Monday, February 20, 2012

In Which I Am a Geek. Again.

My friend lent me her books.
And now I have to give them back.
So, this past month I finally joined most of the rest of Western civilization and read the Hunger Games series. I know. But better late than never, right? And oh my gosh YES! I totally get it now. I got sucked in like everybody else. Even though some parts were tough to read (those last 50 pages of Mockingjay just about did me in), I just had to know what happened next. Even though Katniss Everdeen was kind of a jerk sometimes, man, she was so cool! She made me want to run out and take some archery lessons. Plus, she quite literally saves the cat before the end. That right there was enough to make me root for her. Speaking of the end, well. I'm usually not an emotional person, but the ending was enough to make my little heart go *gulp* (For the record, I'm Team Peeta all the way.)

I'm kind of glad I waited this long to read them, though. Now I only have to wait a month until the movie comes out. Hold on. I still have to wait a whole month until the movie comes out?? What am I going to do with myself? I guess I could read the books again . . .

This has got me wondering, and not for the first time. Why do certain stories grab so many people? What is it about Harry Potter, Twilight, the Hunger Games, etc. that makes them pop culture phenomenons? The authors couldn't have known how popular these books would be when they were first writing them. Maybe there isn't one answer. Obviously YA literature is in the midst of an explosion as big as the one that [SPOILER ALERT] took out District 12. And love triangles are kind of a thing right now. The Hunger Games are also an eerie mirror to our current situation in the real world, what with our reality TV obsession and the wars in the Middle East. Thoughts, anyone?

In other news, writing has recently become fun for me again. For awhile there, it really wasn't. At all. It had become quite a bothersome Gnome. But now I'm  back and working on The Book, so, yay!

But seriously, what am I going to do until March 23rd?! How will I ever pass the time? Oh, look! A pretty song from the movie soundtrack:


Cassidy Wadsworth said...

Haha, you might just sell me on these books. Happy you're writing again--'cause you're a great one!

CMSmith said...

Thanks for the song from the soundtrack. I read the books a while ago. Can't wait for the movie. The trailer I saw looked awesome.

Robin said...

Yay! You're writing again!

Paul said...

I point to marketing as the reason why young adult has become so popular (or at least in part why it's become popular). I had to ask myself one day, "What age range is young adult?" I've determined that young adult simply means teenager, but with the addition of 'adult' it widens the age range without going too specifically toward 'teenager'. This way, the books are marketed mainly to teenagers, but with appeal to adults. I suppose it sounds better to say you're reading a book intended for "young adults" instead of a book intended for "teenagers". It takes away that connotation of immaturity, I suppose.

Personally I do not really get this trend, and find all of the young adult books that have become exceedingly popular to be kinda boring. But hey, to each his own. I'll just stick to my classics here.

Janiel Miller said...

Great picture of you with the books, Maegan. :)

I think YA is so big because of how it is written. We are a high speed, fast paced, hyper society. YA books get to the action quickly, have many, many high points, and very dramatic lows, there is romance (too much, in my estimation, often slopping over into the melo-dramatic--but that's another post), and the stories are a quick read. Also, there is magic--the best solution to every problem in a whacked-out world.

I think adults are hitting YA because its a fast fix and takes us back to when our lives were less complicated. Plus, we can read it in a few days during our kids' soccer games. And finally, because YA authors are not writing down to teens. Its readable. Generally.

And I agree with Paul: I think including "Adult" in the genre title gives me permission to read it without feeling silly.

As a side note, many of the books that were filed in the general speculative fiction sections when I was in high school (i.e., books targeted at adults) are now being filed in YA and even middle grade at bookstores and libraries. Life has, indeed, become more complex over the years.

William Kendall said...

I've managed to get by (thus far) without reading the books... I wonder how long htat can last!

Russo said...

I personally love that you inspire me to do something I haven't done yet-read the hunger game books.

Oh, we should take archery lessons. You'd look chic shooting with the sweater that has a hoodie (remember the one when we shot the video at Loraine's and I said you looked like an elf?) Yep, that one. Chic while shooting an arrow.

I'm glad writing is fun for you again because the world needs your book. Okay, I need to read your full book, you know the character that made me weep like a baby? Yep, I am hooked on your writing.