The Hunger Games [book review]

the hunger games book 1The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Okay, I know I’m behind in reading this book, but to be fair I had planned on reading the books before I saw the first movie.  It just so happened that a friend of mine was in town for one day and had wanted to go see The Hunger Games, so I couldn’t say no.

Synopsis (from barnesandnoble.com):

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.

So it was a new experience for me to read the book after seeing the movie already, multiple times.  I can honestly say there were not any major surprises since I knew what would happen as I read on.  There were a few key things though that made reading the book a much better experience than seeing the movie.

The-Hunger-Games-PosterFirst off, I’m guessing any Hunger Games fan loves to point out that the movie did not reference Katniss’ hearing loss at all which really put a damper on her being able to defend herself in the games.  That was really a key issue that should probably have been placed in the movie.  However, I can see that it is more affective to read about her hearing loss than to “see” it on the screen.  That goes along with the next one, which is that the movie did not really focus on the actual hunger that affected the tributes in The Games.  Seriously, not having any food available at all times really hurts the body and their ability to stay alive in The Games.

But enough of the book and movie differences.

As I had mentioned, I knew what major events would happen as I read the book, but thanks to the movie it was easier to picture the characters and the setting.  Being able to read the descriptions of the events that took place was much more pleasant as I did not mix up what the characters would look like in my mind.  One thing I really enjoyed about the book was that there was a nice focus on the ‘romance’ between Katniss and Peeta and as this went on I was able to know exactly what was going on in Katniss’ mind before and during this.

For the final thing that I really loved about reading the book was that it was all in Katniss’ point of view.  Having her narrate the events unfolding was a much better way for me to understand her character than I could ever imagine by just watching the movies.  It was also a different experience to read about her journey in The Games and her not knowing what was going on with the Capitol and the Districts who were watching.  At the same time though, it bothered me because I wanted to know what their reactions were during certain events that happened with Katniss that were not portrayed in the movie.

In short, I really enjoyed reading The Hunger Games.  To be completely honest, I’m actually happy I had seen the movie beforehand because like I said, it made everything easier to picture.

So if you haven’t read this book yet, I suggest you do.  There will be no disappointments.

Happy Saturday and may the odds be ever in your favor!

 

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The Friday Five: Blogger Love v.2

Friday again!  Wow, this week went by fast despite being home for two days because of our snowstorm here in New England.  I was able to get quite a bit done for my blog, which I really enjoyed having some time for that, and I was also able to read quite a bit of posts from the blogs I usually read as well as a few new ones!  So, on with this week’s Friday Five!

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  1. I Was ‘Cool’ Before Being ‘Hipster’ Was a Thing – by Amanda from Knock on Wood.  I really enjoyed this post and I can really relate to it.  A lot of things I love or did, including two that Amanda mentioned, before they ‘cool’ by today’s standards.  I’m actually inspired to write my own post on this particular topic.
  2. What’s on my iPhone 5s? by milk bubble tea.  I’ve seen plenty of YouTubers do this in video form, but I thought it was interesting that Becky chose to do it for her blog.  I actually have been wanting to do a vlog of this myself, but I might just turn it into a blog post so I don’t have to deal with doing my makeup for the camera!
  3. Frequently Asked Resume Questions by The College Prepster.  Actually written by a guest blogger, but I still found it a good post.  Especially for myself being in that stage where I’m going to be sending out resumes so I can land a job for after graduation.  If you’re on the job hunt, or will be soon, definitely check this post out!
  4. Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas by Prep In Your Step.  Yes, the dreaded V-Day is coming and although I’ve already got my shopping done, it’s nice to think of others who are not significant others on this day.
  5. Let’s End the Stigma  by T.O. and fro.  I recently posted about talking about mental health myself, so I really appreciated that I was not the only blogger out there who did.  This really is something that needs to be addressed and hopefully us bloggers will unite to end the stigma of mental health.

