Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review of Catching Fire, the 2nd Hunger Games Book

I was ecstatic about the Hunger Games trilogy when I got to the end of the first book. And then it was time for me to start the second book. I would pick it up with great anticipation, but just couldn't get into it. I think I had to restart it about four or five times, get past those first couple of chapters, and then I was able to fully immerse myself in it. I have no idea why it takes me so long to get into these books. Once it got going, though, I couldn't put it down.

Katniss and Peeta won the Hunger Games and now must go on their Victory Tour. Katniss is torn between her true feelings for Gale and her show of feelings for Peeta. She does have some feelings for him; they just are not the same. The love triangle heats up in this book, especially once Katniss hears what the Capitol is expecting her to do.

The stakes are also higher in this book. Katniss and Peeta have incited rebellion in some of the Districts. Granted, they were just waiting for an opportunity to have an uprising, but here it is. This puts both of them and their loved ones into more danger.

This is also the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games, which means it is a Quarter Quell. These special editions of the Hunger Games always have some kind of sick twist to them. This one is by far the worst. Katniss does not believe for a moment that the special circumstances of this particular Quarter Quell were a part of the original plan, but she is forced to go along with it.

Drama and danger keep the pages turning, well into the wee hours of the morning. The first-person narration as you walk inside Katniss' shoes helps to keep you engaged and to feel like you are a part of the action. I again zipped through this book and cannot wait to get my hands on the final book of the trilogy to find out what happens in the end. I am glad I continued with the series.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review of Child of the Mountains

Child of the Mountains by Marilyn Sue Shank is the story of a young girl named Lydia who lives in Appalachia. It takes place in the year 1953. Lydia feels pretty lost right now. She has been sent to live with her aunt and uncle. Her father passed away in an accident some years ago. Her mother is currently in jail, for theoretically killing her little brother, BJ, who had cystic fibrosis. Her grandmother has also just passed away. She is angry and confused and turns to her teacher for support and guidance. Along her journey, she also discovers some life-changing family secrets.

The dialect of this book made it difficult for me to read at first. As I went on, either I got used to the dialect or it seemed to be less prominent in the writing. It almost felt like Lydia's use of more proper English improved as the story went on. The dialect is necessary, though, to have a more authentic feel to the book.

I enjoyed reading this book and was able to do so rather quickly. It is a common tale of a girl trying to find herself after tragedy befalls her family. The cystic fibrosis part of the storyline was more unique. I felt like I understood Lydia and some of her anguish. I felt sorry for her.

The book seemed like it just ended, and the story was resolved too easily. I would have liked the final courtroom segment to be fleshed out just a little bit more so that the ending made a bit more sense.

This book is also available for your Kindle.

I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.