I finished Mockingjay a few days ago, which I'm not going to say anything about other than everyone is going to have their own opinion of it and no one is going to read it the same way. But a really good review of it is here which I agree with, but warning: VERY spoilery.
I also read Incarceron, which was awesome!! The world felt real and I loved the characters, and the plot was really complex and it had me skimming to see what happened next. I was completely engaged from the beginning, and even though the world and their situation was dark it never felt like a very dark book (though that might have been because I had just read Mockingjay). I canNOT wait for the second, which comes out in the U.S. in December but came out in Great Britian in 2008.
Incarceron is about a boy named Finn, who lives inside the vast metal prison Incarceron. But Finn is different than the other prisoners there; he believes he came from Outside, and he wants to escape. Claudia lives Outside and is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, as
she tries to untangle the web of mysteries that surround her she helps Finn because she knows he can help her too...
In other news, it's the beginning of September (strange) so that means NaNoWriMo is less than two months away! I have no idea what I'm going to do for a story. I have one plot I could do, but it really doesn't excite me. I think I might actually not do straight-up fantasy, which would be interesting! The only non-fantasy stories I've written have been short. But I think that two things I definitely want to do this year is have it be more of a character driven story, since the last two nano's were lacking in that, and have the season and place be a part of the story. Like summer by the sea, or autumn in an old house in the woods, or winter in a city. I probably won't be able to resist having some kind of supernatural twist to the story but I do want it to be modern I think.
One of the things I hate the most about nano is the first sentence. I want to get it perfect, but I will sit there forever staring at the page and deleting attempts if I let myself, so I have to just pick a sentence and go with it.
Nanowrimo 05's first sentence was spectacularly bad: After my parents died, my whole world started coming apart. *shudder*
And Nano 06's was just plain blocky: Epsilon looked down at the earth.
Nano 07's was alright: The school bus dropped me off in front of the library, and I hurried inside.
Nano 08's was in a dream but that doesn't quite excuse it: I gazed up at the sky, my smile growing till I felt like it would tip me over.
And Nano 09's (which was a rewrite of my 08 novel) was very short: She was running.
Oy. Hopefully this year's will turn out decent. Also I've been really bad this year about writing in general, since last year's nano (other than poems) I've probably only written about 10,000 words. And it's all snippets of stuff, random scenes and starts of stories that never got more than a few hundreds words on them. I think I'll have to try and write a short story between now and nano to get my gears running, I know how awful it is to jump into nano and not even be used to writing 500 words a day.
Now I have to go think of a plot!