18 January 2011

Book Review No. 45



Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Summary: Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol, District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. It is by design that Katniss was rescued from t he arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans--except Katniss. The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost. (taken from the book jacket)
My Critique: WARNING! WARNING!! SPOILER ALERT!!! Here's the thing about me...it's generally not a good idea for me to read series because about half-way in I get annoyed with the characters. As a general rule, this is true. However, after I had read book #2 in this series, Catching Fire, I was super excited because I wasn't fed up with any of the characters yet. However, that all changed in this book. I got aggravated with Katniss--she's very whiney and even a bit bratty if things don't go exactly like she thinks they should go. And her niavety that was endearing and even a bit charming in the first two books is just annoying in this one. She's a war-hardened young adult at this point--18 years old. After the battles she's fought and the things she's seen, she should be over that by now. And she never fully comprehends how powerful she is to the rebels...how much influence she has over them--even though it's been proven time and time again. I guess I just feel a little let down with this book. The climatic scene where she's face to face with President Snow and his impending assination is on the brink, it doesn't sizzle as much as I had hoped. It was bit anti-climatic--which is disappointing because not only is it the climax of this book, but of the trilogy as a whole. Everything has been leading up to this moment and then it's just such a non-event. And then, as if that's not disappointing enough (for real spoilers are coming so stop reading now if you don't wanna know) Gale just kind of drops out of the story. He's mentioned but he never really see him again. After he's risked his life numerous times to save Katniss and/or her family, she can never forgive him because his device may or may not have been indirectly responsible for her sister's death? Give me a break. How selfish can she be??? He didn't kill Prim on purpose--on the contrary...when District 12 was going up in flames he risked his life to save her and Katniss's mother. Whatever Katniss. I think I was just let down because I don't feel like I had closure with Gale. And then we're left with broken shells of Katniss and Peeta--a shadow of who they used to be. The Capitol had the technology to totally erase her scars after her first Hunger Games victory--why couldn't something be done about those burn scars? And that's another thing...her sister gets blown up and then boom...we skip ahead in time. How long? Likely it's been a couple of months. We don't get the satisfaction of seeing the rebel victory. Or the events that take place in between. So I was just let down a little. However, this is still a fantastic trilogy and I definitely recommend it. I'm sure others won't be as bothered by the events in Mockingjay as I was...I tend to over-react sometimes. =)
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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Mockingjay, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with the afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas---------------uh, nevermind.

12 January 2011

Book Review No. 44


Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Summary: Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol—a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create. Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn. (taken from book jacket)

My Critique: Rarely is a second book in a series equally as good as the first. Suzanne Collins accomplishes that feat in Catching Fire. The action in this book is equally as thrilling as that of The Hunger Games. There are a lot of parallels in this book to anarchy and dictatorship and it would make for a really interesting analytical paper for some of you academic types out there who are so inclined. I absolutely LOVED this book just as much as the first. I couldn't talk about it because my hubby wants to read them and I didn't want to give anything away...which is why I'm not saying much regarding plot here...because I want you to read them. I just got the third book in the series today and can't wait to start reading it...I'm starting grad school again next week and won't have much time for pleasure reading so I'm glad my last three books have been absolutely enthralling.

Don't take my word for it. Here's what others are saying:

"Collins has done that rare thing. She has written a sequel that improves upon the first book." (The New York Times Book Review)

"Whereas Katniss kills with finesse, Collins writes with raw power." (Time Magazine)

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Catching Fire, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with the afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas---------------uh, nevermind.

04 January 2011

Book Review No. 43


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary: Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before--and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. (taken from book jacket)
My Critique: I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book! I was skeptical at first because I don't generally enjoy this genre of novel--but--I didn't stay skeptical for long. I was totally enthralled after the first pages. I read it quickly and can't wait to beging the next book in this trilogy. I was intrigued because I had heard this book was a mix of The Most Dangerous Game and The Lottery all in one fabulous package. The Most Dangerous Game is a short story by Richard Connell where a hunter becomes the hunted and The Lottery is a short story by Shirley Jackson where the winner's prize is death. I love those stories so wanted to read this book. The Hunger Games is incredibly well written. And for all you intellectuals out there, don't be put off because this is technically a "young adult" book--serious readers will love it as well. So that's it...I LOVED IT and I don't even like science fiction/fantasy. FYI, they're making this into a movie, to be released in 2013. Can't wait for that!!
This book is amazing...don't just take my word for it, see what acclaimed authors have to say about it:
"The Hunger Games is a violent, jarring speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense...I couldn't stop reading." (Stephen King)
"I was so obsessed with this book I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading. The story kept me up for several nights in a row, because even after I was finished, I just lay in bed awak thinking about it...The Hunger Games is amazing." (Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga)
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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, The Hunger Games, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with the afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas---------------uh, nevermind.


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