Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The movie excitement surrounding The Hunger Games has put the series back on the brain. I thought I would share my thoughts on this trilogy starting with the first book.

The plot of the book is a pretty twisted idea:
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlaying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one girl and one boy between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV...
I'll admit to liking my books a little on the sick side, but the sheer volume of people who have read and loved this book is a testament to Suzanne Collins's talent. She puts kids in an arena, has them fight to the death, and people can't get enough.

I can't get enough.

The story follows Katniss Everdean, a courageous teen who will represent the twelfth district in the annual games. Katniss has to out wit, out last, and out play... OK, I was trying to see if you were paying attention. The games really are a perverse reality show, but it's not your typical Wednesday night entertainment. Suzanne Collins has created a captivating dystopian world lead by a capitol who uses these games to keep the districts in fear and in line. It also keeps the readers reading!

This book truly defines "page turner". I believe Entertainment Weekly said it takes the average person 17 minutes to read this book. It's a little bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.

I'm not the type of reader who can easily read an entire series back to back. I like to take breaks between books to read other things. It helps prevent reader burn out for me. This series was a big exception to that rule. Thankfully the entire trilogy was out before I read The Hunger Games.

If you haven't checked out this series yet, I highly recommend it.



If you have checked it out, let me know your thoughts!

Love, Delphyne
Additional topics of interest:
Movie News: The Hunger Games
Dystopian Book Reviews

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Book Chick City: Reading Challenges

I've decided to join a couple of fun challenges over at Book Chick City!

The first challenge I'm joining is the Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge

Details Courtesy of Book Chick City

• Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011

• Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)

• You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

• You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

• At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews. There will be a monthly prize too courtesy of the lovely Simon & Schuster - you must be signed up to the challenge and add the link to your review to be entered into the monthly prize draw.


The second challenge is the 2011 Stephen King Challenge.  I'm so excited about this one.  I'd be reading Stephen King regardless, but I'm excited that so many others will be, too.  Stephen King discussions!  *Bliss*

Details
Courtesy of Book Chick City

• Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011

• Rules - There are two levels: Read either SIX (6) or TWELVE (12) Stephen King novels in 2011 (6 is the minimum but you can read more than 12 if you wish!)

• You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

• You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

• At the beginning of Jan 2011, she will add a link so you can add your reviews.

• You don't have to have a blog to join in - for those without a blog just fill out a form and she will add you to the list - just join the discussion in the comments section to let us know when you've read a book and what you thought of it! :)

• You can also follow each other's progress and chat about the SK books you read on twitter too - just use #SKChallenge :)

If you are participating in either challenge, let me know!

Topics you might be interested in:
Reading: Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King
Book Review: The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Book Review: The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King
The Gunslinger is the first book in Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.

Book Description:
This heroic fantasy, set in a world of ominous landscape and macabre menace, features one of Stephen King's most powerful creations-The Gunslinger.
The book opens with "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.".  (A favorite quote among Dark Tower fans.)  The Gunslinger follows Roland's journey across the desert searching for the man in black. 

I have no other way to say it, but I didn't particularly like this book.  I felt lost, I felt confused.  I felt disappointed by acts I did not know would serve a purpose later in the series.

This book seems to be either the start or the end of most readers' Dark Tower journey.  I read this book about 10 years or so ago, and I didn't give it another try until just a few months ago.  I'll talk more about the second book in the series this week, but I will say I was glad to pick the series up again.

Michael Whelan - The Gunslinger: The Slow MutantsIf you would like to give this series a try, but you find you are just not getting in to or enjoying The Gunslinger - skip it.  That's sounds kind of crazy, but it's actually not crucial that you read it.  Book 2 begins with an "argument" containing the only information you need to draw from book 1.  My honest recommendation would be to read The Gunslinger's wikipedia page and start with book 2.  Someone suggested to me that The Gunslinger would be a good read at the end of the series rather than the beginning.  I find that to be a fair recommendation.

The artwork for this book was done by one of my favorite artists: Michael Whelan



Have you read any of King's Dark Tower books?  I'd love to hear from you!

