verse: I love you so
not really poetry but
yet still poetic*
Laura and I both have a relatively newfound, near-obsessive love for novels in verse. And, seeing as how April is/was National Poetry Month, we thought we’d usher in May with some love for novels in verse.
This week, we’ll be celebrate all that we love about novels in verse, highlighting some of our favorites and talking about what it is that makes verse novels so very special.
We hope you enjoy Clear Eyes, Full Shelves’ celebration of novels in verse—we’re thinking that we’ll make this an annual tradition of sorts, expanding it next year to include other folks as well.
To kickoff Novel in Verse Week we have…
Five Truths About Novels in Verse
1. It is a known fact that novels in verse > poems.
Okay, okay… so some folks will probably disagree with me, but hear me out. Poetry is pretty nifty: you have rhyming (sometimes), meter, interesting structures and language plays. With novels in verse—you get all of that, plus a whole story! Plus, novels in verse often play with many different poetic forms in a single novel. (One of my favorites, Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay, does this brilliantly.)
2. Novels in verse are novels slimmed down to the story’s essence.
Because there aren’t a lot of extraneous words and little bogged down description, novels in verse have the ability to guy you in an intense way. Lisa Schroeder’s The Day Before (I’m reviewing it this week) is such a simply story, but there’s no “padding” to the words. Every single one counts, so you’ll get wrapped up in it in a more thorough way—guaranteed.
3. Just because you hated poetry in high school, doesn’t mean you won’t like novels in verse.
Laura will be posting later this week about why she loves novels in verse—and she is definitely not a poetry nut.
I like some poems (no shock, the more narrative ones), but am not at all a poetry fiend. But I will buy a novel in verse I know nothing about because I love the form so much. So much so that I found myself gettign really mad at my local Barnes & Noble because they didn’t have a special section of “Novels in Verse.” (Yes, I realize the ridiculousness of this.)
4. When you start reading novels in verse, you eventually start wishing all books are in verse.
Laura keeps complaining that Lisa Schroeder (Are you sensing that we’re big fans of Lisa at CEFS?) really should write an epicly gut-wrenching dystopian, because a dystopian in verse would be mind-blowing.
Because, you see, everything is better in verse. (Point illustrated: I squealed when I got the the seven pages of haiku in Perfect Fifths—those haikus were critical to thrusting that story forward.)
5.Novels in verse will inevitably make you become a hardcore Lisa Schroeder fan.
Lisa’s written four incredible young adult novels in verse (plus several middle grade titles) that shine so brightly amidst a sea of incredible novels in verse. With so few words, her character-driven books manage to convey more emotion and nuance than many, many tradionally-written novels that are far longer. Her books just exemplify all that makes the verse format so special.
*Yes, this is a terrible haiku about novels in verse. Don’t judge me.