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Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

“Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.”

What I thought:

Fair warning, friends – there’s a big spoiler lower down. If you’ve read this book ignore my warning, but if you’ve yet to read it you may want to skip it. I’ve marked it accordingly so you can’t miss it 🙂

I find reviewing classics difficult. Raise your hands if you don’t know anything about Frankenstein? No one? My point exactly! I always worry a classic will be hard to read, but this was easy to get into and I enjoyed it–right up until the end which was anti-climactic and left me feeling let down. The spoiler explains why, but I do recommend you skip it if you haven’t read the book yet. Unless you don’t mind spoilers, of course 🙂

Frankenstein is about a young man obsessed with the need to create something he believed would be an end to all sickness, but who was so repulsed with the result that he rejected it. Things escalated from there, and his creation sought to destroy his life and everyone he loved. It’s a reminder that just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

And that’s the plot in a nutshell, really! 🙂

I felt sorry for the monster. Rejected by the man who created him, all he wants is to be accepted and loved rather than feared and rejected by the rest of society. That doesn’t sound unreasonable to me. It’s what everyone wants, after all, but not only does Frankenstein reject the monster, he also gives him hope just to shatter it later. Anyone would be angry after that, right?

Now, look away if you don’t want the ending spoiled:

SPOILER The whole plot builds toward this epic fight between creator and creation. Frankenstein himself wonders several times how he can possibly win since his creation is so much stronger and faster, he only knows that he has to defeat his creation. So, when Frankenstein dies of sickness and exhaustion at the end of the book without even facing his creation one last time, I felt somewhat let down. The monster itself sails out to sea never to be seen again. Nothing gets resolved. If you’re a writer and have wondered why anything you foreshadow needs to be realised, here’s an excellent example. SPOILER END

So, while I enjoyed the book, I was also disappointed with the end. It’s incredible that Shelley wrote it when she was a teenager, but I still feel like I was robbed of this one thing she promised.


Have you read Frankenstein? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

“The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker’s Dracula probes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his “Master”—culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.”

What I thought:

I always find it harder to review classics, because you’ve either read this already, or you haven’t but know what it’s about anyway because everyone does but don’t care to read it for various reasons. No one’s going to be surprised if I say that Dracula is the original vampire novel, right?

So I won’t bore you with what the book is about, and hop straight to the review 🙂 If you do have questions about the plot, ask away.

(Oh, also, I was an idiot and forgot to note down quotes for this review, so it’ll lack in that regard – what I do have might include spoilers, so be careful with them)

I loved the first few chapters, especially Harker’s journey to Dracula’s castle. I did roll my eyes a couple of times thinking ‘ugh, cliche’, and then remembered that Bram Stoker is the genius who invented these cliches. So if this seems full of cliches to you remember it’s only because everyone else copied him 😛

The only bits I wasn’t sure about were Mina’s diary entries, but later on it became clear how they were relevant.

I am too miserable, too low-spirited, too sick of the world and all in it, including life itself, that I would not care if I heard this moment the flapping of the wings of the angel of death. And he has been flapping those grim wings to some purpose of late – Lucy’s mother and Arthur’s father, and now…

When I read classics, I always worry that the writing style will be too different to modern novels and that I’ll struggle to get into it because of this, but that wasn’t the case here. Dracula was easy to read and follow (a few paragraphs written in heavy accent notwithstanding) and even though the writing obviously isn’t modern, I didn’t find it difficult. The paragraphs spanning an entire page could have been shorter, but the story was engaging enough that they didn’t bug me too much. The descriptions were beautifully atmospheric and made it easy to imagine everything in vivid detail.

The only thing that surprised me which you might not expect is that Dracula himself doesn’t feature more. He acts behind the scenes throughout the book and is behind just about every event, but he doesn’t appear actively often. Everything happens because he makes it happen, but he possibly has the fewest lines out of all the characters.

Reading a book knowing it’s the story that started all these other incredible stories was special, and I think I enjoyed it for that alone. It’s not often you read a book that created a genre!

If you’ve been wanting to read more classics and happen to like horror and/or vampire books, this could be an excellent starting point. The writing is easy to follow, the plot engaging, and it is the vampire novel that started it all 😉


Have you read Dracula? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Skye by Liz Meldon (All In #3)

“Skye Summers: A sugar baby no more.”

What I thought:

After I devoured the first two books in this trilogy of steamy novellas, I couldn’t wait to read Book 3. I always highly anticipate Meldon’s books and this one didn’t disappoint, either!

I love the blurb – it’s short, to the point, gives nothing away, and makes perfect sense if you’ve read the first two! It may be short but it’s enough!

