Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tomorrow will bring a post about the books of 2010. I just counted them up--53 to date. Not as many as I would have liked, but considering how much academic reading I did this year, that's not a bad number!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
I went into this book after reading so many positive plugs that I was really eager to get my hands on it. Now, I'm not going to say that I was disappointed, but there were things about this book that kind of irked me. Yes, I really enjoyed the relationship that Bianca had with her friends--that came across as seriously genuine and heart-warming. Her issues with her parents were also complex and felt very real. I honestly think her reactions were spot-on. There were other things, however, that kind of bugged me: her plugs for liberalism felt off and left me rather annoyed (even being a liberal myself!), and I kind of had a hard time swallowing her headless plunge into so much sex. Yeah, there was rampant sexuality in high school when I was there (not that long ago, and I went to a big school in CA), but parts of things felt over the top. Even for a man-whore (lol, I laughed so hard at this term!), I just didn't see them happening between two seventeen year old's. Also, some of the dialogue came across as straight out of an episode of Buffy--not real life. I am around a LOT of eighteen year old's and none of them speak like Bianca, even the smart sarcastic ones. Anyhow, it was a good read and I found it interesting. I think it may have been built up a bit much, but I look forward to reading more of Keplinger's work in the future!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
AN IMAGINARY FRIEND
Jane Margaux is a lonely little girl. Her mother, a powerful Broadway producer, makes time for her only once a week, for their Sunday trip to admire jewelry at Tiffany's. Jane has only one friend: a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael. He's perfect. But only she can see him. Michael can't stay forever, though. On Jane's ninth birthday he leaves, promising her that she'll soon forget him.
AN UNEXPECTED LOVE
Years later, in her thirties, Jane is just as alone as she was as a child. And despite her own success as a playwright, she is even more trapped by her overbearing mother. Then she meets someone–a handsome, comforting, funny man. He's perfect. His name is Michael...
AND AN UNFORGETTABLE TWIST
This is a heartrending story that surpasses all expectations of why these people have been brought together. With the breathtaking momentum and gripping emotional twists that have made James Patterson a bestselling author all over the world, SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY'S takes an altogether fresh look at the timeless and transforming power of love.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I don't like form rejections.
I HATE FORM REJECTIONS THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS. On full manuscripts. Without even my NAME. HONESTLY!
Yeah, I know you're busy. Guess what? So am I. On top of everything I do, I'm also trying to find an agent for my book. So, before you hit 'send' think about it for a second--a rejection is going to sting for an author at any point. This week, well, it's going to make some of us delete a whole lot of work off our hard-drives and make a New Year's resolution to stop waisting time writing. It's not worth it.
This stunningly original and magical story follows three women in love with the wrong men. Headstrong Madeline Heller finds herself hopelessly attracted to her sister’s fiancé…Frieda Lewis, a doctor’s daughter who has run off to London, becomes the muse of an ill-fated rock star… and beautiful, reckless Bryn Evans is set to marry an Englishman while she’s secretly obsessed with her ex-husband, a dangerous and love-besotted New Yorker. At the heart of the novel is Lucy Green, who blames herself for a tragic accident she witnessed at the age of twelve in the same London hotel where the others have found themselves. Lucy has spent four decades searching out the Third Angel, the angel on Earth who will renew her faith.
Evoking the worlds of Notting Hill, Kings Road, and Kensington while moving back and forth in time from the 90s, to the 60s, and then to the 50s, The Third Angel charts the unique, alchemical nature of love
I'll be very honest--I very nearly put this book down within the first couple of chapters. The first character we meet was utterly not to my liking, and I didn't want to spend any time with her. Things did improve after that, and I enjoyed the book mostly. The interweaving of the characters was a good bit of fun, though there were quite a few and occasionally it became confusing. I haven't read any Hoffman before and if I get a chance I'll probably check out her other books!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Fever Crumb by Phillip Reeve
Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb to assist archaeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project.
As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city dwellers, who declare that she is part Scriven. The Scriven, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated. All Fever knows is what she’s been told: that she is an orphan.
Is Fever a Scriven?
Whose memories does she hold?
A steam-punk dystopian? Why, yes please! This was an interesting book, and really unlike anything I've read lately. I hate it when books advertise themselves as "different" and "unique" on their covers, but in this case, it was true. And I've found that it's actually a prequel to a series of books--the Mortal Engine's series, which I'll have to check out! Anyhow, the book itself was a fun read, and very interesting. Fever was okay and I'll admit there were more times than one that I kind of wondered what she was thinking. I mean, she just felt a little distant from the reader. This might be my preference for first-person narrative rearing it's head though. At any rate, a good read, and I flat out LOVED all the archaeologists in the story, which made me giggle all the time. Check it out!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Now, I can understand why this is. Changing schools, or getting new students, was a big deal in high school. Fresh blood and all that. It's something most everyone understands, or can relate to easily. Well, with the exception that the new kid regularly ends up being a vampire/werewolf/angel/other mysterious kind of being. Anyhoot, I've found myself using this before--with the novel I'm currently querying, there's a new guy at school within the first three chapters. Still. Yeesh. Does every book have to use this? Aren't there other ways to get new people into the lives of the characters of our books? New people moving into the neighborhood, living in a big enough city that you might have just not met the person before (because, honestly, I've read a LOT about small towns lately, too), and so on. Let's mix it up a little, folks! I know I'll be using a lot of caution to avoid the "new kid" scenario in the future :)
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Cornelia is a single thirtysomething who lives her life like a series of movie moments. She's a manager of a cafe because she hasn't figured out anything better to do. Her ideal man is Cary Grant. And just when she thinks he'll never show up, he does, in the form of Martin Grace. What she doesn't know is that Martin, with his cool charm and debonair demeanor, has a daughter, Clare. And she never would have known that except that Martin, in a state of panic, shows up with the girl at the cafe after her mother had a breakdown and left Clare to fend for herself. Estranged from his daughter for years, Martin doesn't know what to do with her. Both women's stories are told in alternating chapters, Cornelia's in first person, Clare's in third. This is a first novel with some wonderful and heartbreaking moments scattered throughout, along with some moments that are purely contrived for the forward movement of the plot. Overall, it is a sweet story about knowing what you love and why.
(Okay, for some reason LJ is being dumb today and won't let me insert images and links... strange.) Anyhow, this was positively a great book. I loved it. Squeezing time in to read was pretty tricky this past week, but it was one to make time for. The writing was wonderful, the characters spot-on, and the plot easy and caring enough to pull me along effortlessly. Delightful. I'm thinking of handing this off to my mother, as it's a moving tribute to motherhood as well. My only grievance, which has nothing to do with the book, is that whenever I read these kinds of books, I walk away a little depressed. I can't help it. I love my hubby, but he is incurably NON romantic. While I can deal with this, I'm still a girl, and hey, it's nice to be wooed sometimes. Anyhow, I find myself reading and pouting. Maybe I should just stick with YA--it makes it easier :)