Tag Archives: The Hunger Games

Deals of the Moment- August


Every month amazon has a set of kindle monthly deals. This in the post where I talk about any books which are of interest.

So I’m going to briefly talk about the books I’ve read which are on offer, and those that I have bought myself. Why I liked them/bought them, and what they are about. End links are to the amazon page, any other links are to my reviews. Amazon links are affiliate links but any money made goes back into the blog (e.g. for giveaways)

Please note prices are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas- Hunter S Thompson

I may buy this one because it’s on The Rory List, although I’m not sure how ‘me’ it is.  Plus it’s very popular. It’s about drugs and the ‘American Dream’

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


The Virgin Suicides- Jeffrey Eugenides

I love Jeffrey Eugenides writing, and especially liked Middlesex. The Virgin Suicides is a sort of modern classic. About a family of girls who all commit suicide.

You can buy it…here (only £1.99)


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet- Jamie Ford

This is one of my favourite World War novels. It’s about the Japanese community in America during WW2.

You can buy it…here. (only £0.99)


The Happiness Project- Gretchen Rubin

I’ve heard some fantastic things about this book, but again I’m not sure if it’s one for me, it seems a bit self-helpy for my taste. However I may give it a go. It’s a sort of autobiography showing the various methods Rubin used to gain happiness and how they worked out for her

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


Keeping Faith- Jodi Picoult

I am a big Picoult fan, I’ve read all her books. Keeping Faith is about a kid who starts hearing God. She ends up with a lot of attention, but so much rubbish is going on in her life, is she really hearing God?

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


The Storyteller- Jodi Picoult

Yes another Picoult one. This is about an ex-Nazi SS solider who wants forgiveness. Not a ‘usual’ Picoult but very good

Buy it…here (only £1.49)


Anita and Me- Meera Syal

Anita and Me was one of the first ‘adult’ books I read. It’s about an Asian girl growing up in a predominately white town, and wanting to fit in.

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao- Junot Diaz

This is one of those books everyone says you ‘have’ to read. It’s about a geek who lives in a dream world- basically.

Buy it…here (only £2.59)


Charlotte Street- Danny Wallace

I loved this book when I read it. It’s a bit like Nick Hornby in style. About a man who tries to find a woman whose disposable camera he accidentally took.

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


Kommandant’s Girl- Pam Jenoff

Kommandant’s Girl is probably my favourite Pam Jenoff (at least so far). It’s about a girl who gets together with a German Kommndant to help the resistance during WW2.

Buy it…here (only £0.99)


The Ocean at the End of the Lane- Neil Gaiman

I just finished this one (it’s a Summer deal rather than a monthly). I highlighted a lot of quotes (see a few on my tumblr). It’s sort of insightful, a coming of age novel, but with the usual Gaiman fantasy element (yeah, can you tell I still need to write my review?)

Buy it…here (only £0.99)


Still Alice- Lisa Genova

A very moving book, and sad. About a woman with early-onset dementia.

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins

If anyone doesn’t already have it! It’s a dystopian book about a ‘game’ played every year where basically kids have to kill each other off, sort of based on Battle Royal. I really liked it.

Buy it…here (only £2.19)


Eleanor and Park- Rainbow Rowell

Not my favourite Rainbow Rowell, but still great. Geeky. It’s a love story, but more too.

Buy it…here (only £1.99)

 

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Film of the Book: Mockingjay (Part 1)


Mockingjay is the third film based on The Hunger Games Books you can see my posts on books and previous films using The Hunger Games tag.

Please note this post may contain spoilers for The Hunger Games books and films, including Mockingjay

It feels like I have been waiting for this film for ages. As far as films of books go I think The Hunger Games films are really good. Fairly faithful to the books, and good as films in their own right too. Maybe it’s because Suzanne Collins works on the screenplays herself, or maybe it’s because she’s worked in television writing so her writing transfers well to screen.

The one concern I really had about Mockingjay was that it had been split into two films. I was concerned that it would be like the last Harry Potter films (part 1, part 2) or The Hobbit films (I couldn’t even bear to see the second) and be over stretched in a way that makes it seem very much like a way to make money out of a popular franchise. So far however it’s worked out good. There was still plenty of action and plot though and the film actually seemed to be over quickly, I’m still holding my reservations as to whether or not it ultimately works, because I may find that the last film is too stretched.

