Thursday, November 29, 2012

I See You Everywhere

I See You Everywhere
Author: Julia Glass
Source: Mom
Days to Read: 8
Wine Pairing: N/A

I thought this book was going to be a heart-warming story of sisterly love. It didn’t quite turn out to be that type of book. Louisa and Clem are two very different people who were never really that close. Louisa seems to have some very bitter feelings towards her sister and envies her personality traits that she lacks: adventurous, attractive and interesting.

The book is about their ever-changing relationship through adolescents to middle age. When Louisa is diagnosed with breast cancer I thought there would be some profound connection or moment that would bring the sister’s together but it seemed to just fall flat.

This is one of those books that has the potential to be really good but I just never felt attached to either of the characters and to be honest, Louisa was kind of annoying (she is so negative!). The final event in the book is a tragedy and again, it fell flat and left me with many questions (but not the good, thought provoking kind).

I don’t think I will give this book a wine pairing because I don’t highly recommend it, perhaps it would go best with a light, watery beer?



Pin It

Thursday, November 08, 2012

I Know This Much is True



I Know This Much is True
Author: Wally Lamb
Source: Sister in law Jackie
Days to Read: 13
Wine Pairing: Partager Merlot

While hunting for a sombrero chip and dip platter at the local Goodwill, I stumbled upon this book for $3.00! I was with my sister in law, Jackie, who recommended it and at that price why wouldn’t I buy it?

The book is about twin brothers, Dominick and Thomas Birdsey. Thomas is diagnosed with schizophrenia and after committing a gruesome act against himself in a public library, is placed in a mental hospital. Dominick tries to fight to get his brother out of the high security hospital and put back into his regular centre but faces a lot of resistance. He begins to meet with the therapist who is treating his brother and starts his own journey of self-discovery, reliving and exploring the past.

Growing up Thomas was abused by their stepfather and was the shy, sensitive twin who had a special relationship with the twin’s mother. Through Dominick’s sessions with the therapist, he examines his relationship with his brother, his mother, his stepfather and his ever-pressing need to know the identity of his biological father.

For all of the intense and heavy material in this book, it thankfully has a relatively happy ending for Dominick. There were several parts in the book that I thought didn’t quite fit. Example - Dominick being given an autobiography of his grandfather by his mother before her death. There are exerts from the autobiography in Dominick’s story and I didn’t think that it quite fit or really added all that much. It felt like knitting a scarf and then deciding to add a new colour but then dropping the yarn so the end product isn’t woven together tightly.

This book is, like I said, somewhat heavy so I would pair it with a medium bodied, comforting red – my recent discovery a French Partager Merlot – very tasty!
Pin It

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Next Book Club Choice

Our next book club book has been selected by none other than... Kim! She has chosen J.K. Rowling's new, adult book, A Casual Vacancy. Review to come mid December!
Pin It

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

When God Was a Rabbit

When God Was a Rabbit
Author: Sarah Winman
Source: Jenna's book club choice
Days to Read: 14
Wine Pairing: Cono Sur Merlot 

I have decided, upon suggestion, to include some of my favourite wines that pair well with each book. Given the title of my blog I thought this would be rather fitting! 

Cono Sur Merlot, an inexpensive, Chilean red is one of my favourites. I like dark, full bodied reds and this one does the trick!

When God Was a Rabbit was our most recent book club choice. The consensus was it was good but kind of a downer book. I felt that it lacked a climax or overall message to take away.
In a nut shell the book is the story of Elly. Broken into two parts, the first part of the book is told by a young Elly and for the second part, Elly is an adult. When I say that it was a bit of a downer book, consider some of the events that take place throughout: Cancer, suicide, murder, sexual abuse, physical abuse, accidental death, kidnapping, assault, bombing, stroke, amnesia and last but not least, death of a pet rabbit.

The one aspect of the book I truly enjoyed was Elly’s childhood friend, Jenny Penny.  She is eccentric, bright and complex. Their friendship blossoms in their youth and when Elly moves away with her family they promise to write one another. On their annual Christmas phone call, Jenny Penny is agitated and in a rush telling Elly she and her mother are moving yet again but will be sure to send Elly their new address as soon as she can. Elly never receives the new address and only years later do they reconnect when Elly receives a letter from Jenny Penny who is serving a sentence for murder in prison.

There is also a constant relationship throughout the book with Elly’s older brother Joe. You know him as Elly’s protector and closest friend but never really understand him. You get little tidbits here and there however not enough in my opinion.

