Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica RothBeatrice  Prior or Tris is back in the sequel to the hit book Divergence. ( Do not read the remainder of this blog if you have not yet read Divergence spoiler alert!!!!!!!!!!!! )

Insurgent is a new and exciting look into the life of Beatrice Prior after the killing of most of the Abnegation leader’s in the attack of a very well planted Erudite serum that basically turned people into brain dead zombies bent on killinganyone and everyone that they could see. We join Tris in her fight against the Erudite and are transported into the war she is fighting,along with her boyfriend Tobias or as we knew him in the prequel Four she will risk her life time and again to save the Abnegation from the Erudite’s masterplan.

Veronica Roth is a very descriptive writer that truly transports you into one of her books where you are the main character. Even if you are the opposite gender of Tris and live a totally different life. Veronica Roth is one of a select few authors that have this raw talent. As a reader/writer myself I consider Veronica Roth a role model in literature. I can only dream to be as good a writer as she is. An excellent read by an excellent author .


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Divergence by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica RothIn this book the protagonist is a sixteen year old girl named Beatrice Prior. A girl from Abnegation who will have to make the biggest decision of her life. However before I get into specifics I must tell you a little about Abnegation and the other factions mentioned in this book. The other faction’s are Candor, Amity, Erudite, and Dauntless. Abnegation is a faction filled with selfless people who are also very courteous and humble . They try to perfect themselves by being humble and respectful. Candor are the kind of people who try to right themselves by telling the truth and being able to see who is lying to them. Amity are the peace loving people who right themselves by being non violent and generally happy people. Kind of  a ” peace man ” atmosphere. Erudite right themselves by trying to fill their undying thirst for knowledge. The Dauntless right themselves by being fearless as their name would imply.

Beatrice is very torn about leaving her family in Abnegation or not leaving them. You see all of the faction’s sixteen year olds must choose between the five faction’s in which they may live in the future. The day this choice is made is nicknamed “Choosing Day”. If one does not choose a faction on choosing day they then become factionless or as we now call it homeless.

Beatrice and her older brother Caleb must make the choice between family and faction in this highly interesting book. There may be a few romantic paragraphs along the way but all in all a good read. Thrilling and unpredictable even in the small parts of the morning.

4 Stars





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by | September 2, 2013 · 1:33 am

It’s Nothing Personal by Kate O’Reilley/Sherry Gorman MD

It's Nothing PersonalProduct Description

On a chilly January morning, anesthesiologist Dr. Jenna Reiner made her daily drive to St. Augustine Hospital, completely unaware that her life was about to change forever. One of the surgical technicians has been stealing syringes and infecting patients with hepatitis C. The battle against the thieving surgical technician was only the beginning. Jenna Reiner was about to begin the fight of her life — the fight for her reputation, her pride, and her sanity. Beautifully composed, and inspired by true events, “It’s Nothing Personal” is a riveting, suspenseful, and emotional thriller which chronicles the story of faith and fortitude when an innocent woman finds herself surrounded by corruption and greed.

I received a copy of It’s Nothing Personal from the author, in exchange for my review of her book. It’s Nothing Personal is a fictionalisation of a situation that the author went through herself. As a quick aside, I am not sure which is the nom du plume & which is the author’s real name – I corresponded with Kate O’Reilley & my copy of It’s Nothing Personal has Kate O’Reilley as the author, but on (as pictured above), it’s listed that Sherry Gorman MD is the author – not that it really makes a blind bit of difference, just thought it might be confusing as I have put both names on the title of this post & I will probably refer to the author as Kate O’Reilly.

Anyway, I started reading It’s Nothing Personal about 3 weeks ago & straight away I was drawn in to the story. Admittedly there were things about the author’s writing style that drove me crazy, but I quickly got past them. Overall the biggest things that drove me crazy about the book was O’Reilley’s repetition of a character’s name when talking about them & the very short sentences. It’s Nothing Personal is written in 3rd person point of view, but there are often times where O’Reilly uses the character’s name 4 or more times in the same paragraph, in a paragraph where it was quite clear who the narrator was talking about & there are a lot of sentences which are six words or shorter. For example, the following paragraph:

For several minutes, both Hillary and Jenna quietly went about their respective tasks. The silence made Jenna uneasy. She barely knew Hillary, who was relatively new to St. Augustine. They had worked together only a few times.     ……Hillary had bleach-blonde hair with black roots, brown eyes encircled with heavy eyeliner and mascara and an excess of tattoos and facial piercings. However, her impression was based upon more than Hillary’s physical appearance. Hillary’s manners were unrefined. She pictured Hillary more as a bartender in a seedy watering hole than as a healthcare professional. If Jenna had to choose two words to describe the scrub tech, they would be “dark” and “scrappy”. Hillary had the air of someone who had lived a hard life.

There was another really good example of the same thing, when Jenna is in a meeting with the head of Anesthesiology, Dr. Rob Somethingorother, but I can’t find it right now. In my head I kept combining sentences, where 2 short ones were together, or I substituted the character’s names for he or she or some other pronoun & it became a bit of a game to see how many variations I could come up with, without resorting to using a character’s name, which did detract from the book a bit.

However, please don’t let that stop you from reading It’s Nothing Personal as it really is a very good book! As I said, I was gripped from early on & I couldn’t wait to get back to reading. I loved the way O’Reilly paced the book, leaving months between scenes, but you never felt like you had missed anything that had happened. I thought O’Reilly wrote some very strong characters, but I do wish she had developed Jenna’s husband more & that she had shown the impact more of the case on Jenna & her family.

Overall I thought that It’s Nothing Personal was a brilliant book – especially for a first time author & I think that O’Reilly can and will only get better. I understand she has written a second book which has also been published & I think I shall add it to my list of books to read.

