First Friday – Five Favorite Things – Debut Novel Day
Dave Amaditz and
typically means that summer is half over, but we optimists at
Route 19, say the summer has barely begun. If you haven’t made your summer
reading list yet, don’t fret. Marcy and I have a great lineup of summer books
for you to enjoy on this long holiday weekend. Check out today’s post as well
as past First Friday reviews.
monthly series, we ask five simple questions about a debut novel that will
hopefully entice anyone reading this post to pick up the novel and read it
themselves, and/or give them at a glance some insight into the author’s writing
style and voice as well as how some of the characters might think or act. We do
this by presenting, first, answers to our
Five Favorite Things, followed by the author’s answers in a follow-up post.
Lynn Matson and her novel, Nil, a
compelling story about a girl who’s transported from the Target parking lot to
an unknown land called Nil. It’s packed with adventure, love and heartache as
the young people living on Nil try to escape – the catch – they only have 365
days to get out. The book is told from alternative points of views (Charley and
Thad), which gives the reader a terrific perspective into these two complex
or paragraph from the novel as it relates to the main character’s development
force, its power… and perhaps more importantly what she believed were the
secrets needed to escape. The following section gives some of that insight.
convinced than ever that the carvings provided not only the start of the gate
wave, but something deeper, something more personal. Something each person had
to figure out before he or she could leave.
tropical island of Nil. He leads the people on the island, but he never stops
working long enough to get close to anyone, that is until Charley arrives. This
paragraph shows Thad doing something he typically wouldn’t.
did look ready to take a header any second. Make that another header. She still
had a nasty lump from yesterday. Her coloring had paled, or maybe that was
because I’d just offered to comb her hair. Seriously, Thad, WTF?
whether to say yes. Like she was wondering why the hell I’d asked.
from early in the book. To me, it set the scene and described so well in so few
words what the main character was feeling at that particular time.
than before. Pressed tight to my rock, I listened. A twig cracked, then
another, snapping as crisply as the break of dry bones. A whoop, guttural and
plaintiff, reverberated through the night air.
didn’t sound human.
chapter ending speak for itself.
caught and stuck. I looked down, and when I realized what I’d kicked, I
of the island, Jason, is my favorite. He’s quiet and unassuming but he’s always
there for Thad, and for everyone for that matter, giving unselfishly of
himself as a spotter, the person with the vision needed to search for the wave
that would take them home. Although he could’ve hopped a number of waves
himself and left the island earlier, he respected the rules of “the city”. He
allowed those there the longest the opportunity to leave first.
my favorite. She befriends Charley when she needs a girlfriend the most. She
takes her into her cabin as a roommate. In this scene, Natalie is doing a
makeover on Charley.
Natalie assured me was a very fashionable ‘do. The rest trailed down my back.
Then she smudged my eyes with charcoal and glossed my lips with something that
tasted like pomegranate. Stepping back, she looked at me like a painter
studying her canvas.
mention your legs. There’s just one thing missing.” She raised one finger and
grinned. “Got it.” Reaching over, she broke a single white blossom off a wreath
by her bed and tucked it behind my ear. “There,” she said, nodding. “No bunches
of flowers in the hair, too fussy for you. “But this” – she adjusted the flower
– “is perfect.”
paragraph describes perfectly the life they faced living on the island of Nil.
(And once again I picked the exact same quote that Marcy has chosen. Usually,
when we do something like that I’ll choose another. But this paragraph of
description is so right-on that I think I’ll leave it.)
kick-ass boarding, when you’re stoked and high on life.
smile. Has a name like… Mallory.
out. The truth is, she’s cruel. Heartless. The kind of girl who sleeps with
your best friend when your back is turned. And once the mask falls off, so does
the glamour. That’s the island of Nil in a nutshell. Blow-your-mind gorgeous,
until you peel away the façade and see who she really is.
living person who can give and take away from each of its inhabitants. Thad’s
description of Nil is powerful.
kick-ass boarding, when you’re high on life.
smile. Has a name like…Mallory.
But once you really get
to know her, the truth rips your guts out. The truth is, she’s cruel.
Heartless. The kind of girl who sleeps with your best friend when your back is
turned. And once the mask falls off, so does the glamour. That’s the island of
Nil in a nut-shell. Blow-your-mind gorgeous, until you peel away the façade and
see her for who she really is.
dialogue was used often throughout the story as both internal thought and
dialogue. I chose it because I believe it aptly describes the thought everyone
who ever lived on the island would have. It’s the perfect dilemma that pretty
much sums up everything about the island of Nil.
– I won’t ruin the line with backstory,
but Johan has strong beliefs and doesn’t hold back telling the others the right
thing to do.
offense, but you two should leave. Thad makes three, and right now we need all
the luck a trinity can bring.”
read more about Lynn Matson’s debut YA novel Nil please