Posted in Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays: What Are You Waiting For

I’ve noticed that I haven’t done a Musical Monday in a while. (I’ve also noticed that this is the third one and they’re all six months apart. I didn’t plan that.)

September is coming to a close. Everyone went back to work, back to school, and we’re all in our usual routines again.

While I’m happy, this is a big strange for me. For the past eight years, I’ve always had to deal with that first day of school. I’ve had to deal with working with new teachers, working with new students. I’ve been a robot; my body and mind catering to the preschool schedule, singing the days of the week and learning how to spell my name at the same time each and every day.

I don’t have that anymore.

I quit my job back in June at the end of the previous school year and honestly, I haven’t looked back. But also, it hasn’t quite sunk in until this month.

I usually buy myself some new supplies, a couple new outfits here and there, etc. But I didn’t this year. I bought new supplies for my writing, but I do that all year round. I didn’t buy any new clothes (though I really need to…) because guess what? I can stay in my pajamas all day if I really wanted to.

This song that I’m about to show you is one of my favorites. I love Nickelback. They can be hardcore rock, but can also be very inspiring. When this song first came out in 2014, I thought a lot about myself. About my writing and blogging.

I had been complaining about wanting to go full time with it for so long, but not having enough time to actually pursue it.

Then I did it. I finally figured things out, decided to do what’s right for me, what’s going to make me happy.

Needless to say, this song speaks loudly to me. I hope you enjoy it and it speaks to you, too.

LYRICS

What are you waiting for
What are you waiting for
Are you waiting on a lightning strike
Are you waiting for the perfect night
Are you waiting till the time is right?
What are you waiting for?

Don’t you wanna learn to deal with fear
Don’t you wanna take the wheel and steer
Don’t you wait another minute here
What are you waiting for
What are you waiting for

You gotta go and reach for the top
Believe in every dream that you got
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?
You know you gotta give it your all
And don’t you be afraid if you fall
You’re only living once so tell me?
What are you, what are you waiting for?

Are you waiting for the right excuse?
Are you waiting for a sign to choose
While you’re waiting it’s the time you lose
What are you waiting for?Don’t you wanna spread your wings and fly?

Don’t you wanna spread your wings and fly?
Don’t you wanna really live your life?
Don’t you wanna love before you die?
What are you waiting for?
What are you waiting for?

You gotta go and reach for the top
Believe in every dream that you got
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?
You know you gotta give it your all
And don’t you be afraid if you fall
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?

Tell me what you’re waiting for
Show me what you’re aiming for
What you gonna save it for?
So what you really waiting for?

Tell me what you’re waiting for
Show me what your aiming for
What you gonna save it for?
So what you really waiting for?

Everybody’s gonna make mistakes
But everybody’s got a choice to make
Everybody needs a leap of faith
When are you taking yours?

What are you waiting for?

You gotta go and reach for the top
Believe in every dream that you got
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?
You know you gotta give it your all
And don’t you be afraid if you fall
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?

You gotta go and reach for the top
What are you waiting for?
Believe in every dream that you got
What are you, what are you waiting for?
You know you gotta give it your all
What are you, what are you waiting for?
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?
What are you, what are you?
What are you, what are you waiting for?
What are you, what are you
What are you, what are you waiting for?

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Posted in Short Story Sunday

Short Story Sunday 179: The Writing Portfolio

It was the second day of school for my cousins. One was in her sophomore year of high school and the other had just begun eighth grade. Neither were happy to be going back to school, but when they came home on that first day, they were all smiles. I think they were glad to be back into some sort of routine and it was nice to see all their friends again.

So on that second day, it occured me that we were indeed back into the swing of things. And when I say that, I mean homework.

The three of us were the only ones home and we sat in the living room talking. I asked how their days went. The older of the two said her day was fine, the younger described every minute of her day without missing one detail.

Then I asked about their homework. Being in upper middle school and high school, I assumed they had homework. Even if it was the second day of school.

They both nodded, the older explaining she had no idea what she had to do.

I took out her planner and read out loud what she wrote.

“English,” I said, “bring in writing portfolio.”

