Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Be One With The Book
Last night at dinner I started pontificating about what is and is not a YA book, which was rehearsal for me pontificating here. As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins is YA because it deals with an adolescent male who, over the course of the story, decides what kind of man he's going to be. You've got both a YA character and a YA theme. You have a YA character acting as a young person in his relationship to adult characters. So, I guess, you could say you have YA scenarios, too.
What's particularly interesting about As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth is that you also have here an adult male character who, over the course of the story, decides what kind of man he's going to be. This is a male character who definitely acts as an adult in his relationship to younger characters.
In fact, at one point I was wondering if this was teenage Ry's story or adult Del's story as observed by teenage Ry. Which would have been interesting, too.
This is a journey story, and journey stories usually have built in narrative drive because of the journey structure. I felt the drive in As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth kept screeching to a halt as the story shifted from Ry to his grandfather or his parents. We needed that information because they were the reason for Ry's journey. But, still, for me the flow didn't flow as smoothly as I would have liked.
But then I remembered that Perkins is what I think of as a Zenny writer. With Perkins, who wrote the incredible Criss Cross, you "have to just enjoy what you're reading as you're reading it and forget about what it has to do with a storyline. You have to get into the moment."
And, hey, I can do that.