Thursday, March 12, 2009

Save the message for your bumper sticker

I finished reading I am The Messenger by Markus Zusak. And I still thought it was a fantastic book, so my memory didn't fail me there. Great characters, story, pacing, and a stinky dog to love. Doesn't get any better than a stinky dog like The Doorman.

So every night I would crawl into bed (my reading place), looking forward to--no, savoring the pages of this book. I am The Messenger is that good.

Until the end. My memory (from reading it a few years ago) didn't fail me there either. The ending... Well, it sucked. Sorry, Mr. Zusak. But I felt like throwing the book across the room, like a three year-old with a tantrum.

Without giving too much away, I am The Messenger had one of those universal themes, the ones that make a book resonate down to your core. But then at the end, there was that "Let me tell you what lesson you're supposed to learn from this book." Ugh.

And double-ugh for yanking me out of the story by having the author make a cameo on the final pages.
Clever? Sure. Satisfying? Don't think I need to answer that one. This took author intrusion to a whole new level.

If I pulled this stunt in my pages, my critique group would have whacked me on the head with my manuscript. All five members at the same time. With force.

Still.
It's a good book. Read it. Just make sure no one is nearby as you read the final pages--someone might get hurt as you vent your frustration.

Monday, March 9, 2009

No Whining

I like to pride myself on having a pretty good work ethic. I usually finish before the deadline of whatever it is I'm doing. I work hard. As long as I have the appropriate snacks within reach.

But recently, I picked up a project with a stern deadline, one that I will have to work double--no triple hard to meet. So I'm stressing out a little. And whining. Just a little. But still.

Thankfully, my smart friend Ali had a few excellent posts recently on just this topic of time management, and getting stuff done. In short: no whining. You wanted this, right?

Right. So get to work.

And have an Oreo while you're at it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Analyzing Teens

On Publishing Trends Blog there's an interesting post, analyzing teen bahavior. Although it's mostly focused on computer use, it's still pretty interesting for those of writing for teens, or teens themselves.

In short: teens are practical. Which has been my experience too when teaching class: just get to the point already.

So I'm feeling pretty smart right now--never a bad thing when launching into the weekend.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Am The Messenger and The Joy of Re-Reading

I am reading I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak. It's really good so far, even though I've read it before. That's right. I'm re-reading.

And I'm not sure why. It's not like I don't have other books on my reading pile. Books that are new, spine still perfect and unfolded, pages not mangled yet, like my copy of this book. Still. I'm re-reading. And loving it.

I Am The Messenger is the story of somewhat loserly Ed Kennedy, who is nineteen and a cabdriver. He watched a botched robbery (very funny opening chapter), and then begins receiving mysterious playing cards, with addresses or names on them. They're places he needs to visit, people and situations he's supposed to fix, though he's not sure why.

We get to know his friends Audrey (who he's secretly in love with), Marv and Ritchie, his foul-smelling dog The Doorman and his cussing mom. All while Ed is trying to figure out why he's getting these cards, and why he's chosen (or decided?) to be the messenger.

I'm roughly in the middle of the book, and loving it just like I did when I first read it a few years ago. The voice is perfect, characters fascinating, and IT HAS A GREAT MYSTERY! Gotta love it.
I also remember that the ending wasn't quite as good as the rest of the book, but stay tuned on that part, since I haven't gotten there yet.

It's fun to re-read favorites. I Am The Messenger is one of mine; so what's yours?