Monday, September 30, 2013

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Sorry I haven't been posting as often recently.

My excuse:

(adapted from Goodreads)

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived the 75th Hunger Games. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol.  District twelve has been destroyed, but thankfully Gale has escaped and  Katniss's family is safe.  They are living in District 13, which really does exist. There are rebels,  new leaders, and a revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the 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.


I wasn't looking forward to reading this book. I knew certain characters were going to die and didn't want to go through that emotional trauma. Tip: if you never want to learn spoilers to books and movies, then do not have a Pinterest account. 

Katniss basically goes insane. Yep.

She is traumatized by her life in the arena, confused about her personal feelings for Peeta and Gale, and haunted by the presence of blood and roses. It was difficult to read her like this. She wasn't the same clear-headed huntress that I've grown to know. 

But you see, that's the thing. Who could go through all the circumstances she's been through and not be changed? It wouldn't be realistic (or humane) for her to be completely unscathed by her experiences. I mean, come one! She's murdered innocent people to save her own skin! Who wouldn't be conflicted and mortified after doing these things? Well, ruthless villains wouldn't, obviously (*cough cough* Snow) ...but that's besides the point.

So on top of Katniss being mentally unstable and whatnot, Peeta has been 'hijacked'. The Capitol went in his head and twisted certain memories.

I'm not going to say any more on that subject...

Overall, this book was just really depressing. The ending was beautiful, but sad, and made me want to curl up in a ball and cry. I've heard various peoples' opinions on it. Some people say it's an amazing book, while other people say it was a bad ending for a trilogy of such epic books. Personally, I think it was just right. Of course it was depressing, but it wouldn't be realistic if it ended with "and they all lived happily ever after". That's just not how life goes - especially a life full of death and war.

So, yes. This book was a sorrowful ending to the trilogy, but I think it was the right ending and applaud Suzanne Collins for her marvelous works of epicness. 


41/2 stars
I know what your thinking, but there was just one characters death that I think was unnecessary and that lost part of the point of the book for me.

Ages 15+
Violence, sexual references, and death.


Monday, September 23, 2013

A Tolkien Blog Party of Special Magnificence

 Hamlette over at The Edge of the Precipice is having a blog party/giveaway in honor of Bilbo Baggins' birthday! In order to enter the giveaway you need to answer these questions on your blog/website/facebook account and then go to her blog and add your link. The prizes are epic! Thank you, Hamlette, for this wonderful giveaway!

let's give Hamlette a round of applause!

Here are my answers:

 1.  Have you read The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit? If so, how many times?
I have only read the Hobbit once. The rest are on my reading list :)

2.  Have you seen any movies based on them?
I've seen all of them numerous times and I've seen the animated Hobbit movie from the 70's.

3.  Who first introduced you to Middle Earth?
I have been watching the movies since I was five, but if I recall... it was my grandma that watched them with me first.

4.  Who are your three favorite characters?  (Feel free to elaborate on whys.)
JUST THREE?!? Fine...
1. Samwise Gamgee
2. Aragorn
3. Smeagol
5.  What's your favorite Middle Earth location?
Rivendell or The Shire

6.  If you could belong to one of the races of Free Folk (Men, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, 
Ents), which would you choose?
Probably Elves...I've always wanted to be tall and slender with pointy ears.

7.  Would you rather eat lembas or taters?
 I've always wanted to try lembas! Here's a recipe I found online:

8.  If you lived in Middle Earth, what weapon would you prefer wielding?

Bow and arrows

9.  What draws you to Tolkien's stories?  (The characters, the quests, the themes, the worlds, etc.)
EVERYTHING! There isn't one thing that doesn't draw me in!

10. List up to five of your favorite lines/quotes from the books or movies.

“A day may come when the courage of men fails… but it is not THIS day."
" You will have to do without pocket handkerchiefs, and a great many other things, before we reach our journey's end, Bilbo Baggins. You were born to the rolling hills and little rivers of the Shire, but home is now behind you; the world is ahead."
" Poe-tay-toes! Boil em, mash em, stick 'em in a stew. Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.
 Even you couldn't say no to that."
" I am no Man."
"Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can't carry it for you... but I can carry you!"


Monday, September 16, 2013


Nope, this isn't my giveaway (sorry peeps) - it's Rachel Coker's!

Rachel Coker is a published author of two amazing books, and she's only 17...that is, she's only 17 for a couple more days. In honor of her 18th birthday she is giving away 18 books, two of which are her own works of awesomeness!


Yeah, pretty exciting.

 Anyways, here's the link to a giveaway I'm sure none of my fellow book lovers could pass by:


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

So, after I finished reading The Hunger Games I snatched Catching Fire up from my library in a matter of hours.

Let's just say I was a little bit of a hermit for a couple days.


(From Goodreads

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 in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn.


I didn't know what to expect when I picked this book up. I had already seen the trailer, which confused me like crazy, and was excited to read the scenes I'd seen and piece it all together.

 My thoughts while watching the trailer:

"Aww, I'm so glad Katniss is home!"

"Ohhh, here comes the rebellion..."

"*sigh* Peeta..."

"I bet that's district 11"

 "Hope. Cameras. Mockingjay."

