• Reading

    Jane Austen Guides/Biographies Part 1

    The Jane Austen Handbook

    My city holds a Jane Austen festival every year, and I have been privileged to attend two of them. The author of this book gave a talk during the first one, and my grandmother bought me a signed copy. This books is a humorous guide to Jane Austen’s time, and I enjoyed it very much and continue to enjoy it. It is tinged with a touch of modern consciousness, but not enough to drive me wild (unlike the third book I will mention). This little adorable hardback offers information about all sorts of practices from the period regarding everything from inheritance to marriage to balls to servants. It also contains a brief description of all of Jane Austen’s works as well as a brief biography. There is a glossary of terms, lists of movie adaptations, and lists of other resources as well. I would highly recommend this book although I think you should find a way to borrow it, so you won’t have to sell it if you don’t like it (again, this is because of the third book in this post). It is perfect for skipping through after you have read it in its entirety.

    101 Things You Didn’t Know About Jane Austen

    With a title like that I was skeptical, but it was from Half-Price (sigh), and I am not exactly a Jane Austen expert yet, so I bought it. I was pleasantly surprised as the book had more information than I would have expected it to offer. If you have studied Jane Austen extensively, I would not recommend it-you might not benefit much, but for those who have only read brief biographies, I think borrowing this book would be a good move.

    Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury

    Don’t be drawn in by the cover-beauty can be deceptive after all! I seriously dislike this book. I have never yet returned a book before, but I am most definitely going to sell this back to Half-Price when I finish reading it. I first saw this book at Barnes and Noble, and the pretty color, intriguing layout, and items in the envelopes together made me desire to get the book at some point. I snatched it up when I saw it at Half-Price little thinking that I could even wish to return it. I always hate modern stances on historical things, and this book certainly takes a modern stance. I cannot stand how people cannot grasps different points of view. You simply cannot judge a different time period by the modern way of thinking-people thought differently then.There is no attempt to appreciate morals and historical differences; the authors has a condescending “we know better” attitude. That is gall number #1. Gall number #2 is the interpretation of the novel; would you mind just taking the novels as they are, woman? You don’t know what she was trying to say, and it is presumptuous of you to state with fact that certain trivial things are “lessons” rather than simple descriptions of daily life at the time! The book does not really have much to offer with regards to biographical information; it is mostly reviews/descriptions (fanciful ones in my opinion) about each of the novels.

  • Reading

    Anne of Green Gables Party Tag

    Miss Dashwood from Another Period Drama Blog is hosting an Anne of Green Gables week, and a tag was the fun from the first day.

    1. How many of the Anne books have you read, and how many of the films have you seen?

    I have seen one film adaptation (emphasis on adaptation), one blend of several books and absolute plagiarisms-I am not even joking-from the Little Women novel, and one atrocity bearing the AGG name.

    2. If someone yanked your hair and called you carrots, what would you do to him?

    Kick him and verbally tear his looks and character to shreds. Then “repent” later of my actions because they were undignified and showed that the guy could get a reaction out of me 😛

    3. What would you do if Josie Pye dared you to walk the ridgepole of a roof?

    I don’t know. I am kinda afraid of heights, and I am very unbalanced, so I might crawl across. If I was Anne’s age, I might not even try.

    4. If you had the opportunity to play any AGG character in a play who would it be?

    Philippa Gordon; she is hysterical.

    5. If you were marooned on a desert island, which AGG character would you want to have as a companion? (Anne, Gilbert and Diana are not options)?

    Philipa Gordon-just kidding she starve because she would not be able to decide what to eat. Hmm, maybe Walter or Jem Blythe or any of the Merediths except Una (I seriously did not care for her especially when I discovered her love for Walter).

    6. If there was going to be a new adaptation of the Anne books and you could have any part in making the movie, what would you choose to do? (screenwriting, acting, casting, costume-making are a few possibilities)?

    I would probably do casting, but I would also like directing and costumes.

    Did it drive anyone else nuts that Anne’s first puffed sleeved dress is blue (which is horrid for a red-head)? The book stated that the dress was a golden brown which was perfect for Anne. Anne in the movie for the most part did not have good costume colors; in the book she is frequently described as wearing green and yellow and brown which are her correct colors .

