Friday, January 13, 2012

Making something really familiar feel fresh

It's been a slow start to reading for me in 2012, but I have this sense that it's going to be a great year for books and creatively, so I have nothing but great anticipation going into this year.

The book I'm reading right now is Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and it's flawed. Not every scene is absolutely necessary, it jumps about a little and parts of it feel a little like the author is still learning the nuts and bolts of craft, but it reads completely fresh in the genre and I think that's why it's getting so much buzz.

From the location to the plot points, it does not seem familiar to me and I've read a lot of YA over the past two years. The protagonist is interesting, but it's not her, it's what happens and how and the elements she introduces them and how. I'm guessing on all of this, but it seems as I read this book, that the author hadn't read a lot of YA going into the writing of this book and that's why it seems different.

And truly, I have no idea where she's taking me, which in itself, is exciting. It's not that she's reversing my expectations, it's that the story is progressing in a way that I can't predict and so I don't have any idea where a scene will play out.

Which is fun and I suspect why so many editors and agents love this book.

And on another note - Game of Thrones Season 2 - starts April 1st. Anyone else excited. Molly, I still have your copy of that...

8 comments:

Eileen said...

It's kind of a fine line, isn't it? It's fresh and original because the person hasn't been trained half to death, but the craft isn't quite there either. I haven't read this one, but I have to admit, that tends to distract me.

Maureen McGowan said...

The parts of that book that work REALLY work. The parts that didn't really didn't for me...

But overall, it was fresh.

But our guess that she's a newish writer who didn't know any better was wrong... She's a previous National Book Award finalist. Go figure.

We need to get together and talk about that book soon.

Oh!!! And guess who's doing a talk at TIFF in March? George RR Martin, that's who. And guess who's trying to get us tickets??? Me, that's who.

Sinead M said...

Eileen, this book might drive you nuts, but I can generally overlook craft issues if the story is absorbing.
Maureen, yes, yes and yes to RR Martin. And yes to DWT discussing this book.
It's fascinating why it works.... and I think we're not completely on the same page.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Okay - I've this on my maybe list - but I'll put it on the definite now.

For DWT we need to find ways we can skipe in from bars around the country.

Although Eileen you would have to start drinking before 5:00 to be on the same time zone. You don't have a problem with that do you? :)

Eileen said...

Oh, the sacrifices I make! ;-)

Karen Whiddon said...

I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I'll buy the sequel. The flawed book I just finished reading is Legend by M. Le Have any of you read it?

Sinead M said...

Karen, I haven't read it, but is is on my list because of so much buzz. Is it flawed, but readable, or just flawed?

Maureen McGowan said...

Oh! I've been dying to hear what Legend was like... So much buzz... She got a freaking billboard in Times Square.

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