Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Review

It's the last day of the month again, it's time to review what has been read this month. I ended up doing better then I thought I would. On the 20th or so, I had only read 2 books. I ended up with 4 read. I'm happy with that.

I finished up the Hunger Games series this month with Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Catching Fire, I think is my favorite in the series. A very enjoyable read. It's a continuation of the story of Katniss and the Romanesque, Hunger Games. It's the 75th year, a Quarter Quell, which means, a bigger and badder version of the usual Hunger Games. To read!







Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, picks up almost immediately where Catching Fire has left off at. Katniss and a few other tributes have been pulled out of the Quarter Quell by the Rebels of District 13, long thought to have been killed off by a bombing raid by the Capitol. Katniss is desperate to rescue Peeta, who has been captured by the Capitol. A full uprising has started among all the districts. You watch Katniss, rise as the face of the Rebellion as the Mockingjay. This book is a to read, but it's not my favorite of the series.





Matched by Ally Condie, was a very enjoyable read for me. It centers around Cassia, a 17 year old girl, who is ready to be matched to her future contract (her future husband), only to find the one she was Matched with at a special banquet, did not end up being her match on the information she was given and it throws her for a loop trying to figure out who is her match and if the Society is perfect, how did they mess up here, and where else could they have messed up. The Society is in charge of everything. How much you are allowed to eat and what you can eat. It's a full on totalitarian government, that has full control over everyone. Right down to the day they die. I really enjoyed Matched and say it is a to read!







Crossed, the second book in the series by Ally Condie, was a little different then what I expected. This book is set in a smaller time frame then Matched. Cassia is on a search for Ky, the one that she loves. In this book, there is a shift in the character of Cassia, from the hunt of Ky, to wanting to join the rebellion against the Society. I'm very undecided about this read. It is a bridge book in my mind. I will need to read the third book to fully see how the placement of this book fits. So, I'm saying it's a Maybe.






As of right now, my book count for the year is 10, with 65 to read to reach my goal of 75. It's doable. :-)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crossed


I dived into Crossed by Ally Condie immediately after finishing Matched. So, that might explain my expectations for the book. I had some pretty high ones, and I was bit disappointed that I a little off in the height of expectations.

In Matched, the only view point you have is Cassia's. In Crossed, you have two points of view, Ky and Cassia. Every other chapter was Cassia. So it flip/flopped a lot between Ky and Cassia and it became a bit much to keep up with from time to time. Especially in the middle of the book when sections were only a page or two long. With the way that the book ended, I'm wondering if there are going to be three points of view in the third book. In my mind, that would be a but much, especially if it's going to be three views flipping every three chapters.

In Crossed, we pick up a little way after where we left off in Matched. Cassia is on the hunt for Ky. In the beginning, there is a lot of promise for action in the book. When Ky is in the Outer Provence and dealing with firings from the Enemy (whoever they are). And Cassia, having snuck aboard a plane is on her way to the Outer Provence as well, to find Ky.

For me, this book kind of falls flat in the middle. A build of action, to come to a lot of talking. In Matched, time of the book is spread out in several weeks. Here in Crossed, it is only a few days. After a while, the Carving becomes very tedious to read about, the place where Cassia and Ky are at. This book just seemed like a bridge between the first and last book.

Also, Cassia's mission seems to change in the middle of the book, from finding Ky, to joining the rebellion. She is at the point where she is willing to leave Ky for the rebellion and that kind of though me for a loop. The premise of the books just changed, so I was kind of grasping for something to cling to reading this book that connected it to the first one. In Matched it was being able to make your own decisions and not let the Society do it for you. Now, it was ok, I made my decision to do this, now I'm going to go and do this.

I honestly don't know where I stand on this book, so I'm going to have to say, Maybe read. I will probably read it again just to see if I missed anything, but I'm very on the fence with this book.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Matched


Ok, where do I start?

I'll start at the beginning.

I've noticed Matched by Ally Condie on the book shelves for a while, but I never picked it up because I had no idea what it was about, but I always loved looking at the cover. The green just pops and it's simple. I liked it.

I finally got around to getting it a few days ago after looking it up online and deciding it was something I wanted to try. I'd just finished rereading The Hunger Games, and I need some more Dystopian type books to read. And this fit it very well.

