Monday, October 18, 2010


I've heard rumblings that the third book in the Hunger Games series wasn't as light or as fun as some may have hoped, but that is exactly the reason I LOVED it. This book would be a fabulous high school English read, full of great themes to explore: power and fear, scarcity and excess, war and sacrifice, not to mention the influence of the media. I was fascinated by the rich symbolism: parachutes, wolves, food, etc. Even the names: Snow (can look beautiful, but covers up the underlying filth) Two-sided Coin, Primrose (true, hearty beauty unlike Snow's roses), etc. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read, but there was depth to it. I have been craving something meaty like that for awhile. I really do wish I could sit in a classroom and examine it all. A fabulous book!

If I read another book about a teenager finding out they have magic powers with which they must fight the dark side, I may just scream. I probably would have liked City of Bones if I hadn't already read this book a MILLION times. Magic? Yup. Vampires? Of course. Werewolves? Who can write a book without them? There was nothing new, nothing that made me think, nothing that moved me in any way. That said, if you love the tried and true teen novel formula, City of Bones will not disappoint.

My sister in law recommended Charms for the Easy Life. It tells the story of three generations of women as they deal with one another and interact in their communities during the Depression and into WWII. It was a fun, light story, and I quite enjoyed the characters within it.

I loved Ender's Game so much that I figured I would try Ender's Shadow. Shadow follows the story of a young boy named Bean, one of the kids that Ender trained with in a futurist space school to fight the "Buggers" for the salvation of the Earth. I totally preferred Ender's Game, but I did find Shadow interesting enough. I wish I had read the books closer together - so that the details would have come together better.

This is a book that Big Boy #1 was reading and I had heard was pretty good. Al Capone Does My Shirts tells the story of the children (of the prison workers and guards) who lived on Alcatraz. But the heart of the story is that 12 year old Moose's sister is mentally challenged. The reader witnesses how the family is consumed with caring for Natalie, and how Moose manages to negotiate his desire to be a normal kid in such unusual circumstances. The ending was darling, but my favorite part was his non-fiction summary of life at Alcatraz in the appendix. It was a quick and easy read - I liked it.

This is the first book in a sequel series to Children of the Promise. Written by a Mormon author for a Mormon audience, Writing on the Wall follows a Mormon family in Utah living in the 1960s. While Hughes does a good job of exposing self-righteous and hypocritical behaviors, there is still a certain tone to the novel that drove me crazy. A bit too "Utah" for me. Nonetheless, my favorite genre is historical fiction, and I have always enjoyed learning about this time period, so I would certainly pick up the next in the series. Anyone have a copy I can borrow?
\ I have never before read any of Agatha Christie's books and I was excited to read Murder on the Orient Express, just for the sake of it. It was a nice little mystery novel. There were a lot of characters that I had to keep track of, but by the end it did all make sense. It was a quick read, and worth my time, just to be familiar with the legend of it all.

Overall, this last batch wasn't too exciting. By and large these books passed the time nicely enough, but other than Mocking Jay, there really wasn't anything that rocked me.


Cheryl said...

I think that you need to be an English teacher. I can't believe how much you got out of that book. After reading the symbolism you mentioned I appreciate the book so much more. I honestly didn't like Mockinjay as much as the others.

Mom of Three said...

Wow, out of all of those, there is only two I haven't read. Can I borrow Charms and the mormon one? I totally agree about City of Bones. Don't read the sequel. I didn't like those books very much at all.