Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

                So I have been super excited for this movie to come out.  My manager at work knows this as I have been putting in my request for the 21st off since March, though every time she turns it back saying it was too soon.  Well end of October I not only had my day approved off and plans with my Midnight Showing peoples, though now they have the showings at 8pm so it messes with our name, and my tickets.  For those of you who live under a rock, Catching Fire, is the sequel to The Hunger Games (my past review) and the 2nd book in the trilogy by Suzanne Collins (my review of the books). 
                For me Catching Fire was simply AMAZING!  Yes I am biased, due to the love I have for the series but still.  Yes there were differences from the book, some of the main ones behind in continuity with how they ended/changed book/movie 1.  For instance Peeta doesn't have his leg amputated at the end of book 1, so clearly he doesn't have that.  But over all everything flowed and it picked up after the first one just before the victors tour.  As a book nerd I would have loved some more details on the whole her and Peeta thing but they gave you enough but didn't bog it down and kept everything moving along. 

                We pick up just before the Victors Tour, before the next Games.  Though thanks to her defiance, now Snow has it in for her and they create a new game.  This is after all the 75th Games, the Quarter Quill and that demands a special game.  Their solution to make them special and eradicate the problem of Katniss and her species, the other victors per Snow, is to reap the contestants from the pool of victors.  Yep that guarantees Katniss is back again being the only female victor of district 12.  Now you are matched not just with competitors but people who have already won, already killed. 
                We still have out favorite characters, Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, Snow (come on you love to hate him), and some new ones as well.  Katniss is a tough girl who has spent her whole life trying to survive and now she is dealing with the aftermath of what the games did to her and this whole boy thing.  How is she supposed to have those feelings when her life and the lives of her family are in constant threat of loss, very rational.  Still she does care for both Peeta and Gail for different reasons and neither of which she completely understands which I liked.  It was a different take on the whole triangle romance.  She has her own junk to deal with so to speak.  Peeta, oh my Peeta, such a sweetie, so in love but hurt because he thought it was 100% real and unsure where to go.  He grows some more, it's hard not to when put through something like the games, and in that respect he can understand what haunts Katniss.  Haymitch, our drunken mentor from District 12, yes well he is a dear.  There is a clear understanding of why he is the way that he is now, they can see why he numbs the pain.  He also is torn trying to help both of them, both of his little birds even when their needs conflict.  Okay so with District 7 we have Finnick and Mags.  Mags is a sweet elderly woman who volunteers in the place of a younger woman and used to be FInnicks mentor.  She doesn't speak but she steals the scenes she's in.  FInnick sees to be a cool calculated contestant but his devotion to Mags shows a softer side (and I won't say more for fear of giving away something good).  I'm not going to do everyone I just realized how long this would be, but I will quickly do Snow.  He is the enemy, the President of the Capitol, who is in a war with the districts and himself.  He has lost his so well crafted control and let loose a spark of Hope.  In the books you don't get to see too much of him, just Katniss's reactions, but the movie does a good job of making this man so evil and sinister even while having midmorning tea.
    The story is fast moving, there is still plenty of action, suspense, and drama to go around.  I adored this movie for obvious reasons and I can't stop talking about it.  I will say take some tissues with you, I won't lie I balled like a girl at some parts, and had planned accordingly.  There a lot of good themes in this series, standing up, fighting the system.  Katniss, in an attempt to save herself and the life of someone she cares about she starts something she never could have imagined.  I give this movie 5 Flaming Arrows.  Have you seen it already?   Tell me what you thought below.  Did your own review, please share a link so I can check that out as well!  I know my least favorite part…waiting 12 months for Mockingjay Part 1

Rating:  5 Flaming Arrows 


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Endless by Amanda Gray

               Endless was an ARC from NetGalley and Month9Books that has made it way from my TBR list to my Read list.  Endless is a book about love and time, what you will do for love through time even if it means breaking all the rules.  This books came out on October 8th, so you don't have to wait to check it out. 
             Jenny always knows she's…different.  She can see the past lives of people she touches, after all.  She has a semi-normal life going for her with her father, school, part time job, and her passion to paint.  Then she meets the new guy in town working with her father on a project.  He is standoffish but the two inadvertently find an old music box with instructions for 'memerization' which they both laugh at but decide to try.  Using the box they both fall into a dream, one of a past life they share in Romanov Russia.  But they are not alone, this is the same life Jenny has seen of herself before, with a boy named Nikolai, the mysterious boy she has been dreaming of and painting for a while.  When they wake they delve into the mystery of the music box, just as the mysterious Nikolai appears in the flesh, her love who has come through time to be with her.  Jenny must choose to believe and accept in time travel and in the love she felt in the dreams or she may lose him forever.  He is after all out of time, literally, and that is something the Order, cannot allow.  They are determined to send him back, to stay together they must fight.

                This book was a pretty quick read.  I was worried with the description that it may be a bit simple, which don't get me wrong I love that sometimes, but I was very happy to see that there was also a mystery involved.  More than one actually.  This isn't just a love story, sure it has a love story as a major aspect, one that transcends time, and come on you can't tell me that doesn't make your romantic heart flutter just a bit.  A boy fighting everything even the laws of time to be with the woman he loves.  But that is not all this book offers.  There is also a mystery and intrigue from both Ben and his mysterious past, this Order group, and the growing suspicion that her mother was more than she was lead to believe. 
                Jenny is a more well adjusted 'abnormal teen', she has a gift/curse that makes her different like many YA books but she has grown to accept and work around it over the years.  She has much more going on with her.   Ben, the prickly son of her dads new client, also has his secrets.  He and his mom keep to themselves for a reason.  He struggles with his desire to know more and his more immediate and much more real needs than this 'feeling'.  Then we have Nikolai, the other lead, who I knew could be the make or break part.  He is from the past, out of his time.  While he has adjusted, and it is described in a way I can grasp and believe, he still has aspects to his personality that make me think of the past.  Things and actions we today sometimes never see, like chivalry (also side note a word I love but have never been able to pronounce for some odd reason it also comes out wrong).  People also don't talk with the articulate nature as they did then, we are much more straight forward and to the point.  Either way the three of them make for a good read and that doesn't even count the great supporting cast.

                Now I am out of time.  I can't wait to read more and see what happens next.  The sequel does not have a release date that I can find to share but Endless came our October 8th so you can check it out now.  I am giving it a solid: 4 Stars