Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

I am going to go ahead an admit something shallow here, I passed this book up many times because of the cover. I would see it almost every time I went to borders and NEVER consider it. One time I think I picked it up and looked at the back and that turned me off more. "In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them to all send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV"-Back cover of The Hunger games...

Okay this might sound super fun to some people, but to me I was disgusted. Fast forward a few months and I am reading through some 'end of the world' blogs and books suggestions and this one, damn it all, keep popping up! Everyone raving how awesome it was, and how they couldn't put it down. Then I saw what did me and had me reserving at the library, Stephen King, the master of horror himself, said and I quote him here "A violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense. I couldn't stop reading" - Stephen King Entertainment Weekly

Yeah okay so now I had to read it. That all being said, this is going down as one of my favorite books. I loved it, and can not wait to get my hands on the next two. I loved everything from friendship to enemies to the raw need of survival to the warmth and comfort of home. Every single thing about this book was amazing. The details were stunning, the emotions were compelling, the speed in which the book flowed was astounding. I could not put it down and even now am thinking of wanting to re-read it. (I know this is going to have to be added to my library!)

Read it, enjoy it, buy it and read it again. This book was amazing. It goes to prove to me again, that you can't judge a book by its cover.

Unwind - Neal Shusterman

Want to talk about a controversial topic? How about abortion for starters? No? Well that is where this book starts.

In this book they have outlawed abortion (yay to the pro-lifers), but they have decided a few things. First there is a new rule that, as long as you aren't caught, you are allowed to 'stork' your baby when its first born. This means you are allowed to drop off your baby on the doorstep of someone Else's house. Also they have come up with a nifty way of using all body parts. So when you die, not only can your organs be used, but skin, limbs, tissue, you get the idea. So that leaves us with the second part of our new anti-abortion law. At the age of (I think its thirteen), your parents can have you...unwound. Meaning you will be donated, or more specifically your body parts will be. They try to make this seem good, you'll go on living through many people blah blah. The great fight that was fought over abortion was many years before this, so everyone seems to forget that its PEOPLE that are being unwound. Same as people seem to forget that is PEOPLE who are dying in abortion clinics but that is another topic.

This story follow three unwinds. One is a trouble maker, one is a ward of the state and one is being unwound for religious reasons. Its heartbreaking, its scary, it makes you angry and sad and confused. It doesn't question your morals...well maybe it would if you were on the fence one way or the other. But the characters DO stay with you. You think about the story long after you are done reading it. That I believe is that mark of a good book.

Do I recommend it for You have to be okay with the topic. If you are really deep one way or the other then this book would probably just piss you off. Me, I am firm in my belief but, not enough to not enjoy other points of view (especially fictional), and not enough to be bothered by this book. It's your call.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hunger and Lies -Gone Novels - Michael Grant

Hunger is the second book in the Gone Series. This book was just as hard to read (emotionally), as the first book. For different reasons. By now you have gotten use to the fact that there are no adults, although its still hard to envision children drinking, smoking, fighting, starving. Its so hard to read. This book still follows the main characters from the last book.  Also the new threat of starvation is present. Grant really writes in detail, what the children go through in various stages of starvation. Its horrid! To make matters worse finding food turns out to be a very dangerous thing to do. Of course there is always the threat of Caine and his group. They are hungry, they are mean and they are ready for another fight. 

Lies is the third book in the Gone Series. Its been seven months since the wall went up. Things are still holding on by a thread. More gangs have popped up. Its freaks (those with special gifts) against normals. The normals are being run by a little punk named Zil. He unfortunately has followers and they reek havoc on the FAYZ. If they weren't enough, seems like some people don't stay dead, and people you thought were gone for good are back for another round. 

As Sam says in the end of this book "we just take it one day at in the FAYZ" so true. 

There is a fourth one coming out, in April its called Plague! I am super excited! I am not 100% sure how many there will be. I love this series, but really how much more can you write about? We shall see. I do believe that Plague has a very promising title though. I shall of course, keep you posted!

PS Yet again, if looking for these books at your local library or bookstore, the covers are mostly likely different. I have used these because the covers just irritate me. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gone - Michael Grant

 Every adult...every adult...disappears. In the blink of an eye, anyone over the age of fifteen is gone. All the is left is people fourteen and under. And that is only the beginning.

This book was horrifying, mainly for the reason that there were no adults. As a mother, this terrified me through out the whole book. I couldn't imagine what would happen to kids like my son (who is four), if no one was there to help them. I would pray there would be saints (like Mary in this book), and good kids. But unfortunately, there are some really nasty kids in this book. With serious issues, BEFORE the FAYZ (Fall Out Youth Zone). Bullies with no one to punish them. Fires with no one to put them out. Kids injured with no one to heal them. Babies hungry, with no one to feed them.

