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Friday, February 26, 2010

Firespell discussion questions (Blog with Bite)

Hey, all.  I made an update to my Firespell review, because I realized that it happened to be this month's book for Blog With Bite.  Basically, I answered the discussion questions, and because I am so nice, I am posting the questions here, on their own, to save you from tracking down the review (which would entail clicking the link above and scrolling a l l l l l  the way down to the bottom.  Poor dears).  Here they be:

1. Lily and Jason. Discuss. What do you think the next book holds for them?
I think it's pretty clear that they are going to end up together, but I am sure there will be trials. Someone's not going to trust the other, Jason's going to feel he's too dangerous, etc. Something will get in their way. But like all good (used loosely) ya, they have to have angst, and they have to get over it and come together.

2. Lily & Scout's friendship had a lot of secrets, so in the end who did you relate to more, Lily or Scout? How about Lesley or Veronica? Would you hang with the brat pack or be a loner?
Alright, don't get me wrong. I like Lily. She's the protagonist, and I'm supposed to. But I looove Scout. And I am completely biased, and I'll tell you why (in fact, I already have): she organizes her books by color. Hello? Sound familiar anyone? (if not, where have you been? Take a look at the green shelf, the purple shelf and stay tuned for future pics of the shelves, once I get around to making them presentable and picture worthy). Also, Scout's just fun. We have similar senses of humor, and I wanted to see how she got sucked into all this. And I know she's got Lily's back, even on the slight acquaintance they have.
Definitely not a brat packer. Though I suspect there's more to Veronica.

3. What do think of the overwhelming trend in YA literature where the parents of the protagonists are either- dead, strung out or shipping their children off to boarding schools? Do you think this is a real look at parents today and what teens are dealing with?
We talk about this in my book club all the time. A few of the members are YA librarians, so they read a lot of it, and certainly it is prevalent. We came to the conclusion that it is a mostly necessary devise. Think about it. If your characters are teens, and many of your readers are teens, the idea of being alone and going through things is going to be a familiar one. Even if you're not alone in the world, it sometimes feels that way. It's a great way to jump-start the whole "coming of age" thing. Also, as a writer, you need to be able to put your characters in situations that they may not be able to get into with watchful parents, so it's necessary from that aspect, too. And there is an added element of suspense and tension, and a little bit of danger, to know that these kids are basically on their own, about to do something heroic/crazy/drastic, and then a big pay-off when they come through it.

4. Follow up to parental question. Authors employ the missing parents to mature their teenage protagonist. The protagonist doesn't have the option to act as an irresponsible teen, because they do not have any parental supervision. Did you find Lily's behaviour normal for a teenager, or more mature than most?
She is a bit more mature, but:
1) I don't think we give teens enough credit, for mature thinking if not mature actions. They are, after all, the ones reading these, and if the protagonists were too mature, it would feel off to them and fail.
2) Lily's at the right age to start wising up and being mature, and there's no indication that she was ever all that immature.
3) Her maturity isn't out of the realm of reality by any means. She still does some reckless immature things, all told. She never would have got herself snared in all of this drama if she hadn't...

If you've read the book, I'd love to hear your answers to the questions above, or any burning questions of your own you may have.

Check out the Blog With Bite site for more awesome greatness like these questions, each and every month.

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