While I’m working on my photos — sorry to make you wait but downloads and sizing are taking some time — I wondered if you’d be interested in some thoughts on books and movies.
Because I did have plenty of time to watch movies on our overseas flights and I managed to read a couple books during the trip- one an okay read, one I would have considered a parody of a romance novel if I hadn’t already known the author was quite serious about her work. She makes that clear in her Note to Readers.
First a movie – The Hunger Games. I must admit I didn’t watch it until the flight because I’d been so disappointed in the book. The best thing about the book were the characters. Not the writing, not the plot. The plot reminded me far too much of Battle Royale, which was quite disturbing, and I was extremely annoyed by the inclusion of werewolves. If the author had left out the werewolves I might have forgiven her the derivative nature of her story.
However, I love Jennifer Lawrence, and I knew if anyone could bring Katniss to life it would be her and yes she did. She nailed the part. She moved me to tears so many times. The other characters were equally perfect. It’s a well-cast film, a well acted film and the director manages to flesh out the story in a way the author of the book could not.
My only issue was the damn werewolves, which once again I could have done without.
The Hunger Games – two big thumbs up.
On to books.
Last year at this time, I read Winter Woman, by Jenna Kernan. The writing was earnest, the voice true. The story was beautiful, sweet yet suspenseful, well-rounded and fully realized. Winter Woman was about as perfect as a romance (Western Historical) can get. Both my husband and I read it and neither of us could put it down.
Before we left for Wales, I picked up a couple books that had been highly recommended– one another Western Historical, the other a time-travel romance. Because I don’t have great things to say about either book I’d rather not mention the authors. Neither book is new. The Western Historical was first released in 1997, the time travel romance (which I picked up because I can’t think of any genre more engrossing than a good time travel romance) was first released in 1995.
The Historical Romance gets a C only because the writing style wasn’t bad. Unfortunately the overuse of plot devices became so, well, overused, I got bored and skipped from the middle of the book all the way to the end. Boring: I don’t think there was a natural disaster, a deliberately set fire, a kidnapping, an animal attack, illness, snakebite, or encounter with brigands, rustlers, or horse thieves the author didn’t include. It seemed as if she threw in everything plus the kitchen sink. And no sex until the very end. Pity because she was a decent writer.
The Time Travel Romance. A big fat bust. DNF after 50 pages. Talk about massive info dumps and Deus Ex Machina. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book that managed to take both to such extremes. TSTL physician (yeah, right) heroine from the future is transported into the midst of a Viking battle, magically understands Old Norse and accepts her situation with nary a qualm. Equally TSTL Viking hero thinks she’s cute as a bug’s ear and magically understands her snarky American English colloquialisms.
In the middle of a fight for their very lives these two characters manage to find the time for a humorous conversation about orgasms and the female erogenous zones. Neither knows the other’s name. Once again, uh, yeah, right. As I said, this book was so awful I would have thought it a joke if it hadn’t been for the author’s note.
Note to readers: The word orgasm (Neo-Latin and Greek) was first used to describe a sexual response between the years 1640-1650. It was not in vogue back in the days of the Viking incursions into the British Isles.