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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Angela Morrison--What She Did Right

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I recently had the priviledge of reading two romantic, YA novels by Angela Morrison: Taken by Storm and its sequel, Unbroken Connection.

From the back cover of Taken by Storm:
Leesie Hunt's Unbreakable Rules:
No Kissing (at least not of the French variety) . . . No Sex (hah! not even close to happening anyway) . . . No Dating Outside the Mormon Faith (what would be the point?) . . . ABSOLUTELY No Falling in Love with the Wrong Boy (wold ruin everything)

Leesie thinks she has her whole life planned out: get into the school of her dreams, write her poems meet the perfect guy, and settle down. Then she meets Michael--a boy whose parents were killed in a diving accident during a terrible storm.

Michael is drowning in tragedy. And all Leesie wants is to save him. With each day, her heart hurts more. Could it be perfect Leesie is falling from grace? Or is she just falling in love?
But if Leesie gives in to temptation, who is going to save her?

What She Did Right:
One of the elements I loved most about these two novels is the way Morrison defined her characters, allowing us to discover their personalities the moment we look at the page. Like many romance novels, Taken by Storm and Unbroken Connection are told from the main character and the romantic lead's points of view, but Morrison took this technique up a notch by giving us Michael's point of view through what he writes in his dive logs (he also uses "i" instead of "I"--very unique!) and revealing Leesie's POV through her poetry and her online chats. Sooo cool.

Another great thing about this technique is it immediately makes a "connection" with Morrison's YA readers who chat, often write poetry to express their emotions, and try to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Which brings me to my next comment.

I recently attended a class where David Farland said Stephanie Meyers planned to--and did--write a book about sex, and yet it had no sex in it. That is a close description of Morrison's novels, only without the vampires and danger. In fact, both characters are obsessed with their physical desire for each other while at the same time trying to control those emotions. Like the classic conflict of man against self, sometimes they fail, but most of the time they redeem themselves and succeed. Yay!

If you'd like to learn more about these books, read the third book in the trilogy as the author writes it, or contact her, visit her website at www.angela-morrison.com.

Happy Reading!

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