Monday, 5 January 2015

#AmReading: Dance, Gladys, Dance by Cassie Stocks AND Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Oh, Frieda Zweig! You might think Gladys is your kindred spirit, but you are mine. When I read Cassie Stock's novel, Dance, Gladys, Dance, I was swept into Frieda's life, and did not put the book down for two days. Alright, not two days straight, but two days straight of all of my free time between work, children, bathing, and eating (yes, I will take time to bathe even during the best reads). It made me laugh, it made me mad, and heck, it made me want to sell everything and find an incredibly cheap room for rent from a quirky, yet lovable, older man (shh, don't tell my husband).
It's not often I stray from my usual, teenage, angst-driven, dystopian reads. Yes, I am a full-fledged adult of thirty-odd years (later half not the first ). I can't help myself, rarely do I read adult novels, finding most dripping with too much descriptive text, irony, symbolism, and other things I skip over, turn the page past, or choose to ignore (I chose to leave my university exam cramming days long behind me). In fact, I fully embrace the new era of New Adult books to bridge the gap!
So, is Dance, Gladys, Dance lacking of these great Canadian literary traits? Absolutely not. They're just woven together in all the right places, making the read incredibly enjoyable in each and every way.
I was fortunate enough to meet Cassie at the 2014 Festival of Words in Moose Jaw, where she signed my copy. I took a writing workshop from her there and can delightfully say she is not a big "W". She is down to earth, approachable, and pleasant, and my only regret was not being able to attend the rest of the festival or chat her up during her stay.
Write on, Cassie Stocks! Can't wait to read your next novel.
p.s. Loved your snoring piece in Reader's Digest.
The next author I met at the 2014 Festival of Words was Faith Erin Hicks, a fantastic Canadian comic book artist. Faith taught us a little about comic book drawing (did you know they sketch with a blue pencil and then draw with black ink over top of that because blue won't scan - so cool). When I took her my copy of "Friends With Boys," to sign, we chatted a little. I asked when book 2 will come out, which could include more about the ghost. Faith giggled, and advised me the ghost is a metaphor. Oh dear, here I go skipping blindly past the literary parts...again (I guess I need to review some of my own work a little closer). But yes, I did get understand the purpose of the ghost - but why can't a metaphor continue on in a series! I mean, who makes these strict metaphor rules, stating who can and can't be, because I'm telling you, I LOVED this graphic novel, and can't wait to read more of Faith Erin Hicks works!
p.s. Also check out Superhero Girl - a great read for all ages!
Melanie McFarlane, author of "The Descendants and the Missing Guardian" Proud Saskatchewanian

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