Monday, November 30, 2009

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

In this heartbreakingly honest memoir Jean-Dominique, former editor of Elle magazine in France, writes of his thoughts and memories during the course of time that he is trapped within his own body.

In 1995 Jean suffered a stroke that left him with 'locked-in syndrome' which essentially traps a person within their own body. He could not move, could not speak, and had no control over his body. His brain was fully functioning though and this is how this book came about.

How is the possible? Well, Jean did have control over one part of his body- his left eye. And by blinking each time someone guessed a correct letter to what he was trying to say he stated his memoir letter by letter, blink by blink.

The language used in this book is powerful and allows you to realize that although most people would state that this man was a vegetable, more or less, he still had a fully functional brain. The book is short, just over 100 pages, but I find I can't critique that aspect.

This man could not talk and yet he managed to blink out over 100 pages of a memoir. Over 100 pages of memories he finds himself dwelling on, over 100 pages of his feelings of loneliness and death now that his former life is dead, and I think it's an amazing feat.

Take any person and have them try to tell an entire story letter by letter and I doubt it would be very long. Despite that I still feel it was beautifully written although sad. I don't think I could continue living if I was in his position and I credit him for giving doctors a chance to see inside the mind of someone with locked in syndrome.

It's worth the read if only to take a moment to appreciate the life you have, even if at times you think it's not quite right.

Jean-Domonique died two days after the publication of this book from pneumonia but his life lives on in the pages of this brief memoir and the film adaptation of it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

If You Take a Mouse To School

I love these books!

I'm totally sorry, I do realize that I am a 23 year old adult and all... but I love these books! I can't up-sell them enough. I just think they're so adorable.

Really, give me any books that involve cute fuzzy animals that do cute little things and I'll love it but I cannot get enough of this little guy!

Much like If You Take A Mouse To The Movies we follow our fuzzy friend as he goes to school for the first time and the antics that ensue from that little trip. The illustrations are, once more, adorable and colorful and I enjoyed reading it.

I am totally going to read more of these books. The If You Give series is just far too cute. I might even buy them to keep around the house and I'm thinking of buying a couple for the little kids I know and love in my life.

So go to a library or book store and read them asap, because they're just too cute to pass up!

Friday, November 27, 2009

This is very important.

I'm just dropping in to note....

.... that I survived my first year of working retail on Black Friday.

.... and I never want to do it again....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas

Nancy, a fancy little girl who is displayed wearing sparkles and bright frilly clothes, is set for Christmas. This popular children's character has a list of other books but what was on the display during my break time was Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas. I had never read a Fancy Nancy book before and was interested in seeing why children and parents alike enjoyed it so much.

Silly me, the answer is so clear!

While Nancy's book pages are filled with bright colors, frills, flowers, and butterflies there is also an overlying layer of sparkles- that can attract anyone. But what I truly enjoyed was that each and every page in the book has some lesson for kids. What an educational book! Because Nancy is 'fancy' she uses fancy words. So each page, while she's telling her story, she'll say something using a 'big' word and then quickly explain what the word means. For children who are learning words these books could certainly open their minds to an advanced vocabulary.

My eldest cousin has two kids who both have a very advanced vocabulary for their age and it's hilarious to hear these words come out of their mouths- but also impressive. Anthony, the eldest of the two (at a ripe old age of 5) was quoted to say "I was disappointed. I would like a nap." after seeing an air show (at the age of 3). What 3 year old says that?! But it's impressive that they know 'big' words and how to use it. I think it will help them when their older and in school.

And here, Fancy Nancy creates a great way for little girls who are filled with the fascination of fancy girly things can also get an education while they're at it. I need to ask my cousin if his daughter has these books because otherwise I've discovered an excellent Christmas present for his daughter (who is 3). I'd suggest this for anyone who has a little girl in their lives. What's better then an entertaining and bright book that also educates?


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blueberry Girl

I picked up the Blueberry Girl just after I retrieved it from the stock room. It's written by one of my favorite authors: Neil Gaiman and I had heard mention of some book by him called Blueberry Girl. Little did I know it was a childrens book and little did I know just how surprised I'd be when I read it.

