Friday, May 24, 2013


Earlier this year, in an open letter to Laini Taylor, I talked about Laini’s way of describing things in Daughter of Smoke and Bone:

The world is so complete. You seem to relish describing the objects and places that Karou treasures: her tiny apartment, the wings spread above her bed, the wishbone, the ballet costume she gives to Zuzana. Each detail is vivid and drenched in meaning.

One of my favorite elements of any story is when an author describes an object or a place in a way that brings it to life. Somehow these details make the rest of the story seem even more real, and they connect me to the character that treasures them.

I particularly love the way Stephanie Perkins describes Lola’s bedroom in Lola and the Boy Next Door:

I have shelves running across the top of my bedroom walls, lined with turquoise mannequin heads. They model my wigs and sunglasses. The walls themselves are plastered with posters of movie costume dramas and glossy black-and-whites of classic actresses. My desk is hot pink with gold glitter, which I threw in while the paint was drying, and the surface is buried underneath open jars of sparkly makeup, bottles of half-dried nail polish, plastic kiddie barrettes, and false eyelashes.

On my bookcase, I have endless cans of spray paint and bundles of hot glue sticks, and my sewing table is collaged with magazine cutouts of Japanese street fashion. Bolts of fabric are stacked precariously on top, and the wall beside it has even more shelves, crammed with glass jars of buttons and thread and needles and zippers. Over my bed, I have a canopy made out of Indian saris and paper umbrellas from Chinatown.

It’s chaotic, but I love it. My bedroom is my sanctuary.

Sometimes I wish I could steal objects from the stories I love and collect them. I would have my own secret sanctuary cluttered with fictional treasures, and among my collection would be:

• Anna's banana necklace from Anna and the French Kiss
• Katniss's bow from the Hunger Games
• A wand from Ollivander's shop in the Harry Potter series
• One of Karou's sketchbooks from Daughter of Smoke and Bone
• The crystal key from Incarceron
• Cassia's compact from Matched
• One of Elizabeth's letters from The Book of Blood and Shadow
• One of the extra Godstones from The Girl of Fire and Thorns

What would be in your collection?

6 comments:

Diana said...

I feel the same way! I'm always trying to find things that are similar to the items described in books. It has and hasn't been easy. A part of me still wants a snowflake necklace like Mia's in The Princess Diaries.

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

It's those little details that make the world so very real to me. And, yes, I seriously want to collect some of those little items, to tuck them away in a chest so I can pull them out and remember those fantastic characters.

Bookworm1858 said...

Would definitely want a wand from Ollivander's! That would be such a magical experience.

Kristan Hoffman said...

The banana necklace! How could I forget that?

Hm, my collection could include...
- A godstone, yes!
- A walkman from ELEANOR & PARK
- The pen from CODE NAME VERITY
- The ruby ring from FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK

Candice @ The Grown-Up YA said...

Oh I love this! I always want stuff that I find it books. I think a Godstone (which I find it weird) would be so pretty! I think I'd also want a snowflake necklace from The Princess Diaries and Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem from Harry Potter!

Sarah Hipple said...

Yeah, I have some serious wand-envy. And not even for the magic (although I'd love that too) but just because they sound so cool. Polished wormwood with a core of unicorn hair and phoenix feather. And each piece of wood and hair and feathers has its own origin story. So cool!

Although, honestly, I have much more of a craving for relationships with the people in the books than for the items in the books (but I know that's VERY common as well).

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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
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Transparent
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
Bitterblue
The Fault in Our Stars
Pretties


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