July 2017 was the inaugural edition of #QBFFsRead, in which me and Elliott Junkyard read a new queer book every week. The books I read this week either have LGBT characters, strong themes around sexuality and identity, or both.
What I Learned: Balancing Characterization with the Greater Story
Received an ARC at BookCon 2017. This book was a thrilling space adventure against all odds featuring a diverse and varied cast of characters. With five main characters in total, I was astounded by Wright’s ability to introduce and describe them with such captivating efficiency. I’m working on a book with a cast of LGBT characters as well and one of my struggles in working through their drama while also focusing on the overarching “world” problem. I fell in love with everyone in 27 Hours and the attention-to-detail is something to study. Definitely going to do some homework around this one.
What I Learned: World-building Where Relevant
Received an early copy via Netgalley and an ARC at ALA. One facet of this book that really worked for me was how close the first person was. While the detail on the world around Sal could have been built up, the history and politics of the realm unfolded in such an organic way. It wasn’t even relevant in ways directly to Sal, but also illustrating how the other characters might regard each other. The world-building came through organic narration and was immersive. Sal had bigger things to worry about than outlining historical events, anyway.
What I Learned: Expertly Placed Flashback Sequences
This book captivated from start to finish. Russo’s prose was the tightest that I had read in a while. One of the things that struck out to me was the balance between plot progression and background information. Amanda’s transition and story could have been told linearly, but the fragmentation worked so well for the emotional impact and understand of Amanda as a person. The flashbacks didn’t necessary line up with or explain the preceding situation. It added a lot of depth to an already thoroughly fleshed out character.
Writing hiatus left me with extra free time for moving logistics. For August, I’m cleaning up my currently reading because I am a little ashamed of it.