Overall the book is a decent read just be prepared for some heavy reading with a not-so-happy ending.

Pin It

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Let Me Hear Your Voice


Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph Over Autism
Author: Catherine Maurice
Source: Several of my professors
Days to Read: 5

I recently have begun a post-graduate program in Autism and Behavioural Science. After working for 4 years in the business industry I was ready for a change. I knew I wanted to work with and help people and have always been interested in the brain and how it functions. With an undergrad in Psychology and having heard good things about this program, I decided to enroll and change my path!

Within the first week of classes I had heard at least 3 of my professors refer to this book in the lectures. Basically, it is written by a mother of 3 children, 2 of which were diagnosed at a very young age, with Autism.

Now maybe I am slightly biased as I have a particular interest and am currently immersed in the subject matter but I do think it’s a great book for everyone to read. It not only provides a non-professional’s take on what autism is but provides a personal experience and is written extremely well. Catherine Maurice also does a very good job at describing what Behaviour Analysis is and compares it to other “treatments” that are out there.

I have told all my friends in my class to read it and my parents and now I’m telling you!
Pin It

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim


What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim
Author: Jane Christmas
Source: My parents 
Days to Read: 7

Interesting title. This was one of those books that I just dove right into before knowing what it was about. My parents had given me the book and both had really enjoyed it so that was a decent vote of confidence.

Jane Christmas wanted to do something big and unique for her fiftieth birthday. While travelling on a plane to and indulging in some store bought wine, she catches the attention of a flight attendant. After reprimanding Jane for her vino, the attendant mentions a famous pilgrimage in Spain. The idea takes root within Jane and the next thing she knows she has 10 other women signed up and ready to hike Spain’s infamous Camino de Santiago de Compostela!

Before leaving for her journey, Jane visits a psychic who basically tells her she is going to have an awful time with this group of women, she is going to lose some jewellery, she will encounter a celebrity, have a visit from death and meet a hair-haired man.

The book details her physical struggles on this pilgrimage, the wonderful (and not so wonderful) relationships she makes and her own personal ups and downs. Told with a great sense of humour, this book was very entertaining and enjoyable. I don’t think I will be hiking the “Camino” anytime soon but hats off to Jane Christmas for doing it!
Pin It

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Lady of the Rivers


The Lady of the Rivers
Author: Philippa Gregory
Source: Chapters pick
Days to Read: 11

This is the second Philippa Gregory book that I have read. She is probably best known for her book The Other Boleyn Girl (which was also made into a movie starring Natalie Portman). Her novels are based on real historical females that are typically not researched or written about very often.
The Lady of the Rivers is about a Duchess of Bedford, Jaquetta, who befriends the young, new queen of England and her husband, King Henry VI. The book has a good love story, plenty of battles and drama at court to keep the reader interested.

Now these books are fairly light and fluffy as I like to call it, but I do love a good period piece, especially when they take place in England and I did love this book!! It seems to me I rarely read a book that I dislike!

The book that I am currently reading is something totally different from my normal selection. I have recently gone back to school and in several of my classes and the literature I have read thus far, this book has been referred to. It is called Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family’s Triumph Over Autism. Stay tuned!
Pin It

Drums of Autumn


Outlander Series: Drums of Autumn
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Source: Lauren
Days to Read: 14

Ohhhh the Outlander series. This is the 4th book in a series of 8 rather long books - but I do love them! I read the first 3 a year or so ago and needed a little break. My friend Lauren absolutely loves these books so she encouraged me to get back into it and to read the next one.

Drums of Autumn picks up where the previous book, Voyager, leaves off. Claire and Jamie are living in the American Colonies in Jamie’s time and their daughter, Brianna, has begun to research her father in her own time. For a time travel book, you never get confused with what time period you are in. Brianna eventually discovers a newspaper article that tells of her mother and father’s untimely death. After learning this she is determined to find her parents and warn them, perhaps saving their lives if she isn’t too late. The majority of the novel is Brianna crossing through time and searching for her parents and then her life unfolding when she does find them.

