Monday, March 11, 2013

Let The Reading Begin!


So I'm filling out my chart with the things that I've done today and I realized that reading had completed slipped my mind so sorry guys- no reading post for today. I'll try again tomorrow, and hopefully at least get a poem up and maybe if I think really hard, I'll even create a new section to this blog. I was thinking that since I love music so much, maybe I could use this blog to focus on the lyrical content of some songs. That would be pretty cool but I don't know how long that would last. Anyhow, yep- it's late and I'm ready to turn in. Look forward to writing more substance and less crap tomorrow :). Adios!

Love Always <3,
Katrina Lowell

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I'm Back!

Hey Guys,

Now I know KBC seems to have died but I'm back to revive it from the dead. It seemed like not many of you were really as interested in the content of THIS blog as you were in the other, and I don't know if its because literature isn't really your thing or what, but it kinda discouraged me from doing any more posts. Besides that, finding time to actually sit down, read, plan out notes and write a discussion piece that was as intricate and detailed as I wanted it to be was a project that I didn't really look forward to doing. At any rate, I'm pushing myself to do it and by next Sunday (the day that these posts are supposed to come out) I will be on top of this blog and keeping it going. 

All that I'm gonna need are some readers. Come on guys; grab a book, read with me and contribute to conversation. I'm really interested in hearing what YOU guys have to say; after all, I can't have a book club with just myself and my one amazing member so far (you know who you are ;)) Trust me, it makes the reading experience a lot more rewarding and interesting. Plus, if your concern is that you don't want your comment to be published on the blog, go ahead and tell me that in the comment. No comments are published without my consent so don't be afraid to send me a private comment. 

Also, I really enjoyed having the daily poem up and it was a pleasant surprise to see that Amber decided to check out this blog and add a little bit of her expertise to it, too. I will definitely get on top of that as well and work harder on building up this blog. It's a lot of work juggling not only one, but TWO blogs, both dealing with English, but two different playing fields, AND school AND home; but you know what? I'm not gonna give up. I've gotta push through and see what I can do to balance everything out. 

Anyhow, yeah. As I said before, this blog will be up and running as usual by next Sunday and I really want you guys' support on this. Invite your friends to the site, promote this great book and even if you don't read the book with me, check out the posts and get a feel for the book. Oh, and please join in on the discussions. Remember, I may be the author of this blog, but it's NOTHING without YOU!

Love Always <3,
Katrina Lowell

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"The Hunger Games" Chapters 1-2

Hey readers,

Now I know that I had promised this post would be up yesterday, but yesterday turned into a beach day and therefore no internet = no blogging. However, It's bright and early Monday morning and I can't wait for "The Hunger Games' to commence.

First of all, I have got to say that this book has been incredibly intense for the first two chapters! I mean, you had so much going on through the course of the introduction and I really enjoyed it. It was so good, in fact, that I'm blogging about chapters 1-2 when I'm well into chapter 4. How are you guys liking it?

Anyhow, these first two chapters describe the beginning of The Hunger Games which would be the reaping. The reaping is when two children (one boy and one girl) are picked randomly from a bowl filled with the names of each child in the district. When the names are picked, they are forcefully entered into The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games, now, is a televised fight to the death. There are 24 kids between the ages of 12 and 18 that are put in various conditions and have to fight against the other contestants for survival.

The whole concept is morbit, to be honest, but I love it. Some of you may have not realized this, but Katniss was narrating in the past tense and therefore I already know that she survived The Hunger Games. For some of you, that might make you feel like it ruined the suspense for you, but if anything it made mine greater. I just can't wait to see how she won; whether she won the traditional way of The Hunger Games or if she got a little smarter than them and defeated the system in and of itself. You never know...

