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Showing posts from November, 2018

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers | Renni Browne and Dave King

“Far better to give your readers some hints and then allow them to fill in the blanks for themselves.”

Genre: Writing How-To/Non-Fiction Number of Pages: 288.
Two experienced editors give clear advice for how to edit your manuscript to get it ready for publishing.For a complete summary, you can go here. If you are looking for a great editing book, I highly recommend this one. It assumes you already have a somewhat complete manuscript, then walks you through how to make it better. It even includes checklists and exercises to practice. The best part is that they include good and bad examples for each category to clearly show how to do what they suggest. 
The topics include dialogue, exposition, point of view, repetition, interior monologue, and more. I highlighted and marked up my copy of this book. It took a long time to read it because I read it a little at a time as I was editing my book. I predict this will be one that I refer back to often throughout my writing process. 
This book is gre…

One for the Money | Janet Evanovich

“You're a marshmallow. Soft and sweet and when you get heated up you go all gooey and delicious.” Genre: Mystery/Chick Lit. Number of Pages: 320. Perspective: First. Location: Trenton, New Jersey.
Stephanie Plum is desperate for cash after losing her job. So desperate that she becomes a bounty hunter. Her first job: tracking down the ex-cop who took her virginity in high school. For a complete summary, you can go here. I’m late to the party on this book series. But I really enjoyed it. If you know me and my feelings about series, [see my opinions on series here] you’ll be shocked when I say that I will continue reading the next book! It was the perfect light and funny read for busy Thanksgiving time. I’ve been reading a lot of dark books lately, so this was a nice “palate cleanser” before moving on to the next intense story on my list. 
With that said, I had an issue with some subplots that were actually really dark but made light by using humor (such as attempted rape, mutilations, murd…

Thanksgiving: What to Read

Thanksgiving is a time for food, football, and family. Some families are a little more normal than others. What is "normal" anyway? Here are my favorite books about dysfunctional families.  I'll Give The Sun | Jandy Nelson I’ll Give You The Sun follows a set of twins, Jude and Noah, through middle school and high school. The perspectives alternate between Noah’s, when the twins are still close at the ages of 13 and 14, and Jude’s, when they are 16 and no longer speaking. It pieces together a puzzle of tragedy, secrets, and longing for forgiveness. For a complete summary, you can go here.
Wow. I have been in a review rut lately. I’ve been waiting to write reviews for a while after finishing a book, but I had to write this review immediately after finishing reading. I honestly feel like I am in the middle of a book hangover. I wanted so badly to finish the book to see how it ended, but I am sad that I have no more book left to read. I would love for the story to keep going. T…

Attachments | Rainbow Rowell

“Every woman wants a man who'll fall in love with her soul as well as her body.”
Genre: Contemporary/Romance. Number of Pages: 323. Perspective: First/Third Alternating. Location: Nebraska.
Let’s go back to an office building right before the new millennium. Internet security was blooming. Beth and Jennifer’s stories are told through work emails. Lincoln, the new internet security officer, reads company emails to check for threats and inappropriate content. But he doesn’t expect to find love reading the women’s conversations.For a complete summary, you can go here. I've been reading a lot of thriller, horror, suspense, and down-right depressing books lately. This one was a nice change of pace. However, this is my least favorite Rainbow Rowell book. I felt so much more connected to the characters in her other books. 
I picked up this book because I am writing a novel using letters. So I wanted to see how some other authors have formatted that. When you compose most of a book in writte…

Speak | Laurie Halse Anderson

“You have to know what you stand for, not just what you stand against.”

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary. Number of Pages: 208. Perspective: First. Location: Syracuse, New York.
Melinda is outcasted from her friends and classmates after calling the cops and busting a party before the start of high school. But she called the cops because she was assaulted. Now she holds in her secret in the aftermath.For a complete summary, you can go here. This was an extremely powerful book. I am impressed by any book that is still relevant almost twenty years later. It has aged very well. With that said, I am also saddened that these #MeToo stories are still too common. [And ya’ll thought this movement was something new].
I can understand why this is a five-star book for many people. It was pretty-dang-close for me. But since I read this and The Way I Used to Be back-to-back, I have to compare the two. I thought The Way I Used to Be did a better job at character development. There were also some parts of Sp…

The Way I Used to Be | Amber Smith

“I don't know who I am right now. But I know who I'm not. And I like that.”
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary. Number of Pages: 367. Perspective: First.
The book starts with a freshman, Eden, getting raped by her brother’s best friend. We see her change over the course of her four years in high school in the aftermath of the assault.  We see how her friendships and relationships are impacted. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This is without a doubt the best book I have read in a long time. I gave it my Best Book Award, but I would give it more than that if I could. I stayed up until 3 am finishing this one through tears. The very first page starts with the raw account of the sexual assault. I had to stop and reread the first page three days in a row before I could move on. It was the most powerful, spine-chilling first page I have ever read. 
I know this book was inspired by Speak. It was similar, but I think it stepped it up a few more notches for the older teen crowd. Speak

The Blue Girl | Charles De Lint

“Don't forget - no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.”

Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy. Number of Pages: 368. Perspective: First Alternating. Location: Newford.
Imogene, the tough punk, and Maxine, the sheltered nerd, are an unlikely pair. But their friendship strengthens as they deal with bullies, the resident high school ghost, Imogene’s imaginary friend, unruly faeries, and a dark presence attracted to Imogene’s light. For a complete summary, you can go here. These are not the cute Tinkerbell type faeries. These are dark and dangerous faeries. The kind that have gone sour from abandonment. I always pictured De Lint’s faeries looking like  Brian Froud’s illustrations [that is a different review for a different day.] I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read this book. The first time I read it, I was in middle school. It was the book that transitioned me from middle grade to young adult books. So my love for this book m…