The Hunger Games Book and Movie Review

Title: The Hunger Games

hunger games book and movie reviewAuthor: Suzanne Collins

Series: The Hunger Games (Book 1)

Genre: Middle Grade

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: July 2010

Format: Paperback/Kindle

Pages: 384 pages

About the Book:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. 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,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

AmazonMy Review:

Believe it or not, before a few weeks ago, I had never read any of the Hunger Games books or seen any of the movies.  I am big proponent of  the “read it before you watch it” philosophy of moviegoing, so I was determined to read the first book before I saw the first movie.  The only problem was my review schedule was so full that I never got around to doing it.

Finally I decided to cut back on my book reviews so I could have some time to catch up on my bucket list of books.  I’m so glad I did!!

I absolutely loved this book!!  The character of Katniss is so tough, but so unsure of herself at the same time.  The book is written in the first person, which is great because it really helps explain Katniss’ motivations throughout the story.  I loved the premise of the book, The Hunger Games, and how Katniss really thought to play to the audience, instead of just trying to survive.  The love triangle of Katniss, Peetah and Gale looks to shape up to a very interesting story in the second book.

I give The Hunger Games five stars.  A must read!!! (Although I’m sure you already have 😉  It’s a fantastic story for teenagers and adults alike!!

Movie Review:

I was pleasantly surprised by how close the movie was to the book.  Of course a few things were condensed for time and space, but overall the storylines followed very closely.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed the movie as much if I had seen it first, though.  Without the first person narration by Katniss it was hard to understand, sometimes, why she acted in a certain way.  I also would have liked for the movie to hI did not receive any compensation for this review.  I purchased the book myself and watched the movie on TV.  All opinions are my own.ave more backstory.

I give The Hunger Games movie four out of five stars.  It’s worthwhile viewing, but read the book first.


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Book and Movie Review

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close ReviewExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Jonathan Safran Foer

ISBN-13: 978-0547735023

Middle Grade

November 2011

368 pages

About the Book:


Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.

 My Review:

I was truly captivated by Oskar Schell’s world – especially his fears and inventions.  Although Oskar is never officially “diagnosed”, he reminded me of children I have known who had Asperger’s syndrome.  His brutal honesty and awkward attempts to socialize with others were charmingly painful.

The cast of characters Oskar meets while on his search for the lock are a veritable cross-section of New York citizens.  Through them, he slowly begins to trust again.  Through Oskar, they slowly begin to heal from the brutality of 9/11.

The sub-plot involving Oskar’s grandparents is sad and unpredictable.  My heart broke watching them try to love each other, and fail miserably. You can’t help but have your heart broken by the end of this book, but you will turn the last page with your faith in mankind intact.

I found the freestyle grammar and dialogue of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close : A Novel to be a little off-putting and confusing, in what was otherwise a five-star novel.

I give Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close four out of five keys.

Movie Review

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Review
Within a day of finishing the book, I decided to watch the movie Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.  I’m sorry to say that I was extremely disappointed in this version of the story.

First, I did not feel the actor who played Oskar was sympathetic enough.  The character came across as more childlike a**hole instead.  Parts of the story and even dialogue were completely re-written to give the story a more uplifting ending.

But I was most disappointed that two of the main supporting characters, as well as the bulk of the subplot, were completely missing from the movie. I understand that only so much can be accomplished in two hours, but I guess the problem is, I had written the screenplay in my head, and this was most definitely not it.

I give Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close the movie two out of five keys.  Read the book instead, you’ll be glad you did.

I did not receive any compensation for this review.  I purchased the book myself and watched the movie on TV.  All opinions are my own.