I’m still here!!

So…it’s been a while since my last post (ok…3 months is a bit more than a while, but what are you gonna do?!). Anyway, my last post was a lovely cheerful one about failure! Since then, it’s become official. I failed that awful exam, and my university won’t let me resit it. Good times.

‘Good times?!’ I hear you say. Well…it wasn’t great when I first looked at the results page and saw ‘DISCONTINUED’ in nice big letters (they know how to make you feel really good about yourself!). But to be completely honest, I cried for a bit then went to the beach with my housemate, her boyfriend and her sister and we had a really fun day after that! But since then it’s like a huge weight has been lifted. OK, I now have no idea what I’m going to do with my life, but that’s kind of exciting. Mostly scary, but there’s a bit of excitement! Although it does mean making a few decisions, which definitely isn’t so fun.

At the moment, I’m still stuck in Wales (guess what…it’s raining!!) in a house with no hot water, no internet, rubbish blinds that don’t block out any light at all and a weed-smoking housemate. It’s not much fun. The library is a long way to go to use internet, so I’m currently sat in the train station car park, stealing their wifi! The good news is I have 2 people interested in taking over my contract so I can get out of here soon hopefully!

I’m really quite excited about going home. I miss my cats. And Netflix. Having no internet is seriously boring. I need to be Keeping up with the Kardashians (I’m not even ashamed anymore…) and watching all the documentaries from the Investigation Discovery channel. I’m starting to get withdrawal symptoms. No internet does mean I’ve been reading a lot more though (also, not having to do uni work has given me more time as well) and I’m now only 8 books behind schedule for my Goodreads challenge!

I should probably be spending a bit more time thinking about what I want to do now I’ve failed at uni. Ooh…actually, I haven’t completely failed at uni…I’ve got enough credits to get a BSc! So I have actually got a real degree. I keep forgetting about it because it wasn’t what I was aiming for, but I have in fact got a real, proper science degree. Check me out!

I have loads of plans of stuff I want to/could do, but I lack the decision making skills to actually settle on anything! My course leader has been really helpful and told me that other people have ended up in the same situation as me, and gone to a different college to finish off their Chiropractic degree, so I’ve got that option. My other plans mostly include selling all my stuff and moving to a new country.

Travelling is definitely something that I want to do. I went straight to uni from school, so I haven’t really done anything other than study, which is quite depressing when you think about it! I’ve got relatives in New Zealand, who have said I can stay whenever I want, so that’s a definite possibility. One of my friends (who also failed…we’re doing really well) is transferring to a college in New York and I’ve also got a friend in California with a spare room, so…road trip across the US?! I’ll probably die in the heat, but hey…it might be worth it! I’ve also been looking at all the gap year websites that exist – I could go and do koala conservation in Australia!! There’s just so much stuff to do!

Right now though, I’m watching The Bake Off and preparing to move back home. I’m going to have a few weeks off just doing nothing and hopefully de-stressing! And as it’s A level results day, a quick reminder – results aren’t everything. Yes, good results can be helpful, but it’s not the end of the world if you haven’t done as well as you’d hoped. And (cheesy line coming up) as long as you’ve tried your best you can be proud of whatever you achieve.

Famous ‘Failures’

So…I’ve just had a really really rubbish exam, and almost certainly failed it. Which is a bummer because it’s the only chance I had to pass it, and now I’ll have spent 6 years at uni for absolutely nothing (people keep telling me I’ll have learnt lots of life skills and I’ll get a diploma and I’ve made some really good friends etc etc, but right at this moment in time, it all feels like a bit of a waste).

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a chiropractor. And I managed to get on the course and I’ve made it to the penultimate year and I just have to pass a few exams and I’ll get into the clinical year and then it’s a few more exams and then I’ll be there. Qualified and out in the big wide world. Except I have serious anxiety issues when it comes to exams, and I keep screwing them up. Which is exactly what happened today. So I’m feeling a bit rubbish/complete failure in life. 

It’s really hard to see that you have any other options in this kind of situation. For the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling like it’ll be the end of the world if I don’t pass. My future looks bleak and all I can see is the fact that I failed my degree and have no qualifications at all. Of course it’s not at all like that. I went and saw a careers advisor up on the main university campus last week, and she really helped me see that there is in fact life after failing a degree. There are other things I can do. Most of the things I’m now interested in are completely unrelated to science, which is weird, but there are loads and loads of options. 

