Part of becoming a fiction writer requires reading a lot of fiction within your genre and specifically authors who you love, who write the kind of stories you wish you could write. And when I say I read a lot, I mean a lot. As in a book a week. So while writing several novels over the last decade, I’ve read a lot of books too, and all exclusively on the craft of writing and in the young adult genre.
I thought each week, I’d highlight one of these books I’ve read over the years, as a few of them are still selling, and still being talked about, even years after their release. I’ll also post a review of new books on the scene, some of them published by traditional publishers, others by indie authors.
Today I’m going to talk about a book from an author who impacted me very early on in my journey and confirmed in my mind who I wanted to become as a writer.
I read Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in 2005 (it was released in 2001). The Sisterhood portrays four teen girls with four separate lives and character arcs, and the way Ann got into their heads, I was mesmerized by them and their story. And while reading her book, I realized how much I wanted to write character-driven stories grounded in reality. I wanted to tackle real-life issues and entertain my readers at the same time, just like Ann.
I loved how each girl over one summer, faces real life challenges, challenges teens are faced with everyday. I won’t go into much more detail, as the book is a little old, but I love how Lena, Tibby, Bridget and Carmen all learn separate lessons, but all of them tie into our (sometimes desperate) need for love and companionship. I’m so thankful for Ann for her words and her style and for continuing to inspire me to write from the heart.