Archive | March, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

30 Mar

Katniss Everdeen, in the arena of the 74th Hunger Games

Hunt or be hunted.

Kill or be killed.

Welcome to the Hunger Games.

This week I read the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Everybody’s so excited about the movie, I figured that I would read the books before I went to watch it.  Anyway, here’s a quick summary:  The Hunger Games.  The Capitol’s punishment for the district’s rebellion.  Katniss has been dreading this year, when her little sister’s name will be entered into the picking for the Hunger Games.  It’s only one slip out of thousands, but, against all odds, Prim’s name is picked.  Prim can’t kill anything, not even an animal for meat.  And in the Games, where all the tributes are killed except for one?  She doesn’t stand a chance.  So Katniss steps forward to take her place, knowing it will probably cost her her life.  Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son, is the other tribute.  Katniss doesn’t know how she feels about that, since Peeta once saved her and her family from starving.  In the Capitol, Peeta reveals his longtime crush on Katniss, making them known as the star-crossed lovers from District 12.  Once the Games have begun, Katniss and Peeta both survive the beginning, although Peeta is badly injured.  He probably would have died if the rules hadn’t been changed.  The change says that two tributes from the same district can win if they are the last ones alive.  Katniss goes to find Peeta, and nurses him back to health.  They become the last remaining tributes, when the rules change back.  Instead of killing each other, they threaten to commit double suicide unless they can both win.  Once the Games are over, it seems like everything is perfect.  But their problems aren’t over.  Not by a long shot.

This is one of the best books I have ever read.  I know, it seems like I say that about every book I blog about, but that’s because I usually blog about the books I like.  A bunch of the other books I read aren’t very good, in my opinion, so I wouldn’t want to recommend them to other people on my blog.  But this book is really good, although I’d only recommend it to older audiences.  It is kind of violent and a lot of people die.  I don’t think that anyone under fifth grade should read this, and that’s kind of stretching it.  I think people would get more out of it if they read it in seventh grade (and yes, I am not in seventh grade yet) or older.  Anyone in seventh grade and up would probably like this book, although some people who don’t like violence wouldn’t like this.  Personally, I think Suzanne Collins is a genius.

As you can probably already tell, I loved this book.   Suzanne Collins really makes you feel like you’re Katniss, trying to survive the Hunger Games.  She really describes Katniss’ feelings well.  Since the book is in first person, you know exactly what she’s thinking and feeling.  Suzanne Collins is great with words, just like Peeta is in the book.  And the plotlime is super complicated-which is not easy to do.  She is a true genius, in my (and countless others) opinion.  I am definitely giving this book a √++!

Next week:  Catching Fire and Mockingjay!


Matched by Ally Condie

24 Mar

This week, I decided to start Matched by Ally Condie.  A bunch of other girls in my grade are reading it, and I needed a new book to read.  Matched is about a seventeen year old girl named Cassia.  Cassia lives in a futuristic world, where everything is planned for you.  She gets Matched with her best friend, Xander Carrow.  When she slides the card with information about him into the port, a different face comes up.  Ky Markham.

Cassia’s feelings change rapidly in the beginning.  First she is confused about seeing Ky’s face.  Then, once an Official explains, she begins to wonder.  What if she and Ky really were meant to be Matched?  What if it wasn’t a mistake?  Ky is not allowed to be Matched at all, but Cassia hangs out with him even more after she had been Matched.  She starts to believe that the whole government system is flawed.  Not just the Matching system, but everything else, too.

For this book, I’d say it was a plain check.  It was pretty good, but I’ve read much better and much worse books.  Next week, I’ll either blog about The Hunger Games or (if I can get it from the library), Amelia Lost.

Found, Sent, and Sabotaged by Margaret Peterson Haddix

16 Mar

This week I read the first three books by Margaret Peterson Haddix.  I know, I know, I didn’t want to read any more of her books after I read Among the Hidden.  But someone else recommended this series, and I trusted her judgment. I’m glad I did!  Right after I finished Inheritance (the last book in the series with Eragon and Eldest), I started this series.  This series is much better than the Shadow Children series, in my opinion.  There’s four books in this series: Found, Sent, Sabotaged, and Torn.  I’m planning on reading Torn this week.  I’m not going to blog about it, but I might do a paragraph about it next week.

