The Book vs the Movie: Catching Fire

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Picture Source: foreveryoungadult.com
Picture Source: foreveryoungadult.com

Book written by Suzanne Collins, 2009
Movie directed by Francis Lawrence, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

 

Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

VS

Picture Source: redbox.com
Picture Source: redbox.com

Which I Viewed First: The book.

Which I Enjoyed Most: The movie.

Out of 5 stars, the Book Gets: 4.5 stars.

Out of 5 stars, the Movie Gets: 5 stars.

Things the Book Did Better: More details concerning plot, had scenes that helped better understand District 13 and the relationship between Katniss and Peeta. Also made me feel more deeply for character’s deaths.

Things the Movie Did Better: Story overall flowed better, not being from Katniss’ POV allowed more of a view of what was going on elsewhere. Additional scenes helped add to the story, like the scene with President Snow’s granddaughter. Some of the action scenes were also easier to understand by watching (and harder to picture in the book).

Verdict?: The movie.

Why?: I loved the book, but I loved the movie just a little more because of how well it all flowed. When the credits rolled, I was absolutely ecstatic over what I’d just watched.I’d felt a similar excitement over reading the book, but even more after the movie. Especially with Coldplay’s song that plays right after the final scene. I did feel more deeply for the characters in the book, though.

Should the movie be re-made?: No way!

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

jncname

 

Book Review–To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story by Sonya Sones

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This is the 39th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

 

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story by Sonya Sones
Published August 27th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

 

Her friends
have a joke about her:
How can you tell if Colette is lying?

Her mouth is open.

Fifteen-year-old Colette is addicted to lying. Her shrink says this is because she’s got a very bad case of Daughter-of-a-famous-movie-star Disorder—so she lies to escape out from under her mother’s massive shadow. But Colette doesn’t see it that way. She says she lies because it’s the most fun she can have with her clothes on. Not that she’s had that much fun with her clothes off. At least not yet, anyway…

When her mother drags her away from Hollywood to spend the entire summer on location in a boring little town in the middle of nowhere, Colette is less than thrilled. But then she meets a sexy biker named Connor. He’s older, gorgeous, funny, and totally into her. So what if she lies to him about her age, and about who her mother is? I mean, she has to keep her mother’s identity a secret from him. If he finds out who she really is, he’ll forget all about Colette, and start panting and drooling and asking her for her mother’s autograph. Just like everyone always does.

But what Colette doesn’t know is that Connor is keeping a secret of his own…

 

——

At first, I wasn’t so sure I was going to like this one. To be perfectly honest, Collette, the main character, got on my nerves in the beginning. But then she started telling her outrageous stories, and somehow I began to find her endearing. I found myself beginning to be able to relate and connect easily to her because I know what it’s like to be bored and alone save for family. When I was younger, I used to make up outrageous stories about my life, and my future.

While Collette is a “unreliable” narrator for a bit, soon her life starts becoming real. The things that happen to her are not quite as exciting as what she mapped out in her head earlier, but I found her relationship with Connor to be entertaining and fun to read. Especially toward the end.

Besides connecting with Collette, I found her little brother, Will, to be adorable. Even her mother and mother’s boyfriend ended up being characters I enjoyed. I also liked Connor, at least until the end. Though while I hated how he ended up being, it was a nice twist of irony that I didn’t see coming. I felt awful for Collette though, and for Will.

The only thing that really disappointed me minus the Connor thing, which the reader is probably supposed to be disappointed at, is the end. While I applaud Collette for taking the high road, I would have really liked to see things play out differently. And while I like that she decides she wants to amend her lying ways, parts of it felt a little forced.

Other than that, this was a great read. Very entertaining with a fun romance and interesting, quirky characters. The book isn’t all sunshine and giggles, but overall it’s a very fun read.

 

 

4halfstars

 

 

jncname

Book Recommendation of the Week: Eve by Anna Carey

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Picture Source: Goodreads.com

 

This week’s book recommendation is Eve by Anna Carey. This was one I’d been really excited to read and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a post apocalyptic book concerning the aftermath of a plague and a twisted plan for the females that remain. It’s also a series, so if you enjoy the first, you might want to check the rest out. I haven’t gotten to them yet, but I definitely want to.

Intrigued?

Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust… and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying.

 

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Book Recommendation of the Week: Matched by Ally Condie

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Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

This week’s book recommendation is Matched by Ally Condie. Matched is kind of similar to one of my favorites, The Giver, though there’s more of an emphasis on love/romance. But Cassia also begins to realize that her perfect seeming society isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. I love books that are set in these “perfect” type of societies only for the main character to discover otherwise. This is also one of the few books I’ve come across that presents a successful love triangle. If you like dystopian books about flawed, controlling societies and romances, you’ll love this one.

 

Intrigued?

