All of her life, Katniss Everdeen has had to take care of her mother and sister. Her father died during a mining accident, and she other choice but toAll of her life, Katniss Everdeen has had to take care of her mother and sister. Her father died during a mining accident, and she other choice but to become the provider for her and her family. What makes it harder is that she and her family live in the poorest district in all of Panem (what used to be the United States), and the only way for her to get food is to hunt in the restricted woods outside the district’s fences which is strictly forbidden.
Each year, the people of Panem are forced to put any child over the age of twelve into a raffle to possibly become a tribute for the Hunger Games. This is where both a boy and a girl from each district are chosen to be put into an arena where they will be forced to fight to the death. For the past four years, Katniss has avoided having her named pulled and she is hoping that this year not only will she escape the games, but her younger sister as well.
Katniss’ worst fears come to life when Prim’s name is drawn from the bowl. Instantly, Katniss volunteers to take Prim’s place. Peeta Mellark is the boy’s name who is drawn, the son of the baker in town, and all Katniss can think of is, “How am I supposed to kill the boy who helped feed my family and I when we were at our lowest?”. Right after the name drawing ceremony, Peeta and Katniss are taken away to have some alone time with their family and friends before being taken away to the Hunger Games training centers. This is possibly the last time that Katniss will see her mother and sister and her good friend Gale.
Soon, Peeta and Katniss are taken away from their district and brought to the capital where they both are thrown into the spotlight, and proposed love between the two becomes the talk of all the districts. It is during this time that they are instructed to never leave one another’s side as they are paraded around, interviewed, and tested on their special fighting abilities.
The day comes all too quickly for Katniss and all the other tributes to go into the arena. While Peeta and Katniss seemed a pair before the games, she quickly realizes that Peeta has different motives now that he is in the arena. While she goes off on her own, he joins an alliance with the most deadly of all the tributes which Katniss calls the Careers.
Katniss must dig deep within herself to find the strength to fight for her life during the games, and it is during this time that she finds herself teaming up with an unlikely alliance. How will she continue to fight for her life, will she be able to kill even though she does not agree with what the capital is imposing on her and the tributes?
The Hunger Games is one of the most exciting books that I have ever read and listened to. I had read the book before listening to it, and I have to say that the audio book is just as exciting as reading it myself! The narrator’s voice is easy to listen to, and she does a great job of capturing the excitement and horror during the games. This is a great book for teens that are reluctant to read and I think it will appeal to both boys and girls. Teens will need to have some way of listening to the audio book, whether on a computer or by CD player, but it will be worth it for sure!
Awards: British Fantasy Award for Top Ten (2009), A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2008), Cybils Award for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2008), Amelia Bloomer List (2009), An ALA Notable Children’s Book for Older Readers (2009), Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (2008), New York Times Notable children’s book of (2008), Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year, South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Junior and Young Adult Book Awards (2011), Rhode Island Teen Book Award (2010), ALA Teens’ Top Ten (2009), Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2010).
Subjects/Themes: Post apocalyptic United States, fight to the death, survival, love.
This book had me staying up all night, unable to put it down, reading at work...it's AMAZING!
I like how Collins wrote so that you are constantly trying to figure out what will happen next, attempting to solve the mystery all on your own.
There's action, romance, suspense, everything you could want from a book. It is classified as a Young Adult book, but I can easily see it appealing to people of all ages. I have already recommended this to multiple people and I can't wait to read it again!dd...more
**spoiler alert** Gregor finds himself and Boots back in the Underland in this second book and things are not looking good for his friends down there.**spoiler alert** Gregor finds himself and Boots back in the Underland in this second book and things are not looking good for his friends down there. Now, he is forced to follow the Prophecy of Bane and attempt to save his sister from the terrible Gnawers.
I am really enjoying this series. I love how each of the characters is so interesting and faces all different kinds of their own challenges. I am enjoying the arrival of Luxa's cousin and cannot wait to see what will happen in the next book.
This ends with Gregor saying that he knows it is only a metter of time before he is back in the Underland and helping those that he cares about. Will Luxa and Twitchtip make it back? I cannot wait to find out!...more
**spoiler alert** With the Hunger Games now over, and her life and Peeta's life safe, Katniss is faced with the task of trying to learn how to live he**spoiler alert** With the Hunger Games now over, and her life and Peeta's life safe, Katniss is faced with the task of trying to learn how to live her life as one of the one's who lived.
