Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Unbirthday to The Notebook Sisters!

          Cait and Mime at the Notebook Sisters are celebrating their 3rd blogaversy Wonderland style. I've decided to join the fun with a tag.

1. Just Alice: What book cover(s) has made you super curious?

Recently? Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast by Jane Yolen. I've yet to read it, just checked it out from the library because 1) the title, 2) the cover, and 3) Jane Yolen, people! She wrote The Commander Toad children's series.

2. Mad Hatter: List the craziest character(s) you've ever read.

-Orma from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (the delightful and charming kind of crazy)

-Giovanni from The Knight by Steven James (the literal and criminal kind of crazy)

3. Red Queen, Off With Your Head! What book have you felt like beheading?

Once when I was, like, fourteen I read one of those American Diaries books. I don't remember which one; it was about an immigrant family on a train. I was so angry at that book, I didn't finish it and still wanted to throw it out the window.

4. White Rabbit: What books or series have been insanely popular but you've been "late" to pick them up?

- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
- Allegiant by Veronica Roth (still need to 'review' it. . .)

5. Caterpillar: What's the most confusing book you've read?

I really can't recall one that was too confusing. More than likely though I didn't finish it.

6. Dormouse: What was the last book that sent you to sleep?

I tried to read something called Guitar Boy. No offense, by from the title, I kind of already knew it was a long shot. I never finished it.

7. Cheshire Cat: Book that made you laugh and smile?

Most recently, Abolished Impractically by Jack Lewis Baillot. I just finished it a few days ago. The characters are the best!

But also The Princess Bride by William Goldman and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (there are happy parts, I promise)

8. Knave of Hearts: Most recent character who stole your heart?

First, I have to say both Tris and Tobias from Roth's Divergent trilogy will always have my heart, especially Tobias since I now better know how he thinks.

But recently, it would have to tie up between Singur (I know, I still call him that), Tony, and Isidore all from Abolished Impractically.
And Hans Huberman is the best in The Book Thief, sorry just had to add that. :)

9. Jabberwocky: Best villain you've read this year?

Let's skip the 'this year' part and just speak generally. Giovanni from Steven James' The Knight. If you like terrible villains or need pointers on how to write villains, read Steven James' thrillers. It's some pretty scary stuff.

10. Down the Rabbit Hole: What's the latest book/series/author that's completely swallowed your interest?

Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy, of course! :)  The books, not the movie. The movie was just- I really don't want to talk about it. But the books are amazing! Read them. You must!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Quote time

Having eyes like his mother wasn't bad, but still, it wasn't very manly to go through life with pretty eyes.

-Haphazardly Implausible
by Jack Lewis Baillot.

I was rereading this so I can finally read the sequel, and this (and all the scenes with Hogan :) had me laughing out loud at midnight. Hope I didn't wake anyone up. . .

Friday, May 2, 2014

Amity in the Divergent Trilogy

The Amity are the peaceful people.

They're the hippies. ;) Kidding. . . though. They do drug their bread. . .

It's taken a while to get this post out because, for me, the Amity are a controversial faction. I like them, but in the book they made a lot of bad choices. So this might be a little rant-ish Sorry there are no pictures. There'll be a catch-up post later. :P

 In the world of the book the Amity are viewed as ridiculously happy people who play banjos, pick apples, and sing songs all the time. Happy-go-lucky. No worries. Who cares? Hugs and love. Life is fluffy without a serious point in it. Though I have to remember we are viewing the Amity through Tris' eyes, and Tris tends to be a very analytic, serious person. If it doesn't makes sense to her then it's foolishness, and in a lot of ways the Amity don't make sense to her.

In reality the Amity promote peace and strive to find a compromise when different opinions or struggles arise. They don't want to argue. They aren't antagonistic. They are probably the faction that can work as a team best. They appreciate the stability, unity, and harmony that living in peace with one another can bring. I see them being the third arbitrary party during the compilation of a peace treaty between two factions.

They aren't as fluffy as some people may think. When faced with a tough situation and decision like in Insurgent, they take it seriously. They don't mess around. I don't agree with the decision they made. But I don't think they made the decision they made because because they wanted to promote peace. I think they made that decision because they were afraid of getting involved. In a way, it is very selfish. And, I'm sorry, but it is near impossible to truly never take a side. It makes me angry, to think that they decided to not help anyone and thought that it would all blow over and they would be unaffected. Ha! They will still pay some price for war even if they remain neutral. What makes it worse is that Involvement used to be a part of their faction manifesto.

