Category Archives: book into movie

Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins

(Finished December 20, 2011)

Yes, #2 took me three days to read. This took me 11. Why? It is my least favorite of the Hunger Games books. And I can’t really pinpoint exactly why. I think it just felt like it dragged on forever…and then when the end finally came it was over in a wink. The ending was predictable too.

So at the end of book two, Katniss has just blown up games, basically. But she finds out it was all planned. She’s picked up on the playing field and transported to the infamous DISTRICT 13, which, of course, does exist. (How could it not?)

Turns out 13 has been plotting and biding its time — waiting for a chance to take attack Panem. Katniss has given them this chance. The other districts are rioting against the Capitol. 13 sees its opportunity.

Oh, I forgot to mention. Peeta was captured by the Capitol and has been trained to hate Katniss. So that makes things interesting when they go on a mission to save him.

With Katniss as the “GIRL ON FIRE” — the face of the rebellion — things go crazy fast. Fights, angst. And then Katniss and Peeta and Gale are in the Capitol running from scary rat creatures.

SPOILERS:

In the end, of course, 13 and the districts defeat Panem. Life goes back to “normal”. And Katniss, speaking from 15 years in the future explains why she did end up with Peeta.

(Felt a little J.K. Rowling-at-the-end-of-HP to me.)

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

(Finished December 9, 2011)

FINALLY.  I borrowed books two and three of The Hunger Games from Kira and devoured them. Book two was pretty good. Book three, you will see, was not so much. Both were predictable.

In book two, Katniss and Peeta are forced to return to a special edition of The Hunger Games. To celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of Panem, the past tributes from each district must compete. This means the broken, the strong, the young and the old will all fight one another to the death.

Of course things are complicated because Pres. Snow threatens Katniss. He sees her has a threat against Panem because of her suicide attempt the year before. He’s creepy, that’s all I have to say. And I wouldn’t want to cross him. (The creepy roses…)

To make a long story short, Katniss and Peeta find allies during the games and at the end of the book, they really stick it to the Capitol. And thus begins book three…

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

(Finished November 9, 2011)

So I have this thing with books I own – I tend to lose interest, even if the book itself is excellent, because I know I don’t have a time limit. Yes, this was the first time I’d ever read Jane Eyre. And it took me about a year. But I finally finished. And I loved it.

I really don’t know how I didn’t know the ending; the story is so popular. But I somehow managed to avoid learning what exactly happened. And I’m so glad I did!

Jane is my new hero. Quiet, homely, moral and intelligent – she is my kind of heroine. I’m sure that’s why this book is such a favorite: almost everyone can see something of themselves in Jane. We consider ourselves underdogs, losers, invisible to those who we see as superiors. Jane cannot see the traits others see in her as assets. Her situation certainly makes you re-evaluate yourself.

Oh, and Rochester. Not your typical main man. A little rough around the edges, secretive, and not super attractive, he makes himself irresistible to Jane because of his sharp mind and ability to care for her out of mutual respect and intelligence.

Every love story needs a conflict, and the conflict in this one seems insurmountable. (And a little supernatural – always a nice twist.) Creepy English manors, fires, sounds from the attic – Charlotte knew how to keep readers invested.

There’s just something about the sensible girl getting her man!

Jane EyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So good! Can’t believe it took me so long to get around to it!

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Yes, I have finally gotten around to reading The Hunger Games. Or rather I finally got it from the library after being on the waiting list for about two months.

It was worth the wait. Well, really, it probably would have been worth buying buuuuuuut oh well.

I’m just glad I finally read it. So good. Although I don’t know how I feel about it being meant for kids, what with the forced murder and violence and all.

Clearly, Katniss is awesome. She is the kind of heroine I had wished for Margo to be in Once Upon a River. She is a skilled hunter, smart, cunning, brave and talented. But she’s still messed up — she has problems — she just seems to deal with them in a much more productive way than Margo.

Oh, and yeah, Katniss is a weird name. I’m just glad they explained it was a kind of plant. Because otherwise, I would have continued being confused about her name. (Little things like that bug me when I’m reading — don’t know why.)

Anyway, she’s awesome. And then there’s Peeta.Who just comes off as this adorable guy. And I totally called from the beginning, when he was also chosen as a tribute and Katniss had a weird reaction, that something was going to happen there. Typical young adult book plot. But I was totally okay with how it played out in during the Games. Even his apparent back-stabbing was perfect. Of course it was all a part of the games. (Or so we think at this point…? Might there be twists lurking in the next book?)

I won’t share too much — don’t want to give away any spoilers — but let’s just say the games are intense. And nutso. The whole Panem and Capitol and Districts — that whole situation is crazy to start with, but add the Games, and wow. You reach a whole new level of crazy. Throughout the first half of the book, I had to keep reading simply to find out what the heck they were talking about.

Like I said, I’m really glad I read this book. Can’t wait to get the second one. (Hope I get it from the library before I’m tempted to buy it! Maybe I’ll need to make a trip to my fave used bookstore just to check if they have it. Hmm…)

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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One Day by David Nicholls

One Day by David Nicholls was another suggestion from Miss Recob. It was also another book I wanted to read before I saw the movie. So, done.

One Day was great…until it wasn’t. The end is maybe one of the most depressing things I’ve ever read. I say maybe, but I mean…okay, I’ve read a lot of books about war and the Holocaust, things like that, and clearly it is no match for those. But still. I literally became so sad/mad by what happens at the end that I had to stop reading for a day and compose myself.

I think my favorite thing about One Day is its structure, which is clearly what makes it stand out in the first place. The idea that so many important things could happen to Emma on Dexter on one single day is amazing and lovely. (Obviously total fiction because no one really has one single day on which so many memorable things actually happen.) The idea is fantastic, though, and makes for a really fun read. Each “year” the reader catches up on a lot of the changes. Who is dating someone new, who is doing their dream job, who changed their hair, habits, etc.

The characters have their moments. One minute you hate Dexter because he is an obnoxious snob, and the next minute you feel sorry for him. You’re cheering for Emma while she tries to get her career as a novelist off the ground, but the next minute you’re super annoyed when all she can do is complain.

I do have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with the whole “When Harry met Sally” plot line. It’s over done. (The book I’m reading right now is very similar.) At least One Day is more realistic — the characters don’t really have that happily ever after. Just kind of. I think the “When Harry met Sally” thing is such a common theme because it’s tragic yet beautiful. The thing that frustrates me about it is how it deals with the whole make/female relationship thing. I think it’s possible for a man and woman to be just friends. The hundreds of “When Harry met Sally” plot lines tend to disagree, and I find that frustrating. Maybe I should write my own novel about a man and a woman just being best friends and it working out just fine…but then, no one would actually read my book!

I definitely enjoyed his book, and it was a nice break from the intensity of Outlander. I’m reading Love, Rosie right now, and then I’ll start back in with the Outlander series book number two. (I just picked it up from the library today — it’s quite hefty!)

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Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

When I first read a synopsis of Water for Elephants a few years ago, I thought, “A circus? The depression? Really? That sounds incredibly boring, and I don’t want to read that…” Well, I changed my mind after hearing a couple more years of amazing reviews. And, of course, there’s a movie or something…

(By the way, FRIEND, that link is for Nook. The book is on sale right now. And for less than I paid for my used copy of it!)

My favorite things about the book: Gruen’s suspenseful writing, the setting shifts, the scene in Chicago and the skillful character development.

First of all — her writing. Despite an introduction that really does describe the last scene, I wanted to keep reading. The intro perfectly foreshadowed the ending of the novel without giving anything away. But I probably still would have kept reading if I hadn’t decided to actually read the intro. (Sometimes I don’t — especially when they’re just little intros by the author with blahblahblah about the history of the book since its first publication. Interesting, but not really. And anyway, there was one of these after the book was over and I read that one…)

I really enjoyed how the author switches between Jacob, the main character, then and “now”. Always a good way to structure a book. The straight-up story would’ve been intense. She always pulls back to 90-something year-old Jacob at the perfect time. Well, for me, it was perfect because it was usually when I needed to take a break — but still. She’d build up suspense and then, bam, old Jacob is forgetting his nurse’s name again or bickering with some other old dude at the nursing home. Such a bizarre shift from the fast-paced and dangerous circus-life.

Okay, so there was this Chicago scene. It was pretty cool. And I hate to say this, but it might be one of the parts I’m looking forward to the most in the movie. It’ll be awesome. But anyway, they go to this underground speakeasy. And it just sounds magical. Crazy, but magical. And of course, crap goes down at the speakeasy…

The author is a master of character development. Walter is clearly proof of this. When the reader is first introduced to Walter (who goes by another name at that point) he is a stingy, mean, cold-hearted little man with a big ego and a little dog. By the end of the book Walter becomes an integral part of the plot. Irreplaceable. Plus you like him.

What can I say? This book made me laugh (the antics of an old man in a nursing home with a sense of humour about himself) and cry (just wait until the end). You won’t be able to put it down!

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