Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “post apocalyptic dystopia”

loopyker’s #CBR4 Review #11: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games coverI had this review ready to publish last week, but after the recent tragic news about the Newtown shootings in the US I took some time to rethink it. I don’t think that event changes my feelings about about my review below. I feel that despite the violence in the book, The Hunger Games is more relevant to our current-day reality TV and our culture of competition and voyeurism than to school shootings or violence against children specifically. But the media attention around such events has haunting similarities.

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I finally got on the bandwagon and had my first experience with The Hunger Games. I listened to Book 1 as an audiobook. Prior to that I had managed to avoid most of the hype. I didn’t want to ruin it for myself if I ever did read the book or watch the movie. I hadn’t heard of the book until the movie came out, but several friends had, and loved both the books and the movie, so I was curious but the general description of children having to fight to the death just created Lord of the Flies flashbacks, so I wasn’t seriously interested. I absolutely hated Lord of the Flies reading it in class in early high school. I reread it once later to see if I had a different opinion as an adult. I didn’t.

I’m very happy to say that The Hunger Games was a completely different experience. I’m not sure if it was because the viewpoint for The Hunger Games was a girl vs the boys in The Lord of the Flies, or maybe it was because there was a much better back story for the characters leading up to the fighting so that you cared about them a lot more. I have no intention of re-reading The Lord of the Flies for a more direct comparison. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, I think that what stuck with me in The Lord of the Flies was the cruelness of the children, whereas in The Hunger Games is it is the compassionate moments that stay with you afterwards. I much prefer the latter.

The Hunger Games is told from the point of view of a 17 year old girl, Katnis. She has been the head of her family since her father died when she was 11 years old and her mother went into a depression. They live in a poor, post-apocalyptic North American, coal mining community called District 12. Districts 1 thru 12 each specialize in a different industry and are controlled by The Capitol, mainly through keeping them in extreme poverty.

Read the rest of the review at Loopy Ker’s Life

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TylerDFC #CBR4 Review 25 #The Giver by #Lois Lowry

In Jonas’ community all choice has been taking away from the citizens. Each year the children achieve a new milestone and new responsibilities until age 12 when they learn what their role in the community will be and start training to that end. Young Jonas is selected to be the community’s new Receiver. That responsibility, and the secrets he learns in this training, force him to confront everything he believes and question everything he has ever known.

The Newberry Award winning young adult book, The Giver, is a very quick read. It is well written and mysterious and does a good job of sucking the reader in to the mysterious world of the story. When Jonas meets the current Receiver, a nameless old man who asks Jonas to call him Giver, he learns that a Receiver is the keeper of the memories of the world. Slowly the Giver transfers his memories to Jonas beginning with a memory of someone sledding down a hill. Jonas experiences these memories as if he is living them and after the memory is complete he is now the sole possessor of the memory. Once the Giver shares the memory with Jonas it is gone from the Giver’s mind. These pleasant experiences soon give way to ones of pain and suffering. It is the Receiver’s burden to keep the memories of the past so that the citizens of the community are unencumbered. Through these memories Jonas sees the hypocrisy of the community and questions if he can go on with the knowledge he has now.

The premise is interesting and fans of post-apocalyptic fiction will enjoy it. The Giver is the first novel in a loosely connected series. I haven’t read the other 3 books yet but I plan to even if for no other reason than the ending leaves everything hanging and nothing answered.

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