Book Reviews

REIGN OF THE FALLEN: How Dead People Make You Feel Alive

AMAZON RATING: 4.1 out of 5 stars | GOODREADS RATING: 3.51 out of 5 stars | 4.3 out of 5 stars

So I had been waiting to read this book for months. I actually attended the launch party back in January and picked up my copy there, and then came home and attempted to read it while going about my life. Which, as we all know, means it took me forever to read it. My life is busy, guys…

 

28951957_10160182997090088_4593379424202417241_n

So anyway, let’s talk a little about Odessa. There were times I felt like I was actually her because wait, other people are that snarky too? Who knew?? 🙂 She’s such a great protagonist to follow because she knows she’s very good at what she does, one of the best even, and feels very confident in what she does, but she at no point inflates with that information to start believing she’s better than anyone else, including the others who do the same work.

Oh yeah, her work is to raise people from the dead. Did I mention that?

It’s a hard line of work, but hey, someone’s gotta do it. Until people start questioning whether raising people from the dead is a good thing due to the number of them now turning into Shades, creatures who will stop at nothing to destroy everything in their path. And the worst part is, at times, Odessa wonders if everyone is right.

I love Odessa because she’s miraculous. After she loses someone close to her, she struggles with addiction and falls victim to it over and over, making plenty of mistakes along the way. But, over time, she figures out that she’s stronger than that, and that’s such a great narrative to be out in the world. She stands up for herself, she works hard for what she believes in, and she doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her. I want every teenage girl to see Odessa and know that being THAT girl is totally attainable.

What’s even MORE exciting is that there is a sequel coming out for this book! As far as I am aware the release date has not officially been announced but I, for one, will DEFINITELY be reading it as soon as it comes out! ❤

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Editing Services

Happy Wednesday!

Did anyone else reading this get stuck in Winter Storm Toby in the last few days? I had to ignore a two-hour delay at work and drive in the snow to do an event, and it was not fun. I’m only somewhat hoping that the wet roads will freeze a little overnight and result in another two-hour delay tomorrow…

But in the meantime, I’ve decided to start book editing on the side! I’ve always loved copy editing (no, seriously. I genuinely love it and get excited when I get to take a pen to something to critique it), and I think I could be useful to some authors who love to write but would like to spruce up their grammar because it may not be their expertise like it is mine!

A little about me and why I’m a good fit for this: I’ve always been the person people come to for their grammar issues. My mom likes to text me to ask how to use certain words, and I almost hugged a coworker who wanted someone to read over her entire new manual she wrote so that I could check for grammar issues because I actually had fun editing it! I received a degree in media arts & design from James Madison University, with a concentration in journalism. This meant a lot of editing classes, but I also worked as a senior production editor for our yearbook, which went on to be a national finalist for the coveted Pacemaker Award both years that I was on the editorial board. Here’s my fellow editorial board members and our award-winning books!

sanmartin-weddingparty-30

I’m currently writing a young adult book myself, and I recognize that just the fact that I’m writing one (not publishing one) doesn’t necessarily give me experience, but it does give me tons of insight into the industry as a whole as I do my own research that I think can be invaluable. Given the fact that I am not published and don’t have that experience, I am not offering content editing services at this time.

If you or anyone you know is looking for a copy editor for their book or any other written material, please consider me in your search! Because I am just starting out doing this, I am charging generally lower prices than what you’d find online until I have a portfolio of books that I’ve edited, so take advantage now! 🙂

 

 

Book Reviews

RIDE ON by Gwen Cole: A Story That Unearths My Dormant Horse Love

AMAZON RATING: No reviews yet | GOODREADS RATING: 4.29 out of 5 | MY RATING: 4.6 out of 5

 

Ok, so, not so new thing about me: I’m truly terrible at keeping up with writing reviews as I read books. I read a lot of things and get very excited to read the next one… As a result, I’m skipping some. Please talk to me about books if you want to know everything I read because seriously, I think I have about 3 books I’m reading at a time right now. Whoops.

