Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Classic

Ok. Wow. Everyone kept telling me it was good. It just hadn't made it to the top of my priority list yet as it was a young adult book and wouldn't go into my library. But about two weeks ago, Sync YA Listening and Audiobook Community offered "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins as a free download. After reading and listening to the first and the second books in the trilogy, I now understand what everyone has been raving about. It is a new classic.

Collins is a tremendous writer. The way she paints our heroine, Katniss, makes her such a complex character, it's easy to get wrapped up in her life in District 12. Katniss is strong and yet emotionally fragile. The pull she experiences between her life in District 12 and the "life" that the Hunger Games brings her is illustrated so realistically, that you agonize with her over what choices to make. The Games themselves are an amazing creation by Collins, creating drama, action, despair, and joy, all laced with a tinge of hope and sadness. The emotional highs and low that the reader rides on are urged along by all the twists that Collins creates. I, like so many others, say that this book is amazing. And I will be anxiously awaiting the 24th when the 3rd one in the series is released.

I also dug my teeth into "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson. My friend told me I needed to get past the first 150 pages for it to really get good. And I thank her for the heads up. (Thanks Laurie!) Mr. Larsson had a knack for the verbose. The amount of exposition in the story really made the first chunk of the book difficult. But right about that 150 page mark....it shifted into high gear. With a pairing of an older man and a younger woman, a mystery, and a sick violent criminal, it all took on a bit of a Dan Brown flair. I think I am a sucker for the traumatized but strong heroine like Katniss in "The Hunger Games" or Lisbeth in this book. I'd really like to get farther into the second book, but between "The Hunger Games" and school starting, I got a bit derailed.

I'd like to say that I read much more, but I haven't. I spent quite a bit of time enjoying the joys of summer and grading papers for my college class. I did listen to "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay, making it the umpteenth time I've read that book. It is another fantastic tale with amazing characters and layers of hope and sadness. I also finally picked up "Gabriel's Horses", one of our state award nominees. Historical Fiction like this is not really my cup of tea and I felt the pace lagged quite a bit. I didn't feel that pull to keep reading until about chapter eleven.

I REALLY need to read the last book that I have to read for our state award nominees. I'm sure it won't be bad or anything, it's Peg Kehret after all. But I have a feeling it will be the same story that we often get from her and I'm finding it hard to pick up. I also need to read "Vampire Island" to make sure that it's ok to hand out to my kiddos. And there the Baker Street Irregulars that I want to check out (maybe that's the pull of Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law calling me there). We'll see what I can manage with school actually starting up tomorrow!

1 comment:

MRS K said...

I just finished Mockingjay! Book three - truly worth reading all of them! Thanks for sharing your insights!