Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#5: Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins)

I finally completed The Hunger Games trilogy! I certainly didn’t see some of the twists and turns in this final episode. Now that the revolution against the Capitol is in full swing, the book becomes much darker in tone. Almost too dark, honestly. While I understand the necessity of making the shift, I found myself not very fond of the final book.

The scene that most upset me was when the surviving tributes vote about the possibility of hosting another Hunger Game, featuring the children of the Capitol. While Collins explained Katniss’ vote, I found it to be completely out of character. While I was thrilled with Katniss’ final choice of beau, I didn’t like the series’ ending. I felt the final resolution was trite and contrived. It seemed obvious to me that — in relation to Collins’ writing — “The odds were NOT ever in her favor.”

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#4: Gone (James Patterson)

Since my work as a traveling minstrel musician is in full swing again, I returned to audio books to help the miles pass a little faster. Gone was an exciting story featuring Detective Michael Bennett. Bennett and his large family are in the witness protection program because of threats from the criminal that Michael had helped to apprehend. The crime boss escaped custody and has declared war on southern California…..and hopes to annihilate Bennett in the process. This thriller is packed from beginning to end with scandal, intrigue, mystery, and pulse-raising suspense.

I especially enjoyed the descriptions of familiar locales from my days in southern California; Patterson’s words vividly paint with broad, colorful strokes. Because of the genre, the thriller contained a lot of violent scenes as well. Normally I’m not of fan of these scenes, but Patterson had me by the throat with his story. Perhaps I was just intrigued by the story, but I never felt as though the violence was overly graphic. The use of vulgarity was minimal; when foul language was employed, its impact was undeniable and appropriate for the scene. Once again, we see the power and artistry of Patterson’s use of words.

All in all, I was surprised that I enjoyed the book as much as I did. I don’t know that I would have enjoyed “reading” the book itself, but I found myself looking forward to my time in the car to find out how this tangled plot line was ultimately going to work out.

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#3: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)

It took me a few years to get around to it, but I finally read the final book of the Millennium Trilogy.  Since so much time had passed since reading the previous volumes, I had forgotten some of the essential facts of the story. Those memory lapses slowed my reading a bit as well as the fact that I was battling (yet another) sinus infection while getting through the novel.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story more than the previous books. In The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the focus turns to finding justice for the mistreatment of Lisbeth Salander. While the story takes on the feel of a legal thriller, I found myself captivated by the story without the violence that marked the earlier novels. I was a little let down by the book’s ending and found myself wanting a better resolution. Perhaps Larsson is leaving the door open to continue exploring the lives of these characters; I, for one, am done with them.

I don’t regret reading the series, but I’m definitely glad that I’m able to mark these books off of my list and move on to other things.  What’s next on my list? I’m in the process of finishing another series and reading Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games saga.

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