You know what, I like Lurlene McDaniel okay! Sure the title is cheesy and the cover more so and sure the dialogue is sometimes trite but her books do...moreYou know what, I like Lurlene McDaniel okay! Sure the title is cheesy and the cover more so and sure the dialogue is sometimes trite but her books do something to me, man, something.(less)
A close friend gave me a book by this author for Christmas and I was hooked. This one I bought on my own and its my favorite. I read it in 9th grade -...moreA close friend gave me a book by this author for Christmas and I was hooked. This one I bought on my own and its my favorite. I read it in 9th grade - in one night! It is sweet, cute and totally heart breaking.
Read it. It'll make you smile even when you're crying.(less)
This is one of those books that makes me wish I could get paid to sit in a well-lit, well-ventilated corner of a bookshop à la Hogwarts and read until...moreThis is one of those books that makes me wish I could get paid to sit in a well-lit, well-ventilated corner of a bookshop à la Hogwarts and read until my eyeballs fall out. That's all I really want, is that too much to ask?
Anyway, what more can I add? This wasn't a perfect novel - damn well-written, don't get me wrong - but I did have a couple of misgivings. Though now I think of it, it probably has more to do with the genre than the actual story. No matter, this book more than makes up for any complaint I might have had. Its action-packed, its suspenseful, its touching, its plot-tight, its gruesome and fabulously entertaining. I was hooked from the first chapter but I was absolutely glued once the Games started. Shit, man. I do not want to be a citizen of Panem.
Katniss brings humanity, a groundedness I might say, to a society so brutal and merciless and one that, considering how we're going now, totally makes sense. Goosebumps. While we get a very clear understanding of life in District 12, we have yet to thoroughly examine Panem. And I can't wait. Just like how I can't wait to learn more about the impressive array of characters: Katniss, Prim, Peeta and Gale; as well as Haymitch and Cinna. (view spoiler)[I liked them all, even the poor departed ones like Rue. Oh, Rue. (hide spoiler)] I was particularly curious about Hey, Mitch! He seemed like a total drunk but was able to hold off when the moment called for it. Interesting. The obvious love triangle between pita bread and Oprah's bff is also very juicy...the boy next door or the boy with the bread?
Katniss, though, is just bad ass. Her survivor mentality is sharp but depressing in hindsight. The mental and emotional luxuries she denies herself because she has to worry about putting food on the table (especially at such a young age) is heartbreaking. (view spoiler)[When she questions her identity outside of being the provider of her family made my hand fly over my heart...it dented me a little. (hide spoiler)] What's even sadder is that it happens everyday in places tucked away from our land of excess and leisure. The poverty and famine of District 12, is not just in District 12. Collins doesn't shy away from describing just how unforgiving this society is, how it grinds people to the ground. Isn't it funny how dystopians, though set in the future, is always so backwards. Technology moves forward but humanity backwards. Gives us a lot to look forward to. Katniss does what she has to - no glamour, no objection, just pure practicality and resourcefulness. Katniss is tough but not unfeeling. Her desire to remain herself, instead of turning into the pawn and monster they try to mold her into, under the inhumane circumstances she's put under is admirable. Its all very tricky because death waits at every corner. To compromise and survive or die with dignity? Her attempt to keep the one thing no one can really take, or has the right to take, is in itself a form of defense and protest.
Obviously this is a highly political book. Collins herself said it was an effort to teach young children about war. But it also brings into question authoritarianism and abusive government control, capitalism, censorship, the great divide between developed nations and the Third World. Even our shameful indulgence of reality television is being discussed. I mean, really, how different are the Hunger Games to our own reality shows? Morality is constantly being compromised, sometimes completely deserted.
The Hunger Games is an excellent book. Maybe the reason why they ban this book so often is more for what is between the lines than what appears directly to us. Wouldn't want the young ones to find their way out of the dark, now would we?
Now if you'll excuse me, I must get my hands on the next two.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was saving this book. It sat on my bookshelf for weeks because I had a feeling I was going to love it and I wanted something exciting to look forwar...moreI was saving this book. It sat on my bookshelf for weeks because I had a feeling I was going to love it and I wanted something exciting to look forward to. So I kept reading other books I thought might be less impressive, saving this for later. And then, at last, came the day when I walked over to the other side of the room, reached out my hand and picked it up.
And I enjoyed it, immensely, but, sadly, I didn't get the WOW factor everyone seems to have for Creagh's Nevermore. For me, its more like a work I respect and admire for being great but it didn't affect me in ways that some books jar your insides. You know, that feeling when after you read a book you suddenly feel like you're out of air? Like you didn't know you'd been holding your breath in anticipation...until you read the last, parting line of the story and its time to say goodbye. And then you shift back into reality and realize you've been withholding oxygen from your lungs...yea, that.
The only thing I didn't like were Isobel's friends, who I thought we're such bitches and pricks so unlikeable that they didn't deserve the honor of being written into a book. Hated them. Especially when backstabbing whore Nikki suddenly tried to seem sympathetic...as if she did everything she did but still really missed Isobel. I say, WHAT?!!!! Yea. Right. Hell. No. F. U. No. Bitch.
Are we allowed to swear on goodreads?
So, gather. When I was reading reviews for Nevermore, people kept saying how weird and mysterious it was and how it wasn't until the end they even knew what was going on. And in my head, I thought, "how bad could it be?" Its pretty fudging confusing. But I liked it. I've never felt so "in tuned" and "in sync" with a character before...that I can remember...from reading YA. Because usually readers are privy to information the main character is oblivious to, but this time, we were just as baffled as Isobel which I know irritate some people but there was also something bizarrely exciting about experiencing a situation just as the character is experiencing it. It was all very "in the moment." No one was a step ahead of anyone. I also liked that there wasn't a quiet, aftermath scene where all is revealed to the perplexed protagonist and ah, everything makes sense, I see the light. Yes, Reynolds (who I suspect is a hottie under all that white scarf maskness) offered an explanation but it wasn't too thorough. You know there's more he isn't saying. And not every incident was analyzed and deconstructed. Some questions are left muddled.
As for the characters, I like them a lot. I thought Isobel was nice to be around. There were moments when I wished she was bolder and had more guts but she always made up for them. Varen was intriguing as expected from the gushing fan-love I've gotten from reading reviews. He stayed in character and any deviation from his default personality of smoldering coldness and titillating stoicism, were minute and believable. It wasn't like he realized he loved Isobel and then all of a sudden he's a prince charming. (Except that Creagh described him as having long nails - oh why?! there are many things I can tolerate about a character's appearance but not this. Its okay, maybe he cuts them in the next book or maybe I'll just imagine they were never long in the first place, just a sexy, brooding goth-poet-dreamworld-traveler with regular length of fingernails). I hope he gets more page time in the next book. There wasn't nearly enough of him here. And also, I hope he's more active. And less head hanging.
The romance. Oh, the subtlety of it gives me chills. There wasn't a eureka moment; the character doesn't have a dramatic epiphany when she realizes oh my god, she loves him. Yes, Isobel comes to the surprising conclusion as anyone would when they find themselves falling for the last person they'd expect. But she doesn't deny it or get disgusted by it, which for some reason I find a lot of other characters do. They always suppress and repress which only makes me roll my eyes, but not Isobel. She doesn't get hang up on what people might think or what it would do to her reputation. When she stands up for Varen at the ice cream parlor, she had my love. Ugh, my kind of girl!
I don't know why I started this review saying how I liked it but didn't love it because it sounds like I did...I guess I had to write this down before I could figure out how I really felt about this book. I think its because, for once, I wished it was just a bit more romantic. This revelation is startling to me. Considering how repulsively mushy most YA books are...but tis true. I wished such a thing. Romance isn't bad. It just has to be done with good writing and good characters.