Friday, December 23, 2011

Music: The End All Be All Holiday Playlist

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there is no denying the fact that Holiday songs can be infectious. It's like a disease during the Thanksgiving to Christmas time span. If you hear, "He knows when you've been bad or good so be good..." you'll automatically finish the sentence in your head. Face it, you've been brainwashed to love these songs. And you might as well accept it now for fear of being That Guy Who Hates Christmas during your ugly sweater party. 

I've created a list of the MUST HAVE songs for your Holiday playlist. These are the classics that will be a hit with anyone and everyone. Of course you should sprinkle your own personality into the mix by adding some of the more recent songs like those by N'Sync, Michael Buble or Justin Bieber, whichever your generational preference. I feel I should also mention, these are in no particular order. 

1. Baby It's Cold Outside-- Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan
2. Winter Wonderland-- Aretha Franklin
3. Santa Baby-- Eartha Kitt
4. Little Saint Nick-- The Beach Boys
5. Jingle Bell Rock-- Bobby Helms
6. Blue Christmas-- Elvis Presley
7. All I Want for Christmas is You-- Mariah Carey
8. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree-- Brenda Lee
9. White Christmas--The Drifters
10. Frosty the Snowman-- Jimmy Durante
11. Santa Claus is Coming to Town --Jackson 5 and/or Bruce Springsteen (both versions are incredible and different so I highly suggest you use both)
12. This Christmas-- Donny Hathaway
13. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer-- Gene Autry
14. Feliz Navidad-- Jose Feliciano
15. Wonderful Christmastime-- Paul McCartney
16. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)-- U2
17. Let it Snow-- Dean Martin 
18. Sleigh Ride-- The Ronettes
19. Jingle Bells-- Frank Sinatra
20. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-- Judy Garland 

Use the songs from this playlist to become the ultimate Holiday DJ during your Christmas Eve parties. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Perfume: Michael Kors Very Hollywood

I originally bought the Michael Kors Very Hollywood perfume a year ago, and though I switch between a few different perfumes throughout the year, I always go back to this one. 

I won't lie, before I even bought it, I fell in love with the advertisements. They featured an anonymous red carpet couple. The image was a mix of present and past ideas of Hollywood with the perfect amount of glamour. 
When I bought the perfume, I was so glad the advertisements sucked me in because it is incredible. The scent is young but not tween or teenager young. It's the perfect scent for your 20s or 30s I think because its light and sophisticated. 

Very Hollywood features mandarin, gardenia, and vetiver in its scent profile. Though it may seem overly floral, it doesn't make you feel like you're walking around smelling like a pungent flower bouquet. The scent is soft and sweet. Many other reviewers say that it smells classy, and I know that isn't the best word to describe a scent, but once you smell Very Hollywood, you'll be saying the same. I absolutely agree with them. 
Besides the scent, the bottle is gorgeous. I really hate tacky perfume bottles, especially when they are in a shape that makes no sense for perfume. Another reason I love this product is that the name is written in a font highly similar to that of the Beverly Hills Hotel (my favorite hotel). I'm sure this is not a coincidence, as the BHH has been the stomping grounds of the rich and famous for the last fifty years. There is one more similarity, the BHH has the nickname "The Pink Palace" as it is a soft peach pink color. It just so happens that this perfume is a similar soft shade of peach pink. 

Pure and simple, I love this perfume. I often get compliments on it and asked what it is. If your looking for a soft everyday perfume, this is the one for you! 

If you would like to purchase Michael Kors Very Hollywood click HERE. Sephora has a variety of sizes you can buy including a lip gloss/parfum rollerball. It is fantastic for travel. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nail Polish: Essie Russian Roulette

I have been in search of the perfect red nail polish for quite some time. With Christmas around the corner, I was determined to find it for the Holidays. The perfect red nail color came in the form of Essie's Russian Roulette. It is a red's red; bright and eye popping. I was fearful of getting a red that was too light and became more of a pink, and I was also worried about getting a red that was too dark and leaned toward burgundy. This nail polish doesn't have either of those problems. 

Take a look for yourself, I think I've found a fantastic Christmas red. 
It only took two coats to make the color this sharp. I absolutely love it. What do you think?

