Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
Today I’m really excited to share a post that I’ve had on my to-write list for a long time! Back in July I reviewed One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones and I received a few comments asking about verse novels, so I thought I’d share more about them.
A verse novel is pretty self-explanatory: it’s a novel that’s told in verse instead of prose.
This makes for a unique storytelling experience, although it isn’t a format that will resonate with everyone. (I feel like I say this all the time: this story is not for everyone. But it’s also true. Not every book will resonate with everyone and that’s okay.) That being said, I also think that in some novels, it’s actually the best method of storytelling for that particular story. I’ll talk more about this in a later post, because there’s one verse novelist in particular who has some novels that I feel were best told in verse and wouldn’t have been as profound if they had been written in prose.
It might sound like a novel told in verse would be a quick and easy read. Sometimes I’ll even pick up a verse novel and realize that, in my mind, I’ll be able to finish the book in a couple of hours. But that is not true at all. Verse novels have quite a bit to take in–from what words the author chose to include, to how those words are laid out on the page, to the subject matter the author is writing about.
The verse novels that I’ve read are filled with tough topics: the death of a loved one, drug addiction, and illicit relationships, just to name a few. And, like I said earlier, a verse novel is a really unique and impactful way to tell these stories.
You might think a verse novel isn’t for you, and you might be right. I can see the format being really frustrating for some people. But, even if you think it wouldn’t be your cup of tea, I highly recommend that you try one out. Get it from the library so that you don’t have to spend any money on it and see if you like it. You might be surprised! I’ve found that verse novels have a really good flow to the text, so even if you don’t want to take in line breaks, you’ll be able to flow through the storyline. And I’d recommend reading a physical copy of the book over an ebook, so that you can make sure you see the words as the author intended them to be positioned on the page.
Some of my favorite verse novelists are:
>> Lisa Schroeder. She wrote the first verse novel that I read and I was hooked. I quickly read through all of her novels and kept up-to-date with them for quite awhile. And speaking of keeping up-to-date, I think it’s been a few years since I read one of her books so I need to see if she has come out with a new verse novel!
Check out I Heart You, You Haunt Me, which is the first book of hers that I read. It’s about a girl whose boyfriend died a year earlier and she’s having a hard time letting go, especially since she feels his presence.
>> Ellen Hopkins. Her books don’t have easy topics; you’ll find stories about drug addiction, abuse and sex trafficking. She also has a few novels that aren’t YA that are on my TBR.
Check out Crank, which is a classic. It’s about a girl whose introduced to drugs while visiting her dad and she quickly becomes addicted. This is actually a novelization of her daughter’s story and it’s a whirlwind of a book.
>> Sonya Sones. One thing that I remember about all of the books that I’ve read are her characters. I don’t remember exact plot details about some of the books I read a few years ago, but I remember the characters and when I think of them, I want to revisit their stories.
Check out One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies, which made me laugh out loud, even as I ached for all she was going through.
HAVE YOU READ VERSE NOVELS? WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN CHECKING THEM OUT?
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