Previously I had been reading Catching Fire, the 2nd book in the Hunger Games series. Although it was an excellent book, I have been interested in reading the Fault In Our Stars and decided to make the switch. It has received great reviews and honors and I am excited to get into the middle of it. I have heard John Green online before through his Youtube channel and like his personality. I definitely can see how he could have a knack for writing.
I am only 1 chapter in so far. The main character is Hazel, a 17 year old girl with cancer scattered around in her lungs. She is depressed and fairly obsessed with the notion of death, considering this is near in her future. Her mom really cares for her and worries about her introverted nature. She forces Hazel to start attending a focus group for cancerous teens, which Hazel dreads every week. It's the same pattern of hearing about the leader of the group and his struggles, matched with the repeated answers of how the kids are doing every week. Everything changes when Augustus Walters steps into the room. He is a friend of Isaac, who is the closest thing Hazel has to a friend in the group. Augustus is different. He also has cancer, but he's not like the other boys. He is intelligent and quirky, quick to make himself known to Hazel. He tells her she is beautiful right off the bat, which takes Hazel by surprise. She is attracted to him though both physically and through his unique personality. As the chapter ends, Hazel is headed to Augustus's house to watch a movie, a big move for her normally non-existent social life.
Just from the 1st chapter I can tell that I'm going to get into this book. The reading is engaging, with a balance of subtle humor and the true reality of her life. I already know the book is centered around the relationship between Hazel and Augustus and their lives with cancer, and I am interested to see how it unfolds.
Katniss's entourage arrives and sweeps her away to prep for the oncoming tour. Katniss knows that she must sell the love that she and Peeta have to the public. Her family and district are in danger if she isn't able to convince the public that she defied the games for love. The capitol will not put up with any type of rebellion. Katniss and Peeta arrive at district 11, the farming district, on their first stop in the tour. Peeta goes off-script and promises the families of the dead contestants a portion of their winnings. Katniss follows this up by giving a passionate thank you to the families, because she was especially close to Rue, one of the contestants in this district. District 11 responds by saluting the two in the way Katniss saluted Rue's death in the games. This is seen as rebellion and the Capitol executes several people on the spot after it happens. Haymich takes Katniss and Peeta aside, and Katniss explains everything to them. All about how their lives are in danger and they must sell their love to the public.
As the story picks up, Katniss is hunting for Gale's family, one that is very close to her. Gale has been Katniss's best friend, but since the Hunger Games commenced things have been different. Katniss is currently in a romantic struggle between Gale and Peeta and doesn't know what to do. She is forced to love Peeta in front of the public and she is growing feelings for him. However, she grew up with Gale and can't deny loving him. Both Gale's and Katniss's fathers were killed in the same mining explosion. Gale is now forced to mine to support his family, and Katniss is hunting for them to get something on their table. After she finishes hunting, Katniss goes to wake Haymitch, a personal friend and helper in her public appearance. He is a drunkard but invaluable to Katniss because he was responsible for saving her life in the Hunger Games.
I have recently started reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. It is the 2nd book in the Hunger Games series.
To start off this book blog I feel I need to give some history on the Hunger Games series for this second book to truly make sense. In the first book, entitled The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen lives in a dystopian future where the area in which she lives in divided up into 12 districts. She lives in district 12, a poor district where the people try and etch out a living day to day. The other districts are similar in this regard and are all ruled by the capital. The capital hosts the "Hunger Games" annually and Katniss participated in it the previous year. In these games the 24 contestants, 1 boy and 1 girl from each district, fight to the death in an enclosed area where strategy is key. Katniss and Peeta, a boy from district 12 as well, win the Hunger Games. Although there is supposed to be only 1 victor, Katniss and Peeta won the public's affection in showing their love affair during the games. For this reason, the capital allowed 2 winners just this one time. Katniss also had a previous relationship with Gale, another boy from her district. She is conflicted about her feelings between Peeta and Gale. Book 2 picks up 6 months after Katniss and Peeta won the hunger games.
The capitol hosts a victory tour every 6 months after the annual hunger games commence. It is this time of the year when book 2 kicks off. Katniss is still living in district 12, however her life has changed drastically from what it was just a year ago. Instead of living in poverty, her family now has everything they will ever need. Just a small reward for winning the hunger games. Katniss is not adjusting to this new life well. She misses the old times when she would have to provide for her family, and family unity was something more than it is now. There was a kind of satisfaction to it. But for now she must go on the victory tour, traveling district to district to greet the peoples. She is loathing this but knows to stay alive she must agree to it. The capitol is not gracious.
I read the 1st Hunger Games book a while ago. I really enjoyed it. The concept of arena warfare that Suzanne has created is quite interesting. However the way that Katniss and Peeta were able to maintain a relationship was even more impressive. She has sculptured the characters love interests in a frustrating way. Katniss has several options in her life. This format sucks in the reader and I am excited to dive into the 2nd book.
