Monday, January 31, 2011

Catching Fire

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I must admit I was caught off guard by the twists and turns in the second novel in the Hunger Game series. Huger Games was so good, I thought, how could it get any better? But I was pleasantly surprised. Not as good as the first, I grant you, but definitely a great read.



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Elsewhere

ElsewhereElsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


In a Q&A at the end of the book, Gabrielle Zevin cheekily admits that she doesn't really think about an afterlife. She thinks that would be shocking since this book is about the afterlife. But really, I don't think the readers will be shocked that she didn't think about what she was writing.

An afterlife where you grow younger instead of older, and you may never get reunited with the people you love, or if you do they may be 12 and you may be 45 is creepy. And even if you do meet up with the one you love, you grow young together--(still creepy). That's the main premise behind elsewhere, although even the details don't really make sense. There are creepy love triangles, and the dead grieve over the living more than the living grieve over the dead. In fact, no one seems particuarly happy or well-adjusted in this book. If that's Zevin's idea of heaven, no wonder she doesn't want to think about it. I don't want to either.



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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was a little leary about the Hunger Games since it seemed to be the new Twilight, and I think everyone knows what a dissappointment that was to me. But I loved Katniss, Peeta, and Rue. I loved the way Collins chose to narrate it with a stream-of-conscience first person POV. It was perfect, keeping you in the middle of action, and you felt as trapped and desperate as Katniss did. First-person past-tense wouldn't have had the immediacy, and third-person would have made the reader feel as voyeristic as the rest of the Capitol citizens watching the Games. The plot was fantastic, yet believeable and the relationships were beautifully done. Excellent!



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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Olive Kitteridge

Olive KitteridgeOlive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I loved getting to know Olive Kitteridge and the rest of the folks in Crosby, Maine. These are a collection of short stories, each one revolving around someone from Crosby and Olive is sometimes the main character; other times she just pokes her head in. She is flawed, yes, and at first I didn't like her, but like most people the more you get to know them, the more you understand, sympathize with, and then finally grow to love them. I loved the format: the short stories allowed you to jump years, perspectives without having lags or gaps in the narrative. With themes from aging to parenting to love and grieving, this is a great read.



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