My only regret about reading this book was not reading it soon enough. I have read so many reviews and summaries of "Never Let Me Go" that going intoMy only regret about reading this book was not reading it soon enough. I have read so many reviews and summaries of "Never Let Me Go" that going into the novel, I already knew the twists and the turns that lay ahead of me. It took away from the nail-biting suspense of trying to figure out "so, what exactly is a donation?" or "why is Madame taking artwork from the children?"
But other than that, I think it was perfect. Ishiguro brings Kathy H. to life as soon as we are introduced to her. Kathy reminisces on three distinct periods in her life: her childhood at Hailsham (a very special boarding school for very special children), her stay with her close friends Ruth and Tommy at the Cottages, and her life as a carer for several of her peers.
"Never Let Me Go" deals with some pretty brutal stuff, and it could have turned into a blood-spattered organ-fest. But instead, Ishiguro gives us something that is emotional and scary, yet still believable. Even though Kathy shares very warm, colourful memories from her childhood, there is always that hint of impending doom that each character must face.
This is my first read from Ishiguro, but it definitely won't be the last. ...more
The Hunger Games is a book that takes place in post-apocalyptic North America, otherwise known as Panem. Panem consists of an affluent Capitol, and 12 The Hunger Games is a book that takes place in post-apocalyptic North America, otherwise known as Panem. Panem consists of an affluent Capitol, and 12 poorer districts. After the Capitol quiets an uprising by the poorer districts, they create The Hunger Games-- an arena battle between twenty-four "tributes" in which the winner is the last boy (or girl) standing. Collins takes us to the seventy-fourth annual Hunger Games, where we are introduced to our heroine, Katniss.
Katniss makes a great heroine for the novel. She is from one of the poorest districts of the novel, yet she is able to provide food, and income for her family. In the arena, she uses her intelligence, and her knowledge of hunting and gathering to guide her. She makes a nice contrast to some of the other heroines presented in other YA novels (ahem....Bella Swan).
Collins also does a great job of criticizing the modern media and how easily it can skew the audience's perception of reality. I was reading about her inspiration for the novel and I laughed when I read " The mythology about Theseus and the minotaur, fearing the loss of loved ones, and flipping through reality TV." The book was action-packed and I was engaged from front to cover.
With all of the good, juicy action going on, I think that it could have been improved. For instance, Haymitch. I loved him. I wish that his perspective was shown a little bit more. It would have been great to have seen the perspectives of the other tributes in the arena as well--other than just Katniss. Also, the ending was just really abrupt.
I just finished this book tonight. I have closed it, put it on my shelf, and most likely, it will be one of the books that I never pick up again. So iI just finished this book tonight. I have closed it, put it on my shelf, and most likely, it will be one of the books that I never pick up again. So it goes.
I didn't hate the book. Hate's a powerful word. In fact, I can even understand why some people loved this book. Vonnegut has a light humourous take on a very powerful subject. He often contrasts the heaviness of the events in this book (the bombing of Dresden, a death of a spouse, to give a few examples) to his mediocre, cowardly, nonchalant protagonist, Billy Pilgrim. I didn't even hate the gimmicky prose, even though it irked most readers off. So it goes...
But I can't help feeling that there could have been more to this book than what Vonnegut had given us. The narrator tells the reader straight off the bat what happens in the book. There aren't really any surprises--except that we learn that Billy Pilgrim is not only a veteran, but also a time traveler, so we read the book in little snippets of several different time lines. And although these snippets added to the humour in the book, I felt that it hindered the plot and character development. There was a mention about Billy's mom, an his brief encounter with the narrator of the book--but it left me wanting more.
I also thought that the plot with the alien abduction was a little overdone and boring. Okay, great job Vonnegut. You're making us question reality. Did Billy Pilgrim actually travel through time? or was this a hallucination caused by a combination of a tragic accident and his love for science fiction? Maybe it's because I don't read enough science fiction to appreciate Tralfamadore.
Having said all of that, this won't be the last Vonnegut book I'll ever read, but it just wasn't as poignant as it had been hyped up to be. ...more