Catching Fire

For my second choice book I read the book Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Having already witnessed the movies for every book in the Hunger Games series I was a bit skeptical as to the quality of this book versus the quality of the first in the series. Unfortunately I was proven right, this story is definitely weaker than the previous book. That being said as always Suzanne Collins does a great job writing.

Being a good writer is a nebulous idea in this age of writing but Collins uses certain strategies that are objectively effective. These strategies include the likes of dialogue, syntax, and continuity. First is the dialogue. Every word that comes out of the mouths of the people within Catching Fire is believable and usually powerful. The characters are a bit colloquial here and there but the dialogue mostly follows the same style that we use here in the real world in marin.

Another area Collins excels in is the use of syntax. Whether it be sentence structure or variation between sentences Collins made a conscious effort to put out a product that is both interesting and engaging to read. Collins will often use eloquent sentences when necessary and is not afraid to use staccato sentences for dramatic effect.

Yet another area that works wonders in Catching Fire is continuity. Every single minute detail is meticulously transplanted from the first book to the second without much issue. At first glance this may seem like a completely minor aspect but during a series like this having solid continuity can be the difference whether the story is immersive enough to hold your attention.

Catching Fire is a solid read and a decent book for anyone. Honestly I think it’s worse than Hunger Games but it must have been almost impossible to match Hunger Game’s popularity. All and all I would give this book three and a half stars out of five. This rating is not at all bad, for me two and a half stars is average. That being said the book was indeed above average.

Looking forward to the next book Mockingjay I’m excited to say the least. I can’t wait to see what the book did better on the fight versus the Capital. My hope is that there will be less of focusing on Katniss 24/7 and more of an overview of the scale of the fight that is occurring.

-Ryan Nevitt

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Thunder Cave

This story was about a boy who runs away to find his dad in the savanna of Kenya after his mom dies. His name is Jacob and he is thirteen years old. His dad is a field biologist; when his mom dies they cant contact him because his radio is jammed. Jacob’s step father is planing on sending him to Nebraska and so when he goes out of town for a few days, Jacob runs away.

This book addresses some serious issues that Kenya has like poaching  and drought. this book describes Jacobs adventure through the bush and the way he learns to see the land. Along the way he makes a friend of a Maasai; their relationship evolves through the book and makes up a good portion of the story. Jacob and his friend go on adventure to try and find his father and end up doing so much more than that. This book is an easy read and I found it really enjoyable.

 

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest centers around narrator Chief Bromden, a patient at a mental institution, who pretends to be deaf and dumb. The story begins when Randal McMurphy, a rebellious, intelligent con-man, is admitted to the ward after feigning insanity to escape a work camp. As soon as McMurphy arrives, he begins to raise havoc, and rally the patients against the oppressive rule of Nurse Ratched, a former army nurse. As time passes, McMurphy’s rebellion continues as he attempts to restore the other inmates’ self confidence, and goad Nurse Ratched. However, things change when McMurphy realizes that Ratched can hold him for as long as she likes, because of his admission status. As a result, he is forced to decide between his own self interest, and the rebellion which he has created in the other inmates.

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a book wcuckoos-nesthich blends a unique setting, as well as interesting characters and themes to create a fantastic novel that I would recommend to anyone. One of the greatest parts of this novel to me was the character of Chief Bromden. His feigned deafness allows him to be privy to otherwise secret information, and that, combined with the unreliability and hallucinations he experiences as a result of his schizophrenia, keep the story interesting as Bromden’s perception of the world around him changes with the events of the story. I  rate this novel a 4/4

Flint Merrill-Gehrke

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Violent Ends

The novel Violent Ends is a story about a teenage boy named Kirby Matheson who killed six of his classmates, injured five of them, and shot himself, under 20 minutes. This novel is written in seventeen points of views. Each chapter is written by a YA writer. These seventeen authors include Brendan Shusterman and Beth Revis. Each of the seventeen points of views, reveals the relationship that people in Kirby’s life had with him. They also show the impact that Kirby had on these people. Some of these points of views reveal Kirby’s soft side, but other reveal his darker side as well. Another aspect about the chapters is that they portray the lives of the people before the shooting occurred, and others show the negative impact the shooting had on them. Each point of view reveals personality traits of Kirby Matheson, but do not completely reveal the reason to his terrible actions. 51moRQxrkzL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of young teenagers that have/have had cancer. The books follows a sixteen year old girl named Hazel who has terminal cancer. She attends support group meetings and becomes friends with another teenage boy named Augustus Waters. They fall in love with one another instantly. But Hazel is scared she will break his heart when she passes away. They go on many small, and big adventures together and try to live their lives to the fullest. I would recommend this book if you like to laugh and cry a little. I would give it 4 stars out of 5.

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Grace Guthrie

 

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The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help is about black maids who are working in southern homes in Mississippi. It takes place in the early 1960s. These maids do everything for women they work for, they cook, clean, and even raise their children for them. Aibileen is a maid who is great with children, she loves the baby she gets to take care of. Her young son died years ago and taking care of a little girl helps fill the whole in her heart. Minny is a sassy maid who has trouble because no one wants to hire her. She talks back and maids are expected to only be “the help” and to stay quiet. Minny finally gets hired by Miss Skeeter who tries to behave as a polite southern lady, but she is new and town and is different. Aibileen and Miss Skeeter know it’s time to make a change. They start to write a book together, in the percpective of 12 black maids. When this book is published, it exposes white people for mistreating black people and a change is starting. I like the book so far, it is about an important topic and I would recommend it.

 

Lauren Marlerdownload.jpg

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Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt

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For my free choice book, I read Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything written by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt. To be honest, when I first started this book I was very skeptical, I thought it would be boring and confusing; filled with terms I didn’t know. I didn’t really understand the United States economy and I thought the word “economy” was just a way to describe money. I was incorrect, proving the saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. After reading the first page I was instantly informed about how the economy is so much more than money. I find economics fascinating, it answers so many different questions that apply to everyday life. I think this book could not have done a better job explaining the “hidden side of everything.” It is very easy to understand and engaging and I felt as if I could relate to nearly everything they wrote about. The authors have a very clear tone and voice throughout the book, making me feel as if I knew them. At times I did feel like some of the chapters dragged on for a bit (for example the chapter about school teachers and sumo wrestlers), but overall I would definitely recommend this book to other people and give this book a 3 1/2 stars.

 

-Belen Mirsky

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