Verse Novels // What Are They

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Have you ever heard of a verse novel and wondered what the heck is that? Here's some info about verse novels, along with a few authors to start with! // dreams-etc.com

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?

[Tweet “Verse novels? I need to add a few of these to my TBR! #amreading #bookworms #booknerdigans”]

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Alissa
    February 1, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I have read I Heart You, You Haunt Me. It’s beautiful how the words were played in a poetry like manner. I have heard of Ellen Hopkins too but I’ve never read it yet.

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      February 17, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      It really is beautiful how they’re able to tell the story through poetry. I absolutely love I Heart You, You Haunt Me and it holds a special place in my heart since it was the first verse novel that I listened to. Ellen Hopkins is definitely a must-read if you’re interested in reading more verse novels.

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    February 1, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Crystal, I’m so happy I came across your post today! I have never heard of verse novels. I’m a high school English teacher and am looking forward to exploring these. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      February 17, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed my post. You’ll have to let me know what you think of them!

  • Reply
    Trish R
    February 1, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    I love poetry and am an avid reader … but have not explored verse novels. One of my friends has recommended Sonya Sones as well. I think I need to read one of her books soon.

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      February 17, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      You’ll have to let me know what you think when you read one of her books! I love finding other poetry lovers. 🙂

  • Reply
    Aishwarya S
    February 1, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    They sound so lovely! Are verse novels what Robert M. Drake writes or just poems? Any idea?

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      February 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      They are! With your love for writing you might really enjoy them.

      I’m not actually familiar with Robert M. Drake, so I looked at examples on Amazon and from what I can see it looks like he puts out collections of poetry. I liked what I read, so I’ll have to pick up one of his books!

  • Reply
    Mia
    February 2, 2016 at 2:20 am

    I always learn something new when I read your posts. 🙂 I have never heard of a verse novel before and now I’m intrigued. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      February 17, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you! I think you might really like verse novels, with the interest that you have in writing. You’ll have to let me know what you think if you read one! 🙂

  • Reply
    chelsea jacobs
    February 2, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve actually never read one of these–I really need to!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      February 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      I think you’d love them! They’d probably fit into your new schedule with the baby really well too. There’s an ongoing storyline (that totally sucks you in) but the “chapters” aren’t very long, so if you’re interrupted while reading you wouldn’t have to set down the book in the middle of a chapter. 🙂

  • Reply
    Brianna
    February 2, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I have read a few verse novels. Perhaps I read the wrong ones, but I could not get into them. I will look into a couple of these though and try again.:)

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      February 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      I can definitely see that they wouldn’t be for everyone. There have been some that I’ve had a hard time getting into too. Which ones did you try? If you do try any of these, let me know what you thought!

  • Reply
    Beate
    February 2, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I had no idea verse novels even exist 🙂 🙂
    It sounds like an amazing way to write a novel. If I come across one of these books I’ll definitely give it a try. I’m sure there are stories that can be told perfectly this way. You got me intrigued now 🙂
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lots of hugs to you and many belly rubs to Little One 🙂
    Beate

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      February 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      I was so excited when I first discovered verse novels. 🙂 You’ll have to let me know what you think if you try one.

      You have a wonderful day too! 🙂

      And Little One appreciates all the tummy rubs! 🙂

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