Tag Archives: authors

Jonathan Safran Foer: A Teen’s Take

20 Under 40I stumbled upon Jonathan Safran Foer by accident. See, my family was on vacation and I really, really needed a book. I was desperate enough to go for a—gasp—supernatural teen romance, but instead, was lucky enough to grab Twenty Under Forty, a New Yorker collection of short stories. This book changed my life, in a large part due to Foer’s addition, called “Here We Aren’t, So Quickly.”  His piece is short, only a few pages long, but it opened up what fiction could be for me. Stuck in the world of YA fiction, usually written in the first or third person with limited character development and plenty of action/romance, here was something revolutionary. Each sentence in the work starts with “You,” “I,” or “We,” and explains life married life through deceptively simple sentences. Strange? Completely. Transfixing? Absolutely. Here’s an excerpt:

You were terrible in emergencies. You were wonderful in “The Cherry Orchard.” I was always never complaining, because confrontation was death to me, and because everything was pretty much always pretty much O.K. with me. You were not able to approach the ocean at night. I didn’t know where my voice was between my phone and yours.

Everything is Illuminated

One would assume that as soon as I read that, I would go hunting for anything and everything else by Foer. I didn’t. I don’t know if I was worried that the rest of his work would ruin the perfection of that short story, or maybe I just didn’t want to know. Then, I walked into my English teacher’s classroom, and I spotted Foer’s first book, Everything is Illuminated. With only a little bit of begging, the book was mine for a week. Again, I was transfixed. It was brilliant, weaving generations of stories across its pages. It’s funny. It’s clever. It made me cry on the bus.

Extremely LoudI’m currently reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Thus far, I AM REALLY DISAPPOINTED. I LOVE FOER’S OTHER BOOKS AND THEN HE GOES AND WRITES THIS?!? I know, this may seem unfair, but let me explain. Foer is incredible in the other two works I mentioned. Then, you get Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, expecting the same quality. Instead, there is a nine-year-old boy that would have to be a genius in order to know and say what he does in the book, but there is no mention of his special abilities in the book itself. (The kid is reading A Brief History of Time, but attends school at an average grade level). If this were the only flaw, I could deal with that, I really could, but the rhythm feels “off.” Foer’s usual writing has a pulse, a steady beat that forms a backbone in his writing. This, however, feels forced, as if someone made him write the plot, and all the lines that would normally be poetic or would reveal something “deeper” about life just feel pretentious. The take away: read Everything is Illuminated. Hunt down “Here We Aren’t, So Quickly.” Don’t even look at Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It’s not worth your time.

-Teen Blogger

We Love Poetry – How I Discovered Poetry

How I Discovered Poetry
Title:
  How I Discovered Poetry

Author:  Marilyn Nelson

“This is the story of Marilyn Nelson’s own childhood, and of America in the 1950s. This highly decorated poet —National Book Award Finalist, recipient of the Robert Frost medal, Newbery Honor Winner — has created fifty eye-opening, intimate poems that tell the tale of her development as an artist and young woman during one of the most turbulent decades in our nation’s history. These poems, spanning her fourth to fourteenth years, touch on many aspects of that time: racism and the Civil Rights Movement, the “Red Scare,” the shadow of the atom bomb, and the first stirrings of the feminist movement.”

Trans Characters in YA Lit

An interesting interview with author Ellen Wittlinger on transgendered teens in YA Literature.

Parrotfish

Invisibility Authors – Visible Today

invisibility Authors Andrea Cremer and David Levithan read from their new book: Invisibility

7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Central Library, Level 1, Microsoft Auditorium

Invisibility is a magical romance between a boy cursed with invisibility and the one girl who can see him. Stephen is used to invisibility. He was born that way. Invisible. Cursed.
Elizabeth sometimes wishes for invisibility. When you’re invisible, no one can hurt you. So when her mother decides to move the family to New York City, Elizabeth is thrilled. It’s easy to blend in there.

Then Stephen and Elizabeth meet. To Stephen’s amazement, she can see him. And to Elizabeth’s amazement, she wants him to be able to see her–all of her. But as the two become closer, an invisible world gets in their way–a world of grudges and misfortunes, spells and curses. And once they’re thrust into this world, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how deep they’re going to go–because the answer could mean the difference between love and death.

From the critically acclaimed and bestselling authors Andrea Cremer, who wrote the Nightshade series, and David Levithan, who wrote Every Day and co-wrote Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist with Rachel Cohen and Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green, as well as many other novels, comes a remarkable story about the unseen elements of attraction, the mortal risks of making yourself known, and the invisible desires that live within us all.  He lives just outside New York City.

Andrea Cremer and David Levithan met each other in Washington, DC, even though that’s not where they live. Andrea was pretty certain she wasn’t invisible, but David confirmed that fact by introducing her to some other writers, who were all able to see.

Books will be available for sale at the event, thanks to the kind folks at Secret Garden Books. This event is free and open to everyone.

Book Addiction

Pierce

I’m addicted to Tamora Pierce. I know, I know — I’m a librarian. Of course I have a book addiction. But I’m talking about true addiction, where I am incapable of reading anything else. I have books coming in for which I’ve been on hold for months, but they get returned unread since I’m completely uninterested! It’s so odd, because I’ve read Tamora Pierce before and this didn’t happen. Folks, when I realized I’d have to put one of the Pierce books on hold, and it was going to take too much time to arrive, I actually bought the book. I never buy books.

Patrick Rothfuss: Book Signing

In only two weeks, Patrick Rothfuss will be in Seattle to host a book signing at the University Book Store. For those of you horribly deprived people who have no idea about whom I am talking, I will elaborate. Patrick Rothfuss is a fantasy author whose new book, The Wise Man’s Fear, is coming out on March 1, 2011. This book is a sequel to The Name of the Wind, the first book in an amazingly awesome new fantasy series. Fortunately, there is just enough time left to run out and by Patrick Rothfuss’ first book, in order to be ready for this next one. A highly original story, The Name of the Wind is one of my favorite books, containing great writing and very interesting characters. If you liked books by Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Tad Williams, and many others, you will love Patrick Rothfuss’ books. The signing will be taking place on March 1, a Tuesday, at 7:00. It should be awesome, and I recommend pre-ordering a copy of The Wise Man’s Fear.

-Eli, 15