Monthly Archives: July 2012

Say Anything {6}

Writing A Review When You Didn’t Like (or Finish) A Book

Everyone is different. Some people like one type of writing style or genre, while other people don’t. It’s not a bad thing, but sometimes when you really don’t like a book, you just can’t wait to tell everyone why you didn’t like it, and sometimes we forget that the author probably put A LOT of hard work and love into that book. So how do you write a review when you didn’t like the book but have to remain respectful?

Easy. Here’s How.

I Didn’t Like The Writing Style.

What you want to say: “Um, did this author even finish high school? Hello, run on sentences and awful dialogue!”

What you should say: “The writing style was simplistic and easy to read; but left me hoping for a bit more depth and dimension.”

Key point: While you may not have liked the author’s writing; someone else might. Therefore the best thing to remember when writing a review for a book you didn’t like, is to put a positive spin on your negative thoughts. Referring to the writing style as ‘simplistic and easy to read’ is not insulting, and gives your followers an idea of how the book will read. Also, stating what you would’ve preferred (i.e.: more depth/dimension) lets your followers know what you like, and if they share your taste then they know what to expect from the book.

I Hated The Main Character.

What you want to say: OMG! The main character is so stupid!

What you should say: “Flawed and imperfect, the main character found him/herself in many situations that left me wondering how they would get out of it.”

Key point: Character development can be one of the most difficult parts of writing a book. A lot of times the character plays out in the writer’s mind like they are real, but when put on paper they fall a bit flat. Compile an image of the character in your mind with a ‘good/bad’ list. What was a positive about the main character? What should they work on? Write out what you did/didn’t like about the character, just remain respectful. It’s easy to do!

What the %#$^ Was That Ending?!?!

What you want to say: “Uh, how did this book even get past the editor and make it to publishing?

What you should say: “If you like unexpected endings, twists, turns, and cliffhangers then this one’s for you!”

Key point: You might hate the way the book left off, but some people out there enjoy gigantic unexpected endings that leave them guessing, wondering, and thinking about the book long after they’ve finished it. Without giving away the ending, spell out what worked and what you’d have preferred instead. It’s a good way to start conversations with your followers who’ve read it already.

Final Thoughts

So what I’m saying here is this… whatever you write will be read. It will be read by your followers, and possibly even by the author. Imagine writing mean, hateful things about a book… and then get a comment from the author on the review! EEEK! Now, I’m not saying you should lie, or write fake reviews. Nope, like I said not everyone will like every book out there. But if you keep in mind the old, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”, it’s easy to remember that you should remain respectful. If you spent time pouring your heart into a book, having it published, and then reading a review where the person completely tears you a new one, well as you can imagine that won’t feel too good, right? Right.

So how do you write a review for a book you didn’t like?

Happy Reading!
Laura

Save the Date {5} Skylark by Meagan Spooner

Skylark
Skylark #1
By: Meagan Spooner
Expected Publication Date: August 1st, 2012 by: Carolrhoda Lab

Sixteen year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children’s innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.

Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret – but can she stay alive long enough to find them?



MY THOUGHTS




This one sounds so super freaking awesome! And the cover is beautiful as well. It sounds like a very unique spin on the ever-popular dystopian genre that is blown-up huge right now. 


What do you think? Is this a Hit or Miss for you?


Happy Reading!
Laura

Book Stole My Look {5}



Everblue
Mer Tales #1
Brenda Pandos
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She wanted her life to change… he wanted his to stay the same.

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana’s twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them. 

Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn’s life forever.




Brightly Woven
Alexandra Bracken
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The day the rains came was like any other, blistering air coating the canyon in a heavy stillness….

Just as the rains come after ten long, dry years, a young wizard, Wayland North, appears, to whisk Sydelle Mirabil away from her desert village. North needs an assistant, and Sydelle is eager to see the country – and to join him on his quest to stop the war that surely will destroy her home. But North has secrets – about himself, about why he chose Sydelle, about his real reasons for the journey. What does he want from her? And why does North’s sworn enemy seem fascinated by Sydelle himself?

