Writers spend a good deal of time fretting about the opening sentence of their novel, just as readers enjoy quoting first lines from their favourite books. This is understandable, given so much is riding on that first impression. But what about closing lines? What about the final words that resolve the story and linger in a reader’s mind after they shut the book?
If a best-selling young adult novel sucks me in after only a few pages, it’s often because the book is wielding a secret weapon. Or rather, a not-so-secret weapon, because I’ve seen it many times before. And although I recognise it, it still has the power to peak my curiosity and get me rooting for a character I know next to nothing about. So what is this clever trope?
It has two components, and these usually form a kind of structuring device that shapes the plot and climactic points of the novel: Continue reading
Sometimes when I’ve absolutely adored a book and given it 5 stars, I do something a little counterintuitive. I go to Goodreads and I scroll down till I find a one star review and read it. Why? Because it has always fascinated me how much people’s taste in books can differ. I wonder how a book I thought was amazing has inspired someone else to launch into an angry rant, or vice versa. Continue reading
Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games
Last week I mentioned some reasons why movies are usually bigger tearjerkers than books for me. However, there are still several books that have prickled my eyes or had me in tears, so today I thought I’d pay tribute these emotional tales.
Before I begin: this list will include SPOILERS. Discussing the sad moments in books necessarily involves mentioning character deaths and tragedies, and while I’ll try to keep it vague, I can’t promise I won’t give away too much. So if you haven’t read one of these books and don’t want a key plot point revealed, I suggest skipping the second paragraph of each section. Continue reading
There’s no doubt that a really good “what if?” scenario – a fascinating premise that envisions a society or world with a pivotal difference to our own – is a big hook for a speculative fiction book or film. An intriguing premise will almost always entice me to go see the film at the cinema, particularly a science fiction film.
On the whole, science fiction does these “what if” scenarios really well (especially dystopian sci-fi), and the concepts are memorable. I’m sure many people could guess which popular science fiction films the below scenarios refer to: Continue reading
I recently went to the cinema to see the latest X-Men film, Days of Future Past. I’m a massive fan of the X-Men series, and to date none of the films have disappointed me. This newest instalment was no different. I loved it. A thoroughly entertaining and gripping addition to the franchise.
However, it gave me a slightly different emotional experience to the other six films. Not in a bad way, I still enjoyed it, but the experience of watching it just felt a little… different. Continue reading