The Hunger Games? YES, PLEASE!

REVIEW OF BOOK 1!!

I don’t have many friends who love to read, but Isis is my favorite partner in crime when we’re talking about books and movies. She told me I had to read The Hunger Games, but I really didn’t think it was anything good. WRONG! I’m in love. In love with the girl on fire!

First I’d like to say that the brilliant idea of The Hunger Games is probably based on the Korean movie: Battle Royale. Even though Collins gets all the credits for the story (and yes she did a great job), Batoru Rowaiaru (Battle Royale) came out in 2000. Eight years later Collins came up with a similar story. I’m already downloading Battle Royale (I’ve heard it’s freaking bloody) so I’ll write a review about it when I’ve seen it. Well, stolen or not… The Hunger Games books are a huge success, so the odds are definitely in Collins’ favor!

I was very skeptical about the trilogy. I don’t know why, but when books are very popular I often think they won’t be any good, but I still force myself to read them. Like Fifty Shades of Grey, everyone reads it but it’s just a bunch of crap. And yes I’ve read the books. All three of them. Boring as hell. I’ve been wrong about books often. I didn’t want to read Harry Potter, Twilight or The Hobbit (which I still haven’t finished). But to be honest; I loved them all so I should be less cocky and just read what the crowd tells me to read.

*Book 1: The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is a badass story about the protagonist Katniss Everdeen, who hunts in the woods together with her friend Gale to provide their families with food every day. She lives in the future in Panem, a country with 12 districts which all have their own specialties. Panem is ruled by the Capitol, where life’s so much better than in the other districts. Every year the Capitol hosts an event to remind the citizens not to rebel: The Hunger Games. Each district brings two teenage tributes – a boy and a girl – to an arena where they must fight each other to death. When Katniss little sister Prim is selected to participate in the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place and leaves District 12 together with the other tribute: Peeta Mellark. Katniss and Peeta have known each other for a long time, even though they never talked. They are competitors, but during the opening ceremonies they present themselves as a team: holding hands while dressed in flames. During an interview Peeta reveals his crush on Katniss: His strategy for her to make her look more ‘human’.

When the games begin both Peeta and Katniss go their own ways. They form teams with other players to win, but when a new rule to the game has been announced they know they must work together:  Two people from a single district can both win. After a lot of setbacks they finally make it to the finale when the Gamemakers withdraw the rule. Katniss and Peeta decide to commit suicide. Right before they swallow some poisoned berries, a voice announces both Katniss and Peeta are the winners of the 74th Hunger Games.

Happily ever after? NO WAY!  Peeta is heartbroken when he finds out that Katniss is not truely in love with him. For her, it was all part of the game. Katniss idea of committing a double suicide has provoked a lot of chaos in the districts and Haymitch – the mentor of Katniss and Peeta – warns her that she must prepare for the worst.

BOOK 1: AMAZING!! 10 out of 10!!! The idea of The Hunger Games is brilliant and not unlikely to happen. We should beware of the future and our leaders. It reminds me of the games of the ancient Greeks, Orwell’s 1984 and Romeo and Juliet. I loved reading every chapter, every letter… I fell in love with Gale and Katniss. This is fiction but so credible that it’s almost scary and yet very intriguing. GO READ IT! NOW!!!
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My Favorites in Life

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My Life’s been pretty perfect so far. I made a collage of the things that make it so good.

1. Laughing: The big picture in the middle is me laughing. I love to laugh! Laughing > Increase in  Endorphins > Feeling Happy (it works that way even with a fake smile!)

2. Sushi: My favorite food. Too bad it’s so freakin expensive but good things are worth paying for 🙂

3. Pink: I collect pink books. My room is pink. And if I could I’d paint this world pink. The color just makes me super happy!

4.Photography: Before I had my Nikon I used to walk around with a compact (pink) Casio. As long as I can remember Im into photography. I just love to capture moments.

5.Sun: Sunrise, sunset, the warmth.. I adore the sunlight. I’m a whole lot more fun on a sunny day.

6. Family and Friends. Friends and Family.

7. Chanel: One of my obsessions. It’s just so chic!

8.Notebooks: I collect notebooks. I love to write and make lists. And I keep a journal

9. Reading: Harry Potter is one of my favs but I read almost every genre of books. When I was young I took my little “Jip and Janneke” suitcase to the library every week again. Back then I read like 10 books a week!

10. High Heels: I really like to dress up and I’m really into high heels. “The higher the better and the sky is the limit” – my own quote 😉

11. Motorcycle & Vespa: I just got my motorcycle drivers license but I don’t have a motorcycle yet. I love to ride. My Vespa is a good alternative and brings me anywhere!

12. Traveling: LOVE LOVE LOVE! Wherever, whenever, anywhere, anytime!

13.Dutch Fastfood: Kroketten, kaassouflé, bitterballen, frikandel… Cheap and delicious!

