Saturday, December 4, 2010

Book Review: Stork

 

Hardcover, 355 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Candlewick

Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything. 

Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life. 

The story in Stork is different than anything I've read this year and it is a much needed and refreshing change. I have never read anything with the same concept. I thought that the pacing of the book was good for the transition between summer and winter reading. It is light enough but has a deep enough story to keep you interested. 


At first I thought Jack was absolutely annoying and I thought he was going to be a minor character, but he turned out to be a hunk and definitely irresistible. I felt the connection between Katla and Jack to be ELECTRIFYING! Wade on the other hand, I wanted to slap him silly! He was very annoying and ended up being way worse than I thought he could be, which is saying something because he was a terrible person without adding anymore to it.


Without giving away too much about the story, this is a good book to read and I definitely recommend it. It is different enough to give you something interesting to look forward to, but has elements of love and that particularly good sense of YA attitude that will leave you waiting for Wendy's sequel of this book, believed to be coming in 2012. 


5/5 Book Geeks!




Thursday, December 2, 2010

Movie Review: What Dreams May Come


[Just something a little different. I may begin writing reviews for movies and music as well or whatever else tickles my fancy. Hope you don't mind too much! I will head each post with what kind of review it is so you can pass if you are not interested.]





In this visually imaginative paradise, director Vincent Ward delivers an adaptation of the 1978 novel by Richard Matheson entitled What Dreams May Come. It is no wonder that the film won an Academy Award for its visual effects and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Directions. Add to the beauty of the film, Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra’s heart wrenching performance , and the story’s depth and portrayal of how far love will go and you will come out needing a box of tissues and the desire to create something beautiful in life.  It is not uncommon to imagine what awaits  beyond death or if there is even anything beyond death other than darkness, and as Hamlet said, “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause,” the afterlife may not bring peace.
            Robin Williams plays the protagonist Chris Nielson, as only Robin Williams could. The twinkle in his eye is ever apparent when he is seen caring for a sick patient and that silly grin present at just the right moments. Annie, played by Annabella Sciorra is strikingly beautiful and her art work exquisite and sophisticated which sets up a perfect medium for communication in the afterlife. When Chris and Annie’s children die in a car accident, Annie spirals deep into a depression with sorrow so thick that the tightness in her chest can be felt through the screen. It is only Chris that can pull her out of this depression and then suddenly as if the pain were not enough, Chris dies in a car accident leaving Annie emotionally stripped and physically drained of her former self.
            Chris wakes up in one of Annie’s magnificent paintings which completely transform the film into something more exotic, something startling and remarkable. Chris’s afterlife is an anything goes painting brought to life with remarkable landscapes and vivid colors, even more remarkable that Chris and Annie can communicate through the land and into Annie’s paintings. Chris longs for Annie to understand that he is still watching over her, which holding true to the novel proves to be a torment to Annie as she cannot understand what the ghost of Chris is trying to explain to her, rather she feels more depressed under the weight of his existence that is non-existent.
            Annie commits suicide and a slew of Dante’s Inferno references collide with Richard Matheson’s theory on what hell is like. Chris enters what is unmistakingly a replica of the twisted layers of hell described in Dante Aligieri’s fourteenth-century epic poem Divine Comedy. Chris must peel back the layers of Annie’s sorrow as she is condemned to hell for being a suicide case in order to rescue her and bring her to his paradise.
            The primary themes of What Dreams May Come are life, death, love, and afterlife, but a theme that was created only for the movie is the theme of parenthood. In the novel Chris and Annie do not have children so that element is completely unsheathed which does bring more roundness to the story rather than being a linear plot, the children incorporate more emotion and twist to the story. Ian, the son, feels as if he cannot live up to the expectations of his father and Marie, the daughter, just as much as Ian wants to please her father. Chris once commented that Asian women are graceful and intelligent and we later meet Marie in the form of Leona, a beautiful Asian who shows Chris the children’s realm in heaven. Albert, a man that Chris looked up to as a medical student, is Chris’s guide in the midst of things who is all knowing and informative, is actually Ian. Chris did not always appreciate his children and in the afterlife they change their appearances to be people that Chris admires so that they will listen to him. This adds an interesting element because among the sadness of the love story, a story of not taking people for granted arises.
            Amongst the sadness of the story a distractingly haunting film is created, one that deserves the title What Dreams May Come as depicted by Hamlet and captivated by the novel. The concept of afterlife and reincarnation is twisted along side of standard Christian views and shows signs of psychic and Wiccan counterparts, a recipe for a film that can touch the hearts of many without stepping on too many toes. Whatever ones beliefs, at the very least one can take away the striking images of the film and the sense of loss of a loved one. If this doesn’t make you hold your loves ones a little longer before you leave them, who knows what will. 

