Sunday, January 15, 2012

Trilogies, shmilogies

I just finished the first book in a young adult trilogy: Matched by Ally Condie. It's another dystopian novel which seems to be the "It" genre right now. "If you loved The Hunger Games, try Matched!"

That's okay; it's MUCH better than the recent glut of teen vampire/werewolf novels.

I liked the story well enough though I think the writing was a tad simplistic for a novel about 17-year-old protagonists.

But the meat of Matched apparently boils down to this: A girl named Cassia, matched to her perfect mate Xander, pines for a different boy named Ky. Who will she end up with at the end of the 3rd book?

And there's the rub. So many stories center around which guy the girl will choose and I can't think of a single book/series that goes the other direction, where a guy is torn between two girls.

Because, you know, when faced with resisting a dystopian society, all girls and women immediately fall in love simultaneously with two guys as they fight for freedom from the oppressive overlords. Guh.

The thing is, I really don't care who Cassia ends up with at the end. I do want to know how they will or won't defeat the oppressive society.

Is framing a story around a girl torn between two (potential) lovers really the only way to go? I guess it is, especially in the post-Twilight world. I have not read those particular books but my understanding is that Bella lets things happen to her rather than making things happen for herself. At my advanced age I really want the girl to be strong and do things for herself.

Will Katniss choose Peeta or Gale? In this case, Katniss is not in love with either boy during the bulk of the novels and she is decisive in her actions driving the plot. A true hero.

Will Scarlett give up thoughts of Ashley to see Rhett's true love? While she thinks of Ashley and holds Rhett at bay (at least until she marries him) Scarlett builds a business and supports her family all by herself.

Elizabeth Bennet would rather live as a spinster than accept stodgy Mr. Collins. She eventually comes around to love Mr. Darcy and she chooses to marry him. SHE chooses, not the men.

And meanwhile I have noticed that more and more books these days seem to be trilogies (or more). For example, I have copies of The Passage by Justin Cronin and A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and it turns out they are both the first book of a planned trilogy. The 3rd books aren't even scheduled for publishing until 2013 or 2014.

I really wanted to love Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. The premise was really interesting: people with unusual abilities are hidden in time loops away from the rest of the world. The story doesn't so much end as leave you hanging. It might as well have been called Part One because the story never FINISHES. Apparently there will be a sequel. Eventually.

Sometimes I just want to read a COMPLETE story in one book. I'm already in the middle of too many other series!

Speaking of series, yesterday I watched the entire first season of "Downton Abbey". Pure bliss. And so pretty in Blu-Ray! Now I can watch the first part of the second season. No Laura Linney intros on the DVD either. I don't like the intros; they tell me nothing. Just too vague.

My office is almost done. I need to redecorate the walls and put a few more things away. Then it will be time to start some actual projects. Plus my son starts back to J.C. this week so I will have the house to myself again. But no car since The Boy will be using it to get to school (and work, we fervently hope, when he lands a job).

My shoulder is still hurting and getting worse. Time to see the doctor about physical therapy. Whee.

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