Sunday, September 18, 2011
Blog Chain - You Gotta Have Faith
But it's my turn and I have to come up with something :)
In writing, we talk a lot about grabbing the reader from page 1. From the first paragraph, the first sentence. I spend a lot of time working on my first paragraphs because I know that agents and editors are pretty much going to decide whether they want to keep reading based on that. It's the first impression. A crappy first page is like walking into an interview in your underwear. So it's important to grab your reader right away.
But what about those books that don't?
What are three books you would tell people that they need to keep reading even if they aren't immediately sucked in by the first page?
1. Any book by Melina Marchetta...but especially JELLICOE ROAD. Every time I see someone reading a book by Marchetta, I tell them that they need to give it 50 to 100 pages. That's a lot. It's a lot to ask someone to give a book 100 pages. But Marchetta is an author in whom I have faith. Recently, my friend Trish was reading THE PIPER'S SON. She said she wasn't into it, and I told her to give it about 75 pages. A little bit later she told me that on page 62, she became invested. Marchetta isn't the kind of author who grabs you from page 1. She weaves a web of characters. They take time to trap you. Every Marchetta book I've read has that "A-ha!" moment where all the pieces make sense.
2. THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO. The thing about this book by Patrick Ness is that the dialog uses broken dialect. The first time I read it, I nearly quit, and when I see one of my friends read it or when I loan my copy out, I make sure to tell them to give the book a chance. Don't let the dialect distract you from this amazing story. And it is amazing. One of the best YA series ever.
3. THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY. I know this one might be a stretch for some, since it won the Pulitzer in 2001, but when I read it, it took me 2 months to get through the first 200 pages and about a week to get through the remaining 450. It's a dense book, and Chabon makes every word count. But in the beginning, there's a lot to take in. It's not an easy book to just sit down and read for twenty minutes before bed. It requires some patience and dedication. But it's ultimately worth it. Chabon's book about two young men who bond over comic books is one of the best books I've ever read. And if I hadn't had some faith, I would have missed out.
So that's it! I could actually go on forever, about books that need some extra patience, but three is all I have time for. What about you? What books would you recommend that maybe need some faith on the part of the reader? Drop some titles in the comments, and then head on over to Sarah's blog tomorrow to find out what kick-ass titles she's going to recommend.