The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

The nation of Panem (that used to be North America) is made up of 12 districts and the Capitol that rules them. Residents of The Capitol live a glamorous, fabulous lifestyle compared to the very poor, sorrowful lifestyle of the Districts. Every year, one boy and one girl (aged 12-18) from each District is forced to be in the Hunger Games, a televised game where it’s either kill or be killed. So, on the day of the Reaping, in her District 12, when Katniss’ sister Primrose gets chosen as that year’s tribute in the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place. The boy chosen was Peeta Mellark, who has seen Katniss within their district. At first, Katniss is okay with Peeta and considers him just a friend but, after Peeta comments regarding her on live television she has quite a surprising reaction, rethinking her original opinion of him. Leading up to the commencement of the Hunger Games, a former winner from district 12, Haymitch is mentoring them. He prepares them for the games, helping them throughout many challenges they encounter within the games with helpful gifts.

In an enthralling journey, Katniss Everdeen must fight for her life in order to survive. If she is the last one standing, it means a much better and richer life. If she loses it means definite death! That is what the Hunger Games is all about. Through extreme obstacles and variable terrains, Katniss and Peeta go through difficult decisions that their life will depend on. Who will be the one to survive? Who won’t make it home? It will all come down to life or death if Katniss wants to see her family again.

Being the first out of the three books in the series, it was surprisingly enjoyable and very hard to put down. This book has emotion, excitement and tension. But, in my opinion, there could’ve been more action and some events could’ve had a different outcome. I give this book 4 stars because it is very well written and is such an amazing adventure that the characters had to go through. I suggest reading this because of the conflicts, life and death struggles and how, combined, they brought forth unexpected emotions. Because of the mature content within the story I recommend this book for ages 12+. – Emma M.

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Push (The Game, #2)

Eve Silver

This book is the sequel to Rush.

Miki Jones is exhausted and stressed from The Game and The Committee’s cruel ways. The Game is where groups of teenage boys and girls are set out on missions to ambush The Drau, aliens that are planning to take over the earth (as if I haven’t heard that for the plot of every alien movie ever!). The whole process is in a form of a video game.

Things don’t make sense when Miki discovers that Jackson isn’t there but his jeep and keys are. Remember when Jackson would keep secrets from Miki in the previous volume? Well, that’s nothing compared to the number of secrets that The Committee is hiding from the players and humanity, secrets that simply don’t line up with the rules of The Game. Confusion isn’t nearly enough to start to describe what Miki is feeling. All the nightmares she begins to have about The Game, the strange events that follow it and her desperation to find Jackson is driving her crazy! Her mind is filled with question after question with barely enough answers to solve anything – questions like, maybe when your con goes red, you don’t necessarily die? That maybe the Drau aren’t the enemy after all? Let Eve Silver steer you down this wacky path of sci fi mystery that will make you dive right in and resurface with the determination to get your hands on the next book, Crash.

I adored this novel! The plot picked up right where it left off, starting off with the aftermath of the previous mission Miki, Jackson, Luka, Tyrone, Lien, and Kendra were part of. Last time I almost gave up Rush due to the fact it got boring for a bit, but in Push, it was so exhilarating that I barely put the novel down. Pure Genius. – Celine J.

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Rush (The Game, #1)

Eve Silver

Miki Jones enjoyed her ordinary life, unlike most girls. She had control over everything such as her weekday jogs and her strict healthy diet while being a homework queen. To be honest, right now she sounds like the perfect daughter that my mom would be yelling at me to be more like her. It wasn’t until she saved a little girl’s life that her own life went into chaos. She is brought into a game where she and a few other players – Jackson, Luka, Tyrone, and Richelle – are given a mission to terminate the Drau, beautiful extraterrestrials that are planning to destroy Earth. Questions obviously flood Miki after hearing this situation, and when her very “helpful” teammate agrees to answer some, they only lead to cryptic answers and even more questions which would infuriate anyone. These questions are keeping her mind distanced from reality and wondering more about Jackson, the leader of the group, as he is the one thing that keeps her awake at night, thinking that maybe her greatest enemy is her trusted leader.

Rush, as expected, was a fast-paced sci-fi adventure. It started off normal for the first few pages then the plot kicked in a little, after that it slowed down to a pace where I was starting to get bored of her ordinary and controlled lifestyle. Eventually, the book picked up again and became exhilarating and continued for the rest of the book. I understand that the main character can’t always be in eventful situations twenty-four seven, or that would be boring, but there was a part where it almost got too boring to continue reading, so I’ll leave this novel at four stars. The author represented a teenager’s lifestyle precisely as it included some high school drama and dealing with friendships with other personal problems even though usually they aren’t about saving the world from an alien invasion. In the end, Rush is an exceptional novel that I would recommend to sci-fi lovers. – Celine J.

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Continue with the next book in the series, Push!

