Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Books: December Edition

Well, I'm a few days late, but I guess better late than never right? For December, I had planned on reading certain books but somehow along the line, I read a few books I hadn't planned on at all. And funnily enough, December was a re-read month for me. I had read all of these books at least once before, but I am a girl who loves to re-read books, so it was still just as fun for me. First, I re-read Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I realized after reading an awesome post on Busy Bee Lauren (check out her blog!) that I had only read this book once and had started forgetting the details! So I immediately pulled out my Nook and got reading. Seeing as how Mockingjay is the end to a Trilogy, I will try not to spoil it for anyone. Reading this book made me so excited for The Hunger Games movie to come out! (March, can we please skip ahead to you!?)
I was reminded of all the reasons that I love this book series. I love Katniss because she's not really loveable. Does that make sense? She is not even close to perfect, she's sassy and stubborn and hard to get along with. I think that's what makes her such a realistic and likeable main character. I remembered all the things I loved about Peeta, such as his patience, kindness, and steadfast love for Katniss, and remembering that made me even more angry at what President Snow did to him in this book. Another thing I love about this book is watching Prim grow up. She's not such a big character in the first two books, but in this book she really caught my attention and admiration. I adore the love that Finnick and Annie share. I love that he grew to love her and that their love is so strong. I'm a sucker for romance.
I know many people who hated the ending to this book. And when they tell me that, all I can think is WHY?! How could you hate such a great ending to such a tragic book (so many of my favorite people die, but so I don't ruin it I wont say who)? To me, the ending was real. I could picture it in my mind and I can't imagine how it could have ended any other way. Katniss and Peeta were never going to be the same, but they somehow made a life for themselves from the ashes of the past. Real or not real? Real.
The next two books I read were also in a trilogy. Have you read The Giver? Well, it's short and an easy read and I love it. I'm not sure why, but I'm totally into this Dystopian genre and I have been for a really long time. I first read The Giver when I was eleven and have read it many times since. Some people don't know that The Giver is actually the first book in a trilogy. Well, it is and the last two books were the ones I read this month. First I read Gathering Blue. This one is sort of a companion novel to The Giver. It is about a girl named Kira who lives in a village that sort of went the opposite way of Jonas's in The Giver. Jonas's village had progressed technologically, but Kira's regressed into a more simple, brutal way of life. At the beginning of the book, Kira's mother has just died. Kira, who has a twisted leg and cannot walk normally, is threatened to be sent to the Field, where people are sent to die because she is not useful to the village anymore. However, the council brings her to live in the council edifice to work on the Singer's Robe because she has an almost magical gift of weaving. Every year, the Singer sings the history of the people and his robe depicts the history as well. Kira meets Thomas, the gifted child carver who carves the Singer's staff, and the young girl who is meant to be the next Singer. Each has a gift that the council wants to use for their own purpose. Kira also begins learning how to dye thread, but the one color she cannot make is blue. As the story goes on, secrets begin to unfold and Kira's little friend Matt, who is a ragtag little boy from a rough part of the village, disappears. So I don't give away the ending, I will stop there. I just have to say, this book is really good and makes you think the entire time. I give it four out of five stars. Messenger is the last book in this series. This book connects The Giver and Gathering Blue and is the sequel to both. Little Matt from Gathering Blue has grown into a young man and lives in Village, a place where all people are accepted no matter if they have something wrong with them. He lives with a blind man who's true name is Seer because he can see things that other people can't even though he is blind. Matty delivers messages all over Village and to other villages as well. Leader, who is Jonas from The Giver, sees that Village is changing and people are becoming less accepting of others. People are becoming greedy and trading too much of themselves away at Trade Mart. As this is happening, Forest, which surrounds Village, is becoming unwelcoming and inhospitable. Matty is the only one who is able to continually travel through Forest, but even to him it is seeming to get more dangerous. Matty also discovers that he may have a special gift that frightens him and so he keeps it a secret. Leader knows of Matty's gift because of his ability to see the future.
As the villagers become more selfish and less altruistic, they begin to petition to close Village to outsiders. Matty is given the task to take messages to the other villages that Village is closing and is especially given the task to bring Kira to Village. That's where I will stop, but I would definitely recommend this book and the entire series to anyone, young or old. This book definitely deserves four out of five stars.

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