4 Stars


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by | April 28, 2013 · 10:23 pm

World Book Night 2013 – What can I do?

World Book Night 2013So yesterday we went to the library to collect my books for World Book Night 2013, but the problem is I now have no idea how/where I am going to go to give them away. As I said previously this is my second year being selected as a giver, but this year we are in a new community & I don’t know anyone in our new community (well, ok I know 1 person), so my ideas for giving the books gave me the opportunity to get into my new local community.

I was really looking forward to this this year! I made phone calls & sent out emails to the places I wanted to go to give my books & waited to hear back to see if they would allow me to come by on World Book Night & give away my books. I sent them loads of information about myself & World Book Night, explaining what I would be doing, why I wanted to do this at their establishment & what I thought would be the outcome – what I would gain from the experience & what I hoped others would gain.

The first place I tried was the hospital, where I just got the run-around. I persevered & eventually found the right people to put my request to, the sat back & waited for their decision. The decision was No, I could not go to the hospital to give my books out. Ok, time for plan B. My local community has a cancer hospice. Plan B was to go to the hospice, maybe meet some of the patients and some of their family, talk to people & give out my books. So, I sent off my email (I had thought about popping round, but my work schedule wouldn’t allow for me to take time out to do this) hoping that they would agree, that they would see the merits in what I was trying to do, in what I was offering. Weeks passed & I heard nothing, so I began trying to come up with a plan C…..

Plan C came about just 2 weeks ago. I still hadn’t heard from the hospice, so I contacted a local youth & homeless programme to see if they would allow me to come give my books out. One of the points is that we are supposed to be giving these books to people who generally do not have ready access to books, so this seemed like the perfect idea, right? So, I contacted them & they were eager to help. We set up a meeting so that we could discuss what we could do & how they could promote the event & they were even going to tell their regulars about it, so that I could ensure that people would come to the drop-in centre to meet me, to talk about books & to get a book. Well, one thing led to another & there were a few misunderstandings & the meeting never happened & now it’s too late to do anything or let anyone there know about it.

In the meantime I went back to plan B, since I still hadn’t heard from them. They ignored a couple emails, so I thought I would give it one last shot & would send them a message on their facebook page. So I went to their page & left a note, with links to World Book Night & asked them if it would be ok for me to come to the hospice to meet some of the patients & give out my books. 2 days later I had my response – a resounding No. Great!

So, now I have nowhere planned to give out my books & I only have 2 days to decide what I am going to do. I really don’t fancy standing in the centre of town again this year. Ok, it’s a different town, so maybe I’ll get a different response, but I am not holding my breath. Sort of starting to wonder why I bothered…..

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by | April 21, 2013 · 2:47 pm

The Conquest of Canada by James & Netta Windle

So, a few weeks ago I was clearing out my emails at work & I came across an email from Mr. Windle, who I have had a couple work related encounters & I happened to notice a link at the bottom of his email, which when I clicked it took me to Lulu – a book self publishing company. There I found The Conquest of Canada, which I immediately bought, then uploaded to Thor (my kindle, in case you didn’t know that). My first regret is that I did upload it to Thor because it was sooo difficult to read! See, it is a PDF document, not a kindle file, so the print was about 1/4 the size of what is written here & even with my glasses I found it very difficult to read, especially first thing in the morning.

The Conquest of Canada is a travel journal of the trip that James & Netta Windle took to Canada in September 2007. They flew to Vancouver, where they spent about a week before heading into Alberta, then getting the train across the country to Toronto, then onward to Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, then back to Quebec before flying home to the UK.

Like all my other books I have read of late, I read The Conquest of Canada while on the bus, traveling to & from work. When I started out I was really excited to read what Mr. Windle & his wife thought of Canada, never dreaming they would have anything but a good time & a positive experience. Only, they didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, there were positive experiences that they had, but as I read, I found myself initially doubting what they had written could possibly have happened, then that doubt was replaced by horror at the behaviour of my fellow Canadians. I was shocked to read that Mr. Windle had been warned that Canada was not a very tourist friendly country. That’s something I have never heard in my life! I know loads of people who have traveled to Canada & they all had nothing but good things to say – raving about what a beautiful country Canada is & how friendly & wonderful the people are.

A couple times in the journal the Windles wrote about how the most friendly person they met was the car rental person in BC – who was not from Canada originally. They also said something that really baffled me, which was that when Canadians are asked a question they only answer the question as it was asked, with no elaboration. As in, ask a Canadian if they know the time & the answer would be “Yes”, and nothing more. Seriously? Have I never seen this because I am Canadian & I am used to it? I don’t think so, and I am pretty sure I have never experienced it. If I had I would have thought that person was incredibly rude & I have no recollection of anything like that in my home country.

I found some of their comments about the B&B’s they stayed in to be pretty snide & some of them were pretty mean, too. I have to admit that I didn’t like the comparisons to how things are versus the UK. I’m sorry, but Canada, even though it is a member of the British Commonwealth, it isn’t the UK. It is a different country, with different customs, a different way of doing things, and different people. In other words, it isn’t England or the UK. So, I was annoyed by the constant comments about how different mobile phone service was, how the food wasn’t the same/as good as the UK, the references to how the service they received was worse than anything they received in the UK, etc. That said, I loved following the Windles across Canada, with their stops in places that are so familiar & beloved to me (Banff, Toronto, Calgary, Montréal, Saint John (my home town), Nova Scotia & Northern New Brunswick.

What I wish more than anything though is that I could have met the Windle family before their Conquest of Canada – I know a million better places they could have gone, things they could have done, things they could have seen!

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by | April 18, 2013 · 9:20 pm