My Tribute Tale | How The Hunger Games Devoured Me

Greetings readers!

So I am sure we have all heard the news. The Suzanne Collins is coming out with a prequel novel to her iconic series, The Hunger Games. I was in the middle of the Raptors Victory Parade here in Toronto when the announcement went out, so I just got more excited in the moment.

I figured with the news I would share with you the story of how THG completely changed the way I read books.

the hunger games GIF
via giphy.com

My Cousin Pushed Me To Read Them

Well she didn’t so much as push me as constantly recommend them to me every time I asked her what she was reading. I remember her telling me that the books were getting super popular because they were going to be adapted into films. This was happening when I was still in my half-liking reading phase so I didn’t pay that much attention to her. But then as I took trips to Indigo I noticed the massive piles and displays of the books and then a girl in my class started reading them so naturally I had to see if I liked them too!

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And I swallowed them.

I asked my cousin to borrow her set (since she ended up buying them because the library hold line was too long.) I started book one very late in the night, but I remember being totally sucked into the first chapter.

After that I completely devoured them and read the series in just over the week. I had the time of my life. I don’t remember all the details perfectly but I know I loved each and every book.

For the record I was always #TeamPeeta.

GIF by The Hunger Games
via giphy.com

I literally dressed like Katniss

Yeah. If you went down my search history circa 2011/2012 you would see braid tutorial after braid tutorial videos. Lots of “How to get the Katniss Look” searches. And my absolute favourite “How to make a bow and arrow from household items”. And yes I actually made one from a plastic coat hanger and skewers. The quiver was made from a paper-machéd rolled up piece of newspaper. Yup.

I bought combat boots, a leather jacket, lots of black Tees and greenish coloured jeans. Now that I think back on it, it was so, so weird. My braids never turned out that great and I wore them to school almost every day. Oh my god, RENDZ!

And you know what I told myself?! “Rendz, don’t dress up as Katniss on Halloween because that’s totes cliché” (just happily do it every other day of the year) *face meet palm*

DIY Halloween Costume: Katniss Everdeen
via Pinterest

The Movies were my LIFE

Part of the reason why I dressed like her was because of the movie. Before it even came out I watched the trailers obsessively. Meaning I would watch the commercial between shows JUST to see the movie trailer.

I watched every single cast interview I could. I googled the actors daily for any updates on the films. I grew a crush on Josh Hutcherson, which I berate myself for now endlessly.

I wore my leather jacket to the watch the first movie and yes, my hair was in the Katniss braid. I think I wore my hair braided to every movie viewing. I can’t tell you how many times I watched the first one, I just watched it a lot.

the hunger games GIF
via giphy.com

My Memorabilia Collection and Obsession

I collected everything I could. I didn’t have money as a tween obviously so I couldn’t buy the pendant, I didn’t get the posters or any stuff like that. But newspapers and magazines were at my access. I cut out every piece I could and saved it in a folder. Remember that ill-advised crush I had on JH, yeah well most of it is about him. I don’t know what Past-Rendz was thinking but she crushed hardddd.

My sisters were very embarrassed for me and teased me endlessly about my obsession.

To quote Maz “She wore a braid everyday. Everyday. For like a year. It was more embarrassing for you than me!”

To quote Kez: “She made arrows!”

thg

How I feel about the Prequel!

I’m excited for it! Yeah it might be a cash crab, but I am still super into it! I would love to see the early years of the games and what kind of rebellion was happening back in the day. I even heard a rumor that it could possibly be about Mags so YES I am 100% on board for this. It’s the perfect excuse to reread the series which will probably happen closer to the date of release 😉

Untitled Panem Novel (The Hunger Games, #0)


Let me know what you think! How embarrassed should I be about this past? When did you first read THG? Have you watched all the movies? Are you looking forward to the prequel?

Even more importantly…I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR #TRIBUTETALE? I would love to read a whole post on your thoughts! Feel free to use the hashtag (which I’m not sure is an entirely original) and tag me as well! 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Series That Changed My Life | Pt 1

Greetings readers!

Let’s get nostalgic.

It’s a simple question many people ask: “What book changed your life?”

The complexity comes in answering. For me at least, and I am sure many of you would agree. No one book changed my life. No one book had everything I was looking for. No one book had a full representation of who I was, rather it was multiple books. Series of books. Multiple series of books that I learned from, harboured intense feelings toward and ultimately changed me.

So we are going to start from the beginning and move forward. I am counting the series that have impacted me in one way, shape or form. There isn’t really an end to this list. As life goes on, I keep reading more series change me and this list grows!

Those of you who know me might spot some familiars and go “Well…duh!” and some might surprise you. I doubt it though, I am about as open as a…well…book!


Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park

So some of you know that I hated reading growing up. Going to the library at school consisted of me picking up picture books, but in Grade Two we had to start taking out novels. Books without pictures. The horror. I couldn’t fathom reading a page of just words. Words that I didn’t know their meanings or how to pronounce them. No.

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I used to be a Gaston…..*shame*

I saw all my classmates taking out books and reading them just fine. I (who was very prideful) took out books just like them and never actually read them! I hardly ever read my assigned books for language too. Eventually my teacher caught me. She noticed how I was struggling to pronounce words and when she interviewed me about my book, I knew nothing about it! She told me that I had to try and I was also afraid of being reprimanded for not reading again, so I listened to her.

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My teacher was actually quite nicer when she told me to read.

The next time I went to the library I found a bucket full of thin-ish looking chapter books. An entire series, I realized about this coocky girl named Junie B. and her adventures in school. I made a pledge to myself in the moment, standing in front of the boxes that I would read this entire series no matter what. And I did. I read one every week or so and continued to do so until I found other series that drew me into my reading mode. I loved Junie B. It was the perfect series for me. A little comedy, a lot of drama and just good fun!

Junie B. Jones and the  Stupid Smelly Bus (Junie B. Jones, #1)
via Goodreads

I’ll always be thankful for Junie B. Jones and Barbara Park as they mark the beginning of my reading journey.


Now we are going to skip forward a few years and meet twelve year-old Rendz! In other words, The Golden Age of Rendz.

Over the years I read lots of great books, I went to the library three or four times over the summer to take out books, but none of them really impacted me or made me addicted to reading. That comes later!


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Day 7 of #bookishfools is Never judge a book by its movie Now I don't think that The Hunger Games movies were all that bad. In fact I really enjoyed watching them all in the cinemas. However, they pale in comparison to the elation and emotions that the books derived from me.  I think The Hunger Games book was better than the movie.  I think the Catching Fire book and movie really worked well together.  As for Mocking Jay...I think that they were okay. But the whole splitting the last movie into two films was unnecessary in my opinion!  What did you think of these movies?  #thehungergames #catchingfire #mockingjay #suzannecollins #bookstomovies #ya #youngadultbooks #bookblog #bookaddict #bookstagram

It was a January, some years ago. I was at my cousins’ house after school as usual. My older cousin arrived and I saw that she was clutching a black book with a weird/cool-bird-thing on the cover. Tween-Rendz was intrigued, so I asked my cousin what she was reading. To quote her: “How do you not know?” Apparently these books were rather popular and her hold from the library finally came after weeks of waiting. Long story short, she ended up buying them to avoid the long library wait and I borrowed them from her in February.

I read the entire trilogy in nine days.

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I always said that reading books slowly made them more enjoyable, but for the first time I had experienced the joy of being completely engrossed in a story that you finish it before you even realize. Everything about THG just hit me in all the right places. The action, the romance (even though it was a triangle), and the heroine just completely transformed me. Literally. (I braided my hair like Katniss for the next three years…#TrueStory) Then the movies came out and were great and I was just completely submerged by this genre of dystopia and  fantasy.

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The big thing about THG is that the series made me less hesitant to head into the teen section or to explore the YA section at Indigo. I visited the library more often, took out lots of more books and read them faster than ever. My YA journey really started with this book series and I have never looked back!

elizabeth banks GIF by The Hunger Games


Last one of this post! It’s really no surprise!


The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Controversial Bit: It didn’t begin with the books, it began with the movie.

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C’est vrai! It was December 2005 and baby-Rendz demanded that she and her family watch the movie she has been seeing advertised on TV lately. Her mother said “Your going to get scared by all the monsters,” but Baby-Rendz insisted. So we bought the tickets and I watched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time!

My mom was right, I was supremely scared of the monsters.

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My cousin would eventually buy me a DVD of the movie and that, ladies and gents, is the beginning of a phase I am never going to grow out of!

BUT..the books? Where do they come into play? In the 6th grade my teacher decided to read LWW to us and I was literally over the moon because that meant we would also be watching the movie at the end of the unit! Of course while studying the book we had to find all the symbolism and metaphors and all those other fancy-dancy literary terms (plus I went to a Catholic school, and this is C.S. Lewis so you know Jesus was brought up a couple times too), but all of that really took a side note. For me, I was realizing that my favourite fantasy world could be explored in more ways, that I could venture further into the world with the other books, I just had to find the motivation to do it.

narnia GIF

That motivation didn’t come until the following year when I bought a beautiful bind up of all seven books and read the entire, humongous tome in a month and a half. It was fantastic, I found new love for LWW and also found other faves in The Horse and His Boy and The Silver Chair!

