Posted in 365 Days of Bri (Bri 2.0), Blog

[Day 327] Books that changed my life week 3: A Great and Terrible Beauty

The title of this post is so long the “[Da” is missing. Oops. It’s a wonder I tweet so much- character limits are not really my thing. None of this is relevant to the post, but I need something for the front page blurb, and I’m running out of creative ways to make them interesting and compelling enough.

Libba Bray is one of those writers you can never get enough of.* Her Gemma Doyle trilogy is my second favorite series, after Harry Potter, of course** I also follow her blog religiously, although she doesn’t post as often as I’d like. I think her last post was May 31st. (I don’t think, I know, because I just checked. But I’d rather write you a long explanation parentheses instead of changing my wording. Deal with it)***

Following up on yesterday’s blog, I mentioned that I resurfaced from my Alanna-induced fantasy faze. But I went back under with these books. They aren’t as fantasy-involved as Alanna, and they’re a lot less nerdy, but there’s a large fantasy element nonetheless.

The cool thing about these books, though, isn’t that they make fantasy more accessible, they also have a good balance between the genres they mix. Fantasy and Victorian historical fiction. Regular YA fiction and magic. Because sometimes, life has contradictions, which I explore here. And sometimes, those contradictions don’t have to be at odds with each other. Sometimes, opposites attract.

Finally, the fact that Bray incorporates a flawed, sarcastic female lead character was an incredible breath of fresh air. Too often, female leads only have problems with boys, and their sarcasm is intermittent at best. The sarcasm often feels like the author getting frustrated with another character and adding in their own personal responses.**** But Bray is a genius with her characterization; not only is Gemma sarcastic consistently, but it doesn’t sound angry or bitter. It just sounds like… Gemma. And that’s comforting, because I love Gemma’s character regardless of her flaws.

This leads to my understanding that even though I am deeply flawed and sometimes kind of annoying, people still like me. And those are the people I need to surround myself with.

*Except I’ll admit, her latest book, Going Bovine, was kind of strange. But I’ll forgive her.

**I feel like I need to make a list for you of all the series I would recommend. Because I fear rejection and retaliation, I promise to leave the Twilight series out of it.

***If you’re interested, there’s a link on the right side of the page further down. Also, I apologize for all the footnotes in that paragraph.

****This is actually a problem I have. I mean, I’m the most sarcastic person you’ll ever meet. But I can’t make ALL my characters sarcastic. Unfortunately, either they turn out empty and characterless because the only discernible personality I can pass on is sarcastic, or they are mostly empty with the occasional, random sarcastic response.

What's up, my dudes?