Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No one thing

My bookshelves are a study in the chaos of eclecticism. There is no one genre that I can point to as typifying what I love to read because I enjoy so many different styles and categories of writing, which seem to expand every day as sub-genre upon sub-genre bursts into the lexicon.  Even staying within children's literature (Young Adult and Middle Grade) I am all over the place with the titles I choose and then cherish.  Three very different books that I read in the last week are a good example.  I read each of the three straight through on a different day and I completely connected with all of them for different reasons.  The first (read last Friday) was Hereafter by Tara Hudson, a YA modern ghost story that does double duty as a page-turning mystery and a sweet-as-anything love story.  I was intrigued from the very beginning and really identified with the characters.  The book made me smile and had a satisfying ending (which is really a big thing with me, I'm not a fan of the cliffhanger without any tie-up), but also left me wanting to know more about Amelia and Joshua: a perfect mix.  I had a very different reaction to another YA novel, the heralded Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, which I read on Monday.  My initial reaction was "disturbingly beautiful"; I put the book down when I was done and just sat for nearly an hour thinking about it.  It was at once compelling and uncomfortable; written on a level that is a few floors above the plane on which most authors exist.  Finally, on Saturday night I read the adorable MG novel The Allegra Biscotti Collection by Olivia Bennett staring Emma Rose, an 8th grader that I want to befriend (and have design my fall wardrobe).  This book just simply made me happy.  Nothing more, nothing less.  The writing and the character are infectious.  So, three books that I truly enjoyed for very different reasons, all of which inspired me to continue and improve my own writing.  If my writing can invoke any of these same feelings in others, I would consider myself an enormous success.

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