December 15, 2011

A year in [book] review...

This year I’ve read some good books and some really horrible books. I thought I’d just do a little review on a few of my favorites!

The Help by Katherine Stockett

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. [Summary from Goodreads]

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

I’m sure you’ve at least heard about this book, because recently it was turned into a movie. I happened to start the book just a few days before I heard about the movie, so I made a point of getting it read. This book is so fantastic. The story is interesting and important. I ended up loving all these women and their stories. Stockett wrote these characters so well that it’s impossible not to feel their happiness, pain, sadness, or joy with them.

The Host by Stephanie Meyers

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love. [Summary from Goodreads]

I actually read this last year, but that’s okay. I wanted to include in on here, because it’s one of my favorite books I’ve read recently. It’s a bit on the Sci-Fi side, but please don’t let that deter you if you’re not usually a Sci-Fi fan. That’s just one facet of this book, it’s also about love, personal struggle and growth. Let me just say, it was hard for me to put this book down. It was gripping and had me enthralled to the very end. The main characters, Melanie & Wanderer, are written so well that by the end I felt like I knew them both. This book is a must read if you ask me!

Bossypants by Tina Fey

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.
Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy. [Summary from Goodreads]

This book was great! There isn’t much to say, other than the obvious...Tina Fey is funny! Her writing is clever and witty. It’s fun to get a glimpse into the minds of celebrities [especially your favorite!] and it’s even better when you can get something out of it. Which I definitely did here. I may not have agreed with all of Fey’s opinions, but I definitely enjoyed reading them.

The Hunger Games Series

The Hunger Games, #1 - Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place. [Summary from Goodreads]

Catching Fire, #2 -Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol... [Summary from Goodreads]

Mockingjay, #3 -Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. [Summary from Goodreads]

These books are hot, Hot, HOT right now! I’ve been hearing about them for the past year, but never picked them up because it seemed like they were written for a younger age group. In fact, my boyfriend uses them for teaching...middle school! Don’t let that deter you though, he’s actually the one who convinced me to read them and I’m glad he did! On the surface, this series is a very exciting love story, but obviously it’s much more than that. One of the main themes is that of the controlling government and how it uses and exploits its people. You get to see some different sides to this theme and it’s very interesting...and exciting. These books should definitely be on your reading list, plus they won’t take you too long! The first book is coming out as a movie in May, so read it before then!

To see what else I’ve been reading, fine me on Goodreads!

Slàin, Kassie

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