Weekly Recap 8/29/10

Mockingjay Day finally came!  Yes, it was an actual holiday for me.  I took the day off work and spent it reading, except for a doctor appointment in the afternoon and dinner with friends.

Books Read:

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley –  I really liked this!  It was so funny and the graphics were really great.  I’m definitely going to continue in the series and maybe even see the movie. :)

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – SO GOOD!  I was a little worried I wouldn’t like it because a few books that I have been really excited about this summer ended up kind of as duds, but this one didn’t disappoint.  I kind of had a hard time getting in to the book at first.  Part of that was because I just wanted to know how it ends so I was being impatient.  :)  But by the first battle scene, I was hooked.  I’m not giving away any spoilers, but I will say I laughed, I cried, I cursed Suzanne Collins, lather, rinse, repeat.  I am okay with how it ended.  I’m really glad I read the first two again before starting this one.  After I read some stuff from authors at this year’s Decatur Book Festival and some swap reading, I’m going to pick this back up and read it again!

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller – Didn’t finish…  Haven annoyed me and I realized after 1/4 of the book that I just didn’t care.

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin – This was cute.  At times it was predictable and occasionally unpredictable.  I liked Raye.  The end seemed kind of rushed, but overall it was an enjoyable read.

Lady Macbeth’s Daughter by Lisa Klein – I liked this book.  Albia was a very likable strong character.  I haven’t read Macbeth, but I know the basic story, so it was interesting to see how the story was woven into the original story.

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Click here to learn more about it.

Books Received/Bought: 7

  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Borders)
  • Will by Maria Boyd (Borders)
  • The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey (PBS Game)
  • Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson (PBS Game)
  • Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka (PBS Game)
  • Losing It edited by Keith Gray (PBS FIFO)
  • The Julian Game by Adele Griffin (Amazon)

Books Mailed: 7

  • Kristy and the Dirty Diapers (Babysitters Club) by Ann M. Martin (PBS FIFO)
  • Fruits Basket Vol 1 by Natsuki Takaya (PBS FIFO)
  • Fruits Basket Vol 2 by Natsuki Takaya (PBS FIFO)
  • Fruits Basket Vol 3 by Natsuki Takaya (PBS FIFO)
  • The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway (PBS Game)
  • The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller (PBS Game)
  • The Julian Game by Adele Griffin (PBS Game)

Weekly Recap 8/22/10

This was a crazy week for me!  Not only did I have my sister’s dog for the week, but I actually had to go on a business trip in the middle.  Luckily my parents are awesome and agreed to spend the night at my place to take care of both dogs.  But because of that, I didn’t get as much reading done as I would have liked.

Books Read:

The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez – I LOVED this book.  I’ve been fascinated by Cuba since learning about The Bay of Pigs in 6th grade.  This book really made me feel like I was there experiencing the changes with Lucia.  There were lots of other things I wanted to know about what was going on, but obviously they would have been out of place in this book.  But it would have been interesting! :) Christina Gonzalez will be at this year’s Decatur Book Festival.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – Obviously not the first time I’ve read it, but I needed to refresh my memory before Mockingjay comes out on Tuesday!  I cannot wait!

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Click here to learn more about it.

Books Received: 11

  • Half-Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir by Jenette Fulda (PBS Game)
  • Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Amazon)
  • The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller (Amazon)
  • Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him by Humberto Fontova (Amazon)
  • Charmed Life (Chrestomanci #1) by Diana Wynne Jones (Abebooks)
  • The Lives of Christopher Chance (Chrestomanci #2) by Diana Wynne Jones (Abebooks)
  • Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues #1) by Rick Riordan (Amazon)
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (PBS FIFO)
  • Princess in the Spotlight (Princess Diaries, Bk 2) by Meg Cabot (PBS FIFO)
  • Princess in Love (Princess Diaries, Bk 3) by Meg Cabot (PBS FIFO)
  • Princess in Waiting (Princess Diaries, Bk 4) by Meg Cabot (PBS FIFO)

