I have a few select snippets from various books that just imprinted themselves in my memory. These snippets are so vividly crafted or are just so touching or both that the scenes come alive effortlessly in my imagination.
If I could draw, I would have attached images of how I imagined the scenes would be like but to my frustration, I am awful at it so I rely on existing images instead and put them in a collage hoping they would suffice.
When the day comes that I can finally draw beautifully and to my satisfaction, I would definitely post it here.
Anyway enough blabber let us go in right into the list.
1. Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas – “Dancing Scene”
I am sure you are not surprised by this. Devil in Spring is all I ever talk about in lists (I bet you must be tired of hearing about it) but this book just ticks all my boxes and more.
Pandora is hard of hearing on her right ear and this has caused her trouble in doing certain activities. One in particular is dancing.
When Gabriel found out, he enlisted the help of her sister Phoebe to play the piano while Gabriel teaches Pandora to dance, working out a way so Pandora does not experience vertigo when turning swiftly.
It was an utterly sweet gesture. No one had ever done such an effort for Pandora before so she was naturally overwhelmed.
Rumor is that if you check the meaning of ‘romantic’ in the dictionary, you would find this scene as an example.
Pandora looked up into Gabriel’s smiling eyes. “Why are we stopping?”
“The dance is over. We just completed a three-minute waltz with no problems.” He pulled her close. “You’ll have to find another excuse for sitting in corners now,” he said near her good ear. “Because you can waltz.” A pause. “But I’m still not giving your slipper back.”
Pandora was very still, unable to take it in. No words would come, not even a syllable. It was as if some huge smothering curtain had been drawn back to reveal another side of the world, a view of places she’d never known existed.
Clearly puzzled by her silence, Gabriel loosened his arms and looked down at her with those eyes like a clear winter morning, while a tawny lock of hair slid over his forehead.
In that moment, Pandora realized it would kill her not to have him. She might actually expire of heartbreak.
2. Low Pressure by Sandra Brown – “Reconciliation Scene”
If you have seen my review of Low Pressure, you know that it isn’t actually a review but just a rave of one particular scene.
Sandra Brown has a way with words. She knows how to create that perfect atmosphere for her characters and their corresponding situation. Setting, emotions, atmosphere, dialogue – she does it all so flawlessly.
“Moody showed up,” she said. “I spoke to him just before I saw you. He said—”
He interrupted her. “I don’t want to know what he said. I don’t care what he said. I’m done talking about him or anything related to that subject.” He looked her over from the top of her head to her bare feet. “If you want to take off your clothes and give me a lap dance, you can stay. If not, go back to the bosom of your rotten family and leave me the hell alone.” He gave her about half a second to make up her mind, and when she didn’t move, he snuffled. “I didn’t think so. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”
Moving back into the living area, he picked up the TV remote. “Maybe I can catch the last few innings of the double-header I missed by going to your old man’s send-off.”
His rejection, coming so closely on the heels of Steven’s, was crushing. A sob erupted from her as she turned and walked toward the door.
But before she could get it open, he was there, cursing under his breath, turning her to face him. He flattened his hands on the door, caging her between it and him, and pressed his forehead against hers. “That was a terrible thing to say.”
“I guess I had it coming.”
“No, it was a low blow. It was cruel. Because
I know how much you loved him, how sad you are.”
“When we’re angry, we say things we don’t mean. You’re angry.”
“As hell.” He released a long breath and rolled his forehead from side to side over hers. “I don’t know how you do it, Bellamy Lyston Price.”
“Make me so damn mad.” He moved in closer. “And still keep me wanting you.”
3. Love in the Afternoon – “Fireplace Scene”
It’s another Lisa Kleypas entry because she is just the master of romantic settings. Her scenes are always beautiful and sweet yet also alive with that sexual tension only a few authors can effectively capture.
She does not bore with unnecessary descriptions, only focusing on details and actions that are absolutely needed to build the imagery she wants to create.
Closing and locking the door, Beatrix approached Christopher. She looked fresh and feminine in a lavender dress, her hair neatly swept up with combs. One could not fathom a different picture from the outlandish girl in breeches.
“I could have killed you,” he said savagely.
“I could have hurt you.”
“You didn’t do that, either.”
“God, Beatrix.” Christopher went to sit heavily at a hearthside chair, glass in hand.
She followed him in a rustle of lavender silk. “I’m not Beatrix, actually. I’m her much nicer twin. She said you could have me from now on.” Her gaze flickered to the Armagnac. “You promised not to drink spirits.”
“We’re not married yet.” Christopher knew he should have been ashamed of the sneering echo of her own earlier words, but the temptation was too much to resist. Beatrix didn’t flinch. “I’m sorry about that. It’s no fun, caring about my welfare. I’m reckless. I overestimate my abilities.” She lowered to the floor at his feet, resting her arms on his knees. Her earnest blue eyes, starred with heavy dark lashes, stared contritely into his. “I shouldn’t have spoken to you as I did earlier. For my family, arguing is a sport—we forget that some people tend to take it personally.” One of her fingertips drew an intricate little pattern on his thigh. “But I have redeeming qualities,” she continued. “I never mind dog hair, for example. And I can pick up small objects with my toes, which is a surprisingly useful talent.”
Christopher’s numbness started melting like spring ice. And it had nothing to do with the Armagnac. It was all Beatrix.
4. Champion – “The Hello/Goodbye Scene”
Every YA addict knows this cutting scene. We all went emo when it happened. This one is included here not because it’s a picturesque scene like the others in this list (not to be rude but Marie Lu is not yet up to par with masterful authors who build such atmospheric scenes) but it’s here because of the sentiment behind it.
Day wished back in book 2 (Prodigy) that he could meet June in different circumstances and here in book 3, it actually came true.
When Day and June meet after Day lost his memory, June has the option to tell him the truth but she didn’t because she remembered Day’s wish and she wanted it to come true for him even if it meant denying her own heart.
The whole thing is just so heartbreaking but like I said in my review, it’s a touching sacrifice she made.
“Excuse me,” he says. Oh, that voice. Deeper, gentler than I remember, without the rawness of childhood and with the new elegance of an adult.
“Have we met before?”
For a moment, I’m at a loss for words. What do I say? I’ve spent so many years convincing myself that we no longer know each other. “No,” I whisper. “Sorry.” In my mind, I beg myself to tell him otherwise.
5. Strange the Dreamer – “First Glimpse”
Sarai thought she was invisible in his dream but Lazlo could actually see her. Lazlo thought Sarai was just his imagination but she was actually real.
Again, the scene is perfectly mounted. Laini Taylor is the best writer out there, seemingly crafting her scenes like magic, using beautiful proses to build fascinating scenarios.
No one–as in no one–does it in the YA world like her.