Sunday, January 30, 2011

Full Dark, No Stars

I have a love/hate relationship with Stephen King.  I especially loved his earlier stuff.  I can still remember reading Carrie when it first came out when King was an unknown.  And The Stand is one of my all-time favorites.  Later I tried to read Needful Things and Cell but just couldn't get into them.  So, I'm always a little leery when buying one of his books.  I took a chance on this one and am glad I did.

This book contains four novellas.  I loved two of them and liked the other two.  The ones I loved didn't have any supernatural elements and I think that's what made them better.

In the first one, a farmer in 1922 gets his son to help him murder his wife because she won't give him the 100 acres she inherited.  She wants to sell it and move to the city.  He loves being a farmer and wants nothing to do with the city.  The aftermath of the murder is the stuff of nightmares.  This was one I liked.

The second story is about a writer who gets abducted and raped on her way home from a speaking engagement.  How she deals with it and gets retribution had me cheering!  This was one of the ones I loved.

The third story has a bit of magic in it and I enjoyed it but...again, that supernatural stuff gets old and I guess I'm just tired of it.  In this one, a man has cancer and not long to live.  He meets another man who promises him life if he gives him a percentage of his wages for the rest of his career.  He agrees, but the kicker is that someone else has to suffer for it.

The last story is one I loved.  A woman finds out after 27 years of marriage and two kids that her husband has a secret life and was never the person she thought he was.  Her solution is great!

So, this Stephen King book goes into the love pile.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it continues!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Lover's Dictionary

This was a diffferent book!  It is a dictionary but the author just chose certain words.  It starts with A words but instead of a definition, he describes something happening in the main character's life that relates to that word.  We learn right away that the main character is just beginning a relationship with a girl (you) he meets online.  Then, shortly after that, we find out she's pregnant. 

The little snippets of info all combine to paint a picture of their relationship.  I liked the uniqueness of this book but couldn't realy get into the characters.  I guess I expected more plot and less little peeks into their lives.  By the end, I was even more confused than at the beginning.  So, basically, it was a disappointment but maybe I just need to read it again.  It's very short so that's a possibility.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Catching Fire

I plunged right into this second novel in The Hunger Games trilogy but I probably should have waited a bit because it was just too much of the same thing for me to really enjoy it as much as the first book.  It was still good, but kind of boring because they go back into the arena and once was enough.

In this book Katniss is living a decent life with her mom and sister but the capitol is mad at her for outmaneuvering them in the first games that she won.  So, they come up with a new twist for the quarter games.  The new participants will be chosen from the past winners.  Of course, Katniss and Peeta are the ones who go for District 12.  It got a bit tedious.

I'll wait a bit before reading the last one in the trilogy.  I've already downloaded it so I'm definitely going to read it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Breathless and The Hunger Games

This was not my favorite Koontz novel but I read it anyway.  Honestly, I can't even remember the characters' names!  I know there were these two unusual creatures that change the world.  The ending was a real let-down, too!  I just didn't get the whole thing.  Very disappointing!

At Christmas, my thirteen-year-old friend, Tori, suggested I read this book.  Then the following week, my junior-high-school-teacher friend, Dotty, said she'd just read it for the second time and was getting ready to teach it to her students.  So, I had to download it.

And, I'm so glad I did!  Wicked cool book!  Yes, it's designed for young adults but the action never stops and the characters are so well drawn that I couldn't stop reading.

It's sometime in the future.  America , as we know it, no longer exists.  Instead, North America is divided into twelve districts each responisble for a product.  The captitol is now in Colorado.  Katniss Everdeen is a teenager living in District 12, the coal mining district, with her mom and younger sister Primrose.  Their father was killed in a mining accident and Katniss teaches herself how to hunt illegally, with her friend Gale, to keep their families fed.

Once a year there is a lottery.  All the names of kids between 12 and 18 are put into a hat and one girl and one boy are chosen to participate in the Hunger Games.  What that involves is 24 teenagers put into a wilderness arena where they have to try to be the lone survivor.  Yes, they have to kill each other.  The victor gets riches for the rest of his or her life.  The whole thing is televised to all the districts. 

When twelve-year-old Prim's name is picked, Katniss volunteers to go instead and that is allowed.  She and Peeta, the baker's son, embark on the most horrific journey of their lives.

This is the first of a trilogy and I can't wait to read the next two installments.  I think I'll download them right now.