Friday, September 16, 2011

Review: Shiver

Maggie Stiefvater
Read September 2011

My best friend told me about Shiver some time ago. She said that Maggie, Shiver's author, wrote in a way that was lyrical. That she wrote in a way that made each work much like a song. I believed her, but I did not fully appreciate that statement till I read it for myself.

Maggie Stiefvater had become one of my favorite people through reading her thoughts and words in her blog. After I was shown a few posts by said friend, I was hooked. I read her blog all the way through, starting with the beginning. Each post fed my curiosity over the Mercy Falls Trilogy. Finally, I snagged a copy of Shiver and it was most certainly worth the long wait and lengthy anticipation.

Becca was right. Shiver is a song. I felt that the entire time I read it. I soaked the novel in—it only taking me a day to read it. I don't really have any complaints against it other than felt a slight compression in the work. While I realize it is a young adult novel, I do think it would have flourished to a whole new and amazing level if it was given more room.

Stiefvater sings a mosaic of of characters, paints a vivid world, and speaks beauty into our souls through this work.


“As the hours crept by, the afternoon sunlight bleached all the books on the shelves to pale, gilded versions of themselves and warmed the paper and ink inside the covers so that the smell of unread words hung in the air.” -Maggie Stiefvater

“And leaving you (there aren't words to untangle it)
Your life, fearful and immense and blossoming,
so that, sometimes frustrated, and sometimes understanding,
Your life is sometimes a stone in you, and then, a star.” -Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie being awesome:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins
August 2011

Catching Fire is the second book in Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games Trilogy. A dystopia set very far in 'our' future. Collins pulls us back into the world of the Hunger Games and it is extremely worth it. I think she pulls off a feat of creating a sequel that is better than the prequel. Don't you love it when you read or watch a sequel and expect to be sorely let down yet you get a great surprise? I do.

As we are brought back into the feel of the first book, I do believe I enjoyed this one much better. The characters were sound in their personalities and development after the events of the first book. Her writing was as vibrant as ever, and I liked the whole new feel we got by adding past victors! In fact, that was and will remain one of my favorite aspects of the novel. I have this weakness for when the best of the best get together and duke it out. I also liked seeing the darker psychological side of politics and the Capital from a first-hand perspective as well. Also, I really enjoyed the new characters, especially Finnick.

There is one scene that had me so captivated and moved that I was in tears. Peeta is holding a dying morphling and telling her all of the colors he had created, and as he talks to this dying girl, the beauty of each color comes alive to us as she responds to each and everyone one of the descriptions with a child-like captivation. Peeta spends the last few moments of her life telling her about how he's working on creating a rainbow. The utter innocence that is displayed here is so raw as we see two hearts displayed over something so simple as one soul passes into the next.

Some of my favorite quotes:

"The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol's plans. The symbol of the rebellion." --Suzanne Collins

"At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.The hard thing is finding the courage to do it." --Suzanne Collins

I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a quick read, or who likes psychological novels.