Follow Friday!






It has certainly been a good while since I have participated in Follow Friday but I am ready to meet some new bloggers! The question for this week is:



What do you do besides reading / reviewing as a hobby??


I have too many hobbies and that may partly be why my reading is slacking right now. I play video games, make jewelry, learn new languages, write to pen pals, write stories/books/poetry, collect Sanrio and San-X or other kawaii goods, and a few other things here and there. 

Which brings me to something that I wanted to ask the community. I recently lost a pen pal friend due to her not having the time anymore to do it so if anyone out there is interested in becoming pen pals, I am looking for someone! I love to write letters and I am a collector of stationary and other cute things to send with my letters and a looking for someone who would like the old fashioned way of communicating! I think there is just something so special about waiting for a handwritten letter to arrive and then the excitement of reading it and responding and etc! The whole process is quite lovely and fun, so if anyone is interested comment with your email address and we will exchange info! =] 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pegasus by Robin McKinley


Hardcover, 404 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Putnam Juvenile 


Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pagasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own Pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.
But its different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close-so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo-and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.
New York Times bestselling Robin McKinley weaves an unforgettable tale of unbreakable friendship, mythical creatures and courtly drama destined to become a classic.
This is the first title by Robin McKinley that I have ever read, crazy right? The cover of this book is gorgeous in pictures, but even more gorgeous once you have the book in your hands and for those of you out there that collect books for their covers and bindings, this one won't disappoint. 


This book can go one or two ways for me, you can either absolutely adore it or absolutely hate it and stop reading and go onto the next book in your to be read pile. I can understand both stand points and the reason why is because it reads much like a history book at first. Robin begins right away explaining the world in which we are about to explore and the history of the Pegasus and how the humans found them. I for one enjoyed the extra details and feel that it adds depth to the story, much in the style of Tolkien so I had no problem with it. This is high fantasy at its best right here, folks. The ONLY downsides for me is that we have to wait so long to get more of the story and the slight wordiness of the book, for some this will cause you to put the book down, but I love details and I have a similar writing style myself so it doesn't bother me one bit. Yes, there is a cliffhanger, yes you'll want to read more, but don't let that make you cross it off your list, this is definitely a good read and you won't regret it. 


I give it four out of five book geeks. 



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Casblanca & The Seventh Seal

A while back I made a post about my lit&film class. I FINALLY got the paper back from the teacher and am now able to post it and share it with you all. I wanted to share it because I think it is interesting how much storytelling is in films. When you watch a movie you don't necessarily think of the plot, the characters, and the setting as much as you do a book. Upon taking this lit&film class, I have thought more about how important the same elements for books are to film. This is a comparison between Casablanca and The Seventh Seal. If you haven't watched them, I highly recommend both movies.


In life we struggle with our own battles and make our decisions based on faith, morals, and sometimes love. The decisions that we make are sometimes met with consequences that we do not necessarily prepare for. We may lose the ones we love or worse, face death. The faithful will say that God will not bring you to it if he cannot see you through it, while those who question may say, “Faith is a torment. It is like loving someone who is out there in the darkness but never appears, no matter how loudly you call” as Antonius Block said in The Seventh Seal. Our morals tell us what is right and wrong, but it is our faith that leads us blindly into decisions that spring questions that cannot be answered by a visible being.


