Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy.  Have I told you yet how much I loved these books?  Well when I read the last word in this book I had a break down and sobbed my eyes out.  For like 10 minutes straight.  I had to come back to read the Epilogue after I composed myself.  And then cried again.

I know I sound crazy right?

Even throughout the books I had to force myself to stop or set the book down for a minute to absorb what had happened.  That is when you know a book is really good.

I don't want to give you the summary from Amazon because it gives away too much from the first two books.  Really it is best to go into these books knowing nothing so you can ride the highs and lows without knowing exactly what is going to happen next.

This book was very different from the first two.  I kept wanting to just know what the resolution was going to be.  It took me longer to get through this one.  Maybe 3 days?

But oh my it was so emotional.  It was oh so bittersweet.  Just like any book, I think I internalized what the characters went through and the story to my own life and experiences and hopes and dreams and it was overwhelming.

It's only been a few days since I finished the book, but I already miss the characters.  I already want to re-read them and live the story all over again.

5 out of 5 stars for sure.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy.  I'm in love.  I read this book in probably less than 24 hours which does not happen very often given my busy schedule.  Again I am at a loss for words so here is a summary from Amazon:

Every year in Panem, the dystopic nation that exists where the U.S. used to be, the Capitol holds a televised tournament in which two teen "tributes" from each of the surrounding districts fight a gruesome battle to the death. In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the tributes from impoverished District Twelve, thwarted the Gamemakers, forcing them to let both teens survive. In this rabidly anticipated sequel, Katniss, again the narrator, returns home to find herself more the center of attention than ever. The sinister President Snow surprises her with a visit, and Katniss’s fear when Snow meets with her alone is both palpable and justified. Catching Fire is divided into three parts: Katniss and Peeta’s mandatory Victory Tour through the districts, preparations for the 75th Annual Hunger Games, and a truncated version of the Games themselves. Slower paced than its predecessor, this sequel explores the nation of Panem: its power structure, rumors of a secret district, and a spreading rebellion, ignited by Katniss and Peeta’s subversive victory. Katniss also deepens as a character. Though initially bewildered by the attention paid to her, she comes almost to embrace her status as the rebels’ symbolic leader. Though more of the story takes place outside the arena than within, this sequel has enough action to please Hunger Games fans and leaves enough questions tantalizingly unanswered for readers to be desperate for the next installment.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Again it sounds a little crazy and sci-fi-ish, but it is soooo good.  This book has a twist that made my jaw drop and made me feel exhausted and angry for the characters.   I got frustrated with Katniss even more in this book and fell head over heels for Peeta.  The story between those two was my favorite part of the whole trilogy. 

This one is just as exciting as fast paced as the first one. 

Of course it gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I am sooo in LOVE with this trilogy I can hardly bring myself to talk about it other than to say I LOVED IT.  Since I am at such a loss for words, here is a summary I found on Amazon:

In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing. This book will definitely resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like 'Survivor' and 'American Gladiator.' Book one of a planned trilogy.Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

I know it sounds very sci-fi and an intriguing concept but not very entertaining.  Maybe a little too weird?  It took me a long time to give it a chance and I wasn't too excited about starting it.  But trust me once you get a couple chapters in, you won't be able to put it down.  Every chapter ends on a cliffhanger.  There is so much going on and it is not at a slow pace.  The "games" are so unimaginable, but I kept imagining what this would look like in the world I live in today.  You are constantly trying to guess the characters motives and where the story is going to go.  And of course what would a young adult novel be without some love drama thrown in??

Go now.  Run.  Get the books.  All three.  And enjoy devouring them!

They are making them in to a movie and I can not wait to see how they do this story on the big screen.

5 out of 5 stars.  In fact I'd give it 6.

A Praying Life by Paul Miller

I've mentioned a few times on my blog 30 Before 30 list how I have a hard time praying out loud.  When I talk to God it is usually in my head and is usually very casual.  I don't want other people to have a peek into that.  It just seems so personal.

I also have had many conversations with friends where we've wondered "Should I be praying for that?", "Is it ok to ask God for that?" 

It was like I needed this book desperately.  A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller changed the way I will pray while at the same time making me feel ok with how I pray now.  It has really good practical tips and will really spur a desire to pray more while at the same time not making you feel guilty for not doing enough already.  He gives examples from his real life of the power of prayer that are engaging and entertaining.

This book also deepened my faith in the power of prayer.  It gave me patience to wait for God and persistence to keep going when it seems like nothing will ever happen. 

I loved his tips about prayer cards because sometimes I get overwhelmed with all there is to pray for that I will only do it once or only when I think about it.  The cards make it less overwhelming and help me focus and look back and see how God has answered my prayers.

It also wasn't too hard to get into or read either.  Sometimes nonfiction books are kind of hard for me to get into and keep up with, but this one wasn't bad.

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.
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