Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Hunger Games

I have added another series of books to my all time favorite reads. The Hunger Games. While this may be jumping on the popular bandwagon, I don't care. Sometimes (just sometimes) things are popular for a reason (except for skinny jeans. Those will always be a bad idea.)

I've already expressed my love for dystopian novels. Combine that with a ease of reading that come with young adult writing, the complete page-turner adventure, and beautiful character development of Suzanne Collin's novels, and these novels are just about perfect.
















I've already confessed that I have a hard time putting down a book once I've started it. But with these two books, it was almost a physical effort for me to close the book, put it down, and walk away. I was nearly late for work twice while reading these, because I became completely engrossed in the story while eating my cereal, only to look up at the clock in a panic.

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, the first two books in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy, take place in the not-too-far future, in the remains of what used to be North America. Now, The Capitol, a large prosperous city, rules the surrounding 12 Districts with a combination of a heavy hand and emotional suppression. Each year, The Capitol reminds the Districts of their complete domination by requiring each District to send two children, a boy and a girl, to The Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games, televised gladiator-esque survivor games, where the only way to win and get the chance to go home is to be the last one standing. The games are quite literally, a battle to the death.

Katniss Everdeen is a 16 year old girl who finds herself headed to the Hunger Games through an sacrificial act of love.

Beyond that, I don't want to reveal any more of the storyline. Because you absolutely must read these books yourself. And then let me know what you think, because I'm dying to talk to people about these books!

It is rare to get a novel with a strong female as a main character and have the novel still be appealing to male and female readers. But given the fact that Hubster read these books even faster as I did (lucky guy, staying home all day), I would say Collins succeeded in that regard.

Every page is suspenseful, each chapter ending left me hanging in such a way that I had to keep reading. Although, be warned, while young adult, the story lives up to it's theme and is violent and often jarring. It's probably not appropriate for readers under the age of 13.

But more than the suspense and captivating story, are the characters. Collins makes her characters so multi-layered, so full of subtleties, they are completely believable.

Katniss has been in survival mode nearly her whole life, being the primary means of support for her family since the death of her father. While this mind-set prepares her for the emotional and physical onslaught of the Games, it has not made her aware of people. While completely devoted to her little sister, she has an inability to read other people, to empathize, and to relate. This, combined with her nearly subconscious sense of superiority makes her a flawed, thus likable heroine.

The Hunger Games delve into the destructive decadency of modern society, the inequalities created by complete power, the hopeless acceptance of the oppressed, and the effects of exposure to violence. Ultimately, it asks what will you give, and what will you take, to maintain one's humanity?

The third and final book of the trilogy, Mockingbird, comes out in August. I plan on having it in my hands the day it is released and not letting go for the rest of the ride.

99 comments:

  1. I just finished the first book last week. I am looking forward to reading the next. My sister is sending it to me through the mail, so I have to wait, but I really liked the first book, and I'm glad to hear the second is just as good. I found myself wanting more than one of the characters to win the games. I think it was that you actually cared about the characters, and that seems rare in books these days.
    Annie

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  2. I love this post and this review. I am going to have to read them now. Reading is such a stress reliever for me and I am always on the hunt for new recommendations. Hope you're having a good week.

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  3. I read The Hunger Games last fall and LOVED it so much I rushed out to buy Catching Fire. Then I got bogged down with so many books I "had" to read that I STILL haven't gotten a chance to read Catching Fire. I finally decided I'll read them both the week or two before Mockingjay comes out. My book club already decided that's our book for August.

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  4. Sounds like I need to jump on the wagon. I haven't read either!

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  5. You had me at "(except for skinny jeans. Those will always be a bad idea.)".

    I've been saying that forever, and everyone told me I was lame and didn't know what I'm talking about. I loathe skinny jeans. They make even skinny people look fat.

    Anywho, these books sound interesting. I'm in need of a new series, as I'm almost done with the last book in the Twilight Series (don't make fun of me ha ha)

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  6. oooh, I wanna read them!
    We finally finished the Happy Golden Years, and want to take in For Love of Win Dixie. Since I can't put a book down once I start unless its required, I bet there's time for both!
    Now if only I can find it at the local library. I bet there's a good chance, even if its very small. Fun!!

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  7. Found your blog through SITS, and I'm so glad I did! I think I'm going to have to put this series on my To Read list. I hope you're enjoying The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I'm reading the third one in the series now and alternating between loving it and lamenting that it is the end of Stieg Larsson's work.

