Mar 24 - Apr 29, 2013
The Gyre Mission: Journey to the *sshole of the World
In the frighteningly near future, man's excess and lack of respect for the planet have resulted in a massive garbage heap off the coast of California. Concerned at the gyre's swift growth, the government sends a crack team to investigate. Unfortunately, they lost contact and disappeared without a trace. So a not-so-shit-hot team is assembled (because you can't lose TOO MANY great employees in THIS economy) to unfold not only the mystery of the trash, but to find the missing team members from the previous unsuccessful foray. But what they discover is even more horrifying than an island made of garbage three times the size of Texas, and they have no way of knowing just how bad Garbage Island can get...
Adventure. Gore. Kinky sex. These are the things that give me the warm and tinglies. In the good way, I mean. Not the flies-that-lay-eggs-in-your-head kind of tinglies.
Although, because I'm sick, this also gives me the tinglies.
God, I'm a mess.
Anyways, when I got this book in the mail, I was pumped. Not only because the subject matter tickled me just so (again, not unlike those sweet little bot flies) but because the book was freakin' MASSIVE and I was totally in the mood (heh heh) for a good, long, epic adventure (double heh heh). And the thing is, a book has to be GOOD if it wants to be an epic epic, and not just a snooze-a-thon like the dictionary - though the dirty words were always good for some giggles in my younger years. And lucky for me, The Gyre Mission did not disappoint (yes, I'm giving you the shifty side-eye, dictionary).
Edgar Swamp has a rare talent for combining the best of both literary worlds: on the one hand he's got a crazy cast of over-the-top characters, sex, violence, and gore, and a redonkulous situation. Well, I'm hoping it's redonkulous. You never know, though, with these government types and their secrets and conspiracies and the assassinations GLAVEN. But basically, he's got all the hallmarks of classic pulp horror in place. However, Swamp also takes the time to introduce his characters, giving us a chance to get to know them and even *gasp* care about what might happen to them. At the very least, a chance to recognise them by name. Actually, the majority of the characters were introduced with their own chapters in the beginning, which was a mighty handy cheat sheet for someone like me who has difficulty recalling where I leave my keys every morning. The other thing Swamp does for us is attempt to offer an explanation for his zany situation, instead of "It's beyond our comprehension" or " 'The secret is...' and then he was carried off by mermen TO BE CONTINUED, LOSER" or "Aliens":
Did I mention his vocabulary is pleasantly surprising?
I loved the characters (and loved hating the assholes) couldn't get enough of the monsters, and the pacing was delightful - a slow rumbling that built up and just got more and more awesome until shit went totally cray-cray (in a good way-way). I was actually just telling one of my buddies about a particularly rad moment involving a massive carpenter ant/centipede/nightmare and its delightful accompanying birth scene. My friend was suitably impressed. And grossed out. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this book, and the looks on my friends' faces when I read them bits of it.
Basically, Edgar Swamp isn't treating us like some stupid bimbo he doesn't care about satisfying that he plans to punp-and-dump out of a Bang Bros. bus on the side of a highway. No no NO. Instead, he wants to wine us and dine us, slip a little LSD in our drink, take us on a magical fantasy ride and make us quiver with excitement until the very Gods themselves stand up and applaud. Or at least Jenna Jameson. Old Jenna, though. Not new Jenna. She frightens me.
To put it more simply (and PG) The Gyre Mission has the style of pulp and the substance of fiction. I was most definitely pleased.
All those points alone would have made The Gyre Mission a 10/10. The reason I've given it a 9/10 is because there was a major ass-load of editing atrocities. Pretty much all of them involved the abuse of the apostrophe and the dash with the issue being the distinction between "its" and "it's", and not putting a space on either side of the dash when interjecting a thought into an already existing sentence, and instead making really strange compound words. Seriously, editing errors piss me off to no end and are ridiculously distracting to someone as neurotic as I am. I read with a pencil on hand at all times so I could circle them all; losing the pencil regularly and then hunting for it became a companion sport to keep me nimble in the face of all the perusing. So I'm just putting this out there: Edgar Swamp, if you're going to write another book as rad as The Gyre Mission, I will be happy to offer you my proof-reading services, free of charge. Because if I get my hands on another one of your books and I have to find that many errors again, it won't be pretty.
All in all, my neurosis aside, I had a blast reading this. Go get The Gyre Mission, guys. And then prepare yourself for some sleepless nights and an even greater desire to recycle.
