« Book Report: Paladin of Souls | Main | You neek, you »

Book Report: Savvy

It looks as if Walden Media is doing a good job pushing Savvy, a (how did you guess) YASF novel by Ingrid Law. For one thing, it’s a spiffy cover. And the whole book, by the way, is totally movie-ready; I’d be surprised if it takes them more than three or four years to release it. Even with movies being (a) slow to make and release and (2) uncertain to recoup the cost. Did the Inkheart movie really sink without a trace? And Ember? Man, is it possible that you can make more money publishing YASF books than producing YASF movies? Or are the X-Men movies YASF? I mean, seriously, are the X-Men movies young adult movies, in the way that Twilight is?

Oh, right, distracted. I was a bit skeptical about this one, actually, because the premise is family all have special powers that begin to manifest on their thirteenth birthdays; Our Hero is a girl about to turn thirteen, already a bit of a misfit, and both anxious and excited to find out what her power will be and I’m pretty sure I’ve read that book half-a-dozen times in the last five years. It’s not altogether unlike the Percy Jackson series, for one thing. The general trope—teenager doesn’t fit in, discovers that it’s because he/she is special, adjusts to specialness, possibly with new information about her real family—is extremely common, from Kiki’s Delivery Service to, um, Escape to Witch Mountain. Which isn’t to say that any particular book with that trope is going to suck. I love the Percy Jackson books, you know, and Kiki as well, and lots of others, too. But it does make me wonder about the author’s creativity and originality; the book doesn’t start out with much in the way of author points.

But Savvy overcame my initial skepticism, largely because of two things. First, there was a terrific sense of place, with lots of specificity and fun. That helped keep me going for the first bit. Second, the plot moved along at a good clip, with Our Hero having a clearly-defined goal and plausible diversions from that goal. So that’s all right, d’y’see?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.