Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Book Review: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games
Series: The Hunger Games #1
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 14th September 2008
Pages: 454
Special Features:
ISBN: 9781407109084
Goodreads Average Rating: 4.54
'Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.
In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.
When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.'
For me the Hunger Games was a book I had no intrest in, the storyline seemed quite disturbing and in no way appealing to me, this was also then supported by the cover, which also had no appeal to me. But how could someone possibly ignore a book so popular, a book so many people will declare as there favorite.

The action starts almost straight away, and runs straight through until the very last page, keeping me hooked and constantly turning the page. This book for me was a re-read, and still I managed to find myself entangled in the twists and turns in the novel, the deep emotion which is presented in the writing, and well the spectacular and original characters.

The story shows signs of unique-ness and it is known that the idea for Hunger Games, came to author Suzanne Collins whilst flicking through the scenes of an army or war film and a reality TV show, which despite the book is set in the future, still has a form of meaning to the world as it is today.

For me, not many books would beat Hunger Games, it's a book which shows a possible future whilst presenting what could be seen as controversial issues, my favorite kind of books.

The characters... well WOW!!!
There is many characters which are introduced to us within the book, each being different from the rest, but the same standards of believability.... except one:
Primrose Everdeen, or Prim, younger sister of protagonist: Katniss, is 12 during the book, but is portrayed to act like a 6 year old, this was the only one thing which managed to annoy me during the novel.

And before I end this review all I can say is... TEAM GALE!!!!

I give this book...

Friday, 24 June 2011

UK vs US #1

As an English bookreaders, I am more open to both the UK and US covers for books as i am more likely to come across the two different books, leaving myself always asking which cover do I prefer?
Well here I will be sharing my opnions on covers of different books.

The Hunger Games Trilogy:

Book 1: The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

Book 2: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
Book 3: MockingJay

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)

My Opnions on the Cover's
Neither UK or US cover's have no features which are no-way particularly appealing towards me, and there is both good and bad aspects on both. The US cover's have a simplistic and sophisticated look, which appears on a number of American covers, where as the UK cover's seem much more adventurous, and for me sum up the book much more.
I do have to give this to US cover though, it has an increased amount of appeal and just looked prettier.
UK: 0
US: 1

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Book Review: Beauty by Robin McKinley

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the BeastTitle: Beauty
Series: None
Author: Robin McKinley
Publisher: David Flicking
Publication Date: (First published) 1st January 1978
Pages: 272
Special Features: None
ISBN: 9781849920728
Goodreads Average Rating: 4.07

When the family business collapses, Beauty and her two sisters are forced to leave the city and begin a new life in the countryside. However, when their father accepts hospitality from the elusive and magical Beast, he is forced to make a terrible promise - to send one daughter to the Beast's castle, with no guarantee that she will be seen again. Beauty accepts the challenge, and there begins an extraordinary story of magic and love that overcomes all boundaries. This is another spellbinding and emotional tale embroidered around a fairytale from Robin McKinley, an award-winning American author.
This was the first book I read for my Summer Reading Challenge, and is also a book I have been meaning to buy and read for almost two years now. I has quite high expectation on the book, as it's a retelling of my favorite fairytale: Beauty and the Beast, I wasn't let down too much by the book, but I also was.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Summer Reading Challenge

As of today I finished school, kind of, only going in for exams and stuff.
But I've fallen dramtically behind on my reading, and decided that this summer was going to be my reading summer.
For me my summer is going to be from  11th June 2011 to 1st September 2011. In this time I plan to read 25 books.

Here is what I plan to read:
  1. Beauty by Robin McKinley
  2. Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  3. Forsaken by Jana Oliver
  4. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  5. And Baby Makes Two by Dylan Sheldon
  6. Bite Me by Parker Blue
  7. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  8. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  9. MockingJay by Suzanne Collins
  10. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
  11. Between the Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
  12. Die for me by Amy Plum
  13. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
  14. Radiance by Alyson Noel
  15. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
  16. How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  17. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  18. Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
  19. Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Ask Me Things????!!!!