While it feels really horrible right now and I just want to cry all the time, most (if not all) people fail at something at some point in their lives. Even famous people – Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and his first business failed. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he lacked imagination. Einstein was expelled from school. 27 publishers rejected Dr Seuss’s first book. Even Harry Potter was rejected 12 times. But as the queen herself once said

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Obviously, it’s highly unlikely I’m going to become the next big thing. But I’m only 23. I’ve got my whole life to figure things out. For now, I’m going to go and finish making my cake and wait for my housemate to get back from her exam so we can eat rubbish and watch Disney films. Because we’re young and who cares if you fail an exam every now and again. 

It’s not the end of the world.

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Shameful admission coming up…

I have just finished reading Fifty Shades Darker. I read the first book ages ago (also pretty bad) and had been wondering how the whole thing started and how it would finish. I obviously wasn’t going to waste my money on it, and one of my friends had the series so I borrowed it! (Hilarious story…she’s really, really, really innocent. Like more innocent than Ana is in the first book. She heard people talking about it, didn’t know what it was about, bought it to find out…was scarred for life!)

I’m not going to do a proper review…it doesn’t deserve one.

I thought Ana was supposed to be sensible, and wise beyond her years. From what I’ve read, she’s a complete idiot. Her precious Christian is definitely fifty shades of f***ed up. I’d like to point out that I have no problem with the fact that he takes consenting, legal women into his playroom for whatever they fancy – do what you want! (Although his reason for why he enjoys it is a bit disturbing.) But when he turns into a raging, bossy, obsessive, controlling creep outside the playroom, surely alarm bells would start ringing?! HE TOOK OVER THE COMPANY ANA WENT TO WORK FOR SO HE CAN KEEP TABS ON HER!! What is that?! He has crazy ex-subs that follow Ana around and break in to her house. Then goes all Dom on them, which obviously makes Ana crazy jealous – forget the fact this crazy was going to shoot someone, she’s obviously after her man! Can’t have that now, can we? He drags her away from her friend’s art show because he’s too jealous, but God forbid she asks him to stop seeing his ‘friends’ (Mrs. Robinson…Christian’s ex-Dom).

I lost count of how many times ‘Fifty’ magically pulled that foil packet from his pocket. How many times did Ana’s inner goddess do a spectacular display of acrobatics, you ask? No idea…far too many though. It just gets more and more ridiculous as it goes on. There’s a helicopter fire, the revelation that fantastic Fifty earns $100,000 an hour, the charity benefit where Christian pays a stupid amount of money to have the first dance with Ana – just so nobody else can have her. Oh yes, then there’s the engagement. After 5 weeks, one of which they spent apart after he brutally beat her and she forgot her safe-word. So 4 weeks of bliss, fantastic sex anywhere and everywhere (including a bit of fun in an elevator full of people) and they’re so in love they’re going to spend the rest of their lives together.

I really don’t understand why Ana didn’t go running for the hills in the first book.

OK, if you strip away all the creepy, controlling bits, Christian is pretty hot. Actually no…I just want his money. And houses. And cars. That’s it thanks.

I’m going to read the last one…see how the marriage goes…

Book Review – The Death Cure by James Dashner

I did it…I finished another book! Yay! Total to date for 2014: 3. I know. It’s not great. I’m working on it…

Anyway… *people die and this contains spoilers!*

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To be honest, after The Scorch Trials, I was a bit disappointed. It was a good book, but it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat like the other two (it took me 4 hours in the middle of the night to read The Scorch Trials…Death Cure took me about a month!) In fact, it’s taken me so long, I can’t even remember how it started…

Thomas has been left in solitary confinement for 3 weeks (I’m not entirely sure why…probably another part of the trials) and is eventually let out to gather with the rest of the group where they are told by Rat Man (whose name is Janson) they are going to be given their memories back. They’re also told that some of them are immune to The Flare, but some aren’t – Newt is part of the latter group (sad times!)

Thomas, Newt and Minho refuse the procedure and plan an escape. The next day, they are forced to get their memories back anyway, but with the help of Brenda they manage to escape before anything happens. After thinking the other Gladers had abandoned them and had their memories restored, they realise they too have escaped on a berg and are probably heading the same way. Before they leave, Newt hands Thomas a note, with instructions to not read it until the time is right.

