Category Archives: survival

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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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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Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell

(Finished October 5, 2011)

For a book touted as a heroine survival story, Margo doesn’t seem like much of a heroine. Call me a feminist, but when you practically rely on men for your survival during your entire “journey”, it doesn’t really make you a heroine.

Margo lets things happen to her. She does. Sure, she can be resourceful. And I know she is just doing what she can with what she knows. But again, for a heroine, she is rather short-sighted. And her quickness with a gun — well, it gets her in trouble more often than it helps her.

Life had to be tough for an outcast only daughter in rural Michigan, this much I understand. You’re the only child of your grandfather’s illegitimate son. That’s tough. But for the most part, Margo’s family seems to accept her. Until her uncle does something unthinkable. And she tries to get revenge.

Revenge isn’t always the answer.

My favorite part about this book was the author’s descriptions of life on the river. I love Michigan, and I enjoyed reading about the river, its twists and turns, its creatures and its inhabitants. In some ways, it seems idyllic. In other lights, it seems almost barbaric. I do think Margo is brave for facing so much on her own. For killing her own food, skinning it and all. I couldn’t do that. But then again, I didn’t grow up on a river.

I almost feel sorry for the guys who come into Margo’s life. Especially Michael. He is a good man, and she takes total advantage of him. And I seriously don’t like how she sleeps with all the men who help her. Really, a heroine?

Margo lies a lot too, and I’m not really sure that makes a good heroine.

I read so many rave reviews of this book, and it makes me sad that I didn’t like it as much. But, to each her own. And I plan to never live on my own on a river. Ever.

Once Upon a RiverOnce Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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