Who I Was…

I’m not proud of who I was two years ago. I don’t know if I’m resurfacing many of my memories because of recent events over the last few months, or I simply feel like there is a void gradually splitting open more everyday. Either way, I will never go back to that place. Everyday I push more and more to be productive and keep my past behind me. The strange thing is, it somehow finds its way back into my life like a twisted vine tightening its grip around my throat. Where did this all start though? Why do I always have the inkling that I am alone?

I don’t know if it was the constant heartache from being hurt by multiple people. If it was the fact that I felt like I didn’t amount to anything because everything I attempted to build always crumbled. Hell, I don’t even know if it’s the fact that depression still blackens my emotions like thick oil. I will say this though, I overcame a part of me that I thought would always hold a barring on my life. Debts, struggles, and worries were all the issues that built inside me and made me feel like there was no hope left for me. Let me tell you where I was in May last year and why I turned to Christ instead of committing suicide.

I had just left work at 11pm and it was a rough night. I was about to lose my car because I could barely afford the lease. My relationship was rocky because I was struggling with my own fears and doubts about what I could achieve. My life was a mess. I felt like David trying to hide every secret from everyone. I lied to everyone I came in contact with because I did not want them to know that my writing was actually a flop. Yes, my books were not selling and I was about to lose everything. I was scared!

The rain was pattering on my windshield and it was pitch black. I was listening to some rock music and listening to the chaos unfolding in the lyrics. I can’t remember what song I was listening to but I was pissed off. I was angry at God, my parents, my friends, and my life. I convinced myself that ending it that night would be the best course of action. A bullet to my head would be messy, so I figured a peaceful sleep with some drugs would make people bare to see my face in a casket at a funeral. Yes, I was really in the darkest depths of my consciousness convincing myself that death is the way to solve everyone’s problems in my life.

Eventually, my eyes were burning too much for me to continue driving so I pulled over. I turned the ignition off and stared through the sunroof, watching the water puddle on the roof. I reached for my phone and flipped through my contact list and cursed every person that I use to be able to talk to because I knew there was nothing they could say to convince me to stop what I was about to do. Then, there was some friends that I knew who didn’t even want to bother hearing what I had to say because they had their own problems and would simply brush me off like a mosquito.

I don’t know what led me to the moment where I clenched the wheel of my car and screamed out to Jesus for help. This was what I said if I remember correctly:

“Father, why have you done this to me? What am I doing? Who do YOU want ME to be? My life was great and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I lived a life that very few people get to actually experience. I’ve had it all. Why have you decided to lead me on this road? Why have you pulled my friends away and left me here alone? If you are real, why would you let me WANT to kill myself? Please, help me figure out something. There is nothing else for me and I am not going to make it! PLEASE!”

Little did I know a few moments later after really clenching the wheel did I feel chills ripple across my arms and chest. This was no ordinary feeling, it was like someone had wrapped their arms around me and rubbed my skin trying to comfort me. It was an eye opening experience. I took a deep breath and all the worry simply went away. Something inside me had changed and my perspective was gradually altering to wanting to go home and sleep.

A few days later, I went to church for the first time without it being a holiday in almost ten years. I was nervous and scared. I had always heard that church-goers were the most judgmental but after a few weeks of continuously going to church these people were trying to figure out who I was. I ended up going to bible studies with my dad there and even trying to get deeper into my faith after meeting more people there. Then, it all came together for me. I needed a community of people to talk to. I couldn’t handle all these burdens on my own, and God led me to where I needed to be.

It’s hard to believe where I was a year ago and where I am now but putting my faith in Jesus has led me on a road that I never thought would be there. Jesus gave me the strength to take leaps of faiths that I never thought I would have the courage to do. I ended up leaving my job, finishing my novel, starting a business, and accepting a role in a passion play. I’ve met a lot of amazing people along the way, but God filled the void. He has filled the void with people who care. Even as I write this, the tears are dropping from my eyelids because none of this was possible if I didn’t keep my faith in him. Jesus healed, he provided, and he gave me strength again. It’s truly amazing and I can’t stop thanking him.

Let go, Let God. It’s the only philosophy I go by now because even in hard times somehow he has protected me and kept my feet moving forward.

