Re-Read Review – Catching Fire

The first time I read this series this was my favourite of the three and it still is. I had forgotten how much of the book is set in the districts and because I wasn’t lost in the excitement of the first time I could read a bit slower and take it all in. Katniss’ desperation to stop the rebellion is so strong and when she feels shes lost hope convincing Snow she stops being so reserved with Gale. However for me Gale becomes more annoying in this book. His burning need for revenge begins to show through and it just goes downhill from there. The arena in this book is also a lot more interesting than the first and without being morbid I like the mental picture I get of the clock.  The relationships also become interesting to read. Katniss interactions with Mags, Finnick and Joanne are so well written and portray different feeling that are great to read about. Of course I would be lying if I didn’t say I also enjoy watching her fall in love with Peeta, however much the end breaks our hearts. The ending of course is great, and although the book is better I love that it has been portrayed so well in the movie.

Re-Read Review – The Hunger Games

With the Catching Fire movie being released this week I wanted to re-read the series to get the story back into my head. I read this one quite a while ago and I didn’t really remember much about how it was written so I was pleased to find that it was better than I remembered. The pace of the story is very quick and it is very easy to sit down and read the whole thing in a few hours. I was most surprised by how much Katniss at the start of the book insisted her relationship with Gale was in no way romantic as the love triangle is often talked about but I didn’t find this a bad thing. What I also found interesting was how I processed the behaviors of the two boys. From a relationship point of view they offer two very different types of romance. Gale is the best friend kind, who likes the same things as you and you would be his equal. Peeta on the other hand is the more traditional romantic. He puts Katniss first and it is all about her protection and happiness. I think I definitely enjoyed reading this more second time around. I picked up more on how strong Katniss is as a heroine and the survival story felt more important than the romance. Can’t wait to start Catching Fire now, it was my favourite last time!

Re-Read Review – Insurgent

With just days till Allegiant is released I’m really glad I have re-read these two books. I had actually forgotten quite a bit that happened in this one and although I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first it is still a great read. There is quite a lot to take in that is important to the story through out this book. We begin to get a real understanding of how powerful faction loyalty can be but more importantly the people who are capable of thinking about what’s right and wrong for themselves. The best description however for this book I think though is one from the book itself;

“Do remember, though, that sometimes the people you oppress become mightier than you would like.”

Everyone seems to have a plan in this story. There are many important characters all with secrets and Tris is able to work out almost all of them. Better than that though she knows which secret really needs to be revealed and is able to get the information she needs to change everything. What I really like about these books though is that her relationship with Tobias comes second to the dystopia. There relationship is really challenged in this one because this is reflected in the attitude Tris has and I can’t wait to see what the information she has unleashed does to their society and what is waiting on the other side of the fence.

Re-Read Review – Divergent

I remembered that I liked this books but I had forgotten just how good it is. I think I actually preferred it second time round. The book has a really interesting idea for its society but it’s the great characters that really get you turning pages. Tris is a really good character to read as because she is got an inner struggle that we all have, wanting to fit in but still be herself and do what’s right. I also really appreciated this time round that she was going through point in life where you start to realise that your parents are actually just like you and have a life you haven’t been aware of.  She also discovers the meaning of real friendship and enemies in the people around her and I they are start her path towards accepting who she really is. Of course the best relationship to read about is between her and Four and there were a few moments of swooning as the book went on. I’m really excited now to re-read Insurgent in time for the release of Allegiant later this month!.

“I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.” pg 207

Re-Read Review – Delirium

I’m not sure what it is about this book but for me it just lacks a bit of energy. I’m quite happy to sit and read it but it doesn’t get my pulse going or my mind racing. I think the idea of love as a disease is a great base for a dystopian novel and although it doesn’t get my mind racing I do find some of the concepts interesting. Maybe it’s because of the books I am enjoying at the moment that I don’t appreciate this as a good book about teenage love and I’m sure for many people this is a really good book. It brings up questions about just how much control the government should and how often they become violent and horrible to uphold their values as well as endangering and de-humanising people.However it is also about the power of love and how although it can be painful it can also bring us alive and allow us to enjoy everything around us.

