It's my last Inky's Choice for 2014! So I want to know - what's been your favourite read this year? I asked around on facebook and twitter and these were the ten most popular answers out of the many, many answers you've given me so far:
The biggest and best news from the internet this week comes from Rainbow Rowell! She's the author of smashing contemporary stories with a romantic twist, like Fangirl, which is about a girl who's obsessed with a Harry Potter-esque story called 'Simon Snow':
'Simon Snow is a series of seven fantasy books written by English philologist Gemma T. Leslie. The books tell the story of Simon Snow, an 11- year- old orphan from Lancashire who is recruited to attend the Watford School of Magicks to become a magician. As he grows older, Simon joins a group of magicians— the Mages— who are fighting the Insidious Humdrum, an evil being trying to rid the world of magic.'
- Fangirl, p 3
Cath, the main character in Fangirl writes Simon Snow fanfiction about Simon and his roomate, Baz (who may bear some similarities to Draco Malfoy).
Now, hold onto your pointy hats because it's about to get all inception in here.
Hello again! Well, I said in my last post that I was next going to talk about second and third person narratives, so I think you know what this post is going to be about. I myself enjoy third person, both to read and write in (but of course I do also like first person narrative as you can see from my last post). Anyway, let’s get started shall we...
There are many up-sides to a third person narrative. Here are just a few:
(1) The writer can take you anywhere: A character does not have to be present for action to still occur, it does not have to be witnessed because the narrator is everywhere. (It’s kinda creepy actually.) The fact that first person narrative is restricted to what the narrator is experiencing, what they know and their own perception of events, impacts the telling of the story. Sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.
Youtube's Teens React is the bee's knees every week but it was especially amazing when recently they featured Malala Yousafzai. Have you heard of Malala? She just happens to be the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and an all round inspiration to the human race. Even I want to be her, and I love my fur!
I have to come clean. I do judge a book by its cover. Yeah, I know, they always tell you not to, but do I listen? Whenever I see a book, I automatically get all judgy and it has probably prevented me from reading some really good books. But I can’t help it. I mean, what’s the point of making covers for books if they don’t want us to judge them, right?
Generally when picking a book I first interpret the cover, if the cover appeals to me I then go for the blurb, and then if I’m still interested, I start reading (yep, I'm that person in Dymocks, standing there with a book in my hand and reading. I usually get in the way of other customers, sorry). But, the main thing pivotal to my continued reading is the narration. I mean, sure you can have a really good story, but if the voice telling the story is boring, I’ll soon be checking out another book. This also occurs when I am writing - if I can’t connect with the voice I’m writing through then I simply give up (I know giving up is bad, but hey sometimes giving up can lead to other things... but I’m still just using it as an excuse).
Anyway, back on topic. I have read a few books throughout my life and the ones that have stuck with me the most have been the ones with exceptional narrators. So I am going to share a couple with you. (Below, I have specifically looked at first person narration so if you’re more a fan of third person or even second person narration, don’t worry, I will hopefully get to it in my next post)
Okay, first up is Felix from Morris Gleitzman’s Once, Then, and After. (I've left out Now because while it is part of the series, it is not narrated by Felix. I won’t say who narrates it just in case it’s a spoiler.)
Morris Gleitzman is renowned for his child narrators, his portrayal of their innocence and perception of events, and Felix is no exception. He is a young Jewish boy living in Germany during the holocaust. His positivity, hope and innocent perspective during such a time highlights how horrific the events were that he witnessed. I myself read Once (the first book), when I was pretty young, probably too young. When I went back and read it again, years later, it was a different book for me. I realised things that I didn’t before, simply because I understood more and could also see that the narrator was young, sometimes hindering him from seeing the truth. I applaud this series of books and recommend them to anyone, even if you’ve already read them.
Second up, Leonard from Mathew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. This kind of book is generally not my type (I usually stick to my Sci-Fi and survival books). If I had just read its synopsis I probably wouldn’t have chosen to read the book, because I generally like to steer clear of some of the themes that are present in the story (just a warning, this book does contain sexual references, adult themes and coarse language. Yep, I just went all parental on you, hehe). The narrator, however, sucked me in.
3 reasons to read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz:
1. You get to step inside the head of Ari (Aristotle). He's 15, and a loner with a lot of fascinating thoughts. At school he is mostly invisible. At home his family is a bit broken - a brother in prison, a Dad with 'Vietnam living inside him', and twin older sisters who treat him more like a son than a sibling. And then, at the beginning of the summer holidays, he meets Dante...
2. Dante is one of those people who just glows. He's smart, chipper and cheeky in a way that is completely adorable. He fits in everywhere he goes. I could hate him, if he wasn't so damn nice. Dante is the best friend that everyone should have.
Calling all Jedi and Sith! After many, many years our time has come again! The first trailer is here for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens:
Happy December! Welcome to a new month, and a new 'Voice'! Ina Lee is the resident teen blogger for this month, sharing all her bookish secrets and thoughts each Monday, come rain, hail or Krampus. - Inky
So… Um… Yeah, I’m Ina. Kinda trying to act cool, but I’m not (as you can tell from my usage of ‘kinda’). Really not. Okay, stuff about me. I am an age, it’s a number, I forget it sometimes and I wish it was less, but it is what it is. I like reading, writing and passionately discussing my opinions (so arguing). I have just completed year twelve at Wellington Secondary College (no, it’s not in New Zealand), and have so much free time that I don’t know what to do with myself. So naturally, I’ve stocked up on books. I am a bit of a sci-fi buff. Actually that’s a lie, I don’t like sci-fi a bit, I LOVE sci-fi A LOT (so if you’ve read any good books recently, preferably sci-fi, mention them in the comments and I’ll add them to my pile).
More stuff about me: I’m dyslexic, diagnosed when I was six, which pretty much means I have trouble reading and writing. I used to not read much - it was an arduous chore for me. I dare say I hated it. Until one day my mind suddenly expanded to the world of books. I didn’t just start reading; I started to want to read. The first books I read, and read because I wanted to, were The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and immediately after that, A New Kind of Dreaming by Anthony Eaton. And while these books were on my school’s booklist at the time (for year 9 English), and I was going to have to read them anyway, they were the first books that I read before I had to (I also did not listen them via a CD from Vision Australia, which was how I had been ‘reading’ all my school books prior). And I enjoyed them. I am grateful to these books, not just because of the story they told, but because they gave me the confidence to read more. And so I did. My reading ability has since progressed, to the point where I can read in public, out loud, and I am not seen to be any different from my peers. I don’t read like the stereotypical dyslexic does, that was how I used to read.
For NaNoWriMo this year I'm hosting some write-ins specially for teens, in Melbourne, at the State Library of Victoria. (Details here.)
This Saturday 29 November, 12pm-2.30pm, I'll be joined in the Library Dome by special guest Amie Kaufman! Amie is one half of the brain behind the phenomenally successful These Broken Stars and This Shattered World (out this month).
Before tomorrow though, let's pick at her brains (in a fun, non-zombie like way)...