So I've been reading A LOT of teen books lately. I've never been much of a teen book reader- even when I was a teen. I started reading Dragonlance novels in grade five and was hooked to fantasy from then on, leaving that genre only for required school reading or the classics. As I became an adult I branched out a little- Clive Cussler, Dan Brown, Sophie Kinsella, some historical church novels, and of course- more classics. But I stayed true to fantasy- rereading my faves Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Terry Goodkind.
The only time I went into the teen category was of course Harry Potter, Eragon, and Twilight. You'd think that Twilight would have made me want to delve into the whole YA phenomenon, but it didn't even cross my mind.
And then Jessica Jacobs was born. The first novel I have even written. And it happens to be, yep- a teen book. Once I had it written and edited (once) and out to its very first agent, I decided I should read some teen books so I could know my audience, see what else was out there, and get the feel of the whole YA genre (if it can be called a genre). Thus began a long... well not very long since that was last february... relationship with unforgettable characters, interesting plots and very very quick reads.
So what is this so-called curse you ask me? Well, a month or so ago I had nothing to read. I had gotten Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" last christmas and I decided to finally take a crack at it. Thus began the curse. I found myself skimming not only some very X-rated moments (why didn't anyone warn me about those???) but extremely long descriptions and scenes that seemed so unnecessary to the plot. (Like hello- we already know Claire's a tough chick- we really didn't need to spend pages reading about her fight with a wolf to prove that.)
I couldn't help but wonder (so SATC) if I would have skimmed that book so much if I'd read it before my whole teen reading jag. I've been known to skim before, but mostly the descriptive or boring parts of books that I've already read ten or more times. But after reading teen books where every word counts, every character is major, and the pacing is so quick I'm done the book in a day or two, it's almost impossible for me to read an adult book.
I have considered the possibility that maybe it was just Outlander, and not all adult books. But again, last week I was without a book, too lazy to go to the library, and had an unread book on my bookshelf just waiting for me to crack open. So now I'm reading the much recommended "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. And yes- it's a good book.
And yes- the curse is upon me. Just last night I found myself skimming a scene where this kid sets fire to a church. It took eighteen pages to show the kid thinking about starting the fire, actually starting the fire, and then getting out of the church.
In a teen book, that would have taken about two. I'm just sayin'.
Will the curse ever leave me? You'd think since I'm a maturing adult, I'd be moving into more difficult and thought-provoking reads, rather than regressing to immortals macking on mortals, girls in spy school, and boys becoming werewolves in the cold weather. But no. Give me vampires, magic, angels, and tough chicks who battle it out in an arena. And give them to me in a book that I'll read in a day. At least until the curse disappears and I can read like an adult again.