This series is about time travel.  Thirty-six babies were found on a plane, thirteen years before the start of this series.  Jonah was one of those babies, and he got adopted.  All of the kids on the plane did.  They were all living in the same three towns, and they were brought together at an adoption conference.  It turns out that the kids are important kids from history, kidnapped and brought to the future.  Something went wrong with the plane, and it stopped in the twenty-first century.  In Found and Sent, Jonah and his sister, Katherine, learn about time travel, along with the other kids.  They go back to the 1400’s with two other kids, Chip and Alex.  Chip and Alex are really British princes, and their lives are in danger.  In Sabotaged, Jonah and Katherine have to go back with Andrea, who is really Virginia Dare.  But someone sabotages their mission, and the three of them have to struggle to survive.

I would recommend this series to just a few types of people.  People who like sci-fu would like these, as well as people who like time travel books.  Maybe some people who like historical fiction would like these books, since most of the setting is in the past.  I’m not really sure, I’m more of a fantasy-time travel type of person.  Probably a bunch of people wouldn’t like this series, but probably a bunch of people would like it.  In my opinion, though, this book gets a check with half a plus.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini Part Two

12 Mar

This week I finished Eragon by Christopher Paolini.  It was a really good book.  I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it!  The ending was so good, had to start the second book, Eldest, right away!  This has become one of my favorite series! I’m not going to blog about any more of these books, though, because I want you to read them yourselves!

Christopher Paolini used a lot of author’s craft in this book.  He described things in detail, and made a lot of inferences.  In Eldest, he makes a lot of inferences to the things that happened in Eragon.  I assume that he does the same in Brisingr and Inheritance.  He also used a bunch of similes and metaphors.  He didn’t really use much personification or alliterations, though.  Even without that, his writing is really good.

There are a lot of changing characters in this book.  Two characters, the Twins, aren’t very nice toEragon when he first meets them.  They get redeemed later on, by helping Eragon.  However, in Eldest, it turns out that the things that redeemed them were false.  Another character, Roran, Eragon’s cousin, falls out of touch with Eragin when he leaves with Saphira.  He hates Eragon for leaving and blames him for his father’s death at first.  When Roran and Eragon meet again in Eldest, Roran forgives his cousin.  Anyways, this book gets a check +.

2 Mar

Eragon by Christopher Paolini Part One

2 Mar

This week I started Eragon by Christopher Paolini.   This is a fantasy book about a boy named Eragon.  One day while hunting, Eragon finds a polished blue stone.  He takes it home to see if he can sell it, but nobody knows what type of stone it is.  Then, it hatches into a blue dragon!  Unfortunately, the king doesn’t want anyone to have a dragon, so he sends monsters to capture Eragon.  Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, fly away, but Eragon’s uncle is not as lucky.  The Ra’zac (the creatures king sent to find Eragon) burn his house and kill him.  Eragon escapes his town with the help of an old man named Brom.  Brom knows about dragons, magic, the Ra’zac, and other things that most people don’t know about.  Together they set off to kill the Ra’zac.

I really like this book so far.  Some parts of it are a little slow, but other than that, it’s really good.  My sister has been bugging me to read this for a while, but I didn’t want to start the series just yet.  The final book, Inheritance, came out very recently.  I didn’t want to finish the other books and have to wait for the next book, like I have to do with another series.  I’m glad that I started this book, although I think I could have started this earlier.  I started this book a week and a half ago, and I’m only halfway through.  I really like this book so far.

Even though I like this book myself, I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone.  Eragon (the book itself, not the character) is a little violent in places.  There’s a lot of fantasy elements in here, like magic, weird creatures that pass as humans, and, of course, dragons.  People who don’t like any violence or books with a lot of fantasy elements probably wouldn’t like this.  For people who like fantasy, dragons, magic, monsters, all those things, I think this book would be a good fit.  Since I haven’t finished the book I can’t really rate it, but so far, I think I’d give it a √+.