Tag Archives: Suzanne Collins

Measuring Up to Other Dystopian Worlds: Divergent Review

Review by Nōn Wels: Check out his writing/political/philosophy blog, A Thousand Screaming Rabbits.

In reading Veronica Roth’s Divergent, two other book series came to mind. One, Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. And the other, the massively popular Hunger Games trilogy from Suzanne Collins. While I don’t think Divergent packs the same amount of punch like that of Uglies or Hunger Games, I do believe it has just enough exciting elements for an enjoyable read.

Akin to the different houses at Rowling’s “Hogwarts,” Roth’s world is separated into factions. Five factions, in this case. Each of which dedicate their lives to a particular culture and ideal. Candor values honesty. Abnegation values selflessness. Dauntless values bravery. Amity values peacefulness. Erudite values intelligence.

And like all the other kids turning 16, Beatrice (or “Tris,” as she calls herself) has to decide which faction is for her. She does, but the result is something she wasn’t at all prepared for.  What follows is an enjoyable and often exciting dystopian tale that has the right idea about how we live. Ms. Roth, it seems, understands that things are not always so black and white; that the narrow-minded can, in fact, be quite dangerous; that it’s important to recognize individuality as it pertains to the cultures or “factions” we live within; and that each culture holds inherent value we as individuals need to recognize—for ourselves and our factions.

Unfortunately, even with the above mentioned, I was mildly disappointed in the story’s originality. It just seemed, as I was reading, that I had read it before—in Uglies and Hunger Games, for instance. I wanted something more. Something that I didn’t see coming. Something that was going to surprise me.

All in all, it was fairly enjoyable. And, being the dystopian junkie that I am, I will continue reading the series. But with some trepidation.

Age Group: 12 and up
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction
Themes: Science Fiction, dystopian, identity, discrimination
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books

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Filed under Nōn Talbot Wels, Young Adult Books

Hunger Games Trailer

I kind of love the trailer.  All right, I don’t kind of, I really do.  I am not skeptical about this movie.  I am very hopeful and I can’t wait to see it.  If I am disappointed when I actually get to see it then c’est la vie.  For now I am going to be super excited :

See the Hunger Games Trailer

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Can’t Wait For Mockingjay

I am getting very excited about Suzanne Collins final Katniss installment, Mockingjay!

Scheduled to be released on August 24th.

Check out the Bookstore People Review of Catching Fire

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Addictive Reads: The Hunger Games & The Maze Runner

These are the first books of two series you should read, if you haven’t already.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Maze Runner by James Dashner reignited my unconditional love for young adult books.  I became extraordinarily excited about recommending these books to any 12+.  There is always the occasional teen that seems utterly unmoved by my enthusiasm and instead just shrugs the book away.  But then there are others who place their faith in my love and excitement for these books, or any books.  I love to have that person return to the bookstore and say, “I couldn’t put it down.”

The Hunger Games
Sixteen-year-old Katniss takes care of her mother and sister by hunting for food just outside the city wall.  If the Capital ever found out about these hunting excursions she would be punished, severely, but this becomes the least of her problems.  In The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins creates a terrifying world in which one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts must be sent to the Hunger Games – a fight to the death.  Katniss is determined to return home, back to her family, but can she survive the games.  The sequel, Catching Fire, was equally amazing!

Age Group: 12+
Genre: Young Adult Book, Teen
Themes: Science Fiction, Televised Contests, Interpersonal Relationships, Survival
Publisher: Scholastic
Reading Level: 5.3

The Maze Runner--

In James Dashner’s The Maze Runner, Thomas awakes in an elevator shaft in a place called the Glade unable to remember a thing, only his name.  He soon discovers that he and the other boys living in the Glade must stay there until they figure out the ever-changing maze, but it’s not that easy.  If you stay out in the maze after dark then the walls, enclosing the Glade, close and the Grievers come out.  Many of the boys don’t want to leave the Glade and have a sneaking suspicion that life outside is far worse.

Age Group: 12+
Genre: Young Adult Book, Teen
Themes: Science Fiction, Social Issues, Survival, Labrynths
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: 5.3

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Filed under Young Adult Books