I am pleased to introduce to you YA Author Zoraida Córdova, a fellow 2012 debut author featuring the best of all mythological protagonists, the mesmerizing yet menacing merman!
THE VICIOUS DEEP will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in March, 2012
Previously Posted on Book End Babes (Jan. 18, 2010)
Sometimes a book can surprise you. Sometimes you open a book and don’t know what to make of it. Sometimes you stay up until midnight reading a book and then stay up until three, reading it again. Sometimes all three are true, and (for me) that was the case with YA novel PURPLE DAZE by Sherry Shahan (March 2011,Running Press Teens).
A compelling dip into the colorful world of 1965, the story revolves around the lives of six California high school kids: Good girl Cheryl and her sexually frustrated boyfriend, Don. Voluptuous, self-declared slut, Ziggy, and her flirting-with-disaster boyfriend, Mick. And love sick Nancy and her upstanding beau, Phil. But what makes PURPLE DAZE noteworthy isn’t so much the story, but the format in which the story is delivered.
In PURPLE DAZE, the plot unfolds not through narrative, but rather through the six characters’ varying points of view, told through poignant yet accessible free verse, traditional poems, journals, and letters, which are woven together with news reports and political speeches from the “outside” world, a place to which the kids are often oblivious.
Despite the Viet Nam war, the burgeoning feminist movement, and local race riots breaking out around them, the six friends are remarkably insulated from it all–focusing instead on the timeless teen pursuits of sneaking out, going to the movies, and seeing how far they can go without getting pregnant. Prime example, when Ziggy is forced to watch a movie about JFK in social studies class, she comments:
I fell asleep and dreamed I was in the
White House, classy as Jackie before
Lee Harvey Oswald.
looking cool in silk taffeta.
But when one of the boys gets called up for the draft, that singular event shatters the last remaining remnants of their innocence and changes the trajectories of their lives forever.
Another spin, I trip on the hem of my
fringed jeans, trying to laugh, except I’m
crying and can’t stop.
“I don’t want you to die.”
The end result is a brilliantly crafted time capsule that is as addictive as anything Ziggy would try. It makes me wonder though. How many of today’s teens are going to pick up this book with its anachronistically-styled cover and pages of free verse?
I sincerely hope all of them. This story is theirs.
Previously posted on http://www.bookendbabes.com
Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER did that for me. With most paranormal, I am happy to go along with the story for the sake of the fantasy, but with SHIVER I found myself believing it was true. Perhaps it was the intimacy of the domestic setting (we’re rarely farther than Grace’s house or the backyard woods), perhaps it’s the movie close-up perspective on the dialogue. More likely, however, is that it’s the poetic style of Ms. Stiefvater’s writing that draws me in and makes me feel like I’m in the character’s bubble and there is no me-with-book-in-hand interfering with the realism of the moment.
Here’s an excerpt that captures the tone and emotion of the book:
With a snarl and a flash of teeth, I pushed forward. Salem growled back at me, but I was rangier than him, despite my starvation and youth. Paul rumbled threateningly to back me up.
I was next to her, and she was looking up at the endless sky with distant eyes. Maybe dead. I pushed my nose into her hand; the scent on her palm, all sugar and butter and salt, reminded me of another life.
Then I saw her eyes.
The girl looked right at me, eyes holding mine with such terrible honesty.
I backed up, recoiled, starting to shake again — but this time, it wasn’t anger that racked my frame.
Her eyes on my eyes. Her blood on my face.
I was tearing apart, inside and outside.
I mean, YUM, right? The second book in the werewolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, LINGER, came out July 20th. I won’t go too much into the book cover (book covers are an obsession of mine), but I would have picked it up knowing nothing of the story. Rather, I am enticed by the classic story of two people destined for each other but who are never in the same place at the same time, let alone the same species. Isn’t that the way all feel about our romantic partner sometimes?
If you’ve read either book, I’d love to hear what you thought about them.