Thursday, April 26, 2012

Feature and Follow (7)

Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then "broke up" with later on in either the series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.
Well, I would have to say Jace from The Mortal Instruments became such a baby/ whiner/ emo in the fourth book that he lost his bad boy, sarcastic appeal to me. That sucks because he really was the dreamiest....

I didn't fall in love with Lena from Delirium but she did disappoint me. It was just so hard for me to believe that this girl-- who looked down on her friend for breaking rules, who believed her mother died because she wasn't cured, who had so many reasons to want the cure-- could have so easily fallen in love and then rebelled without much of a inner struggle. It was just so out of character for her that I felt disappointed in how easily she changed her mind-- not that her leaving was a bad thing. She just had such strong personal beliefs at the beginning of the novel then she just gave them up. I dunno what I wanted from her though...

Please comment/ follow and I will do the same :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday (No Plot Mo' Problems)

So I missed posting last Wednesday. I'm now at about 64,000 words.

My biggest problem, so far, is that my W.I.P. it's really lacking a plot. It has a lot of great emotional scenes that reveal a lot about the characters, but I'm having a hard time revolving the character building around an actual plotline. Somehow the evolution of my characters does not a plot make, unfortunately......

Appreciate my Paint skills please

Here is a conversation I have with myself constantly:

Aspiring to be published me: What is it anyway? 
Dreamy writer me: What is what?
Aspiring to be published me: The plot! Hello? What is the plot? The climax? The build-up? The reveal?
Dreamy writer me: Oh that. Why didn't you say that in the first place?..........I dunno. Doesn't that just occur by itself? What do you need that for anyway? I'm creative man I don't need a structure holding me down!!!  Now, tell me, don't you think the romance is steamy....

You get the picture. I'm trying to split the difference between plotting and characterization but it's been pretty difficult. I want the book to draw a reader because of the great characters and their interesting backgrounds but I don't want my story to feel like that's all it's relying on because that's when a story gets boring. I always wanted my W.I.P. to be a great mixture of romance and narrative but it's turning into something I didn't want/ expect and it's going to take a lot of work to resurrect it.

I think I'll just have to continue to write and make more of a plot in the revisions. I realize now how not easy writing is. Where'd I get that idea? Sigh. I'm going to consider the revision phase as my W.I.P. digging itself out of the grave.

I really should go into graphic design if this whole writing thing doesn't work out....

Divergent Chapter from Four's POV

I don't know if this is popular knowledge or not, but yesterday the generous Mrs. Roth released a chapter from Divergent in Four's POV!!! I was so excited about it I had to share since I'm not sure everyone follows her blog. (You should by the way she's very funny and insightful). It gives a new outlook on the story and I always love to read a chapter from someone else's perspective.

So here it is! Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review: Re-Read of City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare
Pages: 496
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult / Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal
First Published: March 27, 2007
First Line: "You've got to be kidding me," the bouncer said, folding his massive arms across his       chest.
Buy it from: Amazon
                  Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
Book Trailer:

The GIST (From Goodreads): 

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end


I first read this book over a year ago and then quickly devoured the other two. (we won’t even talk about the ho-hum fourth one). Re-reading it was a different experience for me. As an aspiring writer delving deeper into how books are constructed, it’s great to go back to a book that made me excited and see what I liked and didn’t like about it. Such as, I would have liked the introduction to Clary’s normal life  to be a little longer but Clare does a great job of making the Shadowhunter world fascinating, even second time around.

The best part had to be the boys- Oh the boys! One in particular, of course. I still laughed out loud at the things Jace said. A lot of times I think things are funny in books but I hardly ever actually laugh so that was great. As for Jace as a character, I saw him as even more vulnerable and badass than I did when I first read the book especially when I remembered his motives towards Clary which are revealed in further books. It was nice to have the insight into him that only having read most of the series can give.

I still see Clary as a little bit of an annoying and bitchy character. Even though she's having problems with her mother, she hardly ever even thinks about her throughout the novel even though her mother was kidnapped and she thought she could be dead. She is also a total jerk to her best friend Simon who Clary said verbatim (several times) she forgot he even existed. You don't have to exactly like the main character to like the book but she was so obtuse and someone I had a hard time identifying with. Also, there was something about Simon that was just smacking the reader in the face and I just couldn’t believe she didn’t see it.
When I first read the book, I threw it across the book at the climax (when you learn about Jace and Clary). It was gross and I didn’t think I could finish the book the first time around. I wasn’t so grossed out this time but I did wish it wouldn’t have been a part of the story. I like the whole forbidden thing but that was just too sickening. Also, the villain Voldemort-- I mean Valentine was just corny....

