The Thief and Mini Flavors of the Week

The Thief is a book I wished I read when I was twelve. I would have harbored a MAJOR literary crush on the narrator Gen. He is like a darker, more cunning version of Nat Eaton from The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

I picked up The Thief over a year ago. It came highly recommended by Mems, one of my regular readers who was also Witch of Blackbird Pond obsessed. She commented that Gen was like Nat Eaton and she couldn’t choose which one is better. In other words, Team Nat vs. Team Gen! So I promptly checked out The Thief from my library, read the first 50 pages, and abandoned it. The beginning was slow, crawling along at a snail’s pace. And while Gen was clever, cunning, and nimble (all enticing and crush-worthy character traits), I must admit I was bored by everything else…particularly the long and arduous quest through what seemed like an endless grove of olive trees in search of Hamiathes’ Gift.

Last week I stumbled upon this Book Smuggler’s glowing review of the entire series, which sparked a renewed interest in the book. In fact, every review I’ve read of The Thief praises the ‘TWIST at the end that will make you re-examine the entire book with new eyes.’

I picked up where I left off (yes, I know it’s freaky how I could remember precisely at what point I abandoned a book). On the whole, I have a new appreciation for this book. It does get more exciting toward the middle and the twist was rather clever. But I am riddled with guilt because I’ve convinced myself I should love the book yet, sadly, I am just mildly fond of it. I am flogging myself for not being more excited or wowed by this twist. Is it because I spend my every waking thought constructing shocking twists that I saw this twist coming? I connected the dots and picked up on the clues long ago! Damn my Ghostwriter watching days! I am now too good of a sleuth to be allowed to read mysteries and middle grade novels with blow-your-mind endings.

Mini Flavors of the Week

I usually twitter my mini flavors of the week, i.e. random crap I’m interested in. But Twitter is a flighty medium for chronicling your life.  Sometimes I want to chronicle this random crap so that five years from now I’ll scroll through my archives and say “Hmm. I wanted to dress like Willy Wonka. What was I thinking?”

1. Classic movie kick: I recently watched Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and then watched an entire documentary on Bette Davis. I wish I can be half the alpha female she was. I also wish my eyes were half as big as B.D.’s. That being said, I’ve got Bette Davis Eyes stuck in my head.

2. Speaking of songs from movies: I’ve been singing Peggy Gordon from The Proposition for the past two years. Okay, you may think this is really weird: I’ve watched this montage repeatedly, mostly for the song but also for the ‘meaningful looks.’ These ‘meaningful looks’ break my heart! I find them very existential, like “maybe the meaning of life exists in the lyrics of Peggy Gordon.”

3. I’ve watched the Plastic Jesus banjo playing part of Cool Hand Luke more times than I can count! Paul Newman sings a requiem for his dead mother and a single solitary tear falls down his cheek. It’s a lot deeper than I’ve made it sound. SOB! This movie is the reason I want to learn to play the banjo!

4. Night of the Hunter anyone? It came to me while I reading Monsters of Men that if Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy were a movie, I’d fantasy cast Robert Mitchum as Mayor Prentiss. Of course, Robert Mitchum is dead, hence the term ‘fantasy casting.’ But this clip perfectly explains my reasoning. Sometimes I sing ‘Leaning’ when I want to be creepy and scare little children on Halloween.

 

 

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POV

I like to browse books on Amazon and click on the “Look inside” button of possible books to stack on top of my To Be Read pile. Last night, I was reading the first paragraphs of mostly YA and Middle Grade books when I began to see patterns in narrative points of view. YA books (most, not all) are written in the 1st person POV while Middle Grade novels are told from 3rd person limited.

Why?

My very rough interpretation: Teens want to be in the story whereas children are still in the ‘tell me a story’ stage. A divide between  Being the protagonist vs. Reading about the protagonist?

Lend me your thoughts! Curious minds—mostly my curious mind—begs an answer. Educate me!