Anyway, here's what's been happening since my last post...
I've signed up for the Affinity Readalong over at Estella's Revenge. Also decided to participate in another challenge (as if I wasn't already doing enough!). The Booklovers Project, hosted by Amanda at the Zen Leaf is basically a big list of authors, and it's based around The Booklovers Song by The Divine Comedy, which I'd never heard of before I read about this challenge, but I listened to it, and it is awesome. Go. Listen!
In real life, I've been up since half past stupid this morning, finishing up the first bit of 'Operation Make Wedding Invitations', and making invite lists and suchlike. Here's a (terrible) picture of the preliminary stages:
Ok. So, this is the major reason I was so immensely frustrated about not being able to share my joy with the blogosphere on Saturday:
The Hunger Games Trilogy
by Suzanne Collins
I basically started reading these books (and this isn't the sort of thing I usually do) because everybody else was. I kept seeing reviews popping up everywhere I looked, so when I came across the first one in the library, I had to get it out.
From the very first, the trilogy blew me away. I loved the intensity of the story, and I particularly loved Katniss and Peeta, the main characters. Let me preface this by saying that anything involving children being hurt is usually the one thing I cannot deal with. It makes me go all weird and shaky and angry. These books didn't make me feel like that, though, although they probably should have, given the subject matter. Collins is extremely clever in the way that she can reduce children being forced to butcher each other merely to being a statement of fact, but then infuse such emotion into other deaths that it leaves you reeling. The great triumph of the books is that they manage, for the most part, to escape being predictable, and to retain the humanity of the characters.
The trilogy is set in Panem, a dictatorship where people have been divided into 12 districts, each specialising in production of a different raw material e.g. food, wood, coal etc. Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12, with her mother and sister Prim. Since her father died, she has been the sole provider, by means of poaching, and selling her loot on the black market. The story really kicks off when her sister is picked for the annual Hunger Games, a barbaric reality TV show in which 'tributes' (a boy and girl from each district) are forced to go head to head in an arena full of horrible things. The last one alive, wins. Katniss volunteers to replace Prim in the arena, and the story goes from strength to strength from there on.
My favourite thing about the series was the depth of the characters. All of them were so beautifully human to me, and Katniss especially really developed as a character. It was like an extreme coming of age, in which the responsibility for keeping herself and others alive is part of her life way before falling in love and other such typical teenage girl things.
In every book, there was another character I fell in love with. In The Hunger Games, gorgeous little Rue absolutely broke my heart, in Catching Fire, Finnick really won me over, and in Mockingjay, it was Katniss' little sister, Prim. Throughout it all, though, it was really the strong, dependable character of Peeta who held everything together, including Katniss.
These books were immense. I read Catching Fire and Mockingjay back to back in the space of two days, and when I'd finished, I just sat there holding the book and grinning like a moron.
Read them. Read them now :)
Rating: ***** (million!)