13 Reasons Why – and My Own Reasons

CONTENT WARNING: This post talks about sensitive material in a generalized manner. While I do not think it’s a trigger, it might be. I mention sexual assault in passing, bullying, and suicide. If you are uncomfortable with these topics, please skip this post or message me for a rundown of what I discuss here. I will try to sanitize it for you. AT THE END OF THIS POST there is a list of suicide prevention resources, both national (USA) and international. If you need help, please, don’t be afraid to seek it out. If you need to, feel free to message me. I’m busy a lot, but not too busy to help someone out.

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Continue reading “13 Reasons Why – and My Own Reasons”

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YA Tropes – The Virginal Heroine?

WARNING: Before continuing, please be advised that this post shall contain content which some may fine inappropriate. There will be some discussion of sex, though not explicit, which you may find uncomfortable. It is provided purely in the context of defining terms and explaining social constructs. Please do not read further should you think this discussion might be offensive to you. At this time I do not offer a “sanitized” version, but would be happy to explain briefly what my main points were if you are interested. Please message me/comment on a post to request this information. Thank you.

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Continue reading “YA Tropes – The Virginal Heroine?”

Blogging Update

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Guys, I don’t know if you know, but I haven’t posted anything IN FOREVER.

Or, maybe you do.

Either way, I just wanted to post a quick update to let you all know that I’m still here. Things have been crazy in my personal life – the holidays were not pleasant, I’m probably going to be evicted by the end of April and have NO idea where I’m going to live, and am working so much all the time that I have little life of my own anymore! And worse still, MY LAPTOP IS TRYING TO DIE.

However, since I use it to make money, I am planning on getting a new one. (Anyone with suggestions, please feel free to comment, but I am definitely doing this on a budget, so cheaper is better right now. I found a pretty purple one for around $200 so I might just do that.)

Additionally, I lost a tooth (and you all can just assume it wasn’t a baby one). I currently feel like a dumb troll as a result, even though I would never think that of anyone else. People are funny that way.

And finally, I haven’t read anything this year. Not. One. Damn. Thing. Can you believe it? I’m heartbroken. I hope that some of this stress will go away for a minute and I can get back to doing the things I love, but for now, I will try to make more posts again and focus on saving up for a laptop before this one dies on me.

Feel free to comment on the craziness in your life – or if you have any suggestions on how the heck you’re supposed to manage stress – below!

Miss you guys! I’ll be back when I can.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Haul – November

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Okay, okay, I know. It’s already DECEMBER and I’m still posting about November? But whatever. I’ve been a little down lately, so November was hard to do much of anything. But better late than never! I’ll get some other posts up, too, when I get the chance, including my new formatting plan for the coming year! (We’ll see how that goes…) For now, here’s my book haul!

I’ve been lucky enough to get NINE BOOKS this month (three came in two different subscription boxes and two were impulse splurges, so it’s been on the high side this month)! They’re in several different genres (though all are YA), and I wanted to take a moment to mention them.

First, contemporary YA:

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor | Reality Boy by A.S. King

Second, paranormal YA:

trial-by-fire
Ex-Library edition, Hardcover

Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Third, horror YA:

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting | The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting | Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting | Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Fourth, sci-fi YA:

abyss-surrounds-us
Poor quality binding, to be honest. The cover didn’t actually cover the whole book… there’s this little strip where the pages are longer. I don’t think it’ll really matter in the end, but it annoyed me a little.

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Strutskie

Fourth, Wonderland YA:

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I got a special edition of this! I’ll show some pictures of what I got in my box a little later, but this one was pretty awesome. 🙂

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

(Sorry, Goodreads was down! I’ll try to update that link later.)

