Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What I'm Reading (actually, just finished) - A Novel Written in Verse

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.

6 comments:

  1. I agree that verse novels are a great way to get past the dislike of poetry. I'm a big Sonya Sones fan too!

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  2. I love verse novels, but still haven't read any of Sonya's books -- they're definitely on my list!

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  3. I haven't read much poetry lately; gotta grab a Sones!

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  4. These sound really good. I used to teach poetry--kids will say they don't like it, but they DO like novels in verse. I think it has something to do with seeing all the white space on the page. It's doesn't look so intimidating to a reluctant reader. My favorite is Ellen Hopkins' first book Crank.

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  5. I've been on a big getting back into verse kick this year, so I will definitely check out Sonya's books!

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  6. Such awesome titles! The titles alone make me want to read Sonya's books. I'm a big fan of Lisa Schroeder. Some of her YA novels are written in verse and I'm always amazed by how she creates such a vivid settings and rich characters with so few words.

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