I liked this much more that I thought I would going into it. I was still working at B&N when I first saw The Hunger Games in a "coming soon" sortI liked this much more that I thought I would going into it. I was still working at B&N when I first saw The Hunger Games in a "coming soon" sort of publication; upon reading the summary, I dismissed it as a sort of YA Battle Royale rip-off. However, everyone from Stephen King to friends' whose taste I trust recommended the darn thing, so I requested it from the library- and I'm so glad I did.
THG is the story if Katniss, a 16 year old girl who's grown up in poverty in the coal-mining district of what used to be North America, and is now Panem. As the result of a rebellion about 75 years earlier, the Capitol of Panem requires each of its twelve districts to select two tributes every year to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal sport that is nationally televised, in which the 24 teenagers must kill each other off until only one remains standing.
Katniss becomes a volunteer to participate when she stands in for her sister, whose name is drawn at the tender age of twelve. Her companion is the baker's son, Peeta. A clever cast of characters swoops down on them to get them ready for the games- flamboyant stylists, an overly enthusiastic publicist, and a drunken former winner for a mentor. Each of these people turn out to care for Katniss and Peeta in their own way, and help them formulate a strategy to give District Twelve, who in 74 years has only had two winners, a fighting chance.
Once in the arena, though, things ramp up. Can Katniss trust Peeta? She's a talented hunter, but can she bring herself to kill human prey? There is also the matter of simply surviving. The Gamemakers play God, and the players struggle with food, water, shelter, and the flora and fauna, as well as each other.
The end is a little predictable, but it's still an exciting ride to see how the story gets there. There are certainly elements of Battle Royale here, but they are given an almost Orwellian twist, and portrayed by a likable narrator who the reader can believe in. The world-building is also quite excellent, and the secondary characters are sympathetic.
Bottom line, the test for me was that when, on the last page, when I saw the words "End of Book 1," I immediately wanted Book 2. Unfortunately, I won't have it until September, when Catching Fire is released.
God, this book was amazing. I mean, what's this, you say? A capable heroine, fallible main characters, and a distinct lack of woobie romance? And it'sGod, this book was amazing. I mean, what's this, you say? A capable heroine, fallible main characters, and a distinct lack of woobie romance? And it's all set against a post-zombie-apocalypse America, during a presidential campaign. There's loads of action and suspense, as well as thought provoking circumstances. Two thumbs way, way up, and I highly recommend this book....more
This book is tough to review without spoilers. Deadline continues the story of the After the End Times blogging crew as the conspiracy that changed thThis book is tough to review without spoilers. Deadline continues the story of the After the End Times blogging crew as the conspiracy that changed their lives in Feed continues to unfold. Shaun's narrative voice takes over this time, and once again the team finds themselves in a race against time and around the zombie-ridden country as the stakes grow even higher.
The book's not perfect; Grant can be repetitive at times. In the first book it was George's retinal Kellis-Amberlee and her sunglasses; in Deadline, it's Shaun's desire to punch people in the face and the fact that Shaun drinks coffee while George prefers Coke. Sometimes the scientific stuff goes over my head, so I'm glad there are less informed characters that also require a more blunt explanation of the implications. But the plot is tight, and the suspense is racheted high, and the end is such a huge shocker that I honestly cannot wait for the next volume.
Things I love about this book: Grant's attention to detail and her world-building. The amount of thought the author's put into why there would be zombies and how the world would respond is amazing. I also love that the focus is on the story, and while it's character driven, it's also plot driven- there's no reliance on shmoopy romance or misogynistic horror tropes, which is a true rarity in genre YA. Even with Shaun taking over the first person POV, the women are tough and strong and capable. So much love to Grant for this.
If you love the story, check out the author's livejournal (seanan_mcguire)- there's a prequel of sorts there that was written as a countdown to this book's release. ...more
Oh, this fabulous book. What seems at first to be a bit of fluffy satire- beauty queens on a deserted island, OMG!- is actually a well-rounded and movOh, this fabulous book. What seems at first to be a bit of fluffy satire- beauty queens on a deserted island, OMG!- is actually a well-rounded and moving look at feminism, gender, sexuality, race, religion, and all the varied ways we are girls in this world. And it's all written with great humor and intelligence, layered over as plot filled with action and emotion. I got this from the library, but I want to go buy my own copy so I can pass it around. Read, read, do read!...more
This is one of my all time favorite books, so my rating may be a little high because of the sentimental attachment I have for the series. I first readThis is one of my all time favorite books, so my rating may be a little high because of the sentimental attachment I have for the series. I first read the Vampire Diaries back in high school, so at least 15 years ago. I would finish book four and go right back to book one. I think it's awesome that the books are being released in these combined trade paperbacks, and for a good price (looks like they are doing the same for Smith's Secret Circle series, as well). I guess SMeyer was good for at least one thing: paranormal YA renaissance.
In fact, if you read this series, you will note a few similarities to Twilight; just remember, Smith did it fifteen yeas ago, and she did it better. The story features a popular girl, Elena, who is strangely attracted to the new guy at school, an Italian exchange student named Stefan. Strange things begin happening in their small, Southern town, and it's not long before people are looking at Stefan with a wary eye. Elena discovers Stefan's secrets, and a new world of intrigue and terror opens up as they fall for one another, and the town is threatened by a dark menace.
So yes, vampires in daylight, in high school, and a love story. But this series has plot right out the gate, antagonists with depth, and a love story that takes time to grow. If you were disappointed with how Twilight ended, or even if you loved Twilight and want something similar, give this series a try. It's a terrific YA vampire series with characters you will fall in love with....more
I don't even know that I can review this book fairly, because I relate to it too strongly. I have been Eleanor, minus Park and a few siblings. My stepI don't even know that I can review this book fairly, because I relate to it too strongly. I have been Eleanor, minus Park and a few siblings. My stepfather was even named Richard.
But it's a beautiful book, and I do recommend it. Maybe I'll be able to write something more coherent later on. ...more
Guh. I've finished this book too recently to say anything coherent, other than it was incredible, and I'm sorry that I have to wait another year to reGuh. I've finished this book too recently to say anything coherent, other than it was incredible, and I'm sorry that I have to wait another year to read the next book.
I will update when I can write more intelligently about it....more