Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Allegiant

Okay, I've thought long and hard about this review. Because I know people's thoughts on this book are pretty polarized. And, as usual, I fall somewhere in the middle. It's been a crazy few weeks, as per usual. I've been sightseeing in London and going to class. And, because I spend quite a bit of time on the Underground, I've gotten quite a bit of reading done.


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Retrieved from Goodreads
I'm not going to include a description of this book because it would just be too complicated. Instead, check it out on Goodreads. Needless to say, Tris discovers some more damning evidence about people, who are never quite what they seem. There will be spoilers below, so if you haven't read the first two books, be warned.

One of my problems with Insurgent was that so many characters died that I stopped caring after a while. I was much more interested in Tris' internal struggles with right and wrong, as well as her relationship with Tobias and the faction system. Allegiant had quite a bit of this so I was mostly pleased. But also a little bored. The stuff with the Bureau controlling the experiments, and how Tris and Tobias started living there was just dull to me. Of course, finding out about the serums and the origin of the factions was cool, but the physical-ness of the Bureau was dull to me, as was the inevitable uprising against the Bureau. But as usual I loved Tris' complexity, especially with her relationship with her brother.

Okay, big spoiler below. Seriously, if you care about spoilers, stop reading.

The Big Shocking Ending. Some people hated that Tris died because it was from a bullet, and that was so wrong for someone who could survive the death serum. Some loved it because life isn't perfect, even in books. As usual, I'm in the middle. I think I would have hated it if not for one section at the beginning of the book. Tris says that there is no talent in not being shot. It's luck to not be standing where a bullet goes. And that made it more okay for me. It was a tough ending to write, and I was sad to see Tris go. But at the time time I was sorta miffed that she died wiping the memories of a ton of people. Maybe it's just all the fantasy and other dystopian I read, but it didn't seem like the way to go for me. For someone who spent a lot of time realizing you can't make generalizations about people, she wiped the memory of tons of people just because they worked for the Bureau.

Conclusion: enjoyable book, and I still adore the first one, but I was left feeling just a bit disappointed in the ending.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

Last week my CP Seabrooke Leckie invited me to be a part of a blog hop about writing processes. I like writing about my work, so I said sure! You can read her post here.

On to the questions:

  1. What am I working on?

    Currently I am in the process of editing the sequel to Balancing Act, my YA contemporary romance which was published by Entranced Publishing before the press closed. With that project currently being sent out to agents, I'm still working on the sequel. This time the story follows Nikki instead of Callie, as she moves to Colorado after the death of her parents and becomes involved in life on the family farm. There she meets Grant, her cousin's friend who helps out around the place and helps her start to heal. She also must face her fear of horseback riding after vowing never to ride again. It's (hopefully) funny and lighthearted, and features a cameo of Callie, Jen, and Ty. I've had my writing compared to Stephanie Perkins, so think of her books with horses.
  2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

    Well, as I've said I write contemporary romance, though I dabble in other genres. I guess the main difference in my work is that there is no person who is the villain. My stories mainly deal with the MC conquering some inner demon and coming to terms with who they are. Instead of working against the mean girl in high school or winning the cute guy's heart (though there are cute guys) my characters are working toward healing and figuring out what they want from life. I think it's important for young readers to know that they don't need everything decided by the time they graduate high school, but that their choices are still poignant.
  3. Why do I write what I do?

    I guess I've already sort of answered this above, but I write contemporary romance because a) I love reading a nice romance b) I think YA examines critical periods in life when hormones are raging against huge life decisions c) my favorite stories are YA.

    As for writing in general, it's like breathing. Necessary and unavoidable to life.
  4. How does my writing process work?

    I'm sort of a pantser mixed with an outliner. When I get an idea I'll write down everything I can think of about it, whether it's the first couple chapters or character profiles or world building. If I decide I want to stick with the story I generally have a vague idea of where I want the story to end up, and a couple of key scenes to hit along the way. But I'm not afraid to follow the plot bunny down the rabbit hole.
As for tagging people to do this, so far everyone I've asked has already done it! But if I hear back from some people I will add their details here so you can read their answers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rediscovering Rereading

One of the results of living in London temporarily is that I couldn't bring my books with me. Which, let me tell you, was ridiculously hard. Especially since I wanted to dive into Crown of Midnight for a second time. Oddly enough, this is a nice segue for me.

You see, just recently I reread Throne of Glass, one of the first times I've reread a book in about 2 years. I've been so busy reading new books, I haven't been going back and reading older ones. Which I used to do all the time! I loved rereading Tamora Pierce's books.

Anyway, after reading The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas I couldn't help it anymore, and so I read Throne of Glass. Didn't have time to reread Crown of Midnight, though. Heather sad...

Instead of bringing my books to London, I brought my kindle. Which has about 20 books on it at the moment. And I figured, hey, why not reread some of my favorite books!? So over the last couple days when I've been on the tube, I've read Anna and the French Kiss and I'm halfway through Lola and the Boy Next Door.

And I remembered why I loved rereading. It does feel like coming home, somehow. And it's comforting to me, as I'm in a strange city with customs I'm not completely used to yet. And I pick up things I missed before. And it inspires me to write and edit.

Not to say I'm going to survive not buying books while I'm here. I imagine I'll cave within the week.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I LOVE REREADING!