This spring I joined the "Bust Is A Must" book club and I absolutely love it. The group has no rules as far as book selection, but I have noticed 90 percent of the books selected (well, all but my pick actually) have been of the Fantasy Fiction genre.
Our Group has read Graceling, Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Dead Until Dark, Hush Hush, and now Fire.
In the past I have shied away from fantasy--probably because I don't have a single abstract thought in my brain--but I have enjoyed reading this new genre. All of these are great novels. As one of our members said, these are good books to get you far from the realities of every day life. The imagination these authors must have is amazing. I can't fathom coming up with such unique plots and settings.
My favorite of these reads was Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games. The excitement and fear of the Capitol's post-Apocalyptic reaping drew me in immediately and I devoured the book quickly. The dark idea of the Capitol controlling the districts through its atrocious Hunger Games was so unique.
I loved that this book was in the first person perspective so the reader was kept in the dark on what the other tributes were up to within the arena. Because of this, when the tributes attacked, it was just as much of a surprise to the reader as it was to Katniss. If there is an Edward/Jacob type decision to be made in this novel between Gale and Peeta, I am definitely a Gale fan. His love for Katniss is a mature; take-care-of-you kind of love that I thought was fantastic.
That being said, there are a few things that have been bugging me about this genre of books. First of all, it seems impossible for a book to have a main character who is not a stubborn 17-year-old girl. (Which of course is understandable since we are reading Young Adult fiction). However, every single 17-year-old girl behaves much more like a 25-year-old woman. I guess this is similar to high school shows like One Tree Hill used to be when the viewer is left constantly asking Really? You're supposed to be 17! And where are the parents here?
I guess these books were not the first fantasy fiction books I have read. I've read the Twilight series (well, really, do I live under a rock in Timbuktu?) And I like them. However I've only read them once and am not a screaming crazy fan. I do like the story but I have a hard time remembering the book specifics. I also like how the movies continue to get better and better.
I guess my overall review is that, surprisingly to me, fantasy fiction may have a place in my personal library. It is still not my favorite. And I would love if some of my fellow book clubians would occasionally pick something different. (I am dying to read Water For Elephants, The Help, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and A Reliable Wife). But I admit escaping to the mountains of Monsea and the confusion of District 13 (is that the one??) is fun too!
I'd love to hear your opinions on any of these reads!