“Yeah, what’s that?” she asked.

I blinked at her. How did she not know what a writing portfolio was? Still, I explained it to her that it was like having samples of your writing. It was a folder of her previous work, I assumed essays she had written from her English class last year.

“I don’t have that.” she shrugged.

I didn’t know whether to agree or not. I was sure she had copies saved on the computer, but her teacher didn’t really expect the kids to keep an actual hard copy portfolio from the previous year?

“Well, what did your teacher say?” I asked.

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know…?”

“She might have explained it, but I don’t remember… Or maybe I wasn’t paying attention.”

This didn’t surprise me. I sighed and said, “Well, I guess you can just ask your teacher tomorrow.”

“But it was due today.”

I stared at her. I glanced at my other cousin, who sat in the armchair beside me. She was smirking, clearly enjoying that her sister was going to get a bad grade on the second day of school.

“Wait, it was due today, but you didn’t think to worry about this last night?” I asked.

“Well,” she continued, “my teacher must have said something about it yesterday and I just wasn’t paying attention. I only know about it now because kids were handing in thick folders with papers inside to her today.”

I sighed. “Okay then you’re just going to have to reprint everything you wrote last year and put it all together.”

“I don’t have that.”

“You have your laptop.”

“But I didn’t save anything.”

I cringed at this. How do you not save your homework? How can you write pages upon pages of essays and not bother to save any of it or at least print out an extra copy?

“I mean, the more stuff I save onto the computer the slower the computer will be.” she explained with a smile. A proud smile as though she had thought outside the box and solved the “slow computer” problem. The answer has clearly been right in front of us the whole time… So, stop saving your work onto the computer, everyone!

I had no idea what to say to her.

“Then go to your English teacher from last year and ask him if he has any copies.” I said. I knew that was a long shot, but it was the only thing I could think of to say.

“He already gave it to me.” she replied.

“Then what are we even talking about here…?”

“I think that’s how the other kids had their folders. Our teachers last year gave them to us at the end of the year.”

“Then where’s yours?”

“I asked Daddy to make a fire at the beginning of the summer and I burned all my schoolwork.”

At this, my other cousin burst out laughing. I was completely dumbfounded.

Thankfully, my mom walked through the front door. I stood up and said, “Tag. You’re it.”

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know what you think in the comments below and we’ll chat!
Posted in Book Reviews, Reading

Everland by Wendy Spinale

Everland by Wendy Spinale | Book Review

Title: Everland
Author: Wendy Spinale
Published: 
May 2016 by Scholastic Press
Genre: Young adult | Fantasy | Fairytale retelling
How I got the book: I downloaded it onto my Kindle

Summary:

The only way to grow up is to survive.

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of a deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the deadly Marauders—the German army led by the cutthroat Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook is on the hunt for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the surviving children. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return.

Until one day when they grab Joanna. Gwen will stop at nothing to get her sister back, but as she sets out, she crosses paths with a daredevil named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it might cost Gwen more than she bargained for. And are Gwen, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart the ruthless Captain Hook?

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

I love a good fairy tale retelling and Peter Pan is my favorite. So, naturally, I have to read all the Peter Pan retellings there are out there.

rp-plot

This was by far the most unique Peter Pan twist I’ve read. Instead of a lost girl or boy finding their way into Neverland, children are all around England orphaned from the war and a deadly disease that took their parents.

We go back and forth between Gwen’s first-person and Hook’s first-person. Gwen is trying to keep her younger brother and sister safe and they’re all trying to survive. Meanwhile, Hook wants his hands on the “cure” for the disease for the Queen who started the war in the first place.

When Gwen’s sister is taken by Hook’s crew, she comes across Pete and the Lost Boys. After a rough start, they decide to help one another out and go after Gwen’s sister and Hook.

This was certainly a different kind of plot than I’m used to reading, especially for a Peter Pan retelling. I enjoyed it though.

rp-characters

I didn’t fall in love with any of the characters. I found Gwen to be annoying at times. She flip-flopped a lot on her decisions and feeling. For a 15-year-old who has parented her younger siblings all the while trying to stay alive, I get why she was iffy at times. Still, there were times when I felt like she played the “I’m only 15” card and sometimes she seemed to play the “I’m older, therefore I’m in charge” card.

