Reading, Living and Reviewing

Review: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Monday, October 28, 2013


“Destroying things is much easier than making them.” ― Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

          The Hunger Games is a dystopian novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. The book was published in 2008 and received positive reviews from authors like Stephen King or Stephenie Meyer. The main inspiration for this book was from Greek mythology, Roman gladiatorial games and contemporary reality television.
          It’s written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the post-apocalyptic world of Panem in North America. The Capitol, an exceptionally progressed city, practices political control over whatever is left of the country. The Hunger Games are a twelve-month annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve areas encompassing the Capitol are chosen by lottery to contend in a broadcast fight to the death.
          A dystopian future and an oppressive government that puts children to compete in a last man standing survival game can make some of you not to read the book. Even if the book was compared with the Japanese novel Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, I think that Suzanne Collins brought something new to the table.
          When I first started to read this book, honestly, I was very disappointed that nothing happened and I didn’t understood why everyone liked the book. By the end of the chapter I felt that I was Katniss, the book caught me.
          We take after Katniss' excursion, in which she volunteers for her younger sibling to be a tribute, yet discovers that the opposite tribute happens to be Peeta Mellark, a kid with whom she share a bound from her past. As she battles through the games, she needs to fake a feeling between herself and Peeta to guarantee her survival, however actually discovers that she has improved these feelings for him. In the meantime her hunting partner Gale from District 12 has been in Katniss' mind. Katniss needs to manage her conflicting feelings while confronting the overbearing danger the different tributes hold. Will her choices prove lethal? All things considered, I would prefer not to ruin the story, so you'll need to read it for yourself. 
Characters
          Katniss Everdeen is the main character of the series. She is portrayed as a sixteen years old quiet and independent girl. The girl lives with her sister and her mother in the poorest districts of Panem. She has an excellent talent for hunting with a bow and arrow and she goes every day in the forest with Gale, her best friend and hunting partner.
          Peeta Mellark is the male tribute chosen for the Hunger games. He’s a baker’s son, with quite of charisma and after he states in an interview that he is in love with Katniss, he draws the public and the sponsor’s affection on themselves.
          The Hunger Games' dismal, modern setting, gritty realism and exciting plot are a reviving transform from the marginally exaggerated kind of imagination, copies of Twilight and disturbing, exhausted sentiment. So anybody searching for something else to the average teen book won't be disappointed. This electrifying, quick paced book is loaded with wanders aimlessly, and with its extremely doable and exceptional plot, it is a book better than generally others.
          In an interview that Collins gave, it was stated that the novel "tackles issues like severe poverty, starvation, oppression, and the effects of war among others." Indeed, the novel presents the struggle for self-preservation the people in Panem face and the annual games that they must participate. Many of you may find cruel the people’s starvation and their need for resources, both in and outside of the arena.
That being said, I will let you discover the world of Hunger Games and as a final thought that crosses my mind, I wish you all “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favour.

Where to buy: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Giveaway and Sign Ups: Blissfire by D.e.e.L

Thursday, October 17, 2013
     I am setting up a blog tour for Blissfire by D.e.e.L, which will be on between November 10th and November 23rd.
     If you are willing to read and review Blissfire fill out the form below. You will receive an e-copy of the book in exchange of an honest review and will also get the chance to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an e-book.
     Please do not sign up unless you are committed to post your review on the date you choose.
**You can also sign up for a promotional post.
 

Synopsis:

     Indulge yourself with these ten stories surrounding the endless chase for bliss that we are all constantly running. Each story focuses on a character that is striving to find that happiness that will change everything. Some chase after their dreams, others need to fill the wounds of their hearts, and some even need to be reminded of who they truly are. From down into a bottle to writing under a bridge, bliss comes to us in many forms. Each story pushes and compels you into the next as you meet new people and learn their worlds of mind. Written in a poetic tone, this collection offers a read from the heart.
     I was chasing my own bliss while writing this, filling the wounds of my own heart just as each character does. Follow them along and join in their strides for the eternal bliss we all crave, perhaps even discovering your own during the ride.