Through a journey that spans a country, magic and hard-won romance are woven together with precision and brilliant design by a first-time novelist.

MY THOUGHTS

The similarities between these two covers are very noticeable. Both have a watery-blurry effects applied, and both show a pale-skinned red-haired girl on both. White fonts spell out the cover on both; but Everblue‘s font is nicer than the plain one on Brightly Woven. Also, the author’s name in blue stands out more than the author’s name on Brightly Woven. I do like the single lightning bolt on the Brightly Woven cover; but the blue starfish in the model’s hair on Everblue‘s cover is very appealing. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite here; but I think this week’s winner is… Everblue.

Happy Reading!
Laura

My 5 {5}

The Top 5 TV Shows I Can’t Get Enough Of

Sometimes I actually put down whatever book I’m currently reading, and watch some TV. Yes, it’s hard to believe that I do sometimes do other things than read!! But it’s true. So here are the top 5 shows that I watch regularly right now.

1. Whale Wars. I’m obsessed and super thankful that Netflix has this on Instant… just sad I’m almost done with the streaming episodes. They need to get season 4 up ASAP!

2. Gossip Girl. Yes, I’ve already watched all the seasons (except the newest one, or last season I guess) but it’s one of those shows that doesn’t get old and has uber re-watchability potential!

3. X-Files. Another Netflix Instant show; Boyfriend and I have been working our way through the entire series starting from Season 1 Episode 1.

4. The Tudors. Ok, so (a huge) part of me just finds Jonathan Rhys Meyers completely freaking delicious, but the show is pretty kick-ass!! I love, love, love anything and everything Tudor England so this is a must for me!

5. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Yep, here we are, Nerd Girl Central! But really, the show’s addicting!

What are the shows you just can’t get enough of this summer?

Happy Reading!
Laura

Say Anything {5}

What I Do When I Hit A Book Slump

It happens to everyone at one point in time… you read a super amazing book, and just as you finish and scan your bookshelves for your next read… nothing looks good! Or maybe it’s not even that nothing looks good, but that you just can’t get into the book you’ve chosen!
I’ve been there so many times, and each time seems to be more frustrating than the last!
I know some bloggers keep a schedule of books to read, so they already know ahead of time what book is next. I can’t get myself on that type of schedule, because different times call for different genres! For example, right now I’m reading 3 books of completely different genres! A historical romance – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon;  Contemporary Romance – Bed of Roses (The Bride Quartet #2) by Nora Roberts; and YA Paranormal – Shade (Shade #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready. Each was randomly chosen, and each fulfill a different craving at this time.
So what happens when no matter what, nothing sounds good? I take a break. That’s the best thing to do. Step back, assess the sitch, and wait for a book to call out to you. If nothing you personally own is doing it for you, hit up the library!
So what are your tips for overcoming a book slump?

Happy Reading!
Laura

Sneak Peek {5} My Life in Black & White – Natasha Friend

My Life In Black&White
Author: Natasha Friend
Series: N/A
Published:

Sneak Peek

WHEN I WAS in fourth grade, my best friend, Taylor LeFevre, and I would ask each other these crazy questions: “Would you rather be burned alive or frozen to death?” “Would you rather be deaf or blind?” “Would you rather have a genius IQ and a butt the size of Texas or be model thin and dumb as a box of rocks?” While other girls were skipping rope and scaling the monkey bars, we were pondering worst-case scenarios.

Happy Reading,
Laura

Weekly WrapUp {4}

So I know that I wasn’t able to post Weekly WrapUp last week. We are still computer-less. It’s been over a month now, and it’s SO frustrating!!!! I know I seem to need to vent about it every single week, but really! I am going through withdrawals, LOL. We are getting closer to it being fixed, but not quite there just yet! Hopefully this week it’ll happen :))

On My Bookshelf

Click on the title to go to the Goodreads page.

