Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Books on my Wow! list

The List of Wow! books

I'm back! Wow, the week flew by. I was B-U-S-Y with Chasing Blue and made an attempt to get through my humongous reading pile. But...I was sidetracked. By Eclipse. Yeah. In my reading pile for this week are the books I meant to get through last week:

Lock and Key--Sarah Dessen
Letters from the Heart (Beacon Street Girls)--Annie Bryant
Legally Blonde--Amanda Brown

I've realized over the past week that the Twilight series are Wow! books for me. This is all subjective, of course. What makes a Wow! book for me might not make one for you. The list of Wows! are small and I don't add to it often. I'm not naming authors who are Internet friends, but authors I DON'T know who are on the Wow! list are J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Kate Brian and Sara Gruen.

I define a Wow! book as a book that:

* makes me laugh, cry, or have heart palpitations
* makes me slip into my "screech monkey voice" (thanks, Jason) that I use when I'm super-excited about something and am telling someone else about it
* forces me to run to my computer and get back to work with hopes of one day writing a Wow! book
* keeps me up at night thinking about the book's Wow! qualities

Why did I name the four above authors?

J.K. Rowling

Given, right? Maybe not for the reasons you might think. Yes, I absolutely ADORE Harry & Co. I could reread the books a million times (I'm inching toward that!) and never tire of them. The pacing of the plot is why I love J.K. Is there ever a dull moment in HP? Nope. Did she get millions of kids hooked on reading? Yes. She's the Plot Queen and I bow to her mad skills. ;)

But I also feel linked to her even more now after watching her speech at Harvard's graduation. We have an insanely similar background (it's quite freaky, actually) and I admire her open attitude about things she's gone through and how that propelled her writing. That's for another post, but from one writer to another, she has personally inspired me in many ways.

Stephenie Meyer

As I read Eclipse last night, I paid attention to how I reacted to different elements in the story. I realized Eclipse evokes a PHYSICAL reaction from me. Wow! factor material. How many books do that? Not many. Waiting for the final installment is torturous! It's one of the few series where I'd go stand in the pouring rain until midnight to get a copy.

Kate Brian

Kate's Private series is the first YA series I read that has all of the elements that intrigue me--boarding school, mystery, mean but smart girls and love. Hot guys, too, but I can't use THAT as my sole Wow! factor. ;)

Kate's the Teen Queen of Cliffhangers and I've learned so much from reading her books. I'm always the last one to crack the mysteries, by the way.

Sara Gruen

As a horsey writer, I appreciate the detail to the equestrian world, the realistic view of competing and running a stable and the lack of equine related mistakes in the text. From what I've read, Sara is a huge animal lover and that comes across on the page. Riding Lessons and Flying Changes infuse horses with love, relationships, family and loss--both animal and human. Those books are up there in my Wow! list along with my other adult horse favorite--The Horse Whisperer. I hope that if I every try adult horse fiction that I'm able to capture some of the spirit that made me love Sara's books.

So, what's a Wow! book for you?


Khy said...

Twilight and Harry Potter are definitely wow! books to me. Anything by Scott Westerfeld is a wow! to me too.

And you must read Lock and Key very, very soon. It is wonderful.

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

Okay, I'll definitely read Lock and Key next! :)

Barrie said...

I agree about Lock and Key. Great book.

Have you read Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson? That was a wow book for me.

Candace said...

I am with you on this. Sara Gruen is an excellent writer. I've read one of the two books you mentioned, I think. As a horsey girl, I cringe completely misrepresented.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a Wow! book for me. It's a very emotional read; a YA novel by Jay Asher that is worth reading if you can handle that sort of intensity.

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