PS: Did I mention his book is dedicated to a dog named Lily Swamp? So now not only is Edgar Swamp a dude with an extremely dirty mind filled with some disgusting ideas (my favorite - swoon!) but he likes animals, too. Double swoon.
Mar 4 - Mar 23, 2013
In the seemingly benign town of Chapel Harbor, an ancient evil broods - waiting for the right moment to initiate a destruction so complete that the entire town is in danger of obliteration, and the only ones who can stop it have no clue as to the parts they'll play in the final battle...
Infernal Machines was a really REALLY well-written book; there were numerous notable elements, and I couldn't help but greedily devour it every damn time I picked it up.
Unfortunately, my kobo was pulling a Lindsay:
(As in, it quit working and starting acting like an complete asshole) which meant that I was getting a whole half hour of perusing before I had to plug it in for a 12-hour charge. So it took me AGES to finish this book. It got to the point where I wasn't sure if I was more pissed off at my e-reader when it went moron on me, or more excited to read when it worked. I'd like to go with excited, because Infernal Machines was that badass. There were two things about this book that really caught my eye. The first was that the protagonists were youth (yet it most definitely wasn't a YA read) and it was still written in an intelligent, adult manner - no pandering here! And Millar certainly didn't shy away from adult situations, even though his characters were kids. Basically, he treated them like people, instead of like delicate flowers. It actually really reminded me of The Thief of Always by Clive Barker (which I love so much I'd write mash notes to it) because it also had a young person at the forefront, but didn't shy away from all the horrors of the world
by hiding behind childish writing and "safe" or "appropriate" situations. By treating the characters like halfway cognizant creatures, the author does us the same service. I totally dig it. The other thing that really grabbed me was the atmosphere. Christ on a bike, was I EVER creeped out. From the moment I picked it up to the moment I put it down, Infernal Machines gave me a terminal case of the heebie jeebies. Almost as if by magic (possibly Cardiff's brand) Millar would turn an everyday, normal situation:
Into the stuff that nightmares are made of. Magic tricks in a bar? Awful. A grad party? Tragic. How about a train ride? You might as well just kill yourself now, or at least gouge your damn eyes out. So for a horror junkie like me, this was absolutely delightful. You know, when I wasn't shivering in terror under my sheets like a frightened child with a boogeyman under the bed. Ugh. The characters were spot on and terrifically done. Really human (well, most of them were human...) and relatable. Hell, some were even lovable. Dammit, I cared. And to drive my previous point home, Stoner (and can I just mention how much I love the fact that there's a character named Stoner?!) Paulie, and Dee were teenagers, but they were also allowed to act like real goddamn people, not an approximation of what an author THINKS a teenager should be. A book with youth protagonists but written for intelligent adults. Brilliant, and as rare as celebrities covering their vaginas from 2006 - 2010 (God, those were some good times, though). And don't even get me started on the adults. The bad guy was so intriguing that
he was hardly detestable, and the good guys all had some skeleton or other in their closet. No one in real life is at the is at the opposite ends of the spectrum of good and evil; instead they fall somewhere in between. An author who can reflect that will inspire all kinds of complicated and intense feelings in their reader (not unlike puberty). And I can't help but love a book that gives me complicated and intense feelings. Not people, though. I can't just break their spines and hide them
under a bed when they agitate me. One of the many reasons I prefer books. Infernal Machines was so SO well done. And although I found myself confused at times, I'm chalking that up to my sporadic reading *cough shitty kobo cough* rather than attributing it to the writing. Bravo. Definitely worth a read. And a reread, no doubt. And all the subsequent night terrors.
Those too. Best of all, y'all now get a chance to enjoy those night terrors with me! Just click HERE for a chance to win your very own autographed copy of Infernal Machines, written by the ridiculously talented (and hunky!) Will Millar.
Feb 18 - Mar 3, 2013
Thomas M. Disch
Billy was just an ordinary boy, until he discovered a talisman that allowed him to control sickness and health on anything alive. Now, Billy has all the power he needs, and woe to those who cross him...
Uggghhhh. This book was so FRUSTRATING. It started off so well, too; great premise, decent writing, awful scenarios, the works. A kid with absolute power? Making everyone who give him guff pay? Oh, don't think they won't pay. Casual racism? A kite flying excursion gone terribly awry?! ABUSIVE NUNS?! All of those things were awesome! Except racism, obviously. But casual racism... well, reading about people who just shamelessly make remarks like that in a regular setting is incredibly novel to me. No one talks like that, outdated book! Are you going to talk about tram rides to the cinema for a Nickelodeon, too?
