Monday, October 28, 2013

Consequence Books

And the three books of the last two weeks that I am excited we got into the children's section:

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
I have been annoying everyone with how excited I am about this book. I made keening noises at the boxes before we were allowed to open them. This book. I just...I am still filled with so many feelings. It was exactly what I wanted....I'll stop now.

2. The Mischievians by William Joyce
My love for William Joyce is a very real thing. When his Guardians series was turned into a movie I was easily the most excited person in the theatre. I was also supposed to be the Flying Book Girl from his The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore for Halloween.

3. Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett
Alex gets the overly sweet Birthday Bunny and edits it into the incredibly awesome Battle Bunny! Beyond clever.

Consequence books are something that have come up in my life a lot recently. Partially due to my excitement over the last book in Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy (see above) and partially because the revelation of how much I love them is a fairly new one to me.

A consequence book is a book that deals predominantly (or just heavily) with the...well, consequences of what happened in a previous book. Often they're reflective, like a character trying to deal with something that happened. Other times the action is directly the result of what happened in the previous book.

Generally, I'm, a big fan of consequences. I mean, maybe not in my own life, but in literature I'm a big fan. So, it drives me crazy when characters do something big and nothing happens. There should always be some form of backlash. If, for some reason, there's not it needs to addressed and I expect a really good reason.

I mentioned the Divergent trilogy because Insurgent (book two) is a consequence book. As I talked to people about the series (in my excitement about Allegiant's release) I came across more people unsure of the second. First I was baffled because I loved it so much and then I was just curious about what was so different about it that people who loved the first didn't like it.

Which was when I realized that Insurgent is so much about Tris dealing with what happened to her in Divergent. It has new plot in it, yes, but it's more about the backlash of the first book's violence. I though it was exactly what it needed to be.

And that was why I loved it. Roth does such a wonderful job of making her characters fully human and it's the consequence books that show how human characters are. I want to see them deal with what happened to them. When we see that they seem more human, we get a more fully realized picture of who they are.

(For the record, Veronica Roth does a really brilliant job of making her characters human outside of Insurgent as well.)

Another one that comes to mind is Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Chaos (book three). I get the strangest looks when I tell people that it's my favorite. But (and I feel we're beyond spoilers now since there's a movie and the first book came out in 2009) when Lena brought Ethan back from the dead in the first book we only got minimal consequences. We saw how that impacted her, not how it impacted Ethan. Mostly because he didn't know what happened to him, but it never set well with me.

Then Beautiful Chaos came out and that's most of what the book is about. It's finding out that he lost part of soul. That he's half of what he should be. That the world is out of balance. I loved it. I loved how it was handled. It was what I wanted all along.

Just like in my last post how I wanted the loss, I want the consequences. In life great actions often have dire consequences. If a story is going to be well crafted big actions should have big backlash. And seeing how characters deal with their own actions and what happens to them makes them human.

I love books with fast paced action and awesome banter but it's the books that deal with the consequences that stick with me the most.


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