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book review, Uncategorized

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

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4 out of 5 newspapers: newspaper-clipart-newspaper-clipart-07.jpgnewspaper-clipart-newspaper-clipart-07.jpgnewspaper-clipart-newspaper-clipart-07.jpgnewspaper-clipart-newspaper-clipart-07.jpg

Let me just start off this review by saying that historical fiction is not normally my thing. The girls in this genre seem simple, helpless and tend to rely way to heavily on their male counterpart. Not to mention all. the. crying. and fainting. and ‘having a spell’…

Anyway, while this book tended to have some of those things, I actually really enjoyed it. I found the story very compelling and I enjoyed the MC and her tenacity. This definitely wasn’t your typical historical fiction and I really enjoyed that about it! I mean what other girl in a book set in the 1870’s would go dig up a corpse and then brag about it?

Even though I predicted who the “bad guy” and the “murderer” was from the very first moment that character was introduced in the story, I still really enjoyed going along with Jo and Eddie on their journey to figure it out. The twist with Fay was unexpected though and really brought a bitter sweetness to the ending.

So if you’re like me and historical fiction isn’t usually your thing, I would still recommend giving this book a read! Its lengthy (100 chapters seems overwhelming) but reads super quickly and the story engages you enough that you turn pages so fast you don’t even notice how long it is.

Writing Help

Ellen Brock Novel Boot Camp – 7 reasons readers don’t care about your characters

You’ve heard me talk about Ellen Brock and her amazing Novel Boot Camp series many times and the day has finally arrived!! Watch Ellens first video below, or better yet, follow her blog or YouTube channel so you don’t miss a thing!! You won’t regret it!!

A strong connection to your characters (not necessarily likeability) is important. If readers don’t care about your characters, they’re probably not going to keep reading. In this video I go over the seven most likely reasons that readers don’t care about your characters and what you can do about it.

via Seven Reasons Readers Don’t Care About Your Characters [Novel Boot Camp 1] — Ellen Brock

book review

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

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Five out of five basketballs: downloaddownloaddownloaddownloaddownload

I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this book, but I’m glad I finally got around to it! The absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian is a fantastic, quick, funny read that you won’t be able to put down. I devoured the whole thing in one sitting. I found the book particularly intriguing because it is a semi-autobiographical story loosely based on the authors experiences growing up on an Indian reservation.

The story touches on a lot of “tough” subjects such as racism, alcoholism, poverty, death etc. and the author does a great job of bringing up these subjects and discussing them in a way that makes you feel like you know more but also is a great starting point for deeper discussion. This book would make for a great book club read due to the fact there are so many great topics to discuss (the discussion questions at the end of the book are also very interesting).

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. Especially if you are looking for a super quick, funny, touching book that will make you have tears in your eyes from laughter and sadness at the same time.

Writing Help

4th Annual Novel Boot Camp – Ellen Brock

“Need help with your novel? Join the fourth annual Novel Boot Camp and whip your story into shape! What is Novel Boot Camp? Novel Boot Camp is a free writing course and workshop for aspiring novelists. It includes video lectures, discussion questions, and three writing workshops with both professional and peer critiques.”

Are you participating in this? Are you even a fraction as excited as I am? This is going to be absolutely amazing so don’t miss out!!

via Novel Boot Camp (Writing Workshop) – Schedule of Events — Ellen Brock

book review

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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5 out of 5 Trees: 8123cf523681b63f878b395555bfb9788123cf523681b63f878b395555bfb9788123cf523681b63f878b395555bfb9788123cf523681b63f878b395555bfb9788123cf523681b63f878b395555bfb978

Wow. What a book. I really don’t even know what to say at this point.

Patrick Ness is a master. He took a concept from the late Siobhan Dowd and turned it into something absolutely magical and completely heartbreaking. I can only imagine how proud Dowd is of the stunning job Ness did with her idea.

When I saw how short this story was (about 200 pages) I was a little skeptical of how big of an impact something that short could have. Boy was I mistaken. In 200 pages, Ness weaves a story that gets into all the little cracks of your heart and leaves you feeling completely wrecked and utterly fulfilled at the same time. This is a book I will never forget.

Its hard to recommend a book that leaves you so completely heartbroken, with rivers of tears streaming down your cheeks as you read the last words. But I am. I absolutely am. This is a must read for everyone. Well done Patrick Ness. Well. Done.