I don’t mind spoilers when I read. I always get curious in the how something happened more than the actually something. I will routinely cheat by peeking at the end of the book. That’s who I am. That being said, I know many people who are bothered by spoilers. If that’s you, you may wish to skip this post.
It’s the season to discuss best books of the year. I’ve voted on the Goodreads list and the list for Nerdy Book Club (Don’t know the Nerdy Book Club? Go look. It’s a pretty fun group). Lists of Best books are all around.
When I read, there are scenes that stick with me. If I pick up a book to reread, I’ll go scene diving for my favorite moments or follow a particular character’s path. For years, I would pitch a favorite fantasy of mine by starting with the final scene. Some scenes stick with me for a very long time. One of the most memorable scene’s I’ve read comes from the recently deceased Anne McCaffrey in her book Dragonflight. It is when F’lar realizes Lessa has tried going hundreds of years into the past. Another ‘stuck’ scene is when Strider speaks to the Hobbits in Bree to convince them to let him travel with them. (“If I wanted the ring…”).
In young adult fantasy, there’s the moment in Sherwood Smith’s Crown Duel when Meliara realizes she’s been courting none other than long time rival and soon to be king Danric by letter. In Kristin Cashore’s Fire, there is the moment when Brigan comes to take Hannah from Fire after Fire cared for the little girl after a fight. For Cassel in Holly Black’s White Cat, it has to be the scene where he is transformed by blowback magic and he’s actually aware of it happening. In older reads, there were scenes with Adam Eddington, Vicki Austin and dolphins in A Ring of Endless Light and the words “I called you.”
Sticking scenes aren’t just in adult and young adult fantasy fare. For Harry Potter, there’s the scene in the shrieking shack at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban and the quip of “Malfoy, the Amazing Bouncing Ferret” in Goblet of Fire. One of the earliest scenes that stuck with me isn’t from fantasy at all. It’s from the book Hatchet that I read in fifth grade for school. What stuck with me? That trip Brian makes back into the plane in the lake.
What are your favorite scenes? Don’t worry about spoilers. Here are mine from a variety of 2011 middle grade and young adult reads.
Son of Neptune – Percy’s phone call home.
Scorpio Races – It will sound all Princess Bride, but the kissing scene in this one. Puck’s ride down onto the beach on Dove is another. There’s also a line that lives in my head from this book. It’s Sean’s “I’m so, so alive.”
Sparrow Road – Raine’s story of an orphan that used to live in the attic at Sparrow Road.
Mostly True Story of Jack – Jack saving Anders.
Breadcrumbs – the whole sequence where Jack is found trying to piece the ice back together.
Hound Dog True – Three little words-“I write stories.”
Marty McGuire – The frog at the play.
Darth Paper Strikes Back – The school board scene made me shudder, but it was very memorable.
Peter Nimble – When Peter puts in the eyes and becomes something that really can’t handle being in the desert.
Uncommon Criminals– the uncle swap.
Juniper Berry – The scene beneath the trees with the balloons.
Red Glove – Cassel spilling his secret.
Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable – Climatic scene of the book where Coke and Pepsi are at the House on the Rock. I think I clapped aloud at all the familiar Wisconsin places. There’s also the whole jumping off a cliff sequence.