Ramblings of a Young Aussie Writer

A writer lost in her own imagination

3.5* Book Review – Iniquity by Amy A Bartol (The Premonition Series) — June 26, 2016

3.5* Book Review – Iniquity by Amy A Bartol (The Premonition Series)

Iniquity – The Premonition Series (Book 5)

Amy A Bartol

3.5 Star Review

I’ve finally finished the series that I thought would never end. I feel like it has dragged on for way too long. It just felt like overkill. I understand that as a writer, sometimes you love writing about those characters and that world so much you never want it to end but there needs to be a conclusion. It might be a bit of a spoiler but there were loose ends at the end of the book. Clearly, Amy Bartol has left a few things open just in case she wants to add a sixth book. *Groan*

Positives The cover is just beautiful – lets take a moment to appreciate that. I really enjoy Amy Bartol’s style of writing, probably most of the reason I persevered with this series (and of because of Reed). The basic storyline was great but I’ve heard that she doesn’t always plan her storyline when starting and I think that showed. I love Reed. How can you not? The ending certainly does him justice. Russell is really well developed and I wished he had had a bigger role in this book. I actually ended up liking Brennus which is no easy feat as I’ve wanted him to die from book one. You were shown very different sides to quite a few characters in this book. I did end up crying at the end of the book but that’s not too uncommon. Evie was well, Evie. There were quite a few moments where she certainly didn’t try that hard to deter some of her many admirers.

NegativesHow many admirers can one person have? Like seriously? I swear the count got up to seven. Yes you read correctly. Evie had a minimum of seven males obsessing over her. There was a lot of build up to a climax that just didn’t live up to it. A few pages and the spectacular climax scene was basically over. It was certainly a letdown. Especially considering this is the final book, the final fight scene. Buns, Brownie and Zee seemed like awkward add-ons in this book which was a shame. A lot of things that needed to be finished properly were just skimmed over. I enjoy finishing a book and still thinking about it days/weeks later but with this one I mostly just keep thinking of things that still confuse me. Whether they were unexplained or left too open, I’m not sure.

Overall I did enjoy this book and was glad it was the final one in the series. Would I recommend it to someone? Maybe. The series as a whole, I loved but it was really long-winded, that was its downfall for me (and of course the fact that there were more than a few handfuls of past, present and future lovers). The best bit – Reed. Now let’s take a moment to once again swoon over Reed. Ahhhh Reed, you gorgeous, perfect angel.

*All my reviews are on Goodreads too*

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Glimmerglass – Jenna Black 3.5 Star Review — March 29, 2015

Glimmerglass – Jenna Black 3.5 Star Review

Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker #1)

Jenna Black

3.5 Star Review

I picked this book up because it rated well on Goodreads and the blurb looked interesting. It didn’t quite live up to that rating for me, unfortunately.

Glimmerglass - Jenna Black Cover

Positives I believe first impressions count and the cover of this book was certainly beautiful and intriguing. The storyline started off well and it was easy to empathise with Dana as she battled through teenage life with the extra burden of her mother constantly being drunk. I liked Dana’s character although I felt the reader wasn’t given enough of a description of appearance. She seemed like a responsible teenager whose motives were mostly plausible which made for a nice change from many other protagonists. Ethan was also a cool character and his sister Kimber was freshly honest. The story certainly had potential and I did enjoy reading it but the ending was its biggest downfall.

NegativesThere were a lot of things that weren’t explained and I felt it was assumed that the reader understood many concepts without any explanation at all. With a few of the characters, their motives didn’t quite fit or were hard to grasp. The ending was fairly rushed and anticlimactic. For all the build-up, I honestly expected more.

Overall The book was a nice length and had hardly any unnecessary scenes. I did enjoy reading about most of the main characters and the storyline had potential. Unfortunately it didn’t quite eventuate into anything fantastic but for a quick read it was entertaining. I gave this book 3.5 stars as I enjoyed it but it didn’t really impress me and certainly didn’t have any kind of impact on me. When I finish a book, I want to be left feeling like ‘wow’ but it wasn’t the case with this book. I’m considering reading the second book to see if Jenna Black has harnessed that potential and turned it into a great second book.

BLURB – (From Goodreads)

It’s all she’s ever wanted to be, but it couldn’t be further from her grasp…

Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she’s had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn’t just an ordinary teenage girl, she’s a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone’s trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her new-found friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does. Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again.

After Life – Shelbi Wescott — February 10, 2015

After Life – Shelbi Wescott

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After Life – Shelbi Wescott

4 Star Review

I was lucky enough to receive this book as a giveaway from Goodreads. The cover looked great – very haunting but after reading the blurb I wasn’t sure that I’d enjoy this book. It ended up heading in a very different direction to what was expected.

