok. This one seriously got on my nerves. Back in August was the Leaver’s Banquet, which is our version of a ball. I didn’t go, because I honestly couldn’t be bothered. And there’s always next year. Anyways, I saw the photos, and literally one person was wearing glasses. And it was a guy, to say the least. Everyone else that normally wears glasses (which was probably about twenty people) had just ditched the glasses to look better, either for contacts or for bad vision. I cannot wear contacts, so if it was me in that position, I’d have the choice of wearing glasses or going blind. Quite frankly, I’d pick glasses any day. I wouldn’t even consider not wearing them. What’s the point? What’s the purpose? Just so that you can look slightly more attractive? I resent that this is the stigma associated with glasses.

3. Having The Newest, Most Expensive Technology
I’m looking at my brothers for this one. They are always buying newer, better technology, while I’m using the same sucky phone and tablet. I’ve never spent money on technology, because I’ve always had their old hand-me-downs. And honestly, it’s great. I don’t see the point in buying the newest, flashiest phone, or blowing a thousand dollars on something that you can buy for a hundred. It seems like such a waste, especially when it won’t last and you’ll just have to spend even more money in the future. I’ll stick with my barely functioning phone, thank you very much. Think about all the money I’ve saved!

4. Snapchat & Twitter
This is not a hate on social media. I have a Facebook. I have an Instagram. I spend plenty of time on social media. So why single out these two? I have a Twitter account, but I just couldn’t get into it. It just wasn’t my thing. I didn’t know what I was supposed to tweet, and the app kept crashing anyway. So I gave up, and I’m perfectly happy without it. I’d waste even more time if I had it. As for Snapchat, I can’t get it. My tablet is not compatible with the app, and my phone freaks out every time I turn the internet on, so Snapchat is not for me. And I’m fine with that. Like I said, I’d probably waste even more time. And if there’s a particularly exciting snap, my friends message it to me anyway. Saves me the effort of actually having the app.

5. Selfies
A couple of years ago, I went through a phase of taking photos of myself on my tablet just so I could edit them and use the cool filters on my tablet. I didn’t share them with anyone. It was just a boredom buster. But nowadays, I’m one of those old grandmas who doesn’t understand selfies. It just seems self-centered. I’d rather be doing something other than spending ages trying to find the perfect angle. I can understand a selfie style photo taken with friends. That’s fun, and can mark an occasion. But taking endless photos of yourself? No thanks. Especially since I’m not very photogenic to begin with.

6. Expensive, Trendy Clothes
Oh gosh no. This drives me crazy. Probably the prime example would be Converse. They cost what, like $100 or something? Why pay all that money when I can get a decent pair of similar shoes for $4.50 from The Warehouse? And don’t even get me started on clothes. I’m pretty sure the most expensive piece of clothing that I own is my black jacket, because the wool that my mum bought to knit it cost around $100. I don’t see the point in going to the trendy, cool shops, when I can just as easily get decent clothes from cheaper stores. Most people spend upwards of $100 for a dress for a ball, right? Well, for the five balls/dances I’ve been to in the last four years, I’ve spent about $70. Five dresses for $70. Yes please. One last problem with trendy clothes – they go out of fashion practically overnight. Why spend all that money when you won’t be wanting to wear it in a week? I’ll stick with my cheap clothes, thanks.

7. Popular Music
I love me some good music. But it seems to me that if someone was to have their music tastes dictated by what was popular at the time, they’d barely have time to hear a song before having the next big one shoved at them. I’d rather listen to the music I like than listen to the music that society deems popular and cool. I’m listening to some music at the moment by an artist that most people wouldn’t have heard of, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I’m already on the second replay of the CD. Yes, CD. This is what happens when my headphone jack is broken. But seriously, I’m perfectly happy with my music. I don’t want to listen to something because it is popular.

8. French Flag Profile Picture Filter
This one is slightly more serious. After the Paris attacks, people were given the option of putting a filter of the French flag over their Facebook profile picture. I chose not to. Why? Because doing such a thing does not help in any way. But mainly because France was not the only country affected by horrible things around that time, and yet they were the only flag that we had the option of changing to. I will not value the lives of people in a white, western nation over the lives of those in other countries.

Eight is my favourite number below ten, so we’ll leave it there. But what about you guys? What trends do you avoid? I’m intrigued.

