Sunday, November 24, 2013

YA/MG movie review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

From Fandango:

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever.

My thoughts:

It had been a while since I read the book, so some of the story came back to me as I watched the movie. There were only minor differences as far as I could tell... And I loved it! Great action, good archery stuff from Katniss--I forgot to be critical, to tell you the truth. I liked that Effie got a bit of depth in this one.

The ending was very much a to-be-continued. I wonder if the movie works for people who didn't see the first one, or have read the book(s). I'll be interested to hear what others think of it.

An aside:

This is one of those book series (and movie series, too) that works very well for both the YA and MG crowd. I can't put my finger on exactly why... Anyone have ideas?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Visit your independent bookstore, meet a local author (an #IndieThursday shout-out)

I'm not a big fan of all this holiday shopping talk before the turkey has been cooked. Not to sound like Scrooge, but how much shopping do we need to do anyway?

But I am a big fan of Small Business Saturday, especially with this new idea of authors, guest-selling books at various independent bookstores. How cool is that? You can find out if this is going on near you, and who's doing the selling at IndieBound.

Author friend Sarah Frances Hardy (who wrote and illustrated Puzzled by Pink) will be at Square Books in Oxford, MS, in case you're local. She's the nicest person you'll ever meet.

Let's rock Small Business Saturday, all... It's on Nov. 30th this year.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday review: The Girl From Felony Bay by J.E. Thompson

From the publisher:

The last year has been rougher than sandpaper for Abbey Force and her dad. He’s in a coma after his accident a year back, wherein he was framed for a terrible crime he didn’t commit. And their home, Reward Plantation, an idyllic spot on the eastern coast of South Carolina, had to be sold to pay off his debt to society. Abbey is stuck living with her uncle Charlie, who, even in the few hours a day when he’s sober, ain’t exactly your ideal parental role model.

But it turns out the new family that moved into Abbey’s old house has a daughter named Bee. And she’s just as curious about all the No Trespassing signs and holes being dug out by Felony Bay, in the corner of what used to be Abbey’s home. It appears someone’s been poking around a mystery that dates all the way back to the Civil War—and it just might be the same someone who framed Abbey’s dad.

My thoughts:

This is the kind of book you have to sit back and allow to let you sweep away. Although I'm a bit of an impatient reader, the narrative sucked me in by the end of the first chapter. Abbey has such a unique voice, and I quickly felt like I was right there with her in South Carolina. The setting is really strong in such a good way. This book should be on every Southern (library) bookshelf, in my opinion: it shows the rich history, good and bad, and captures setting uniquely. Nice mystery, too.

Where I found out about this book:

Author J.E. Thompson have the same agent :-) It's a small world, y'all...

For more MMGM reviews, go to Shannon Messenger's blog....!