Let the Battle of the Books begin!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'll be quoting all things Fire by Kristin Cashore in an effort to prove the brilliance and superiority of the writing.
And I won't hold back. So here's the first heavy-hitter:
It had been easy once, taking Archer into her bed; not so long ago it had been simple. And then, somehow, the balance had tipped between them. The marriage proposals, the lovesickness. More and more, the simplest thing was to say no.
Why this one? Because in a brief paragraph, so many themes of the book are revealed: power, sex, love, feminism. So many teen girls are confronted with this dilemma - namely, the power they hold by the giving and withholding of sexual intimacy - but how many books for them really put voice to it? It's a scary power to have at such a young age, and it's moments like this in the book where I feel glad that Fire is in the hands of teenage girls (and grown women too, for that matter).
In that way, I'm reminded of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. When that one came out, so many reviewers (myself included) heralded it as feminist literature for the modern teen set. The same could be said of Graceling and Fire.
Likewise, I'm reminded of Megan Whalen Turner's work as well. Adult characters and adult themes that somehow still reach out to the teen reader. In Turner's work, the balance of power is such a prevalent theme. It's no wonder that teens are drawn to the works of Cashore, Lockhart, and Turner: teens feel powerless to change their world - they're beholden to family, teachers, and friends. These stories, though, demonstrate ways in which the balance of power is a subtle, ever-changing idea and perhaps they have more strength than they believe. Once again, I find myself wishing that I had access to these writers when I was 14 or 15.
And that's my Fire quote of the day. All my Battle of the Books quotes won't be nearly this long, I assure you, but it's a rainy miserable Sunday...I'm still in my PJs...a steaming cup of coffee beside me...it's the perfect time to wax poetic about my favorite book of 2009!
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