Arohanui,
Tessa Ann

Book Reviews: Apple And Rain & One | Wordy Wednesday

image

NaNoWriMo Update: I’ve kind of possibly given up…

Today I’ll be reviewing two books by Sarah Crossan: Apple And Rain, and One.

image

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is that she begins to see things as they really are.

A story about sad endings.
A story about happy beginnings.
A story to make you realise who is special.

I have no idea how I found this book. I was probably looking up One and the author and all that, and thought this sounded interesting.

I rather enjoyed this book. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to be kind of heavy, but I found it quite light. Not that that’s a bad thing, just a thought.

So this is a book about a girl called Apple (but seriously, her full name, Apollinia Apostolopoulou, is awesome. Makes me want to be Greek. Even thought I’m probably pronouncing it wrong in my head. Also Apple is actually a really cute name as well. And now this bracket is far too long and I’ve lost my train of thought anyway.) It’s about this girl called Apple whose mother finally comes home after leaving all those years ago, and how this affects Apple’s life.

For some reason, before I started reading, I thought Rain was three. Not the feisty ten year old that she is. Also Rain is an adorable name as well. And this review is an absolute mess.

This was a great book. It was deep and meaningful while still being apparently quite light in my mind. I think it came across as being somewhat childish to me, probably because Apple was only 13, and yet it had a serious message and meaning to it.

It definitely wasn’t my favourite book, but it was still very good. I wasn’t overly surprised by anything that happened, although I certainly didn’t have the entire plot mapped out in my mind. There were a few things that I was able to guess correctly, but there were also some major points that I missed, so it was a nice mixture of the two.

I also really liked the poetry thing and the English class. That whole element strongly appealed to me, for some reason.

There were a couple of dodgy scenes, from what I remember, and a bit of bad language, but overall, it was pretty clean. Not at all like most popular books these days. John Green, I’m looking at you.

Overall, this was a great book, which I would recommend.

image

Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins.

And their lives are about to change.

No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love?

But what neither Grace or Tippi realises is that a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead. A decision that could tear them apart. One that will change their lives even more than they ever imagined…

From Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?

I JUST DISCOVERED THAT YOU CAN VIEW DIFFERENT EDITIONS OF BOOKS ON GOODREADS AND THAT EXCITES ME GREATLY.

Ahem.

I discovered this one (I’m going to chuckle to myself every single time I type that word in this review. Simple things amuse simple minds.) after reading Cait’s review, and I knew I had to have it. So I committed myself to searching for it on the  library website almost daily, hoping and praying that they would get a copy, although I wasn’t too hopeful, because I have discovered that they do not like me much and don’t have so many of the books that I want. Then, one day, after I hadn’t searched for about a week, I checked again, and lo and behold, it was there! I was so excited, and I reserved it right away.

And after all of that waiting, I read the whole thing in about an hour while sitting in the car this afternoon, waiting for my mum and brother who were at the doctor’s.

Did it live up to my sky high expectations? Not entirely, but mostly.

It was what I expected, and I loved it, even though I managed to pretty accurately predict the plot, some even before I opened it. I loved the free verse way that it was written, although I only actually read a very small portion of it as poetry. I mostly just read it as a regular book, going at my same super speed. Hence why I finished it in an hour. Or possibly less. Maybe 45 minutes.

A 430 page book in 45 minutes? That’s a new record!

Never mind that there’s only 50ish probably words per page.

But anyways, I loved this. It was entirely what I had expected, which was good, because that meant that it met my expectations. There was that tiny bit of me that was disappointed in it, because it didn’t surprise me at all, but I loved it nonetheless. It was beautifully written, and I don’t think it would have worked nearly as well if it had been written in prose. It said everything it needed to say with the few words that it had. No wasted descriptions or anything like that. Every single word meant something, because there were so few words that they all had to mean something.

I’m getting very poetic and metaphorical over here.

The whole book was from the POV of Grace, who is the quieter of the two. I reckon that this was the right choice. I would have loved to hear more from Tippi’s perspective, but I don’t think she could have told it nearly as well as Grace, from what I know of her.

As for appropriateness, there was a tiny bit of foul language and that stuff, but, like Apple And Rain, not nearly as bad as many other books I’ve read.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. I loved it to pieces. One of my favourite books of the year.

After reading those two, I’m going to have to see if our library has any other books by Sarah Crossan. I feel like I may have found a new possible favourite author.

