Sunday, October 31, 2010
If you're interested in checking this out, click here (it will direct you to the website). Otherwise, I wanted to warn my followers that not many book reviews will be put up this month (I'm thinking maybe 3, at the most - I just finished a fantastic novel, titled Vixen, expect that review sometime this week) because most of my free writing time will be dedicated to writing my novel. Now, because I won't be updating here frequently, I was trying to figure out what I could do to make it up for you. And. I figured it out.
This month, every Wednesday (and sometimes a Saturday or Sunday) will be deemed a "Writing Wednesday" where I share a bit of what I wrote with you all. I'll pick a passage from my novel, and post it up here, and you can comment on it, make suggestions, give me ideas to proceed. You can also tell me if it sucks, though I might not like that as much (but I can take it, tell me how it is, haha).
So what is my novel going to be about you ask? (Or didn't, but either way you're going to hear about it.) It's going to be a role reversal of Beauty and the Beast. That means that the girl is getting turned into the beast, and the boy? Well, he'll have to learn to love her as she is, and vice versa. Sound interesting? I think so. Now, have I done any outlining for this? No. Have I done any planning at all? No. So. We'll see how this goes, but last year I went in sans plans and it turned out okay.
So, now that it's just a bit closer to midnight, I am off to actually do some homework before the night strikes midnight. Good luck to all my fellow participants, if you're interested in being a writting buddy, hit me up on the site (username: xtastethesky). Also, if you're looking for an aim friend, shoot me a message on the site/tweet me.
Good luck to all, and good night!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
So last night I ventured out to the amazing Joseph-Beth Booksellers to meet the fantastic Scott Westerfeld, the author of the Midnighters, Uglies, novels as well as the more recent novels: Leviathan, and Behemoth which are part of his most recent trilogy.
I’ve been reading his novels since Uglies first came out (no I haven’t read Midnighters yet, but it’s been on my “to-read” list for a very long time) so when I found out he’d be in Cincinnati I knew I couldn’t pass up this chance....
Don't forget I'm also giving away a signed copy of Leviathan, click here for contest details.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Length: 464 pages
Right away when I started this novel I realized that it is pretty close to nothing I have really read before in the current YA market. The novel, the first in a new trilogy by Scott Westerfeld, is an alternate history of WWI. It starts out with Alek, the illegitimate son of the Archduke Ferdinand, is playing in his room. He is then awoken in the night, and told by his teachers he's off onto a lesson his father prepared for him. Once on their way the ball is dropped, both his parents had been assassinated, and he needs to flee Austria because there are people who want him killed.
On the other side of the continent, in England, there is Deryn Sharp who desperately wants to be part of the British Air Service, the one problem? She's female. Hiding her identity she takes on a new name, Dylan, and has her brother tutor her and goes in for a test to become a member, but during her test something goes terribly wrong and she's suddenly thrust into tricky situations that lands her on Leviathan, one of the British's largest aircrafts, as a midshipman.
Now, I haven't even told you the most interesting part, the bit that makes this something new - the European continent is split, as it is in WWI but also along other lines, the Clankers and the Darwinists. The Clankers (such as Austria, Serbia, and the Ottoman Empire) are all in favor of machinery, huge machines, think like the machines in Star Wars, believing the creatures from the Darwinists are "godless". The Darwinists, in contrast, have huge creations of their own, but they're all living. Each creation is the right combination of different animals to create a contraption that they can use. So the Leviathan? A huge whale cross over that you could compare to something like a blimp. And what did Alek run away on? A huge Cyklop Stormwalker (think something similar to the Star Wars walkers).
Overall I found this novel incredibly interesting. I haven't read an alternate history, probably ever, at least not one geared towards young adults. I also love that this is a retelling of WWI, mainly because I've always found WWI more interesting than WWII, probably has something to do with the fact that you're beaten over the head with WWII history as soon as you can vaguely understand what "history" is. While this retelling isn't completely accurate (Westerfeld clues you in on such discrepancies in the afterword), it's still very good.
I really enjoy the characters, especially Deryn. She's a very strong female character that I sometimes believe is missing from some novels today. I really love how she takes charge of situations, and for the most part (like when it doesn't threaten her secret/position in the Air Service) doesn't take crap from anyone. She's a pretty strong role model, and I'm excited to see it here in this novel.
My only complaint is the pacing. It's a very slow going novel, which is normal for your typical war novel, let alone a novel setting up a trilogy that is based around said war. The pacing is something you can get over really quickly once you're sucked into a world of Darwinist and Clanker creations (my brain is still trying to wrap itself around some of the creations that were described - even if there were some pictures to go along with it).
This is where I would normally promote the next novel's due date but it's actually just came out - Behemoth. I've just started reading it and it's amazing (picks up where Leviathan left off). Go pick up a copy of both novels today! You won't regret it, especially if you're into history.