    I read/heard that the actress who played Diana auditioned for Anne but did not get the part because she was not Canadian. She would have been a much better Anne. Anne is supposed to have delicate features; Megan Follows was coarse-faced and common looking.

    7. What are, in your opinion, the funniest AGG book/movie scenes? (choose one from the books and one from the movies)?

    I enjoyed the mud scene in the second movie (Miss Dashwood also thought the mouse pudding warning scene was funny, but I find that one SO embarrassing).

    I cannot think of all the funny parts in the book, but I know some of my favorite are where Philippa is concerned. I enjoy the scene with her after Anne has just refused Gilbert. I also enjoyed the part when Philippa said she did not think Jonas would ask her to marry him, and she was trying to decide whether to pine away and die or be useful, and Anne tells her should could not possibly be useful so she’d better die. I also love the “Will ye hev me,” story.

    8. What are, in your opinion, the saddest AGG book/movie scenes? (choose one of each again)

    I did not think that most of the sorrowful movie scenes were well-done, so I suppose it was when Matthew and Marilla see Anne off to school? I don’t know.

    I know that Rilla of Ingleside was the saddest book, and Walter’s death was the saddest part of the book. L.M. Montgomery wrote this whole part so well; the part about the dog howling all night for Walter was amazing.

    9. Which AGG character would you most like to spend an afternoon with? (again, Anne and Gilbert and Diana are not options for this one–think secondary characters)

    Philippa Gordon (to be amused) or Kenneth Ford (to discover what his personality was like) or Walter Blythe (to try to understand him).

    10. What is your definition of a kindred spirit?

    Someone with whom I can both intelligently discuss all sorts of books and movies (I had a very-not kindred spirit meeting Sunday, and this literature point was one of the enlightening factors) and maybe with whom I can swoon over actors. The person also must be able to see wrong and ridiculous behavior and not be blinded because of any sort of bias; simply put, they must not be easily led or fooled. Besides this I must be able to trust the person entirely. Oh, and they must have some appreciation of beautiful things and old ways.

