On the other hand, I read Melissa Kantor's The Breakup Bible. With witty prose by a post-breakup narrator, it's just a fun read. Think a smarter Bridget Jones in high school. Honestly, I probably enjoyed reading it more than Between Shades of Gray. Sure, it touched on some important themes like love and racial identity, but I appreciated a bit of escapism and a happy ending. This book was like a fluffy pink cupcake--fun, light, and oh-so-tasty.
I thought it fitting that I read these books close to one another, as they symbolize an inner debate I've had for a while. What kind of book should I write? A serious, issue-driven book with a message people need to hear (Between Shades of Gray), or a book that is lighter on message and bigger on fun (Breakup Bible). What kind of a book is worth writing?
When I began writing, I thought I needed to craft a Sepetys-style epic to really matter as a writer. I wrote that kind of book, and I do love it. But I don't know whether it's big enough or good enough to venture even close to Between Shades of Gray territory. I wonder if I'll sound melodramatic and cheesy to my readers.
My second book, on the other hand, hints at bigger themes of true love and family, but I mostly just have fun writing it. It's silly and probably sometimes slapstick, but I definitely escape to a happy place when I write it. Nobody will consider me a Serious Author if I ever get this published. But I think Andrea and Nikki like this one better than the first because of its fun factor.
I have to believe that readers value both spinach and a pink cupcake. Sometimes you're in the mood for a big read; other times, it's overwhelming to add the woes of the world to your own.
What do you think? What kind of book is worth writing/reading?