Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Wicked Obsession

You've heard of it, I'm sure... The book, "Wicked," which inspired the hit Broadway musical? I've actually had the book for several years, now. Someone recommended it to me (thanks, Robert!), and I found it at Goodwill or St. Vinny's or some such used book source shortly thereafter. But I never could find the desire to read it. I picked it up many times, only to put it back on the shelf. In the meantime, I nurtured several book obsessions, starting with Twilight series, then all the Harry Potters, on to every single Jodi Picoult book ever written (in the order they were published, after the first few), and most recently my new favorite author, Elin Hilderbrand, with a few other odds and ends in between to tide me over between my book obsessions. Next, I have all three of the Dragon Tattoo books waiting for me to pick them up. Have you noticed a pattern, here? Yes, I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive... But I admit it, so that takes some of the sting out, right?

I believe everything happens for a reason, and in it's own timing, which is why I am happy to announce I am now a complete and total Wicked freak! After seeing several commercials for the Wicked show coming to Portland this spring, I decided it was time to read the damn book. And guess what? I couldn't put it down! I loved it! I must have been ready for it. And although it will be several (and when I say several, I mean when they are in their thirties, at least!) years until my little B's are allowed to read the book themselves, it has been fun for them to discuss Wicked with me. They are as enamoured with the book as me! Probably because I've shared little tidbits of what is going on with them, and how Elphie (Elphaba's nickname) isn't really mean, and how the book puts a different spin on The Wizard of Oz movie. (We've been big fans of the movie ever since Brailey was a munchkin in the first holiday show she skated in.)

One of the neat features of the Wicked book is a map of Oz at the beginning. I can't tell you how many times I've referred back to that thing! Even my B's love looking at it. And now, thanks to my beloved friend Elisabeth, I am reading her copy of the next book in the series, "Son of a Witch." Lucky for me, Elisabeth has the third book, as well, featuring the Lion, and then I will be on a mission to find the final book, which I believe just recently came out. I had no idea Wicked was even a series when I started reading it - I was thrilled to learn there was more story to come!

The books are somewhat difficult to read - you really have to focus and stay with them. And it was sad to know Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West) was going to die in the end. But the story is so compelling, I feel a bit like a kid, reading about a magical land, albeit a twisted magical land. So far, I am really loving Son of a Witch. It is wonderful to be able to relate the material in the book to today's perils and pitfalls and yet be taken out of this world and into another. What more could anyone ask for in a book? Well, I guess that depends on your own personal preferences, but for me, I'm just thankful to have a new series of books to focus on, and maybe when I finish these, I'll venture out into the author's other books, which are similar in nature. And someday, somewhere over the rainbow, I am going to see that Wicked musical. In the meantime, my fingers are crossed, hoping it will be made into a movie - now that would be wicked! Wicked-cool!

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