Sunday, January 31, 2016

SST: The Love That Split The World


25467698THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD
by Emily Henry
Release date: 1.26.16

Goodreads Link

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves. 
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.


"I missed you," I tell Grandmother.
"I missed you too."
"I thought you said it was only a minute for you."
"It was."
― Emily Henry, The Love That Split the World

“And when you see those good things--and I promise you, there are so many good things--they're going to be so much brighter for you than they are for other people, just like the abyss always seems deeper and bigger when you stare at it. If you stick it out, it's all going to feel worth it in the end. Every moment you live, every darkness you face, they'll all feel worth it when you're staring light in the face.” 
― Emily Henry, The Love That Split the World

“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.”
― Emily Henry, The Love That Split the World

"This is only the beginning. If you want the good, you can't give up."
― Emily Henry, The Love That Split the World

About the Author:

Emily Henry is full-time writer, proofreader, and donut connoisseur. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. She tweets @EmilyHenryWrite.



*all quotes were taken from an ARC and are subject to change

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Word Wednesday #1



A brand new feature here at The Story Goes...! This is where I shall share a interesting word every other Wednesday as a self-proclaimed logophile (a lovely word if I do say so myself). Along with each word I'll include a book I associate with that word!

So I wrote this book called Alternate Ways Of Communication. In it, one of my main characters is a logophile (lover of words). So, for research I looked up all kinds of words and I never realized just how much I love words before. There's so many words I didn't even know there were words for...er, that was confusing.

There's also the greatest thing ever, it's this Tumblr called The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows and the person who runs it invents words. This is the answer in the frequently asked questions on the site which you can find here:

"How do you come up with the words?”
      –anonymous
Etymologies are discussed in detail on the facebook page. Each word actually means something etymologically, having been built from one of a dozen languages or renovated jargon. For example, aimonomia is French (aimer, to like + nom, name) and a palindrome. 

So I've become obsessed with this site and it got me thinking about words in general and I came up with a new feature! Every other Wednesday for "Word Wednesday" I'm going to share a word that I just LOVE. Some might be from the Dictionary Obscure Sorrows but, for now, I'll just let you look at those yourself.

Oh, and to make this feature even more book related I will link a book that I associate with each word, for every post!

Now, I present one of the world's best words for the first Word Wednesday!


Woodland Fairy Magic...would be beautiful to decorate the trees like this at night for a ceremony: Whimsical
whim·si·cal
adjective
  1. 1.
    playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way.


Am I the only person who has a favorite word??? Because this, is mine. I don't know why, I just love the word whimsical. When I think whimsical, I think fun and laughter and just, all the good feelings. I use the word to describe some of my favorite books, and my favorite novel I've written, and it's tacked to my wall of favorite words, right in the middle. I just love saying it too, whimsical. Say it, you can't not smile when saying it!


The first book that comes to mind with the word whimsical has to be Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. How can it not be???


Do you have any favorite words? Leave the best in the comments, any language. What book would you associate with the word Whimsical???
=)


*I do not own the pic it links to the source on Pinterest!

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine - ARC Review


23299513The Shadow Queen
by C.J. Redwine
Release date: Feb. 16th. 2016
Format: EARC
Genre: YA Fantasy/retelling
Goodreads

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.
In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.
But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.
*I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss to review honestly*


My Rating:

Review:

So first let me just say, I did not under any circumstance, HATE this book. I actually enjoyed it for the most part. I got bored towards the middle and wanted to skim bits and I rolled my eyes way too often. But, in general, I enjoyed this one. I thought the end was kind of a let down but I LOVED the beginning. Still, this book did barely get 3 stars from me and there are lots of reasons why.

I wanted to like this book, I really did. And I started to love it at first, unfortunately the further I read, the worse it got. That's not to say I thought it was a horrible book I just feel like it could've been so much better.

Reasons this book didn't work for me:

- It didn't have enough world building
- I didn't connect with the characters enough
- I mean, even the dragons...I LOVE dragons, they're my favorite thing ever and I found even them lacking because they weren't properly developed and explained.
- I don't understand how this book was 400 pages.

The Shadow Queen is set in a world of...magic? And dragons? Possibly fae? In a kingdom called Ravenspire that's also kind of sorta surrounded by other kingdoms, some of which have magic, but actually, most of Ravenspire doesn't have magic, the magic users come from a different kingdom where magic is now mostly outlawed.... Did you get all that? Yeah. Me neither. And okay, I admit, I'm exaggerating; I'm being a little dramatic as I do, but for the most part, that really confusing run on sentence? Yeah, that's what I know after finishing this book.

