The Hunger Games

Mar 03

The Hunger Games

Hello, hello! So I took a little break from YA fiction after my flood of books I borrowed from the library. I have a couple book review requests for my Examiner page and then we’ll see what I’ll be back at next. Since I’m usually reading 6 or more books at a time, it sometimes takes me forever to finish one, but I did finally finish The Hunger Games. I was so excited after I finished it during our snow day this past Tuesday that I couldn’t wait to get the rest of the trilogy this weekend. But when I got to the store, I found out the paperback versions of the remaining two books are not out yet! Boo! This means I’m just going to have to be patient. Really patient. I’ll deal somehow. So where to start? I feel like it’d be real cliché of me to say the book was really good, but it was. Suzanne Collins perfectly orchestrates a regular teen appropriate story into a futuristic setting. She uses sophisticated language to have that adult book feel to it, yet stays in the teenage mind at the same time. Literally inside her mind. In other words, there’s a lot of action in her story yet she manages to show you what is going on inside Katniss’s mind and reveals her thoughts. As a writer, I envy her ability to do that, but I love her style. Whatever it is, she’s got it. Basically, people shouldn’t go against the government. In this particular case, going against the government means it’s time for a lesson in who’s the boss. The land is divided into 12 districts. Every year each district must send one girl and one boy to participate in the Hunger Games, which is essentially a fight to the death until one child between 12-18 years old is left standing. When Katniss’s sister, Prim, is chosen, she volunteers to take her place. You know she will survive this, but at what cost and what will she be forced to do? And I’ve just got to say this. Perhaps the thing that moved me the most about this story is how Peeta and Katniss cared for each...

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More Jenny Han, please.

Jan 21

More Jenny Han, please.

So ends the trilogy. What a relief! I stayed up late last night, unplanned, to finish it because the suspense of who she ends up with was killing me. It flowed nicely like book two and this time we see inside Conrad’s head, which kind of gave away the ending. I still wanted to see how she arrives there, though, and drama, drama, drama! There’s a lot of emotion in here. Not the kind that makes you cry when you read it, but you can tell each character went through so much pain and heartbreak. (I liked Belly so much I named my new car after her.) You almost know right away who she’s going to end up with, but there’s a part of you really nervous that she won’t. The story’s not so much about summer as about making big life decisions. It takes place in the summer because that is the time of year the other books took place and it’s the only link between the stories. I was a little disappointed that basically after the first book Cam doesn’t make another appearance and Steve’s role was minor. Every girl’s going to want her own Conrad and Jeremiah. The perfect guy is probably a combination of the two boys. You feel bad for the other one she doesn’t end up with. Her decision was definitely a tough one. I think picking someone to marry is one of the hardest choices to make and you can’t make it all on your own either, which  makes it that much harder. I’m really glad I didn’t peek at the ending first or anything. It has a nice Casablanca feel to it, which I loved. I want to read more Jenny Han! We’ll Always Have...

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I heart happy endings!

Jan 17

I heart happy endings!

And of course I go in order. This one’s much better! It gave me less of a headache when navigating the events. I think the “you” in the title refers to Conrad, but she does end up with Jeremiah instead so I don’t know. It’s interesting how Jenny Han didn’t go out of order this time, but she suddenly introduces Jeremiah’s point of view and we get inside his head. It was almost like we had to see his side of things just so we can know how desperate he was to be with Belly. It’s Not Summer Without You had a lot less tongue sticking out from Belly which made me feel relieved, though she does manage to stick her tongue out once or twice anyway. I’m glad she stays consistent and Conrad is still the older, moody type while Jeremiah is more the comical type. We see more of Mr. Fisher as well which I enjoyed. Her descriptions of college are quick, funny and realistic. I’m not sure about Belly taking the infinity necklace. It seemed too good to be true that Conrad had it and I don’t know if I were her if I would have just taken it like that, assuming it was for me. That’s pretty brave of Belly. I like how it ends with you wanting to know more, but I’m questioning the mini-epilogue-thingy. She marries one of them? I feel like Belly has to end up with Conrad to make this trilogy a happy ending, but we’ll see. It’ll still be so predictable if she does, but I’ll be sad for Jeremiah. I hope he gets a happy ending...

