Tag Archives: Suzanne Collins

YA – My top 10

Hello, Hope this post finds you all well! So much is happening in real life that I’m struggling to find time to post to all you lovely people. My sister is getting married in just under 1 week  so it is a very exciting time for the family :).

Young Adult literature can be traced back to WWII where our teens found themselves needing a form of book that could bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood. Many books can be seen as YA (The Lord of the Rings, Catcher in the Rye) but it has been the sudden increase in popularity (thanks to Harry Potter) that has seen an emergence of some great YA books.

Today I thought I would share my top 10 of YA books and series. Some of them will have been reviewed on here but some haven’t so take a look and see if you would add any to this list! (not in a particular order)

#1 – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Yes I thought I would start with the most obvious YA series and one that is on everyone’s list. The Hunger Games is a great trilogy and I feel that the films are just as good (quite an anomaly). It follows Katniss as she volunteers for her sister in the 74th annual Hunger Games, a disgusting reminder of the power the Capitol has over the districts of Panem after the destruction of the USA and the uprising that occurred. Portrayed as a ‘competition’, this is really a way for the government to remind the citizens that they can kill anyone who crosses out of line. Unfortunately for Katniss, in trying to keep alive she unwittingly becomes the face of the new revolution.

#2 – Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

An excellent series that has spawned the spin off of Dangerous Creatures. Far superior to the film (which completely changes the ending). Whilst I haven’t really enjoyed Garcia and Stohl’s stand alone novels, Beautiful Creatures has great main and supporting characters, interesting plot and well crafted romances.

#3 – Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater

This trilogy was just equisitly written. A werewolf romance story is the basic storyline but it is so much more. When the tempreture gets below a certain level, Sam has no choice but to be a wolf. He is ripped from his human form no matter the place or time. If he wishes to stay human for longer, then he needs to stay warm and not just pull a jumper on warm. Grace has always seen the wolves near her garden, in fact she had a strange interaction with one when she was little and now always sees him as her wolf. When she discovers what he is, they fall in love but can they cope with the pressures of this lifestyle and can Sam keep returning into his human form?

#4 – Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

From my last post you could have probably surmise that Vampire Academy was going to make it onto this list. The story of friendship, love and high school mixed with vampires and guardians makes Mead’s first foray into YA a truly great one. The characters are great, the twists surprising and the plots enjoyable. A series of 6 and it seems to end too soon.

#5 – Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Luckily, Mead must have thought it ended too soon to as she carries on the world forged in Vampire Academy in Bloodlines. Instead of following Rose, Dimitri and Lissa, we follow Sydney, Adrian and Jill. Sydney was a secondary character appearing in a few of the VA books. It’s interesting to see her as she is so anti-Vampires to begin with and has to overcome this prejudice but in return is shunned by her own people for this acceptance. A very different problem to that of VA but one that seems much more realistic and poignant in today’s world.

#6 – The Girl in the Box series by Robert J Crane

Robert J Crane is a self-published author and someone who has been kind enough to help me with my MA. He recently answered some questions for me towards one of my case studies. Besides being a lovely man, he is also a great writer. The Girl in the Box Series is excellently written, edited and set out. It’s very professionally done and I would highly recommend that if you have never read a self published work before, start with Crane’s. Writing with a female protagonist as a man must be hard but Crane has managed to get all the teenage girl angst so true and congratulations to him for being the only male writer on this list!

#7 – Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

The Legend Trilogy is like a cross between The Hunger Games and The Divergent Trilogy. There is the shunned part of the city (as District 12 is) and the elite part of the city (think Panem). However, there are classes like there are in Divergent that the elite can partake in. We see that this new country is flawed and our two protagonists are thrown together. The ending is better than both of the above mentioned books. It doesn’t let you down as much as The Hunger Games does and it doesn’t destroy you as Divergent does. Great solid trilogy and a worthy option within this list.

 

#8 – Duff by Kody Keplinger

This is coming out this year as a film and I felt I should get the book in before that occurred. From the trailers I can already see that they have changed certain parts of the book so I am not too happy about that. This book is one that I feel all girls will be able to relate to. Duff stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend and whilst the Duff doesn’t need to be fat or particularly ugly, she is the one who isn’t as pretty as her friends. However, we see that all girls feel that they are the Duff at some point in their lives. All girls seem to have this ability to only see the bad in themselves and see how perfect that is in one of our friends whether it be they have better legs or eyes, when in reality you have better hair and smile. As a girl, give this a go and as a boy, read it to discover that what bad you say will stick with girls longer than the multitude of good things you say and do.

