Monday, June 4, 2012

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is one of my favorite books. It was written not long ago by Suzanne Collins. Shortly after being written it rocketed to one of the most read books of the year. I don't have trouble imagining why. It was a truly great book. The novel is about a girl called Katniss everdeen who lives in district 12 out of all 13 districts. However, district 13 doesn't exist anymore due to the rebelion  that  they held against the capital.
As a punishment to remind the districts that they have nothing without the capital and that justice will be brought if they rebel each year the capital holds an event called The Hunger Games. The rules are as follows each of the 12 districts choose one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to compete. Out of the 24 competeters only one will survive. They are put into an area beyond imagination that changes each year. While in the area they will fight to survive, fight against the other 23 teenagers and against the area itself.
The day where children are elected to represent their district is called the reaping. A woman comes from the capital and draws all a name from 2 large bowls. One from the boys bowl and one from the girls. A boy named Peeta is chosen and Prim, Katinisses 12 year-old sister. Desperate to save her Katniss volenteers as the female tribute to compete in the annual hunger games.
I have read this book before and I still enjoyed it tremendously this time! It is well written and draws you into the pages. I always find it hard to put down. So I hope if you havn't read this book yet then you will becaue im sure you'll love it!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

ORR - Lament

Title: Lament
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Genre: Teen Fiction
Lament is about a 16 year old girl named Dee, who has a strange gift, she is a cloverhand. A cloverhand is someone who can see faeries. There is also Luke, who is a assassin from the faeries world, who must kill people because an evil faerie Queen keeps his soul inside a cage. Their paths cross when the meet at Dee’s music competition in the bathroom while she vomits from nerves. They wind up performing a duet together, and star spending more together. What Dee doesn’t know though is that their encounter was no chance and Luke’s next target is in fact her. Though through a twist of fate, Luke finds himself falling in love with Dee, preventing him from killing her and making his “master” the Queen, quite angry.  They must fight to stay together, with many outside forces pushing them apart, and the journey they go on is filled with surprises.
                I enjoyed the book Lament, because it was very similar to another series by Maggie Steifvater, called the Shiver series, which it reminded me of. The style of writing was quite familiar, and one that is associated is Steifvater, yet one difference that sets Lament apart from the Shiver series is that this book is not written in two different points of view but only from Dee’s view. I thought that the character’s were well developed in this book, enough to make someone either entirely love them or hate them and I felt the plot was well developed enough so that it was an interesting read. All in all, Maggie Steifvater did not disappoint with Lament, I would give it a 4-4.5/5 as a rating. 


This week I read online articles about boxing.

One of the more interesting ones I read is one about an upcoming matchup between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, it covered the predictions about the match, and what could potentially happen to change the predicted victory of Manny Pacquiao. Manny is the more likely to win this fight, but Bradley has been a champ since 2008, and has not been widely known yet, if he were to win this fight, and take the throne from Manny Pacquiao he would become a well known name. Manny Pacquiao is currently one of the best, and most popular fighters around, but many wonder if he will fight to his full potential because he is also persuing a acting, politics and music career. He is also the biggest icon of the Phillipines, will all these other commitments get in the way of him boxing his best?


Is a book about a high water fight that happens in the middle of New York city for several days. Its a 7 day gruesome water fight. One of the biggest competitions. Now there is a guy called jake who ends up winning. His girl friend Jill ends up signing up to. And they end up being the final 2 competing against each other. But at the end they figure it out when they are head to head. And they stop and freak out because not one of them knew that the other one was in the competition. So they surrendered and came out as a team. And then the book ends with a ceremony and a party. 