Anyways, all these things made for a really great buildup for the first half of the book and I was stoked to see where all this was leading...
And then it turned out to lead no-damn-where.
Basically, Billy grows up and the latter part of the book is set in the near future, where things are mildly future-y but not really. He turns out to be a boring, non-evil doctor who barely wields his awesome power stick, and about a billion more characters get introduced. Once that happened I wasn't particularly interested in picking The M.D. up, so I kept putting it down for longer and longer, so when I finally did get to reading it again, I was pretty much confused and frustrated and bored. I finally forced myself to finish it, which wasn't so terrible because as I said, the writing was good. Really good, actually. Disch definitely has a way with words, I just wish he'd use them in a scarier way. Less this:
And more this:
Feb 13 - Feb 17, 2013
Allan Mann had everything: good looks, physical prowess, a keen mind, and an adoring girlfriend. But a single stroke of fate has changes everything for Allan, and now all he has is Ella. Ella, his helper monkey. Ella, his companion. Ella, his friend. Ella, who he has developed a very special relationship with, one that no one understands...
See that? See what I did there? I made y'all think he was "spanking his monkey". In the vagina. With his penis. Don't worry, the back cover and front blurb on Monkey Shines made me think that, too. But I can assure you, no monkey/man Literotica occurred in the writing of this book.
Hey, don't look so disappointed (secretly, I was a little disappointed, too).
Now, don't think this book was all sunshine and rainbows. There was definitely some inappropriate stuff going on, but more along the lines of "blurring-the-distinction-between-man-and-animal" than "the-mysterious-unlabeled-VHS-collection-at-the-bottom-of-your-dad's-sock-drawer". Which is probably for the best, because Monkey Shines ended up coming across as rather intelligent and thoughtful. Hell, sometimes a little overly so, as I haven't had the luxury of attending a prestigious Ivy League school or have a degree in research science. There were definitely some bits that just went way over my head. In my defense, I'm only 5'3.
At times, I found the leap from overly bright beloved helper money to psychotic murderous monster a little unrealistic, but then I remembered I was reading about a killer Capuchin and had to admonish myself for being too lofty. I knew what I was getting into when I picked this up.
No, Monkey Shines wasn't actually half bad. It was an unusual premise (certainly) but unique. It was definitely intelligently written and treated maturely for the somewhat comical subject matter. I mean, no matter how seriously I tried to take it, I still spent a lot of time imagining Ross and his monkey, Marcel, from Friends.
Capuchins are way too cute to be scary. But this book managed to by mighty creepy all the same.
And as a bonus, check out the trailers for the 1988 movie (directed by George A. Romero!) based on this book:
Feb 6 - Feb 12, 2013
Loss of Separation
Paul Roan has suffered countless horrors; after nearly crashing a plane full of passengers, he's involved in a hit and run that leaves him comatose for 6 months. After finally recovering, he wakes to discover his girlfriend had gone missing. And those incidents are just the jumping off point for the suffering to come...
I find it humorous that there's a lovely praise-filled blurb from Peter Straub on the front of Loss of Separation when not only did I just finish my first Straub book before this one, but also that the writing style of both Straub and Williams are so oddly similar. And that means I had the same kind of issues with this book as I did with the last one. Le sigh.
Like lost boy lost girl, Loss of Separation was written better than most, but a little too purple in the prose department for my particular predilections. Wandering from page to page only to discover the barest scrap of action or dialogue always makes me feel like I've been reading for no real purpose, and that I haven't accomplished anything. That's the bad.
The good in this book was more plentiful (though not in volume of content - there was a lot of goddamn purple musings). It opened with a bang - a horrific nightmare of vomit and fire and blood, and that nasty dreamy goodness was sprinkled liberally throughout. Honestly, it got to the point where I was left wondering if any of it was actually happening, or if our protagonist Paul simply died in his fiery plane crash and just unknowingly found himself in H-E-Double-Hockey-Stick.