#9 – The Host by Stephanie Mayer 

If anyone has read my review of The Host will know, I found this highly superior to the Twilight series. The storyline of a love box in three bodies is excellent. How you are never confused between Wanda and Melanie shows just how strong the characters are when they share the same body and space. Mayer may have hit gold with Twilight in terms of fans and money but it is this book that should be her crowning moment. Better written, better characters and a nicer love story, The Host is the Mayer book you should be reading.

#10 – The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau

A very recent read of mine and an excellent one at that. Similar to the other’s in that it is dystopia, we find people who are chosen by the city to be potentially educated at the University. Here, the 16 year olds must pass tests of logic, memory, ruthlessness and leadership. They forge alliances, create friendships, enemies and learn how far they are willing to go. Once successful, their memories wiped and they know nothing of the horrors of what they have done… or do they? A brilliant read.

I could have added Harry Potter but I feel everyone knows that this will always be in any book lovers top 10 so I felt it needed to let other books take centre stage! If there are any you think I should have added, let me know in the comments!

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Filed under Top 10, YA, Young Adult

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (film)The Hunger Games is probably as big as Twilight and Harry Potter. All three have been made into films and have all sold 50-450 million books. Phenomenal when you see series’ such as Discworld have sold over 55 million copies and have been written since the 80’s. The power of film has done this for these. Harry Potter would always have been a high grossing book series but Twilight and The Hunger Games have hugely benefited from the films. Having said that, I read this series long before it became a film.

Plot

We meet Katniss, our heroine, and discover a few important things. One, when her father died it was left to her to raise herself and Prim (sister) due to their mother’s depression. Two, she did this by hunting in the forest by her district. Three, the Captiol makes the district “give up” two of its teenagers to compete in a bloody and barbaric “Hunger Games”. These three points are important in understanding the start of this trilogy and indeed the end. Katniss loves her sister, can shoot with a bow Cover of "The Hunger Games" and arrow and the Capitol leaders are evil. During the reaping (the choosing of the teenagers), Prim’s name is called. Katniss volunteers for her sister and in doing so puts herself into the Games. The boy tribute for District 12 is Peeta. They journey off together, along with their mentor, Haymitch, and battle against 22 other young people to be crowned victors. In a twist,  Katniss severely undermines the Capitol and becomes the face of the rebellion.

During Catching Fire Katniss is in no better a position than before the Games. Yes, her family is now rich and have a fabulous new house but she is under severe scrutiny. Her freedom to chose who she wishes to be her husband has been taken away from Cover of "Catching Fire (The Second Book ... her. District 12 now has new law keepers and is punishing the whole district for Katniss’ success. Snow wants her dead and makes it so Katniss has to enter into her nightmares, a second Hunger Game. This time she makes it her mission to keep Peeta alive, knowing she will never have a life with the Capitol in power.

Mockingjay brings us to the final and ultimate climax of the series. Katniss has been rescued from the Mockingjay
games but at the price of Peeta. She becomes the poster girl for the rebellion. Katniss is once again used by higher powers in their games of dominance when all she wants to do is stop fighting and live a normal life.

Opinion

I loved these books. Obviously had to like the first one to keep reading the series. The films are pretty good too. This is a world not to distant to us. Humanity has basically torn itself apart and the Capitol is the area that won at the end of it. The Hunger Games were designed to keep the districts subdued and it is a very feasible path that is not out of the realm of possibilities humanity could take. I think the moral and political issues behind the book are very intricately woven into the plot and hold a hidden meaning; humanity could almost wipe itself out and what we are left with won’t be pretty.

The love triangle is exquisitely done and you never feel that it is forced or contrite by Collins. The fight scenes are detailed gruesomely and you feel Katniss’ pain and revulsion for what she witnesses and what she is forced to do. I definitely didn’t see the ending coming and was shocked when it occurred. However here comes my main vital flaw for this trilogy. The last chapter. Horrendous. It was almost as bad as “And they all woke up and it was just a dream”. Collins had built up this epic suspense and had us all on the edge of our seats and then boom, a very wimpy way to end it. However, I don’t really see any other end to the books. She wrote herself into a corner and this is the result. Unlike the Harry Potter books where I felt a kind of closure for the characters, here I just felt loss and confusion. If it wasn’t for this ending these books are excellent and very much a 10/10. Due to this my verdict is: 8/10. Still epic but just not there.