Eragon and Brom find Brom's old friend, Jeod. They explain their plan to him about tracking down the trade orders. Brom claims that this is a near impossible task but he will try to assist in any way. Jeod and Brom reminiscence over their adventures while Eragon is out and they become very secretive about the old stories, almost as to hide Brom's secrets from Eragon. Eragon however uses an eavesdropping spell to overhear Brom mentioning sending a letter to someone named "Ajihad". The traveling duo board up at Jeod's house while they continue searching for information. The next day, Eragon visits Angela's herb shop, the business of a lady he had met earlier. She ends up revealing herself to be a fortune teller. A genuine fortune teller. She explains that his future is very mixed up. He is to engage in a great love relationship and live a long life. However much disaster and an uncertain ending to his life are worrying.
Once again, Brom is keeping secrets. He and Jeod very obviously are keeping information from Eragon. I am just curious who Ajihad is and how he will help their cause in tracking down the Ra'zaac. I would like more interaction with Saphira as well. She seems to be becoming impatient and I worry that her relationship with Eragon is suffering.
Eragon heals up enough to go off on his own. His uncle died as he watched and Eragon decides to hunt down the murderers and kill them. As he leaves he runs into Brom, the storyteller. Brom insists on accompanying Eragon on his adventures, for the "storyteller" has figured our Saphira's existence. Personally, I believe Brom was a former dragonrider. He displays a remarkable amount of knowledge by telling Eragon everything he needs to know in every small detail. However, Brom refuses to answer how he knows what he knows. As the reader this is somewhat frustrating. It makes me want to know his past desperately. Assuming this will be answered eventually, I press on in the book. Eragon and Brom go off on their quest for revenge to kill the Ra'zac. Brom has revealed the name and nature of their opponents, explaining their power and cunning. Eragon sees that they are no ordinary foe and will not be easy to track and kill. Brom says that they work for Galbatorix and once word reaches him he will have to try and either kill or recruit Eragon.
Eragon's sudden desperation to track and kill the Ra'zac surprised me. Sure, they killed his uncle but still to launch into such a life-changing journey, which he is well aware of, is quite the bold move.
While Eragon is at the trading bazaar, a famous storyteller of Caravel, Brom, goes on stage to tell wonderful stories of the dragon riders of old. He explains the rise of the dragon riders and their ultimate demise through an ex-rider, Galbatorix. Eragon returns home with Roran and Garrow. When home, Eragon decides to further examine the stone he had found. At this time it begins to shake and crack, and a little dragon pops out of what was actually an egg. Eragon begins to raise it in secret, bringing it food and creating shelter for it outside in the words. They start forming a bond and are able to communicate telepathically. The dragon grows rapidly. At this time Roran leaves for a temporary job and Eragon accompanies him to Caravel where he will be leaving from. Eragon uses this time to ask Brom questions about dragons. Although he carefully words them to not bring on suspicion, Brom slowly begins to catch on to what has happened. Shortly later in Caravel, two hooded strangers ask locals questions about the egg. They spot Eragon looking at them and see him for what he really is, a dragon-rider in the making. These strangers are crawling with evil. Eragon races home and tells Saphira, the new name for his dragon, what has happened. She panics, remembering the death these strangers have brought to her kind in the past, and launches into the air flying deep into the forest with Eragon on her back. This first flight has injured Eragon badly all over his leg. Once she recovers emotionally over night they fly home to find the farm destroyed with Garrow in critical condition. Eragon struggles to walk the long distance to Caravel with Garrow on his back and severe injuries plaguing him. He declines Saphira's help because he doesn't want her to be seen. Brom finds him passed out and brings the two to Horst's house, a family friend. Garrow remains in critical condition and the Horst boys offer to travel off to tell Roran the news.
For my 1st semester SSR I have started reading Eragon, by Christopher Paolini.
The storyline followers the life of the protagonist, a 15 year old named Eragon. The book is based in a fictional world where humans still relied on farming and hunting to provide for their own nourishment. Traders would traverse the mountainous countryside, going village to village several times a years. The landscape and time period takes on the feel of a Medieval era in time. Winter is just beginning to strike as the story begins. Eragon is returning from a several day long hunt, in search of meat for the winter. Although he comes home without food, he stumbled across a beautiful and glowing stone while hunting in the Spine. The spine was an area in the mountains riddled with mystery and strange happenings, often attributed to magic. Villagers generally avoided this area as to not bring any bad luck on themselves. Eragon was not bothered by the Spine in the least bit, although he did experience some strange happenings in his adventures through it. The latest of these strange encounters was the discovery of the glowing stone. In a sporadic mid-air explosion the rock appeared out of thin air right next to Eragon. After tucking it in his bag he began to hike back to his home outside of Carvahall, the nearest village to his house. A good-natured and brave young man, Eragon was no stranger to hard work, even for a 15 year old boy. When reaching home, his brother, Roran, and his uncle have to wait out the time until the traders come by, in order to restock on supplies. Once the traders arrive in the village, they bring talk of an uprising of Urgals, an enemy to the Empire. Generally, these evil creatures never dared to cross borders and attack in any real organization. However, now they are rumored to be attacking more often and have spies at their disposal. These stories spread through Carvahall quickly after the traders explained them. Some villagers believed them, although many did not. (This is the point I am up to in the story) I find the book enjoyable due to the setting and intriguing storyline. Eragon, being such a young boy, inspires the reader through his bravery and self-sufficient nature. Since I am close in age it allows me to relate even more so.