Thursday, December 20, 2012

A very embarrassing admission

I just read this NPR article on the Five Young Adult Novels That You'll Never Outgrow, and it reminded me of what is quickly becoming my deepest, darkest secret.

It's hard to admit it, but here I go.  I didn't really dig Code Name Verity.  (I know.  It's even worse than you thought.)  For those of you who don't know, Code Name Verity is the Young Adult book that everyone is talking about this year.  


It's set in World War II, and it's about a female fighter pilot who is captured and tortured by the Nazis (great premise, right?).  The writing was gorgeous, the characters were unique, and the plot was meticulously crafted, but, still, I couldn't get into it.  Every few hundred words I'd have to drag my eyes back to the page, and I probably wouldn't have even finished it if it weren't for the fact that I'm compulsive about finishing books that I start.  There are a few specifics that I could point to that I didn't love about the novel, but honestly, more than anything, it just came down to the fact that it never fully drew me in.

I'm sort of a picky (and idiosyncratic) reader so my not loving any particular book isn't that much of a surprise, but everyone loves this book.  Dozens of my writer friends have raved (I mean *raved*) over how incredible the book is.  When I posted to goodreads that I'd finished it, within seconds I had people asking, "Did you cry at the end?"  I felt like too much of a jerk to admit, "No, I was pretty much just glad it was over," but that's the truth of the matter.

I know the readers and writers I respect can't all be wrong, so it must be that there's something wrong with me.  Should this make me start questioning my own taste?  Are people going to lose respect for me because I wasn't that into the YA standout of the year?  Am I completely insane?  Probably yes to all three, but what can you do?  I like what I like.

Has anyone else ever had a similar experience?  In situations like this, is it best to keep your opinions to yourself?  That's what I usually do about books I don't like, but it's difficult when everyone is asking you what you thought of a particular book.  I hate the idea of being fake, but I'd also hate the idea of an angry mob outside my door.


Now for an announcement that shouldn't make anyone hate me: All the entries are in, and Danielle Smiley is the lucky winner of last week's steampunk giveaway. Congratulations Danielle!   

~K

7 comments:

  1. It's okay. I didn't cry when I watched Up. I will follow up with the fact that I actually have heard little about this book in school, and I'm usually somewhat aware of this sort of thing. :)

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  2. Yeah, it seems like the sort of Young Adult book that adults are more into than kids. Actually, I don't entirely understand why it's labeled YA because it doesn't seem like the sort of book teens would like and the characters aren't overly young (or young-seeming).

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  3. It struck me not as a book about a spy and a pilot in a thriller sense, but as a story about intense friendship--a truer love than any love-story plot I've read recently, in a lot of senses. Loyalty. Humor in the face of death. I thought the development of the Nazi characters was extremely well done, and was the best part of the second half--when you realize how much Verity lied about and how many undercurrents she was--and wasn't--aware of as she wove the narrative in the first half of the book. She took unreliable narrator to a whole new level.

    I'm not sure why it's considered YA either, though. The characters seemed to be in their late teens or early twenties, at least.

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    1. Yeah, my description of the book was a bit lacking, and the one thing I did really like about the book was that it was about the important bond of friendship rather than about mooning over some guy.

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    2. (Not that there's anything wrong with that either, though, considering most books I've written have had some sort of love interest. ;))

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