*Check out an inside scoop on Amazon.*

Author Bio:
D.e.e.L has been writing most of his life; though as a child the stories made much less sense and contained much fewer words, as well as some poorly drawn pictures. Becoming anything but a writer has never been something to cross his mind (though he currently works a day job which makes it that much more painful). He grabs any second within the ticking hands to create new worlds of words and chooses some of them to post online to his many blogs; hoping only to have at least one person obtain a smile upon reading. He has one story collection out so far titled "Blissfire" , which is available on lulu.com, and many other stories and poetry collections on Smashwords. He also wrote this entire bio himself, which made wording things rather awkward and he hopes that he doesn't sound conceited.



Sign Ups
Sign Ups
Schedule
November 10th - Amina Black
November 11th - Gluten Free + 2
November 12th - Bianca2b
November 13th - Raftul Misterelor
November 14th - Printre Pagini
November 15th -
November 16th - Valsul Fluturilor
November 18th -
November 19th -
November 20th - Hardback Book Hotties
November 21st - Carti Alese
November 22nd - Digital Pubbing
November 23rd - Wordsmithing
Giveaway:
The giveaway is open international.
Prizes are: one $25 Amazon GC and an e-copy of Blissfire by D.e.e.L
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt and Giveaway: My Sister’s Reaper by Dorothy Dreyer Blast

Thursday, October 17, 2013
my sisters reaper  
Synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it. When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore—Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human, and to top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara’s soul no matter what. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper, or let Mara die … this time for good.



Excerpt:

“So are we going to do this, or what?” Danny asked.

“First, the preparations,” Naomi said. She swung the canvas bag over her head and crouched down on the floor to unzip it. From it, she pulled a plastic bag, a lighter, and a game box with the word Ouija on it. “Help me with the candles, Zadie.”

Pulling tea-light candles from the plastic bag, Naomi and I placed them in a large circle on the floor.

“Nice touch, right?” she whispered when our heads were close together.

Gavin picked up the lighter and brought our circle of fire to life. Naomi and I looked at each other as we sat on the floor, our knees bent toward the glow of the candlelight. Gavin sat next to me, then gestured with his head to his best friend. Danny sighed, running a hand over his short hair before joining us in the circle beside Naomi.

“Zadie,” Naomi said.

“What?”

“Ready?”

“Oh. Yeah, sure.”

“Remember,” Naomi said as she started unpacking the Ouija board, “once the spell works, you two have to take us out on a double date.”

“If it works,” Danny said.

“When,” Naomi insisted.

“Did you ever notice that Ouija is made up of two foreign words for yes?” Gavin said. “Oui which is French, and ja which is German. Isn’t that strange?”

“You know what else is strange?” Danny said, turning off his flashlight. “That people still buy these things.”

Naomi snapped a reply, but I didn’t hear the words. Suddenly, all I could think about was Mara. What would happen if the doctors couldn’t live up to their promise? What if Mara was lost to me—and Dad—forever? What if this thin excuse to spend time with Gavin was the only chance I had to save my sister?

I shook my head. I felt the others watching me, but I ignored them, staring at the candlelight as if it would give me answers. If I tried to bring Mara back and failed, I would lose hope too. But what if Mara died, and I’d never even tried to save her?

A strange feeling came over me, like a buzzing in my bones. I found myself focused on the glow of candlelight. Everything else went fuzzy, disappearing into the dark.

“We don’t need the board,” I told Naomi as she moved to place it in the middle. “Put it away.”

“What?”

“I don’t need the Ouija board.”

“Ooh, you’re giving me chills,” she said. “Awesome!”

She set the board and pointer aside, and I reached out my hands to Danny and Gavin. Gavin’s hand felt warm in mine. My fingers brushed against some calluses on his palm. His touch was rough, but nice. Danny looked away from Naomi when she slid her hand into his.

I closed my eyes and thought about my sister. About how she used to let me squeeze into bed with her when I was little and couldn’t sleep. About how she held me the whole night when our mother was taken away, wiping away my tears and telling me it was going to be all right. I tightened my grip on Gavin’s hand. She had to wake up. She just had to.

A jumble of sounds suddenly tumbled from my lips—sounds from a language I didn’t recognize. The voice was mine, but the movements of my tongue and teeth were not. My fingers tingled, and the flames from the candles grew warmer. My blood felt electric. Still chanting, I slowly opened my eyes. My three companions stared at me. I stopped, my mouth falling silent.

For a moment, nothing happened. We simply looked at each other, waiting. A chill crept up my neck. In that instant, wind whipped through our circle, making the candles flicker wildly. There was a sound, like plastic scraping wood, and my eyes darted to the Ouija board Naomi had set aside. My body jerked, as if I’d been holding a huge mass of energy inside of me and it had suddenly escaped.