Narnia was such an important feature in my life. It took up (and still does) most of my thoughts, I would coerce my friends into playing “Narnia” at recess, I would reenact my favourite scenes at home and find my favourite quotes to write out. The obsession is never ending. I know they may not be the most politically correct books and C.S. Lewis is pretty problematic himself, but I cannot deny what a huge impact these works had and still have on me.

Narnia was my first fantasy world that I visited and even though I’m sure there are other amazing worlds to explore, I will always choose Narnia as my go to.

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Alright that’s enough for now! These are just the beginning books, the ones that really impacted me as a kid and tween.There are still a few more series that changed me in some way that I will dive into in other posts.

Let me know what you think! As a kid what are some books that really changed you? Or perhaps they made you fall in love with reading? I would love to know!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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*Disclaimer: All gifs via giphy.com!*

Favourites!

Greetings readers:

n3lyz8gsource: giphy.com

Today I have decided to share with you some of my Favourites about reading. Some have been with me for long periods of time or in some cases are recently favourited. Each of these books or people have impacted my life in some way, shape or form. It could vary from being extremely entertaining or inspiring or the “reason I read” kind of book or author.

There a countless books in the world, so many I have yet to read. So while this may be a list of my favourites, know that this list will only grow bigger and bigger.

Genres

#1. Fantasy

I will admit it, when it comes to reading I will always, ALWAYS go to Fantasy first. I rarely read out of fantasy (but I do so no worries my other genre loving peeps). Fantasy (like many who use this cliche) is my escape. When I look around me and see how messed up this world of ours is, I want to leave. But I can’t, so I turn to books, with other worlds, with their own set of screwed up problems, with their adventure and resolution.

I go there for magic.

Any type of magic in the book world, whether it be elemental or witchcraft/wizardry or pulling rabbits out of hats, instantly has my attention. I love to read about magical human beings (or maybe not human), who have the ability to wield forces that are unrealistic. If I had a magical power it would be all magic (don’t you dare ask me to pick and choose).

I could go more in depth and reveal my soul deep love for fantasy and write how it has allowed me to grow, learn from mistakes and have courage. But that will come another time. For now I’ll let you know that most of my points will always lead back to my desire to wield magic.

#2. Science fiction and Dystopia

#3. Historical fiction (I have a sweet spot for Sherlock Holmes spin offs even though I have yet to read a Holmes novel)

#4. Contemporary. I will be honest I am not a big contemporary reader. The stories don’t bore me (at least not usually) but I am always looking for an adventure, something different and outside of realistic element aka fantasy. I do try to read at least one contemporary a month to explore the reading realm.

#5. Paranormal/Supernatural. I hardly read from this genre because I find each story to be the same. Guy is super hot and muscular (not a complaint) and is a powerful demon/vampire/angel who is sent to kill girl who has hidden power or guy spontaneously saves girl from enemy/herself as she discovers her power. Some fight scenes, kissing scenes and cheesy romantic lines later and they all lived as happily as demons can live! But I’m a hypocrite. This is my guilty pleasure genre. Something about the predictable end and well…MAGIC always keep me hooked!

Favourite Books/Series
As I said this is the current list. With time, some titles will change many more will be added but for now I will share the current list. (Note: Eventually each or at least some of these mentions will get their own appreciation post)

#1: The Chronicles of Narnia  by C.S. Lewis

#2: The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

#3: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

#4: The Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

#5: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

#6: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

#7: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

#8: Accidentally Fabulous series by Lisa Papademetriou

#9:  The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

#10: Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch

And many more but I will cut the list here. There will be some huge rants about some of the books listed above.

Favourite Authors

#1. Marissa Meyer

#2. Morgan Rhodes

#3. Sabaa Tahir

#4. C.S. Lewis

#5. Leigh Bardugo

#6. Sara Raasch

#7. Marie Lu

#8. Sarah J. Maas

#9. Maggie Steifvater

#10. Marie Rutkoski 

Again there are so many more!

Favourite places to get books!

#1. That one time in a blue one moon when I win a giveaway! Hello free books!

#2. The Library– I am a TPL teen

#3. Overdrive–basically the library for ebooks

#4. Chapters Indigo –my home away from home

#5. BMV stores across Toronto– Hello cheap books!

Favourite places to read!

#1. My room –curtains drawn, window open, warm blanket if needed

#2. Living room couch

#3. Porch

#4. Library

#5.  School

Bonus: Favourite Guilty Pleasure Reads!

#1. The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey

#2. The Divinicus Nex Chronicles by A&E Kirk

#3. Anything by Catherine Fisher, especially her Chronoptika quartet and Incarceron series

Well that’s it for this week my friends. I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about moi! Feel free to comment some of your favourites and I will write to you again next week!

Happy Reading!

-Rendz

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