Tag Archives: Shatter Me

Reading to Know You

“Could I talk to you?”

I’ve been locked up for 264-days.

The train station at Pebbleton, dark and sooty though it was, glistened in the mist.

The world might be sunny-side up today.

It was a little after midnight when Lance McKendrick left his tiny bedroom in Max Dalton’s New Jersey base and padded barefoot through the corridors and out into the base’s large garage.

I am an hourglass.

These are all the first sentences in books that are, or have been, my favorite books.

This was before I knew the characters

who I now love

this was before I knew their fears,

loves,

goals,

and failures.

This was before I meet some of my closest friends

and also people who I would never like to meet.

These words were the first judgement I made about the characters,

not their appearance, voice, or reputation.

In books,

it is so strange because I am reading to know people.

It doesn’t matter that they are made out of ink and paper

or caffeine inspired imagination.

What matter is that these people, these characters,

live and breathe in my heart.

That is were it counts.

With each word written I get to know the character

better

and better.

But their lives do not come to a stopping halt

when the last period is placed

and the finally page is turned.

They continue to live on in my heart.

That is were it counts.

“Why?”

I’m ready.

After all he had accomplished, and considering how much he had learned and how far he had come, it is a curious fact — indeed, a remarkable one — that what Nicholas wanted now, more than anything, was to get started.

And I’m leaving my gloves behind.

“He’s human,” Lance said. “And it’s about time he understood what being human really means.”

“I can’t wait to watch them try.”

first-page

 


Books in order of lines:

Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Hunter by Michael Carroll

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Takes You to New Worlds

In third grade, an author visited my elementary school. At the time I hated reading. Our whole school gathered around him and sat criss-cross-applesauce on the cool tile gym floor. He talked about writing his famous book series and his writing process. Then he challenged us to read and write more so that we could become authors like him, if we wanted to.

Now I am expecting that you think this was my big writing epiphany. By all means it was not. Quite the opposite in fact.

The author had said what my mother and father had told me since I started reading, which was the same thing my teachers had said everyday during reading time.

“Reading books takes you to new worlds.”

The first, second, twentieth, and one hundred seventy sixth time I heard that line I believed it was false and to this day do I still believe so. I insist upon it to this day. Reading books does not take you to new worlds.

Now, anyone who knows me at all knows that I love reading. I am always reading a book if not five or six. I will read anything except for horror or heavy romance. I average about forty-five books a summer. Quite the opposite from my younger self.

But still I insist that reading does not take you to new worlds.

I read We Were Liars and yet I could never feel the sand underneath my toes on the Sinclair family beach.

I read Minders and yet I could never feel the cement streets beneath my feet as I ran.

I read The Great Gatsby and yet I could never feel how tight my feet felt in my shoes on the very hot fateful day.

I read the Shatter Me series and yet I could never feel the Persian rugs on the marble floors.

I read Anne of Green Gables and yet I could never feel the grass in the spring time.

These are just to name a few that even my toes could not tactical touch their worlds. Yet in my own world, I can recall every memory of my toes digging into the sand on summer vacations and of my toes discovering again the grass on my bare feet in the spring time.

I insist that reading does not take you to new worlds, but instead you meet new people.

I read so many books with so many characters and yet they are the ones I can recall swiftly. I can remember exactly when and where I was reading the book. I was grounded in this world, but I was talking and thinking in the manner of the characters in my head.

From the first books that got me hooked on reading A to Z Mysteries and My Side of the Mountain to the novel I just finished two hours ago No Place to Fall, no character is the same just like no person is the same or snowflake.

In books you are able to meet people in so much more of an inmate way than in reality. You know his thoughts, so vulnerable, and his past that is so much more than what is written on his face and clothes. (Pun not intended, of course!) You learn what is his driving passion and weakest downfall through out the two hundred plus pages that a quick five minute conversation could not.

I met a narcoleptic orphan genus boy in The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict that was my favorite when I was younger not because of world he took part in, but because of who he was. I learned about motivations and how people always have reasons behind their actions that may not even be the most logical ones.

I met an aspiring comicbook (sorry graphic novel) artist and writer in The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl that was my favorite a few years ago because of his creativity and passion for superheroes that I formed a connection with. His world was forgettable, but he wasn’t.

I met a talented, tortured, and tormented slave in The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Traitor to the Nation Volume 1: The Pox Party who taught me about the cruelty of humanity, if I did not already know. I learned what freedom truly meant.

I met a super-powered broken fighting girl in the Shatter Me series that is my current favorite. I have never connected so deeply with a character, a person, like her before. I have never experienced a writing style like Mafi’s before because writing is truly an experience.

That is another problem with what the author said, “Reading books takes you to new worlds.” I am not taken anywhere. I meet new people and experience new writing styles.

Reading is a journey, from the first glance at the spine of the book to the last punctuation mark. Along the journey you meet friends and quite possibly enemies, but they are people all the same. That’s what they should have said to my little third grader self.

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Pixabay/user:Comfreak

 

Tahereh Mafi ~ In One Hundred Words

She is the Lana del Ray of writing

Her style is like ocean waves comforting roar,

yet the salt stings you in all the places you forgot were hurting

Her writing is sweetly sour lemonade on the oh so hot summer days that are just never enough

Her words molded into perfectly placed paragraphs connected by punctuation is the thread that sews up my heart that pages ago her letters broke

She forms characters so breath-taking from all the laughs and cries and passion

Her writing devices put any other word artist to shame

Her words makes the world stop spinning

Mafi

 


 

Tahereh Mafi is my absolute favorite word artist who has written my favorite series “Shatter Me”. My favorite quote about writing is from her:

We write every day, we fight every day, we think and scheme and dream a little dream every day. Manuscripts pile up in the kitchen sink, run-on sentences dangle around our necks. We plant purple prose in our gardens and snip the adverbs only to thread them in our hair. We write with no guarantees, no certainties, no promises of what might come and we do it anyway. This is who we are.

I just finished reading all of her books for the second time and basically underlining every sentence because it is so beautifully crafted.  🙂 I cannot say enough how amazing her love of language shows through her writing and into the minds of her readers.