Novels in verse combine the most endearing aspects of both forms of writing – the lyricality of poetry and the narrativity of prose. However, they also demand the author’s proficiency in both formats – which is why it’s easy for them to go wrong. So here is a list of 10 best novels in verse, that we think will appease all readers.
10 Best Novels In Verse Everyone Should Read:
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
- Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
- The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
- Charlotte by David Foenkinos
- The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth
- Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
- The Long Take by Robin Robertson
- The Slaying of Meghanada by Michael Madhusudan Datta
- Your Heart, My Sky by Margarita Engle
- Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
No one would believe this masterful piece of literature was a debut if it wasn’t out in the pubic realm. It follows the coming-of-age story of a girl who attempts to understand her mother’s religion, her race, and her place in the world. In the process, she discovers slam poetry as a means to make sense of all these inner happenings of her mind.
Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
This novel in verse is a retelling of an ancient Greek myth full of anguish and pain – it is the story of Geryon. Geryon is a monster with red wings growing up in a world that rejects him. But soon, he finds solace in his camera, and sets out on a journey that will unleash his creative potential. And it just might help him discover his identity and self-worth.
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
In this saga of family and brotherhood, Josh recounts the life of his family. Josh and Jordan are excellent football players, and spend huge amounts of time at the court. Here they realize that life too, like a game, has its rules and penalties are served for breaking them. This book is simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, even for adults.
Charlotte by David Foenkinos
Freshly translated from the French is this sensitive and beautiful portrait of artistry, with the obscure German-Jewish painter Charlotte at its centre. Taking us through the violent upheavals of Nazi Germany, this book offers us a glimpse into the life of an artist during the holocaust. It also speaks of happier things – like amorous affairs and vibrant paintings.
The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth
Arguably one of the finest authors of modern India, Seth proves his mettle with this poem. The story revolves around a John Brown, who seeks ideas if self-actualization from everyone he meets. Soon, he falls in love with a girl called Liz, who in turn ends up falling in love with his best friend. This love triangle and his search for self-actualization mark the story.
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
in this ode to the craft of writing, we look at Jack, who hates writing poetry. Except, his middle grade English teacher cannot stop giving him poetry assignments, which makes him sick. But with every word he writes, he discovers increasingly that he has something of worth to say. And that saying it gives his feelings a much-needed release.
The Long Take by Robin Robertson
This war-narrative follows a Canadian man deranged and destabilized due to his posting in Normandy for a war. Suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, her finds himself unable to go back to his family. So instead, he goes in search of freedom and anonymity.
The Slaying of Meghanada by Michael Madhusudan Datta
A retelling of the Ramayana from the perspective of the antagonist’s son, Meghnad flips the traditional narrative around. Accommodating the vigour of the Bengal Renaissance along with the rising consciousness about the British rule, this book has important social implications too.
Your Heart, My Sky by Margarita Engle
This is a sensitive portrayal of Cuban life through the eyes of Liana. Liana is living through a period of economic depression as well as starvation, when she meets a boy who refuses to comply to the political regime. They fall in love, and what emerges is a poignant romance.
Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario
From the perspectives of two young sisters, this book explores the ramifications of grief. As the sister duo comes to terms with the death of their mother and navigate the grey cracks and crevices of life, a beautiful story emerges.