Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Review - Wake

Title: Wake

Author: Lisa McMann

Synopsis from Goodreads: For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can’t control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant.

My Review: There is plenty of amazing stuff to be said about this book, and some not so great. Lets start with the positive.

I loved that the book starts with the reader being thrown into a dream sequence. It helps us to experience what Janie goes through, how incredibly sudden and unexpected it is for her to be pulled out of what she's doing and sucked into a world she'd rather avoid. Very gripping.

I also really enjoyed the variety of dreams that were presented. Some of them were a bit more...sexual in nature...but the book is about teenagers and hey, teenagers have hormones that get let out while they sleep. The dreams weren't very detailed and Janie usually has the ability to pull out of dreams, which she always tried to do with the sexy ones because they made her uncomfortable. They really weren't a problem for me.

I liked Janie as a character. She is strong and assertive, though frustrating at times when it comes to Cabel. But, again, teenagers can be weird, especially when it comes to boys, so I can't hold that against her too much. She has a difficult life, forced to grow up faster than most because of a mother is drunk all the time and a father she's never met. I think she shows young adults what it means to be strong.

The way the book is presented is fascinating. It can feel choppy, but in an intentional way. I really enjoyed how it was presented.

Now, on to the bad. I hated, hated, how much language this book has. I realize that the author was trying to show what kind of a world Janie comes from, but I don't need to read the 'f' word at least thirty times for that point to come across. I got a pretty clear picture of her world without the language, thank you very much. I honestly wouldn't want my daughters to read this until they're at least sixteen...preferably older...due to the language. Teenagers get exposed to enough language on a daily basis, they don't need it in their literature too.

The other thing that frustrated me was that we have this strong main character, who has a major weakness, her use of alcohol. She sees what it does to her mom, and yet she partakes in it too? Just doesn't make sense to me. Janie's better than that.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I just think it may need to have a more mature audience.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WIP - I Won!

It's Wednesday and time to report on my progress!

I'm happy to announce that on Sunday, the 27th I hit 50,020 words and officially won NaNoWriMo!

I'm not finished with the story of KleoS, but I am happy that I've made a huge dent in it! I'm hoping to finish the story in the next week, two at the latest.

After that, I'll put it away for a month or so before I start tackling the editing process. It's what I did with Transformation and it makes reading it for the first time a much more realistic experience. It's amazing what you can forget about the plot after only a month, even if you're the one who wrote it.

The plot line has taken a huge turn from what I had originally planned, but I'm really liking where the story is going. I even have ideas for a sequel, which was definitely not planned when I started. To me, that is the greatest part about writing, watching the story come alive. I can't wait to see how KleoS ends.

Maybe by next week I'll even have a synopsis written so I can share it with you all. I think that will be a goal for me. Until then, Happy Writing!

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I'm participating in the weekly meme presented by Book Journey.

I finally have something new to write about today! I finished that book I've been reading that took me over a month to finish. I don't even remember the last time it has taken me that long to read a book.

I'm currently reading Fade by Lisa McMann. It is the second book in the Wake Trilogy. I read Wake back in the early Spring and I've been anxious to finish it. When I finish Fade, I'll jump right into Gone, the third and final book in the series.

I anticipate finishing them quickly since I read the first 100 pages of Fade in a few hours. If I do manage to finish them I will get to move on to another book. I think I may have to finally read the book Eden by Keary Taylor. It's been in my TBR pile for a few months now and I'm really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WIP - It's getting easier

I didn't do a post last week so my update will include the past few weeks of NaNoWriMo.

As November approached I was getting more and more nervous to begin the rigorous writing month. I had great memories from last year and I was anxious to recapture the amazing feeling of finishing a 50k word novel...but to get the feeling you actually have to finish.

I have been working on a story idea for months so you'd think it would be easier to dive right in and begin the writing process. Wrong!

Because this idea has been dancing in my head for so long I have really felt the pressure to capture it the way I see it, which is hard. Really hard.

The first couple of days this month were extremely difficult. It was like pulling teeth just to get the required daily word count out. It was a task, a chore. I didn't look forward to the times I had to write, it was dreaded.

