Friday, May 24, 2013

An Author a Day for Thirty Days: Day 24

I don't really know a whole lot about Meg Howrey. A Google search revealed that she's a classically trained dancer and been involved with theater, and that makes sense. Mostly I know Meg Howrey only from the two books I've read, but based on the books I think she must be a pretty interesting person.

I am not above poking fun at adults who read YA books, but the truth is that more and more, books are crossing age distinctions. I'm an adult books rep (not adult as in porny, but adult as in not children), but I always make a point of highlighting titles that could cross over into the huge young adult book market. What's the difference between a young adult book and a book featuring teens and 20's characters? I guarantee that there's more sex and violence in YA literature than 99% of the adult books I sell. Meg Howrey squarely falls into that cross over category, as an adult book writer who could just as easily be read by smart young adults.

Blind Sight stars a smart kid, Luke, who has been raised by his New Age mother and shared a house with his two sisters. He's never really known his father, but for the summer that Luke is supposed to be writing his college admissions essays, he's finally getting to know his dad. Dad, though, is not just some random guy; he's a television star living in Hollywood. Luke finds himself attending premiers and sitting in at location shoots, going to parties and living the public life. Luke's dad isn't the same person in public and in private, though, and just as Luke is trying to piece together his own identity for his essay, so too is he trying to work out who his father really is.

In The Cranes Dance, two sisters try to survive in the hyper-competitive world of professional ballet. Kate Crane is trying to hang on to her role in Swan Lake, but she's troubled by her sister Gwen's breakdown. Gwen is younger, and both sisters were dancing prodigies as children, but Gwen became the star. Now Gwen has returned home and Kate is alone for the first time and feeling guilty about what role she may have played in her sister's demise. The Cranes Dance offers a closer look at the ballet world that the movie Black Swan introduced to millions. Meg Howrey was a dancer, though, and somehow I believe she offers a more realistic, dark, humorous, vivid portrayal than Natalie Portman growing feathers out of her back. If you liked Black Swan, you'll like The Cranes Dance, but I don't want to pigeon hole this novel as a rip-off or just a dance book. It's a story about sisters first, and that's a relationship that many non-dancers know intimately.

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