There’s no particular order in these things. I love them and I love my life!

Fifty Shades Too Much

I usually don’t like to do things just because everyone does it. But that rule doesn’t apply on books. When a book is exposed in every bookshop window it must be good and I must read it. When I first read about the Fifty Shades trilogy I didn’t think it was the kind of literature that you could find in the top 5 of best-selling books. I discovered I was wrong, so I bought the books.

From the moment this posh porn book came out, women all over the world had an excuse to read about sex all day long. Handsome and rich prick Christian falls in love with next-door girl Anastasia. He’s into SM. She’s a virgin. She becomes his sub and climaxes when he’s barely touched her. He falls in love with her and keeps having all kinds of dirty, rough and even ‘vanilla sex’ with her. There’s no real story. The only exciting part, besides the sex scenes, is the stalker issue. A book about a stalker could be very interesting, but E.L. James takes 3 books to tell you whom put the love birds in danger and why. All the other pages are filled with nonsense. Anastasia is obsessed and she does everything because she is in love with this control freak. I keep thinking that the only reason she’s in love is just because this more than handsome creature likes her. I mean, who wouldn’t. But real love? Nahhh! When the characters first meet, you already know they will get married and end up with a baby. Why? Well first of all because there is nothing unexpected to find in these novels. And second because the whole story is based on the way more exciting Twilight Saga.

The first book, Fifty Shades of Grey was kinda interesting. I’ve read books that crossed some invisible lines, but I never read about SM. It was exciting for maybe 7 chapters. The first book of the trilogy is simply boring, although I must say the beginning of the novel is all right, just like any other love story. It was entertaining, until the SM parts kicked in. Pages are filled with details about a contract. It is interesting to get to know more about SM and how the whole commitment works, but when you copy and paste whole paragraphs over and over again I’m suddenly not that interested in the whole Dom VS Sub thingy anymore. I didn’t skip any paragraphs in the first book, except for the endless crap about the contract. The first Fifty Shades was boring, but because it goes on and on about taboo topic SM (ok, let’s say taboo topic sex, since that’s already a big step for the Americans 😉 Just kidding!) I understand why people started reading it. I read it in a week. I was so curious what was gonna happen that I almost finished it in a day, until I found out there wasn’t gonna happen anything at all.

I bought the trilogy all in once so I told myself I had to read the other Fifty Shades too, to be able to criticize the books. So when I went for my international exchange to Barcelona I brought Fifty Shades Darker with me. Reading the second part of the trilogy took me like two months. The story seems to be more exciting in some way, since every now and then there are little peeks of real confrontations, but still the endless sex scenes screw it up even though I keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t forget that the book is about sex with a story line, not the other way around. Anyway, in the second book Ana and Christian are married, too soon of course. It is ridiculous. I didn’t like the whole marriage issue in Twilight and I like it even less now some Cullen-fan tried to copy Meyer her ideas. My mom started to skip the sex scenes in the first book already but I told her I saw it as a lack of respect to the author to skim chapters. I changed my opinion in Fifty Shades Darker. I didn’t skip entire paragraphs but I sure didn’t pay much attention going over the scenes that so many women apparently like. What I like about the second book is that you get to know more about Christian’s past and start to understand why he’s the way he is.

Fifty Shades Freed. Hurray, it was almost over. Although I could’ve put the books away, I really wanted to know what happens in the last book. It took me four months in order to find out. I just couldn’t finish it. Sex scenes I skipped and the only thing I could do was waiting for the ‘big surprise’ when Ana finds out she’s pregnant. After that the books actually becomes kinda fun to read. The events follow each other up quickly, which is new for a Fifty Shades book.
This last part of the trilogy is my favourite because of several reasons. First of all: It’s the last part :). Also because James doesn’t go over every detail anymore, she just describes the honeymoon and other events that have happened the last months. The other pro’s are that the couple get out of their house, which means a new environment, new people, some fights and less sex scenes. I think James realized she couldn’t go on and on about two people who only have an exciting life because of money and sex, so she decided to put all her talent in this last novel. When the epilogue starts I thought I was almost done reading this precious SM story. Couldn’t be more wrong. After the epilogue there’s the ‘Fifty Shades of Christian’, which is kinda interesting because it’s about his childhood. And after that there’s more Christian when you read the first chapter of book one again, only this time from his perspective. Fun fun fun. Well ended. Ana and Christian live happily ever after and James ends with “This is it for now”. For me this sounds more like a threat than a promise. I really hope she won’t continue writing stories like this. It could’ve been so cool, a record breaking book about SM. But James became greedy and decided to use a story that already existed, and spread it over 3 books. I understand the whole money making point of view, but I don’t think it’s fair to let us readers read three books of nonsense while you could’ve written one exciting book.

Long story but its about three books so I allowed myself to write a lot 😉

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Picture: Me by Matthijs Munter Photography