I survived the move into the new house (barely), and now I’m officially on vacation! Not a real vacation, but a chance to catch up on sleep, reading, and all things Internet. I can’t guarantee regular blogging yet, but I did want to announce the start of the Writer’s Book Club!
This will be an online book club—if you want, participate from the comfort of your home while wearing pajamas! No one will see you or even hear your voice. I’ll announce the book; approximately a month later, I’ll create a discussion post. Everyone is welcome to join in and comment as much as you want. My only rule is that you be respectful of the author and other people’s opinions (I’ll probably think of more rules later on, but that’s all I’ve got for now). Feel free to calmly disagree with the author or readers, but I’ll delete comments such as, “This club sucks! I’m right and you’re wrong! This is the worst book in the history of the world!” You get the idea.
While brainstorming ideas for how the book club would work, Ellie had a great suggestion: ” … then on the blog we talk about what writing was good in the book, and what writing was bad, so then it’s not just about the story, but we’re studying it from a writer’s perspective. We could even take it deeper and read one book because the author is famous for giving good descriptions, and another that is good at story-pace, and one that is good at back story …”
I immediately pounced on this idea. How many book clubs study from a writer’s perspective? Maybe lots, I don’t know. But I like it, so I’m incorporating it. That does not mean you must be a writer in order to join the club. Anybody who wants to read books is welcome. We’ll still be discussing the story, characters, favorite parts, etc. But if you’re a writer, it’s like an extra bonus. I hope you’ll learn something new by studying each book.
So without further ado, the first book to be studied by the WBC (which sounds like a TV network, does it not?) is . . . SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater!
SHIVER released in August of this year as a hardcover. If you can’t buy it, check it out from the library. Here’s the blurb from the inside cover:
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn’t know why.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace . . . until now.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it’s spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.
SHIVER is a Young Adult book, labeled for ages 13 & older. I think it would also be okay for mature twelve-year-olds. For parents who want full disclosure, the book contains a few cuss words, mild violence, and a short sex scene (no graphic details). Compared to most YA books today, it’s clean. If you have questions or concerns, please email me via the Contact Me page.
I’ll start the discussion post on December 2nd, so you have three weeks to read it (though the post will be open indefinitely, so take as long as you want). From a writer’s perspective, I’ll talk about the point-of-view-switching. The book alternates between the POVs of Sam and Grace, both first-person. I thought about writing a book this way, but wasn’t sure how it would work. So I want to know your thoughts on Stiefvater’s technique, and whether you liked it or not. Also consider her writing style and pacing, but we’ll mainly focus on POV. You might want to jot down your first impressions so you don’t forget them by December.
Any questions?? If you want to join the WBC, you can leave a comment on this post, or just show up in December! Hope to see you there!