Today is August 24, 2010, and if you are active at all in the world of YA, this is a national holiday. Today marks the official release of the third and final installment in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy, Mockingjay. I have not been lucky enough to get my hands on it just yet, but soon. Very soon. In honor of Mockingjay‘s release, I am going to review the first in the trilogy, The Hunger Games. When I first read The Hunger Games, I hadn’t read a lot of YA fiction yet. It’s possible that my only YA experience was Stephenie Meyer. So it is safe to say that Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is the reason I got so in to YA fiction.

This was my first novel set in a dystopia. First of many in fact, because I love the way that dystopian novels read. This particular novel contains my favorite dystopian world. It is my favorite not because it is the most believable (which is Uglies in my opinion), but because it is the most engaging. This book makes you feel down-trodden. It makes you feel resentment towards the Capitol. It makes you feel empowered. You become a citizen of District 12. You become a tribute. It is that connection one gets to the story that makes The Hunger Games as marvelous as it is.

The characters in this story set it apart from the pack as well. Katniss is not your average girl though she thinks she is. There seems to be a slight trend in YA to write the main character vague so that the reader can see themselves in them, but Suzanne Collins doesn’t do this. She writes Katniss as strong as can be, and makes the reader see themselves in her strength not her weakness. Gale and Peeta are both so well-written. Either could be the perfect love interest for Katniss. They are alike in that aspect, but that’s about it. Gale and Peeta are just about as polar opposite as you can get, yet they are both perfect for Katniss. That has a huge impact on the relationship storyline throughout the book. The minor characters also give the world life. Rue, Cinna, Prim, and Haymitch all add their own little flair to the story that makes it varied enough to seem real and awful enough that you hope it never is.

This book is one that if you haven’t read yet, you should. It’s sequel Catching Fire is out and as of today so is the final in the trilogy Mockingjay, so if you start now you won’t have to wait for the next book ever. You don’t understand how envious I am of that. In keeping with the story, I am giving Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games five mockingjays out of five.


Well that does it. The giveaway has timed out. If you didn’t get to enter, I’m sorry. There will be more giveaways in the future, so don’t feel too bad. One lucky person will be getting a copy from me, and another will be getting one from Kim over at Twisted Fates’ Cafe. My initial count of entries (not entrants) is about 95, so give us some time to verify, count, and recount and we will both post our winners next Sunday (August 29). Good luck to you all.

**If for some reason the initial winners are unable to accept their prize (refusal or lack of timely response), a new winner will be drawn from the current pool of entrants.

This review requires a bit of back story to put into context. I have an obsession with angels. Obsession. It sounds cliché, but I blame my mother. She collected angels in my childhood, so everywhere I looked in our house I saw an angel. As I have gotten older, her obsession has become my obsession. So you can imagine my glee when I discovered Alexandra Adornetto’s Halo. The book doesn’t come out until August 31st, I was able to get hold of an ARC. Keep that in mind as you read my review, I am reviewing the ARC. Here is the description of Halo according to Amazon (and also the back of the book):

Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone—especially herself—from the Dark Forces.

Is love a great enough power against evil?

Another side note for your consideration, I have a cat named Gabriel (Furthering my angel obsession? Maybe). I was very excited to start this book. I mean, it’s about angels, what could go wrong? The answer to that meant-to-be rhetorical question was evident within the first thirty pages. In those first thirty pages, I began to feel like this book was more Christian fiction than teen fiction (as the back of the book says it is). It seemed almost like the book was wishing to convert me to Catholicism. I managed to get past that, and as I did I began to get into the story. It took me a week to read thirty pages; it took me two days to read the rest.

The greatest asset of this entire book was the likability of the characters. Bethany and her love interest that shall remain nameless are both such genuine characters. You find yourself hoping for them, wanting for them, and wishing for them. The supporting cast helps as well. Gabriel and Ivy provide a contrast to the rest of the world. And the villain, oh the villain, is so well thought up, I could actually hear the malice in his words. But there was one crippling, continuous mistake throughout the book that kept pulling me out of the story.

There were countless editing mistakes that were so distracting from the story that at one point I was reading for them. The mistakes varied from saying ‘to’ instead of ‘too,’ to calling characters by the wrong name, to obvious sentence edits gone bad by leaving remnants behind. (For example on that last one: It would be like writing this sentence then going back and changing it. It would be like be writing this that sentence then back going, changing it.) Bear in mind, I was reading an ARC, so I cannot say for sure whether this is how the actual book will read, all I can say is that it interrupted my experience.

All in all, I liked the storyline, liked the characters, but the execution set it back. As much as I found wrong with it, I will be reading the sequels (Hades [Fall 2011] and Heaven [Fall 2012]). The story is too good not to continue. I can only remain hopeful the execution improves with time.

In keeping with the story, I am giving Alexandra Adornetto’s Halo an angelic three feathers out of five.

The sequel to Beautiful Creatures titled Beautiful Darkness comes out October 12, 2010. Now, if you’ve read my review of Beautiful Creatures you know that I am very excited about this release. The pre-release hype has already begun! The first in a series of six teaser trailers is already out and you can find it HERE.

Here is the synopsis of Beautiful Darkness via Amazon:

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan’s eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there’s no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town’s tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this. I have been very impatiently counting the days. If you haven’t read Beautiful Creatures go out and find it right now, because you’re going to want to be done with it by October 12th.