Skye’s head snapped in the direction of the door, eyes widening at the sound of an all-too-familiar voice–one she hadn’t heard for over a month, but sometimes whispered naughty things in her dreams.

It picks up shortly after Cole, Book 2 in this series, ended, and progresses well from there. Skye hates the position she’s in and she hates not talking to either man. When she runs into Finn, she realises she can’t live without them – but she has no idea how she’d make it work. Meanwhile, Finn and Cole have already come to a decision in their own time; all Skye needs to do is listen, but she’s not ready for the conversation she thinks would follow.

Skye no longer has a choice but to talk to both when her cat Ozzie isn’t well and HOW DARE YOU HURT THE CAT, MELDON! You expect to feel certain things when you pick up an erotic romance, but heartache isn’t supposed to be one of them -.- Not for poor pets, anyway -.- HOW DARE YOU! My heart broke when Skye called Cole, the three words she said to him were enough to make me cry. HOW DARE– You get the idea. I know this book isn’t about Skye’s cat, but as a cat owner myself it made me feel all the things. I didn’t put it down after that because I wanted to know if Ozzie was going to be all right 😛 And no, I won’t tell you. Spoilers and all that. You can totally suffer as I suffered.

It really was a crime that they hadn’t kissed sooner. Skye had always made him brave, but kissing her–it was like she made him superhuman.

This trilogy ended on a high after Finn and Cole finally talked to Skye, who didn’t have a choice but to listen since both men slept over in her apartment after a stressful night at the vet. If you’ve been following this trilogy like I have you’ll be thrilled with the way it ended!

Please be advised that this is an erotic romance and definitely not suited to younger readers.

Since each sequel builds on the book before, I recommend you read them in order. I read Skye in one sitting, and since every book is a novella you could read the whole trilogy in one day if you had enough time.

Skye is out on November 1st, so hurry to Amazon and pre-order your copy now!


Have you read the first two books in this trilogy? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: The Plot Thickens by Noah Lukeman

“As a literary agent, Noah Lukeman hears thousands of book pitches a year. Often the stories sound great in concept, but never live up to their potential on the page. Lukeman shows beginning and advanced writers how to implement the fundamentals of successful plot development, such as character building and heightened suspense and conflict. Writers will find it impossible to walk away from this invaluable guide—a veritable fiction-writing workshop—without boundless new ideas.”

What I thought:

It’s double review day, friends! I’ve got an erotic romance coming up later, but for now I’ve got a book on writing for you 🙂

The Plot Thickens was useful and I definitely took some notes, but as you may know by now I like my theory books funny, and this wasn’t that. It actually reminded me a little bit of that one teacher everyone had who has great info but who isn’t a great speaker. I learnt, but it was a little dry for me. Which is a shame since I really liked The First Five Pages by the same author.

One of the chief functions of multidimensionality is to make a work more realistic, to make it easier for us to relate to the person. It is hard for us to relate to the perfect man. But throw a few faults in, and he becomes more like us.

Having said that, this is great if you need help getting into your characters’ heads. It lists loads of questions you could be asking to either figure them out completely or just to fill in the gaps.

There is some magical element in storytelling, something mysterious that we’ll never label. It is the most powerful form of human creation. It is thought on the page, and few things of this Earth are more powerful than thought.

It all lies before you on the blank page. From your mind to your hands to the keys. Nothing is stopping you from changing the world.

I do feel like it was mostly centred around character creation and development, so if you want help with either of those you’ll find this useful.


Have you read The Plot Thickens? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (The Illuminae Files, #2)

“Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.”

What I thought:

I meant to have this review up last week but life got busy. You all know how it is, right? You’ll forgive me if I throw cookies at you?

This is difficult to review without including spoilers; there are loads of things I want to talk about but I can’t because it would spoil Illuminae for you. My review will be shorter for that reason 🙂

“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

One of my favourite things about Gemina was Hanna’s drawings. I can’t draw to save my life, but I love seeing other people’s drawings and Hanna’s were beautiful. They added a very personal touch to the book, and they were lovely to look at to boot! What more can you want? 😀 I especially loved them because the little blood stain in the corner told a little story of its own. Every time we saw a page from her diary, the blood stain got a little bigger and you worry about whose blood it’s going to be.

I’m not sure if it was the characters or their situation (which is just as deadly, by the way – they’re not dancing around in cotton, exactly) or just that Illuminae has slaughtered all my feelings and left no survivors, but Gemina didn’t hurt as much. There was one scene that got to me more than the others, and that’s when Nik told Hanna about his dog Billy. That one hurt. It hurt a lot.

