Almost everyone I talk to about The Awakening By Kate Chopin absolutely gushes with their love of the book. They compliment Chopin’s writing, her creation of setting, her characters…but I have a problem with Edna. I can’t quite put my finger on it, so bear with me as I write it out.
Note: If you’ve not read The Awakening or other works by Chopin, there are spoilers in this post.
In the young adult debut from Hugo Award-winning science fiction author Will McIntosh, a group of disadvantaged teenagers from neighborhoods in New York take on a ruthless billionaire as they all try to find as many valuable, mysterious, ability-bestowing spheres as possible.
In Alexander Chee’s novel The Queen of the Night, Lilliet Berne is a renowned opera singer in Paris. She rose to fame from life as an orphan on the American frontier, remaking herself many times over, and she finally has an offer that will allow her to originate a role. The trouble is the role seems to be based on her very own past. The reader becomes transfixed as Lilliet unravels the mystery of who knows her like no one else does, or who may be trying to destroy not only the very career the new role promises, but Lilliet herself.
Jonathan Moore’s The Poison Artist begins with a mystery: Why were Caleb and his girlfriend Bridget fighting? And so it is with this initial mystery we are launched into Caleb’s world, his past, and the series of mysteries he’s trying to solve.
I’ve read a lot of young adult fantasy novels. Granted, not as many as some other readers, but I also read enough, in general, to feel like I know when people can’t come up with anything “new under the sun.” In the past decade or so, as there has been such a surge of young adult literature, I’ve begun to feel as though I know all the stories, that nothing will surprise or impress me. Well, authors keep proving me wrong, and Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen did just that.
Two years ago, I sat at my desk after getting on Twitter, and wondered how it was I could make reading books into a “career,” so to speak. I knew nothing about book blogging. I didn’t realize what a boon Twitter—and the connections I made on it—would be for me as a teacher, editor, book lover, and, as I’ve finally admitted, writer.