This month was a big reading month since I had some free time around the holidays. I read 5 full length books and one short story. I decided to take the time around the holidays to read The Hunger Games trilogy again. I finished Catching Fire as I write this post, with plans to finish Mockingjay by Midnight on New Years Eve so I reach my Goodreads goal of 52 books read in 2013. In a week or so, I will write about my favorite books in 2013. It will be hard to choose! Anyways, happy new year and enjoy the book reviews. Allegiant by Veronica Roth - Allegiant isn't on my list of favorite young adult books, but it does wrap up the series well. I was not a fan of the point of view switching between Tris and Tobias. It felt disjointed to me and didn't allow me to get into the story as well as the first two. I also found the world of factions intriguing so I was disappointed the last book took place outside the faction society. However, I think Roth concluded the series well by wrapping up the story well without leaving tons of loose ends. In that way, I was a satisfied reader. Overall, the Divergent series is worth reading through the finish. It's a fun, action packed series that makes you think. 4 out of 7 stars. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson - The Way of Kings is the first book in an epic fantasy series by Brandon Sanderson. The book is definitely epic in length at a dense 1000 pages. Sanderson builds a complex and intriguing fantasy world in the first book. We learn about the landscape, the cities, the battles, and the people. The character development was great; you truly get inside the heads of the characters and I was never lost switching between the various viewpoints. But at times, I felt the book had too much world building and setup, especially in the first half. I wanted to get to the action. However, the book finishes spectacularly and I was disappointed to learn the second in the series isn't available until March of 2014. If you like LOTR or Game of Thrones, this is a series to check out. 5 out of 7 stars.
Vampire Zombie Claus by Randy Shaffer - Vampire Zombie Claus is a fun twist on the story of Santa Claus. I enjoyed reading the short story and the creative spin on Kris Kringle using the vampire lore. The story was well-written and the ending left me wanting more. For only $0.99, pick it up for a fun read. 6 out of 7 stars.
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - After seeing the first two movies, I found my respect for the filmmakers and the author both grew. I really think the film adaptations are great. Of course, they had to cut some material and make it work for the screen, but the core story remains the same. Well done Hollywood.
As for the books, I find Katniss much more vulnerable and likeable. I also think Peeta is a stronger character in the books (although in the second movie they do a better job with him). The storyline is fantastic. Love these books. Worth reading again and again! 7 out of 7 stars.
As always, I'm always up for book recommendations and would love to know what you are reading!