This third book in the Invaluable series is a perfect conclusion, and I think it's my favorite one! I love reading about pioneers, and it was so fun tThis third book in the Invaluable series is a perfect conclusion, and I think it's my favorite one! I love reading about pioneers, and it was so fun to read about Courtney's ancestor through her eyes. I like how Courtney is a normal teenager, facing real issues. The book is up to date, with issues such as having to turn in her cell phone at night, and dealing with cyber bullying. I truly felt connected to my ancestors while reading this, and I think teens and adults will both be inspired to connect with their own pioneer ancestors. ...more
Chess, railroad, and Romani culture all play roles in making Gypsy Knights a story rich with cultureGypsy Knights is one of those indie author gems.
Chess, railroad, and Romani culture all play roles in making Gypsy Knights a story rich with culture and interest.
The writing in Gypsy Knights is very well written in a flowing narrative that keeps pace with the action. It is peopled with distinct characters who all add a splash of color to the story.
Gypsy Knights reminds me of a young adult Da Vinci Code told on 1960's American soil.
It has the fun idea of them being part of a giant, real chess game with dangerous stakes. I know only the basics of chess and I appreciated what was being done. Others who are masters of the game will get even more out of it than I did.
The book rushes across America at a frenzied pace--from the tunnels under temple square in Salt Lake City, Utah to a Southern plantation in New Orleans. The characters even end up in Romania. All of the settings were well painted and fun places to visit in my mind. America is a character in this book, lending a very rustic and old-time feel to the story.
The emotions felt a bit shallow and underdeveloped as the story is told in a cinematic style with very little insight into the character's heads. But as I got used to the style, the lack of internal dialogue bothered me less and less. The ebook does have a small handful of typos that were easily forgivable, especially because the story is so entertaining. I found myself wanting to return and see what happens to Durriken and Dilia.
Radu Pinch is a scary bad guy. When he chases Durriken and Dilia through tunnels near the beginning, I was beginning to think they weren't going to make it. My only beef with his character is that the authors kept switching back and forth, calling him by different names.
The banter and romance between the two characters was very appropriate and mild and there was a moderate amount of cussing.
I loved the character of Durriken and the way he changes throughout the story. His maturity at the end of the book when facing Radu Pinch is admirable.
Gypsy Knight is an entertaining adventure, one to add to your e-book library. ...more
The Ireland setting and the promise of Celtic folklore in The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon pulled me into the story right away. I love paranormThe Ireland setting and the promise of Celtic folklore in The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon pulled me into the story right away. I love paranormal romance and I dove in as soon as I received the book.
I have mixed feelings about this one. Overall it is well written and I think it will be very well received. The book fell short for me in a few places, but I am still recommending this one, as I think it is only a matter of personal taste and I think many people will enjoy The Carrier of the Mark.
The Carrier of the Mark flows nicely. The characters are a bit teeny-bopper for my tastes, but stay consistent throughout. There were many questions that I wanted answers to that kept me reading, and that is always a good thing.
In the beginning of the book I saw glimpses of Ireland and the culture and language were fun to visit in my head, but I wanted much more than the book provided and I think the author could have easily incorporated the emerald isle throughout the story.
There are some original ideas and fun scenes in the book that intrigued me, but much of the plot felt like something I'd already read--Twilight and even a bit of Avatar: the Last Airbender. I did struggle past that though, and found that the story is worth reading.
The romance between Megan and Adam is eye-rollingly perfect and I found myself skimming some of the love scenes. There is a good reason why the two lovers can't be together (a situation which is always alluring) but neither of the lovers are taking the threat seriously and so neither do I. I love what happens to the couple's powers when they are together and I hope the second book in the series explores that more.
There is quite a bit of profanity throughout the book and that lowered my ability to recommend the book to others.
I think the cover is pretty well done, but what I really love are the water markings on each of the chapter headings.
Verdict: The Carrier of the Mark blew me off my feet and placed me in the middle of a modern Irish fairy tale. ...more
Wings of Light, the sequel to Alvor by Laura Bingham, continues the story of twins Erin and Bain as they discover their roles as immortal alva in a laWings of Light, the sequel to Alvor by Laura Bingham, continues the story of twins Erin and Bain as they discover their roles as immortal alva in a land they never imagined could exist. I enjoyed Alvor and I liked Wings of Light even more. This fantastic story is aimed at middle grade, but will delight anyone who is a fan of such books as the Fablehaven series.
