Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

“An alarm goes off as I burst through the stairwell door. There’s a chorus of clicks as all the doors in the stairwell lock from the inside. I’m trapped. The soldiers can still come through any door, but I won’t be able to get out. Shouts and footsteps echo from inside the laboratory. A voice yells out, ‘He’s hit!’

My eyes jump to the tiny windows in the stairwell’s plaster walls. They’re too far awayLegend_Marie_Lu_Book_cover for me to reach from the stairs themselves. I grit my teeth an pull out my second knife so that I now have one in each hand. I pray the plaster is soft enough, then leap off the stairs and throw myself towards the wall.”

June is a prodigy (meaning a high-ranking student) from a rich military family within the Republic. She’s the best of her class and she knows it! Her ego often gets her into trouble with her superiors or it may even elicit a lecture from Matias, her brother as well as her only family. However, once Matias is killed, June is pulled out of school and given the mission to find her brother’s killer. Her suspect? The Republic’s notorious fifteen year old criminal Day.

Legend‘s rich world building and backstory really adds to the dystopian feel of the novel. The setting is the United States which has been drastically changed by war, a flood, and a devastating plague. Ruled by the Elector Primo and his military, there is a broad line between the rich and the poor.

The pacing was nonstop and often had me staying up late at night trying to figure out whatimages (2) would happen to June and Day. Before I knew it…I turned the last page.

Are you someone who enjoys a good dystopian? Are you into military scifi with just a hint of romance? Yes?! This book is for you! 😀

 

Have you read Legend? What was your impression of it?

Famous Rejections

Rejection stinks worse then a cow in the summer. But, just like cow funk, they’re out there. Don’t be deterred! Stay strong. In fact, these authors were rejected by publishers. To bad for them…the publishers I mean…

 

Jules Verne’s rejection for his Paris in the Twentieth Century:

“…If you were to reread it one year from now, you would surely agree with me. It is tabloidish, and the topic is ill-chosen.

I was not expecting perfection–to repeat, I knew that you were attempting the impossible–but I was hoping for something better.”


 

Stephen King’s Carrie:

“We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”


 

William Golding’s Lord of Flies:

“…an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.”

 

More to come!

What’s Your Opinion: Is YA Fiction Becoming Repetitive?

Is young adult fiction becoming repetitive and unoriginal?

I stumbled onto an interesting debate about a week ago that deals with the above question. Initially I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to beimages appalled or intrigued. Then, after fifteen minutes of reading the debate and scratching my head, I eventually said, “Y’know, Desiree, this would make for a great discussion.”

The debate starts like this…

The first debater (the one who believes YA is repetitive) said:

“I love to read YA books, and young adult books such as the Hunger Games and the Fault in Our Stars aren’t just for young adults anymore. Everybody is experiencing the thrills and emotions of young adult fiction. However, it is hard to find good young adult books anymore. Why? Because every author has decided that writing a young adult book exactly like The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars is the best way to attract readers and make money (and if you’re lucky, get it made into a movie).”

Then a second debater challenges the first by stating:

“The authors of books such as Hunger Games, Divergent and Fault in our stars are writers of young adult books. Authors are writing the books with the same concepts, because young adults like these books. They are very popular and yes, high on demand. Young adults love to read these books because, what would happen if you always write about the perfect life? What is there to relate to? Even just simply reading these books, your mind enters a completely different world, of creativity.”

If you could participate in this debate, what would your opinion be?

*Click here to see how the debate turned out

Love at First Sentences

Books. How do I love thee?

Enough to go on a book buying frenzy!

So after abusing the “BUY” button on Amazon’s website, I began to wonder what possessed me to buy a virtual truck load of books? What about them drew my attention?

The first few sentences.

It’s said that these sentences are the most important part of the book and I agree. It’s usually what readers use to determine if they want to buy your work or not. For me, the first sentences simply have to grab my attention and make me wonder what’s going to happen next.

Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) by Susan Kaye QuinnimagesFZTDAOJE

“A zero like me shouldn’t take public transportation.

The hunched driver wrinkled a frown before I even got on the bus. Her attempt to read my mind would get her nothing but the quiet of the street corner where I stood.

