Item the second: Hey look! I got featured as an "author we love"! Fred LeBaron, who put together this little tribute, is a librarian (and dad) who stumbled upon my books a year or two ago, and decided he liked them. In our correspondence since, he has also proved to be one of the nicest people who ever existed. Thank you, Fred! It's not every day I get called "smexy." (But I hope it will be from now on.)
Item the third: I finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy. They were very well done, but I think I will *not* be writing parodies of books 2 and 3, because then I'd have to spend more time in that grim, grim, grim world. Here are the reviews I left on Goodreads:
Catching Fire: 4.5 stars, that half-star mainly only taken off because this world is so dark and upsetting, I can't entirely say I'd read this for fun. Still, it was so compelling, very much a page-turner, that I do give it more or less full marks. The love triangle actually is believable--either Gale or Peeta would be a decent match for Katniss. And boy do I love Finnick so far. Yum. Way to end on a cliffhanger! Ack. Guess the third book is next on the list, then.
Mockingjay: 4 stars. Just finished it, and my immediate, emotionally drained reaction is, "Well, wasn't THAT the most depressing happy ending ever."
Collins is still a very compelling writer here, and the story put tears in my eyes many times, as with the other volumes. But by now everyone just feels so *damaged*. I suppose I was wishing for a stronger feeling of hope by the end. I see how that isn't realistic--Panem wouldn't inspire hope in anyone sane. So maybe that's my beef with the series as a whole: grim grim grim. Too grim. The Hunger Games = war, and war = horror, and no society should do either. Yes, we got that. Loud and clear.
Similarly, I wanted the legendary District 13 to be more interesting, more unusual. Instead it was more of the same. Bland, humorless. No fun. That's Panem for you: no fun.
I make it sound like I disliked the book. I didn't. Things were tied up nicely, and there was plenty of excitement, and even some romantic moments. But maybe three volumes of this is too much for a sensitive humor-loving temperament like mine.
Or maybe I'm just unhappy about who she killed off in this one. (There are at least two that make me particularly sad, and you can guess which.)
Meeting adjourned. We'll bring cookies next time.