Rick of Rick's Café Américain in Casablanca shows what it is to make decisions based upon love. Rick is a displaced New Yorker living in Casablanca when we meet him and a hero by the time we get to know him. He is a wanted man for being neutral during the struggle of the Nazi‟s dominance and eagerly wishes to go back to America. The desperation that Rick has is not met with an empty audience, as many others in Casablanca wish to leave as well, leaving the coveted letters of transit open for a game of power and money struggle between the patrons of Casablanca. Rick is in a place of power himself being the owner of the café, and has the opportunity to leave Casablanca but instead sacrifices his freedom for his love, IIsa Lund.


Antonius Block is a knight of the Crusades returning from battle during a dark time in European history, the attempt at restoring Christianity is accompanied by the scare of the Black Death or the Plague. He is met face to face with Death and makes a personal struggle with faith. Antonius must face the fact that he fought for a cause that he may not actually believe in; a God that does not answer his questions nor show his compassion. The horrifying and deadly Plague is a device that is used to generate more fear into humanity, the fear of God. During a time when faith is all that people had, Antonius began to question his and had to escape death.


Rick and Antonius are from two different time periods but share a distinct theme; they are both trying to escape from something, Rick from the Nazi‟s and Antonius from his faith issues and Death. Rick has the opportunity to leave Casablanca behind and gain his freedom, the opportunity to escape. Even after finding out that IIsa committed adultery, his love for her prevents him from holding it above her head. IIsa‟s husband Victor is an escapee from a concentration camp and has even more reason to flea than Rick does. He could have easily punished IIsa by using the letters of transit for himself or even going as far as letting her go with him and leaving Victor behind, yet he sacrifices himself for love and gives her the letters of transit, despite the fact that German Major Strasser would have his head if he found out.


Antonius befriends Jof and Mia, a married couple that represent a strong faith in God. While Antonius tries to escape Death by playing chess, Jof and Mia are figures of hope and happiness during a time that is less than hopeful. Antonius‟ attempt to knock over the chess board shows his desperate attempt to flee the situation, to escape the inevitable. He comes to confessional and says, “I cry out to God in the dark, but sometimes it seems as if there is no one there,” in which he gets the reply from the monk whom he does not know is death that perhaps there is no one there. Antonius gives an unforgettable, thought provoking declaration stating "If that is true, then all of life is meaningless [or „a senseless horror‟]. Nobody can live with death before he dies if he thinks that oblivion lies at the end." One can immediately connected with Antonius Block as sometimes we struggle with faith and whether or we believe in God. Antonius lived in an era where it was unheard of to declare that God did not exist, so much that one would be considered a witch as the girl in the story and left for dead, shunned by humanity. This is not as old fashioned as it may seem, as what is an atheist in today‟s society but a joke to be laughed at, a person to be humiliated for thinking differently than others. The Seventh Seal is timeless even though it is set in a foreign time and the theme of escaping one‟s fears of something that they once thought to be truth is no longer adhered to as truth, but rather a piece of a puzzle that no one can put together.


Rick shows no sign in faith in God, but his faith or lack thereof in IIsa and the fear of Nazi‟s taking over just as Antonius‟ fear of death and trying to escape connects with the overall feeling of desperation and hopelessness. The Nazi‟s can be compared to the Black Death, as both were set out on destroying as many people as possible. Rick however has the upper hand over Antonius as at the end Rick has the satisfaction of staging the Nazi General‟s death to make it look as if the letters of transit were stolen by Victor so as to get himself off the hook, but at the same time kill one of the most powerful Nazi leaders in Casablanca; if only we could see the outcome after everyone heard of the General‟s death.


Antonius receives the short end of the stick as he dies without any answers to his questions and does not have the comfort of knowing that when he dies he will meet his maker, which isn‟t that what faith in a God is about, the comfort of knowing that someone is looking out for you, that someone is waiting for you and that there will be light at the end of the tunnel? Antonius questions his faith throughout the movie, but when faced with certain death, knowing that he has no way to escape, he cries out in desperation to God. He prays and as desperate as he is, God does not answer.