Defiance Rising (Book 1 of the Rising Trilogy) by Amy Miles

“I’ve been told that this world used to be a beautiful place, filled withuntitled twinkling electric lights and tables overflowing with food. A place where children played in parks and couples took leisurely strolls on Sunday. A time when humans weren’t slaves to aliens or nature. Staring out over the concrete graveyard before me, I find that hard to imagine.”

Artificial Evil (Book 1 of The Techxorcist) by Collin F. Barnesuntitled (2)

“In 2153 the lottery didn’t just change lives, it ended them. And Gerry Cardle’s numbers were up.”

 

What steps do you take before buying a book?

 

Book Review: In Cold Blood by Mark Dawson

“He pulled the trigger just as she drove the heel of her hand into his face. The round missed her head by an inch, striking the wall and ricocheting away, stone chips drawing blood as they pinged into the nape of her neck.”

While I received this book for an honest review, I do not have an actual cover image. However, I can direct you to Mark Dawson’s blog where you can read up on all of his upcoming projects. Now for the book review:

Beatrix is a caring mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter. The catch? She’s an ex-assassin out for revenge. Years ago, when he daughter was young, others like Beatrix (assassins) were sent to her home to kill her. They took her daughter from her and killed her husband. Now, after finally being reunited with her beloved daughter, she’s out for blood. But there’s a time limit! Since Beatrix is diagnosed with lung caner she only has a year to enact her revenge.

I enjoy all of Mark Dawson’s novels because of the vivid imagery. Here’s an author that takes the time to set you up in his world before pushing you over the edge. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind a bit of gritty action or enjoys a good thrill, then this definitely the novel for you.

Lastly, you can check in on Mark Dawson’s blog for the cover reveal as well as the actual release date. I may post it up on the Tavern too so be on the look out.

The Call of the Herald by Brian Rathbone

“The majestic grove that had drawn them was no more. Not even one of the greatoaks remained standing. They were strewn about the plateau as if felled by a mighty hand. Some were almost whole but has been torn from the soil and apparently flung about. Others had been twisted then sheared off, leaving fingers of wood sticking out from stumps like splinters of bone protruding from grisly wounds.”

Admittedly, I first snagged this book because it was free (and still is) for the kindle. And I don’t regret doing it! In fact, I also have the second book (also free) waiting for me to dig into. But enough of that…lets get to the review.

Catrin has no idea about the ancient powers that she controls. In fact, once she accidentally uses them on a schoolmate it frightens her 6513600and the people of her town (who ridicule her). While Catrin is dealing with that headache there’s battleships sailing from the mainland with the intent of capturing her. I wont spoil anything for you, but the rest of the book involves Catrin hiding in the forest and eventually using her powers to protect her friends.

I found this story to be an entertaining read! It was interesting to see Catrin turn from a vulnerable young woman to…well the Herald. Once she finally realized that there was no going back to her old life she immediately got with the program.

Also there’s an intricate backstory for Godsland. In fact, Catrin’s teacher spent pages explaining the history of Godsland to his class. I’m not a fan of excessive info dumping (which happens a lot in the story) but I was able to forgive it since it allowed me to further understand the story.

If you’re someone who enjoys soft fantasy stories, then you’ll definitely like this book.

 

What type of books do you like to read?

5 Books That Have Influenced Me

Before National Reading Month officially closes next week, I wanted to talk about five influential books.

You grumble.

Hey, hey, hey…these five books got me further invested into writing (other than this incident). You may even find them interesting. Show a little bit of enthusiasm! Sheesh…

1. The City of Towers By Keith Baker

In elementary, I never liked fantasy because I thought it was…unrealistic. That all changed on my fourteenth birthday where I received this book as a gift. Suddenly, I became obsessed with the idea of magic, elves, dragons or whatever else fantasy writers and authors could think up. Baker opened up my mind to other genres and writing styles.

2. Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn

I remember the day I found this book. I was browsing the shelves in my middle school library looking for something to sink my teeth into. My fingertips brushing across the spines of assorted books until finally stopping at Nightingale. I flipped open to the first page and was transported into imaginary world. Its theme: feudral japan. I actually attempted to write this story out word for word and claim it as my own…then someone explained to me what plagiarism is. After that big let-down I decided to get serious about writing and made it a goal to pen my own manuscript(s).

3. Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater Rhodes

By high school, the only vampire book that I read was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Demon in My View was my first paranormal romance book that I ever read. I enjoyed every word of it though it was the author that fascinated me. Why? Well Rhodes published her first book when she was 13! To me, that’s awesome.

4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

So, we all know how it feels to be assigned a book to read. You start skipping to the last page, letting your mind wander while you’re reading, and so forth. That wasn’t the case for me with The Outsiders. Something about Darry, Sodapop, and Ponyboy really drew me in. Maybe it was the silly names, the friendships and convincing sibling rivalry? I think it was more the author that captured my attention. In the back flap I remember it saying that Hinton needed encouragement to write this book. The fact that she did write and publish it, was also an encouragement to me too.

5. Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

This was the second assigned book that struck a chord with me. I actually read a couple of days ahead of schedule because I was so enthralled with the conflict. I wanted to know what happened to the preacher’s son in the end and if anything could be done to keep him (the preacher’s son) from facing the death penalty. I hadn’t read a book that had so much emotional value before. I interpreted Paton’s novel as a lesson of endurance in the face of strife (for example, in writing terms, rejection slips or writer’s block).

There you have it. Five books that have influenced and encouraged me to write over the years.

If you could choose five books that have had an influence on you, what would they be?

Book Review: The Cleaner by Mark Dawson

“Milton did not pause to think. His reaction was hard-wired, a response that had been drilled into him across ten years so that now it was automatic, an expression of muscle memory without conscience, sudden and terribly deadly. He swung the rifle around and squeezed the trigger for a longer burst. The car was peppered with bullets, half a dozen slamming into the radiator and bonnet, another handful into the windscreen. The officer was struck in the face and chest, stumbling backwards and then dropping onto his back where he lay for a moment, twitching horribly. Milton walked towards him, the gun cradled low, and put a final bullet into his head. Finally, the man lay still.”

 

Does that get your attention or what? I got goosebumps when I read that scene for the first time. Right then, I knew I was hooked! There was no going back–I had to finish this novel.

Anyway, here’s a brief (non-spoiler) description of the story:

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Milton is the deadliest assassin of Group Twelve. But he wants to change. He feels guilty of his past crimes and “quits” being an assassin. His world is flipped upside down when he saves Sharon Warrener from her suicide attempt. He devotes the rest of his time trying to help her with her rebellious son Elijah as a way of trying to redeem himself. Though at the same time, his past is lingering in the shadows, ready to jump out at any moment.

The Cleaner was the ultimate page-turner! I’ve lost countless hours of sleep trying to figure out if Milton was going to pull through or if Elijah would finally go down the straight and narrow. It’s a story about family, love, trust, and redemption with a slight hint of James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Jack Reacher mixed in. If you’re like me and like to be thrilled at each turn of the page, dazzled with smooth descriptions, or just like to sink your teeth into a juicy story than you’ll love this.

 

What do you think of The Cleaner? Sound interesting?

An Update and A Big Thankyou to Followers!

Within only three weeks of opening up Inky Tavern, its managed to gather a lofty amount of patrons. It is a great pleasure to be able to do this blog (which I never expected to become this awesome) and to able to have you guys. Thanks a-billion!

Alright, now for the post.

College is getting to the point where it can induce headaches that puts heart attacks to shame. Yep, it’s midterms. With so much studying going on it’s a wonder how I am still able to even write this post. To be honest, I think I’ve started reciting the Declaration of Independence in my sleep!

Not that I’m complaining. Hardwork is apart of life.

Legend_Marie_Lu_Book_cover

Over the weekend I bought Legend by Marie Lu. I’m anxious to start reading it but…sadly…it’ll have to wait until after midterms.

I also worked on Restitution (my current WIP). I am dangerously close to finishing up my draft (it’s coming along very slowly). I can’t wait to revise, send it off to an editor, and then publish.

Crosses fingers, jumping up and down.

Breathes.

Baby steps, Desiree, baby steps…

Well that’s what my week has been like.

 

How’s yours? Also, how was the revision process for you (assuming you’ve written something)?