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!

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Should be Working on Other Things…

Today, as I was driving home from work, I heard a song on the radio that made me very sad. It was not so much the content of the song that touched me so, but the fact that it made me think of a scene in my head.

I have many ideas that I wish I could bring to fruition. I have notebooks filled with outlines, plot summaries, and character info. When it comes down to actually writing, I do well for a while and then peter out. I can achieve maybe one page at a time so any project seems to take forever. The project I am currently working on has the scene that the song today made me think of.

I recently made a Twitter account and started following one of my favorite authors. Today’s tweet of hers had to do with how she hammered out 6,000 words of the novel she is currently working on. All done today! Maybe it is just something that comes with time; the ability to write with that much speed.

This is something I aspire to. Maybe, someday, I will be able to write something “full length” with some kind of speed. I have been published in the college newspaper and in a short story anthology, but it is my dream to have a work that is just my own published. Writing anything of length requires time and determination. The more I work on my piece, the more I realize that it is different than anything I have ever tried to do before.

Poems, short stories, newspaper articles, all these things can be done in short periods of time; weeks at most. Without being able to produce thousands of words per day, I know now that I am in for a long and arduous process.

One of this year’s resolutions will be to give my stories the time and attention they deserve. Of all the BIG wants in my life, this is one of the few still left unfulfilled in any way. I thank CJ for his constant love and support and for not being near as hard a critic as I know he should be when he reads my work.

I have given myself a limit. If any of my work has not made it onto a bookshelf near you by the end of 2017, someone please come kick my butt into gear.