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  8. Wow - I'm not a big reader, and probably would've looked right over these books, but they sound awesome!

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  9. loved that book series. Fellow book blogger lover of books

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  10. Happy SITS Friday Potluck! Enjoy!

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  11. LOVED these books - can't wait for the third! Happy SITS day!

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  12. Happy SITS Friday Potluck! That series sounds great! I'll have to put it on my (long) list of books I need to read.

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  13. They sound like great books. Will have to look out for them at the library! Thanks! Happy SITS potluck! :)

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  14. I haven't read these, but I love books that make you forget where you are for the moment:)Happy SITS Day!

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  15. I'm always looking for great reads, thanks so much! Visting from SITS. How amazing that your hubby is currently a SAHD :) Good luck to you both in your professional endeavors, your boys are just adorable!

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  16. happy SITS day sweet bella - BRAVO for the skinny jeans comment LOL - I have just become a follower, would love to have you follow me on my journey at mangia-bella.blogspot.com

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  17. Yes, I love this series... I can't wait until the 3rd book comes out!

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  18. My 11-year old daughter and 13-year old son both devoured these books (very little sleeping occured) as did I.

    Love dystopias. Love The Hunger Games series. Already pre-ordered Mockingjay. Now we're just fighting over who gets to read it first.

    Enjoy the potluck!

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  19. Happy SITS friday potluck! This sounds like a great series! I might need to find the time to read these! I hope you have a great weekend.

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  20. I've seen these books but not put them on my To Read list yet. I'll have to do that now. I'm quite an avid reader & do enjoy YA books as well, although usually sci fi/fantasy or mysteries.

    Happy SITS Potluck Friday!

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  21. Came here from SITS potluck. I'm also always on the look out for good reads, and like to streeeettch my preferred genres too, so will keep this one in mind.

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  22. These are new to me -- thanks for sharing. I'm always looking for good books!

    Happy SITS Potluck Friday!

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  23. Wish I was able to start a book and actually finish it. These days, it seems like my 3 little boys just keep me hopping . ..and then when I start to read, my eyes want to sleep. :)

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  24. I have "Hunger Games" on me to read list.

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  25. Adding it to my Book list! I have so many I need to read, good thing I have just taken a week off work, I'll be able to catch up again!!

    :) Hazel

    PS Hope you have a lovely weekend

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  26. I will have to check this book out! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  27. I just read THG this past weekend, I have Catching Fire in a pile for my beach reads - only one more week, I will say though passing by it everday it's hard to not just pick it up and read it.

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  28. I loved these books! I seriously cannot wait for the third one to come out. so amazing.

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  29. Happy SITS Friday! I've never heard of these books. I'll have to check out the first one.

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  30. And summer is a great time to read these types of books. Thank you for the heads up.

    Happy Potluck Friday.

    lisaDay

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  31. Added to my bookshelf to-read. I hope you are enjoying girl w/ the dragon tattoo. I have read all 3 and just loved them-- only sorry there won't be anymore.

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  32. Those look interesting, adding samples to my Nook now! Happy Potluck Friday!

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  33. I've read the first one twice, and am on the wait list at the library for the second. I couldn't put the first one down- but what can I say? I'm cheap and rarely pay for books. ;)

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  34. Happy SITS day! This series sounds wonderful. What a great summer read.

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  35. HMM...doesn't sound like my usual fare, but I'm always game for a new book. I'll have to check them out!

    Happy SITS Friday Potluck!
    www.singlemominthesouth.com

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  36. Never heard of them before but will check them out.

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  37. I am the same way with books...can't put them down once I start. If it's a series, I must read them one after the other because I can't stand the suspense!

    Enjoy your SITS potluck day!

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  38. Happy SITS Day!!! Hope you have an awesome day

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  39. Don't you just love the feeling of picking up a book you've been waiting for, going home, and reading it straight through? I do that with John Grisham. I'm tempted to tell my kids to eat dog food on those days. (Tempted. Never actually have done it).

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  40. Popping in from SITS - I'm definitely going to have to check out these books! They sound FAB :)

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  41. I love speculative fiction, so I will have to give these a read. Congratulations on making Potluck Friday!

