Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday Favorites (4)

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Summary of The Hunger Games (from Goodreads):

In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.

Where do I even begin to talk about this series? They're New York Time Bestseller's for a reason. I read the first one in two days, the second one in one day, and the third one in about 7 hours. The plot is intense and full of action. The characters are thought-provoking. The setting depressing and harsh. The prose is grim, and perfect for that reason. I loved Katniss. I loved Peeta. I came to care for characters I wouldn't have thought I'd like; like Haymitch and Finnick. And more than anything, I loved how happy I was to be in this world that Collins' created. I feel lucky just to have had the experience of reading these books. I recommend this series to basically to everyone who has yet to read it (do those people even exist?). This is one of my all-time favorite series. Actually, it is my all-time favorite series.
Also, I know there are a million reviews of Mockingjay floating around, so I think I'll hold off on writing a review for a while. Maybe I'll even wait until I re-read the series, just so I can truly sort out how I felt about the last book.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Review: My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman

My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman
Published September 29th, 2009
Hardcover, 240 Pages

Book Description (from Goodreads)

With Roz and Eva everything becomes a contest—who can snag the best role in the school play, have the cutest boyfriend, pull off the craziest prank. Still, they’re as close as sisters can be. Until Eva deletes Roz from her life like so much junk e-mail for no reason that Roz understands. Now Eva hangs out with the annoyingly petite cheerleaders, and Roz fantasizes about slipping bovine growth hormone into their Gatorade.

Roz has a suspicion about Eva. In turn, Eva taunts Roz with a dare, which leads to an act of total insanity. Drama geeks clamor for attention, Shakespearean insults fly, and Roz steals the show in Lauren Bjorkman’s hilarious debut novel.

My thoughts:

My high school theater experience begins and ends at props crew for The Crucible during my sophomore year. However, I've been best friends with many of those in the drama circle for years. I know the inside jokes, the backstage shenanigans, and I know that everyone involved in the plays is like family to one another. It's the perfect backdrop for such a hilarious and touching story.

The main character, Roz, is a likable narrator from the start. Smart, sarcastic, and witty. And like many high school girls, she makes unwise choices and puts herself in complicated situations. She invents a new "life" both in a way to stretch her acting ability and to try and grow close to her sister, Eva. In the process, she befriends new boy Jonathan, and finds herself growing closer to fellow drama geeks Nico and Andie. Not to mention Eva's boyfriend, Bryan.

In a novel filled with twists and turns, witty language, and Shakespearian insults, how could you go wrong? As soon as I turned the last page, I wanted to read it once again. Lauren Bjorkman is an author to watch out for. She draws you in, and you will not want to let go.

5 Stars.