Connecting the Dots

Today has been a very inspirational and encouraging day. A lot of the questions about my life and where I am being guided have finally pieced together. There are still some questions that are constantly pressing deep inside of me, but I am gradually finding the voice to express how I feel in those moments.

I had many memories of small moments that have led me to where I am at now from all of the pride I had for myself, the jealousy of others that did better than me, and all of my selfish ways. During my days in high school eight years ago, I had a huge ego. I thought that the world revolved around me and I could do whatever I wanted. My life was based around a spoiled kid who went to mom and dad for anything that I needed at the time. Especially if I ran into trouble along the way, they were the first ones I ran to for help. There are constant things that happen throughout people’s lives to bring them back to the Lord and in every way, it turns out to be a beautiful story that is filled with encouragement for others who have the opportunity to hear a person’s life. Well, I’m going to summarize all of the important moments of my life that led me here.

Learning Music-

I learned how to play music in high school, and I was very talented at it. I played tuba in the Wind Symphony, and sousaphone in the marching band. The goosebumps and special moments I experienced performing made me feel like I was at bliss with myself. There was nothing that could take away the feelings that music brought to my heart. When I reached my Senior year of high school, I traveled across Europe and performed at many historical locations across the continent. It was an amazing adventure that created a new perspective of what I wanted to do with my music.

Back home, I put together a small rock band and enjoyed creating music. It was like we were all connected until we started finding new members and replacing old ones. It got to the point where all we wanted was fame and fortune. Both of these never came to us, but we did enough work to pull in a small following, but we never reached that milestone where we all felt fulfilled with our lives. All of us wanted to make more money and be able to travel to huge arenas, where we could perform for thousands. That never happened though. After looking back at what kind of experience I went through with the band, it made me realize the one passion I truly did have. It was actually the ability to write a story and portray a picture of what I was seeing in my mind. This brought about the next stage to my life.

Writing-

I enjoyed writing stories before, during, and after my music stage of life. I went to school at the Art Institute of Atlanta, where I was studying Audio Production. My journey there ended up leading me into an English class, where I met a wonderful teacher named, Ms. Jenkins. She was one of the most encouraging teachers I had ever had the honor of studying with. She taught me a lot about creative writing and even offered her services in editing to help me grow as a writer. It wasn’t until it was the end of the year when she gave me my first notebook to use for dreams that I happen to want to write about. That notebook now sits inside of a box in my closet, but it was the gesture that let me know that I was stepping in the right direction in my life.

I ended up writing scripts for some of the video production students, who struggled with creativity. It was fun joining in small groups and helping these kids out, but it didn’t start to dawn on me until about two years later when my dad sat me down in his office at his house.

Spreading My Wings-

My dad was struggling with his business, and he was leading in the direction of bankruptcy and searching for a solution for problems at work. He worked so hard for his business that he built the last 25 years. My mom played an important roll with him too, but it all came tumbling down. I don’t know when the quake started for my dad, but it didn’t reach me until I was halfway through college.

He sat me down in his office and looked up at me over the rim of his glasses. He had multiple documents in his hands from insurance companies, school bills, the mortgage, utilities, and anything else he owed money to. His credit was ruined and there was little hope for him to pull himself out of it. Actually, I remember a few months later he started going back to church and searched for answers in spirit trying to figure out what to do in his situation. Anyways, he told me that he could not take out another loan for my schooling and that I needed to start helping out. I was told that I needed to get a job to help pay for my schooling, my health and auto insurance. It was actually a fair deal, but my selfishness and ego didn’t see it that way. I felt like my dad was trying to punish me and make me fail. It wasn’t that at all.

If my dad did not make me step up my life like he did that day, I think I would still be living with them in the same position today. At the time, I was coming near the end of performing with my band and meeting the one I love today, Nadine. My band performed two more gigs after I met Nadine, and we split up because the guitarist wanted to join the army, I needed to make more money working in the grocery store, and the drummer went to school down in Valdosta, which was a distance away.