To be honest I didn’t actually remember a great deal of detail about the book of Mockingjay. I had thought to re-read it, just hadn’t gotten around to it. Consequently I sort of missed the major plot point which wasn’t in the film. (I’m going to put this as a spoiler because it’s major, highlight to read) that Katniss asked to be the one to execute Snow. This leads to the big ending where Katniss shoots Coin instead. It’s not exactly that I forgot that it happened, so much as I forgot when it happened (spoiler) the deal, not the execution. I thought it might be still to come, and possibly it still can be worked in at a later date. Of course they may change the controversial ending (like they did with My Sister’s Keeper– bleugh), or they may just have re-worked how it happens. I certainly hope it’s closer to the second possibilty.

 

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Sunday Surfing 20/4/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

 

Happy Easter everyone 🙂

Around the web this week

The American Library Association has released a list of the most challenged books of 2013. Number one is Captain Underpants.

Is Reading Anti-Social?

Cringe-worthy Proposals From Fiction

Pultizer Winners Revealed

Books Which Grab You From Page One

Which Hunger Games District Do You Belong In? I got district 3, which would be ok, I guess

 

And on the blog this week…

I talked about the Birmingham Independent Book Fair

My Nephew read Horsey, Horsey, Don’t You Stop

I reviewed The Rosie Project

 

 

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Film of the Book: Catching Fire


Please note this post may contain spoilers for The Hunger Games trilogy of books and films.

You can read my review of the book Catching Fire here, and my post about the first Hunger Games film here.

So far (at least) I think that The Hunger Games films have been really good adaptations. I have a tendency to be very critical of films which are based on books, especially when they are based on books which I love. The Hunger Games seem to adapt well however, maybe because Suzanne Collins has written for telly (most notably Clarissa Explains it All– which I loved when I was younger), she is used to that style of writing so it can easily translate. My sister even suggested that the film was better than the book, but although I enjoyed it a lot I’m not sure that I would go that far. Maybe on par with the book- and that says a lot!

There were, as always, things missed out, but there was nothing that I especially noticed, so it did keep fairly well to the book. There was just one moment which didn’t quite work on film, actually, no two. The first was when Katniss met Fenrick for the first time. He didn’t come across quite as seedy in the film as he did in the book. The second was when they realised that the arena was a clock, it felt like it was Katniss’ revelation in the film, when really it wasn’t.

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Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins


Image from Amazon

Mockingjay is the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy. Read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire first.

Synopsis (from Amazon)

The final book in the ground-breaking HUNGER GAMES trilogy. Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’ worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12
Review
Note: I’m about 99% sure that I can’t write this review spoiler free, so I’m not going to try. I will however block out spoilers in my usual fashion. However I won’t be blanking out spoilers from the previous 2 books.
I’m sad to see this story end.  I must admit I would have been perfectly happy with just the first book and I’m still not 100% sure it had to be a series, however I enjoyed the second book much more than I had anticipated and was eager to read this one.
It’s much more of a war type novel than the previous two, I guess though the other two books contain some sense of rebellion they weren’t as geared towards rebellion as this one was- and that was something I expected after how Catching Fire ended.  In some ways it made me like it less. It felt so much more, I don’t know, planned, I guess. In The Hunger Games Katniss was just going with the flow really, following her heart if you want. In this she seemed less in control in a way, more manipulated. I didn’t really like how there was something a bit wrong about how she thought she was being independent. I guess by he end she did though and it shocked me. [highlight for spoiler] I never ever expected for her to shoot Coin, but I understood it. Really the only thing good about Coin is that she wasn’t Snow. She seemed to be just as power hungry. She was willing to sacrifice Katniss so she would win power. She even wanted to do what Snow did, use the Hunger Games to show how powerful she was. Maybe only once but if anyone in the capital is innocent surely it’s the kids? I was surprised Katniss voted for it though, I mean she knew what it does to people, she’d let more people go through that?
4.5/5
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Paperback (£3.86)
Kindle (£3.47)
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Film of the Book: The Hunger Games


Read the book reviews:

The Hunger Games (book 1)

Catching Fire (book 2)

As far as films of books go I was pretty impressed with this one. Pretty good as a film in its own right but also good in comparison to the book. Of course they cut some things, and they changed a few bits, but how long would the film be otherwise? I think they made pretty good decisions with what to cut, although I would have liked a bit more back story when it came to Katniss and Peeta’s relationship. There was one change I didn’t like and that was who gave Katniss the Mockingjay pin. I guess I can see why they wanted to change it, it made things simpler but it does mean it will be difficult (though not impossible) to link it to the original owner of the pin, which is a nice, if not essential element of the book.

Go see it whether you have read the book or not, it’s a good, fun film.