There were quite a few characters introduced to us in these chapters:-
*Prim:     - Real name is Primrose Everdeen
                - 12 Years Old
                - Older sister is Katniss Everdeen
                - Owns a cat named Buttercup
                - Owns a goat whom she gets milk and cheese from
*Katniss   - Full name is Katniss Everdeen
                - 16 Years Old
                - Has a very frank or matter-of-fact attitude
                - Hunter
                - Hunting partner is Gale
                - Has a dislike of her mother
                - The main supporter of her family
*Mother   - Seems to be the typical motherly character
                - Was sucked into a state of hopelessness and depression
                   when her husband was killed
                - Her mental and physical state after being widowed caused
                   Katniss to resent her
*Gale      - 18 Years Old
                - Katniss's Best Friend/Hunting Partner
                - The main supporter of his poor family
                - Wants to run off into the woods with Katniss (<3?)
                - Has a "pointless temper"
*Peeta     - Full name is Peeta Mellark
                - 16 years Old
                - Had helped out Katniss 4 years prior by sneaking her bread
                   from his family's bakery
                - Disliked by katniss because she feels like she owes him
*Madge   - Full name is Madge Undersee
                - The daughter of the mayor
                - Gets along with Katniss at school (close acquaintances?)
                - Resented by Gale for being wealthy (the odds are always in
                   her favor in THG)
*Effie      - Full name is Effie Trinket
                - Hosts/ runs The Hunger Games
                - An odd woman with a pink wig and an eerily joyous attitude
                   to THG

Everything changed in this story when Prim's name was chosen. Katniss can't let her little sister die, so she volunteers to take her place in The Hunger Games. The next person to be picked was Peeta Mellark, the baker's son.


1. How do you feel about the reaping?

I honestly hate it. I mean, it makes for a great story, but the whole idea of picking innocent children out of a bowl and making them kill each other is just so morbid to me. I know that The Hunger Games is a way for the capitol to remind these people that they have so much power over them, but they could really find another way to do it; it's just cruel and unnecessary.

2. Why do you think the capitol had strict laws against hunting? 

I think that allowing people to go out and find food by themselves by hunting and such would make the capitol feel like they are losing power. They want to have people at their mercy by pretty much starving them into anything they want them to do. think about it; by depriving the citizens of Panem of food, many people have their children take out a tesserae to provide their families with food. However, the odds of this child being picked in The Hunger Games is then less and less likely to be in their favor. I think that this isn't as much a kind gesture from the capitol as it is a bait.

3. What is your take on Katniss?

I like Katniss; I don't know if it's her sassy attitude or her internal drive for the survival of her family. This makes her quite rough, yes I know, but I feel like I can relate. If my family was in the same financial and emotional distress as hers, you best believe I would be out there doing any and everything to help them out. I respect Katniss for her perseverance and her overall bravery. Sneaking outside District 12 gates to hunt- brave. Trading her life for Prim's- brave. I think that Katniss can make some sort of change in The Hunger Games and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

4. What do you think Gale is to Katniss?

To katniss, I think that Gale is more than a hunting partner, but rather a best friend. At first I was uncertain as  she said that he was the only person that could make her smile. It seemed as if their relationship was more romantic than friendly, but she made it evident that she wasn't that interested in him that sort of way. I am still on the fence sometimes; for instance, she brought up the fact that he had a bunch of girls after him and that he had all the attention he needed like she was jealous or something. I'm sure we'll find out definitively by the end of the book.

5. What is your take on Effie Trinket? 

I obviously don't like her too much. I mean, anyone who is sick enough to jubilantly endorse something so disgusting and depressing isn't my type. I think that she has some sort of inset problem. It could be her pink wig that never sits on her head properly, her eerie joy or maybe even the way in which she speaks. the fact that her character is so off the grid and shady gives me the idea that Suzanne Collins is foreshadowing something that will be exposed about her later on in the book.

6. Why do you think Katniss is REALLY upset with her mom?

I think that Katniss understands that her mom was mentally ill after suddenly becoming a widow, but while she can accept and respect that, she can't get past the fact that her mother's inability to work through her mental state to take care of Katniss and her little sister Prim caused her, at the age of eleven, to take up the responsibility of providing for her family. I think that this hurt Katniss emotionally as well  and therefore forgiving her mother is harder  than most might find it to be.

7. How do you think Gale thinks of Katniss?

There is no doubt in my mind that Gale is in love with Katniss. they've known each other for four  years and grew closer and closer as hunting partners and were now close friends. His liking for Katniss was evident when he bought up the "running away" idea along with the "kid" topic as well. Even the way he talks to her seems gentle and sweet, like he  really cares about her not only as a friend, but as something more. the only problem is that either Katniss doesn't realize this or she doesn't feel the same way.

8. Why was Katniss so against the idea of running away with Gale? What would you do?

I think that Katniss didn't want to run off with Gale because not only does she not feel the same way about Gale that he felt about her, but she had her family to mind. They spoke on the topic of their families, but it seemed as if Gale was more willing to leave them behind than was Katniss. If it were me, I would be like Katniss. Gale seems like a great guy, so it might not be that I don't like him per say, but the concern for the well-being of my family would keep me from abandoning them, especially knowing that my mother could go into another state of depression and leave Prim to fend for herself.

9. Do you think that Gale's reaction to Madge (the mayor's daughter) was just? Why/Why not?

I don't think that it was necessary for Gale to get so upset at Madge, but I do understand his anger. Because Madge's family is wealthy, her name only has to go in 5 times this year. However, for people who have taken out tesseraes, their names are added multiple times; for instance, Katniss's name was entered over 20 times and Gale's name was in nearly 50 times. Therefore, Gale understands that the likelihood of her name being picked from the bowl to Katniss or Gale's names was extremely slim. I don't think that he should have resented her for it as it would be more reasonable and understandable if he resented the capitol for the unfair circumstances that the poor were in.

10. How do you feel about the tesserae system?

I don't know how I feel because I'm not in that situation like the rest of them. I like the idea that the capitol is helping these people by giving them an opportunity to get food to eat, but at the same time it puts peoples' life in a greater chance of danger and therefore, I have no idea about how I feel about it. How do you feel?

11. How do you feel about the fact that The Hunger Games is televised?

I relate it to the Roman times where two men were put up against each other or maybe even a man and a ferocious animal were made to fight to the death; it's one of those things that is massively disturbing that people would watch anyways. I, personally, would never watch it. It's hard enough for me to see people on tv shows get voted off farless killed off. My major dislike of the televised aspect of it, though, is that I could imagine that family members of some of the contestants would be watching to make sure their son, daughter, sister, brother, neice, nephew, WHOEVER, was safe; but what if they weren't? Nobody should have to watch someone that they love be brutally massacred on television. it's just horrible.

12. Does Panem scare you?

Yes, absolutely. It scares me because I'm from North America, so the thought of my country being destroyed and made into a ruthless place ruled by dictators is horrifying. Heck, even the thought of Mitt Romney becoming president scares me! At any rate, the thought of Panem is quite terrifying because although many of the situations might seem fictional, in this world of hate and cruelty, anything is possible.

13. What does the description of Haymitch Abernathy tell you?

Many of you see him as the typical drunkard, but I see him as a tortured soul. Imagine having to brutally kill other children in order to survive. You're going to see and do things that nobody should ever have to experience. Therefore, I think that Haymitch is messed up in the head and he might be drinking to drown out those gruesome memories that he has carried with him for all of those years.

14. How did you feel when they called Prim's name?

It was very clever how Collins placed the part where her name was called on the last line of chapter 1 because the shock and suspense made me turn that page so fast I nearly ripped it out of the book entirely! My heart dropped because I was trying to think of how she would survive in this game. It was just very scary as the reader. It was almost like Prim was MY little sister and I could feel that worry in my heart that Katniss soon felt.

15. How did you feel when Katniss Volunteered?

I didn't want Katniss to be a part of The Hunger Games, but being in the situation that she was in where it was either her or Prim, I could understand fully where she was coming from. I would have done the same thing, so I felt proud of Katniss and my respect for her grew immensely at this point in the story.

Okay, well that was my overview of chapters 1-2. The review of chapters 3-4 will be out on October 28th, so get to reading!

Oh, before I forget, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE leave some comments on your take on these two chapters. Tell me if you liked them, disliked them, or even answer some of the questions that I answered in this post. I really need you guys to have some feedback for this book club to work. Can't wait to hear from you guys!

