Time Magazine has a list of 100 of the best novels of modern time starting from 1923 to the present. I am going to use that list as the basis for my reviews over the next few weeks. I may review more than one per week, but we’ll see how many I can get my hands on. This will give Daily Mayo a little more focus for a while, and it should be pretty fun. I’m going to try to develop a new rating system for the books, which should also prevent my reviews from being quite so random.
Archives for March 2011
Today’s review is for the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games). In this book, Katniss and the gang finish what they started in the second book. This book’s formatting is different than the other two, in that the book is more focused on war and fighting than the other two.
In this book, Katniss is the icon of the resistance. She spends a lot of time making videos about how important she is while being kept mostly out of danger. This is frustrating to her, as she really wants to actually help. Eventually, she convinces the resistance to allow her to go into real battle, with surprising consequences.
I liked this book nearly as much as Catching Fire, but not as much as the original Hunger Games. I thought that the focus on the media war was more of a political statement about modern warfare than related to the actual story, but it wasn’t too distracting. I give this story three stars.
Catching Fire is the sequal to The Hunger Games. In The Hunger Games, Katniss is faced against 23 other young people in a fight to the death. In the second book (spoilers ahead), it follows what happens to her after her win. This book follows Katniss’ victory tour after her win, the development of the Quarter Quell, the year when a special Hunger Game is held to remind the districts why the games are held, and what happens to Katniss and Peeta after their harrowing experience. The book also focuses on the love triangle between Katniss and her two suitors.
I liked this book just as much or more than the first book. Many reviewers did not like the story as much, but I had no problem with it. It takes a little while for the action to begin, but I liked the explanation for the universe and the internal conflict that Katniss has. I think this book is more realistic than many other teen thrillers, and I like that the romance is not the main focus of the story, but rather the focus is on Katniss and the choices she must make to survive and care for the people she loves.
I give this story four stars. Catching Fire is an outstanding YA novel.
This story is about a girl named Gwen and her two sisters. Their father is accidentally shot, and they must learn to survive without him. Gwen feels cursed because her mother, father and husband died in the past. This story focuses on her redemption from her “curse” and how she learns to love again.
This story is dialog driven. There are few descriptive passages and a lot of speaking. The writing is pretty good, but it is a little choppy in places. The story is set in the 1800s in Montana, which is a place and time that doesn’t really interest me, but for someone who loves reading about that time would probably really love A Promise to Believe In. I give this book three stars.