I feel that this book is a perfect gift for a mother or daughter, something to give someone at a baby shower who is going to have a little girl, it's filled with beautiful pictures of mothers, daughters, and animals. I truly appreciated the artwork and thought that in itself was wonderful.

But the story, well calling it a 'prayer' might be more appropriate, is beautiful and well written. A wish for a child- a little girl- and that her life be filled with wonder. That she is strong and adventurous and the problems of the world do not hurt her. All wishes for a blueberry girl.

I feel Neil Gaiman eloquently points out all of the hopes and prayers a person will have for their daughter. What do you hope your child will experience? What do you pray they will possess in their lives? I feel this is placed perfectly in this lovely story.

Please watch the youtube video if you're interested in the actual story. It includes the artwork featured in the book and is read by Neil Gaiman himself. It's beautiful and I hope that one day, if I am lucky enough to have a child and it be a little girl, I will buy this book for her. My own prayers for my own blueberry girl.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

T'was the Night Before Thanksgiving

With bright quirky drawings and expression filled turkeys this book looks pretty cute. The tale is told in a copy of "T'was the Night Before Christmas" but tells a very much different tale.

A group of children go on a class trip to a local farm where they meet a group of turkeys. They love and cuddle the turkeys and become quick friends with the feathered creatures until they discover that the turkeys are to be killed for Thanksgiving.

Quickly the children 'save' the turkeys and bring them home to have as guests for Thanksgiving while all of their meals become vegetarian ones.

The story is quirky and cute and to be honest I wondered where the story was going to go when these children met these turkeys. I mean, it's Thanksgiving, we all know what the main course tends to be. But I also feel that the story kind of forced a horrible view towards people who do eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

This would be a great book for a family that eats meat free come the holidays but I'm not quite sure it's something I'd want to introduce to a group of kids who are just about to eat the bird that they just read about saving.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

If You Take a Mouse To The Movies

Following the course of If You Give books and a Christmas filled follow up of the much loved If You Give a Mouse a Cookie this book is filled with adorable, bright pictures of the little mouse and his pal all while describe the adventure that ensues if you take a mouse to the movies.

This is definitely a bedtime story that is short and sweet with artwork to catch the imagination of a child but a story that isn't too long. It was enjoyable, even for me, who had never read the book before and decided to read it last night at the ripe old age of 23.

This little demanding mouse (who is just so cute!) is taken to the movies but if you take a mouse to the movies he'll obviously want some popcorn. And if he has some popcorn he'll want to string them together. If he strings them together then he'll want to put them on a Christmas tree! The continuing wants and needs of this little guy wraps you up and quickly takes you along. My personal favorite part of the story was looking at the artwork. If all mice were as cute as this, I wouldn't mind if we had one in the house!

If you have a little one who you will be buying for this holiday season I'd highly suggest taking a peek at this book. The version I had even had a 'workbook' of sorts in the back with fun activities for kids so it's double the pleasure!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Gifts

The holiday season is upon us. We might not have our holiday decorations out just yet but the volume of customers in my store are definitely proving the onslaught of holiday 'cheer' is near. People are snatching up Christmas gifts as quickly as they can with general surprise on my part.

And in my home life I've noticed the crease in my mothers forehead that she always gets when the holidays arrive. That stressed out 'what am I getting people for gifts' line. I provided her with a list of stuff I'd love for Christmas and every item on the list is a book title.

Call me a bookworm, I don't care.

But really, every year as I get older I don't want very much. I could sure go for some new clothes, I need new sweaters to last me through the cold wintery weather, but I hate having people buy me clothes because I am too long of a person to just fit into any such size. I need to actually try on all of my clothing before buying it (this makes online shopping impossible). What else could I use? $25,000 so I can pay off all my student loans? Well I don't suspect I'll be getting that wrapped up in a box. But really, what do I need? Nothing really. Just stuff to spoil and educate myself with... like books. Oh, and these owl bookends I discovered- but I'll be buying those for myself. Otherwise, I don't need anything.

