Five things we’ve learnt from Mockingjay Part Two

Copyright Lionsgate

OK, things we’ve learnt is pushing it. More of a ‘five things that I noticed that were interesting from Mockingjay Part 2’-but I can’t really use that as a title now, can I? I was a fan of the book, not so much Part 1 (also reviewed at that link). The compilation of thoughts varies from some interesting interpretations to general points, but does contain spoilers (sorry about that), so if you haven’t read the books or seen the film, be warned…

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Review-‘An Abundance of Katherines’ (John Green)

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Image from Goodreads

I doubt that there are many books with a premise as downright bizarre as John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines. John Green, as most readers will be aware, writes these teen angst stories very well in my (limited) experience of him, and I enjoyed Paper Towns when I read it. Yet reading this quirky book, I found myself reminded of another book, similarly quirky, and just as gripping. Was Green just trotting out a book with superficial tweaks to the plot which had worked wonders to him before?

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Review of Mockingjay (Susanne Collins)-book and film review

Mockingjay
Image from Goodreads

I think everyone has heard of The Hunger Games. The sales figures for the books are said to number 50 million, but the films grossed $1,169,814,624. That’s over one billion dollars, add on another few hundred million for the books, and you’re looking at a book that everyone’s heard of. It sparked off a craze for dystopian books, particularly amongst the young adult genre as it seemed that us teens enjoyed thinking about how bad the future could be. I have previously read all three of the trilogy, I decided to re-read the third, Mockingjay. Susanne Collins has done a fantastic job with the writing, though it is slightly odd in several ways.

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Overpriced, exploitative and irritating-a poor read

From Goodreads
From Goodreads

I will tell you straight away I disliked this book-strongly. Gabrielle Lord’s Conspiracy 365- February hit pretty much all the wrong notes with me. Lord seems to have had an idea, which she then attempted to milk by publishing 12 books on that one idea. As regards the plot-what plot?-there was nearly no development in the story line as the attempt to string it out over 12 books leads to each individual book having a lot of drama and action but little actual plot. It’s all very exciting, but it seemed poor. I’m sorry to lambast a book in this way, but this was poor.

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A moving and emotionally charged masterpiece

From Amazon
From Amazon

A novel narrated by death. I was more than a little cynical before reading, for it sounded more than a little like a gimmick to me. How wrong I was. From the first-especially the “small fact” that “you are going to die”, to the last, I was hooked. Captivated. Drawn in by Markus Zusak’s intriguing tale The Book Thief. This is not a normal book. This is something special, something magical, something to be treasured. An instant classic, the wartime drama stars Liesel, a small girl growing up in wartime Germany. Her brother died in front of her, and her parents are gone. All she has is a foster home near Munich.

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Incredible true tale of World War II double agent

From 'The Times'
From ‘The Times’

It was Mark Twain who said that “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t”. Never has this held true more than in the case of Eddie Chapman, a figure whose story is so impossible, that MI5 stated that his tale was “different. In fiction it would be rejected as improbable”. In Agent Zigzag, Ben Macintyre has woven together the threads of a story which brings an entirely new level to the word ‘unbelievable’. It could be a blockbuster Hollywood spy film, complete with near constant explosions. But it’s not-because it’s all true, Chapman was probably the most successful British double agent in the war, and one of the best in history.

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Thrilling, gripping, fast-paced romp

From Goodreads
From Goodreads

I found Rayven T. Hill’s Justice for Hire whilst looking for free Kindle books, (despite there supposedly being no such thing as a free lunch), and initially, I felt this was being proved here. I had thought this would have some element of ‘whodunnit’ in, but was severely mistaken. This was a thriller, there’s no mistaking that from when you start reading. It was a surprisingly good read, particularly for a free book. It wasn’t the best book I’ve read, but it was far from the worst.

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Death on a football pitch

Review of I’m Still Standing (Fabrice Muamba)

Sourced from Goodreads

Fabrice Muamba united a sport. On 17 March 2012, Muamba died on a football pitch. Within hours, hundreds, thousands of fans from all over the world sent their support, from Barcelona to Bolton. For a few days, football was united over a common cause: praying for Muamba.

Shown here is the immediate reaction to Muamba’s death (though it is quite long), and the immediate unification of both sets of supporters and staff.

I’m Still Standing is Muamba’s account of the experience, from his father being persecuted by the enemies of a previous president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mobutu, to Muamba’s return to White Hart Lane, the scene of his collapse.

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Review of ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ (John Buchan)

ThirtyNineSteps
Image from Wikimedia Commons

The spy thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps’ is a truly ageless book. Never out of print-despite first being published 100 years ago-and subject to numerous adaptations for stage and screen: notably Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 masterpiece, Buchan’s masterpiece has also been adapted into three other films, and a TV series (though most took great liberties with the plot lines). There are very few books which I would be happy to sit and read once, and read several times more because of the sheer fun of the thing.

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Review of ‘I Am a Dalek’ (Gareth Roberts)

Dalek
Dalek. Image from Wikimedia Commons

I recently found this short novel-a ‘Quick Reads’-whilst looking for some books to dispose of (a sad, bad day). Very much a product from its time-eight years ago-it features David Tennant and Billie Piper (as The Doctor and Rose respectively) from the hit TV show Doctor Who in a book (not an adaptation of any particular episode, simply using the characters from the TV show).

This promised to be good-renowned characters with good background and development already there in the TV show. The first indicator of what is to come is the large font size-I know this is designed to help get people reading more, so aimed at young adult-or younger, but size 14 (or larger) seems to be warning me that the author had to fill pages.

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