If you would like to purchase Essie's Russian Roulette for $6, click HERE

Monday, December 5, 2011

Makeup: Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes

I am BEYOND thankful for makeup remover wipes. These things are a gift from heaven because they make taking off makeup a breeze. Before there were these towelettes, girls (and some boys--let's not forget the 80s happened) had to scrub forever to get every last trace of that day's makeup off their face. The harsh facial cleaners that weren't meant for makeup removal left your skin feeling raw and gave you some nasty raccoon eyes, where the makeup couldn't come off. 
I love the Neutrogena cleansing towelettes, they really do as the package says and dissolve all traces of your makeup. I wear a lot of eyeliner and lipstick and this towelette is able to rid my skin of both without the harsh burning feeling on these sensitive areas of the face. The towelettes can also remove waterproof mascara, that's pretty impressive if you ask me. 

The cloths are ultra soft and pre-moistened so you don't have to wet them before use. They remove not only makeup but also dirt and oil from your face. It leaves your skin clean so there is no need to rinse after use. 

One of the best things about the Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes is that they come with 25 cloths, that's almost a month! You won't be running to the store constantly to buy refills because you have roughly 4 weeks worth of the product. 

Neutrogena offers a few other versions: Night Calming, Oil-Free, and Hydrating. The night calming version has a soft fragrance to help relieve stress before bed. 

If you would like to purchase the original Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes for $6.50 click HERE

Hair: Frederic Fekkai Smooth Hair Cream

Winter means snow, hot chocolate, lots of Holiday films, and dry hair. To battle the dry hair plague that occurs every winter season, I use the Frederic Fekkai Smooth Hair Cream. It is an excellent product for re-moisturizing your hair. I have fine hair that can become very brittle if I don't take good care of it. The Smooth Hair Cream is what saves my hair in winter. 
After every shower I slather a little bit of the cream on my damp hair (you don't need a lot, just a tiny dollop!). It keeps my hair protected, shiny, and hydrated through the day. 

Every couple weeks I do a nightly treatment where I put a bunch of the hair cream in and leave it in over night. Then I wash it out in the morning. It conditions my hair really well for a soft full bodied look. 

I definitely recommend this product to all those looking for a hair care treatment to protect and re-hydrate their hair during the harsh cold and bitter winter weather. 

If you would like to purchase the Frederic Fekkai Smooth Hair Cream for $20, click HERE.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Music: 90s and Early 00s Alternative

I've been in a "re-living the 90s through song" period for the past couple weeks. All I've been listening to is 90s and early 00s alternative music. I stay in a nice state of calm and reminiscence while I drive. Remember music videos and MTV when it was actually an abbreviation for Music Television? Wow time has changed. 

I also still use burnt cds, which will probably become the cool thing to do one day. It just hasn't happened yet. Right now its for pure utility. 

Yes I know using your iPod is the normal way of listening to music these days, but there's something nice about not flipping frantically through an iPod while steering a car through traffic that I appreciate. Personally I find that if I leave the music to my iPod's shuffle, I hate every song it plays. How does that even happen? 

So here is my current playlist I've been listening to:
1. Barely Breathing - Duncan Sheik 
2. Everything You Want - Vertical Horizon
3. You Get What You Give - New Radicals
4. Come On Get Higher  - Matt Nathanson
5. 3 Am - Matchbox Twenty
6. Paper Bag - Fiona Apple
7. A Murder of One - Counting Crows
8. Get Your Shit Together - Beth Hart
9. I Want You - Savage Garden
10. Building a Mystery - Sarah McLachlan
11. Black Balloon - Goo Goo Dolls
12. Real World - Matchbox Twenty
13. Freedom - George Michael 
14. Morning Glory - Oasis 
15. Today - Smashing Pumpkins
16. The Way - Fastball 

Makeup: Covergirl Outlast All-Day Lip Color

The Covergirl Outlast All-Day Lip Colors are said to withstand 16 hours and are food, kiss, and workout proof. I have a bunch of these and adore them. My go-to color for everyday wear is their forever fawn 598 shade. It's a subtle shade that gives my lips just enough color so that their not pale and dead looking (especially in the drab winter weather). 
I must say if you're going to wear this type of lip product there are a few things you should know. If you don't use the gloss (that comes with the lip color) your lips will have a matted look, which I sort of like. The gloss can sometimes be a little overwhelming. Saying that, without the gloss, the lip color will start to wear off especially the closer inward to your mouth but its not too noticeable. You will have to carry the outlast with you and maybe do one re-application through the day (which really isn't that bad). 

If you choose to use the gloss it will keep your lips moisturized all day and the color will be less likely to come off. 

Also this stuff can be crazy hard to get off if you don't have makeup remover. It is meant to stay on and stay on it does. Make sure you are stocked with makeup remover wipes for the end of the day when you want to take it off. 
Lastly, I love this product not just because it stays on really well over the course of a long day but because there is a great variety of colors you can buy. Covergirl has divided its colors into six sections: Browns and Spices, Burgundies and Wines, Corals and Reds, Mauves and Berries, Neutrals and Nudes, and Pinks and Roses. There is a color for everyone for day and/or night. 

Right now CVS is selling the Covergirl Outlast All-Day Lip Color's for $8. They are usually $10. If you like to purchase the lip color click HERE

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Television: Being Human (UK)

This television show is brilliant. Saying that once I explain the plot line you'll probably think its a joke. 

A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost live together. 

You thought it was the start of a joke didn't you? It is very far from that, though there is a great deal of humour in the show thanks to great writing. Here's a good example: 

George: Why hasn't anyone gone shopping?
Annie: Well I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been struggling with the whole "ghost" thing the last few days.

The show is actually a drama, following the lives of these three cursed individuals as they try to fit into society. In essence they try to be human, which is a lot harder than it sounds. They fight their own demons literally, mentally and emotionally about their situation and the lives they have led thus far. 

Our three leads are Mitchell, a vampire who is a reformed blood drinker (think alcoholic in AA), George, a nervous and geeky individual who hasn't accepted being a werewolf and fights morally whether he should be allowed to lead a normal life, and Annie, a ghost who is trapped in this world still in love with her fiancĂ© and unable to figure out the mystery behind her own death. 
What makes this show such a success is in its relationships. With a supernatural premise it is easy to lose the audience quickly. Just like other successful supernatural shows like Buffy where the relationships are the focal point and the supernatural elements are used as metaphors, Being Human understands how to make a fantasy show strongly cemented in reality for the viewer. This show centers on different perceptions of right and wrong, accepting your past to live in the present, making life choices that are sometimes influenced by peer pressure, making mistakes, and above all friendship and camaraderie. 

Being Human has garnered rave reviews and is entering its fourth season. I definitely recommend this as a show to watch. If you are unable to see the UK version, Syfy has recently released an american version. I hear some of the plot and storyline are the same. I haven't seen all of it so I can't justify whether its any good. 

If you would like to purchase any of the seasons click HERE. Make sure when purchasing that you buy Region 1, otherwise you won't be able to watch it on your dvd/blu-ray player in the US. If you want to learn more click HERE

Monday, November 28, 2011

Food and Drink: Lite POM

I absolutely love the POM brand. Their products contain 100% pomegranate juice without any added sugars or preservatives. Pomegranates are great because they are loaded with antioxidants. Your body naturally produces antioxidants but in many cases it does not produce enough to help you in fighting nasty free radicals. These free radicals can cause damage that may been linked to disease. So what's not to love about pomegranates?

The original POM drinks are a bit too strong for my taste buds so I am overly thankful that they came out with the Lite POM line, plus it has 50% fewer calories than the regular POM line. It comes in four flavors; Pomegranate, Dragonfruit, Black Currant, and Blackberry. 
Currently my favorite flavor is Blackberry. I drink these drinks every single day and highly recommend them because they taste great and will help you stay healthy. 

If you want more information on the POM Brand or where to purchase them, click HERE

Monday, November 21, 2011

Books: The Night Circus

The Night Circus was such a lovely book to read. I am not terribly fond of circuses, at least not the type of circuses we have today, so I was very hesitant to read a book set within a circus. 
The circus in this novel is unlike any that you could ever imagine. It is entirely black and white, with black and white striped tents, black hot chocolate being sold at the black and white concession stand and performers dressed lavishly in the monochrome colors. 
The story takes place over many years and follows two magicians that have been chosen for a duel. They are not told where or when the duel is, the rules of the duel, or how a victor is decided. All they know is that they must use magic, which they have both been taught since childhood from their extremely vigilant mentors. 

The two magicians, Celia and Marco soon fall in love which only makes the competition more complex as it involves not just them but everyone else who works at and attends the circus. 

I really loved this book. It follows a few different story lines that eventually mesh together for a very well connected ending. I highly recommend the Night Circus for some enjoyable reading. It has garnered rave reviews from USA Today, Newsday, L.A. Times, and Huffington Post. Summit Entertainment, famous for the Twilight Series, has also bought the rights to make The Night Circus a reality on film. 

To purchase The Night Circus click HERE

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Places: New York Comic Con

Don't judge too quickly. I am a huge fan of the New York Comic Con and you should be too. Besides being a mecca for all things comics, it also houses the latest news for film and television. I read a few comics here and there, but the reason I attend is to learn more about my favorite tv shows and films. Each day is filled with panels that include the filmmakers, writers, and actors of the series' you love. You get to see clips and previews months before anyone else. There is also a question/answer part to every panel, which usually ends up being pretty funny depending on the fan questions. I have attended three years in a row, and this will be my fourth. (It starts this Thursday October 13th-16th). 
In the past I have seen panels for Hellboy, Wanted, The Chronicle of Narnia: Prince Caspian, The Hurt Locker, Dollhouse, Watchmen, Fringe, Friday the 13th, Terminator Salvation, Nikita, The Vampire Diaries, The Thing, Battlestar Gallactica, Hanna, and Your Highness. 
 Your Highness 
Vampire Diaries
Each day is extremely long but completely worth it. Its great to hear the thoughts and ideas from the creators and actors of these tv/films. You get to learn crucial information about where a tv series may be heading or see 20 minutes of a film long before it will hit theatres. 

Besides the tv/film part there is also a huge gaming following at NYCC, a massive amount of signings, shopping from hundreds of retailers, so much free stuff or special edition things you wouldn't believe, and it also holds the Anime Festival. 
It wouldn't be Comic Con without costumes. You will see every type of costume you could ever imagine (though superheroes definitely take the cake). Don't worry! You don't have to dress up to fit in, there are plenty of people not in costumes as well. 

I highly recommend attending if you are in the tri-state area, if you're not, there are tons of travel accommodations that NYCC will help you with. For more information click HERE

Monday, October 10, 2011

Books: The Magicians

I have just finished this book and am still in the limbo period of not knowing whether I liked it or not. 
The book follows Quentin Coldwater, a high school student who feels trapped in his life. He is in love with his best friends girl and learns slight of hand magic tricks as a hobby. He's also still wildly obsessed with a childhood book series on a mystical land called Fillory (think Narnia). On a miserable rainy day he goes to an interview, finding that the man he is supposed to interview with is dead. His day turns into the adventure of his life as he finds himself accepted to a magical school called Brakebills College. The novel follows him through his college years as he learns the positives and negatives of magic, which can be devastating and dangerous at times. Quentin also learns that the magical land he fell in love with, Fillory, is actually real. He sets out on an expedition with his group of flawed friends to right the wrongs of the fallen kingdom of Fillory with their newly learned magical abilities. They, of course discover that nothing is as it seems as the journey soon becomes treacherous and life threatening. 

The first half to two-thirds of the book are dense. There is a lot of information and complaining as Quentin is unsatisfied with much of his life. Even Brakebills starts to lose its appeal to him. I grew to dislike every time Quentin discussed the plot lines to the Fillory series, it seemed out of place much of the time. It also started to aggravate me how similar Fillory was to Narnia. It was like Grossman recreated Narnia and slapped another name to it adding a few  bits and pieces here and there to prove it was different. Instead of Aslan it was two rams called Ember and Umber. It was changes like that, that came to bother me making it hard to read. There were a few other issues I had with this novel, including the time lapse. Time changed so fast that you barely had a chance to adjust. All of sudden you'd be six months to a year ahead of the last paragraph you read. The author, Lev Grossman, seemed to be rushing through Quentin's school years to get to the climax. If you read the book, you'll also find that some parts are just beyond the world of understandable (even in a fantasy novel) to the point of totally bizarre. You're left shaking your head going, "oh my god, what is this?" 

With all that said, and I'm sure it sounds pretty terrible, I must admit the last hundred pages are incredibly addictive. All the strangeness and bizarre quality to the novel end up making perfect sense. All the stories of Fillory that I thought were boring, became very important and crucial to the overarching story line. Those last hundred or so pages become so overwhelming and page turning that you'll read it in one sitting. Everything up to the climax now fits into some part of the larger puzzle. You learn to appreciate and understand why Grossman put some of the denser material in; he had to. It was the only way to reach the surprising and gut-wrenching finale. 

As you can now see, this is why I'm in a dilemma on whether to say I liked the novel or not. The beginning and middle felt like you were going through the motions of following the character. You're not attached to him but you're not totally unattached. It isn't until the end that you find the novel so enrapturing and a perfect whole. 

Many reviews will tell you this is an adult Harry Potter, it's the reason I picked up the book in the first place. Do not be fooled, this book is nowhere near being like Harry Potter. The differences stop at a boy going to magic school. 

If you've read The Magicians, please let me know if you felt the same. 

If you haven't HERE is a link to purchase the novel. I would recommend to give it a try because the ending is just magnificent and tragic. It really saves the novel. The sequel to The Magicians has also been released, you can purchase The Magician King HERE

Monday, October 3, 2011

Books: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Wow, what a completely strange book. This book was nothing that I expected, and nothing that you could even predict while reading. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. 
The book is about Karou, a seventeen year old art student in Prague who works for a mysterious man and his most unusual cohorts (she considers her family). This demon father figure has her collect teeth from around the world through use of magic portal doors. The purpose of the teeth is unbeknownst to Karou. As I said, this book is strange. One day while she is collecting teeth, she meets an angel and her life's mysteries begin to unravel. 

What I liked about the book was that it really was a book that you couldn't predict how it would end. Often books are given too much foreshadowing that the climax is ruined. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone was so unique that it was a definite page turner. 

I really don't want to give anything else away because its something you must read on your own and experience for yourself. I will say that Laini Taylor, the author, did a superb job of setting up the book for a sequel. 

If you would like more information click HERE. You can also purchase the book HERE for about $10.50. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Books: Vampire Academy Series

I don't often feel so strongly attached to a book series as I do with the Vampire Academy Series. I have been devouring these books over the last couple weeks. Going into the series I was rather dismissive, thinking it would be on the Twilight level of vampires going to high school. I couldn't have been more wrong. Granted the series starts at a boarding school but it in no way compares to the recent vampire novels as of late. 
The protagonist of the series is a brash, tough as nails, smart, hilarious young girl named Rose. She is a Dhampir which means that she is half-human half-vampire. As a dhampir it is her duty to be trained and ultimately become a Guardian. She often breaks the rules and acts before thinking, making it all the more fun for the reader. 
In the world created by author Richelle Mead, there are two types of vampires; the Moroi and the Strigoi. The Moroi are the highly logical, civilized version of the vampire. They can interact within the human world without much notice and don't need to kill in order to drink blood. They also have their own form of government and Royal families. The Moroi are born as vampires, so they age just as humans do. The Strigoi on the other hand are the blood thirsty, soul-less, red eyed villians you know from films pre-Twilight and Buffy (I say this because Angel had a soul). They hunt to kill, have chalky white skin, and can't go in the sun. They were turned into becoming Strigoi and thus don't age. It is the Guardian's job to protect the Moroi from the evil dead Strigoi. 
Rose starts this series at boarding school along with Moroi. While she has classes about becoming a guardian, the Moroi have normal high school classes and some not so normal classes such as Vampire Magic. One of the Moroi is her best friend Lissa (short for Vasilisa). The story follows them through their last two years of school which are extremely tumultuous and their life after school, which is just as action filled. 
The reason I love this series so much is because of the characters. No two characters are alike, case in point Rose and Lissa. Rose is loudmouthed, spunky, and always has a good one liner while her best friend Lissa is calm, thoughtful, and a soft-spoken person. Their friends and enemies are just as unique. 
These books have everything; action, suspense, romance, magic, and murder. I just can't say enough good things about these books. I'm currently reading the 6th and final book Last Sacrifice and am already upset that it will end. 
Luckily, Mead has already begun a spinoff series that was released earlier this year, entitled Bloodlines. Bloodlines was actually the reason I decided to read the VA Series, I read it and loved it. But, I would suggest reading VA first because some plot points are given away in the start of Bloodlines. 
If you want to find out more information about the VA series click HERE. Or to purchase the series click HERE.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Makeup: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner

I have used a ridiculous number of eyeliners; from pencils to liquid to shadows and this is by far my favorite. What I love about it is that it doesn't smudge after its been applied. It does exactly as the name suggests, it stays. 
I've also tried liquid liners where either the brush hurts like a son of a gun when you apply it, or it dries in a patent leather look. This eyeliner does neither. The application is not painful and it dries in a matted tone. 

