Monday, 30 June 2014

A Quick Note

You will have noticed the new background and header.....don't worry, work is in progress and hopefully soon there'll be a title and pictures in the frames too!
Also I'm thinking seriously of changing the name of my blog.....has anyone got any brilliant ideas for a title?
Thanks everyone :-)

The Hunger Games ~ A Review

I read these books on Kindle....but I did get this copy out of the library today
to read. Nothing beats a real-life book:-)

So I've finally read The Hunger Games. It took me a while to be allowed to read them, and even longer to decide if I actually wanted to read them or not. I'd heard so much about them, both good and bad, so I finally realized I was going to have to read them myself to find out what they were actually like. I won't go through the plot in too much detail.....
here's a basic synopsis.
It's set in a futuristic dystopian country called Panem, which used to be North America. Divided into twelve Districts where the people are poor and hungry, Panem is ruled by an all-powerful Capitol, wealthy and cruel. There used to be a District Thirteen but it was destroyed by the Capitol when the districts revolted. The Capitol has absolute control over the districts. To remind them of this the Capitol holds a huge televised event every year called the Hunger Games. Two kids or 'tributes' are chosen from each district to fight to the death in an enormous arena over a period of a few weeks. The winner takes, money, fame. The rest die. Katniss Everdeen is a 16-year-old girl living in District Twelve who has to provide for her fatherless family. When her younger sister Prim is chosen as tribute she volunteers to take her place. The boy tribute chosen from 12 is Peeta Mellark, who gave Katniss bread when her family was starving. The problem is that she has to be prepared to kill him to win.
So what did I think of these books? I loved them! 
The story gripped me from the first page. I had read all three books within a week. The charcters were real and the narrative at times funny, terrifying, or heartbreakingly sad. I cried when Katniss left for the Games. I cried when Rue died. I cried when....but I shouldn't give too many plot points away. I cried the most at the end, because it was finished, there was no more to read. 
I really admired Katniss. Her courage, her abilities and her strength. She didn't think twice before taking Prim's place. Her relationship with Rue was so sweet.....when she sang to her it was so sad. She annoyed me at times, she messed things up a lot, but she was human. There was nothing weak about her, she was determined and brave.
Peeta Mellark. The boy with the bread. He was loyal, funny, always knew the right thing to say. His rooftop speech about how he wanted to show the Capitol he was "more than just a piece in their Games." He volunteered to take Haymitch's place in the Quarter Quell in Catching Fire. He hardly ever complained, always protected Katniss. Half the time he was wounded, lost his leg, nearly died. In Mockingjay he is tortured and brainwashed by the Capitol. At first I liked Gale better than Peeta. Gale Hawthorne, Katniss's best friend and hunting partner in District 12. But by the end I was agreeing with Katniss. What she needed to survive was not Gale's fire. It was hope. Only Peeta could give her that. Gale was bitter and resentful. Understandable, but he didn't grow from his bad experiences, he just smouldered with anger. In Mockingjay there were some things he did I really didn't like. He was becoming cruel.
I think one of my favourite characters has to be Primrose Everdeen. She's sweet, compassionate and brave. She loves caring for animals and people. Unlike Katniss she is a great nurse, and it's amazing how much she grows up and matures over the course of the three books.
Katniss's Capitol friends, who she thought she would hate but ended up liking them: Effie Trinket, bustling, stylish, official; Cinna, her dreamy, brilliant stylist who ends up losing his life because of Katniss; her prep team, silly, clueless and helpless victims. 
Haymitch, a former victor in the Hunger Games. Drunk and depressed, drowning his horrible memories in liquor. He and Katniss fight a lot, but he is her mentor in the Games and makes sure she gets what she needs.
Then of course there are her fellow tributes: Cato, Clove, Thresh, "Foxface," Rue, and others. A bunch of the stronger tributes team up at first to pick off the weaker kids. The first death is horrible, but as the books go on, they become so frequent that soon it's nothing new anymore.
These books are violent and horrible, but I thought the violence was dealt with in a way that showed how awful it was. It wasn't gratuitous. The Capitol has become desensitized to evil. Is our culture getting that way too? The theme of the book isn't killing. It's what it does to you if it becomes normal, if it's what you have to do to survive. President Snow is an antagonist: a man who manipulates Katniss and Peeta and others to show his power. In the third book they discover that District 13 is in fact inhabited. And it's preparing for revolution. All the books are difficult reads, but especially the last one. Either I was crying, about to cry or I had a sick feeling in my stomach. Each character was real: Johanna, Beetee, Finnick. Katniss becomes the symbol of the revolution, the Mockingjay. Her aim is to kill Snow. By the end of the book Katniss is a mess. She's hurt physically and emotionally, and one of the biggest themes of the book was that war is not glorious. It's horrible and anyone who goes through it will be changed for life. One moment where I really, really didn't like her was when she voted yes to holding a Hunger Games for the Capitol children.(That didn't happen, thankfully.) There is a ray of hope at the end, though. The Hunger Games were abolished. 

