Mar 25, 2014

Review | Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I'm not exactly sure where to start with this one. I can begin by saying I was dreading it. Dreading to continue The Hunger Games series and find out what happens next and where it was going. I steered clear of any reviews of  Catching Fire because I learned my lesson when I read the first book ( I accidentally read the first few lines of the synopsis of Catching Fire while in the middle of The Hunger Games so I knew how it would end!) and I didn't know what to expect. I'm just happy to say I wasn't disappointed. Catching Fire still left me with too much love for all the characters involved and I didn't know what to do myself after I was done reading it.

I had no idea what to expect when I finally picked up Catching Fire, had no idea where the story was going. I began reading it shortly after the movie trailer aired for the first time and I refused to watch it because I had no idea what was going to happen. I find that's also really difficult to write my thoughts on this without sharing every possible detail about the book, and I hate spoilers!

So let me keep this simple: Collins writing was just as good, if not better, in Catching Fire and I was captivated not only by the plot, but by the characters development, the pace and everything that was happening. The book takes off quickly and things start rolling along so fast, that I was literally shocked and glued to the book. Also, there are so many twists in this one! The romance, of course, is still there and crucial in the story's development. We were able to see a lot more about the relationships between Katniss/Peeta/Gale, but we also learn a lot more about these characters and I really loved them so much more.

There is not much else I can really say except that I loved Catching Fire. I can't say I loved it more than The Hunger Games (because it will always have a special place in my heart) but I do maybe love it just as much.  Definitely a great sequel in the series and I recommend it to everyone who has already read the first book in the series and is hesitant like I was to continue.

 

Mar 13, 2014

Review | Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I have to admit that I picked up Eleanor and Park because of the hype. It was being talked about so much, more than most other books in recent years.  I gave in, bought a copy and devoured it. I am not sure if I am one to be swayed by others opinions (I like to think I am not) but like pretty much everyone else, I loved it. Eleanor and Park was such a unique and very real story about young love, which was quite refreshing and just the kind of book to get me out of the slump I was in.

Eleanor is far from what we're used to in YA, and that makes her stand out much more. She's a poor kid, living with a creepy stepdad and a mom that doesn't seem to be able to get it together. She's overweight, buys her clothes from Goodwill, and hates gym class. Park is "the Asian kid" who can be considered a bit popular, but still different because of his unique personality. They start off a strangers, not particularly happy about having to sit next to each other on the bus, but eventually the strangeness fades. They slowly become friends over reading comic books together, enjoying songs, and this turns into a beautiful first love. 

Like I'm sure you've read in every review you've come across of Eleanor and Park, the best part was the romance. Not only was it sweet and real, it very much made me remember how it feels like to be so young, so innocent, and so in love. Each moment they spent together was so damn special, and it brought back many memories of when I was a teen and squealing about every little moment, as well as the rush, the feeling of so many emotions. That's what this book gave to me.

I could go on forever about this book, but I won't. I can say that I love the characters (even the ones I hated) and I truly enjoyed Rowell's writing. I also loved that it was set in the mid 80's because it reminded me of my childhood (although with some differences since I was a 90's kid.) I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Rowell's work, and wholeheartedly recommend Eleanor and Park to everyone.