Saturday, October 1, 2011

Percy Jackson and the Longest Possible Title for a Book, Movie or Blog

I'm not normally a reader who is entertained by young adult fiction, but, as many adults were, I succumbed to the power of the Harry Potter series and consumed them all quickly. I wasn't even considering cracking open any other YA books, but my coworkers, who are avid readers, seemed to be pulling YA fantasy, magic, and sci-fi novels and series out of their ears.

I was content to read my non-fiction: Wave, by Susan Casey and The Elegant Universe, by Brian Greene. But when a dear friend shoved four of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series at me and insisted I begin reading post haste...I considered it. She didn't give me the first book of the series, which was going to be my excuse for not reading a YA series, but that week at the zoo our intern coincidentally finished book one and loaned it to me. So I started reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief. No more excuses.

First of all, you will notice that the name is too darn long. For anything. You can't even abbreviate it appropriately: PJATO: TLT doesn't have a ring to it.

The series relates the adventures of a teenager who discovers he is the son of a Greek god, entwining tid-bits of mythology that have been updated to more modern settings. I found the plot quite predictable and the characters one-dimensional, and yet, as soon as I closed book one, I opened book two (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea of Monsters). And when I finished book two, I started book three. Despite my desire to find the novels trite and ridiculous, I kind of liked them. Granted, I am speeding through them, not analyzing or savoring the literary genius, but reading them nonetheless.

Mostly I like correlating the situations in the book with real Greek mythology (is that an oxymoron?) and trying to guess who the bad guys and monsters are before Percy does (I always beat him).


 I want to stress is that young adult books like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series and the Harry Potter series serve an extremely important function, even if they aren't Shakespeare--these books inspire children to READ!

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