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Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins


Image from Amazon

Catching Fire is the second book in The Hunger Games Trilogy. Read my review of the first book here

Synopsis (from Amazon)

The second book in the ground-breaking HUNGER GAMES trilogy. After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta return to their district, hoping for a peaceful future. But their victory has caused rebellion to break out … and the Capitol has decided tat someone must pay. As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the Capitol’s Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless they can convince the world that they are still lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. Then comes the cruelest twist: the contestants for the next Hunger Games are announced, and Katniss and Peeta are forced into the arena once more.
Review
For some reason I appear to have low expectations of these books. For the first one it sort of made sense, but I really liked that one so surely that should give me high expectations of this one. I guess I thought the whole going back in the arena thing would be a bit much of a stretch, sort of trying to keep the story going past where it should end (which is something I dislike because it just feels like they are trying to get more money out of you). Actually though I was happy to find myself proven wrong (again). In some ways I even enjoyed this one more than the last. It had a bit of a puzzle to it and more story lines to follow. Still can’t say I really like Katniss though.
5/5
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Kindle (£3.47)
Paperback (£3.86)
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On Series


Recently I posted a review of The Hunger Games (which I loved more than I felt I really should) which is of course the first books of The Hunger Games Trilogy. In the comments I got a comment from Andrew @ Where Pen Meets Paper. Andrew suggested that The Hunger Games lost something simply because of its nature as a first book of a series. It’s never something I have really put any thought into before but Andrew if right in at least one sense, when you read a book from a series it automatically has a predictability just because it is a series book. You know that no matter what happens in the story the main character is going to be okay (at least until the last book in the series) because otherwise the series couldn’t continue.

Does this really mean the book is spoiled though? Certainly it takes a certain level of suspense out of the story, and this is particularly pronounced in The Hunger Games because the main bulk of the story is about a battle to the death. However I do wonder how much you think of it at the time of reading though. If you are caught up in a story do you really start thinking rationally at moments of high tension? When Katniss was in danger can I really say that I thought ‘it’ll be okay, there are 2 more books, she has to survive’? I honestly can’t say I remember for that particular book that I thought it.

Plus maybe sometimes it’s a good thing to be able to think it. When all feels in despair and like nothing can ever save your lead character there is a certain comfort that you can think it will be okay because there is another book to come. I think I used this protectionism for a certain extent when reading the Harry Potter series, at times things looked helpless, I thought there was no way Harry could survive but I gained comfort from knowing there were still more books to come, so he must survive. It’s the same reason that only the last book really made me cry, I couldn’t have that comfort anymore.

I guess as well reading a series really spreads out the suspense, because you know someone will be okay by the end of the first books and the penultimate books but do you really know that they will be okay by the end of the last book?

What do you think does reading a series take something away from the story? Does it add something? Or is it just like reading a very long book with lots of twists and turns?

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The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins


Image from Amazon

Synopsis (from Amazon)

A fight to the death – on live TV. The game show where you kill or die, and where the winner’s prize is survival. In District 12, where Katniss Everdeen lives, life is harsh and brutal, ruled from afar by the all-powerful leaders of the Capitol. The climax of each year is the savage Hunger Games – where twelve boys and twelve girls from each District face each other in a murderous showdown. When sixteen-year-old Katniss is chosen to represent her district in the Games, everyone thinks it’s a death sentence. Only one person can survive the horrors of the arena. But plucky Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature…

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Review
So basically I was resisting reading this for ages because I thought it just sounded like s sanitized version of Battle Royale. Which is a stupid reason not to read it really seeing as I have only ever seen the film of Battle Royale and it was too gory for me, why would I not prefer a sanitized version? Maybe there is just a part of me who thought I would find the book easier, after all that is what I found with The Beach, I could read the book but couldn’t watch the film. And while Battle Royale was too gory for me I could appreciate it was a good film, so maybe I just didn’t want a dumbed down version? I don’t know, I’m just stubborn, and I don’t like reading popular things for some reason (unless I read them before they become popular, that’s ok).
Anyway I am waffling. I was actually pleasantly surprised by The Hunger Games. It took a little while for me to properly get into it although it was easy reading so I didn’t get through the less interesting chunk at the beginning. I found the book generally well paced and it contained enough twists to keep me on my toes. There was plenty of action  to keep me reading and wanting to know what happened next. but enough calmer times to be able to reflect on what was going on and to stop the book seeming too plot driven.
I am unsure about reading the next book. Based on the blurb it sounds a bit like a sequel for the sake of writing a sequel, although The Hunger Games was open ended enough to allow a sequel (or not).
I must admit though I do want to read Battle Royale now, even if just to see how similar the two books really are.
5/5
Buy it:
Kindle (£4.03)
Paperback (£4.48)
Hardback (£9.14)
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