The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This starts with Katniss Everdeen. She lives in the 12th District (coal mining). She is a hunter, who’s father died in a mining explosion. Her city Panem has the Hunger Games every year. A girl and a boy from each of the districts is chosen and, after training, must fight to the death.

When the time comes for the choosing, she is chosen (kind of, read the book). The chosen boy is Peeta Mellark. Katnisss meets Rue during the training, but she comes in more later. The Games start and Peeta teams up with what people call the “Careers” (the really strong people that kill most of the people). Katniss meets Rue and they work together, Rue is then killed, and Katniss must try to find some way to survive to avenge her. She finds Peeta lying injured and helps nurse him back to health. They fight together and end up as the last two surviving people. They have started to love each other so obviously, they don’t want to kill each other. They decide they will die together so there is no winner, ruining the Games. Their plan is ruined, and they are the first people to survive together. They get to come back to their homes as heroes.

  I really enjoyed this book (and the other two books too, Catching Fire and The Mockingjay). It had many twists and turns, it also had heartbreaking moments, scary moments, and just general heartwarming moments. This book was recommended to me by a friend (who recommends most of my now favorite books) and I am glad that she did recommend it as it is now one of my favorite books. Suzanna Collins’ book is really unique. I have never really read any book that was similar to this book series. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who was looking for a book to read. On another note, the movie was quite accurate to the book and was quite good. It was one of the movies that has been most like a book, even if it did take out some parts (every movie based off a book does that so I wouldn’t be surprised). Anyway, I would highly suggest that you give this book, or the whole series for that matter, a look.

I would rate this book a 10/12 Districts (Some Hunger Games humor for you, I am so funny, I know HA. HA. HA.)

Aladdin Movie Review

Movie poster from Aladdin

This movie starts off on a boat, with four people.  A man starts singing and tells of Arabian Nights. This movie, especially the songs from the old movie, gave me chills. It was good. It was definitely different from the original movie, but I still think it was the same, if not better.

            As I said, it starts off on a boat, it then switches to Aladdin (Mena Massoud), who is in the market place. He meets Jasmine (Naomi Scott) and they go on an adventure. Jasmine has to eventually return to the castle, where Aladdin later meets her. After being captured and trapped in the Cave of Wonders, he finds the Genie (Will Smith). After they escape, and Aladdin wishes to become a prince, they make their grand entrance into the city of Agrabah.

            There is then a festival, where Aladdin tries, in vain, to talk to Jasmine, after a dance number, they all disband. Afterwards, Aladdin comes for a MAGIC CARPET RIDE (A WHOLE NEW WORLDDDDD, A NEW FANTASTIC POINT OF VIEW) They stare at each other. Yay!

            Then Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) comes in and figures out that Aladdin is a fake. He then proceeds to push him off a building. Once he manages to get out, meanwhile demolishing the second of his 3 wishes, he goes and puts a stop to Jafar’s plans in taking over the kingdom. Once they have stopped him, Aladdin leaves the palace, Jafar steals his lamp and gets the Genie.

            When Jafar has successfully become powerful and a sultan, he traps the Sultan, sends Jasmine for death, and Aladdin to a very cold area (the end of the Earth apparently). Jasmine then comes in and sings her new song. She defeats Jafar and traps him in a lamp instead. Aladdin then comes back, and all is good (I won’t spoil the end).

            I really enjoyed this movie overall.  It had much more of the Arabian type culture that the original animated movie somewhat lacked. It also included Jasmine being much more independent, even wanting to be sultan. They introduced some new songs, one of which is called “Speechless”, this song is sung by Jasmine and is about her not being quieted just because she was a female. It was quite inspirational and showed you can do what you want, no matter what you are (cheesy, I know, but it is true).

            I would definitely recommend going to see this movie, or if it is already out, go and watch it that way, or just…. whatever way you can. It was really good, I can confirm that.

                        I would rate this movie 4.5/5 stars.

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling

Harry Potter thought he was a totally normal kid. Until a giant by the name of Hagrid came and took him to a land of wonder far beyond his belief. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling, a boy named Harry Potter thought he was just a normal kid. But, when letters from somewhere start coming, his aunt and uncle get worried. They don’t let him see any of the letters even though he tries to get them. When so many letters come to the house that they can’t stand it, they travel to different places to try and find somewhere where they won’t be bombarded by letters. On a tiny rock out at sea, they think they are safe but when a giant named Hagrid comes to tell Harry he is a wizard everything changes. Now that Harry knows his backstory, he must go off to Hogwarts to learn magic.

            At Hogwarts, he makes many friends along the way, he also makes enemies and learns about what happened to his parents, why he is famous, and why he has a peculiar scar shaped like a lightning bolt on his forehead. He learns that an evil wizard named Voldemort (He-who-must-not-be-named or You-know-who) killed his parents and tried to kill him but, he couldn’t kill Harry. The lightning scar was where the spell had touched him. He was the only person ever to survive the Killing Curse.

            Harry gets on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and is the youngest person in a century to play. He competes to win the Quidditch Cup but, when his broom starts to go crazy, his friends must try to rescue him. They think that Professor Snape is behind it, nobody else believes them. Once Harry is safe, he catches the Snitch and makes everybody (except Slytherin) like him even more.

