Ugly To Start With by John Michael Cummings

I was asked by the author to review this book, but what can I say, I really didn't feel connected to this book, it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't my type of read. I just couldn't get a feeling of the boy. Each chapter is a different story, so they don't really follow each other, and I couldn't tell how much time has passed between them. The boy is supposed to be in this teens, but sometimes I felt like he was a child. So it would help a lot of the chapters had dates.
 
Jasons life deals with violence, neglect, social and racial issues, as well as some abusive language so don't let your kids read this. The title pretty much sums it up, Jason consideres his family ugly. Not in the bad looking kind of way, but their manners, living style, and overall characters seem to be ugly and offensive. Well I don't know if Jason should be the one talking, he tried to kill his cat because after a few cat fights it looked ugly. That was a sad moment, I almost put the book down right there. 
 
The writing itself was clear enough and had a good flow, I just didn't connect with the story, maybe it was a bit exaggerated. It deals with so many topics at once, it's hard to image a young boy going through all that. As the stories continue, the reader sees more and more issues that Jason goes through in order to become a better person, he does have a good soul, and he tries to understand the world around him. 

Drums Of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

This is the fourth book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. And while I loved the first three this one dragged throughout most of the first half. Then we get some great action, and then it slowly fizzles out again. I don't know, maybe it's because I don't care for Brianna that much. But her story is just not as compelling as Claires. I felt like she was getting in the way some of the time. The characters pretty much stay the same from the third book, there are a few more, but noting exciting really happens. It didn't keep me glued to the book like the others did. I still read it pretty quickly, but I think that was because I kept hoping something will happen. Also Roger is really bugging me. He's like a fish out of water, just doesn't seem to fit into the story. When I first met Roger I never expected to dislike him that much. Hopefully he redeems himself in the next books.

So the story goes like this. Claire and Jamie end up in the colonies after their adventurous voyage, here they try to start a new life, while Brianna is left in Boston all alone. And while all alone she keeps searching for her parents wanting to find out if they are still alive, if Claire has made it back to Jamie. She ends up stumbling on some information that sends her back to the stone circle, in the effort to try to change history she meets dangers and heartbreaking events that alter her own life forever. Overall the book wasn't bad, I guess you can't put that many events into a persons life before it really becomes fake. And I guess that's what Diana was trying to achieve, just to show us the normal day to day life of Jamie and Claire. Nothing special. Still good though, and I will recommend it if you read the previous ones. 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I find it really hard to write a review for a book I absolutely loved. And this one I did. I couldn't read it fast enough to find out what happens next. The story line is really good, yes I know if you've read or watched the movie Battle Royale you will see a lot, and I mean a lot of similarities, but since I didn't, before I started reading this book, I enjoyed it very much. It's more focused on the fact that these people are all controlled by their government, known as the CAPITOL. They are even forced to kill each other. How messed up is that.

Ok so let me explain the plot first. This book is about North America, now called Panem, and how in the future, ( I don't think they mention how far ) after a riot of some sort gone wrong, the Capitol controls 12 districts. The story follows Katniss, a 16 year old girl who lives in district 12, apparently the worst one. Every year the Capitol chooses two children between ages 12-18 to participate in The Hunger Games, designed to show the citizens that the Capital is in charge of all of them. These 24 teenagers are sent to fight to the death, last one standing wins. And this is where Katniss comes in, she is at the Hunger Games and is fighting for her life. Really there is more to the story but of course I can't sill the beans here. You will just have to take my word for it and find out for yourself. Sure I thought the ending might be a little different, maybe I hoped they would all commit suicide just to stick it to the MAN, but they really didn't. Unless it happens in the next book, Catching Fire. Which I will start as soon as it arrives in the mail. Can't wait what happens next.

I think the book could've been a little better, maybe if it was a little longer, Collins would have more room to develop more of the characters, we don't really get to know all the 24 teenagers. And I don't even want to mention the many spelling and grammar errors. Talk about run on sentences. I had the urge to go through and underline and correct all the errors. I always thought a book had to be perfect in order to be published. But I guess that is the editors fault.

Aside from that, the book is great, I don't really see any similarities between this book and Twilight, and I've seen a lot of people comparing the two. I got to say I like it more than Twilight, they just killed the books with the movies.

Oh and don't forget March 8, 2012 the Hunger Games comes out in theaters. Here's the trailer.