Arohanui,
Tessa Ann

Beautiful Books #2: The Writing Process | Motley Monday

image

I’m back with this month’s Beautiful Books, which is all about the writing process! Beautiful Books is a linkup run by Cait from Paper Fury and Sky from Further Up And Further In.

I feel like I should begin this by saying that my feelings towards NaNo have changed drastically since the last Beautiful Books. Which you can find here.

image

1. Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
It’s turning out slower, I can say that for sure. In regards to content, it is mostly how I thought it would be.

2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
My first sentence is “I have absolutely no idea how I’m supposed to do this thing.”

That’s my MC, Sarah, talking, although it could most definitely also be me talking about writing a novel.

3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
I’m not entirely sure what I am. I can’t go into a story unless I know how it is going to end, and I also need to know most of the key elements. But I’m certainly not detailed. My plan is mainly just a few bullet points on a document, with a bit more detail inside my head. When I first attempted to write this last year, I tried doing a chapter by chapter plan, which absolutely failed.

4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
I don’t really set goals. When I do set goals, I normally fail them. And when I don’t fail them, I generally don’t reward myself.

5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
My names generally just happen. I’ll use a name generator at times, but most of the time, it’s just randomly from my head. Sometimes I’ll look for a name with a specific meaning, although I didn’t do that this time round. The name that I was originally going to use for Sarah’s sister became her best friend’s name. Her parents and a couple of minor characters were named by a friend of mine. When I needed a new name for her sister, I used the first name that popped into my head. It’s random, I’m telling you.

6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
Not the middle. Anything but the middle. That’s my current problem. I have a beginning. I have an ending. I have a couple of scenes for the middle. But nothing else. I probably like the ending the best, although I can’t explain why.

7. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
So in my last post, I was oohing and aahing over Devlin, because he’s my baby. But lately, while I’ve been writing, I’ve discovered that Will is amazing and I love him and want to squish him. He’s beautiful.

image

I love him to pieces. AND I SHIP HIM AND SARAH SO MUCH. SHE’S SUCH AN EMOTIONLESS PERSON BUT THE WAY THAT SHE KEEPS MENTIONING HIM IS JUST GAAAAHHHHH I SHIP THEM.

8. What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)
I don’t actually think I’ve researched anything? Um, nope, not that I can think of. Oh, I did research Sense and Sensibility. And in my very first original draft, way way back last year, I researched random facts about different things, because I was going to start each chapter with a fact, although that didn’t happen. Other than that, I just think I’ve researched songs, populations of cities, and how long it takes to drive from Napier to Auckland. And signs of depression. Ok, so I’ve researched more than I thought. Good to know.

9. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
I’ve only written with others once, and we weren’t really concentrating on writing, so I can’t say. As for sharing with others, I have frequently sent scenes to Rachel and other friends, mostly gushing over Sarah and Will. I like sharing things with others. Most of the time.

10. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!
Writing habits: don’t really have any, other than getting distracted every 5.3 seconds. Snacks: nope. Music: I normally listen to music anyway, so yup. These days, I just listen to the radio, which is slightly more distracting than Spotify, but my headphone jack thing is broken, so I can’t listen to music on my tablet. *cries* Time of day: late at night, because I spend the rest of the day procrastinating. Writing space: literally sitting on my bed. Very exciting.

So that’s my NaNo progress! At this point, I’ve written 10k, and I’m supposed to be at 25k. I’m also completely out of ideas for that dang middle. So the chances of me winning are pretty slim. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

If anyone has any genius ideas on how I can actually get more than 10k, they would be greatly appreciated.

Arohanui,
Tessa Ann

The Whimpersnufferpickel | Flashback Friday

image

NaNoWriMo Update: I’ve set myself the challenge of writing 3k everyday for ten or eleven days. I’ve made significant progress so far after missing a few days, but I’m losing steam (and ideas) so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes.

Today’s story is The Whimpersnufferpickel. I can almost guarantee that this will be the strangest thing you’ve read all day. I wrote this when I was twelve, when we were given the instructions to write a story about a whimpersnufferpickel. Then this happened.

The Whimpersnufferpickel

This story is about the whimpersnufferpickel. That name sounds really peculiar, doesn’t it? I’ll explain.