Luckily, Jorge is a pilot and Brenda has worked with WICKED and knows where they can go for safety – Denver. Apparently the Rocky Mountains recovered from the sun flares really quickly so it’s the perfect place to go. There’s also an ex-WICKED doctor who can remove the implants WICKED put in their brains so they won’t be tracked or controlled any more. They steal a berg, just as some guards make it to the hangar and start firing at them with Launchers (electrical stun grenade things…they’re not very nice).

When they arrive in Denver, they are greeted by a man with a note from Gally (from the Maze, way back in the first book). He has been living in Denver and is part of a group called the Right Arm, planning to take down WICKED. They leave Newt on the berg and set off to find Hans the doctor. When they find him, WICKED manage to control Thomas and attempt to kill Hans to stop him removing the implants, but they are unsuccessful and Thomas’s implant is removed. After the implant removal, Thomas, Minho, Jorge and Brenda venture out to find something to eat at a cafe. A man is discovered to be infected by a Flare tester, and Thomas accidentally reveals himself as a Munie (immune) by staying to watch, instead of panicking and running away like a sensible person. He is dragged away by the tester too, until a law enforcement vehicle shoots the tester and Rat Man/Janson appears on the screen telling Thomas he needs to return to WICKED for Phase 3 of the trials.

Thomas makes his way back to the others at the berg, when they discover Newt is missing. They find a note telling them he’s gone to a Crank sanctuary. Brenda knows where this place is and they fly over to bring Newt back. They bribe a guard and find Newt, even though he told them to get lost. Thomas tries to persuade Newt to come back with them, but has no luck. Newt tells Thomas he’s let him down, leaving Thomas confused, but eventually they leave without Newt. When they get back to the berg, Thomas reads the note that Newt left with him back at WICKED. It says ‘Kill me. If you’ve ever been my friend, kill me.’ Thomas realises that the right time to read the note was before the Flare took hold, and he had failed Newt.

The group is captured by people working for the Right Arm, and they meet up with Teresa and the others, who were also captured. They demand to be taken to speak to the leader of the Right Arm, and one of the kidnappers’s, Lawrence, drives them there. On the way, the van is attacked by a group of cranks, who have started to take over the city. They make it through, and when they arrive, they are taken to meet Vince. 

Together, they plan to infiltrate WICKED’s headquarters and plant a device that will disable all weapons and allow the Right Arm to gain control. Thomas volunteers to plant the device by pretending to return to WICKED for the last phase of the trials. On their way back to the berg, Thomas sees Newt and demands to be let out of the van. He finally carries out Newt’s request and shoots him. (It was horrible…I cried a bit.)

They get back on their way, and drop Thomas off a few miles away from WICKED’s HQ, so he can walk the rest of the way, appearing on his own. He is greeted by Janson, and plants the device as soon as possible. Janson tells Thomas that he is the Final Candidate and in order to find a cure for the Flare, they need to operate on his brain – killing him in the process. Thomas tries to postpone the operation for as long as possible, but the Right Arm do not arrive in time. Just as Janson and another doctor are about to start the procedure an alarm goes off and all hell breaks loose. There are explosions and screaming, but the operating staff are ordered to get on with the operation – Thomas is sedated. 

Thomas begins to wake up, and he sees a woman who tells him ‘I have faith in you’. When he is properly awake, he finds a folder with his name on. Inside is a note from Chancellor Paige (the head of WICKED), telling him that no more subjects are needed. He is told to rescue his friends, and the other Immunes they have gathered, and follow the paths marked on a map which lead to a Flat Trans which will take them to a safe place, away from WICKED.

When Thomas looks at the map, he realises that the Immunes have been hidden in the maze. He is full of dread at the thought of going back, but time is running out. He sets off to find the others, but is caught by Janson and another WICKED worker. He manages to stop one of them and makes a run for it, closely followed by Janson. He eventually reaches some members of the Right Arm, and they all watch Janson running towards them – and realise he has been infected with the Flare. He is furious that Thomas has got away, and runs off into the dark. Thomas asks where Vince is and he is told that he is off planting explosives in the building, at which point Thomas realises they had very different ideas of what should happen.

