Gasp by Lisa McMann

2015-08-15 18.24.28

Title: Gasp
Author: Lisa McMann
Genre: Young adult paranormal
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

After narrowly surviving two harrowing tragedies, Jules now fully understands the importance of the visions that she and those around her are experiencing. She’s convinced that if the vision curse passed from her to Sawyer after she saved him, then it must now have passed from Sawyer to one of the people he saved.

That means it’s up to Jules to figure out which of the school shooting survivors is now suffering from visions of another crisis. And once she realizes who it is, she has to convince that survivor that this isn’t all crazy—that the images are of something real. Something imminent.

As the danger escalates in this conclusion to the Visions series, Jules wonders if she’ll finally find out why and how this is happening—before it’s too late to prevent disaster.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Just like the first two books, the visions are still happening.

Jules has realized that when you save someone from a vision, you accidentally pass on the vision.

They saved a lot of people from the school shooting so now they have to figure out who they passed the visions to in order to stop the next tragedy.

Bed-ridden for a while due to the shooting, Tori finds it hard to help Jules and the gang solve the next disaster; especially since she’s the one having the visions. Ben, who they saved from the shooting, helps them along the way.

Together, Jules, her two siblings, Ben, Sawyer, and Tori solve the next tragedy.

It isn’t until much later they realize how Jules got the vision in the first place. I found the answer to that question to be very satisfying. It was great how Lisa McMann brought everything full circle.

There’s no explanation how the visions came to be in the first place, but that’s left up to the imaginations of the readers.

Gasp by Lisa McMann gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Too bad there’s nothing admirable about being a fraud.” –Lisa McMann, Gasp

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

Advertisements

I Am The Traitor by Allen Zadoff

2015-07-26 19.30.08

Title: I Am the Traitor
Author: Allen Zadoff
Genre: Young adult mystery
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

The Program has sent Boy Nobody on countless missions, instructed to kill whichever target he was given. But now, after going rogue, he is on his own mission to rescue his friend Howard, who was captured by The Program.

Boy Nobody manages to free Howard as well as Tanya, a mysterious girl who was being held with him. Putting their skills to the test, Howard and Tanya help Boy Nobody collect information about his father, eventually revealing a dangerous secret that teaches Boy Nobody a valuable lesson — he can’t trust anyone.

On the run from The Program, Boy Nobody must face his past, as he’s forced to decide where his loyalties lie.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

I have to say that this was a satisfying ending to the trilogy. I want more, but then the series would just be dragging on.

Zach saves his friend Howard from The Program and also an unexpected prisoner: Tanya. Zach doesn’t know what to make of her, but he allows her to tag along anyway.

Judging how the first two novels went, I wasn’t sure what to make of Tanya. Was she good? Was she bad? Was she going to live?

I was happy with the way things turned out; especially since I liked Tanya.

Point one for Zadoff; he created some strong female characters who could hold their own. I was impressed with that. You don’t see that too much these days.

This final installment was action-packed from start to finish as it picked up right where book two ended. The ending was not certainly something I expected. I felt like I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t; which is a good thing.

The ending was sort of a cliff-hanger, but not in a suspenseful way. It was more left as an imaginative way. You have a feeling where the characters will go from there, but it’s left to your imagination. You just know that they all got a happy ending.

I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Women. There’s not a lot of information about them in the training manual.” –Allen Zadoff, I Am the Traitor

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

Update: Hunter

Week one of Camp NaNo has come and gone.

I’ve been writing Hunter, book one of The Hunt trilogy. I’m 24,277 words in; nearly halfway there to the finish line.

The novel started off great and then slowly turned into… Well, a first draft. I’m getting down the ideas of the plot, but it’s going to need a lot of editing, as it should.

I’m using the sticky note app on my computer to keep track of editing notes for myself as I write. The editing notes are getting pretty long, but I guess that’s a good thing. It will definitely help me out in the long run.

My only concern is that I’m not sure if there’s going to be enough information for a trilogy. I have ideas and a plot for each book in the trilogy, but I don’t know if they’ll be long enough to stand as their own novel.

I was thinking I might make one novel titled The Hunt and break it into three parts; each being the three “novels” of the “trilogy.” Then again, that’s something to figure out way later once I have it all written. It was just a thought that popped in my head, though.

