Saturday, June 25, 2011

What is Sara Zarr reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Sara Zarr, author of the novels for young adults: Story of a Girl, Sweethearts, Once Was Lost, and the forthcoming How to Save a Life.

Her entry begins:
In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard. It's one of those books I put on my Kindle awhile ago, and I don't remember where I heard about it or what compelled me to buy. This happens a lot with e-readers. It's so easy to impulsively buy stuff the moment it catches your ear, and then later on when you finally return all your library books and get through the stack by your bed and you're on a plane, you turn on the Kindle and find all these books that you forgot about, and it's not like you can browse the flaps so you just dive in.

Here is the opening paragraph:

"We can't believe the house is on fire. It's so embarrassing first of all, and so dangerous second of all. Also, we're supposed to be in charge here, so there's a sense of somebody not doing their job."

On that same page we learn the narrator and her best friend are 14-year-old babysitters. (But this is not a young adult novel.)

The first...[read on]
Among the praise for Once Was Lost:
“Beyond delivering a gripping story, Zarr has a knack for exposing human weakness in the ordinary.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This rare combination of in-depth character study and gripping mystery relies on a strong sense of emotional truth to do justice to some tough subject matter without graphic or violent scenes. Riveting.”
Kirkus (starred review)

“Zarr sets a hard task for herself here: interweaving a number of strong story strands and giving them equal weight, even as she tightens the whole with questions about faith and God. …comes together as an impressive whole.”
Booklist (starred review)

“[A] riveting combination of a thriller, but it's also an unusual meditation on faith....”
Adele Griffin, author of Tighter
Learn more about the book and author at Sara Zarr's website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Sara Zarr.

--Marshal Zeringue