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The Fandom by Anna Day – Blog Tour Book Review #JoinTheFandom

Synopsis

Cosplay ready, Violet and her friends are at Comic-Con. They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega-movie, The Gallows Dance.

What they are not expecting is to be catapulted by a freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands…

How The Fandom Came to Be

Chicken House ran The Big Idea Competition and Angela McCann won with this concept. Anna Day was a finalist in the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition and has bought Angela’s idea to life.

What I Thought?

I received a proof copy of The Fandom at YALC (the Young Adult Literature Convention) in July 2017. YALC is part of LFCC (London Film and Comic Con) at the Kensington Olympia. The very Comic Convention Violet and her friends are attending in their The Gallows Dance Cosplay.

When I was younger my sister and two male friends of ours used to play this game where we’d ‘get sucked into different TV channels’ and act out a show from that channel. I was also a fan of the old cartoon Dungeons and Dragons… and who hasn’t wanted Hogwarts to be real? So the idea of getting drawn into your favourite work of fiction clearly holds some appeal to me.

Violet, her brother Nate, and her friends Alice (The Gallows Dance fan fiction writer) and Katie (who hasn’t even read Twilight!), find themselves walking into a photo shoot and ending up in a shoot out. The stakes for our foursome are high. From the prologue to the film outline given in the first chapter we know that despite the romance that draws the group into this Fandom the danger is going to be very real.

Violet is a normal girl, she faints – she’s only been on one date that didn’t end well and now she has to play the heroine, the love interest on whose head the fate of an entire society rests. It’s a good thing she has an expert knowledge of the story canon. Except knowing the words isn’t always enough, especially when it’s not clear who’s good and who’s bad, you start to fall for the wrong guy and it really looks like going home is an impossible dream. Violet is a really likeable character and all the way throughout you can see she wants to do the right thing.

One of the characters Baba asks her ‘If you were stuck here… What kind of an Imp would you become?’ Violet has to decide if she is in a romance or something more?

The Gallows Dance is a sci-fi dystopia where humans have been genetically modified as ‘Gems’ and normal imperfect humans are Imps. There’s a Romeo and Juliet type plot, brooding boys Thorn, Ash and Willow, rebels who want an uprising, and nods to The Wizard of Oz, Divergent and The Hunger Games.

As well as the romance the sibling relationship is portrayed well, and even though they are absent the calming presence of Violet’s parents is felt which is somewhat unusual for YA. Female friendships are explored in their complexity and limelight-stealing Alice and compound-swearing Katie remind us that we are dealing with a group of contemporary teenagers.

The story quite quickly goes off script and the group find themselves on a packed adventure with limited time to take the correct path. I found this a really fun read and an excellent homage to my favourite genre.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on the tour and do pick up a copy of The Fandom which is out this week.

Which fandom world would you definitely not want to venture into?

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Divergent Premiere Experience

Today sees me off to see the Divergent film again – viewing number FOUR!!

First things first, I urge you to go and see it on the big screen before the wait for the DVD begins.

You’ll have seen me post about being invited to the Premiere in Leicester Square and today I’m going to share my views, and pictures, of the experience.

Once again I’d like to extend a huge thank you to HarperCollins for the invite.

I invited my best mate Stacey, who introduced me to Divergent, to come with me and despite our age we decided to follow the request to dress up as our favourite faction and went dressed as Dauntless, fake tattoos and all.

Being Dauntless on the train

Being Dauntless on the train

 

eyes

As we entered the square it had been transformed and decorated with faction banners.

square

We entered the Fan Experience having to pass some Erudite actors. Inside were a whole host of actors, some of who really got into their parts and some who…didn’t.

Our first stop was the aptitude test with very swively chairs – we answered three questions on an iPad screen and my mate and I only answered one question differently, she came out Divergent and I got Erudite (which I didn’t like one little bit ;o)).

Kirsty apt

This is a much better quiz! (Divergent – though Dauntless is actually my lowest here ;o))

Divergent

Then we posed for our green screen pictures with Theo and received a laynard with the movie picture with us in place of Tris.

me and four proper

Stacey and I also had a very fun and frenetic game of capture the flag where we were made to salute, fire at targets and race back to get our flag in the post first. I won – yay – I actually hit 5 out of 6 targets.

target

Finally we got our faction tattoos and we both went with our faction of dress and had the flames of Dauntless added to our existing tattoos.

more tats

We didn’t go on the climbing wall or trampolines, we didn’t really have time and weren’t really dressed suitably but I would have liked to give it a little go despite the inevitability that I would have fallen off.

We had a very long queue to get into theatre which meant that we had to make do with viewing Veronica Roth and the actors arrivals from the big screens from the other side of the square. This blog post by @liveotherwise does represent my slightly disappointed feelings, though I am happy I got to go, I think I thought we might have an autograph opportunity or two.