Bingham has a great imagination. I never know where she will take me--the inside of a shark, flying with dragons, cooking s'mores on a Moroccan beach, or ordering take out from another continent.
The adventure and magic that I loved in Alvor is intensified as Erin and Bain learn what is required of them and search for their missing mother. The scope of the book enlarged, the twins are now involved in the alva kingdom and what their roles will be.
Fun new characters are introduced, including Aunt Lyndera who packs everything when she travels, including the bathtub. Old friends are back, Pulsar the dragon (awesome), Joel (who has a secret), and evil Carbonell (who's aura is lightening from darkest black).
I'm not sure that everything is as it seems. Carbonell appears to be helpful, giving aid to the twins in the search for their mother. And Joel appears aloof and distant, sometimes putting his own interests above Erin's. I became suspicious of Joel and found myself cringing when he took Erin's hand. Because Joel is the (mild) love interest in the book, I can't decide if Bingham meant to distance me as a reader from Joel. I have to say that it does make me excited to read book number three.
I still love Erin's ability to see aura's and tell if someone is lying or truthful. It lends a deeper layer to the book and gives me pause to ponder about the real life "aura's" we project when we are truthful.
I absolutely loved the interactions with the twin's family. It felt homey and heart-warming.
Wings of Light is the middle novel of a series so I expected there to be a crisis that would leave me hanging to hook me into the last book. Refreshingly, things were tied up in a way that felt satisfying. There are still plenty of unanswered questions that leave me waiting for the final book in the series. ...more
Alvor is just the kind of book I love to read for myself and then dangle in front of my eight-year old bookworm son and say, I have a book for you! ItAlvor is just the kind of book I love to read for myself and then dangle in front of my eight-year old bookworm son and say, I have a book for you! It backfired on me this time because he took it from me before I was finished. Both he and I enjoyed the book very much and are looking forward to the sequel, Wings of Light that comes out this April.
The setting and characters remind me of Fablehaven by Brandon Mull--so much creativity and adventuring in an imagined land that I would love to visit. Like Fablehaven, Alvor is also about a brother and sister who find a magical world practically in their backyard. Erin and Bain are twins who find a house in their grandpa's woods that leads them to a place where it seems they have been destined to travel to all along.
The banter and love that Erin and Bain show each other is genuine and heartwarming. They were easy together and after they were seperated for a time, their reunion was sweet. The two of them form a stronger magic than each of them alone. I love how their magical abilities branched from their natural tendencies and desires.
Halfway through the book my son snatched it to his room and wouldn't let me have it. I have to admit that it took awhile for me to get back into the plot. It slowed way down for me in the middle, but that could have been due to the long break I had between reading sessions. I'm glad I stuck with it because the second half of the book is filled with adventure and more wonder.
Even though the characters were supposed to be sixteen, I had a hard time seeing them that old. They felt much younger to me. I know that an author should write a protagonist a few years older than the intended audience, but to me Erin and Bain felt closer to fifteen, or even fourteen years old.
The romance in the book was perfect for a middle grade age group. There was enough to keep me interested, but it was sweet and lightly frosted.
Just a few more things: Did you see the cover? Brilliantly done. I love how the red light and the blue light shine into the forest from different directions, giving an image of good vs. evil. And the book has a dragon. Come on, how can you resist a dragon story?
Monday, December 27, 2010 A Beggar’s Purse by Toni Nelson
I drove past a homeless man on the corner today. He held a sign that read, “Desperate, pleas Monday, December 27, 2010 A Beggar’s Purse by Toni Nelson
I drove past a homeless man on the corner today. He held a sign that read, “Desperate, please help.” Instead of ignoring the man like I might have before I read A Beggar’s Purse by Toni Nelson, I looked at his face. I don’t know his name, but somebody does. Somebody is his mother, his son, his friend.
I like to think that I am a compassionate person, someone who is willing to help others, especially those in dire need. But I hesitate to hand money to a “street person” because of those who take advantage of the good-will of others to feed the addictions that have led them to where they are.
After reading A Beggar’s Purse, I have begun overcoming the stigma that I associate with the homeless. This is a quick read, I finished it in about an hour.
When I started reading Nelson’s memoir, I prepared myself to bristle at being preached to. I relaxed when I found that Nelson has struggled with the same uncomfortable questions that I have when I see the homeless asking for money on a street corner-like why don’t they get a real job?