So that leaves me wondering... what do you all want for your holiday gifts? I do mean gifts, not peace on earth- that goes without being said. What are you asking your loved ones to hand you this holiday season?

And as a public service announcement: Please be nice to your cashiers during this holiday season. We're people too and we hurt a little when you're mean to us.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Three Children's Books and a Promotion

I'm sorry I've been so absent and delayed. Here is the d00m report:
  1. My boss is in the hospital with the H1N1 flu (swine flu) and has been for the past week. Please keep her in your thoughts for a speedy recovery.
  2. The majority of my co-workers are sick. Not H1N1 but we're all, understandably, worried.
  3. I have been very sick since Sunday night. I've been suffering from a horrible cough and a congested head. I called off of work today and during the rest of the week I have been very distant with friends. Not intentionally, I've just felt sick and haven't had the energy to be on the internet.
So during the course of my being sick I've done very little reading... and the reading I have done have been short and sweet children's stories that will be great gifts for the holiday season. So let's check them out!

The Polar Express

This classic has become greatly popular in recent years due to the recent movie hit. The movie is, hands down, one of my most favorite Christmas movies. It's artfully done with beautiful music and an enjoyable point to simply believe. If you have not seen the movie, I urge you to check it out, I guarantee you'll enjoy it.

I always wondered if the movie was anything like the original story and when I picked up the book I was impressed to see that although they extended scenes and made them more creative many of the impressive points in The Polar Express movie were all featured in the book. So good job movie makers, you stuck to the story.

With beautiful large pictures and the story urging children to believe, truly believe, it's a comforting story that could be read at night before bed with the Christmas lights twinkling in the distance. A lovely book, a lovely story, lovely paintings, and a lovely movie adaptation. A must have for the bookshelves of children.

Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy

I've seen this book sitting on bookstore shelves for years and I never knew what it was about aside from an adorable photograph on the front cover of two deers eerily peering at a snowman in the woods.

Picking up the book I discovered that it features a quick story of the different woodland animals and their curiosity towards a stranger that has been seen in the woods. Each page shows a photograph of that voiced animal in the snowy woods and when the story progresses the animals discover the stranger- a snowman with a carrot nose and seeds in it's hat. The animals are photographed eating the carrot nose and feasting on the seeds. The stranger is then discovered to have been placed their by two children who refurbish the snowmans now missing nose and the seeds that were eaten.

This book, all based around real photos, reminded me so much of my childhood. I loved to build snowmen and always made it a venture to try and make a huge one. Even now in my adulthood I still get the urge to make a snowman. But as a child I would always be excited to see the few animals and birds that were left behind in the cold weather emerge from the woods to investigate my snowman and eventually eat the carrot nose I had placed. I feel this story would be very appropriate for a young child, one who would be more satisfied with the pictures of the animals, because the story itself is generally very simple. It's appropriate for Christmas but also for any other point in the cold of winter.

Beckett and the Panda-monium

This cute story has adorable photos of fuzzy, happy little pandas all over it's brightly colored pages. It follows Beckett, the featured panda, and his hunt for bamboo. But along the way he gains a following of other pandas who want some yummy bamboo too.

Each new sets of pandas Beckett finds is a number up from the last. First two pandas join him, then three, then four. A great way to work in numbers and counting to the cute story. Quite possibly a decent book for children who are learning to count from 1-10.

And currently at Borders bookstores they are selling a TY Beckett bear for $8.99 if you spend $30 or more. (that would be the promotional part of this entry)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Betsy In Spite of Herself

In this cute sixth book of the Betsy-Tacy series Betsy enters her sophomore year of high school and "the winding hall of fate". After a restful and happy summer Betsy goes back to school and discovers a new student, Phil, whose wealthy and has something exciting to talk about: an automobile! (Remember this book takes place before 1910).

With the new year Betsy gets to face an assortment of new adventures. She travels by herself out of state for the first time to visit one of her best friends Tib in Milwaukee. Her family gets to dine at the exotic Moorsih Cafe. And most exciting of all, Betsy has her first true beau- Phil, the wealthy newcomer.

