Reading · Uncategorized

My Favorite Adult Reads of 2018

If I had to pick my favorite overall book of 2018, the award would definitely go to Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. That book gripped me in a way no other book could compete with this year. The tension was magnificent and I loved the unique take on mermaids. Overall my adult reading was more varied than young adult this year. My top picks are in historical, horror, and science fiction.

My other Adult picks for 2018 include The Song of Achilles, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, Baby Teeth, and Adrift. A shout out goes to Semiosis and Circe. All of these books released in 2018. Continue reading “My Favorite Adult Reads of 2018”

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Reading

My Favorite YA Reads of 2018

I read a lot of books this year, more so than in recent past years. According to Goodreads as I write this I’m heading toward 80 books. I’m always on the hunt for possible comp titles for clients and to keep up to date in the genres I work in and to know what’s been done. Here’s a look at some of my favorite books from my reading this year, starting with young adult. A note: not all of these book were published in 2018, some are older.

The books are Strange the Dreamer, An Enchantment of Ravens, Spinning Silver, Ivory and Bone, Vessel. A shout out goes to the charming contemporary YA romance Christmas book I’m currently reading Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. A few other books that were close calls for the list include Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow and My Plain Jane. I admit I read a lot of fantasy this year in YA. Continue reading “My Favorite YA Reads of 2018”

Reading · Reviews

Book Review: Across the Universe

Here is another young adult science fiction read! Across the Universe by Beth Revis has a lot of similarities with the movie Passengers but aimed at a young adult audience. Overall I give it 3.5 stars. While this book is the first in a series, I have no plans to continue. If you are a fan of Passengers than this could be the book for you, if not I don’t recommend picking this one up.

Amy is frozen cargo aboard a spaceship. She isn’t supposed to wake up until the ship reaches a new planet, but she wakes up 50 years too early and other cargo passengers are dying. She fears her parents could be next. Even worse, the ship is full of secrets and run by a cruel dictator she hates. Basically the plot is very similar to Passengers with one big difference: there are other people awake on the ship. Generations of people run the ship and the danger lies within other people instead of a malfunctioning ship. The love story runs in a similar vein with the same reason for Amy waking up early. Continue reading “Book Review: Across the Universe”

Reading · Reviews

Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction lately after not touching any for a year or two and I’m loving this step back into the genre. One of my latest reads was The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. It’s a young adult book and perfect for teen readers looking to get into something lighter on the science side with an emphasis on the human experience instead.  This was a 4 star book out of 5 for me and I found the overall premise fresh. It was also a quick read, which I appreciated since so many books in the genre tend to be on the long side.

The book follows Romy Silvers, a teenaged girl stuck alone on a space ship after her parents died. The mission is to colonize a new planet, but Romy struggles to cope with being alone. Then she finds out a second ship is on the way and will soon catch up with her. Her excitement fades to horror as she realizes there are worse things than being alone. Now if you read the blurb for the book, you might expect a romance, but this isn’t a romance and it isn’t a book I’d recommend for anyone looking for a sci-fi romance. Continue reading “Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe”

self publishing · Writing

The Bias Against Self-publishing

Once upon a time self-publishing was seen as the option for the uniformed and writers who well, weren’t very good. These days self-publishing has become a much more viable option thanks to the internet, but the bias still lingers and drives writers away from it. Some traditionalists still hold that traditional publishing is the only path that has any merit, while some self-publishers think taking control of your writing is the best way to go. And let’s not forget about the growing numbers of hybrid authors who have published both ways. A lot of people on the traditional side seem to avoid discussing the topic, but I work with clients on both ends of the industry and I’ve personally worked with some great self-published authors.

Self-publishing wasn’t always as easy as it is today. While self-publishing used to be associated with scams in which houses forced authors to pay to be published, these days self-publishing often entails authors handling the publishing of the book themselves. While the publishing landscape has evolved, old biases still linger. With more authors self-publishing than ever before there have been heated debates on the topic of traditional publishing versus self-publishing. Continue reading “The Bias Against Self-publishing”

Reading · Reviews

Book Review: Ivory and Bone

Ivory and Bone is a young adult novel set during the Ice Age. It’s the first of a series with the next book in the series, Obsidian and Stars, already out. Overall I give this book 4 stars out of 5. I’ve been craving books set during the Ice Age and I wish there were more of them, but I admit I had a few hangups with this book while reading. However I still look forward to reading Obsidian and Stars.

Ivory and Bone is about a teenager named Kol who is searching for a bride while finding his clan caught up in a war between two other clans. First off this book does a great job of bringing to light some of the struggles teenagers during the Ice Age would have dealt with, like the main character Kol searching for a bride amongst other clans because there aren’t enough girls in his clan. This book also tackles the issue of the number of mammoths dwindling, making survival a struggle for those who relied on them. The setting of this book is what made the story was the books biggest strength in my opinion. Continue reading “Book Review: Ivory and Bone”

Editing · First Chapters · Reading · Writing

First Chapter Pet Peeves

As an editor and a literary agency reader I read a lot of first chapters. Like A LOT. I’ve blogged about types of openings to avoid before. There are a few openings and issues I spot in first chapters all the time that instantly turn me off a book because I see them so often and they simply don’t grab my attention.  I’m going to tell you some of my first chapter pet peeves and exactly why they don’t work for me.

Starting a story with a character waking up. I see this way, way too often. Usually when I see it the character is waking from a dream or their phone wakes them up in the middle of the night. This opening doesn’t work for me because A) I’ve seen it so often it has become cliche, and B) it doesn’t grab my attention. I want to get to know your characters right away.  Start me with something more unique to them and their story and not something that could be used for any character. Similar to this beginning is starting with a character’s daily routine. It isn’t attention grabbing. Continue reading “First Chapter Pet Peeves”