I finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, which is the second book in The Hunger Games Trilogy, and I really enjoyed it.  I read the first book earlier this year and was just now able to get to the second book.

Catching Fire was very hard to put down once I really got into the book.  However, it did seem to start a little slower than I remember the first book starting.  I believe I was around 10% to 12% of Catching Fire on my Kindle before I really had trouble setting it down to do something else, but once I got past that point, the pages started turning faster and faster.

This book starts off right where the last book ended.  The main character, Katniss Everdeen, has not been home very long when this book opens.  You get to see how her life has changed before it really gets into the main plot of this book.  The action picks back up like you expect and keeps going to the end.

I like the way Suzanne Collins is able to make me visualize the the world, including the setting, the people, and the technology.  To me, they seem to be very believable characters, not just in the way they are described, but also in the way the character views them.  I enjoy the the way the author allows you to understand things going on that the character doesn’t, but then also surprises you with things that both you and the character didn’t know were happening.  For me, it is nice when I am not able to always guess what is going to happen.  Also, I felt like this book had some significant character development, and you could actually see the main character changing and becoming aware of more things going on around her than just herself, which is always fun to read.

There are a couple of things that I did not like about the book, but they were not big enough to detract from my enjoyment.  First, the story is told from the point of view of a girl that cannot seem to make up her mind about two boys.  This seems to be pretty popular in young adult fiction these days, and it can be very annoying.  However, it was not something detracted much from the book.  Other than that one thing, I did not have any problem getting into the story, even though it was from a female’s perspective.  Second, the main problem I have with the book is the fact that it does not end properly.  With the first book, I felt like it had a very nice wrap-up ending.  Yes you knew that there could be more story, but it was a strong ending and I would have been satisfied if no more books had come from it.  With this ending though, I know there has to be a third book, and it feels more like this is just a part one of a two part book.  The one good thing that can be said about it though, is that its a lot like LOST the TV show, where it did answer a lot of questions, but it added even more than it answered.  Please keep in mind that these two negatives were very minor to me.

Overall, I have to give this book five out of five bear paws!  I highly recommend it to anyone and think that everyone should give it a try.

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Inkheart

Inkheart

I just watched the movie Inkheart today and thought it was a great movie.  I went looking online for more about it and was disappointed to see pretty low reviews of the movie, so I decided to review it myself.

Inkheart the movie is based off of a book with the same name by Cornelia Funke.  I have not read the book yet but intend to now since the movie was so good.  Maybe I’ll review that too when I finally get around to it.

The movie is of a genre that I like to call fairy-tale.  This is the same genre that wonderful movies like The Princess Bride and Stardust belong in.  (If you have never heard of either of those movies, then you must queue them up in Netflix or run to a rental store immediately! I’m serious, why are you still reading this!)  These movies are wonderful escapes from reality that the whole family can enjoy, and as a father of two, that is very important to me. 

Inkheart is full of action and adventure that amazingly is able to remain clean.  This movie contains a love story, fighting, monsters, treasure, and the journey home.  It also is based on one of my favorite hobbies, the wonderful world of books. 

Characters of books actually come to life in Inkheart thanks to the main character.  I will remain vague so that I don’t give away any details.  Let’s just say that there are villians, people that need to be rescued, and wonderfully flawed main characters.  The characters range from the believable to the magically, but all of them are fairly well developed.  I was able to connect with the characters very well thanks to the developement.

The plot of the movie was wonderful and kept me on the edge of my seat.  It also ended in a pretty feel good way so that the whole family was satisfied.  Also, as a side note, I did love the actors in the movie.  Brendan Fraiser, Sienna Guillory, and Paul Bettany did a wonderful job in this movie.

I give Inkheart the movie 5 out of 5 bears and I encourage you all to watch it when you get a chance.  Fortunately it is already out on DVD and Bluray, so you can just rent it.  The reason that I gave it 5 out of 5 bears because I consider the movie an “own worthy” movie, which means I am going to buy it.

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