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Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
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The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #1)

The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins Like many of the reviews posted online, I found this to be a very exciting, engaging book - enough that I finished it in two days, staying up late both nights just wanting to see where the story took me. But first, I just want to say that I really don't like present tense for fiction. That is the main reason why this will not be getting five stars from me. I don't mind first person at all, but present tense just annoys the heck out of me. But yes, back to the book!The concept is nothing new at all(Battle Royale, The Long Walk, etc), but the author manages to put a new spin on it, making it seem fresh and exciting by putting it in a futuristic world hundreds of years in the future, adding in science fiction elements that are new for this limited genre, and making the characters come to life. I wish it would have been more futuristic. The book was very readable and kept me involved from the first few pages, but some of the characters seemed a little lacking to me, especially Peeta. I didn't understand his actions at all, or his motivations. Katniss is your typical girl in a way, but she was developed in a stronger sense. Overall, though, there was one character I wanted to know more about - Rue. Even though she dies halfway through, I wish the main character would have been her instead of Katniss.The world building seems very incomplete, but there is a second book for that reason, which I hope to read soon (plenty of other stuff I have to read first, though). I also wish a map would have included, but that's just my opinion. Anyway, the reason this book gets four stars from me is the way it keeps you involved and keeps the reader tied to it. At the end of the day, I want to be engaged and want to keep reading, and this book did just that, even if it was mindless entertainment. If I wanted to learn I would actually read my schoolwork.