This is one of those books you either love or hate. Most of the people I know who've read it took the side of love. Personally, though I didn't HATE h...moreThis is one of those books you either love or hate. Most of the people I know who've read it took the side of love. Personally, though I didn't HATE hate it, I took the side of "Uh... not really that great. At all."
What is it, I ask, that people like about this book? Do they identify with Holden? God forbid. I, myself, (and I read this when I too was 16) just couldn't. Aside from the fact that his vocabulary seems to be limited to the word "lousy" and a couple of other whiny-sounding adjectives, Holden has nothing to say. He talks about nothing but how "lousy" his life is, how hard done by he is, etcetera. I personally did not enjoy reading a 200-page whine-fest. I've always been of the opinion that life is, to a large degree, what you make it. Holden makes his life, to use his own oft-repeated word, lousy. Certainly, unfortunate things happen. But they happen to everybody. Holden is not unique or extraordinary. And as for being "The Voice of a Generation," we'd better HOPE not. That would be a generation of whiny losers.
I understand the book probably has more going on than just a long, whining rant by a sixteen-year-old boy. But there isn't much. The character was flat and one-sided, more derisive than enlightening about youth, impossible for me to sympathize or identify with. I can't seem to wrap my head around why this has become a classic - if it can be called that. I personally much preferred "Lives of Girls and Women," or "To Kill A Mockingbird," in terms of stories of growing-up-angst/coming of age.
Let's just say, if GR let me post 1/2 stars, this book would have a 1 and 1/2, not a two.(less)
Not as impressed with this one on the re-read as I was in high school... Lovely language (of course!) but rife with plot holes. Rife, I tell you - RIF...moreNot as impressed with this one on the re-read as I was in high school... Lovely language (of course!) but rife with plot holes. Rife, I tell you - RIFE!(less)
I found this book to be both thought-provoking and hilarious. The idea of someone named Slartibartfast, especially someone who doesn't understand how...moreI found this book to be both thought-provoking and hilarious. The idea of someone named Slartibartfast, especially someone who doesn't understand how awful the name Slartibartfast actually is, will always, always be funny. I think this book, the first in Adams' "trilogy" of five books, is probably the best of the bunch. It's fresh, it's original, and the references and jokes are often whacky, yet always ring true.(less)
This book gets a lot of mixed reactions from people - some love it, some thing it was the worst way possible to end the trilogy. Personally, I loved i...moreThis book gets a lot of mixed reactions from people - some love it, some thing it was the worst way possible to end the trilogy. Personally, I loved it almost as much as the other two. I'll keep this short and sweet: there were bits that were tough to get through. It was certainly my least favorite of the three, and the least well-plotted - but I still though the ending was pitch-perfect. I cried. Need I say more?(less)
Note: This review may contain spoilers - I guess depending on how spoily you consider spoilers.
I just finished reading this, and I have to say I finis...moreNote: This review may contain spoilers - I guess depending on how spoily you consider spoilers.
I just finished reading this, and I have to say I finished it in about 2 days. I also sped through the sequel, Catching Fire, and am currently working my way through Mockingjay. I was skeptical about this series at first because of the size of the books. Definitely a shallow reason to be skeptical, and I am so glad that I picked them up! By the time I was halfway through The Hunger Games, I knew I had to go out and get the others.
The book's generally fast-paced and action-packed, with cliffhanger chapter endings. This kind of gives the book an addictive quality, and putting it down was definitely difficult for me. The novel is narrated in the first person, from the perspective of protagonist Katniss Everdeen. Once you get past her lame-sounding name and a couple of chapters of obligatory sci-fi worldbuilding, the character, though usually cold and calculating, starts to grow on you. It's her desperate fight for survival and her resourcefulness that make her a likable and well-developed character.
The other characters, particularly Peeta (the male protagonist and Katniss' ostensible love interest) can come off more shallow. He's a nice guy, and that's pretty much it. However, certain secondary characters, particularly the clothing designer Cinna and Katniss and Peeta's "mentor," Haymitch, seem to have something more going on beneath their respective surfaces.
Altogether, the book was a very enjoyable, if quick, read. I took off one star because of Katniss' pointless ramblings about hunting with Gale, because he's boring. There's an arena full of Hunger Games competitors trying to kill each other off. The fact that Gale can shoot a squirrel isn't the most riveting revelation to be made. Oh, and also because Katniss doesn't really fall for Peeta. Who wouldn't? Seriously he's so much cooler than Gale :P(less)
The second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy got off to a bit of a slow start, but once the action picked up the book was full of breathless, edge-of-y...moreThe second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy got off to a bit of a slow start, but once the action picked up the book was full of breathless, edge-of-your-seat, staying-up-until-3-in-the-morning-to-finish moments that definitely didn't disappoint my expectations. The first half of the book definitely was slow-going, and was also riddled with paragraph-long recaps of things we learned about Panem, the Games, and Katniss' life in general during the first book. I found this especially tedious considering that I read them back-to-back in about three days. I felt as though I could have skipped over large sections of the first part (though certainly not all of it).
I won't specifically state what happens, because I don't want to include any spoilers just to be on the safe side. But a number of revelations were made about characters from Book 1, and some of the burning questions I was left with were answered. Also great about this book was the fact that even though it is the middle book of the trilogy, Collins wasn't afraid to introduce us to a host of new characters, from the ominous (and smelly) President Snow to the hilarious Finnick and the spacey-yet-adorable Beetee.
The novel was fast-paced and action-packed like the previous one. It dropped off at an abrupt cliffhanger (but that didn't bother me too much, as I already had Mockingjay sitting right beside me as I wrapped this one up!). All in all I've found both of the Hunger Games books so far to be great reads, if quick... So I guess it's on to the next one!(less)
I loved this book. Everything, from the romance, to the action, to the evocative description of setting and the rich development of character was pitc...moreI loved this book. Everything, from the romance, to the action, to the evocative description of setting and the rich development of character was pitch-perfect. It was such a heart-wrenching ride, and I really managed to lose myself in this book. It had a number of interesting things to say, and heartbreaking things to conclude about the extreme power of words and the effect that they can have on the people we know and love.
I will admit that I found the Dunkirk Evacuation section of things - the portion of the book which follows Robbie Turner - to have it's slow-moving moments. There were times when I found myself wondering just how extensive McEwan's descriptions of set and situation were going to be. I found the idea of setting this portion during an evacuation to be interesting, but at times, the prose seemed to flow on without any idea of exactly where it was headed (kind of like my review :P).
Altogether, though, the fact that the characters were just so richly developed and real made up for any dragginess that I felt through the middle section. The plot was, in it's meandering way, very engrossing. Perhaps moreso because it was spread out over a number of years. And the fact that the emotions in the characters ran so high made Briony's initial act seem immediate even after years had passed and life had taken it's toll.
All in all, I simply loved this book and would highly recommend!(less)