Now, I got to meet this fantastic author last night, and let me tell you, he did not disappoint. I wrote up a report about the event which will be over at my friend, Regan Coomer's blog soon (click here to check out her blog). But part of this is I am giving away a signed paperback copy of Leviathan. Here is what you have to do to enter:
- Follow my blog
- Comment on this blog and include what is your favorite Scott Westerfeld series/novel and why
- For an extra entry follow me on twitter
- For another extra entry tweet about this contest
So, as per tradition, I should do a marry/shag/cliff but... eh... I'm so much older than these characters I find it mildly awkward, so instead I'm going to go with who I would want to have as a sibling, best friend, and the cliff can still pertain. So.
- Sibling: Alek
- Totes Best Friend: Deryn
- Cliff: Ehhhhh. Idono. There isn't one specific person, sometimes Volger, just cause he can be a jerk (even though I know half the time it's understandable).
Saturday, October 16, 2010
|Nightshade by |
|Beautiful Darkness by |
Kami Garcia and
|Misguided Angel by|
Melissa De La Cruz
by Julie Berry
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
So I thought I’d take the time to write a more “normal” blog entry. I haven’t taken the time to really just write a fun blog entry that introduces you, the readers, to me, Chelsea, the writer. Basically all you may want to know about me is that I’m a sophomore college student at Miami University (of Ohio). Before you ask, I’m majoring in Individualized Studies (that means I’m designing my own major). I’m combining English, Psychology, Sociology and a few other disciplines to eventually develop a major I hope to call “Literacy Development and Engagement in Adolescents”. In a nutshell I hope to eventually take my degree into publishing YA fiction, as well as hopefully being a YA author.
Anyway, enough about my schooling, I’m sure if anyone is even bothering to read this, they’re already thinking “Why is she even bothering to write this?” Well, there is a point! The point is that I want this to be a free flowing blog where I might talk about anything going on in my life, as well as the (hopefully often) YA book reviews, as well as giveaways. This also ties in because I plan on blogging like this frequently in November, mainly because, yes, I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
The other thing I plan on using in these types of blog updates are to let you know what books I have to review still, currently reading, as well as going to read in the near future. So… because I don’t want to ramble any longer, without further ado I’m going to just scoot along and start talking about the books, because I’m actually currently in a meeting that I…. just don’t want to focus in (hence the writing).
Will Grayson, Will Grayosn
As You Wish
Going to Read:
Zombies vs. Unicorns
The Maze Runner
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
In honor of Beautiful Darkness coming out October 12, I thought I would finally get my review of Beautiful Creatures online. First let me say that I was lucky enough to meet the fantastic creators of this novel, Kami Garcia and Margaret Sthol, on the Smart Chicks Kick It tour when they stopped through in Cincinnati about two weeks ago. Now, on with the review.
The novel follows the main character, Ethan Wate. He lives in small town in the south named Gatlin. When we meet him he’s been going through a rough time because his mother passed away, and his father has become a recluse. The only person really taking care of him is their family’s house keeper, Amma.
Everything in Gatlin stays the same – nothing ever changes. Ethan increasingly feels boxed in, wanting to change while the town wants to keep everything the same. So when Ethan starts having dreams of a girl he’s never seen before, and she shows up at school it throws him through a loop. No one has moved toGatlin for a very long time, so the new girl, Lena, is instantly labeled as an outcast – it doesn’t help that her uncle is the town’s resident “weirdo”.
Ethan instantly feels a connection to Lena, but because of her status as an outcast, Ethan has to choose between what he has always known, and Lena. As they become closer things become more complicated, secrets become unearthed, and they find they may be more connected than they could have imagined.
I was really excited to read this novel, especially after hearing about all the positive press it had been receiving. Once I finished Beautiful Creatures I did not regret reading a single page. Compared to a lot of paranormal fiction on the shelves right now, I can honestly say that this is one of the more original ones amongst the many vampires (don’t get me wrong, I love me some vampires, but reading about new paranormal beings was refreshing).
The writing process for Kami and Margaret is interesting. They both write everything in the novel, not every other chapter, or one character or another. It’s amazing how cohesive the novel comes out when you know this fact. You can’t tell where the writing switches back from one author to another, which is fantastic.
Honestly, if you haven’t taken the time to pick up Beautiful Creatures yet, you should probably go do so. Right. Now. It’s very good. Now, a little bit of fun. On the Smart Chicks tour, the authors had a bit of fun pelting their readers with a bit of book swag. I was able to snatch up a Beautiful Darkness dog tag necklace, and it is up for grabs. If you’re interested in snagging this necklace here is what you have to do:
- Follow this blog
- Comment on this blog post
For an extra entry you can tweet about this contest, make sure you let me know in your comment here on the blog post.Make sure you leave me your e-mail or some other way so I can contact you when you win! This contest will run through October 16, 2010. Good luck! (U.S. only, sorry!)
- I would marry Ethan
- I would shag (and, by that I mean kiss) Link
- I would throw Ridley off a cliff