Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.

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Friday Fortune #7 – Book Review of “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

Friday Fortune #7

Welcome to the seventh edition of Friday Fortune!

What is Friday Fortune? On Wednesdays and Sundays, my posts are generally serious and focus on specific aspects of writing or even life in general. Fridays are here to mix it up a bit. On Fridays, you’ll be surprised with giveaways, free snippets, general questions, and so much more! If you have any suggestions for questions I could ask or things I could do; let me know so we can make this interactive!

This week, I’ll be sharing my review of The Hunger Games, which I read back in May.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of you have heard about the book and the series it belongs to you. Many of you have read it and others have seen the movie. Some of you even both. I figured I’d share my opinion in the humongous sea of opinions that are available on the internet. Enjoy the first review I’ve posted on my blog!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is the first book in a trilogy. I will admit that I saw the movie first, but I always make sure to read the books of movies I see. No comparison will be drawn between the two.

The main character, Katniss, is a skilled hunter who provides food for her mother and younger sister. In the world of Panem, The Hunger Games take place once a year and force one boy and girl between 12 and 18 years old from each of the twelve districts to fight to the death. A chain of events leads to the fact that Katniss, this year, is the so called tribute for District 12.

The characters in this book are unique and diverse. Katniss is strong-willed and surrounded by a variety of characters that each have their own unique personality. I grew to love almost every one of them in some way or another.

My one issue is that we did not get the chance to learn more about the other tributes, aside from very basic information. While I do understand that Katniss, herself, could not learn much about them or else it would ruin the game, I still feel it would have been nice to know a bit more.

That aside, Suzanne Collins did a good job keeping me interested in the story. It was not packed with action at every moment; the start is much slower and there are moments of rest, despite the threat that looms overhead.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and will be reading its sequel soon. Four out of five stars due to small things that I feel could have been improved upon, like getting to know the other tributes, but it’s still a great book.

I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good dystopian novel.

You can read all my reviews by keeping an eye on my Goodreads Author page. If not, look forward to the next review I share on WordPress!

Tune in next week for whatever I have up my sleeve for you in edition eight of Friday Fortune.


Life in France: Day 26

Day 26, October 19th

Another day – gone. That fateful day where I leave and head off to another country approaches. The country where I live, and where a cat is waiting to tear me limb from limb for abandoning her.

There’s a reason her name is Trouble.

If that doesn't make her look guilty, I don't know what will.

On the bright side, Melanie informed me that there is a Mario reference and gave me a rough indication of its whereabouts. I’m going hunting tomorrow, to snap a picture of that. Expect evidence in tomorrow’s blog, should I succeed in this dangerous task.

Recap to Saturday. When Melanie and I were at the mall, I spotted The Lion King DVD and remarked that I love that movie, but haven’t had it since we had issues with a moving company and lost our VHS and all that other fun stuff. I didn’t buy it, though, because I opted for the sale which got me four movies for twenty-four bucks, rather than one for twenty bucks.

At one point this evening, Melanie entered the living-room carrying two wrapped objects and said they were for me. Surprised? Understatement.

One of them was The Lion King.

The other a book on Ancient Egyptian history.

I… couldn’t really express my thanks in words. Have you ever had that feeling where you think you know what to say and then your mind blanks out and you sit there like a fumbling idiot? Yeah. That’s how I felt. I hadn’t expected her to buy me anything, let alone stuff like that.

Not only is that book about a topic I adore, but it’s also in French. That means not only will it brush up my history skills, but my languages ones, as well. Got to love unintentional multitasking like that.

So, for when she reads this: Thank you.

That book will give me something to do during the ride back home and that DVD will endure usage more often than I count. My parents should know how often those songs echo throughout the apartment when I get my hands on a copy.

Now, off to bed and then to my last full day at work, followed by Mario hunting. I still need to figure out what I want for dinner, too, as Melanie told me to choose since it’s my last night.



Life in France: Day 22

Cover of "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: ...

Cover via Amazon

Day 22, October 15th

And so began my extremely busy weekend last night, by going to the theater to see The Three Musketeers. I enjoyed the movie a lot. It doesn’t follow the original storyline 100%, but aside from that, it’s a really good movie.

Then, this morning, the day started with Melanie and I heading off to the mall. I ended up buying four movies for 24 bucks. They had a five for 30 bucks sale going on with specific DVDs, so Melanie found one and I found four; we put our money together to get them.

