Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Number of Pages: 374 pages

Genre: YA Dystopian

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Discussion: I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

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I honestly thought I would hate this all over again, throw the book across the room, and never even start Catching Fire. But I did. Sure, it wasn’t amazing, and I only gave it 3.5 stars, but I’m reading the second book and liking it more. I still think Mockingjay will be horrifically horrid. Ah, well.

So, what did I like?

  • Katniss-I mean, just a bit more. Just a smidge.
  • The plot-Honestly, I forgot how good the plot is. Very entertaining.
  • The side characters-Prim, Cinna, Effie, the prep team–those people.
  • Gale-He is one of my favorite characters.
  • Rue-I just love her! So much.
  • The political part-You know, the part of it that talks about government and stuff that only certain people debate about.

And what did I dislike?

  • The writing-I really do not like Suzanne Collins’s writing. The sentences are short and clipped and I just don’t like it!
  • Peeta-I know, fangirls will murder me for this, but I find him to be an airhead.

I surprised myself while making these lists; I guess I do like it more than I know. But the writing doesn’t do it for me. Not enough.

Have you read The Hunger Games? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

Before we go: I’ve decided to push back the Weekly Wrap-Up to Saturday from now on.

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Top Ten Books That Were Hard to Read

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

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City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare-I adored this book. It was just so sad! I cried! And I hardly ever cry about books.

A Dark Sky by Giselle Rocha-I also like this book, but the plot was a little slow sometimes. It took me a while to finish! Like, a month. [But that was on-and-off reading.]

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman-I honestly need to reread this once my TBR cools down. But I read the whole trilogy when I was too young and didn’t understand it all.

The Red Pony by John Steinbeck-If you have been on my blog for a while, you might know that I was in an essay competition about this book. I had to read it for school, and, honestly, I despised it. [Yet I got first place for my age level in the competition.] It was heavy on description and farms, which isn’t my thing.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak-Mostly the ending. It just didn’t comprehend.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell-Probably the book that I was most emotionally-connected to. It was amazing, but I felt it all when I read it.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman-The angst was just too much. Adam was so bratty and whiny and a jerk. But I had to read it!

The Giver by Lois Lowry-I couldn’t connect with the characters, some things were left unexplained…it was just a bit hard.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee-The writing is just so heavy.

Requiem by Lauren Oliver-Iiiiit…Waaaassss…Ssoooo…Ssllooooww.

So, what about you? What books were hard to read for you? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield

Title: Afterworlds

Author: Scott Westerfield

Number of Pages: 599

Genre: YA Paranormal/Contemporary

Overall Rating: 4.89/5 stars

Summary From Cover: Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

Discussion: You have to read this book. Like, now.

You might be wondering why I gave it 4.89 stars. Here’s why: I loved it. So much. It is my favorite book I’ve read this year.

But, Chloe, you only gave it 4.89 stars, not five, like other books you read!

Although I loved it to pieces, it still had flaws. So, sorry, but 4.89 stars. I just, I can’t even explain, it’s–

This is going to be an interesting review.

With lots of short “paragraphs.”

  1. Darcy’s world. She is 18, just signed a book deal, dropped college, and moved to NYC, where she meets her favorite authors in Chapter Seven. Isn’t this what all authors aspire to do? To chat with J. K. Rowling and Uncle Rick and write? At least I’d love it! But Darcy’s POV is so much more than that. I, personally, could connect with her easily. I am always thrilled when a book is like that. Darcy is the type of person I would love to meet. Anyway, from her POV, I learned a lot about publishing and writing and book tours. Fun stuff!
  2. Lizzie’s world. Darcy’s world is contemporary, while Lizzie’s is paranormal/fantasy/thriller. I have to say, I didn’t love it as much as Darcy. I couldn’t connect with Lizzie, and I mostly found her chapters’ beginnings boring, and it took me a while to get into them. And by the time I did, it was on to Darcy!

So what made me love this so much? [I’m in the mood for lists.]

  • the writing
  • Darcy’s POV
  • the two novels together
  • the romance

The romance. That was unexpected, but done very well. Kind of. I feel like Darcy’s parents and friends are waaay too cool about [insert spoiler here]. Darcy’s like, Oh, By the way, I have a girl/boyfriend. And her parents/friends respond, That’s great! What’s s/he like? If someone told me [insert spoiler here], I would be cool, but not that cool. That was the only part I found unrealistic.

Imogen is one of my favorite characters. Ever. I freaking loved her! She’s so headstrong, unique, and courageous. And a good writer, too, with lots of good ideas!

What did I not like?

