At the risk of oversharing, I’d just like to excuse my lack of posts in the last couple of weeks – I’ve been fighting a wicked case of acid reflux, and haven’t felt much like blogging when I get home in the evenings. Thus ends the oversharing.
But it has been quite busy at the library recently, and I do have lots to write about; I’ll start today with a quick post on Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice, which was the book selection for last Tuesday’s Teen Book Group.
I was very, very, VERY glad that I had the long holiday weekend to read Trickster’s Choice, since it’s one of those books that is impossible to skim and read quickly. I did try to skim its 400-odd pages, but every time I skimmed, I missed some very important detail and had to backtrack to find what I had missed…thus slowing me down even more. I wish that I had liked the book more, because I wouldn’t have begrudged the laborious reading process if I had liked it, but I’m just not a huge fan of high fantasy. Pierce’s strength lies in the creation of her fantasy world, which is great for readers who like high fantasy, but her writing style tends to be overly-detailed and clunky.
Pierce does have a huge and loyal fan base, though, which is how we came to read this book for the Teen Book Group. After four years of hearing teen girls rave about Pierce’s books it seemed only natural to choose one when it was proposed by a book group member. Ten teens (nine girls and one boy) attended last Tuesday’s meeting, and the majority of those attending loved the book. Two of the book group members have read every single one of Pierce’s books already, and I’d guess that at least five of the others will be seeking out Pierce’s other books. (Two girls hadn’t read the book at all – I do serve a yummy afternoon snack at the book group – and I couldn’t really tell what the boy in attendance thought of the book.) So our meeting became a Tamora Pierce love-fest, and the book generated one of the best discussions we’ve had in a long time.
One member mentioned that this book needs to be read slowly, and almost all of the teens who had read the book cited this as a positive attribute. There are a lot of fast, avid readers in the group, and they were glad to have a book that slowed them down and forced them to read every word of the text rather than skim. Seeing that one or two teens got a little quiet here, I spoke up and said that I’m a slow reader, and I spent hours upon hours reading this book; and the quiet teens looked relieved as they nodded in agreement with me. And then the discussion continued on to other things the teens loved about Trickster’s Choice: the characters, the setting, the descriptions, the unpredictability of the plot. The teens who have read other books by Pierce also raved about how Pierce’s quartets of books interconnect and overlap with each other.
I’m glad that I’ve finally read a book by Tamora Pierce, and glad that I have a better sense of her appeal for teens, specifically teen girls. I won’t be seeking out any more of her books for myself, but now I can better steer library patrons towards her books, and I better understand how her various quartets work together (an issue that had confused me in the past).
Next month’s teen book group book: The Big Splash by Jack D. Ferraiolo.