Hurting she might be, but Hanna Donnelly was raised by a man who thought talking military tactics was a fun way to spend daddy-daughter time. And judging by the set of her jaw, she’s ready to change the rules of the game.

I love how this series is slowly building up to the great finale through the little bits outside the files and video footage. You know, the ones at the very beginning and the very end. The ones with–oh, wait. Right. Spoilers.

Damn it 😛

I’m really excited for Obsidio to come out next year. I don’t usually pre-order books but I will pre-order this one, and I will be ready for it when it arrives! This series is a must if you love strong characters and excellent story telling. A love for sci-fi probably helps but the characters are so strong I don’t think it’s necessary – when your favourites keep dying it doesn’t matter where they do it, you hurt either way.


Have you read Gemina? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (The Illuminae Files, #1)

“This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.”

What I thought:

Well, this was insane. Naturally, my only notes are useless, so this’ll have to be it. Bye, then! 😛

I’ve never owned such a beautiful, delicately designed book before! There are no chapters, but there are diary entries, chat messages, emails, security footage, and the mind of an insane AI. Oh, also a list of names of people who died followed by their portraits (this takes up six or eight pages), a countdown to inevitable doom, and the final messages of people who know they are about to die to their loved ones. The latter got to me more than the rest, even, but let me make it clear: Illuminae is one insane, emotional ride. I needed to recover when I was done, and then I jumped straight into Gemina (Book #2), because apparently my feels haven’t been stepped on enough already.

“Tell them I was thinking of them. At the end.”

They pile onto him. All snarls and teeth and fists.

But as he falls, I am holding his hand.

Easing him into his long good night.

“I will tell them, David.”

The last words he will ever hear.

“I promise.”

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Am I not merciful?

This will tear your heart out and laugh while you’re bleeding. I’ve popped it straight onto my forever shelf in case I ever need a sudden burst of inspiration/tears.

Most unexpectedly of all, it’s answered all the questions I couldn’t about my sci-fi WIP. Sometimes you read one sentence, hear one song, talk to one person, and it fills all the plot holes in your own work. Illuminae did that for my sci-fi WIP. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve struggled with every aspect of it since shortly after I created this blog. Illuminae fixed it, so if that’s not proof it’s made of magic… 😛

… was going to propose when I got home, and I’m sorry for waiting so long. I’m sorry for the whole mess with Amalia, and for everything that happened at Kara’s birthday, and…I’m just sorry. I thought I had more time to make it better…

In case you haven’t guessed it from the quotes – a lot of people die in this book. George R. R. Martin has nothing on these two, you hear? Nothing. So don’t get attached to anyone, and get your tissues and chocolates ready.

If you want to read a book that’ll make you feel something (granted, most of those feelings will be pain…), read this one. I read all 599 pages in four days. I read an entire third on Monday, and another whole third on Tuesday. This is good, friends. It will hook you; just don’t forget it’s only doing that so it can destroy you later 🙂


Have you read Illuminae? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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WWW 4th October 2017

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

HAPPY SPOOKY MONTH, FRIENDS! <3

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

Dracula

It’s Halloween month and I’ve never read or seen this classic, so how could I not? :3 I was worried that the writing style would be difficult to follow since it’s quite an old book now and some older novels can be tough, but I’m finding it easy to read. There are some parts I’m not sure about, mostly Mina’s journal entries before her events catch up with Jonathan’s, but other than that I’m really enjoying it. I’m excited to see the film, too, but I’ll wait with that until I’ve finished the book.

Blurb:

The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker’s Draculaprobes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his “Master”—culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.

A History of Magic, Witchcraft and Occultism

I’m taking a break from Self-Editing for Fiction Writers this month to read up on my occult theory (it’s Halloween month, after all). I’m not sure if this links to the same copy if I’m honest, because I can’t find the copy I have on Goodreads or Amazon (it’s an old book – I’ve borrowed the copy I have from my library) and the title is slightly different on this one (also the blurb on Goodreads is in a language I can’t read, so that doesn’t help).

I’m not very far into it but it’s certainly interesting and is adding lots of future research material to my list!

***

What I recently finished reading

Illuminae

Well, the ending destroyed what the rest of the book hadn’t already, as expected two weeks ago 😀 This was good. I won’t go into detail now because my review is up tomorrow, but yes, this was excellent.

Blurb:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Gemina

I didn’t read this right away because I needed a moment after Illuminae, but took two days to read Cole by Liz Meldon first. Gemina didn’t hurt as much as Illuminae (or maybe I’m just dead to it now, that’s entirely possible), but I still enjoyed it and am dying for Obsidio to be published now. Long wait, though :/

My review for Gemina will be on here next week.

