Working With Critique Partners

Working with critique partners offers huge benefits to writers. There are the obvious benefits, like getting fresh eyes to look at your writing and help you polish. Then there are benefits you might not have considered, like the fact that critique partners can help you learn and get used to taking feedback, which prepares you to work with a professional editor. If you are a writer and don’t have any critique partners, I suggest you find some. And by critique partner I don’t mean family and friends who don’t write or read much. Get other writers who will edit you and give you constructive feedback instead of giving you a simple “I liked it.” Continue reading

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Caraval

I finally got around to reading Caraval by Stephani Garber and I can see why it became a bestseller. I loved the book. I had some misgivings when I first started reading, but I got hooked and didn’t want to put the book down. I loved how I couldn’t predict the book with the twists and turns thrown at me. It made for an exciting read and a breath of fresh air since I love an unpredictable book but read so few. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book and in fact hope to get one of my friends to read it.CaravalNormally I don’t pay attention when books are heralded as the next whatever one of the latest bestsellers have been, in Caraval’s case The Night Circus, but this is definitely a book that would appeal to Night Circus fans although the writing styles are vastly different. Still, they are both about a magical world hidden away in the normal world with a sprinkling of love thrown in. I found Caraval enchanting and if it were real, you’d better belief I’d be trying to get myself a ticket every year. I’d probably try to be a performer. And while there is a romance thread, I appreciated how in the end the focus was on the love between the sisters winning at the end of the day.

Why did I have misgivings at first? Well the father in this book was abusive and I’ve noticed a tendency toward terrible parents in books lately as an excuse in fantasy for characters to leave to go exploring, which was also true in Caraval’s case. However once the sisters left their island, I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to know more about Caraval and just exactly who the mysterious sailor known as Julian was. And once the game of Caraval started, there was no way I could walk away from the book.

I find books boring when I can predict the ending, and even if I enjoy the reading an ending I predicted can at times disappoint me. On the flip side I hate when authors go with unbelievable twists in an attempt to be unpredictable. I definitely didn’t predict the way the game ended in Caraval. As soon as I thought I understood the infamous Legend and his Caraval, another twist made me feel like I knew nothing. But that didn’t frustrate me, it just made me eager to know the which truth was right. After all, you can’t trust anyone in Caraval. The twists and turns fit in with the Caraval game well and made for some mind blowing endings.

The first thing I did when I finished reading was hop online to see if there would be a sequel–and there is one! The sequel is coming May 2018 and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’m curious to have a story from Tella’s perspective since Caraval was from Scarlett’s. I want to know more about her and if the way her sister views her as being rash is true. But more than any other character I want the chance to meet Legend and learn more about the enigmatic man.

So if you haven’t read Caraval yet, you definitely should grab a copy and dive in. But be warned by the end you might want a ticket to next year’s game.