aka YA Literature

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Even though it won't be out until September, I feel like plenty of people have already read, loved, and reviewed (or posted anyway) about Catching Fire. Probably because everyone who read Hunger Games couldn't wait to read the sequel. So I'm not sure I have a lot more to add, except to say just that, yes, it IS just as good as Hunger Games and I DID love it and most likely everyone who reads it will too.

Now that a few months have gone by, Katniss, Peeta, and their families are living well in Victor's Village in District 12. But despite their drastically improved circumstances, Katniss is pretty unhappy. She hardly sees Gale, she knows Peeta loves her but knows she doesn't feel the same way about him, and she still feels terrible about the inhumanity of the games and of the deplorable conditions everyone else has to live in while the capitol lives a life of waste and superficiality. Things get even worse as she and Peeta are about to embark on their Victory Tour through all the districts. Just before she leaves, President Snow actually shows up at her house to warn her that she better make a convincing show of her love for Peeta because her defiance at the end of the Hunger Games has sparked rebellion in many of the other districts. If her performance isn't good enough, there will be dire consequences.

So still great characters with lots of complexity and tons of plot twists and action. I found myself thinking, "My God, Suzanne Collins is a genius with the plot elements she comes up with." This book ends with a real cliff-hanger ending. And there is still the great love triangle between Gale, Peeta, and Katniss! I wonder if we'll ever start seeing Team Gale and Team Peeta shirts. (Personally, I'm for Peeta.)


Speaking of sequels I've been dying for and cliff-hanger endings, thank goodness Sacred Scars by Kathleen Duey is coming out soon! I've been waiting and waiting for this, and no one else seems to be all that fired up about it. I haven't heard or seen anything about ARCs for it. I think it's been way too long since the first book came out, and now it's lost a lot of interest it would have had. I got all these students interested in it this year and we're all desperately waiting for the second book (they're lucky they haven't been waiting as long as I have!). But I feel like we might be some of the only ones at this point. I guess I can't really say too much since I don't actually write books and know it would take me forever to write anything, let alone something good, but I think the lag time between Skin Hunger and Sacred Scars was way too long.

I also think it's unfortunate that the sequel to Graceling is Fire and the sequel to Hunger Games is Catching Fire when they're coming out so close together. It's just a little bit confusing. Although I must say that I love the title Catching Fire; it's fabulously appropriate.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Iran/Little Brother

I recently finished the audiobook of Doctorow's Little Brother, so I just wanted to post this link from The Daily Beast called "How Iran's Hackers Killed Big Brother" (via GalleyCat). Lots of great real-life parallels between the book and what's going on in Iran right now: using social networking to coordinate rallies, exploiting proxy servers to subvert government attempts at blocking access, crashing government servers, etc.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back to Poland

I taught English in Poland last summer, and I'm going back again. Last year, I was worried about whether or not taking books would be a good gift for the students, but it turns out that it was a hit. And it was a good way for them to practice their English even afterwards. So I'm going to try to get some ARCs and paperbacks together again. I'm definitely going to buy a copy of Twilight. Last year, I kept asking the students if they'd read it, and no one had even heard of it. I saw end range displays at the bookstores that I pointed out to them. But I'm thinking with the movie out, many or all of them will have heard of it by now. And they should read it in English!

I'll report back on any other YA books I see while I'm there. I know Melissa Marr's books are set to be published in Polish, but I don't think they'll be out for a while.

More Fun Movies!

The MTV Movies Blog reports that a live-action Jetsons movie is in the works. Yay! I watched every episode as a kid. Now I need to think about who they should cast...

Also from the MTV Movie Blog, Javier Bardem and Julia Roberts will star in Eat, Pray, Love. Good casting. I need to finish the book.


Neil Patrick Harris is playing the tutor! It's a small part, but I love NPH.