Katniss and her family now live in Victor's Village along with Peeta and his family and Haymitch. In order to keep the government happy and those living in the Disctricts, Peeta and Katniss are still forced to pretend they are madly in love and that is what caused her to bring out those fateful berries.
However, what Katniss doesn't realize right away is that there is great unrest in all of the districts and she is the main force behind it. Katniss is the symbol of the revolution and the Capital sees her a huge threat.
With the 75th Hunger Games quickly approaching, an announcement is made that changes everything. Each 25 years, there is a twist thrown in to the hunger games as an extra way to remind those in the districts that it would be a bad idea to revolt. Instead of choosing new children from districts to fight, it will instead be past victor's. This means that Katniss will for sure be fighting once again during the games, a nightmare she has been living in her dreams ever since the last games ended.
It's Peeta's quick thinking that caught me off gaurd and literally made my mouth drop when he announced during his interview before the games began that Katniss and him did not wait for the Capitol's wedding that was being planned, instead they preformed their own ceremony that is done specifically in Panem and that Katniss is PREGNANT! Oh man, my mouth dropped. His main reason for this is sympathy towards her, and it causes hysteria in the capital by all those watching. Katniss and Peeta have become symbols of hope and to find that the Capitol is sending her back into the arena, and now pregnant into the arena, causes outrage!
Despite this, they are forced to fight again. Peeta volunteered to go in Haymitch's place when his name was pulled. Both Katniss and Peeta are hesitant to join forces and create an alliance with the other fighters, but little do they know Haymitch and other people for the revolution are planning something much more powerful than they could ever know.
Once again, Collins delivers and stunning novel that had me staying awake at all hours unable to stop reading. You become so attached to these characters that you can't help but feel for the pain and suffering they are having to endure. Gale becomes are more prominent character in Catching Fire and I know I can't be the only one who struggled with who Katniss should be with in the end. Gale seems right for her, but Peeta is just such an amazing person. Peeta's love for Katniss is so pure and strong, and you can tell that Katniss struggles with the situation she is in the with the two.
I am amazed by the story that Collins has written, I don't know how a mind can think of something like this. I enjoyed how the story has evolved and how true her main characters have stayed. I look forward to seeing how this will all end.
My only wish is that I didn't have to wait a whole year more for the conclusion of this story. It's such an intense roller coaster from start to finish. I want to know if Peeta is alive and okay, along with Cinna, and I just want to know how it will all turn out.
Katniss the mockingjay, a symbol of the revolution. I'm sure it must've been a stunning sight to see her catching fire.
I also want to add a quote that stuck out to me:
"The berries. I realize the answer to who I am lies in that handful of poisonous fruit. If I held them out to save Peeta because I knew I would be shunned if I came back without him, then I am despicable. If I held them out because I loved him, I am still self-centered, although forgivable. But if I held them out to defy the Capitol, I am someone of worth. The trouble is, I don't know exactly what was going on inside me at that moment." p118....more
While Meridian Sozu had always known she was different, she never thought it made her an outcast. Ever since she was a young girl, it seemed that dyinWhile Meridian Sozu had always known she was different, she never thought it made her an outcast. Ever since she was a young girl, it seemed that dying animals always found her right before they passed away. On Meridian’s sixteenth birthday, everything changed. After arriving home from school, there was a terrible car accident in front of her house. Her parents quickly, and without much explanation, sent Meridian away to live with her elderly Aunt.
It turns out that Meridian is very different; she is a Fenestra. Fenestras are special humans who have the power of allowing dying people to gain access to heaven. They are an angel of sorts and people use a Fenestra’s bodies as a means of transportation to their afterlife. The only problem for Meridian is that she has does not have a grip on her powers yet and the accident that occurred in front of her house could have very well killed her. That is exactly what the Nocti wish had happened. The Nocti are the enemies of the Fenestra and they guard what many people call hell.
Harnessing her powers is not an easy task for Meridian. Her dying Aunt Merry is teaching Meridian everything she knows before she will have to pass through Meridian herself. The only way for the Fenestra to be reborn is to pass through another Fenestra. It is essential that Meridian learns how to successfully open her mind to allow people to pass through. Living at Aunties is Tens; a large, grumpy boy who is there to protect Meridian. What she least expects is that Tens is her real key to becoming a Fenestra and her love for him is what will allow her to let people pass through her.
