I was thinking to myself that this week had been a light reading week. But then I kept remember things I read. And then I thought about how much I read in the non-fiction books I'm reading about writing. And I'm about to finish a novel tonight that will show up on next weeks showdown. So really, this hasn't been that light of a reading week at all.
The Maze Runner by James Dasher follows a group of boys trying to find their way out of the maze that they are trapped in. They know that they are just rats in some lab test, but they don't know how or why because they can't remember anything before arriving at the maze. My feelings on this novel are very mixed. I really enjoyed it, even if the main character/narrator was often annoying. The mystery seemed to leak out painfully slow, but there was enough action to keep my attention. By the end I still didn't understand the villain's motivation, but I had restored hope that it was there and that I would discover it as the series unfolds. I didn't cry at the most likable character's unexpected death, but do I plan on reading The Scorch Trials to see where Dashner goes with all of this? Hell yes. And now that I've seen the cover for The Scorch Trials, I am even more curious. It doesn't say "The Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 2". It says "A Companion To The Maze Runner". Tithe and Valiant by Holly Black were companion books. My feeling is that The Scorch Trials is not. However, The Maze Runner set up the possibility of another story running concurrent with the first book. It will be interesting to see if Dashner gives us that story, with the final novel in the trilogy being where the first two books meet. So far, I can't find any jacket copy, just a release date (October 12, 2010). So I will let you know when I have solved this mystery.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan has been on my list of things to read for some time now. I follow Ryan on Twitter and her constant back and forth with other YA writers never fails to entertain me. I read somewhere (I can't remember for the life of me) that when she first started writing, she was told to write the kind of books she liked to read and she liked to read chick lit. If she had stuck to that advice, she never would have written The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Yes it's romance (with Twilight level infatuation disguised as love), but it's also a dark story of survival and of the human condition. It examines how society's grow, how power is maintained, and how human beings act when all of their choices are taken away. It was heartbreaking and beautiful and The Dead Tossed Waves will be showing up on a showdown in the next couple of weeks.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Predators & Prey is the first graphic novel I've ever read. It drew me in because I was (and still am) a huge fan of the television series. The graphic novels continue into Season 8 and what happens after they destroy the town of Sunnydale (at the very end of the TV Series). Unfortunately, Predators and Prey is somewhere near the end of Season 8, but my library apparently doesn't understand how to catalog graphic novels, so all of them are classified under one listing and there is no way to request a specific volume. However, it wasn't that hard to pick it up. Comic books, apparently, are much like TV in that each "episode" stands alone while advancing a series plot at the same time. The art was fun, the stories were good, and I liked the characters, they seemed to stay very true to the television characters. Harmony (the dimwitted vampire) made me laugh because she got her own MTV reality TV show and turned the world pro-vamp and anti-slayer. It was just so true to life and to LA. The point is, I really enjoyed it and now I'll have to wander from library to library until I find the right volumes. Although, with the price of gas these days, it may be more cost effective to just order them.
The Book of Bunny Suicides is my new favorite picture book. It perfectly ties in to my dark and twisted humor. Sometimes, even at good movies, I can't help but laugh at the violence. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I'm sure it's nothing good. In my defense, while most people were watching Pocahontas (my least favorite children's movie) I was watching Sylvester Stallone in Rambo and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Eraser. When I watched kids movies it was usually The 3 Ninjas or something equally violent. So it's not my fault if I'm amused by 100 pictures of little fluffy bunnies trying to kill themselves. It works because it's not totally graphic. It's mostly clever sets ups and sketches instead of blood and gore. My favorite was this one:
Two final thoughts to leave you with... One, this is the third week in a row that I've updated my blog thanks to the Sunday Showdown. Rose Marie may have something here! Two, completely unrelated to reading, 7-eleven sells SUGAR FREE Slurpees. Yes. You can stay on your diet AND enjoy the delights of summer. It varies by location. They sell them at the location by my work, but not by my apartment, which is unfortunate, because I've been craving a sugar free Slurpee all weekend.