Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This one held my attention, but to be honest, I liked the idea of the plot better than Swanson’s execution of it. The story was fast-paced and enthralling, but parts fell a little flat for me. I didn’t care for any of the characters and was looking for a twist that would knock my socks off, which didn’t happen, and I found the ending underwhelming. Still, I would recommend it, but with the warning that there are spoilers for more books than just those with the 8 ‘perfect murders’.
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       Expected release: August 4, 2020         To read my ARC review, click here.

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

 

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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When I first started this one, I almost set it aside – I did not like the writing style at all. But there was something that kept me reading, and I’m really glad I kept at it because this was a great story. Well thought and plotted, full of tension and suspense, at times I felt breathless. The writing style either grew on me or I stopped noticing it. 
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          To be released August 3, 2020              Find my ARC review here.
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This was 1 of the 2 books I bought for the #BlackPublishingPower movement, and while this one has mixed reviews, I loved it. It was fast-paced, tense, and exciting. I read it in two sittings, devouring the first 46% when I was supposed to be sleeping. Co-written by both a black and a white author, this YA book provides unique insight into racial tension while also being a suspenseful thriller. I did wish that the characters had a little more depth, and the ending felt a little sudden, but the story kept me breathless, so I’m happy.

I just started:

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Thursday’s Thoughts On Writing: Characters Who Make You Care

Think of a book that made you care, that had you so invested in the outcome that you wanted to cry or shout or throw the book when things didn’t go the right way. When you think of that book, what is it that you think about? The setting? The plot? Or the characters?

For me, a good plot keeps me hooked, but a good character makes me feel.

Anne Of Green Gables. The Hunger Games. The gang from Harry Potter.

Would any of these books have such lasting and widespread success if the characters didn’t feel so real to the readers? I don’t think they would. Because these characters feel like someone we know. A friend. An ally. Someone we care about.

So, what is it about these characters that draws us in? What makes them feel so real?

I believe it’s their quirks. Their vulnerability. Their flaws. They have insecurities, they doubt themselves, they feel anger and shame and sorrow. But they also feel happiness and joy – just like a real person would.

Making sure your characters are well-rounded is what brings them to life.

So give them flaws. Make them doubt themselves. Make them feel and think things we’ve all felt and thought before, something the reader can identify with and have an, “I’ve felt that way too,” moment.

Happy Writing!

Here are some articles to check out if you want to some writing tips:

Character Development: How To Write Characters Your Readers Won’t Forget

33 Ways To Write Stronger Characters by Kristen Kieffer

15 Ways To Make Your Characters Suffer (For The Good Of Your Novel)

 

 

ARC Review: The Scam List by Kurt Dinan

53431362From Goodreads: Meet the best teen con artist team around.

Boone McReedy: high school conman, smooth-talking charmer, and the idiot who just got scammed out of $15,000 of his mom’s money.

Darby West: ass-kicker, straight-shooter, and Boone’s ex-girlfriend.

Now, they must team up to save their parents’ business, one con at a time.

That is if they don’t kill each other first.

Of course, they’re only going to scam people who deserve it.

That’s a promise.

Would they lie to you?

As he did in his award-winning debut, DON’T GET CAUGHT, Kurt Dinan brings laughs, twists, and heart to THE SCAM LISTS’ funny world of teen con artists, exes, and outrageous five-dollar bets.

Review: What a fun book! Sometimes you just need to read something lighthearted and enjoyable for sheer amusement, and this story is it! I read Don’t Get Caught by this author last year and thought it was a blast, so I was thrilled to get my hands on this one – and it didn’t disappoint! Engaging characters, an entertaining plot, and an easy read – this one is sure to appeal to even the most YA reluctant readers!

The subject matter might seem a bit risque to some – there is underaged drinking and, of course, scams, but there is a moral to the story and it’s all in good fun. Also, it’s written by an experienced high school teacher – when you consider what many teenage students are exposed to (remembering back to my own HS years) – this pales in comparison. However, if you are a parent with concerns I suggest you read it first.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Scam List is slated for release August 3, 2020!

