This is one of those books like Gone With the Wind, straddling the line between commercial and literary so beautifully and delivering a story that madThis is one of those books like Gone With the Wind, straddling the line between commercial and literary so beautifully and delivering a story that made me shove aside the rest of the TBR and indeed, whenever possible, the rest of my life, until it was done. Now I'm wondering what on earth to follow it up with. It's making me crave more epic, omniscient POV things......more
Doing a few quick reviews this evening to catch over the past months.
This book was so delightful with a timeless feel. It had the best LINES. Lines soDoing a few quick reviews this evening to catch over the past months.
This book was so delightful with a timeless feel. It had the best LINES. Lines so great you want to slap them on a t-shirt or something. The eccentricity of the main character and her guardian could've been really pretentious, but...for me, it utterly worked. If you're looking for middle grade charm on the rooftops of Paris, look no further....more
"Take Off Your Pants!" was recommended on some forum threads about writing faster. The paperback is just 8.99 (cheaper still as an ebook but I need th"Take Off Your Pants!" was recommended on some forum threads about writing faster. The paperback is just 8.99 (cheaper still as an ebook but I need this kind of thing in paper for SURE) so I gave it a whirl. I'm somewhere between a plotter and a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants) and always trying to perfect the art of the outline so I'll stop waffling around.
So far this book has been pretty effective for me. She gives a lot of props to John Truby's "The Anatomy of Story", which I have not read, so I can't say how they compare...but The Anatomy of Story is over 400 pages and this is about 100. I really liked how lean, mean and focused this book is, because I already know a lot of the fundamentals of telling a story and in many cases a quick and dirty plot breakdown is EXACTLY what I need. This book does that beautifully. I found her outlining techniques much easier to work with than I've seen in some other books.
If you're a beginning writer, however...although this book certainly IS accessible to beginners, I might start by reading a few books with more depth because it will help you when it comes time to actually write the outline....more
My new novel is out today and I feel fully justified in giving it 5 stars because I reread this book three more times just for fun before I started seMy new novel is out today and I feel fully justified in giving it 5 stars because I reread this book three more times just for fun before I started sending out review copies...the last time it was just mine.
I've had a hard time letting this go. I am consumed with feelings. I've spent a long, looong time with these characters and this world.
This is the first book I've released that is 100% me. I had a blast drawing comics and illustrations that are peppered throughout the book. All of my passions and interests have contributed to the world. It has humor and my favorite romance I've written and doll people and so many quirky pop culture references and complicated magical organized crime families. I loved every minute of writing it and I hope you'll love it too. =)...more
The voice in this book is just wonderful. It simply sparkles, without being pretentious or precious. Maya is a great middle grade MC, brave in placesThe voice in this book is just wonderful. It simply sparkles, without being pretentious or precious. Maya is a great middle grade MC, brave in places but believably anxiety-riddled in a way I identified with! The plot itself, I will admit, I found a tad confusing at times--there are a lot of components to the magic that can be a little awkward to connect the dots between. But the pacing is good. It is possible I was turning the pages too fast to pay as much attention as I should've. Anne Nesbet is definitely going on my must-read MG authors list....more
When I was a kid, I was disappointed by the movie "Edward Scissorhands" because I thought, "I'd like this better if Edward, like, grew up watching TV.When I was a kid, I was disappointed by the movie "Edward Scissorhands" because I thought, "I'd like this better if Edward, like, grew up watching TV. And being kind of a normal kid. Except trapped in a castle with scissors for hands. And then when he finally got out into the world he would be the normal one compared to all the suburbanites."
I would've been a bad critique partner for Tim Burton, because I would be telling him what kind of story to write.
But this book made me think of that, because Jon Skovron basically wrote the Edward Scissorhands I wanted, except with the son of Frankenstein's monster and his bride. (As a side note, I also once tried to write a romance with a "hot" Frankenstein's monster; I was like 14 and it was weird.) The monsters in this book are very...normal. Which is the sort of story I just eat up like candy.
Also, there is an essential sweetness to this book that I adore and don't see in novels as often as I like. The characters are realistically flawed and make mistakes; bad things happen. But it is balanced with friendship and love. Boy's parents, the Frankensteins (Frankenstein Monsters? how would you refer to them in plural?) make a brief appearance and are rather like you might think of them from monster movies but somehow Boy's love for them, and their love for him, really shines through.
The side characters are extremely memorable, including: --Troll dancer girl who wants to be able to live among the humans and party --Gay automaton uncle with semi-tragic backstory --Glamorous fairy who rules the New York club scene --Cool werewolf who seems like he'd have a lot of good stories about his past --Invisible Man working in Hollywood special effects --Jekyll and Hyde's granddaughter: two very different girls in one body (and hey, there's an article going around right now about how threesomes are hot in YA right now? well, this KINDA fits, except I don't think in the way that article intended)
This is the first book where I've ever pre-ordered the sequel the second I closed the book. (To be fair, I am usually so far behind in reading that the sequel is already out, but still. It is a ringing endorsement!) I would cross-recommend it with "Dearly Departed" by Lia Habel and "Freaks! Alive on the Inside" by Annette Curtis Klause....more
I finished this book a week ago and I'm still thinking about it. It was like a really good indie movie. Intimate yet cinematic. It's a book that makesI finished this book a week ago and I'm still thinking about it. It was like a really good indie movie. Intimate yet cinematic. It's a book that makes you want to buy a plane ticket to California, and then hit the road once you get there......more
I love it when a book surprises me. I picked this book up at ALA because I love hearing voices in books that I haven't heard before, and this book deaI love it when a book surprises me. I picked this book up at ALA because I love hearing voices in books that I haven't heard before, and this book deals with an undocumented immigrant--Monserrat Thalia, whose family is from Argentina but who is blonde and pale and goes by M.T., hiding the truth from all her friends in her well-to-do New Jersey town.
But let's face it, I went to ALA and BEA this year and out of the 50+ books I came home with, this one wasn't the most glamorous-looking in the pile. I started reading it because it was sitting nearby when I had an idle moment.
I liked the beginning. Picked it up again the next day. By about 100 pages in I could hardly put it down. Loooooved this book. Loved M. T. I loved her cute first boyfriend, and her well-rounded life, and how true it felt even thought we have very different lives. I connected with her so much that when she finally talks to someone and breaks down, *I* started crying with her.
This book would also be a fantastic read paired with a discussion of immigration. I'm pro-immigration, but I also don't think about it that much. Building compassion is part of the great power of story, and this one is a wonderful example. It's not preachy, it just IS, and apparently draws a lot from the author's own experience...and that also makes it very powerful and thought-provoking.
This book deals with a LOT of issues, not just immigration but also domestic abuse and contemplation of suicide. Sometimes I was reminded of Eleanor and Park in the domestic abuse aspect paired with the cute first love and the fact that she doesn't want to tell anyone what's going on. One thing I liked is that, while the issues felt well-handled and real, the book overall didn't feel grim or heavy. A lot of people in this book are kind to M. T. and some of them surprise her, so there is also a sort of underlying message about how all people have a hidden side and there are many good people in the world. I loved that.
Lovely, literary, thoughtful science fiction that touches on many aspects of culture, faith (with a focus on the Jewish faith), love...
The prose is exLovely, literary, thoughtful science fiction that touches on many aspects of culture, faith (with a focus on the Jewish faith), love...
The prose is excellent. The romance between the main character and an alien is one of the most unconventional I've read in YA, but I believe it--and I love a romance that doesn't follow formulas or expectations.
For all of its literary qualities, I also found this book to be surprisingly page-turning.
This is one of those books I want to shove into the hands of anyone who complains that YA is cookie cutter and stupid. (After I shove it...erm...nevermind.)...more