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.

Halloween Read-a-Thon: TBR

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Because I am currently suffering from one of the worst writer’s blocks I’ve had in a long time (a combination of short-timer’s disease and a complete irritation with not getting paid…), I thought I would go ahead and post my TBR list for Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews’ Halloween Read-a-Thon. (You should definitely join if you haven’t already!)

I’ve broken this up into the Shorter Books That I Might Actually Fit In By Halloween and Longer Books That I Really Hope I Have Time For (But Probably Won’t). But for brevity, I’ll refer to them simply as Short and Long.

Starting with Short:

  1. MARY: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan
  2. Teen Spirit by Francesca Lia Block
  3. The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
  4. The Hallowed Ones by Bickle
  5. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
  6. Ouija by Katharine Turner

Moving on to Long:

  1. Shutter by Courtney Alameda
  2. Frost by Marianna Baer
  3. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  4. Possess by Gretchen McNeil
  5. In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
  6. Dead Girls Don’t by Mags Storey

I’ll just say that I could find MORE, but these were the ones that I bought specifically for October – I may have gotten a little excessive, BUT I got some great deals (Possess was only $4 with shipping and I got both Shutter and The Body Finder for free thanks to a promotion!).

If you’ve noticed, there are a total of TWELVE books on my list. I KNOW that I will not finish them all in October. However, I will try my hardest to get through at least half of them. And since one of the challenges is to read at least six, I’ll aim for that anyway!

Now, on to the specific challenges!

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shutterI totally pick Shutter for this one! It is one of the creepiest covers I’ve seen in a LONG time and I am seriously impressed. It creeps me out just by looking at it and I think if I saw it sitting on my shelf in the dark, I might just freak out. That’s a win for me! (Wait, didn’t I just say I was going to try and stick to my Short list? Apparently I’m a liar.)

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haunted-house

ouijaHm. I think I’ll do either Ouija or Teen Spirit for this one, because they both deal with ghosts and spirit boards. I’ve really been dying to read Ouija, so I’ll probably do that one (AND IT’S SHORT!), especially since I’m not one hundred percent on Teen Spirit. But it sounds like it could be pretty good, so we’ll just have to see.teen-spirit

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urban-legends

maryI’ve got the perfect one for this! (Actually, I could use Anna Dressed in Blood for this one, but since Lauren used it as an example, I’m going to list my alternate instead.) Mary: The Summoning about Bloody Mary which I can remember trying to call with some of my friends as a kid. We freaked ourselves out because when we turned off the light, someone SWEARS they saw red eyes looking at her in the mirror! (It was actually just the LED light from a plug, but that didn’t take away the lingering sense that something crazy had totally just happened. Ah, the good ol’ days.)

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blackbirdsHm. This one’s a tough decision, but I think I’m going to say either In The Shadow of Blackbirds or Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall. I’m not sure which one will be creepier, but I LOVE the cover for Blackbirds, so I think I may end up doing that one. I should pick a creepier one, really, but… I reserve scaring myself silly at 3am for The Conjuring and Sinister only, thank you. 😉

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trick-or-treat

dead-girls-dontHm. I’ll think about a free genre book, but honestly I’m probably going to try for Dead Girls Don’t, because I’ve had that one for almost a year and still haven’t gotten to it! The others I’ve gotten more recently, so I haven’t really been putting them off. If I come up with one I’d rather, I’ll update this, but otherwise, I’m going to go ahead and go with Dead Girls Don’t! (Also, I have a red cover, but I like the blue one better.)

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all-hallows-eve

the-body-finderI think I’m going to go ahead and say The Body Finder on this one, because I REALLY want to read it, but it hasn’t cropped up for any of the other challenges! I probably won’t get through even half this many, but I’m putting it down anyway! (Also, I can’t really say why, but I absolutely love this cover. I have since the first time I saw it and I love it all over again every time I see it. Maybe it’s the contrast? I don’t know.)

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I love so many of these covers!

Note: I have more. Ebooks galore, but I just cannot list them all. So these are the ones I bought with Halloween specifically in mind. I hope that by some miracle I will find the time to read them all, but even if I don’t, I know that I will get to them eventually. October may be the spookiest month of the year, but there’s something creepy about November and December, too. It’s about the cold and the ending of another year. So I’ll get to them. Eventually.

Also, the credit for the graphics (except for the main header, can you tell? Lol) goes to Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews. Aren’t they flippin’ adorable?! They make me happy.

I hope to see you all join in on the Halloween Read-a-Thon, because I think it’s an awesome idea! But even if you don’t, I hope you have a spectacular October!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Halloween Read-a-Thon via Wonderless Reviews

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OMG guys! This is exactly what I need for October! (Okay, not really, because WHERE WILL I FIND THE TIME?! But still. So. Awesome.) It’s a read-a-thon with a Halloween theme for this coming month. How cool is that? The idea is credited to Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews, because she’s just that awesome.

Check out the post here for rules and challenges! Halloween Read-a-Thon

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Month in the Title: A Challenge

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After posting my review of September Girls in September, I thought, “Gee! That’s pretty cool!” And an idea was born. What if I found month-named books for every month? Shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Starting with September, I’m going to make a list every month of 7 books with [month] in the title. The rules will be as follows:

  1. The month in the title should be the same month you are posting in. EX: September Girls for September.
  2. The month can be in the title OR in the title of the series.
  3. You need at least 7 books. (If you find more, great!)
  4. The list must be posted by the end of the month.
  5. *They all must be YA books. (This one’s just for me since this is a YA blog. Should you wish to participate, you can use any genre.)
  6. You must read at least ONE of the books, but you don’t have to post a review – unless you want to!

And that’s it! If you would please include the title and the author at least, that would be perfect. If you have links and images, all the better, but if you only have the title and the author, that’s fine, too.

If you want to participate, awesome! You don’t have to do anything special – just find some books for that month, make a list, and post it to your own blog. If you could link back to me that would be great, but I’m not too worried about it. (I’m thinking this challenge is not really going to take off.) Really, this is just for me, because I’m feeling funky and want something to focus on every month!

Let me know what you guys think of this – or if you’ve already run across a challenge like this before! As always, thanks for checking out my blog.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr