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Peak by Roland Smith {52 Books in a Year}

by Julie Kohl on June 19, 2012

My goal is to read 52 books in 2012.  Good or bad, as I read, I will be reviewing the books here.  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me about your favorite books!

Peak by Roland Smith
(Book overview found on

After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he’s left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father’s renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. He wants Peak to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit–and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it’s also one that could cost him his life.         Roland Smith has created an action-packed adventure about friendship, sacrifice, family, and the drive to take on Everest, despite the incredible risk. Peak is a novel readers won’t be able to put down.

PeakPeak by Roland Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love a great adventure story and also have a soft spot for coming-of-age type stories as well. This book was both and did both well.

The story started out really exciting and the opening monologue had a twist I wasn’t expecting that made me curious as to what this book was all about.

Peak heads off to China to discover that he will be climbing Mt. Everest with his estranged father. It is not something he is incapable of doing but it is something that will challenge him to the core and leave him questioning his entire purpose in life.

The story is meant to be told as he is writing in a journal that he is required to keep in order to pass his classes for the year after he is required to leave school. Sometimes the dialog and descriptions take away from the journal feel. Every once in a while you feel like the author suddenly remembers this is supposed to be reading like a journal but then it fades back into a typical story.

There were parts I loved and there were parts that seemed to drag on. Over all it was an interesting and enjoyable book to read. It would be perfect for adventure lovers and teenage boys alike.

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The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins
(Book Overview from

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins
(Book Overview from

Sparks are igniting, flames are spreading and the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol– a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before… and surprising readers at every turn.

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
(Book Overview from

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains–except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay–no matter what the personal cost.

My Thoughts…

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I put off reading The Hunger Games for so long because I wasn’t sure if it would be a book that I would like. I was so afraid they were going to be similar to the Twilight series of books which I liked in the beginning but quickly became seriously disturbed over the message they were sending to teenage girls about love, relationships and family. But I digress.

Back to The Hunger Games. When the trailer for the movie came out I decided it was finally time that I read the books. I have this rule about not seeing movies based on books until I read the book. So in the midst of a mild winter, I curled up with this book.

I COULD NOT put it down! It was SO good! There was action and drama. It was frightening and exciting. I laughed, I cried, I bit my nails.

Less then two days later I was done and ready to move to book 2! PHEW!

The story itself is slightly far fetched and there is the issue of kids killing other kids for “sport” but that is really the only negative things I can say about the book. It was well written and fast based. And while there are some underlying tones of romance it does not consume Katniss in the way it consumed Bella in the Twilight series.

I absolutely loved this book!

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes sequels have the tendency to disappoint. This one did not! I began reading Catching Fire immediately after I finished The Hunger Games. Once again I could not put the book down!

The story is somewhat similar to the first but with a lot of crazy and unexpected twists and turns. It is a book that will leave you shocked and amazed. You will definitely want more!


Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I enjoyed Mockingjay I certainly didn’t like it anywhere near as much as I liked the first two books in the series.

Mockingjay was lacking a lot of the excitement of the first two. There was still a lot going on in the book and a lot of action but it just didn’t hold my attention as well.

The story takes an interesting turn as Katniss begins to fully understand what it means to be the Mockingjay.

Part of what I enjoyed about the first two books was that while there was a definite conflict between Gale and Peeta there wasn’t a major focus on the whole “love life” aspect. This definitely comes into play more in this last book as the story wraps up.

While certainly a well written and exciting book it just didn’t stand up to the excitement and hype generated by the first two books.

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My Summer Reading List

September 2, 2011

I love to read but for some reason time just got away from me this summer and I didn’t read nearly as much as I typically do. I spent a lot of time blogging and a lot of time painting so I was still doing something good for the brain. I am still really enjoying the […]

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January 2011 Book List

January 30, 2011

It has been a LONG time since I did a book review list!  I have read a ton of books since the last list but I guess I just got a little tired of doing it for a  while.  I have 6 books to share for this month. First, let me tell you about my […]

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Book Review – Chew on This by Eric Schlosser & Charles Wilson

June 22, 2010

The book Chew on This is brought to us by the authors of the well know book Fast Food Nation.  Chew on Thisis geared towards young adult readers and is intended to show kids the “truth” behind the fast food industry and the effects of fast-food and other poor eating choices on health and nutrition.  […]

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Book Review – The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor

June 4, 2010

I must admit that 8 times out of 10 I am drawn to a book by it’s cover.  I know, “Never judge a book by it’s cover.”  But some of the covers just look so nice.  Truthfully I HATE knowing anything about a book before I read it.  I RARELY read the book jacket.  I […]

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Through Black Spruce – Joseph Boyden

May 16, 2010

It has been a long time since I have posted any reviews of the books I am reading.  I’ve still been reading, I just got out of the habit of posting about it.  A friend recently requested that I start doing it again because she always found the reviews helpful.  So…I will do my best […]

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June Reading List

July 3, 2009

This month’s books: Home: A Memoir of my Early Year – Julie Andrews Firefly Lane – Kristin Hannah The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows Alice’s Tulips – Sandra Dallas Summer Snow – Amy Warwick The Persian Pickle Club – Sandra Dallas Home: A Memoir of my Early […]

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February, March, April & May Reading Lists

June 3, 2009

WOW! I have REALLY gotten behind!  School is out now though and I have the lazy days of summer ahead of me to get all caught up.  I am certain I am going to miss a few book here.  I also know that I did not get to do nearly the amount of reading as […]

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January Book List

February 22, 2009

Okay so I am a little behind!  We were hit with a major ice storm the last week in January which put us with out power for 5 days and without Internet for 7.  I got to take a trip to visit my nephews in Illinois and then the first two weeks of February flew […]

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