by Captain Yarr

My two books for this comparison essay are Gregor The Overlander and The Hunger Games, both by Suzanne Collins. Gregor the Overlander is about Gregor and his little sister Boots falling into the underworld and trying to get out, but not knowing how. This book ends with Gregor finding his lost-since-he-was-little father and the two of them getting out of the Underland, knowing that they'll never be the same. Hunger Games is about Katniss taking her sister’s place when she's called into the Hunger Games and trying to survive in the arena with Peeta (the boy called into the Hunger Games for district 12). This book ends with her and Peeta winning the Hunger Games and the two of them happily returning to District 12 to their families and having an unforgettable experience.

There are many similarities between these two books. Such as: they both have mind blowing experiences. Gregor was in the Underworld and fighting to search for his father, and Katniss was fighting for survival in the arena. They also have similar plots, for they both are fighting and searching for their life. They both have someone as their sidekick/companion. For Gregor it was Boots, and for Katniss it was Peeta. These two books are alike because the main characters both cared for their friends and family and didn't want them to suffer. Katniss didn't want Prim to suffer, and Gregor didn't want his Mother and Boots to suffer. Gregor and Katniss both had similar solutions. They both return home safe and secure, and they're both not sure what's going to happen next.

There were also many differences between these two books. At first Gregor didn't know what he was getting into, when he was falling to the Underworld, but when Katniss volunteered to take Prim's place in the Hunger Games, she knew that she was risking her life. Gregor wasn't prepared for fighting and what he going to do in the Underworld, whereas Katniss was put into training and could defend herself, if she were attacked. These two books are different because Hunger Games is more of a young adult book, but Gregor the Overlander is a children's fantasy. The settings of these two books are different, because Hunger Games mainly takes place in the arena, and Gregor the Overlander takes place in the Underworld. In Gregor the Overlander there's no romance, but in Hunger Games Katniss and Peeta are shown to the world as a couple.

The author, Suzanne Collins wrote both Hunger Games and Gregor the Overlander. She became a writer for children books, when she met James Proimos and decided to write children books herself. Gregor the Overlander was inspired by Alice In Wonderland. Gregor falls down into the Underworld just like Alice falls down the hole. Hunger Games was partly inspired by the Greek myth Theseus and the Minotaur. Besides the two series (Hunger Games and Underland) she has written Fire Proof in 1999 and When Charlie McButton Lost Power in 2005.

While I was reading these books, I used useful strategies such as visualizing and inferring. Using these skills made reading the books a lot better than just reading alone. I could taste what the characters tasted, smell what they smelled, see what they saw, feel what they felt, and I could hear what they heard. Predicting what would happen also made the book a lot better. Either the books could be read to find out what happens, or the reader could begin the books by predicting what will happen and making predictions along the way.  The second way makes the books a whole lot more interesting, because it makes them interactive. After I finished each book, I thought about my predictions and how some of them were right, and some were wrong. I also thought how the story would change, if all of my predictions came true.

I would recommend both of these books.  They were very enjoyable, and not one page did I think I would fall asleep. At first when I heard of Hunger Games, I wasn't sure if I'd like it, because I wasn't a fan of war. But everyone started reading it and saying that they loved it, so I decided that I would try it, and I loved it too! A friend also recommended I read Gregor the Overlander and I did, and I also enjoyed it. I would recommend Hunger Games to someone who didn't mind gory chapters and war-like books, but who also liked a hint of romance. I would recommend Gregor the Overlander to someone who likes bugs, rats, and bats. Even if they didn't, someone who'd enjoy a adventurous search with a adorable little sister who isn't afraid of anything would likely enjoy this book for it is both adventurous and humorous.

In conclusion I enjoyed reading both of these books, and I'm planning to read both sequels! The writing was terrific, and once I got into the book, I devoured it whole. I think that Suzanne Collins is a great author and want to read more of her books as they get published. I'm also planning to see the Hunger Games once it comes out in 2011!

