30 April 2008

Writing on Reading: A Highly Placed Source

A Highly Placed Source by Michelle Dally is a bit far afield of my usual reading fare. It is a YA novel, and probably would not be considered fantasy. However, its a first novel by a local Denver author, which makes it interesting material for me. Source is based on a high concept premise: what would happen if God talked to a high school kid--and the media got a hold of the story? To add one more twist, God's first message to the kid is that masturbation is okay--a message sure to inflame established Christian church authorities. 

Dally has a nice voice and does a great job keeping the plot moving. However, the author's decision to tell the story from multiple POVs lessened the effectiveness for me. It did not feel as if Dally wanted to identify a central protagonist, and therefore as a reader I never felt completely grounded. Also, at certain points the POV "head-hopped" between characters within a scene, which I felt was disconcerting.   

Overall, I found her writing very promising and look forward to seeing more from her. 


lesleylsmith said...

What a coincidence; I also read this book! :) I really enjoyed Dally's voice and plot also. It is my understanding that Ms. Dally had a very difficult time getting this book published. So is the take-away lesson: Don't write about masturbation? No. I'm gonna say it's: Don't give up on getting published!

Anonymous said...

I think it might not be the subject matter so much as the stylistic choices (head hopping, POV switches) that made it a tough sell. I'd like to borrow that one, Dave.

Is masterbation wrong? I've never heard that from my church. :)

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

David E. Hughes said...

Bets--have you asked?

ssas said...

Truthfully, it hasn't come up. As for my church, though, I can't believe they would even have much of an opinion.