June 09, 2006
Though A.Fortis talked about this one before, I wanted to definitely encourage anyone who hasn't yet had a chance to read Joyce Maynard's The Usual Rules. Sometimes writers struggle to write about emotion, and in the wake of the East Coast terrorist attacks in 2001, we were a nation awash in so many emotions that we couldn't separate them out. Maynard uses a number of ways to convey emotion, including sometimes showing emotional conversations, interactions and present tense action without using quotation marks, almost as if it's a film happening without sound. Although the novel is of a serious and heavy nature, it has the required 'kernel of hope' that YA writers hardly ever do without. There are some unexpected pains and arguably there is some convenience in the resolution in the storyline, but the idea that spring comes after winter is always a good theme. I'm glad I finally got around to reading this.