Monday, 6 February 2012

Book: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Oh my God. If you put me in a land of fiction then it takes a lot to make me cry or even tear up (for example not a thing when Dobby died in HP) but the last third of Mockingjay almost had me actually crying, not at the particularly violent bits but how Katniss and Peeta where not good with each other, it was actually heart wrenching. And when Katniss was thinking about Prim at the end, that bit got me to.

I suppose you could say that its a happy ending, but at the same time it really isn't, bitter sweet is the term I suppose, there's not many people left at the end that were there in the beginning and the one's that are left are shown in a totally different light (i.e. Gale, though I wasn't his biggest fan in the first place, contraversial I know) and Peeta for that matter, though that wasn't exactly his fault. Though the ending, especially by dystopian standards is extremely happy (see previous reviews on 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale).

There was far more character development in this book and it really paid off on Collins' writing style, and as I said above you not only see characters in a different way but in a shocking way for some of them, even Katniss and I was inside her brain! I was particularly shocked by her vote in the end, I thought she would be against that. But the thing about Katniss was that it was clear she really loved Peeta, she really cared about getting him back to her, and whether she realised it or not that was in a romantic way as well as a you're-my-friend way,

Again I seem to have read this book, like The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, in a ridicolously short amount of time, especially considering I spent several hours plotting with my housemates on how to get our back door key back from our neighbours (we were successful) and I think, though part of that is to do with the books being very short compared to what I am used to and far less complex (i.e. Game of Thrones) but also because they are riveting, you are always wondering what will happen next, and whether or not Katniss will realise she loves Peeta, and whether they get to share their love and have a happy rest of life (something I won't tell!). Collins has created rich characters who just want to make you keep reading on!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Book: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I realise that only yesterday I was posting about The Hunger Games and whether or not to read Catching Fire however I read it yesterday, all of it. And it is so much better than The Hunger Games, mainly because the characters are all far more developped.

Still frustrating how Katniss seems to refuse to admit that she really loves Peeta, I mean we now know that Gale kissed her and that the only two kisses that have made her want more (want more quite literally now) were with Peeta, and then there's her reaction at the end of the novel that just drives home that she is in fact totally in love with Peeta (don't forget the baby ;) )

The other characters, particularly the other tributes, Finnack and Johanna, also have more depth to them than say Rue and Thresh in the previous novel and its easier to see how they can be liked/disliked.

In Catching Fire the emotions and interactions between the characters just seem more real and the story gets more complex, more like what I am used to when reading fantasy or dystopian novels. Now to get on with Mockingjay!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Book: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

So I basically decided that I was going to read The Hunger Games because I've seen a lot of advertising and posts about it (particularly on tumblr) so I decided to read it even though it is a teenage book rather than an adult book. Well it arrived yesterday and I finished it yesterday. I was debating whether or not to read the sequel Catching Fire but then I realised that if a book has managed to capture my attention so much that I read it in under 12 hours then I should read the sequel.

So what Collins did well: she managed to right a long ish, captivating book centred around very few characters and make it interesting, add to that that you barely see many of the characters, it is in short ingenious, and having the readers see things from the point of view of Katniss is again a good move! That way we never know more than she does and the focus is on the awful thing that is happening to her.

Saying that the subject matter, well it's a little disturbing to be honest, children killing each other for entertainment? It seems cruel, though this is where it becomes clear that the book is aimed at younger people cause it isn't really that graphic in its descriptions of death.

The one thing that infuriated me actually further demonstrates Collins' talent as it was the fact that Katniss herself doesn't realise that she loves Peeta really and it wasn't just an act, it frustrated me to no end, however more credit goes to Collins as she just didn't go for the easy option of having Katniss deeply in love and everything all rosy at the end.

Ultimately this is a nice easy read, though there is very little of the complexity of the fantasy books I'm used to, but it really works and as a less challenging read this is brilliant, well worth a go!