Wednesday, March 29, 2017

REVIEW: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Summary:

The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Who do they think should pay for the unrest?

Katniss Everdeen.






Title:  Mockingjay
Series:  Hunger Games Trilogy
Book #: 3
Author:  Suzanne Collins
Approximate Book Length:  404 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  16+
Sexual Content:  Mild


Thoughts:

This book felt familiar yet completely different all at the same time. Everything is still life and death and hating President Snow, but there’s no more arena. There are more resources and more consequences. This is war and war isn’t pretty or easy. People die – innocent people sometimes.

For someone who’s never been in a war scenario myself, the mentality of Katniss and the results of some battles felt very realistic. I cried a lot reading this book. I was on the edge of my seat with my breath held for a lot of it too.

The ending didn’t really surprise me and it made a lot of sense to me. I also appreciate the time it took for life to truly feel something like normal for Katniss again. The very end felt a little rushed, but satisfying enough. Ultimately, the end of such a violent trilogy is only going to feel so good.

Bottom Line:

Mockingjay brings a great deal of change to Katniss’s life and it’s a hell of a rough ride to peace. It’s an awesome read full of excitement and heartbreak.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

REVIEW: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Summary:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Title:  Catching Fire
Series:  Hunger Games Trilogy
Book #: 2
Author:  Suzanne Collins
Approximate Book Length:  403 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  16+
Sexual Content:  Mild

Thoughts:

This book once again brought me to tears and kept me on the edge of my seat. The PTSD that Katniss experiences and Snow’s threats backing her into a corner just killed me. Ending up back in the arena wasn’t a surprise, but it was hard to read. Very intriguing though. I guessed at some of the players, but not all. The arena itself was exciting, in a disturbing way. The ending is devastating and had me reaching for book three immediately. I honestly feel this book may have been better than the first.

Bottom Line:

Catching Fire is the beginning of the rebellion and Katniss is right in the middle whether she knows it or not. The stakes are higher and consequences for Katniss’s every action could be deadly for everyone. SO GOOD!

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

REVIEW: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Title:  The Hunger Games
Series:  Hunger Games Trilogy
Book #: 1
Author:  Suzanne Collins
Approximate Book Length:  387 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  16+
Sexual Content:  Mild

Thoughts:

I didn’t really know what to make of things when I first started this book. Dystopian stories have always been hit or miss with me. Halfway through I went and bought the other two books in the trilogy.

Collins paints a very vivid picture making you feel like you’re right in the thick of it along with Katniss. Katniss isn’t the kind of girl I usually connect with as she’s not super emotional, but very practical. She does whatever she has to do in order to survive. Her emotions come out when and where it counts though, such as anytime she’s with or talking about her sister, Prim.

Peeta is a good guy and I felt bad for him. I liked Gayle and always felt for him too. The love triangle is tough, but not as teenage angsty as you might expect. Supporting characters were great too – very defined, both “good” guys and bad.

There is no sex in this book, but plenty of violence. This is a story about a bleak world where life is tough unless you live in the capitol. Katniss’s outlook on life and reactions to the events that transpire in the arena feel very realistic. The entire thing just felt very authentic.

Bottom Line:

The Hunger Games is a dark look at a very separated country with a tyrant at the helm. It had me emotionally invested and even though my heart broke repeatedly, I was utterly riveted.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

REVIEW: Not Quite Perfect by Catherine Bybee

Summary:

Mary Kildare knows how to read people. It’s both why she makes a great therapist and why she refuses to trust the average bachelor. Staying fiercely independent has been her primary relationship strategy—until wealthy playboy pilot (and commitmentphobe) Glen Fairchild reappears in her life. After a yearlong teasing tug-of-war, Mary and Glen test the waters of attraction, only to find that their physical chemistry runs deeper than flirtation.

At first, a bicoastal romance suits them both—especially since Glen can swoop in and whisk Mary away on one of his company’s planes. But no matter how close they get, they’re still three thousand miles apart. And when Mary’s life is threatened, Glen realizes the one luxury he doesn’t have is time. Can he close the distance between them before it’s too late?

Title:  Not Quite Perfect
Series:  Not Quite
Book #: 5
Author:  Catherine Bybee
Approximate Book Length:  332 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

It’s tough for me to decide where to start gushing about this book. I enjoyed the follow up with other couples, Walt and Dakota in particular. Mary’s and Glen’s dates were extravagant and over the top. It was cool, but wow. The conflict was great, even if she was a little too trusting of someone I always thought was suspicious. Things were mildly predictable, but I loved it all. I can’t express how much I loved the ending especially. Oh, and Mary Francis!!!

Bottom Line:

Not Quite Perfect was actually quite awesome. I can’t get enough of this series!

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

REVIEW: Claimed by Jennifer Chance

Summary:

Brash, extreme-adventure loving Nicki Clark has never met a mountain she couldn’t conquer. Until she runs headlong into Stefan Mihal, the kingdom of Garronia’s gorgeous, icy cool, uber-sophisticated diplomat who thinks she’s the most inappropriate woman on the planet. Whatever.

So when the royal family asks Nicki to team up with Mr. Icecube on an impromptu mission across Garronia’s borders, she braces for a long, frigid, knockdown-dragout fight to stay on top.

She’s half right.

Aristocratic to the core, Stefan is furious to be assigned the fiercely independent Nicki as his cover for a top-secret reconnaissance mission into enemy territory. She drives him to distraction with her passion, her defiance - and her unexpected vulnerability that threatens both his focus and his sanity.

Then a shocking revelation blows open the clandestine op, endangering their lives and the future of Garronia, and Stefan risks everything to keep Nicki safe. Because no matter the cost, no matter the danger, this mission won’t be over until he’s claimed her for his own.

Title:  Claimed
Series:  Gowns & Crowns
Book #: 3
Author:  Jennifer Chance
Approximate Book Length:  202 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

First of all, this book should absolutely be read in order. The romance is contained in one book, but the overall story arc spans all the books. This particular romance is good, but the plot drags a little in the beginning. So the health issue is super predictable, but the story is great. There were some other things I didn’t exactly see coming. I love the potential for book 4 and can’t wait!

Bottom Line:

Claimed is another enchanting chapter in a series that feels like a fairytale to begin with. It’s an awesome read full of addicting characters.

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