Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Truth about Packs and Dogs

One of the best things about going back to work is the chance to read. Twenty minutes on the way to work in the morning and twenty minutes on the way home. If I'm lucky, and not running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I even get to read some at lunch.

Heaven.

I find reading so relaxing. It's one of the many manifestations of order in my life. If I have time to read, I can't be too overburdened or overwhelmed. I must always have a book 'on the go' and at least one 'in the queue'. If I don't have a book to read - even when I don't have the time to read anything - chaos ensues. If a book I am reading is no good, I am moody and annoyed (well, more so than usual). If a book I am reading is suspenseful I am tense and spook easily (Koontz's Intensity was a bad choice - I couldn't sleep). If a book is good, it's -- magic. I will find any and every chance to squeeze in a few pages, paragraphs, sentences even. I'm a slow reader, admittedly. I like to savour the words, not rush through them. On the upside, I remember what I've read really well. Sometimes I can even picture the words on the pages. That probably comes from memorizing so many scripts.

I just finished Kelley Armstrong's Bitten (Random House Canada). What a fun read! Just what the doctor ordered. I've been so stressed about returning to work, the Little Guy not sleeping, everyone being sick and trying to figure out just what I want to be when I grow up, that I really needed some kind of break. Bitten is pure escapism, and I loved it.

I went at it kind of blind (thought it was going to be about vampires - whoops!), and was surprised at the loot that fell out. I've never read any books about werewolves although I've seen lots of movies (Ginger Snaps, An American Werewolf in Paris, Teen Wolf. Anyone-??). With the exception of Ginger Snaps, most werewolf stories are kind of...um...unreal. (This is coming from a girl who LOVES fantasy novels, so take that as you will.) Armstrong pulled off a really neat trick of making a story about werewolves not only thoroughly modern, but very believable. Her narrative style, while it took me some time to get used to, is very familiar - like sitting down with a good chum and recounting what you did last summer.

If you want to get all philosophical and thinky, I would add that the book really spoke to me on a personal level because although it is about werewolves, fights for Alpha position, betrayal and all that, at the heart of the story is Elena's (the sole female werewolf, and central figure) struggle with accepting who she is, and not who she thinks she wants to be. Working through that whole can of worms myself, and it's a messy job.

But Boo to thinkiness - I want fun! I want excitement and intrigue! Bitten delivers. It's total book-candy. (And anyone who knows me well, knows how I loves me some candy..)

11 comments:

painted maypole said...

i remember teen wolf!!!

kgirl said...

yes, reading on the subway - one of the definite benefits of going back-to-work.

i am currently reading Nino Ricci's Lives of the Saints, as a precursor to his new GG winner. I don't know why it took me so long to get to it - I am devouring it.

I forgot how much I love that tiny little slice of time.

Mac and Cheese said...

Teen Wolf wasn't realistic???

metro mama said...

Glad you liked it! I'm a big Kelley fan.

tanlight said...

Kelley is one of my all time favourite authors, primarily for the fact that she can set her fantasty novels in the modern world and make it work.

I hope you continue with the series.. spoiler alert here, but Elena and Clay have babies! There is an entire novel that takes place during her pregnancy.. and lets just say that a pregnant female werewolf is pretty darn special!

Mary G said...

Thanks for the tip! Escape fiction is the ultimate luxury.

crazymumma said...

I couldn't wrap my teeth around Bitten. But I love any werewolf story and movie.

Ginger Snaps was brilliant. Just brilliant. Mimi Rogers performance so perfect...

there is another one, I need to remember the name, an astounding werewolf movie...gah. can't remember. later perhaps.

Mad said...

Teen Wolf. A classic.

I read a lot of Y/A lit for work and it's often my candy escape. I recently finished The Penderwicks and am now almost through Ella Enchanted.

If you like smart fantasy, try y/a writer Nancy Farmer. House of the Scorpion is fantastic.

Erin said...

hehe, thinky. You funny. Sounds pretty good though. Too bad I can't get past blog length these days.

bren j. said...

I remember Teen Wolf too. Oi.
And you know, it never occurred to me that werewolves could be female. Weird.

kittenpie said...

Yeah, I totally miss my commute. I so don't get why people complain about that...