Sunday, June 3, 2012

On books and bathroom use (not what you think!)

The other day, the lovely Michelle Krys posted a book review and claimed that the book was so good she only stopped reading to make tea and use the bathroom. TMI? She thought so. I didn't.

Though if my bathroom looked this nice, I might visit it more often, even if I was reading a good book. (source)

This entry reminded me of a category of books I call the "sleep and pee" books. Sounds kind of crass, and maybe it is. But that's the first title that comes to mind because these books are so good I only stop reading to sleep or pee. (But not at the same time!)

I'll start with the "holy triumvirate" of young adult novels: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight, all three of which I enjoyed immensely. And all three are popular for pretty good reasons: Harry Potter because it takes place in a world that is both different from and exactly like our own. Twilight because it is escapist fantasy fun at its finest (alliteration is awesome!). And The Hunger Games because the stakes for the characters are enormously high and the future world the characters live in is dangerously close to what ours could become someday. What it's already becoming.

And now the runners-up:

Paper Towns (John Green): I really like John Green's books, but even his most popular one, Looking for Alaska, doesn't hold a candle to Paper Towns. I think I enjoyed it so much because it has an element of mystery to it, and I had to keep reading to find out what the heck was going to happen to this missing girl.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Carrie Ryan): One of my favorite zombie novels. I read it over the course of a weekend when my parents were out of town, and the first night I was home alone reading...well, let's just say I didn't get much sleep that night.

The Giver (Lois Lowry): A classic of children's/young adult fiction. Lois Lowry is brilliant; I've read several of her other books and she never disappoints. This is also the book that indirectly got me interested in dystopian fiction (I probably liked it before then, but didn't have a name for it).

Genesis (Bernard Beckett): I had to read this in college, so at first it was just another dull required reading assignment. But I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Like The Giver, it takes place in a futuristic/alternate world and has sort of a dystopian element to it as well. Why is dystopian fiction so awesome? For the same reason that shows like The OC and 90210 are popular; you think everything looks perfect on the surface, but it's not. Far from it, actually.

Wither & Fever (Lauren DeStefano): I don't remember Wither as much as I do Fever, because I just read Fever a couple of months ago. But I do remember enjoying them both and plowing through them. A lot of people criticize them for their lack of world building, but their strength is the characters. You constantly want to know what's going to happen to them next and how they're going to react to it. And isn't that the strength of any good story? After all, stories are about people.

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