Overall, I thought that this was a perfectly average YA action series. Though it definitely had its strong points and showed some originality of conceOverall, I thought that this was a perfectly average YA action series. Though it definitely had its strong points and showed some originality of concept, it followed a lot of the stereotypical themes of the YA genre. The writing was definitely not bad, but it wasn't superb either. The plot was at times refreshingly original, at times stereotypical, and occasionally a bit too much of a stretch. The characters took nearly three books before they became round in any way, but when they did it was pretty satisfying.
In short, while I don't think that these books were bad by any stretch, I definitely do not think that they are worth all of the attention that they have been given. They are perfectly normal YA books, good for a young reader or for a light pleasure read, but nothing more than that. ...more
Considering all the hype, anticipation, and general excitement about this release, I feel like it would be pretty hard for this book to live up to eveConsidering all the hype, anticipation, and general excitement about this release, I feel like it would be pretty hard for this book to live up to everyone's high expectations. And while I don't think that it quite redeemed the mediocre quality of the series, it was a definite improvement over the second book, and it definitely brought some new and exciting ideas to the table. First, the bad things. Katniss was at her most annoying in this book. Stubborn, distrustful, anxious, and generally paranoid, I felt like she never stopped whining. While I admit that she had been through a lot and deserves some sympathy, I got the sense that she was often just being contrary for the sake of being contrary. Snapping at friends and allies like Gale for honestly trying to help her is not a character trait I look for in my heroes. I mean, we understand that you've been to hell and back, but do you always have to be so dang negative? Can't you save your angst for the things that are legitimately your fault? The plot of this book couldn't decide if it was good or not. Again, the action and conflict parts were great, but I felt like there was a bit too much emphasis on the publicity/propaganda aspect of Katniss's role. Watching her run around getting filmed all day isn't exactly exciting, and while I understand why that is an important plot element, I feel like it could have been handled differently. I also thought that her little crusade near the end of the book was reckless and stupid. While that doesn't mean it was out of character for her at all, I felt like it was just a device Collins used to show off the horrors of the traps in the city and to get Katniss to the square at just the right time. Something about it just felt so futile. *Spoiler Alert* I also didn't like the way that Finnick's death was handled. Maybe I was just speed-reading that part, but I didn't feel like it was given the amount of time that he deserved. He became a really important character in this book, and I felt like he deserved more than he got. *End Spoiler* I felt like this book had some good things in it that the others didn't have. There was more emphasis on a message or meaning to the books, rather than it just being a story. I know that Collins wrote this series as a way to comment on violence and war and what it does to people, especially children. In this book, I really feel like she got that message across. Some of the things Katniss says about the futility of war are actually very moving. I feel like this is also a way that Collins gives Gale a bit more personality. He stops just being the supportive male companion and becomes more of a ruthless fiery rebel, willing to do anything for the cause. I never really felt anything at all about Gale int he first few books (except to wonder why on earth he liked Katniss) but in this one I actually started to understand him, even if I disliked what he was becoming. The thing that happened with Peeta was also kind of a surprise. At first I thought it was kind of a stretch, but I think it actually made him a better character than the puppy boy we met in book one. Again, the action writing was very intense and fast-paced. The emotional writing tended to be a bit melodramatic like in the other books, but there were some moments that were very touching. The ending seemed a bit boring to me. Her coping mechanism was cute, but pretty cheesy. I was also expecting more of a scene when she chose who she loved, but it kind of just happened eventually after everything was over. I guess that is more realistic, so I can't argue too much, but after such a fiery book I was expecting the ending to be more of a bang than a sigh.
Overall, I'd say that this book was a vast improvement over book two. Though it has its flaws and strange moments, it also had some good things to balance them out.
Never Let Me Go is a gentle, refined book whose descriptions of the seemingly mundane aspects of everyday life hide a deeper beauty. The story is setNever Let Me Go is a gentle, refined book whose descriptions of the seemingly mundane aspects of everyday life hide a deeper beauty. The story is set in a dystopian version of England. I'm not sure how much people already know, so I won't give anything else away, other than to say that our main characters are a bit different than normal people, and that their fate is already decided for them by society.
The main focus of this novel is the relationship between three friends, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy, as they grow up and move through adolescence and into adulthood. A large part of the novel takes place at the boarding school where the three met. Unlike many dystopian novels, this is not a book about people rebelling against society or an oppressive government. Instead this story focuses everyday experiences and social interactions throughout the years. You could say that nothing terribly big or important happens, so the story is focused entirely on their relationship and maturation, their love, jealousy, and friendship.
I liked this story because it was honest. It was just a slice of life, describing everyday events and normal people. We know that we will someday die, and we accept that, just like they accept that their fate is already decided. We miss out on love and opportunities that we know we should have taken for reasons like fear or pressure from friends, just like they did. This book, though set in a different world than ours, speaks very directly to what we experience in our lives. In the end, I think that's what makes it so touching, and the ending so tragic.
Never Let Me Go is a book that stays with you long after you read it. It manages to do what few other books can. It is a dystopian novel without being a story of the struggle for freedom or the battle against society. It is a love story without being trite or unrealistic. It is a tragedy without feeling contrived. This is truly a masterful work that is well worth your time. ...more
This book is both excellent and terrible. It is not exactly easy to get through due to Bradbury's writing style, but once I got past that I found theThis book is both excellent and terrible. It is not exactly easy to get through due to Bradbury's writing style, but once I got past that I found the moral of the book to be very applicable. This book, along with his other essays on the same topic, puts censorship in it's place and shows the many forms of censorship that we don't always think about. the part of the book that I thought was the most meaningful was the way the books became banned. Each minority or special interest group went into the libraries and ripped out the parts of books that they didn't like or that they found offensive. And when they were done, there was nothing left, and the libraries closed. That, mixed with the TV culture that thrives off of media entertainment rather than knowledge led to the banning of books. That, I think, is a lesson still applicable today. ...more
**spoiler alert** This book is absolutely marvelous until the savage appears. The idea of engineering people to fill a particular role in society and**spoiler alert** This book is absolutely marvelous until the savage appears. The idea of engineering people to fill a particular role in society and to agree with certain doctrines in the ways described was utterly mind-blowing when I first read it. But once the savage shows up the book just goes down hill from there. I couldn't relate to his character at all, and he changed the entire feel of the story. But aside from that, the premise of the book, and society in which it is set, is absolutely fantastic. ...more
This book is excellent in every way possible. Well, admittedly the writing style is a bit thick and hard to push through, but if you can see past thatThis book is excellent in every way possible. Well, admittedly the writing style is a bit thick and hard to push through, but if you can see past that you will realize why this book has become as famous as it is. If everything had been left out besides the part about newspeak and the interaction between language and society it would still be one of the best books I have read. That part is especially impressive and meaningful to me. And honestly, I am glad that it ended the way it did. No other ending would have made sense really. Overall, I think that this book is a significant part of today's culture and that if you haven't read it you are missing out on something really important. ...more