Monday, 1 September 2014

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent #2)

by Veronica Roth

I couldn't wait to begin with Insurgent after Divergent finished. Roth's writing is cleverly written and worded to match the dystopian, post-apocalyptic genre. I dived straight into the book, reading chapter after chapter trying to understand and come to grips with the new characters introduced and the fraction-less. 

After the alliance with Marcus that Tris makes I rolled my eyes, a very typical movement and plot 'twist'. I liked how it still focused on Tris and Tobias but also parted away from them until the end. Showing the typical romance everyone craves for. 

Insurgent was a brilliant second installment to the Divergent trilogy and I enjoyed it as much a as Divergent. All in all I do hope that the final installment to he Divergent trilogy; Allegiant will higher my standards and close the series with a bang.

4.5/5 stars

Lydia S Jones

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent #1)

by Veronica Roth

It took me a while to finally begin reading the Divergent Series. I knew I would enjoy each novel and fall in love with the narratives. However, I decided to wait till the hype was hushed and then began the series. I am truly happy I did, I enjoyed this take on the Dystopian genre.

As a fan of this science fiction, dystopia genre I was interested in the way this story would pan out. At first I didn't enjoy the main protagonist names, as myself cringe at the name. So I smiled open heartedly at Tris becoming her name. 

I knew romance would be a recurring theme, especially with Tobias/Four, that was a given soon as Tris entered the Dauntless. I enjoyed how society was ranked into different categories that represent different strengths and personality traits. I believe in my opinion that the ending war seemed rushed to finish, but I bow down to the ease of not hiding blood and violence and making it known. Roth's writing is strong, which matches with the brave characters she holds well within this first installment. I am looking forward to reading Insurgent.

4.5/5 stars

Lydia S Jones


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Soulmates by Holly Bourne


by Holly Bourne

I didn't know what to expect as I picked up this novel at first. Was it going to be a pathetic love story, following its cringy title 'Soulmates' or a nothingless novel that was a quick read. It was that, a quick read.

I certainly didn't expect the language within the novel, I am used to American writing where the author's always seem to be American. However, Soulmates struck me off guard. British. What I liked was the realism regarding teenagers in college, A Levels and coursework as well as mastering the art of juggling your social and educational life.

The theory behind true love as a moral in this fictional story was overridden by the pathetic 'plot twist' about the weather changing and 'forbidden love'. Suddenly it quite rapidly took a turn and flipped into a unlikely silly little story. The realism was stripped from everything we had endured. I do recommend this novel for a quick holiday read, one to be read in a short amount of time. 

3/5 stars

Lydia S Jones


Monday, 7 July 2014

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


by Rainbow Rowell

At first when I purchased this novel I was reluctant into reading it. I didn't know what I was going to expect when reading this novel and the story surrounding the idea of a 'Fangirl' attached to 'FanFiction'. I decided I needed a feel-good novel that would match my current emotions of happiness and relaxation on a sunny day. 

The central protagonist Cath, a small town, quiet and social anxiety teenager made me furious at first. Her attachment to these characters Baz and Simon was uncanny. It was cringe-worthy. However, as I read on I understood her passion towards these characters and her struggles coming with writing something completely original, her fiction writing classes. As a wake up call I urge all who want to go into writing as a career to re-think their decisions, is University a good way into starting of that career? The pressure of writing on a deadline about something you have no clue over, or the passion for. As a young writer my dream is to write, but University is not the way for me. Experience is.

I enjoyed this novel actually more than i expected to. I rooted for Cath to grow as a young teenager in her first year of college. Her realisation towards the ending was a triumph, she needed to live in the moment and not in a fictional world. I am impressed with the layout of the story and how it has grown into a life lesson into finding out who you are in not only a love story, but a realistic selfless way.

4/5 stars

Lydia S Jones

Monday, 30 June 2014

Return to Labyrinth (Return to Labyrinth #1) by Jake T. Forbes, Chris Lee

Return to Labyrinth (Return to Labyrinth #1)

by Jake T. Forbes, Chris Lee

As a lover of all things Jim Henson's Labyrinth I was curious on what this graphic novel had to offer within the fiction world. I was impressed when my boyfriend handed me this graphic novel having known he knows nothing of the Labyrinth, film or not. I wanted to enter the world of Jareth's Labyrinth, reliving my childhood at nearly 20 years old.

I wondered where this journey would take me, introduce me to new characters and imaginative creatures. I was utterly impressed by the creation of a new story, following Toby growing up and how Sarah's world is now his. Toby's characteristics seems very selfish, his personality is very morbid and controlling over who he is and what he wants. However, this was a very likely outcome for Toby seeing as he very much was that child in the original Labyrinth; Sarah's annoying little brother. In my opinion, Toby and Sarah are similar characters as their characteristics mold together into their parents. I would enjoy seeing more about Sarah in the next installments and see where her childhood takes her.