So there are my five featured posts of the week!  Hopefully you’ll enjoy these posts as well and even join Meagan from All the Joys in her weekly Blogger Love link-ups!

All the Joys - Blogger Love

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Problems of Being Short

I know it’s fairly common for girls to be short, however, I seem to always be surrounded by taller girls. Taller girls can find a pair of jeans that actually fits them length-wise and shirts that aren’t too long on them.  Me?  I have to scavenge the petite section looking for a decent-looking pair of jeans because really, all the good looking ones are made for taller girls.

Being short is something that I’ve always had an issue with, but am slowly coming to terms with accepting my height and even, kind of, liking it.  Up until I was nineteen I was always hoping I had an extra growth spurt in me, but I have to face it… I stopped growing when I was twelve.  I know I’m not the shortest person in the world.  In fact, I do know a few other girls personally who are shorter than I am.  But even standing at a grand 5′ 1½” (yes I include the half) there are still some problems that come with this magnificent height.

Common Problems of Being Short

  1. Having to climb the counter-tops to reach certain foods/dishes.
  2. That one person who sits directly in front of you at the movies when there are plenty of other seats available.
  3. The realization that 5th graders are taller than you.
  4. Your head is your best friend’s arm rest (this might just be me).
  5. Being a full-fledged adult and still having to use that step-stool at the doctor’s office to get on the examination bed.
  6. Yoga-capri pants are too long.short girl problems
  7. Not being able to see the hood of your car. (I didn’t know normal-height people could see them!)
  8. When the sun visor in the car doesn’t help because you’re so short.
  9. Those awkward hugs with people more than 3-4 inches taller than you.
  10. You can’t stand past the 4½ft section of a swimming pool.
  11. Getting offered the kids’ menu in restaurants because apparently being under 5’4″ means you’re 12.
  12. Just barely qualifying for the height requirement for amusement park rides.

Honestly, I could keep going.  I really could.  However, I’m sure that you get my point here.  There are a lot of “problems” us short girls have to deal with.

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So my question for all my fellow short-gal friends, what are some things you’d add to this list?

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First Step Toward My Future

step toward my future

It’s less than four months until I graduate college.

Less.  Than.  Four.  Months.

There’s a possibility that a part of my brain is still in denial that come May, I will actually be walking the stage and leaving the school I’ve been at for the past three years to enter the real world.  There’s also that skeptical side that is just waiting for someone from the school to call me up and say that I still need such-and-such course to graduate, since that happened to me this past summer.

Despite what that small, misguided part of my brain is thinking, the reality is that I will be graduating and I will be entering the real world.

“Welcome to the real world.  It sucks!  You’re gonna love it.” – Monica; FRIENDS, Season 1.

To prove to myself that this will actually be happening in just under four months, I took my first step yesterday and applied for a paid-internship that begins in June.  I can’t lie though, my mom actually found it for me through the job alerts she gets in her email.  Still, she sent it to me and it sounds like a great opportunity, even if it is only for a year.

The most terrifying part about actually applying to this internship is that it’s located down in North Carolina.  I mean, I’ve always wanted to move down south because I’m just done with these New England winters, but to actually take that step toward the possibility of moving away from my friends and family… that’s scary.  Luckily, I do have a few cousins who live in North Carolina (and Florida as I’ll be looking for jobs there).

I feel very confident about my future, but I won’t lie and say that I’m not scared, because I am.  I almost want to say that I’m terrified, but I know that God holds my future and is directing my path.  Plus, He’s given me the best partner-in-crime I could ask for (aka: my mom) to go along for the ride.

What more could I really ask for?

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I Just Wanted My Mom

‘It’s real hot in here.’

‘It’s getting hard to breathe.’

‘I think I’m going to be sick.’

I ran out of the room thinking I was about to do exactly that, get sick all over the floor of the hallway as I exited the gallery in search for the bathroom or even to get outside for some air.  I didn’t get that far.  My vision began to narrow and it got really hard to breathe.  All I could think was, ‘God, please help me.  I don’t want to die.’

