“Mockingjay” a YA novel by Suzanne Collins
I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather.
The last in “The Hunger Games” trilogy, this novel wraps up the story of Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is the symbol and inspiration for the uprisings and rebellions that have spread across the districts. As she struggles to do the right thing she also struggles with her exactly she can trust. I appreciated that Collins gave us a glimpse into Katniss’s future at the end.
What I learned: To keep the plot clear and precise even if it is the third in a trilogy.
“There is No Dog” a YA novel by Meg Rosoff
Oh Glorious, most glorious glorious! And yet again glorious!
What if God were a self absorbed, sulky teenage boy named Bob who wreaked havoc on earth whenever he fell in love? That’s the premise of this quirky, clever novel that could have come off as gimmicky but, instead, is delightfully funny and provocative.
What I learned: That a great premise needs to supported by great characters making choices and interacting with each other.
“Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self” stories by Danielle Evans
Me and Jasmine and Michael were hanging out at Mr. Thompson’s pool.
This is an amazing collection that left me wanting to dissect each story to see how she made me feel so deeply about the characters and also laugh out loud in places. Whether the stories center around teenagers skirting the edge of adulthood for a night or a complicated father/daughter relationship, Evans puts us right there with them in a debut that leaves me eagerly waiting for her next book.
What I learned: To write close to my characters, watching and waiting to see what they do next and letting them make that bad choice. That’s where the story is.