Firstly, apologies for the subject title. Put it down as the after effects of two bowls of Crunchy Nut cereal and let’s move on.
As soon as I had finished reading How I Live Now, I dried my tears and proceeded to text my friend. With a few jumbled words and a promise to tell her all I felt about it as soon as we next caught up I pressed send. She texted me back saying ‘write it down’.
So I did.
At first it seemed like a simple task, refreshingly easy and personal compared to jotting down quotes and notes for analysis like with a school text. All I had to do was write what I really felt, what got me angry and what made me tear up. What caught my attention and kept it. Which character I loved the most and why their story hit me so hard.
As I continued to write I found that it wasn’t so simple.
It no longer seemed enough to say ‘I loved it’ or ‘I laughed at this part’. Suddenly I was writing about what I thought the characters felt and why I admired them. I was writing about how I had hated the style but grown so used to it it seemed sad to see it gradually go.
I don’t think I do that enough. It was easy to say that I loved a book and mention one or two key points but it’s only when I started writing about it that I noticed all the subtleties that made the story so amazing. Rosoff is incredible at creating a voice that breaks down all your initial resistance and stays with you every traumatic step of the way.
I read back on it now and I cringe at how jumbled my err…’review’ is and what a mess I would have made of explaining it to anyone else, but it’s all there. Every single point that I loved in the story and why. As a writer I think that that’s an important thing to know and getting it all written down after a fresh experience adds a whole new level of appreciation to it.