I am looking forward to reading the next installment of this series however, as always, I have a large pile of books on my bed side table that need attending to first!!
Pin It

Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Club



My next book club book is When God Was a Rabbit selected by Jenna! I will wait to write about this one until after our meeting which is set for mid October.
Pin It

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Retribution


Retribution
Author: Carmen Rodriguez
Source: Mom
Days to Read: 10

Written from the perspective of three generations of women, Retribution is a story of courage and love. When Tania receives a letter suggesting that her biological father may not be who she thinks he is, she begins a journey to learn about her family’s history in Chile. Her mother, Sol, was part of the underground resistance during the military coup in Chile in 1973. The Coup was a result of unrest between the conservative Congress of Chile and the socialist president, Salvador Allende. During the week of the coup, Sol was taken prisoner and tortured. Her mother and Tania's grandmother, Soledad, disapproved of Sol's involvement in the resistance. Their relationship was rather rocky.

Although this book is relatively short its packs a lot of punch. I definitely teared up with this one. 


Pin It

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen


Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Author: Paul Torday
Source: My mom
Days to Read: 10

Another book passed onto me from my mom.  I admit I judged this book by its cover. Well not so much by the cover, but by it's title. Salmon fishing? I wasn't so sure about this one. But like always, I threw it into my purse and turned the first page as I sat on the subway heading into work. My second strike was that the first part of the book was in letter format. Then with a quick flip through I noticed "articles" and "journal entries". I don't typically like this style as I find it breaks up my rhthym and it can be difficult to follow. With the exception of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (side note - I couldn't remember the title of this book off hand because it is so long so I googled "long book title with potato in it" and BOOM! There it was!), I have not loved the "letter" style novel.
Pressing onward with nothing else to do but people watch or read, I quickly fell in love with this book. As odd of a subject matter that I thought it was, the book was great! I loved the characters and the story line. The book is about a middle aged British fisheries expert who is hired to spearhead an outrageous idea, bringing salmon to the Yemen for his countryman to fish. As the plan begins to take shape, the characters develop complex relationships with one another. 


While reading the book I discovered that it was in fact a movie! I love when that happens! I haven't seen it yet but it is on my to do list. I highly recommend this book, both my parents loved it as well.
Pin It

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Death Comes to Pemberley




Death Comes to Pemberley
Author: P.D. James
Source: My mom
Days to read: 7

Have you read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? If not no big deal, P.D. James provides a brief synopsis at the beginning of the book to fill the reader in on the characters and how they have come together.

Elizabeth and Darcy have been married for 6 years and live on Darcy’s estate, Pemberley. Elizabeth's beloved sister Jane, and her husband Bingley, are visiting Pemberley for the annual Lady Anne's ball. On the eve of the ball, Elizabeth's youngest sister Lydia, arrives hysterical and screaming that her husband, Wickham, has been murdered. Darcy and Bingley and several other gentleman that are staying at Pemberley, travel off into the woods to investigate and find Wickham leaning over his murdered friend sobbing that it was all his fault. Pemberley is thrown into a murder investigation and the reader is left to ponder "Who done it?"

I am not a big fan of mystery novels anymore but I did enjoy this book. It's interesting to read a novel that draws characters from a different author's novel. I felt that I already knew these characters and wanted to know where they were in their lives and what they had been up to!! This wasn't an all-time favourite of mine because I didn't find it wildly enthralling. HOWEVER if you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice then you may enjoy catching up with the Bennet sisters!
Pin It

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Winter Palace


The Winter Palace
Author: Eva Stachniak
Source: A Chapters buy
Days to read: 10 days

I picked this book up at Chapters while I was shopping for a birthday gift for a friend. I think I have mentioned this before but historical novels are my FAVOURITE!!! More specifically, I love reading about women in history. Cleopatra, Josephine Bonaparte, Anne Boleyn to name a few! After reading the inside flap I knew it would be a goody!

This novel follows the life of Varvara, a young girl, in the Russian court. Because of a promise made by the Empress to her late father, Varvara is taken into the court and cared for. Her role is to be one of the many “tongues” to the Empress, listening, watching and reporting back to her majesty. She learns to be invisible, to read people and to know what the Empress is thinking, feeling and wanting to hear.

But when young Sophie (destined to become Catherine the Great) is brought to court to marry, Varvara finds in her, a friendship that she has been longing for. Varvara begins to align herself with Catherine and slowly forgets all that she has learned at the Russian Court. Power comes with a big price.

The only thing lacking in this book was a love interest for Varvara. She is the narrator of the story but I felt that she was too much on the sidelines. I really began to care for Varvara so I wanted some good things to happen to her and not just Catherine. But other than that I loved the book!