  • Reading

    Blog Party

    Miss Kellie from Accordion to Kellie is hosting a lovely blog party!
    Introduce yourself! Divulge your life’s vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!
    I am 21.5, and I was home schooled from Kindergarten until I graduated high school. I have been taking online college classes for about a year, and I am in my fifth semester. I am at the point when I need to choose a major, but I have no idea which I should choose (the majors I like don’t exactly match jobs I want, and the careers I like don’t really need a college degree). I am addicted to the Internet but still find time to read. My favorite genres are romantic classics and fantasy. I also enjoy crafts such as hand sewing, knitting, embroidery, and scrap-booking. I recently bought my first camera, a Nikon DSLR D3000, which I have not practiced with enough. I am a mix of Marianne, Lizzie, Emma, and Catherine Morland as far personality and characteristics go. I am trying to start to live completely organically; I have switched almost all my toiletries and makeup to organic brands (I want to start to make some of them myself), and I am working on switching to eating organically. I still need to develop a consistent personal style of which I am proud, but I love fashion anyway. I also love historical fashion.
    What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
    A girl with definite moral and personal standards. She knows what is right in her own being and is not unduly influenced by her authority figures or friends. She is dignified and hardworking and well-bred and cultured. She always eventually sees what she has done wrong (even if this is unrealistic) and attempts to make it right.
    Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.
    The first two characters I wish I could be like, the third is one I admire a little, and the last is one I just enjoy as a character.
    I want to be like Emily Byrd Starr of the Emily of New Moon trilogy. She is rather like Anne Shirley. I wish I was that gifted, sensitive, and elegant.
    Hermione Granger is an admirable character to me (I also have her bossy and sometimes tendencies). She is faithful to her friends through everything, she adores Ron even when there seems to be no hope, and she is a diligent learner of practical and applicable information which she actually uses (unlike many very intelligent “know-it-alls”).
    I do think Molly Gibson is a push-over, but I admire her tender-hearted nature and unselfishness (except when it causes her to do something rather wrong even though she does not quite know it is wrong). She endures much at the hands of Cynthia and her step-mother, and she suffers alongside the Hamley family in their troubles.
    I like Lizzie Bennet for seeing her prejudice when faced with the truth in such an unpleasant way and by such a (to her) repugnant person. I do not like her always; during my second or third reading of Pride and Prejudice her prejudice drove me nuts. I like that she is a heroine who does not allow selfish people to trample her under their feet.
    Five of your favorite historical novels?
    I will answer this question as historical fiction and not classics. I enjoy most of Rosemary Sutcliff’s works (she has two or so that are morally bad-very bad, so be very careful if you look up her books) such as Eagle of the Ninth and Warrior Scarlet. I also enjoyed The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Mara: Daughter of the Nile. (It feels like I should have read more historical fiction than those, but I cannot think of anymore-actually I had to be reminded of these! I really am lacking in this genre).
    Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why?
    Do I have to have a favorite? I have favorites (some mainly in comparison to other characters-for example I do not care overmuch for Marguerite) like Esca and Nat and Lord Sheftu and Percy.
    Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?
    Um, I think Esca and Nat are secondary characters.
    If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to – and what would you plan to do there?
    I would travel to Europe. If I had to restrict myself to a few places, I would pick Scotland and Ireland. I would want to visit all the castles and beaches and mountains and historical sites that I could. I would want to find sweet, quaint shops and restaurants. I would want to buy a Claddagh ring with an emerald. I would want to enjoy the accents and hear a couple people speak and sing in Gaelic.
    What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?
    I simply cannot have one favorite. I adore Celtic culture (which I have been informed is actually several cultures), and those cultures that have developed from it. I enjoy the Regency and Victorian eras with Colonial and Edwardian and the Britain of Rosemary Sutcliff all coming in second (I think).
    You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation – what is your act comprised of?
    I would recite something (part of a Walter Scott narrative poem probably) and blush before I said anything and blush when I started and blush when I stumbled. I would probably be deep crimson. Poise is not my strong point.
    If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?
    Well, I know I would pick someone from an older time, so that I could wear a lovely dress. I think perhaps I would choose (man, this is hard-I am drawing blanks for all these questions) Anne Shirley, so I could pick prettier styles (and more period correct also I think-they made the movies in the wrong century than the first books were set-it was her sons that fought in WWI after all) than they did in the movies (maybe I could even dye my hair read with henna and pick Anne’s true dress colors also something they did not do well in the movies-I enjoy some of the movies, but they were pitiful compared to the books and stole some lines and aspects from Little Women, the book).
    What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?
    Sometimes it is a need. And when it is a need, the need takes the form of a fine dark chocolate deficiency.
    Favorite author(s)?
    Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Frances Burney, Gene Stratton-Porter, L.M.Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Rosemary Sutcliff, N.D. Wilson, and J.K.Rowling.
    Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?
    Hmm, a camera would fall among essentials probably. My computer and journal would go.
    In which century were most of the books you read written?
    That is easy. The nineteenth and twentieth (in reverse order with regards to amounts probably).
    In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…
    Strong of character like I described the heroine as being. Trustworthy, entirely honest, not sappy, and quite funny…and brave of course.
    Describe your ideal dwelling place.
    In real life? No, that is too boooring. How about a castle in the mountains and hidden vine covered cottage in the mountains’ woods?
    Sum up your fashion style in five words.
    Classic, romantic, old-fashioned, soft, and elegant. (This is what I want it to be-the most accurate word for my style now is the middle term).
    Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?
    Yeah, I cannot think a good one (I mean one that I really want to change) right now, but there should not be so many Catherines in Wuthering Heights…oh and I prefer Flynn to Eugene any day.
    In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is…
    Chauvlin? Voldemort. I am sure there is a better, but I cannot think of one at the moment. Sauron…does he even count?!
    Three favorite Non-fiction books?
    Well, I don’t read many of those, and the ones I have as favorites are sadly shallow. I really like (emphasis on the term like as opposed to favorites-I have got problems) Color Me Beautiful, The Green Beauty Guide (although I have not read this cover to cover), and Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad.
    Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?
    I am afraid to say I would most likely spend it on the Internet. If I was good I would read or sew; we shall see if I am better employing my free time (which I won’t have any more of than now since I take summer classes) this summer.
    Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat – in such a way as will best portray your true character.
    My friends had this wonderful dress up box in which it was our delight to play. They had a darling black hat that I adored. I have tried to find what style hat it was but cannot find anything like it. If a pillbox hat and a certain type of military hat married and had a child, it would be my perfect hat. I think the best way to describe it would be a pillbox hat that had the ends pinched so that is was an oval rather than a circle. Hmm, if you want to read the paragraph as describing my true personality, well then, it must be literal and boring.
    Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.
    Life for me is pretty boring. In the past year all I can think of is our trip to Chicago (my first time), and my recent acquirement of almost full-time hours at work. No wait, I sold my first three items on etsy; I believe that brought a great deal of excitement.
    Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently
    I am not a Christian, but my parents and some of my siblings are. It was not a passage exactly that was “convicting” most recently, but a sermon on a section of Job about Job’s cruel comforters, and the wounds human tongues can deal out even when the perpetrator is only trying to help. I am dreadfully sharp-tongued.