Now, also, this book is the first in what's going to be a fairy tale retelling companion series (from what I know). Now here's my thing, this ONE BOOK should have been a series all it's own. At least two books, maybe three. Why? Becuase I wanted to love it but it was so RUSHED. And so much was happening all at once. I think I would've loved it so much better if it had been stretched out into more than one book.

As is, you're thrust into this world that's not really explained. You have the Princess Lorelai, who's mother died and who's dad is the King and marries her aunt who is now the Queen. Of course, she's an evil queen who kills the king when Lorelai tries to stop her. This was years ago, flashforward, Queen Irina thinks Lorelai and her brother Leo, died with the King. They escaped and are now plotting to take back the kingdom along with Gabril who saved them and has trained and raised them.

Meanwhile, in another kingdom you have Kol, the reckless prince. Hi's kingdom is under attack by ogres who can suddenly do magic...? Kol sets out for Ravenspire, the only place he knows he can bargain with a magic user to save his kingdom.

So we're thrust into all this and things just happen so fast. There's a death early on that made me hate this book so much. It was one of the only characters I loved and I just felt like it wasn't needed and like it was too soon. Then, things get really repetitive. Lorelai does something magical that alerts Irina to her presence so Irina retaliates with magic and their magic fights. Repeat three pages later.

Everything was underdeveloped:

I FEEL like the magic was cool but I didn't completely understand it. And once I'd pieced things together it was kind of too late. I took me way too long to figure out that all the magic was somehow linked to hearts. And it was such a cool idea, but nothing was explained. Not the words they had to use, not how Lorelai knew them all and was so good when she wasn't able to practice on anything that Irina's magic had touched. Not even really how Irina could find Lorelai whenever she touched something.

The DRAGONS. SUCH A COOL IDEA. But, again, I NEEDED MORE.

The Prince/Huntsman. Okay, I really liked Kol, I liked how the author mixed the two roles together, I liked the DRAGON THING. But again, underdeveloped. Same with the romance that I wanted so badly to ship.

Lorelai was a pretty decent character, I liked her a lot and I did connect with her at points. My only real problem was that the author didn't give her a giant personality and I hated how we were continually reminded of her personally. Which was basically, she was smart and strategic. Oh, and very kind.

I know what you're thinking now, what exactly did I like? That's the thing. I liked the whole book for the most part. I enjoyed it and had fun reading it. It was different and I liked all the elements -- the heart magic, the dragons, and everything. It's just that it was rushed so that while I liked it, whenever I stopped to think all I could see was flaws.

I liked it but I won't buy it and I probably won't read more of the series and just, in general, I think it had so much potential it just didn't meet it. It was repetitive, not just with events but wording. Over and over again, it was constantly reminding you of what was going on and what the characters were feeling when you already knew. The side characters weren't in it enough and one, Gabril, was really just a plot device that I found very annoying.

OVERALL: I swear, I did enjoy this one. I don't regret reading it, I think and hope that other people will enjoy it. I do recommend it if it interests you, it just didn't live up to my expectations from a fantasy book.




Friday, January 22, 2016

Let's Talk: Why I'm Giving Up ARCs



I'm not sure it's a secret that I am horrible at finishing ARCs before they come out. It's also not a secret that I've been dealing with a book slump on and off since...like, Septemeber? How do these things link?
Well, you see. I'm a mood reader. I'm also the kind of person who doesn't read half the advanced copies she's granted by book genies on Netgalley and Edelweiss before they come out. On top of that, I feel intense pressure to finish my ARCs and guilt when I don't.
All this combines to make me a hot mess.
And it just makes me NOT READ.


When I force myself to pick up an ARC because it's three weeks since it came out or it's coming out the next week, and I force myself to read it even though I don't FEEL like it, 2 things happen:

1. I read it extremely slowly and then don't want to read anything else.

Or

2. I hate something I would've otherwise loved if I'd only waited until I FELT like reading it.

So then I force myself to read an ARC OR I give myself permission to read something else. And I read that other thing but the only time I'm thinking: Shit, I need to finish this so I can get back to my ARCs. Even though I'd much rather read that 800 page fantasy book I've had on my shelf for 2 YEARS.
Even when I'm not reading ARCs I'm thinking that I SHOULD BE. I mean, I know there's nothing that says every single ARC you get HAS to be read before release date but...what's the point if it's not?
Now. The title of this post is a bit of a lie because I will still request books. But my goal now is to only request something I know what is, something I would preorder myself. No more clicking on random books and thinking, oh hey that's sounds halfway decent. Request.

