Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What I'm listening to (audio books)

I've spent most of the past two months immersed in the last two audio books in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I loved the first book among the trio, which I wrote about here quite awhile ago. (I swear that there are no spoiler alerts coming on these books!)

The second of the trilogy, Catching Fire, was completely mesmerizing. I was tempted to drive around the block a few times just to keep listening. I even welcomed traffic jams. Traffic jams! It always seemed as though I was turning the book off right at a good part -- which just means the entire thing was one big good part. Amazing. 

I've talked back to audio books before, saying stuff like, "Well, duh." And "Ya think?" Cuz, you know, I'm kinda sarcastic, and stupid characters make me slightly crazy. OK, majorly crazy. But with Catching Fire, I literally shouted "Oh my God!" when the plot took a shocking turn. When the character said something to the effect of "I didn't see that coming," I responded, "Neither did I!" That twist made me tingle for days afterward. Yeah, I know that sounds weird, but this is the thing: Most writers see the plot twists coming even in the most cleverly written stories. When I saw The Sixth Sense (Sixth Sense spoiler alert!!), I knew immediately that Bruce Willis' character was dead. I could tell by the way he interacted (or didn't) with other characters. So it was an extra special treat every time that Catching Fire caught  me by surprise. 

I'm about halfway through the third in the trilogy, Mockingjay, and already I've been blindsided by an unexpected turn in the plot. I knew something was coming -- because the author trained me on the other two books -- but when it happened, I was still blown away. How does Suzanne Collins do that? As a reader, I'm thrilled. As an author, I'm examining her storytelling from all angles, trying to figure out how I can do it, too.

Well, one can dream, right?

What about you? Any books that have shocked you with a plot twist?

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