Part of the problem was the pressure I put myself under, but part of it has also been due to the fact that I am in a new state this time and my dear writing partner, Jenni, is all the way on the other side of the country. A three hour time difference puts plenty of kinks in the 'lets write together and do writing wars' plan.

Those wars with Jenni last year were the only reason I was able to finish last year, so I've had to find new reasons to write this year.

Thankfully, once I hit about 12,000 words, it started to become much easier and the words began to flow. I finally reached that point in writing where I look forward to it on a daily basis. And, I'm happy to report, last night I hit 30, 029 words! Woohoo!

I know I have at least 20k of material left, I just don't know how much more than that I will be able to write. However, I do know that I am looking forward to finishing it and having the complete story in my grasp! Happy Writing!

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading??

I've been bad, but I don't really need to state the obvious here. With all my free time being focused on getting my word count in I haven't been maintaining my blog. Oops.

I'm going to try and stay on top of it, but this month I really can't guarantee anything.

Today I'm participating in the weekly meme presented by Book Journey.

I almost didn't do this post today because I don't have anything new to report from my last Monday post. I'm still reading Garden of Apples by M. Nova.

Part of the slow reading process has been lack of time, which is obvious, but part of it has to do with the fact that I'm having a difficult time getting into this book. When I do find time that I could be reading I look at the book and decide to do something else instead. Not a good sign.

These type of books are always difficult to review when you're done because the issues you have are probably just personal ones that only affect certain people. I don't want to tear the book apart because someone else may really like it, but I have to tell the truth as well. I'm already dreading having to write it.

I am, however, looking forward to finishing it so I can move on and so I can finally finish Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth Series. I only have three books left to read in the ten or eleven book series and I'm dying to know how it ends.

Hopefully that will be the motivation I need to get through Garden of Apples this week. I hope you all are having more success in the reading department this week. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WIP - It's begun!

I've really been slacking these past few weeks on my blog. I kept thinking I needed to get my blog posts done but then something would come up and I would put it off longer.

I'd like to say it was because I was spending so much time with my preparation for NaNoWriMo, but in reality it was just me being caught up in the game of life.

On a positive note, yesterday was the first day of NaNoWriMo!

I will admit, all day Halloween I kept thinking about how I was supposed to start writing the next day and it had me extremely nervous. I've been thinking about this project for months and I wasn't sure if I was ready to get it on paper the way I see it in my head. But that wasn't going to stop me from trying.

I hit the computer hard yesterday. It was difficult to get started, more so than I had anticipated. It took me over four hours to write 362 words. That's an extremely slow pace for me.

Thankfully, once my cuties went to bed I was able to get online with my friend Jenni. Together we were able to pump out a great day. I ended my day with a word count of 3042 words. Wahoo!

Even better than my word count, I ended the day excited to get going again today and the rest of the month. I can't wait to get this project finished! Happy Writing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP- 12 days of procrastination

I saw my friend Jenni's WIP update today and I realized I hadn't done mine yet.

I've been bad. I have not been taking any more time to plot out my storyline for kleos. I keep meaning to, but then life gets in the way and I get distracted. Isn't that always the way it is? The things we want to do get done get pushed out by the things that we have to get done.

On a positive note, I did manage to finally unpack my notebook that contains all of my ideas and characters that I have brainstormed. In reviewing, I have the overall story-arc created but I really want to fill in a few more gaps before I can feel prepared for NaNoWriMo.

I have 12 days until I will be glued to my computer during any and all free time I can find. In that time I know I should get the last of this brainstorming done. But I am going to be honest with myself, I probably won't do much more before November 1st.

Last year at this time I was just deciding to sign up for NaNoWriMo. When I finally came up with a story idea it was with a few days to spare and I had the roughest outline imaginable. The final product ended up being completely different from what I had anticipated, and yet I made it through and the final story was way better than what I had originally anticipated.

I'm hoping that will be the case with kleoS. I'm afraid if I overanalyze and over think, I will lose some of the heart of the story. I want the story to lead me, not the other way around. At this point, I almost think it will take more self control to not think about it anymore until the 1st of November.