Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The junkie in the family

As an effect of the viral infection that he caught, Lucas has developed a nervous tic—he widens his eyes and rolls them every few minutes, and he just looks plain weird, if not slightly creepy, doing so. Simon and I have been trying our best to get him to break this habit—we've tried to ignore it, let him know every time he does it, tease him about it, go through the possible consequences if he keeps doing it ('it will be dangerous if you do that while you're cycling across the road, ' 'your friends might tease you about it', etc.). All to no avail.

The other night Simon was saying that Lucas is so much like him in terms of character, and I said, 'Yes, and he gets your tendency to be addicted to things as well.' He argued that it's human nature to be addicted to things, and said, 'You're just the same as me.' I said no way, I don't get addicted to anything; not on the same level that you and Lucas get addicted to computer games or films.

Which, looking back now, is a complete and utter lie. Because you know what I've got in my hands right now? A book that I bought off Amazon a few days ago. This, after I told myself no more new books for myself as we have books spilling out of the study and into every other room in the house. The culprit? I've turned into a Hunger Games junkie. Yes, that book trilogy. For young adults. I know.

I had been quite intrigued by these books for some time now. A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to decide which books to get for Simon's nephew for his birthday and I wondered if I could get the Hunger Games for him. However, I had no idea what the books would be like. From what I had heard, they had a similar premise to that of Stephen King's Running Man. (Remember the film version with Arnold Schwarzenegger? You don't? Lucky you.) So I decided to borrow them from the library first. Books one and two—The Hunger Games  and Catching Fire—were available but the last book, Mockingjay, is still on order. I read the first two books last week in two days. (Lucas found this very impressive by the way. It took him over four weeks to read a 400-page book by Anthony Horowitz, hence seeing his mother finishing two thick books in two days was incredible. This will probably lead him to believe that I am cool. Until he realises that I'm actually a geek and therefore not cool at all.)

Needless to say, I found the first two books really good. Katniss Everdeen is a wonderful heroine. She's a tough soul who has survived starvation and many losses. She's strong and smart albeit a bit rough and insensitive sometimes. In other words, she's not Bella of Twilight. Suzanne Collins did a great job of creating a cast of characters who are memorable in their strength and vulnerability. And the action is just gripping, hence, two books in two days.

The end of last week saw me getting really restless, thinking about the final installment of the story. How does it end? When will I know? I checked the library holds list, and there I was, number 28 on the waiting list for Mockingjay. What to do? Can I wait that long? What if numbers 1 and 27 on the list are extremely slow readers? Can I really wait for as long as 81 weeks? Will the film version be out by then?

So today I have my own copy of Mockingjay to enjoy. I feel quite guilty about buying it, but only to the same degree that I feel guilty about buying loads of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups whenever I see them. Which is what I did this morning by the way when I saw a few of them at our local Waitrose, which means that now there are none left at our local Waitrose. So, yeah, the argument about being a junkie by nature? I guess I lost that one.


Circus Queen said...

Your addiction to Amazon sounds like mine to iTunes. Except if you set up the 1-click thing on Amazon, you're done for!

JD said...

The only thing that's saved me from being an iTunes junkie is the fact that I don't own an iPhone (the hubby is the Apple user in the family). Um, and yes, that one-click thing, very dangerous indeed. I'm still reeling from my credit card bill over the Christmas period.