At the end of The Seventh Seal there is an amazing visage of Antonius and his compatriots that death came to take, dancing across a hill. Their bodies are completely blacked out and all that can be seen is the outline of their bodies as they hold hands and follow behind death. Jof announces to Mia what he sees and she states, “You with your visions!” Throughout the film Jof describes different visions which lead the viewer to wonder if the entire events that took place actually happened. Mia and Jof are walking along in the sunshine with smiles on their faces as if nothing had occurred. In comparison at the end of Casablanca, Rick and Captain Renault walk off into the distance leaving just as much to wonder about what happens next, but not so much that the audience feels as if the story was a cliffhanger.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crazy by Han Nolan


"Crazy" by Han Nolan



  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (September 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152051090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152051099

Fifteen-year-old Jason has fallen upon bad times—his mother has died and his father has succumbed to mental illness. As he tries to hold his crazy father and their crumbling home together, Jason relies on a host of imaginary friends for guidance as he stumbles along trying not to draw attention to his father’s deteriorating condition.

Both heartbreaking and funny, CRAZY lives up to the intense and compelling characters Han Nolan is praised for. As Jason himself teeters on the edge of insanity, Nolan uncovers the clever coping system he develops for himself and throws him a lifeline in the guise of friendship.

At the end of this book I was a bit angry and couldn't believe that it ended as it did, but after a day I look back and don't know why I was so angry as the ending didn't matter as much as I made it out to matter. The beautiful thing about this book is how Han Nolan describes feelings. I felt anger, sadness, isolation, and that sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach of having a responsibility that shouldn't be mine. When Han described Jason's house as being cold, I felt the cold and emptiness; a house in shambles after the woman who made it so lively has passed. I imagined the cobwebbed photographs, the piles of neglected belongings, jewelry, makeup and clothes left in the same spots before she had died. The feeling of mourning and sadness was so powerful that when there were spouts of happy situations, I was smiling ear to ear for Jason and his friends and was so relieved that they caught a break. That is some good character development, my friends.


I have kept books about mental illness at an arm's length because I grew up around people with mental illnesses and even had to go to therapy myself on how to deal with those people who had mental illnesses. In a sense, Crazy is just like that. Jason has to take care of his dad and in turn is on the brink of insanity himself. Funny how that happens! I expected near the end of the book that we would find out that Jason was the one who was actually crazy the whole time and kind of hoped for it, but the book took another turn. It was a story of how someone who had a loving family went to having no family and then discovering how to create a new family in times of desperation. It was also a story of a the foster care system and reminded me so much of certain friends that I had in high school. The foster care system in the story isn't as intense as the one in real life, as Jason was able to stay with caring people, but did have a hint of truth when Jason was stabbed by another foster care kid. 


I would recommend this book to anyone of all ages, it is a tough topic to talk about, but I think it has an important message. Our children should not have the weight of the world on their shoulders. They will have enough of that when they reach adulthood.


I give this book three out of three book geeks. It's an average read, but I wouldn't want to miss out on reading it. 



Monday, October 11, 2010

Goodness Gracious: An Update

Why hello there! I haven't forgotten about you. This semester of college has been a crazy one and I haven't had time to read for pleasure as much as I would like, therefore, I am behind. I have several reviews that are coming up as I was able to snag some reading time in over the past week. So, they are coming! Here are the books that I have read and are awaiting review:


In no particular order:
1. Hush Money by Susan Bischoff
2. The Study Train by Kurt Frenier
3. Crazy by Han Nolan 


and I will be posting the Casablanca lit/film cross-breed review by the end of the week. =] 


So I haven't forgotten about you, my beautiful blog that I so deeply cherish. I just had to put you on the back burner while I prepared for mid-terms and wrote papers.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's Friiiiiiiiiday!!!!





