The deeper I get into Six of Crows, the less realistic Kaz Brekker feels to me as a character. The best character of the batch (and the one that feels the most like a teenager) is Inej. Kaz reads more like he‘s thirty, at the youngest; that he‘s supposed to be seventeen isn‘t working for me at all.
So, I‘m still working through Six of Crows, and while there‘s a lot to like about it, I‘m constantly distracted by its classification in YA. I don‘t think this is a YA book, and I‘m curious to hear from both sides of the argument.
What‘s your vote? YA or not YA?
I will never understand why editors don‘t take the red pen to Stephen King. BEEP BEEP, STEPHEN! Seriously, the concept and structure of the book is brilliant. It‘s the only reason I‘m not panning it. The most insane part is the pre-teen orgy, though.
I mean...DAMN. Really? Why do so many give this book a pass, despite that? Bev is a giant, grocery list of unforgivable female character tropes.
Wanted to share that Contagion by Erin Bowman is on sale in ebook for $1.99. If you‘re a fan of the “Aliens” franchise, this book is well worth a check. While I‘m seeing reaction on Litsy to this book is divisive, I personally loved it, and I‘m looking forward to the sequel that comes out next month. #bookdeal #ErinBowman #scifi #YA
As the author of a vampire hunter series, I‘ve felt a little guilty for not reading ‘Salem‘s Lot sooner. It‘s a slow wind up, but once things go to crap, it‘s fast. I love how King makes Barlow a worthy antagonist. Even when the protagonists make seemingly clever moves, he‘s a step ahead, and it made sense he would be with his experience. That makes the ending a bit of a letdown, for me, but it‘s still a brilliant vampire novel. #vampires
I‘m gonna be totally honest about this first chapter. If I‘d made my decision whether to purchase this book based on the first two pages, I wouldn‘t have bought it. There are so many issues with those pages, and yet EVERYTHING after that is a different story. The way this chapter builds up to slap you in the face is brilliant. I‘m just hoping the rest of the book reflects everything after the first two pages and not the first two. #FingersCrossed
Decided to finally read Six of Crows, because I‘m going to start writing a similar book later this month. Want to make sure I‘m not repeating too much of what Leigh Bardugo has already done. Nervous about this one, because a friend of mine from work LOVES this book and has read it at least four times. Really hoping I‘ll love it, too. #Grishaverse #AmWriting
I‘m mixed about this novella by JY Yang. The world building is fantastic. They do a fantastic job introducing the way people in this world are born genderless until they choose whether they wish to be male or female. The story itself just got too melodramatic for my tastes about halfway through it, and the ending fizzles out for me.
My full GR review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2851200049?book_show_action=false&from_rev...
Went to the release party for Karen Chase‘s new book Carrying Independence. She‘s been working on this historical novel for ten years, and it‘s finally out in the world. The party was a lot of fun and included reenactors of Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, and George Wythe. #1776inRVA
Since I‘ve been taking forever to finish my current reads this year, I‘ve decided to tackle a novella I got in Tor.com‘s giveaway earlier this week. I know next to nothing about The Black Tides of Heaven (haven‘t even looked at the jacket copy), and I haven‘t read JY Yang before, so I‘m looking forward to being surprised.
I just finished this book & loved it. This fantasy world that Heidi has created doesn‘t fit the typical mold. She draws on a lot of real world influence, but manages to create something totally different. Her handling of Jetta‘s bipolar disorder is elegantly done. The pacing for most of the book is slower than the typical YA novel, and I suspect that will turn off some readers. The story is carefully crafted, though. I can‘t wait for the sequel.
So, my son graduated from high school today! I‘m really proud of him. High school was a rough ride for him, but he‘s come out on the other side having found his voice. He wouldn‘t have gotten where he is without the bad and the good, and I‘m grateful for that.
I‘m officially no longer the dad of a high school student. Woo hoo!!! #graduation2019
I‘m about halfway through the audiobook for Stephen King‘s It. I‘ll admit that, so far, it‘s got the typical King strengths and weaknesses. He certainly knows how to craft a page-turner, but the length of the story is giving me some fatigue. I do wonder how much of my problem is that I know too much about the story having watched the TV miniseries back when it aired in 1990.
