Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I know that I am way behind the rest of the world in reading this book, but it still seemed important to include my review of it. Katniss is a girl from what is essentially a ghetto who makes her living by hunting illegally. Then she ends up being a tribute for The Hunger Games, where she and 23 other teenagers must fight to the death. The story follows her from the day she became a tribute to the end of the games. All of the hype surrounding the book leads to a bit of a let-down. Although the story was good, this was not one of those books that I couldn’t set down. The actual drama of the story was much less than the actual drama that the tale really deserves.

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The Fault of our Stars by John Green

Hazel has cancer that has spread into her lungs, requiring her to bring an oxygen tank with her everywhere. While at Support Group one day, she meets Augustus, who lost a leg to cancer and is now in remission. While going through the challenges of having cancer, Hazel just wants a chance to be a normal teenager. And maybe even have a boyfriend. Like the rest of John Green’s books, this one is incredible. At times I was laughing out loud, and other times I had tears streaming down my face. I read the entire book in one sitting, it was just that good.

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The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

Elena should have been the star of a Cinderella tale, but her prince was in diapers when she turned 16. Instead, after her stepmother and stepsisters run away to try to find better husbands elsewhere, she gets chosen by the kingdom’s fairy godmother to be her apprentice. This leads Elena into a world that she had never imagined, and learning how to do things that she didn’t even know existed. This is the first book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, absolutely a must-read for anyone who loves fantasy! The Fairy Godmother is a great twist on the classic fairy tale.

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The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

The story follows Dr. Minor, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Dr. Murray, two men who seem at first to be extremely different, but in the end aren’t as much. Dr. Murray was a poor Scotsman who eventually ended up as the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary for many years during its development. Dr. Minor was a surgeon in the U.S. Army, and then went to England to escape what he thought were demons of the war. He shot a man dead in one of his episodes of insanity, and was sentenced to live in the Broadmoor Criminal Insane¬†Asylum for most of the rest of his life. Dr. Murray had sent out a call for volunteers to read and write down quotes from English works to go into the dictionary, and Dr. Minor responded. He was from a rich family, and still received a paycheck from the Army, so he had been building a collection of books in his cell at the asylum. From those he submitted tens of thousands of quotes to the OED, making a huge contribution. I absolutely loved having a chance to read about the creation of the OED and the main players that made it possible. Although the book often goes into tangents that have little bearing on the main plot, this story is definitely worth reading if your are interested in language, books, or just a good history.

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Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

Caitlin wakes up on the morning of her 16th birthday, trips over a present left right outside her door and finds out that her older sister (who is about to start college) has run away. Suddenly Caitlin is invisible, except at school where she is talked about as the sister of the perfect Cass, who has run away. Then she meets Rogerson. He lets her be someone else, someone different from herself or from Cass. He seems so nice, despite his checkered past. But then she misses meeting him one day when they planned to, for a good reason, and he hits her. After that he starts to be abusive at times, but she can’t get out. I have always loved Sarah Dessen’s books, and this is one of the only ones I hadn’t read before. This story is excellent, but also heartbreaking at times. If you’re up for a less-than-entirely-uplifting story, this is a great choice!

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One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey

Princess Andromeda’s kingdom has a problem. A dragon has come and is destroying buildings and taking livestock to eat. Then the only solution given by the queen is to have a virgin girl sacrificed every week to the dragon to placate him. Then Andromeda (or Andie, as she prefers) is drawn in the lottery to be the next sacrifice. Will her kingdom be saved? This book is part of the 500 Kingdoms series, but it is not necessary to have read the others to enjoy this one (although I highly recommend them, especially the first one, The Fairy Godmother). This is one of my go-to books that is good no matter how many times it is read.

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The Rock Star in Seat 3A by Jill Kargman

Continuing the popular fiction reading, I decided to read this book because it sounded like fun. The main character, Hazel, has the perfect job and the perfect boyfriend when she ends up seated next to her long-time, free pass, celebrity crush, Finn, a rock star on a flight to LA. He actually is interested in her and she must make decisions about what she wants in life and whether he’s worth giving everything up for. The plot teaser labeled it a modern Cinderella story, which is definitely a misnomer, but the story was good¬†nonetheless. Although it’s not ground-breaking in any way, it’s a fun story that lets you think about your own free pass celebrity and what you’d do if you had a similar chance to Hazel’s.

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