This book is amazing on so many levels. I enjoyed the idea, the characters, the description, the relationships with the characters. The good/evil struggle, and the basic struggle of kids trying to be brave in a world with out any authority. I am really looking forward to reading the next four (just found out a fourth is due in April), books in this series.

I will, of course, keep you updated! :)

(This isn't the normal book cover, the standard one bothers me, so I chose this one:))

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Feed - M.T. Anderson

I am not sure how I felt about this book. I read it in two days, but that might be because it was a short book, (only 299 pages), or because it was really good. I just can't decide. I didn't like the main character, he was kind of a brat with no redeeming qualities. When you don't like the main character its hard to be emotionally invested in the story line.

That being said, I did enjoy idea. To some extent, we are half way in this world already. With smartphones, social networks, up to the minute news/weather, Internet TV and radio, take it with you where ever you go, and whatever you are doing. We are already living in a world controlled by, the Feed. In this story, everyone is actually hooked up, via their brains, to the feed. 24/, music, social, shopping, GPS, games, etc. All in your head any time you need it. It would frustrate me to live like this! I mean honestly, imagine walking down the street and everything you see you get information on. Everything. The kids in this future don't know how to read (or read very little). Yikes! I just can't imagine it, and yet we are already living it. (on a smaller scale). At least the kids still have to read now in order to get the information. There is that at least. Its scary, one of the more scarier versions of the future that I have read. I pray we never get the technology to do this (or if its even possible).

All in all I think it was a good read. For those who like science fiction/futuristic books, this one is defiantly for you.

People may think I am depressing, or sick. But an 'end of the world' scenario for me, is much better if all technology, just went away. I don't believe it has done anyone any good anyway. (yes medical research and advancements are awesome and amazing! I don't include that in this). My sister came up with a great quote, which fits our new generation perfectly..."We are so connected, that we are disconnected."

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The other Side of the Island - Allegra Goodman

This was recommended by a couple of blog sites that I stumbled upon. I was not disappointed. This story tells of a girl, Honor, and her parents after the world floods. Earth Mother has taken over (for the greater good). She is the new dictator of the new world. Everything is controlled by her and the Corporation. Get out of line, and you just might...disappear.

This was a chilling story of the future. And what could possibly happen if the world did 'end'. Imagine a bunch of scared, sick, confused people. Now imagine someone coming along saying, they can fix it. Before you know it anything they say is right, and anything that goes against them is wrong.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Zenith - Julie Bertagna (part two of a trilogy)

This is the second book of a trilogy. The first book was Exodus (reviewed here). The third and final installment will be released sometime this year and is titled, Aurora. (which I am looking very forward to!) 
I know it seems like I read a lot of young adult fiction...please give comments if any "adult" writers are writing post-apocalyptic fiction. I enjoy them so much. The struggle for survival in the worst circumstances, just really draws me in. This book deliverers that. This book is amazing, and you feel so much more for the characters then you did in the first one. You are more invested. The great thing is this book doesn't add too much. I find with a lot of sequels there is too much going on. With this you are still following Mara and her friends. (they do meet one new person). It actually takes place from three different points of view. (Which I enjoyed). I can't say enough for this series. I would wait, however, until its complete. The wait might kill me!!

I have to mention here ( even though this is a book blog). The author of this book, Julie Bertagna, got the idea for this book when she saw a news report about islands being washed away because of global warming. (this actually happened, you can check it out here...) You can visit her site here, Julie Bertagna. It really is important for all of us to do whatever we can to help save the Earth. Using less paper, less water, recycling, turning the heat down, driving less, etc. There are TONS of things we can do daily that won't really impact your life, but will mean a WORLD of differance to our environment. This problem may no effect us, or even our children, but it most defianatly will impact future generations. Its up us to change. They are depending on us. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Exodus - Julie Bertagna

There is no way I will be able to sell this book enough.  You have to read it. The character's will stay with me for life. As will the world that she created. It is has beautiful and horrifying descriptions of our world not to far in the future.

In the future, due to global warming, the world floods. All land masses are underwater. While the world was flooding, people built sky worlds, huge towers high above the ground. Mara, lives on one of the last remaining islands, somewhere in Scotland. But the island is flooding and its up to her to save her people.

The story tells of hope, and despair. Of the strength that people have to do what is needed even when they don't believe in themselves. This was beautiful and I am so glad I found it. It has a sequel, Zenith, that I am looking forward to starting!
A+ In my book.