It's Friday again and time for Follow My Book Blog Friday!! It is hosted by Parajunkee @ www.parajunkee.com. This weeks question is: What is your favorite book cover?


This is truly a hard question because there are so many beautiful covers. Currently I would have to say that The Iron Daughter by Julia Kagawa is my favorite! It is pinkish/purple and so beautiful. I love the swirls and how some of the pages have the swirl design on them. The entire series is so beautiful lined up together!! What's your favorite book cover?

I am a bit late when it comes to the whole Wesley Scroggins controversy that took place sometime last week. I first heard about it on Twitter from some of my fellow bloggers and it was somewhere around 1:00AM and I was so tired, but after I read the article I was completely awake and angry, but mostly empowered. 

First let me say how proud I am of the book blogging community and how amazing so many of you out there are. I've read many blogs responding to the remarks that Wesley Scroggins made and everyone has remained so positive and uplifting when faced with someone who is ignorant and made false comments against Laurie Anderson. You are a graceful community that held your held up high with poise and you deserve recognition. 

I have not personally read Speak, but after everything I have read about it and this situation I can say that the book is about teaching girls (or anyone) to stand up for their right to speak up. Many people can relate to having been molested, raped, or sexually harassed and having to hold that burdensome secret deep within. As I look back in my childhood I wish I had been taught about molestation and rape. Instead it was something swept under the rug and brushed to the side. 

I remember a kid in my P.E. class that would grab me in inappropriate places during activities such as swimming and would sometimes make appearances in the girl's locker room. When I told my P.E. teacher about it, it was brushed aside, when I told my mom about it and she raised hell at the principle, he was pulled into a room with me and I was forced to sit beside of the guy and talk about it. It was as if I was being interrogated. Instead of this guy getting moved to another class or yet, punished, I was made to be humiliated. After the session, the guy got his friend's on it and I was made to be a laughing stock and even called names such as "whore" and "slut", etc. It took an extreme amount of hell raising on my mom's part for the school to really listen and only when the police became involved did the principle actually take action. (I am not comparing this to rape. I only mean to state that I personally have gone through similar situations that would have been easier if I were empowered to speak up and those in authority would have listened.)


Our children need to know what can happen to them and what they need to do if something DOES happen to them and it WILL happen if we do not educate. So many women that I have met have gone through similar situations and some still struggle to this day. Why wouldn't we want to protect our youth from the pain that the rest of us have gone through? As adults we need to LISTEN and watch for the signs of molestation, rape, and harassment.

I am empowered to stand up against so many things now, so thank you for that Mr. Scroggins, You have showed me that I need to stand up and fight the banning of books and censorship, and most importantly teach our youth to SPEAK UP.



Film & Literature

I always knew that film scripts and storyboards held some weight in the literature world, but I never took it very seriously. I absolutely love movies and I've always been aware of the amount of writing involved in a script, but it didn't occur to me how a film is so much like a book. Rather, I knew subconsciously and have missed out on a depth to the media that I have come to realize I have taken for granted. What brought it on? 


Well, I began a Film & Literature class this semester. I registered for a Literature class that was just a general survey of literature and when I showed up for class the teacher passed out a syllabus that said Film & Lit at the top. I find out that the class I registered for was full and the college decided to put me in the next thing that had the word literature in it. On the first day of class we watched an indie film called The Butterfly Circus and the other students were so dramatic and over the top that I didn't think I was going to be able to handle it. No other lit classes were available so I decided to stick it out and I'm glad I did!!


I am beginning to learn a lot more about the storytelling process and how so many little things in a story can change an entire movie/book. It really applies to any type of storytelling, not only movies and books but short stories and anything else that uses a storyboard. 


So with that being said I plan to document a couple of things here that I have learned and will learn in the next couple of months in regards to literature in film.


