Anyhow, it is now in the past, and I'm not going to let a terrible day keep me from putting up a (very late) blog post. I have some new book reviews for y'all. Are you ready?
Just in case you haven't yet, you can check out Just a Reading Fool, Volumes 1 and 2 here and here. Also, please come join me over at Goodreads!
Let me just preface this particular review by saying...The Hunger Games trilogy is no Harry Potter series, but it is still pretty darn good...what I've read of it so far anyway. I still haven't managed to fall into the addictive mindset of the books though. I read the first one a couple of months before the first movie came out, and I loved it. However, I was perfectly okay with waiting a year and a half before following up with the second book. Still, Catching Fire was awesome. I know that a lot of people have reviewed it as better than the first book, and I have to agree. This one follows Katniss in the post Hunger Games days. It is the beginning of a time of uprising in the districts, and the Capitol is proving to do anything in it's power to prevent change. There are a lot of twists and turns in Catching Fire, and like The Hunger Games, it is incredibly thought provoking. I am SO EXCITED for this movie to come out in just a couple of short months. I'm also looking forward to reading Mockingjay, and finding out how the trilogy ends!
I gave Catching Fire 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
I am a huge fan of S.E. Hinton. I had to read The Outsiders in the 10th grade, and it has been one of my favorite books ever since. Many people are critical of Hinton's writing style, which seems to give her books much less hype than I personally believe they deserve. She doesn't use perfect grammar, she doesn't sugar coat anything, and she doesn't set out to create an "eloquently" written work. She is real, and honest, and her grammar style reflects the hardships and the lifestyles in her books.
That Was Then, This is Now is the story of two teenage guys (Bryon and Mark) growing up in the age of "greasers" and "hippies." They are such good friends that they are practically brothers and never dream of betraying one another...at least until they begin to mature and questions of right and wrong come into the picture. One begins to strive for a life of honesty and responsibility, while the other still can't seem to stay out of trouble. The book ends with the ultimate betrayal, and really leaves the reader thinking about how far someone should go to stand up for what they believe in. This book does not have a happy ending, so if you can't handle stories like that, you may want to avoid it.
I gave That Was Then, This is Now 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
I finished reading this book over a week ago, and I'm still tearing up every time I think about it. Believe it or not, I have never read anything by Jodi Picoult before this. I know...where have I been, right? However, after some of my blogging friends (particularly the lovely Erin) told me I had to read her, I knew it was time to give Jodi a try.
I expected Nineteen Minutes to be a good read, but I didn't think it would be as mind blowing as it turned out to be. This book played on every one of my emotions. It was tragic. It was heartwarming. It was endearing. It was frustrating. It was uncomfortable. It was a story that needed to be told, because it is the perfect representation of extremely difficult situations that occur in our society today. Picoult presents this story of a school shooting and peels away all of the "stereotypical" layers that encase these types of scenarios. She gets down to the raw emotions of all of her characters, including the shooter and his family. To make a long story short...you have to read this. Just make sure to have a box of tissues handy.
I gave Nineteen Minutes 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Kristin Hannah really surprised me with this book. Winter Garden was so much more substantial than I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, Hannah is becoming one of my favorite writers, and her books always have a good message, but she really went the extra mile with this one.
Meredith and Nina grew up in a family that was held together by their father. Their parents loved each other dearly, but their mom always seemed to be cold and unloving towards them. When their father dies unexpectedly, they are given the opportunity to understand their mom, and learn of the life that she led growing up in Russia during the Stalin era. The pages of this book received many of my tears. Hannah really did her research for this book. It is one of my favorite pieces of historical fiction.
I gave Winter Garden 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Until next time, fellow book lovers!