This may be just me, but I need occasional bright things in books. Once, when I read a string of YA dystopias back to back, the physically dark settings had me feeling like I lived in a cave, and I needed a break. By contrast, I was rereading Levine’s Ella Enchanted this spring, and I actively noticed the happy scenes of friendship, which were just as nourishing as physical brightness. Of course, it made the contrast all the worse when Ella lost those friendships and had… Continue reading
Sometimes, when my plot has become snarled in a traffic jam, I think of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men with its straight-forward, train-wreck focus, where we start steadily down a track and accelerate fast toward a visible and unavoidable disaster. Lennie kills a mouse, then kills a puppy, then crushes a man’s hand, then kills a woman, and each time we try to forgive him and search for someone else to blame because we believe he is an innocent at heart.
I look at this plot, this driving plot… Continue reading