The book reads like a novel with insights from the author’s experiences growing up in a house by a railroad where traveling hobos were common guests for dinner. The anecdotes drew me into her story and made it easy for me to understand how she came to her conclusions.
I also love that the author isn’t a full-time crusader who gives all of her time and energy to the needy. That may sound harsh and I admire those who may devote their lives to a cause. But the majority of us are plodding away in our own spheres. Nelson shows how we can include the less-fortunate in our daily lives, by simply being willing to smile and learn a person’s name or offer to give them a meal.
I wish I could say that I stopped and helped the man on the corner this morning. I didn’t have any way of giving him some food. I did resolve to purchase a McDonald’s gift card(a form of money that can only be spent on food) to have on hand. I will keep it in my purse and the next time I pass by the desperate who are in need, I will have something to give.
“Am I being used by the so-called street people, or am I being used by God? I believe the Bible refers to the term as being a servant.” A Beggar’s Purse by Toni Nelson (p.87)
I read Tyger Tyger on my iPad and plunged right in without knowing anything about it. Imagine my surprise when I found that the book has Celtic folklore, sign language, a magic system based on music and paranormal romance-all elements that are in my own WIP. Karma!
The characters at times reminded me of the kids in A Wrinkle in Time-the sister who has a quirky and intelligent little brother and the love interest who helps them. Other times Finn reminded me of Peter in Peter Pan-the immortal boy who has no family and watches Teagan’s family with interest.
The first chapter will draw you in quickly as Teagan works with a chimpanzee who speaks sign language. The sign language comes in handy later on when she is in trouble and I found that satisfying.
Though I like the angst that develops between Teagan and Finn, I really wanted more of the romance and I wanted Finn to have a bit more depth and mystery to him.
The celtic mythology in the book is cleverly woven into a contemporary setting. I found myself a bit lost with all of the Irish names and folklore-even though I study it myself. I want to read the book again to figure out all of the mythology and that won’t be a problem, I will read the book again anyway.
Only one part jarred me out of the book. When a loved one dies, the author skips over the entire grieving process and barely mentions that it happened. Because it is someone close to Teagan, I feel yanked around and don’t get a chance to deal with the death and experience what she dealt with.
All of the characters are real and multi-dimensional. Teagan’s best friend Abby is a great side-kick with an unusual family. I have to say that one of my favorite parts of the book involve Abby’s love of painting angels. That scene grabbed me and I’m hoping to see more of the result in the sequel.
I can’t wait until In the Forests of the Night comes out next year! I’ll have to console myself with reading Tyger Tyger again. ...more
Drawn in by the prologue, I thirstily drank this story up in a few days, even though I had many other books I was supposed to be reading. The prologue is intriguing and an even better read a second time upon completion of the novel.
I like Jason, but I am glad when Abby starts to fall for Dante. The angst that Mangum creates by the price they have to pay for physically touching each other is brilliant. And I found it interesting how Dante and his associates can release the pressure of their existence through the arts.
I found myself wondering if the same allure that Abby feels for the exciting Dante, (as opposed to the predictable, safe Jason) is one of the false ideas that many people fall prey to in their marriages. Of course, it makes for an exciting novel, but in real life we find that the excitement mellows to a different sort of passion.
I met Matthew Kirby at a Writing for Charity event in 2009 and have been eaFood to eat while reading: Steampunked Fish and Chips www.dearestdreams.com
I met Matthew Kirby at a Writing for Charity event in 2009 and have been eager to read his story ever since.
What I liked:
The first line: “When Giuseppe found the green violin, he did not think it would help him escape.” This line promises magic and tells me right away that the character is in a precarious situation.
I haven’t heard of a steampunk book for middle grade readers, and Kirby expertly fills the niche. Steamboats, a clockwork man, child labor and the impending Edison electricity all populate this fable-like tale.
Three children are in need of something that they can only get through dependence on another. The three storylines are woven together into a beautiful tapestry that could only be created by their collaboration.
Kirby’s descriptions dart in and out of the story, never distracting from the dialogue and flow. Here’s an example of Giuseppe biting an apple: “When he bit through its crisp skin, sour juice exploded in his mouth and twisted up his cheeks and his tongue.” Can you taste it?
Hannah, Frederick and Giuseppe are distinct from each other in personality, in emotions and the way that they react to situations. The characters recognize each other’s differences, and instead of letting it tear them apart, they use the differences to support each other.
