Markie, thank you so much for posting your review first. It was a nice little memory jog for me. It's been so many weeks since I read the book. I loaned my copy to Landee, who then loaned it to Flem (so glad to, btw) and I haven't had a chance to flip through and review the story again. However, if my review sounds a little disjointed, I hope y'all can forgive me.
I was immediately intrigued by the idea of the little baby rolling off the table and floating in the air. I have an Aunt Margaret who is very uptight, old-fashioned, bossy. When I pictured the baby floating in the air and the mom freaking out over it - I saw my Aunt Margaret's face, heard her nasaly voice and it just made me giggle! I enjoyed the drastic contrast in environments. I think it's entirely realistic that such differences exist everywhere. I haven't seen much of the world, but I grew up in a little town. Before the days of the internet and satellite tv. At least, where I lived...there wasn't any satellite tv. The music we listened to on the radio was a couple years behind what the rest of the country was listening to. Movies came to the theater weeks after they initially premiered, but with only two screens, we got a very small handful of what was actually being released. I was shocked to find out that my husband had rollerblades for the longest time. I didn't even know they existed until I was almost 20. I love the idea of the little hick town, completely isolated from the hightech society we live in. My parents can't even get call-waiting, or worse :::gulp::: buy iPhones because there isn't any 3G where they live. They've only had access to voicemail for a few years and only shortly after I moved away from home, our phone numbers transitioned from 5 digits to 7.
Epiphany - perhaps I'm likening myself to Piper....hmmmmmmm. Flew the coop and all that? Interrrressssting.
So she gets to the school and I hated Conrad to begin with. I thought, "Great. There's always some annoying trouble-maker..." It was a relief to find out that he was really very wise to what was going on. Especially when he became friends with Piper. I love the name Piper too, btw. I was suspicious of the whole thing, but from Piper's perspective, why wouldn't she trust it? And her poor parents, completely freaked out by her out-of-the-ordinaryness. They were surely relieved to see her go.
How sad when the rainbow girl did her little rainbow thing and then went home. I really, really wanted her to be okay again.
I do agree that the idea of children and animals being tortured is a little unsettling, but I can't really get too much after that because I loved The Hunger Games so much. The difference, I think, is that The Hunger Games was written SO well. The horrid nature of children hunting eachother in the forest never even dawned on me until well after I'd finished the book. I do kind of wish I could hear that cricket. Crickets are creepy, though. Ich!
There are bad guys everywhere. Even uptight, cityfolk women bad guys. I don't know why it always surprises me, but everyone has their story. Right? Conrad was not accepted by his parents. Why wouldn't he lean toward bully behavior? Lady Hellion killed her little sister, for heaven's sake, and never saw her brother again (the invisible guy...right? Isn't that who that is?). She just flat out snapped and turned into an animal/child torturer. I don't forgive or condone her behavior, mind you. But, as I've often heard, it's hard not to love someone when you've heard their story.
Piper was so naive, she was just pure in her intentions and thoughts toward other people. It was an easy read, but I found it entertaining. Hopefully when it comes around again, I can pick a more 'meaty' literary adventure. How I envy the person who gets to host the sequel to The Hunger Games. Lucky.
I can't wait to read everyone's reviews and we'll chittychatty online tonight, 9pm mountain time.