Idols

Margaret Stohl

This is the sequel to Icons.

Dol, Ro, Lucas, and Tima have destroyed the first Icon base with the help of Fortis, their merk and leader of the rebellion. Destroying the first base led to their mission of taking out all other icons, the next one being in the middle of a canyon. Where one path ends, another begins as Dol has a reoccurring dream that is driving her crazy with suspicion. Dol also must choose between Ro or Lucas as confirmed from the last book that she is in love with both. The more time the Icons spent with Fortis, the more they realize how much they don’t know much about their merk friend and how many secrets that he hides. Secrets that are about them, about the Lords and how he may not be their friend after all…

I found Idols a very interesting book. It is very like the previous book, having tons of adventure and action, and the pressure we see put upon Dol as she is their leader. We also see the romance she has with Ro from the first book and how it affects her with Lucas in this book. We also see how Dol is very confused with her emotions for the two as the series is based on the emotions of these four teens. I did prefer the first book to this one just because the plot in this book floated off into a sci-fi romance theme. I also was disappointed in a way from the ending of this book was very sudden, leaving a lot of loose ends. I personally enjoyed Idols but was slightly disappointed at the ending; still is a book that I would recommend to anyone else. – Celine J.

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Icons

Margaret Stohl

Doloria has lived in the grasslands for as long as she remembers. Safe from the Icon and their terrifying immense power, she is showered with love from Padre, her pig Ramona Jamona, Bigger and Biggest at La Purisima and her best friend Ro. Dol could never imagine a life without them, but one truth will always remain with her, haunting her: she’s something else, different, as she survived while her biological family died on The Day. Why? Dol’s fate takes her on the path to that answer, to the Embassy — a task force off the coast of Metropolis, a city that was once called the city of angels. As the answer to one question is answered by a billion more questions, Dol seeks to find out what really happened on The Day? Who are the Icons? Why does she have a birthmark of a dot on her wrist? Who are the Lords? Dol soon starts to realize after each question is answered that she is meant for something that is way beyond her, a dangerous task that only a handful of people like her can do that might result in death.

I found this book extremely exciting, packed again with action and adventure even some science fiction and romance that will make you scream for the next book Idols. This book also showed a message that family doesn’t mean your own blood, which was a very nice touch given how suspenseful and action packed the book was. Truly an amazing book. – Celine J.

If you want to know what happens to Dol, check out the sequel, Idols!

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Salt & Stone

Victoria Scott

This is the sequel to Fire & Flood.

Tella Holloway has completed the first half of the race (two ecosystems: jungle and desert) and is moving on to the more difficult part of the race because living two weeks in the jungle and desert with a very high possibility of dying, isn’t enough for the cure that her sick older brother Cody needs to survive. Now Tella will trek through the two more difficult ecosystems, Ocean and Mountains, to remain a contender eligible to win the grand prize. With the help of her new-found friends from the jungle, Guy Chambers, Harper Shaw, Olivia Flinch, Jaxon Levine, and Braun Kirkland, they join as a team to overcome the obstacles of the ecosystems. Introducing a couple more characters, Tella will guide them through the harsh climates overcoming the events that scared her from the last book and learn secrets behind the race and among her friends. She starts to worry that they may not be her friends at all…

I prefer this book over Fire & Flood simply because the story starts to pick up more and is slightly more descriptive when there is action. This book, you’ll see has a lot more unexpected turns of events also making it slightly better than the first book. Overall the book Salt & Stone was very nerve-racking due to the anticipation of what will happen next and the secrets Tella’s teammates keep, wondering what they are. I would have given this book 5 stars but due to the ending and how this is the last book in the series I lower it down to 4. Still an amazing book. – Celine J.

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Fire & Flood

Victoria Scott

Tella Holloway is on the brink of insanity. Her brother Cody, has an illness that seems impossible to cure. Her family decided to move from Boston to the middle of nowhere. Possibly the fresh air of the great outdoors could help Cody recover. Unfortunately, that plan failed and is driving Tella crazy, desperate for a cure for her poor brother and things to go back to normal. As if her prayers and pleas have been answered, Tella gets invited as a contender to take part in the Brimstone Bleed, a dangerous race through four ecosystems all for the winning prize of the cure for any illness. The only problem was there can only be one champion and Tella’s determined to win, no matter what problems arise and what secrets are revealed that can change everything she ever thought of.

I personally enjoyed the book as it was very entertaining and adventure like with some exciting battle scenes. I also favor how there were accurate facts on survival skills because in most stories it is very inaccurate. This book also stood out for its relatability towards the reader as it included the struggles of being a teenager, spoiled with technology and how modern-day teens are compared to adults and children. Overall, the book Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott was packed with suspense, action, adventure, romance, friendships, teamwork struggles and the undying determination to do anything and everything for a person you care about.

If you like The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner series, you’ll love this! – Celine J.

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