Thursday, May 24, 2012

An amazing Dystopian series, an intriguing MG read and a delightfully different YA book

  An amazing Dystopian series, an intriguing MG read and a delightfully different YA book
The amazing series, of course, is The Hunger Games. OMG! I had read book one a couple of years ago and just never went on to book two. What a mistake! So after the movie came out and blew my socks off (not that I ever wear any since I live in my Birkenstocks) I just HAD to read the rest of the series. The funniest part of the story, though, is that my hubby, who devours nonfiction, biography and religious books, read books two and three before I could even get to them.

So over the past month, in addition to:  
  • ·         making stuff and organizing my daughter’s June wedding
  • ·         editing Harpies, Book Two of Seraphym Wars
  • ·         revising Laman, Book Three of Stardust Warriors
  • ·         doing Travel Soccer with my youngest son
  • ·         helping my oldest son graduate high school and finish his first semester of college at the same time
  • ·         preparing for the Summer Reading Teen Party blog hop I agreed to join
  • ·         blogging on my many blogs
  • ·         showing my Victorian house which is for sale and we hope to be moving after the wedding
  • ·         keeping the log house I rent out as a Vacation Rental clean and occupied
  • ·         I read. Four books at a time.

My husband asked, how do keep them straight? I answered, they’re all different and good. Oh, yeah, and I listen to Harry Potter on my iPod in the car—for the millionth time, to analyze why it’s such a good series.

 But, back to The Hunger Games series. After seeing the movie I was so excited to imagine book two being filmed but had no idea how exciting it would be until I actually READ the book. Then I saw a blurb that the direction of the first movie was refusing to do the sequels because he didn’t have enough time to prepare and the actors/actresses might refuse to work with another director! Let’s all home that work out because I thought Catching Fire was the best of the three books. I raced through it then sat stunned at the cliff-hanger ending and ran even faster through Mockingjay. If you enjoyed Hunger Games, the book or movie, you MUST read the rest of the series.

Now, there are several authors I’ve read lately whom I really admire for their ability to write—voice and style. Suzanne Collins is one, of course, as is Cassandra Clare with her Mortal Instruments Series, which I am in the middle of reading. But I also discovered a couple of new authors whose writing is just as well done and captivating as the best-sellers’.

C. K. Volnek’s MG book, Ghost Dog of Roanoke kept me spellbound as I poured through it each night or whenever my son was at soccer practice. It combines obviously well-researched history of the missing Colony of Roanoke Island, Virginia with credible Native American lore. She did an amazing job finding her way to the past while maintaining a foothold in the present. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters and loved the way she introduced and dealt with the ‘evil’ antagonist, including how and why it came to be. I think any Middle Grade reader would enjoy this book and it could easily be used in any fifth-grade classroom during the study of American History. Well done, C. K.

The YA book I just finished reading and found amazingly well-written, well-crafted and couldn’t wait to finish was Colors Like Memories by Meradeth Houston.  She took the idea of guardian angels and created a fascinating, plausible world and culture around which to weave a story of loss, grief, love and recovery. Not only do we get a peek into the world of the Sary, but she dealt with an abusive boyfriend, suicidal/cutting teenager dealing with an alcoholic parent and loss of her mother. Yet the characters never seem too needy or angsty—and find the strength they need when they need it. I found that reading Colors Like Memories while also reading The Hunger Games books wasn’t a jarring change as one might assume given one is a new author and the other a best-seller. Colors Like Memories held its own with interesting characters, plot twists and good, descriptive writing. Well done, Meradeth.                                                                                                                                


  1. Thank you for your lovely review, Rebecca! So sweet of you! I hope you get some time to relax soon!

  2. Thanks for the suggestions on great YA/MA reads. I'll have to go look for those books, now. And The Hunger Games? I'm all over that! When I first heard they were making a movie (and it wasn't by Peter Jackson, lol) I was really worried, but then I read that Ms. Collins herself had her hand in the production and the movie was everything I could have hoped for. Glad you read the other two books - how did you manage to stop after one???

  3. WoW! I'm exhausted just reading about all you've been doing. The Hunger series kept me turning pages too and I couldn't wait for the next one out each time. I also have Ghost Dog of Roanoke on my TBR list which is so long I'll have to live to be 100 to read it all The other book I'm not familiar with.

    Great post.

  4. Wow, talk about it all being subjective. I loved the first two books in the Hunger Games series. As a matter of fact I found the galley back in 08 and when I read the blurb I thought it sounded terrible. Come on, teens killing teens in the future? Still I threw it in one of my many bags. When I got home I picked it up and started reading. I couldn't put it down. I love her writing and the premise was very engaging.
    I do find that I can only stomach like a few dystopians at a time. Then I have to go to another genre.
    My latest find was THE HUNT which is vampires meet HUNGER GAMES. Very intriguing and page turning.