Hungry for a good read?

Hello everyone…. I thought that every so often I would write a book review (in my own fashion.. as it may be more of a persuasive ploy rather than giving too much away) as part of my blog….obviously this depends on how quickly I read books. I very often have my nose in one but sometimes it takes me a while to finish them, especially when I’m back at school (I am on book overload then with students and the last thing I want to do when I get home is read!)

But you know when you’ve read a fantastic book and all you want to do after you’ve finished read it is to recommend it to someone?… or tell a non-reader (yes, sadly they aren’t extinct yet) all about it in hope that it will encourage them to appreciate the written word? (rather than watch the blasted film!… which I do want to see but I always read the book first!) It’s like you peel your eyes away from last paragraph and look up and the world is still moving, people are doing day-to-day stuff and have no idea that you have just been to a world of literacy genius.. and they must understand this, they must!! I have this little fantasy that I walk up to friend straight away, hand them the book and simply say, ‘You have to read this!’ Sorry, I can’t do that on here…. and I have to know you really well to lend you my books… they are like my babies 😉

The Hunger Games, for those who don’t know, is a trilogy and has been made into a recent film (which as I said above, I haven’t seen yet but am looking forward to seeing it portrayed on the screen when it is out on DVD in September). If you think to yourself ‘Nah, not my kind of thing,’ please don’t stop reading because I thought the exact same thing. It is not normally my kind of read as it is quite action based (I normally prefer romantic/relationships/everyday life kind of stories) but it is truly fantastic. I whizzed through the three books very quickly (for me) and the first one (which in my opinion is the best..but the other two are also vital thirds to the exciting plot) I started about a month ago whilst we were at school still. I took it with me to work as I neared the end and read it at break and lunch (noooo not in lessons as I am, of course, a professional 😉 ) I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened at the end of that first volume.

As I said I normally prefer books that are based on reality but every now and then I love it when an author creates a whole new world that is so believable that you want to find out more and more about it…like Harry Potter for example. I am so jealous of J.K Rowling for creating that whole world that circles around Hogwarts and the new language that she created and renaming us as ‘Muggles’… fantastic. I may have to kidnap her and pick her brains or put a spell on her or something.

Hunger Games isn’t as punctuated with happiness (in between all the Voldermort visits I mean) as Harry Potter. Suzanne Collins has created a dystopian society called Panem which consists of twelve (or does it??) districts and the Capitol. Why did I choose to read this book? Well besides me thinking it was food related (haha only kidding) I was fascinated by the fact that all these people get put into an arena for ‘The Hunger Games’ and only one can survive. I am not best interested in blood gore or fighting (which there is plenty of for you violence and guts lovers out there) but I am intrigued by human behaviour and relationships and thought ‘how can they kill each other?’ And the blurb already tells us that Katniss Everdeen, the main character, sacrifices herself to take part in the Games in order to save her sister. I thought she obviously cares a lot about her family and I also knew there was a love interest (from seeing the film trailer, I must admit!) and I was intrigued to see if they would be in the Games too and how would you choose between yourself and killing a loved one? It is gripping stuff.

Katniss, is the kind of character I normally detest. She is stubborn, impatient, rebellious and has two guys fighting for her affection (we all hate girls like that right?). She is also athletic, brave, gutsy and extremely logically clever… which are all things I am not… so I found it very difficult to identify and emphasise with her to begin with. But Collins does such a superb job of letting Katniss tell this story that we are instantly on her side; we have her back…. even if other characters (who she thinks she can trust) don’t.

We know that Katniss survives the Hunger Games in the first book of the same title… mainly because she in mentioned in the blurb of the second book (so I’m sorry if that’s something you try to avoid to do…but I haven’t really given anything away here). When I started reading the second book, Catching Fire I was a little dubious and thought ‘Well she has survived the Games…now what?’ Well there is a huge twist in this book and the action is even thicker. The third book, The Mocking Jay then concludes with a war between the rebels and the Capitol….. has all this been the cause of Katniss’ actions? Who will survive? Time will tell….but life for Katniss will never be the same again… god I sound like the Games announcer.

You meet many amazing characters… Peeta (who I imagine to be an absolute God.. so I hope the screen version doesn’t disappoint!), Gale (who I imagine to look the rough and ready type), Haymitch who spends his whole time in the three novels drunk (my kind of character!), the stylist team who are very visually interesting and you need to take with a pinch of salt, President Snow (bit of a Snape, you’ll see), Prim (the sister, who comes across as a girl who seems far too nice to have even survived in this society at all) and many more… but these are the ones who stood out the most for me.

The plot is so juicy with many turns and twists… there are birds that repeat your every sound, lethal monkeys, bloody rain (as in red droplets not ‘oh rain again!’), deathly fog, lightning… oh and a great shortage of food and water (oh that may explain the title a little ;-)) so it isn’t just each other that they need to watch out for!

Katniss and Peeta keep asking…. Real or not Real? You may want to ask yourself this as you read….

One more thing… if you need another reason to read… is the love story… who will Katniss end up with; Peeta or Gale? If any? This is one of the main themes I was always enthralled by… and it definitely does get resolved and it is very worth the wait!

Action, love, hunger… what more could you want?

Rememebr……..’If We Burn, You Burn With Us!’

Happy.. or not so happy… reading!

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