I ended up buying it for my friend Lauren; I wonder what she will think of it! Next time I am in Chapters I will pick up some other books by Eva Stachniak.
Pin It

The Lost Girls




The Lost Girls
Author: Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, Amanda Pressner
Source: Our book club book, chosen by Lauren
Days to Read: 2 weeks

Lauren picked our next book club book, The Lost Girls. This book is a journal of sorts in which 3 women decide to take a year-long trip around the world. I wasn’t sure if I would like this book. I thought there was the potential for it to be kind of boring but I was pleasantly surprised. Now it isn’t in my top 10 favourite books but for non-fiction it was pretty entertaining.

The 3 women have tons of adventures and visit some really interesting places. In one chapter, I actually thought to myself that I would like to visit this place they were describing (I think it was Lima, Peru).
One other thing to note was that it was really smooth switching between chapters/writers. All the chapters are written similarly so you don’t feel that it is really choppy or that you have to get re-accustomed to the new author’s voice.
I wonder what my fellow book club members will think! Our next meeting is July 18th so I will find out soon enough!


Pin It

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Under the Hawthorn Tree



Under the Hawthorn Tree
Author: Ai Mi
Source: Another random Chapters buy
Days to Read: 6 days 

Before starting this book I asked my coworker about it because as I read in the novel, the original book was discovered on a blog, was published, and was a huge success in China. The book was translated into English and has been made into a feature film. Ai Mi is an alias as the real author is unknown. My coworker had not read the book but had heard of the film and the story. 

I was immediately drawn into this book. I love a good romance, especially one that occurs in a different culture or time period. This book was so different from any I had read in that the innocence of the young girl Jingqiu was very extreme. The story takes place during China's Cultural Revolution (socialism was being enforced across the country). Jingqiu is sent to the country along with several other students to interview the villagers and write a textbook. While living in the village, Jingqiu falls in love with Old Third, an army general's son. Jingqiu comes from a family that has been disgraced as her father was branded a Capitalist so the relationship would never work. However the two find time to meet and spend time with each other. In a stark contrast to todays societal norms, Jingqiu is naive and cautious in her courtship with Old Third. She is also conflicted between her love and personal desires and the political climate at the time. Falling in love and marrying for love were not for the greater good and were considered selfish. 

The story is a typical love story but the complexities of the culture provides the reader with a a new perspective. You can't help but adore Jingqiu and the other characters in this novel.

I highly recommend it! 

Pin It

Alone In The Classroom


Alone in the Classroom
Author: Elizabeth Hay
Source: Random Chapters buy
Days to Read: I don't remember!

I usually have pretty good luck picking books from Chapters. I feel fairly confident when I read the back of a "Heather's Pick" and buy it that it will be a decent read. Now I don't remember if this was a "Pick" or not, but unfortunately this was one book I was anxious to finish so I could start another!

The book is narrated by Anne who is on a journey to discover more about her mother and her aunt Connie's past. Connie was a teacher living in the prairies in the 1920s and is not a conventional woman. She takes a particular interest in a struggling student, Michael Graves and they develop a relationship that lasts a lifetime. Other than that I am not really sure what else to take away from this book. 

When I read the back of the book it sounded really interesting; mysterious deaths, the strange behaviour of a principal and passionate relationships. These all pointed to a good read. However, I found this book extremely difficult to follow. It jumps around from Anne the narrator in the present, to Connie in the 1920s. I could not figure out the significance of Anne's story line or really grasp what it even was. The book felt like a bunch of events that are loosely strung together by the recurrence of the characters but with no real or deep connection to anything. 

I would have to say that I do not recommend this book, it just didn't make the cut!
Pin It

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bookclub Book!

Our next book club book is called The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett & Amanda Pressner. It is a travel memoir of three girls who left Manhattan to backpack around the world.

Stay tuned for the book club review coming in July!
Pin It

Birdsong



Birdsong
Author: Sebastian Faulks
Source: My parents
Days to Read: 2 weeks


I don't think I read the back of this book before I started it so judging from the cover (a silhouette of a WWI soldier) I was expecting to dive into a heavy war novel. Boy was I wrong (initially)! The first part of the book is narrated by Stephen, an English businessman who is visiting a small French town in order to learn about the manufacturing business. He stays with a man named Azaire who owns and runs factory. While living in Azaire's home, Stephen is drawn to Azaire's wife Isabelle. After finding out that her age and the fact that she is Azaire's second wife and step mother to his two children, Stephen's interest in her peaks. The two have a whirlwind affair that leads to Stephen and Isabelle moving away and ends with Isabelle leaving Stephen. Shortly after starts Part 2 of the book in which the reader is transported several years ahead and Stephen is now fighting in World War I.