As opposed to Heaven, where apparently there are either no dogs, or dogs and rocks
. Paul was tragic sort of hero - my absolute favorite kind. Terribly damaged, consumed by his pain, buffered by trauma after trauma. He reminded me of the The Burned Man in Davidson's The Gargoyle, actually (a book I friggin' LOVED). No wonder I wasn't sure if he was sane or not, or even alive (and to be fair, he often mused on these points himself). Plus all the other characters were totally, completely fucked in one way or another; raped, murderous, intermittent speech impediments, a 6th sense... it was basically a cornucopia of abnormal experiences. Kind of like my family reunion, but with less drunken family members doing coke in the bathrooms. Best Christmas ever! There was a lot of weird stuff going on in Loss of Separation; it got to the point where shit was just being flung at me from left field and nothing was being explained (at least in a manner I could comprehend) and I finally thew my hands in the air (waving them like I just didn't care, obviously) and said, "FUCK IT!" Because a book this flowery and subtle isn't meant for the likes of me. I'm just here for the gore and possible monsters.
Jan 27 - Feb 5, 2013
lost boy lost girl
The Underhill family is no stranger to tragedy, and for one young member of the clan, his story begins with a decades-old crime and culminates in murder... and maybe even redemption...
I hesitate to classify this as straight horror; while awful, scary, horrific, and supernatural events occur, lost boy lost girl also had the dreamy quality of fantasy. Unexplainable events were taking place, with no explanation (duh, I did just say unexplainable) or reason; they just happened on the faith that you'd accept it, and even some of the events themselves were left vague and ambiguous. Luckily, this book was one of those rare exceptions to the "I have no idea what I'm doing so I'll purposely try to confuse people in the hopes that they think THEY'RE stupid for not understanding when in actuality I'M the dill hole who has no idea what I'm banana"rule.
Here, it worked. I'll give Straub that.
Really, the writing was quite good, and I have not much to rumble about regarding technical skill. Mark (our young protagonist) was drawn exceedingly well, and was intriguing and easy to relate to, as well as lovable. All the ghostly counterparts were spooky as shit and definitely drew me in. No complaints character-wise. I will say that starting out I found the sentence structure to be overly wordy and busy - occasionally I was confused and irritated, not unlike a kid who doesn't get why I won't sell him weed even though I work at a head shop. Because obviously I would also do that as a side profession while at my current profession. Even though weed is still technically illegal. And I'm pretty sure the first place anyone would be busted for selling weed would be at a head shop. So obviously I should definitely be selling weed to strangers all day every day from behind the counter at my work place. *that was extreme sarcasm, if you didn't get that* But the more I read, the more familiar I became with the rhythm, and I settled in. Not unlike closing your eyes and thinking of England.
That's a euphemism for unpleasant sex, BTW.
No, my biggest issue with the book was that it took so damn long to get scary. I was halfway through the damn thing... Chapter 17, page 159 to be specific, before anything really exciting happened. If I was your average reader, I might have ditched this book long before that. But books like THIS are the reason why I DO read the whole damn thing, no exceptions. Because the second half was killer (pardon the pun). Really dark and twisted, but with just enough hope to keep you from losing faith in humanity.
High brow horror, for sure. Make sure you have an ascot and monocle when you read this puppy.
Jan 25 - Jan 27, 2013
The House of Gentle Men
Deep in the woods lies a house where men and women go to ease their pain and bask in comfort; where men atone for their sins and women forget those committed against them. But for one couple, the sin between them may be too great to bear...
I have to admit, I was a little disappointed by this book. Reason number one was that for some reason I thought this was a post-apocalyptic thriller/love story. I just have to assume I was high on bath salts when I came up with this theory.
The House of Gentle Men is actually a historical fiction piece, so my bad. The other reason I was bummed was because I LOVED Hepinstall's two other books. LOVED. And this was nothing like them. I definitely didn't get what I expected. It was definitely an interesting premise: dudes comforting ladies to make up for the wrongs they'd done. But there was a whole slew of unbelievable shit going on as well, from magic angel babies to what ended up happening with our protagonists. Let me tell you, THAT was some fucked up shit. And parents worry Twilight sets a bad example for their kids. Yeah, I had some problems with our main characters, but the secondaries were all cool as shit and deliciously twisted. So that was a saving grace. The writing style was a little different; totally readable, yes. I dig whizzing through a book (not on one, though). But it was a little frou-frou fancy for my taste and a little flat on the dramatic stuff. Still doable, though. Definitely not bad. The House of Gentle Men was a good way to pass the time, but I much prefer her other books. If you can find them, The Absence of Nectar and The Prince of Lost Places will blow your socks off. Just read them indoors, so you can easily recover said socks.