The main character, Cat, has been developing not as smoothly as I would like. She grew up hating mutants because that was how she was raised to think. She hunts them down for a living. Throughout the novel, she’s supposed to realize that mutants are people to and not all of them are bad.

Well, she’s coming to that realization, but it kind of happened overnight. So that needs to be fixed a bit.

Plus, I need to do math. One of the mutants can go back in time and I need to figure out everyone’s ages and the years and such.

I don’t like math. I like English.

That will certainly be interesting trying to figure out when all is said and done. In the meantime, I’ve been putting all the ages and years in bold to remind myself to check it later.

Nobody has time for math.

If you’re participating in Camp, I hope it’s going well for you! If you’re not, I hope you’re writing is treating you well all the same. If you’re not writing anything… Well, happy Thursday to you!

Two Book Reviews #3

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the “Fun Home.” It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

Fun Home is a memoir told in the form of a graphic novel. When I first picked up the book, I wondered why in the world Alison Bechdel decided to tell her story through that form. After reading the novel, I realized just exactly what they mean when they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Through the pictures, narration, and little dialogue, we see the true relationship Bechdel had with her late father. Throughout reading the book you’re left wondering, “was her father a good father or a bad one?”

After he dies, Bechdel learns a lot about her father. She realizes just what kind of a man he was and she learns all sorts of secrets about his life. She discovers she was like her father in many ways and as she discovers who he was, she learns a little bit about herself.

The pictures in the graphic novel are dull in color and it’s very rare any member of the family is smiling. It goes to show just how much of a “fun home” it was. I thought it was odd at first, but upon realizing what the characters were like, the pictures were really a great fit to the story. I think the story would be told better as a graphic novel rather than if it was told as a novel.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Grief takes many forms, including the absence of grief.” –Alison Bechdel, Fun Home

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes; and three girls secretly plotting revenge.

KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.

LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.

MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.

None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together anything is possible.

With an alliance in place, there will be no more, I wish I’d said…; or, If I could go back and do things differently… These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.

I was originally going to review this book as a series (this is the first book of a trilogy), but decided against it so I can look at each book individually.

Burn For Burn is co-authored by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. I have heard of both these authors and their books are on my TBR list, but this was my first taste at what their writing is like.

I have a love/hate relationship with this book. Every time I picked up the book to read a few chapters, I only had complaints about it. Yet, I couldn’t put the book down; I read it in two days.

I didn’t love the three main girls who are out for revenge. The characters make or break the book and since I couldn’t find any interest in these girls, that was a deal-breaker for me. All three of them talk like the stereotypical “dumb blonde” adding the word “like” unnecessarily in the middle of their sentences. It made the girls seem annoying to me.

On the other hand, that kind of voice is unique and really showed the personalities of the girls. The novel is told in three different POVs, one for each girl and each POV is in first person. In that case, the voice was well done and makes sense.

Do you see why I have a love/hate relationship with the book now?

The characters are seniors in high school, which makes them about 17/18-years-old. For their age, their revenge tactics were kind of weak. Switching sunscreen with a different lotion to make the boy’s skin burn and break out isn’t exactly what I had in mind for high schoolers to do… middle school maybe, but not high school.

Then drugs get involved and the book becomes predictable–someone is going to get seriously hurt or even die.

And that’s how the book ends. You don’t know the result or consequences of the drugging. The girls panic for the last chapter and that’s all she wrote.

I guess we’ll have to read the next to book to figure out what happens.

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“It’s funny. I don’t think boys even know how to hold a grudge.” –Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian, Burn For Burn

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page!

Slightly Ahead Again

I sat down this morning at my computer and wrote another 3,004 words for my NaNo. My current word count is 34,038 which makes me ahead of about 700 words or so.

I’m writing a collection of short stories (really short… each is about 1,000 words long). I’ve been using different prompts I find in books and on the Internet. A few prompts were really good and I can see them becoming novels. Maybe they will some day. Some of the prompts… well, you can tell I was just trying to get the words down.

This morning, instead of doing a prompt I wrote a quick scene with George and Lilah from my novel Detective Florence. This scene has nothing to do with the novel at hand. In fact, it’s an idea for an upcoming two/three-book series for the characters. I always imagined having a case in each novel that surround one larger case that takes two or three books to solve. I have a few cases in mind which means that so far George and Lilah are going to be in at least four different series (minimum eight books, maximum 12 books… and ideas are still coming).

