Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets
Recently bought two long-ish YA novels as part of a 3-for-2 deal. Oddly, both turned out to be written in first-person present tense, and feature Earth humans in unpleasant futures.
First was The Knife of Letting Go by Patrick Ness, which won the Guardian children's fiction award but which I tossed aside a hundred pages in, the second fifty being an epic battle with indifference. Nothing came alive for me -- the personality-bypass protagonist (who never narrates anything in twenty words where a hundred will do), the dog who says "poo", the setting, the language, the central mystery (which I flicked to the end to find the answer to, and which was barely worth the three minutes that took). I'm baffled by the reviews it's had.
Next, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which I haven't yet finished but have to tear myself away from every time I pick it up. I was a bit dubious about it in advance, thinking the premise horrible, unlikely and vaguely exploitative, but was won over almost at once by the incredibly engaging main character. And although Collins hasn't tried to do anything interesting with the first-person-present form, it isn't distracting either, unlike Ness's rather hamfisted (in my opinion) approach. I can see myself zipping through the rest of this and its sequels in a couple of weeks.