This part of the book is a stark contrast to the first. While the beginning of the book is full of passion and romance, the second part, which takes place several years later during World War I, is dark and disconsolate. Stephen has become hardened and rarely thinks of his passionate love affair with Isabelle. While returning to the same French town on a brief leave from the front lines, Stephen meets Isabelle’s sister, Jeanne, and then arranges to see Isabelle. A lot of time has passed and things have changed for both Stephen and Isabelle…

Along side this story line is another told by Stephen’s grand daughter. I didn’t really feel that this added anything to the story and I would have preferred if these parts were left out and it just stayed with one time line. But an awesome book!

I found out that it was made into a TV series but I don’t think it has played in Canada. I would love to watch an episode to see if the characters are how I pictured them!
Pin It

The Tender Bar


The Tender Bar
Author: J.R. Moehringer
Source: My parents
Days to Read: A week

When my dad gave me this book to read he said it was great.  I went into this one with high expectations and it did not disappoint! The book is a memoir and details J.R.'s life growing up with a love and deep connection to a bar in Manhasset, New York. 

J.R.'s mother left his abusive father when he was young and growing up without a father figure he looked to the bar and the men that frequented it to be his guides and mentors. With all types of characters found at the bar, J.R. grows up in the company of these men and loves them all.  The bar is his sanctuary.  

As a young 20 something who recently graduated from Yale, he returns home to Manhasset and to his beloved bar in search of some direction in his life. As you read the memoir you can feel the emotions of J.R. as he struggles to find himself.  It came across to me as an honest recollection and analysis of his youth and the lessons he learned. At times it is funny, sad and depressing, and still heart warming. 

Definitely worth a read!
Pin It

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Before I Go To Sleep


Before I Go To Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Source: My fellow book club member, Danielle
Days to Read: 10 days 

This was our next book club book chosen by Danielle. I thought when beginning this book that it would along the same lines as Left Neglected where Christine, the main character in Before I Go To Sleep, would wake up each morning not remembering anything about her life and having to learn everything all over again. It was somewhat similar to this with a huge twist near the end of the book.

The book begins with Christine meeting a doctor who claims to be helping her with her memory recovery. He tells her to look in her closet for a journal that she has been writing documenting each day so she can use it as a resource the following day to remember things. Her husband, Ben, patiently explains each morning that she was in a car accident and her memory has been affected. Every morning Christine looks at the photos of herself and Ben that are taped to the bathroom mirror. Each day begins the same with the devastation of not remembering anything that has happened and her discovery of her journal. Christine keeps the journal a secret from Ben and also hides the fact that she is seeing a doctor who is assisting in her recovery. 

Without giving away too much, the pieces start to fall together for Christine and she begins to remember some things on her own. What Ben has been telling her does not seem to add up and she finds herself searching for the true. The last 50 or so pages are thrilling and intense and definitely not what I had expected!!

At our book club meeting everyone said that they had enjoyed this book although no one really LOVED it. We all felt that at times it was confusing trying to piece together what was real and what wasn't. Two of the girls hadn't finished the book and it was quite funny listening to all of us that had finished try to explain the last few crucial parts in the book. All in all we give this book a 7.5! 
Pin It

The Gargoyle




The Gargoyle
Author: Andrew Davidson
Source: My fellow book club member, Danielle
Days to Read: 10 days 

I wanted to branch out and read something a bit different than what I am used to. This actually didn’t turn out to be very different but I did really enjoy it. The Gargoyle is about an unnamed porn-star drug addict who gets in a car accident and is severely burned. While in the burn ward he meets an eccentric and schizophrenic patient, Marianne, who claims to know him.

Throughout his recovery the woman tells him tragic love stories from long ago all the while claiming to know him.  When it comes time for the narrator to leave the rehabilitation centre, Marianne insists that he come and live with her. Marianne explains that she has enough money to cover all his medical expenses. She is a stone carver that makes gargoyle figures that are then sold through her agent.

Marianne and the narrator develop a relationship and Marianne continues to tell him stories from the past. Throughout the book you are wondering whether the stories are about the two of them in their past lives. The book was really good and I liked how you could draw your own conclusions from the stories told by Marianne and the “real life” story of Marianne and the burn victim.



