Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Couple Book Reviews

So I finished two books today. Yes, two. And not because I was reading them simultaneously or anything, but because it only took me seven hours to finish reading The Hunger Games. Before diving into that book, I'll tell you about the other one I finished, The Postmistress by Sarah Blake.

This book is set in 1941, mostly in a small town near Cape Cod, right before America gets involved in World War II. It focuses mostly on two different woman and their stories. There's Frankie, the "radio gal" who was in London reporting stories back to America about what she saw during the bombings; and there's Iris, the postmistress, who feels a strong connection to making sure the mail goes in and out properly.

Overall, I found the book to be pretty interesting. It was a different take from other World War II books I've read in the past, which focused primarily on either concentration camps, or America after its entered the war, and the sacrifices people made. This book was more about how America was perceiving the war before getting involved, and how everyone didn't fully grasp the severity of what was happening overseas.

Frankie tries to bring it to life, sharing stories of people she meets on trains throughout western Europe who are trying to get away to America from the ghettos. She's trying to get Americans to understand and care about what is happening. Iris tries to keep the stories far away, and just pass the mail along as if what's happening doesn't affect anyone in their small town. I was surprised that the story called The Postmistress didn't seem to have as much of a focus on the postmistress' story.

There were quite a few things that I didn't like about the book (but don't want to spoil anything if you decide to read it), it was just little instances that I didn't think were necessary for the story. I'm never a fan of when an author thinks to add in random events just to shock you in hopes that makes the book more exciting. It was also a little slow moving, and there are a lot of details about the book that I probably wouldn't be able to tell you because I did struggle a little with staying focused on the story. Overall, it was a good book, but not one of the favorites I've read over the years.

However, if you want a book that holds your attention, Holy. freaking. crap. You need to read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

I know that I'm a little behind the ball on this book, and that already a ton of people have probably read it, but if you haven't, DO IT. DO IT RIGHT NOW. It took me seven hours to finish because it was just that good and kept my attention. I had to force myself to put it down and eat some dinner, and I ate pretty fast so I could get back to reading it. The last time I've had a book that I couldn't put down like that was probably Harry Potter. I can't even tell you the last book I read that I just kept thinking about and going over in my head after finishing reading.

Even though so many people had talked about THG and how great it was, I still had zero clue what the story was about. I never had even looked it up for some reason. I figured I would eventually read them considering so many people talk about how great they are (side note: even though I make that statement, it does not apply to Twilight), but I just never got around to looking up what the story was. And then I saw the preview for the movie, and it gave me a small idea of what the books were about, but it still confused me, and most certainly did not give me the full idea of how awesome what I was about to read was.

I won't tell you about the story here, you can use Amazon for that, or just read the books yourself if you haven't already, but I will tell you HOLY CRAP. The intensity of the story, the way it keeps you on edge, the way you realize just how inadequate your survival skills are, makes for such a compelling story. Suzanne Collins paints such a perfect picture that I felt like I was in the arena with Katniss. I felt like I was in her mind, really understanding her conflicts when it came to what she was doing.

Part of me felt like there were hints of some of my favorites books from when I was younger in the story: The Giver and Invitation to the Game. Obviously they're nothing like The Hunger Games, but they had hints which drew me into the story more. I definitely was mad when I got to the last page and there was no more story! Luckily there are two more books in the series and I'll be reading those very soon! 

1 comment:

  1. Haha you read it already!? Does that mean you're bringing it to Busy Bee tomorrow for me? :)