There is a tiny hint of romance between Hannah and Frederick-just the perfect amount for middle grade. One tender scene in particular touched my heart at the end of the story.
What I would have changed:
Even though the three storylines were interesting, I started to get lost in the early middle of the book. I kept picking up other books because the pacing lagged a bit for me. I am glad that I didn’t put it down though, because the story delivers.
Not all of my questions were answered and I wanted more. I am hoping that we will see more of the three children, Madame Pomeroy and the clockwork man and the magic that made him come to life.
The verdict: A tale of the mystery and magic of time gone by, The Clockwork Three will enchant readers to the last page.
“Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocoFood to eat while reading: Chocolate Fudge Cake (www.dearestdreams.com)
“Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate,” is just one of the quotes and trivia that you will find on the pages in Annette Lyon’s new recipe book, Chocolate Never Faileth. Every recipe in the book includes chocolate as an ingredient: from cookies and ice cream, to popcorn and lip gloss. Published on October 1, 2010, this recipe collection makes a perfect gift just in time for the holidays.
Annette Lyon, resident of American Fork, Utah, is the author of seven novels and worked as an assistant director for the Utah Chocolate Show in 2004. She told me that any chocoholic will enjoy her book but, “you don't need a culinary degree to make tasty treats.” The easy to follow instructions allow even the most cautious home cook to bake decadent desserts.
With more than 125 heavenly creations, this recipe book is a delight to read. Included is a glossary, a recipe index, an ingredients resource guide, and ten pages of how-to’s for cooking with chocolate. The modern-ish country kitchen layout is beautiful and most of the recipes have a companion photo for you to drool over (my two-year old son literally licked a photo of “Chocoholic Lemon Squares”).
After perusing the cookbook, I had to test the Hot Fudge Cake (p. 29) at home. To my delight, the recipe was simple to make, turned out exactly like the photo and satisfied my hard to satiate chocolate appetite.
Annette spent three months baking and prepping food for weekly photo shoots for the book. She says, “Some recipes worked great right out of the gate, while others . . . didn't.” Annette collected the recipes and gave them her own treatment. “If I found a recipe I wanted to use, I went out of my way to change and tweak it anywhere I could so it was MINE,” she says.
What is Annette’s favorite chocolate recipe? She says it depends on her mood, “Lately it's been “French Silk Pie”. I'm game for almost any form of chocolate!”
I am not usually a fan of middle books in a series, but this middle book in ThFood to eat while reading: Scorched Crème Brulee (www.dearestdreams.com)
I am not usually a fan of middle books in a series, but this middle book in The Maze Runner series reads like a great beginning--all over again.
What I liked:
The setting kept changing and with each new place came dangers, creatures and people that kept me on the edge of my seat.
The main characters remained consistent and believable, yet they changed and grew from their experiences, like good little characters should. In fact, I almost cheered at the end for Thomas on the last page when he makes a difficult decision. Hooray for characters that change and show us that we can too.
Brenda, and Jorge are a great addition to the cast. They throw more variables into the equation and complicate the trials. And I love that Dashner introduced a second love interest for Thomas. Let the cat fights begin!
The balance of intrigue in this story is perfect. The questions and answers are braided together so that I am always wondering what will happen, but satisfied by the questions I have already received. Dashner has gained my trust, and though I still have unanswered questions, I am willing to read through quite a bit before I get the answers because I know that he will deliver.
I am eager to see why all of these horrible things are happening to these kids and how Thomas had a hand in creating the trials that he now is subjected to. I have an idea of why the variables are there and what the patterns are for, but I am content to wait until 2011 for The Death Cure.
I can’t wait to see this on the movie screen-it will lend itself easily to media.
What I would have changed:
The Scorch Trials is quite a bit more violent than The Maze Runner. My son is currently reading the first book and I am unsure about giving him the second one just yet.
It bothered me that Aris’ character is so underdeveloped. He mozies along with the Gladers, only showing spunk when he is required to act out a role for WICKED. Perhaps the author has hidden Aris from us for a reason and we will see his character unfurl in The Death Cure.
Much of the jeopardy was killed for me by a scene in the middle of the book. I just didn’t worry so much for Thomas’ safety and that led to a loss of intensity.
The Scorch Trials is an excellent addition to the very popular dystopian genre. It will leave you scratching your head and chomping at the bit to read on.
