I got the opportunity to have another joyous time having a deep conversation, pulling apart, and diving into the book The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune with the Oxford Exchange Book Club. The main directors of the book club were excellent once again in directing the conversation. The first topic was about the cover and how it may or may not represent the book and how some of the readers used it as a reference. This particular cover was used by multiple of our readers. We also dove into the hard question of what exactly defines YA and what category this book falls into. It was nice because working together the majority had decided that although it is an adult fiction that reads as a middle grade book, it can fall into the category of YA because it is a book that can be read by everyone depending on a wide range of maturity.
It was very interesting to see how many people loved so many of the characters and had a hard time picking which ones were their favorites, which was a similar issue that I had. Secondary characters even came out as being favorites to some and characters that didn’t completely speak to me spoke the most to others. Discussing this is always one of my favorite parts about book clubs. I love being able to see and hear how different everyone is and the different things they had taken away from the book.
Going deeper, the OE had us look at what the book represented as a whole, what issues, and what groups it may have been trying to tackle in representation. I think the author would have been enthused at how talented many see him in being able to cover a wide range of topics and issues.
Another take away I got from this book event was the question on why the ending of the book or any book may be satisfying for some but not for others. Not just that, but should we always be satisfied with the ending of a book? When does full satisfaction take away from the world and from the message of the story? What truly needs to be addressed at the end of a story and what can be left out? The ending fully satisfied some, while it didn’t others. This is interesting because it brings forth one of the most interesting questions of when should an ending be judged on how it is received compared to what was right for the story.
Thank you so much to the Oxford Exchange Book Store for giving us another terrific event.
Last night I attended a virtual book launch event with Book People, which is a bookstore all the way out in Austin Texas, for Heather Walter the author of her debut novel Malice. Launching a book is always an exciting experience, but just being in the presence of this author even over a screen had my heart soaring for her with the excitement and passion I could tell she held for this day. Coming dressed in costume to represent her book, Heather Walter explained to us which parts of her outfit represented certain characters in her book. It was a great visual for readers who have not read her book yet! She had a book cake made that looked just like her book, and not only that, she talked about a playlist she had for the book, which opened up the world even more for her readers. One of the things that got me hooked, was that she talked about her book like it was a child of her own calling it a she. That made me love her even more as a person and an author. Then she led into discussing all the layers and reasons she had for writing the book. I could tell that Heather Walter really loves to dive into human emotions and how passionate she is for characters to have justice in the way of storytelling. She believes that it is hard for children when shows, media, and books confuse them on what true love really is and she wants to correct that. I personally love authors who want to put justice to old stories.
Book People did an amazing job hosting the event. It was very well organized with discussion and questions answered. They did an amazing job in helping us get to meet and know the author more.
My favorite part about this event was seeing Heather Walter’s passion. It was amazing to get to enjoy her excitement and to get to see this author’s heart and her goals. I found that it is a lot easier to get excited for someone when you get to see their personality and she proudly wore hers for all of us to see and experience. I have no doubt that she will end up being loved by many. I also believe that many will enjoy the plans she may have for the future, which she discussed. Meeting this author made me even more excited to read this book once it arrives in the mail. I am excited to follow this author and her work. I really hope the book is fantastic, but even if it isn’t, I want to see her grow. After this event I believe in more than just her work. I believe in her passion also.
Pieces of her writing and and words shove me through the page until I am there and have to blink away the vision, shocked that words could grab me so. Not talent, no. But the ability to craft a reader to a writer’s soul.
I actually wrote this about an author whose book I am currently reading. I am not done reading the book yet, but I hope the ending is as beautiful and as grasping as her writing. Let’s give a shoutout to the artists who inspire other artists and keep the magickal flow of passion dancing in us all.
Book I am reading: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab