Good or Bad Reads

Ever since I discovered Goodreads, I have stopped writing book reviews here and leave them on that site instead. I am pretty good about doing a review for basically everything I read. I figure, if I want others to do it for me, I have to return the favor.

The book I just finished April 30th has left me so frustrated that I needed to vent here; even after leaving my review on Goodreads.

On Goodreads, I try to leave objective reviews. Of course I avoid spoilers, but then I try not to overly sway others with my view while at the same time being honest. This book was difficult for me to not go into great detail about why I almost gave up on it. This is why what I said simply writing there didn’t fulfill my need to complain about this book.

When a series sets up certain parameters, it really bothers me when they don’t stand by them. This can go for plot, character growth and development, rules of the established universe, or even narration style.

In books one and two of this series, the female protagonist is the only point of view we get to read from. In this third installment, a new narrator is added. Then ANOTHER on page 318. But that one we will come back to.

The two narrators we have for a majority of the book, I feel are terrible choices. One is imprisoned. She was whiny and intolerable before she had this to content with. Now she was worse. The second does not want to be where she is. This leads to severely harsh, biased, and SELECTIVE narration. One can only tell us what she overhears. Two can only tell us what she chooses to hear. Neither of them SHOW us anything. I hated how all the battles and intrigue where dictated to us instead of displayed.

The addition of the third narrator was frustrating as it further broke an already broken stricture. Just because you’re the author and it’s your story, doesn’t mean you can do anything you want. I mean, you can. But you can’t.

So, the part of me that longs for structure didn’t like the addition of this narrator, but the reader in me was excited because this point of view had to be better than the others. Third’s first few chapters were meh, but her last was just like the others. Whiny.

I just can’t feel sorry for these girls. They are both progressive and regressive, depending on what could cause the most conflict. This lead to a host of inconsistencies. Also, for all their complaining, none of these girls made active choices to change their circumstances. I felt as if thy just didn’t care about themselves. And this made me not care. How am I supposed to want to keep reading if I couldn’t care less about what is happening to them?

But now that I have put in the time and effort of reading and reviewing three books, I suppose I will have to read the fourth one anyway, just because now I will need to know how the story ends. Hopefully this fourth one will end the series like the third was supposed to. This was not the first time I read books that were meant to be a trilogy.

It’s a good thing it’s not meant to be out until February though because I have made a promise to myself and to you, my readers. I will not start reading a new book until the current draft I am working on is complete. It is close to being done and I want to avoid the extra excuse for distraction that an intriguing book can be. I will be posting updates on my Twitter and my Facebook page. I am thinking of having a contest for beta readers, as I do not have enough at the moment. Getting excited!

Sorry its been a while…

Things seem to finally be looking up a bit. Let’s hope they stay that way.

It’s been over a month since I updated my blog because it’s been crazy inside and outside our house. We’ve suffered numerous illnesses, EM was diagnosed lactose intolerant (just like her big sister), my phone decided to break months before it was time to upgrade, and the only car that fits all three car seats at the same time decided to break more than it was worth to fix. Needless to say, we’ve been busy.

Besides getting a new phone and car (and I really love this car), yesterday I was able to see my BFF who was visiting from Wisconsin. We got to hang out and let all the babies play together. It was amazing. I really wish her husband hadn’t moved her so far away. I’m also pretty stoked about the webinar I signed up for tonight. It’s supposed to be writing tips for busy authors. I think as a working mom, I might qualify.  🙂

I’m really looking forward to any tips or tricks it can give me to be more productive in the time I have. Draft one of my first full-length is done, but draft two seems to be taking me forever to complete. And my beta readers all over me for the finished product. I am really proud of the WIP though and can’t wait to share it.

I Did It!

No one ever thinks they will find the broken leg of a three year old to be a blessing in disguise, but lat week, I did. CJ’s company graciously let him work from home on preschool days while MJ has his cast on. Since he stays home with the girls, I have been going over to the library to work on my book while MJ is in school. This has given me the ability to write thousands of words at a time. It has been an amazing experience to throw myself into my book like this.

Because of this opportunity, on October 2nd 2015, I was able to write the words I’ve been so looking forward to writing since this book was just a concept in my head.


Ahh! My hands shook while I took that picture to send to CJ because I couldn’t even wait until I got home to tell him.  🙂

Now, finding a way to print it so I can begin draft two. I can do this. I will do this. And you’re all invited to the book launch and subsequent movie premiere lol.

YCN #8

At my baby shower, I received a few things that I never thought would be my saving graces, but they became so. I should have had faith in the women who gave the first two gifts, as they were already mothers themselves and knew what they were talking about. As for the third gift, I still say my husband just got lucky.

Most useful gift #1: Cloth diapers

My grandmother bought me a few packages of cloth diapers for the new baby. They were not for what I thought, however. Today, burp clothes are thin and flimsy. Grandma bought the cloth diapers to be used as burp clothes. They are thick, super absorbent, and cover a lot of real estate. What is the point of a burp cloth that is none of those things? I felt the cloth diapers were a god-send and we still use them as burp clothes, napkins for bigger, toddler-sized messes, etc. Thank you, Grandma. You are so smart!