ORR - Lolita

Title: Lolita
Author: Vladimir Vladimirovic Nabakov
Genre: Tragic drama

This week I continued reading Lolita, and despite the fact that it does get even more disturbing, you really do get to know Humbert's character, and the way he sees the world. From what I have understood, and gathered, I believe that Humbert is a very egoistic person. He seems to believe that he can have any girl he somewhat starts liking, despite the chance that she might be completely repulsed by his attempts. The way he described his and Annabel's love is also quite strange. Even though he doesn't say it outward, Humbert does describe their relationship in a way that makes his seem superior and extremely attractive. It almost seems as though he is unhealthily possesive of Annabel. In the next few chapters that I read, I also got to know who Lolita is. Humbert says that it is only after he meets Lolita that he forgets about the love him and Annabel shared. This is especially seen in the first few lines of the book. "Lolita. Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul." Humbert also describes his college days, when he had lots of encounters with prostitutes. He even had affairs with some of them, but found that he started getting less and less attracted to them as they grew older. According to Humbert, he was extremely handsome, and had many female admirers. However, he was disgusted by many of them, and longed for a relationship with a nymphet. He even states that he finds it unfair that it is appropriate for men to be with girls who are seventeen, but not the ones who are twelve or fourteen. What I found extremely interesting was the fact that Humbert tried to overcome this, and attempt to live a normal life for a man of his age. He married a Polish doctor's daughter, whose name was Valeria. Despite being an older woman, Valeria had a girlish and young personality, which was the reason Humbert chose her for a wife. However, she was a very intelligent woman, as well as very mature, unlike nymphets. That is the reason their marriage did not work out. Valeria cheats on Humbert with a taxi driver, which causes Humbert to feel extremely betrayed. He even thinks about killing Valeria, despite the fact that he doesn't even feel strongly for her, nor was ever in love with her. In my opinion, this just shows how full of himself Humbert is, and how he believes no man could ever even compare to him. After his seperation from Valeria, Humbert goes on to work in America, New York, where he would spend his free time watching nymphets in Central Park. It is quite interesting that he also travelled to Arctic, where he studied the psychology of his teammates. I found this extremely ironic, due to the fact that Humbert isn't very mentally stable himself, considering the fact that he is a a pedophile, and that he daydreams about killing the people who have done him the slightest wrong.

The Secret

Title: The Secret
Author: Rhonda Byrne
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 198

This week, I read the book entitled "The Secret". The author of this book tried to keep focus on the actual secret which began in the history of our world, but it also has another meaning, which would be the secret to our lives. I really liked the way Rhonda Byrne made that connection. It seemed to make the book more unique, rather than an ordinary plot with main characters and a problem. Now, I haven't finished reading the book, but I cant wait till the end to find out the secret. I would surely recommend this book to young adults and adults, because it teaches a lot about the actual meaning of life, and the hidden message of it. Something like a moral, but it doesn't reveal it right away, like in short kid's story, but it leaves space for you to interpret it. I really liked how the font of the book and the pages were different from any other book, so that was also very distinctive.

The Hunger Games


The Hunger GamesSuzanne CollinsFiction

The book the Hunger Games takes place some time in the future. The book is in first person. The main character is Katniss Everdeen. The Americas have been split up into 12 different districts. These districts used to fight against each other, but have stopped. To punish the districts for killing each other they annually hold the Hunger Games. Each districts picks one boy and one girl to fight in the Games. The 24 kids ages ranging from 12 to18 are put into a climate and must survive there and kill off the others. The last one who survives wins. Now is the time for the picking of who will be fighting in the tournament. In some districts such as district 12, where Katniss lives, the people there hope that they do not get picked to fight in the games because they do not have much practice and they do not want to die. In other districts however they train to fight and want to be chosen. These districts are more like district with the higher numbers such as 1,2,3,4, and 5 because they live in a richer place where they have a better diet and have money and time to train. In districts like 11 and 12 they fight for their food and many starve to death.

I am in the middle of the book where the Hunger Games have already started. Before the Hunger Games all of the tributes (kids playing in the games) had to go through all of these different small challenges. But for Katniss and Peeta (the boy tribute from district 12) the things they are doing are very unusual and difficult. They have to be stripped of all of their body hair. EWWWWW!!!!!! :-/ They are then dressed to represent their district. This is where Katniss and Peeta were set on fire. Not their bodies but their capes and helmets. They were made of special material that went on fire. This was one of the first events that got most of the other tributes hate Katniss. "Katniss, the girl who was on fire"(Collins 79). Katniss also annoyed all of the other tributes especially the careers (from districts 1 and 2 and 4. They trained their whole life to fight and when they turned 18 they volunteered themselves to be a part in the hunger games. This was not allowed, but no one paid any notice.) They were annoyed when Katniss got the highest training score (meaning the game makers thought that she had the most skill and I believe that she does). 
In this book there is a lot of killing. I would not recommend this book to people who hate that. Though it was okay for me because it was not that descriptive. I think that some boys who like books with killing might like this series. Some people die because there skull caves in when a rock is thrown at it. Others die from blood-hounds. Some parts are very sad and emotional though. I loved reading this book and I hope that others who read my post will read it. It is an awesome and very engaging book.