Finished (FINALLY!) The Girl with the Red Balloon earlier this week. I was excited to read this book, especially after meeting the author at the NoVaTeen Book Festival this past March. The book took a great twist near the middle as it turns into something of a murder mystery, but the book doesn‘t really stick the landing. In general, the book spins its wheels a lot.
Earlier this month, I tried to listen to the audiobook of I‘m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown. After listening to The Sixth Extinction (which left me feeling our world was doomed), I found I‘m just not ready to dive into this one yet. I got about a third of the way into Brown‘s memoir, though, and what I listened to is excellent and, at times, heartbreaking. I definitely recommend this one and will revisit it in the near future to finish it.
I was shocked to learn last night about the death of Tony Horwitz (article: https://wapo.st/2JKp4dB). I met him at the first James River Writers Conference here in Richmond in 2003. His book Blue Latitudes had a profound influence on my writing. He took what could have been a dull book on the voyages of Captain Cook and made it fun. I challenged myself to add more humor to my writing, and my Gidion Keep novels owe a small debt to him for that.
One of my fav reads from last year is Annalee Newitz‘s Autonomous. It‘s a twisted sci-fi novel with some alarming warnings for where the pharmaceutical industry might take us and what it means for human rights. I bring this up, because Tor.com is giving it away free as an ebook until 11:59pm on May 17th, so go get it. #giveaway #scifi #annaleenewitz #ebook
Tonight my wife Sheri received an award from the University of Richmond: the Taylor Kie Cousins Award for recognition of outstanding service to the university. The professor who selected Sheri also gifted her a beautiful book about Virginia (the one I tagged for this post, and the book is so big!). Sheri graduates this Saturday, and I‘m so damn proud of her. #spcsnight #spiderpride #classof2019
I was so excited to see this email tonight! As a writer on Litsy, one of my biggest frustrations was that I didn‘t have a way to link to my Litsy account from my website. Ever since I joined years ago, I‘ve loved this social media above all my others, but I couldn‘t direct any of my readers to it. I know there are potential drawbacks to this change, but I‘m pumped about a lot of the improvements. #LitsyOnTheWeb
It might seem an odd thing to get excited about, but Heidi Heilig avoids one of my least favorite tropes: when someone is knocked out, then simply wakes up and shakes it off like it‘s no big deal. Jetta‘s experience here reads authentic for a concussion. Heidi has also done an excellent job within this book capturing Jetta‘s struggle with her bipolar disorder without ever calling it that. #HeidiHeilig #mentalhealth #bipolar
My son and I saw Avengers: Endgame last night. I‘m still shaken by it. I was a blubbering mess watching it, and even the morning after, I‘m still fighting back tears. The only thing I‘ll say is that you do not want to miss seeing this in a theater. Waiting for it to come out on digital or disc would be a mistake, because there are so many stunning visuals and this is a milestone moment in cinema. #AvengersEndgame
I finished The Diviners in audiobook this morning. Overall, I think the second half made up for a lot of the content that dragged in the first half. The book offers no illusions that it‘s a one-shot, because so many character arcs just kind of hit pause at the end of the book, which spends most of its pages setting up the rest of the series. The reader January LaVoy does an excellent job with a large cast and even sings some lines in character.
I‘m halfway through the audiobook of The Diviners. My thoughts, thus far:
• a piano needs to fall on Sam
• Evie needs to get sent back home
• Theta & Memphis would make much better leads in this story
• not finding things all that scary, but the audiobook doesn‘t help when the reader‘s attempt at the booming crazy man voice is more laughable than frightening (overall, she‘s doing a great job with a large cast)
#audiobook #libbabray #thediviners
While most of this novel, so far, has taken place in 1988 East Berlin, there are also chapters set during 1941 Poland. The Poland chapters are difficult to read. There is nothing glamorous or romantic in this part of the story. This is not a criticism. Locke simply captures the grim state of this part of the world in WWII. #ColdWar #WWII #YA
I devoured the audiobook of Good Omens this past week. My friends have raved about it for years, but the upcoming series with David Tennant & Michael Sheen twisted my arm. The book is brilliant. I immediately listened to the February‘s Eclectic Readers podcast that I‘d saved for this. The Eclectic Readers make a great point that what elevates this book isn‘t just the humor but its smarts. I loved every scene with Aziraphale & Crowley together.
