Plus April Winner Announced!
Happy May, everyone! Are you ready for summer yet? I’m looking forward to a break, but as far as I’m concerned, the heat can stay away. I’m enjoying the cool weather this spring and will relish it as long as I can.
So, I just finished reading Panic by Lauren Oliver. This is the fourth book I’ve read by this author. I can’t get enough of her. While Panic is not my favorite of her stories, it was still a couldn’t-put-it-down, butt-on-the-couch, what’s-gonna-happen, super awesome read. It got me thinking from the writing side of things, what is it about her books that hooks me so? After mulling it over for a minute, I came up three things I’ve learned from reading Lauren Oliver books.
# 1 ~ She has strong hooks
Love is a disease. Live the same day over again. Play a life threatening game for the chance to win a truckload of cash. These are all high concept hooks. All of Lauren’s stories grab you right from the beginning, from the very first line on the very first page. Every chapter begins with a new hook and ends with a cliffhanger. If you want your readers to stay up with your story well into the night, these elements are non-negotiable.
# 2 ~ She creates real characters
No Barbies allowed. All of Lauren Oliver’s characters are real and relatable. In Panic, for instance, Heather is on the taller side. She doesn’t see herself as pretty and from the beginning she’s just sort of this awkward, doesn’t-know-where-she-belongs, high school graduate. The transformations of Lauren’s characters are well paced and natural. We start with a character we can relate to. Someone who is flawed and maybe even a little mean, like Sam in Before I Fall. In the end, though, we grow with them and learn with them. We even love them. We want them to succeed and when they leave us, we miss them terribly.
# 3 ~ She gets to the point
Lauren’s books are not long, drawn out descriptions of scenery with big sections on backstory dump. While her settings come to life and her characters have a past, she doesn’t linger on those things. Lauren’s books are page turners, with lots of dialogue and tight sentence structure. I hate reading books I have to skim to get to the good parts. I want to love it all. I don’t want to miss out on anything. Lauren blends in just the right amount of everything, giving readers a perfect dose of emotion, action, and setting all in one place.
What does a “page turner” look like for you? What elements of a story make it impossible for you to put a book down. I love hearing from you! Please leave a comment below and check out Lauren Oliver’s Website for more great reads. Until then, happy reading!
Yours in Messiah Yeshua,
And the winner is…
Amanda S., you won a copy of The Three Trees DVD!
Congratulations! And thanks to Tommy Nelson Mommy for offering this great giveaway! To stay updated on the latest giveaways and reviews, subscribe to my site and newsletter in the sidebar.
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