Thursday, June 5, 2008

Effective openings in MG and YA part 2

Me and the Pumpkin Queen by
Marlene Kennedy

I don't think I'm abnormally obsessive.

Right off the bat we know the narrator is highly self aware. And contrary to what she claims, obsessive, because only obsessive people would qualify that adjective with "abnormally." Sorta like, if your obsession is at level 4.275 or less, you fall within the normal boundaries of obsession and you’re okay. Go above it and you veer into “abnormally obsessive” territory, which may not be so okay.

I like to listen to someone who's obsessive/passionate. The topic doesn't matter--ancient languages, amoeba lifespan, dung-beetles--as long as the person talking about it finds it fascinating, then I know I'll enjoy listening.

In the case of this book, I am not terribly interested in giant pumpkins but I like the person who tells people she’s not abnormally obsessive, and so I read on.

She then goes on to say:

... I prefer to describe myself as focused.

A girl after my own heart! I’m not obsessed about finding the perfect story opening, I’m just focused!

At the end of the very short 1st chapter, she says this:

It just so happens that my thoughts are consumed with something out of the ordinary. Daddy isn’t worried about me at all. But Aunt Arlene is.

The author has set the stage, introduced the main characters, and even though I still don’t know what this “out of the ordinary” obsession is, I’m ready to find out.

Next up: Saffy's Angels by Hilary McKay

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