Friday, April 15, 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I have been meaning to read this book for the past year or two and it just never happened. First school and work got in the way, and then I just forgot! I finally got my hands on it and absolutely loved it. 
The story is a science fiction/dystopian genre based in what used to be North America and is now called Panem a post-apocalyptic country with 12 districts that are controlled by the "Capitol." One way the Capitol shows that they hold the power and control all is yearly each district must name one boy and one girl who will fight in the hunger games; a game to the death with the one survivor being the winner. 

Katniss Everdeen is the main character followed throughout the novel and I truly fell in love with her and what she stood for in such a controlled society. I am a huge fan of novels like this, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, and even the great classic 1984 by George Orwell. I actually felt all the characters were well developed and held their own throughout the book. 

When I originally started to read this I thought how morbid the premise really was, and it still is, but I got over it and read it like it was really happening. I think most dystopian novels hold this type of morbidity or cruelty we find so offensive and horrible, but there are a lot of things in life that are horrible and become the plot of a novel. I still feel it is a very appropriate book for teens, it isn't overly descriptive or gory. I would even recommend for some younger mature readers (ages 12 and up). Collins is a captivating writer and I look forward to reading and reviewing the next two books.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Higher Institute of Villianous Education (HIVE) by Mark Walden

I was going to post a review about each book, but seeing as I just finished the 6th book in the series and the 7th one doesn't come out until September 2011, I figured I'd review the first six books in the series.

I absolutely love this series and am stoked for the next book to be released. Unfortunately when I wanted to read more in the series I realized only the 1st book (HIVE: Higher Institute of Villainous Education & HIVE: The Overlord Protocol) were the only two books published in the United States. That is not the case anymore, I believe you can purchase any of these books on Amazon, and can even purchase the box set pictured above. Wish in a small way I had waited instead of purchasing through AmazonUK, but oh well!

The title is what initially intrigued me to read the 1st book. I thought for sure it would be just like Harry Potter only without the magic, but I was pleasantly surprised by how different and fun this series is! Yes it does resemble Harry Potter a bit with the life/death situations that arise while they are at "HIVE" being schooled to be villains, but all the characters stand strong and are very relatable to teens and easy to like and enjoy while getting into the story. I do have to admit that the first book is still my favorite, but I've enjoyed reading the rest and as I said before look forward to the next book. I think the idea of teens being abducted from their homes, orphanages, etc... to go to this school was a fun premise. They are kidnapped and drugged so they don't know the remote location of the island the school is on. They come to find out later on their families all know about the school and them being enrolled there, but weren't allowed to say anything. Otto Malpense, the main character and orphan is the main focus of the series and builds around the mystery of his childhood and strange abilities. Each student selected to attend this school has a special ability that makes them an assets to the school. Although I find it interesting and a bit ironic that they all seem to be less villain-like and more of heroes as the series progresses, and by the 6th book I had almost forgotten that they are supposed to be villains in training! This of course may be all tied together whenever the series ends.

Overall the books are fun, adventurous, a bit sci-fi like with over the top technology, and full of action and rich characters. I would definitely recommend this series especially to tweens and teens and any kids who have liked Harry Potter.

Book 1 - HIVE: Higher Institute of Villainous Education
Book 2 - HIVE: Overlord Protocol
Book 3 - HIVE: Escape Velocity
Book 4 - HIVE: Dreadnought
Book 5 - HIVE: Rogue
Book 6 - HIVE: Zero Hour
Book 7 - HIVE: Aftershock (NOT YET PUBLISHED)

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Book Worm Blog!

If you like Teen or Young Adult books, you will definitely want to check out The Book Worm Blog my friend has started! Great reviews of all sorts of YA books! I know I've put a bunch of the books reviewed on my "to read" list. A great blog and it is updated quite frequently! Hope you check it out!