Friday, October 22, 2010

A Love Letter to Stephenie Meyer

Dear Stephenie Meyer:
I’m going to be honest. I don’t remember much of anything that happened in THE HOST. Aliens were involved, right? Didn’t they invade Earth and take over our bodies? And didn’t the characters play soccer in a cave?
I don’t remember any of your characters’ names. Where did the book take place? What time period?  (I have NO IDEA.)
So now you’re wondering what I actually remember about your book. Mostly the feelings I felt when reading it. Pain, longing, fear, and most of all – true love.
When I finished the book, I thought, “Wow, I really loved this. It made me feel something.”
I still feel the same way now, a couple years later.
I remember more things that happened in ENDER’S GAME. Aliens (“buggers”) were involved. After having survived a horrible attack, Earthlings were preparing to defend against the buggers by training kids to defeat them. It takes place in the 22nd century. I think.
What do I remember most about the book? The feelings it invoked. Confusion, stemming from questioning authority. Paranoia. Jealousy. Fear. (Okay, okay, I remember those damn cool anti-gravity battles, and Peter’s and Valentine’s scheming.)
I remember lots of things that happened in the HIS DARK MATERIALS series. I loved those books. I can see many scenes in my mind, even though I haven’t picked up the books in years. Those books made me think. A lot. And yes, I remember the stakes were high and I cared what happened to the characters, but looking back now, I don’t feel much. Certainly not love or longing. If I had to describe those books in one word, I’d say complex.
I can describe lots of books in one word:
HARRY POTTER: Friendship
1984: Fear
How would I describe your books in a word? Human.
That probably sounds silly, but the soul of every book you’ve written is love.
All humans want love. We crave it. We want to be wanted. I bawled when reading NEW MOON, and my husband looked at me like I was a bugger.
You’re a master at creating those feelings that make us feel like our guts are dissolving. John Green once said this about TWILIGHT: “Teenagers don’t want to read books. They want to read that book.” 
I *might* just name my first kid Renesmee. *Might*
I digress. All I’m saying is that while I don’t remember what happened in THE HOST, I like how it made me feel. That’s what counts, right?

When you think about books, do you mostly remember scenes? Or do you mostly remember how you felt? What do you want to remember about a book?


Jennifer Wolf said...

Excellent Miranda! You hit the nail on the head in your description of these books. Emotions are some of the strongest things that a book leaves with you.

Cholisose said...

Great post! I agree that the feelings stick the longest after reading a book.
And LOL at your reaction to Wayside School. XP

Sidni M. said...

Hi Miranda, you really got it right with the S. Meyer books. I have a blog post similar to this where I rant a bit because her writing is so-so, but her stories are so-captivating. I hope she reads your love letter.

E. Kristin Anderson said...

Man. I love that you boldly went where no YA-5-er has gone before.

This is so true. People look at my bookshelves and they are like YOU HAVE ALL STEPHENIE MEYER'S BOOKS and I am am all STFU, mortal, I read ALL THE THINGS. And then I say, hey, they may no be Pulitzer-prize-winning novels, but I was so caught up in that story that I can't NOT applaud Ms. Meyer for selling me four gigantic books. Well, five. I have THE HOST but I haven't read it yet.

As a write, I really tend toward the emotional. My characters feel a lot and I try to make my readers feel a lot. Because, ultimately, that's what I remember from a book, too -- how it made me feel. I don't always remember the main character's name or where the book took place, but I remember if it made me laugh or cry.

Michaele Stoughton said...

Well put. I completely agree! When I read Stephenie's books I thought, this is how I want people to feel when they read my books -- connected. I want your heart to race,your chest to flutter, and you to find yourself holding your breath in anticipation.

Elena Solodow said...

Here, here! I read so much the names usually blur together unless I've read the book more than once. Definitely the feeling associated with the book.

When I think of Twilight, I think "frenzy".

Weronika Janczuk said...

Good post, Miranda. I agree that the best books make us feel, plain and simple.

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