The buzzing and electric feeling were gone. I felt like I was going to throw up. What had I just done?

“It moved,” Naomi said.

“What did?” Danny asked.

“The pointer on the board.”

“No way,” Gavin said. “Where is it pointing?”

We all scrabbled over to look at the board, but the second we reached it, all the candles went out.

  dorothy  
Author Dorothy Dreyer 

I'm a Philippine-born American living in Germany with my husband and two teens. I write young adult books that usually have some element of magic or the supernatural in them. I also like to read those kinds of books. Aside from reading, I like movies, chocolate, take-out, coffee, traveling, and having fun with my friends and family. I've also been known to make a pretty sweet cupcake. I tend to sing sometimes, too, so keep me away from your Karaoke bars.

sisters reaper tour

Giveaway 

 $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/18/13   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post: Movies And TV Shows That Inspire Travelers

Thursday, October 17, 2013

There are very many ways that a country may display its pristine environment to travelers. A number of movies and TV shows have been advanced to promote tourism in such countries. While movies and TV shows contain other relative information, the location used will remain in the mind of the viewer (or prospective traveler) far much more than the content. Below are some of the movies and TV shows that can be inspirational to a traveler;
Image from Shutterstock

Under the Tuscan sun

·         The setting of the movie is an admirable pastoral region of Tuscany in Italy. Eye catching scenes with rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany cannot leave you without the desire to go out and just be there.
·         The starring-Diane Lane leaves her cheating husband and travels to Italy where she decides to buy and refurbish an abandoned villa.
·         The intention is to forget the pain inflicted on her by the husband but latter on she falls in love with someone else.

Eat Pray Love

·         It’s a movie that travels your mind through the gorgeous Italy, the Romantic Bali and the exotic India.
·         The starring-Elizabeth moves through these countries trying to find herself
·         What can actually just stand up and leave is the spectacular cinematography. It’s one movie I would recommend an individual in need of travel inspiration.

Before sunrise

·         Before sunrise is romantic movie whose starring Ethan and Julie meet on a train and make up to spend together in Vienna that evening.
·         It’s a movie that will give you a mental flight on how you can meet strangers while travelling, how you can take chances bearing in mind that you might never meet again with such people.
·         The motivated intimacy in the movie captures the better part of your innermost feeling that gets you on the toe.

Departure

·         It is a TV show on OLN, a Canadian network. Scott Wilson and Justine leave the familiarities of home behind and set out into an unknown open.
·         The landscapes and breathtaking cinematography can easily drive you into the parking mood.

Long Way Round/Down

Image from Shutterstock
·         It is a series that will take you all over the world as Boor man and Ewan Mc Gregory rides their motorcycles. They journey from north to south as they head from Scotland to South Africa and west to East as they move from New York through Europe and Asia
·         Besides the joyrides, the series consists of the true realities of travelling e.g., accidents, breakdowns, pickpockets, and having handguns pulled up on them. It’s one TV show that will make you think of your next journey on a motorbike.

Alcatraz

·         This is a TV show whose setting is San Francisco. IT is produced by co-creator of Lost J.J Abrams and features Jorge Garcia of Hurley from LOST (another TV program that can awake you to start parking) for these reason it is full of LOST element that shall remind you of the sweet music of Michael (the LOST composer) 
·         The show features the admirable sceneries of San Francisca like Russian hill and Ft. Mason and the famous fog.

Other TV shows includes; Lost, Treme, Survivor man. Other movies include Guantanamera, Home and Into the Wild. You can always consult with Ukba for more information about cross-border travelling.



Review: Fuck and Destroy by John Christy

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Synopsis:

John is the perfect representative of his generation: undersexed, disinterested, bored, and young. The appearance of the brilliantly unstable Avril brings a welcome upheaval to John’s life, but beneath his unassuming demeanor there lies a monster of greed, desire, and indecision. Could a lifetime of grasping desperation prevent a young man from enjoying a modicum of warmth and love?


