Friday, March 30, 2012

Reader's Corner - March 2012 Update

"Maybe I should learn archery..."
Here we are at March already. Wow. Let's take a moment for the end of the first quarter of 2012.

*moment*

Alrighty, then. March was a big reading month for me, mostly due to The Hunger Games. I read the first book last year, but I plowed through Catching Fire and Mockingjay this month before I saw the movie.

(I intended to write a blog post about the movie last week, but it was a totes cray-cray week. Short review: I had some problems with it, but I mostly liked it.)

Also in March, I read and reviewed Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale. I recently finished Welcome Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell (review pending).

That seems like a lot of reading to me. I've got A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont and Something Like Normal by Trish Doller queued up on the nook and rarin' to go.

And with that, I'll leave you with this video of the original The Hunger Games book trailer:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Someone Else's Life Book Review

Title: Someone Else's Life
Author: Katie Dale
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 14, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0385740654

464 pp.

ARC from publisher via Netgalley

I was really intrigued by this book. The basic plot starts with Rosie, a young woman in England, who watches her mother Trudie slowly die from Huntington's disease. What's worse for Rosie is that Huntington's disease is hereditary and she has a 50/50 chance of getting it. Except a secret is finally revealed ... Rosie is not Trudie's daughter. She was switched at birth with a girl named Holly. Rosie tracks down her real family in the United States, but the repercussions, especially for Holly, are life-altering.

I liked Rosie, a lot. She was believable in all her fears and doubts and missteps. I did not, however, like Holly. Holly has every right to be freaked out and miserable, but she comes off as unstable. There were certain scenes where her actions and/or reactions were beyond unstable and into the land of the mentally disturbed.

Which is problematic when the chapters alternate between Rosie and Holly. (That's a bit of spoiler because the narrators aren't identified for the first several chapters, which is supposed to come as a big surprise when it's revealed. It's not. It's just confusing. And annoying.) Because I don't mind spending time with Rosie, but I didn't enjoy reading Holly's interior craziness.

It's also a problem because Katie Dale wants to end each chapter with some big twist, which leads to what I consider a lot of artificial conflict. Characters would leave to create conflict, then return at THE WORST POSSIBLE MOMENT to create more conflict. The whole book seemed over-bloated with conflict.

This was a hard review for me because I'm torn between liking Rosie and almost giving up on the book when I'd had enough of Holly. But I would definitely recommend it to readers who enjoyed emotional family stories.

Someone Else's Life book trailer:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Three (Funny) Videos About Writing

I'm in the middle of revising the outline of the screenplay I'm working on and blanking on a blog topic.

I thought maybe I'd write about my new Pinterest obsession. Or how much I can't wait to see The Hunger Games movie. Or even more random cat videos.

But then I saw this video that I thought was hilarious. Finally, young adult books are getting a little respect. Because young adult novels can save the economy!




Obama's Young Adult Novel Plan:



Of course, writing isn't as easy it looks. Although some people refuse to believe that.

So You Want to Write a Novel:




But if you've got writer's block, you can always use the people around you for inspiration.

George Lucas in Love:



Happy writing!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Reader's Corner - February 2012 Update

"This Mr. Dickens has a promising future."
February may have been a short month (even with the extra day), but I got some good reading in!

I read and reviewed Cinder by Marissa Meyer for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge. Lots of fun, that one.

In other reading news, Charles Dickens' 200th birthday was February 7 and I finally finished Bleak House! Yes! (Four years and 881 pages later.)

Much like Desmond on Lost, my goal is to read all of Dickens' books before I die. (Except I have already read Our Mutual Friend. Hey, I was an English major.)

Next on my Dickens bucket list is The Old Curiosity Shop. Don't know when I'm going to start it, definitely don't know when I'll finish it, but I will. And I'll more than likely get it from Project Gutenberg.

Never heard of Project Gutenberg? Well, they are completely made of awesome. They have nearly 40,000 public domain works available for FREE. As in FREE. These are downloadable books available for just about every e-reader out there, including Kindles. FREE!

Some are even available as audiobooks! For FREE! (I haven't tried the audiobooks, so I can't vouch for the quality, but did I mention that they're free?)

Besides Bleak House, I've also downloaded Anne of Green Gables and Peter Pan from Project Gutenberg. It's a super easy way to stock up your e-reader with classics. If you are so inclined, you can donate to Project Gutenberg to help defray their costs, which is much more altruistic than paying Amazon for a public domain work that's just 100% pure profit for them. You can also donate your time to be a proofreader or reader.

Happy Reading!

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