The Amity avoid conflict.

I think that is what the Amity are looked down on for most. And I can see why. Being an individual with your own ideas and beliefs is important (though that is the concept behind being divergent, so really it is not the Amity who take away individualism it is the whole structure of the faction system). It is important to have a voice. To be heard. To not back down when you know what you're doing is right. To fight on and not give in. But sometimes it's strong to give in. Sometimes it's strong to let go of your will. Sometimes it's brave to admit you're wrong. Sometimes it's selfless to compromise and not be the only one who wins.

And in reality, people generally do avoid conflict on a daily basis. I promise you, they do. Not always, not 24/7. But very few people are willingly to confront others. We beat around the bush. We make small talk. We pretend like everything is fine, but under the surface the bomb is ticking to explode. Because we don't like conflict. It's stressful. It's unhappy. It's inconvenient. So I can't really blame the Amity for avoiding conflict, because I, myself, do it everyday.

Now there are some people out there with antagonistic personalities. I would never believe that if I hadn't met some. Why you would want to disagree just for the sake of disagreeing is beyond me. And like any good Amity, I try to be nice and friendly to antagonistic people, but I am far from understanding them.

The Amity make me think of something Connie said on an early Adventures in Odyssey episode, "But why can't we all just get along?" (if you know what I'm talking about, you had an awesome childhood :) ). I agree in many ways. But people are too different, and there are too many gray areas to always agree. Sometimes to keep the peace you just have to agree to disagree. You can't become mortal enemies with everyone you disagree with or you'd become a very lonely, angry person.

But I still like Amity. I say that about all the factions. But there is something to admire in each one of them. For the Amity, it is peace. The thing that makes them so weak, is the same thing that makes them so strong. They have a strong connection to each other. There is very little division. In Dauntless, they can have division, and a fight would break out, then a riot, and everything could go down in total chaos. The Candor I'm sure disagree all the time and, knowing them, I doubt they ever agree to disagree. The Amity have a calm unification and stability to to them.

The Amity are the only faction that allows creativity. Of all the factions, they would be the patron of the arts. They sing, make music, dance, draw. . . you know all that frivolous, and illogical stuff that the other factions don't have time for or simple consider petty amusements. I'm a creative person. It would be really hard for me to fit into a faction that wouldn't allow me to express myself creatively.

The Amity are also into nature. For the most part (you know, aside from drugging their bread and their faction members when they cause trouble, both of which I disagree with), the Amity are the most nature faction there is. They live closest to the outdoors. They're agriculturally inclined and they use science (this is where they partner with Erudite) to be more efficient in agriculture. I love the outdoors. Trees are so beautiful, and I love to take walks. Nature is very inspiring.

The Amity are more prone to making friends than any other faction. The Candor are rude and that doesn't really attract friends. The Abnegation are to focused on selflessness to confide in anyone. The Dauntless are can make friends, but they can also be violent if they disagree. The Erudite, I'm sure, can have friends, but they probably don't feel inclined to make friends. The Amity are all about getting along with other people so they are initially social and if they commit to getting along then making friends is pretty easy. Now are they always sincere with each other? Probably not if they refuse to disagree. The first person to speak is probably who everyone else will go with.

 And in a way, since they tend to avoid conflict, they can be selfless like the Abnegation. They surrender their own individual will to agree with someone else. Not that this is always a good thing. If it's over something like, "Oh, what are we going to eat for lunch?" That's not important enough to argue over. Honestly, I don't understand people who have to (want to) argue about everything, even things that don't matter. But "Do we get involved in the coming war?" Yeah, that's rather important. And if you can't come to an agreement, I think it'd be best to divide and go your own way like Johanna did in the end of Insurgent. I don't like her original decision, but I admire her for breaking away and doing what she thought was right in the end. That was brave.

If all of society worked like the Amity, I think it'd be too good. The first person to suggest something would be met with little opposition. But if his idea was wrong. . . everyone would still go with it. People would have little knowledge about how to defend themselves if necessary. They would be even less inclined to stand up for themselves and for what they think is right. People talk about world peace, and that sounds really nice. But it's impossible. Very ambitious, but the world is too big. Even the Amity have troublemakers, and drugging them (taking their free will away) is not a good option to keeping the peace.

The next faction post will be over the Erudite. Another controversial faction.

What do you think? Why do you like or dislike the Amity?