Pete was okay. He had a sad backstory, but there wasn’t much feeling behind it. Doc, one of the lost boys, explains Pete’s backstory to Gwen, but that’s about it. It’s just an explanation. Peter mentioned it once or twice to Gwen later on, but again, I couldn’t feel anything for it.

The supporting characters weren’t much better. I didn’t feel like I had enough time with any of them to really feel sorry or happy for them. Due to spoilers, I won’t say much, but I didn’t feel sorry for what happened to Jack or Pyro. I barely knew either one of them, so I didn’t care too much about what happened to them.

Overall, the characters didn’t really do it for me. And, to me, the characters are what makes a story.

rp-writing-style

The actual story was easy to read and to follow along. Each chapter alternated (for the most part) between Gwen and Hook. So, we knew his motives as well as hers.

Other than that, there wasn’t too much special about the writing. I thought it was pretty simple and straight-forward.

rp-overall

This book was just okay for me. The plot was interesting, but I don’t know if it worked well as a Peter Pan retelling. The characters were a little too bland for me. Also, there’s a quote in the book that’s in the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. It’s a wonderful quote, but for some reason that didn’t sit well with me. I feel like if the author wanted to add that in, she should have changed it a bit and made it more her own.

This is the first of a series. I may read the next book, but I don’t know if it would be anytime soon.

Everland by Wendy Spinale gets…
3 Stars 3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“Oh, aren’t you cute? It’s absolutely… darling.” –Wendy Spinale, Everland

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Posted in short story writing, Writing

All About Flash Fiction

In my opinion, flash fiction is considered a short story. It’s a full tale with fleshed out characters and resolved plot. It’s just super short.

Short stories aren’t easy to write. Neither are novels. Yet, people (myself included on some occasions) say that short stories are “easier” to write than novels because it’s shorter.

Flash fiction, then, must be a piece of cake.

All about flash fiction

What is flash fiction?

Flash fiction is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a piece of fiction that takes a flash to read.

No, really, it’s very short short story. The typical length of flash fiction stories can be anywhere between 300 words and 1,500 words.

Of course, some people write six-word stories, 100-word drabbles, and so on. As long as it’s pretty short, it’s considered flash fiction.

How do you write flash fiction?

As concise as possible. Write only what matters to the story. Don’t add any filler content, just keep advancing that plot and developing those characters.

Use unique and vivid language to get your point across. Be sure to have a clear ending in mind and figure out how you’re going to get there in 1,000 words or 700 words or 300 words.

Where should you start writing flash fiction?

Explore the flash fiction world first. Read flash fiction stories or even poetry to get a feel for a language. Of course, you’re ultimately writing in your own voice and style, but reading examples doesn’t hurt.

Then, pick up your pen and just write. If you aim for 500 words, just write and see how many you end up with. Then you cut it down just like you would edit your novel.

Writing prompts help come up with ideas and a timer can do wonders if you want to start and finish something as quickly as possible. Can you write 500 words in 10 minutes? Set a timer. If you write more or less, you can add and cut out words after.

Why write flash fiction?

Writing flash fiction can really reel in your writing skills. It tones your writing and teaches you to cut out the filler stuff. Keep what’s only important to the plot and character development.

That, and it’s a fun challenge.

Do you typically write flash fiction? Do you read it often? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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Posted in short story writing, Writing

How To Give Your Short Stories A Neat Ending

how to neatly end your short stories

Just like beginning a short story, the ending should have some sort of purpose as well. It doesn’t do well to just say, “The End.”

No, the ending should do much more than that. It should…

  • Be satisfying
  • Close all the doors, wrapping everything up neatly
  • Make the story as a whole make sense

How do you do that?

There are so many different ways you can end your short story, but we’ll just talk about a few.