I’m Professor What’s-Her-Name. I created the whimpersnufferpickel. The whimpersnufferpickel is part wombat, horse, iguana, porcupine, elephant, rabbit, seahorse, newt, unicycle, fish, frog, electric eel, raccoon, panda, insect, canary, kangaroo, emu, and lion. The unicycle got in accidentally. (Actually, I needed another vowel for the name.) His actual name is William Williams. (You can call him Double W.) I’ll tell you how I made him. One day, I was bored. So I made the Morpher 3000. If you get different parts of animals etc, you can morph them together to create something. So, to make a whimpersnufferpickel, you need:

The eyes of a wombat;
The hooves of a horse;
The scales of an iguana;
The spines of a porcupine;
The trunk of an elephant;
The ears of a rabbit;
The tail of a seahorse;
The brain of a newt;
The wheel of a unicycle;
The gills of a fish;
The throat of a frog;
The electricity of an electric eel;
The fur of a raccoon;
The teeth of a panda;
The thorax of an insect;
The beak of a canary;
The back feet of a kangaroo;
The legs of an emu;
And the mane of a lion.

Don’t harm the animals. Here, use my Dead Creature Detector. You use it to look for the dead parts. Then you put each part individually in my Melt-O-Matic. After that, you put a cup of each part in a blender for five minutes on the highest setting. Then, you put it in the Morpher 3000. Leave it running overnight. In the morning, voila! Your very own whimpersnufferpickel!

~~~

Oh my goodness I’m dying. That was a glorious mess.

I cannot decide what my favourite thing about that was. Probably the fact that I tried so hard to spell out the name with different animals, and yet I missed the letter m. Or maybe the fact that this person was bored, so they made a machine that can morph animals. Or maybe just that this is so strange and random.

Well. There you have it. That is the story about the whimpersnufferpickel (Hallelujah! Autocorrect has finally decided that it is a word, so I don’t have to type the whole thing!). Your life has been made so much better.

Double W? Really? What is the purpose of that?

I’m so dumbfounded by my creativity as a child.

Arohanui,
Tessa Ann

Book Review: The Selection | Wordy Wednesday

image

Exam Update: I had my English exam on Monday and my maths exam yesterday. English went better than I expected. Maths went worse than I expected. Fun times.

NaNoWriMo Update: Since my first chunk of exams are over, I now have a week or so to write hard out until I have to hunker down and study again. So some high word count days will hopefully be in my future.

Today I’ll be reviewing The Selection by Kiera Cass, which I read a few days ago.

image

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Warning: contains a large amount of fangirling and rambling

I LOVED THIS BOOK! SERIOUSLY LOVED IT!

First off, everyone is saying that this is a Hunger Games rip off. I’ve neither read nor watched The Hunger Games, but if this is a rip off of it, I might reconsider.

No, but seriously. This was such an amazing book. I loved it so much. I wasn’t too keen on it at first, when my friend suggested it, but I read it anyway and fell in love.

You probably already know that I’m not the biggest dystopian fan, but this one worked for me. It wasn’t too heavy on it, or confusing, but it was definitely still there and had an impact on the story. It also wasn’t all about violence and rebellion – although there were elements of it – like the other dystopians I’ve read.

The main focus of this story is the romance. And GAH it was beautiful. I can now officially say that I have my first crush on a fictional character (other than Flynn Rider, but he’s animated and from a movie, so they can go into separate categories). Seriously, Maxon is basically all I’d ever want in a guy. Other than the 34 other girls, of course. But, ya know. Nobody’s perfect.

The one thing I disliked about this book was Aspen. He just got on my nerves, and I did not like him, or his relationship with America. I feel like their relationship was all passion and no substance. But it was a good frustration, I guess, because at least I was feeling emotions towards him. If that makes any sense.

As for America herself, I liked her. She seemed humble and friendly and sweet, although not perfect, so not sickly sweet. I imagine that if I was in a Bachelor type situation (which I never would be, because the whole concept boggles me), I would be a lot like her. Or I’d hope I would be.

Right. One final point is content. Would I feel comfortable recommending this to my brother/other person younger than me? (Confused? Read the end of this post, after the bold BUT.) The answer is yes. There was basically no swearing, from what I can remember, and there were no sex scenes, although it was kind of mentioned a couple of times. I don’t know how to explain it without giving stuff away. But basically, it was pretty dang clean compared to most of the other stuff I’ve read lately.

Gahhhh this was such a great book. Loved it. Can’t wait until I can read the next one.

PLEASE SOMEONE GIVE ME MAXON. I NEED ME A MAXON.

Arohanui,
Tessa Ann