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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Location, location, location! This one had atmosphere and motives for days, characters to love and hate, and so much suspense I couldn’t put it down! This author plays fair – all the clues are there for the reader to put together, but even if you do, you still won’t know exactly what happened until the end! I enjoyed this one immensely!!!

 

The Girl I Used to Be
This was an easy, quick paced YA mystery-thriller that kept me turning the pages. A solid read, engaging, but I was left wanting just a little more. 

 

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

Thursday’s Thought On Writing: Character Consistency

When editing, character consistency is something that’s easy to overlook, but your character’s behavior and personality need to be true to who you’ve developed them to be. That’s not to say that the character can’t change and evolve over the course of the story, they can, but you need to include the reader in on the character’s inner journey.

For example, a character who is easy going and forgiving can’t suddenly have a wicked vendetta, and vice versa – a vengeful character can’t suddenly become forgiving – not without you showing the reader how the change came about.

I’m guilty of this myself.

Because sure, your MC is a kind, patient, wonderful human being except for that ONE person. And haven’t we all had that person in our life? That someone who just rubs us the wrong way, even if it’s for a reason we can’t quite pinpoint? It’s fine for your character to have that flaw too – you want your characters to be realistic. But just because YOU know that this is your character’s ONE person, it doesn’t mean your readers will know. If this is behavior that’s out of character for them, you need to address it somehow.

There are many ways this can be done, including internal dialogue or in discussion with another character, other characters discussing the MC’s uncharacteristic behavior, maybe even in conversation with that ONE person themselves – have them call the MC out!

Here are some articles to help you keep your character’s behavior and personality consistent:

5 Ways To Keep Characters Consistent by by Darcy Pattinson

Building Consistent Characters by M.L. Keller

Self Editing Advice: How To Tackle Character Consistency by Jessica Bell

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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Very simplistic in its style, and a little bumpy in places, but it’s a CLUE pastiche! CLUE!!! After a childhood (and adulthood) spent defending my undefeated CLUE championship title, I feel like there was no way that I couldn’t have loved this book – and I did! Looking forward to the next book in the series! 
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I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as The Sundown Motel, but still a solid, suspenseful ghost story. Plenty of atmosphere and mystery made this a hard book to put down!

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

Thursday’s Thoughts On Writing: Creating Suspense

I have a love/hate relationship with books that keep me up most of the night reading: I love when a story is so good that I can’t put it down! I hate the gritty, tired eye feeling in the morning (even if it’s worth it!).

And I know I’m not alone here. I know there are other readers out there pulling late nights with a good book. But what is it that makes us sacrifice sleep?

For me, it’s not the bam-bam-bam of action that keeps me reading. It’s the tension of needing to find out what happens next. The slow burn as the flame travels up the wick, getting closer to the stick of the dynamite, keeping me in suspense.

And here’s the thing – it’s not just thrillers that need that steady draw. Don’t all writers want to keep their book clutched in a reader’s hand? This applies to all genres.

Here are some helpful articles to help you develop suspense in your writing:

Just Writerly Things: How To Create Suspense In Your Story

The Write Practice: 7 Steps To Creating Suspense by Joe Bunting

Writer’s Digest: 6 Secrets To Creating And Sustaining Suspense by Steven James

Keep your readers hooked! Happy Writing!

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This was sweet, and cute, and everything good. I didn’t like it as much as Simon, but it checked all the boxes you look for in a feel good YA story. Quick and easy and fun (and funny!), well developed characters and a plot that makes you care.
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I almost DNFed this multiple times. There were too many POV characters, and Hawkins didn’t develop them well enough in the beginning for me to keep them straight and know who was who, which I found frustrating. It finally picked up about 60% in. Yikes! It ended up a decent story, but I doubt I’ll read one of her books again.

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

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