Thomas runs off to find him, and tries to stop the plan but Vince tells him the bombs are already planted and if Thomas goes to find the Immunes, he will consider it as him going against the Right Arm. Thomas decides to go anyway, and asks Gally to come with him. Gally agrees, even though Vince tells him it would be thought of as betrayal. They find the others, and set off to save the other Immunes.

When they get back to the maze, they find several hundred Immunes in the Glade – young, and old. They split them into groups and head into the maze. It soon starts to collapse from the Right Arm’s explosives, and many of the Immunes are crushed by falling rocks. When they finally escape the maze they come face to face with Grievers waking up – Teresa tells Thomas how to deactivate them before they kill too many people. The last Griever manages to wake up properly before it is deactivated and Teresa sacrifices herself to let the others escape, but Minho and Thomas manage to save her just in time.

By now, there are only about 200 Immunes left. They continue on their way to the Flat Trans, and finally reach it. Thomas is amazed that the Chacellor of WICKED actually told them the truth and has helped them so much. He steps through, just to make sure it is safe and find himself in a shed but through the open door he can see green everywhere he looks –  grass, flowers, trees. He returns to tell the rest of the group it is safe. People start making their way through, when suddenly Janson appears with six WICKED guards. He plans to take a group of Immunes and continue running the trials. The two groups fight, and eventually the Immunes win (it was 200 against 6…) The walls are starting to fall in because of all the explosives, so people rush to get through the Flat Trans. A large piece of stone falls from above Thomas, but Teresa pushes him out of the way and it crushes her instead. They have a final moment together, and both apologise for everything they have said and done to each other. Thomas is forced to leave her behind as the whole building collapses.

The Immunes are left in this new paradise, to make a new start without the Flare.

In the Epilogue it is revealed that the Flare was intentionally released in a desperate attempt to control the population after the sun flares, but this plan went completely wrong. Chancellor Paige did her best with ‘two wisely placed Immunes’ to come up with a new plan, and show the world that WICKED really is good.

Like I said, I was a bit disappointed. I felt like many questions were left unanswered – how did Thomas and Teresa know each other before the trials? What were they responsible for in the development of the trials? Was Brenda really such a good girl, or was she still working with WICKED?? Why did Thomas not want his memories back?! WHAT WAS IN THOSE MEMORIES?! There’s so much that I need want to know that wasn’t in the book. 

I’ve got The Kill Order, which is a prequel to the series…I’m seriously hoping that will clear up a few questions. But I’m not holding my breath.

Book Review – The Things We Know Now

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Patrick Grant has been given a second chance to be a husband and father when he marries Ella. They met after his first wife Cecelia died – Ella was his counsellor – and she is 20 years younger. Out of his three daughters, only two approve of the marriage. His eldest, Rebecca, remembers a very different childhood to the younger twins, Sophie and Frances. Rebecca has never really got along with her father after witnessing a huge fight between him and her mother on Christmas Eve when she was four, after he had been caught being unfaithful. Since then Patrick and Rebecca have always had a strained relationship, and clash over most issues.

An unexpected pregnancy results in the birth of a son for Patrick, who could not be happier. Daniel is a golden-child. He is a very talented artist, and gets on with everyone.  He enjoys spending time with his family and seems to be a happy child. However, behind the smiles and laughter lurks a horrible secret. After once sticking up for a younger child, the school bullies focus their attention on Daniel. At first, there is physical violence, but after the summer it appears to stop. Instead, the bullying switches to online. A website, email accounts hacked and text messages. It’s even worse than before, but nobody else can see it. Both Patrick and Ella notice what appears to be scars from self-harm, but Daniel explains it away and no more is thought of it. Things seem to go back to normal. Then Daniel is found dead.

The book opens with Daniel’s death, and the rest of the book is told through the other characters. The reader is given several different views of the complicated family situation, and we are able to fit the pieces together and see what led Daniel to the decision to end his life.

I found this book difficult to read at some points due to the subject matter, but in a time where cyber-bullying is in the news more and more I thought this was a very relevant book, which dealt with the subject very well. It shows how easy it is for this kind of bullying to go unnoticed and shows the devastating effects it can have on families. It took me a while to get into it, but once I was a few chapters in it was easier to stick with, and definitely worth reading.