Perilous is the type of adventure book that I like to cozy up with when I want to escape from the world for a while. Fast-paced and intriguing, PeriloPerilous is the type of adventure book that I like to cozy up with when I want to escape from the world for a while. Fast-paced and intriguing, Perilous explores hard issues in a way that readers of all ages can enjoy.
The main character and point of view in Perilous, by Tamara Hart Heiner, is Jacinta Rivera. Heiner successfully alternates the point of view between Jaci and Detective Carl Hamilton, the man who has been given the task of finding Jaci when she is kidnapped by thieves from the local mall. I appreciate knowing both points of view. Somehow it makes me fell smart-knowing information that the character I am reading about hasn’t found out yet.
Jaci is Hispanic and I got very interested when I entered her home and interacted with her family. I love that her heritage and background are portrayed here. By the end of the book I was disappointing that her heritage did not come up again or play a role in the story. It would have been neat to see Jaci use her knowledge of her ancestry or ethnicity to her advantage--pushing the story forward and helping her out of the situation.
Detective Carl is a nice contrast to the teen storyline and I love his choice of brain food-pickles. I enjoyed his internal dialogue and his relationship with his wife. The only thing lacking in Carl’s storyline is a dynamic change from beginning to end. I did not see how following Jaci’s case changed him as a person.
I enjoyed the banter between the girls at the mall before the kidnapping occurs. I could have read a few more chapters of Jaci’s life before the capture and felt surprised when the event happened so soon in the story.
There are quite a few teenage females to keep track of in the story and they all started to blend together for me. Because of what happens to Sara, I was able to separate her from the others in the middle of the book. Again, I am disappointed in the lack of change that I saw in the girls. I wanted to get into Jaci’s head and really see how the events affected and changed her by the end of the story.
The twin boys, Neal and Ricky, add another layer to the story and introduce a bit of romance. Because Neal is introduced first, I became quite attached to him and I saw Ricky as immature and irresponsible. Later in the story I found it confusing when Jaci began to vacillate in her interest between the two boys.
Some of the scenes felt contrived to me, such as Jaci’s rescue at the river. And yet other scenes that might have felt artificial (including their ultimate rescue in the end) made me want to believe in miracles.
The ending felt abrupt and I didn’t get a sense of completion. There is a sequel coming out to Perilous and I realize that there needs to be a few loose ends, but I still wanted that missing catharsis.
I am impressed with the way Heiner is able to write a story about harsh topics that face teens today, such as murder and rape, but in a way that any parent would want them presented to their teen. The events that happen in the book are dealt with, but not played out in detail or dwelt upon in a way that would make a reader uncomfortable.
This is the first “cozy” mystery I have ever read and I have to say I enjoyed thFood to eat while reading: To Die for Lemon Tart www.dearestdreams.com
This is the first “cozy” mystery I have ever read and I have to say I enjoyed the story immensely. Sadie Hoffmiller is exactly how I envision a modern, aged Anne of Green Gables to behave. Who could resist such a fresh heroine mixed up with a murder mystery? And I love the recipes included at the end of key chapters (hey, why didn’t I think of that?).
What I liked: Sadie is such a loveable, perfectly flawed character and I related to her instantly. Her internal dialogue is fresh and hilarious and the way she jumps around in her head makes me laugh. When Sadie is chased by a killer, she apologizes as she slams the door on the killer’s hand and then pauses to buckle her seat belt. The smattering of recipes and cooking in the story give it a homey feel. Sadie uses food for comfort, apology and to con information from her neighbors. The recipes included at the end of the chapters look delicious and I want to try every one. All of the characters in the story are colorful and memorable, right down to the neighbor’s cat. The intrigue weaves through the story, and will keep you guessing with twists and turns like every good mystery should.
What I would have changed: It took me awhile to separate the two detectives in my mind. Although I knew they were different, the detectives looked and sounded the same to me. When I go back and flip through the chapter in which I was introduced to them, I can see that the author did a good job of describing the detectives and yet I just couldn’t keep them straight. The verdict: Lemon Tart is a delicious treat for anyone who enjoys a fast, suspenseful “cozy”, and is a great introduction for those who might be trying the genre for the first time.
I gave this book 4/5 stars.