As many of you know, for my Halloween Read-a-Thon (which was a terrible, terrible bust…) I had a whole spooky TBR list. On it happened to be The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. I’d been on the fence about getting it, but decided to give it a try. Well, I ended up loving it so much that I went hunting for the rest of the series. I figured it was going to cost me a small fortune, but I found all three of them as ex-library copies from the same place for free shipping at $3.97 each! What a steal. And as a bonus, since I bought three, I received a fourth book for free. Since I’d already found the whole Body Finder series and I had to buy from this store to get the discount, I went digging through their stock to find another book I wanted.

I couldn’t find some of the ones I was hoping for (the second book in the Unleashed series was the one I was looking for most), I settled on the second book in the Raised by Wolves series by Barnes. I’d read the first book a while ago and decided I liked it more than I had originally expected. Since I had the chance and found the book here (and it was free), I went ahead and followed through with that one!

I’ve mentioned Fear The Drowning Deep several times now in posts, so I’m sure you’re all aware of how I’ve been absolutely dying to get my hands on it! (I know a couple of people have RAR copies, but I know some of those aren’t supposed to be shared… and I really wanted a physical copy, too.) I found it for a slightly reduced price – regular price is listed as $16.99 and I found it at only $14 – plus free shipping, so I jumped on it. I’m sure if I waited a little longer for it, I’d have found it for a better price, but I was feeling impatient (and a little on the sad side… buying books helps). So splurge it is!

The Abyss Surrounds Us was just sort of an impulse buy. It wasn’t on any of me “need to read this as soon as humanly possible” lists and quite honestly hadn’t shown up on my radar at all until I was dinking around looking for books I needed in my life. They had me sold with pirates, lesbians, and sea monsters. I mean, come. On. How can you not want to read that? So I’m really hoping it’s as good as it sounds.

I’ve already mentioned the books I’ve gotten from my BookCase.Club subscription box this month – Maybe One Day and Reality Boy – so no need for an in depth explanation there. They were both completely random.

The other book subscription box was OwlCrate and it had a wonderland theme. The book was Heartless by Marissa Meyer! I’m actually super excited about this one, because I’ve been eyeing it for a while. In addition to that, it’s a special edition! You can’t find it anywhere else! Woo-hoo! All that aside, I am pretty excited for the book and it’s super pretty. I’ll post pictures of it once I get them off my phone. I’ll show the other neat stuff I got there, too. It was an expensive box, but I think ultimately I enjoyed it more than BookCase.Club and despite the deal, I think I’m going to just forgo the boxes altogether…

Hate to say it, but I’ve spent a LOT of money on books this month. Like, more than I should have… But I make the money, I do the budget, and I want my books. They make me happy. And more to the point, my significant other and I accept that there are just certain things the other needs in their life. Books are mine. Yes, they are expensive. But they are also wonderful – and sort of important to my job, right? Justifications aside, sometimes you just have to splurge.

I won’t have the same chance next month, and probably not the month after, but at least I’ve got some good stuff to tide me over until then.

If I get the chance, I’ll try to take a group picture of everything sometime and put it up on here.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Read for Review – And Honesty?

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Recently, I’ve heard that certain reviews being posted on Amazon are being pulled. Curious as to why, I looked around a bit and found a whole discussion on it there in the Amazon forums. It detailed that it seemed as though certain Amazon reviews were being pulled because they were coming from readers who received ARC and RAR copies (which means Advanced Reader Copy and Read and Review copy). In other words, people who received free books in exchange for reviews. Namely, HONEST reviews. Like, you get the book and you leave a review, regardless of your opinion of the book, the publisher (or author or whoever gave you the book) wants the review. The real one.

At least, that’s the gist of it.

Here, apparently, is Amazon’s concern: books in exchange for reviews is the equivalent of paying for a review. Which, okay, I think that’s sort of a stretch, but fine. You’re giving someone an incentive for leaving a review. That incentive is, theoretically, something you (the reader/reviewer) wants, right? And that translates to some form of payment, right? That’s, like, giving money for a review!

(Did you know there are paid reviewers out there? Literally, it is their job to read a book, watch a movie, try out a restaurant – all of it gratis – and then proceed to post a review and get paid for it. No joke.)