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  42. Couldn't agree more. I LOVE these books. Nevermind being late for work - I insisted on bringing the first one to work so I could read it at lunch... closed my office door and finished it that afternoon. I thought the third one was coming out in June - I timed my reading so I wouldn't have to wait too long for the last book. Not June - August. An eternity away! Dare I say it? Harry Potter eat your heart out.

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  43. I love those books too!!! Can't wait for the next one!
    Hope you have a great day being sauced by the Sits gang!

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  44. I have really been wanting to read these books, thanks for the rec!

    Stopping by from SITS =-)

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  45. Wow - I guess I'm out of it. Haven't even heard of them. Happy SITS day!

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  46. Ok well you've convinced me this is a series I need to read!

    Stopping by from SITS!

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  47. Ah, reading. I remember those days. Somehow I no longer have it in me to sit down with a book and close myself off to the world for a few hours. It will come back, I am not too worried so I am just going with it and enjoying all my other activities for now. Happy SITS Potluck Day!

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  48. I was so excited to see you featured on SITS this morning ... YAY!!! :) Isn't it awesome?!

    I've never read any Suzanne Collins, and I'm a sucka for a good book, so I'm definitely going to have to check these books out.

    ... In like eighteen years when I've actually got a quiet minute to read! ;)

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  49. Ironically, when i was still in grad school, all i kept wishing for is time to read fiction. now that i'm done and have all the time in the world, all i do is surf the internet!

    Happy SITS day!

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  50. I am always on the look-out for some new reads. You have sparked my curiousity and now I must go hunt down these books. Seeing as I am most definitely a bookworm, they will probably end up being in my beach bag for Saturday afternoon reads. I can't wait to find them and get started! Plus, I will even come back and chat about them, if you like.

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  51. Someone mailed me these books and I really want to read them! : )

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  52. Saying hi from SITS! I notice you are reading the Stieg Larsson trilogy. My husband and I each downloaded that yesterday within a half-hour of each other! Hoping to have time to get into it a bit more this weekend. Enjoy your day!

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  53. I haven't read those books but I might have to check them out.

    Stopping by from SITS!

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  54. Love, love, love The Hunger Games (and Catching Fire). I read them both on our spring break vacation and have since recc'ed them to everyone I know. Can't wait for the next one! (Found you via BlowFlow!)

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  55. Oops, I meant I found you via SITS. Doh.

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  56. I'll have to check these out! thanks again for stopping by yesterday! I've got you under Iowa bloggers on my blog roll now! :)

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  57. Had never heard of them, and you make them sound FANTASTIC. I'll try to get the first one for my flight on Sunday, tho I doubt I'll get a lot of reading done with my rambunctious 8-month-old flying along! :)

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  58. They sound awesome so will now be added to my ever growing booklist! Happy SITS Pot Luck Friday.....hope that you have a great weekend!

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  59. These sound great! Making me realize that I have to get back into the habit of reading. I'm majorly slacking lately. Unless you count cookbooks. Do those count? Didn't think so.

    Congrats on your mini sits day!

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  60. Hey, K! I popped over here using the SITS link, and see that it's you! Yay! I have to say I've not heard of this trilogy, but will check them out. In fact, I'll be sitting on a plane tomorrow for a good 6 hours so I can guarantee you I'll be reading a book.

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  61. So many people are talking about these books - I really need to get a copy!

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  62. I must confess I'd never heard of this series or the author so i'm actually really pleased to have read this post. Your passion for the stories shines through and I'll definitely put them on what's now a never-ending 'to-read' list. Sounds like good summer reading. Enjoy your Potluck Friday.

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  63. Happy SITS day! I love reading, always good to find a new book to look out for...

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  64. I love reading. I haven't read these yet, but I think I will.

    Happy SITSta day!

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  65. I loved this series and cannot wait for the next book to come out. I also found it difficult to put them down! Stopping in from SITS!

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  66. Thank you for the tip. These will be on my vacation reading list. My regular list is too cerebral.

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  67. Happy SITS day! I Love to read and just posted my favorites on my site! I read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last year while on vacation. I will go out and get these books for this summers reads. Check out my list and let me know what you think...http://www.coollimelife.com/CLFavorites.aspx

    Also...I noticed you are a fan of the foot picture...I am not alone!!! Take a look at this and let me know what you think...http://www.coollimelife.com/CLGblog/tabid/77/EntryId/15/Making-Memories-What-s-your-Thing.aspx

    I really enjoyed your blog...best of luck!