Where I got the book: LDSStorymakers Conference bookstore
This novella is a companion book to Eclipse by the same author. Even though I knew aFood to eat while reading: Blood Red Sangria www.dearestdreams.com
This novella is a companion book to Eclipse by the same author. Even though I knew ahead of time that this book is told from a blood-thirsty vampire’s point of view, I couldn’t stay away from it. As a gift, Stephenie has posted the story as an ebook for a limited time(see below for more info).
What I liked:
As always, Stephenie has given birth to a cast of characters who are real. The vampires jump off the page and into my mind, tempting me away from the mounds of laundry looming in my mud room.
Bree’s past is intriguing, and because I already know her fate from the beginning, I am anxious to know what is going on in her head. Her perspective on the vampires, and the Cullen clan in particular sheds light on Victoria’s side of the story.
Diego is likeable and it made me happy that Bree had a friend.
Fred is a fantastic character: mysterious, intelligent, silent and deceptively good-looking. Toward the end of the book there is a hint that we might see him again in the Cullen’s future and I very much hope so.
I enjoyed the action and suspense-filled ride that propelled me through this short, chapter-less book. Just about every scene transported me to a different setting; from an underground cavern to the top of a tree.
Bree’s story is one of regrets and what might have been. We all look back with longing to the events in our lives that we would change if we could. As Bree mounts each step toward her inevitable destruction, I cringe when each possibility for escape passes her by. If only… I think to myself, wondering what crossroads in my own life could be different.
What I would have changed:
Because this story is told through the eyes of a thirsting newborn vampire, the violence and gore is more copious than in Stephenie’s other Twilight books. Or perhaps there’s the same amount of violence, just condensed into a smaller story. What I love most about the Twilight series is the author’s ability to make us feel emotion, and though she succeeded in showing us Bree’s emotions, I prefer to experience the angst and romance, rather than the thirst and bloodshed.
This book felt like a character exercise that ran away. In fact, Stephenie admits that Bree’s story came from her side notes. I am fine if she wants to develop some of the side stories that go along with the Twilight universe, but I can’t say that I enjoyed the story as much. For one thing, I already knew Bree’s fate before I started reading, and for another, the novella was too short for me to get really attached to Bree.
Fans of Twilight will scour this mini-novel for clues into the vampire world.
I gave this book 3/5 stars.
Genre: fantasy, YA , paranormal romance
Publisher: June 5th 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
What a wild ride this series is. To be honest, I am actually relieved to beFood to eat while reading: District 12 Beef Brisket(www.dearestdreams.com)
What a wild ride this series is. To be honest, I am actually relieved to be done with it. Now don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the ride. But the emotional rollercoaster was so swift and stomach-dropping that I am happy to be on solid ground again.
What I liked:
There were so many surprises and twists that I couldn't put the book down. Katniss is so unpredictable that I never know what is going to happen.
ollins is a master at painting the silence behind the words. When she describes what Katniss is experiencing, I feel like my heart is going to explode. It is even more poetic than poetry. Here is an example from page 349:
"Dead, but not allowed to die. Alive, but as good as dead. So alone that anyone, anything no matter how loathsome would be welcome. But when I finally have a visitor, it's sweet. Morphling. Coursing through my veins, easing the pain, lightening my body so that is rises back toward the air and rest again on the foam.
The author knows when to show and when to tell. She leaves out or summarizes the unnecessary and I am relieved to read only what is important to Katniss.
Katniss is given freedom by the author to do and say what she wants to. This makes for an interesting and impulsive story.
The ending was hard for me to swallow at first. But the more I think about it, the more fitting it becomes. Collins wove the ending so tightly, that up until the last page I didn't know how things would turn out. Yet, when I think back to the last few chapters, I can see the obvious winding down.
I was so very happy to see Katniss through to the end, if only to give her character some peace. She went through so much irony and unfair agony that I was comforted to see her settled.
The themes of war & peace, and the cycle of human society are classic. Collins drives them home with Katniss, a character so poignant and heartrending who isnpires us to make a difference in our own circle of influence.
What I was unsure of:
The violence and death. I know they are a part of war and defending oneself. But with Katniss, there seemed to be a disconnect from humanity along the way. The casualties who got in her way were bothersome to me, not to mention the innocent sufferers of the war, the children.
I think Katniss could have survived without either Gale or Peeta. I know that some would argue that she is the ultimate strong female character, but I think a woman can be strong and still want to have a husband and a home.
Mockingjay is a satisfying conclusion to an emotional and gripping trilogy that will steal the hearts of both teens and adults. ...more