For my vacation I got two books to read from the library–one I’d been wanting to read for a while (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins), and one I’d grabbed on a whim (Girl V. Boy by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout).
The Hunger Games:
“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
“Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before–and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.”
Girl V. Boy:
“Fifteen-year-old Luisa Perez is not looking to win any awards for school spirit. In fact, she and her friends make it a point to avoid all activities considered ‘extracurricular.’ So when her English teacher volunteers her to be an anonymous columnist for the school paper, Luisa’s first impulse is to run. But, unlike her high-school dropout sister, Luisa does want to go to college–it may be her only ticket out of a life spent working at the cowboy-themed diner where she waitresses part-time–and it would be nice to have something to put on her applications.
“Her first assignment is to cover her high school’s latest fund-raiser, which pits the girls against the boys. Luisa will cover the events from the female point of view while another anonymous writer provides the male perspective–or, at least that’s how it begins. The two columnists soon find themselves engaged in an epic battle of the sexes–a battle that Luisa is determined to win, even if it means risking the best relationship she’s ever had.”
So, obviously, these two books are very different, but they were both very good in their own ways. Both had characters I liked and a story that moved along at a nice fast pace.
The Hunger Games is a serious book–it’s exciting and about real life and death for Katniss. It was pretty impossible for me to put down, and I easily finished it on the plane ride to Jamaica, with time to spare.
Girl V. Boy, on the other hand, is very light-hearted, about a girl who wants a boyfriend, and contains nothing more life-threatening than school-wide embarrassment. It was also hard to put down, though, and I finished it after about 2 days of lying in the sun (and lying in the hotel room as it rained).
It’s tempting to say that The Hunger Games is the better book because it is so serious and dramatic, but really the books are as different from each other as sci-fi and a Victorian romance novel, and not comparable. The Hunger Games is wonderful–the only bad thing I can say about it was that I didn’t realize that it was part 1 (but luckily part 2 is out now and part 3 comes out next month), so the end left me hanging. Girl V. Boy, though, was the perfect vacation book. I could just sit back and enjoy it instead of having to think too hard about world issues or anything like that.
I think I can pull inspiration from both of these books for my own writing. I hope whatever kind of book I write, it is as absorbing my two vacation books.