Thursday, October 31, 2013

My favourite reads this year so far have been Contemporary--which if you read our blog regularly is kind of a big deal.  For the past three years, Fantasy has won out on our top picks every time, and Contemp is content to be the underdog.  Don't know what it is, but 2013 is all about Rainbow Rowell, Andrew Smith, Julie Murphy, Hilary T. Smith, Sara Zarr, Nova Ren Suma, Blythe Woolston and all the rest.  But within Contemporary is an even doggier of underdogs--the Novel In Verse. 

Now either you're a fan of poetry--you speak it, you breath it--or you're not.  There's not many on the fence.  However, some authors do a brilliant job of bringing in poetry to a novel to enrich the theme, like:  Matched by Ally Condie (Dylan Thomas), Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos (Walt Whitman) and my current read Golden by Jessi Kirby (Robert Frost).  Because I find poetry inspiring--because you could say it's my thing--I instantly connect with novels that bring in the verse.

Imma sucker for language.

So you'd think I would have read more Novels In Verse, but I have to say, I've only read one.  This from the girl who read the entirely of PARADISE LOST and lived to tell the tale, who read a 100-page poem about a river in Dartmoor (DART by Alice Oswold) and wished she'd thought of it first. 

So where are all the Novels In Verse that are perfectly suited to me? 

Perhaps there isn't the demand.  Perhaps not many know how good these Verse Novels can be.  Have you read EXPOSED by Kimberly Marcus?  It's pretty incredible.  Especially if you're a fan of photography.  The story follows a girl through her pictures and the lens through which she views her world.  It's genuine and because it's written in free verse, it's pretty easy to digest.  I read this book in a couple of hours and then reread a few months ago.  It's a story, a language, an image that I will continue to go back to.  That's not always so easy with an epic fantasy.  Or even a 100 page poem about a river.  Or angel rebellion. 

So help a girl out...any Novels In Verse recommendations? 


Naiche Parker said...

I'm really interested in reading Exposed now. Sounds so up my alley! Have you read Ellen Hopkin's novels? She's so prominent in the world of novels in verse - she's great at meshing storytelling and poetry.

Naiche @ The Book Girl Reads

Kristan said...

I'm actually one of those rare on-the-fence people, hehe. I like poetry, but I don't love it like you do. I HAVE liked the incorporation of it in some YA novels, like MATCHED and THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE.

Anyhoot, this isn't a recommendation, exactly, but a few years ago, there was a novel in verse called KARMA with a pink cover that caught my eye. It's set in India, between two different time periods I think?

Sandie @TeenLitRocks said...

I really enjoyed UNDER THE MESQUITE by Guadalupe Garcia-McCall. I've heard only great things about Ellen Hopkins' books but have never read any.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the recommendations!! I have, of course, been told to pick up Ellen Hopkins, but something's held me back for some reason. Perhaps the content...

But I shall give it a go.

Under the Mesquite sounds incredible.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I never think of myself as loving verse novels but I can think of a few I've liked:

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell-a Camelot myth
Family by Micol Ostow-a cult story
Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill-historical about glass-making, not a personal fave of mine but maybe will work better for you

Lisa Schroeder has several books in verse such as The Day Before and Sonya Sones is another contemporary author with verse books like What My Mother Doesn't Know.

Hope this gives you something to work with and you find some new faves!

La Coccinelle said...

I've read a few of Lisa Schroeder's verse novels, and they're all pretty good.

Some other notable verse novels:

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt
Odette's Secrets by Maryann Macdonald
Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall by Wendy Mass

(Many of the verse novels I've read have been historical fiction. That genre must lend itself to the verse format.)

You can check out my verse novel reviews here.

Unknown said...

Bookworm and La Coccinelle...THANK YOU for those recs. i think there's much more choice than I was aware. Can't wait to try some unheard of (to me) authors. xx

Jennifer Rummel said...

I'll second the Lisa Schroeder recommendation - I love her books.

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



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