THE TWIST OR SURPRISE

When it comes to short stories, sometimes you need a little kick in your ending to make it that much more interesting because it’s so short. If there’s room, allow for a surprise or some sort of twist. Let it click inside your readers’ heads and have them say, “Ohh! I get it now!”

Of course, you can’t just throw in any random twist. It needs to be something the readers could have seen coming if they read between the lines.

I read a short story in middle school once in my reading class (unfortunately, I can’t remember the name or the author) and it was a man doing some sort of social experiment. He was locked in a room and had to figure out how to get out even though there was absolutely nothing in the room. I think it was to test his logical thinking or whatever.

Anyway, being 11-years-old, I thought it was extremely boring. But I remember the ending.

After being locked in for so many hours, they finally let the man out. He had tried absolutely anything and everything to get out and couldn’t figure it out. The narrator does a quick summary of what the man did and what the results were for the scientists. Then, I remember the last line clear as day, everything was explained: “For the door was never locked.”

Talk about an interesting surprise. I can’t remember anything about the story, just the basic gist of it and that last line. That’s how you do a surprise ending.

RESOLVING ACTION

This is a must for all endings. Unless there is going to be some sort of sequel for your short story, you can leave it off at a slight cliffhanger (but be sure to resolve some things).

However, every question must be answered. Everyone conflict must have a resolution. The plot should be explained in one way or another throughout the story, or at least make it fairly simple for the readers to figure out.

This is, again, a must. And I don’t really have any tips on how to do so because it’s up to you, your writing style, and your plot.

SHORT AND SIMPLE

Sometimes a simple “The End” is all that’s needed. I know I said otherwise at the beginning, but depending on what your story is about and how it’s written, something short and simple may not be a bad idea.

As long as the conflict is resolved and there are no loose ends, you can get away with backing out of your story slowly, but surely.

IMAGINATIVE

Wrap up the conflict, but still allow your readers to wonder what could happen next. This is something I often do with my Short Story Sundays here on the blog only because (ironically enough) I don’t know how to properly end them.

I get many comments asking the next part will be posted and I always say the same thing, “This was it. Use your imagination on what could happen next. Feel free to write it yourself.”

I don’t know how often this is done, but I don’t think it’s a bad idea to do once in a while. If you can write your characters so well that your readers fall in love with them, then you can sometimes get away with leaving an ending open like this. Your readers will want the story to continue in a way so they’ll imagine what your characters do next.

Again, just make sure that you wrap up the actual plot and conflict. Don’t leave that open-ended.

In conclusion…

And so, the blogger who worked all day and all night to create awesome content finally came to an end about her short story series.

That’s about it because she couldn’t figure out how to end her post about endings. She was really good at this.

She kicked back with a satisfied grin and then realized one more thing: she still had one more post to write about for her short story series.

(Guys, did you see what I did there? I added an outro instead of an intro. You know, because we’re talking about “endings.” Pretty clever, right?)

How do you typically go about ending your short stories? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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Posted in short story writing, Writing

How To Write An Excellent Beginning For Your Short Story

Once upon a time, there was a blogger who worked day and night to create awesome content for her loyal readers. Each month, she tried to think of a cool new topic to discuss and stumbled upon short stories.

In addition to her many posts about short stories, she thought to talk about how to begin them. Any writer knows that the beginning of a story is so important.

She also knew that the beginning of a blog post was super important as well. Yet, she had no idea how to introduce this “how to begin your short stories” post.

She laughed at the irony.

how to write an excellent beginning for your short story

There are so many different kinds of ways to start a story. However, while every story is different, some beginnings can be a bit cliche or even just seem old.

For example; a character waking up, the narrator or character describing the scenery, or opening with some sort of dialogue sequence that’s either a question or two characters having an argument or simply having a normal conversation.

Each one has been used once, twice, a thousand times over. Yet, each is still unique because they’re different characters, different plots and conflicts, and different writing styles.

What kind of beginning do you need?

The first couple of paragraphs are important, but the first line is really what’s going to hook your readers in. You need something that:

  • Leaves a lasting effect – Make them feel something in that very first line that causes them to continue reading that paragraph and onto the next.
  • Make them curious – Throw your character into the conflict right away or ask a question. Let your reader wonder where you’re going with this and why.
  • Allow the readers to get to know your characters – Start with dialogue, a conversation, an argument. Explore your characters all the while describing a bit of the plot as well.

