A few months ago, I won a Goodreads giveaway. I’d been waiting to read Jan Ellison’s”A Small Indiscretion” for months – it was simply something which kept getting pushed back to the back of my To Be Read list.
So, I was excited when I won and pleased as I’d now move the book farther up my reading list. As I was in the middle of a few books, I didn’t get to it right away. Finally, after some time, I did.
I find “A Small Indiscretion” to be a difficult novel to consider.
The novel centers around Annie Black and hops between her misspent youth, living in England and her more stable adulthood in San Francisco.
The book is narrated in Annie’s voice. This is her story that she tells us. The catalyst for this divulging of her secrets is the rather serious accident in which her son was injured.
I found it somewhat difficult to keep my attention on this novel. In theory, this is just my sort of book – it’s all about the internal turmoil caused by silly actions.
It’s been years since Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” trilogy ended. As such, it’s been a while since the final book, “Mockingjay”, was released.
If I remember correctly, upon it’s release, “Mockingjay” received a fairly mixed reception. Many hardcore fans felt nothing but hatred and disdain for the book, along with a healthy dose of anger at Collins for writing what she did. ‘She’d let them down’, they’d say. I recall people saying that the book read as though it Collins simply threw it together, simply to be done with the behemoth with had eaten her life. Many people said that Katniss was no longer a badass heroine.
My feelings differ. Continue reading
So, I applied for an MFA program at Hollins University and was rejected.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.
It’s obviously a bummer, of course – because who likes to be rejected? – but I’m not over here rending my garments over the decision either.
When I received the news, I was out having an early dinner with my mother and little brother. I checked my email as I’m wont to do and found an email from the university. I opened it and read it and thought, “Oh, okay.”
That’s essentially it.
With Mya Robarts’ The V Girl, I took a step into New Adult fiction. I want to go back home because it must be said: The V Girl is simply not very good.
The V Girl has a super interesting concept, but here, that concept really reads more as a means to an end, rather than something that the author wanted to seriously explore. It feels like concept was really just a highbrow way to get sex into a book.
So, essentially, Lila Velez is a resident of a post-apocalyptic North America where rape and sexual slavery are legal. She’s a virgin, so she’s trying to lose her virginity before it’s taken from her. This sounds really good, right? Like it could be really gritty, really profound and something special? Well it’s really, really not. Robarts’ world building and characterization bears much of the fault for that.
I’ve noticed that, other than British authors, I don’t really branch out much to international authors and I’m not entirely sure why.
I’ve hit the biggies – like Conrad, Dostoyevsky, Murakami and so on, but I’ve been trying to remedy that and include more foreign authors in my reading. It’s slow going right now as I keep getting distracted by books I’ve been planning to read by British or American authors (darn you, Donna Tartt!).
I’m not sure what draws my attention from non American/British authors – I suppose that it could be that I perceive that there’s cultural differences that will limit my enjoyment of their styles. In any case, as I’ve said, I’m trying to do better.
I must admit that I’m weary of memoirs.
Celebrity or politicians, okay, I get it. Not so meh. I can understand why they’ve written memoirs, good or not. If you a celebrity or a politician, you’ve actually done something of note. You’ve some combination of talent, luck and drive and most likely, you’ve seen – and probably done – some amazing/terrible/horrifying things. I can see why you’re writing.
Normal folks who’ve just lived through something, though? That I usually roll my eyes at. There’s something about this that annoys me – the idea that you, normal human, have something of note; that you have a story worth telling. We all have a story and the idea that you, normal human, are more capable and deserving than the millions of others with a story to tell makes me laugh.
I mean sure, I could write a memoir of my own, chronicling my own life-long struggle with Major Depressive Disorder, my time as a patient in a psych ward, my two months in intensive outpatient therapy and my (ongoing) recovering. I simply doubt that there’s much about my own story that makes it unique from all the millions of others who’ve had the same experience.
Just try and tell me that photo isn’t awesome.
You couldn’t, could you? When is New Book Haul ever not awesome?
NEVER, that’s when.
I had lunch today with my dad and because he’s a lovely person who knows that his daughter is a slave to the written word, he decided to celebrate the fact that his daughter actually left her books at home by giving her more books!
Best Father Ever, Y/Y?
So now, in addition to everything else I need to read (including those library books you see in the corner of my somewhat messy desk), I now have four new books. And aren’t they lovely little darlings?
I cannot wait to sink into their literary goodness.
Some books, you love from the very start. You have a seat, open the cover, turn the page and you’re hooked from the first word. The work consumes you, body and soul. When you finish, you feel as though you’re missing a limb. You’re missing something vital – those characters, those places! They’ve grown to be part of your very being and you’re left feeling bereft.
Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch was like that for me. I started reading a bit nervously, because I’d read so many reviews of the book and had heard so many people rail on about it, saying that it was overlong, overstuffed, overdone and overrated. I’d seen so many people express their wonder at it being a best seller and wonder “Why the heck did that thing win a Pulitzer?”.
That’s really about all I can say at this point, honestly. I never meant to be so silent for so long, but that’s what happened because life likes to be difficult.
I’ve been in the process of job hunting, which is never, ever fun and always, always a pain. Then I took on NaNoWriMo for the first time (and no, I didn’t win. More on this at a later date). The holidays came along and ate my life as well, so here we are.
As 2016 kicks off, I’ve made a promise to myself to be far better about actually been active here and writing. After all, if I want people to read my blog, I should probably give them something to read, right?
So, I’m doing that. I’m gonna keep on keeping on.
Shortly (in a few days, perhaps?), there will be a post on books that need a second read before you actually like them. I’m working on a few other things as well – a post about a book I’d been avoiding for years but finally read and also a review of Katarina Bivald’s The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, which I finished last year.
Most likely, while I continue book reviews and posting about books in general, I’ll also go into my own writing process and my trials and tribulations. Right now, I’m about 35,000 or so words into a novel. Only about 50,000 left to go!
So this is me saying mea culpa for the radio silence and promising that I’ll be better.
As an adult, I’ve really come to enjoy reading YA novels. Don’t get me wrong, I — Literary Fiction tends to still be my favorite and I still do love getting lost in the classics. It’s just that, after years of either refusing to read YA or denying that I read YA, I’m over that and am now embracing it.
I’m always on the lookout for really good YA, the same as I’m on the lookout for any good books in general. I received an ARC of Nicola Yoon’s debut “Everything, Everything” via NetGalley sometime ago and because I’m behind on basically life, I’m only now getting to post about it.
I was super excited about “Everything, Everything” from the get-go. That cover is gorgeous! It’s a debut novel! The protagonist is biracial! The author is a POC! The novel has illustrations! The illustrations were done by the author’s husband! Who is also a POC! I was all over Everything, Everything the moment I heard about it. How could I not be? Continue reading