Monday, October 22, 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

To read my review of the first book in this series, click here: The Hunger Games.

Title: Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: High Violence and Disturbing Scenes
Premise: "By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion" (King County Library System).
Opinions: My husband and I read this book together as I had persuaded him to read the first book, The Hunger Games, and he enjoyed it.  We both agree that Suzanne Collins does a brilliant job of showing that life continues outside of the main character's influence.  For example, you know that something is going on by the way certain characters are acting/reacting and as I reader was enticed by this; curious to know what else is happening that we don't know about.  Then, in the end, we find out the bigger picture.  Loved how well Ms. Collins does this. Katniss is not my favorite character of the book.  There are times that she got on my nerves, but in all honesty she acted completely in-character and was well written. We also get to see more dimensions inside of her as the main character, which did help us to keep reading.  I LOVE Peeta. I love the sacrifices that he is willing to make.  I'm also intrigued by Gale and look forward to, hopefully, seeing more of him in book three, Mockingjay. 

Major Warning though for parents.  Both my husband and I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, intriguing, and entertaining, but due to the premise of this series, there are scenes of horrific violence.  They aren't overly described (which I am grateful for), but they are described well enough to seriously make me cringe.  I would recommend reading this book before your children do, to better determine if it is something that your child can handle.  The violence is the main reason I gave this book a LIKE rating, rather than something higher. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Variant by Robison Wells

Title: Variant (Variant Series #1)
Author: Robison Wells
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Teen/YA Fiction Dystopian
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: Moderate Violence (some hinted at and others openly shown)
Premise: "After years in foster homes, seventeen-year-old Benson Fisher applies to New Mexico's Maxfield Academy in hopes of securing a brighter future, but instead he finds that the school is a prison and no one is what he or she seems" (King County Library System).
Opinions: This was an intriguing book to read.  I was completely fascinated by the plot about a teen from the foster care system who gets into a private school only to find out there are no adults anywhere.  Talk about cool.  Then the twists kept coming.  Oh my goodness!  (Can't give away too much.) I kept trying to figure Benson out and what was really going on.  Trust me...I had no clue and my jaw dropped when I found out.  Even the end of book made me sit up and say, "NO FREAKING WAY!!!!"  This book is a psychological thriller.

I did wonder about Benson as he appeared callus toward things that some of the students said that had happened at Maxfield Acadamy before his arrival.  But, then again I wondered if I were coming from a life of abandonment would I act the same, and I honestly might have.  I think the main reason I didn't give this book a fabulous rating is because I spent the whole time reading the book trying to ascertain who was really in control and at the end I still have no clue.  But, hey, that just makes me want to read book two - Feedback - which came out this last week.  Well played Robison Wells.