Blurb:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Cole

This was a perfect little read between Illuminae and Gemina. Light, fluffy, witty, and just what I needed to heal my heart after Illuminae destroyed it and before Gemina did the same!

I won’t say too much now because I’ve already reviewed it last week, but if you’re after a feel-good erotic romance, then this series is for you!

Skye Summers: Gainfully employed university grad, cat servant, leftover sushi connoisseur…

Sugar baby falling hard and fast for two men.

Still reeling from her steamy encounter with Finn, Skye has a tidal wave of feelings to decode when the snarky billionaire shows up on her doorstep with a bouquet of chocolate roses. Oh, and a declaration that if she and Cole aren’t a real couple outside of their sugar daddy contract, then Finn is coming after her heart—hard.

And, honestly, Skye doesn’t hate his enthusiasm. In fact, she finds Finn and his wit rather charming.

Her suppressed feelings for sugar daddy Cole, however, refuse to quit. Even if they left things a little awkward after Finn’s party, four years of blossoming love aren’t easy to forget. 

But when Cole waltzes into her usual Wednesday evening yoga class, looking gorgeous as ever, Skye finally learns that her feelings might not be so one-sided…

***

What I think I’ll read next

Daughters of the Oak

My Spook-tober reading list is full of scary reads! 😀 I read The Manningtree Account earlier this year and was excited to receive a signed copy of this extended edition from the author <3

Blurb:

1646 – The English Civil War. The Royalists of King Charles I, and Cromwell’s Parliamentarians, battle, both eager to lay claim to a tattered country, where life has become cheap and death trivial.

Though, for the lowly commoner, a greater, far more devious, war rages. It threatens the souls of the weak, timid and needy. Seeking refuge in the Lord’s word, God fearing folk employ the skills of one man, the Witchfinder. His success speaks of his talent, to seek out, punish and rid the countryside of Witches, the Devil’s Whores.

2016 – A paranormal team are called to investigate, as poltergeist activity brings terror to one family. Under the cover of darkness, in silent suburbia, an endless night of battle against evil ensues, until finally, a new day dawns.

Lies, secrets, and treachery, it seems, are never forgotten.
Welcome to Manningtree…

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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Review: No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

“You’ve always wanted to write, but . . . just haven’t gotten around to it. No Plot? No Problem! is the kick in the pants you’ve been waiting for.

Let Chris Baty, founder of the rockin’ literary marathon National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo), guide you through four exciting weeks of hard-core noveling. Baty’s pep talks and essential survival strategies cover the initial momentum and energy of Week One, the critical “plot flashes” of Week Two, the “Can I quit now?” impulses of Week Three, and the champagne and roar of the crowd during Week Four. Whether you’re a first-time novelist who just can’t seem to get pen to paper or a results-oriented writer seeking a creative on-ramp into the world of publishing, this is the adventure for you.

So what are you waiting for? The No Plot? approach worked for the thousands of people who’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo, and it can work for you! Let No Plot? No Problem! help you get fired up and on the right track.”

What I thought:

With NaNoWriMo 2017 just around the corner, this is THE book to help you prepare! It’s short (50,000 words, actually (or so Baty claims, it’s not like I counted)), witty, and it gives you permission to write a messy terror of a first draft.

Past a certain point, novel planning just becomes another excuse to put off novel writing. You will never feel sufficiently ready to jump into your novel, and the more time you spend planning and researching, the more likely you’ll feel pressure to pull off a masterwork that justifies all your prewriting work. give yourself the gift of a pressure-free novel, and just dive in after one week.

It has advice on how to get rid of your kids, case studies, and ideas for snacks you can munch on throughout November that won’t turn your keyboard into a sticky mess. But my favourite part is the weekly breakdown. Baty dissects each week offering advice on how to get through each, what’s often easy and difficult about each week, and gives you creative exercises to help you keep writing. It even has advice on how to query an agent from an agent!

Then there’s a motivational speech, a high-five should you make it to the end, a proclamation for you to sign before you enter Week 1,…. In short, this book is excellent NaNo prep.

I borrowed this copy from my library but might just buy it so I can revisit it every time I throw myself into a new first draft. It’s incredibly motivational and understanding, and will help you reach the end of that mad word count.

When everything has been properly laid out, I take a few steps back from the work, close my eyes, and offer up my thanks to the writing powers for another bountiful harvest. At which point, I get a running start and dive headlong into my wordpile, rolling around and snorting like a pig.

And then I fall asleep for three days.

How you celebrate is up to you. But know you can’t possibly overdo the whooping, hollering, and carrying on. No matter what your neighbors might say.