So my reasons for this are simple. I don't do good under pressure. And even though there's no one yelling at me telling me I have to read these books and they have to be up by a certain day. Isn't there some unwritten honor code that says you should at least attempt to read review books before they come out??????????
When I feel that pressure to read a book by a certain date I don't want to read it. Then I force myself too and it takes me three weeks to finish it. I'm just tired of it. Even if it's all my own fault in my own head. I want to read what I want when I want it. If there's a book I want really bad, maybe I'll request it or maybe I'll just wait until it comes out. 
And it's not just ARCs. I've been killing myself over books I started and didn't finish too, not DNFs but ones I really did like and for one reason or another just wasn't in the mood for it at that time. I'm done forcing myself to read anything I don't feel like reading.
I use to finish a book and then immediately start whichever one grabbed my attention next and if I couldn't get into it, who cares?
It was onto the next one. I want to be like that again. Recently I've DNFD things, not because they weren't good and I didn't like them but because I forced myself to read them when I wasn't in the mood too.

So, from now on I'm going to stop requesting ARCs for the most part. And in general, I'm just going to try to stop getting stressed over reading and reviewing and just get back to no pressure and loving reading. It shouldn't feel like a chore, ever. So that's what I'm going to concentrate on.


Now. I have questions! If you want to chat about this, I would like to know your thoughts on ARCs. Why do you or don't you request them? Do you have a problem where you request things you aren't even all that interested in just because other people are interested or they sound halfway decent? Do you ever feel pressure to read ARCs that just puts you off reading altogether? And you master ARC readers, share your secrets! How did you get them ALL READ ON TIME without wanting to kill yourself??? Do you ever hate that you spend so much time reading or worrying about reading ARCs your other books get overlooked???

Okay. Enough questions. Let's talk. =)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira -- ARC Review


21018154Bookishly Ever After
by I 
Release date: 1.12.16
Format: ARC
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads 
In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?
*I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley to review honestly*

My Rating:

Review:

Phoebe is a booknerd. A sit in line for hours for a book launch, read during lunch period, book boyfriend loving, endless TBR possessing, bookworm. She's also a junior in high school and just figuring out this whole dating thing and what better way to navigate love than with your favorite book characters on your side? When Phoebe's friend Em decides to try and set her up with mutual friend Dev, complete with a makeover and endless opportunities for embarrassment, Pheobe turns to her favorite female heroes for advice. And, some results may be disastrous.

I really had no doubt that I would enjoy this book. It's a light fluffy contemporary with a main character who is as obsessed with fictional characters as I am, what's not to like? Seriously, I couldn't find much, this review may verge into gushing territory...

Bookishly Ever After is the perfect book for anyone who wants something fun and fast, that will make you smile and think "oh my god, me too!" and, if you're like me, get secondhand embarrassment a few times.

I really enjoyed this one. I mean, as a book lover. you can't not connect with Pheobe. I loved her so much. She really grows a lot throughout too. The author perfectly describes being a book lover, Pheobe would be reading and it would explain how she just got sucked into a book or that tingly sensation you get when you're favorite characters are about to kiss and I would literally just be thinking "me too!". Honestly, she was kind of stupid sometimes but I understood the things she acted stupid about. I just really connected with her because she's also super shy and I've always been that girl, you know?

Secondary character wise, yes please! SO MANY amazing side characters. You have Pheobe's group of friends, Em, Grace, and Alec. You have Dev (friend and love interest), who is definitely swoon worthy (he reads YA books to impress her!). And Trixie (Phoebe's sister) and Leia (Grace's girlfriend). They're all awesome and unique. Em was my favorite but also, I felt at some points she was a bitch and I didn't understand why, almost like the author didn't even mean to write her that way, maybe? And altogether I would've liked a little more of each character.

Dev irritated me only because he (and Em and Grace) constantly acted and talked about how Pheobe read too much and she should be living and all this. I loved Pheobe though, because she just kept being herself. Readings and knitting and loving her life the way she wanted to. But it was strange because at one point it was like he got it then he was almost being mean and snobbish about it??? I don't know, maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Plot wise, I guess you could say there wasn't much of one besides Pheobe trying to "seduce" Dev? I didn't really notice it while reading though, I was enjoying it so much.

