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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Voices

Since the book does go back and forth in time, you will read voices of the characters, especially the kids, in their very young ages 5-6, to teenagers. I really like Jodi's writing, this is my first book of hers but in this book, at times, the voices do not match the ages. Sometimes the 6 or 13 year olds are using words that are not age appropriate, or thoughts at that a 6 year old mind would not conceive of in that way, we do tho, so its easy reading for us and helps us understand what the kids are feeling, but the kids of that age would not talk or know their feelings in such terms. I can find some examples, did you notice any you can share?

A general example of what I am saying. Last year sometime we read the book,Cage of Stars, and its a really good book, maybe not a best seller but a really good book and the author, when she is letting the 13 year old girls talk, SOUNDS just like a 13 year old girl, not an adult writing for one. Know what I mean? We even asked her about, how did you get their thoughts down so great and their language and voice! It really took you back to being that age yourself. She said it was from having like 4 teenagers around her all the time or something lol. Here I hear an adult applying concepts and words to the younger ones that just dont match. Once in awhile, I even had to back up a couple of pages to make sure what age I was reading about again, since we do go back and forth. This is probably my only problem with her writing but its a problem. For example, in 6th grade, one of the girls saying she thinks the room looks like a bordello. Bordello??? Do you know any 6th graders who would use that term? For that matter how many adults do anymore? A kid these days is more likely to say a skanky room, or even this looks like a ho house! But Bordello in 6th grade?

There is even one very deep thought processing of a situation, an adults thought processing, when the kids are only 6 and 7 years old! It was big enough for me to pick up on as out of place, better as a narrative than as the actual thoughts of a 6 year old. I am not being picky here lol, but the honesty of character's voices, especially in age terms,is important in a book like this, where we are trying to understand what its really feeling like for them in their terms. Maybe she can't get there herself and maybe thats when it needs to be narrative. But we talk about voices so much in our readings, that this struck me as out of place, anyone else?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Voices

I did notice the incident when the girl said her room looked like a bordello and thought that was a bit odd. There were a few other times that I thought the thinking or the conversations were very mature but it was usually with Peter and I thought he was different anyway. After I read Viv's comments it made me more aware of this but it hasn't really bothered me much, at least so far. Maybe because this story is so shocking I haven't paid as much attention to things like that. I've been thinking more about the shootings and what led up to it. I will be paying more attention to it as I read the rest of the story.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Voices


Wrighty wrote:
I did notice the incident when the girl said her room looked like a bordello and thought that was a bit odd. There were a few other times that I thought the thinking or the conversations were very mature but it was usually with Peter and I thought he was different anyway. After I read Viv's comments it made me more aware of this but it hasn't really bothered me much, at least so far. Maybe because this story is so shocking I haven't paid as much attention to things like that. I've been thinking more about the shootings and what led up to it. I will be paying more attention to it as I read the rest of the story.



It didnt take away from the story or the impact to me either. But it was there, and at times, I wasnt sure what age was talking and had to back up a couple of pages. I need to find the one that was supposedly what Peter was thinking at age 6. That just didn't gel that a 6 year old would process it in that way, much less use those terms. It flows because we are reading it as adults, but I do wished she could have hunted a bit more for the kids voices at each age because it would have pulled me in even more. Could have made a powerful book even more so maybe.

One example I can think of, besides the 13 year olds in Cage of Stars. Because maybe a six year olds voice is hard to capture. If any of you have read The Road, I figure, especially at the first, the little boy was about 6 years old. Sometimes he asks his papa things, and his father tries to give him something to hang on to or calm him or be as honest as he could without getting to in depth. And what haunts me about that book, is I see this little boy, walking down these gray roads, alone with his father (his papa), holding his hand, walking a bit awkwards at times, maybe kicking at a rock or something and then after asking his father something, all you hear him say is, "ok", and maybe look down and keep going. You absolutely know this kid feels more, even knows more and I think in an omniscient narrator style, or through the thoughts of the father about what his son really thinks, you get those insights into this little boy who has no one or anything to trust but his papa, even when he knows papa is lying to him, trying to protect him, so he just says "ok" and goes deep into a little kids thoughts that you dont hear. That book was the most emotional book I have ever read and even tho this book is hard and emotional because its real (not this particular story) but its really happening, I felt a lot for Peter and Josie and all the kids, but The Road, even being fictional, had me sobbing at the end, because the love and the emotions were so utterly real. That six year old got to me so much! Here, I feel for Peter, but I also see so much coming because his little life is analyzed in adult words and terms and it didnt make him as young to me as he should be, as he was. I dont know if any of that makes sense but voices do really add or distract from stories. (Especially NOW that I am so aware of them because of reading fiction books for a year! :smileywink: )
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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