Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Book Review

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Reading Level: Young adult
Genre(s): Dystopian
Pages: 384 (hardcover)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: 2008
My Rating: 5/5

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone 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 will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My Thoughts:
This is my second time reading this book; I wanted to re-read it before reading Catching Fire so it's fresh in my mind.
The second time made me love it so much more. I noticed a lot of things I didn't notice the first time I read it.
Everything in this book stuck out so much for me, I don't think it's a book I'd ever forget.
I liked Katniss instantly. She was selfless, brave, and strong. She was an amazing heroine. What she did for her younger sister, Prim, was as selfless as you can get. I wonder, would I take someone's place in the Games?
I liked Gale, but that's it. I feel I didn't get to know him enough throughout the book, seeing as there wasn't much dialogue between him and Katniss.
Peeta! Love. Him. He's super sweet and cares a lot about Katniss. I can't wait to read more about him in the other books. I think I may be team Peeta. It could change throughout the series though, who knows.
So, yeah, major standout would have to be the characters.
Moving on...
I hate the Capital, I think they're horrible. I found myself thinking while reading this "Just rebel against them, Katniss. Do something effing crazy!" but then I realized it isn't that easy. The Capital holds the power.
I must say, if you haven't read this book, get Catching Fire before reading The Hunger Games. You will want to know what happens next.
Hmm, I feel like I'm missing a lot in this review, but I'm sure everyone who reads has read this book already, so my review really isn't needed.
Anyways, I'm gonna go read Catching Fire now.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It's just to show what upcoming book release you're anticipating.

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
This is the sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes and it comes out in April 2011. I can't seem to find a plot summary anywhere, but if you've read the first book you'll probably know what to expect.
I cannot wait for this book!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi (sp?) over at The Story Siren. It's a great way to show what books you've received/bought throughout the week.

This week I got:

- Zombies vs Unicorns edited by Holly Black
- The Hunger Games trilogy box set by Suzanne Collins
* I've already read the The Hunger Games, but I need to read its sequels (Catching Fire and Mockingjay).

I'm going to go into Zombies vs Unicorns open minded, but I must say that I've always loved zombies, so therefore I am

And although I doubt it, my mind may change. :P

What did you get this week?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray - Book Review

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Reading Level: Young adult
Genre(s): Historical fiction, fantasy
Pages: 432 (paperback)
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published: 2005
My Rating: 5/5

Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order.

My Thoughts:
I loved every minute of this book; the writing is amazing. I love Libba's writing style.
The characters and character development, the plot, the descriptions, the Victorian backdrop, it was all epic.
There were a few plot twists in here that made my jaw drop. I was like O_O

I really, really liked Gemma. She's a highly likable female character. Her friends, Pippa, Ann, and Felicity were excellent characters as well. In the beginning Felicity and Pippa were very insolent, but throughout the book you start to really like them and feel bad for them. Ann was really introverted in the beginning but once she became friends with Gemma, Pippa, and Felicity she really broke out of her shell.

I loved the world Libba created. The book played like a movie in my head because of the excellent descriptions. I believe this book is actually going to be a movie. :D

So, yeah. Excellent book, excellent writing. 5/5 stars most definitely. I can't wait to read Rebel Angels which is sitting on my bookshelf now.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells - Book Review

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells.

Reading Level: Adult
Genre(s): Fiction, chick-lit
Pages: 400
Publisher: Harper
Published: 2004
My Rating: 4/5

Siddalee Walker needs her mother's help with a play she's writing about women's friendships, so Vivi sends her the letters, photos, journals, and souvenirs from the Ya-Ya sisterhood. Inside the scrapbook, Siddalee starts to learn a lot about her mother's past, but is still left wondering. So comes a story about the power of love and forgiveness.

My Thoughts:
I don't really know how to express what I want to say about this book.
Well, actually, let me start off by saying that I could not stand Vivi throughout a lot of the story. I wanted to punch her for treating Siddalee (her oldest daughter) like a piece of crap.
At times, Vivi annoyed me to the point where I wanted to scream at her. She struck me as melodramatic and snobby. If the author was trying to make Vivi an unlikable character then she did very good.
The Ya-Yas (Caro, Teensy, Necie, Vivi) were interesting to read about. I liked reading about when they were younger. They had weird lives and Teensy struck me as a pervert. But it's all good. It was still interesting to read about.
Siddalee annoyed me also. Now, don't get me wrong, she seemed like a nice person, but she was so damn obsessed with her mother that it was insane and odd. She always talked about Vivi's smell and how she knew she was near because of her smell. Strange, right? I just found it odd that she looked up to her mom so much, yet the woman was pretty much a... *the b word* to her. Although we do come to learn a lot about Vivi's childhood, and she didn't have the best upbringing.
At times I found this book to be too much of a drag. I got really bored and didn't want to continue reading. I mean, the whole thing was pretty much Siddalee reading the Ya-Yas Divine Secrets and then Siddalee reminiscing about her own past. Although, you do learn a lot of things about each character throughout the reminiscing and reading of the Divine Secrets.
All in all, this was a pretty good book. I did enjoy it most of the time. This was also something that I would have never read had I not picked it up at a thrift shop for pretty much nothing. I'm glad I gave it a chance.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pretty pointless, but hey.

I haven't done a review or anything on here for awhile so I thought I'd just tell you guys something I'm excited about (although you probably don't care :P).

So I went to this thrift store in my town and they were doing this thing they do occasionally where you can fill a bag (the brown paper ones you get at the supermarket) for five dollars. So, needless to say, I filled my bag with BOOKS. Lots of 'em. And I'm excited. I got five hardcovers and quite a few paperbacks (ones I've been wanting to read for awhile!) all for five dollars. That's like, such a good deal. So yeah, I'll include the books I got in my IMM, which I haven't been doing because I suck at keeping track of things.

Anyways, hope you all had a good Thanksgiving.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - Book Review

Beautiful Creaturesby Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre(s): Paranormal romance, urban fantasy
Pages: 563
Publisher: Little, Brown
Published: 2009
My Rating: 4/5

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

My Thoughts:
I thought Beautiful Creatures was a great read. I enjoyed the plot and characters. When I first bought this book I thought it was going to be just like Twilight and have not so great writing. I was wrong. I thought the writing was excellent. I enjoyed the plot and the whole idea of this book.
It's cool how they intertwined Southern history throughout the book too.
I do kind of wish I had read To Kill a Mockingbird before delving into this, seeing as there are a lot of references to that novel. I'd recommend maybe you should read To Kill a Mockingbird first, just because, like I said, it's referenced quite a lot throughout here.
As for the characters, I liked Lena a lot, I thought she was a really cool, different character. Ethan was cool too, although I do think he was a little too.. feminine, I guess, for my taste. His love for Lena was adorable though, honestly. Throughout this book I became a fan of Ridley, which I probably shouldn't like because she's a Dark Caster. I just thought she was a cool person, I suppose.
As for the ending, I didn't like it that much, which is why I rated this book 4/5 stars. It just keeps you wondering. At least Beautiful Darkness is out now so I'm not wondering for too long.
Definitely read this book, I don't think you'll be disappointed; I wasn't.