Thursday, July 26, 2012

Patience is not my strongest suit. But of course, not everything happens in the blink of an eye. It takes a while to fall in love, for example. With a person. Even with a book.

"Good books don't give up all their secrets at once." - Stephen King

I can think of two books in particular that stole my heart -- but very slowly. They taught me that goodness can't be rushed. That sometimes it's worth the wait.

(Note: With both of these, I was enjoying the writing, the characters, the story, etc. My only complaint was that the plot was moving slowly. I think it would be different if you were not enjoying a book AND it was slow.)

The Book ThiefTHE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

We've blogged about THE BOOK THIEF before. It's the story of a clever girl in WWII Germany, told from the point of view of Death himself. Zusak's prose is beautiful and strange, and he takes his time establishing the characters -- really making you care for them -- before he starts to push them around, push them together and against each other, creating conflict, eventually ripping their worlds apart.

But I got frustrated with his snail's pace somewhere around page 172. No joke, the (figurative) explosion that sets off the rest of the story happens on 173. I gave up 1 page too soon! Thank goodness I had a couple good friends and trusted readers who encouraged me to give the book a second chance. I ended up finishing the next 300+ pages in record time -- and I was moved to the core, my face streaming with tears.

The Scorpio RacesTHE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater

Okay, if I'm being honest, I think the first half of this book could have been edited down a bit. But it wasn't, and it still won a Printz Honor, and I think that's right. Because despite its flaws, it's a magnificent book.

What makes it so? Gorgeous writing. Amazing worldbuilding. Interesting mythology. Humor and wit. Romance that totally sneaks up on you (and is based on mutual respect rather than hotness). Sean and Corr and George freaking Holly! (And okay, Puck grows on you.) I shivered -- literally trembled with emotion -- multiple times while reading this book. And I could win an Oscar for crying on command just by thinking about the final heart-breaking, heart-healing scene.

So yeah. I'm glad I stuck with it. #understatementoftheyear



What fiery-awesome books have been slow to burn for you? What books were worth your wait?

8 comments:

P.E. said...

Both are great books. They have slow building but awesome tension. Another, newer title that I can think of is Code Name Verity. It just builds up and at some point there is a twist. Very tension filled and I totally recommend it if you haven't liked it yet.

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

Ditto both of those books, of course. Recently this was how I felt about TIGER LILY. I truly fell in love with it by the end. So glad I persevered.
And Stephen King's one to talk...he has some of the longest build-ups. But I love his storytelling as well.

Stephsco said...

I still have The Book Thief on my To Read list (I know, I KNOW). Scorpio Races was so refreshingly different from other YA, I enjoyed it for that.

Julia :) said...

I'm pretty sure it took me around 6 months and three tries to actually get through all of The Book Thief. However it was TOTALLY worth it. Such a good book. <3

Bridget Howard said...

I totally agree with the Book Thief it took me a while to get into but it was so good I haven't read that other book but I will put it on my TBR pile. You know a book that I loved that I read a few years ago that was like this was These is my Words by Nancy Turner. It took a while for me to read it but it was amazing and still one of my all time favorites!!!

Kristan Hoffman said...

Yay, more BOOK THIEF fans! :)

@P.E.-
Yes, I totally want to read CODE NAME VERITY! So glad to hear that you liked it. (And good to know that it may be slow going.)

@Sarah-
Heh, I'm looking forward to TIGER LILY so I can see what you're talking about.

@Bridget-
Ooo, haven't heard of that one. I'll have to look it up!

Andria Buchanan said...

Code Name Verity has a slow build up and then it messes with your mind a bit. I loved it.

Stephanie Ingrid Sarah Kristan said...

Haha awesome, we love books that "mess with our minds." ;)

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.


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The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
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Mind Games
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Every Day
Jellicoe Road
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New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
Bitterblue
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