"The odds are never in our favor" 

"Dun duh DUH."


"Katniss, noooo! Don't kiss him!"

"Now you're in TROUBLE."

"*gasp* Gale!"

"Prim is so adorable..."





"What is going on here?!?"

"I love her dress!"

"Woah, who's that guy?"

"That lady has freaky teeth."

"Go Katniss!"

"Okay, now I REALLY love her dress!"
 "More fire costumes. Cool."

"There's no way that's a coincidence! Water. Girl on Fire. Water."

 And finally:

"This is going to be EPIC."


Reading the book answered all my questions, thankfully. Let me explain the whole 'Katniss and Peeta are going back into the arena and some of the tributes are old' thing. 

Every 25 years there is a 'special' Games.  This is called the Quarter Quell.
Before the Games begun (or so they say...) the rules for future Quarter Quells were written in envelopes and put in a box. Guess what? The tributes are pulled from the existing victors.

Just try to tell me this was a coincidence. Go ahead.

I mean, seriously Snow? It just so happened that in the midst of a rebellion rising, you are able to get rid of the cause. Yeah, I think not.

Anyway, this book was SO good. I might even say better than The Hunger Games. If I had to describe Catching Fire in one word it would be: intense.  

I couldn't put it down. My mom had to suffer through my ramblings about districts and Finnick and clocks and Finnick and Peeta and Finnick and sugar cubes and Finnick and wedding dresses and Finnick and, well, let's just say I like Finnick. He made me cry, so did Mags, and not a lot of character's can do that.

Plot line: Amazing.

Characters: Amazing.

Finnick: Amazing.


5 Stars

Age 15+ (depends on maturity)
Reasons: sexual references, kissing, suspense, and death   


Just for conversation's sake: Who's planning on seeing Catching fire in the theaters? 

Are you a...

A) Midnight Showing Person 
B) Soon After it Comes Out Person
C) Eh, Whenever Person
D) I'll Buy it When it Comes on DVD Person


Monday, September 9, 2013

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Since this is a very popular book, I doubt I really need to write a summary for it. Never-the-less, I will give you the general blurb.

(Adapted from Goodreads)

Katniss, 16, takes her sister's place in the televised annual Hunger Games, competing against Peeta, the boy who gave them bread to survive after their father died. The cruel Capitol forces each of 12 districts to submit a boy and girl, ages12-18, to fight to the death. There is ultimately only one survivor. 


When this series first became a big thing, I wasn't part of it. First off, when I heard they were making a movie called "The Hunger Games" I was like 'what in the world?'. Then as I started to hear more of what it was about I was even more apprehensive. A bunch of kids fighting to the death? Gross. 

It wasn't until a while after the movie was out on DVD that I got truly interested in the story. I'm sure part of my wanting to read it was because it was so popular, but it was more the plot; the idea of a nation that could one day be the one I'm living in right now. It seemed impossible...but is it really? I'm not saying I expect America to turn into something exactly like Panem, but I believe it's not that far-fetched. 

Anyway, back to The Hunger Games. as I said, it wasn't until after the movie was out, and the fandom had quieted down a bit, that I was actually interested in reading it. My parents, however, weren't sure if it was something I should read. It took some time, but eventually my mom and I sat down and watched the movie. 

Now, I know what you're thinking: What? She watched the movie before reading the book?!? Hypocrite! 

(I'm just going to hide in a corner now, while your anger cools's probably not the best time to mention I haven't read the Lord of the Rings trilogy yet, is it?...)


I'm back! Are you done shooting furious cyber-darts at me? Okay, good. 

So, yeah I watched the movie before having read the book. I really wish I hadn't though, the book is SO much better! (not to mention I think the movie was pretty poorly directed...)

Reasons to like The Hunger Games:

1. You don't find a lot of well written books in first person. This was a reason why I had wanted to read it. I like writing in first person. Also, The Hunger Games does not have a lot of dialogue, which surprised me because I didn't even notice until halfway through that something was missing. I guess it was because it's written in a way that dialogue isn't needed. All you need is Katniss' thoughts and emotions.

2. I felt pulled on to an emotional journey: Katniss' emotional journey. It was so easy to feel what she felt and see what she saw. She is an amazingly written character.

3. The plot. Even though the plot was ruined for me from watching the movie, it still is a twisty-turney plot that leaves you wanting more.

4. The secondary characters are very well written. You get a good feel for them, their lives, their past, their emotions.

5. If you've seen the movie and haven't read the book there are still plenty of surprises they left out in the film. Read the book!

So, overall this book is so worth reading. Just as long as you're up for a futuristic distopian about death, loss, love, courage, rebellion, trust, confusion, and grumpy cats.  :)

5 stars

Age 15+ (depends on maturity level)
Reasons: brief sexual reference, kissing, and kids killing each other. The gore is well handled and not too gross, but definitely not written for someone who doesn't like death, blood, or killing.


Question for those who've read the books/seen the movie:

Who do you prefer, Gale or Peeta? Why? What do like of their personality?

My answer:

Peeta for sure. I mean, Gale is nice and sweet and a good friend, but I just feel like Katniss and Peeta are made for each other. Besides, Peeta's a baker. I'd choose baker over hunter any day ;)


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