But with dating Phil Betsy changes herself so that he will like her more. She's not her normal happy self and forsakes her beloved writing and time spent with her friends. When Phil see's Betsy's true personality shine through will he appreciate it or turn away?

Betsy is obviously growing up and treading through the emotions and events of a teenager and even more life changes approach as her beloved sister Julia graduates from High School.

Once more I was caught in the nostalgia of my own High School experiences. I am still amazed that a book written 100 years ago can be so truthful as to the ordeals girls face in this present day and age. I'm excited to pick up the next four books to the series!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One Year Anniversary!

Today is the one year anniversary since I started this blog. :) Back then it was only for fun and I had very little hopes that anyone would ever read it. Now I have over 20 readers and I love each and every one of them!

For the anniversary I figured I'd make a list of 12 different facts about me... since usually we don't dive too far into my personal life. So here we go!

12 Facts for 12 Months
  1. I am an only child and always wanted to have siblings. But I think being an only child helped me develop my creative streak!
  2. I had white blonde hair as a little kid, it's darkened since then and during the summer I get wicked thick blonde streaks from the sun.
  3. I used to be a dancer in High School. I've taken classes in tap, jazz, swing, ballroom, belly dancing, lyrical, hip-hop, ballet, and a cultural mix. I've also done a mock audition for the Radio City Rockettes and learned three of their dances!
  4. I originally was going to go to college for art but then changed my mind and went for English. The only regret I have is that I didn't simply dual major in the two. Art is still my second love to reading.Self-Portrait via what one would look like pressed up against a photocopier.
  5. I am a MUTT. My heritage goes as follows: German, Sicilian (or Italian), Swedish, Dutch, English, and Irish. :-)
  6. My favorite seasons are summer and fall. I definitely enjoy spring and winter for certain aspects but they aren't my favorites. Despite that I despise winter from the months of January til it's over with... I could never live somewhere where I don't experience seasons. One of my favorite aspects of fall is the changing of the leaves, the crisp air, and the smell of wood smoke. And my favorites of summer consist of my birthday, the warmth, the shade, swimming, birds, and all of the fun things that you can go and experience!Musikfest August 2009Hawk Mountain October 2008
  7. I grew up in New York in the Catskill Mountains. I was about 30 minutes from the Woodstock Festival site and 30 minutes from Orange County Choppers which are featured on the tv channel TLC. Gavin DeGraw went to my High School. He's actually a very sweet and down to earth person. I moved to Pennsylvania the week I turned 21 and now live and work near where TLC's Jon and Kate Plus 8 live. I also live by the Amish.
  8. I am really good at coming up with crafty fun things and baked goods. Not so much at the hard labor. In fact, I'm kinda scary with it.Habitat for Humanity circa 2007
  9. I am gluten free due to celiac's disease (an allergy to gluten). It's hard to resist cookies and cakes, pastas and breads, and microwavable snacks but it will be beneficial in the long run. I've been g-free for one month and in a months time I'm already seeing my health improve and I've found a lot of g-free foods that taste like the real thing!
  10. My 'life dreams' consist of the following: taking more art classes, taking classes to raise my GPA, get into a grad school, graduate from a grad school, learn a foreign language, get married, have children, and raise them to appreciate life and books. And also have them steeped into the tradition of appreciating food (by making meals from scratch and growing our own plants!)
  11. I want to travel to Europe. I want to travel there SO BADLY. I have a map of Europe taped behind my bedroom door and the countries I want to visit are all colored in with highlighter. I will literally fall into a (brief) depression if I think about how I'm not in Europe and will likely not be able to afford it for a very long time. I feel like traveling Europe is very much a 'calling' of some sort.
  12. Detailed description of me is needed! I am 5'9", I have blonde hair, I have blue/gray eyes that turn green when I cry (my face also gets a very patchy red color to it). I have incredibly long fingers, I surpass the finger length of most guys, and my feet are a bit big- but average for someone my height. I have horrible knee and hip problems due to dance injuries and fear how I'll be when I'm old. I wear glasses for distance and I hated having them splattered with rain so I finally got contacts a year ago. My hair is just past my shoulders... although it used to be only a bob and before that... almost to my butt. I miss the long hair to be honest. I care for my family and friends with a fierceness that can be frightening- I'm equally protective to them. I'm the same way to people I don't really know but show me kindness. And I love you, my readers, because all of your comments have been so genuine and sweet. You're all fantastic people and I am proud that you're my following.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Heaven to Betsy

This is one of those situations where I totally judged a book by it's cover. I do it more then I should, probably, and totally ignore the old saying. Thing is, if you have an interesting cover to your book I will likely pick it up to see what it's about.

