I love books that stand on their own. I do. Sometimes I could care less what else an author has written. I’ve found a book I love, and all others can step aside.
But there are certain authors who I find fascinating because their entire body of work tells a unique story. So, in this blog series, I’ll be chatting about some of my favorite writers and their works as a whole.
A.S. King (Amy Sarig King)
Born: Pennsylvania, USA
Genre: realistic YA fiction (with the occasional magical twist)
Coming soon: Reality Boy (Oct. 2013)
Please Ignore Vera Dietz; Ember; 9.99; pub. Oct. 2010
Opening line: “Before I died, I hid my secrets in the Master Oak. This book is about my best friend, Vera Dietz, who eventually found them.”
First A.S. King I read! Reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson. A complicated, affecting examination of grief and guilt. This story grabs hold and stays with you. A 2011 Printz Honor Book.
Everybody Sees the Ants; Little, Brown; 9.99; pub. Oct. 2011
Opening line: “All I did was ask a stupid question.”
My favorite of King’s novels. Lucky Linderman is the ultimate underdog, victim of relentless bullying, undefended by his father, and dreamer of strange dreams involving his long-lost POW/MIA granddad. Lucky’s humor buoys this masterful book. I didn’t want it to end.
Dust of 100 Dogs; Flux; 9.95; pub. Feb. 2009
Opening line: “Imagine my surprise when, after three centuries of fighting with siblings over a spare furry teat and licking my water from a bowl, I was given a huge human nipple, all to myself, filled with warm mother’s milk.”
A close second to Ants in my mind. King is at her magically-realistic best here, managing to make a story about pirates, reincarnation, revenge, and true love work brilliantly. It’s far from fluff, but I’ve been recommending this as a beach read, simply because all you’ll want to do is lie in the sun and tear through it as quickly as possible.
Ask the Passengers; Little, Brown; 17.99; pub. Oct. 2012
Opening line: “Every airplane, no matter how far it is up there, I send love to it. I picture the people in their seats with their plastic cups of soda or orange juice or Scotch, and I love them.”
A delightful story about coming of age and coming out, but mostly about love in its many forms. King avoids the possible cliches of small-town life, instead focusing on protagonist Astrid’s tricky navigation of romance and family. Also, have I mentioned that A.S. King is awesome at naming characters?
Those who have been following this blog for a while will know this isn’t the first time I’ve fangirled out over Ms. King. I blogged about her love of indies back in July. Yeah, I’ve got a pretty big author crush going.
Read on, readers!