At the beginning of every month, I’m doing a post on the things I’ve read the previous month. September was a whirlwind of moving and getting acquainted to the Midwest and learning about myself as a graduate student. That being said, having read four books is quite the accomplishment. From Japanese fantasy to future-NYC to recent-past NYC to heartbreak, here’s what I read in September 2016.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
What I learned: The Power of Showing
What made this book so powerful was the vehicle of the story. The reader was carried through 15 years of emotion and heartache through the characters’ descriptions and interactions. In fact, the characters who explicitly held feelings about the relationship between Wavy and Kellan were the least likable of the characters. Allowing readers to get the emotional impact on your own was so well-done in this tale.
The Thousandth Floor
What I learned: Setting, Setting, Setting
This work has a few elements that would have turned me off immediately: Teen drama, questionable relationships, a largely despicable cast. But the world the story of the four teenagers took place in reeled me in. And it was ever present. The danger with cool world-building is that it can quickly take a backseat to the action or drama. In this case, it never left the room.
What I learned: How to Execute Magic
Do you need a road map to write exciting, engaging magic? Look no further than Keith Yatsuhashi’s debut. The action scenes carried themselves at great scenes, but the way boundaries were drawn for magical limits also made sense. Whenever making a magic system, there has to be some kind of checks and balances. In addition, the casting of magic must be more engaging than people twiddling their fingers at something (in my opinion).
Behold the Dreamers
What I learned: Perspective
I’m a New Yorker and there are so many New York stories. But here’s a new one. I learned so much about Manhattan just through the lenses of the protagonists. The story sucked me in, but the characters stayed connected to their roots in a very thoughtful way that rounded out every cast member.
I hope you guys got some good reads in this month. October is full of thieves, sky warriors, and spooky horrors. When I find time between assignments.