The only real downside for me really was the passages of her favorite books. They're interspaced between chapters and have little notes Pheobe left for herself and everything. They kind of just bored me. I guess it was something cool to include but I found myself skipping most of them.

OVERALL: I LOVED this book and highly recommend it!

Would I Recommend This? Yes.
To whom? Booknerds who love YA contemporary. Yes, all of you, read it!
Will I read more from this author(or series)? 100% yes.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Let's Play Tag: The Your Favorites Tag



I was tagged for this forever ago by the awesomest Petra of Petrasbokblogg. She is the best guys, she even translated the questions for me which is just so kind!

This is all about getting know each other better so make sure to answer some of the questions yourselves in the comments!

Favorite authors:

5. Melina Marchetta 
4. Cinda Williams Chima
3. Rainbow Rowell
2. J.K. Rowling
1. Rick Riordan

favorite candy:

Chocolate.

favorite thing to drink:

5. Coffee
4. Coffee
3. Coffee
2. Coffee
1. Anything with caffeine

favorite characters:

6. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter
5. Raisa from The Seven Realms series
4. Cath from Fangirl
3. Park from Eleanor and Park
2. Percy from Percy Jackson
1. Nico from Percy Jackson

favorite TV.shows:

5. Flash
4. Arrow
3. Vampire Diaries
2. The 100
1. Big Bang Theory

things you collect:

5. Minions (as in the little yellow ones from Despicable Me)
4. Books! (duh)
3. All things Harry Potter
2. Care Bears (never outgrew them)
1. Socks! (what? they're so warm and awesome)

favorite place to travel:

I don't really care where I'm going but my favorite thing is road trips.

dream vacation:

HOGWARTS

things to do on a Saturday night:

One word: Netflix.
(honestly though, it's more like: edit)

favorite clothing:

5. Boots
4. Hoodies
3. Pajamas
2. Hats
1. Socks

favorite food:

5. Burgers
4. Sushi
3. Pizza
2. Fried Chicken
1. Chinese food

favorite places to read:

5. In bed!
4. On my fluffy chair!
3. On the couch!
2. In front of the fire in a pile of cats!
1. Anywhere my cat is!

5 Bad Habits:

5. Talking with my mouth full
4. Chewing on my hair
3. I'm a pushover... it's true.
2. I get secondhand embarrassment which makes me unwilling to correct people because I feel embarrassed that they will be embarrassed...?
1. Pushing myself too hard

5 things you're good at:

5. Having low self-esteem! Okay, mostly when it comes to writing...but still! 
4. Self-deprecating humor!
3. Writing... I mean I really like to think I'm good at it!
2. Cooking! I make mean Chinese food.
1. Baking! I am not too humble as to shy away from the fact that I make the BEST sugar-free cookies.

favorite bloggers:

Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight, Petra @ Petrasbookblg, Jillian @ Jillian's Books, Val @ The Innocent Smiley, everyone I haven't already mentioned!

I tag you Pikachu:

Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight, Jillian @ Jillian's Books, and Kate @ Read and Dream




Tell me some of your favorites! Mainly, food because it is the most important thing.



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Beautiful People #2 In 2016 I. Shall. WRIIIIITE.

PAPERFURY
Beautiful People is a meme created by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. The meme's for writers to share all about their characters! It's super fun, find out all about it here.


Okay, so I've done this a few times here before, I've also down Beautiful People on my old writing blog, and the NaNo version Beautiful Books. If you don't know it's ran by Cait and Sky and it's super fun and perfect for writers and I've decided I'm going to start doing it every month not only because it's awesome but also because I'm going to try to post once a week about writing this year and this fits perfectly!

Anyway! This month is awesome because it's basically new years resolution based questions! Let's do this.


1. What were your writing achievements last year? Hmm, define achievements? Let's see, I won Camp NaNo in April and July, regular NaNo in November. I wrote a few new novels and spent a good eight months working on perfecting my main novel.


2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year? I have two. One is to finally finish perfecting my main novel, the one I spent many months last year revising and editing and revising and editing, I'm SO CLOSE. And the second, is the first novel I ever wrote, Dragon Heir. I'm finally going to rewrite it and make it better than abomination that is its current draft.


3. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year. Setting and world building, I'm horrible at setting which is one of the main things wrong with Dragon Heir right now, it's set on this huge amazing world that I never really describe in the actual book. I'd like to get better at writing effective plot the first time through. Plot is where I really struggle, honestly. I would like to get better at short stories. I tend to start them and then forget all about them. I really need to work at not being afraid to go back to fantasy, fantasy was the first thing I wrote and then I kind of abandoned it and haven't touched it since. I also need to work on my characters ages in that I tend to have them not act their age a lot, if that makes sense.