Books Mailed: 5

  • Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (PBS FIFO)
  • Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (PBS FIFO) (yes, I had two copies)
  • Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (PBS Game)
  • Sea by Heidi R. Kling (PBS Game)
  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (PBS Game)

Favorite Books of 2009

I read a lot of books this year – the most I’ve ever read in a year – and these are some of my favorites.  I had a hard time whittling the list down to just a few, but I didn’t want to spend all day working on this, so I had to stop somewhere.  You can check out my GoodReads profile for my ratings of other books not listed here.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – This isn’t just one of my favorite books of the year – it’s one of my favorite books of all time!  The Hunger Games is simply amazing.  Katniss is a fantastic main character.  She’s smart and resourceful, but at the same time a little vulnerable.  The rest of the characters are so well written – Peeta, Rue, Haymitch, Cinna, Effie – they’re all so fabulous.  The story is action packed and full of surprises.  I also read Catching Fire, the sequel to the Hunger Games this year and thought it was fantastic as well.  I can’t wait for the third book to come out in 2010!

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols – Just thinking “John After” makes me swoon.  Meg is wild and doesn’t want to stay in the little town she grew up in.  John is the complete opposite – he doesn’t want to leave the town.  They’re forced to spend the week together because Meg got in trouble on a bridge one night.  Throughout the novel, we learn more and more about both of them.  It’s a romantic journey with a few twists and turns along the way.  I love Meg and John – who they are, who they become after spending the week together.  I really liked everything I read by Jennifer Echols this year.

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater – This was the third Maggie Stiefvater book I read this year, but it was my favorite.  They’re all so good.  Maggie’s writing is very lyrical and enjoyable to read.  Ballad focuses on James, a secondary character from Lament, and his time at Thornking-Ash.  Nuala is a faerie muse that can give James amazing talent at a price.  James and Nuala are fantastic – they’re both sarcastic and multi-layered.  This book kind of continues Dee’s story in a way and introduces fantastic new characters like Sullivan and Paul.  I started reading Maggie’s books because she was at the Decatur Book Festival, where I got to meet her and be a dork.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Another edge of your seat, action packed book.  The world that Thomas is dropped into is confusing to him and to us and I loved learning about it with him.  Everything about the book is interesting – the things that go bump in the night, the dynamics in the boys’ society, the maze, the boys themselves.  It was just all fantastic.  The ending was crazy and I can’t wait for the next book in the trilogy to come out this year.

Percy Jackson and The Olympians Series by Rick Riordan – This is a fun series about an ordinary boy that finds out his father is a Greek god.  He goes to a camp for the sons and daughters of the Greek gods and goddesses, Camp Half-Blood.  From there, he has several quests that he completes with his friends.  The stories are so well thought out and weave Greek mythology into modern culture so well.  I loved Percy, Annabeth, and Grover.  They’re all great characters.  The first book, The Lightning Thief, is coming out as a movie in February, and I hope it lives up to the book!

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead – Richelle Mead is another author that I started reading because of the Decatur Book Festival.  I am glad I did.  The Vampire Academy books are about a group of vampires (obviously), but the story is different than any other vampire book I’ve read.  The Moroi are more good vampires with special powers, while the Dhamphir are their helpers/bodyguards, and the Strigoi are the bad vampires.  Rose, a dhamphir and the narrator of the stories, is strong, sarcastic, and fantastic.  All of the characters are really great – Dimitri, Lissa, Christian, Adrian – all of them!  The books are part high school drama, part romance, and part action.  It’s a great combination!

The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University by Kevin Roose – I thought I should round this out with a non fiction book.  Going into this book, I was a little unsure of if I would like it.  I was really afraid he would spend the book making fun of Christians and the students at Liberty.  But he really didn’t.  Roose wrote about this experiences in a very straight forward manner.  He was honest about his feelings about the things going on around him.  He also presented the reasons that the school or other students acted in a certain way in a non-judgemental way.  Overall it was a very interesting and insightful book.