Title: Magician
Author: Raymond E. Feist
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Pages: 542

     I have read Magician before but I had to read it again just to remind myself of the plot and how amazing the story is (it is my favourite novel of all time, without a doubt). Magician's plot is a very clever combination of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and how those two genres can come together to create something amazing. The novel is set in Midkemia, a fantastical place of monsters, knights, castles and magic. In Crydee, an orphan named Pug becomes apprentice to a magician named Kulgan. Pug discovers his immense power, and quickly uses it to save a princess, Carline from trolls. Borric, the Duke of Crydee, awards him with the status of scribe. One day, whilst Pug is out on a cliff, he notices a shipwreck. He quickly goes and checks it out. The people on board are very strange. Though they are human, they have elaborate clothing and unreadable pictographs etched on to their bodies. Instantly he tells Borric, who sets out for Rillanon, the capital of the kingdom. The king, Rodric, is suffering from insanity and turns them away, thinking that they are ghosts in his imagination. Upon return, Borric finds Crydee besieged. The attackers are the same people that were found aboard the ship. Meanwhile Pug has been whisked away to Kelewan, the planet that the Tsuranuanni, or aliens come from. There he practices an even more powerful form of magic, and soon learns that only he has the power to bring peace to the worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan.
     I read Magician when I was eight. This was my first fantasy book, so I didn't know what to expect from it. As soon as I finished the first chapter, I fell in love. Finishing the book within a week, I went on to read the other two, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon, both of which are just as amazing. I also read the companion series, called the Empire Saga, which follows the path of a slave on Kelewan. Together the Riftwar and Empire sagas create a perfect image of the two worlds. Both have their similarities and differences. The Midkemians can be related to knights in Europe and follow a very feudal society. The Tsuranuanni can be likened to the Japanese five hundred years ago, also following a feudal society, just with more elegance and far more intelligent rulers. The one thing that has always bugged me is why in the world the author named the main character Pug. I always tried to come up with a different name for him, but never settled for one. All in all, Magician still remains the best book of all time for me, and probably always will. There is no book like it in this world, and there probably isn't in Midkemia or Kelewan either. :P


Title: Snakehead
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 398
Snakehead is the seventh novel in the Alex Rider series. Snakehead takes place directly after the events of Ark Angel, with Alex finding himself in Australian waters, where he landed at the end of the story. Alex Ridere lands in the south pacific after from falling from outer space. He is picked up by the USS Kitty Hawk, a U.S. Aircraft Carrier. Mean while the criminal organization Scorpia is hired to assassinate 8 celebrities. The deaths must look accidental. Scorpia steals a prototype bomb code-named "Royal Blue". The ASIS hire Alex Rider and he is paired with his godfather and one of his fathers best friends, to investigate the snakehead ring.
Article Title: Clothes are Good Medicine
Author: Edith Head
             One of the things I read this week was an article by Edith Head talking about how she believes that fashion can be a type of medicine. She talks about what she calls "clothes therapy," She says that clothes therapy, although it is not proven as the science of art and healing, is something that can have therapeutic effects.. Head uses the example of when a man or woman enters a room and someone says "How well you look!" that can be like good medicine. She believes that wearing clothes that fit nicely and flatter you, can make a sad person happy.  
For example , "When a husband says to his wife: 'You look so pretty in that dress,’ Head says that is the best medicine ". The ever practical Head doesn’t advocate buying lots of clothes to buy happiness, but suggests thinking of ways to make yourself feel better by relooking at what you already own, but adding new accessories. Head says that many young people have to work with a limited budget, which can cause stress. She advises that it is relatively easy to buy things that are low-cost to make an old outfit look fresh, or adding ribbons or other things to freshen the look. The point of this article is that looking good and taking care of yourself, can make you feel a lot better.
Although the “Clothes are Good Medicine” article was published 48 years ago, Head’s advice is still true today. She suggests to people that if you pay attention to the way you dress, you feel confident about yourself and the compliments from friends and family can make you feel even better than medicine.


Title: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Author: Benjamin Franklin
Genre: Autobiography

This week I read a book about Benjamin Franklin. I found this book at home while I was looking for a person for my living history, but after I decided to do a tennis player and after I finished my living history project I read this book called The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. I learned a lot about him in this book. 

Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706 in Boston. He was the 15th of his fathers 17 children.  He went to school as a child with the want of becoming a minister, as his father, Josiah, wanted. However,he changed his idea after he he showed a big interest in reading and writing. He was apprenticed to his brother, James at a young age, but after fighting with his brother he quit the job and moved to Philadelphia, where he worked for a man named Samuel Keimer.

