May was the month of the sequels, as three out of the four books I read are part of a series. This month also marks the beginning of a book club that we started here in Dallas ending in a discussion at a local wine bar once a month.
In the second book of this trilogy we find the main character, Katniss, immersed in another Hunger Game fight until the death with a major twist. Both chilling and riveting you are further immersed into the world of Panem (the future of the US) and its shocking realities. The romance interwoven through the story rings true with less teen angst than would be expected for a YA novel. Rather than puppy love, we get a glimpse into the harsh reality of love in the midst of immense devastation and loss, which colors Katniss’ emotions throughout.
As the war rages on basic themes of good and evil are explored in a way that rings true filled with complexities and thought provoking occurrences. I don’t want to give too much away so I will leave the summary at that. This is certainly a series that will stick with you long after your turn the last page.
This book is much more entertaining than the first, maybe because we are finally getting to know the fledgling Carrie in what we now know to be the place she calls home: New York City. As a prequel, you get to see how the beginning of her relationships are formed with her future best friends and in turn learn about their beginnings and what drives them as well. The book ends with a definite set up for future editions. While enjoyable, these books are really just whetting my appetite for a new adult book penned by Candace Bushnell. I have devoured every one and each time closed the book anticipating the next one, but I feel like I can wait for the next Carrie Diaries series without too much anticipation.
This book club selection seemed like a light and fluffy read despite the deep themes that were involved. CeeCee Honeycutt, the twelve year old daughter of a woman who is being sucked progressively deeper into mental illness and an absentee father, lives in isolation due to her mother’s outlandish behavior with her elderly next door neighbor as her only source of stability. After her mother’s death, a distant relative takes CeeCee under her wing to live with her in a sprawling traditional Southern mansion in Savannah. The conflicts in the novel are easily dismissed and wrapped up in a neat bow of happily ever after. Even when such themes are explored they always fall short of really evoking a deep sense of feeling, which is unfortunate because the subject matter seemed to have potential.
Our next month’s book club selection is Girl in Translation if anyone is interested in following along...