Love Always <3,
katrina Lowell

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shipwrecked by Pat Boran

It used to be simple:
shipwrecked, you turned the boat over
and started from scratch,
your new home the nave
of a church, its prow pointing back
over the ocean
towards your previous life.
You lived with the loss,
did what you could, carried on.
You learned from mistakes,
your foolish belief
in the big talk of others;
you built things from bits
and from bones, what the sea offered up.
Now you're convinced
every sail is your saviour,
every noise is a plane
crossing the vastness of ocean
over and back, all these years later
still searching for you, the sole
survivor, waiting to tell them precisely
where it all went so wrong.

-Pat Boran

This poem stood out to me, honestly, because I could understand it. I was online looking for a good poem and I found a website called, "" and this poem was the poem of the day. Now, I tend to be someone who isn't too awesome at interpreting poems (which is the whole point of this new part of my blog, besides the fact that you guys get something else to read besides the book we're gonna be doing), but after reading this one, it  made COMPLETE sense!

Well, everyone interprets poems differently, but this is what I understood the poem to mean: The poem is called shipwrecked and yes, it does describe a wrecked ship with a lone survivor (being you), but I think that the shipwreck represents a point where you may feel that your LIFE is falling apart, where you did something that "ruined" you or destroyed an opportunity.

Then you're forced to, "start from scratch" and move on, "[learning] from mistakes" that lead to your whole shipwreck in the first place. Well, at least you try to, but you still hang on to that time before the disaster, you know? The time when everything went right, when you were on that "yellow brick path" in life.

From time to time, you hope that people still remember the old you; who you were before everything went wrong and that they haven't judged you or put you in a negative light after what happened. You really hope that certain people and things haven't left you behind. Lines 15-17 say, "Now you're convinced/ every sail is your savior,/ every noise is a plane." This is because you hold on to the possibility that you could come back and explain yourself and set things straight, "...waiting to tell them precisely where it all went so wrong."

I think that we can all relate to that "Shipwrecked" time in our lives. You know, I remember a time when I was "on top of the world." I was at a new school, made a bunch of new friends, and my grades were really starting to blossom; then problems arose. People would start rumors about other people and point their fingers at me and then that grew into something that I just wasn't prepared to deal with. I fell apart in more ways than one. I lost all of my friends because they felt as if my drama was going to end up drawing them in. I lost all of my respect because I was teetering on insanity and the line between being fine and bursting into tears was extremely thin. My grades were dropping; I came from have straight A's to dropping to a C- in english, my best subject. I was a wreck (pun intended) and my parents decided to take me out of the school . At first I was upset at my parents; I wanted to convince them, convince myself, that I was okay. That I was going to deal with my problems BY MYSELF and that I didn't need help. What I was really concerned with is that the people that I left behind at the school were left with a memory of Katrina Lowell that didn't do me justice. "Katrina? You mean the weak loser that left her school because she was too much of a wuss to deal with those other girls. Yeah, I remember her." That's exactly what I was afraid of, and you know what? It came true. Those other girls were up at the school feeling pretty "swag" about themselves. They had won and their reward was that I was gone but what about me? I was destroyed.

Well, that's how I USED to see it, but then I "started from scratch" and tried again. Look at me now; some are shocked when they hear about that side of me because I pride myself in being a strong, confident girl who never backs down from bullies, but you know what? It took a shipwreck for me to take a second look at my materials and build an even stronger ship; a battleship that didn't need to return to that homeland to redeem itself, but instead charted a new route to a new, better life.

I really like this poem. It's simple, of course, but like most poems, it doesn't need to be complex to have a deeper meaning. What I would like is for YOU guys to tell me what this poem means to YOU. You don't have to use your name or even have it posted on the blog if you don't want it to, but I'm really interested to know if and/or how this poem impacted you. Happy reading!

Love Always <3,
Katrina Lowell

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Hi readers,,

Now I know what you're thinking- "OMG! SHE'S DOING 'THE HUNGER GAMES'! :D" Well, you'd be right, but to be honest, I'm doing to see whether the hype behind it makes sense.

