Welcome to the September edition of the Teen Menu. I hope everyone has had a fun summer full of wonderful summer reading. I know I've had some late nights trying to read just one...more...chapter.
First up this month is a book I'd been looking forward to all year, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. This was the third and final book in her The Hunger Games trilogy which began with The Hunger Games and continued with Catching Fire. I love this series! I first learned about The Hunger Games when I was on Stephenie Meyer's site one day and she was raving about it. I read the premise and decided to check it out. And I ever glad I did. This trilogy is dystopian in nature, set in some future or alternate country called Panem, which is comprised of the ruling Capitol and 12 districts that are poor and separated from each other. Each year, each of these districts must send two children -- one boy and one girl -- to the Hunger Games in the Capitol. It's used as a continued punishment for the districts that rebelled in the past. These games are a fight to the death in a huge arena that takes different forms each year. Katniss Everdeen is the heroine, the female "tribute" (as those chosen for the games are called) from District 12, the poorest of the districts, one that produces coal and seems to be perhaps based on Appalachia. Her name was not chosen at the reaping, but rather her younger sister Prim's, but she took Prim's place because she thought she had a better chance of survival.
The Hunger Games covered what happened to Katniss during those games, and Catching Fire detailed the aftermath and how she's now made an enemy of the Capitol and President Snow. Mockingjay is the final chapter of her story, the darkest one yet, in which we find out if she survives the rebellion of which she has now become the rallying symbol. Be forewarned -- this book does not pull any punches, and shows the horrors and devastation war can bring.
We also find out which, if either, of the guys she chooses to be with -- the choice she's had all along between Gale, her best friend and hunting partner, and Peeta, her fellow tribute from District 12. Each guy loves her, each would die for her, but they each have something very different to offer her. This series is one of those where "teams" formed among the fan base -- Team Gale and Team Peeta. I was on Team Peeta from the very beginning.
I can't recommend this series enough, so if you haven't read it, I urge you to do so.
Author's website: www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/
The other YA novel I read this month was Fallen by Lauren Kate. This book's cover is what eventually led me to buying it. I might not have noticed it if not for the gorgeous cover. When I did, I picked it up, read the blurb and decided it sounded like something I'd enjoy reading. Luce Price has been sent to reform school at Sword & Cross in South Carolina after the death of a classmate, a death she's not sure if she had a hand in. Luce has also worried the adults in her life because of the "shadows" she sees and how the presence of those shadows frighten her.
When she arrives at Sword & Cross, it seems a dismal, disconnected place. She gradually makes a couple of friends, and then there's a boy who seems so familiar, even though she's sure they've never met. Or have they? The more she's around Daniel Grigori, the more she feels inexplicably drawn to him -- and the more he tries to steer clear of her. The gradual revelation of the cause behind her attraction and his avoidance keeps the reader turning pages. This book is the first in a series. The second, Torment, is out Sept. 28, and it has a beautiful cover as well. And like so many popular series, it also has a love triangle that is spawning a new Team Daniel vs. Team Cam debate. (I'm Team Daniel, by the way.)
Author website: http://laurenkatebooks.net/
Have you read either of these books? If so, what did you think? Read any other wonderful YA books over the summer?