Now, I understand where Amazon’s concern might lie.

Oh, what if being paid (in money, books, or free pizza…) might sway the opinion of the reviewer? And, oh, what if this means there will be NOTHING BUT FIVE STAR REVIEWS FOR TERRIBLE BOOKS?

Oh, wait, that already happens… Seriously, it makes me angry, and I’ll just tell you, those reviews weren’t the result of free copies. Nope. Just uninvolved, easily amused readers who will gobble up any cotton-brain-candy out there… Okay, and a *little* bit of a difference of opinion via genre and whatever else, but that’s like 2% of a star discrepancy.

But my mini-rant aside, I understand that you might be worried that these “paid” reviewers aren’t being fully honest. I mean, I like getting free books, don’t I? Why, of course I do! I love to read and I’m going to write a review anyway… Why not get a free book out of the deal? And I’ll be honest, I was really concerned when I first started asking for ARCs and RARs. I thought, “If I leave a bad review… will no one give me a free book again?”

But here’s the thing. I still get free books and I tend to leave poor reviews more often than not. Why? Because I’m not going to let a free book sway my opinion. And that’s for three reasons.

One.

I have some friggin’ integrity, thank you very much. My reputation is valuable to me, but more importantly, my own opinion of myself is important. I wouldn’t feel right giving a high review to someone that didn’t deserve it because it invalidates and cheapens all the high reviews I gave for people that honestly deserved them! And I’m just not okay with that. Better to get an angry author, publisher, or even fan, than to feel as though I’m offering a fake smile to the world while simultaneously spitting on those that deserve true, honest recognition.

Two.

Why would I want to encourage more bad boosk?!?! Seriously, leaving a good review for a bad book is just poor planning. Because it means the author is going to write another book, just like the first, not bothering to change anything because all the reviews said IT WAS SO AWESOMESAUCE! So now we have a Craptastic Book Two! And when we have to review that book the same way we reviewed the first one, now we have a whole Craptastic, The Series!

Why would I want to encourage more bad writing? From both a writer’s and a reader’s standpoint, this seems counterproductive to my end goal: To find more books to fall in love with.

Three.

Why would I want another bad book from an author I didn’t enjoy? Why would I want another free book if I just feel as though every free book I read I must lie about in order to get another free book? That I will ultimately hate?

So ultimately I’m left with the feeling that leaving anything other than an honest review is just… not right.

And I have to believe that I’m not the only person who feels this way. Don’t readers and reviewers take pride in themselves? Yes, they must. I believe that they must! And they want quality, too, right? Yes, of course they do. They have to!

I will make one more point: I get not wanting to hurt someone’s feelers about it. Authors are sensitive. Trust me, I totally know. My least favorite thing is having someone come in, read what I’ve written, then hand it back to me and tell me how I’ve just “gotten it all wrong”. Pfft. Like they could do it better. But at the same time, if I let myself step back for a minute and really look at the criticism constructively, sometimes the negative reviews teach us the most. And that means I can grow as an author.

And, yes, it still hurts.

I guess my point is not telling it like it is just to spare someone’s feelings isn’t doing anyone any good. I’m not saying you have to be a jerk or be mean or just rip their life’s work to shreds, but you should be honest and you should make an effort to lay out why you didn’t enjoy something. It could go so far as to make them better authors in the end, so that maybe you actually will enjoy the next book.

Really, just don’t leave a five and four star review for something that you hated. That’s just silly and doesn’t help you, the author, or other readers.

Which brings me back around to Amazon removing reviews.

The idea that saying “I got an ARC” means “I’m lying through my teeth about the quality of this book!” is utterly stupid. Yes, there will be some less than honest people out there, but they are not the majority. Instead, I think we should give the reviewer the benefit of the doubt and say that they are honest. Even if we don’t agree with their opinion – or even if they’ve left a good review for a bad book. Because sometimes, people just do that. I think that has to do with a little on the personal taste side and a lot of “I wasn’t really paying attention to this while I was reading” side.