This second chapter works so well even though it switches from Ellie‘s POV to Kai‘s. Some writer‘s might use Ellie‘s ignorance of the situation as a way to explain what‘s happening, but Kai‘s POV actually works better here because of all the things he does know and doesn‘t share right away with Ellie. #POV
I had to behave on buying books (I‘d have bought SO many, if I‘d had the option), so I settled on taking my copies of The Ship Beyond Time & For a Muse of Fire to get signed by Heidi Heilig. I was stunned when Heidi recognized me from our past exchanges on Twitter, and she had much love for my hat (this it‘s inclusion in this pic). My lone purchase of the day was Katherine Locke‘s girl with the Red Balloon. #BookHaul #LooseUseOfTheHashtag #NTBF19
I‘m mixed about this book. I wanted to love it as a longtime Buffy fan, a writer of my own YA vampire hunter series, and a huge fan of White‘a novel The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. Some positives: White constructs an intricate plot that expands the Buffyverse and offers a LOT of insight into the mysterious Watchers. I also loved the chemistry between new slayer Nina and watcher Leo. Negatives will be in the comments. #BtVS
Perhaps the biggest revelation for me was getting to hear from Libba Bray. I‘m embarrassed to admit she wasn‘t even on my radar, and now I‘m wondering how I‘ve been so oblivious. She closed out the event with a keynote that was brilliant, funny, and inspiring. I‘d randomly attended two of the panels with her, and she cracked me up the entire time. She is officially going on my TBR list. #NoVaTeenBF #NTBF19
One of the big highlights of NoVaTeen this year was finally getting to meet Heidi Heilig in person. She was on the panel for writing in a series. I loved her novel The Girl from Everywhere, and I can‘t wait to read her latest For a Muse of Fire. I was so dumbstruck that I forgot to get a picture when she signed my books. I just happened to find this picture of me in Heidi‘s line from another author‘s Instagram story. #NoVaTeenBF #NTBF19
I‘ve been doing a lot of Cold War research during the past year, so Katherine Locke‘s reference to JFK (without directly mentioning him) has already won me over. Looking forward to hearing her speak at this Saturday‘s NoVaTeen book festival. #NoVaTeen #NoVaTeenBF
Sheri & I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary today. We originally planned a day trip to DC but decided to save that for warmer weather. Instead, we did a mini-movie marathon. We started with “Star Wars,” which we watched the night of our first prom. We followed it with “Sneakers,” one of our all-time favorite films. After going out on the town for dinner, we finished with Kenneth Branagh‘s “Dead Again.”
I decided to go with the audiobook version of Sleeping Giants after it was praised for having multiple readers for the various characters. Given the book is written mostly as recorded interviews, it works well. Only during the last third of the book did I start to feel as if the format hurt things a bit. The scene with Ryan staging a rescue comes across very artificial compared to the rest and took me out of the story. Still, I had a blast.
I received a surprise yesterday evening when I was tagged in this article by the Portalist on 16 books like Harry Potter. To have Gidion‘s Hunt included in this list was flattering not just for the comparison to Harry Potter but to share space in this article with some other excellent books. Thanks to the Portalist for this. bit.ly/2UDjvQf
#HarryPotter #GidionKeep #YA
My wife Sheri had a fun idea for our date night on this Ides of March. We‘re doing a mini-marathon of HBO‘s “Rome.” We‘re almost at the episode with the infamous assassination of Julius Caesar. She even prepared a small feast for us. My wife is a genius. #IdesOfMarch #DateMarch
Listened to the latest episode of the @EclecticReaders Podcast while walking Wicket in the park today. Loved their episode for City Of Ghosts. Was like reading the book again, and I am so totally on board with the blue hair lady theory! Can‘t wait to read book two.
The weather in Richmond today has been wondrous. Wicket and I explored the park trails for a full hour (I think he‘s even forgiven me for his checkup at the vet this morning).