I did just that with Heaven to Betsy. It's 1920 style artwork on the front cover caught my eye as did it's bright colors. I picked up the book and decided I'd buy it, not realizing that it was the 5th book of an entire series (The Betsy-Tacy Series).

However, Heaven to Betsy is the first book of her High School career and as I quickly realized as I read one did not need to have the previous four books to jump right into the thick of things. You get to see the life of Betsy Ray through her eyes in the early twentieth century. With the turn of the century just occurring we're thrown into a world filled with pompadours, houses with no electric, and the very start of the introduction to horseless carriages.

Any time period between 1900-1940 kinda creeps me out. I don't exactly know why... it just always has. I immediately think of my younger self traipsing through local museums and looking at all of the beauty supplies of that era which reminds me more of torture devices. It seems like such another world and one I never was very interested in learning about. But these Betsy books slipped me right into that age without me really noticing.

Suddenly I was deep into the book and craving more. Betsy is such a modern day girl and it's incredibly interesting that Maude Hart Lovelace, who was born in 1892, could make a character who could be so likable 100 years later.

Betsy's existence takes place before women had the right to vote, before women were really seen as much else then a house wife and mother. Betsy is a talkative girl who has a passion for writing and has little interest in just settling down. She'd much rather see the great world first! Her best friend Tacy is even more interesting in that she is completely uninterested in men which is almost unheard of for this time period.

Betsy has her typical teenage issues: crushes that go no-where, confusion about boys, qualms over the way she looks. She is a terrible ice skater but a decent writer. She's a great friend and a loving sister. What a wonderful and refreshing character to read about!

All of her friends are decent and fun loving also and the book is a very enjoyable read. I felt happy while reading it. It might not have loads of adventure or anything too exciting to occur but you feel as if you are seeing Betsy's life first hand and feel for her through her worries and happiness.

I'm excited to read the following books in the series and hope to acquire the earlier books of Betsy's childhood. I can see why there is a Betsy Ray society which consists of fans of the series. Such a happy read and I'm so glad I did judge this book by it's cover! I'll surely read it again and I would happily suggest it to anyone who is looking for a fun loving book for themselves or a daughter.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good Omens

Neil Gaiman has proven to me already that he's a great writer and a really amusing tweeter (I follow his twitter, you should too!) So when co-workers suggested I read Good Omens I jumped on the chance. But let us not forget, this was a book not only written by Neil Gaiman but well known fantasy writer Terry Pratchett as well.

Let me first introduce to you the subject matter of this book. It's about the apocalypse. About the Anti-Christ who everyone thinks is this child called Warlock but indeed is a very normal 11 year-old boy named Adam. The Hell Hound meant to be under Adam's instructions turns into a cuddling, wiggling, puppy and an angel and demon both are dead set on not having the world end quite yet. Because, well, they're having a great time enjoying what the world has to offer.

The angel, Aziraphele, and demon (Crowley, formerly known as Crawley) are close enough friends (in a very backwards sort of way) that they decide to try and derail all plans of making the world end. How they'll do that, they'll figure it out.

While Adam is living a happy life of a child, unknowing of his great power and in turn creating some form of a fantasy world for himself, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are forming with intentions of finding the Anti-Christ. But not only are the 'bad guys' hot on Adam's (blissfully ignorant) tail but so are the good guys in the form of a witch hunter and actual witch who join forces in the name of continuing life and keeping the world turning.

