Tag Archives: point of view

Other perspectives

7 Oct

Yesterday, I listened to an interview on NPR with Stephanie Meyers talking about the 10th anniversary re-release of Twilight. It contains bonus material entitled  Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined,  in which Meyer tells her classic story from a male point of view. Bella is replaced by Beau; Edward by Edith.

This was particularly interesting because I am reading Another Day, David Levithan’s retelling of the A and Rhiannon story from Levithan’s highly successful Every Day,  from Rhiannon’s point of view.

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It opens on the day that A is Rhiannon’s boyfriend, Justin. It’s been a while since I read Every Day, but I remembered enough of the story. I actually think you could pick this one up and totally enjoy it even without first having read its companion novel.

I really enjoyed Every Day and was a little worried to start a retelling of the story but Leviathan pulls it off. A remains the character we loved and getting some insight into Rhiannon helped me understand her much better. I think, overall, reading  Another Day,  has actually enhanced my enjoyment of Every Day. I think it would be interesting to read the books one right after the other.

Publisher’s Summary: Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.

 

 

Layers

9 Oct

Three recent books have me thinking about how authors peel back the layers of a story.

In The Fever by Megan Abbott, a mysterious epidemic is ravaging the teenage girls of a small town high school.

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The premise sounds a lot lie Contagion,  which I reviewed a few weeks ago. In this story, however, we have three people narrating the story: Deenie, a high school girl whose friends have been affected; Eli, her brother and high school hockey star; and their dad, Tom, who teaches at their high school. Each character peels back the layers of the story from their own perspective, revealing details about the community in which they live.

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin is a written as a collection if oral interviews tracing the events that lead to the untimely death of an up and coming artist.

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The story is told by family members, boyfriends, teachers, friends and competitors, and magazine photos and newspaper clippings, with occasional insets of her art. The portraits they paint conflict and don’t always create a sympathetic portrait. No one comes out of this well. Each narrator has their own stake in the myth and marketing of Addison Stone and reveals as much about themselves as they do about Addison Stone.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf  by Ambelin Kwaymullina has one narrator, but plays around with layers of memory.

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Unlike the two previous realistic novels, this is a YA dystopian novel. We meet Ashala in prison where she is forced to endure “the machine” a tool that will extract memories and secrets from her mind, revealing a plot against the order. Or so Chief Administrator Neville Rose, a man who is intent on destroying Ashala’s Tribe, believes. I almost gave this book up, thinking it was what it appeared to be on the surface, but once Ashala’s interrogation began, I realized this book was not just another  YA dystopian novel. We get to go places in Ashala’s memory Neville Rose cannot and it is really worth going there.

All three of these were really enjoyable reads and I highly recommend them.

 

Randy Ribay

YA author, teacher, nerd

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