4. Are you participating in any writing challenges? Um, as in? Nothing really but I plan on doing both April and July Camp NaNoWriMo as well as regular NaNo in November.


What's your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year? I have a few CPs who I really love. But I would like to expand, I'm firm believer you can't have too many. I'm just not really good at friending CPs, like, the ones I have I got through a matchmaking service, I never know how to like, turn writing friends into CPs... Do you just straight up ask them if they're interested? What if they say no? Okay, this is a long answer.


Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research? Yes. I'm finally going to read Wonderbook. Also, Steven King's On Writing because I got it for Christmas and am so excited to finally read it. Research-wise, no idea. I plan on reading some more MG fantasy to get in the mood for writing Dragon Heir but, who knows?


Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this? Cass and Cori from Dragon Heir. I really want to work more on getting to know all my Dragon Heir characters and to start I need to go back to their histories and refigure them out as their backstories are very flawed and cliched and just, need work. So that's where I'm starting.


Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack? Yes and yes. My main novel, that I've been working on for about 14 months is in it's last (I swear to the boggart under my bed it's the last one) rewrite. I'm going to let it sit, then read through and edit it. Send it to my CPs for the last time and then start querying it again. Besides that, I'm planning on editing Ren&Farrah, which I wrote for Camp last year. And once Dragon Heir's been written and sat for a bit it's also going to be edited a ton. Um, my plan of attack is to actually do these things and figure it out along the way...?


Toni Morrison once said, “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world? A hole I think needs filling is fantasy with LGBT characters and/or characters with mental illnesses and the like. Also, just in general, more YA with male main characters and more MG with female main characters. There's definitely MG with female MCs and YA with male ones, but I feel like you're more likely to find MG with male and YA with female, which is....stupid.


What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016? Basically, I just want to have written and grown as a writer and hopefully learned a thing or two. I want to have written and edited and had fun. I want to write more second drafts than first and to have written more straight up MG because the one I've written is kind of my favorite book ever. And...I want to have tried my hand at fantasy again, it is my first love after all. I want to have written so much that words ooze out of my skin like blood...



Please, leave me all the links below so I can see your posts and writers, let's talk! What are you working on? Do you find yourself with way more first drafts than seconds?

Friday, January 8, 2016

On Repeat: 2015



This is a new feature where once a month I will share the top ten songs I've had on repeat!

I've only done this once so far, sharing November's On Repeat but this one will be a little different, as instead of one month I'm doing one year. Ie. My favorite songs I've d on repeat in 2015.


2015 On Repeat:



These are all songs I had on repeat at some point, it starts at the beginning of the year where I was obsessed with Sleeping With Sirens to the middle when I wrote my MG magical realism novel and would only listen to Geronimo, then through a kind if rough patch in August/September where I got really intense with writing after a disappointment and listened to Hall Of Fame on repeat for months. Straight on through writing a few more first drafts with Love Like Winter and Make Them Remeber and ending with Passenger by Trapt which I've found really inspiring recently and Stuck by Adelitas Way because I'm obsessed with them.


What do you currently have on repeat!?! If you had to pick a theme song for your year, both 2015 and 2016, what would they be?


For me:
2015: Hall Of Fame by The Script
2016: I Don't Wanna Be Sad by Simple Plan OR Could Have Been Me by The Struts


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

5 Halfway Decent Tips For Editing

Soo, I 'm in the middle of editing AGAIN. This book, TWIG, has been edited and rewritten and revised more times than I'd like to talk about, but anyway. So I'm jumping back in after taking a break over the holidays and I got thinking. Thinking about how I've never really done a post concerning editing, whether it be tips or gifs explaining my long, drawn out, painful editing process. Where I've done loads of both those kinds of posts concerning drafting. Sooo...

Today I bring you my 5 Halfway Decent Editing Tips!


1. Wait at least a month after finishing your first draft to start editing! You need a break first so that you can distance yourself a little before jumping into revisions. That way, you'll catch more mistakes and better see how you can fix things.


2. Start by reading through the whole novel - without editing a word! - and making notes of what needs work. If you just jump in blind you may not find as many of the big picture things that need to be revised and edited.


Remember first-time editors, everyone has their own editing style, start slow and you'll figure yours out.

