I’m Not Scared – Niccolo Ammaniti

August 24, 2008

I wish I had more time to read, but school has been keeping me busy. I don’t think I will have my next review ready until 1.5 weeks, maybe more.

I’m Not Scared has been on my Amazon wishlist for a long, so when I saw it on BookMooch, I knew I had to get it. Unlike most of the other books I have reviewed, this is not a YA. I would say 16+. The novel is narrated by nine-year-old Michele Amitrano. One summer day, he discovers something horrifying: a kidnapped boy.

Ammaniti did a great job capturing the essence of a child, and this is the novel’s greatest strength.  My main dislike about the novel is the end. It ruined the novel for me. I prefer straight-forward ends. I’m Not Scared has also been adapted into a movie, and it looks entertaining. Here is the trailer:


The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

August 16, 2008

When I started reading The Hunger Games, the first in a trilogy by Suzanne Collins, I realized that the only series I’ve finished is Harry Potter. It’s not that I disliked the other books I read that were part of a series. At one point or another, I did plan on it, but I never got around to it. Song of the Lioness. Shadow Children. Charlie Bone. Spiderwick Chronicles. Even A Series of Unfortunate Events. After finishing The Hunger Games, I hope I read the rest. I know better than to say I will.

But really, this is one of the best novels I have read this year. The basic idea is very similar to Battle Royale. Put some kids in an arena of sorts for a fight to the death. I enjoyed Battle Royale, but I had to admit that the reason the students are sent to the arena is far-fetched. The Japanese youth are rebelling, and Japan is crumbling. What adult lets it go this far? In The Hunger Games, the kids are put in the arena as a way to make sure the twelve districts of Panem do not rebel against the Capitol. I’m telling you it’s more believable. The story takes place in Panem, the ruins of North America, and the Capitol is their harsh form of government. The twelve districts  each send two tributes–a boy and a girl, and the games are televised each year for the citizens to see. Ah, dystopia!

Suzanne Collins made the novel a joy to read. It was thrilling, and I could not wait to find out what happened next. Pretty much every chapter ended on a cliffhanger. Even the final one. It almost felt that the novel should have ended earlier and that part of the end should have been saved for the second novel. For now, I’ll just believe the author knows what she’s doing. I also love how she developed friendships between the tributes. It seems unlikely given that only one tribute can survive, but Collins does it quite realistically with her protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. She’s everything I could have asked for in a protagonist. Incredibly likeable and extremely realistic. I don’t ask for much, do I? 😉 The minor characters are also very interesting. I can’t really say lovely or nice with the viciousness of a few of them.

The Hunger Games will be published on September 14. It’s about a month away, and I know it will be met with glowing reviews and hopefully some awards. I can’t wait for the next two novels, and I hope you give The Hunger Games the chance it deserves!

The Hunger Games‘s Website.

Link Exchange?

August 16, 2008

I was wondering if anyone was interested in doing a link exchange. Just comment on this post! Easy as pie. =)

My Name is Number 4 by Ting-Xing Ye

August 8, 2008

My Name is Number 4 was a book I received from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program. It is a memoir about Ting-Xing Ye’s life during the Cultural Revolution in China.  She comes from a poor family and is the fourth of five children. Her mother and father die at a young age, and she is left with her Great-Aunt to raise her. Basically, she’s had it bad from the beginning.

This was an engaging read. After reading the novel, I really admire Ye for all the things she’s had to live through. Her father was a businessman which automatically makes her the victim of Red Guard attacks. Then, she is exiled to a prison camp in Beijing at the age of sixteen and ends up spending several years there. It is a well-written novel, and Ye is a likeable character.

The only thing I really didn’t like about the book was the title. Nitpicky, I know. It just felt mislead by it. It makes one think the novel will be about being born into a strict Chinese family.

I think young adults will enjoy the book especially if you’re like me and haven’t learned much about the Cultural Revolution in China. That’s what appealed me the most about this book. I mean everyone’s heard about the Holocaust, and it’s interesting to see a similar thing happen in another country, although not near as cruel (thankfully). I also think it’s smart to release this book so close to the Olympics. I’m watching the opening ceremony as I’m writing. It’s beautiful! Anyway, the paperback edition wil be out on September 2 which isn’t too much longer. 😉

I also wanted to say that my reviews may slow down a bit with school. I started back on August 1. I have Literature this semester, so I will post reviews of the novels I read in that class here. I have a choice between Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as my first novel.