The symbol of the revolution. The Mockingjay.

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Filed under Book Review, Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Twilight, Young Adult

List of Best-Selling Book Series

Hello readers! This is a quick overview of the top book series sales from across the globe. You can find reviews of some of these books on this blog. Happy reading 🙂

Over 100 Million Copies
Book series Author First published Approximate sales
Maigret Georges Simenon 1931-1972 853 million
Harry Potter J.K.Rowling 1997-2007 450 million
Perry Mason Erle Stanley Gardner 1933 — 1970 300 million
Goosebumps R. L. Stine 1992–1997–present 300 million
Berenstain Bears Stan and Jan Berenstain 1962 — present 260 million
Sweet Valley High Francine Pascal and ghostwriters 1983–2003 250 million
Choose Your Own Adventure various authors 1979 — 1998 250 million
Robert Langdon Dan Brown 2000–present 200 million
San-Antonio Frédéric Dard 1949–2001 200 million
The Railway Series (spawned Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends) Rev. W. Awdry, Christopher Awdry 1945–2011 200 million
Nancy Drew various authors as Carolyn Keene 1930 — present 200 million
Noddy Enid Blyton 1949–present 200 million
The Baby-sitters Club Ann Martin 1986 — present 172 million
Star Wars various authors 1977 — present 160 million
Peter Rabbit Beatrix Potter 1902–1930 150 million
Chicken Soup for the Soul Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen 1997 — present 130 million
Frank Merriwell Gilbert Patten 1896 – 125 million
Mr. Men Roger Hargreaves, Adam Hargreaves 1971 — present 120 million
The Chronicles of Narnia C. S. Lewis 1949–1954 120 million
American Girl various authors 1986 — present 120 million
宮本武蔵 (Musashi) Eiji Yoshikawa 1935–1939 120 million
Dirk Pitt Clive Cussler 1973 — present 120 million
Twilight Stephenie Meyer 2005–2011 116 million
Clifford the Big Red Dog Norman Bridwell 1963 — present 110 million
Martine Gilbert Delahaye, Marcel Marlier 1954 — present 100 million
James Bond Ian Fleming 1953–1966 100 million
Between 50 million and 100 million copies
Book series Author First published Approximate sales
Nijntje (Miffy) Dick Bruna 1955 — present 85 million
Fear Street R. L. Stine 1989 — present 80 million
The Vampire Chronicles Anne Rice 1976-2003 80 million
Pippi Longstocking Astrid Lindgren 1945-2001 80 million
OSS 117 Jean Bruce 1949–1992 75 million
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney 2007–present 75 million
Winnie-the-Pooh A. A. Milne; illustrated by E. H. Shepard 1926–1928 70 million
Magic Tree House series Mary Pope Osborne 1992–present 70 million
Fifty Shades of Grey E. L. James 2011–2012 70 million
Left Behind Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins 1996 — 2007 65 million
A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony Snicket aka Daniel Handler 1999–2006 65 million
Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder 1932–2006 60 million
Jack Reacher Lee Child 1997–present 60 million
Discworld Terry Pratchett 1983–present 55 million
Where’s Wally?[164] Martin Handford 1987–present 55 million
Millennium Trilogy Stieg Larsson 2005–2007 53 million
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus John Gray 1992–present 50 million
The Hardy Boys various authors as Franklin W. Dixon 1927–present 50 million
The Bobbsey Twins various authors as Laura Lee Hope 1904–1979 50 million
Tarzan Edgar Rice Burroughs 1914–1995 50 million
The Hunger Games trilogy Suzanne Collins 2008–2010 50 million
Between 30 million and 50 million copies
Book series Author First published Approximate sales
A Child’s First Library Of Learning various authors 1980 – 45 million
Junie B. Jones Barbara Park 1992 – 44 million