The movies I got are:

And one movie I haven’t seen before, of which I don’t know the title by head. I know a lot of people feel these movies are really bad, but I enjoy them and honestly, in today’s film age, there are much worse creations to worry about. These might not be the best movies ever, but I really like them.

Some friends visited in the afternoon and stayed for a few hours; all of that went well.

In the early evening, we went out with one of Melanie’s friends for a few rounds of bowling. Five or so years passed since I lasted bowled. I came in last in both rounds, tonight.

After bowling, Melanie and I had dinner and proceeded to watch the above-stated Percy Jackson movie. She’d never seen it before, but really enjoyed it, so overall, it was a fun, but busy, day. Looking forward to the newly-announced March 2013 release of the second film.

Tomorrow won’t be any nicer, going by how busy it’ll be. Out of the apartment by 10:30. Then again, that’s a tale for tomorrow’s blog, isn’t it?


Life in France: Day 20 + 21

Day 20, October 13th

Work passed easily enough today. After work, Kujtesa wanted to take a look at something in a big electronics story, so we headed there. They have each game console set up and for the Xbox 360, had the new game Just Dance 3 displayed and available for people to play – well, dance.

27 - Just Dance 3 Wii Pal

I have never really danced before in my life. Still, I had the urge to give it a try, but not alone. It took me five minutes to convince Kujtesa, as she worried about people watching us. I finally convinced her though, and we decided to play.

We ended up doing five songs.

Wow. That game asks for a lot from the players. Those five songs exhausted me and made me crave my bed. Of course, I had to travel half an hour to the apartment and by the time I made it there, the fatigue had faded to the back of my mind.

Good game. I might get it or one of its predecessors; I need the exercise!

I took the day off from writing, just to relax after writing so much these past few days. I did reread what I wrote and make small edits; I always give my writings a once-over. Nothing major: Just small details that bug me when I read it. Extensive editing comes later.

Day 21, October 14th

No writing done today. Work until 17:30, back at the apartment at 18:00. Right now, it’s 20:00 and in half an hour, Melanie and I are heading off. First off, dinner at McDonald’s, followed by checking out the new The Three Musketeers movie. I’m going to assume in French.

English: Awesome.

French: I’ll live.

Worst case scenario, I’ll watch it in English some other time. It’s not really that much of a bother, plus, watching it in French will help my language skills a bit, even if it’s just a little.

You’ll have to wait and see how it turned out, since the movie is at 22:30 and we’ll return after midnight, probably around 01:00. That counts as tomorrow, so perhaps a mini-review will be in order for tomorrow’s blog!

As for tomorrow, Melanie and I will head off to what is supposedly a huge mall. Maybe I’ll find something interesting? We’ll see.

I’ll let you all know tomorrow; have a nice weekend!


A Day Out: A promise of better times?

Ever since early July, bloggers have assaulted WordPress with their stories about Harry Potter and what it means to them. I don’t intend to turn this post into one of those blogs, but I will use the Harry Potter franchise as the base of the true post, however briefly.

You’ve been warned.

I’m not the type of person who goes to the cinema often, but when I do it is an enjoyable experience. The last time I saw a movie on the big screen was August 2010, if I recall correctly. Seeing one movie per year on the big screen is already being generous; I hardly see so many and there are few I am willing to part with money to see – especially when it comes to 3D movies. This brings me to my next point.

Tomorrow, my parents and I will see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 in 3D. We rarely go out and do things together, so this is what we’re trying to change. We never could go to movies, nor had any resources to do these things this past decade; this marks the change. My mother and I are immense Potter fans; I read the first book shortly after I turned seven and had the next installments as soon as I could get them after their releases.

As a family that enjoys watching shows and movies together, going to see a movie is something we love to do.

This is but a very small section of our movie and show collection.

Hopefully this will mark the beginning of a time where we can go out more often. Not only are we going to see this film; we will also have dinner at an amazing restaurant afterwards. We will spend the entire day together; my parents and I. Something we haven’t done for a while.

Movies have an inspiring effect on me, much like books and music do. They help ideas form in my mind that may, one day, develop into something more.

Perhaps this movie will do that for me. The last installment may leave me with something to work with. Completed, but not forgotten.

I intended to read the 7th book again before heading off to see the film, but I didn’t get around to it. Still, I cannot wait for tomorrow; it will be an amazing day!

What is your favorite movie that you’ve seen recently? Do films help inspire you?