RTW: Best Book of March 2012

(Sorry about the lame post title--woke up extra early today and wasn't feeling terribly creative.)Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors and followers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their blogs. You can hop from destination to destination through the YA Highway site and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic: What was the best book you read in March?

This is another month where my reading was pretty light (partly because I had LASIK at the beginning of March and I needed to wait for my eyes to settle down) and most of the books I read were actually for our YA book club. The book club started as an offshoot of our YA crit group, and so far we've covered a mixture of books on craft and some YA novels.

Our March pick was

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks has some great information on story structure--but first you have to wade through quite a lot of throat clearing. His system uses "Six Core Competencies" and he drove me crazy by spending the first few chapters talking about why they're important and why you should pay attention. Once I skipped ahead to the part we were focusing on for our group, I found a lot of "aha!" tips, so it is worth a read. And this is one of the books in the Amazon Prime lending library, so I read the ebook for free.

I also re-read Alexandra Sokoloff's Screenwriting Tricks for Authors (my pick for our February meeting, so I blogged about it here) in preparation for the Left Coast Crime Writer's Workshop with Alex tomorrow. Will need to get up way too early to make it to Sac on time, but I'm really looking forward to it!

But you might be thinking that neither of those reviews sounds enthusiastic enough to rate a Best Book pick--and that's because I was saving the best for last! It's our pick for April's book club:

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is a great example of voice and has some truly funny lines for its smart, independent main character. The book description says it better than I could, so here it is:

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father's "bunny rabbit."
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Landau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer.
Especially when "no" means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society.
Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew's lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.

Intrigued yet? Don't forget to go to the comments on the YA Highway RTW post to see everyone else's answers!

P.S. I made it into Cupid's Literary Connection's Surprise Agent Invasion with my query and first 250 words of Spirits from the Vasty Deep. You can read it here, but the rules are that only agents can comment on the actual post, so crits and support go here.


Christina Mercer said...

I'm thoroughly enjoying our current book pick, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Awesome voice & characterization :-)

And of course, the two books on craft you mention here are a must for any writer's library. Can't wait to hear all about Alex's workshop!!

Crystal said...

I totally picked up THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY at a used book sale a while back, and I haven't gotten around to reading it. Glad I made a good pick! :)

And I feel like screenwriting books are so useful in terms of plotting. They're a little more narrow in scope, but story structure is so much more apparent when you see it on the big screen. SAVE THE CAT, in particular, has been super-helpful for me.

Colin Smith said...

I'll have to keep an eye out for DISREPUTABLE HISTORY--sounds fun! :)

Lora said...

This was a light reading month for me as well. Good luck with the Cupid literary connection agent contest! By the way, I am awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award! Details are on my blog.

Kate Coursey said...

Thanks for the recommends! I, too, had a pretty light reading month....I just wish I had more time! Haha, I know, that's such a cliche, but if there were 36 hours in a day I could read!

Cheryl Reif said...

I love e lockhart! I'll have to add it to my to-read list. Story Engineering sounds good, too, now that I know to look for the good parts :). Thanks for the suggestions!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Sorry if it seemed like all your lovely comments dropped into a well! I was gearing up for a writer's workshop in Sac on Thursday--and today has been a catch up day (my husband worked from home yesterday, and yet made no attempt on the laundry). Thanks for stopping by on the road trip!

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