Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Reading Outside My Comfort Zone

Recently, I’ve been feeling like I’m reading a lot of the same thing over and over. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the stories and the writing, but there comes a point when I want to try something different.

My cousin, who’s a teenage boy, recommended a series that he loves, and I figured I’d give it a try.
Now, I didn’t know what to expect going in. Sometimes I like his recommendations, and sometimes I struggle just to finish.

This one is kind of an in-between for me. Usually, I don’t give titles for novels that I’m kind of iffy on, but I think I’ll make an exception in this case, just because the book itself is an exception.
The novel is The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan.

I struggled to get through it. I found it incredibly slow, and for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why. It wasn’t until I finished and sat and thought about it that it came to me. This novel is the inside of a boy’s head. Not just any boy, a teenage boy. I’ve read so many articles on writing from a different point of view, how to have your characters think like a male, but Flanagan has shown me what I thought I would never quite understand.

Looking at it through that point of view, the entire story made so much more sense. I can see the thought process in my younger brother, my husband, my cousins… it’s crystal clear now. The reason why it dragged for me was that there were no side-plots. Nothing to distract from the main purpose, which was to become a ranger’s apprentice. My husband has tried to explain that he thinks of one thing at a time, but it didn’t register until this book. Each time there’s a new bump in the plot, it eventually led straight back to the main goal.

My cousin says that as the character gets older, there’s more, love triangles and the works, but in the first book, he’s driven to accomplish this one thing.

I need to read more books outside of the typical YA fantasy that I’ve been drawn to recently. Any suggestions?