The Shadowhunter world was one you could get lost in-- in a best kind of way! The love interest was absolutely dreamy so I recommend reading it based on one word. JACE.---9.0 / 10

Friday, April 20, 2012

Feature and Follow (6)

Q: Fight! Fight! If you could have two fictional characters battle it out (preferably from books), who would they be and who do you think would win?

I would have to choose:

Howl from Howl's Moving Castle, brooding, green eyes, handsome, quirky and mysterious. He's one of the best wizards.


Daemon from Obsidian, who is also brooding, gorgeous, snarky, mysterious and has green eyes...(maybe there is a theme here). He is an alien.


Both are two of my favorite boys from books. I think it would be an even match because of their powers. And of course they would be fighting over me.

Ding Ding Ding
And the winner is....

Daemon because he would definitely fight dirty when it turns out Howl is actually a nice guy.

Do you know these guys? Who do you think would win?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Review: Iron King

Author: Julie Kagawa
Pages: 363
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal
First Published: February 1, 2010
First Line: "Ten years ago, on my sixth birthday, my father disappeared."
Buy it from: Amazon
                  Barnes & Noble

Book Trailer:

The GIST (From Goodreads): 

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.


I enjoyed The Iron King. It's true. I liked it. Was it mind blowing? No.  Highly original? No. Did I go out and buy the sequel the next day? Yes. I'll tell you why.

The story is about a girl named Meghan Chase who learns that fairies exist and that she is actually the daughter of a faery king. Meghan's half brother is stolen and replaced with a changeling and thus Meghan races into Nevernever, the land of the fairies, to get her brother back. One thing in her path is Ash, a prince of the Unseelie court, who is trying to kill her or capture her-- depends on where you are in the story. Although I don't know if I would fall for a boy who always said he would kill me the next time he saw me...but hey that's just me. (If Prince Harry said he would kill me, I would probably overlook it too.) Anyway Ash seems to be the good boy among the verwee bad Unseelie court who really weren't that scarwee to me. Just very vicious and murderous... I guess that is scary. Oh well.

Anyway, it's really hard for me to define Meghan. Why is it in these books the men have amazing, dynamic personalities and the girls, who are the main characters, are kind of like a filler character for whatever needs to drive the plot. Who's Ash? Dangerous, mysterious, serious prince. Who's Puck? Funny, crazy prankster. Who's Meghan? Well, I'm not sure.

I guess that was my biggest issue with this novel, though I liked the plot and was interested to see where it's going. The second issue I had was that Ash and Meghan have this dislike of each other for most of the novel than suddenly they are in love. I had to flip back to see if I missed a scene-- I didn't. Although I liked them together, I think their attraction phase before the love jump should have been expanded. And third, the titles of the chapters told me what was going to happen! Why even have that? Let me read the book lady!

Things I especially liked: Puck. He was funny, moody and very unpredictable. I wish he had been a bigger part of the book because he was pretty fun. I also thought Nevernever was described well, dangerous even to fairies themselves. Kagawa gave the whole faery world a mysterious, volatile vibe. It made me easily feel how overwhelmed Meghan could be jumping into this new place.


I really liked the book and would recommend it. It felt a little light, depth wise, but I enjoyed it and can't wait to read the rest of the books to see how everything progresses.---8.5 / 10

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren were you post books that you've gotten over the past week. Taken literally, this post is a lie because I got absolutely nothing in my mailbox. I did, however, get some lovely treats left on my desk in my office :)
 I borrowed these from my friend at work (who is also an YA lover) last year and I decided I wanted to try to read them again. I traded her Obsidian and Enclave which I think was fair. So, I don't own any things, just borrowing. How sad...

My other co-workers girlfriend (isn't it great having nice co-workers?) actually works for Scholastic in New York City in their marketing department which means she can get loads and loads of free books and every once in a while, he brings me in a surprise from her. She must look at my Goodreads posts on Facebook cause she always gets me books I haven't read yet. Hurray for free books!