I might have even said that out loud.

My coworker who had taken over my camera had come out into the hallway along with the caterer of the event.  The water they brought to me wasn’t helping, I still couldn’t breathe and my vision was still blacking out.

‘I am definitely going to be sick.’

Sitting on the bathroom floor with sweat pouring down my face and back the only thing, or should I say person, I wanted was my mom.  Thanking God that she answered her phone right away, she calmly asked if there was anyone who could get me some juice and crackers and my coworker, who had been outside my stall, did just that.

A good twenty minutes passed as I sat alone on the bathroom floor slowly sipping at the orange juice and filling my stomach with crackers when I finally felt like everything was going to be okay.  It’s probably safe to say that another ten passed before I actually stood up and made my way back into the gallery and ate from the snack table while my coworkers finished gathering footage of the show.

Though I had experienced this before, usually after I had already gotten sick and my sugar dropped, I did not think this was the case as I had eaten about two hours before I had to work.  Though, as my mom pointed out, I probably worked it off right after because I did a lot of moving around and heavy lifting before our shoot had even begun.  I suppose it didn’t help that I was very stuffy that evening and it really was extremely hot in that art gallery.  Nonetheless, whether it was slight heat exhaustion, a sugar low or possibly both combined, it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had.  I honestly thought I was going to pass out cold in the hallway with no one around.

So, that was my night last Thursday.  I’m just super thankful to God that there were people around to help me and that I’m okay.

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End the Stigma: Let’s Talk About Mental Health

Mental health… it’s something that we try to avoid in our conversations.

But how can you avoid something if you’re living with it?  You can’t.  Sure, you might not talk about it, but the fact of the matter is, talking about it is what we need to do.

Jack Harries says it well in his newest video.  When it comes to mental health we focus more on the stigma of it than the actual health issue itself.  We’ll help anyone who is in physical pain, but if their hurting mentally or emotionally, we run away from them.  We make them deal with it on their own.  It’s because of this action that people who suffer from these disorders don’t talk to anyone about what they’re going through; they know they’re most likely to be rejected.

“We live in a world where when you break your arm, everyone runs over to sign your cast. But if you tell people you’re depressed, everyone runs the other way.”

Kevin Breel

See how we’re making the problem worse?

Mental health isn’t easy to deal with, both for the person and the people they associate with (so long as they know about it).  As a psychology minor I’ve taken Abnormal Psychology and learned in depth about what these mental health problems entail.  While I may not know everything about them, I do know that it really is something that affects people and it’s not easy to “cure” if you can even say that it can be cured.

While I do agree with Jack that medication are something that can help, I don’t believe that medication alone is the answer.  In fact, one thing I learned is that in some cases, medications aren’t that effective without the social support behind them.  I am a firm believer that someone suffering from a mental disorder needs that social support to help them.  Humans are relational creatures after all, it’s one of the main purposes of our creation.  We’re meant to have social interactions and form relationships with each other.  Even people who are suffering from physical ailments need that social support behind them.  Why should those with mental health problems be any different?

So if you are suffering, confide in someone.  If you’re not, reach out to someone who is.

 

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The Friday Five: Blogger Love v.1

friday five blogger love link up

So with a little inspiration from Meagan of All the Joys I have decided to join her with her Blogger Love posts every Friday in which I will share my favorite blog posts of the week to spread the blogging love!

I am very happy to start participating in activity every Friday since I love to recommend things, in this case blog posts, to others.  I’m also hoping to be able to make more personal connections with my fellow bloggers.  Lastly, it gives me a theme to post every Friday… who doesn’t love that?

So, on with this week’s Friday Five!

