Since the start of 2013 I’ve been devouring Literature. Notice the capital L? That’s because I’ve (finally) sworn off romance novels. . . at least for this year.
So far I’ve read the first two novels of Veronica Roth’s Insurgent series (and am eagerly awaiting the third), Gregory McGuire’s Wicked (second time’s the charm) and the last two novels of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series. I seem to be big on series right now. Next up on my list is re-reading Pride and Prejudice (it totally counts) in a glorious hard cover reworking that my word-defyingly wonderful boyfriend got me for Christmas.
But first, a short digression into my opinions on those books. Because what else do I not get paid for?
Both the Insurgent and Inheritance series resonated similarly with me. What drove me to devour their novels was the quick pace of the action and storytelling, the mystery and the endless plot turns. Frankly, neither Roth nor Paolini impress me over much as writers as their turns of phrase and suspension of my disbelief are somewhat lacking. They are no Rowling or Gaiman (has a new novel coming out!).
But what they lack in literary adeptness, they more than make up for in powerful plots. Their imaginations fill in what their vocabularies seem to lack, and the stories do not suffer much for it. I think it’s just personal preference, but I like my novels to be lyrical as well as interesting, like Coelho or Hosseini (also has a new novel coming out!).
McGuire’s Wicked took two tries before I was able to read it through. I think it had something to do with maturity. When I finally got around to reading it, I was surprised at the level of adultness and how much darker it was than Baum’s original tale. It didn’t disappoint me at all, even if it depressed me a fair bit, and I ended up being glad I read the story. It’s also, apparently, substantially different from the musical.
Bear in mind that I’m doing all this reading against a foreground of having to study for exams every eight weeks and all the nights in between. I was so desperate to finish Inheritance that I actually refused to pick up my surgery textbook for the last two nights. You should shake your head in disgust at me.
Go on. Shake it.