Friday, December 21, 2007

That Special Something

This morning I was feeling a bit lazy -- mostly because today is cleaning day and the longer I lingered in bed, the longer I could put off that particularly gruesome chore. Anyway, I decided to read a couple chapters of a new book. On the block is UGLIES by Scott Westerfield.

I started out saying I would read a chapter or two. Just enough to wake up my brain. Next thing I knew, I was a hundred pages in and lovin' it. I only stopped because my uncle wanted to get some lunch. While at the restaurant, my mind kept drifting back to the story...wondering what would happen next. Then I found myself telling my uncle all about it. To be quite frank, that doesn't happen too often. The talking about it part, I mean. Reading is such a personal experience and no matter how well you frame your thoughts and feelings, an outside person is never going to quite get it the way you do. (g) Anyway, I found myself going on and on about the rules of this society...the psychological impact it has on the characters...etc. etc. We had a nice little discussion about it.

Anyway, that got me to thinking about how great it is when a book you're reading has that kind of impact on you. The kind of impact that makes you want to rush back to the pages to find out what happens next...the kind of impact that makes you sad to see it all come to an end...that makes you want to turn around and start the book over again, just so you can relive it.

Isn't that the greatest feeling? And isn't that what we as writers should be aiming for?

2 comments:

Helene Boudreau said...

Gah! I just wrote a whole comment and got booted off.

Anywho, I JUST finished reading UGLIES and thoroughly enjoyed it. The thing that struck me the most is that his MC, Tally totally buys into the 'pretty' mentality and wants to make the change. A less skilled author (me) may have chosen the MC to be the one to rebel against the machine, but no, Westerfield choses her friend to be the one to make Tally question her values.

A really neat story about how people will follow the values of a society unquestioningly, filled with tension, inner conflict and moral questions with compelling arguments for both sides.

Loved it!

Jen said...

Helene,

Even though I haven't finished, I'm wondering how quick I can get the sequels. LOL.

But yeah, I love it so far... sank right into the world WITHOUT endless amounts of backstory. Anyone who can pull that off is gold in my book. :)

Jen

P.S. I'm at about 175 now.