  1. 50 Things to Write About When You Have Writer’s Block by Centsational Girl.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I get writer’s block more than I like to admit… and not just with blogging.  I definitely plan on trying a few of these out!
  2. Salted Caramel Coconut Brownies by The Girl Who Ate Everything.  These look like the most delicious brownies on the planet if you ask me!  As soon as I get the chance I need to try making some of these babies!
  3. Why I Blog by The Private Life of a Girl.  I love reading about why others blog.  We all have our reasons, our own stories.  This one just happened to peak my interest this week.
  4. Worrying About Worry by Beautiful Life with Cancer.  This one had inspired me to write my own post in response to hers.  I think when someone’s post can make you want to give your own perspective on it, it’s definitely worth sharing!
  5. Unplugged by 99+ Sly Thoughts.  Going unplugged from social media for a short time seems like a great idea.  I don’t think I could really ever do it, but I might be willing to give it a try.  Maybe.

Well, there we have it folks.  Those are my Friday Five for blogger love!  Hopefully you’ll check these amazing bloggers out as well as the lovely lady who started this link-up!

 

All the Joys - Blogger Love

Happy Friday all!

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Versatile Blogger Award!

versatile blogger awardWow, just wow!  To be nominated for one award was amazing, but now I was nominated for a second one?  I’ll say it again, “Wow!”

I have to give a huge thanks to Faraday’s Candle for nominating me for this award and y’all can show some love by checking out their blog.  This really put an extra spring in my step today, (especially when I realized today was Thursday and not Friday).  Oh, and after a bad spell at work where I nearly blacked out, but that’s another story.  Point is, this nomination really was the highlight of my day.

The Rules:
  • Show the award on your blog.
  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 blogs.
  • Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know.
Seven Facts About Myself:
  1. My nickname is Kiwi, yet I do not like the fruit and my best friend is allergic to them.
  2. I had open heart surgery on December 2, 1991 (7 months old).
  3. I took my first limo ride when I was 10 years old.
  4. I began writing fictional stories when I was 12 years old.
  5. I have known my best friend for 11 years (I can’t seem to shake her!)
  6. I did not go to my high school prom.
  7. Odd numbers are kinda my thing.
The 15 Nominees:
  1. Coffee and Cardigans
  2. hyperactive daydream
  3. Oddly Lovely
  4. milk bubble tea
  5. Snowstorm
  6. Seriously, Sarah?
  7. Prep in Your Step
  8. Pink Nightmare
  9. Tea Was Here
  10. EATLOVEMERRY
  11. a hundred tiny wishes
  12. A+ Life
  13. She Is Fierce
  14. ember grey.
  15. College Prep

Again, thank you to Faraday’s Candle for nominating me for this award and I wish everyone well on their blogging ventures!

 

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If I Stay [book review]

6a01675fb6302c970b01676023d765970b-320wiIf I Stay by Gayle Foreman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

I can honestly say that I probably would not have picked up this book if I hadn’t seen the movie trailer earlier this past summer. I knew I had to read it first because that’s how I prefer to do things; read it, then see it.

If I Stay is a new story of life and death, and what happens if someone has the chance to choose. Seventeen year old Mia is placed in a position to make the decision to live or die after she and her family are in a fatal car accident as she remains in the ‘in-between’ stage where she can see everything happening to those she’d leave behind if she chooses to die. Part of her wants to stay, for her best friend, boyfriend and the rest of her family, but on the other hand she wants to leave them so she can join her parents and brother who died in the crash.

As Mia contemplates her decision she shares memories of the people she loves so that we learn more about Mia and the other characters. I found this to be similar to the novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, only in that book the main character had no choice to live or die. What I found to be better about this book though was that there was a pattern to the writing. Mia would narrate what was going on in the present, with her body in ICU and her family in the waiting room, then she’d make a transition to a memory of a certain person or event, which you knew as coming with a page break. I also found it interesting that there were no actual chapter numbers, but rather each chapter was set with different times during the day as the events unfold.

Over all though, it was a great book as you read and wonder what will happen at the end. I actually predicted how the story would end, which surprised me because when I do that I’m usually never right. However, the idea for this story is so original and it makes you wonder, if you were in Mia’s position, what would you choose? To stay with those still living or join your parents and siblings in death?