It happens. That’s fine.

I just think that Amazon is being fairly ridiculous about this whole concept of ARCs and RARs. These are the things that can help break-out authors (and especially self-publishers) get their works out there. People might never even look at their books, not because they’re bad, but because they don’t get the same kind of publicity. And because Amazon gives more advertising, featuring, etc. for books with more reviews and more purchases – which go hand in hand. Which means that the more books that have been reviewed, the more they’ll be purchased, the more featuring they’ll get, the more reviews they’ll get…

But how do you break into that cycle if NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT YOUR BOOK? Yes, you have to advertise, but part of that is getting your book into the hands of people that might otherwise not read it – usually because they don’t have the money for it.

So I say that Amazon is being silly and the ARCs and RARs should continue.

What’s your opinion on this crazy Amazon policy? Do you agree with me that reviewers are mostly honest?

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

P.S. – The main reason I decided to do a post on this (and why it mostly focused on the honesty of ARC/RAR reviews) is that in the forum, there was a poster who didn’t trust “free book” reviews. Why? Because she felt they were all basically liars who were giving higher ratings because they were essentially “paid” for their services. And I was offended. Especially since she then proceeded to say that she automatically went to 3 star reviews – which mine are usually that or below – because she felt they were more “honest”. So, what, my review doesn’t count EVEN THOUGH I RATE LOWER THAN MOST DESPITE FREE COPIES, just because I put in the effort to get a free book? Wow, that makes that person a real jerk, a little judgy, and seriously misinformed.

Nano – Update

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Quick post!

I’m a little behind in my Nanoing, but I’m hanging in there! I’m finishing up a work-related project today (maybe into tomorrow), then I’ll have revisions which will hopefully leave me some time to work on my Nano project, too.

Until then, here’s my progress:

nano-update

For those of you participating, how goes your story? And feel free to add me if you feel like it!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

The US Election

**This has absolutely nothing to do with books. The views expressed in this post are purely mine and, yes, they are political. They revolve around the US presidential election and my personal reactions to it. Feel free to ignore it and I apologize in advanced for those I might offend. But I mean what I say here and cannot deny what I feel. Please be respectful when commenting, agree or disagree.**

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Monthly Subscription Boxes – yay or nay?

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Recently I visited one of your lovely blogs (I can’t remember which one, but I’ll look for it!) and saw that it had a post about a monthly book subscription. And I was like, “what is this magic?!” So I started digging…

A monthly subscription box is just what it sounds like. Once a month, you receive a box. Within this box are magical contents having to do with literary genius… (Or whatever other monthly box you get – makeup, superhero paraphernalia, etc.)

Fascinated by these magical boxes, I went in search of one of my very own! I decided on two different subscriptions to try out and after this month (November), I’ll go ahead and pick one to stick with.

The first subscription that I signed up for was the one that started it all. It was the one received by the blog post I stumbled upon and I was so taken with it that, despite it’s rather steep price (I thought, anyway), I would give it a try. The second was a more affordable option that seems far more reasonable for my meager income and will likely be the one I stick with.

OwlCrate.

So the first subscription is OwlCrate. This is the one featured on the blog post and the reason I fell in love with it is that it contains so much stuff. The contents include the obligatory book (because, really, why else would I get it given my search parameters?), but additional items as well. Book marks, teas, nick-nacks, jewelry, post cards – you name it! Each box has a theme and, oh gosh, you don’t understand how much I love themes. All of the items within the box center around this theme.

This month is Wonderland and I’m pretty darn psyched for it. It hasn’t arrived yet as they tend to arrive towards the end of the month (from what I understand) while the other subscription arrives early on in the month (I’ve already received it and I’ll get to that in a moment). As soon as it gets here, I’ll do an additional post on that.