  • Reading

    Jane Austen Party Tag

    I am joining in this lovely tag today.

    I am a full-time online college student hoping to transfer to a university next semester (currently-and I change my mind frequently-I wish to major in Jewelry and Metals). I am also a home school graduate. I enjoy the daily life details of history such as fashion and crafts. I enjoy handsewing, embroidery, and knitting. I enjoy reading on occasion, and period romance, fairytale re-tellings, and fantasy are my favorite genres to read.

    2. What literary character {whether it be in a film or book} would you say, most describes your personality and mannerisms?
    When I was a teenager, I was most definitely Marianne Dashwood mixed with Catherine Moreland. I still have a bit of Marianne I think, but I have also some Elizabeth Bennet and perhaps the choosiness of Margaret Hale (or I just wish). And I am afraid I have Kitty Bennet’s flightiness.

    3. What would you describe as the most lovely place to live in 1700’s England?
    Pemberley does seem like a lovely place to live, and I would like a London residence for the winter as well.

    4. List some of your favorite and least favorite literary works you have read.
    Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Beauty, Ella Enchanted, the Harry Potter series, the Emily of New Moon trio, Anne of Green Gables series, and the 100 Cupboards trilogy are some of my favorite books.

    I cannot think of hated books right now partially because if I do not like something, then I do not finish it. I started a book called Ember that was too boring/ weird to finish. I do not generally like science fiction-Madeleine L’Engle’s books were weird and creepy although I enjoyed some of them to a certain extent.

    5. What would you describe as a most admirable heroine?
    I like a heroine who sees her faults and repents of them like Lizzy Bennet did. I don’t like the meek heroines, and I like the heroines to be intelligent and refined.

    6. If you could spend afternoon tea in the company of your favorite literary heroine, to whom would you spend it with?
    I am not sure I have an exact favorite, but I would like to spend time with Hermione Weasley née Granger.

    7. Which is to your liking more :: tea or coffee?
    Most certainly tea; I cannot stand coffee, and I think it is a very unhealthy habit to frequently drink it as so many of my acquaintances do.

    8. Which of Jane Austen’s couples are you fond of?
    Mr. Bingley and Jane have to be the sweetest couple. I also like Margaret and Mr. Thornton, Mr. Darcy and Lizzy, Ron and Hermione, and Ella and Charmain.

    9. What is one {a few} of your favorite literary quotes?
    Oh my, I will never think of them all. This one is wonderful to be sure:
    “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

    I also enjoy the scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince where Ron receives his ridiculous present from Lavender.

    The Jane Austen and Harry Potter books provide plenty of humor for me, but I am terrible at thinking of lines especially when I am asked. I want to get the Jane Austen A Day journal that I found at Barnes and Noble.

    10. Are you fond of dancing or singing or reading a good book?
    I cannot sing. I cannot dance either really although I want to learn, but I am very awkward, so I would obviously prefer a very good book.

    11. And lastly, as this event is also hosted in celebration of my garden’s second anniversary, would you mind explaining perhaps, how you stumbled upon my little plot of earth?
    I found it via this blog. I enjoy these sorts of tags/parties, and anyone who loves these same period dramas and has a pretty blog and elegant writing is very likely a kindred spirit.

