Monday, May 28, 2012

REVIEW: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

This was a great book. The characters were all so very likeable, especially Katniss, who has taken care of putting food on the table for her family ever since she was 11 years old and is now fighting for her life in the Hunger Games. She's one tough girl whom you can't help but admire. Several times while in the middle of reading, I found myself cheering her on, saying "woohoo", or even chuckling out loud.

The author did a really good job setting the pace of the story; it was chock full of action right from the get go and there weren't really any slow parts. The only teeny weeny thing I didn't care for so much, even though I understood it's necessity to the story, was the killing and eating of the wild rabbits. Those who know me know I have two pet rabbits whom I love dearly so even though I recognize the difference between hunting wild rabbits for game and domesticated rabbits as pets, that was probably the only part of the story I didn't love. But hey, I was the same way with Lord of the Rings too. :)

I am soooo looking forward to reading Catching Fire, the next book in the Hunger Games series!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

REVIEW: Cirque Du Freak #12: Sons of Destiny by Darren Shan

My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

The time has come for Darren Shan to face the final showdown against his arch-enemy Steve Leopard. Dead if he loses, damned if he wins! As they fight to the death, the victor will go on to become the Lord of the Shadows, destined to destroy the world. It's looking like death may be the best of two evils... unless Darren can figure out a way to trick destiny.

This is the final book in the The Saga of Darren Shan, aka the Cirque Du Freak series. This has definitely been one of the better vampire series I've read. Though written for young readers, the action is nonstop and all the books have drawn me in and glued me to their pages long into the night. Like its predecessors, this final book in the series does not disappoint, and wraps the series up quite nicely with a surprise ending you won't see coming! Definitely recommend this series for all lovers of vampire fiction.

BookCrossing journal page for this book

Sunday, May 13, 2012

REVIEW: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium Trilogy, Book 3) by Stieg Larsson

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

The final book in the Millennium trilogy, after The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire, brings to conclusion the saga of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist.

As Lisbeth lies in a hospital bed with a bullet hole in her head, her fate is being determined by the people and forces beyond her locked hospital room door. She's set to stand trial for at least three murders, yet she is also determined to find a way to fight back against the people and government officials who allowed the system to lock up a 12 year old girl in a mental institution.

As the final book in the trilogy, this book seemed the least polished of the three. I agree with another Amazon reviewer who thought that most likely the author had meant to go back and do a bit of fine tuning on this final manuscript, and I would have to agree as some parts rambled on aimlessly with an overabundance of detail that didn't really contribute much to the story. I'm certain the author's untimely death after delivering the 3 manuscripts undoubtedly played a role in this. Anyone who's read all three books would agree that this final one didn't have quite the same zip to the plot, and I picked up on a few grammatical and contextual errors as well.

Despite these criticisms, I still felt this book a worthy successor to the trilogy as it wraps everything up quite nicely. And actually, the last part of the book took on more of the snappy dialogue and plot line of the first two so by the time I reached Part 4, I began to have that same "can't put it down" feeling that I did with the first two. :)