Pin It

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rooftops of Tehran

Rooftops of Tehran
Author: Mahbod Seraji
Source: My mom
Days to Read: 5

This was among several books that my mom had read and thought I might like. With almost every trip home, my mom and I exchange books and I am always excited to see what she has picked out for me. When starting a new book I am open to what it has to offer. I try not to really think about if I like it or not and just keep reading. This tactic comes in handy when I know I am beginning to get bored or am struggling to understand what is happening. I push those thoughts away and trek on. Some books, like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, require a good 100+ pages before the reader has a grasp on the characters and what is going on. I owe it to whichever book I'm reading, to give it an honest to goodness attempt to enjoy it!

Now you may be thinking given what I have just explained, that I did not enjoy the Rooftops of Tehran. But this is not the case! I absolutely LOVED this book and found myself wanting to continue reading after I had turned the final page.

The story is set in Iran and told by the main character Pasha. Pasha is a young boy with a passion for reading growing up in a small alley community. More than anything, it is a love story between Pasha and his neighbour Zari whom he falls in love with. Zari is an enchanting, intelligent, beauty who has been promised to marry Doctor. Pasha and Doctor develop a special friendship in which they discuss books and politics and their views on their country's judicial system. Pasha also spends countless evenings on his rooftop discussing everything under the stars with his best friend Ahmed. Life is sweet and beautiful for Pasha, Zari, Ahemd and Faheemah (Ahmed’s love) until their friend Doctor is taken by the SADAK, the secret police organization in Iran. From then on, the four friends are forced to grow up and deal with issues far beyond their years. But their love for one another bonds them together.

I wish Mahod Seraji had other books that I could read! I truly enjoyed Rooftops of Tehran.
Pin It

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Story of Beautiful Girl



The Story of Beautiful Girl
Author: Rachel Simon
Source: Birthday present from my friend Jenna
Days to Read: 5

My friend Jenna bought me this book for my birthday and I read it shortly thereafter.

The novel takes place in the late 60's. Two people escape from the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded and stumble upon the home of a widowed, retired schoolteacher.  At first the woman, Martha, is hesitant to let the strangers into her home, a petite white woman with a developmental disability and a deaf African American man. Martha quickly sees the distress in their eyes and takes them in, clothes and feeds them. Shortly after, the guards from the school are at her door looking for the two escapees. Before she can assess the situation the guards are removing the young woman and the young man, Homan, has disappeared.  As she struggles against the guards, Lynnie, the young woman, tells Martha to “Hide her” Martha is frozen and doesn’t know what to do but agrees. She then hears a cry and finds a newborn baby in a basket in the attic.

The journey of Martha and the baby girl, Julia, takes them all over the country. The story follows Martha, Lynnie and Homan through their separate lives and always their constant thoughts of one another.

This was a pretty good book and kept me interested. However nothing about it stood out to me nor was remarkable.
Pin It

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Hunger Games Trilogy


The Hunger Games Trilogy
Author: Suzanne Collins
Source: Everyone!
Days to Read: 2 weeks

I am typically very resistant to jumping on the band-wagon and reading books that are so extremely popular! However, I was persuaded to give the Hunger Games trilogy a try after I was ASSURED they were far better than the Twilight books (which I think are poorly written and super cheesy).

The first book, I admit, I loved. It was an easy read and the story line was straightforward. Right from the first few pages the reader is hooked and it continues to be a page-turner right until the end. I’m sure everyone knows what these books are about but on the off chance you do not, here is a very concise run-down of the first book.

Katniss, the main character, lives in Panem which is a dystopic society. There are 12 districts which each produce a different commodity for the Capitol. The Capitol is where the super rich and super modern people live. Years ago there were uprisings in the districts and as a result the Capitol hosts the annual hunger games where each district must send one male and one female to the games. The games are a fight to the death with only one person left standing.

The first book is all about the hunger games in which Katniss is the female representative of district 13 (I told you it would be concise!).

I won’t say much more because if you already know about the books you won’t care to read my summary and if you haven’t, you should read them for yourself!

Now keeping in mind these books are geared towards young adults, some of the “scenes” were a little cheesy. But you do get a good grasp of the characters and their personalities although instead of inferring most of their characteristics, the reader is straight up told. Again I attribute this to the fact that the novel is for younger people.

I do recommend these books as they are entertaining, fast paced and there are a lot of underlying themes that are good for young people to be exposed to. Some of these themes include poverty, the role of government, violence, standing up for what you believes in, and the list goes on.


If you don’t want to read the books, just go see the movie – it is a relatively accurate portrayal of the Hunger Games. 
Pin It