Speaking of NaNo, I’ll be hosting weekly prep sessions throughout October 😉 We’ll cover your characters, world, and plot, and there’ll be worksheets for you to download! Keep an eye on this blog if you’d like to join me 😉

If this is your first year doing NaNo (or even if it isn’t) I recommend you read this book. It’ll prepare you well, and you’ll have a  better idea of what to expect.


Have you read No Plot? No Problem!? Will you be participating in NaNo this year? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn, #1)

“In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.”

What I thought:

I fell in love with this immediately. By the time I got to page 33, it already felt too short. There was everything to love and nothing to dislike, and now I’ve finished it my feelings are in pain. It was so good, friends!

Confession: I forgot to take notes of quotes for this review. Not because there weren’t any good lines, there were plenty, but because…because…I don’t know? I just got carried away with how amazing everything was, I guess??

Anyway, I do have one quote. Appreciate it, it’s all you’re getting 😛

“You saw how that skaa gentleman treated me? People don’t like us, my dear.  The idea of someone who can play with their emotions, who can ‘mystically’ get them to do certain things, makes them uncomfortable. What they do not realize–and what you must realize–is that manipulating others is something that all people do. In fact, manipulation is at the core of our social interaction.”

The foreshadowing in this was killing me. It’s brutal how well Sanderson hints at bad things that may or may not happen on future pages. While not all of them came true in this book, I don’t trust he won’t kill my favourites later on. He’s already started, so I’m prepared. Sort of. *adds excessive amounts of chocolate to shopping list*

I LOVED the little bits of writing above each chapter, all the more so once I realised whose they were. It was such a clever idea, and gave that extra bit of insight we would never have had otherwise.

The characters were another strong point. Sanderson’s characters are real, believable, and emotionally investable. Kelsier was a fantastic anti-hero, I’d love to have that decent, intelligent discussion with Ham since no one else will, and I have ALL OF THE LOVE AND RESPECT for the Keepers. I really hope there’s more about them in the sequels. If there’s not, don’t spoil my hopes, okay?

I feel like I’ve learned from a Master. If you write high fantasy, this is a must-read for you. It’ll teach you world building and character development like no guide can. If you don’t write yourself and just enjoy high fantasy novels, you want to read this, too.


Have you read The Final Empire? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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Review: Our Dark Duet by V. E. Schwab (Monsters of Verity #2)

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

What I thought:

Please note: Just this once there’s a small spoiler after the second quote. If you don’t want spoilers, ignore the bit I’ve marked 🙂

Friends. This opening was everything :O Usually, I’m a little torn about Schwab’s books; I like them but they don’t wow me like they wow everyone else. This opening wowed me. I’ve even made a note of it for future instant inspiration <3

She had never owned a pet–the closest she’d come was walking the school mascot at her third prep school–but she’d always liked animals more than people. Then again, that might have been a reflection on people more than on her.

One of my favourite things in This Savage Song was how Kate wanted to be more monstrous, and how August wanted to be more human. In Our Dark Duet, I loved how they both slowly turned dark. The parts where Kate got closer to the monster inside her were really clever, I’ve never read anything quite like it. Between that and the opening, this book has two of my favourite parts in any book, ever.

Another thing I loved was that this book doesn’t have a perfectly happy ending. Someone dies, and I won’t tell you who ^-^ You can just sit on that while you read it. You’re welcome. *ahem*

Despite all that, I still didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else does. I like Schwab’s books, but there’s always something missing for me and I don’t know what it is. I get the hype; the hype train just hasn’t run me over.

I spent a long time playing that game,” she said. “Pretending there were other versions of this world, where other versions of me got to live, and be happy, even if I didn’t, and you know what? It’s lonely as hell. Maybe there are other versions, other lives, but this one’s ours. It’s all we’ve got.”

[spoiler] One thing I’m confused about is what happened to the wardens. They seemed important in the beginning, but after Kate leaves we don’t see them again. I kept expecting them to show up and save the day (or at least help save the day, anyway), especially because Kate thought about them occasionally. I thought that was done on purpose, so we’d remember who they were when they showed up again, but they didn’t. It was nice that Kate had their friendship in the very beginning, but beyond that I’m not sure why they were there. I expected to see them more, you know? It just felt odd to me that they just kind of disappeared from the story.[/spoiler]

I’m excited to see what’s next. Schwab has hinted at a few things on Twitter, and I’ll look forward to seeing more. If you’ve loved her Shades of Magic series, you’ll love this duology, too!

(It’s occurred to me that I’ve read both books in August now…)


Have you read Our Dark Duet? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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