I suck at this blog thing…

OK, I’ve been pretty useless again and have been AWOL for a few weeks. I don’t have any kind of excuse. I just suck at sitting down and writing stuff. I’m not even entirely sure when my last post was…but here’s what I’ve been up to.

I started a new course of medication – it’s driving me a bit loopy – it has dried out my skin and I’m all itchy and my lips are falling apart. I should probably start following the ‘drink more’ advice.

I finished reading another book (takes my total for the year up to…2…yeah) so I’ll write a book review. Although I think I’m going to modify my book reviewing, because it’s a lot of effort to write long ones. I’m going to try and be brief (it’s a challenge!). Also I had to take the book back to the library so I will probably forget most of what was in it. I finished it about 3 weeks ago now.

Speaking of reading, I started another book. It’s the final book in the Maze Runner series, and it’s not as exciting as the last one. If you can remember that far back, I read the second book in about 4 hours (it was a good night). I’ve been working on this one for about 3 weeks now. To be fair I haven’t really sat down and properly stuck with it. I had a Desperate Housewives marathon instead (I’m up to season 7…I forgot it was so good).

I went home for a few days. My parents went to New Zealand for 3 weeks (without me…how dare they!) and my mum wanted someone to go and talk to the cats and make them feel less abandoned. So I went and talked to the cats for a few days. Not gonna lie, it was pretty fun actually. I think they enjoyed it too.

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I’ve had 2 weeks off uni because I’ve gone almost completely deaf. I’ve had pulsatile tinnitus in my right ear for about a year and I went to the doctors and the nurse said to use ear drops and go back in a week. Well after 2 days I couldn’t hear a thing…went back and was told it would probably last 2 weeks. My left ear is finally working properly again, but my right ear is still blocked and the tinnitus is worse than ever, and I can’t sleep so I’m tired and grumpy.

I’ve also done some baking! I made some Nutella banana bread. I sort of improvised and mashed about 3 recipes together because the one I wanted to use was American and used cup measurements and I didn’t have cups. But it turned out pretty good (it was amazing…I want to make more now). I think I need to start working on making my baking look good. It usually tastes good, but things always look prettier in the books! Something for me to work on anyway.

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Anyway, it’s dinner time I think. So I’ll be off for now. I will try and write a brief book review this evening. Then I’ll feel like I’ve done something productive!

Book Review – The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

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Well…some of you may already know that at 11:16pm last night I decided it was a good idea to start reading The Scorch Trials. I’ve been meaning to read it since before Christmas – I reserved it 3 times at the library but kept forgetting to collect it on time, so eventually decided to just buy the whole series for myself. I can’t actually remember when I read The Maze Runner, but I haven’t done a book review for it, so it was clearly before I started this blog. You should probably read that book before this one!

It probably wasn’t the best idea ever to start reading it so late, but I wasn’t planning on reading the whole book in one go. It just sort of happened. I finished at about 3am. Firstly, I’m quite excited because it’s the first book I’ve actually finished this year! I know…halfway through February and I’ve only actually finished one book. But as I said in a previous post, I just haven’t been able to get properly into any so I haven’t been enjoying reading at all. 

Anyway, I really enjoyed The Maze Runner, and this is the second book of the series. And as I’ve said already, I’ve been meaning to read it for ages. We pick up where we left off at the end of The Maze Runner – Thomas and the Gladers have escaped the maze and have been taken to a dormitory, where they assume they are safe. However, it turns out they’ve just been brought along to another trial. The first day in their new ‘home’ they wake up to find a group of Cranks – people who have been infected with a deadly virus known as the Flare – moaning and screaming outside the windows. The Gladers quickly get out of the room, only to find themselves in a room with the bodies of their ‘rescuers’ hanging from the ceiling. 

Meanwhile, Thomas has been communicating with Teresa with their mind-talking-thing, and learns that she has been separated from the boys. The last thing she says to him before they awake to the Cranks is ‘Tom, something’s wrong’. The Gladers decide to explore their surroundings, and discover another room with a piece of paper on the door – ‘Teresa Agnes. Group A, subject A1. The Betrayer.’ Thomas is just happy they’ve found her, and they break the door down. All hope quickly vanishes when it turns out the occupier of the room is actually a boy called Aris, who has no idea what is going on. He tells them he escaped from a maze with a group of girls, was separated from them, and was brought to the place they are now all in. As Aris tells his story, they discover WICKED has two groups of subjects in their experiments to find a cure for the Flare – a group of girls, and a group of boys. They also discover they have been given tattoos at some point between leaving the maze and waking up in the new place. The tattoos all read -Property of WICKED’ and each boy has a group and subject number, and some have an additional piece of information specific to them – Aris is ‘The Partner’, Minho is ‘The Leader’, Newt is ‘The Glue’. Thomas has a slightly more disturbing message – ‘to be killed by Group B’.

