A few years ago I discovered Sonya Sones. I can't say I've ever been a "poetry" girl, but I thought I'd give a book written in verse a shot. I started with What My Mother Doesn't Know and loved it. So I read the follow-up, What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know. Loved it! And that started my Sonya Sones jag. I went on to read One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies and Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy. All great titles right?
So when I found out that Sonya had a new book coming out, I couldn't wait to read it. To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story is my most recent read. And, again, I was astounded by her writing. How does she do it? In just a few words Sonya tells a story that sticks to your ribs. It really is an exercise in reduction, using only the very, exact words needed to tell a story. It's a great exercise for any writer, to not hide behind words but rather distill them down to only the very necessary to build a character and tell their story.
I have not read any other books in verse, but I will. And I tell every young reader I meet to give it a try, too. While "poetry" may get a bad rap for being convoluted and a little self-involved, Sonya's books dazzle in their clarity and potency of language.
Definitely, definitely check out one of her books if you haven't read any yet or shy away from verse. You might discover, like me, you're a huge fan.