Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Road Trip Wednesday: My Literary Crushes

My post on literary crushes comes in two parts! Hooray! (And yeah. Clearly I'm not giving up exclamation marks any time soon. Long reign over-excited punctuation.)

The first section is where it gets incredibly obvious how much time I spend obsessing over sentences.

Writers I would like to be

Margaret Mahy Margaret Mahy Margaret Mahy did I mention Margaret Mahy? Her sentences are stunning, full of unexpectedness and humour at every turn, and no writer on earth can wield a similie like she can. She takes the supernatural, family relationships, love, identity, philosophy, the narratives we construct about ourselves, and she tangles all these things together beautifully and makes books which read both fantastical and true at the same time. I don't think I would be a writer at all if it weren't for growing up with her books. Especially The Changeover.

She's quite different to Margaret Mahy, but I'd also seriously love to be Ursula Le Guin for a day, just to write like she writes. Even when you're reading the FAQs on her site and she's explaining why she doesn't like people sending her big parcels in the post, her sentences are precise and polished, like tiny gems.

Also I love Elizabeth Knox and Francesca Lia Block and Audrey Niffenegger. I'd happily be any of them too.

And the second section is where it gets incredibly obvious how much I like my male characters Witty and Beautiful and with Dark Mysterious Pasts. Never underestimate the power of a good Dark Mysterious Past in making me want to immediately leap on a character and -


Characters I would like to do

Ok. Because there is a fair chance that my boyfriend will end up reading this, I'm emphasising the fact that this is all hypothetical fictional stuff.

I loved Jace in The Mortal Instruments series. I mean, you know. Super tough demon fighter who also has awesome one liners. I also really liked Niall in Melissa Marr's books (particularly Ink Exchange) what with the Dark Mysterious Past and the faeryness. And Dylan in Simone Howell's Everything Beautiful blew me away too. I want to say that he's the hottest paraplegic character I've ever come across in YA, but he's actually one of the only paraplegic characters I've ever come across in YA. He's rebellious and sarcastic and deeply troubled.

And in non-YA, I adored the angel Xas in The Vintner's Luck by Elizabeth Knox. Don't see the movie, or even the trailer, because they got him all wrong. (Then again, you know you have a good literary crush when you get grumpy at the movie version for getting the character Horribly Utterly Wrong and nowhere near your glorious vision.) But yeah. If you don't mind literary things and you're up for a love triangle in 19th century France involving an angel in a gay relationship, go read The Vintner's Luck immediately.

My ultimate literary crush, however, is Henry in The Time Traveller's Wife. Hot librarian who is extremely well read and also has great music taste and says many witty and gorgeous things and has to deal with trauma from the past, present, and future. I mean being me I was sold on hot librarian alone, but yeah. It doesn't get better than Henry. He's a wonderfully written character, one of those characters who you spend time reading about then put the book down and go back to real life feeling slightly lost, like the character is slightly more real than the world.

So. Those are my crushes. Admitting them is kind of giving me weird flashbacks to being on school camp when I was twelve and telling all the other girls in my cabin the name of the boy I had a crush on.

Want to read more about literary crushes? Go visit YA highway post-haste.


Lee Bross said...

OMG Jace *drool* There is something about the tortured, trying to be good and remain aloof guy that makes him a hundred times hotter. ;)

Kaitlin Ward said...

hehe "Characters I would like to do".
I need to read the Mortal Instruments series, apparently. Because everyone seems to be oh so in love with Jace.

Anna said...

Oh this is great!! I always had a secret longing for TS Garp from The World According To Garp.

Amanda Hannah said...

I too swooned over Jace lol. I think it's great that a lot of us have similar answers. Great minds thinking alike and all that.

Kristin Miller said...

Ooo, I'm going to have to read about Dylan. I love that name.

Leila Austin said...

Dylan is awesomeness. Along with everything else about Everything Beautiful. Definitely worth reading! :-)

I still need to read The World According to Garp. I've been meaning to for ages.

And Jace. Ah, Jace. The tortured bad boy with a heart of gold. We should start a Jace Wayland Appreciation Society.

Michelle Schusterman said...

Once again, I leave your blog needing to read Audrey's work.

Leila Austin said...

Yes! Yes you do!

This is when I kind of wished we all lived in the same town, because I would totally lend you my copy of Time Traveller's Wife. And Her Fearful Symmetry, once I'm finished with it.

Note to self: learn teleporting.

Boyamichicken said...

Dylan- Oh My goodness I was so frustrated that I had to finish reading that book!

Leila Austin said...

Yeah. After I read Everything Beautiful I carried it around in my bag for the whole summer, so I could dip into it whenever I felt like it. You know characters are wonderful when you keep going back to hang out with them over and over.

Mab said...

I am totally with you on Xas and Henry.