Throughout this book there is the large issue of the Nocti using the church as a means of preaching about how terrible Aunt Merry and Meridian are. The radical preacher named Perimo rallys the townsfolk by brainwashing them to believe they are evil, and they quickly become outcasts. The Notci are also constantly trying to kill Meridian by putting her in situations where she must interact with people who are ready to die. Slowly though, Meridian gets a handle on her powers and learns how to do what she was born to do.
Overall, I was a bit underwhelmed by this book. I thought it was a good concept, but it did not capture me like other books that I have read have. The love between Tens and Meridian seemed to come out of nowhere and it did not seem authentic to me. On the other hand, I do think that this book will be popular with teens and I think they will enjoy the new supernatural and paranormal spin it gives. I think that this book would be a good choice for reading groups or one to be added to a list for reluctant readers.
**spoiler alert** Bianca can't stand the fact that her parents have taken new jobs at reclusive school called Evernight. Not only has she been forced**spoiler alert** Bianca can't stand the fact that her parents have taken new jobs at reclusive school called Evernight. Not only has she been forced to move to a new town, but she now has to deal with going to a new school. Life doesn't seem like it could get much worse, so she decides to run away and she literally runs into Lucas. Lucas is also another new student she finds out, and it appears to be love at first sight.
Can Bianca settle into life at Evernight? Can she do well in her challenging classes, keep up with the "in" crowd, and make time for her budding romance with Lucas?
Not a chance!
I really enjoyed this book, especially because Gray throws a huge twist into this story about half way through. Evernight is a school for vampires, and Bianca just happens to be a vampire herself! She was BORN a vampire, (something that doesn't happen very often) and she is technically still living until she makes her first kill and becomes a full-fledged vampire.
Her romance with Lucas is one that seems innocent and fun until you learn that he is actually a vampire hunter and at the school in order to find out information about the vampires to bring back to his fellow hunters.
What really struck me about this book was how it differed from the "normal" vampire book; girl falls in love with vampire, girl bitten and becomes vampire, etc....more
**spoiler alert** Bianca is back at Evernight for her second year of high school, and things are definitely still exciting. Last year, her love Lucas**spoiler alert** Bianca is back at Evernight for her second year of high school, and things are definitely still exciting. Last year, her love Lucas was chased out of school because it was found out that he was a hunter with Black Cross group. This year, they are doing everything they can to meet in secret and keep their love alive.
Chloe had always thought of herself as a normal teenager; she went to a good school specifically for those interested in the arts, she had a good grouChloe had always thought of herself as a normal teenager; she went to a good school specifically for those interested in the arts, she had a good group of friends, and she was finally going to talk to the guy she liked. Just when she thought things were going well, everything changed when she started having dreams about seeing people.
One day after lunch, Chloe expereinced something that changed the course of her life forever. When walking back to class she was approached and then chased by a man dressed as a custodian who appeared to be burned. For those around her, it appeared that Chloe was having a breakdown, but in reality Chloe actually is a necromancer --someone who can see and come in contact with ghosts.
The school faculty, her not-so-present father, and her aunt put Chloe into a home for disturbed teens. Her diagnosis is schizophrenia, but Chloe and her new friends know that there is more to her current condition than schizophrenia; and they soon discover the price they will have to pay for finding this out.
The Summoning was an enjoyable book with strong characters and interesting plot twists. However, I felt sometimes that I found myself scanning through various parts of the book. There was a lot of parts that seemed to go on longer than I would have normally expected them to. For the most part though, this did not take away from my enjoyment of Chloe's story and I am intrigued to find out happens to Rae, Simon, Derek, Tori, and Liz in the future....more
**spoiler alert** In the world where Katsa lives she is part of a rare group of people: the graced. The way that people know she is different is by th**spoiler alert** In the world where Katsa lives she is part of a rare group of people: the graced. The way that people know she is different is by the color of her eyes, one is blue while the other is green. For some, a grace can be as simple as being a talented swimmer, or a great cook. For Katsa though, she is graced with the ability to kill. Her grace is one that her uncle Randa, the King of Middluns (one of the seven kingdoms) is not willing to let go unused. He has made Katsa his own personal killing machine sending her on missions to keep the people of his kingdom in line. Randa and his son Raffin are her only living relatives.
Katsa and Raffin are keeping a secret from her Uncle: they have formed a council that takes on secret missions to bring justice to those who are in need. This is how Graceling begins, with Katsa, Oll, and Giddon on a mission to save the Grandfather of the Lienid king who had been mysteriously kidnapped. While on this mission, Katsa runs into a Lienid young man and instead of killing him like her instincts tell her to, she only knocks him unconscious and leaves him before escaping to the forest.