Matched is about a girl Cassia, a girl who just turned 17 and by The Societies rules, is time for her to be Matched. Once a person reaches 17, if they choose to be Matched to be Contracted, they submit their information. In other words, their information is submitted to The Society for them to pick the right Match for them from the people of the communities. The choice of marriage is gone. It's all about the right genetic makeup to keep the people going on strong for a longer and to keep everyone more useful, till they turn 80 (the voted on time by the Society) for a person to die, the age where they no longer are able to do much and not be depressed about it.

Time is not your own in the world of Matched. You are allotted time for school, outdoor activities in the summer, recreation time, etc,... The world is drab, in blue, black or brown clothing. You no longer cook your food, The Society has people to deliver your food, according to your nutritional needs. If you want to eat out, you let people know so your food will show up where you need it to. You are assigned your job once completed with school when you turn 17 and that is what you do, by your schedule. And you have Officials watching to make sure that all is abided by.

As Cassia observes in the book, The Society gives you just enough freedom to enjoy. Enough to give you a full happy belly, but no more.

Cassia ends up having her matching ceremony the night of her actual birthday. One is held once a month. The Matches are allowed to dress up and after a special Banquet, it's time to find out who you will be Matched with. It is a rare thing to be matched with someone in your own area, but it happens to Cassia. She is matched with her best friend Xander. And it just seems perfect.

It is until, Cassia, looks at the information given to her and Xander is not her match, another guy ends up being her Match and Cassia is now confused and wondering how The Society could make a mistake. How is that possible, for someone who has lived by the rules and never dealt with a flaw before and it gets her to ask questions. Ones she never had to think about.

Ally Condie is a good story teller and has the ability to create a world that looks like a Utopia, but the perfection if it unravels to reveal the hard Totalitarian control of the Society. I say it is a to read!

I've already picked up Crossed, book two, from the store.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mockingjay


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. The final book in the Hunger Games trilogy. It is a bitter sweet read for me in away. I loved the first two books so much. Knowing that this one was the last one made me a little sad, plus with the change of how the Capitol and Panem are, it had a feel of a whole new story.

The Quarter Quell didn't end at all how the Capitol expected it to. Katniss survived, along with Finnick and Beetee by rescue from the arena by the leaders of the rebellion that has officially started in the districts. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 12 has been wiped off the map and the elusive District 13 is real. In Mockingjay, we finally get to see what District 13 is really like. And it's not a happy, bubbly place of joy.

Katniss is the Mockingjay, the emblem you could say, of the Rebellion. Unintentionally, but she stands for what the people of the enslaved districts want. The ability to out smart the Capitol and win and survive on your own terms. As Peeta had stated, "To play by your own terms."

I found Mockingjay a bit of a tough read, only because it seemed to me as a much more depressing story. Katniss fighting to get Peeta back, being a symbol and living up to what people expect her to do, but being held back for her own safety. Plus, the loss of characters we love. Suzanne Collins is not hesitant to to twist your heart and she does so, when you least expect it.

It is a well written story and even with the differences from the other two books, I still say that this is a to read!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Catching Fire


I'm now on to book two of the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins.

I have to say, that this book is my all time favorite of the series. The twists in this book amazed me when I first read it. The Hunger Games pulled me in and I wanted more, but Catching Fire solidified it.

In this book, Katniss and Peeta have survived and are living their lives as victors in District 12. Their district is getting special rations once a month for a year as a reward for making it out. Katniss, her mother and Prim are living in a beautiful house in the Victor's Village. Katniss doesn't have to hunt now unless she wants to. And she has enough money to last her, her lifetime and then some.

It's been six months since the games and it's time for the victors tour. The capitol has the victors going on a celebration train ride to each district where people are supposed to celebrate the person who quite possibly killed one of their own. Pretty harsh if you ask me! They wind down the tour and the last place to visit is the Capitol.

There has been rumblings of rebellion drifting to the ears of President Snow, who did not like the outcome of the 74th Hunger Games. Here's where things get interesting. This years Hunger Games is the 75th, a Quarter Quell. One of the biggest and bloodies versions of the Hunger Games is a Quell. Every 25 years, the Capitol likes to show their might to the districts and make it a gruesome time.

Katniss and Peeta are preparing themselves to be sponsors, like Haymitch was to them to the new kids of the reaping. Nothing prepares them for the announcement President Snow makes. One male and one female victor of the previous Hunger Games will be chosen to fight in the Quell. Katniss will go back in, along with either Haymitch or Petta.

It's hard to put this book down. The new character's introduced are very vivid and likeable or you detest them. You get a few brief mentions of past games in The Hunger Games or victors, but here, you are able to "see" what they are really like.

I say this is to read!