Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Time Traveler's Wife and My Secret Life

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What up Monkeys?

I just finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffengger and was dying to give it a review. For those of you who haven't read it, it's about the lives of Henry DeTamble, a man with a genetic disease that causes him to time travel randomly and his wife Clare DeTamble, who has known she was going to marry him all her life even though he has only known her since he was twenty-eight. It goes through in a scattered chronological order, seeming to stick closer to Clare's timeline since Henry's is chaotic, but the story is told from both points of views.

I want to break this down from both a reader's and a writer's point of view. First off, because I think that everyone needs to know how difficult it is to write in the format that she chose. And she does it so fully, so beautifully, that I am convinced that Niffengger cannot be is not human, for no mere mortal can achieve that level of greatness. Her format is jammed packed with flashbacks and concentrated with switching personas. Let me tell you, from the point of view of someone that has attempted to do that same, it's freaking hard. (Just so you know what planet I'm coming from, in Scrapper the Connection Reborn my format was to switch between present and past every chapter or so with the main character Scrapper. In the second book of the series Snatcher the Bridge Restored, the same general format is placed, only in the present I'm shifting back and forth between Scrapper and Zane's point of views and in the flashback chapter's I'm retelling the story told in the first book from Snatcher's point of view.) I went in, innocent to the ways of flashback chapters, and I think I lost a piece of me along the way....Honestly, for my birthday the year I started Scrapper I ask my Mom for a shirt that said FORGET YOU FLASHBACKS! It's difficult to flip the character focus in your mind, and after a while you notice that the characters sound exactly the same. That, and there are so much inconsistency that sneaks in there while no matter how hard you try to keep it all straight. It's like you're writing two different books at the same time. throw in some extra points of view and you just aren't really sure what you're doing anymore. Somehow, Niffengger made sense of it all, and for that I have never ending admiration.

And now from the reader's perspective, I was utterly blown away. To be honest, when I picked this up at the bookfair I thought that it'd be another chick-lit thing that I'd end up hating. But the book was glued to my hands before I even reached page six. Henry is such a deep conflicting character, one that I don't think I'd ever forget. And Clare, so patient and so accepting, yet still so human at the same time. The way Niffengger constructs and arranges every part of the story sent pangs to my heart. Particularly at the ending, it was everything to keep me from balling my eyes out in the middle of study hall. It took all day for me to get over it.

Ah, feels good to get that off my chest.

So, ever since I got back from the conference I've been playing with the idea of revealing my secret life through another blog to all you monkeys. "Secret life you say, Becca?" Yes Timmy, a secret life that I've kept hidden from the world until now. Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a reason that I write paranormal young adult despite my growing distaste for the genre. Its because, in another world, I live it. It's more of an alternate life then a secret one, considering I jump between two different realities, one not so different from the other. In both I am still sixteen, still battling zits and jerks, still seeking out true love. The only major difference is that in one, humans are the only dominant species on earth. In the other, well, they are not. But here I am getting ahead of myself.

So, want to know more?

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