Until then, here’s a complete “contents” list for the items in the OwlCrate box:

  • Brand spankin’ new YA novel
  • 3-5 bookish items (jewelry, bookmarks, stickers, prints, toys, accessories, etc.)
  • Exclusive items from the author

All of this comes out to $29.99 + shipping (which came out to $6.99 for me).

Um, wow. That’s a lot. I know it’s not a lot, a lot, but it’s a lot, you know? Especially since you only get ONE BOOK.

Yes, true, you get all those nifty other things, too! And I love those other things. But that’s still a big chunk of change to be throwing down for something that… well, just might not have that much reading enjoyment. I mean, for that price, I could get two, maybe three books, and if I do it on Amazon, I’ll get free shipping, too.

And that’s if they’re all new.

So is it really worth it?

I don’t know yet. I haven’t received the box, so it’s hard to say whether or not I’ll find it worth the price. On some level, I hope that it is, because I want my money’s worth. On the other hand, I kind of hope not. Why? Because then I won’t be tempted to do it every month. Because I don’t have the sort of money to just spend on this monthly and it’ll sort of make me sad if I have to be a grown up and put this little whim aside when I like it so much.

So here’s hoping that I do like it – and that I don’t!

BookCase.Club.

The second, more affordable option that I decided to try is a little thing called BookCase.Club. They have no frills, but what they do have are TWO books. Every month. You can choose your genre to receive (obviously mine was Teenage Dream, so all YA books) and the box arrives around a week or so into the month. Pretty nifty.

The downside is this: You only get the books.

The upside is: It’s only $14.99 including shipping.

I mean, even if you purchased two used books, you’d probably be spending that PLUS five bucks in shipping (unless you’re lucky enough to have a bookstore near to you that carries anything other than nonfiction and adult romance…). So looking at it like that, it’s still a steal. Of course, you don’t get to pick the books (I’ll get to this in a moment) which can be a little scary, but it’s also a treat because you might end up with something you wouldn’t normally try on your own!

Additionally, for every subscription (and subscription renewal), a book is donated! That’s a charity I can definitely get behind – and it’s for something I’m going to do anyway. I’m all for that, so the price and the charity definitely make this one a great option. Yes, it sucks a little that you don’t get all the trinkets with it, but I don’t think they’re enough to make up the price difference – not when I’m as broke as I am. (Responsibility is calling; it wants your books back…)

As I mentioned, I already received my package from BookCase.Club. It arrived just the other day (the 6th, I think) and as promised contained two books. One was hardcover, the other soft.

Softcover:

reality-boy
I didn’t like the cover at first… but it grows on me every time I see it.

Reality Boy by A.S. King

Hardcover:

maybe-one-day
This one may be more my speed…

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

I hadn’t heard of either of them before and to be honest I was a little… disappointed. There’s a really good chance that these are both awesome books, but they aren’t ones I would have picked out for myself. Like, ever. Or if I did, they would be *way* down on the list.

This makes me a little upset, because we go back to the “I paid money for this” and now I’ve got two books that maybe I won’t like at all.

HOWEVER.

I will say this: I will give these books a chance. If I don’t like them, I’ll give them away or sell them or donate them. Whatever. Someone else will very likely enjoy them, even if I don’t. And you know what? I’ll have branched out. I’ll have tried something new. And maybe next month I’ll get something more my speed. Because for fifteen dollars a month, two books delivered right to my doorstep isn’t so bad.

What do you guys think?

Yes, there are definitely more subscription boxes out there. I looked through a bunch of them and picked these two because they seemed to be the best of the quality options for the prices they were, but at opposing ends of the spectrum. But do you have a subscription that you prefer? Do you think maybe this is all a little silly, risky even to pay for books you may or may not like?

Let me know in the comments below!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Nanowrimo?

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Hey guys! I was just wondering if anyone else out there was doing Nano this year? For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month, or Nano for short ’cause that’s a mouthful. I’ve attempted it in the past and never managed to finish – which is ridiculous because my profession now has me writing twice that in a month… But that’s not the point.