The scene I wrote this morning is from one of those cases. By doing that, I came up with so many more ideas for that case. I planned on that being the fourth case in the series, but I may end up writing it as the second one. We’ll see how it turns out.

Because, you know… I still have to finish up the first case which will probably be two novels. I planned on a trilogy, but George and Lilah didn’t want to work on the case for that long. I have to write the third book, but it will most likely tag onto the second book, which is in the middle of the edits.

Once NaNo is over, George and Lilah are going to get my undivided attention. So I think it helped that I was able to write a quick scene with the two of them this morning.

Writing Schedule

I am happy to announce that I have finally come up with a plan for myself for my writing! Well… at least until the end of 2014.

For the past couple of days I’ve been trying to figure out Detective Florence. There are a lot of things I need to work on for both the first novel and the second, plus I need to write the third. Of course, I think the third novel is going to end up being the ending of the second novel, but for the sake of being more confused than I all ready am, I’m going to write it as though the story is it’s own novel.

As much as I don’t like editing, I figured I need to spend between now and November to edit. November will be used to write the third novel. In other words, I gave myself a deadline of November first.

I all ready edited Detective Florence during the month of June so I could write the sequel for Camp NaNo in July. With that being said, for the rest of August I’m going to type up the edited first draft of Detective Florence. I’m giving myself a whole month to do this because it’s all ready the ninth and in a week I’m going on vacation for a week (I’ll explain more about that on a later date).

For September, I’m going to edit the first draft of Detective Florence 2. Both school and work will start up again so this will be interesting to see.

In October, I’m going to type up the edited first draft of Detective Florence 2 and outline Detective Florence 3. I’m hoping to have the entire outline done as well as have all the questions answered. I also hope the novel (and the whole trilogy) will make enough sense so editing won’t be that bad.

November, of course will be spent writing Detective Florence 3 for NaNoWriMo. I think it’s funny that it’s been almost a year since I started the series.

I came up with the idea for Detective Florence a long time ago and started writing it in a notebook. All the characters were different except for Detective Florence himself, but he had a completely different personality. I can’t remember when I wrote it because I didn’t date it (I’m kicking myself for that one), but there’s about 31 pages written before I stopped. Maybe someday I’ll post a bit of it on here so we can all get a good laugh.

Of course, I may use that case and characters in another Detective Florence novel. Who knows? I have way too many ideas for these characters all ready.

I finally got it in my head again and I wrote it for November 2013’s NaNoWriMo. I’m pretty sure I hit 50k words on day 17, but I didn’t finish the whole novel until the end of December (or early January). Now a year later I’m going to be writing the third book.

Anyway, for this upcoming December, I’m not sure yet, but I might be editing the first Detective Florence again to give myself a break from writing the third one. Then I’ll either rotate editing through the series or I’ll edit one book at a time. It depends on if the outlines for all three novels makes sense and are in order with each other. So, December is up in the air for now, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

For now, I have plenty to do before November first.

Happy August!

Camp NaNoWriMo has officially ended as of…well, many hours ago. I have to admit that I have never been so happy in my life that a session of NaNo has ended.

Losing 44,619 words of my manuscript five days before Camp ended was probably the worst experience in my life. Dramatic, but true. I was determined to win Camp so I pledged to myself that I was going to write 45k words in four days. 45k because Kris was able to get the first 5k words back for me and I say four days because there was no way I was going to be able to write anything as soon as I lost my entire novel. I needed a brand new day to start fresh.

Monday July 28, I wrote 15,029 words. Tuesday July 29, I wrote 10,019 words. Wednesday July 30, I wrote 5,016 words. Yesterday, July 31, I nearly died, but I wrote the last 15,036 words bringing my novel to a total of 50,112 words. Of course, Kris told me to validate my novel twice because I technically wrote 90k in one month. I just didn’t have all the physical words to prove it. So, I did and my NaNo stats look really weird because I had 44,619 for July 30 and then on July 31 the bar shoots way up and says I have 94,731.

Let’s keep in mind that these last four days I was constantly screaming in my head:

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

It was true. It was fairly “easy” to rewrite the novel because I wrote notes of all the scenes in order as I wrote them the first time around. Of course, before I lost the novel I realized the story was taking a different direction and I was getting lost. I took this rewrite as an opportunity to get my novel back on track and I spent a lot of my time moving the scenes around (I wrote them on sticky notes inside a notebook) trying to make some sense of it all.