It was a bit windy so I held on tight to Four!

It was a bit windy so I held on tight to Four!

Once through the barriers we were ushered to quickly choose a wrist band from the choosing bowls which represented where you would be sitting in the cinema. We chose Candor – Dauntless having already gone.

I managed to perform my usual trick of closing my eyes when I have my picture taken thus ruining my red carpet shot.

eyeshadow

Stacey’s is much nicer.

Stacey on red carpet

My Four balloon caused excited squeals by a couple of girls on the red carpet and a ‘I get what you’ve done there’ from a Dauntless actor. I didn’t get to give it to Theo and they took it off me in the cinema with the promise I could have it back at the end.

In the cinema they were showing the film of the red carpet goings on – a better view than from the queue.

By our seats were a drink and a T-shirt the sizing of which means it is decorative only. Ours was white – Candor colours and we were all asked to put them on. I rested mine over my front!

Once we were all settled the director Neil Burger came out and introduced the cast in attendance, Ben Lloyd-Hughes (Will), Kate Winslet (Janine), Shailene Woodley (Tris), Theo James (Four) and finally author Veronica Roth – here’s my wobbly video.

Afterwards so my unsigned book (sniff) didn’t feel left out we took some shots with the film background.

Divergent backgroundStacey smile

I managed to get my balloon back. It’s still just about inflated and floating on my upstairs landing.

four balloon

The film itself was brilliant, yes there were a few changes, but they worked fine for me. Below are a few bits that I enjoyed the most. I’ve tried to limit it because I could go on all day.

  • Abnegation Tris climbing up a building pre choosing ceremony giving a hint at what she might choose.
  • The Dauntless arrival – that scene and the music in it is just awesome (in fact the Soundtrack and the Score are spot on).
  • The comic touches throughout, ‘It must be because you are so approachable’.
  • I might have cheered along with the rest of the audience when the gorgeous Theo James as Four removed his T-Shirt to reveal his tattoos.
  • Jai Courtney as Eric was deliciously evil.
  • In the ferris wheel scene there’s a bit where they show a close up of Tris and Four’s hands that reminds me of the Abnegation faction symbol which I thought was a lovely touch.

I’ve just finished a re-read, via audiobook of the trilogy, and I’m still holding off writing my review of Allegiant – more for fear of writing it without spoilers. I enjoyed it more this time round – not that I didn’t the first time mind – I didn’t seem to have as violent a reaction as some; recognising it as a fitting conclusion.

As a bonus I was very happy that my keyrings from Empire Cinemas glow in the dark. Hoping to replace my cups though, that are not actually dishwashable despite displaying the symbol, they are all scratched and we can’t be having that.

cupsglowing keyrings

Have you seen Divergent yet? Which were your best bits? Did it live up to the book for you?

Divergent European Premiere Ticket Giveaway

IMG_0297I’m so excited and grateful to be saying that myself and my friend Stacey are off to the Divergent European Premiere on Sunday 30th March 2014 and thanks to HarperCollins Kids you could be too. We both absolutely adored the brilliant trilogy by Veronica Roth and are really looking forward to seeing the story’s transition to the screen.

I have one pair of tickets to giveaway and you have a number of chances to win tickets by choosing the rafflecopter entries you are happy to do.

To answer a couple of the questions you will need to be familiar with the story, examine the picture above and to visit this blog post of mine that tells you about a plan I have to face my fear.

Information below taken from the Divergent Movie Facebook page here (they are also running ticket giveaways)

On Saturday March 29th and Sunday March 30th Leicester Square will be transformed into the dystopian world of DIVERGENT, where fans will be invited to undergo initiation tests and, like Tris Prior, choose where they belong. Would you survive in Dauntless? Fans will be put through their paces with Dauntless training to see if you are brave enough to join their faction!

But that’s not all – On the Sunday at 1.30pm the European premiere of DIVERGENT will also take place, at Odeon Leicester Square. The premiere will be attended by stars of the film Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet. As a thank you to the fans who have supported the film, we will be giving away a number of tickets to the European premiere, competitions will run over the next week. Keep checking our official Facebook & Twitter for opportunities to win.

The Divergent Fan Experience Timings

Saturday March 29th

11.00am – 6.00pm

Sunday March 30th

11.00am – 12.00pm

3.00pm – 6.00pm

Admittance to the Fan Experience event will be on a first come, first served basis.

Premiere timings

Sunday March 30th

Doors open – 1.30pm

Doors close – 2.30pm

Film starts 3.00pm

OPPORTUNITIES TO WIN BELOW

Unfortunately Rafflecopter doesn’t fully embed in WordPress.com so you’ll have to follow the link below to enter (opens in the same window unless you right click to open to a new tab/window)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or you can enter here on my facebook page

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