Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just received my very first ARC!!! Wahoo...

I'm officially a real book blogger as well as writer!

I actually asked (begged really) for this ARC all over the place and I'm not sure yet who took pity on me...but I will find out so that I can send a million thank yous...(I'm really liking the elipses today. I think it's my more mature version of the !)

Whew.  I am breathless with anticipation.  Not just about Across the Universe, although I have been dying to read it since the first few paragraphs of the excerpt that I read over a month ago.  I am breathless at the idea of being entrusted to read and review books before they are even released.  What a thrill -- and yes, I am aware that I'm a book geek.

So, probably within a day or so, I'll send my first official ARC review out into the blog-iverse or blogosphere, the world basically.  Yes!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Strong female lead anyone?? ---Have you read Nightshade by Andrea Cremer?

If you've been waiting for a vulnerable, yet tough female lead in your paranormal YA genre...I found her...

Get lost in Nightshade by Andrea Cremer like I did.  I could not stop turning the pages even though my crazy children expected me to feed them and stuff--the nerve!!  Although I might have chosen a different naming strategy for the main opposing forces in the book since Keepers (masters), Searchers, and Guardians are rather obvious, she otherwise created an fascinating world to explore and characters I will follow directly  into the next sequel in this debut novel.

Oh, and I finished The Replacement and it was really the best 'Faery Fic' I've read of late.  It reminded me of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely with a dark, scarily evil faery world hidden underneath the lies and secrets of a whole city.  The story is told from the unique perspective of a 'replacement' child for one that was stolen. 

Someday, if I read with enough deliberate concentration, I will be able to infuse my own writing with some of their creativity.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You must read The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

I am telling you this before I even finish the book myself, because there is something here that makes it not necessary to finish the book before deciding it's good.

Remember how you felt when you first read Maggie Stiefvater.  Come on, if you are reading this, you must have read Shiver, Linger, Lament and Ballad...I know you have.  Anyway, remember how the words sounded almost musical together and you reread some sentences over several times because they were so great--Ok, yeah, it's like that.

“…she still smelled crisp and kind of sweet.  It made me think of flowering trees or something you want to put in your mouth.  The kind of smell you shouldn’t notice about girls who are covered in tragedy…”

I'll post an update as soon as I'm done.  (I'll bet I read until 2am since I must spend time with my family today even though I would really love to drown in this book instead).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just add zombies...

While I was searching for inspiration I read another author waxing poetic about the virtues of Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy novels.  They’re very early YA books-- first published starting in the 1940s. 
Now, I admit to loving Ann of Green Gables and thought these would be right up my totally uncool alley.  Unfortunately, I found myself unable to read them without copious amounts of skimming.  Betsy, Tacy and all the women in these books are so saccharine sweet, even when they are supposedly not being sweet-- I just couldn’t take it.  Without a little edge to give their personalities some depth, I just end up wanting to smack um. I really missed Elizabeth Bennett slamming the hypocrites every other page.  I was longing for a zombie or something and I don’t even like zombies.
What I did appreciate though was how she captured daily life in a very realistic way--the easy banter of people who hang around together regularly.  The male characters especially were drawn with the sarcasm, humor and rhythm with which people truly interact.  I need to get myself some of that.
Takeaway:  Make your novel’s universe a real, living place instead of cardboard scenery--a place where the reader can get lost and forget it’s just make believe.  And the peripheral characters play an essential role in creating that universe. And—when things get slow for gosh sakes, throw in a zombie or something!