These are other free books she got me this week. I already have the MazeRunner so maybe I'll try to do a giveaway with some of the doubles of books I have. My co-worker lost my original Hunger Games book so his girlfriend gave me the whole set with a Mockingjay pin. Actually I have three pins from her. Anyway, I already had Catching Fire and Mockingjay so they are doubles too. Maybe when I get to a hundred followers...

I didn't pay for any books this week. Holla for that! I need to save as much money as possible.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Feature and Follow (5)

What is one book that you would be nervous to see a movie adaption of because you think the movie could never live up to the book?

I would really have to say The Giver by Lois Lowry would be a book that I would be nervous to see transformed into a movie. It is more of a book where you had to be in the head of Jonas, the main character, whose world is turned upside down as he gains the knowledge of his society and the truths he has never known as the new "Receiver of Memories."

Like my thoughts on the Hunger Games, I find it hard to translate a book that focuses so solely on one person. The movie would make it more about the world than it would be about the personal conflict of the main character which, to me, dilutes the connection you feel with an MC.

Plus, the ending is so ambiguous and open to interpretation, I feel like the movie would try to make it more concrete, negating the whole effect and message behind the book.

 What do you think?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday

So this week wasn't so great with my WIP....I wrote about 4,000 words. Nowhere near where I wanted to be. Is it too much of a goal to try to get 20,000 more words written by next week?

Yeah, I thought so....

Maybe 10,000. That seems more obtainable. It's just that I have this "bad" habit of going back to reread things I wrote and edit them a little. I actually went back to an old draft- from like two years ago- and got so caught up in the story I was disappointed when I realized I never finished the scene. If I can entertain myself, I can entertain others, right? We shall see.

On another note, I'm trying to get more into the writing community blogs lately. I'm trying to integrate my writing with my reading, but I'm finding it's a lot harder to find blogs about writing than it was book blogs.

I think I spent 4 out of the 8 hours at work scanning blogs. It just may be time to move on from that job -_- I looked at joining SWCBI or whatever it's called. I'm too lazy to move my finger to go Google the correct acronym. It's probably more important to actually finish my WIP than it would be to try to find people to critique my work or learn how to query. No, it definitely is.

Anyway, I should try to write a little tonight ....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How I Became an Avid Reader and an Aspiring Writer

My want/need/drive to write a novel largely stems from my love of reading.

I started out being a reader later in my life. No one in my house liked to read, my younger brother hardly did his homework, my older sister was studious but didn't enjoy reading, my mother and father never pushed me to read.

I didn't become addicted to the written word until I was a teenager. When I was younger, you couldn't get me near a book for fun. Pah-lease. I was strictly a TV/ movie person. Reading was for dorks and I was already too much as a dork to begin with. The last thing I needed was another arrow on my back.

That all changed when I joined a group called TAB or Teen Advisory Board at the library where a friend of mine's mother worked. We would spend one hour a month choosing new books to order for the teen section, discussing books we read and packing away old books for soldiers. I figured it would look decent on a resume and my friend's mom really liked that we were involved (it always good to make the friend's mom happy).

So we were talking about fantasy books at a TAB meeting one day when I decided I would try this whole "reading for fun" thing. There were those boys at the meeting who spoke about Lord of the Rings like they lived through it. At the time, I thought they were lame losers but something about their passion made me envious. It took me a long time to realize they were the brave ones for not caring what people thought of them. They liked what they liked and didn't make any excuses for that. I wasn't like that. I wanted desperately to be liked.

That day, instead of using my library card solely for school reports (and I didn't even end up reading those books most of the time), I got out some fantasy novels. I don't exactly remember what books I started with except that they were Young Adult novels. But, clearly, I got enthusiastic about them. Eventually I just kept getting out more and more books -- sometimes 20 at a time -- and I would read the 5 that intrigued me the most. The Young Adult fantasy section really hooked me and I would sometimes spend whole weekends immersed in a book.

I tend to be one of those people who can't take my mind off something so I'd stay up reading to 5 or 6 in the morning. I remember the day when I was 15 and I saw a book on the New Books self that looked interesting. I read the black book with an apple on it in one night, then waited in anticipation for the next ones to come out. That book was Twilight. Although my tastes have changed since then and I don't like the book so much anymore, I remember how I felt like I knew Bella and, maybe one day, could have a romance as great as hers. Isn't it amazing how some letters on a page can make you feel hopeful or happy or not alone? That the memory of finding a book that touches you is as vivid as an other important event in your life?

