Saturday, September 25, 2010

THE HUNGER GAMES by SUZANNE COLLINS

From the back of the book:
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 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.

I was told a few months ago, by 2 different people this was a must read, and the best book ever.
I am glad I read it, but I would have to disagree that it is the best book ever
There was a lot of action and drama, with Katniss thumbing her nose a the Capitol whenever she got the chance. It was sometimes hard to remember that Katniss was only 16.
This book was a little dark, I'm not sold on the idea of putting 24 children in an arena and forcing them to kill each other in horible ways. Nor an I sold on the idea that someone outside of the arena can control the elements, to force the children  to get closer to each other so the fight will be more exciting.
One other thing that bothered me about the book was an over use of adverbs. Some of them felt like they were just thrown in,at the end of a sentence where they really weren't needed or the thought could be competed better with a few more words. Since I listened to this book on CD I don't have any examples of specific instances, but if you read it, you will find them.
Even though this is classified as Young Adult fiction,I would hesitate to let my teens read it. I would recommend it to adult readers
The Hunger Games is available at any bookstore,and the library.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

PURSUED A Maggie Mckenzie Mystery by LYNN GARDNER

From the bck of the book:
In an attempt to discover the truth about what really happened to her two brothers who were declared dead at birth, newspaper editor Maggie McKenzie has signed on for more of an adventure than she bargained for. What begins as a much-anticipated fact-finding trip to England quickly turns into a dangerous escapade as Maggie is forced to run for her life after she inadvertently gains possession of an innocent-looking flash drive. The tiny device contains details of a terrorist plot to destroy major London landmarks. When she realizes that someone she knows is involved with the malevolent plot, it becomes time to make her solo mission a family affair-even though it seems that most of the family members she has met in England would like to see her gone. Hold on tight with sleuth Maggie McKenzie in a pulse-pounding thrill ride through the United Kingdom as she discovers that when it comes to long-lost relatives, what you see isn't always what you get.
This book was filled with adventure, danger and mystery. It was set in England. A lot of the story took place in an old castle, with secret passage ways, dungeons and turrets. Its the perfect place to set a mystery novel.
I didn't figure out who the evil person was until just before the end, there were so many people that could have the evil mastermind.
The first Maggie McKenzie Mystery was called Vanished, and while it help to know who the characters are to read it, this is a stand alone book.
I recommend this book to anyone that likes mystery and intrigue.
It is available at http://www.deseretbook.com/ & http://www.seagull.com/ and inter library loan.
This is Lynn Gardner and I at her book signing in Mesa last year.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

HOMETOWN GIRL by Michele Ashman Bell

From the back of the book:
Jocelyn Rogers's life is in a rut. Maybe she should step outside her comfort zone and move to Milford Falls, where she has inherited her grandmother's house. With the encouragement of the other Butterfly Girls, Jocelyn musters her courage and starts a new life.

However, when she arrives in the small town that holds both good and bad memories for her, she discovers the house in worse shape than she expected, and getting repairs done is anything but easy-especially when it comes to dealing with Jack Emerson, a man who seems to be agitated by Jocelyn and everyone else within a fifty-mile radius.
To make matters worse, she has begun to worry that moving back to the place where she once spent a troubled summer will expose the deep personal secret she has kept hidden for fourteen years. But Jack also has a hidden secret that has prevented him from getting close to anyone in a long time. And now it seems that interfering neighbors may prevent both Jack and Jocelyn from moving forward with their lives.
Join the Butterfly Girls in this charmingly romantic story that shows sometimes it takes a leap of faith to land on your feet.

This is the long awaited second book in the Butterfly Box series. It was worth the wait.
This book centers mostly on Jocelyn and her life. Jocelyn recieves a call from the mayor of the small Washington town where she has inherited her grandmother's home. She doesn't want to sell it and doesn't want to move to Washington.
With the help of the Butterfly Girls Jocelyn decides to quit her job in ST. George, UT and moves to Washington.
In her first week in town, she gets  speeding ticket & a parkng ticket, pipes in her bathroom break and the water causes the kitchen ceiling to collapse and her car breaks down. She decides she wants to sell the house and go home, but finds she has no job in Utah. Over the course of the week she meets a lot of good people, icluding Jack, the handsome handyman.
I found Jocelyn to be a very resiliant character. Even though she let the trials in her life get her down temporarily, she always faught back. She has the support of good friends in the Butterfly Girls. It is a friendship most of us only dream about.
I had the pleasure of meeting the author and having her sign my book while I was in Salt Lake City in August.
I would recommend this book to anyone young and old alike, but I would recommend reading A Modest Proposal, the first part of this story, so you know who the characters are and why they are important to each other.
Both Hometown Girl and A Modest Proposal are available at Deseret Book, Seagull Book or inter library loan.