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

jncname

Book Recommendation of the Week: Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

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Picture Source: Goodreads.com

 

This week’s book recommendation is Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham. I love all things shark-related.  Shark survivor stories always fill me with a certain kind of hope. This is the first verse-novel that I ever read. It ended up being a fast and enjoyable read about a fifteen-year-old girl struggling to adapt after losing her arm in a shark attack.

 

Intrigued?

A teenager struggles through physical loss to the start of acceptance in an absorbing, artful novel at once honest and insightful, wrenching and redemptive.

On a sunny day in June, at the beach with her mom and brother, fifteen-year-old Jane Arrowood went for a swim. And then everything — absolutely everything — changed. Now she’s counting down the days until she returns to school with her fake arm, where she knows kids will whisper, “That’s her — that’s Shark Girl,” as she passes.

In the meantime there are only questions: Why did this happen? Why her? What about her art? What about her life? In this striking first novel, Kelly Bingham uses poems, letters, telephone conversations, and newspaper clippings to look unflinchingly at what it’s like to lose part of yourself – and to summon the courage it takes to find yourself again.

 

 

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard

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This is the 18th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Like Mandarin  by Kirsten Hubbard
Published March 8th 2011 by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

 

It’s hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it’s not her mother’s pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin.

When they’re united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town’s animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their Badlands town.

Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin’s unique beauty hides a girl who’s troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.

 

 

——

I’ve been hearing great things about this book for a while but just now got my hands on it. Whoever kept saying these great things were right. This was a great read.

Shy characters can be kind of hard to write. Sometimes they come off as boring. Not so much in this one. Grace, the shy MC, definitely does not lack any personality. Her interesting past and family life is a plus. And while it was a bit weird at times, her infatuation with Mandarin was fascinating. I’m not sure I have ever felt quite like that before, but I have been slightly infatuated with people much more different than me so I could relate well to Grace there.

I really liked Mandarin’s character, too. She comes across as this free spirit who wants a better life for herself but also has some deep rooted issues. Her friendship with Grace was realistic. I feared the book would end on a frightening note regarding her, but thankfully it didn’t. Kudos on scaring me, though.

The relationships in this book were realistic and intriguing. Not only with Grace and Mandarin, but also Grace and her mother, Grace and her little sister, Mandarin and her own parents. The setting seemed so real I felt like I was actually there. And though I am already not a huge fan of child beauty pageants, this book affirmed my dislike for them.

The only thing I disliked was poor Davey’s situation with Grace, but things seem to be looking up for him more in the end so that pleased me. I also figured out right away what the deal was with him. Would have liked to see more of him, but I know that also may have taken more time from the main focus.

Great read with deep characters and an interesting story. Recommended!

 

4halfstars

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–Crazy by Amy Reed

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This is the 16th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Crazy by Amy Reed
Published June 12th 2012 by Simon Pulse

 

He’s falling in love,and she’s falling over the edge of sanity. From the author of Beautiful and Clean, a heart-wrenching exploration of a romance marred by mental illness.

Connor knows that Izzy will never fall in love with him the way he’s fallen for her. But somehow he’s been let into her crazy, exhilarating world and become her closest confidante. But the closer they get, the more Connor realizes that Izzy’s highs are too high and her lows are too low. And the frenetic energy that makes her shine is starting to push her into a much darker place.


As Izzy’s behavior gets increasingly erratic and self-destructive, Connor gets increasingly desperate to stop her from plummeting. He knows he can’t save her from her pain…but what if no one else can

——

I have heard nothing but fantastic reception when it comes to Amy Reed’s books. So I was pretty psyched when I FINALLY got my hands on one. The synopsis was intriguing, too. Teen issues are one of my favorites to read about.

I’m typically not a big fan of books that use letters between characters to communicate, but after finishing this, I’m not sure it would have worked without them. Reed did an excellent job building a story and relationships through the e-mails. As I was reading, this played out like one of those great indie movies in my head. I kept picturing scenes of them writing the e-mails while flashbacks of whatever they were talking about would overlay the text. It was pretty awesome.

The characters themselves seemed fairly realistic and seems true to the disorder as I’ve known what it is like to love someone with it. Not a romantic love, but the frustration is still there. I really liked Connor and Isabel. They both had their flaws yet were also irresistible in their own ways. Their relationship was also pretty interesting. I absolutely loved the end.

Parts of this book got so intense that it brought tears to my eyes. It wasn’t one of those books that I had trouble putting down all the time, but there were parts in which I would have to pause for real life and be annoyed that I wasn’t able to find out what was coming next. Parts where I would do my real life activities and imagine what might happen once I picked up the book again.

Definitely recommended. Didn’t quite fall into 5 stars/LOVE category for me, but I really liked it. I’m going to say 4.5 stars since 4 doesn’t seem like quite enough yet I also don’t feel it was 5 stars worthy for me. But really close. Looking forward to more Amy Reed books now.

 

4halfstars

 

 

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