At last, I’m ready to talk about the books I liked. Of course there were books I liked! In fact, I mentioned some of what I’m about to say right here back in October when I first read one of them. Among them, these five books taught me one of the more valuable lessons I learned from the class.
This time, I’ll skip straight to the book review, and save my analysis for after. The books I actually liked were How to Train Your Dragon, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, The Hunger Games, and A Curse Dark as Gold. The greatest of them all, though, was Die Trying.
Die Trying vs. Dragon, Fink, Games, and Curse
How to Train Your Dragon did as much with its lovable caricatures as it did with its delightfully wretched setting to make a fun adventure out of its imaginative storyline.
Jeremy Fink made me cry.
The Hunger Games did amazing things building a deep and inventive character and wrapping her in a plot that dragged the reader (me) through page after page with a burning need to know more.
A Curse Dark as Gold introduced a world that walks an intriguing line between historical fiction and classical fairytale. In fact, it presented a fantasy story through an almost dry, autobiographical conceit.
I enjoyed all four of those books. I defended them in class. I recommended them to friends (and I recommend them to you). After six or seven years of reading almost nothing, and then several weeks of reading books that didn’t appeal to my reader expectations, I really thought these books were great.
And then I read Die Trying by Lee Child.
It’s a thriller with enormous and masterfully-crafted suspense…and in that spirit, I’m going to make you wait until tomorrow to learn what I loved so much about it.
(All five of those links are affiliate links, and every one of them comes with a strong recommendation. Read them. You’ll be a better writer for it.)