Nadine-

I remember meeting Nadine in a small pizzeria off of Lawrenceville Highway. It was inside of a strip mall, but they had open mics there, and my guitarist wanted to perform one of our last times there. We went in and one of our fans was there with her cousin, Nadine. I sat down at the table behind her with Luke. I couldn’t help but text Nadine’s cousin. I sent texts about how beautiful Nadine was and how much I liked her. It was actually kind of pathetic on my end of it haha! We exchanged numbers at the end of the night and ended going on a few dates afterwards.

I think meeting Nadine was not a coincidence in my life. I feel like it was God’s way of pointing me in the direction I needed to turn to. If it wasn’t for Nadine, I would’ve never continued to work at my job with the grocery store. I would be living with my parents. Quite possibly, I probably would have not had the motivation to build myself up. I had found my Eve, but I needed more in my life to feel like I was doing well in the public eye of my friends and family. I decided to become an Assistant Manager after three years of working for the same company.

I’m going to end this post here. it’s getting a bit long. Plus, I have work early in the morning. Please stay joyful and inspired by everything around you. There’s always a spark somewhere that is going to get your attention. You just have to be patient to grasp its meaning. Until tomorrow, sleep well and Happy Blogging!

Work and Play Everyday!

I’ve been away for a good few weeks now. I’m trying to get some things straightened out financially as well as experiencing a little bit of free time in my life. When I started this blog, I was expecting to write at one post a day, or four posts in a week, maybe give myself two to three days off. I realize now that sometimes “me” time is good. I haven’t really tried to have a lot of that in my life. I’ve always been stressed about work, money, relationships, success, school, or anything that might make me grow to be loved by many people. Why did I always feel the need to have this kind of attention? Honestly, I don’t know. I stopped looking for a relationship and I found my fiance. I stopped playing in a band and I found a job. Now, I’m a little confused about what’s next. I had a lot going for me as an assistant for a grocery store, but I couldn’t help feel this entity within me begging to push for something else. I wrote a book, published it, and have it on a few different retail sites, but I still don’t feel complete inside. Does anyone else ever feel like this?

I know I have been writing about 1,000-1,500 words a day for my new book Phantom Force. I’m really enjoying this novel, and I can’t see to break myself away from it. Well, I usually end up playing Destiny about 5-6 hours a day, which i know is a total waste of time, but it is very inspiring. There are many things that inspire me to write like books, games and movies. Yes, I do accidentally fall into that group of writers that will accidentally write a story based off of something I’ve seen or read, but I always break away from it and create something hopefully new and different.I appreciate the emails I’ve received from a few of you. Sorry, I’ve been a way for so long, but I had to take care of things that were going on in my own life to be able to sit down and actually give you guys a decent post. Or even a not so decent post, which ever you guys view my blog as. I did receive some criticism recently about one of my posts and it was on a subject that is sensitive, but I took that risk and I accepted it.

Anyways, what have I been doing the last month that I’ve been away. Well, Destiny is a big part of my life apparently now. I went to Ruby Falls and Rock City this last weekend. I’ll try to post some pictures later. Also, I found out the answer to all of life’s questions is 42.

So here’s a serious question to the people who have read my book and want to read more. Would you rather read a book in multiple posts on a separate blog, almost like a weekly episode type of deal, or in novel form? I’ve very interested to see what answers you guys have because I’ve been very interested in writing a story like in a season with multiple episodes to it. Well, I’m going to go play some Destiny and try to get 2,000 words in before then.

I want to leave a shout out to a friend blogger on here that finally broke me out of my Destiny shell this month. kateturville!!!

Switzerland: Continued…

I found a few more photos of Switzerland that I forgot to share. I found more photos from the entire trip, but I’ll hold on to those till another day. 

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This is where we had just departed from the train, and we’re about to ride on another train that slopes upwards to the top of the mountain. Kind of creepy experience, but I enjoyed it. Especially when we reached the top.

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I can’t find any photos of myself at the top of the mountain in front of Mount Zermatt. I’m sure I have them all in a photo album somewhere, but this is my dad in front of the mountain. It was a very cloudy day so we didn’t get to see the peak too well, but we did enjoy the experience and journey just to get up there. It’s definitely a sight to see if you ever get the opportunity to visit Switzerland.