The Wheel of Time Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson 1990 – 2013 44 million
Harry Bosch Michael Connelly 1992 – 42 million
Harry Hole Jo Nesbø 1997–present 40 million
连环画 铁道游击队 (Picture-and-story book Railway Guerilla) original author: Liu Zhixia 1955–1962 36.52 million
Paddington Bear Michael Bond 1958–present 35 million
The Inheritance Cycle Christopher Paolini 2002–2011 33 million
徳川家康 (Tokugawa Ieyasu) Sohachi Yamaoka 1950–1967 30 million
Ramona Beverly Cleary 1955–1999 30 million
The Dark Tower Stephen King 1982-2012 30 million
The Destroyer Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir, various authors 1971–present 30 million
Between 20 million and 30 million copies
Book series Author First published Approximate sales
ノンタン (Nontan) Sachiko Kiyono 1976–2006 28 million
Curious George Hans Augusto Rey andMargret Rey 1941–present 27 million
グイン・サーガ (Guin Saga) Kaoru Kurimoto 1979–2009 26 million
Captain Underpants Dav Pilkey 1997–present 26 million
三毛猫ホームズシリーズ (Calico Cat Holmes series) Jirō Akagawa 1978–present 26 million
Rich Dad, Poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki Sharon Lechter 1997- 26 million
Kurt Wallander Henning Mankell 1991–2002 25 million
Sagaen om Isfolket (The Legend of the Ice People) Margit Sandemo 1982–1989 25 million
The Sword of Truth Terry Goodkind 1998–2007 25 million
鬼平犯科帳 (Onihei Hankachō) Shōtarō Ikenami 1968–1990 24.4 million
The Shadowhunter Chronicles Cassandra Clare 2007–present 24 million
Brain Quest series various authors 1992–present 23.7 million
かいけつゾロリ (Kaiketsu Zorori) Yutaka Hara 1987–present 23 million
South Beach Diet Arthur Agatston 2003–present 22 million
竜馬がゆく (Ryoma ga Yuku) Ryōtarō Shiba 1963–1966 21.5 million
Artemis Fowl Eoin Colfer 2001–2012 21 million
ズッコケ三人組 (Zukkoke Sanningumi) Masamoto Nasu 1978–2004 21 million
Shannara Terry Brooks 1977–present 21 million
Redwall Brian Jacques 1986–present 20 million
Maisy Lucy Cousins 1990–present 20 million
Dragonlance various authors 1984 — present 20 million
幻魔大戦 (Genma Taisen) Kazumasa Hirai 1979–1983 20 million
青春の門 (The Gate of Youth) Hiroyuki Itsuki 1970–present 20 million
The Foundation Trilogy Isaac Asimov 1950–1953 20 million
Horrible Histories Terry Deary 1993–present 20 million
Rainbow Magic Daisy Meadows 2003–present 20 million
Morgan Kane Louis Masterson 1966– 20 million
The Southern Vampire Mysteries Charlaine Harris 2001–2013 20 million
Between 15 million and 20 million copies
Book series Author First published Approximate sales
科学のアルバム (Kagaku no album) various authors 1970–present 19 million
剣客商売 (Kenkaku Shobai) Shotaro Ikenami 1972–1989 18 million
Erast Fandorin Boris Akunin 1998–present 18 million
吸血鬼ハンターD (Vampire Hunter D) Hideyuki Kikuchi 1983–present 17 million
涼宮ハルヒシリーズ(Haruhi Suzumiya Series) Nagaru Tanigawa 2003–present 16.5 million
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams, plus a final book by Eoin Colfer 1979–2008 16 million
Bridget Jones Helen Fielding 1996–present 15 million
The Riftwar Cycle Raymond E. Feist 1982–present 15 million
Percy Jackson & the Olympians Rick Riordan 2005–2009 15 million
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Alexander McCall Smith 1999–present 15 million
ぼくらシリーズ(Bokura series) Osamu Soda 1985–present 15 million
His Dark Materials Philip Pullman 1995–2000 15 million
銀河英雄伝説 (Legend of the Galactic Heroes) Yoshiki Tanaka 1982–1989 15 million
Der Regenbogenfisch (Rainbow Fish) Marcus Pfister 1992–present 15 million
A Song of Ice and Fire George R. R. Martin 1996–present 15 million

All sourced from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_books

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Filed under Book Review, Christopher Paolini, Eragon, Stephanie Mayer, Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Twilight