But today, I’m so freaking excited to talk about Gwen Cole’s upcoming release, RIDE ON, of which I was lucky enough to read an ARC! Gwen is a local Richmond author, and I also reviewed her debut novel, COLD SUMMER, awhile back! (So go read that. Go. Right now. I’m waiting.) She’s a pretty cool person, too 😉

RIDE ON follows two sort-of-outlaw teens who are forced to grow up much too early in a post-apocalyptic future resembling the good ol’ Wild Wild West. Cue some old school Will Smith (just kidding)! Avery’s hometown has been taken over by the leading gang who took her brother away from her. Seph was taught by his father how to survive on his own, which he’s been forced to do since his father was murdered when Seph was about nine years old, until he gets caught by the leading gang himself. Seph isn’t sure he can trust anyone in this world, and Avery has been taught from a young age not to trust anyone from out of town. But for Seph to be free and for Avery to find her brother, they must work together to save their lives and those of the ones they love.

If you like intrigue, danger, and/or horses, this is the book for you. I’m obsessed with the true friendship they can share with each other AND their horses. Their horses are basically people, OK? It’s important. I’m also allllllll about great female role models in literature, and Avery does NOT disappoint. She’s scared and nervous and doesn’t know what she’s doing sometimes, but she’s quick to stand up for herself and learn what needs to be done to survive and save the people who mean the world to her. She also cares very deeply for her horse and any horses, really. You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat animals, you know.

I’m so happy I got to read this! It comes out in bookstores in May of this year, so keep an eye out for it and let me know when you read it so we can discuss! 😉

 

NEXT UP: REIGN OF THE FALLEN by Sarah Glenn Marsh. (Spoiler alert: loved it)

Book Reviews

COLD SUMMER: The Author Who Got Me To Step Outside of My Genre Habits

AMAZON RATING: 4.4 out of 5 | GOODREADS RATING: 3.79 out of 5 | MY RATING: 4.5 out of 5

So I’ve sucked about keeping up with writing reviews, but I’ve been busy. I got a new job, I moved to a new house with my amazing husband, the holidays came and went and my family had FOUR birthdays (including my own!). But here I am, trying to catch up!

So I’m very picky about what I read lately. I have so many things on my TBR pile that lately, if it’s not capturing my attention, if I just don’t really care how it ends, I’ll just stop reading it. Some people can’t start a book without finishing it; I’m not one of those people.

I finished COLD SUMMER by Gwen Cole pretty freaking quickly.

I’m not really even into historical fiction normally. I wanted to read this book because the author is a local Richmond author, and I met her at one of her readings at Chop Suey Books in Carytown (P.S. you should definitely go to the bookstore if you’re ever in Richmond. It’s awesome, and there’s a cat that lives there. What more do you want from life?) I was hooked by her writing style and the way her father read it to us at Chop Suey, but I still was worried I wouldn’t really thoroughly enjoy it. Time traveling? World War II? Not usually my thing. (Disclaimer: This book is not strictly historical fiction. Read on.)

I loved Kale and Harper, though. These two main characters had a ridiculous amount of chemistry that’s extremely hard to come by. Harper’s concern for Kale and his situation was real, and I felt it along with her. They made me want to go call all my old childhood friends and ask if they remembered jumping into lakes on hot days, as well. But it’s hard for them to spend time together, because Kale isn’t always around.

Kale is an unwilling time traveler. Every few days or weeks, he jumps into World War II in the winter, battling the Germans and hoping he can make it back home before he meets the same fate as many of his soldier friends. He’s seen too much for someone who isn’t even in the army. He’s disassociated himself from his life back in Iowa and his time in the service, shivering in the holes in the ground and hoping to survive. And it’s especially hard when he can’t tell anyone in the war what’s happening and just prays he doesn’t disappear while someone’s watching, and almost nobody at home will believe him. Except Harper.

But Harper is worried, and rightfully so. Her curiosity gets the best of her one day when she Googles Kale’s name, and finds him listed as a war casualty. Suddenly, Kale and Harper are in a race against time (literally) while Harper desperately tries to find a way to keep Kale from returning to the place where she knows he won’t make it out alive.