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There was also a small band playing in the city just below the mountain. So I felt the need to photo bomb this. Kind of creepy of me to do this. Glad I’ve somewhat grown up since then. :\

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And here I am blowing into a very long horn. I think, from what I remember, the older gentleman next to me told us this horn was their form of communication to other towns in the mountain range. It was actually pretty cool having the opportunity to blow in this thing as hard as I could till I turned purple and died…. ? Just kidding.

Anyways, I’ll have more photos posted in the next few days. Pretty tired right now from reading and blogging today, so i think it’s time to go rest up for my work day, vet trip, wedding shower, and birthday dinner tomorrow. Oh my gosh, that is a whole lot of events in one day. Cheers folks!

Switzerland: Continued…

I found a few more photos of Switzerland that I forgot to share. I found more photos from the entire trip, but I’ll hold on to those till another day. 

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This is where we had just departed from the train, and we’re about to ride on another train that slopes upwards to the top of the mountain. Kind of creepy experience, but I enjoyed it. Especially when we reached the top.

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I can’t find any photos of myself at the top of the mountain in front of Mount Zermatt. I’m sure I have them all in a photo album somewhere, but this is my dad in front of the mountain. It was a very cloudy day so we didn’t get to see the peak too well, but we did enjoy the experience and journey just to get up there. It’s definitely a sight to see if you ever get the opportunity to visit Switzerland.

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There was also a small band playing in the city just below the mountain. So I felt the need to photo bomb this. Kind of creepy of me to do this. Glad I’ve somewhat grown up since then. :\

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And here I am blowing into a very long horn. I think, from what I remember, the older gentleman next to me told us this horn was their form of communication to other towns in the mountain range. It was actually pretty cool having the opportunity to blow in this thing as hard as I could till I turned purple and died…. ? Just kidding.

Anyways, I’ll have more photos posted in the next few days. Pretty tired right now from reading and blogging today, so i think it’s time to go rest up for my work day, vet trip, wedding shower, and birthday dinner tomorrow. Oh my gosh, that is a whole lot of events in one day. Cheers folks!

Switzerland: Mount Zermatt

I went here back in the summer of 2007. I was a member of the Georgia Ambassadors of Music Tour. We traveled to seven different countries in Europe and got to have a taste of what is to experience over there. I think my two favorite places were Switzerland and Italy. I will post more pictures of my trip soon, but right now i just want to show you what I have of Switzerland. 

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This was the golf course across the street from our hotel. You can see that the scenery there was breath taking. I know every morning when I woke up at the peak of the mountain, I would look outside the window and see this landscape that you could only dream of in movies and photographs. The mountain tops were covered in snow and the rising clouds from the valley were so celestial, it was like I died and went to heaven for a few seconds. I think if there is anywhere I would revisit again overseas Switzerland would be the place I would want to go to.

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This is my goober looking self with my dad. He came with me because he wanted to visit Europe one more time in his lifetime. What better way to do it with this trip, right? Especially, since we traveled to across it. This was a 16 day trip and it was amazing. I don’t think I could ever forget the many temperature changes I experienced in this place, from extremely cold, warm, and scorching hot in Venice, Italy. I think for me I wanted this to be one of those special memories I could have with my dad for the rest of my life.

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We ran into this nice little pub at the top of the mountain, where we had a few drinks with my band directors. It was fun to be able to just enjoy and kick back our feet. It’s sad that I don’t get to talk to many of the people I went there with anymore. Everyone is living their own journeys and adventures, while I’m sitting here trying to build up on my own career and life. 

If you look at the mountains in the background you can see just how beautiful and lush the grass and trees were, even with the cold temperatures.

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Here is a photo of one of the threes lakes that were in close proximity from our hotel. These areas were special only because it was very peaceful and quiet. It almost seemed like you could sit and enjoy life without the stress that goes on at home. I think my little group and I walked these trails around the pond three times to really soak in the beauty of this place.

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I remember walking out to this lake one night with someone I met on the trip. We were kind of dating at the time, but I am so glad I got this image by itself without the tainted view of the girl and I. I remember crossing over one bridge and seeing the lights reflecting off the surface of the water. The clouds were hanging high in the air as the sun was lowering behind us. It almost seemed unreal at the time, but this had to have been the best experience I had in Switzerland. The thought of just being able to escape the hectic life back at home and breathing in the clean air. 

