I have a confession: I like fast food. I know, I know, it is SO bad for me but sometimes it just calls my name. Today, in fact, I succumbed to temptation and bought (on my way home from a very whole foods grocery trip) 2 filet-o-fish sandwiches for $3.59! I felt like such a sucker – they totally have me hooked. I know for some of you the thought of eating fast seafood is about as appetizing as pickles & ice cream, but I can’t help it – it’s just tasty.
A similar confession (somewhat) is my admission to reading the entire Hunger Games trilogy in about 2 weeks. I just couldn’t stop. The cliff hangers kept me frantically turning pages, staying up until wee hours finishing “one more chapter”, letting my toddler play with mommy’s phone or eating LOTS of cheddar bunnies so I could have a few more moments of quiet… I was hooked. This was about a year ago, but I’ve been noticing that it’s hard for me to get into other books…they’re just not as exciting. A good friend of mine is pursuing her PhD in literature and recommended some of her favorite books to me. One of them was Our Mutual Friend (a more obscure Dickens) but I have been plugging away at it for over a month now and I’m barely half way through! It’s like I have literary ADD…or a “sugar” addiction where I begin to get groggy & light-headed a few pages into a classic. Not good!
I’m not hating on THG (I just admitted to devouring them) but I am arguing that it is definitely an instant-gratification genre of fiction and I’m afraid I need to put myself on a diet if I’m going to appreciate other works of, shall I say, “substance.” The story was exciting – the author had a knack for surprise & suspense – but I felt like most of the story was more for “shock value” than real story development or growth of her characters. Even the main character (I won’t give anything away!!) seems relatively unchanged by the end of the trilogy and I was more than a little unsatisfied with the overall conclusion. If you like suspense, dramatic love triangles, vivid descriptions of food AND fashion, or just appreciate some good ole-fashion violence, THG will not disappoint you!
This week I’m finishing A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in preparation for next month’s book club and so far I really like it. The story is slower than Katniss’ life-threatening moment-by-moment adventures but I’m appreciating the imagery and the emotions of the protagonist.
“She looked at the neat row of freshly sharpened pencils, the green square of blotter, and the fat white jar of creamy paste, the precise stack of cards and the returned books waiting to be put back on the shelves…Yes, when I get big and have my own home, no plush chairs and lace curtains for me. And no rubber plants. I’ll have a desk like this in my parlor and white walls and a clean green blotter every Saturday night and a row of shining yellow pencils always sharpened for writing and a golden-brown bowl with a flower or some leaves or berries always in it and books…books…books…”
You just won’t get the same internal dialogue from teens in the throes of adolescent angst all while battling for their lives in a futuristic arena! (Oh, the drama!!) I suppose it really is like processed food – a little is okay in moderation, especially when balanced with whole foods and exercise. Hopefully, I can get back to reading Dickens soon!