Re-Read Review – Slated

With the next book in this series officially due in just a few days and already being seen on the shelves in book stores I decided it was time to re-read this book. I found it just as good as the first time I read it. Easy to read and inviting you to read just another chapter. Reading this story for the second time gave me a chance to take more of it as I knew what as going to happen. There were a few comments that I read this time that almost reflected situations that could really be just around the corner for us and I find the idea of ‘slating’ criminals to make them useful to society something that could be considered a good idea. What gives this book that little bit extra for me though is Kyla. I think as a character she is very interesting to read about and of course we have this mysterious and dangerous past to discover. I am looking forwarding to learning more about that in book 2. I get the impression that her past is going to be just as complicated as her new life though as it appears that whatever she was slated from wasn’t a happy life and of course there is still the issue of finding Ben and what exactly has happened to everyone taken away too old to be slated

I can’t wait!.

Re-Read Review – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This is such a sad book. Right for the very beginning everything is turned upside down and we have to deal with loss. It is the emotion of this story however that makes it so successful. By book 7 we have watched all the characters grow and discovered each of their personalities and stories. As a result we are totally connected to the book and feel every emotion as it happens. There are parts of the story I get a little tired at and when Ron runs away it’s so easy to get annoyed at him but I think these things have to happen to bring the whole series to a conclusion. I liked the way that we still have things to discover in this book. It is the final battle to stop Voldemort but even he doesn’t understand how he is going to be undone and of course we are finally let in on Snapes secret. We lose some really great character’s of course  however that is always going to be true of war and it needed to happen to make the story relatable, plus it is part of what drives Harry and it gives us something more to full our passion for the end of Voldemort’s reign. I agree like many people that the 19 year later bit is a bit cheesy but after living through the whole series it really is needed to give us a bit of closure and we all wanted to know what would happen when they grew up.

For the past 3 books now I have had this over riding thought about JK Rowling and these books and I just can’t understand how she, or any writer, could every put these characters to rest now they have come alive in so many pages. The series has been so carefully woven together and each character has so much in their lives outside of  what we get to see and I find it impossible to imagine how she will ever be able to let them go. My only suggestion is that you would have to grieve for them and the story just like a real person and even they never really leave you.

Re-Read Review – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

For some reason I have always particularly enjoyed the 6th book. I think it might be because it was the first I got always through. I feel like this book is almost the half way point for the story. Harry has enough knowledge and skill to succeed in the wizarding world now if needed to but we finally learn about Voldemorts past and Harry fits in to that and how it can help him shape the future. Part of what makes it feels like the half way point I think is that we are only just finding out about the horcruxes and it still feels like a long way to go till he will be able to truly defeat the Dark Lord. However I really enjoy this book because I think it builds in lots of important stories. Ron and Hermione’s feelings for one another begin to show in this book as well and Harry’s and Ginny’s and Lupin and Tonk’s. Luna and Neville get to continue playing important roles showing how strong their character’s really are. Draco finally starts to mature and is able to stand up to Harry alone although of course we learn that he is still weak in the end and our already fragile trust in Snape is shattered. These are all important of course because Harry is about to come of age and finally stop people standing in front of him as his is ready to fight for himself.

Re-Read Review – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I think we really begin to see Harry’s will power and determination build in this book. He is beginning to feel emotional about everything he has had to go through and there are points were he is, understandably, a typical angry teenager. We also start to see a more accademic side of him too though and his passion for Defence against the Dark Arts is obvious through his teaching it. However I like that we begin to question what kind of influence his past has had on him, there is a bit about him now that is quite unstable and I feel there are point in it were you could question if it isn’t possible he could grow up to become dark. Hermione also lets her hair down a little bit more in this one and we get to see her determination for making a difference to everyone through her acceptance of a bit of rule breaking. As always of course what I liked is that there was still those elements of normalcy throughout it with Harry’s relationship with Cho and dealing with the complicated work of friendship. I think it’s the balance of this and with the seriousness of the dark magic that makes the books so good.

Re-Read Review – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Things really start to get serious in book 4. Harry has to deal with knowing Trelawney prediction as well as the fact that someone is now trying to cause him harm. Harry really progresses as a wizard in this book as well. He has to master more complicated spells than most people his age to face the tasks of the Triwizard tournament as well as learning more about the wizarding world and how it is run. This book is of course a very key part of Harry’s story because it is when Voldemort returns but it also continues introduces the readers to important information about the magical world. It was pointed out to me that this is done quite cleverly through the position of the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher curse as it allows us to meet new characters every year. I also like that like the last book they still have to deal with real life problems, Who to support at a World Cup?, asking girls out and falling out over jealousy. The thing I most took from reading this book though was the chapter on the unforgivable curses. I have only read this book once before and I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that Harry would suffer just as much at seeing them as Neville. This for some reason really jumped out at me this time.

Can’t believe I’m over half way through my re-read. Can’t wait to get started on book 5.