For my 28th birthday my friend Chloe gave me a paint-your-own garden gnome and a set of books that I had never heard of before. Chloe always gives amazing, absolutely perfect-for-Kristy presents. She knows me well, and she nails it every time. So when she said to me 'it's teen fiction - you'll love it' I trusted her completely.
I read the entire trilogy over the Christmas period and thoroughly enjoyed it. They had me totally hooked. I am a very slow reader and it was near impossible for me to put them down. So for me, that meant a lot of late nights. Thankfully I had some extra days off work which allowed me some lengthy book reading time.
If you are a lover of fantasy books (Think Harry Potter, True Blood, Twilight etc) then you definitely need to read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Whilst I enjoyed reading the Twilight series, I found Bella to be a frustrating and weak female lead, and what is wonderful about The Hunger Games is the strong female protagonist in the form of Katniss Everdeen. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, The Hunger Games is a live televised reality tv event where teenagers who have been drawn from a lottery, are forced to fight to the death. Only one is left alive. I found it to be a fascinating and thought provoking comment on war, peace and human nature.
I have personally recommended these books to a bunch of people. Those who have read it, have loved it. So I feel totally confident in my recommending it to you. It was released in 2008 (how did I not find it before now?!) and has been on many best-seller lists for an extended period of time. There is a movie being made at the moment, and hopefully it will do the books justice. Though every time I hope for that, I have to remind myself that everyone knows a movie is never as good as a book. I'm so glad Chloe got me to read the books before the movie came out.
Speaking of movies that don't do the books justice, after I finished The Hunger Games, I backed it up with One Day by David Nicholls (a Christmas present from Adam). I became very emotionally invested in this book.
It's not for everyone, but I loved it. I woke up really early one morning and just had to finish it... and then post completing it, proceeded to cry for pretty much the whole day. There was something that connected with me and affected me quite deeply, but I can't really tell you without ruining the entire book, so I'll just leave it be. And to be honest, it might make me cry again, and there is no point torturing myself any further. Adam and I watched the movie a week or two later, and whilst it wasn't bad, as I said before, I didn't really feel that it did the book justice. Whilst the screenplay was actually written by the author of the book, the movie seemed to miss all my favourite parts, and kept the boring bits. In the book the male character was extremely flawed but you still really liked him. In the movie, for me - he was just flawed.
As you can see, the wicked witch bookmark I made has been getting a good work out. But unfortunately I did not predict the possibility of my 6-foot-something brother laying on top of it, when I left it on the bed in the caravan. The card board started to tear and they were never quite the same after that.
I persisted with using it for a while, but in the end I had to admit defeat and put them away for later, in my super adorable little random crap box that Mum gave me for Christmas.
Cute box, don't you think? It's even cuter when you realise that it's actually labelled as 'random crap':
Uh! LOVE it :) Truth is, my Mother is also a spectacular present buyer. I am so lucky to have so many loved ones, who know me so damn well and spoil me to the absolute brink of becoming rotten. I like to think that I am a good gift giver in return (Ahem. Remember the Lego USB's I showed you here and here?).
I do plan to resurrect the wicked witch, but this time I will be sure to laminate the card to avoid a recurrence.
Mind you... there is no 6-foot-something brother around to lay on it anymore :(
May the odds be ever in your favour.