Again, my favorite part of this book was the chemistry between the characters. But I also really felt their struggle. I cared about them. I wanted Kale to stay put so that Harper can finally feel loved by someone. And I really, really wanted Kale to survive. Read the book to find out for yourself!

In the meantime, I asked Gwen herself to answer a few questions about her book, and she generously agreed! I love when I can actually get the author to weigh in, because their perspective is the most interesting. I’d love an IMDB but for books, so I can scour the trivia section and read all about how their book came to life like I do for movies. But, until that exists, here’s Gwen on her book, COLD SUMMER:

  1. How did you come up with the idea for COLD SUMMER? About five years ago I was binge-watching the HBO show Band of Brothers and some of those episodes stuck with me for a long time. Some of the WWII scenes in Cold Summer were the first ones to be written, but I didn’t want to write a historical fiction—I wanted to have something normal and something not normal mixed together. So that’s when the time traveling aspect came.
  2. Who is your favorite character and why? This is hard because it’s like picking a favorite child, but I loved writing Kale’s chapters the most. His voice came the easiest to me and it was his story that came first. I just loved the idea of this kid from nowhere special Iowa being more different than everyone. But I also love his best friend, Miles. And Uncle Jasper. See? Hard to choose!
  3. Did anything in your life influence the plot of COLD SUMMER? Plot? No. But certain little parts in the book did. One of them was the story Miles told about him and Kale going to a theme park and cutting in line. 😉
  4. What’s one thing you want readers to take away from the book? Only that they enjoyed reading it. If they happen to find a deeper meaning, great, but I just try to write books that lets the reader succeed in getting lost in the characters and the story.
  5. You have a new book coming out in 2018, RIDE ON! What are you most excited about for this book? Yes, I can’t wait for people to read Ride On! This one was probably my most favorite book to write just because it’s so different from everything else I’ve done so far. Outlaws, standoffs, a sky with no sun, and two teens against everyone, it’s got it all.

 

Gwen’s new book, RIDE ON, is expected to be released in May! You can bet I’ll keep an eye out for it 🙂

 

Next to be reviewed is EVERYTHING EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon, and GUYS. I love it. Stay tuned.

I’ll also be heading to a launch party for REIGN OF THE FALLEN by Sarah Glenn Marsh this weekend and will definitely be devouring that book the second it’s in my hands, so keep an eye out for that!

Book Reviews

ONCE AND FOR ALL: That Time I Wrote a Gushing Post About My Favorite Author

AMAZON RATING: 4.2 stars out of 5 | GOODREADS RATING: 3.79 stars out of 5 | MY RATING: 5 out of 5

Since I was a kid, I remember my mom taking me to Borders (RIP) on Saturdays to look for books. I’d head straight for the Young Adult section and spend forever judging books by their covers and back-of-the-book copy, until finally choosing one and devouring it once we returned home. (Shout out to my mom for always encouraging a strong love of books!)

This was how I discovered Sarah Dessen. I picked SOMEONE LIKE YOU up from a shelf at Borders probably sometime around 2004. And… I didn’t like it.

I wasn’t ready for Sarah. But Sarah was there. Waiting.

Months later, bored around the house and looking for something to do, I picked that book up again and decided to re-read the story of Hallie, Scarlett, and the time they had to act like adults long before they were ready. And this time, I had found a new favorite author.

I can’t explain to you why my opinion changed that second time around. But the next time I was at Borders, I picked up another Sarah Dessen book. And the next time… and the next time… before long, I was looking up her release dates and eagerly awaiting her next books, begging to go to the bookstore as soon as they were available.

This story brings me to today’s impromptu, out-of-order review of Sarah Dessen’s latest novel, ONCE AND FOR ALL.

23157874_10159597815110088_408431585_o

Long story short, this book does not disappoint. Coming from one of the biggest young adult contemporary authors that currently exists, that’s no surprise. One of the things I’ve always loved about Sarah’s books is that while they deal with the normal high school problems that many teens face, she also confronts some of the bigger issues we hope no teens ever have to deal with: homelessness, abandonment, abuse, teen pregnancy and so much more. ONCE AND FOR ALL is no different.

Louna works for her mother’s successful wedding planning business, and she’s just looking forward to starting over now that high school is behind her. She’s surrounded every day with the ideals of true love lasting forever, but there’s just one problem: Louna has already been in love, and it didn’t last forever. In fact, it didn’t last nearly long enough. Ethan’s no longer a part of her life for reasons she finds hard to face and hard to understand. Yes. I’m being purposefully vague.

Along comes Ambrose (who reminds me so much of Dexter from THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER that it’s ridiculous), and the last thing Louna wants to deal with is a clumsy, bumbling optimist who thinks the sun never stops shining and just wants to save dogs. On that last point, I identify with Ambrose on a deep, personal level. 😀

I won’t say which hard-hitting point Sarah uses in this particular book, because I want you to read it yourself, but ONCE AND FOR ALL is worth every second I couldn’t put it down. Every time Ethan was mentioned, I COULD. NOT. STOP. On a side note, does Ethan and Louna’s night on the beach sound a crazy amount like Auden and Eli from ALONG FOR THE RIDE (whom they meet at some point, funnily enough), or is that just me?

I have no complaints. I’m biased. I will never have a complaint against a Sarah Dessen book. Sarah, you have inspired me since I was 12, and others since before that. If I ever write contemporary, I want you to know that you are the reason. ❤

 

Still coming is a review of COLD SUMMER by Gwen Cole, with an extra little surprise! Let’s hope I can write reviews and stop reading long enough to catch up with myself sometime soon… 🙂

Book Reviews

ONE OF US IS LYING: My Realization That I’m Never Right

GOODREADS RATING: 4.06 out of 5 | AMAZON RATING: 4.4 stars out of 5 | MY RATING: 4.7 stars out of 5

 

My husband and I constantly do this thing when we watch TV shows where we guess what’s going to happen next or as a result of whatever a character is up to. SPOILER ALERT: He’s ALWAYS right, and I’m ALWAYS wrong.

I was definitely wrong about who the killer was in Karen M. McManus’s debut novel, ONE OF US IS LYING.

Photo on 10-18-17 at 10.10 PM

I knew I wanted to read this book the first time I saw it in Barnes and Noble a few months ago. I have a group chat with some of my friends from college (shout out to my 2014 Bluestone Babes, you guys are the real MVPs). I texted them and said, “Guys, I found a book that’s basically The Breakfast Club BUT WITH MURDER.” And as someone who can say all of Bender’s lines along with him in that movie, I absolutely had to read this book!

 

So the book starts out on the way to detention. You have the usual suspects… “You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?” (I couldn’t resist.)

By the end of detention, only four students are left alive, and there’s no one who sticks out as the main suspect. The school’s outcast, whistleblower, and victim, Simon, had a lot of enemies.

There’s Bronwyn, the brain, who had a decent enough relationship with Simon that she thinks will keep her away from suspicion, but everyone has their own secrets to keep.

There’s Addy, the beauty, who would have done anything to make sure Simon didn’t dig into what she did while her boyfriend was away.

There’s Cooper, the athlete, who has MLB scouts staring him down and therefore has a lot to lose if Simon managed to ruin his reputation.

And there’s Nate, the criminal, whose frequent run-ins with the police make him a prime suspect for a crime.

There you have it, the Bayview Four. The only people in the room when Simon died, except for the teacher administering their detention. I’d tell you who I suspected the entire time, but I already said that I was wrong, and I don’t want to spoil anything for you!

I was completely hooked. McManus does a fantastic job weaving this story and showing how a group of people can come together in a tragedy. Everyone’s secrets get unraveled, debunked and laid out for the world in 358 pages of pure mastery. But who is the killer? I’ll give you a hint: if you truly guess it, I’m going to officially suspect you as either a murderer or a secret FBI agent. (Karen M. McManus…anything you’d like to tell us…?)