All of this surrounds occasional mentions of Agnes Nutter's prophecy book. A witch who was burned at the stake (and also prophesied her death right down to the minute. She didn't even forget to cancel her milk delivery beforehand) she has the exact day and time of when the world will end.

If you have a fair idea of what the apocalypse is meant to entail and a dry, sarcastic, and sometimes dark sense of humor this will be an amusing book for you. There were many moments where I caught myself laughing quietly to myself and receiving odd looks from those around me.

It took me awhile to read this book, simply because I was reading about 10 others at the same time, but once I sat down and focused just on this book alone I realized I wish I had done that very thing from day one. The fact that this book is written by two authors, both of which took one group of characters then traded them by the end of the novel, amazes me. I don't quite know if I could write a book with someone and manage to keep the same literary voices present and not leak in my own literary style. I feel if less-adequate writers did this project it wouldn't have been presented in one strong voice, it wouldn't have been written so perfectly.

It's an amusing book meant for fun and jabs. I feel it's not to be taken seriously but truly meant for enjoyment. I keep catching myself about to make references to it in every day life. It's stuck with me and I had a great time reading it.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Readers, time to make your suggestions!

Decembers Book of the Month votes can now be placed.
So all of you readers, if you have a book that you love and think I would enjoy, please leave a comment on this post!

I hope everyone can land a suggestion and I will chose one of the books to read. Then, on December 1st, I'll post my opinion of the book along with the opinion of the person who suggested the book to me.

So please get your thinking caps on and think of a book that falls under this category:
Something I must read
Something you loved yourself
Something you would think I too would love
And preferably a book that has a great influence on your life

Leave your suggestions in the comments below and we'll see on December 1st what book I pick!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Confession: I'm actually a writer

I've always had books in my life, they've always been there to comfort me when nothing else could, and bring a form of escape when I needed it most. Reading is so a part of me that I feel it's equivalent to an arm or a leg. It's just there. It's always been there and I don't think it will ever go away.

But writing is something different. Writing is something I do, that I chose to be a part of, that I struggle with and potentially learn from. It's something I have a passion for. Something that I've been embarrassed of at times and proud of at others.

When I was in High School I was published. Two poems in different poetry books. I was ecstatic and so proud but now I look at the poems and think "what was I thinking?!" In college I had two more poems published, this time in the school literary magazine. I don't know why... while the first two poems are in actual books with actual ISBN numbers... the other two were seen by my peers. I had professors and students alike comment on them. I felt like they had more of an impact.

But poetry isn't the only thing that I've done. I've taken extensive writing courses and even wanted to go to school for writing, not English, for a long time. I changed my mind when I realized how terribly hard it was to get a book published but I continued writing.

By the time I was 17 I had nine manuscripts fully written. Were they any good? Probably not. But I had written out full stories with a plot and characters. At the very least, they were practice and something worth being proud of.

When college came I began to rewrite those stories, make them more readable and more entertaining, I didn't write anything new.

When Cathy died I read Twilight (as mentioned in this post) and then November sprung up upon me. NaNoWriMo was something I had tried once before and had failed miserably but I wanted to put my anger, confusion, hurt, and sorrow into words that didn't need to be heard. I wrote a story and won NaNoWriMo that year within three weeks. It felt wonderful to be writing again, wonderful to get all of those emotions out. The story is tucked away in a file and I'm actually very proud of it. If every I got enough nerve I'd edit the story then try to get it published.

The following year I tried NaNoWriMo again and won with flying colors, it was a continuation of the first story. This year I'm a little dried out, a little confused as to what I should write. But write I will.

