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With so many fantastic genres and authors, how can one person choose the perfect book to match their specific tastes and moods? Here we are happy to help, providing novel descriptions and firsthand reviews on many new and classics along with must reads for any book lover, young and old!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie

The Hunger Games: Movie

Are you like me? Read the books and been waiting on pins and needles for the opening day to see The Hunger Games movie? Or are you someone who would rather forgo the books, however saw the trailer, and decided that the movie might be worth seeing? Either way, it is definitely worth the $15 movie ticket and a couple hours spent in a packed theater.

First off, Lionsgate made a smart move by snagging the author of the series, Suzanne Collins, as an executive producer. Giving her a lot of control over the script and casting. You could see the impact she had on the movie, keeping the storyline real to the original book. One does not necessarily have to read the book to feel the nuances of the characters and desperation of a country on the verge of revolting.

The cast was another great feature to the film. Although there was some upheaval in the beginning about Jennifer Lawrence playing Katniss, mainly because of her age (21) and looks, she portrayed the character to perfection. And the two male leads, Liam Hemsworth (Gale) and Josh Huncherson (Peeta), played their perspective roles well. This did not feel like some pumped up soap opera teen drama, like another movie series that I will respectfully not name here. The Hunger Games was mature, well timed, and plot controlled. And on a side note, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna were quite surprising and excellent in their roles.

However, there were two small hitches to the film. Nothing major and even one I completely understand and was unavoidable, and that one point was the violence. Due to the novels being ranked as Young Adult books (although quite violent), Lionsgate had to make sure the movie retained a PG-13 rating so they could bring in their main audience. That meant taking out some scenes and/or removing A LOT of violence. This did not necessarily hurt the movie, but where I read the book, during some scenes I found myself thinking that certain deaths were very tame compared to how they should have been. Again, though, I understand the need for this.

Last hitch was Woody Harrelson as Haymitch. In no way did he NOT do a good job, the role just did not fit the character we know. And that may be more the script writer's fault and not Harrelson's. We may never know. Though Haymitch is supposed to be completely inept, a bit of a fool and a (pardon me) jackass, he is not really played off as such in the movie. Haymitch is still a drunk, but not overly so and he seems to show more favoritism with Katniss than Peeta, which in the novel is opposite.

These issues are besides the point. Go see this movie! I guarantee it will be one of the best movies this year, and most certainly the best sci-fi. Let me know what you think!

The Hunger Games Trailer:

The Hunger Game Series by Suzanne Collins

Book Description

The Hunger Games

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used to be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules , and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

Fine Printing's Review

The Hunger Games along with the subsequent books (Catching Fire and Mockingjay) is a prime example of genius writing by author Suzanne Collins. I was hesitant to pick up the books. My tastes tend to veer away from most YA novels, as well as stories that will knowingly not end well. However, I started out, promising to read only the first one so I could write a review and end there. Thirty-six hours,  eleven cups of coffee, and a refusal to sleep later ... all three books had been read. I am pitiful ... I KNOW. In my defense this story is really fantastic, and will drag you in, whether you wish to or not.

Katniss is the perfect heroine: young, brave, determined, family centered and quite literally willing to die for others. And Collins subtle yet poignant shows of government tyranny and the degradation caused by reality television reminds us of today's society.  Also, the relationships formed, lost, and strengthened throughout the storyline will make a reader laugh, cringe and cry.

There is not much else I can find to say, really because I do not wish to give away any of the plotline. If you are a reader or not, if you are 16 or even 61, these are books that you can pick up and enjoy.
If you have read them, or do read them, leave a comment and let me know what you thought. The books have caused a lot of controversy and I am very fascinated to see how others might react!

Warning: Although this series is considered Young Adult, I feel they should hold a rating, just like a movie. This is a VIOLENT and GRAPHIC series. Rest assured there is no intercourse, but the violence is strong and detailed. I would not suggest letting someone under the age of 16 read this series, unless as their parent you consider them emotionally mature and/or have read the series beforehand and deemed them acceptable. Otherwise, happy reading!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blind Faith by Kimberley Reeves

Book Description

Serena was only fifteen when four teenage boys dragged her inside a cold, dark cave and robbed her of her innocence. Though her phobia of men and the loss of her eye sight are constant reminders it happened, Serena has no memory of the brutal attack. Now at age twenty-two, she is ready to conquer her fears and lets an old high school friend rent out the upper floor of her house. Can Will Duncan help cure Serena's insecurities or will the secrets he harbors about that night shatter her faith in men forever?

Fine Printing's Review

Now, I am not typically one for books that start out as this one did. With a very damaged young woman, suffering from a horrific rape as a teenager. Though, one night when I could not sleep, and was feeling a bit morbid, I found this book and decided, 'What the heck'. I actually glad that I picked it up and finished it within a few hours. The book is a decided must read, if one can handle the rough and difficult pretense of the story. A woman finding herself, healing, and the love of those around her not willing to give up.

It was a touching story and I am not ashamed (alright, I am a little) to admit that I cried near the end. Big Kimberley Reeves fan now, and have read several of her stories since then. Her writing is eloquent, almost poetical. And as a definite plus continues to remain so throughout all of her books. If you're not sure you can handle this storyline, she is at the very least a must read author! Though I am not sure what/if she has any books available for purchase in paperback, she does offer her stories via Amazon.com (Kindle) for free. Or if you don't have a Kindle, check her out on textnovel.com where you can read most of her stories for free online!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper (Series, Nice Girls Book 1)

Book Description

Maybe it was the Shenanigans' gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children's librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed twenty-five dollars in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that's sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she's mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead. And thanks to the mysterious stranger she met while chugging neon-colored cocktails, she wakes up with a decidedly unladylike thirst for blood.

Jane is now the latest recipient of a gift basket from the Newly Undead Welcoming Committee, and her life-after-lifestyle is taking some getting used to. Her recently deceased favorite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and endure daytime hours to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She's forced to forgo her favorite down-home Southern cooking for bags of O negative. Her relationship with her sexy, mercurial vampire sire keeps running hot and cold. And if all that wasn't enough, it looks like someone in Half Moon Hollow is trying to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What's a nice undead girl to do?

Fine Printing's Review

I have to say that falling into this story is quite easy. It is certainly a simple and laugh out loud book. If you really fall into the sarcastic humor category (which I most certainly do). The character, Jane Jameson, is well read, intelligent and quirky ... in a not so subtle way. The novel progresses as expected for a semi-romantic storyline, and is not gory, nor does it contain any deep and depressing twists. Which a lot of readers tend to enjoy when wanting nothing more than a simple fun read. 

The downsides (though not enough of an impact to ruin the book, in this reader's mind) is that the writing, minus the fun humor, is simple. Though after reading a few of Ms. Harper's books, that seems to be the trend. It's a quick read, with an obvious set up. The villain of the piece is easily guessed, and the ending slightly anti-climatic. Lastly, the ... errrr ... heavily romantic?, erotic?, let's just say R sections of the story leave a little to be desired. A bit confusing, not looking for heavy detail there, but in the end you're left wondering how the characters end up in one direction when it was obviously implied they had been going another way the sentence before. Simply put, a little more detail would not be amiss. However, as I said, this is a fun book, and I was laughing out loud so often that my best friend is now interested in reading the book, just to see what I found so humorous. Enjoy, and let me know you're thoughts!