Anyway, I began to read and read all the time. It became something I wanted to do everyday, something just for me. One summer between Sophomore and Junior year, I would get up, walk to the YWCA a few miles away to workout and then to the library near that everyday. Who knows how many books I read that summer.

When college started and I moved away from home into a dorm, I wanted to change. I wanted to be social. So I stopped reading. I didn't want anyone to see me sitting there, alone, in my dorm room while everyone else was out having fun together. I started to pull away from reading because it made think of how sad I had been in high school. What I didn't realize then is that what I was really doing was pretending to be someone I'm not. I'm not the type to party or drink or hang out all the time. I like to sit alone and read. Only now have I accepted that. I know now that it was nothing to be shamed about or hidden from others. After I graduated college and moved back home, I didn't feel like I had to act a certain way to impress other people. And so I began to read again. I began to feel like myself again.

To me, books were always an escape, a dream, a want to be special, to be tested --- an adventure I could never experience in real life. A good book makes you friends with the characters, makes you care about what's going on with them, makes you invested. I want to write a book that makes someone feel that way. That for, a hour or a day, my reader could be transported and transformed. I know I can do it, if I set my mind to it.

Maybe finding a love in books by myself is what lead me to be so passionate about them. I wasn't forced or coerced into reading, it grew from somewhere inside me. I want to write Young Adult novels because of what they did for me. They gave me solace in the cruel social world of high school. They gave me comfort when I was lonely and feeling down on myself. I was a teenager who had low self-esteem, who didn't have many friends outside of school. Books gave me a world to escape to, a place where the characters had the chance to be something great, something beyond themselves. They gave me a hope that maybe I could too. And I will forever be grateful for that. I want to try to give a little of what I got from Young Adult novels to some other teenager who feels the way I felt back then.

I hope I can one day.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Book Review: Paranormalcy

Author: Kiersten White
Pages: 335
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal
First Published: September 1, 2010
First Line: “Wait-- did you-- You just yawned!" The vampire's arms, raised over his head in the classic Dracula pose,dropped to his sides.”
Buy it from: Amazon
                  Barnes & Noble

The GIST (From Goodreads): 

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.


Paranormalcy was what I looked for in a Young Adult book. A smart, strong, funny, complex heroine who, in a noticeable plot, meets a mysterious hottie  (throw in a little love triangle-- just a pinch). The girl is perfectly fine without the boy; the girl has a life and a story outside him. But when they meet they form a adorable, sweet, hot relationship based on mutual attraction and affection. The book knows what it is and what it's for. This one was light, funny and romantic and didn't try to make itself too dark and brooding, though there were some of those elements with deaths and very disturbed ex-boyfriends (who happens to be a Faery).

I also loved White's writing style. I understood who Evie was right off the bat, she definitely had a voice all her own and, best of all, it was funny. You could see Evie's internal progression as a character throughout the book and how her character is going to grow during the rest of the series.

I liked Lend, the love interest, a lot too. He was deep and mysterious. His back story turned out to be really interesting and I can't wait to find out more about it. The best part of Evie and Lend's relationship is that it didn't feel dependent, like Oh My God, I will die without you near me like all the time, it felt more like I really like you, I don't need you, but I want to be around you. It was just adorable.

As for the plot, I liked where it's going. Basically, the International Paranormal Containment Agency, where Evie works, tries to control all paranormals but they don't want to be controlled so that causes a lot of problems. Slowly, Evie starts learning things about her own power, to see through glamors, and she starts to question everything about herself. I can't wait to learn everything she finds out about herself in the next books.

The only problem I had was that I generally like darker books but that's nothing against the book, just my taste.


I really liked the book and would definitely recommend it. I can't say it was my favorite book ever but it's definitely a book I would love to re-read and see how the rest of the series goes.---9.5 / 10

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Feature and Follow (4)

Q: Have you ever bought a book BECAUSE of a bad review?


This is a good question. The truth is, and I know it sounds wrong, but I love love love to read a terribly, horribly scathing review. Where the reviewer just rips that book to shreds. Makes the author cry. They include moving GIFS of people vomiting and gagging. The truly nasty reviews I would never dream of writing. 