How can you accomplish these things?

There are probably way too many different openings than we can count. But here are a few anyway.

SET THE SCENE

This can be a hit or miss. Describing a scene can sometimes be boring, especially if you’re trying to draw in an audience. However, it can be worked around in various ways that can work for your book.

For example, maybe your protagonist is going on some sort of journey. Let them soak in the place they grew up as they stand outside holding onto their suitcase. It’s nostalgic to them, maybe it’s even a little sad. Or maybe they’re happy to get out.

Or, on the other hand, have them arrive at their new place and describe that area. What are their first thoughts upon arriving? Have your readers wonder why they’re even there.

I did this in one of my short stories. The protagonist immediately enters a building where the receptionist greets her and lets her know that the doctor will be with her shortly. Why is she at the doctor? Is something wrong with her? Is this her first appointment or a follow-up for something? You keep reading because you want to know “why.”

THE NARRATOR SPEAKS

Some stories have third-person narrators that speak to the reader. It’s almost as though the narrator and the reader are sitting in a coffee shop having a deep conversation with one another. Sometimes this is interesting as it invites the reader to cozy up on the couch and be told a bedtime story.

It can be equally interesting if a first-person narrator talks directly to the reader as well. You can really get into the heart of the story through the character who actually “lived” through the story.

START IN A KNEE-DEEP CONVERSATION

As I stated earlier, feel free to start in the middle of a conversation. A lot of questions will arise, but not only are you going to rope the reader in, but you’ll also develop your characters somewhat. Are they having a normal conversation with one another? Are they talking about work or school? Are they arguing? What are they arguing about? Is it something that has to do with the plot?

ESTABLISH CONFLICT

For a short story, this is my favorite beginning. Short stories are, of course, short, so it’s sometimes better to establish the conflict right from the get-go. Your readers will wonder, “how did they get themselves into this mess? How are they going to get out of it? What exactly is going on?” If it’s interesting enough to them, they’ll want to see the characters get out of their mess.

I have done this for another short story I wrote. My protagonist was looking over a case file, a case that she has been working on for a very long time that, within the first couple of paragraphs, she and her husband begin arguing about how it’s consuming her life. Why is this case so important to her? How long has she actually been working on it? What exactly is the case? How will it get resolved?

USE TIME

In a way, this one kind of goes along with establishing conflict. I’ve seen this done a few times, but I’m mentioning it because I’ve done it myself and I think it worked nicely.

In another short story, I began it in the “future.” They were already thrown into danger, into the heart of the story. At a type of “cliffhanger,” I used a page-break and back-tracked to a few hours earlier, thus officially beginning the story.

I know sometimes time can be tricky and some people aren’t a fan of it, but I do think it can work well in certain situations.

In conclusion…

Beginning a short story can be easy or hard. But I think it all depends on your writing style and the overall plot. It all depends on what information you want to give to your readers and when.

How do you typically begin your short stories? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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Posted in short story writing, Writing

The Short Story Process

How do you go about writing a short story?

Well, it’s similar to writing a novel. Or a novella. Or flash fiction.

Well, maybe not quite like flash fiction, but the effort is there!

The Short Story Writing Process

Step 1. Think of an idea

Easier said than done, I know. But I’m not a mind reader, so you’re own your own for that one.

Step 2. Figure out the story’s focus or theme

Is there going to be a moral lesson at the end? Is it just to give the readers deep feels? Is it based off of something that happened to you in real life?

Step 3. Figure out the basics

  • Overall plot
  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Point of view

Step 4. Start writing

Another one that’s easier said that done, but… that’s what editing is for.

Step 5. Edit

Because you know the first draft is going to be terrible.

Step 6. Now what?

Are you going to post it on your blog? Submit it to a contest or magazine? Add it to your own anthology ebook? Keep it to yourself?

