Saturday, November 15, 2008


I've read a lot of YA books this year. The Twilight series was really good, and I'm waiting for the movie nearly as eagerly as my middle students are. I just finished the third book in Marianne Curley's Guardians of Time trilogy, and I must say, I'm actually disappointed with the ending, which was quite abrupt and deeply unsatisfying. I must find out if there's another book, because there were so many loose ends that I can't believe she doesn't plan to write any more about this group of people.

I'm reading A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN right now. This is one of those classics that I've just never gotten around to before. I'm not very deep into it, but I think it's going to be one of those head-smacking, why didn't I read this sooner kind of books.

I was pretty excited to see that they were making a TV series of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series, but I just can't figure out why there's so much sex in it, because I truly don't remember that from the books. Maybe it's just HBO and their need to titillate, but I think the show would have done just as well without it. On the other hand, I would still love to see Kim Harrison's books made into a series.

This hasn't been the greatest of reading years--only 143 books so far, with about six weeks of reading time left to reach my minimum goal of 185 books for the year. I'm sure I can do it, but it's a little disconcerting that even with the large number of YA books read, the total isn't higher. More disappointingly, my total pages average will be well under 300 pages per book. Sigh.

Suzanne Collins, author of the Gregor the Overlander series, hooked me with her latest book, THE HUNGER GAMES. Given the results of the latest election and the recession that seems likely to escalate into outright depression, the premise of the book is not nearly as far-fetched as it might have seemed a year or so ago. After catastrophic civil war, what used to be the United States has been regrouped into twelve districts, ruled by a thirteenth district which conquered all of them. In most of the districts, poverty is rampant and hunger a very real part of everyday life. Each year, each district must submit one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in a reality show where the participants hunt and kill each other. The show's producers intervene to stir things up if the show gets too boring. The last one standing is showered with wealth and privilege. I devoured this book, staying up late into the night when I could hardly keep my eyes open because it was such a compelling story and the characters so interesting. I thought I would die when I got to the end and discovered that it was first in a trilogy! And since the book just came out last month, it will be ages before the next installment! AARGGGHHH!

Another YA book in a similar vein is SURVIVING ANTARCTICA: REALITY TV 2083 by Andrea White. In this one, with a similar socioeconomic condition, a group of teens must recreate Robert Falcon Scott's journey to the Antarctic. This book took a lot more swipes at politics and TV than THE HUNGER GAMES did, but it had many elements in common with that book, too. Both are highly recommended.

Well, that's about it for the moment. Drop me a line and tell me what you're reading these days. There's always room for more books on Mt. TBR!