It worked. To be honest, I think this version of the novel turned out better than the first. There was just one problem… I had finished the novel before I hit 50k.

I have many ideas for my Detective Florence series and I always pictured the entire series to be in a set of trilogies. Of course, now I’m wondering if the books need to be in sets of twos or many they don’t need sequels to each other at all. However, the first novel is fairly big with about 92k words and about 291 pages, but I’ve only edited the first draft, so it will most likely be less. Now the second novel is about 50k with less than 200 pages.

I think I’m going to write the third book pretending it’s going to stay a trilogy and see where that plot takes me. In other words, editing these novels is going to be just grand! (<—Please note the sarcasm.)

So, now I have another novel written, my third NaNoWriMo certificate, and a very sore wrist. I love writing and wish I could do it all day every day. The binge writing was fun and interesting to say the least, but… I am never going to do that again.

However, if you want to look on the bright side, at least I realized I can hit a deadline if I really set my mind to it.

But… Let’s be real now. Why did I want to win Camp so bad? Well, to complete another manuscript, of course. Yes, but also because Kris and I told ourselves that if we BOTH won (and we did — go us!) we could buy Mario Kart 8. Now I’m just waiting for her to get out of work so we can play it together.

Congrats to everyone who got through yet another month of NaNo! 🙂

A Great Day

A Writer Needs To Keep Busy…

I did very well today! I had the entire day to stay home and just write. I wanted to get a lot of editing done on Hunter. Honestly, I didn’t get much done on that, but I was still very productive.

I started off with Hunter. I said I had an epiphany with that novel and decided to outline each chapter on individual index cards so I can play around with the chapters to re-order them. Some chapters just might have to be completely re-written. But we’ll keep it easy for now.

I added a prologue to Hunter which was great because it added some background to the marriage of Cat’s (the protagonist) parents. Her mother is dead, but the prologue shows just how much Christina and Charles were not on the same page most of the time. Plus, there’s a part in the novel where a mutant has a message for Cat and I don’t think I ever explained it…yeah. So the prologue kind of added some insight to that, as well. It’ll force me to write that message in some where. So the prologue is actually helpful. I did not add it just because I felt like making the story longer.

I then outlined chapters one, two, and three. I have the entire novel edited on a hard copy, but I’m in the middle of re-typing it all up with the new edits. I add new edits that I didn’t put on the hard copy as I type it up because it’s as though I’m going through the novel a second time. So once I finish typing a new chapter, I’ll write the outline for it. So I was going to try to outline at least up to chapter four, but…I only typed up two pages of chapter four. Oh, well.

As I was going through this, I kept getting  a lot a new ideas for the sequel, Hunted. So I decided to start writing that even though I told myself I was going to wait until Hunter was completely edited. I wrote the prologue and chapter one. I’m on page 20 with 5,775 words. I think that’s an excellent start so far.

Tomorrow I plan on at least getting through chapter four on Hunter and maybe write chapter two for Hunted. Of course, I had a large mocha frap from Starbucks to help me get through today. So we’ll see how productive I am tomorrow.

Day Seven

Productiveness Is Upon Us….

 

There is no picture today because I forgot to take one. Sad day. 🙁

However, I had a fantastic day today! I don’t know about the rest of you. I got a lot of things done. I am exhausted out of my mind, but I feel great! I wrote a lot today for Camp NaNo and my sister and I re-organized our room. We still need to do a bit of cleaning up and organizing, but we made a pretty good dent and I have to say that our room looks great!

Back to writing, though…I wrote a total of 5,016 words today! I started at 20,002 words from yesterday and I wanted to make it up to at least 25,000 before I stopped for the day. I have 25,018 words for Saving Each Other so far! Yay for me!

I explained how this “novel” is going to work, right? Well, I’ll explain again just in case I didn’t in an earlier post…I planned on the Three V’s Prophecy (it’s a working title) to be three series long. Each series would have a total of five books making fifteen books. Of course, that was way too much. My sister gave me the idea to turn it into a trilogy. Each “series” would be in one book. So each book is going to have parts. The first part of the first novel is Saving Each Other. So, as you may have guessed, Saving Each Other isn’t going to be long like any ordinary novel. I plan on each part being between 25,000-50,000 words long. So if each part is 50,000 words long, the whole novel (all three novels) will be 250,000 words long. I have no idea how many pages that would be, but it’s going to be big. Did that explanation make any sense?

