If there’s one thing that can get me to love a book whole heartedly, even with a mediocre plot then it’s got to be the writing style. There’s just something about a well written book that makes me so happy. I guess it’s the idea that the author uses the same 26 letters we use every single day, and somehow manages to string them together in a way that makes me feel like I’m looking at art. Or maybe it’s because I just appreciate the way words can be used to paint a thousand different pictures. Not sure what’s up with all the art references but you get me, right?
I love books for so many different reasons, and every book I ever read holds a very specific and special place in the makeup of who I am in this moment. But for today, I thought I’d share a few books, few meaning 5, which I fell in love with because of the writing. It may not necessarily mean that I love the plot or characters as much, but when I think of beautiful writing, these are the books that spring to mind:
UNRAVEL ME BY TAHEREH MAFI
It took me a while to appreciate Tahereh Mafi’s distinctive writing style. The first time I read Shatter Me, the over-the-top symbolism and metaphors seriously got on my nerves. But after stepping back for a bit and then returning to the series at a later stage, I became accustomed to what she was trying to achieve. Although I still feel it took some time for the descriptive imagery to be toned down to a level that had me reading it with a more appreciative eye.
But now after having read the entire series, I recognize the poetry in these books. The words flowed together seamlessly, making me tab every page just so that I can have quick access to the words. Even though I enjoyed the plot, I’m still convinced that I fell in love with this series based on the writing alone. It was captivating and descriptive and astonishingly beautiful. I cannot wait to read more by this author.
“Loneliness is a strange sort of thing.
It creeps on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in the dark, strokes by your hair as you sleep. It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can’t breathe. It leaves lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaches the light out of every corner. It’s a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you’re struggling to stand up.
You wake up in the morning and wonder who you are. You fail to fall asleep at night and tremble in your skin. You doubt you doubt you doubt.
why won’t I
And even when you’re ready to let go. When you’re ready to break free. When you’re ready to be brand-new. Loneliness is an old friend stand beside you in the mirror, looking you in the eye, challenging you to live your life without it. You can’t find the words to fight yourself, to fight the words screaming that you’re not enough never enough never ever enough.
Loneliness is a bitter, wretched companion.
Sometimes it just won’t let go.”
THE WRATH AND THE DAWN BY RENEE AHDIEH
When I think of The Wrath and The Dawn, the plot and characters are completely overshadowed by the writing style of Renee Ahdieh. Even though this book was written in English, it still felt like it was being told in another language; as if it was translated. This technique was a wonderful way of weaving the rich Middle Eastern influence and culture into the entire structure of the plot. From the food descriptions to the dialogue, everything was told with the same ascent, and it factored heavily in my imagining of the tale. My full review of The Wrath and The Dawn can be found over here.
“So you intend to go through life never loving anyone? Just … things?”
“No. I’m looking for something more.”
“More than love?”
“Is it not arrogant to think you deserve more, Khalid Ibn al-Rashid?”
“Is it so arrogant to want something that doesn’t change with the wind? That doesn’t crumble at the first sign of adversity?”
“You want something that doesn’t exist. A figment of your imagination.”
“No. I want someone who sees beneath the surface-someone who completes the balance. An equal.”
“And how will you know when you’ve found this elusive someone?” Shahrzad retorted.
“I suspect she will be like air. Like knowing how to breathe.”
THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER BY LESLYE WALTON
The title alone suggests that this book will be filled with writing bliss, and holy crap did it deliver! Much like what Tahereh Mafi did in the Shatter Me series; Leslye Walton made use of vivid imagery and thought-provoking metaphors to tell her tale. But in this case, the writing style was used to create an atmosphere of despair; evoking raw emotion that gave me an instant connection to the characters. The writing was beautiful in a devastating way and ripped my heart out while healing my soul.
While reading Ava Lavender, I constantly felt like there was a shadow cast over me – a shadow of longing, loneliness and sheer heartache. The story was filled with a heaviness that I could never quite put my finger on, yet it was told with a strong sense of acceptance that made me believe that everything will turn out okay in the end. Writing this little explanation just doesn’t do the book justice, which is why I wrote a full review over here.
“To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth—deep down, I always did.
I was just a girl.”
CROOKED KINGDOM BY LEIGH BARDUGO
It’s been a few months and I’m still not over this damn book! It was freaking fantastic. There’s just no other way to express how good it was. This duo-logy were the first books that I read by Leigh Bardugo, so Six of Crows (book one in the duo-logy) was my introduction to her writing style and the fantasy world of The Grisha. And now I’m utterly hooked and cannot wait to read more of her work. It’s difficult for me to separate the world building and storyline from the writing style of Leigh Bardugo because all the elements that make up this book are so intricately woven together, and brought to life through her writing. It’s a carefully, and purposefully detailed book where nothing is left to chance. There are no added frills and not a single punctuation mark is placed without a deeper meaning behind it. In short, it is my kind of book.
But apart from everything I mentioned above, what makes Leigh Bardugo’s writing style truly remarkable to me is how she manages to use vocabulary and sentence structure to create characters that are completely unique in personality. When reading a book with multiple POVs the characters can easily blend together and form one voice. However, with this duo-logy, Bardugo keeps them all totally separate and it is so blatantly obvious whose perspective you’re reading from without even looking at the chapter heading. Her writing style is, without doubt, one of my favourites.
“Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.”
STRANGE THE DREAMER BY LAINI TAYLOR
Okay so this is technically cheating since I’m still reading Strange the Dreamer, but Holy Freaking Cow it is so well written! Damn it to heck this book is beautiful. I’m not going to say anything more right now because I’m going to write a full review once I’ve finished but I’m having the best time with this one! I totally understand the hype!
“And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.”
Are you someone who actively seeks out well-written books? Or are you more interested in the storyline and characters? Let me know in the comments below!