First up: Casablanca



Friday, September 17, 2010

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick


AmazonHush, Hush
Author's WebsiteBecca Fitzpatrick
GoodreadsHush, Hush Reviews

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along. 
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. 
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
I didn't like this book at first. It took me until about Chapter 17 to really start to like the characters and the book has 30 chapters total. The part that turned me off about the characters at first is how it was so "secretive" about Patch being a fallen angel, but it was so obvious. I really love the cover, but I think it gives way too much away about Patch. Obviously we knew he was going to end up being an angel or a fallen angel just by the look of the cover and the "subtle" hints about him being a fallen angel were not very subtle. When the moment came for Nora to find out that he was a fallen angel it was anti-climatic and fell flat for me. 

With that being said, I loved Patch from Chapter 17 forward. He was more mysterious once we found out what he was and even more dangerous and sexy when Nora touched his scars and was able to see more about Patch. I became interested in the lore behind Fitzpatrick's ideas about where Patch came from and even more interested in The Book of Enoch and the other angels. The end of the book was action packed and kept my heart thumping. I wasn't sure how the book was going to end and I liked that.

My only complaints is that up until Chapter 17 the story was dragging its feet, but after that it really opened up and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book, Crescendo

I give this book four out of five stars, from Chapter 17 to Chapter 30. 


Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm still alive.

So this is an update. Essentially after reading The Hunger Games I took a break away from reading to gather my spirit again. It was one of those reads that kind of made everything else seem mediocre when I tried to get into a book. I knew that the books I were reading were indeed NOT mediocre, but because of reading The Hunger Games I was left with a sort of reading "high" if you will. I didn't want to write a review right away and give something a score that it didn't actually deserve. 


In the meantime, if there are any gamers out there, Final Fantasy XIV Open Beta was released Labor Day weekend and it took me two or three days to get the thing to install due to issues with the patch and having problems figuring out what to do in order to get it installed. For those of you wondering what Final Fantasy XIV is, it is a Massively Multiplayer Online game in which you level up your character by doing quests and other things and meet other players and team up with them to kick some booty!  I have spent a few hours after work just getting familiar with the game and I cannot wait until release! Lookie, here is a few screen shots of my character! 







Isn't she cuuuuuuute? She is a cat girl with pink hair and ears and tail. I love her. Anyways, outside of playing the game I have been reading my next book in line for review which is Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and that review will be coming up soon. And other than that I have been going to classes which consist of Literature: Themes in Film and Culture and Spanish. The Lit class is basically a smörgåsbord of literature in film as well as studying the themes of film and the themes of literature in culture. I mean it's basically the motherload! And Spanish is, well, Spanish. By the end of the class I hope to read a middle grade book in Spanish. :D :D :D :D 

Well, that's enough of my ranting. =] Hope everyone is having a great week and I'll be posting more now that I'm recovered from The Hunger Games. lol. 



Friday, September 3, 2010

The Hunger Games Art



I have been looking at a lot of things about The Hunger Games series and just loading myself up on non-spoiler content to do me until I am able to get Catching Fire next weekend. I found some pretty sweet art of some of the characters and wanted to share them. Most of this work came from a page that had a collaboration of pictures all from various artists, but they did not have the artists names on a majority of them so I am not sure who did most of them. If any of this is your art work, please comment or email me. 


Rue



Katniss and Peeta








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This is how I pictured Katniss to look, dead on!



The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanna Collins

Author's Site:Suzanne Collins

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 will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Admittedly I thought the hype around this book was ridiculous. There are so many reviews ranting and raving about how great it was and something about a love triangle and something else about how unfair it was. Until I finally read it, I had no idea. Until I read it I thought everyone was going insane like everyone did over Twilight. Now I know why!! I originally saw this book back in 2008 and never picked it up and boy am I sorry that I didn't. I am glad I have picked it up now, but boy did I miss out for the past two years. I just got the book last weekend and I began reading it on Sunday as part of the September book challenge that I am doing and I finished it on Tuesday night, Mind you I take college courses and work a full-time job. This book took up every moment I could get my hands on!! 