  • Reading

    100 Cupboards Trilogy

    I finished the last book of this series, The Chestnut King, a couple weeks ago. I absolutely adore this trilogy. I was obsessed with them, and I did not quite know what to do with myself when they were finished. (I have problem with obsessing instead of merely enjoying; I am currently obsessed with Pysch-I got over the first episode yuck)

    They are entirely juvenile fiction, so do not expect the sophistication that comes with adult literature or the angst that comes with teen novels. They are also not epic novels, so do not expect the grandeur of the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter or the melodrama of the Hunger Games and the Twilight Saga. I know I sound really negative, but I adore these so much I could not stand for someone to dislike them because they were expecting something else (actually don’t desecrate the books by reading them if there is the slightest possibility that you would not like them), and that is why I want to make perfectly clear what these novels are; so that no one would read them and be disappointed. So if you are expecting any of the above descriptions do not read the books. Okay, I am done with that little warning/explanation/ defense/rant 😀

    I enjoyed N. D. Wilson’s Dragon’s Tooth (the first novel in his newest series, Ashtown Burials) and the stand alone Leepike Ridge, but this particular trilogy stands in its own very special place. I truly believe it is considerably better imagined and written than either of the other novels (although I am certainly happy that the second book of the Ashtown Burials is out now, and I plan to read it).

    I do not want to write too much because I don’t want to giveaway anything at all. If you start the books you MUST read all three; do not give up after the first one because I will admit that unless you are careful you might think that there are no more hidden special secrets.

    I just love the writing style. There is a little suspense and the answers to the suspense perfectly fit in; these books do not feel like they are being stretched out or rung for one more drop of drama. I could almost not believe how seamless the plot in this trilogy was. I am not good at describing all the arts and forms of writing, but I believe these books are supremely well written pieces of juvenile literature. Suffice it to say that if you are a juvenile fiction fantasy nut you MUST read these.

  • Reading

    Jane Austen Birthday Week Tag

    This blog has a Jane Austen week birthday tag.

     1 – What was the first JA novel you ever read, and who introduced you to it? I actually saw one of the movies first (I am a terrible person  I know); I saw the miniseries Pride and Prejudice with Collin Firth with my friends during a sleepover. Later my mom obtained Pride and Prejudice from the library. I own most of her works including her unfinished ones. (Anyone besides me in agony that Sandition was not completed? It promised to be amazing; well, I mean the hero was probably going to be wonderful). I have read all seven of the finished novels and the two unfinished ones. I want to read her Juvenilia and The History of England as well. I also own four (I have read two) books about her and/or her books.

    2 – Which is your least favorite JA novel, and why?  (Everybody posts about their favorites… I want to know what’s at the bottom of your list!) I suppose Lady Susan although I certainly don’t dislike it. I am not sure of the exact favorite order of any of the books really. Northanger Abbey might actually be my least favorite; I find Catherine embarrassing and the book rather boring overall.

    3 – Who do you think is the funniest character JA ever created? Many of her funny characters I find embarrassing or annoying. I suppose it might be Mr. Collins at least the way he is portrayed in the best film adaptation of that novel.

    4 – Which JA villain[ess] do you love to hate? I think Mary Crawford because I always hate the girls that the hero despicably falls in love with instead of the heroine. Mary has too much going her way as well beyond Edmund’s love.

    5 – What’s your favorite JA quote? Oh, there are so many such as the first line of Pride and Prejudice. I also like,”Nor I,” answered Marianne with energy,”our situations then are alike. We neither of us have any thing to tell; you, because you communicate, and I, because I conceal nothing.” This so perfectly describes me and my next younger sister except that I, the older one am Marianne. There are so many humorous lines in Pride and Prejudice. I love when Lizzie is teasing Jane about Mr. Bingley,”He is also handsome,” replied Elizabeth,”which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can. His character is thereby complete.”

    6 – If you were to “start” someone on JA, which book would you recommend to them first and why? If he or she are not used to classic works then probably Pride and Prejudice, but if he or she is more thoughtful then perhaps Persuasion.

