Here are Kelly's picks for "The One"!
The One you always recommend:
I can remember nabbing this from my Dad's bookcase pretty soon after I made the leap from kids to adult books. I'd always been a bit of a tomboy so enjoyed sword and sorcery novels, but this was the first time I'd come across the idea that a girl could be the main character. And not just a main character, but a warrior, up in the line of battle with the men.
Jill, the main character is such a great role model, especially for young female readers. She very matter of factly gets on with things and doesn't give a stuff for convention. I love how she isn't afraid to forge her own path and it's entirely possible that she may have inspired my slightly stubborn nature!
Grimm Tales: For Young and Old by Philip Pullman
I love this book, not only because I think Philip Pullman did a great job of retelling and slightly modernising the original texts for a more contemporary audience, but because I think it signifies the moment when my mum finally realised that I wasn't ever going to grow up and lose my taste for fairytales. I got it for Christmas two years ago, so she did hold out for quite a while!
The One that got away:
The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCullough
I want to read this. I really do. I even bought a copy at YALC. But every time I go to open it, something happens! I get distracted, forget what I was doing or find myself thinking "Hmm maybe later." I just need to set myself an appointment to sit down and read the bloomin' thing!
I don't even know what to say about this. I read it back to back with Catching Fire. I nearly missed my train in Birmingham because the platforms changed and I was too absorbed reading this to notice. Then when it got to *that* part, I had to scurry off to the loos for tissue and hoped nobody would hear me sobbing to myself in the quiet carriage!
The One that still haunts you:
The Owl Service by Alan Garner
This story about modern day teenagers being drawn into acting out an ancient Welsh mythic tragedy has haunted me ever since I first read it at university. The idea of being locked into destructive cycles and making the same mistakes over and over is pretty scary. I don't know how well the narrative, set in the 60s or 70s, I think, translates into a modern age where everyone has smart phones and gps, but that feeling of being trapped was something that definitely resonated.
The One you always go back to:
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
This is probably what's referred to as middle grade now, but for me it's such a perfect book to sum up the transition from childhood to adulthood. The awkward in-between phase where you lurch from rushing towards independence to craving the security of the familiar is so well expressed. And there's something comforting about seeing how Will, the main character, makes mistakes but learns and grows from them rather than letting them destroy him. Plus, it's so atmospheric, this book is just Christmas on paper for me.
Thanks Kelly! The Owl Service sounds really interesting, I'd never heard of it before! I'm sure you're not the oonly one who shed a tear at Mockingjay :)