So, I've read several books so far (and reviewed them on this blog). So, as I love to complain, I think it's time to recap the most annoying characters I've come across on this blogging 'venture.
Mara Dyer - The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Not smart. I didn't hate her, but she annoyed me after a while. She took a bit to long to get things figured out, in my honest opinion. Just a little dimwitted. That's all
Paloma - Elegance of the Hedgehog
Looking down her nose at everyone, obnoxious, egotistic, thinking she's got everything figured out, Paloma comes first in this top five. As I said before, I just wanted her to get around to dying already. I hated her guts. I don't know if she was meant to be this way, but the author turned me away from ever finishing that book because of her.
Matt - Revived
Hot, rich, brooding. Tall and handsome. Proclaimed 'perfect', several times by Daisy. Just ugh, I hated him. I wish he'd died instead of another person in that story (don't want to say who in case of spoilers, but I don't recommend Revived anyways)
Daisy - Revived
Look who it is! The neighborhood *censored*hole! This girl is self-centered, infatuated with the 'perfect guy' and acts like she's about four. And she's stupid. Really stupid.
Ian - NERVE
Just no. Another 'perfect' person, except I had high expectations set up by the novel that dumped me on my face. Ian can go die somewhere, please.
So. NERVE. Looked promising for a debut author, but the library took for-evah to let me have it. I got it, with the sizzling cover, and read it in two days. And? Meh.
The main character, Vee, is a high-school student who wants to get out of the shadows. We got the cliche blonde chick as her friend, who is in all the plays and always gets the guy. They've been best friends for a long time, and Vee wants her chance to, for once, be in a spotlight herself. So she signs up for NERVE. First of all, kind of stupid reason. I know it's hard to be off to the side while others get the glory, but it's been that way for many years, and one stupid thing with an idiot guy sets her off to risk her life? O...kay?
The dares themselves were very fun, and the premise had a ton of potential. It's like Truth or Dare, except on a big scale. The pacing throughout was very fast and kept the action moving, which I really appreciated. Anyone realized Forsaken has been in the 'to review' for a while? 'Cause it's slow as heck. Plotwise, this book is great, except for one part. The ending was a little confusing and unsatisfying to me. All of a sudden, Vee gets the nerve to do something crazy, while all along she's been whimpering and being dragged along by her hot boyfriend.
Oh yes. Forgot about the frikken boyfriend. If there is one thing I hate, hate, hate, hate in YA books, it's the hot, perfect love interest. Ian is freaking annoying. He's hot, chiseled, dark, brooding, has a nice car (of course). I may have mentioned here, here, and here that I hate the perfect boyfriend cliche. Some cliches are good, nerd, chosen one, etc, but this one is all bad, and so prevalent I want to throw up. Did it start with Twilight's popularity that everyone decided to make their love interests hot and perfect so girls would read? Great. Another thing Twilight has screwed up for the rest of us.
*cough* Um, back to the book. The other characters didn't wow me. They were...okay? Not great. Doable for the story line. It worked, it wasn't horrible, but I didn't like it. Plus, I know the author must have been setting up for another book, because of the ending *SPOILERS* were Vee gets a creepy note from the NERVE guy *END SPOILERS*. But there were still plot holes. For instance, what's Ian's story? He mentions his father a few times, and his rewards are always escape oriented. So why? Why does he want out? Where's his mom? Where does his nice car come from? We know nothing about him except that he's freaking hot and wants to leave his home. And that he has a perfect jawline and listens to Rolling Stones.
And Vee's story? Yes, we got some of it, but you get the feeling that it's supposed to be this 'big reveal' about halfway through the book, and it really wasn't. So, she had an accident and that's why her family's so protective of her? Alrighty then, on with the story. In other words:
Final Score: 5
Firstly, that is a freaking long synopsis, no? I spent longer than I expected typing that out.
Okay, I have to say this book surprised me. A lot. Reading the synopsis, I thought it would be a zombie novel, and barely included it in my library hold shelf. That would have been a mistake.