In conclusion…

See? I told you, it’s just like writing a novel. Only shorter. There’s still a lot of details to plan out and think about though.

OR

You can just sit down and start writing and see where the story and your characters take you. It’s that simple and that hard.

How do you typically go about writing your short stories? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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Posted in Short Story Sunday

Short Story Sunday 178: Random

Short Story: "Random" | Flash Fiction

            Quinn walked through the long hallway at one of the buildings of her college campus. She walked with her head down staring at her cell phone. She was texting her sister, Alexia, who was somewhere at the same college. She was just in a different building in class.

After sending a quick response to her sister, Quinn looked up from her phone to watch where she was going. She was headed to the library to work on some homework while she waited for Alexia to get out of class. There were a ton of kids walking coming out of the library. Quinn stepped to the side to let them through. A class must have just got out that was being held in the library.

“You’re misinterpreting randomness.” A tall guy said to his friend as they walked by.

Quinn couldn’t help but smirk at the comment. She had no idea what they had been talking about, but she found it hilarious all the same. That was definitely something Alexia would love to hear.

As Quinn entered the library, she put her cell phone into her back pocket. The librarians didn’t care if the students were on their cell phones just as long as they were on silent and didn’t actually talk on the phone. Even so, Quinn always felt as though she was breaking some sort of rule if a librarian noticed her texting or playing a game on her phone.

She walked all the way to the back of the library behind some tall bookshelves and put her tote bag down on top of an empty square table. She took her phone out of her back pocket, put it on the table, and sat down. Quinn took out her laptop and turned it on. While waiting for it to boot up, she plugged her computer into a small dome-shaped outlet in the middle of the table that fit four plugs. She reached back into her bag, took out a notebook and pen, and then put her tote bag down on the ground underneath her chair.

Her laptop, being five years old, was still loading since she had shut it down all the way instead of hibernating it like she usually did. So, Quinn picked up her cell phone and texted her sister: “Heard in the halls: ‘You’re misinterpreting randomness!’” She snickered as she hit the send button before putting it back down and then giving her attention to her laptop.

Quinn opened her notebook to her notes about the book she was reading for her English class. Her professor had given the class a list of three essay questions to go along with the book. Quinn had picked one out and already wrote a rough draft of most of the essay in her notebook. She always liked writing her essays in notebooks first. Then she could edit, add, and delete things as she typed. So, when she edited the typed version, it would be like already editing the second draft.

Once she got a word document up on her laptop and was just about to type away, she noticed the screen of her phone light up from the corner of her eye. She smiled knowing that Alexia would get a kick out of that sentence Quinn had just texted her. Quinn couldn’t wait to see what she said.

“Hmm. I wonder what that means?”

Quinn raised an eyebrow at the response. What was that supposed to mean? It was just funny, wasn’t it?

“I mean,” Alexia texted again, “I wonder if someone said something silly and someone else took offense to it. Hence, them misinterpreting randomness.”

Quinn scratched the top of her head while texting back with one finger on her other hand. “Aren’t you over thinking this one just a bit? I just thought it was funny and, no pun intended, random.”

“Right, but that’s a great line to use in a novel.” Alexia responded.

Quinn nodded her head impressed once she got the response from her sister. Both Quinn and Alexia enjoyed writing stories. Neither one of them knew if they were serious enough to want to be published someday, but they both searched for ideas everywhere. Inspiration was hidden in everyday life and it was fun to find.

“So, I’m trying to imagine the story behind it.” Alexia replied again.

“I think you’re right on the ball.” Quinn typed into her phone. “I don’t really have any other ideas as to what it could mean. I mean, who says that kind of thing to people?”

Quinn got back to typing up her essay as Alexia didn’t respond for a while. Quinn knew that she had a test in her math class was probably in the middle of doing that. The best part about taking tests in college was that, usually, when you finished you were able to leave class early. Alexia was pretty good at math, so Quinn had her hopes up that she would finish quickly and the two of them would be able to go home early.

Both of them also had the day off from work so both of them were eager to get home and early as possible and enjoy the rest of the day.

