Saturday, February 25, 2012

hunger games...

Here's another review - I'm on a reading roll!

The Hunger Games
My score: 4 / 5 stars.

After reading the hilarious and talented Abby Gabs review for this series, I knew I had to give it a go.  I'm not usually a Sci-Fi kind of gal, but Abby got me interested, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

It's pretty heavy reading, but so well written - I really felt drawn into the world of Panem.  Set in the future, where Panem is made up of 12 districts ruled by the Capitol, we are introduced to a world of social hierachy, where death is viewed as entertainment.  Katniss Everdeen and her mother and sister live in District 12, the poorest of the districts whose main trade is in coal.  Her father was killed in a mine explosion four years ago, and Katniss is left to fend for her family - risking her life daily to hunt in the woods outside the Seam (the poorest part of the district) and trading her catches to keep her family alive.

The reaping is a game designed by the Capitol to remind the people of Panem that they still have absolute power.  Each year two children - a boy and a girl - are chosen from each district to compete in a hyped up and televised game - the Hunger Games.  In this game, these 24 children (aged 12-18) are forced to fight to the death.  Actual death.

This book is moving and unfair.  We fall in love with Katniss and even her district and we loathe the Capitol and what they stand for.  The children are thrust into awful and unimaginable situations, and the one who is left standing at the end becomes a celebrity.

It is in some ways sickening, and I wondered why I was reading this, but I couldn't stop.  I read the book quickly and thoroughly and couldn't wait for more.  It is a trilogy, but like I said, it's heavy reading and quite emotional so I decided to read something else in between to break it up a bit.  Even if you aren't into Sci Fi - give Hunger Games a read...  You won't regret it!

*Originally from

Saturday, February 11, 2012

potato peel...

My latest read, I read so fast I feel like the events 'happened' in one day of my life.  I feel like I went there for a day trip, and it all happened.  Yeah, so the book was pretty good.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

4.5 / 5

The scoring biz is a bit tricky - I think I score too high for some books which pushes the other books' scores up so that they score better but I don't want them to be a 5 so I have to start adding halves and quarters.  Ya get me?  Might have to think of a new system.

'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.'  What a mouthful.  And probably a mouthful that would have interested me, but not necessarily had me chomping at the proverbial bit to read the book.  I simply didn't understand what it meant, or what the book could possibly be about.

Now that I've read the book, the title warms my heart.  To be fair, I wish I'd slowed down and taken in the book a little more - read and re-read pages.  I should mention here something that is perhaps the crux of this book, (and probably why it was so easy to read fast) and what really makes the book great - in my opinion : the book is written entirely in letters.

I love the feeling of that - old fashioned snail mail, making its way across the ocean to reach the person the letter was lovingly crafted for.  There are many characters in our story, which is why I wish I'd slowed down and  savoured each letter.  I didn't realise early on that some individuals would become mainstays of the show, and I had missed small inklings of their personality and life.

The story centres around a famous wartime writer in England - Juliet Ashton, who (writing under a 'nom de plume' - Izzy Bickerstaff) manages to lightheartedly yet respectfully produce something worth reading in wartime (a difficult task, as you can imagine).  She becomes aware of the German occupation of the island of Guernsey, and gets in touch with the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  They begin to exchange letters and through their many different voices and experience we learn about life on Guernsey under the occupation.  I wanted to live there, with them.  The characters are completely loveable and unique, and the way the book is written through letters brings an endearing and intimate quality.  I find myself recommending it to people, even patients I'm caring for (I'm a nurse), as a lovely story.

You must read it.  Prepare to be swept away by the thought of book clubs on islands, and potato peel pie.  Well, maybe not potato peel pie.

Joining up with Remaliah over at Lily & Georgie (be sure to check her and her adorable twins out!)

For Mrs. Readalot's BookClub (click button below for more info, and to have a look-see at the fabulous Simone's blog).