Monday, May 3, 2010

Spreading the Awesome to Swati Avasthi

If you have found me on this round-robin brilliance of Elana Johnson than you have arrived from author Dawn Metcalf's striking blog where she hugged  A.S. King (Dust of 100 Dogs).

Now you arrived here:

I am hugging Swati Avashti and her new book SPLIT!

First: her son and my son played soccer together a couple of years ago and our daughters ran up and down the sidelines while we sat on the grass and talked shop. That is where I first met her. Since I have discovered many connections between us and she can write a book in half the time I can! But she is generous and supportive to me and everyone she encounters. For example: I saw her this weekend at The Loft's Children's and Young Adult Literature Conference, even at lunch she was wisdom and lessons and I saw her lean in and give my table-mate some tips. It made me want to abandon my roast beef for a pen. She is smart about a lot of things, but especially voice. Her book is evidence of these skills--here we go:

I highly recommend this book because:
1) This main character has just done the unthinkable and stood up to his abusive father, but there is something else. Jace is hiding something that only his ex-girlfriend knows. It is tearing him apart. Swati has made Jace compellingly vulnerable for someone so tough. You will care about this kid, despite his complications.

2. Swati's spare and uncomplicated narrative drives you into the book. There is a lot at stake for Jace our main character and you won't want to stop until you find out what happens to him. Swati pulls no punches, this is a story about the cycle of abuse and Jace teeters the edge of control and self-loathing.

3. At the conference this weekend, the subject of boy books came up--I am sure more than once, but when I was there the argument was made that this whole concern of boy's not reading books is in some respects the industries-self fulfilling prophecy. So I say: Read "boy" books in order to buzz them. Debunk that myth that there are no good boy books out there. This book fits the bill, the stereotype of boy book with high interest, intense plot. But not only does it fit that stereotype, it also confounds it with authentic emotional content that will have you reeling because of its complicated truthfulness.

Go check her out.

Teenreads review of Split.
Here's an interview with Swati.
Here's Swati's website.

And last but not least, the link to Elana's recommended reads page.

Continue your tour of Awesomeness with the fabulous Bethany Wiggins hugging author Lindsey Leavitt (Princess for Hire)!