I use the Blackest Black color because I like my eyes to be a very dramatic 60s cat eye look.  I have tried their Black Brown and it is great as well, especially for lighter colored eyes. This is not a product where you can do one line and be done with your eyeliner. You must do little strokes, which can be better because it gives you more control over how it looks. 
I don't believe in using very expensive makeup for the sole purpose of using expensive makeup. This liner works just as well, if not better than most expensive liners. Try it and see what you think. Click HERE for more information. If you would like to buy this liner it is usually sold for less than $10 at pharmacy's such as CVS or Walgreens. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Places: Concours d'Elegance

So I understand this isn't so much a place but rather an event. The Concours d'Elegance takes place all over the US and abroad, around the year. It is a car competition for new, classic, and restored cars. It's a great event for those that love cars or even those that appreciate great design. Personally, I love classic cars especially those from the 40s and 50s. 
The Concours d'Elegance also features an auction of some of the classic cars and seminars you can attend to learn more about car care. You can also buy art or other automobile memorabilia such as signed photos and helmets of well known race car drivers. 
If its a nice day I definitely suggest you try to attend one of these Concours events. I attended the Fairfield County Concours d'Elegance. To find out more check out their website HERE

Friday, September 9, 2011

Books: The Hunger Games Trilogy

I started the Hunger Games thinking, how in the world could I ever relate to this narrator Katniss Everdeen? 

She is the daughter of a miner who lost his life in a tragic accident leaving her to her constantly grieving incapable mother and her innocent wide eyed younger sister Prim. As the self administered head of household she must support herself in a dystopian society. In other words the government sees all, knows all, and you cannot by any means disobey the rules or face a most imminent and deadly punishment. But inevitably Katniss does disobey the rules by going to hunt with life long friend Gale (who was also left to support his large family). Hunting is a risk they must take in order to feed both their starving families. Luckily, Katniss and Gale are not caught due to the Capitol's ignorance toward District 12 over the past few decades. District 12 is Katniss' home and it makes up one of 12 districts the Capitol controls. Each district has different purposes; some provide coal (like District 12) others agriculture, fish, weaponry, you get the idea. It's basically a machine that needs all of its parts to run. However, there was a time when things went awry. District 13 revolted 74 years ago and the Capitol made sure to destroy it. To remember this event and remind the people of Panem (the nation that makes up the districts) to never disobey the government, a televised Hunger Games is broadcast every year as a sort of twisted anniversary. 

The Hunger Games features twenty four tributes; a boy and girl from each of the 12 districts who are chosen in a biased lottery system and must compete in a specially designed arena. It is a televised fight to the death and the last person standing wins. 
This trilogy will surprise you. I struggled through the first few chapters of the first novel as they are dense with information about this society. But those chapters really set the stage for everything to come. The trilogy is beautifully woven together and plays well on understanding human emotions and logic. After starting the second book Catching Fire, I became engulfed in the story reading straight through to the end of Mockingjay, the third book. 
When thinking about this trilogy, the world is not that unrealistic. The government is not unlike many governments that have been in place over history **cough cough** Hitler's Germany or even some of the widely controversial governments in place today. 

Most of the novels are built around the human spirit and will to survive. What and how much you will give up to save yourself and others, despite the costs. It also challenges the ideas of what's right and wrong when morality is part of the equation. The best part to me is the questioning of whether something is justified because it has been previously allowed to happen. Throughout these books you realize, you can very easily connect to Katniss. On the most primitive level she is struggling to survive all the while trying to help her family and friends in whatever way possible. 
I highly recommend The Hunger Games. You will be surprised by how much you can relate and how much it will give you to think about. I'm in no way saying you will love the series as it can be brutally tough at times. But it is well worth the read and you will be glad you did.

The film of the first book is scheduled for release March 23, 2012. It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. 
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