My Review:



I knew this book will be different from the moment I read the synopsis. Just looking at the title you know that this is that kind of controversial book you either love it or hate it. I guess it all depends on what you choose to focus on. Fuck and Destroy much like you would have imagined has a more raw language with descriptions and dialogue that not everyone could enjoy. But the story is what’s important here and it was an interesting and different approach on a love story. It’s not an all love, butterflies in the stomach and sweet innocent kisses, it’s something else, passionate, painful and raw.
Avril is a damaged girl on more than one level, she is constantly abused and at times is seems that she is the one to blame. She is definitely an interesting and different character longing for human affection, but often having depression episodes. She is convinced that pleasing everyone is the only way she is supposed to live which is sad.
I did found sweet the fact that she was surprised when John invited her on a date, giving that fact that all the men she encountered took what they wanted from her and then left.
Avril is also a smart and resourceful girl and that is what makes the story of her life even sadder. If events of her life would have been different, maybe she had a more normal life.
John’s life is also sad, but from different reasons. He is a young man way to absorbed by his work. He basically has no personal life to go to, that’s why he conducts a monotonous living which is divided between work and home. He is so secretive about his non-existent personal life that co-workers think that he is actually gay. But his life changes when he meets Avril. That is the day John is brought to life and he enjoys living more.
The story is real and rough and much like it happens in real life, this doesn’t have a happy ending, but it’s worth reading.
 

Giveaway: SPOOKTACULAR GIVEAWAY HOP

Monday, October 14, 2013

I really thought that I missed entering in this hop, but nope. I'm in. For the first time since the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is on, I am participating. This giveaway runs from October 15th to 31st and is open internationally. This hop is bought to us by I Am A Reader. And you have 379 chances to win so don't forget to check out all the other blogs.


Giveaway

The Giveaway is opened international.

You are eligible to enter as long as Bookdepository ships to your coutry.

The prize is a $10 book.

The winner will be announced here.
Note: if you don't have a twitter account you can also share on your facebook. Just let the link in the slot in the Rafflecopter.

*Try to be fair when you enter, I usually check the entries.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check the other Links:

Review: Hate at First Sight by Diana Nixon

Monday, October 07, 2013
He said I saw only good things about the life around me. Well, yes, it was true … until one day I realized that what I saw wasn’t real, and that the world around me was far from what I imagined it to be.
Synopsis:
 
Every day of Megan’s life was carefully planned. Freedom and independence had been her best friends for years. Until one day she met Aiden, whose priorities were so much like hers….
What happens when attraction wins?
What happens when poles apart become equal?
What happens when the flames of passion burn everything in their way?
Is there still a chance to resist the power of magnetism?
The walls of inaccessibility will come crashing down. Everything she thought was unacceptable he will turn into pure pleasure….
Dive into the world of Hate at First Sight to see if hate can become something completely different….

My Review:

          I was so excited to find out that this book is going to soon be released and as soon as I got it I couldn’t wait to find some time to read it. First of all, I simply love the Love Lines series by Diana Nixon and I thought it would be interesting to see something different from her fantasy novels. The writing style is engaging like always and more often than I would have expected I found myself laughing at the snarky dialogue.

          Hate at first sight is the perfect read for a lazy day, fast paced and entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Megan is quite different from all the other characters in contemporary romances. Although she is visible attracted to Aiden she has other priorities like studding and building herself a career. She struggles to hate him or at least tries to keep the distance, but it seems that he is way too charmed with her.

“Love and hate are just one step apart, Sweetheart.”
“One long, long step apart,” I added, watching the fire.
 
          I loved her attitude though, even when she agreed to be with him due to the bet. I enjoyed their little tease game and how neither of them was willing to lose the bet even though it was hard to hmm…restrain. And there were some scenes that made me blush not only once. I don’t usually give credit for this, but the romantic parts were HOT and brilliantly written, without giving too much, but having enough. I know, I am a little vague, but trust me, they are hot. As a matter of fact you can find one of them HERE.

          I liked Aiden, he is hot, smart, annoying in a good way until he messed it up. Then I couldn’t help but hate him a little. Well, at that point I’d have to agree with Owen (Megan’s brother), when he said that they both acted like kids. There was not a shade of maturity between them and they waited for a fair amount of time to talk about why they were so angry about each other.

          In the end I am happy that they ended up together, but I was a little sorry for Richard. He was not an important character and only showed up in the last couple of chapters, but Megan seemed to care about him. She didn’t love him, but she care about him on some level and when they broke up and he said that is ok, because he knew she was in love with someone else…that melted my heart.

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