For Camp NaNo I plan on finishing the Saving Each Other part and then finish Take Over. If, by some miracle, I finish both by the end of April I may or may not continue onto the next part, which is called Seeing Things. Of course, that depends on whether I’m sick of the characters or not. I may start a new project instead.

That’s all the news I have for today. Tomorrow is Monday and it’s also day eight, which means that we’ve officially survived an entire week of Camp NaNo! Go us! I plan on writing another 5,000 words and hopefully making it to 30,000 by the end of the day. I have a four hour gap between school and work I really hope to get it all done.

Good luck on week two everyone! 🙂

 

2013: 106,797/365,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

Not Productive

Today Was A Bust…

 

Today my sister and I went to Barnes and Noble. We went about our normal routine; we went to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast, Starbucks for drinks, and Barnes and Noble to write. However, we weren’t there for any more than an hour when my dad called. We switched from Verizon to Comcast today and with Comet and Chip at home, he didn’t want to shut them in the bedroom and listen to them bark all afternoon. My sister and I ended up going home and taking the dogs to Nanny’s house where we stayed for about an hour and a half. They have no wi-fi, either so we couldn’t work on our writing at all.

By then, the guy was still at our house, but I had to go to work. So we went back to my house, leaving the dogs, I grabbed my things and went to work. When I got home from work, I had to re-connect the internet and now my laptop is being extremely slow. I assume it’s just trying to get used to the new connection, or I’m hoping so anyway. However, I am in no mood to write now.

While we were at Barnes and Noble, I did write a tiny bit, but it was under 1,000 words. And I never wrote yesterday, so I feel like I’m a bit behind. And because of that, I’m beginning to get annoyed at my writing. I have three novels completed and never bothered to edit any of them.

Well, that’s not true. I’m on the seventh draft of Diary of a Lover, but I never once edited Hunter, which I finished back in August of 2011. Saving Each Other I just finished less than a month ago, so I’m not going to get back into that just yet…I’m kind of sick of those characters.

However, I do have three children’s books that are completed, edited and all, but I don’t bother trying to get them published. Why? I don’t know. That’s what I think I’m going to do when I finish this post. I think I’m going to try searching for publishers and such. At least if I get those three children’s books out there, I would get my foot in the door for whenever I publish a novel, the extra money would be a plus, and maybe it would motivate me a little more to get something else out there.

I asked my sister to edit Hunter the other day. She hasn’t started, yet, but I’m hoping that once she edits it, it will motivate me to edit it and keep at it. Honestly, I wrote that so long ago I don’t even remember what happens in the book. It’s quite sad.

I told myself that, because I’m so into The Blank Page right now, I’m going to finish it. Then once I finish it, I’m going to work strictly on editing for a little while. I know my new year’s resolution was to write more, but editing is a big part of writing, even if I’m not adding word after word after word. It’ll suck because I absolutely hate editing, but if it needs to get done, then I’m going to get it done.

I’m not going to write anymore tonight because I am just not in the mood and I know if I force myself, I’m going to mess up the entire novel. Hopefully, I’ll get back into it tomorrow morning. I had a good routine going: I woke up early every morning, worked on my websites for a bit, wrote for an hour, and then posted on here. I have not done that since Tuesday…but Tuesday I had no school and no work and nothing to do, so I kind of wanted to take advantage of the fact that I could have stayed in bed for the entire day. With all the crap I have been doing lately, no one can blame me for that.

On a good note, I did start my resolution about reading more. Does everyone know the series Warriors by Erin Hunter? Well, there are so many books that I have lost count, but I do have most of them. I have read a few, but I decided to re-read them…especially because one of my RPG websites are based after this series. Last year, I read the first five books, so I decided to start reading them again starting with the sixth book. If I didn’t have work or anything else going on in my life right now, I would have finished it the day I started it. But we’ll take baby steps.

I’ll talk to you all tomorrow…hopefully after I write for an hour. I have work at 1:30 tomorrow, so if I get up early enough maybe I can do a little extra. That would be nice!

 

2013: 13,645 Words Written
2013: 183 Pages Read