What Makes A Book Sparkle

by Tricia

in Becoming Agent, Kids Books

(via Flickr)

No, not like vampires.

But, yes, as in “I cannot put this down!” I am looking for books that sparkle.

Let me explain what that means to me.

Writing that is not pretentious (ie, the writer is not helping me to understand, but trusting me to figure things out or to imagine it myself) and that gives me delicious clues about character and plot without burying me in too much information.

A book with a wounded narrator especially sparkles for me. If a character has been hurt, but I don’t know exactly how it all came down, but I know that sooner or later, I’ll get more information about how that hurt happened if I keep reading, yes, yes, yes.

I really love atmosphere. Okay, so I’m addicted to the Brontes, du Maurier, Dickens, Tolstoy, Hugo. Who cannot resist Jean Valjean on the run from his past wounds? Who can resist finding out just who the new tenant of Wildfell Hall really is and why she is so reclusive?

I really love dysfunctional families that make it work. I’ve learned much from Jane Austen, but one thing I have learned the most was that crazy families made for some incredible plot twists. I love those small turns in a story.

And then there are the books that were written in this century: (YA specifically) HUNGER GAMES series by Suzanne Collins, the GEMMA DOYLE trilogy by Libba Bray, everything by Sarah Dessen, Ally Carter, and Lisa McMann.

Not that I’m against books written by guys: (MG and YA) ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie, LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green, BARTIMAEUS series by Nathan Stroud, SHIPBREAKER by Paolo Bacigalupi, and THE EMERALD ATLAS by John Stephens.

And this is just off the top of my head or from my book piles within view in one room of my house.

But I think you are getting a better idea of what I consider to be important and what makes a book sparkle.

More to come!

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