Additional topics of interest:
Reading: Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King
Fantasy Book Reviews

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Blog Hop: Most Anticipated Book of 2011

This week Book Den is participating in Crazy For Book's Book Blogger Hop.  The question this week is:

"What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011?  Why are you anticipating that book?"

The Informationist: A ThrillerMy most anticipated book so far this year is The Informationist: A Thriller by Taylor Stevens.
Corporations need her. Governments pay her. Criminals fear her. But nobody sees her coming.
It sounds like a really great read, and the author has such an unbelieveable background growing up with a communal apocalyptic cult.

 You can read more about The Informationist - and the author - in my previous Waiting for Wednesday post.

Thanks for hopping by my blog!


Additional topics of interest:
Books I'm Anxiously Awaiting
TBR: The Informationist

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Freebie Friday: Free Books and Giveaways

Top 10 Free Kindle Books
Top 10 Free Sony Reader Books
Top 10 Nook Books
Giveaways
Share Your Freebies!

Did you know you can read ebooks on your computer or phone without owning an ereader?  I've included links to free apps at the end of each section.

Top 10 Free Kindle Books

SunriseGoodness Gracious GreenThe Apothecary's DaughterA Child al ConfinoThe Adventures of Sherlock HolmesThe Justice GameSeptimus Heap, Book One: Magyk Free with Bonus MaterialPride and PrejudiceHappily Ever After (Deep Haven Series #1)Alice's Adventures in Wonderland HTML Edition

Download free Kindle apps for your computer or PC here.

Top 10 Free Sony Books

Septimus Heap, Book One by Angie SageThe Pioneer Woman: An Early Excerpt by Ree DrummondHeroes, Zombies, and Sausages by VariousThe Bride's Baby by Liz FieldingThe Light of Eidon by Karen HancockDancing in the Moonlight by Raeanne ThayneAgainst All Odds by Irene HannonBaby Bonanza by Maureen ChildFools Rush In by Janice ThompsonDaughter of Joy by Kathleen Morgan
Download a free Sony Reader app for your droid phone here. (The iphone app is still pending approval from the iphone market before release.)

Top 10 Free Nook Books

Book Cover Image. Title: Septimus Heap, Book One: Magyk Free with Bonus Material EPB, Author: by Angie  SageBook Cover Image. Title: 100 Quotes to Make You Think!, Author: by Wolfgang  RiebeBook Cover Image. Title: Irresistible Forces, Author: by Brenda  JacksonBook Cover Image. Title: Daughter of Joy (Brides of Culdee Creek Series #1), Author: by Kathleen  MorganBook Cover Image. Title: The Holy Bible English Standard Version (ESV), Author: by   Crossway Bibles
Book Cover Image. Title: The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook Presents: A Magical Christmas Menu, Author: by Dinah  BucholzBook Cover Image. Title: Reaper (Soul Screamers Series), Author: by Rachel  VincentBook Cover Image. Title: The Demon Girl, Author: by Penelope  FletcherBook Cover Image. Title: The Healer's Apprentice, Author: by Melanie  DickersonBook Cover Image. Title: FREE 25 Language Phrasebook: German, French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Croatian, Turkish, Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, and Thai, Author: by   MobileReference

Download free Nook apps for your phone or PC here.

Top 10 Free Public Domain Books

The Economist by Various (2326)
The Song My Paddle Sings by E. Pauline Johnson (1473)
The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana by Vatsyayana (1078)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (853)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (719)
How to Analyze People on Sight by Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict (648)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (635)
The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Complete by Leonardo da Vinci (517)
Ulysses by James Joyce (486)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (480)

Download more free public domain books from Project Gutenberg.

Giveaways

The Story Siren is having a large ARC giveaway on her blog.

Cindy at Books Complete Me is giving away a copy of Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

Share Your Freebies!

Do you have any book related freebies or giveaways you'd like to share?  Please add your link below or share them to the comments.

Did you snag any free books today?  Let me know in the comments!

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