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Timing is everything, yo!

Jan 10

Timing is everything, yo!

(OK, I just noticed the cover picture I chose is actually an advertisement for the whole trilogy, but that is what the cover of the first one looks like.) I just discovered Jenny Han and I like her. I don’t love her…yet. I like The Summer I Turned Pretty, but the timeline is so messed up! The story is kind of hard to follow because she jumps back and forth, back and forth between the past and the present. It drove me crazy trying to follow the storyline!! >.< I will say this though: I’m really glad to be back in the girl’s POV. The story is fine, but I just wish she didn’t do so many flashbacks; they disrupted the flow. I really hope the next book is in chronological order. Fingers crossed. Let’s hope so! I like the name Belly, even though Belly does not. She stuck her tongue out WAY TOO MUCH though. I understand that it’s supposed to show how she’s still a kid and this summer is a transition phase, but I really don’t think she needed to stick out her tongue like that so much. It doesn’t seem like she and Conrad will last long. They’re too different. Han does do a wonderful job with creating round characters, even with a predictable plot. They spice up the story and Belly must be the envy of some girls just for all the male attention she gets, even if BFF Taylor is the “hot” one. I kind of wanted Belly to end up with Jeremiah. I felt bad for him in the end, though not sobbing bad or anything, just bad. Anyway, despite the annoying timing issue, I can’t wait to read the next...

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Eww…

Jan 05

Eww…

Where do I even begin with this? :O The title? Okay… Girls for Breakfast. There. Happy New Year everyone! I’m late in that, but it took me a while to finish this book as it was gross. I mean, the whole thing wasn’t gross, but like one of the reviewers said, you will never look at a boy the same way again. Yes, David Yoo is Paula Yoo’s husband. But that’s not why I read this book. I, like you, went like this when I read the title: :O. After reading it, this book made me think twice about race. It was like a slap in the face. Not literally, but almost. Nick Park is grody (is that the word? :P), but maybe he’s just like any normal teenage guy. I will never know. I just wish I didn’t find out some of the things revealed in this book about how a guy’s mind works. I really wish. The thing is, I’m not sure what the theme is. I mean there’s a strong message about race for sure, but I feel like I’m missing the point of this book. Nick cared way too much about popularity I thought while reading it. He went to some serious extremes to be popular. One thing the book did do well was make me feel like as an Asian American, the joke’s always on me. You never know if everyone’s nice to you because they feel sorry for you or if they’re nice to you because they genuinely want to be your friend. I didn’t really struggle with this as a teenager because I had too much other stuff to think about at the time than to worry about what people really thought of me. I’m also scared for Nick’s future. He doesn’t seem prepared at the end of the novel. Yoo ended it nicely, but I’m seriously concerned for what happens next. Somehow I don’t think his fighting days are over. I don’t know. Ladies, don’t read this if you don’t want to be grossed out. Unless you have brothers who already told you at least what half the book is...

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Love Rectangle

Dec 19

Love Rectangle

Animal Attraction was better, I think. I do like the fact that I finally found out who does that “Over the Rainbow” song I like a lot. Just look at his name: Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. That’s got to be the coolest name around! It took me a second after I put the book down to realize that it’s basically a reincarnation of Animal Attraction, just not as good. Ponti seems to love the love rectangle. Girl caught between two guys and when she finally decides which one she likes most, that boy may have another girl who’s interested and she may steal him away if she’s not careful. Ponti also loves girls and boys getting to know each other in a car ride and apparently that’s the right person to end up with. Brendan shows up randomly towards the end and he wasn’t a fully developed character. I wish there was more to Zach and Monica’s story than what was given because it seems they have a history and that was never revealed. This was still an entertaining read, thanks to Darby’s best friend Kate who likes to say, “Tell me all the horny details!” or some derivative of that. But all things aside, I’m getting sick of perfect guys showing up and the girl just happens to run into him and he automatically likes her back with no question. Maybe I need a break from rom-coms....

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