Have you ever been talking with people, reading blogs, searching amazon, or just searching books in general and you keep running across a particular book or author? Well, that’s how I was a few months ago. I kept hearing about Neil Gaiman. Now, I’ve read stuff by him before and I liked it a lot. However, I recently tried reading “The Graveyard Book,” and I just couldn’t get through it. I tried, and I really had nothing else to do because of the new baby, but I just couldn’t finish. I was interested through the first few chapters, and then I just couldn’t get myself to read it anymore. I stuck it through about a third of the book and then gave up. Now, this rarely happens to me. Even books I don’t love, I almost always finish. So, nothing against Mr. Gaiman (like I said I’ve read other books of his and like them), but I just couldn’t get into his latest.
Another book I’ve read recently is “The Forest of Hands and Teeth,” by Carrie Ryan. I had read the cover flap of this one and had heard about it from a number of sources. It sounded interesting so I tried it. My overall view is that it was really interesting. I didn’t realize before I started that it was kind of a zombie book, but that didn’t really bother me once I got used to the idea. I actually kept picking it up to see what would happen next (even when I had other things that I should have been doing). I read the book in less than two days because I really really wanted to see how she would resolve the ending. And here is my only criticism…there wasn’t enough resolution for me. And it wasn’t just that the ending wasn’t fully resolved to my personal liking. There were little things throughout the book that I felt were left hanging, things I would have loved more explanation for. And this might be entirely just me. I like resolution. It doesn’t have to be a happy white picket fence ending, but I do like resolution. And there was some…just not enough, at least for me. Still, I would highly recommend this book if only for its creativity and originality. The characters are great and their growth through the decisions they make was fascinating.
All right, now for a book I’ve been waiting for. I just finished “Fragile Eternity,” by Melissa Marr. I’ve blogged before about this series. I loved the first one, I liked the second one. And…I loved the third one. This latest book got back to the main characters introduced in book one. It also escalated the conflict between the faerie courts. Old friendships cracked, new ones were forged. Alliances were constantly shifting and sometimes strange. And it was great. I couldn’t put it down. Ms. Marr has created such a great world that’s fun to delve into. It’s both comforting and scary at the same time. “Fragile Eternity” really brought everything to a head and I can’t wait to see how everything is resolved in her next book of the series. As a writer, I’ve had so many thoughts on how I’d resolve this one (do any of you other writers do this, think of endings you’d write to other people’s books?). I’m excited to see how she does it.
Ok, I know this has gone on way too long, but I have one more. This is another book I’ve been waiting for. It is the third book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare. It’s called “City of Glass.” I know this series has gotten mixed reviews, but I have really enjoyed it. The world she’s created is so imaginative and yet you can almost believe it really exists right alongside reality. I also love the characters she’s created. They are real, flawed, and likeable (most of the time, which is just as it should be). Ms. Clare has taken urban fantasy (which I’m starting to get a little tired of because it seems like everything is UF these days), and applies her own twist.
Now about my own writing. I’m actually really excited. I haven’t written much, but I’ve had the greatest idea. There’s always been a part of my book, and it’s the critical set up and introduce everything part, that I haven’t been totally satisfied with. I’ve left it alone because I didn’t know what else to do. All that stuff had to be in there and I just didn’t know how else to do it. Well, I finally figured it out. I think the book will start off quicker and trickle the back story out bit by bit instead of a big dump of information. Much, much better. Maybe now, when I send out a partial, it won’t come back. I hope maybe this has been part of my hangup with getting someone to read enough that they just can’t put it down. Here’s my fingers crossed.
One thought on “Four books I’ve read (Book Reviews: The Graveyard Book, Forest of Hands and Teeth, Fragile Eternity, City of Glass)…and writing I haven’t done enough of…”
It may be with the Gaiman that his YA work isn’t to your taste. There is a definite shift in style. Try Neverwhere or Anansi Boys for some of his work aimed at those of us who profess to be grown up. Or go the whole hog and read American Gods, which will either make you think he’s a genius or make you decide never to read any of his work ever again.