Saturday, May 26, 2012

In A Place Far, Far Behind....

So I haven't been to my blog in two weeks! Yikes!

I'm six books behind my 70 book goal this year and I  haven't written ONE word of my novel in two weeks.

That's because....I moved! I have no job where I moved to and I'm not planning on getting another for a few weeks so I hope to catch up on my reviews and writing.

For my writing goals I plan to:
  1. Finish my first draft.
  2. Edit my first draft.
  3. Get a Critique Partner to look over my work.
  4. Write a second draft.
  5. Edit Edit Edit.
  6. Query Query Query.
 For my reading/ blogging goals I plan to:
  1. Write at least 10 reviews.
  2. Read 10-15 books.
  3. Update my blog design.
  4. Have my first giveaway.
  5. Get a Facebook and/or Twitter page.

Those are lofty! So wish me luck! I need it!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Feature and Follow (9)

This Sunday in the U.S. is Mother's Day, in celebration, what are some of your favorite books with strong mother/child relationships?

I really liked My Sister's Keeper because of the mother/ daughter relationship. The mother in the novel gives up her career to be with her ailing daughter. Although she can be a little too serious, her love for all her children shines through the book.

Of course Tris' mother in Divergent was great also. She turns out to be a much more dynamic and strong person than Tris ever thought she was which makes Tris appreciate her more. I love the twist that happens with her character at the end of the book.

How bout you? This was a hard question!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Author News: The New J.K. Rowling?

Did anyone tell J.K. Rowling that she's old hat? They say that in England right? Bloody Hell.

Anyway, so I heard about this from a comment on Goodreads. With help from The Google (as my mother calls it), I found a few articles that talk about 20 year old Samantha Shannon, an Oxford student, who just sold her first book and two sequels with a possible seven book series, The Bone Season, for a multi-million dollar figure. I can't find the exact amount.

The book synopsis from Goodreads:

The Bone Season is set in 2059 where Paige, a 19-year-old clairvoyant who escapes from life in a criminal underworld, is captured by the repressive government, Scion, and sent to Oxford, a town which has been kept secret, where she meets Warden, who becomes her "keeper."

It doesn't sound like the most original book but there has to be something about it that's amazing, right? A student with virtually no experience, who finished the book in one year, selling a possible seven book series? That's pretty awesome. Apparently she wrote one book, got rejected than started The Bone Season which got picked up by Bloomsbury, J.K. Rowling's publishing house relatively quickly.

Some info about her inspiration:

"Set in 2059, The Bone Season is inspired by the young author's interest in the Margaret Atwood novel The Handmaid's Tale and Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange - both of which have repressive regimes as a background." Source

Sounds like a dystopian mixed with fantasy to me.

Some random articles I found. These two had a lot of good info:


Am I jealous? Hell yes! It's a lot of hype to put on a book so we'll have to wait until September 2013 to see what it's all about.

Moral of the story: Keep at it. It can happen-- even after some failure.

Book Review: Crossed

Author: Allie Condie
Series or Stand-alone: 
             Book 2 of Matched Trilogy
How I got it:
             Given as Gift by Personal Friend at Scholastic
Pages: 367
Publisher: Penguin Group
Genre: Young Adult / Dystopian/ Romance
First Published: November 1, 2011
First Line: “I'm standing in a river. It's blue. Dark blue. Reflecting the color of the evening sky.”
Buy it from: Amazon
                    Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
Book Trailer:

The GIST (From Goodreads): 

Rules Are Different Outside The Society

Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his sure death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. 

On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.

Narrated from both Cassia's and Ky's point of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever.



Warning: Mild Spoilers from Book 1 Matched (my review)

Crossed leaves off after Cassia and Ky both go to the Outer Provinces separately. Cassia has been separated from her family and Xander on her search for Ky. She has no plan; no clue of where Ky might be but she is determined to find him. With the help of a new find named Indie, Cassia goes on a dangerous search for Ky.

As for Ky, he is living as a human decoy; meant to attract the enemies of the Society into believing the Outer Provinces are more populated than they are-- the Society has been sending aberration children to work fake jobs and, ultimately, be killed by some unknown force. I wish who the Society was fighting had been more explained. It almost seemed like a sense of danger was needed to amp up the story so a war was casually added. The main plot seems to be Cassia and Ky fighting to stay together and change the Society-- so why add a war with it?