My only critique on this book was the difficulty I had with the switching POVs, but that’s such a trivial critique that it doesn’t even matter. The book switches between the Bayview Four chapter by chapter so you fully see into each of their lives, and the way that their lives are seen by the others. I had a hard time keeping up with it at the beginning, but it was also so interesting to see all the different angles!

 

Just tonight I finished COLD SUMMER by Gwen Cole, and that’s next up on the review list! Perfect now that it’s started getting super cold around here…

Book Reviews

THE HATE U GIVE: How One Book Changed My Life

Goodreads rating: 4.6 stars out of 5 | Amazon rating: 4.8 stars out of 5 | My rating: 5 stars out of 5

What Would Angie Thomas Do? That’s my new life motto.

Again, this was a honeymoon book. Or more like, a waiting-for-the-shuttle-to-the-airport-and-then-couldn’t-stop-thinking-about-it-on-the-plane-so-I-finished-it-immediately book. And then I texted my mom and told her she absolutely must read it. (She did. She loved it. As will you.)

If you’ve been reading my reviews, you know I don’t really give out 5 stars. I’m a brutally honest person when it comes to books, what can I say? But THE HATE U GIVE is more than just a world to lose yourself in for a few hours. It’s a world that traps you in and makes you think about your own experiences, how they affect the others around you, and what’s really going on in this country.

This book speaks on the Black Lives Matter movement in America. I’ve always agreed with the movement, myself, so I was always going to agree with this book’s message anyway, But what I love most about this book is that it is in no way anti-cop. It is in no way negative toward any position. It’s just about a girl facing the reality that her best friend is dead, after all he did was check to make sure she was OK. It’s about a girl who sees what the media is saying about her friend without getting the facts, or even mutilating the facts and taking them out of context to make sure that people don’t grieve for Khalil. Thomas does such a fantastic job telling a story with no bashing of the other side, and even including such an excellent example of a police officer as Starr’s own uncle.

Starr is, well, a star. She’s a beautiful role model and just wants to figure out how to navigate this sticky situation where she doesn’t even want to tell her white friends at her prestigious school about what happened. What happened was that she watched her best friend get shot by a cop who pulled them over after a party one night. She watches the news accuse him of being a drug dealer, as if that makes it all OK, without bothering to find out the real story, anyway. She finds out who her real friends are as Khalil’s trial looms and more and more truths come out.

This book is already in the works to become a movie. It’s been on the bestseller list, most weeks at #1 (rightfully so), since it was first released this past February. I will be (and have been) recommending this book to just about everyone I know. Seriously. It’s fantastic. Go buy a copy and read it. Now. I’ll wait.

 

 

Angie Thomas, you are a beautiful writer and I hope you don’t ever let anyone take the shine out of your Starr. Thank you for opening my eyes to the reality of the Black Lives Matter movement. Like I said, I’ve always supported it, but let’s be real: I’m a middle class white girl who grew up in suburban Pennsylvania and suburban Virginia. My experiences are not your experiences, and vice versa. Thank you for showing me the other side. Thank you for writing the book of the year. (Is that an actual award? It should be. And you should get it.)

 

Please stay tuned for a review of the new release ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen McManus!

Book Reviews

THESE THINGS I’VE DONE: Rebecca Phillips and How She Rips My Heart to Shreds

Amazon rating: 4.4 stars out of 5 | Goodreads Rating: 4.09 stars out of 5 | My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I’ve somehow managed to get a cold (or something) in the summer, so let’s get caught up on my book reviews from my couch, shall we?

I’m going to start out by saying that I’m a harsh critic of books. I have multiple books on my Kindle (and probably on my bookshelf) that I started and never finished. So while I may critique a book to its core… if I finish it, I liked it overall. I’ll also go ahead and say there was one thing about this book that truly bothered me by the time I finished. But I finished. I was HOOKED. I absolutely had to know what happened next. Stay with me here.

image1 (3)
Since I don’t have a physical copy of this book because I bought the Kindle edition, please accept this photo of my pet bunny Sundance trying to read his first novel.

I read this book during the course of one day while on my honeymoon. You read that right: I spent that long in a single day reading a book while in Hawaii on my honeymoon. At one point my husband suggested getting into the pool and I made him wait because I was at a crucial part that I refused to back down from.

I had read one other book by Rebecca Phillips before: OUT OF NOWHERE, and I really enjoyed it and highly recommend, along with this one. THESE THINGS I’VE DONE just came out last month, and I’ve known about it for a long time (thanks Eric!) and couldn’t wait to read it!

The book is about a girl (Dara) beginning her last year of high school, on the heels of a year-long trip away from where she grew up to get away from rumors and her past. A past where her best friend died in a horrible accident… that she feels responsible for.

Dara’s guilt throughout this book DESTROYED me. Ms. Phillips does such an incredible job of making those emotions come alive. I felt her pain every step of the way, and as her relationship with Ethan changed throughout the book, I felt like I was there with her. In high school. It was weird. (Can we all just agree high school was a weird and oddly traumatizing time for all of us? Moving on!)

There is so much conflict in this book that I felt like I was on eggshells the entire time reading it. And I mean that in a great way. Everywhere Dara turned there was something holding her back from moving on from Aubrey’s death. She couldn’t escape it, and was told to stay away from the one person who had a shot of helping her try.

Which brings me to what bothered me about this book: I felt cheated that a confrontation that was hinted out throughout the entire book never happened (I’m trying SO HARD here to not give anything away. I want you to read it yourself!). Ms. Phillips does this amazing job of raising the stakes and making you need to know how it’s going to turn out, but one of the things that was destroying me, waiting for it to happen, never did. And I’m sad about it. I felt like that’s what could have been the defining moment for Dara: facing up to these people and what really happened when Aubrey died.

 

But all in all, I truly loved this book. I’ll probably end up reading her other ones that are out, and will continue to keep up with her as her writing career continues. I’m a sucker for YA contemporary (I consider my own book half fantasy, half contemporary, if that’s a thing) so this is definitely right up my alley. Thanks for writing, Rebecca Phillips ❤

Book Reviews

Snow Like Ashes Series Review

So, hey, everyone. It’s been a while…

I’ve been dying to write up this review ever since I finished this series maybe a month ago. I would’ve written it then, but I haven’t had time because I was busy planning my wedding and then getting married! 😀 Meet me and my new husband, Juan:

sanmartin-sneakpeeks-35
Photo by: Maddy Williams Photography

But now that wedding planning is over and I’m home settled into this new wife life, I can also go back to my old book life, which is pretty exciting! (Update: got another rejection today, one day after I got back from my honeymoon. Perfect timing, book world!)

But anyway: SNOW LIKE ASHES trilogy by Sara Raasch.

IMG_2405

I was really, really excited about this series when I discovered it last year. I read the first one (SNOW LIKE ASHES), and then finally got my hands on the last two (ICE LIKE FIRE, FROST LIKE NIGHT) this summer. Meira is everything I need a leading lady to be: funny, badass, and believable. Her reactions and way of going through her life seemed real to me, and that’s super important to me while reading a book. Does anyone else act out parts while they’re reading? Or is that just me? Well, it ruins my scene when characters are unrealistic! I never had that problem with this series.

Since I’m doing a whole series review and don’t want to ruin it for anybody who hasn’t even read the first one, I’ll make sure I don’t do spoilers. Because I want you guys to go read these books. But I will say that out of the three, the first one was my favorite.

In SNOW LIKE ASHES, we’re introduced to Meira, a girl from the kingdom of Winter who has been in hiding with the rest of her kingdom’s inhabitants since Winter was destroyed years ago by Angra, who is basically trying to take over the world. With magic. Nbd. Meira, her best friend/crush Mather, and the rest of the Winterians are hunting for two halves of the deceased Winter queen’s locket, which holds Winter’s magic.

Without giving spoilers, basically everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and we end up with Meira in a love triangle for the rest of the series. Let me tell you something: I HATE love triangles. I think the TWILIGHT series turned me off to them forever. But Sara Raasch made me care about this one. Meira, Mather, and Theron are all great, deep characters, it’s easy to care about each person and what they represent.

It’s really hard to write a review on a series, let me tell you. So that I don’t give any spoilers to make you not want to go through the whole series I’m just going to do this:

THINGS I LOVED: The characters. This is a huge one for me. Bad character development will make me not even finish a book, let alone a series. These are real people with real problems and feelings and my heart hurts for each and every one of them. I also loved the world building. I’d almost go so far as to say she rivals the great J.K. Rowling in how she mastered her entire world and its multiple kingdoms and made it real. I do not give this honor lightly! (P.S. Hufflepuff for life.)

THINGS I DIDN’T LOVE: The second book in the series was a little slow for me. I felt like I was just waiting for the third one, which definitely picked it back up! You may feel differently!

 

I want this series to become a movie so badly. Come see it with me if it does and we’ll throw popcorn at Herod whenever he shows up on screen (you’ll feel it with me, TRUST ME). I’ve been using this series as a comp title for my own book because I feel it so much. Sara Raasch, you’re awesome, looking forward to seeing your new series come to life! ❤ ❤

Coming up next: Review of THESE THINGS I’VE DONE by Rebecca Phillips

 

writing

Update: Querying Hell

Just kidding. Querying isn’t really hell. It’s kind of more like purgatory, because nothing ever happens. And when something does happen, it’s probably not a good thing. I’ve accepted this.

OK, so I promised myself I’d keep up with this and I’ve failed epically. But in my defense, I’m working two jobs, planning a wedding, trying to write a book, and also trying to sometimes sleep. I am planning on doing another review once I finish this amazing series I’ve been reading, though! I could’ve done it on each individual book but I decided to just do one big one on the series as a whole once I get through the whole thing. I’m on the last book, so stay tuned!

As for my own writing, I have officially started querying!! I’ve sent out seven query letters and have gotten two rejections. But that’s OK. Rejections are just sort of part this world, right? J I’m trying to keep five queries out at all times. In the meantime, I’ve started on the sequel, and I’m going about writing this one differently than I did with the first one.

First of all, I’m a born and raised pantser. (That’s a weird sentence…) I’ve never been one for outlining my work and then writing it. Even in high school when my English teacher tried to force us to do so, I would literally write the paper first and then outline what I had written. I hate planning it all out before; I like to just kind of see what happens. However, when I wrote WHEN I WAKE, the second draft took longer than the first draft because of how much I had to change because of how things had fleshed out once I had gotten to the end, and this time, I’m trying to avoid that. So any advice from you plotters would be much appreciated. I’m going to give it a whirl, but I make no promises. I’m probably going to end up just viciously attacking my Google Doc and seeing what comes up and hating myself for it later. You know. Normal writing stuff.

I’m also following some advice I’d read about writing lately to make WHEN I WAKE even stronger. An author posted somewhere (seriously wish I remembered who and where) that you should print out your entire document and retype the whole thing into a brand new document. He/she said it was an awful experience and it seriously sucks to do it, but it’s worth it. And let me tell you: I’m two pages into this technique, and I’ve already changed SO MUCH. And these are things I wouldn’t have thought of changing if I had just been reading it through to do edits again. So basically, I’m going to hate myself for the next few weeks as I try to accomplish this, but I truly believe it’ll all be worth it in the end.

I’m going to try to keep up with this blog better than I have been. Stay tuned for the review of a young adult fantasy series that definitely needs to be made into a movie so I can be angry at everything they changed. Because that’s what I always do. You should have seen me when HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN came out in theaters. I was livid at age 12.

 

Ok so I’m at work and I’m gonna go drink the rest of my coffee so I can survive the day without falling asleep in my chair. Let me know how your own querying is going! We can all suffer together!!