Sometimes I write with the dreams of being published and holding my work in a hard bound book. But sometimes I write to keep the demons at bay. It will always be there, even if I don't do it all the time, writing is always there. I guess that's what makes me a writer.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Novembers Book of the Month: The Hunger Games

Early in October I asked you, my readers, to suggest a book for me to read. Meghan and Amanda both suggested I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Meghan and Amanda's reasons for urging me to read this book are as follows:

Amanda wrote:

I read The Hunger Games because of Stephanie Meyer's recommendation of them on her website. I thought it might be a decent read, so when I found it at a used bookstore I bought it. I started reading it one morning before school and honestly could I was reading under my desk, racing to class just so I could shove in 8 minutes of reading time. I finished that night. Games honestly pulls you in and won't let you go, even after you've finished reading the book. I still think about Katniss, Peeta, & Gale, and I finished Catching Fire probably a month ago. I think you should read Games, if for nothing else, a brief escape from reality. I forgot everything around me. How often does a book like that come around?

and Meghan noted:

I first heard about The Hunger Games from Busy Bee Lauren. She was raving about it (and of course Peeta Mellark). I was looking for a new book to read. I’m really into fiction books, so I looked up what it was about. It’s different from other books I’ve been reading lately, so I decided what they hey I’ll give it a shot.

I started reading it and was hooked. When I really love a book, it’s generally because something about it traps me and I need to find out what is going to happen. That’s what happened here. I worried about Katniss and feared for her life in The Hunger Games. I fell for Peeta when he was trying to give Katniss a chance to win. I really cared about these characters.

That’s what I think makes this book great and worth checking out. It puts you in, what I assume is, a futuristic world that is ruled by the Capitol. You feel like you're fighting to return to your family who rely on you to survive. You know you don’t have much on your side, but still persevere to make it out alive. It's action-packed and the story is catching all the way through. I hope you enjoy it and look forward to what you think!

I picked up the book directly after both girls made their suggestions and read it during my time off from work. Right away I could see that this story wasn't in my zone of interest. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. It was full of tough hands-on survival, adventure, danger, and fighting. I'm not usually one to find much interest in this type of thing. But I read on and by the end of the book was completely satisfied with the read. The time I had my nose in the book had been well spent and I do intend on reading the second book Catching Fire.

Collins did a fantastic job in creating this futuristic world that is almost all too believable. The Capitol has control over the Twelve Districts and all of their inhabitants. For someone who might like to look into political theories and scary possibilities of the future this could be something they could think of. Not only does Collins create this uncomfortable world (uncomfortable for me because I'm quite happy in the one I live in and would not be too keen if I had to live in a District) but Collins creates this fantastic female character. Katniss can kick butt and take names while doing it. She has taken care of her family since her fathers death and willingly steps forward to go to The Hunger Games in place of her younger sister. She's not a prissy needy girl who has to have aide all of the time. Oh, no. Katniss is braver than most of the male characters in the book and a great role model of sorts for the female readers of the series.

Just because the lead character is a female does not mean it only has a female following. Collins makes this into a book that boys can enjoy too. Katniss might be a female character (and let's face it, middle school boys don't exactly want to be caught reading a book that's about a girl) but she's strong and easily likable to readers both male and female. Peeta, who is the male tribute from Katniss' district, is an even more likable character. While Katniss is all spitfire and bravery Peeta seems caring and full of heart.

The concept of sending mere children, teenagers, into an arena where they must fight to the death is frightening and that edge of fright followed me through the book. I didn't want anyone to die, I wanted something to intervene and send them all home, and I am sure many of the characters felt the same way. I adored the one tribute, Rue, and how she broke Katniss in many ways and made her more likable.

With the Capitol literally making a sport out of these children's deaths they throw obstacles in their way if they feel that there isn't enough entertainment. Making it rain, draining the water supplies, setting the forest their trapped in on fire, and setting loose hybrid wolves.

Although this edge of adventure is totally not in my literary interest I could not put the book down and the characters followed me whenever I was not reading. I found that I wanted to know who survived, I wanted to know how they survived. And now I would like to know what happens next.

Lionsgate Entertainment has apparently grabbed hold of The Hunger Games and are working at bringing it to the big screen. This was announced in early March 2009 and through much of the book, I admit, I would think, "How would this look if it was in a movie?" But it's almost easy to think of, considering that all of the hunger games are being broadcasted through the twelve districts. It was made for the screen. Whether or not Lionsgate goes through with making this into a movie or not, who knows. If they go through with it I don't know if it will be fantastic or not good at all. But I can say this, I will probably be seeing the film and I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.