You know, there are two book/movie phenomenons that have occurred recently; "Twilight" and "The Hunger  Games." Both of them became insanely popular very close to the release date of the book and were then made into movies that were equally, if not more, popular than the book. Either way, people have become obsessed and I don't quite get it. I don't get it for one simple reason- I've never experienced these books/movies for myself. I never read Twilight or saw the movie because what I gathered from the description of the story line to the way my friends decide to camp out in front of movie theaters was that it had to be overrated and I didn't want to get disappointed. Believe it or not, I was walking through Target about a year ago and I decided that I was going to buy a book. So, I walked up and down the aisles (past all the stupid, typical teen girl drama books and straight to the action/horror ones) and came across "The Hunger Games." They had put it on a "new release" shelf (even though I now learned that this book was published in 2008) and after reading the back, I was sold. I bought the book right away and put it on top of my book shelf. Like most of the books I buy, they collect dust and whatever because I can never find the time to sit down and really read it. At any rate, by the time I got around to reading the book, I realized that a movie for it was coming out, my friends had their hair braided in these elaborate styles, people were crying, and the camping out commenced. Therefore, I put the book away and never got around to opening it.

I know, this story is ridiculous, but I'm being honest. However, now that I have my book club, I'm going to give it a try. The book looked interesting enough for me to buy it, so it's about time I OPEN it and start reading. Therefore, I am introducing "The Hunger Games" as the first book on my book list.

I will always introduce a book to this blog a week ahead so that you guys have the opportunities to find the book, check it out of your library or buy the book, and just get to know it a little better. Read some reviews online, scan the book for yourself, test it out; then the reading starts. I will cover two chapters a week, adding my commentary, asking you guys questions, etc. I hope that these books will inspire great conversation between you guys and myself where we can really enjoy the club.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I encourage you guys to do some research of your own. Look up the content to see if this is a book that is okay for you; I know some people that found it to be too violent and such, so yeah, just take a quick look online to make sure that it's a book you'd be comfortable reading. 

I will make my first book club posting for chapters 1 and 2 of "The Hunger Games" on October 21st, 2012 so start reading!

Love Always <3,
Katrina Lowell

Friday, October 12, 2012

Welcome to KBC International!

Hey readers,

Welcome to my new space. I'm trying to get use to using this new template and everything else (let's hope I don't forget my new URL :S), but I'm very excited and enthusiastic about getting this started. As I told you guys from before, I had wanted to create a book club to share and discuss the book I read and have you guys part of the process. This is a whole new type of writing, but I'm looking forward to the challenge and I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon enough.

The type of books that I typically read (and don't hold your breath) are horrors. I know what you're thinking and to be honest, I find them to be the most emotion provoking types of books. You feel suspense, fear, excitement, suspicion, thrill, and so many other feelings all at once. I don't only read horrors, though. I'm a lover of fantasy novels. I like ones like, "Shadow Thieves" that infuse their ideas with historical events or, in this case, Greek Mythology. I enjoy mystery books; nothing beats the good ol' Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries. Science fiction is pretty good, once in awhile  I guess I'm not that big of a fan all the time because they can get too technical at times and completely throw me for a loop. If I'm staring at a book, trying to decipher what you're trying to tell me for several hours, I can't promise that I won't chuck it out of a window.

The difference between this blog and my other one is that while your commentary is suggested to add to the other blog, I really need your help to have this blog run smoothly and just like a real book club. I'll ask questions and you should feel free to give your suggestions or views on anything I've said. Your comments will always make it on the blog (as long as they are respectful and safe), I will try to respond to your comments, and nobody will EVER put down your views. I want to support you guys and I hope you'll be able to support me on this new endeavor.

I haven't quite decided on a format for this blog, but it'll fall into line as soon as I start my first book, which I hope to introduce tomorrow. At any rate, I want you guys to try this out with me and send me your feedback on this new blog. Thanks guys!

Love Always <3,
Katrina Lowell