I may have one more review for 2009 if I finish the book I’m reading now, but if I don’t, have a happy new year!  See you in 2010!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

catchingfireCatching Fire (The Hunger Games, Bk 2) by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Wow.  I don’t really have a lot of coherent thoughts.  It was good.  Really really good.  Totally worth the wait and I can’t believe that I have to wait a year for Book 3.  I want to know what is going to happen!  It was different than The Hunger Games and I think I liked THG better in a way, butI definitely liked this one a lot.

I am not sure I am okay with the way it ended.  I can’t explain that without giving away the ending, but I just don’t know what to think or feel.

Teaser Tuesdays 9/1/09

I can’t believe it is September already!  Craziness.  Today is kind of weird because I am actually reading three books at once.  I used to always read multiple books at one time.  There would be one in my room, one in the rec room, one in the living room, one in each of my parents’ cars, one in my backpack… you get the picture.  I would just pick up what was near me and read it, then move on to the next one if I went to another room.  Recently I’ve become more of a “one book at a time” kind of girl.  If I like it, I want to sit down and read straight through.  But Sunday I started Audrey, Wait and couldn’t really get into it, so Monday I started Troy High.  It’s cute and I’m about halfway done.  But Catching Fire came out today, so I had to go get it and both of the other books will be on hold until I finish it!

So my Teaser Tuesday comes from the one I have with me:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
  • Share the title and author, too, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they want

My teaser:

“I can’t fight the sun.  I can only watch helplessly as it drags me into a day that I’ve been dreading for months.”

~Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, page 1

Squee! I’m probably not going to sleep tonight. :)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Picture 5The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

Well, if you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know I love this book.  I just read it for the second time so I am refreshed on everything and ready for Catching Fire.  Reading the book again, I liked it just as much as I did the first time.  The book is fantastic in my opinion.  It has a little of everything – survival, grief, hope, family, romance, action, adventure, complexity…  So good!  Katniss is strong, smart, resourceful, and very likable.

I recently found a fan forum for the book and it has been very interesting reading others opinions of various characters.  It has really gotten me thinking.  The book is in Katniss’ point of view, so everything we know is tempered by her feelings.  Many people on the forum mentioned not liking a certain character because Katniss doesn’t like the character.  It just seems so odd to me because I feel there are many clues in the book that this character’s actions are not motivated by the things Katniss thinks they are.  (I know that sentence was vague, but I don’t want to give away anything.)  On the flip side, there is a character that Katniss likes a lot that I don’t care for.   I don’t really know what point I’m trying to make, just that it is interesting how a character’s opinions can shade our feelings about the people and events in books.

Anyway!  Can’t wait for Tuesday!

Waiting on Wednesday 8/26/09

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The book I am eagerly anticipating this week is Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

catchingfireAgainst all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Just thinking about this book makes me giddy with excitement.  I am as excited for it as I was for the last few Harry Potters.  (That’s saying a lot!)   If Borders would stay open until midnight on 8/31, I would be first in line to pick up the book and would read all night even though I have to work that day.  Since they aren’t planning on doing this, I’ll be heading to the Borders by work at lunch to pick up my copy.  If they don’t have it, there will be blood.  Well, probably not blood, but definitely tears.  Everything I’ve heard about Catching Fire is that it is just as good as The Hunger Games.  Squeeee!

Check back in a little while for the winner of The Hunger Games giveaway!

Teaser Tuesdays 8/25/09

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
  • Share the title and author, too, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they want

My teaser:

“Katniss, the girl who was on fire.”

It crosses my mind that Cinna’s calm and normal demeanor masks a complete madman.

~The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, page 67

Yep, I’m rereading The Hunger Games before Catching Fire comes out.

Don’t forget today is the last day to enter to win The Hunger Games in this post!