Another truth-- those reviews do absolutely nothing to sway my opinion. If the book sounds interesting, no matter the bad review, I'll most likely read it. Good reviews tend to sway my opinion into getting a book more than bad reviews into not getting it. If I'm on the fence, a review saying how awesome a book was makes me more likely to get it. On the flip, a bad review will not sway me either way, it will more depend on how much I wanted to get the book in the first place. I can't think of any book specifically though.


Make sense?


Oh a side note, don't you feel like bad reviews are on the top of the comments on a book's Goodreads page because they get the most attention? I guess that's why I always read them.


Please feel free to comment and follow and I shall do the same!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday

I've now decreed Wednesday as the offical day of the week where I will update my blog about my W.I.P. (Work in Progress). And so it shall be from here forth.

Crappy Paint Edited Picture
Now that that's settled. I just broke the 50,000 word mark on Sunday. I've written several editions of the novel I'm working on so I'm sure my word total is more like 120,000 but only 50,000 from the one I've decided to seriously focus on.

When I get into the groove, I really love writing but sometimes I have to force myself to get onto the computer. So it has been stenous to get to this point. I hope to reach 90,000 to 100,000 but the end of April-beginning of May than do my first edit in May. I hope to finish my edits by June than start querying.

This sounds like a completely different topic but bare with me and you'll see how I round it out. My boyfriend and I are tentively planning to move in together soon-- he lives in Washington D.C. going to Grad school and I live in New York,  2 years out of school, working full-time. I work as a Clinical Research Coordinator in Psychopharmacology (psychological medications) so it's alot of computer data entering which makes me sick of computers by the time I get home most days. This means I usually write the bulk of my words on the weekends. Let's just say it's been slow going. Back to the point, since I might move to D.C. and since I have money saved up, I was thinking about taking a month or two off work after I move there to finish my novel once and for all, then start looking for jobs. It will be nice to have some time just me and my baby...and my boyfriend too.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Review: Graceling

Author: Kristin Cashore

 Pages: 471
 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
 Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
 First Published: October 1, 2008
 First Line: “In these dungeons the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind.”
 Buy it from: Amazon
                   Barnes & Noble
Book Trailer: 
The GIST (From Goodreads): 

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.     When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.


So what to say about Graceling...I enjoyed reading about half of the book. It was interesting to get to know Katsa-- at first. I say at first because she's really someone you just want to know from a distance since she might sucker punch you if you get too close. Katsa was a strong willed, aggressive main character; a change from many other fainting main female protagonists in other Young Adult books. This is understandable considering that she has the Grace, aka a special power, to kill people. This Grace allows her to easily kill a man using her pinky (yes she does brag about this ability), for example. Katsa was provocative to say the least. Although she was disliked by many for being a Grace, she was loved by pretty much everyone who knew her. Considering that she killed people on the command of the King and didn't know how to control her temper, I was surprised about that. She pushed people around and was rather mean to everyone, yet they all still thought she was the greatest thing ever. If I may say so...NOT IN A LONG SHOT.

Anyway. About the Graces. Katsa mentions people can have useless Graces of talking backward all the way through a Grace like her own. A Grace just wasn't very defined for me. I can flip my eyelids. Does that make me a Grace? Would I have been born with two different color eyes? It just seemed like if you had any skill at all, useful or not, that was a Grace. It just felt so made up (which of course I know it is) but it sucks when you're in the middle of the book and you see the *ahem* sort of lazy world-building where you wished more time was spent on an idea (in my personal opinion). I don't like to ever criticize the writer, I just wish it wasn't so vaguely defined like that and it really could have been a great idea.

Things I did like: Po and Bitterblue. Although I skipped a whole 40 pages in the middle after Po was out of the story, so I didn't get to see much of Bitterblue's development, I liked her. The plot definitely lagged in the middle. I just skipped closer to the end and didn't have to read back to know what happened because it went like this: WOW Katsa's powers are so cool and awesome. She can do anything. She's awesome.  Po was much more realistic to me. As Katsa's love interest, he was strong, caring, mysterious, super patient and super forgiving with her. Maybe that was his true Grace? She really didn't deserve him.

I guess the biggest problem I had was that I didn't relate to Katsa and that's always a big problem. So when it was her, without Po, to carry the plot, I got tired of it.


It was just okay. I'm not going to read any of the other books. I think I probably wouldn't even remember this one enough to recommend it to anyone---4.0