Posts Tagged 'Suzanne Collins'

Hunger Games News And Yumminess!!!

August 24, 2010!!!!

This is a very important day to remember folks because that is the day the final book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy will be released.  This is fantastic news!!  That is less than a year after Catching Fire‘s release date.  She must be really cranking these out.

I am assuming that since there is a release date, she has the book finished.  Since it is still really early, this bodes well for people who are interested in getting advance reader copies because they certainly seem to have plenty of time to print them.  There has been a lot of debate about whether or not they even need to do advance reader copies, since the books have become so popular (advance reader copies are generally meant to create buzz around a book, but this one will hardly need it).

Ever since I found out the exact date of the book, I have sort of decided that whether or not I COULD get my hands on the book early, I don’t think I want to.  Some of my best memories are of the midnight release parties for the Harry Potter books and that feeling of anticipation and community that comes with knowing you are about to take part in something awesome.  There are not many opportunities when things like that come along, so I want to take advantage of them whenever they do.

Also, August 23 is my Dad’s birthday, so if any store is having a midnight party, he will be there to celebrate (I got my whole family hooked on the series).  I really want to be there with him, loving every minute of it.

Now, I could totally change my mind, especially since I am going to Book Expo of America this year with Abby!!!  If they have copies of it there, I might have to get one, and then I don’t think I could wait to read it if I had it in my possession.

Anyway….today was a great day with my Twitter feed lighting up with all the people thrilled about the news.  It was Potter-esque.

Oh, and I also discovered (thanks to @tylerbreed) this very awesome post where someone had a contest to see who could bake the very best Hunger Games related cake.  My favorite is definitely the “Yes Frosting. The Final Defense of the Dying.”

Jen

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Take A Visit To The Underland!

Book One

There has been a lot of hoopla at my library surrounding The Hunger Games.  We picked it as the first book for our book club this summer and we ordered way too many copies.  We have been lending out the extras to as many people as we can and have started something of a movement.  After I managed to snatch up a copy of Catching Fire at ALA, everybody at the library was ecstatic.  It is currently on its 8th reader and will move on to one more person in town before making its way off to my mom, dad and sister.

Since the book is so popular, we just recently purchased Suzanne Collins’ first venture into series fiction, the Gregor the Overlander books.  I have had people telling me for a while now that I need to read them, and they were very popular at my old library, but I had a strong aversion to reading them.

I refuse to read most books about animals, because, let’s face it, the animals in children’s books usually end up being abused, abandoned, hurt, and most often killed.  I DO NOT like to read about things like that.  So I have not read Sounder, The Yearling, Where the Red Fern Grows, or any of those other classics.  Well, I knew from hearing Suzanne Collins speak, that the Gregor books were all about war, but she couldn’t kill off people to illustrate her point, so she substituted animals.  Ummmmm, yeah……..everything about that statement made me not want to read those books.

But, I was having Suzanne Collins withdrawal, and I got curious.  I decided to read the books super fast so as not to become attached to any of the characters and just read them to know what happens.  Of course, the books were really good and so it was impossible to read without getting attached to the characters.

Quick synopsis of what the books are about:  Gregor is a regular New York kid whose Dad disappeared a few years ago.  He lives with his Mom, Grandma, and two sisters in a tiny apartment.  One day his little sister Boots is sucked into a vent in the laundry room and he follows her into the Underland.  The Underland is filled with giant Cockroaches, Bats, Spiders, and Rats.  There are also humans, who are constantly fighting against the rats for survival.  Gregor is sucked into this world and finds himself chosen as “The Warrior” who will help the humans.

vampire-batLet me just say that I LOVED THESE BOOKS!!!!!!!!  I never thought I would fall in love with a giant cochroach (or crawler as the Underlanders call them) but if anyone can make that happen, it is Suzanne Collins.  (I love you Temp!!!!)  The characters in the books are so well drawn and she really does great things with the interactions between the different species.  You can also see the promise of things to come in The Hunger Games.  One of my favorite characters was Ripred the rat, and he is like the precurser to Haymitch.  Also, Gregor could be compared to Katniss.  His emotions run high, he makes mistakes, sometimes he makes you mad, but he is willing to do anything for his family.