Positives – After life is very intellectually written for the directed age group and I found that a big positive whilst reading. The storyline moves along at a steady pace and I for the most part didn’t find any part of it that I wanted to skim past. I was drawn into Mara’s character and absolutely rapt up in the storyline by the end of the second chapter. The story went along without any kind of thoughts of a romance within its page but without giving too much away I was glad there was some love tangled in all that anger and fear. Mara was a strange character who seemed to be a mixture of determination, stubbornness, strength yet she was also overdramatic, reckless and even bordering on cowardly sometimes so ultimately a walking contradiction. Despite all of that you couldn’t help but love her and her wild decisions. I loved the twists and turns the story took and was definitely surprised by a few revelations.

Negatives

I found the first chapter lacking and predictable. I knew this book was along the lines of a horror story but it seemed like it was trying too hard. Unexpectedly, the second chapter start to flow and entice me to read more. The first chapter felt disjointed from the rest of the book but once through that I was hooked. There were a few ‘groan-worthy’ moments (as I refer to them) but they were short and easily dismissed. Some of those were almost justifiable but I felt they could’ve been written a bit better. I was also annoyed at the behaviour of her friends multiple times and felt Mara was fairly gullible. I’m not a huge fan of over the top moments and there were some in this book. In saying that though, it certainly wasn’t enough for me to be put off finishing it.

Overall – I found this book a rollercoaster of twists and turns and was excited to finish it. The storyline was interesting and unexpected despite the feeling that it may be very predictable at the start. It’s great for not only horror lovers but anyone likes a bit of a mystery or something paranormal. I loved that this book really sparked intrigued about past lives and peaked my curiosity about the ‘After Life.” For me this book warranted a rating of 4 stars (or 3.75 but I’m rounding up).

Well Done Shelbi Wescott 4 Stars!

The One by Kiera Cass — January 30, 2015

The One by Kiera Cass

The One

Kiera Cass

The One Kiera Cass COver

5 Star Review

This book is just wow! Interrupting your reading of this book by ‘living your life’ is not an option. It’s one of those books that you clear your schedule, curl up and read it until you finish it. You’ll thank me for the warning once you’ve finished it.

PositivesThankfully this book was as fantastic as the first book if not better. From the action (which I felt the first two books were lacking a bit in that area) to the emotional turmoil and of course the love, this book was a perfect ending to the story. I enjoyed the action scenes and was on the edge of my seat so to speak most of the way through. The change of scenery for a large part of it was good to shake things up. There was a lot of sadness in this book and as with most endings there were deaths but the ending made it all worth the sadness. There were a lot of great unexpected twists and turns added in. This book brought out the best in all of the characters.

NegativesThroughout the series Americas brother Kota was briefly mentioned but unfortunately he didn’t seem well developed and his part in the story was flimsy. America’s indecisiveness and hesitation was irritating but not as bad as the second book. I was forced to stop reading about 20 pages from the end (silly life getting in the way of reading) and I was very annoyed. I couldn’t believe that Kiera Cass had written it like that. How could she? I was ready to throw my poor ipad in frustration and wanted to refuse to finish it but it ate away at me. I needed to know what those last 20 pages said. As soon as I could, I finished the book. I must’ve stopped reading at the worst possible time. Literally the next page it started to get better again and went on to end fantastically.

OverallI just loved this book. The annoying parts were few and far between. The ending is wow. I won’t give anything away but this is one series that everyone should read. 5 out of 5 Stars!

BLURBThe time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants. 

Writing a Relatable Character — March 27, 2014

Writing a Relatable Character

Whenever I write I write with the aim to create all my characters with some aspect of relatability. It doesn’t matter how major nor minor they are, I think it’s paramount for a writer to make their characters believable. It’s our duty to our readers. To write in a weak, unbelievable character into a piece of work is an insult to your loyal readers. I feel like it is insulting their intelligence. I’ve read many things with character that are ‘groan worthy’ and it ruins the mood of the book. No matter how good a piece of writing is, if there is an unbelievable character in it you’re going to be dragged back to reality with the realisation that this is only after all just a book. What a let down….. 

I have come to a shocking realisation this morning, I’m a female creating male characters and oh my gosh I think I’ve created feminine, unrealistic male characters. I’m lucky to have a very romantic husband but he is not the type to try and stay clean or neat – ever! The main male protagonists in my manuscripts (that thankfully are still in the editing process) are too romantic, good looking, clean and neat, emotional and over all too perfect. Every female wants the perfect male and by creating that kind of protagonist I feel that we are reminding our readers that this piece of writing is just fiction and guys like that don’t exist. I’m scared now that my male characters would fit nicely into a Mills & Boon book. I have nothing against Mills & Boon books but they are notoriously known for having these unbelievable, overly emotional male characters. These are the characters that give the current male population an unfairly high standard that they almost always cannot reach. 

To all those lovely ladies who enjoy a good fantasy with the perfect male in it who ‘sweeps the girl off of her feet’ please remember that back here in real life like every other human being you must take the good with the bad. Love your partner for their amazing traits, traits that make you laugh and smile and don’t dwell on the things that may irritate or annoy you. To concentrate on the negatives in anything in life will always lead to hurt and disaster.

Back to my feminine characters. Maybe all manuscripts with the ‘perfect male’ in them should be read by a male to ensure that you haven’t created something so unrealistic your readers actually cringe whilst reading. I’ll try and give an example and I apologise if my writing isn’t at a high standard.