Now that I’ve read the book, I’m very excited to see the movie and read the sequel!

 

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Beautiful & Dangerous

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It’s your average 33°F morning in Connecticut; the sun is shining and there’s the beautiful scenery left over from a previous snowstorm.  You’re out walking in the brisk air enjoying some peace before having to go to work for the day when you slip.  Your hand goes out to protect your face from hitting the ground even though your knee caught the ground first.  Feeling more embarrassment than pain you get up, shake it off and keep walking as if nothing happened.

However, that night your shoulder is in pain from jarring it during the fall.

… … … … … … …

Yeah, this actually happened to me yesterday.  I had made it an entire mile before my foot hit that sneaky little ice patch.  Honestly I thought it would be my knee that would hurt later in the day, especially since I usually have problems with my knees during the winter anyway.  But no, it was my shoulder.

It makes sense though, it’s pretty common to jar your shoulder when you try to stop yourself from falling… so it looks like I did just that.  This, my friends, is the reason I dislike winter.  It tries to hide its lurking dangers with its beauty, the sneaky little devil.

Well, that’s my bit for the day.  Watch out for that ice my friends!

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Life Without a Computer

What is my life without a computer?  

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I’ve been without my computer quite a few times.  It is very hard for me to function doing everyday things without it.  I do all my banking, most of my shopping, schoolwork and work on my computer.  I probably would not have been in school for the past five years if I did not have my computer.  To not have my computer is almost the same as not having one of my limbs; it’s an extension of me.

It’s not that I worship my computer or wouldn’t be able to live without it.  I know how to balance my checkbook without having to look online (though I’d really have to get into the habit of writing things down right away) just as well as I enjoy going out with friends and visiting my dad and grandma.  I would not be as informed as I am now about what is going on in my Facebook friends’ lives, but that’s not always a bad thing.  So, yes, I could live without a computer, but it would be hard.  As I said, it’s almost a part of me and who I am.

So who am I exactly?

I am…

…a videographer.

…a photographer.

…a blogger.

I’ve been editing videos for years now and I can’t see myself in any other field of work, so to not be able to do what I love would really affect me.  Though working in a large production area would be one of the most amazing jobs I could have, I also enjoy doing my freelance work with community sports and weddings (which also includes photography).  And blogging, well, it’s my way of sharing my thoughts, ideas, and life experiences.  Sure, I could journal, but how would I connect with people like I do through blogging? I’ve met plenty of people just from writing fan-fictions as well.  I certainly would not have those friends if I had no computer.

Now I’m curious, what would your life be like without a computer?

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Life After Blogs.”

The Baby Crib That Fell

Okay, story time once again!

Three years ago today a freak accident happened that left me extra cautious of falling objects and of hitting my head.  Ladies and gentlemen, I was hit by a falling 50lb. baby crib while working in the stockroom of Kmart, thankfully not on my head.

What happened was that I happened to be bringing items from our truck that day to their rightful places in the stock room and to get to some of those places, I had to pass the conveyor belt that brought items up to and down from the second floor.  It happened that one of my coworkers was bringing down a baby crib for a customer and he put the crib on the wrong way, so that it was standing on its side rather than lying flat on the belt.  Well, since it was so unstable, it fell.

Thank God my dad and other coworker saw it and told me to look out and I thank God even more that my reaction to their yelling was to duck rather than look up.  That 50lb. crib ended up hitting my back rather than my head, though the shock of that impact still left me with a concussion.  I had no other injuries other than that concussion that made it’s ugly appearance two weeks after the accident (who knows? it could’ve had something to do with my back) and lasted for a good four months, at least.

This was just yet another time that God saved my life because if I had looked up (like any normal person would’ve) instead of ducking to get under the actual belt than I for sure would not be sitting here in my living room telling you all about this day.

So the moral of the story here folks, beware the falling baby cribs.

It’s just like that darn ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’ song.

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