NaNoRebel Challenge — Guess Who’s Purple?

Okay, so I’m a lazy pants.

Maybe not lazy, and I’m certainly not pants, but I admit I fell behind a bit on my posts regarding NaNoWriMo. Sowwy. Still love me?

In spite of my lack of postage (return to sender), I have been chugging away at my word count, and early last week I crossed the 50,000 threshold. I forgot winning started on the 25th, and so I just now validated my words. And this is what I saw:

Look at me, my bar is purple! 🙂

Very exciting. I also got this handy-dandy doodad for the road:

Weener! Oscar Meyer.

All of that is very exciting. That also brings me to the detail of stats. If you recall from waaaay back at the beginning of the month when we began this challenge, the goal was to average 1,500 words per day and spend at least an hour a week doing something that refuels you. So without further ado, here’s the final info:

Average words per day: 2029
Hours spent at Panera: 34+
Coffee ingested: several gallons
Panic attacks: 0
Bread bowls devoured: 2
Nights past 4 AM: 5

And in case you were wondering about what I’ve been doing to refuel lately, here’s the most recent acquisition that has occupied my time like Wall Street:

Cannot. Stop. Reading.

I had a friend who didn’t really like the second and third books, but I am really enjoying them all. So with all the elation from my bar turning purple today, I’d like to take a minute to review book one of the trilogy, The Hunger Games.

I’ve always been partial to dystopian futuristic stories. Something about them, the grit of survival, the bare-bones attitudes of the characters always sucks me in. I heard of this book a while back, but it wasn’t until I saw the trailer for the movie that it really caught my attention.

“Primrose Everdeen!”

Those are the words that snared me, and when they were followed by the cry of, “No! I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!” I knew I had to get the book.

I wasn’t disappointed. That desperate, guttural cry that leaves Katniss’s throat when her sister’s name is called, condemning her to fight to the death in the 74th Annual Hunger Games against twenty-three other tributes from the country’s twelve districts was only the beginning of the story, and yet there’s so much subsumed within that moment that I was hooked.

For one thing, I am enthralled with the character of Katniss Everdeen. The trilogy is written by a woman, and the protagonist is a young woman. I’ve been yearning for something like this for quite a while — a female hero written as men have written male heroes for centuries. There are others out there, but I fiercely loved reading Katniss’s story. It resonated with me because she thinks like me. She’s pragmatic, stoic, strong, and flawed. She is rarely emotional and often gruff. While I don’t resemble her much on the outside, reading her thoughts was like reading a transcript of what goes through my head about life and its trials. She’s someone I would aspire to emulate. Her dogged determination is something to be envied, and she is a hero I think will inspire both male and female readers. She’s not over-sexualized. She’s attractive, but that’s almost never the focus of the story. The focus is her drive to protect her family and herself.

The story itself has many levels of political intrigue, nuance, and some very 1984ish doublespeak as Katniss tries to navigate a path that is fraught with traps and snares from all sides — both literally and figuratively. I think I enjoy it so much because she is  flawed. She doesn’t know what she’s doing for most of it, but she keeps trying — oh, she tries. She fights. She doesn’t give up even when it seems like every step she takes brings some new terror onto her head and everyone around her has their hands on her to push her in some new direction of their choosing.

I haven’t been able to put the books down, and that is something I haven’t felt in a while. I plowed through all three in a few days in the midst of turkey, poker with the family, and a bit of an excess of port.

Katniss Everdeen. She’s already been added to my wall of heroes. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I have. This holiday season, buy someone a book — one with a binding and covers. Give someone something to hold on to.


About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on November 28, 2011, in book reviews, life intervention and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. My 10-year-old just put me onto Hunger Games–loving the originality! And congrats on your NaNo win!! 🙂

  2. I’d love to talk with you more about Hunger Games. I liked the story a lot, but not always the execution, and I was not fond of the ending. Can’t wait for the movie though!

  3. I saw the trailer for it on Saturday and am dying to read the books! Great recommendation. I’ll start once I finish the Iron Fey series (which are fantastic YA fantasy novels!)

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