LEGEND, by Marie Lu
VARIANT, by Robison Wells
HEIST SOCIETY, by Ally Carter
MR. MONSTER, by Dan Wells
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, by Sara Gruen
I didn't intentionally start five books at once. I had a strategy. I wanted to the read beginnings of a few books and study what made them great, or what stood out to me. It was very enlightening. Here's some of what I learned:
- Each one has grabbed my attention in different ways. But there is one constant in each: mystery. They all presented a mystery or a problem that I wanted to find the answer to. I'm totally hooked in each one.
- No matter what tense or perspective the author chose, they all made the action present and dynamic. I didn't feel like I was reading something that already happened. It was happening for me, right now.
- They all had a tone that foreshadowed the conflict of the book. So for Heist Society she starts out witty and snarky voice, which tells me that I can expect a fun ride. Whereas, with Variant, the tone is somber and creepy, which tells me that something is wrong here. Which made me think, "What is the tone of my manuscript?"
- There are so many clever ways to draw the reader in: switches in point of view (like LEGEND), or switches in time period (like WATER FOR ELEPHANTS), or dramatic switches of setting (like HEIST SOCIETY when she sweeps the reader off to Paris), or life-altering switches of circumstances (like VARIANT).
And now I have five books that I wish I were reading right this second! They are all calling my name!
Do you love these books as much as I do?