Originally from this post on the Kick-Butt Kidlit blog.
I’m absolutely terrible at keeping up with books being released. I read a good few every year, but I’m mostly scrambling to catch up with my giant to-read pile while also writing-working and working-working. So, instead of scrambling through my Goodreads list, for this month’s post I’m going to talk about the book that mattered to me most:
First, let me gush. This is a book I would have DIED for as a kid. I would have dressed up as Kymera for Halloween and gotten mad at everyone in my class for not knowing who she is, and then force every last one to read the book. It’s a flip flapping fantastic fantasy that’s a sort of re-telling of Frankenstein.
This book had perfect timing in my life, though. (I had enough books I would kill over as a child, adding one more might have been fatal.) I had the opportunity to get into a contest called PitchWars for the second time in a row! Being in it before, I knew how absolutely amazing it was. But there was a hitch: I had to switch my young adult novel to middle grade.
The work itself didn’t scare me. What did was that I’ve always been a YA and sometimes even adult author. What did that say about my work? Was it weak? I went to Barnes and Noble at one point and walked between the MG and the YA section, sobbing my eyes out.*
After I told my friends, a bunch of them ended up recommending MONSTROUS to me. The author went through a similar transformation: the original novel was YA turned into a MG after an editor requested it. And holy crow did she do an amazing job. It was dark, had big themes, and I adore Kymera’s huge character arc. It also had a dragon, which helped. It made me see how amazing MG is sometimes, and how cool it would be to maybe write the story a kid might want to kill over (hopefully not literally). Let me tell you, I’ve never been so excited to re-write my entire book and polish it in two months before.
So, moral of the very long story: a good book can open up your horizons in the most amazing ways, and MONSTROUS did that for me. Said novel that I changed to MG is now shelved because of a few reasons, but I still adore the premise, and I’m glad I took the leap because it’s a much better story.**
What novel changed your perspective on something this year? Anyone?
*I’m somehow not banned from that store, yet.
**Because I’m a curious bugger that’d want to know, here’s the short pitch for what that novel was about – HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE meets ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Trapped in a world of memory-eating magic, moody stoves, and soul-guzzling monsters, Emma’s an amnesiac with no one to trust. If she doesn’t remember her past to find home, this place will destroy her future.