Saturday, April 7, 2012

This Book Room

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains - except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay - no matter what the personal cost.

Additional notes: This is the final book in the Hunger Games series. You can read my review of the first book here and the second book here.

My thoughts: This book was actually my most favorite one out of the three Hunger Games books. I think this book offered an honest insight as to what it actually means to attempt to overthrow a government, namely that those overthrowing it are going to have sacrifices. I actually didn't like the ending, only because I felt (spoiler alert!) nothing was truly resolved with Gale. It's hinted at that he works in District 2 and possibly has girlfriends, but I found it odd and possibly not authentic that Katniss and Gale would never really speak again, which is what the ending implied to me. But anyway, this is a great series in terms of challenging your thoughts on a variety of issues.

After years of living in Garfield’s supersized shadow, Odie breaks loose with a brand-new book of his own. Sure, the fat cat’s slobbering sidekick may be a few dog biscuits shy of a box, but he’s all heart – or is that all tongue? Odie’s fetched his favorite strips and quips for this comical canine collection, so enjoy! Just watch out for dog breath!

Additional notes: This is a companion book to the Garfield comic books. You can read about the first 50 books here, the 51st book here, the 52nd book here, the 53rd book here and the Christmas comic book here.

My thoughts: This book compiled the best Garfield comics featuring Odie and some new content, including Jim Davis explaining the mindset he has to have when writing comics that include Odie. That bit was my favorite, as I really think Odie is an interesting character who often gets a bad rap in terms of his intelligence. This book was a quick and fun read.

The ultimate style guide from television star, clothing designer, and "New York Times"-bestselling author Conrad.

My thoughts: I am a huge, huge fan of Lauren Conrad, mostly because I think she's one clever woman. Going from being on reality TV shows to having a brand that is classy {instead of trashy, like so many other brands that are birthed from a reality show} is just brilliant. I found the first half of this book to be incredibly useful, and I learned a lot to boot. The second half focused on things I just didn't care about - dressing for school, makeup, etc., but I think this book would be fantastic for teenagers and young adults who are looking to identify their style.

If  anyone tried to determine the most common rite of passage for preteen girls in North America, a girl's first reading of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret would rank near the top of the list. Adolescents are often so relieved to discover that someone understands their body-angst that they miss one of the book's deeper explorations: a young person's relationship with God. Margaret has a very private relationship with God, and it's only after she moves to New Jersey and hangs out with a new friend that she discovers that it might be weird to talk to God without a priest or a rabbi to mediate. Margaret just wants to fit in Who is God, and where is He when she needs Him?

My thoughts: I don't know how I went my entire life without reading what is undoubtedly considered a tween classic, but I did. Thankfully, I can now saw I've read this book, and I found it to be seriously funny and cute. This book is innocent enough for its targeted age group, and this book could really be helpful for tween girls. I think it would help them feel less alone, less freakish. Judy Blume is classic.

"Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Okay."
"Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?"
"Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?"
According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.

My thoughts: This book was a lot different than I thought it would be in a really good way. I thought it would be more fluff, but there was a lot of substance to this book. I can't imagine what it's like to be a teen today, but this book offers a glimpse into a world where every teen struggles with self worth and acceptance. I think it always offers a honest look at how most teenaged girls view their virginity and their struggles with what it means to keep it or lose it. With that all said, this is not a Christian book, and I think that's fairly obvious once you begin reading it (side note: this was not marketed as a Christian book, I'm just making it clear that the concept of whether the girls in this book lose or keep their virginity is not based on their {lack of} Christian beliefs). I thought it was a good read, overall, and am interested in reading Sarah's other works, but I doubt I would let any young adult who was in my care read this as the topics in this are mature.

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