Mid-Book Review: The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 374
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780439023481
Source: my own, dusty copy

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)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 Primrose, 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.
Ok, so that rock I am always talking about? Apparently, I just crawled out from under it myself. Yes, this series has been on my shelves for YEARS, gathering dust and being neglected. Seriously. Why you ask? Who knows. I can't give a good explanation for that one. I've read the reviews. I've followed the hype. I even knew it was so awesome that there is a nail polish line hitting the shelves soon. But what finally made me decide to read it? The movie trailer. When I finally watched it Thursday, I had goosebumps. Goosebumps! I knew I had to get with the in-crowd.

So, sitting at 222 pages into the book, all I can say is-- WOW. I don't even know what I think at this point. Katniss is amazing. What a fabulous, strong and determined female lead. Peeta seems iffy at this point. (Ok, so I cheated and read the last 2 pages, so I know what's up... but I'm still not getting the vibe yet.) I know I for sure want some more Gale action. Katniss's flashblacks make me tingle. Rue is mysterious, but likable. And that bull of a boy on Katniss's tale can eat my shorts.

I am hooked on this book. The writing is simple, but captivating. Obviously the plot is fast paced. (Understatement.) There doesn't seem to be an abundance of descriptions at times, but when things are being describe it's fantastic. (Think hunting scenes and flaming attire.) I am really curious how the movie is going to pull off such an interesting book.

Here's what I think so far... I know Peeta is up to something. I think his feelings he confessed were real and not a ploy. I think he's got a secret skill that no one knows about, but will discover by the end of the book. I know Katniss survives, because there wouldn't be two more books if she didn't. (You like that deductive reasoning, don't you?) But I just can't help but wonder about Gale... Where does he fit in the grand scheme of things?

Mid way through, this is a 4! Let's see what the final 100 pages do to sway me to a 5.  Just a little curious... has anyone else been hiding under the rock with me? I really can't believe I put off reading this for so long.

Review: Goddess Interrupted (Aimee Carter)

Product details:

Reading Level: YA                                                                                                                                             Pages: 304                                                                                                                                                                   Publisher: Harlequin Teen                                                                                                                                     ISBN:9780373210459                                                                                                                                                                             Source: Source: ARC from NetGalley

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee CarterKate Winters has won immortality.

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

I love this series. I really do. Even if Kate got on my last nerve in this book. I really wanted to travel to the Underworld and slap her Jersey Shores style a few times. I absolutely hate whiny, needy, clingy females—whether they are real or fictional. Kate was ridiculous in this book. The only thing missing from her pity party was a daisy and a little “He loves me, he loves me not.” She spent the entire book convincing herself that Henry didn’t love her (despite everyone telling her differently). It was very Bella in New Moon—and we all know how irritating Bella was in that book.

To sum up my feelings on this book as a whole, I’m going to use one of my insightful food analogies. If this series were a double layer cake, The Goddess Interrupted would be the icing in the middle of the layers. By itself, it leaves you a little queasy, but together with the other pieces, it’s the binding element. I don’t think I would say “sophomore slump” for Goddess Interrupted because I did enjoy it. It just seems like this one had the sole purpose of developing the plot for the third book. The characters weren’t as great as in the first book. Kate was a little lacking, and there wasn’t enough Henry. I felt more annoyed by Kate this time around. In The Goddess Test I thought she was this incredibly strong female that blazed her way through life. This time, however, I only glimpsed elements of her inner strength. She spent most of her time whining and feeling sorry for herself in this book.

So, with the ugly out of the way, I can honestly say that where the characters lacked, the plot soared. There is a lot going on in this book. Calliope has gone completely evil and sided with one of the Titans. Don’t whine about a little spoiler. You know you saw that coming in book one. What I found really surprising in this book was Persephone. What a piece… I couldn’t make up my mind on whether I hated her or not. She was a snot (kid friendly edit) most of the time, but there seemed to be a few redeeming elements to her personality. A very small few… I have a feeling that she will have a major role in book three.

Now for the best part about this book: the final 30 pages! Holy moly. My toes curled when Henry and Kate finally… bow chica bow wow… (and get your head out of the gutter because it was handled very nicely. No smutty romance novel scene here.) There was also another cliffhanger ending that left my mind blazing! So many questions and guesses. I can only imagine what the next book will have in store for us! Now I’m all moody and sulking because we have to wait a year to find out! Ugh. The sabotage and double crossing at the end of this book is unbelievable. Un-believable! I really didn’t see it coming. Swear.


Best Book Ever

Short and Sweet

Coranne (or Amanda C.) from Short and Sweet Reviews hosts a weekly feature called "The Best Book Ever." Each week, different bloggers (some stay the same each week) will be "facing off" Food Network style to tell you why their choice of book is the best one in the genre. Each week a different topic will be featured.

This week's topic... Strong Female ProtagonistAgain, this was another super easy pick for me this week. There is no denying how much I LOVE the book I chose to push. It is fabulous. Beyond fabulous, actually. I'm a big sucker for a mermaid book, so it's no surprise that I chose this one. I'm sure I'll mention it again when mermaids are a topic (for entirely different reasons). But for now, everyone should know how incredible I think Luce is in the role of strong female lead. (That totally sounds like a Grammy speech.. haha). To find out why I chose this book for my push this week, check out the meme...

My featured book:

Lost VoicesFourteen-year-old Luce has had a tough life, but she reaches the depths of despair when she is assaulted and left on the cliffs outside of a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waves below, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid. A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: the mermaids feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks. Luce possesses an extraordinary singing talent, which makes her important to the tribe—she may even have a shot at becoming their queen. However her struggle to retain her humanity puts her at odds with her new friends. Will Luce be pressured into committing mass murder? The first book in a trilogy, Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.

If you want to read my full review for the book I will be pushing, you can check it out here. Then check out Short and Sweet Reviews to see what other books are being featured.

Next week's topic: Good Guy Gets the Girl

Waiting on Wednesday (17)


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

"A girl’s letters to her best friend reveal two lives derailed by anorexia in this haunting debut that’s Wintergirls meets The Sixth Sense." I'm not usually drawn to contemporary fiction, but anything that can be compared to a Laurie Halse Anderson book gets my attention. Plain and simple. This one is supposed to be a psychological thriller, so that also has me interested. Looks like June 2012 is going to be a good month for books! Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price hits the shelves in the summer of 2012. 

It’s not a hospital, a spa, or an institution. That’s what they told me—that’s what the brochures promised. But no matter what the brochures promised, Zoe finds that Twin Birch is a place for girls with a penchant for harming themselves. Through journal entries and letters to her best friend, Elise, she tries to understand why she was brought there, and how she could possibly belong in a place like this. But Zoe’s letters to Elise remain unanswered. She wonders why her best friend would cut her off without a word, reliving memory after memory of their beautiful, rocky, inescapable friendship. But everyone has secrets—including Zoe—and as her own fragile mental state hangs in the balance, she must finally learn to come to terms with what happened to Elise before she’s able to let go.

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