Marissa Meyer’s latest book, Scarlet, came out on Tuesday. It’s the second in her Lunar Chronicles quartet. I’ve been waiting eagerly for it to come out, so… I already finished it.
And I loved it!
I try to read higher-level literature like the classics and thought-provoking articles as much as possible, so that I am not only constantly being challenged but also reviewing/expanding my vocabulary as well. It’s important to keep a sharp mind.
However, considering that writing YA literature is my goal, I sure read a lot of that too. The entertainment value is so high, and sometimes I don’t want to spend a month reading a book (here’s looking at you, Les Mis). It can be nice to breeze through a book in a matter of days.
I’ve found some YA literature to be “awkward,” though–trying too hard to write the way a young teen thinks, making it feel stilted and unnatural. I had started reading a book called Winterling before Scarlet came out, and that was the struggle I had with that book and why it was so easy to put down to start on Scarlet (and now so difficult to pick up again). Marissa Meyer does a good job of weaving natural dialogue and humor into her books, though. The creative twists she’s introduced to the Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood fairy tales are not only original but also engrossing. Her characters are relatable, likable, distinct, and unique. She’s managed to raise the stakes in the book’s panicked world without making it a dystopia (there are some amazing dystopias in YA lit out there right now, but I’m getting tired of them…)
She’s definitely inspired me to step up the game in my Copper revision. I want each of my characters to speak as distinctly as hers do, and for the plot to move along as quickly (though I do find that her mysteries are solvable early on in the story, and I’d rather have mine drawn out for a longer period). I’m especially impressed with her range of vocabulary while describing scenery; I specifically need to add in more of that in my own writing, and it’s encouraging to be reminded that you don’t have to hold back, even in YA literature.
Plus, full disclosure, I wrote Marissa Meyer to say how impressed I was with her books, social media presence, and overall inspiration as an author, and she wrote me back an encouraging thanks with the post script to let her know as soon as I publish a book. She’ll have a celebratory toast in my honor! If that isn’t proof of an awesome person, I don’t know what is.
Okay, I just typed this post on my little phone, so I hope it turns out correctly…