Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Drank the Kool-Aid

I hate to jump on any bandwagon, proverbial or otherwise, but I just had to talk about two incredible books I've recently read. I'm a huge romance reader, so straying outside the lines is odd for me, though I admit to liking all genres of books.

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about two books in particular, and since one was chosen for my book club pick, I had to read it. Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. Holy. Crap. What a FANTASTIC book. It's a young adult, distopian future story about a a world in which particular districts are forced to submit the names of one boy and one girl each year to play in the Hunger Games, an event which emphasizes how powerless the districts and their people are to the autonomy of the Capitol, which rules everyone rather unfairly. That's the basic premise. The book centers around sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist. There are themes of independence, war, freedom, youth, survival, love and more in this book, and it's only the first of three. Now I'm on to Catching Fire, the second in the series. And seriously, if you haven't read the book yet, you're missing out. Once I started, I didn't put it down until 374 pages and THE END later.

My other incredi-read is Justin Cronin's The Passage. Yeah, another after-the-world-ends book. A different take on zombies, though the focus is on the survivors--in particular a little girl named Amy. The dichotomy of religion and science, faith and fact, are interspersed throughout. But it's the characters that give this book such depth. The book is huge; it's not a light or short read, but it's totally worth the time. Cronin has a way with words, and he seamlessly fuses flashbacks and present time to explain the story without confusion. I still don't know how he did it. He also intends a follow-up book, entitled The Twelve, and I can't wait to read it. [NOTE: I had a really hard time getting into King's The Stand, though I'm familiar with the plot (and yes, the miniseries on TV). This is somewhat like that, but in my opinion, much better. Not to take issue with King, whom I love, but hey, it's my blog, my opinion.]

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