3. Keep in mind that you're not fixing everything at once. You aren't going to edit just once. You're going to edit once to focus on big things like plot. Edit once to focus on character development. Edit again for grammar and the like. That's just basics. Maybe you'll do characters and plot together. Maybe you'll only edit and revise twice before feeling ready to send to CP's and then query. Either way, one round of editing and revisions is not going to fix everything, so don't try.


4. You're going to get discouraged, you are. It's a fact, it happens. Even now, when I'm editing my book for the millionth time. I still get discouraged halfway through. My writing sucks, my characters are horrible, my plot is still too thin. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. When this happens, you can either power through it, or take a break, take a nap, and come back a day or so later refreshed. Because, you know what? Then you'll realize it's not nearly as bad as you thought.

5. Have a buddy! You NEED someone you can talk things through with. Writing seems very much like a solitary thing, but it's not. You have to have someone you can bounce ideas off of, talk through that plot hole with. Just explaining things, out loud, can help you see how to fix them. This is more important than ever in editing and revising because it's where you do the most work, where you whip that messy first draft into perfection.

via GIPHY

Good luck with editing and if you'd like, let me know if you'd like to see a post about my editing process! Now, I'm going to crawl back into the deep dark hole that is this draft I'm working on.


Monday, January 4, 2016

ARC #Review Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Song Of The Moment- I Don't Wanna Be Sad by Simple Plan
Firsts
by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn 
Release date: January 5th 2016
Format: ARC
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up. 
*I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley to review honestly*

My Rating:

Review:

Mercedes "Mercy" Ayres has a unique way of making good karma for herself, she wants to ensure that other girls ar her school have the perfect "first time". How does she do this? By taking their boyfriends virginities. It started simply enough, she gave herself a limit, five guys, that was the line. Then it was ten. By the time she gets to 13, she doesn't really know why she's doing it anymore, and she starts to realize she doesn't really know who she is anymore. She's not the virgin that goes to prayer group with her best friend Angela. She's not the girlfriend Zach (the boy she sleeps with more than once, her Wednesday friend) wants her to be. And she doesn't think she's who she always thought she was either.

I had my...reservations for this one, I wasn't really sure it was for me. Admittedly, I'm a bit of a prude when it comes to what I read. Everyone's big on sex positivity and I prefer more PG books...normally. Even through the first half of this, I was kind of enjoying it, I could see how it was well written, and so unique, and from a purely reviewers standpoint, just a damn good book. But I still had reservations on it. Though I was never bored or hated it, I considered not finishing but then I would see an update on Goodreads of someone loving it and so I continued. I didn't dislike even the beginning and by the end, I was definitely starting to love it. So where does this leave me?

Firsts is a really amazing-important-unique book and I'm very glad I read it. 

It's definitely not a book I would normally pick for myself to read, it was out of my comfort zone so to speak, but it was such a good book that I'd forgotten all about that by the time I finished reading it. 

Mercedes isn't your normal character in any way, shape, or form. Like everyone, she's so full of flaws that sometimes she can't find any redeeming parts of herself. She's a mess and makes so many bad mistakes over and over again. Does so many things because she thinks she's helping people even when she knows she's not and doesn't really want to do them anymore. But she's strong and smart and just trying to find her way and you can't not feel for this girl, she's so REAL. This book isn't about swooning and feeling all those feels, it's about understanding and sympathy and I loved Mercy so much because she was always so much more than she saw herself as. 

All the side characters are equally amazing. I think Faye may be my favorite person ever. She's the new girl and Mercy wants to hate her at first but she turns into the best person you could ask for, while still being flawed herself. I was a bit confused at parts when Mercy wasn't sure if she was flirting with Faye or not, but it played out so well. Angela was amazing. I loved her character and her own little side story, I loved how she ran a prayer group because it's not something you see very often. And most of all I loved her for not being the typical best friend in a YA novel. 

As for Zach, I don't think there's much I can say about him. He's amazing. Read the book to find out why.

There's deeper parts that I don't want go into, and the plot itself plays out so well. But, I did have a few small gripes, in the beginning, while I felt sympathy for and even liked Marcedes, I found it hard to connect with her. In places, the pacing was a little strange but, my biggest gripe is that I wanted Mercy to have a redeeming moment for herself. I wanted her to stop and realize that while sure parts were her fault, it was just as much the guys faults, maybe more. She thought she was helping, they knew they were cheating. Faye really helped show this point but I wanted it to be bigger.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, it is so well written and just amazing. I highly recommend it


Would I Recommend This? Yes!
Will I read more from this author? Definitely!