Soooo… while I haven’t been blogging much, I have been reading. A lot.
I re-discovered my love for Young Adult (YA) fiction, and specifically the dystopian science-fiction/fantasy type of YA fiction that apparently has been flooding the market for the past few years (thanks to Twilight and the Hunger Games). I’ve read the books listed below and have a few others on my “Hold” queue (thank goodness for technology!) that are trickling in from libraries around Los Angeles.
- The Maze Runner (James Dashner) – I had seen this book on Amazon once or twice before, but finally requested it from the library because someone I knew in college (Ki Hong Lee) was apparently cast as one of the main characters! That was more than enough of a reason. Kudos to him, because he gets to play a pretty cool character. It’s a bit different from the others below in that the protagonist and main narrator is male, which is not bad, but different–less emotional, less romance, but still thrilling. (Amazon)
- Divergent (Amazon) / Insurgent (Amazon) (Veronica Roth) – These were so good. I mean, not high literature by any means, but captivating can’t-put-them-down types of books from beginning to end… and I was frustrated to find that the 3rd book in the trilogy wasn’t being released until October! Dah! It’s interesting that Shailene Woodley (of “The Secret Life of an American Teenager”) is playing the main character, Tris, because I just imagined Tris as more… rugged and dauntless (ha). Will be interesting to see how it all plays out! And definitely, definitely grabbing that 3rd book off the shelf the day it’s released.
- Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Amazon) / Days of Blood & Starlight (Amazon) (Laini Taylor) – I think Stephanie Meyer (yes, Twilight’s author) had been the first to bring this new trilogy (seriously, what is it about trilogies!) to my attention, but I can see why. They’re not necessarily dystopian in context, but more like Twilight in that they layer in a world on top of the world we already live in without being in a new society or future. I don’t want to say much to give it away, but I’m curious to see if the types of mythologies and creatures highlighted in this book get more popular as a result. Like the Divergent series, this trilogy hasn’t been completed and in fact, the title of the third book was only just released this past week — Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Chils, right? I do think the romance in these novels is a little less manufactured than those in the other novels, but that’s not saying much… still loved it!
- Son (Lois Lowry) – I had heard of “Son” and requested it, but only once I began reading did I realize I should have gone back and re-read The Giver and also requested the two other books in this “loose quartet” — The Messenger and Gathering Blue. I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t remember much about The Giver (it has been a long time…) but little random things in the book sparked memories of plot points and I realized that all four books involve the same universe of people and circumstances. The Giver really was the first dystopian novel, at least American, and it is such a classic. Lowry said she ended up writing the 3 newest books because so many people would ask her about what happened to the characters in The Giver and she finally let herself wonder and write about them. I really did appreciate that Lowry’s writing is more mature, more patient, and as she’s pointed out in interviews–she doesn’t write books that can easily be turned into movies because so much happens in non-action (thinking, conversations, mulling). If you were a fan of The Giver back in elementary school or jr high, would recommend you sit back down with it and read through the newest additions. (Amazon)
- Matched (Amazon) / Crossed (Amazon) / Reached (Amazon) (Allyson Condie) – And back to the new/popular dystopian novels! I honestly didn’t think that the Matched series would draw me in, but it did. Nothing super novel or creative-out-of-the-ordinary, but it fits its genre well and is entertaining enough for me. I actually think Reached (the finale) was really satisfying and surprised me in more ways than one, but not sure if folks will read through the first two to really enjoy and be satisfied with the third.
So yes, I’ve been reading! The library has saved me from spending tons of money on books I would honestly only ever read once, but it’s become part of my routine to read, pick up/drop off books at the library, and browse through the catalog looking for more. Keeps me out of trouble, at the very least 🙂