An alarm interrupts their story-telling and the boys go to investigate. The dead bodies have now disappeared from the large room, and a solid brick wall has appeared around the building – pretty impressive when only 20 minutes have passed. When the alarm stops, food appears out of nowhere and the Gladers make the most of it. Later, a man in a white suit appears at a desk behind an invisible wall/force-field thing. He refuses to tell the boys anything until the appropriate time. Eventually he reveals that he is from WICKED and another trial will be starting the next day. The boys have all been infected with the Flare, and they only way to reach the cure is to go through the Flat Trans that will appear for 5 minutes, find open air and travel north for 100 miles. If they reach the Safe Haven within two weeks, they will be rewarded with the cure. He also tells them never to believe their eyes. Or their minds. Helpful stuff! He reveals that the maze was part of the Trials, and every ‘variable’ that has been thrown at them is helping WICKED collect information to save the human race.

The next day, all the Gladers make their way through the Flat Trans and find themselves in a dark tunnel. They make their way as quickly as possible, trying to dodge balls of fluid metal that decapitate people as they go. They make it to the end of the tunnel, only losing one boy along the way. At the end there is an opening to the outside world. However, the outside world is now a barren, hot and dry wasteland – sun flares have destroyed much of the planet. The boys decide it’s probably safer than staying in the tunnel, and start walking. When the sun sets, they hear a girl screaming. Thomas goes to investigate, and finds Teresa. She tells them the Gladers all need to run away from her or something bad will happen to them. Thomas returns to the others and passes on the message, and they continue their journey. 

The next day a huge storm arrives, killing more of the group. The others manage to make their way to an old city and find shelter. They also find themselves faced with a croup of Cranks. These Cranks explain that there are different levels of Cranks – they are not full blown Cranks yet, so they don’t want to rip the Gladers to pieces. There are, however, other Cranks in the city that do. Two of the not-yet-crazy Cranks – Jorge and Brenda – agree to help the group find the Safe Haven, in return for the cure. The group get separated, and Thomas is left on his own with Brenda. They end up cornered by a group of full-blown-crazy Cranks who want their noses, but manage to escape, only to find themselves trapped by another group, who force them to a party and drug them. Thomas wakes up tied to a table in a room with three Cranks, who question him about where he has come from. They all know he is someone important, as there are plaques all over the city saying ‘Thomas, you are the real leader’. When Thomas thinks things can’t possibly get worse, a huge commotion starts above them – he assumes it’s more Cranks, but it’s actually Minho and the others. They rescue Brenda and Thomas, and quickly make their way out of there. Unluckily, one of the Cranks has managed to get hold of a gun and shoots Thomas as they are running. 

His gunshot wound becomes infected, and Thomas is drifting in and out of consciousness for a few days. Eventually a ‘berg’ arrives and two people wearing WICKED overalls and gas masks haul him off into the safety of the berg. While Thomas continues drifting in and out of conversation, he overhears snippets of conversation about the ‘candidates’ and learns that there are only about 5 viable candidates left for whatever WICKED are trying to achieve. They fix up his shoulder, and drop him right back where they took him from – leaving him with the words ‘it’s what you would have wanted us to do’.

In the meantime, the Gladers have found a shack where they are able to stay out of the burning sun during the day. They’re all hanging out in there and suddenly, Thomas hears Teresa talking to him again. She warns him something awful is going to happen to him the next day, but he needs to trust her whatever happens. She also tells him she won’t be able to talk to him for a while, at least not until they are back together.