4 Book Series to Read if You Loved Hunger Games or Gregor the Overlander:

  1. Harry Potter: Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows
  2. Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian
  3. Artemis Fowl: Artemis Fowl, Arctic Incident, Eternity Code, Opal Deception, Lost Colony, Time Paradox
  4. Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide, The Seeing Stone, Lucinda’s Secret, The Ironwood Tree, The Wrath of Mulgarath
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by First Mate Keira

Title: The False Princess
Author: Eilis O'Neal
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 319 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 11-19

Summary: Nalia is a shy bookworm princess whose only close friend is her best friend Kerinan, the son of an earl. On her 16th birthday, Nalia is told she’s a substitute princess; a stand-in, someone to take the place of the real princess while her life was in danger. But now the danger that the prophecy predicted had passed without a hiccup, they didn’t need her anymore. Her parents are suddenly the king and queen of Thorvaldor and Nalia turns from beloved daughter into something the cat dragged in. She’s kicked out immediately with few possessions and a small bag of coins for her services to the crown. The only thing that’s truly hers is her new name… Sinda, but who on earth is Sinda?

Why I started this book:

I saw it on the shelf in the library and thought I would like the book because the cover reminded me of the original cover for Ella Enchanted.

Likes:

  • Keirnan’s loyalty to Sinda. He wasn’t in love with her because she was a princess and could elevate his status and that of his family. He loved her when her position as the heir to the crown would have hurt his chances with her and now that she’s a commoner, nothing will stand in his way to keep her safe and reveal his feelings.
  • The fun old fashion names: Orianne. Sinda (I really thought at first this would be turned into something like Sindarella), Mika, etc… and the names of the kingdom and major city Vivaskari. They’re fun to repeat aloud.
  • It's got it all. There’s magic, and romance, and journeys, and self discovery and flare. I love the world, the pacing, and the plot.

Dislikes:

  • The "Nameless God" is a pagan god. The god is said to have infinite wisdom and yet he can’t see all things or the outcome of the Sidna’s journey. It's frustrating to say the least.
  • Tyr. At first I liked him, but in the end I’m glad his pursuit of Sinda didn’t get very far beyond a single kiss.
  • The end where somebody nice dies. :(

Buy: The False Princess

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

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Review: If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? by Melissa Kantor

by First Mate Keira April 16, 2014
Review: If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? by Melissa Kantor

Reviewed by First Mate Keira Title: If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? Author: Melissa Kantor Format: Hardback Page Count: 283 pages Grade Reading Level: Grades 7-9 Summary:  Lucy Norton is a modern day Cinderella. Forced to move from San Francisco to Long Island because of her dad’s remarriage, she’s struggling to find […]

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Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

by Second Mate Embry April 15, 2014
Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

by Second Mate Embry, guest reviewer Title: Mockingjay Author: Suzanne Collins Format: Hardcover Page Count: 400 pages Grade Reading Level: Grade 7+ Summary: After Katniss’s survival of the Quarter Quell, she is whisked of to underground (literally and figuratively) District 13. Over the course of the book Katniss is preparing for when she can go […]

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Book Series Protagonists Face-Off: Boy vs Girl

by First Mate Keira April 14, 2014
Book Series Protagonists Face-Off: Boy vs Girl

by First Mate Keira When it comes to reading book series everybody has an opinion on the different aspects of the story. Some readers prefer third over first person writing and others the exact opposite. Some prefer boy protagonists over girl protagonists. It’s all a question of taste. A while ago when I was in […]

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Review: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

by CaptainYarr April 13, 2014
Review: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

by Captain Lyaf Yarr Title: Number the Stars Author: Lois Lowry Format: Paperback Page Count: 156 Pages Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12 Summary: Two years into World War II, Nazis are hunting Jews. Annemarie Johansens is a 10 year old girl living in Copenhagen, Denmark. But everything changes once her best friend, Ellen Rosen has […]

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