Tag Archives: The Anatomy of Curiosity

[REVIEW] The Anatomy of Curiosity – Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, & Brenna Yovanoff

Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, & Brenna Yovanoff
The Anatomy of Curiosity (Anthology)
Lerner Carolrhoda Lab (US: 1st October 2015)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide)

I’ve read and enjoyed some Maggie Stiefvater books, I own but haven’t yet read some Brenna Yovanoff novels, and while I’m not interested in any of Tessa Gratton’s works she seems like an awesome person on social media. The Anatomy of Curiosity is a great opportunity to get into the authors’ heads a bit to see how stories develop out of vague ideas.

Three different authors; three different approaches. Maggie starts with characters, Tessa begins with a world, and Brenna has a topic. They ask themselves questions, rule out possibilities in order to get to the heart of what they want to focus on, and sometimes they meander around in several different ways until finally figuring out what and how they want to say.

Maggie Stiefvater’s “Ladylike” sparked from an idea about an older woman and a teen. The story doesn’t particularly intrigue until the appearance of a guy in the woman’s apartment, and waiting for that to happen includes plodding through some pretentiousness. To the poetry’s credit, when checking on Wikipedia to determine if a poet mentioned in the story was real (he was), the word “algolagnia” added to my vocabulary, so that’s a positive.

When the lady talks about context, and how pieces of the creator end up in their creations, it makes you wonder. A common discussion among readers is how to deal with problematic authors – and by that, do we stop reading their books entirely? Or continue to read them, whilst knowing that some of the authors’ worse personality aspects may end up in their characters? Will disliking parts of the author affect enjoyment of their works?

Tessa Gratton’s idea of magical bombs is intriguing, but the way she tells it doesn’t really appeal to me. I have no interest in made-up lands; I prefer to read about real places. I’m definitely an urban fantasy fan, not one of traditional/epic/high.

But while the author’s inspiration focuses on world-building, based on “Desert Canticle” her strong point is characterisation. The big reveal doesn’t come until the story’s midpoint, but from then on the tale really makes a stand. If Tessa Gratton ever writes a contemporary, it would be awesome.

I’m not sure how to follow Brenna Yovanoff’s “Drowning Variations”, so I’ve decided that it shows several drafts of wandering and explaining, the author talking to the reader about how she found the right story in which to incorporate a teen drowning. And so I believe “The Drowning Place” is the REAL story, and everything else is just leading up to and discussing it. “The Drowning Place” is four-star quality. As for the other “variations”, they take the place of margin notes (which the other authors’ contributions had, but this one doesn’t).

The Anatomy of Curiosity shows how authors’ minds work in different ways, and may give readers new methods of idea development to try. It may not really connect as a fiction anthology, but as a reference text it’s well worth rereading.

1st October 2015 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, & Brenna Yovanoff
The Anatomy of Curiosity (Anthology)
Lerner Carolrhoda Lab (US: 1st October 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

In an unassuming corner of Brooklyn, a young woman learns to be ladylike, to love context, and to speak her mind from a very curious sort of tutor. In a faraway land convulsed by war, a young soldier hears the desert’s curious hum as he disarms bombs with the person he doesn’t know how to love. In a place so shrivelled by drought that any drowning is a curiosity, a young writer tries again and again to tread water beneath the surface of a vast and unusual sea. Three new stories – complete with commentary on the creative process – from three acclaimed young adult authors working at the height of their powers. Curious?

October 2015 Releases

Done with September 2015 Releases? Here are October 2015 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

TRIGGER WARNING: The cover image for Andrea Kleine’s Calf (13th October) is confronting.

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4 New Covers (Armstrong; Landers; Stiefvater, Gratton, & Yovanoff; Sun)

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Now Available for US Pre-Order

Maree Anderson: FREAKS UNDER FIRE: 31st March 2015: Buy (US)
J. C. Carleson: PLACEBO JUNKIES: 27th October 2015: Buy (US)
Cassandra Rose Clarke: OUR LADY OF THE ICE (hardcover): 27th October 2015: Buy (US)
Ally Condie: ATLANTIA (paperback): 20th October 2015: Buy (US)
Jeaniene Frost: THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES (mass market paperback): 29th September 2015: Buy (US)
Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher: NEVER NEVER PART TWO: 17th May 2015: Buy (US)
Kelly Keaton: HEART OF STONE: 17th February 2015: Buy (US)
Tiffany Reisz: THE QUEEN: 27th October 2015: Buy (US)
Maggie Stiefvater: THE RAVEN KING: 29th September 2015: Buy (US)
Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, & Tessa Gratton: THE ANATOMY OF CURIOSITY: 1st October 2015: Buy (US)

6 New Deals (Bosworth, Cantor, Condie, Hastings, Stiefvater, Gratton, Yovanoff, Zappia)

Struck author Jennifer Bosworth‘s The Killing Jar (2014) to Farrar, Straus Children’s. A teen girl is abducted to a utopian commune, where she discovers a shocking connection between an unthinkable crime against her family and the commune leaders, who hide an arcane secret about her past.

Jillian Cantor‘s I Am Sky. A teen boy and girl are “saved” from the remote island where they’ve lived their entire lives, only to discover that the real world may not be the paradise they’ve been hoping for.

Ally Condie‘s two new books to Dutton Children’s (NA). The first book (scheduled for 2014) tells the story of Rio, who has waited her whole life for the opportunity to leave her safe, underwater city of Atlantia for life on the surface. But when her life takes an unexpected twist and Rio must remain below, she is left with increasingly dangerous questions about the complex political and religious system constructed to govern the fragile divide between land and sea.

Avery Hastings‘ two books and an e-novella to St. Martin’s Press. Feuds, first in an epic series pitched as having echoes of Romeo and Juliet and Gattaca, in which a ballerina who has been genetically engineered for perfection falls for a rising star in an underground cage-fighting ring, and together they must face the deadly virus threatening to tear her perfect world apart from the inside out.

Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, & Brenna Yovanoff‘s The Anatomy of Curiosity (2014) to Carolrhoda Lab (World English). A companion to their earlier The Curiosities, and a conversational step-by-step guide to their writing/critiquing process and relationship, with new original stories by the authors in first and final draft forms.

Francesca Zappia‘s Ask Again Later to Greenwillow (World English). About the ultimate unreliable narrator: a schizophrenic teenage girl unable to tell the difference between reality and delusion, who discovers – thanks to her Magic 8 ball, her little sister, and a boy she thought was imaginary – that sometimes there really is someone out to get you.