    7 – What is your absolute favorite JA film adaptation and why? Picking one is far too hard. I love the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries and the most recent Persuasion. I think (know, am convinced, firmly believe) that Kate Beckinsale plays the most accurate Emma (I have seen the three most recent versions), but I believe that Jonny Lee Miller plays the most accurate Mr. Knightly. Oh the battles the Emma movies create!

    8 – If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of JA’s novels, which would it be and why? Probably Emma, so we could finally have one that has all the characters done right in the same adaptation.
    While we are on the subject of film adaptations I have watched the two most recent Pride and Prejudice adaptations, the three most recent Emma adaptations, the most recent Mansfield Park adaptation, the two most recent Sense and Sensibility adaptations, the two most recent Persuasion adaptations, and not a single Northanger Abbey adaptation.

    9 – Which JA character do you most identify with? Well, I was like Marianne (emtional extremes and drama and Catherine Morland (gullibility) mainly as a teenager, but now (I am one and twenty) I am not quite as extreme as I was before . I have some of Emma’s snobbishness I am afraid, and I now believe I am a little like Lizzie as I like to laugh at people’s ridiculousness.

    10 – If you could have lunch with JA today, what question would you most like to ask her? I would want her to tell me all about Sandition and, if she had time, The Watsons.

    11 – Is there any one thing that you think could have been improved upon in one (or all) of JA’s books?  What is it and why? I wouldn’t want Fanny and Edmund to be in the same family; even back in that time some people thought cousins marrying was not right (for example William Cowper’s uncle did not approve of it). I also would find it nice if Colonel Fitzwilliam could have married Charlotte Lucas although this is merely a preference unlike the above which is more of a moral issue.

    12 – If you could have lunch with one of JA’s characters today, who would it be and why? Perhaps Captain Wentworth to commend him on his extraordinary faithfulness. I actually might be afraid of him so perhaps I would choose one of the minor characters like Charlotte Collins; I would not be as delicate as Lizzie and would question her closely on her choice of a husband and her life with him. Colonel Fitzwilliam would also be an interesting choice. I would ask him if he ever liked Lizzie enough to marry her if either of them had had the money and if he still thought money was all that important. Yes, I would pick Colonel Fitzwilliam.

  • Reading

    Austenitis: Birthday Tag!

    1. August-named after Augustus Caesar.

      2. Peridot

      3. I have had themed family parties when I was younger. I had a tea party recently. I think it would be fun to have a masquerade ball.

      4. The pearls Dad bought for me in china; he bought me pearl stud earrings and a string of pearls (so much prettier to say than a pearl necklace. I am definitely a pearls over diamonds girl (excepting of course where engagement rings are concerned).

      5. Roses! August’s flowers though are poppies and gladiolas (Roses belong to June-June gets two of my favorites in gems and flowers).

      6. I believe I was born on Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s 181st birthday (I have also seen his b-day was the 7th too-I will have to find more official sources-if the 1960’s Encyclopedias are not considered official). I was also born 45 years to the date after the bombing of Hiroshima.

      7. Yes.

      8. I like my birthday month and date now, but I wish I could change the gemstone to ruby, aquamarine, or amethyst (I don’t think pearls and diamonds are the best for birthstones-they are more general gems).

      9. Two of these are outrageous, but I would love a trip to Europe, a white gold and diamond key pendant, and a specially made cedar hope chest.

      10. Random #1 In Korea I believe they count their age as one from their actual birthday, so when we would consider them say 20 they would consider themselves 21. Random #2 I know of someone who celebrated her kid’s half-birthday.

      Here is the link to join in the birthday tag:

  • Reading

    The Hunger Games

    So a week or so ago I finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay).

    I liked it. I LIKED IT. Just so we are clear when you start reading the barrage of criticism I have for this series. I was biased against it when I started the first book, but I started to really enjoy it although all my initial reasons for dislike still stand…in my brain, not my emotions 😀

    The series was NOT well written by any means. I think it was written at about juvenile fiction level; the content,  however, was more young adult fiction, so the overall feel was confused, and the story was not believable (for more than one reason). I thought the story was farfetched. There was no hint of Christianity or any religion in this story. The emotions behind this story was dark and despairing, and the author did not seem to have any moral direction at all. Actually one of my friends thinks that the author did not really put any thought into the story line, plot, character, etc. I agree that she seemed to have no control. So, on that note let’s start with Katniss.