The next day the boys continue on their journey, when suddenly Teresa appears out of nowhere. She is with a group of girls (Group B) and they kidnap Thomas and threaten to kill the others if they attempt to follow them. It turns out Group B have been instructed by WICKED to kill him. Thomas manages to convince them, it is just another test to see how far they can push the group, and persuades them that he will be more use alive than dead. Teresa is angry about this decision, and leaves the group. They all carry on towards the Safe Haven, with Thomas lingering at the back of the group. Teresa appears again and tells him the act is over, and he can trust her. They break away from the group and she leads him off into a forest, where they meet up with Aris. It turns out to be a trap, and Thomas ends up locked in a room with a green glass door, where he is gassed. When he wakes up, Teresa is apologetic and tells him he would have been killed if she had not done what she was told. Thomas finally decides that he can’t trust her at all. The three of them leave the woods and find they are nearly at the end of the 100 miles they had to travel. They catch up with the other members of the two groups who are gathered in a group – they part to let Thomas through to see what they are gathered around. All that he sees is a stick with an orange ribbon reading ‘The Safe Haven’. 

With about 35 minutes left before their time is up, sections of the ground start to rotate and open to reveal a new monster with glowing bulbs all over their bodies. The group manage to destroy them by smashing the bulbs and eventually another berg arrives to collect the survivors. Their ‘rescuers’ are angry that Jorge and Brenda have been brought along and try to throw them off the berg, but Thomas saves them. They are all given food and showers, and get some proper sleep. 

While Thomas is sleeping he has a strange dream. He hears a girl’s voice in his head, but can’t work out why it doesn’t sound quite right. He asks who is talking to him, and what’s going on – the response comes from Brenda, not Teresa, and she tells him things are about to get really bad for him. He starts screaming, and wakes himself up, finding himself in a completely white room, alone. He calls out in his head for Teresa, but gets no reply, and eventually falls back to sleep. He awakes to Teresa calling for him, and finds out what has happened. They have been separated, and a week has passed. The rest of the group have been told that the Flare was too deeply rooted in Thomas, so he has been removed. Thomas is understandably confused, but remembers what happened between him and Teresa, so he tells her to leave him alone. She agrees, but says one final thing to him – WICKED is good.

Throughout the book, Thomas has several dreams about his memories from before the maze, especially memories involving Teresa and the relationship they had. They add a lot of intrigue to the story, as it appears they are major players in implementing the trials. 

I really really enjoyed this book (obviously!) but the middle of the night was probably not the best time to read it! I did get a little bit freaked out by all the Cranks, and it did get quite scary. (I feel a little bit pathetic for getting scared – but I live on a road right next to the train station and drunk people are always shouting and running up and down it in the middle of the night…)

So I have finally finished reading my first book of the year. Woohoo!! I really want to read the next one in the series…but I feel like I should go back to To Kill A Mockingbird. Or one of the other library books I’ve got. But I am going to stick to being brutal, and if I’m not enjoying a book, I won’t force myself to keep reading it.

Decisions

I have decided I need to be more brutal when it comes to reading. So many times I’ll carry on struggling through a book even though I’m not enjoying it. To be fair, most times it just takes me a while to get into them and I eventually end up loving them and finish them off really quickly. But I don’t think I’ve actually finished reading a single book so far this year. So I am deciding now to give up on the book I’m struggling through (probably not forever…I might go back to it one day) and start a different one. One that I know I really want to read. 

I’ve been reading The Diary of a Murder by Lee Jackson, and I just haven’t got into it at all. I can usually sit down for hours and read loads but it just isn’t happening with this one. Before Christmas I read The Maze Runner by James Dashner and eventually got round to buying the whole series because I was majorly excited about reading my way through it. They’ve been sat on my bookshelf for about a month now, if not longer. 

And now I can’t sleep…I have come to the conclusion that if I’m not loving a book I shouldn’t waste my time on it. I don’t get much time to read now anyway, and the little time I do have, I’m not actually reading because it’s boring. So I’ve started The Scorch Trials. And I’m going to request Allegiant from the library. And I’m going to go back to enjoying reading. 

And then I’ll get on with something from my reading challenge. Promise. I started Pride and Prej…that’s got to count for something! I also started The Grapes of Wrath but then somebody requested it at the library so I had to take it back.

I’m full of empty promises…

I will get better! I should also really get better at blogging regularly.

I also made cupcake this afternoon…they were a miserable failure. Mainly because my housemate couldn’t believe that I still need to follow a recipe and wouldn’t let me find one and then I mixed everything wrong! I told her I needed instructions!! I covered them in chocolate icing…they’re not the worst cakes ever.