On a note related to the giveaway currently going on, Giveaway Scout has asked me to add my blog to their giveaway search engine. I am going to do so, and you should subscribe to them for updates on giveaways ranging from jewelry to books.

See you soon, and don’t forget to enter the contest!

Hello all. Today marks the beginning of the giveaway for 2 Advance Reader Copies of Ally Condie’s Matched. My friend Kim from Twisted Fates’ Cafe has agreed to help me and now the contest is being joint run by myself and the Twisted Fates’ Cafe. The prizes doubled thanks to this occurrence. So we are doing the giveaway based on the points system. Here is the point system key:

+1 for commenting on this post with the answer to the question at the end *MANDATORY*
+1 becoming a follower of the CatcherGoneAwry blog
+2 being an old follower of the CatcherGoneAwry blog
+1 becoming a follower of the Twisted Fates’ blog
+2 being an old follower of the Twisted Fates’ blog
+1 following twitter @CatcherGoneAwry
+2 being an old twitter follower of @CatcherGoneAwry
+1 following twitter @Twisted_Fates
+2 being an old twitter follower of @Twisted_Fates
+1 following twitter @BookumsXLibro
+2 being an old twitter followr of @BookumsXLibro
+1 following twitter @PageToPremiere
+2 being an old twitter follower of @PageToPremiere
+1 tweeting about the contest
+5 talking about the contest in a post
+3 posting about the contest in your sidebar
+2 putting the blogs in your blogroll

You must include proof for the points to count, meaning in your comment answering the question provide links to any posts, tweets, etc. about the giveaway. The contest ends on August 22nd and the winners will be announced on August 29th.

Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered. Here’s the question: What fall book release are you most looking forward to?

Hello again, all. I just wanted to come on here and explain my absence. I am enrolled in summer classes at the college, and we are at the end of the term. You know what that means? Finals. Or in my case, projects due. So that is why it is taking me so long to read Halo. But rest assured, I will have up a review this week. It might not necessarily be of Halo, but one will be posted. So forgive the interruption, but I need to pass my classes. Thanks for understanding.

And if you’ve been paying close attention, you know that I am doing a giveaway soon. It hasn’t started yet, but I believe I can safely announce the prize. Will that get you to forgive my sin of not posting? It should, because the prize is….

an ARC of Ally Condie’s Matched. Stay tuned for more information.

Until then.

Two weeks ago, the network site Page to Premiere was taking applications for reporters for books becoming movies. The day of the deadline at 11:15 or so PM, I decided to apply. The owner of the site, Kimmy West, graciously took me on. The only problem was, there wasn’t a book I had read that needed a reporter. So I said, “Well what books need reporting on?” and she replied “I have someone for all of them but Beautiful Creatures.” And that did it. I became the Page to Premiere reporter for all things Beautiful Creatures movie. So, of course, I immediately ordered the book and (im)patiently waited for it. Well now that I have finished it (in 3 days, reading only before bed/instead of sleeping), I’m going to make a statement right now that might catch you off guard. This is your warning, prepare yourself.

Beautiful Creatures is my favorite book.

Do you know what that means? That means that this book beat out Harry Potter, Looking for Alaska, and The Hunger Games. I didn’t think it was possible, but it happened. This books is nine kinds of amazing. No really… fine, here they are.

1) It’s Southern. Hello? I’m from Alabama. A = Of.

2) Best supporting cast ever. Macon and Amma made the book for me.

3) The girl is the supernatural one, not the guy. Sorry Eddie-puss.

4) It is the most truthful showing of what it is like to go to high school in a small town in the South that I have ever read (and living in the South, you get that a lot).

5) The allusions to To Kill A Mockingbird (by Harper Lee).

6) The romance between Lena and Ethan, how all supernatural romances (and regular ones, too.) should be.

7) Awesome librarian character? Yes, please.

8 ) The magic. Effortless, no wands, no studying.

9) The writing. It was exquisite. It was well-written and engaging and near-impossible to put down.

The worst part about the book: it ends. If I could just always have the next part of the story on hand, I think I would be supremely happy. This is the kind of book where you finish it and immediately hand it to the closest person so they can read it. Go buy this book. And buy an extra so your friend doesn’t have to wait. You know what, get as many as you can. You’re going to want them. The hardest thing about reading this book was not talking about it while I wasn’t reading it. I am glad that the sequel Beautiful Darkness comes out in a mere 88 days. Write that on your hand so you don’t forget.

In keeping with the story, I, a mere mortal, am giving Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl a happysad-contentwanting-darklight five half moons out of five.

This is where I usually say what book I will do next, and I will, but first I want to clarify some things. It has been a while between my last review and this one. And it isn’t because I haven’t been reading. I’ve started 2 other books in between these, but didn’t like them. I won’t be reviewing books I don’t like. Which means you’ll never see anything less than a two out of five on here. Yes, rating bad books would give me more range and make me seem less partial, but I’m not doing it. Every author deserves to have their book read, and I won’t be the reason someone decides not to read a book. So my ratings go from two to five. Two means the story is okay, but there were flaws in the writing style, inconsistencies, etc. Three means it is a good read, and if it’s your style of book you would like it. Four means it’s a very good read for most people, recommended. Five means this book is a must read, not in the you have to read it way, but in the you should want to read this no matter what because it is that good. So I hope that clarifies things. My tentative next review is of Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, which comes out this September. Until then, keep your countdown going, 88 days and less.

Sidenote: At some point I will be doing a giveaway. You know, once I figure out how. So, heads up.