She stood there staring at him, the tears welling in her eyes as her heart was breaking. She needed him to love her, accept her for who she was. A tear spilled over slowly making its down her cheek. He stepped forward closing the gap between them, raised his hand and with the softest touch caught her tear and wiped it away. His hand slowly wrapped around her own and guided it up, placing it over where his heart is.

“My heart will always only beat for you my darling. I could never live without your love. I’ve spent my whole life searching for you, for this love.” His hand proceeded to caress her face and he stared deep into her eyes.

“You’re the most perfect creature I’ve ever seen and every time I see you, your beauty takes my breathe away.” He enfolded her in his strong muscular arms chasing away all of her fears.

Ok so that was even hard for me to write as I just wanted to say to the male character to ‘man up’ so to speak. I personally got a bit annoyed at how he acted more how a woman would want than how a man would actually act. Don’t get me wrong there may be times where writing like this makes sense or is appropriate but not in my writing that’s for sure. 

To write a relatable character in my experience is to combine the fantasy man (as above) with the experiences you have lived through. Those moments when you needed someone to say something that would make it all better but even though they try the words aren’t as perfect as you had imagined. Most males don’t always have the exact words you need to hear but nevertheless they try and usual try hard. Their love shouldn’t be measured by the words they say. When I cry my husband just pulls me into a hug, there’s none of this wiping away my tears stuff haha yet a hug always helps make it all better. 

Always remember the emotional moments in your life when writing about such things. It will help you and the readers relate to the characters and situation. Life and those in it aren’t always perfect – so why make all your characters and scenes perfect? 

 

 

A Love That Inspires Me — December 1, 2013

A Love That Inspires Me

So it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon in my happy little paradise and next to me lies my husband, asleep on the couch. Knowing he’s here, knowing he loves me unconditionally gives me the desire to write and provokes endless ideas for stories and writing. I’ve read lots of romance books and watch the girly movies but with every relationship I got into, I fooled myself that that was fiction and this was life. Relationships don’t work like they do in the books and movies. They’re are many more fights, tough times and sometimes there’s a shadow of doubt about how strong your love is for that person. That’s what I thought love was and for nearly all of my teenage/adult life I stuck with that. High hopes lead to disappointment and loneliness. Right?

WRONG! I can look at my life now and without doubt say I am truly happy. We don’t have a lot of money but enough to have some luxuries and a house but I have him. As soon as I saw him I was drawn to him, I never wanted this human out of my life and I didn’t know why. Our ‘love story’ is long and almost unbelievable but today is not the day to clear those thoughts out of my head. They’re not ready to sprawl across my laptop screen.

In short, my neighbours of 11 years who had always had a crush on me (unbeknownst to me till now) came into my life after a natural disaster left us both with nothing and him trying in vain to find him dad. I was lucky that I never had to convince him that his dad would not be found alive. We both knew and that made things easier. From the moment we met properly we never left eachother’s side to the point where for the first at least month we had never spent more than a few hours apart. Still days 3 years on, we have only ever spent 3 days apart at a time (which was once). People used to tell us that things would get harder for us but hell we had a hard start with everything. In actual fact things got easier and life is sweet now. 

I write about females in love but of course for the purpose of the story there must be complications which are usually to do with a conflict in the males personality about if he should love her or vice versa. That’s the hard part. I’m writing about true love but I must write in problems between the couple. My husband, John and I don’t fight. Like seriously I think we’ve had about 5 “fights” all up but there has never ever been yelling or screaming or throwing things. I get cranky or he gets cranky, we walk away to cool off then an hour or less later we both apologise regardless of who’s fault it was. This is my life and I know every relationship is different but the inspiration for the bad fights, tense moments and overall negative parts of a relationship come (sadly) from my sister’s relationship. So sad but she seems happy most of the time. I fear that one day things for her and her husband may go very wrong but for now she is happy or so I believe. Past relationships that I can only describe as messed up also give me inspiration. You must know pain and heartbreak before you can truly understand pure true love. It’s funny to see things on facebook about how every girl wants to wake up to a message saying ‘good morning beautiful.’ Well John leaves for work before I get up and every morning I wake up to a text that says exactly that – good morning beautiful or something similar. 

I have only written two manuscripts so far that I believe at least one person will want to read once they are edited properly (fingers crossed). My biggest fan never stops believing in me and encouraging me (Love him so much). In my absolutely favourite manuscript my main character feels strongly about two males and the one she thinks she loves ultimately doesn’t choose her over something else when he should. Many times I’ve fought with myself over which male she ends up with but it always comes down to one thing – I would do absolutely anything for John and I know he feels the same. There is nothing that could stop us from being together. My choice is and always will be John, no matter the question. This is the deciding flaw in my main male character and therefore he does not get his love. Like many sad relationships I’ve been through, you think they love you like you love them but when things get tough they don’t choose you. Ultimately there should never be a choice, there’s no need to think, when you love someone so unconditionally you just know.

I have perfection. His love is all I need