            He also finds the Mirror of Erised which, when you look into it, you see your heart’s deepest desire. Harry, who never really had a good family, sees his mother and father. When he tries to see it again, he is confronted by the headmaster, Dumbledore, who tells him it is being moved and not to look for it again.

            Harry goes on many more exciting adventures, some of which include fighting a troll and going into the dreaded Forbidden Forest. He makes new friends along the way too, who help him greatly along the way.

            When Harry and his friends find a plot to steal something special hidden within the school, they want to try and stop whoever is planning to steal the object. They think it is Professor Snape but, when they go through Devil’s Snare, a room with winged keys, and a giant living chess set, they find out that it is…… read the book!

            After all the exciting things that happen to Harry, he must go back to his aunt and uncle’s house for the summer but, he always comes back to Hogwarts.

            I really enjoyed the whole Harry Potter series (there are 8 books total). I thought they were very original, and they had many twists and turns within them. If you are fans of things like the Hunger Games, Divergent, or Percy Jackson, I would advise this book. Or, if you just enjoy fantasy and adventure, this could be the book series for you. This book is just as good now as it was 20 years ago. I would especially recommend it if you have seen the movies, as the books are much better than the movies (as they are with every series)

                                    I rate this book 9 ¾ (some Harry Potter humor for you).

Greetings from Witness Protection by: Jake Burt

Greetings From Witness Protection

This book is on the Middle School Battle of the Books list for this year. It was the first book that I had read, and it set the bar pretty high. As I have now read all the books, I can safely say that this was my favorite book.

The book is about a girl named Nicki Demere who was raised by her grandmother, who’s dad is in prison and mom is unknown. Nicki was raised by somewhat of a bad family. She was taught to pickpocket by her grandmother. This was a big part of her life and still has a big impact on her now. She can’t wear gloves and has the need to steal things (also called kleptomania). After her grandmother died, she went and lived in an orphanage and different foster homes in New York until she was recruited. Recruited into what you ask? Well, it is the WITSAC.

It is a project that tries to go to lengths to protect families that are in severe danger. The Sicurzzas are in grave danger after the mother testifies against her mob family. Her brother, one of the most known and one of the most dangerous mob bosses out there, is determined to hunt her and her family down. Nicki was recruited and trained to be inserted into that family in order to try and protect them from harm. They would get new identities, looks, and family bonds. They must move to a new state; meet new people and try to live as if they are a normal family. Along the way, Nicki (now known as Charlotte) makes friends and tries to survive middle school while trying to control and hide her pick pocketing skills. She meets more people than she thinks she would and meets one person that she has a big impact on.

But, when the mob family that was hunting them finds their new location, they must figure out what to do while not getting injured or dying in the process. Nicki’s father comes and tries to take her back and things get even more messy.

Will her father take her away to somewhere where she won’t ever see anybody she has grown to love again, or will she fight back and stay with them? To find out, you should read Greetings from Witness Protection.

I greatly enjoyed this book, it had many exciting twists and turns and had a good plot line. It was exciting to see Nicki grow as a person along the way, while making new friends and trying to not become friends with other people. I would recommend this book as it was very good.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

image of book cover of Divergent

The book series called Divergent is an interesting one. It is the first book in a three-part series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant). This was a book recommended by a friend who has a similar taste in books. Overall, I enjoyed this book, though some parts were questionable.
Divergent is about a future Chicago where everybody is split into factions. There are 5 factions with different attributes associated with it. There is Abnegation (Selflessness), Amity (Peaceful), Candor (Truthful), Dauntless (Brave), and Erudite (Smart). When you turn 16 you go through a test in which you are given a faction that is mostly likely one that you would be placed in based on what you pick in the test. There is then a ceremony where you must pick where you live, work, and do everything for the rest of your life. There are tests to get into the faction and if you don’t pass you could become factionless. However, there are people called the Divergent. These people can do things like manipulate the tests and be aware that they are in a simulation (whereas normal people can’t).
Beatrice Prior (Now known as Tris) was born and raised in Abnegation where everything they do has to be selfless, whether it means eating the simplest food or letting other people get on the bus before you. When she takes her aptitude test to see which faction she is fit for, the person administering it stops and says she is Divergent. She says this is dangerous, not to tell anyone, and then manually logs the data saying Tris is Abnegation. When the ceremony comes around Tris must make a hard decision. She picks Dauntless, where they are all about being brave. She has a large amount of experiences, losses, and rivalry along the way. She also meets a person named Four (Tobias Eaton). They start to have a romantic relationship but must keep it a secret. They then discover a plot against the Abnegation, started by the Erudite who want power, and powered by the Dauntless because they have skills in combat. They are being controlled by a serum that had been injected unknowingly. Since Tris is Divergent she is not affected. She needs to save her friends and stop the Erudite from killing all the Abnegation.
I overall enjoyed this book a lot. The only parts I didn’t like were when she was talking with Four. The way that it was described and, the way that they communicated seemed inappropriate for 16-year-olds. Besides that, and the fact that some parts are sad. It was a very good book and I would recommend it, especially if you are into books such as The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, or Harry Potter.
I would rate this book a 9/10.