One thing I really found interesting in this autobiography was that throughout the 1730s, Franklin held some minor positions doing printing work for the government. In that time, he began Poor Richard's Almanac and became postmaster of Philadelphia. 

This autobiography of Benjamin Franklin was not so bad, but it was a bit boring. I would't recommend this book to people who like to read a book with a lot of action and adventure in it, but it would suit someone who would like to sit for a while and just read about someones life. This autobiography breaks off in 1757 and is left unfinished. 

The Autobiography itself was written in three different times: 1771 in England, 1783-83 in France, and 1788 in America. If Franklin meant to complete it, he died before he got the chance.

Boy: Tales of Childhood

Title: Boy: Tales of Childhood
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Autobiography

'An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details. This is not an autobiography'
-Roald Dahl

This week I decided to reread a book that I've had for a while. It is called Boy: Tales of Childhood and it is basically Roald Dahl's autobiography, even if he refuses to admit it is. He refuses to admit  this is an autobiography because his definition of such a thing is when a person writes boring facts about his life. In this case, the facts and stories told in this book are far from boring. These tales are full of exciting and strange things - some funny, some frightening, but mostly, all true. To make the book even funner to read, it is packed with pictures of Roald Dahl as a child or drawings relating to the story he is recounting. There are also letters he wrote to his mother or letters he wrote and wanted to send to his teachers but then realized how bad of an idea it was! :) The tales told in this book made me want to read more and some even made me cry of laughter. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good and easy read and I guaranty they will have a good time reading it.  

'I am totally convinced that most grown-ups have completely forgotten what it is like to be a child between the ages of five and ten... I can remember exactly what it was like. I am certain I can.'
-Roald Dahl

Here is a link to a video on youtube I found about Roald Dahl's life and the experiences that may have influenced why he wrote some of his books:


Author:  Brian Jacques
Genre:  Fantasy

          This week, I decided to reread a book written by an author that I LOVED in 3rd to 6th grade.  The author, Brian Jacques, has a whole "Redwall" series that I have enjoyed since I first received one of his books for my 8th or 9th birthday. 
          The book I read is called "Salamandastron" and it revolves around two places:  Salamandastron and Redwall.  Salamandastron is a fortress made by an ancient volcano that has always been ruled by a badger lord and inhabited by fighting hares.  The badger and his hares protect the ocean shores from "vermin" (evil animals such as weasels, rats, stoats, and foxes).  Redwall is an abbey located in the forest far away from Salamandastron and is the home to a group of peace-loving creatures - a medley of otters, hedgehogs, mice, squirrels, and moles. 
         Salamandastron is under siege. A horde of evil animals are attacking it led by Ferahgo the Assassin, a weasel who wants possession of the mountain and the "badger's treasure".  Ferahgo has a poisoner lace every single item of food and drink inside the fortress with deadly poison.  Luckily, the hares and badger realize that the food is poisoned before they all die, but they no longer have any food or water and they have to drive off this vermin horde that outnumbers them 10-1. 
          Meanwhile, Redwall Abbey has been struck with an outbreak of Dryditch Fever - a deadly disease that can only be cured by the Flowers of Icetor that grow in the mountains, far from the abbey.  Redwall's only hope is in an otter, Thrugg, and a baby mouse, Dumble who have gone to the mountains to get the flowers. 
          The paths of Salamandastron and Redwall cross, each benefiting off of the other, and new friendships are formed. 
          I really enjoyed reading this book again, because Brian Jacques has a way of making you care about the characters so much that you cry when they die.  Even though I've read "Salamandastron" many times, I still cry when one of the characters dies because I grow so attached to them.  Also, I find the Redwall series refreshing from all the action and drama and romance that most books for teenagers contain.  The fact that there are no humans in the story is another thing that I like.  Everything takes place in forest and ocean and beaches - there are not even any human buildings in the book.  I think that anyone who likes reading about fighting but enjoys novels that are paced more slowly should try this series.


Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajama
Author: John Boyne
Genre: Historic Fiction

I finished the book and I liked the ending the most.
Bruno as always went to meet his friend Schmuel and bring him food each afternoon. Schmuel, what Bruno thought, looked better and better. He was not that thin anymore but still way to thin for a normal person. Bruno still did not understand what the people on the other side are doing because Schmuel does not want to tell him. Every time Bruno asked than Schmuel just replies that things are terrible on his side of the fence and that Bruno does not want to know what is happening. Bruno also thinks that the German soldiers are nice people because Bruno's father is one but Schmuel keeps on explaining that he thinks that the soldiers do not like him and the other on the fence side.

