Hunger Games

I promise a recap of Historic Road Trip soon.  But first I wanted to talk about The Hunger Games

I came to the party late. The O Man finished the book a while ago and was dying to see the movie. Since I have a strict “you haven’t read the book so you’re not seeing the movie” policy, I had to read the book before I could take him. The one problem with this plan is that I know The Rookie and J would want to go along. Seeing as how The Rookie is not ready to read such a book, we decided to listen to the audiobook on the first leg of the road trip.

Mom was worried about our choice…she wasn’t sold on a book about kids slaughtering each other, but she agreed. By the end, we were hooked. So hooked that we downloaded Catching Fire, the next book in the series, at a rest area on the way to Niagara Falls.

And this is where I am starting to loose interest. The second book of a series always suffers from Sophomore Syndrome, just like second albums. You put it all into the first book, and then a publisher is breathing down your neck for the next one. You might not have plotted out what happens after, in this day of the three book deal, you would think you would have to, but it can be a tall order. Catching Fire suffers from a lack of knowing exactly where it wants to go. True, I am only little more than half way through it. True, the third book might blow my socks off. But I read this book thinking the whole time that she wrote the wrong book.

SPOILER ALERT!!! I will talk about the second book which will ruin some of the first book for you if you haven’t read it. If you haven’t and thought you might DON’T READ ANY MORE OF THIS!

This book should not have been about them being sent back into the Games. As much as I appreciate the creativity of the new arena, I don’t want to go through the Games again. Not because I am worried about Katniss living through them, but because its been done, and done well. I don’t care about the former Victors. I am tired of her beating me over the head with the fact that Katniss intends to make sure Peeta wins. She is so heavy handed you just want to yell, “I get it” at the book. Maybe the end will redeem this for me, but I doubt it.

The book I wanted to read was the one about the Games, but from the safety of the Capital: watching Katniss and Peeta mentor Tributes.

Don’t you wonder what the spectacle is like from the other side of the glass? What kind of sick parties do the people in the Capital have? How does the whole Sponsors thing play out? Do the Game Makers watch 24/7? One at a time? All at once? Wouldn’t you like to watch Katniss and Peeta mentor young Tributes? We would see them deal with the politics in the Capital, fight to win sponsors, process the guilt of being responsible for someone else’s life, figure out ways to help them in the arena. THAT would have been an extremely interesting book. She could have ramped up the tension by putting one of Gale’s siblings, or Madge, as Tribute.

Since she is so insistent on the love triangle, I guess she could have worked that in as well. If Gale’s sibling was in the arena, she could have had him staying at her house in the Victor’s Village, talking strategy with him on the telephone there.

Speaking of the Love Triangle, I know that this is a YA novel, which almost requires the girl be the object of many affections, but I’m so over this one. I don’t really know enough about Gale to route for him. Peeta is so good it’s almost too much. And I have a problem with the idea that Gale and Katniss spent most of their adolescence in the woods alone together and they never once let their hormones out to play? Do you remember being 15…16…17? Do you really think that a boy like Gale wouldn’t have made a move if he was interested? I don’t. So that whole side of the triangle reads false to me. Can’t get past it.

Back to the plot. The uprisings in the districts could have played out in the Capital as the Games were happening. We could watch the the Game Makers manipulate the Games to punish the Tributes from the wayward Districts. The true Revolution could then come on strong in the 3rd book (I’m assuming that happens in the 3rd anyway).

Instead, she put the two of them back in the Games. She wants to turn them into figureheads of the revolution. That’s a nice idea, but you just feel like the Games are a way of filling time because she isn’t really sure how to make them leaders of a Revolution. Again, I’m not at the end yet, but I don’t anticipate being wowed. If I am, I will let you know.

I’ll finish Catching Fire, and then move on to Mocking Jay. I can’t see me giving up on these the way I did with the sequels to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But I think I will always crave something more.

Oh well, what do I know?

Jumping off the Cliff

I have been working on the NaNoWriMo revisions like a mad woman (ask my poor, lonely DH). The problem is, that I can’t even really read it anymore. My mind reads what I think is supposed to be there. Also, I am sick to death of it.

So, in a giant leap of faith, I am posting the first chapter here. If you look up at the tabs on the top of the header picture, there is one labeled “Novel?”. Click on that baby and you will see before you the first 14 or so pages.

I have heard that you have the first ten pages to really hook somone (would love it if someone would remind most present day authors of that little fact), and I am a little wordy, so my first chapter is a tad long.

Any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated. This includes anything about  typos, repeated words, or “she” where I meant “he” and so on and so forth.

If you hate it, I’m sorry. Well, not really. If you like it, please let me know, cause honestly I could use the encouragement right about now.

If enough people seem interested, I’ll keep putting chapters up until you say “Alright, Sarah, we’ve had enough!”

Glower…loses?

So I had mentioned before about the word “glower” appearing with alarming frequency in the Twilight books.  Last time I was at the library, they miraculously had Twilight on the shelves, so I thought I would read it again and count…to satisfy my own curiosity.

Well spank my bottom and call me sugar…she only uses it  5 times!

No one was more surprised than me!

It’s possible that I missed one or two, but that is still way less than I would have put money on.  She certainly uses stare more (and cold chest, but that’s for another post)  Perhaps the word sticks out because it is something we don’t use in daily conversation.  I don’t know.

I apologize to Stephenie Meyer and to her editor.  I was wrong.

One Line Book Reviews

Sometimes I spend all my free time knitting, sometimes I will read until the wee hours of the morning.  I find that I shy away from reading at times because I get so absorbed, I can’t get anything else done.

Right now I am knitting.  But soon the reading bug will hit me hard again.

I never know what to read.  My taste ranges through the entire spectrum.  I am not above a “read at the beach” romance.  But I also enjoy (really, I do) classics like Shakespeare and Bronte.  And since I like a little bit of everything, but like to think that I have high standards, I stand in the bookshelves dazed and indecisive.

I have started to use the library in earnest, and have learned that they do not make it easy to browse.  The books are all stacked alphabetically, with the spines out.  Not really condusive to walking aimlessly picking up books that look interesting.  I need a library set up like Borders, I guess.

So I have been reading a lot of book reviews and jacket covers.  Of course, the publisher’s notes are useless…their aim is to make you buy the book.  And most reviews make me want to snore.  Or they give too much away, and I can reasonably guess the last ten pages from it.

What I would really like is just a one line, to the point review.  Something like “I liked it.  It read quickly, but it was over too soon.  Good if you like mysteries.”  That would be enough for me.  And while reviews like that are at the ready at Amazon, I don’t know these people from Adam, and don’t trust their judgement.

In the spirit of providing what I would like to find, I am going to start a One Line Book Review segment here on the Blahg.  When I have a few I will post them.  And since anyone reading this blog knows a little bit about me, they might actually mean something to you.

So, without further ado:

ONE LINE BOOK REVIEWS

  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Teenage melodrama crap.  But enjoyable crap that makes you read more and more.  Summed up:  “Oh Edward!”

  • Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose

The journey of Lewis and Clark.  Prose style and great story propel you through.  And I actually learned stuff.

  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Middle aged, unprepared men hike the Appalacian trail.  Piss your pants, laugh out loud on a plane funny.

  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Inspiring story with some twists.  Wasn’t a “can’t put it down”, but good.  Plus you look smart reading it.

  • The Deadworks by Alan Goy

Read it in one day.  Interesting take on what happens when you die.  Loved the characters.  READ THIS BOOK.

  • The Bible

Long, disjointed, multiple authors make for confusion.  I found it a little preachy.

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one.  Giggle Giggle)