Another half hour had passed when Alexia texted Quinn to meet her at the car in the parking lot. Quinn grinned at the message. Alexia was usually in class for another 45 minutes. She was happy to get out early.

She packed up all of her things, not bothering to turn off her laptop. She simply closed it knowing that she was going to use it right when she got home anyway. Quinn put everything into her tote bag and stood up to leave.

As she walked out of the library, she passed by the two boys coming back into library. Quinn looked away from them as she caught herself smiling thinking back to what they were saying earlier.

“Yeah, she’s still mad at me. I started speaking gibberish and she thought I was making fun of another culture. I told her I was just being random, but she didn’t believe me.”

Quinn raised an eyebrow as they entered the library and she exited the building. That was a pretty stupid reason to why he said what he did earlier, unless they were talking about something else, but that didn’t seem the case.

Quinn smiled again as she headed towards the parking lot. She and Alexia could write a much better story using that line of dialogue.

Words: 1,090

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Posted in Book Reviews, Reading

The Black Book by James Patterson

Title: The Black Book
Author: James Patterson
Published: 
March 2017 by Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Mystery
How I got the book: I borrowed it from my mom

Summary:

How can you prove your innocence when you can’t remember the crime?

Being a cop runs in Billy Harney’s family. The son of Chicago’s Chief of Detectives whose twin sister, Patty, also followed in their father’s footsteps, there’s nothing Billy won’t give up for the job, including his life. Left for dead alongside his tempestuous former partner and a hard-charging assistant district attorney out for blood, Billy miraculously survives. But he remembers nothing about the events leading up to the shootout. Charged with double murder and desperate to clear his name, Billy retraces his steps to get to the bottom of what happened. When he discovers the existence of a little black book that everyone who’s anyone in Chicago will stop at nothing to get their hands on, Billy suspects it contains the truth that will either set him free…or confirm his worst fears.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

James Patterson is a wonderful author, but I don’t read his books enough. My mom raved about this one so I decided to pick it up and give it a try myself.

rp-plot

Billy Harney, the protagonist, gets himself into a lot of trouble. He solves a crime with no true evidence and it’s because of that that people question him. Then he wakes up from a coma. He had been shot and was lucky to be alive. His partner, Kate, and the woman he was seeing, Amy, were not so lucky.

The thing is, Billy has no memory of what happened.

The only thing that can help Billy is finding a little black book that will reveal everything. That, and getting his memory back. He is now framed and accused of four murders, Kate and Amy included. While he can’t remember, he knows that he would never kill anyone.

This was a long and twisted plot, but pretty easy to follow along and it certainly kept my interest the whole time. Once you thought you and the characters had figured something out, something else would happen. It was suspenseful, real, and twisty.

rp-characters

I did enjoy all the characters. Billy, the protagonist, was my favorite. He seemed to be the only one who had most of his stuff together. He seemed to be the definition of a true cop, despite some cliches here and there (his wife and daughter had died).

All the other characters seemed to be in it for themselves, which made sense. They were all trying to protect themselves in the severity of the case. Kate was a cool character too, though she and Billy seemed to have a falling out towards the end which made me a little sad.

Patti, Billy’s twin sister, who is also a cop, was just an okay character for me. The book opens up with her and I thought she was going to be a protagonist as well, but she wasn’t really. She did have a few big parts, but other than that, she wasn’t in it too much.

rp-writing-style

I loved the way this book was written. It’s broken up into parts, the past and the present. Billy’s parts were told in first person, but he couldn’t remember the past. So we, as the readers, knew what had happened by reading the past, and then when we jumped back to the present, Billy was still trying to piece everything together.

It was a clever way of revealing everything, especially at the end when they all went to court. Everything started to come back to Billy and we learn the major climax through alternating between the past and present within the chapters.

It was clever, easy to follow along, and kept my attention.

rp-overall

This was a great read. If you’re into mysteries or suspenseful reads, this would definitely be a good one to pick up.

The Black Book by James Patterson gets…
5-Star Rating | Book Review 5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“It’s easier to focus on someone else’s grief than cope with your own.” –James Patterson, The Black Book

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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