Monday, February 26, 2007

Treading Water

I'm still here, still breathing--I've just been hella busy trying to finish up this manuscript for Super Cool Editor Guy. Authors tend to agonize over every last little word, so being that my manuscript tops out at over 64,000 words, I'm doing a bunch of agonizing. A few things before I get back to work:

1) AK has an interesting post on the Flux Blog today about unreliable narrators.

2) I had a great time at Cynthia's Tantalize Party (even though I got there too late to hear Greg sing). Cynthia really knows how to throw a party.

3) I've figured out what project I want to focus on next...after I finish the edits to Rhombus...after I finalize a readable draft of Righteous...after I finish updating my webpage...

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Book Release Day

I'm sure that most of you know this by now, but if not, Cynthia Leitich Smith is currently guest blogging at Greg Leitich Smith's blog.

And...Happy Release Day, Cyn! Her new YA novel, Tantalize, came out today.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Story of a Girl

I finished Sara Zarr's wonderful debut novel, Story of a Girl, a few weeks ago. There's not much more I can say about this novel that others haven't already said. Great characters. Great dialogue. Great story.

I like that Zarr began the novel three years after Deanna's incident (getting caught with an older boy, Tommy Webber, in the back of his Buick), instead of at the time of the incident itself. While the event is important, I think it's even more fascinating to take a step back and see how the characters deal with the aftermath. And while there are certainly characters in the book that make bad decisions, no one is clearly the "bad guy" (although you can make an argument that Tommy is pretty rotten). Everyone is a fault, at least a little, which makes the novel ring with authenticity. Also, I like that while the novel doesn't tie everything up nicely, it leaves the reader with a sense of hope.

My favorite scene is where Deanna and her father finally have it out. It's an argument that's been brewing for three years. Zarr, with her mastery of dialogue and pacing, does not disappoint.

This novel is highly recommended. Check out more about Sara Zarr at her website. Also, check out Cynthia Leitich Smith's interview with Zarr.

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