What I'm reading: 12.23.11

I haven't done one of these in a long time! I really haven't had a lot of time to read during the school year, though. But now that I'm on break, I'm reading everything I can get my hands on! So I wanted to share. I'm trying to see how many books I can read during this month-long holiday. So far, I've completed four in six days!

So far:

1. The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Sarah Addison Allen
I grabbed this book off the buy two, get the third free, table at Barnes and Noble on a whim. The back of the book talked about a girl returning to her mother's mysterious home town after her mom's death and finding a room with changing wallpaper, dancing lights in the backyard, and a neighbor baking cakes of hope. It was an intriguing enough pitch, and the book didn't disappoint. It's a little bit fantasy and a little bit romance with a whole lot of Southern charm. I finished it in two days because it really drew me in.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel

2. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
For some reason, it took me a really long time to get myself to read this. But I finally decided to pick it up and boy, am I glad I did. The premise is a little revolting: as the result of a long ago war, each of the twelve districts that formed in what used to be the US must give up two tributes, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18, to participate in The Hunger Games, a nationally televised event in which the 24 tributes will fight to the death until only one remains. And indeed, parts of the book were a little sickening. But there's no doubt that the story of Katniss, the female District 12 tribute who volunteers to save her sister's life, and Peeta, the male District 12 tribute who confesses his love for her unexpectedly, is extremely captivating. I had to force myself to take breaks from reading this one.
The Hunger Games

3. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
Some reviews say that this book, like most "middle of the trilogy" books, is the worst of the three, but I disagree. It's just as much of a page-turner as the first, although some of the action is a little rushed and a lot happens in the past tense, which isn't ideal for this kind of book. But I still loved it just as much as the first and finished it in about 7 hours. I couldn't wait for the next day to start on the third and final book, because of how the end of this one pretty much left Katniss's and Peeta's fates (and those of all of District 12) hanging in the balance.
Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)

4. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
The final book in this trilogy was wonderful. It's honestly hard to explain how amazing I think these books were. This one brings the conclusion, which, despite it's predictable outcome (it's pretty easy to tell who's going to win, just like in any similar book), has enough turns and twists to keep the reader guessing and surprised. Some would disagree, but I thought the ending was great, even the epilogue, which reminded me a lot of the last chapter of the Harry Potter series (and this is by no means an insult). The whole series, really, reminded me a lot of Harry Potter, in subtle ways. I think fans of HP or of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series would find themselves enchanted by The Hunger Games trilogy.
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)

Next Up:

1. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
This one has been on my list forever, especially because of the fact that it started life as a NaNoWriMo novel. I purchased it weeks ago on my Kindle when it was on sale for $2.99, but just never started it. So, now that I'm finished tearing through The Hunger Games trilogy, I wanted to focus on something a bit more casual, and I figured this would be a good place to start! I've already started it (I'm on chapter 5, I think) and I like it so far. Circuses scare me a little, but it's interesting seeing it from the view of a college-educated would-be vet who kind of stumbles into working for one. I think this one will go well.
Water for Elephants: A Novel

2. Uglies, Scott Westerfeld
I've read this one before, and I loved it. I've read the entire series, in fact, and I plan on rereading all of them this holiday. These tell another tale of a futuristic, oppressive government and the ordinary, reluctant 16-year-old girl who sets off a revolution. I like this one (the first one) and Extras (the fourth and final). The second one, Pretties, is okay, but I'm not looking forward much to the third, Specials. That one is the real end of the main girl, Tally's storyline, and the only thing I hated about these books was what happened to her, realistic as it might be. But regardless, this series is great, and I look forward to finishing it for a second time.
Uglies (The Uglies)

And that's it! Look for further updates soon! Other than a project I'm working on with Natalie that I can't say much about yet, my only real plan until school starts again is to finish lots of books.

Disclaimer: The above links are Amazon Affiliate links. So yes, I will get a little bit of money if you purchase any of the books from those pages. But these really are books I've read and loved (especially The Hunger Games), so be assured that I would never recommend anything to my readers if I wasn't fully behind whatever it was.


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