Most useful gift #2: Nightlight

My aunt gave me a nightlight for my first baby, but it was so much more than that. It also plays music. On those nights when I was tired and beyond singing to soothe the baby, I did not have to sing or hum to him. The nightlight did it for me. He absolutely loves it. When my parents come to stay with us, they even say they would not be able to fall asleep without hearing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Also, just the nightlight itself makes checking on the baby before bed easy. I can go in and cover him back up without disturbing him by turning on the overhead light or using the light from my phone.

Most useful gift #3: Fleece blanket

Not all blankets are created equal. I assumed that as long as the baby was covered and warm, any blanket would do. This is not the case. I have found that all babies will have their favorite, whether it be silk line, soft on one side, knitted by grandma…
My husband is a great Batman fan and found a fleece Dark Knight blanket and bought it for our son. The boy will not sleep without being wrapped in it; he must just love the feel of the fleece against his skin. Bedtime, nap time, Mommy always has to know where the blanket is.

YCN #7

When my sister and I were younger, my parents took us on some long road trips. We drove to Walt Disney World. We drove to the Grand Canyon. You get the idea. My sister and I had some epic fights over the cooler that separated us in the back seat, but we also took some awesome pictures.

One summer, my mother decided we were going to drive to Roswell, New Mexico. We had been watching “Roswell” ever since it premiered on television and thought it would be cool to check out where it was all taking place.

There were museums about UFOs and space and we even got to eat at the Crash Down Cafe which is one of the locations where the show takes place. As we were walking back to the car, we came upon a little out-of-the-way place that looked intriguing and had only a $2.00 entry fee. We went in and it was amazing. The proprietor had scenes set up were you could take photos with “aliens.”

At the time, we were really excited. We took lots of silly pictures and thought that they were great when we got them back. Now that I am an adult, I look back on these photos and I am really embarrassed. I cannot believe I at any point thought what I was doing was cool. In one picture in particular, I look a little drunk and I really wish that I had been, because at least that would explain why I allowed my picture to be taken in such a way. Thanks, Mom and Dad. You had to realize we were not cool.

These awkward photos will forever be proof that I was a “weirdo” and there is no denying it. At least my sister was equally guilty.

YCN #6

My most memorable concert experience is not because of the concert itself. My favorite moment happened before I even entered the venue doors.

My sister and I went to a Cobra Starship concert when I was junior in college. My boyfriend had gotten us discount tickets as the band was playing where he worked at the time. We were so excited because it was our first concert. We saved for weeks so we could buy as much merchandise as we could.

We left early to avoid the traffic, but we had an easy ride in. We expected a long wait in line to be screened before we could enter the venue, but the queue moved swiftly. Right before the doors, there were security guards checking bags. As I had driven that night, I had a small purse with me. I held it open as I approached security, but continued my conversation with my sister as I knew there would be no issues.

I halted in talking to my sister when I realized the guard was not letting me pass. He was shining a flashlight into my purse on something in particular. From my angle, I could not tell what he was looking at and my mind raced to think of what I could possibly have in my bag that would cause security to keep me from entering the concert.

The guard called his female co-worker over to my sister and me. He motioned into my bag with his flashlight. The female guard shrugged; she did not know what he was looking at either. He reached his hand into my purse and pointed to the object. She rolled her eyes and said to him, “You’re an idiot. That’s a tampon.”

I am still not sure who was more mortified by this: him or me. I do know that I have yet to ever see another human being display the same amazing shade of red upon their face.

I honestly barely remember the concert – I know we had fun, the music was great, I bought a hoodie that is still my favorite one – but I will never forget the look on that poor man’s face over thinking a tampon was some unknown, possibly dangerous object. Embarrassing, somewhat. Memorable, definitely.

YCN #5

We all learn lessons from our Exes. Some of these lessons were hard to learn and even though, at the time, I wished I had not learned them, I am glad for the knowledge these exes gave me.

Lesson #1: Like father, like son.
John was funny and charming, just like the father he was named after, but during our phone conversations, I began to notice something. His father was a yeller and he seemed to always be upset about something. The longer we dated, the more mean John became. He yelled at me for things and was just downright miserable. My mother sat by me and held my hand after she told me that no 16 year old girl deserved to cry so much over a boy. Thanks, Mom.

Lesson #2: Pay attention to how he treats his mother.
If he treats his mother like a queen, chances are he will do the same for you. Beware that he does not cross the line into a “Mama’s Boy,” however. Sean was a sweetheart who picked you up for dates and held open doors. He did everything his mother asked of him; even break up with his girlfriend. I was deemed to be taking up too much of HER time, it being his senior year and all. No more “Mama’s Boys” for me.

Lesson #3: Saying “no” is hard.
Draw your line and respect it. Do not let a single person make you compromise your convictions. Rob, a different Sean, and a few more nameless fools all decided that because I was not ready, I was not worthy. After once, or even twice, of having a boy break up with you over something like this, it can make you start to question your choices. Saying no may be hard, but you will have more respect for yourself in the long run.

Lesson #4: Not all men deserve your trust.
While in college, I was seeing Ian. I came back from soccer practice one night, wet and exhausted. My roommate had the “code word” written on our door and I had to wait in the lounge on our floor for three hours. At the end of this time, Ian left our room. Guess we were interchangeable.

Lesson #5: Follow your heart.
There is always a gut feeling when you begin dating someone. Listen to it and you will save yourself time and heartache. You cannot change someone who is not willing to change themselves; you should never try. The “bad boys” will always remain as such and they are not the kind of man you want for the rest of your life.