Reading the booming post-apocalyptic sci-fi genre that has taken pop culture by storm in recent years has become one of my favorite non-guilty pleasures. There could never be any guilt in the genius of The Hunger Games and Divergent, even when you stay up all night reading them and are so tired that you confuse your kids’ names the next day…
I love this genre, and I love crushing on it and falling for it time and again. When Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel rolled out last fall, I was excited to check it out. I mean, the reviews were phenomenal and it sounded wonderful. Then I heard about the book friends who read it.
And they raved about it. And raved.
Word on the street was that this novel was something different. While including all the awe and excitement known to its genre, Station Eleven had a different element: an element of heart and passion and the wisdom that comes from walking through tough stuff on this earth.
I loved the play between characters and time that Mandel artfully executes. I love the way she ties one character to another through circumstances and the acuteness of their situations. It is a gorgeous thing to tune into and my friends were right: raving was in order. A lot of of raving.
Have you read this book? If not, do! I see sequels and I see movies–lots of them. This is a literary bandwagon that you’re going to want to hop on–and not let go of.
When Carrie of Normal Level of Crazy and I got together to chat it out, our mutual love of this novel was clear. It was fun to swoon about Mandel’s talent and speculate about what was to come in any future books. It was also wonderful to have the chance to ask our burning questions: Why did they not use bicycles? How exactly did Jeevan fit in?
Did you have any burning questions when reading this book? Ask them because I’d bet money that Carrie and I asked the same ones!
Here are a few more excellent thought-provoking discussion questions about Station Eleven found on About.com:
- Did the story seem realistic to you? Realistic enough to frighten you? Why or why aren’t you afraid of the possibility of something like a virus wiping out most of humanity and the world reverting to the dark ages?
- Did you suspect what the knife tattoos on Kirsten’s wrist meant?
- At what point did you suspect or realize that the prophet was Tyler?
- What do you think the Traveling Symphony finds when they come to the place where Kirsten saw electric lights through the telescope at the airport? Do you think there could be large communities or even countries that have either been untouched by the collapse or have begun to rebuild?
- What does the Star Trek quote on the side of the symphony’s van mean – “Because survival is insufficient”?
We LOVE books and love to chat them up with you, so please share any thoughts you have on this gripping novel!
And then join us for next month’s treasure, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins! I just finished this last night and my mind is reeling with thoughts and questions! This is a good one, trust me.
The synopsis from Amazon:
“Intersecting, overlapping, not-quite-what-they-seem lives. Jealousies and betrayals and wounded hearts. A haunting unease that clutches and won’t let go. All this and more helps propel Paula Hawkins’s addictive debut into a new stratum of the psychological thriller genre. At times, I couldn’t help but think:Hitchcockian. From the opening line, the reader knows what they’re in for: “She’s buried beneath a silver birch tree, down towards the old train tracks…” But Hawkins teases out the mystery with a veteran’s finesse. The “girl on the train” is Rachel, who commutes into London and back each day, rolling past the backyard of a happy-looking couple she names Jess and Jason. Then one day Rachel sees “Jess” kissing another man. The day after that, Jess goes missing. The story is told from three character’s not-to-be-trusted perspectives: Rachel, who mourns the loss of her former life with the help of canned gin and tonics; Megan (aka Jess); and Anna, Rachel’s ex-husband’s wife, who happens to be Jess/Megan’s neighbor. Rachel’s voyeuristic yearning for the seemingly idyllic life of Jess and Jason lures her closer and closer to the investigation into Jess/Megan’s disappearance, and closer to a deeper understanding of who she really is. And who she isn’t. This is a book to be devoured.” -Neal Thompson
Grab a copy now or leave a comment below for a chance to win a free copy. As long as you live in the continental U.S and are 18 or older, you are eligible to win. One person who leaves a comment on this blog post before Monday, 3/16/15 at 5:30am will be sent a free copy!
We are so excited to dig into The Girl on the Train with you next month, readers! Enjoy!
****Thanks to Penguin/Riverhead for providing a copy of The Girl on the Train for this giveaway!****
3/16/15 UPDATE: Congrats to Meredith J. for winning the copy of The Girl on the Train!
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