Deep in the meadow, under the willow 
A bed of grass, a soft green pillow 
Lay down your head, and close your sleepy 
And when again they open, the sun will rise. 
Here it's safe, here it's warm 
Here the daisies guard you from every harm 
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true 
Here is the place where I love you. 

Please comment and tell me if you've read these. What are your thoughts?

Friday, 13 June 2014

I didn't know what to call this post.

Hello readers! I'm back with a highly intelligent post as you can see by the title. I'm going to combine several things into one post like the amazing multi-tasker I am (not) and so here goes.
First, my sister Eponine(not her real name) has made a blog! It's called My Castle On A Cloud. Follow the link and check it out!
Second, the P&P95 Forever Club is aiming for 100 followers! If you haven't followed this amazing Pride and Prejudice 1995 fan blog, do so with speed, for once the desired goal is attained, there is to be a Grand and Glorious Giveaway!! So go here and become a member!
Thirdly I have been tagged by my other sister.

1. Les Miserables or Pride & Prejudice?
Don't ask. Just don't ask.2. Who is your favourite period drama gentleman? (P.S. Yes, Enjo is a gentleman in this case.)
Probably Mr. Knightley from Emma. He's down-to-earth, gentlemanlike (duh), witty and wise.
And his facial expressions are hilarious, especially in the scene where he scolds Emma.
3. Who is your favourite period drama woman/girl? (P.S. Not just 'heroines'.)
Tough question! I love Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood, basically any Austen heroine!

4. What period drama character would you like to meet in person, and why, and what would you say to them?
I would love to meet Frank Churchill and scold him roundly, because nobody really did it in Emma. I would also love to meet Mr. Collins and discuss Rosings and Fordyce's Sermons, just for laughs.

5. What period drama actor/actress would you like to meet in person, and why, and what would you say to them?
I would love to meet Imelda Staunton because she is funny and a great actress. She has played at least two hilarious period drama characters: Miss Pole (Cranford) and Mrs. Palmer ( Sense and Sensibility 1995) and mainly I would talk to her about those roles. 

I'd also love to meet the stars of Les Mis and talk about singing, acting and cool accents:-)

And now for my questions:
1. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you like to be?
2. What is your favourite vegetable?
3. Would you rather live in a fairytale castle or a Regency mansion?
4. If your best friend was a period drama character, who would he/she be?
5. What is your favourite book of all time?

I'm tagging:

Anyone else can do this tag if they want:-) Adieu!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Period Drama Confessions

Thankyou Naomi for suggesting this post!! 
So I have a few confessions to make about period dramas I've seen.
Number one: I like Cynthia Kirkpatrick. She made some mistakes, but she isn't a villain.

Number two: I defend Russell Crowe's Javert. This has nothing to do with the fact that he's a New Zealander, dear readers. I know his voice leaves a lot to be desired but it's perfect for the part he plays: harsh, rough and deep. And as far as looks go, he's extremely Javert-ish.

While we're on the topic of Les Mis....
I am not over-fond of Marius. Not even Eddie Redmayne's, even though he is my far the best of them. I have yet to find the perfect Marius of the book. And don't get me wrong, I do like him, just not as much as Certain Others who shall be Nameless. :-)
I really, really like Eponine, as well as Cosette. Some people can't stand Eponine and think Cosette is boring. Cosette is not boring! She's charming and the book says she is 'brave and wild at heart'.
Number five: I like Eowyn better than Arwen in the Lord of the Rings. She's just much more interesting and a bit of a tomboy. Is it only me who thinks she should have married Aragorn? I do like Faramir, however.
Query: is LOTR a period drama? Oh well, it's my blog.

I can't think of too many more at present, but if I do, Part Two will be posted:-)
What are your Period Drama Confessions?