  • Lizzie’s POV
  • the hangovers from each chapter
  • the coolness of people about [insert spoiler here]

The hangovers. At the end of each chapter, I wasn’t ready for the next POV to begin. It was painful. And tedious. And it happened every time!

Before I go watch The Voice [Does anyone else watch it? I love it. :)], here’s an image I made using PicMonkey that I’ll post on Instagram.

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I love the Angelina Jolie Paradox! Mainly because it makes perfect sense, yet no one talks about it.

Even though Afterworlds has flaws, I encourage you to pick up the book! I absolutely adore it.

[Sorry about the no-GIF issue.]

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Stacking the Shelves With Many Books!

 

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So…I went to the bookstore AND the library today, and obtained 11 books in all. [If I did my math correctly.] I am so freaking excited, because–well, you’ll see below. >:)

Books I Bought

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Top to bottom:

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield-I have been wanting this book ever since I saw a book blogger’s review of it. It’s already amazing.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare-Finally!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins-I’m giving it a second chance.

Uglies by Scott Westerfield-I have also been wanting this forever. High hopes!

Books I’m Borrowing

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Top to bottom:

Specials by Scott Westerfield

Pretties by Scott Westerfield

Extras by Scott Westerfield

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

And just because it’s free from the library and utterly cool…

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That’s it for Stacking the Shelves. Unfortunately, the library didn’t have Mockingjay, but hopefully next time I visit they will.

What did you think of my babies books? Tell me in the comments below.

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Weekly Wrap-Up #4

Another week has gone by. I’ve had projects due, more homework, and I read a book (or two). I also lent If I Stay and Fangirl to some friends. Let’s get on to the posts!

On Saturday, I did the TCWT blog chain. It was about my favorite book endings and beginnings. Go see the Teens Can Write, Too blog here. The question was really fun and I had a blast [Does that sound weird?] answering the question. If you have a blog and haven’t done the TCWT chain before, do it!

On Sunday, I reviewed Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which I loved so much.

On Monday, I introduced 10 simple things to do for a blogger. Dare you to do all ten today! :P

On Tuesday, I participated in Top Ten Tuesday and talked about Banned Books Week. What *banned* books did you read this week?

On Wednesday, I added Chapter Twenty-Three to Nakoma and reviewed Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. [And my power cord for my computer broke.]

On Thursday, I participated in the first ever linkup for Loony Blurbs, hosted by Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer, whose blog you can see here.

I’m still going at the 100-4-100 challenge…Except I didn’t write yesterday. But I will today! Promise!

Also: I want some beta readers for my novel. I want people who:

  1. Will give me honest feedback.
  2. Will give me constructive criticism.
  3. Know their way around a novel.
  4. Have enough time to be a beta reader.
  5. Enjoy the plot/genre of my novel.
  6. Are supportive.

If you can say YES to at least half of these and are interested, please comment below. I will have to email you each chapter, so be sure you’re comfortable with that. If not, and you still really want to, we can work something out.

Do you participate in TCWT blog chains? Do you like them? Did you read any *banned* books this week? Did you participate in Loony Blurbs? Are you interested in being one of my beta readers? Tell me in the comments below.

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Loony Blurbs #1

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This is my first Loony Blurbs, and it is gonna be fun! Loony Blurbs is a meme hosted by Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer. The point is to come up with blurbs for books based off their titles. I’m going to try to come up with blurbs for these without much thought. :) We’ll see how it goes. [Click the image above for more information about Loony Blurbs.]

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Tyalor

Evangeline has always known she was different. She did, after all, blow up a porcelain plate when she was five because she got angry. Eva’s powers keep everyone away. That is, everyone except her super-intelligent best friend, Blue. Together, they can conquer the world–every problem they fix.

Then Blue goes missing.

Eva panics, and tries to do some problem-solving on her own. But her sleuthing doesn’t lead her to Blue–it leads her to her mysterious past, and the names Smoke and Bone. Eva is torn between the past and future and two dilemmas. She can’t find Blue and ignore Smoke and Bone. But she can’t find out about Smoke and Bone and ignore Blue.

Find out what Eva chooses to do in this mysterious fantasy novel.

 

Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting

Lilly’s summer starts normally, with sunshine and ice cream and flip-flops and vacation. Then, she falls into the sky. How? Even Lilly doesn’t know. One minute she’s climbing a great oak tree, and the next, she’s walking on clouds.

But that isn’t all. Oh, no. The sky is the least fantastic place Lilly can visit. She goes to the fabled island of Telen, where pink monkeys with flippers live in snow and stops off at a chain restaurant–that’s on the moon, called Dark Side of the Burger.

