I have been catching up on my reading after I finished my exams, because during exams and doing my dissertation before that, catching up on my latest book was the last thing on my mind. I really enjoy reading and when I get into a book I generally don't stop until I've finished it. I got a Kindle for my last birthday and I absolutely love it. At first I was a bit dubious about the whole Kindle thing because I love reading actual books. I love the smell, the feel and the satisfaction of finishing a book and putting it on my bookshelf whereas with a kindle it's kind of like 'oh', and then you go back to the home page, so I like to mix up reading from my Kindle and actual books. On the other hand, Kindle books are often cheaper and they have a really good range of free books if you ever fancy something new or a good classic.
1. The Hunger Games - I really liked this book. In my opinion, this is the best of the three and I have heard that the author originally intended this to be a stand alone book but wrote the other two after the success of this one, and in my opinion you can tell; the plots tend to weaken and I don't seem to care as much about the outcome during the series. I'm sure most people have heard about this book due to the film that has been made about it but if you don't it is about a post-apocalyptic world, where there are 12 districts and a capitol where each year the 12 districts have to sacrifice 2 children to fight until only one, the victor, survives in a reality tv style programme. Although, the style of the book leans towards the teenage market, I was really intrigued by the concept as it seemed quite interesting, and I wasn't let down. It really explores human nature and makes you think about what you would do and how you would cope with some of the situations in the book. It also makes you really think about how far reality tv will go before it crosses the line, or if it already has.
2. Catching Fire - I won't say too much about the plot in case you haven't read the first one, but in my opinion it isn't as strong as the first book. I decided to read it because I like finishing stories and I had felt interested in the character's fates in the previous book. It is a really easy book to read and does grip you quickly, I am a quick reader and read both of the first two books in one night for each, but I know slower readers who have still read them quickly.
3. Mockingjay - This is the last book of the Hunger Games trio. It ties the plots up nicely and unlike other trilogies I have read I felt satisfied with the ending. I would recommend reading all three of the books just because I like knowing the full story, but the first book is, in my opinion, the best. The Hunger Games seem to be the must read book of the year, and although it isn't amazing, I would recommend reading them and I found the whole concept interesting.
4. Pride and Prejudice - This is my favourite book of all time, and I re-read it almost every year. I love the whole story, and Mr Darcy is my ultimate dream man. I also love Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation but that isn't why I love the book. It is the ultimate love story and I love reading it. My dad bought me a lovely hardback copy for my birthday a couple of years ago and it is one of my most treasured books. If you haven't already read this I would definitely recommend this, it's surprising easy to read and has some really funny, quirky moments.
5. Noughts and Crosses - I seem to be revisiting my youth a lot at the moment because this is another book that I used to absolutely love. I would still recommend this to anyone who was looking for an easy but thought provoking read. It is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet and is about two young teenagers, one is black and one is white, and how their relationship evolves in a world where black people (the crosses) are believed to be superior to the white people (the noughts or 'blanks'). This is also part of a trilogy, and although I loved the other books too I haven't re-read them recently as I seem to only be reading series of books at the moment.
6. Game of Thrones - My housemates had been going on and on about these books and I had not understood a word they were saying, so after finishing my exams I thought it was about time I delved into this whole world full of knights, ladies and the odd giant. This book really gripped me, and as someone who doesn't really tend to read fantasy books, I really enjoyed it. The characters are really interesting, as is the format of the book as the chapters rotate from different characters' perspectives. I find this gives the story a lot of depth and you start arguing with yourself about which side you are on, but if you don't like this style, or short chapters, I would probably steer clear. Also, be aware that this author does not mind killing off main characters, as someone who cried for days when a minor character that my mum assured me would be fine died in the Hobbit, my best friend warned me of this before I started reading and I'm glad she did.
7. A Clash of Kings - This is the second book in the Game of Throne series and although it was still good, in my opinion it wasn't as good as the first book. However, with this book you do get a more in depth understanding view of the characters and their stores. How the author (George R.R Martin) keeps track of all of the characters I do not know.
8. A Storm of Swords I: Steel and Snow - This is the third book which has been split into 2 books as it was rather large, all of the books are pretty big at around 800 pages so this one must have originally been mahhoooossive. It is pretty similar to the second book as it develops the story and gradually introduces new characters and plots. I'm really enjoying this series and would strongly recommend them to anyone who is either looking for something a bit different to their usual book or someone who enjoys this type of genre. The series isn't complete yet as George R.R Martin is still writing the last books but I am really enjoying them although as I am quite a fast reader I tend to miss bits that other slower readers seem to take in more so I think I will have to re-read them in a couple of months to really get all the subtleties Martin has hidden.