    Katniss is a moron. The End.

    Okay, Katniss is a good daughter and sister in that she provides for her neurotic mom and her annoyingly “perfect” sister. Those are the only people she really cares about; she is selfish and clannish. She has a problem or two with the Hunger Games-they are ugly and might hurt her family. She sees no problem really with killing other people. She treats both Gale and Peeta abominably, and as they both realize, uses them and and only wavers between them since she cannot decide which one she cannot survive without. Most success with people she has is purely happenstance…or because of the noble and gifted Peeta. So yeah, she is pathetic, and I despise her…this may or may not be in part because she gets Peeta…

    The boys.

    Peeta is the angel, the only good and stable character (until the last one). Gale the best-friend-who-had-to-be-made-bad-to justify-the-choice-of-the-2nd-boy…really it was that obvious in the book. No, I am sorry, there does not need to be a justification for her not choosing her first friend. People change their minds, meet new people they like better, don’t know their minds at first, don’t fall in love with their best friends, etc. all.the.time…you don’t have to “explain” Katniss’s choice by making Gale “bad.” And by the way Katniss has no room to be self-righteous; she has no more morals than Gale does. Grrr. Oh, I wanted her to end up with Peeta to be sure. And I am glad the Gale part was not painful, but the lame way the whole situation was handled drove me crazy.

    The plot. My sister and I both compared Panem to the Soviet Union. But I still think the author gave Panem more absolute control than is humanly achievable. I also don’t think that many people would quietly give in to such barbarity. A friend thought the existence of the Roman arena games would mean this sort of thing would be realistic, but a second look at that comparison would show the gladiator games to be a totally different situation entirely. Those games were not a national thing-all of the nation was not forced to participate. Nor were all the games forced-there were paid gladiators. The Roman games look like child’s play next to Collin’s games. Yes, humans are sinful, but they were made in the image of God and have some common grace among the lot of them.

    The first book was the most thought out-and it goes down from there but not evenly by any means: the third was a plummet down from the second. There was no sense in it, no thought behind it (unless that of, “Last book-must end this thing!”), almost no plot really. People were killed off-including one that I liked (Finnick)-killed off in the most offhand casual way- I mean one liners . Being killed off is a great deal of different than being killed or dying by the way…hey why didn’t Collins just kill off Gale? I mean she sends him out of the way to another district. Switch Finnick and Gale. Collin’s also had to seriously mess with her best creation: Peeta. He is not Peeta for most of the last book. She doesn’t hardly even fix the poor, much abused guy at the end. Really, Mockingjay is quite the bloodbath. Here, we need to end the book, get plenty of tragedy in, pick a hero for Katniss, make sure the Hunger Games are ended, and voila-the trilogy is over…!!!!!

    And my final abomination.

    Alright, so the book says Peeta was blond, blue-eyed, and sturdy. Gale is described as dark and lithe. Good, my pictures are in order, right? I saw these two guys before I knew the names of the characters they played. Then I read the book and matched them according to the description. Guess what? Someone knocked the people who cast these actors on the head and switched them. I mean I can understand messing up one…but a total switch (although smirk face on the bottom doesn’t look either part feature and expression-wise). I was thunderstruck when I realized their mistake.

    I am sorry directors-did you miss the memo? Peeta is not a dork. Okay even Gale should not be played this bad. So he’s bad for both…but natural coloring, size…People!

    I am sorry, that is Peeta. Because I believed it when I read it and because it should be is so.

    Google images of Gale in the Hunger Games and Peeta Mellark to see what types of guys come up. Yeah, very dark, moody guys for Gale…and Josh Hutcherson…okay, okay and Liam too. Peeta Mellark? Stunning blonds…and fake blond Josh…and Liam! Owww. This casting HURTS! I tell you. I hate it when they get characters so wrong. This time since they were in my head (for the movie) while I read the book so it felt like I had been tricked!!!

    K. Had my rant. Bye.