Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Imaginary Favorite Author

You know, like your imaginary boyfriend, who is probably John Cusack, or maybe George Clooney or Hugh Jackman. My imaginary new favorite author is Margaret Peterson Haddix. I think I mentioned her recently--I read Just Ella, and blogged about how princesses are done all wrong. But, though flawed, there was a core of something great there, so I checked out Double Identity. But then I figured out the big plot twist after five pages. I don't know if that was because I'm not the 12 year old target audience, or if this was a flaw in the book, but I put it down instead of reading through to see what else the story had to offer.

But I decided to keep trying, so I got Among the Hidden, the first in her series. Finally, this book was great. It's a lower reading level, but sharp, serious, thoughtful, and fast-paced. The story is about a boy who lives in a world where only two children are allowed. His two older brothers lead normal lives, but he can't leave the farm and, when a housing development goes in next door, becomes confined to the house. The whole totalitarian government thing is also going on in The Giver, by Lois Lowry, which I just finished, and contrasting the two has been very interesting. The governement in the Haddix book is much less tidy around the edges, and it looks a lot more like what a real government looks like--impenetrable, complicated, everywhere and nowhere. Well rendered.

So the next time I went to the library, I went a little nuts. I found the next book in the Shadow Children series, Among the Imposters. I found another book called Leaving Fishers, which is apparently about a girl who joins and leaves a cult. I got Running Out of Time, which looks like a version of the movie The Village, hopefully better executed. And something else called Found that I don't know anything about but that's by her.

So hopefully I'll have something really intelligent to say about Margaret Peterson Haddix in the next couple of weeks. So far, Leaving Fishers is not bad, though it's a little heavy-handed. That might be, though, because the story that cult members tell potential members really sounds like that. I've read enough to suspect that.

Also, I'm going to tack this on the end because I might have a real favorite author. The King of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner, is really, really good. She needs to write another book right now so I can read it, please.

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