Book Reviews ~ON INDEFINITE HIATUS~

~NOTICE 25/10/13~ So I haven't updated this in a while, and I'd just like to say that my opinions on some of these books have changed slightly, and also that I don't know if I'll still update this. Thanks for the support, though <3
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Looking for a good read? You, my dearest people, have made it to my collection of book reviews!
As someone who wants to be a writer, I read to get new material (this does not mean that I copy the ideas of other authors, simply that I get new vocabulary to put in my own writing, and, if I like or dislike something that I read, I mentally analyse why so that I know what to feature or not feature in my own work).
I also read because...well...I love reading!
So, every 'chapter' in this movella is a separate review. I'll try to put new ones up whenever I finish a book that I think needs to be talked about.
Please comment and, if what I've written in my reviews has persuaded you to read one of the books, please go for it and tell me what you thought.
Enjoy

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1. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

You will either be squealing or groaning at hearing those words: 'The Hunger Games.' Some of you are like me, and you spend your time being geeky in Hunger Games RPs, or wearing overpriced mockingjay pins, or counting down until the release of the movie on DVD, or comparing the film to the book, or crying over the death(s) of various characters, or fangirling over Peeta Mellark.

Some of you probably think, 'oh no, another crappy teenage franchise. It's Twilight all over again.'

Some of you may be undecided.

However, I have read all three books in the trilogy and the phrase 'I couldn't put it down!' has never been more true.

I'll start by talking about The Plot. The books are set in a not-too-distant future, when the country now known as North America is now called Panem and has been divided into twelve (well, thirteen, but this comes into play in later books) districts, and one Capitol. The Capitol are basically the antagonists of the series: they lord it over the districts having won a war of sorts back in 'The Dark Days.' Every year, two tributes (a girl and a boy, aged between 12 and 18) are sent to the Capitol from each district. Here, as a sick reminder of what happened, they have to take part in a game where there is only one rule: kill or be killed. Twenty-four go into the arena, and only one comes out.

This plot does get a bit of criticism: both from people who say it is basically ripping off a Japanese horror film called 'Battle Royale' and people who insist that the theme is far too violent for anyone, let alone teenagers. However, I love the plot. Suzanne Collins is not trying to make us indulge in the violence: the games are described as a disgrace to humanity right from the start, and the third book consists purely of the uprising against the Capitol as the districts fight for their rights. All in all, I love the plot.

Now I'll move on the The Characters. I think that some of the characters are stronger than others. Katniss Everdeen, the main protagonist, volunteers for her younger sister Prim when she is picked for the games. Katniss is a really vividly written character with detailed inner thoughts and feeling: she's certainly a pretty fierce, determined, kickass character, and yet she's also incredibly human and relatable. She has flaws, like ordinary people, but she also has enough good qualities to make her a very likeable and well-rounded character.

She's the District Twelve tribute, along with Peeta Mellark. I absolutely adore Peeta. I don't know if it's because he's such a sweet character, or if it's because he's a baker and I love cake, but I really felt attached to him as a character right from the first chapter he was featured in. Like Katniss, he's well-rounded, with flaws as well as endearing qualities, so he's realistic as well as interesting.

Other significant characters include Gale, Katniss' long-term best friend. Gale's a well-rounded character: I liked him throughout the first two books but found a dislike to him in the third, when he turns slightly manipulative, but I think it's left down to opinion as to whether or not he remains a likeable character throughout the trilogy. There's also Haymitch, the drunken mentor and previous victor from Twelve, President Snow, the head of the Capitol and all-round bad guy, heartbreakingly innocent yet pretty awesome Rue from Eleven, and my personal favourite...CINNA! I love Cinna. To pieces. Forever. He is just...so nice...and...I nearly cried in Catching Fire...but I won't say why because of potential spoilers~

The only character I thought could have used development was Prim, Katniss' sister. Prim always seemed a bit watery to me. In the first two books, she was supposedly around twelve to thirteen years old, but she often acted immature for her years: patronising to read for kids of the same age. She seemed to have little personality other than what I like to call 'cute little sister syndrome.' However, in the third book she gained new depths. She matured in the space of a few months, and we saw elements of her character we had missed previously. I found a new attachment to her in Mockingjay, but I wish she had behaved in such a way throughout the first two books, as well.

And now, let's talk about The Writing Style. The style in which the books are written is good, of course (what bestsellers are badly written? very few) but it's nothing exceptional. To be honest, though, I don't think it matters. When I read the books, I found myself so engrossed in the world of these characters and the situations they were in that I hardly noticed the odd bit of awkward phrasing or lacking description.

Overall, I adored The Hunger Games trilogy...big credit to Suzanne Collins. The books had a lasting effect on me that I will not forget, therefore this book gets a huge five stars from me.

*****

Thanks for reading my first review: come back for more, and be sure to like, favourite, fan or comment if you want to make my day :)

 

 

 

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