So why am I so in love with this book? There are a few reasons. The first is personal -- Saundra and I met at the beginning of the process of having sold books and having no idea what came next. We're both Spring 2009 Delacorte releases which means that between the two of us we almost figured out what was going on - lol. She'd share what she learned from her editor, I'd share what I learned from mine and somehow that made the whole scary process a little easier :)
But the second reason is her book. I admit that I opened my ARC of Shadowed Summer with a little trepidation. I love Saundra and wanted to love her book and I was scared that I wouldn't. I had no idea what I was in for.
I knew this was an amazing book from the first page. Even today when I go back to try and figure out which line it was that made me realize Saundra's skill, it's hard to choose. Because it's all just that good.
I'm not kidding when I say that I would read a line and put this book down and just savour it, roll it around in my brain and on my tongue. Because here's the thing about Saundra's descriptions -- they're almost truer than truth. She has a way of looking at things and writing about them that bypasses the brain and hit you in the stomach -- you feel them rather than know them. She has a way of describing sound that makes you gasp and say "that IS the way blue jeans sound against old concrete and I never would have thought about it that way but it's so true!"
On the back of her book is the following snippet:
"Wind kissed my ear, cool and soft, and I heard a voice. It sounded like clover tastes, green and new and sweet."
So beautifully put and so perfect -- the taste of sound! Ugh, reading lines that that (and her book is full of them) just make me want to become a better writer! In fact, this book is so good that after reading the first chapter I walked into the den where JP was playing a video game that he'd been waiting for all year and picked up that day. I read him the opening and handed it to him. I wandered back into the living room and the house was silent. He'd put down his game to keep reading -- now THAT is a good book!
I'm not someone who likes to read books more than once, but this is one I go back to. When I need inspiration and a reminder of how to dig deep to find just the right way to word things, the best description, I pick up this book and flip through it. And that's why I'm so excited about it and why I'm giving away more copies.
Congratulations Saundra! Thanks for being a great friend, thanks for inspiring me, and I can't believe this day is finally here!!