What Katsa did not expect was for this same gentleman to show up in Randa’s castle seeking answers. It turns out he is Prince Greenling of Lienid, called Po for short, and he looking for his grandfather and knows that Katsa knows more than she is letting on. Katsa quickly learns too that Po is graced, he explains that his grace is that he is a skilled fighter, but in reality he can sense people and read their minds if they are thinking of him.
Torn between Randa’s power of her, and her urge to break free from his hold, Katsa learns with the help of Po that she has the power to take her grace into her own hands. Katsa has been oblivious to many things: the attention from the men around her, the real meaning of her grace, and her ability to take her life in her own hands. It is only when she decides to defy Randa’s wishes, and then leave his court for good that she realizes she can do what she wants with her life and her grace.
I had read this book in print before listening to it on audio book was a much different experience. I must confess that I did not enjoy nearly as much as when I read it. Full Cast Audio seems like a great idea in theory, but I think it made it a little harder to decipher which character was speaking. Also, I found all of the different voices distracting and I also found it odd that the narrator of the story was a guy. On top of that, they chose music to accompany that I found to be cheesy and distracting. I think that teens will enjoy reading this book more than listening to it in the audio format.
Awards: British Fantasy Award (2009), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adolescent Literature (2009), A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2008), William C. Morris YA Debut Award Nominee (2009), Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee (2011), TAYSHAS High School Reading List (2010), ALA Teens’ Top Ten (2009), Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2010), Sakura Medal Nominee for High School Book (2010). Characters: Katsa, Po, Giddon, Oll, Raffin, Randa, King Leck. Genre: Science fiction, Fantasy. Subjects/Themes: Graced, fighting, romance, assassins. ...more
**spoiler alert** This seemed like a fairly interesting book, but it turned out to be bogged down with too much fluff.
Set in a small town in the South**spoiler alert** This seemed like a fairly interesting book, but it turned out to be bogged down with too much fluff.
Set in a small town in the South, Ethan can't wait to escape his mundane life. It isn't until he starts having vivid dreams about a girl that his life takes a very dramatic turn.
Lena is everything the town of Gatlin has been trying avoid. She's different and not in a good way. For Ethan though, she is everything he has been dreaming about, literally.
After setting everything aside for her; his friends, his basketball team, his reputation around town- Ethan realizes that Lena is the missing void in his life since his mother passed away.
Not only is Lena special to Ethan, she is special on a whole other level. Lena is a caster; kind of like a witch but a more evolved version. This fact is the reason Ethan has been having dreams about her and is drawn to her. Their relationship causes a stir in their small town where gossip spreads faster than wild fire, and since Lena is the niece of the town shut in Macon Ravenwood, they believe nothing good can come of this new relationship.
The main event in this book is the coming of Lena's 16th birthday, this is when she will either become a caster of the light, or a caster of the dark. The whole books leads up to this event, and I think I felt a little let down by the end result.
Through out the whole story, I felt that there was a lot of fluff written that could have been left out. Over 600 pages in the end, this book should have been shortened considerably. I think that there was a lot of parts that basically felt like filler fluff writing and it took away from the book as a whole. Also, I felt that there was the huge ordeal that Lena could choose what she wanted be, dark or light, and I was disappointed that in the end it did not come down to that.
