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 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 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?
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