Monday, December 9, 2013

Tuesday Review: I'm Cheating and Using a Movie!

On Saturday, I saw the Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I also saw Thor (I'm a Loki fan) and there was no losing this day. However, watching Catching Fire reminded me just how beautiful and stark and anguishing that trilogy is. The second book and movie deals with the Hunger Game "victors" after winning the games, and it's clear that there are no victors, only survivors, which Haymitch clued you into when you met him, a glass of perpetual liquor in his hand. We're now shown their current ordinary world, and it starts out the same as the first book, they're hunting for food. They're providing for their families. They're trying to forget how they live or their situation, if only for a moment.

Only now it's so much worse.

Katniss shoots at game and suddenly sees herself shooting one of the tributes. She has a breakdown. Gale--the boy she loved before the games and still feels something for but can't really be recaptured--comforts her and brings her back to her house. Victory Square or whatever they termed it. It's a completely ludicrous place, the houses beautiful, but the surroundings completely opposite. Like Spock in the middle of the Dark Ages, trying to blend in. Crazy.

It's clear Katniss has taken a horrible situation and made it a thousand percent worse for herself. If President Snow didn't like her before, he certainly doesn't like her now. She made a fool of him; she defied him; and now the other districts are looking to her, inspired by her courage to spit in the face of injustice and are rising up. However, Katniss still has her own people to protect: Prim, her mother, Peeta, and Gale--and she will do whatever it takes to do that: lie, lie, lie.

Oh, it's so darned angsty, people! You need to watch it, if you won't read the books. That is all.

In the meantime, if you wish for something a little different, I just got done reading THE SWORD DANCER by Jeannie Lin, and as usual, Jeannie's world and voice is magical and beautiful. Her setting in the Tang Dynasty is just gorgeous and feels like you could walk there in your mind. I love the bits of history and culture she shares about this history, era, and culture, without feeling bogged by too much detail, without the slant that I think some history textbooks tend to give Chinese history--like they're, oh, I don't know, not as significant, I think. Yes. But I think Jeannie Lin makes the stories and history and people of China vibrant and interesting and everyman--she's like our romance version of the guy who wrote Memoirs of a Geisha, which I also thought was a beautiful writing voice and historically interesting and even-handed.

Okay, so my questions: do you have any recommendations for books about the Asian dynasties/histories? I'm out of Jeannie's books and need something more. Also, any YA novels that have fulfilled the empty space that the Hunger Games books left? Again, looking for more to read. Lastly, I'm all hepped up on Loki and Thor and norse mythology--any recommendations there? Movies, books, maps, young single men between the ages of 30-40 who'd like to school me specifically in Loki-lore? I'm open.


  1. I have been thinking about trying Jeannie Lin. In audio I have the choice of three: 'My Fair Concubine', 'Butterfly Swords', The Dragon and the Pearl'. Any recommendations among these?

    A long time ago I read some Pearl Buck (long after she won the Nobel prize!). I see that her books are now available e-books so would be worth a try if you haven't read her.

    For YA books I can recommend Sophie Jordan's Firelight trilogy.

  2. I was pulled in immediately with Butterfly Swords--I just love how this author writes; however, I think My Fair Concubine is probably my favorite. There was something about the hero I really found sexy and I loved how she was able to create setting.

    I haven't read Pearl Buck--I know...I haven't read any of the classics, unless you count the occasional Woodweis book. *LOL*

    I think I tried the Firelight trilogy, but didn't get far before the books had to go back. I should give them another shot. Sometimes it's a matter of reading them at the right time.