The point is, that it has come once again! Nano takes place every November and it’s really just a personal challenge to see if you can write 50k words in a month. It’s harder to do than you might think, but it can be a lot of fun! And sometimes you just need that extra kick to get yourself down to business and writing your novel.

So I just wanted to see if anyone was taking the challenge? I’m doing it this year, though I know it’s going to turn out bad. It always does, but I’m determined to work at it! At least try, right?

If you want more info on it, here’s the link: Nanowrimo!

Feel free to comment on whether or not you’re doing it below or if you have questions, etc. I’ll do a real post later (I know, I totally bombed the Halloween Read-a-Thon… So much for plans. It was a super lame Halloween for me and it sort of breaks my heart, but such is life).

Thanks for checking in!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

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Check out the Halloween Read-a-Thon here!

My TBR list here!

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**Originally, I was going to use Mary: The Summoning for this one, but I thought The Body Finder actually made more sense and fit the description better.**


First, the two main reasons that people are going to have issues with this book: The almost annoying focus on young love amidst a killing spree and the third person POV.

Second, the reason they didn’t negatively impact my rating: The story was pretty original (the body finding part anyway) and very well written.

Third, the moment I fell in love with this story:

“She waited only a few moments longer than she needed to, silently thanking Brooke for sharing this time with her… for sharing her heartbreakingly beautiful echo.”

How many stars do I give this? I’m going to surprise myself by giving this FIVE FREAKING STARS.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with this story. In fact, I was on the fence about buying this one in the first place, but now I’ve definitely got to check out the rest of the series AND add Kimberly Derting on my Authors To Read list.

Halloween Horror Rating:

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Two out of five bats. I hate to say it, because this is such an awesome novel, but ultimately it just wasn’t all that scary. There were a couple of moments where it had some good suspense or thrill to it, but I just wasn’t buying the concept of “terrifying” here. Would it have been scary in real life? Absolutely. Was it scary as a novel? Maybe not so much.

Even so, I’d read it a thousand more times.

But let’s begin with The Engaging And Overtaking Writing.

What I enjoyed personally:

That this was easy to get into. This is a combination of story and writing, but even if the story is good, the writing is what seals the deal and that’s what happened here. It was easy to fall into the story. By the end of the prologue I couldn’t wait to read the rest of the book (and I did so in under 24 hours, so there!). The writing was sort of long, if you know what I mean. The sentences didn’t rely on being short and choppy to be easy to process, but rather were well built. They varied to keep the writing interesting, not afraid to have those quick, jarring statements, or the long rambling ones. Italics were used freely and without judgement. They were mostly well placed and added some good emphasis, as italics should. Overall, I found the formatting and style pleasing and that goes a long way for me.

What I felt was a little questionable:

I’m not a huge fan of third person for YA (though it tends to work better for Adult novels and sometimes Middlegrade) and sort of feel like this could have been a little bit better of a novel in first, however, I don’t think it destroyed the novel to be in third. I think it’s going to bother a lot of readers, however, who maybe feel like a third POV is going to put too much distance between Violet and the reader when there’s the potential for so much emotional charge. It wasn’t a problem for me, but for some I think it will be.

Moving on to The Addicting Like True Book-Crack Story.

What I liked:

Everything. Well, just about anyway.

I loved the romance and while I think it might be off putting to some people who really want the grittiness of the serial-killer slash psychic portion of the story, it was ultimately a very successful story. I even think, in a little role reversal, the romance was the vehicle for the supernatural/killer portion! It was great to see them struggling against their feelings, but also once opening up to them, how they still interacted with each other basically the same. They were still friends, despite all the touchy feely things that had sprouted up between them.

