Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Language of Light

The Language of Light, by Meg Waite Clayton.

I picked up the photograph he'd just set down, the eight-year-old girl craving her father's attention, his love. I still wanted to know that each time he'd said good-bye to me it had torn at him, each time he'd taken a picture of a child or climbed into his bed in some foreign hotel or sipped coffee as he read the Herald Tribune or looked out an airplane window or listened to the strange buzz of an English telephone, he'd thought of me, wished I were with him. I wanted to know he regretted all those days he hadn't gotten to see me. Not that he'd do it differently, but that he'd realized the cost of it as much as I had, that he had shared the cost.

I will be reviewing Meg Waite Clayton's newest book, The Four Ms. Bradwells, soon, and I wanted to read this book, which was one of her older ones (published in 2003). I had previously read The Wednesday Sisters by her, which was excellent, and this novel did not disappoint either. It follows Nelly Grace, recently widowed, as she moves back to her family's Baltimore home, in the "privileged horse-breeding world" in the countryside, and the people she meets there, who change her life.

4 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.

I want to tell him that he's not being fair. That we were strangers. That I did what it took to stay alive, to keep us both alive in the arena. That I can't explain how things are with Gale because I don't know myself. That it's no good loving me because I'm never going to get married anyway and he'd just end up hating me later instead of sooner. That if I do have feelings for him, it doesn't matter because I'll never be able to afford the kind of love that leads to a family, to children. And how can he? How can he after what we've just been through?

This book was one of the most unique novels I've read in a while, and it's part 1 of 3 in the "Hunger Games" series. Katniss and her mother and sister live in what used to be called North America, and they have a dismal existence - if it was not for Katniss and her hunting skills, her mother and sister would surely starve. There are 12 districts, and she lives in District 12; there used to be 13, but then it revolted against the Capitol, who destroyed it. To punish the other districts for district 13's revolution, each year the Capitol hosts the Hunger Games, in which 1 boy and 1 girl between the ages of 12-18 are chosen as "tributes" from each district. Out of the 24 chosen, however, only 1 can survive the games to win, and he or she must kill all of his/her opponents to do so. When Katniss's 12-year-old sister, Prim, is chosen, Katniss volunteers to go in her place, since she knows she has a better chance of surviving, and she goes with the District 12 boy chosen, Peeta. Katniss and Peeta will learn many lessons in the arena, some of which will end up surprising both of them.

This book was fabulous and was non-stop action. I had heard it was being made into a movie, so I decided to check it out, and I'm very glad I did. Katniss's fate is fairly obvious because there are two more books in the series, but book 1 ended rather abruptly, so I am definitely looking forward to reading book 2 soon.

5 stars out of 5.

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Elizabeth has read 2 books toward her goal of 70 books.
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