I cried, I laughed, I smiled, I got angry. This book is so full of emotions and Suzanne does a wonderful job bringing those emotions out of her audience. The entire situation that the tributes are in is absolutely horrifying and thought provoking. I have been thinking of our society and how close we are to becoming just like the society portayed in the book. I can't imagine but can imagine it happening at the same time. I can't imagine it because it's such a terrible thing and it's an idea that just isn't right. I can imagine it happening because of how we are so enthralled on reality TV shows. Our society loves drama and action. We could actually already be considered to be a part of a less severe version of The Hunger Games. We all seek to be successful so that we can at least feed our families and survive which is not easy as is. We buy lottery tickets, audition for American Idol, Survivor, The Real World, and many other reality TV shows in hopes of gaining fame and fortune. Even though our society does not have literal shows of killing the other players, don't the reality TV stars do everything and stop at nothing short of killing to win? And we sit and root for certain players and hope others lose and even can vote on who wins! The Hunger Games is not entirely impossible which makes the read even more terrifying and sad, down right sad.


Katniss for some may seem self-centered. I have read other reviews and yes, some of them say she is, but I find her to be a survivor. She does what she has to do to survive. In fact, not once does she kill just to participate in the games. She only kills in defense of her or Peeta's life. If I were in that situation I would hope that I would have the courage to do the same thing instead of going on a wild rampage like everyone did at the beginning of the games. A lot of people pick Team Peeta or Team Gale and at this point I can't say which side I am on. I have only read the first book so I will save that choice until I have read Catching Fire and then Mockingjay. Oh how I can't wait to read both of them!! 


I could go on and on about this book, but I don't want to write a novel review, so I'm going to finish by saying the story is brilliant, Suzanna's writing shows us the world and the life just like it were real and the action is AMAZING. I was never bored, in fact, I forgot I was reading for 90% of the book. Which, by the way, is the most amazing feeling that one can get while reading in my opinion. I felt like I was watching a movie or that I was going through these situations with Katniss. Ahhhh, so refreshing!


I give this book FIVE out of FIVE book geeks. It is a must read 100% hands down. Don't be turned off by the hype like I was at first.



Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Spectacular Challenge!


-INSERT EXCITED FACE HERE- So what could be more awesome than a Reading Challenge? A Reading Challenge and a Giveaway AND the fact that its my first one on this blog. This is hosted by Stephanie over at The Thoughts of a Book Junkie. Sweeeeeetness. So yes, classes started back for me today so I will be slightly hindered because I have to devote more time to school, but on the plus side I actually tend to be more productive when I am in school. I know, weird, huh? So the rules are as follows:

  • It will start September 1st and go on through September 30th.
  • There will be a 5 book reading challenge, ( one book a week) that you will have to read. Which books? Any 5 you want. Its your choice... Easy huh. At the end of that week you will post your review on your blog and add your link to the Mr. Linky at the bottom. ( If you don't have a blog you can either post a comment, letting everyone know what you think about the book or sent me an email with your review) * Sep first starts on a Wednesday so you can start your first book on Sunday the 29th if you want.
  • At the end of each week a giveaway will be posted. That's 5 giveaways!! The only thing you have to do to enter is, link your review on that weeks Mr. Linky. Plus get an extra entry if you add the September Spectacular button to your post or sidebar! ( Open Internationally)

So! My FIVE books are:

    



Monday, August 30, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award

Sweeeeeeeeeet. I recieved my first blog award from LupLun over at Lupines and Lunatics! Thank you so much LupLun, this is an awesome award and I always think everyone else's blog is more lovely than mine so thank you so much! 



Okies, so the terms of accepting this award is to pass it along to 15 other people. Here is where the problem comes in. I keep running into blogs that already have them or I'll find somebody and their contact information is hiding from me, so I'm going to tag all of my followers for this award! Is that cheating? I'm sorry if it is. =[ 

It just proved to be too difficult to pass the award along to people who don't have it already because this award has been passed around so many times. So! If you are reading this right now and you do not have this award, I award this to you! The only condition is that you must comment on this post and let me know that you didn't have the award already and leave your link so I can follow you! Fair?