Overall though, I see teens getting really involved with this book and enjoying the story....more
**spoiler alert** There are two types of people in Mary’s world: those who are living and those who are Unconsecrated. The Sisterhood has taught Mary**spoiler alert** There are two types of people in Mary’s world: those who are living and those who are Unconsecrated. The Sisterhood has taught Mary her whole life that as long as her and her people stay within the fences that protect them, there will be no harm from the Unconsecrated. For Mary, she has never known life outside of the fences, but her mother has told her stories of this huge body of water called the ocean and also of times before the Return. Mary lives her life each day following the traditions that have been in place since the Return when slowly the world population became Unconsecrated or in other words, Zombies. For Mary, life is all about following the Sister’s preaching and waiting the day when she would be spoken for by one of the boys in her village. In order to sustain their population, marriage is much more than something done on a whim; it means maintaining the existence of the human race as they know it. Things are not simple in this life though. Mary’s father has been missing after never returning and it is believed that he is now an Unconsecrated. Then, after being distracted by Harry, a boy who likes her, Mary is late to make sure her mother is safe and does not get too close to the fence that blocks out the Unconsecrated. Mary’s mother becomes infected and there are only two options: let her become Unconsecrated, or kill her before the change takes over. After allowing her mother to change, Mary is disowned by her brother who is her only living relative. With no other place to go, Mary is forced to become part of the Sisterhood. Right away Mary learns that there is more to these women and they hold secrets from those living in the village. During her stay with the Sisters, the boy Mary has been in love with her whole life comes to be healed by the Sisters. Travis has obvious feelings for Mary, but he is promised to Mary’s best friend. In the end, the Sisters tell Mary she is not meant to be one of them and Harry speaks for Mary and they are soon to be married. On the day of their last ceremony, the Unconsecrated breach the fence and everything Mary has known is quickly torn apart. With no other options, Mary, Harry, Travis, Cass, and Mary’s brother and sister-in-law, escape the forest to try and find a way out. Along the way, everything that Mary has always believed in is tested: her faith, her love, and her loyalty. Is there actually an ocean or other people outside of the forest the holds her captive? Will Mary and her friends and family ever be safe again, or were they never safe to begin with? Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I could not seem to put it down or find a slow part to stop reading. It seems that many other teens are also enjoying this book. On Amazon.com, it has four out of five stars. And on Goodreads.com it has a score of 3.59 out of five. One complaint I read that readers have is that while the story is a good premise, it lacks detailed descriptions that readers eagerly wanted. On the other hand, most other readers enjoyed Mary’s story and cannot wait to read the second book that just came out in 2010.
Awards: Junior Library Guild Selection, TAYSHAS High School Reading List (2010), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Series (2009). Characters: Mary, Travis, Harry, Cass, Jed. Genre: Fantasy, Apocalyptic fiction. Subjects/Themes: Zombies, love, friendship, survival. ...more
**spoiler alert** Laurel always thought she was different from other girls and teens her age. She only liked certain foods, often fruit and she only l**spoiler alert** Laurel always thought she was different from other girls and teens her age. She only liked certain foods, often fruit and she only like to drink water or spirte. Not only that, but Laurel felt at her best when she was outside, often feeling suffocated being indoors. Raised by her adoptive parents, Laurel was homeschooled until she and her parents moved to a new town and she started her sophomore year of high school, that was when everything changed.
One day, she woke up with a bump on her back. Thinking it was only a zit, Laurel just left it alone. Only problem was that Laurel had never gotten a zit before, and on top of that the bump continued to grow until it was the size of a softball! Because Laurel's parents are against all hospitals and general medicine, she tried all kind of remedies that her mother had mixed up. None of it worked though.
One morning, after getting out of bed, Laurel had the shock of her life. The lump on her back had sprouted wings! The only person that she can think to confide in is her friend David, a science geek that befriended Laurel on her first day of school.
After David and her discover that she is anything but human, Laurel sets out to find more about what she is and her life before she was dropped off onto her parent's doorstep at the age of three. This all leads her to discover that she is way more than just an ordinary teen than she could have ever imagined and she has a crucial destiny to fulfill.
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The first chapter seems very juvenile and very reminiscent of the Twilight series (minus the vampires). However, I am really glad that I stuck with it. Pike's faeries are wonderful and I love how she imagined them to be. I love the idea of them being plants and how they have their own land only accessed by hidden gateways.
I can't wait for the next books in this series to be published. I want to know what is in store for Laurel and Tam as well as Laurel and David.
After a close call with a band of trolls and saving the gateway of Avalon from being discovered, it is time for Laurel to study in the fairy world ofAfter a close call with a band of trolls and saving the gateway of Avalon from being discovered, it is time for Laurel to study in the fairy world of Avalon. To do this, she must leave her family and boyfriend, David, behind and spend her whole summer vacation relearning how to be a proper Fall faerie and harness the powers she was born with.
Pike gives the readers a beautiful and interesting look into the magical world of Avalon and how it works. Readers begin to get a better understanding of what each special power and job the fairie’s have and how the class system of Avalon really works.
Tam is the faerie that Laurel is closest with, but she has a hard time understanding why he isn’t allowed to do everything she is, and why it feels like those living in Avalon treat her different just because of the time of year she was born.
Things back home are still not safe though, and Laurel’s family and friends are still in danger, not only from trolls, but possibly something worse. Will Laurel be able to save them again, and how will she deal with her love for both David and Tam? ...more