Jan 19 - Jan 24, 2013 Mockingjay Suzanne Collins YA Published September 2010 286 pages 10/10 The Districts have finally been roused into rebellion and the Capitol no longer holds the firm grasp it one had on its citizens. An insurgence is stirring, and one must yield the power
to lead it, or all will be lost... The whole time I was reading this book, I found myself alternating between steadfastly swearing to myself that my unborn, unplanned, unlikely children would read this (unless they wanted to be disowned and left in front of a church in a basket and never mind that they'd be old enough to identify me in a police lineup), and marveling that this is technically a YA book and that they got away with marketing this to young, impressionable people. Maybe I'm reading too deeply into The Hunger Games, but I take this series deadly serious. Not only because I'm certain that this general depressing premise is where society is headed (check out THRIVE or any conspiracy theory website
- hell, listen to popular music - and you'll at least see that the wealthy are collecting more power and the rest of society is pretty dependent on them) but also because someone will eventually need to overthrow whichever Scrooge McDuck is in charge.
I can only hope they're a noble bastard like our protagonist, and not someone worse. Le sigh.
Speaking of our protagonist, can I just say:
VAGUE SPOILERS AHEAD?!
That was for anyone living under a rock who didn't know Katniss survived to the third book, and she had a love triangle to deal with. Sheesh.
Anyways, Katniss was IN-CRED-DUH-BULL. Not only was she incredibly human, but also strong, courageous and... Christ. I have a girl crush on a 17-year-old fictional YA character. Well, at least it's for noble reasons, and not just because I assume she has a high, tight ass. Ahem. But the part I liked most about her was that she was faced with trying to choose between two real sexy catches who adore her, but SHE STRAIGHT UP HAD MORE IMPORTANT SHIT TO DEAL WITH. In fact, she even states:
"The very notion that I'm devoting any thought to who I want presented as my lover, given out current circumstances, is demeaning."
You tell 'em, honey. I think that the romance was there enough to make an emotional impact, but was shuffled to the side (and rightfully so) for more important shit that was happening. Fuck boy trouble when you've got a government to overthrow. Not that she was heartless; she had feelings and mental breakdowns and kissed people, but she also did a bunch of badass shit and killed people, too. I vote Katniss as my favorite character in pretty much forever. And also as my next Prime Minister. I don't know if you guys know this, but our current Prime Minister has the dead, soulless eyes of a crackhead:
I think the reason I like her so much is that in today's society, there's not a lot of popular culture female role models that might have a positive effect on the youngins. I don't really give a shit if teenagers want to let their boyfriends watch them sleep (*cough Bella Swan cough*) or newly minted adults want to make sex-tapes (*cough Paris Hilton/Kim Kardashian/Everyone else in Hollywood cough*) because neither of those things effect me and I LIKE sex tapes. But I do care if a bunch of future world leaders learn to stand up for what they believe in and can tell the difference between a poisonous plant and handy-cam pointed at their va-jay-jays. Books like this can change things.
Obviously, an author who can render a protagonist that well isn't going to shovel face the rest of her book. The supporting characters (God, I feel kind of awful calling them that; they're practically corporal at this point...) were flawlessly executed (some literally as opposed to just figuratively). And the storyline... Well, as I said, this last book didn't read as YA. Some pretty goddamn mature situations took place, and there was a lot of shit that went down that I actually had a hard time dealing with. But in a good way, because it definitely got me thinking. Mostly about how horrifying our world is bound to become - it's either The Hunger Games or this:
But thinking about what we want the world to become (or not become) is a step in the right direction. As opposed to One Direction. Double Ugh.
Some people will read this series and be inspired, as opposed to frightened and depressed (like yours truly). Hell, it's got people reading, which is the best step so far.
Collins can spin a yarn, man, and she does it with skill. There's a simple statement made towards the end of the book:
"The city forms an almost perfect square."
See, I like to rephrase things when I'm reading a book to see if I can make it sound better. This sentence, I could not rejigger. "A rough square" wouldn't have been fitting to describe the Capitol, because of how desperate they were to present perfection, and how close they came to achieving a flawless facade. Rough was lamesauce. So were the other adjectives I tried, as they sounded too weak or haphazard. "Almost perfect" was... well, perfect, because it described the constant struggle to maintain power and a veneer of perfection in some form or another; therefore, "almost perfect". Shit like that catches my eye. Grade 12 English and all your wonderful insights, how you aid me on my path to enlightenment to this very day! Also, I can read whatever I want into my goddamn books, because the other thing I leaned in Grade 12 English is that only the opinions of the person in charge matter, and everyone else and their insights can eat a hot bowl of dicks.
So yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and say this series was the shit. I'm kind of in love with/wish I could be best friends with/want to be just like Katniss Everdeen. Also possibly have an orgy with her and her bevy of male companions. Because I'm sick like that.
After reading The Hunger Games series, I'm glad I'll be old and dead when the real future happens. Now if you'll step aside, I'm going to cry myself to sleep now that my books are done.
Seriously, I think I need time to mourn.
And possibly therapy.
Jan 16 - Jan 19, 2013
It's been only a few months since the last Hunger Games, but it's been time enough for the stirrings of dissent and the beginnings of a rebellion. With this in mind, the Capitol has chosen to to try something a little bit different, and a lot more horrific...
Usually middle books in a trilogy are the filler books - because no one wants to read a two book series. Either mush it into one gigantic monster book to appeal to the book snobs, or draw it out into three and MAKE BANK, MOTHAFUCKA!
This is how it normally goes.
This book? Not quite so shameless. A little. But not as bad as the usual.
Yes, it was action packed, and horrifying, and there was this one passage... Christ, I was at work and reading the wedding dress transformation scene and I literally had chills running up and down my spine and I mewled like a kitten; I had to reach deep into my reserve of badass not to cry like a bitch. So there's no denying that this Collins chick has got writing chops up the yin yang. And I love how the love story really seems to be secondary to all the action and survival. Which it should be, since it's hard to think about romance when you're trying not to die. If I was dealing with monsters and starvation and fighting to the death, I wouldn't be so focused on a love triangle, either.
I also enjoyed the the fact that there was no needless recap - no one, and I mean NO ONE picks up a series in the middle; and if there are people out there who do, those freaks shouldn't be coddled at our expense. I just read the last one, I don't need to have the shit bored out of me, for I am fickle, and you are crunchy taste good with ketchup.
However, I take issue with two things. One and a half, really. The first is the pacing. There was a lot of slowness for the first half, then the second half (the AWESOMEST half) whizzed by... so much so that the ending felt a little rushed. That's my half an issue.
My other issue is that our incredibly smart, quick-witted, survivalist lady-protagonist HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES. I figured that shit out immediately, and I'm your average book loving pothead. The author played her dumb, and I was less than impressed.
The saving grace was her totally dark reaction at the end. Forget simpering. That whole deal was pretty fucked up for a YA novel. And I approve.
On with the next!
Jan 11 - Jan 16, 2013
The Hunger Games
In the not-too-distant future, the known world is a new and terrifying place. The wealthy and poor have been divided into twelve districts, and the Capitol rules them all with a silk glove thinly veiling an iron fist. Every year, two children are chosen from each district to fight one another to the death, so the winner can be crowned champion of The Hunger Games; they win security and safety for themselves and their loved ones, food for their district, and maybe a chance at a better life. But the real winner is President Snow, who uses these games to show the world that HE controls their very fates, down to the last child...
I tried to resist. I did. I'm not about hopping on the Popular Book Bandwagon (I'm giving you the shifty side-eye, Heather) just because it's got a big purple sticker on the front:
Or because Oprah sang its praises:
But you know what? I actually LIKED the last Oprah book I read. And with that in mind, I finally decided to read The Hunger Games.
JESUS CHRIST this was a good book! Action, action everywhere! Shit happening all the goddamn time, and explosions, and PEW PEW PEW and spear hurling and death and starving and possibly WEREWOLVES! Shit, son. It just got real.
I hardly even had time to throw shade at our protagonist Katniss for her stupidity regarding the manlier sex (not that men are necessarily manlier in all instances) because there was so damn much going on. Hell, I could almost understand her confusion, because who the hell has time to think about boys when you're trying to shoot an arrow through another person's throat? And while Peeta, her pretend-but-maybe-for-real love interest, was kind of a wiener, it was pretty refreshing to have the chick save the day, so I'll let it pass.
I'd like to mention that the author also didn't talk down to her audience. I notice that shit. She did a fine job writing for a youth demographic without treating the lot of them like a bunch simpering, mouth-breathing, slack-jawed morons. In fact, I can honestly say that I'll make this series required reading for my kids. You know, that way they can acquire an interest in survival for when I leave them in the woods because they won't stop eating my gingerbread house. Or something to that effect.
So I read it. I enjoyed it. I groaned in anticipation when I finished the very last line. And now I'm going to read the next one.
Peace out, bitches!