Apr. 14th, 2009

lady_schrapnell: (book)
Today I had to defrost my freezer, which has got to be the single household task that is most capable of making me face my utter and complete worthlessness. But listening to The Adoration of Jenna Fox on my iPod player helped a bit with distraction...

So, being very behind on the book write-ups, I decided to shove together two that seem to have little in common, but illustrate my total lack of consistency. The books are Maggie Stiefvater's Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. What they don't have in common? Lament is - I started to describe it as high fantasy, but of course it's not - it's concentrated, essence of fantasy, with not a quest in sight, and there's ice cream rather than stew. The Hunger Games is fast-paced, gripping science fiction, set in a dystopian society. As punishment for an earlier rebellion of some sort, each of the 12 Districts must choose one boy and one girl 'Tribute' to go to the Capital and take part in the Games - a televised reality-show competition which runs until just one tribute is left alive (more of the competitors killed nice and gorily by others than dying of starvation or exposure, if it's a good Game).

What they do have in common is heavy emphasis on the romance, and in both books it's the common set-up of the girl who has a guy best friend (her only close friend, in both) and competing love-interest is introduced, messing with everyone's heads. The inconsistency comes because the romance in The Hunger Games drove me MAD. I found it irritating, heavy-handed and felt it unbalanced the story. While reading Lament, on the other hand, I lapped it up and found myself marveling that it was the only YA I could think of in which I didn't lose liking for the old buddy when the heroine started fancying the socks off the new guy... or vice versa. The other thing I found myself marveling at was the number and closeness of the Diana Wynne Jones resonances.

Fantasy, Trauma and Violence behind the cut - and more on the Diana Wynne Jones comment. )

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