One day Bruno hears his parents shouting at each other. They were having a very loud discussion in father's office, which Bruno is not allowed to enter, and they were talking about leaving Auschwitz, Bruno pronounces it "Aus-Wisch" which is German and means to wipe out. Mother can't stay here anymore because she has nothing to do and freaks out. Now Bruno is not sure where he wants to be. At the beginning when he arrived in Auschwitz he just wanted back to Berlin because he thought that this is a horrible place but then he met Schmuel. Now Schmuel is his best friend and although they never played together Bruno was scared of loosing his best friend.

As Bruno already heard, the family was leaving Auschwitz except father. He had to stay and take care of the people on the other side of the fence. Bruno wanted to see Schmuel again to tell him that they were leaving in less than a week but he wasn't at the place in the fence where he normally is. Two days before he left Schmuel showed up. He apologized to Bruno and said that his father disappeared like his grandfather and his brother. Schmuel said that he went to work with other friends and then soldiers where following him and none of the friends and father came back. Schmuel was almost crying. Then Bruno told him that he was leaving.

The two boys were both sad but suddenly Schmuel came up with an idea. There was a hole in the fence and Schmuel wanted Bruno to come through but they both knew that they would be in a lot of trouble than because German and Yews were not supposed to be friends at that time, which the two boys did not understand yet. Schmuel had the idea to dress up Bruno so that he looks like one of the people from his side. He would get Bruno a striped pajama. The next day Bruno left the house looking forward to go to the other side of the fence and see how Schmuel lives. Maybe that wasn't a good idea.

When Bruno was dressed up as one of the people from the other side he crawled through the hole and walked to the place where Schmuel lived. Bruno did not expect Schmuel house to be like that, people were sleeping on the floor, there were small sheds where the people lived in, everyone looked very sad and everything stunk. Around all the people there were soldiers. After four hours Bruno decided to leave Schmuel and go home but suddenly the was a shrill whistle. Chaos broke out and all the people were surrounded by soldiers like a sheep herd. They were being pushed in one direction. Bruno asked Schmuel what was going on. Schmuel explained that the soldiers often make people talk a walk. Bruno did not have time to take a walk now, he had to go home but he could not get out of it. It was raining a lot and suddenly it stopped. Bruno looked up and saw that they were in a big room. The room seemed to be made with a lot of effort because there was no rain coming in. Bruno thought that they were put into the room because it was raining and here they would stay dry but suddenly all the doors were closed and locked. The people started to cry and shout. That was the end of the story from the two nine year old boys Bruno and Schmuel.

The book was very interesting to read. At the end when he crawls through the hole I already expected that something was going to happen because of the title of the chapter, "Bruno's last adventure". The end is a bit sad but overall is the book very good and not that hard to read. I recommend this book to everyone because it was written for children, easy to understand, but also for grown ups. The book is my favorite.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Title: Perfect
Author: Natasha Friend
Genre: Teen Fiction

This week I’ve been reading a different book than usual- actually, this book was about a teen and her father’s death + her eating disorders.
Thirteen-year-old Isabelle Lee is dealing with the death of her father. Isabelle, her mother, and her younger sister April, all miss him desperately, but they can't seem to talk about him- ever. "You cry in your room. I cry in my room. Mom cries in Mom's room. And in the morning everyone pretends like they never cried even once in their lives. Like, it's going to be a great day, kids! Pass the orange juice!'" (Friend 68)
‘Group’ is horrible for Isabelle; she hates journaling, and she can't bring herself to talk about her dad's death in front of other girls. Much to Isabelle's surprise, Ashley Barnum, the most perfect girl in the eighth grade, shows up at Group. It turns out that Ashley also has bulimia. At first, Isabelle revels in this new connection with Ashley, who had never noticed her before. The two of them go out for breakfasts and late-night sundaes and then throw up together (these scenes are often described in graphic and excellent detail in my opinion). Pretty soon, though, Isabelle realizes that Ashley's perfect life might not be so perfect after all and that Ashley's problems might be the result of her own family history.
I would recommend this book to just about anyone! However, I think that PERFECT would be an excellent book for mothers and teen girls to read together. The damaged relationship between Isabelle and her mother is a key element of the book, as is the acknowledgment that eating disorders are becoming problems for younger and younger girls. All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and I am looking forward to reading Natasha Friend’s other novels as well.