Happy Monday, everyone!
Today I get to talk about Michelle's novel, Monarch, which was officially available as of last week. But I won't be talking too much about the story. You can find brief synopses of that if you're interested. Instead, I want to talk about what I love about Michelle's writing in general and why I think she's definitely worth a read.
When I think about Michelle's writing, the first thing that always comes to mind is nature. Whether you read her first publication, Cinders, or Monarch or have had the chance to read drafts of some of her other stories, you'll notice that there are always a lot of references to nature: butterflies, the sea, the woods, the weather. What always strikes me about these references is how invested Michelle is in them. She doesn't use it as some sort of writerly crutch. I think any reader can really tell how much she loves nature herself, how much she is surrounded by it. When Michelle writes about nature, I fall in love with it again.
The second thing that comes to mind when I think about Michelle's writing is intelligence. Way back when, I remember encountering Michelle in the blog world. I think my first introduction to her was probably the first paragraph of Monarch, actually. But what got me truly intrigued by her was her intelligence, which came through in her blog posts, in our conversations, and definitely in her writing. When I read (and reread) Monarch, I love Michelle's ability to see and analyze the world intelligently and sympathetically.
And, thirdly, what I love about Michelle's writing is that she consistently makes her prose shine. I always feel like I can pick up one of Michelle's final drafts, open it anywhere, and read it when I want to see some smooth prose. Michelle is a perfectionist in the best sense of the word. She makes sure each paragraph flows well and is highly polished, and I feel secure in her ability when I go to read.
As for Monarch itself, this is a book I did really enjoy. There were characters I really liked, scenes that were beautifully written. And, really, if ever you wonder whether or not one book can be about so many different things (and fit into so many genre categories), check it out and see just how much Michelle managed to cram it all into one story.
I hope you'll give Monarch a chance if you haven't already! One commentor will WIN a free copy here!