My Sweet Temp

My Sweet Temp

Now, I will warn you, I did love these books, but there were times when they were hard for me to read.  Hundreds Thousands of animals die in these books.  Now you might think that it wouldn’t matter to you if rats and roaches were dying all over the place, but trust me, you totally will.  I cried my eyes out at least once in every single book.  When I started reading the first one, the prophecy at the beginning said there would be a quest and 4 of the questers would die.  Okay, I thought, I can handle four characters dying over the series.  Oh wait, nope, that’s four characters in the FIRST BOOK!!!!  So just a little heads up about that.

Somewhere I had heard that fans were really mad about the end of the series.  I think I know what they are upset about, but I was completely satisfied with the way it ended.  I don’t want her to write any more about those characters because I like the way it ended and it gave me great hope that she can finish off The Hunger Games trilogy in a great way.

So, if you need something to read, definitely pick up this series.  There are five books, and each one is better than the one before it.  I loved the 5th one the most.  They read really quick so don’t be intimidated by them.  So if you are waiting anxiously for Catching Fire, pick these up to keep you busy until September 1st.

Jen

I Found My Savvy in Naperville

Let me just preface this by saying that September has not been kind to me.  Somebody hit my car and drove away, my apartment parking lot flooded, the check engine light is on in my car, work is knocking me on my ass, the spiders are back, my best friend’s cat died, and I spent 45 minutes today scraping dried egg off my car.  Yeah, that’s right……I can’t even afford to buy eggs to eat and somebody tossed them all over my car.  I wish I could have know, I would have stood out there and tried to catch them.  Maybe I could have had an egg salad sandwich.

But all of that was made better by the fact that last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the most awesome conference in the history of the world (except of course for the Harry Potter conferences, which will forever remain the best).  I went to the YA Literature Conference put on by Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville.  I don’t even know if I can find words to describe how awesome it actually was, but I will try.

I knew that Suzanne Collins was going to be there, but I hadn’t looked at the flyer in a long time, so I really couldn’t remember any of the other authors.  Imagine my shock when I opened up the schedule and saw that Ingrid Law (the author of Savvy, duh!) was one of the presenters.  I literally screamed in the middle of the Holiday Inn Ballroom.  Thankfully, my friend Abby was just as excited about YA lit as I was, so she didn’t judge me (at least if she did, she pretended not to).

When I went up to Ms. Law and got her to autograph my book, I actually got a little teary, but I don’t think anyone noticed.  It was just so cool to meet her and get to tell her how much I loved her book.  You don’t usually get to do things like that in life.  During her presentation, she said she just wrote down the first sentence that popped into her head and that became the first sentence of the book.  She wasn’t quite sure where the story would go from there, which makes the book all the more amazing.  (The first sentence is quite a doozy to just pull out of thin air.  You should buy the book and see for yourself what I mean).

Here is a pretty picture of all my books that I got (two of them for free!):

Here is a list of all the people that I got to hear speak:

Suzanne Collins (duh, you should all know who she is)

Ellen Klages (wrote the amazing historical fiction novel The Green Glass Sea and its follow-up that I can’t wait to read White Sands, Red Menace)

Holly Black (wrote the Spiderwick Chronicles and the new graphic novel The Good Neighbors, plus an all around bad ass)

Nancy Werlin (wrote the incredible new book Impossible and made me cry during her speech)

Paula Yoo (cutest woman ever!  her speech was so great that I had to buy her book Good Enough……and she played the violin)

Cameron Tuttle (very funny lady who wrote the new book Paisley Hanover Acts Out)

Ingrid Law (Yippee!!)

John Stokes (one of the only remaining members of a group of students who went on strike against segregation, he wrote Students on Strike)

Caroline (B.) Cooney (wrote the Face on the Milk Carton!!!)

All that was crammed into one day (with no time for bathroom breaks).  I had a great time and even ran into a friend from library school (Hey John!).  I walked away with lots of free stuff and a renewed passion for books.  It was worth every penny of the money I spent on it (because my library doesn’t pay for frivilous stuff like that) and I can’t wait to go to the author’s breakfast in February.  I hear someone named Meg Cabot is going to be there……….hmmmmm…… where have I heard of her before???

Jen

I will leave you all with pics of my autographed books:

Video Blog About Books!!

Okay, forgive the very low quality technical aspects of this blog.  Here is me (Jen) sitting in my living room gabbing about books.  In this blog (maybe the first of many) you can try not to get distracted by the giant Harry Potter posters in the background and my cat Hermione almost makes an appearance.  Here are the books that I talk about:

Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex

Suddenly Supernatural:  School Spirit by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins