Monday, September 22, 2014

What I've Been Reading

How is it almost October?!

September just flew by. I think it went by so quickly because I did an intensive rewrite of Book One (in ten days), finished an (oh so very crappy) draft one of my fantasy piece, and you know, had life thrown in there. Not much time for reading. And I had books from the library I had to finish because they were on hold with someone else, which means I couldn't renew them, so I was plowing my way through things. Mostly because I want to get to this little gem that was delivered to my doorstep last week that I have not opened yet. 

Sarah Maas is a goddess of storytelling. This is epic, but so close and personal. LOVE this series!

All because when I do, I will not emerge to eat/sleep/work/etc until the thing is done. Dying to get into this. Ah, but had to get through a few others first.

So, here's what I've been reading.

Let's Get Lost, by Adi Alsaid

Love that cover
This was good. Nothing awe inspiring or make you want to laugh/dance/cry. Just solidly good. It tells the story of 17 year old Leila and her cross country trip on her way from Louisiana to see the Northern Lights in Alaska. The story is broken into 5 sections. The first four are from the point of view of different people Leila meets on her journey and how she impacts them/their day. Why Leila is on the trip remains a mystery throughout the stories. You start to speculate, but the reason stays hidden, which is fine, because you're so wrapped up in the other stories. The last section is from Leila's point of view, where the mystery of her road trip comes to light. I wasn't expecting the reason (I was thinking she was dying **spoiler!** she's not!).

I really loved this. I loved that it was about loss and healing but not in an overt way. That it focused on how Leila's healing affected others more than her. 

Say What You Will, by Cammie McGovern 

Don't you just love the name Cammie? So pretty.

Ok. Time for truth. The publishing industry can make you want to scream. There is a big call right now in YA for books on diversity. Which is fantastic. What I hate is when there's a call/demand for something and people write it just to write it, and there's no heart behind it (These things sell, too, which is frustrating for writers like myself who can't get their stories published but stories that are less than stellar are published simply because of demands and trends).

Anywho...this book deals with a girl with a disability. And it is so, so, well done.

Amy has cerebral palsy. She's trying to make the best of her last year in high school. She uses a walker and a device that speaks for her when she types into it. Her mom hires peer helpers in attempts to help Amy make more friends. One of her peer helpers is Matthew, a boy who suffers from severe OCD. Amy and Matthew begin a friendship that blossoms into more (of course) but things don't go well, because they tell each other everything, except what's most important.

What I really love about this is that it focused on a girl with a disability, but not the disability itself. It focused on Amy as a person and not 'a girl with CP'. I loved the matchup between she and Matthew (because he has his own issues to hash out and work through). Great story.

Then, there was this:
The Ring and the Crown, by Melissa De La Cruz

Ring and the Crown
Ah, so remember by bit above about how books that aren't very good sell because of trends? Case in point. This book is historical fantasy (I swear, you throw magic and a ballgown together in YA and you can about get published) This I did not enjoy. Way too many characters that did not connect,not a big enough plot arc. Lots of girls 16 and younger having lots of sex, in ways that did not add to the story. Nothing happened in this book, really. And man, it could have (I mean, did you hear the part where I mentioned it is fantasy? Hello, magic and spells, you were in here but didn't do anything). Hate to bash books online (and almost didn't write this). But, well, it wasn't good. And sadly, other really great writers with really, really good stories, aren't getting published. But this is. That makes me sad. 

One more book to read from the library and then Heir of Fire is mine to devour (hey, that rhymes). Meanwhile, my "To Read" shelf on Goodreads just keeps growing, and growing, and growing...

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