But Lilly’s last stop–Trampoline Land–makes her realize that this power isn’t a gift, but a curse. She consults Wanda the Magical Whale in Trampoline Land, who gives her valuable information and the secret to coming back to Earth.

Watch Lilly mature and make the choice of her life in this original middle grade coming-of-age story.

 

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

There’s nothing Luna hates more than her stupid nickname. To her, it’s worse than some of the other words girls are called at her school. [Words like the “b-word,” which is what Luna calls it. She has her dignity, you know.]

Luna is called “Luna the Lion” because she has a fiery temper. Ever since kindergarten, the name has stuck to her like an angry wet hair.

Then a new girl comes to Luna’s high school. A new girl who doesn’t know Luna’s nickname. A new girl, who, in Luna’s opinion, should never know. She believes that this could be her shot at a new friend and reputation.

But the new girl turns out to be a witch. To everyone! Except Luna, that is.

Out of sheer craziness, Luna locks the “witch” in her closet, to keep her “pure,” only letting her out to go to the bathroom. Luna has gotten crazier than ever. Will anyone stop her? Not if Luna can help it.

 

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares

Rochelle is a poor Mexican girl, pregnant and afraid on the streets of New York City.

Danni is a student at the local university and part-time ice cream vendor.

Yvette is a rich dropout, whose parents can’t handle her and her partying habits any longer.

Ana is a girl who dreams of travels, but instead is stuck with her grandmother in a stuffy apartment.

The four girls’ destinies collide. They all share the same dream: To get out of NYC.

And so begins the Sisterhood.

It starts with a pair of pants.

It ends with four sisters.

 

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Jordan is just a boy. Or so he thinks.

On Jordan’s seventeenth birthday, his father’s funeral takes place. In a city of bones, the coldest graveyard in Jordan’s neighborhood.

But that isn’t all.

After his father’s casket is dropped into the earth, Jordan sees his ghost. Then he sees more. And more.

Before he knows it, Jordan is spending all of his time at the graveyard.

The ghosts are restless and bored. And only Jordan knows how to keep them in. But is he ready? Can he control himself?

 

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart

Frankie Landau-Banks died. No one noticed. Frankie was a cheap, borderline-crazy idiot who no one liked.

Well, no one noticed, except Theresa Mercy and her boyfriend, Miles James. And they intend to figure out how he was killed.

They investigate his house, and find letters. Crisp, clean, and white, their red seals cracked through the middle. Automatically intrigued, Theresa takes them home, ignoring her boyfriend’s warnings. Little does she know, she and Miles are now wrapped up in a case.

And the only way to finish the case? Find out who killed Frankie Landau-Banks, and why.

 

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Jamie is just an ordinary boy.

Olivia is just an ordinary girl.

But Jamie would jump off a cliff for Olivia.

And Olivia would give him the sun.

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Book Reviews: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Title: Dorothy Must Die

Author: Danielle Paige

Number of Pages: 452

Genre: YA Retelling

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary From Cover: I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still the yellow brick road, though—but even that’s crumbling.
What happened? Dorothy.
They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.
I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I’ve been trained to fight.
And I have a mission.

Discussion: [This is going to be somewhat short, because today my power cord for my computer broke. The new one will arrive on Monday, so for now I’m conserving my battery. Hopefully I’ll be able to use our family computer, but my mom’s using it for work now. My battery level, as of right now, is about 39%.]

I have to admit, I was kind of iffy about Dorothy Must Die at the beginning. Yet again, beginnings of books usually don’t go well for me, because I still have a slight book hangover from the last book I read, and I’m not completely ready to enter a new world. But as the book progressed, I became more and more entranced.

Amy is freaking awesome. First of all, the pink hair. How cool is that? And her ability to kick butt, even when she doesn’t know she can is pretty cool, too. I liked her as a character because she was a lot like me. I mean, we’re mostly pretty different, but sometimes I saw myself in her.

The writing was very good in my opinion. And it linked with the original Oz story, too, in a good way.

However, the ending was disappointing. Is there another book in this series, besides the prequel ebook? Because, honestly, hardly anything was wrapped up, and a lot of questions were left unanswered. So if anyone knows, please tell me!

The summary is misleading. I mean, mostly the “steal the Lion’s courage, Tin Man’s heart, and Scarecrow’s brain” stuff. None of that happens. Which bugged me, because I really dislike it when a synopsis is misleading.

Overall, my reaction to this book is this:

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Cute dog, right?

Have you read Dorothy Must Die? If so, what did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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Banned Books Week and Top Ten Tuesday

Thank you to Ava for recommending that I post about Banned Books Week.

This week, Sep. 21-Sep. 27, is Banned Books Week!

What is BBW?