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  68. AAAAAAHHH!!! Katherine! How exciting that you were picked for the SITS potluck!

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  69. I'm sold! This series sound fascinating! Thanks for the great review! Stopping by from SITS. Have a great weekend! Jenn

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  70. They sound like great books. Thanks for the reviews! Happy potluck Friday and have a great wknd!

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  71. oh wow, now that sounds like a great book. I love hearing about books that people literally could NOT put down. Just proves how amazing it is. So, I'm sold, going to have to read this one for sure. Thank you for sharing, congrats on being featured today, and I'm a new follower now :) Have a great weekend!!!

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  72. Wow, your boys are gorgeous. The ladies better watch out!

    I've actually never heard of these books, but I'm always on the look-out for page turners. Thanks for the book recommendation.

    Following :)

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  73. WOW! IF THE BOOKS ARE HALF AS GOOD AS YOUR INSIGHTFUL REVIEWS, I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THEM! I AM ALWAYS SO HAPPY TO FIND SOMEONE AS EXCITED ABOUT BOOKS AS I AM! MY BOOK FLAVORS RUN THE GAMUT FROM CHICK LIT TO SPIRITUAL TO MYSTERY--I LOVE THEM ALL (OR MOST)! GLAD TO FIND YOU HERE THROUGH SITS!

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  74. Sounds like a great book - I am on a YA kick and also really like distopian lit - so I'll definetly give it a read. I loved The Girl with a dragon Tattoo - my husband is reading the 3rd in that series while I am flying through The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Last book was the Book Theif and I can't recommend it enough - Happy reading - I love your review and will be back for more!

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  75. I'm a voracious reader and I always love a good recommendation. Thanks!

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  76. I will definitely add this to my list of "must-read" books. When I will get to the reading, I'm unsure, but I look forward to it. Stopping by from SITS!

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  77. Visiting from SITS. Love book recommendations! Check out my book: http://www.formerlyhot.com/2010/04/buy-the-book/

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  78. Happy SITS Friday Potluck. I always appreciate a good book review. I am also known to be late getting where I am supposed to be because of a good book.

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  79. I have read the Hunger Games and it is a very captivating read. I am a teacher always looking for great books for my students to read. Thanks for sharing.

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  80. Stopping by from SITS. Those books look like they'd be right up my alley. I love dystopian novels! I'll have to check them out if I ever get caught up on my extensive reading list. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  81. Glad to see there are folks out there that still read. I am in to non fiction more so these days. Boy do people give me a blank stare when I tell them I do not have a television. Happy Friday and congrats on the POTLUCK from SITS!

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  82. Happy SITS Potluck Friday!!!

    I am glad I got a chance to check out your blog - looks like you have a lot of great posts!!!

    I can't wait for more :-)

    Stop by sometime if you get a chance.

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  83. I see that you're currently reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've been thinking about reading this for awhile, every time I see the cover, I pick it up. I'll have to check out the books you mention & pick up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
    Happy SITS Friday Potluck!

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  84. Stopping by for potluck! I have not had much time to read lately, but these sound great! May have to check them out! Love to have you visit my blog!

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  85. Happy SITS potluck day!

    You're boys are adorable!

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  86. I haven't even heard of these book. They sound interesting and I may have to check them out.

    Happy SITS potluck day!

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  87. Happy SITS Potluck Friday!

    I love to read page-turners, so I'll be checking out these books. I had not heard of them. Thanks for the recommendation!

    http://learning2hear.wordpress.com/

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  88. Calling by from Italy to visit you on your SITS Day. Congratulations.
    I am a Bookaholic so was delighted to read this post :)

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  89. Happy SITS day. I'm a voracious reader and was searching for a new author. Thanks for the lovely weekend gift, am on my way to the bookstore.

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  90. Stopping in from SITS. Looks like a great read. Always looking for something new to dive into! I'm your newest follower.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner
    www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  91. Happy SITS day, I have never read any of Suzanne Collins' books. But from your review, I will have to pick one up.

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  92. These sound like that perfect summer read I've been looking for! Thanks for the excellent review... following!

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  93. Always enjoy a good book recommendation. Thank you!

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  94. Great book review - I will have to check it out! Have a great weekend!

    Thanks, Anna from Motherly Law

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  95. I'll add them to my (ever-growing) list of books to read!

    And you have a lovely blog...and a new follower :)

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  96. hope you had a good day and lots of good comments. you have a beautiful family.

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