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Showing posts from May, 2011

And So It Ends...Mockingjay (Book #9)

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I have been having a hard time coming up with a way to even start my review of Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy.  It's almost like letting go of a beloved friend...though perhaps not as devastating as the final installation of Harry Potter, in which I sobbed almost uncontrollably at 3am.  Once again I must warn you...if you have not read the two previous books in this trilogy, read no further!!!

The revolution against the Capitol is in full effect and Katniss Everdeen is, currently, on the losing side (the rebels).  She's been recovering from the 75th Annual Quarter Quell Hunger Games in the underground city of District 13, along with fellow survivors:  Finnick and Beetee.  District 12 has been destroyed and people are dead and dying.  All of the districts are rebelling against the Capitol, save a few, and are meeting heavy opposition.  The fate of the districts lies in the hands of District 13 and Katniss.  Will she join the revolu…

Catching Fire (Book #8)

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CAUTION:  SPOILER ALERT!!!
Seriously...if you haven't finished or even read The Hunger Games do not continue reading!  I warned you...that's all.

Suzanne Collins's sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, does exactly what it sets out to do:  catches everything on fire.  The reader is brought back into Katniss Everdeen's life as she gets ready to embark on her Victory Tour, along with Peeta Mellark, her District 12 co-champion, for winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games.  They survived and outlasted 22 other tributes from various districts by employing a tactic that showed, though unintentionally, a strong sense of rebellion toward the Capitol, thus placing the two of them (more-so Katniss) on the governments Black List, all so they could return home and live in luxury.  Little does Katniss, or anyone else know, that luxury is not exactly on the agenda.  Yes, when the duo first return home, they are given new homes in the Victor's Village of District 12, along with…

Holy Hunger Games (Book #7)

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WHY!!!  Why did I wait so long to read this?!?  Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, the first in the trilogy, is absolutely brilliant and impossible to put down!  The young adult novel is set in a post-apocalyptic America in which there is one government (very Communistic) ruling over 12 scattered districts.  It centers around Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year old girl from District 12 who volunteers to take Prim, her 12-year old sister's, place in the annual Hunger Games.  In the games, two tributes, one boy and one girl, are selected randomly from each district.  These 24 tributes are then required to fight to the death in an undisclosed location in order to return home.  This is done for several reasons:  to ensure complete control of the government and as a reminder to the districts of the power that the goverment holds over them.

The acts that these children, ages 12 to 18, are required to withstand in the Games are absolutely atrocious.  The fact that the ruling community…

Gutsy Women (Book #6)

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Marybeth Bond's Gutsy Women: Travel Tips and Wisdom from the Road is just that, a book of traveling tips and tidbits specifically geared toward women of all ages.  The book is divided into chapters that walk you through preparations for packing and departure, for eating, shopping, and meeting people, and designated traveling types.  Interspersed into each chapter are quotes from well-traveled writers that pertain to the section.  Some are entertaining, some are true, and some are unnecessary.

Bond opens the text with a quote from Alexandra David-Neel, a French explorer and writer, who stated that "travel not only stirs the blood...it also gives birth to the spirit."  Honestly, I could not agree more.  As a fellow traveler, I can attest that the times where you venture into unknown territory, though at times frightening, leads to some of the most rewarding experiences of your life.  Whether searching for a fellow traveler in the middle of the night by candlelight in a Bav…