Purchased
Matched (Matched #1) – Ally Condie
The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers – Lynn Weingarten
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) – Rae Carson
Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) – Kiersten White

Won
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) – Julie Kagawa
(Thanks to Lexie for this one!)

Library
Immortal City (Immortal City #1) – Scott Speer
Virtuosity – Jessica Martinez
Immortal (Immortal #1) – Gillian Shields
Shade (Shade #1) – Jeri Smith-Ready
The Space Between – Brenna Yovanoff
Ashfall (Ashfall #1) – Mike Mullin
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin

Bookish News

If you don’t already LIKE SimonTeen on Facebook – what are you waiting for?! They do monthly giveaways so you should go like them… now!

Book #1 – Poison Princess – of The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole isn’t due out until 10/2/12 BUT if you check out her Facebook page – you can read an excerpt, pre-order a copy, and get a countdown widget!

EpicReads Facebook page lists all of their current giveaways! Have you entered??

How was your Book Week?

Happy Reading!
Laura

YA Scavenger Hunt – Summer 2012 Edition

I participated in my first YA Scavenger Hunt for the Winter ’12 Hunt. It was so fun, and I ended up winning signed copies of Dreaming Anastasia & Haunted by Joy Preble. I’m so excited that the Summer ’12 Hunt will be kicking off soon (As in August 1st!), and think that EVERYONE should participate because it’s so much fun, a great way to connect with your favorite authors (and meet some new ones!), and have many chances to win super awesome stuff!
So here’s what you need to know (read: this is what I know at this point!)
Here’s the YA Scavenger Hunt blog. Bookmark it, follow it, keep checking back for updated info!
And here are the Summer Hunt Author’s, thanks to author Colleen Houck!
Are you going to participate, or have you in the past? Let me know what you think!
Happy Reading!
Laura

Book Stole My Look {4}

Hi! Thanks for checking out Book Stole My Look! If you come across any similar covers, feel free to Email Me! You’ll get the cred in the post as well!
This Weeks Books Are:



Need 
By: Carrie Jones
Series: Need #1 


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Zara White suspects there’s a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She’s also obsessed with phobias. And it’s true, she hasn’t exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane…but Zara’s pretty sure her mom just can’t deal with her right now.

She couldn’t be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara’s overactive imagination. In fact, he’s still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There’s something not right – not human – in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.


In this creepy, compelling breakout novel, Carrie Jones delivers romance, suspense, and a creature you never thought you’d have to fear.





Bitter Frost
By: Kailin Gow
Series: Frost #1 


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All her life, Breena had always dreamed about fairies as though she lived among them…beautiful fairies living among mortals and living in Feyland. In her dreams, he was always there the breathtakingly handsome but dangerous Winter Prince, Kian, who is her intended. When Breena turns sixteen, she begins seeing fairies and other creatures mortals don’t see. Her best friend Logan suddenly acts very protective. Then she sees Kian, who seems intent on finding her and carrying her off to Feyland. That’s fine and all, but for the fact that humans rarely survive a trip to Feyland, a kiss from a fairy generally means death to the human unless that human has fairy blood in them or is very strong, and although Kian seemed to be her intended, he seems to hate her and wants her dead.



My Thoughts

Pale skin and colored lips dominate the similarities between these two fairy-based book covers. I love the deep blue  shade of the model’s lips on the Bitter Frost cover, paired with matching title and super-pale skin. I love the shimmery-bronze shade of the lips on the Need cover, paired with the pale skin, metallic gold title, and the black shadowy tree branches creeping across the model’s neck. While I enjoy both covers, I do prefer the colors of the Need cover over Bitter Frost. The dark colors of the cover of Bitter Frost do represent the Winter Court of the Fey, so I feel the book’s content is fairly represented. However the overall layout of Need‘s cover is more appealing.


My pick is: Need


Happy Reading,
Laura