Favoring Jareth, the Goblin King I admire his passion and devotion towards Sarah and how his love for her has not passed throughout the years. I am excited to see what happens with Jareth and how he has left the thrown to Toby.

As a fan of Jim Henson's Labyrinth and a first reader of any sort of graphic novel, I was impressed and loved Return to Labyrinth. If you have ever watched Labyrinth growing up, visited the world I once had I recommend this journey back into this world. Revisit Hoggle and Ludo once more!

4/5 stars

Lydia S Jones

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Social Media Path by Lydia Jones

It took me a while for me to decide in which direction I wanted to head towards for my career. I tried to think of everything that I wanted to do and outline it with my greatest ambition. To be published. After reading up on job roles, on career options I knew straight away University was not for me. It might be the constant sitting in lectures or the time wasting experience, I just knew I didn't want that. I wanted to be able to give my all each time, to get straight into a job that I would thoroughly enjoy. The no-debt fee was also a great upside.

I knew the path I wanted to take was to find a job that could support me and my career. When I stumbled across The Juice Academy Apprenticeship scheme for Social Media, I wasn't too sure that I had a chance. Yes, like all other young people out there I use social networks actively and hold my own Blog. But I didn't think I could see myself in the position. Without any other thought, I read around the job roles, around companies and the definition of social media and knew this was the step I was willing to take. I was impressed with everything The Juice Academy had to offer, earning what I would have spent on a University degree doing something I love.

At first I was reluctant to want to step backwards into education, I was so relieved when I was out of it. I found myself on one foot getting my head back into the world of learning. However, from experience I have found myself settled and handling each task in a well thought-out way. I was happy to resume into this world and to come to grips on what social media does to industries.

I believe if you doubt your options, doubt your career path and what you want to do. Wait, plan and choose. There is never a rush on what choices you have to make, University is always going to be there. Jobs are always going to be available. However, getting into them jobs are the important aspects. Decide yourself. But never forget to ask questions. I could always see myself entering a career surrounded by the media. Maybe not in the sense of which I am in, but there is always room to change, this is step one. There are plenty more steps to come by. Always believe in you. 

Lydia S Jones

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Is it a Dystopian World? Is it run by technology?

What exactly is the Dystopia genre? It’s a genre which manifests a world in the future which focuses on society and how they have challenged ways in politics, science, religion or technology. It’s the complete opposite of Utopia, which is an ideal world we see as to live in.

I, as a young reader have become enlightened to this futuristic genre that has set aside from Science Fiction. I believe that dystopia is the perfect setting and lifestyle that we as a generation are happily walking into without the acknowledgement. It may seem like the little things first, from the invention of the internet and little message groups you joined so often on forums, or sources like MySpace (2003) checking out bands and sharing your profiles. Our social media insight has risen over the past 10 years, to create this way of connecting; sharing, viewing and searching become easier and well-known interaction among young people. We take it for granted these days, it’s just a way of sharing our weekends, searching through others profiles, who’s with whom and what they look like. Thanks to Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006) which our most used social media applications and sites to date.

The writers of the dystopian genre have manifested worlds which mirror our own. ‘Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (2005)’ creates this community which believes you are only pretty when you turn 16 and under-go cosmetic surgery, this shows how social media creates a version of yourself that you want to be. In their society they believe their ranks are everything, what their feeds are, what stories they have revealed and how high they can get. It’s much like how many views you can gather on YouTube (2005) or how many likes on a post on Facebook. It creates a world where everyone is someone else, their ideal person with no emotions over anything that they can do.
  ‘The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008)’ a well-known adaptation has an incredible social media platform. By using TV as a source of entertainment creating a death-ring as an arena and placing 24 children ‘tributes’ into the arena to fight for survival. The world Collins has created is set within the future, in Panem. Within’ the Games the tributes must connect with the audience in order to grab the sponsor’s attention to send them medication, food or survival tools to help them survive the games. It uses so many ways to create a new world which uses social media, the main aspect being playing a game in order to win over society to help them survive.
‘Delirium by Lauren Oliver (2011)’ is another dystopian novel which is a world created around the idea that love is a disease which can only be found in people who have not had the procedure to remove ‘the deliria’. Society is sectioned off by the idea of love where partners are created by a test which chooses for you depending on your own results. However, would that actually ever work? Love happens to anyone, it’s a journey around society coming against fears which they are blocked from. Where the internet is watched, sites are blocked and they are sheltered from the real meaning of what love is.

There are many more clear examples out there in the world, from books to television shows to films. Like Doctor Who (1963), The Twilight Zone (1959) and Falling Skies (2011) to well-known blockbuster films such as The Island (2005), Elysium (2013) and The Matrix (1999). We live in a generation where everything is centred on technology. Who say’s we won’t turn into that society who can click their fingers and their profiles show up in front of their eyes, or touching walls to check your daily feed? We have progressed immensely over the past decade through technology and we will enter many more decades to even brighter and scarier society driven sources. We will look back in years to come and realize what was and what now is.

Lydia S Jones