Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I had a giant chocolate truffle last night that my husband made. It was delicious. And the sun is shining this morning. In case you were wondering. ;)
So waaaay back in the last week of February--c'mon, people, if I can remember back that far, y'all can too--I posted how I had all these awesome books to read, yet I hadn't read more than the first chapter of any of them.
Well, it only took me a month, but as of this weekend, I've finished three of those books:
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
Soulless, by Gail Carriger, and
Fire, by Kristin Cashore
Now I can plow through the rest of the fourth and fifth Percy Jackson books and not feet guilty. ;)
But I'm glad I read those three book when I did. Frankly, I was getting a little burned out on YA paranormal romances, which is a genre I love to write. I kept telling myself I needed to stay abreast (that's right, I said abreast *giggle*) of what was being written in that genre, but the more of them I read, the more I felt like my work was too different from what people expect from the genre to be popular or successful.
Of course, they said epic fantasy was dead and look at Kristin Cashore. Reading Fire was like going back in time... ya know, to that time like fifteen years ago when I read a ton of epic fantasy. I've got to read Graceling, now, too. She not only revived the genre, but reminded me that not every YA novel has to be set in a high school. Sweet.
That's just one of the aspects I enjoyed about The Maze Runner. Not only did the prose live up to the premise, I really found myself rooting for these kids until the end. Hell, I'm still thinking about them, so guess what's got two thumbs and is going to be coveting the sequel when it comes out in October? *points thumbs at chest* Yes, me. Huh, that bit doesn't go over so well in print. But anyway, if you like adventure novels or are looking for a good book for your 12-35 year old son/husband, it's a sure thing.
As for Soulless, I realized that it was the first non-YA book I'd read in quite some time... not since I read Dearly Devoted Dexter in December--look, I can be alliterative, too. Both of these books have a way with words that I adore. I'd love to be able to do that with my own work, but I fear it would come across as too pretentious for YA, and not suitable for my current urban fantasy. But they were fun to read. It reminded me that I need to read more widely.
In fact, I'd recommend that to any writer feeling frustrated with their chosen genre. Write literary fiction and keep moaning how you'll never be the next Ian McEwan or Margaret Atwood? Read some genre fiction instead. Maybe shifting gears will get your brain out of that rut. And all us old people writing for teens should remember to read books written for old people every once in a while just for fun. ;)
Or just read outside your comfort zone for a change! When was the last time any of y'all read an entire book of non-fiction? That's what I thought. Try it.
You might be surprised by a good book you never thought you'd read.
Anyone been pleasantly surprised by a book lately?
And don't forget today's Beta Club!