I felt like it was interesting to have the short chapters from the killer’s POV and it helped to add a little bit to the end when we finally realize who it is. And I liked that it wasn’t cut and dry. There was a tiny twist that you almost kinda saw coming, but I think you were distracted enough by the romance that it wasn’t obvious. I also liked that the Epilogue had your heart pounding. Awesome.
I love, love, love the body finder stuff. I mean, seriously. The echoes? Freaky and awesome. The drive to find dead things? Totally weird. I mean, I was really sold on Violet’s ability and I loved that only the people closest to her knew about it—including her family. It made an already good story that much better. I was really impressed.

What I didn’t like:

I think maybe the romance developed a little too quickly. Like, head over heels before book two too quickly. However, even that isn’t a huge unlike. Because they were BFFs from the getgo, so I can see the romance moving rapidly as a result.

Other than that… I didn’t like the scene at the part. The end of it, yes, that was awesome, but the part with Grady? Just too typical. Too “Every YA Book Has This Scene” (which I’ll go over later). I think it might be the only thing I truly didn’t like in this book. Really. And as I mentioned, I loved the end of it.

Next, Le Characters.

What was good:

I loved that Violet wasn’t just a goody-two-shoes girl who was like “oh, woe is me!” She’s abrasive and at times aggressive, moody and very occasionally manipulative. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her insecurities. She doesn’t look like everyone else, she doesn’t feel like she’s “changed” enough or “grown” enough as some of her friends have. She doesn’t think she’s good enough to get the guy, etc. HOWEVER, I will say that her self-deprecating attitude was mild, making it, in my humble opinion, far more authentic. She was just this normal teen who, as a result of hormones and crazy things going on, had insecurities that she dealt with in the best way she could.

I also loved that Jay was… self-aware. He wasn’t just some cocky jerk, but he could be at times and I felt that was pretty genuine, too. He was gorgeous, but his personality allowed that to be an incidental trait that carried his character a little farther.

Also, he’s my new Book Boyfriend. *Sigh*

I liked that the parents HAD A ROLE IN THE STORY. Like, a legitimate one. Sure, at times they were lax—like with the open/closed door policy—but mostly they were struggling like real parents between protecting their daughter and letting her develop into a real, live person. Go figure. They didn’t have to be the Absentee Parents to make the story believable. Her family was involved without hindering the overall flow of the story and I appreciated that.

What was bad:

Grady.

Seriously, even Lissie Queen of the Bees was an acceptable stereotype for me, because she didn’t play that big of a role. But Grady? He was supposed to be one of their good friends and then he goes all slobbering mangy rabid boy dog on Violet? No, too convenient. Not to say it doesn’t happen, but that whole Incident felt too… tropey. It was staged to the point where, while I appreciated the Good Save and all, I had a hard time not rolling my eyes. It was just this excuse to bring things together, a means to an end, and that really bugged me. Because everything else flowed really well and then you have Grady. And we never really resolve Grady, we just have to live with him.

Finally, a section for Tropes and Other Much Hated Things:

Ah, alas, there are tropes and stereotypes here. Even in the best of books a little rain must fall… I don’t think that’s how that quote goes. Regardless.

Tropes:

A) Girl Is Attacked For Being Foolish… But It’s Okay, Love Of Her Life Miraculously Saves Her!
B) The Fated High School Dance… Like OMG
C) I’m In Love With My BFF, But I’m Not Admitting It

Stereotypes:

A) Pretty People Are Mean… Except For My BFF/Boyfriend Because He’s Super-Hot AND Nice
B) I Have Curly Hair So I’m Not Pretty… Except I Totally Am and Just Don’t Know It (okay, also a trope, but you get me)
C) The Sporty One, The Pretty One, The Dumb One, and The Main Girl

Would I recommend this? Hell. Yes.—If you like reading YA at all and care even a little for suspense. I mean, jeez. Awesome.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

the-body-finderTitle: The Body Finder (The Body Finder #1)
Author: Kimberly Derting
ISBN: 0061779814
Language: English
Approximate Length: 327 pages
Stars: ★★★★★
I have a used softcover copy.