I’ll try to find the photos from London, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, and Lichtenstein, (If you really want to include that as a country.) I’ll try to do separate pieces of them, but I have so many photos I don’t even know where to begin after this post. 

A Walk to Remember

Last night I was home alone just going through some channels, and I ran into A Walk to Remember. I started watching it because I remember watching it way back in high school when I was trying to catch a date with this one girl. Well, that obviously didn’t work out at the time. Actually, it was a train wreck, but anyways, I was watching this movie, and I’ve realized that this movie had a lot more to offer than just a love story. It was almost like those revelations in life where you realize, “Wow! Why didn’t I see that before?” 

What I realized through this movie was that you will go through many trials in life, and sometimes they are not always good. Sometimes you need someone to guide you back to where you want to be in the future. Like is it possible to say that Nadine fell into my life at the right moment four years ago? I started really pondering this and it really hit me when I started to realize what has happened the last four years since I met her.

Nadine moved here in May of 2010. She was forced to leave New York for reasons that are private. I was in a band at the time and performed around Georgia, trying to scrape by with a few bucks here and there each week. I was still living with my parents, and I had no ambitions on trying to get a degree at the time because I just honestly did not know what I wanted to do with my life. I was jumping from one girl to the next for about two years before I met Nadine because my ex had really jabbed a dagger through my heart. It was tough for a long time.

I remember sitting in the basement of my drummer’s mom’s house, and we were trying to come up with some beats. We went upstairs and played some video games for awhile after we failed to really accomplish anything. Then, my guitarist called us up and told us we should go down to this pizzeria and have a bite to eat with him, maybe play a mini acoustic set while we were in the area. At first, I was a bit put off by the suggestion, but I knew I really needed to get out. My drummer finally convinced me and we hit the road to the other side of town. When we got to the pizzeria, I discovered one of our fans was there with her cousin. Her cousin being Nadine. I really was into her even though we hardly talked at first, but we really hit it off once we moved passed the umms and buts. I learned a lot about what her life was like before she moved down here, and I talked about mine as well. The thing that really made me happy was we both had the same aspirations and goals in life.

Over the years, we have really stuck together through everything, whether it be financial troubles or family problems. There hasn’t been one moment where we have fallen into the trap of our friends trying to pull us apart, or we’re too stressed out about affording to live the lifestyle we have. Yes, we are not the perfect couple, but this is the closest feeling to perfect I’ve had in a long time. I now have pulled all of my own weight towards my own home, my own car, a job, and my writing. I have been keeping it together the best I can for the last four years because Nadine fell into my life at the right time. I no longer play in a band, I’m not obsessed with fame or fortune anymore. It’s like life has become more harmonious.

I think we all have people in our lives whether they are boyfriends/girlfriends, friends, or long lost family members. There is always a reason someone comes into your life. It could be to bring your family closer together, or to realize the people that are using you and making you weaker. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dog, or a fish, there is a reason you brought that person closer to you, or animal. Is it because we all have that kind of energy that brings us closer together, is there a mighty spirit that uses us like characters in a book, or do we simply just run into each other out of randomness? Either way, I think we all have at least one reason to keep someone in our lives to make us the person we are today. If so, always cherish that and thank them for being there for you today.

Reviews for Authors

I had a post a week or two ago about reviewing author’s novels/stories. If you are interested in receiving a review from me, you can contact me here, or through my email. The criteria I base my reviews on are: character development, plot development, and mechanics. I would be highly interested in helping you. I base my reviews on a 5 star scale.

5 Stars- Amazing, engrossing, page turner

4 Stars- Well written, nice plot

3 Stars- A balance between nice and needs work.

2 Stars- Needs work. Couldn’t finish it.

1 Star- Bored to death, needs editing, and terrible character development. 

That’s my grade scale, and I will also try to balance my likes and dislikes about a novel. Also I mostly review, horror/science fiction/literature fiction/occasionally romance. I am open for more genres, but those are my favorite ones to review. If you have any questions, you may contact me at anytime. It may take a few for me to respond, but I will get to you eventually, and if I don’t. Send me another request after 30 days.

I will post my reviews on the kindle website or which ever website you would like my reviews on. I will have more descriptive reviews on here though.

Check out Justina Luther’s Blog!