Well, I didn’t know until I looked it up. Here is an overview, straight from their official website.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported.

This week celebrates the freedom of reading and, mostly, banned books.

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What types of books are considered banned?

Here are the top three reasons for banned books:

  1. Material considered to be sexually explicit.
  2. Material has offensive language.
  3. Material is “unsuited to any age group.”

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What can I do to celebrate BBW?

Most obviously, read! Read anytime you can, to show others that you can read and you are allowed to. No one can tell you not to. [Except maybe your teacher…] And read banned books. You can find a list of challenged authors from the 21st century, up to 2012, here. J. K. Rowling and John Green make the list! Basically, you can read almost any YA book. Because most contain “offensive language.”

You can also participate in some events. If you live in the USA, here is a list of states and their events.

And you can participate in a Virtual Read-Out. More information about that can be found here.

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For TTT, I decided it would be fun to make a list of [in my opinion] top ten books that should be/are challenged. This doesn’t mean I don’t like them; this is for fun!

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

My Top Ten Banned Books

1. Paper Towns by John Green

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

4. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

5. Ink by Amanda Sun

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman

8. A Dark Sky by Giselle Rocha

9. The Princess and the Pauper by Kate Brian

10. Geek High by Piper Banks

Sorry I didn’t include pictures. I’m too lazy. XD

This post was extra-long!

[Added after a comment I saw.]

I find the whole concept of BBW to be a joke. These books are normal, everyday books that everyone reads. There’s no point of them being banned, in my opinion.

What are you doing to celebrate Banned Books Week? [BTW, I made up the acronym.] And what books are on your banned books list? Tell me in the comments below.

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10 Simple Ways to Please a Book Blogger

I sometimes feel like we [bloggers] don’t get enough love. Or maybe it’s just me. But even when others read our posts and enjoy them [I do this, too, come times. :(], they don’t comment or like the post. So here are simple ways to please a book blogger, or any blogger in general. I just consider myself and the community I’m in to be book bloggers.

  1. Like the post. It’s not that hard! Yet it means so much to us. I recently passed 100 likes, and it felt great. If you don’t have time to comment, just click “like” and know that that might have made my day. :) It’s at the bottom of a post, and you just click the button. Ta-da!
  2. Comment on a post. This is also really easy, but can take longer, depending on the length of your comment. A simple “Great post!” or “What an interesting book,” will suffice. If a question is asked in the post, it can be nice to answer that, too. A lot of bloggers respond to comments. I respond sometimes [Sorry!], and mostly if it’s a question. But comments let bloggers know what readers think and encourage us to post more.
  3. Follow a blog! If you really love a blog, they will usually have a button or spot to put your email so you will get emails when a post is put up. This is a huge think for bloggers. “How many followers do you have?” “Fifty-three.” “Oh, cool, I have thirty-seven.” It tells us who is regularly reading our blog, even if they don’t like or comment. Following blogs is also a great way to promote your blog. A lot of bloggers will check out the person’s blog once they follow them. It’s really important to go on other blogs to make yours more well-known!
  4. Repost. Some bloggers don’t like this, but I don’t mind. If you really love a post, you can usually repost it on your blog. You should always check the blogger’s “About Me” page or “Policies” before you repost, because some find this unoriginal and unnecessary. If it doesn’t say anything, I’d say you’re in the clear.
  5. Share a post through social media. Lots of blogs have the option to share a post through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. There should be a bunch of buttons at the bottom of a post with social media links to them. If a blogger has an account on the social media, it can be nice to add their account name  to it, too.
  6. Send them a message! Many blogs have a form to contact the blogger with. You just put in your name, email address, possibly some other information, and your message. It an be nice to just hear from a follower. I don’t have one of these, but others do.
  7. Email a post. This is also with the social media buttons. You can email a post to friends if you like it, too. It’s a great way to promote a blog. That is, if your friends even check their email.
  8. Feature them on your blog. If you’re another blogger, maybe older/more experienced, it can be a nice thing to talk about a smaller/newer blog or one of their posts you enjoyed. If you’re a smaller or newer blog, doing this for another, bigger blog, others can [possibly] find your blog through it. :)
  9. Just tell your friends! If you have other bookish friends, tell them about a blogger you like in person. Then you can talk about it, too!
  10. Become a blogger. This is the highest honor: become a blogger because of someone else’s blog. I know I did this, with Sam @ Bookish Serendipity, when her blog was Young Writers Café. That blogger will feel so proud to be an inspiration for someone else, and might even help you. I know Sam did, and she still does. :)

Do something nice for a blogger today, to let them know you like their blog. :) Or do each of these things! Now, there’s the ultimate kindness.

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