Friday, December 7, 2012

Mini Book Survey

Good Friday,

One of my Facebook friends posted the following mini-survey as their status. I stole it and made it today’s blog post.

Feel free to steal it from me and/or share your answers to any of these questions as comments.

-One book that changed your life?

“Ready Player One” – Ernest Cline
I can’t even go into it all. I just finished the book and felt changed, somehow. Read it. It comes highly recommended from me.

-One book that you’ve read more than once

“Darkfever” – Karen Marie Moning
Powerful yet fun.

-One book you would want on a desert island?

“The Hunger Games” – Suzanne Collins
It might give me some tips for survival (“kill anyone you come across” not included).

-One book that made you laugh?

“The Lightning Thief” – Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson reminds me so much of a younger version of one of my closest friends. Said friend is hilarious.

-One book that made you cry?

Actually, “Breaking Dawn” – Stephenie Meyer—not for the reason you’re thinking.
I cried because I was going through a tough time, and Bella’s behavior toward Jacob—essentially tossing him aside as if he’d never meant anything to her when all he ever did was be there when she needed him the most—made me so mad that I actually drudged up tears.

-One book you wish had been written?

As a writer, this one is tough because I could, theoretically, write the book in my answer. That said, I always wondered what happened to Ariel’s sisters in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”

-One book you wish had never been written?

I can’t say that I wish any books had never been written. Even books that I have no love for have influenced society somehow.

-One book you are currently reading?

“Fated” - Alyson Noel
It’s the common reading for my Jan residency at Seton Hill. Just started it. Not sure how this is going to go. Keeping my fingers crossed.

What book have you been meaning to read?

“Cold Days” - Jim Butcher
It just came out. Need to get on that.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Results--Goodreads 2012

Hey folks,

It’s been a very long day. The Christmas season is in full swing, and I’ve got a lot going on. So tonight’s post will be very short indeed.

The results of the Goodreads 2012 Choice Awards are up.

I’ll say that only two of the books I voted for won.

“The Mark of Athena” by Rick Riordan
I recommend his “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” and “Heroes of Olympus” series. They’re on the young adult side of things, but fun reads.

“The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling

Otherwise, congrats to the other winners, even though I didn’t agree with some of them.

Wednesday Word Tally

The synopsis is killing me slowly. Lol.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Review--"Hold Me Closer, Necromancer" by Lish Mcbride

Good Monday,

I may have created a monster last week with my review of Veronica Roth’s “Divergent.” Here’s book review number two (hey, that rhymed).

“Hold me Closer, Necromancer”
By Lish Mcbride

Genre: Young adult urban fantasy

Publication: Henry Holt and Co. October, 2010

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

I picked up this book because a friend of mine told me “you have to read it.” So I read it, and I enjoyed it.

I’m going to try and keep this to no spoilers, but one or two might slip out.

This was an all-around fun read. I can’t say how happy I was that, even though it was about necromancers, it wasn’t swimming with death. What death was included was handled very well. Just when I thought “oh my god, holy crap, that’s terrifying,” something happened to diffuse the tension, and I was back to laughing.

I’d like to take a minute and talk about POV. I spent a ton of time in my genre reading class this semester writing about POV and its various uses. Mcbride chose to go with a few points of view—one first, the rest third. I’ve seen this in a few other places—Tess Gerritsen’s “The Silent Girl” and Genevieve Valentine’s “Mechanique,” which also uses the ever unpopular second person. “Mechanique” generally drove me insane, but I loved the different POV’s in “The Silent Girl.” Similarly, I found them refreshing in “Hold me Closer, Necromancer.” They gave the story a lot of depth, but the first person perspective from Sam kept me understanding that he was the main character.

That said, I wonder how the story would have worked entirely from Sam’s perspective. A good amount of urban fantasy books (“The Drezden Files” by Jim Butcher and “The Katie Chandler Series” by Shanna Swendson to name just a few) are told like that. I’ve heard it said that first person leaves the reader with an unreliable narrator. I don’t think that’s why Mcbride chose to interrupt Sam’s first-person narration, though. In the interest of keeping the book classified as young adult, the interruptions seemed necessary. Showing some of what happened from Sam’s perspective (Sam being a bit squeamish) might have been too much. Showing it through the third-person lens kept the action rated PG 13.

Also, it was really nice to see a protagonist who openly admitted to not being brave. There are too many “kick-ass from birth” heroes out there. Like the third-person interruptions, Sam is refreshing.

I really hope this turns into a series. Without giving too much away, the story resolved itself, but enough questions were also left for Mcbride to easily continue the action. Personally, I’d follow the series.

Oh, I almost forgot, I love the title! (Pun on “Hold me closer, tiny dancer,” I see what you did there.)

Writer’s Lockbox

What can be taken away from “Hold me Closer, Necromancer?”

-When writing young adult, keep it light, kids. Okay, it doesn’t need to be all fun and games, but, in my opinion, what separates books classified “ya and older readers” from regular adult fiction is how things are presented. Death is a serious concept, but it’s handled in a lighter way in this book.

-Sometimes switching up POV works. Sometimes it doesn’t. It really depends on content, intended audience, and characters.