Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review #1

Ready to catch up on some reading...I'll try to do book reviews on middle grade, young adult, and chapter books every so often.

The first book I am reviewing is Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini. (3 out of 4 stars)

In Starcrossed, Helen Hamilton is the awkward protagonist, who has a hard time fitting it. Why? Well, first of all, she is breathtakingly beautiful. Secondly, she can't stand people looking at her or giving her attention (she gets cramps and doesn't feel well). Then she starts having these horrible nightmares where she's wandering the desert, and she wakes up to find her feet dirty and her throat parched. Along comes a new family on the island, and everyone is talking about them. But as soon as she lays eyes on the exquisitely handsome Lucas, she wants to kill him with this uncontrollable, unexplainable rage. Come to find out, they are both demigods, born of different houses. There's been this raging war where all the houses want to kill each other (and do). Lucas's family think they are the only house left standing. Until they discover Helen, of course. Turns out, she's a demigod...from a different house. Her mother, who abandoned her at birth, sure has some explaining to do! However, she's not around (until the end of the book). While all this is going on, Lucas and Helen hate/love/lust after each other. What to do? Lucas's family decides to protect Helen and "train" her as a demigod. All of a sudden, she has these amazing powers and abilities.

This YA book is almost Twilight incarnate. Lucas and his family even sleep outside her bedroom to "protect" her from those demigods wanting to kill her. There's this fierce attraction to someone she can't have, and Lucas's family is large and very similar to the Cullen family. HOWEVER, with that being said, I couldn't put the book down. It sucked me right in. And I even sat in the car during church because I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN(did I say that already?)! I thoroughly enjoyed the mythology ties, and I really liked Helen as the main character. I thought the whole romance thing was a little shmultzy, but high school girls will love that part of it, I'm sure. The ending is what I had an issue with. It left off at a climactic moment in the story. Of course there's a sequel due out next May, but that's besides the point! Sigh...

It's a nice YA read that will suck you in, disappoint you a bit at the end, but will have you wanting more.

I'm sure I'll buy the sequel next year!


It's summertime...and the writing is easy...or is it?

I waited all school year long for the chance to have my days devoted entirely to writing. After a hard, draining day teaching to high school sophomores, the idea of writing or revising took a back seat to cooking dinner, helping my son with homework, spending time with get the drift. However, I DID make time to write. No matter what, I found a way. But, I'm just sayin'...I longed for summer.

(Do you like the picture of my three year old enjoying summer?)

So, summer's here. I'm off work. I haven't stepped foot inside my classroom since June 7th (our last day of school), and yeah, well...

There's the boat on the lake, which is very distracting, I must say, and it calls to me and my family quite regularly. There's the day trips visiting all of Northern Michigan's wonderfulness. Then there's the swimming, and the bonfires (we actually have a bonfire pit in our backyard), and the camping, and the reading all the awesome books.

I guess, I'm just confessing that I seem to be almost as busy as the school year. But like I said in an earlier post, I have to give myself permission to write...and I have to carve out the time. It's true. I know it, you know it, right???

Here's how my writing is surviving the summer...(and you get to read this rambling, lol):

  • I take my notebook with me: so helpful!!

  • I write in the morning while I'm fresh and newly energized (thanks to sleep and coffee).

  • Any rewrites my agent wants me to do, usually happen in the afternoon or evening. (I don't know why. Do I really need a reason for my madness)?

  • I don't sweat the small stuff: my kids will only be this age right now. If I set down my writing for a day with them, I make up for it that night or the morning after.

  • Journal! (I tell ya', I just love journaling. It's not really about my life; it's more story ideas, outlines, character descriptions, that sort of thing. But I find it really helps.)

There you have it, folks. So, go ahead, grab that corn on the cob and chat it up with family and friends. Just don't set writing on the backburner for too long. There's a world of readers waiting to hold your book in their hands (and I'm one of them)!