Anyway, Matched was told in Cassia's POV and Crossed is told in alternating chapters of Ky's and Cassia's point of views.  Although I usually like this type of construction and I did like hearing what Ky thought, I didn't feel as if I was looking through a boy's eyes- more like a what a girl wants a boy to think like. However, Ky surprised me. I thought he would have been take charge and confident when instead he preferred to be left out of the decision-making. Even though he kind of whined a little, I liked how he had a vulnerable side and showed that he was scared.

As for the romance in the story (some may say the most important part), Ky and Cassia’s desperately missed each other and their feelings of longing reverberated through the entire story- though I still don't think their relationship was ever deep enough to warrant their attachment. Anyway, I loved the scene where they finally do find each other.

Xander shows up once in the book but, nonetheless, is a large part of the story because both Ky and Cassia are always thinking about him. The ending seems to say that Xander will play a larger role in the next book.

A problem I had with the story was that, after all the problems and the danger to find each other, Ky and Cassia give each other up so easily at the end. They don't even say goodbye to each other. Cassia is much too interested in the resistance to even care about Ky by the end.

A lot of things didn't add up in the end or weren't explained. We don't find out who put Ky's name in the matching ceremony. Cassia, though probably an aberration now, can easily return to society after she joins the resistance.

So I was confused and disappointed by the ending.

The ending was a bit of a let down and the overall romance lacked energy but I still want to see how it all ends.----5.0

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Feature and Follow (8)

What is one thing you wish you could tell your favorite author?

Well, I wish I did have a favorite author! I'm really terrible at choosing favorite anything. Authors and books especially because there are things I like about a number of authors that make them different and incomparable to the other. If I had to tell any author something, I would tell Veronica Roth that she's been a big inspiration to me.

Although she runs more of a writing blog, I got into blogging largely because of her. I randomly found her blog and her book and have since become obsessed with her story. I don't think she is the author with the writing style I like the best or who came up with the most imaginative narrative but I do think she is commendable for doing so much, so young. Plus, she really took time to make sure what she wrote was quality and up to her high standards (she always says what a perfectionist she is and how it's both an asset and a detriment.) She is very honest about her process and I learned a lot from her.

She was also a large reason I started to really pursue writing after a long hiatus. I could see, through her, that you can make it no matter your age. She's a great inspiration. Check out her blog.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday (Sexy Time)

68,825 word count

I've read so so so so many articles on how to write and what it's like to write a novel since I started my WIP and people were always say things like My characters surprised me and I use to roll my eyes, not sure what the hell they were talking about--

--Then I started to actually write and now, yes, my characters do surprise me. They are such different, more interesting people than I imagined them to be. Not sure how that happened. Well, anyway, they did something very surprising in the last scene I wrote...

They had sex! GASP! I mean, I'm just as surprised as they were! It was crazy cause I didn't picture the scene like that all but, hey, they are seventeen and eighteen so I guess that stuff does happen unexpectedly but I did not intend to write it at all.

Now, I think I've only read one or two young adult urban fantasy novels that had any semblance of a sex scene. Which is a little strange considering how intense young love is and how teenagers are in general. Having read a lot of romance novels in high school, I know how raunchy a sex scene can be written but this was not like that. Sorry for being cliche but it was beautiful and full of emotion (at least that's how I saw it).

Now, to me, sex scenes in YA and in adult are two different creatures. They are no mentions of thrusting motions or body parts specifically but it wasn't like they go in bed...and the next morning they wake up in each others arms...kind of thing. It was somewhere in the middle which I think is good and acceptable in this genre. 

To me fantasy novels, especially urban fantasy, should be as realistic as possible in some respects so that people are able to suspend their beliefs about other things. And realistically teenagers are having sex, just get over it. I don't know why people pretend like heavy kissing is as far as they'll go and I see that a lot in these kind of novels.

And I can see why you would want to leave it out. It can take a lot of focus away from the plot and not everyone is okay with them but sometimes it's necessary. Plus, I couldn't stop my characters if I wanted to. They got carried away in the moment. Maybe I'll cut it in revisions, maybe not, but I won't cut it just because it's not the norm. Excited to see how they act after that!

How do you feel about sex in Young Adult?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Geektasticness: Pre-order of Insurgent

It's been a long time since I pre-ordered a book so I was very excited when I got it in the mail at my mother says I spent too much money buying books so I never get them sent to my house. Haha.
Even though I probably won't read it for a while because I'm moving soon, I still like having the option. So here's a goofy, greasy scrub wearing picture of me and my copy of Insurgent!