Let's start with characters: I'm going to be honest, I wasn't dazzled. We got the stereotypical loyal, loving, hot boyfriend Gav. Not much to say there, there wasn't much to him except excessive loyalty and not much pride. Like, none, actually. Even when he's working his butt off helping the island, he spends his time moping that he isn't doing enough. I have to say I didn't really like him. I did like Kae. The book was written out journal-style, like she was writing letters to her best friend Leo. Her thoughts were interesting and I liked her. Which is pretty darn rare, since protagonists can get on my nerves.
The other characters were 'meh'. Meredith and Tessa, I didn't seem to get a good grasp of their characters Tessa especially, she was really two-dimensional. Quentin, however, I liked. He made a good villain, and some scenes with him and Kae made me shiver.
Plotwise, this book was top notch. Got drama, action, family, all narrated from the journal perspective. I haven't seen much journal-style in the new YA market lately. There is a reason for that though, there is not as much suspense, since we know she made it out fine and is writing it to her almost-boyfriend back on the mainland. So when [SPOILERS] Kae gets knocked out by the virus, we know she's got to be fine, because there's like fifty-freaking-percent of the book left. [END SPOILERS]
If this was based on a zombie-type virus, it was a good twist. The virus was scary, and I caught myself scratching and itching nervously throughout the story. It was an easy read, not twisty or super over the top, but still heart-stopping at some bits.
However, things can move a little too fast. For instance, something bad happens to Kae, and she gets over it within the next two entries. What? For real? She really cares that little? My respect for the story went downhill after the first 70% or so. It just seemed to jump from plot point to plot point too fast, leaving the characters little time to have a breath. Maybe style, maybe just a poor writing choice, but I didn't like it.
That's all I got for now.
Final Score: 7
1) What is the name of the book you self-published, and what is it about?
My novel is Bound. Once finally back in her hometown of Washington, North Carolina, seventeen-year-old Emma Morgan learns the simple life she knew has changed from the moment she meets the charmingly, bright-eyed Liam Alexander. But when her brother, Sean, voices his disapproval of Liam, Emma’s loyalty stands between her new found curiosity of him. Only the more Emma tries to avoid Liam the more she finds him in her constant company. A risk that will expose his supernatural calling and both of their hearts. But what happens when Emma learns that Sean is the real one keeping secrets...
2) What was the hardest part of self-publishing Bound?
The hardest part is trying to balance the responsibility of author and publisher. It can be quite a stressful process to manage editing, cover designs, author photos, etc. At moments I would get lost in my own role, forgetting I was actually the writer too.
3) Why did you decide to self-publish?
I had always gone back and forth with the idea of self-publishing but ultimately decided against it because of all of the negatives associated with the independent route. Then, finally this time after another rejection came from a publisher, I decided that I was going to go for it. The story felt right and life just seemed too short to wait around for a yes. I knew I had something even if no publisher or agent could see it yet.
4) Was there anything you found surprisingly easy about self-publishing Bound?
I found the hands on process with my Lulu coordinator quite easy. Coming from the pressure of being my own publisher, it was nice to have someone I could voice my concern with on any issue, whether it be the final cover or manuscript.
5) If you had any advice to give to authors trying to go the self-publishing route, what would it be?
Don’t fall into the statistics of bad self-published books because of poor pre-publishing. If you are going to take the time and energy to self-publish then really INVEST not just your money but your whole self. Yes, it will be alittle costly but it will be more costly to do the opposite. Throwing your work out to the world unpolished is like throwing a sheep to a pack of wolves.
6) Would you recommend self-publishing to a new author trying to get their book out there? Why or why not? This can be a quite complicated question for an author. I believe that is all in the agenda of the writer. What I will say is that authors should not give up on publishing just because of rejection from traditional publishers. I strongly believe from my own experience that a lot of us have just as much talent as traditionally published authors. We may just have to find another door to get into the party and self-publishing could be that option for new authors.
You can find Bound here.
I will be posting a review ASAP, but I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year and I've been super busy. Working on The Forsaken for y'all. In the meantime, enjoy the interviews.
at 2:52 PM