Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday Books for Writers! The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Before I begin gushing over this book, I'd like to propose something: As a writer I'm always looking for book recommendations that will help me with my writing. I've been in many writer's workshops and critique groups where someone recommends a book to me that they think is relevant to my work.

Instead of saying: 'This [type of scene] isn't working for me and here's ways you can fix it' (which is certainly helpful but not always effective). They can say: 'This [type of scene] isn't working for me and you know who does [type of scene] really well?' and proceed with a book recommendation.

An active reader/writer can do so much more with that!

So I'm trying to figure out how to make 'Tuesday Books for Writers' into a larger resource for writers. If anyone wants to participate in a 'Tuesday Books for Writers' blog post on their own blogs, let me know! I know there's some way to link them together that I plan to figure out soon. The only qualifications are that you have to have read a book you think might be relevant to somebody writing and tell them why. And, well, to be honest, most books have something redeemable, however small, that can be useful to a writer. So basically...the only qualification is that you have to have read something, sometime in your entire life. Thanks bunches.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox
by Mary E. Pearson
Read this book if you're writing:
A YA Novel
About Ethics in Medicine
A slow, deliberate revelation
A book that plays lightly with structure (particularly poetry infused in a long work)

I have to start off by saying that I was fascinated and compelled by this story. And I have to thank Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? for recommending it. Wowsa. I could NOT put this book down.

Which brings me to why it was soooo helpful as a writer to read this book. This book has a nice, compelling, slow, deliberate reveal. This is hard for me to say. But I am just going to say it. I'm pretty sure the pacing in this novel is simply perfect.

It builds so remarkably well, that I was absolutely blown away. It slowly leaks information and yet it drives plot forward at lightening speed. And when you get to the reveal, it does not disappoint. It's a whopper. Then we experience the reveal with more and more depth as it gets bigger and bigger. And it doesn't end there, people. Oh no. Just when you think it's all out there on the table, just when you think there's no where else to go, you're still compelled to go on. Because lawsie me, you've got to figure out how to cope with the reveal. And that's what the novel is really about.

The reason I find this whole thing so mind-blowing in its simplicity is because every book has a reveal, no matter how minor. Characters are keeping secrets left and right. And they are discovering things about the world like it's going out of style. If you can build to each and every reveal with the kind of power and force that this novel does, I think you'll be in amazing shape. I hope to be in amazing shape now that I've seen how well it can be done and how I can use the same pace and build in my own novel. It's such an easy thing to say: build to a nice climax or reveal. It's another thing to see it done so amazingly well.

Oh. And please go read this book immediately. It's an order. I'd even give you a copy. If mine didn't belong to the New York Public Library.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic idea! Thanks! I will definitely check TAoJF out. :)