FEED

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We cured everything, cancer, common cold, and well…. we caused the Zombie Apocalypse. Twenty years after the rising life has moved on. Not to say it’s any better, but it’s continued. The landscape of America has drastically changed from politics to lawn parties. It’s a different America then the one we were raised in. Georgia and Shaun Mason are on following a story so big, it might explain why the rising happened and who’s prevented a cure. When the dead begin to uprise, so did the art of news. Hollywood was no longer the center of attention and large news sources couldn’t be trusted to be honest. When the dead started to rise, so did the likes of young bloggers who had a sense of what journalism needed, a healthy dose of integrity.

When Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) wrote FEED, I don’t know think she knew how politically poignant it would be a few short years later. Or maybe she did. Admittedly, Grant is pretty bad ass. In the truest of Grant/McGuire fashion, there is incredible world building and realness to her novels. Feed has clearly been researched and then when you think it’s been researched enough, it’s researched some more.

While at times, info-dumping occurs, (Always intelligent and they feel necessary to the story) and I would have been more surprised if the antagonist of the story had been a different character, I still enjoyed this book an insane amount. There are zombies, political undercurrents (something I normally don’t care for but it’s written so well I can’t help but love it), and unique relationships which aren’t common. I was griped from page one to page six-hundred-and-one.

I haven’t had much luck on book twos lately, so I’ll hold off for now on reading it. Not because it won’t be great, but because I want to enjoy this feeling some more before I chance loosing it. Mark my words, I will read book two and I am excited at the prospect of greatness.

 

Pandemonium

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Book two from Lauren Oliver, in the DELERIUM series, PANDEMONIUM. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. When I read DELERIUM, I couldn’t put it down, I couldn’t stop listening. But book two… meh. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t as page turny as the first. Well, up until the last page. That last page forces me to read book three. But overall, my book two theory takes hold for another crushing win.

Lena is back and the world is as dangerous as ever. In the second installment, Lena is in the Wilds and a part of the growing resistance. She’s left her old self behind in Portland, with Alex, the boy who she fell in love with, who was shot down, murdered in front of her. Grief sucks her and almost swallows her whole. Surviving in the unregulated Wilds is hard and the leader, Raven, is not about to let her slack off.

Lana is sent on a mission that takes her to observe 18-year-old Julian Fineman, the prominent son of a cured in New York. He hasn’t undergone the cure yet because of previous surgeries due to a brain tumor. On the day of Julian’s cure, Lena and Julian end up imprisoned together. A bond forms and although I personally don’t know how I feel about it, it’s sweet.

PANDEMONIUM alternates between “Then” and “Now” chapters taking place roughly six months apart. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first but Oliver does a seamless job and I don’t think it would have had the same impact had the story been told from beginning to end.

I think I’ll have a final decision on the Lena front after I read book three. I will have to know how this ends. Considering what’s happened in books two, book three will be a storm.

 

Bird By Bird

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By Anne Lamott

I read this book years ago after finding it on the back of the bathroom toilet. My roommate had left it there and so admittedly my first go around with Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD was that copy. It’s been six or seven years since I’ve read it but I can say it was just as good the second time as it was the first time around.

Anne Lamott talks about more than just writing in her book, she hits on all the reasons that people want to write. She talks about how life imitates art. About collecting nuts, as my friend Hazel says, from our life experiences and using it in our writing thus making us better storytellers.

Anne hits on a number of topics that new writers want to hear about, from publishing, agents, writer’s block, storytelling, and getting your first bad review. BIRD BY BIRD is a tell all no-holds bar look into one writer’s life. She shares her own experiences so that you might better from them.

If you have a few hours to spare, I’d recommend picking this one up and adding it your collection. It’s filled with timeless information and funny tidbits on writing. Much enjoyed.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

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I’ve been on a bit of an editing kick after finishing the first draft of my second novel, MONA. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print  by Browne and King has been one of the best finds of this year! I would highly recommend this book to every person who has written or wants to write a book. It is written in a way that keeps you interested, engaged, and learning all the while.

Even though I felt like I knew most of these rules, for lack of a better word, it was helpful to have them laid out in such a way. I attended the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference this past May and one of the courses I took was based on this book. It’s taken me this long to get around to reading it, but I’m thankful I did. It’s chock full of examples, mini-exercises, and do’s and don’ts of editing your own stuff.

A must read for every writer!

 

News In The (my) Book World

October 7, 2015

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By Miranda Boyer

The big hot news in the (and by the I mean my) writing world has circled around Patrick Rothfuss and Stephanie Meyer. I know, who knew right?!

Pat’s popular (and might I add mesmerizing) fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicles (which I’ve blogged about in the past) is an epic tale told in the ‘present’ as well as in a flashback largely through the eyes of young Kvothe. It is easy to fall in love with the world Pat’s created where characters are true to themselves and “magic” is around every unsuspecting corner.

On Pat’s blog he recently said that he’s “never been that interested in a straight-up movie deal. Pretty much every fantasy movie created so far has been an action movie, or plot centered, or both. And my books aren’t like that. My books are about the characters. They are about secrets and mysteries and the hidden turnings of the world.” After much deliberation LionsGate came at Pat with a deal unlike any other. And he agreed!!!!!! They will be making Movies, TV, Video Games and so much more! Why tackle just one platform when they could tackle all of them?!

I’m sure I was not alone in my excitement when this came to light. The story needs so much more room to breathe and grow then just any tale.  I can’t imagine that even a three part movie deal for the first book would suffice.

In other interesting book news, Stephanie Meyer released her 10th anniversary addition of Twilight yesterday. I want to take a moment to say congrats to Ms. Myer because, that’s amazing! When her publisher asked her to write a forward to her book she’s been quoted saying “how boring” it was. One of the big complaints I’ve heard over the years about the Twilight books is that Bella was a damsel in distress. Stephanie argued from day one that no, she was ‘a human in distress’ surrounded by essentially supernatural beings all the time.

To drill this point into the ground, Stephanie re-wrote Twilight into a gender-bender. So as well as the original book, Twilight includes a copy of Life and Death, the same story only told through Beau’s eyes about his vampire girlfriend Edythe.

Honestly, I’m really excited for Stephanie! Fight those preconceived notions and stand your ground girl! I’m looking forward to reading the new Life and Death as well as following all of the latest with regards to The King Killer Chronicles.