{Review} Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was the first book picked for a book club a friend and I started, Books that Bite. After reading the back of the book, I was intrigued and probably would have put it on my to-read list if it hadn’t been picked. However, I had no idea I would it love it this much!

In the future what we know as North America has been devastated by natural disasters and war. This leaves the Capitol to rule over the remaining 12 districts. As a reminder of the Capitol’s power every year they host the Hunger Games. The twelve districts hold a lottery of all boys and girls ages 12-18. One girl and one boy is chosen from each district to compete to the death for entertainment.

We meet Katniss who at the age of 16 is the head of her household. She spends her time hunting and gathering illegally in order to provide for her littler sister and grief-stricken mother. Her worst fears come to life as she hears her little sister’s name called for the Hunger Games. After throwing her self forward and volunteering to take her place, things get worse. A boy who helped her in the past is chosen as the male tribute from her district.

The book was so emotionally charged that I often found myself in tears one second and biting my nails with worry the next. The romance is very PG, but tangled with torn feelings. I was surprised at how violent the book was in parts. I knew it was about fighting and killing, but I thought as a YA book it would gloss over those parts. It didn’t. The author did an amazing job building the characters and leaving you at the edge of your seat. I’m trying to hold out until the library gets the second book in, but I have a feeling I might cave and buy it 🙂

While looking for a picture of the cover, I came across an article claiming that a movie was in the works. Has anyone else heard this?

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{Review} Mother Night – Kurt Vonnegut

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I picked up Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut for The Good Book Club’s first discussion. BIG thank you to them for picking this book! I don’t know that I would have read it otherwise and I loved it! The story so captivating you can’t put it down and the characters are so real that you forget you’re reading fiction.

Mother Night is the autobiography of Howard W Campbell, Jr, a Nazi war criminal writing his story from his cell in Israel. Howard was the English speaking propagandist for the Nazis during WWII. However, Howard claims he didn’t believe the things he was saying. He claims to have been an American spy. But can someone really be both? Can you spread the message he did and encourage the terrible things as he so passionately pretended to and still claim to not believe in the cause? Can you be two very different minds?

Vonnegut writes in the introduction that “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be”. This is one of my favorite literary quotes. The book contained so many great quotes that I’ll have to take some time to pick out my favorites before the discussion tonight.

The story is dark, humorous, touching and gut-wrenching. The idea that those who encourage and spread hate are just as guilty of the deaths this brings as those who hold the guns is so important that I’m baffled that I wasn’t required to read this in one of my classes in either high school or college.

I’m very, very highly recommending this book. I’m even making Shane give it  try. I’m looking forward to adding more Vonnegut to my to-read list!

* This also counts towards my 101 Books Challenge, and is my M book for the A-Z Book Challenge.

Book Clubs – Oct

The Good Book Club

I’m currently reading Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut for the Oct 18th discussion.

Books that Bite

We’ve picked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins for our Oct 25th discussion, but I haven’t started it yet.