I don't know how well this will go so yeah, but I am doing to do it anyway.
I haven't blogged for a while recently, nor read much as I am leaving school FOREVER (except for exams) this week, coursework deadlines and revision has officially dominated my life... well not really, it's more of an excuse to be lazy.

I want you my followers and other randomers to ask me questions..... the questions can be about anything: my reading life, my writing life and well even my personal life.

You can either ask me via:
Feel free to leave your: name, age, location and a link to your blog or/and goodreads page.

I will be answering the questions on 17th June.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Book discussion: YA Saves.... Well it did save me

Recently book blogs and Twitter have been full of responses, comments and articles all directed at the article in the Wall Street Journal, written by Meghan Cox Gurdon: Darkness Too Visible.
The article is opened with the short summed up story of how a mother of three walked into her local Barnes and Nobel and was completely shocked by what she was welcomed by in the Teen section. Her response to this way (quoted from the article) 'nothing, not a thing, that I could imagine giving my daughter. It was all vampires and suicide and self-mutilation, this dark, dark stuff.'
And it was this that made me think.

For a number of decades now, many mother's have put allot of there energy in the attempts to ban certain books from being available in schools, libraries and shops, mainly the books directed at children and teenagers. But why do they do this? Due to what they believe to be explicit content.
Since the introduction of YA as a book age group, the main focus has now gone from children books and onto teen books. Now for those who do not know, YA books are aimed at teenagers aged 12-18 and as I believe, perfectly fine ages for the content of the books.

I can guarantee to all parents, well most parents that what is talked about within these books are all things that your children would of heard about, done or seen.
To me YA books are well books which unlike any other age group, are more aimed at their audience. It's all about finding your way through problems, falling in love and coming of age. Why try and shield a child from a book when they are only days away from experience these things anyway.
They may be seen as too mature for the reader's, but no one has ever said these things are not true: How many of you, as a child or teenager witnessed filming's of the 9/11 attack, the biggest terrorist attack in history, but how many people would protest a book about terrorism being available to their children.
How many of you have seen a sexual advertisements (such as those for perfumes etc...) before the 9pm ban as a child or teenager, but how many people would protest a book with a very very slightly sexual cover on a book.
How many of these parents who moan and complain about the content in a teenage book have before allowed their child to play on harmful computer games or shows on TV.
And lastly how many parents have used profanities in front of there children, but are judgemental when they appear in books.

I am unable in any of my local bookstores to reach the YA section and even Children's section without having to walk past adult fiction, even in some stores I have to walk past the Dark Romance books, which tend to have naked people on the front and that kind of thing. But these books are all available to buy, for example I have been able to go into a book store and buy Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveller's Wife, with no problem at all (14 at the time), this book has sexual scenes within it, along with many of Adult Fiction books. If these books are available to teens why complain about YA books, when they are the more controlled version.

I guess this all factors on how you grew up.
I grew up in a childhood that makes what appears in YA books un-effective to me, nothing surprises me . I was surrounded by things which other parents would be completely shocked by: drugs, abuse, alcholism etc... all these things which have a possibility of appearing within a YA book.
The main reason I read YA books is the form of fantasy and escapism. They are a constant friend, whose job it is to make you feel happy and provide you with support. As someone who doesn't have many friends and barely any I can share my problems with, I use these books to help me through these difficult times, and yes they have more than definitely helped. Why should YA books be penalised for helping teenager's way more effectively then some people can.

Come on people when was the last time you read a vampire book and then went out to bite someone.
When was the last time  you read a book about a murderer, then went to murder someone.
When was the last time you read a book about homosexuality and then were magically turned gay.
Yes... I thought so... NEVER!!!
YA books don't make us someone we are not, but instead help us become who we are suppose to me, they encourage to show our real side to people, and yes if you become gay, lesbian or bisexual after reading a homosexual book, then that book didn't turn you to become that sexuality, instead it just helped you discover who you really are suppose to be.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Review: Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen

Title: Water for Elephants
Series: None
Author: Sarah Gruen
Publisher: An assortment of different publishers
Publication Date: 9th April 2006
Pages: 331
Special Features: Depending on the addition, has an extract of Sarah's new book Ape House
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.05

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. 

The book was wonderfully written and magically enticing.