I finally have some time to sit down and do a little bit of blogging before I start my usual routine for the day. I sat down and read a few blogs today. There is one blogger that I really enjoy reading because she really knows how to put you at this point like what’s going on to THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY! But it’s they good kind of escalation, where you are enjoying what the story starts out as to a grabbing plot that makes you wonder, “Why? What happened? I want to know where this story is going next?!” I really enjoyed her writing, and I would hope she does pursue publishing some of her work because I know I would go on amazon and purchase it. Anyways, her page is:

http://justinaluther.wordpress.com/

justinaluther.wordpress.com 

If you get a chance to read some blogs today, definitely swing by hers. She has interviews with her characters, and she allows readers to ask any questions you may have. These show up on the following weeks post of that story. She is definitely an awesome read and I highly recommend following her! 🙂

 

 

 

Divergent: Movie Review

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Yesterday, Nadine and I rented the movie Divergent from Redbox. I had read the book a few months ago, and I enjoyed it, somewhat? I did have a few concerns about it that made me think the movie would not be as great as the book. I know books and movies are almost always different, but sometimes movies do take away from the beef of the story.(SPOILERS)

 

Dislikes:

I didn’t like some of the characters’ appearances in the movie. In the book, Four had piercings and tattoos. Yes, he had the tattoos, but where were the piercings on his face. It was almost like another one of Hollywood’s ways of saying looks do matter. I was thinking of the whole Tris and Four relationship being closely related to a Beauty and The Beast appearance. Four did have the intimidating talking points, but his looks just didn’t justify how the book describes him. 

In the movie, Will didn’t seem too interested in Tris, but in the book, it really describes and plays out their relationship better. It seemed like the conversations that Tris had privately with him showed that Will had some level of attraction with her. Even when she brings up things about Four. He even gets to the point, where he gets some what jealous and ends up trying to kill her with his other two fellow attackers. I think if there was a little bit of this relationship added more near the beginning of the movie, I think Will’s suicide would have made a lot more sense. At least in the book it did. Now, if you read the book, you know why he killed himself.

I had a issue with this through both book and movie. The faction Candor. What was the point in even creating this faction? I mean, honestly, I haven’t read the other two books yet, but you hardly hear anything about them. You have a few new people in Dauntless that talk about Candor cause that was their old faction, but why even have this faction if you hardly hear about them at all? I do hope we have a little more insight in this faction in the next book/movie because if there’s hardly anything about them until Allegiance, then I’d say there’s no point. Even Amity, what was the point of making that faction too? You have three factions, which of course are the three factions that Tris fits into. Abnegation, Eurodite, and Dauntless. It just seems pointless to have these other two factions. It makes it very confusing for the reader or watcher.

The ending, it was just terrible. Like so many questions pop in my head. Why didn’t they kill Jeanine? Why didn’t they kill Eric? What happened to all the factions? And why does the train always seem to be in the right place at the right time?

Also, the way Tris escaped her fears seemed to not be a challenge for her. I mean, seriously, tapping the glass wall of a tank and breaking ti with her finger? That in my opinion seems like an easy way of the writer trying to think of something more complex but gets writer block so she says “Screw it, let’s just break the glass with her finger. That’ll be enough fro the audience.” I understand there’s not much you can do in that situation, but there has to be another way of making that more difficult to escape from, even being Divergent.

 

Like

I really enjoyed seeing some of the settings that came from the book. Like the Pit, the game of Capture the flag. The weapons they used in that game really had me interested because of how the bullets were like the pain of a gunshot but for only a few minutes. We can say this almost sounds like paintball, but they were using darts.

I enjoyed the casting as well. I thought they were spot on with the casting. I really enjoyed seeing Kate Whitney play an antagonist. I would have never guessed she’d play it well.

The fights in the pit I enjoyed. Wish there was more of this like in the book because it would show how the ranking system worked. Especially, since that’s their lifeline to staying with the Dauntless. Also, I wish I would’ve seen more of the Dauntless-born. These guys were in the book, but the movie didn’t really show any of them. I’d put that under the dislike column.

 

Score 5/5:

2.5- Only because it didn’t have a lot of the key points in the book that would’ve helped to explain events better. If they had done this, I would’ve given it a 3.5.