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The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

Description:

In her small early nineteenth century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana.   She is small and quick and pretty enough to attract a suitor, but there are things that set her apart from other girls. Though her mind is sharp she has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic—the household objects that seem to move at her command, the bad luck that visits those who do her ill.  Concerned for her safety, her mother is anxious to see Morgana married, and Cai Jenkins, the widowed drover from the far hills who knows nothing of the rumors that swirl around her, seems the best choice.

            After her wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving her mother, and wary of this man, whom she does not know, and who will take her away to begin a new life.  But she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the wild mountains that surround it. Here, where frail humans are at the mercy of the elements, she thrives, her wild nature and her magic blossoming. Cai works to understand the beautiful, half-tamed creature he has chosen for a bride, and slowly, he begins to win Morgana’s affections.  It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village.  A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana, even at the expense of those closest to her.  Forced to defend her home, her man, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything in this beautifully written, enchanting novel.

Stars: /53

Review:

I really loved the premise of this novel. It’s a historical witch novel, what’s not to love? Well, sadly I did find a lot wrong with it.
So while the plot and characters of the story are amazing. I found the writing incredibly hard to get through. It took me more than 2 months to read this book because I found the writing so hard to want to read. It was overly descriptive and I found the characters repeated the same thoughts over and over.
Eventually, in order to finish this novel I skimmed about 100 pages and read fully the last 40 pages which contained the main conflict.
I really wish the writing had been better so that I could thoroughly enjoy the novel. I generously gave it three stars (here and on Goodreads) because I did really enjoy everything but the writing style.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Description:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl… . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Stars: 5/5

Review:

If there are two things you need to know about me, it’s that I love modern adaptions of fairytales and I love future dystopians. This book encompasses those in its entirety. 

I absolutely loved it. So much so that I finished it in about 20 hours. Not necessarily a record but keep in mind that was between homework, chores and working out.

All the characters were fleshed out wonderfully and I loved the modern take on Cinderella. I even liked how Gus Gus and Jaq were turned into a sassy android with a mind of her own.

If I had to site something I didn’t like, it’s that the technical portions got a little bit too big and went right over my head. There was a part about fixing a machine that went way to in depth (in my opinion) for a novel. It did make it seem more real but I found myself skipping those parts completely. 

Overall, I’m definitely glad I shelled out the money for this one and I definitely recommend it. I would have reread it right then and there if I had the time.

yeahwriters:

Read The Yeah Write Review for FREE!

Hey guys! Did you know that about a year ago, we had a literary magazine for a few seasons? I had to  put it on indefinite hiatus because it was too time consuming, but I’m still really proud of the 3 issues we created!

It used to be a paid magazine, but I was paying more for the monthly hosting on the ecommerce site than we were earning from sales, so I thought aw, what the hell, I’ll just put them right up on Yeah Write for free!

The image above shows you how to read them right on Yeah Write—click “Pages” in our menu, then click the last topic, The Yeah Write Review (or just go here). When you click on each issue they open up in a beautiful viewer (make sure you don’t just click the arrow that shows up because then it just displays really tiny in the page haha). And all of the links within the mag are live!

I hope you’ll check them out out!

02/20/2014

handpickedhappiness:

thevoxbox:

charlesoberonn:

giftvvrap:

will you marry me = a marriage proposal
will, you, Mary, me = a foursome proposal

Will you, Mary me = Cavewoman Mary helps Will recover from his Amnesia

Will, you marry me. = Will’s time-traveling partner

And people keep trying to tell me that punctuation isn’t important

Effortless with You by Lizzy Charles

Description:

School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can’t end fast enough. 

To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls’ dreams, but definitely not Lucy’s. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he’s the most beautiful jerk Lucy’s ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there’s more to Justin than everyone thinks. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs. 

Stars: 4/5

Review:

Let me start off by saying I absolutely loved this book. I finished it in just over twelve hours between work, class and homework. It was downright amazing and definitely kept me on my toes. 

I loved all of the sub plots that led perfectly to the plot. Charles did a great job with lead up and suspense for big reveals and the climax. The characters were all very well developed and easy to relate to, even the antagonist.

If there was one thing I had to say the book lacked for me it’s that truly romantic aspect of a contemporary young adult novel. Yes, the essential plot of the story was girl gets boy, but I feel the story was lacking some of the fluffier kind of romance.

The theme throughout the book was good as well and honestly, this book is a good read for people of all ages. Especially if you like anything by Sarah Dessen.

Invisible by Cecily Anne Patterson

Description:

Jazmine Crawford doesn’t make decisions. She doesn’t make choices. She doesn’t make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible. For Jazmine, it’s a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along pretending that nothing’s wrong than it is to admit that she’s heartbroken about her dad dying. She’s been drifting and ignoring her over-worried mum for four years now. 
When bad girl Shalini and her mates adopt Jazmine, she quickly finds herself involved in more than she can handle. Sitting in disgrace in the principal’s office, Jazmine is offered a choice: help drama teacher Miss Fraser in the upcoming production of The Secret Garden or face a four week suspension. 
It’s Miss Fraser who clinches the decision. “I believe in you Jazmine,” she says. “I know you can do this.” And Jazmine, terrified, disbelieving and elated all at the same time, joins the play. 
For a while it’s all good. Drama star and chocolate lover Liam is friendly and Jazmine realises that making friends, talking to her mother and feeling her emotions isn’t as scary as she thought. In a final happy twist of fate, acting diva Angela quits the play and with only a week to go, Miss Fraser asks Jazmine to take on the main role of Mary. 
But then Shalini returns from her suspension. She’s out for payback, and she has just the ammunition she needs to force Jazmine to quit the play and go back to her old ways. 
Will Jazmine be confident enough to stand up for herself against Shalini? Will Liam still like her if he finds out who she really is? And does she have the strength to face the truth about her father’s suicide?

Staris: 3/5

Review:

The book overall was decent and I don’t regret reading it. It was easy and fun to read and definitely puts the reader back in high school but I did have quite a few pros and cons with it. I’ll start with the cons so we can end on a high note.

Cons:

The first, and ultimately biggest, issue I had with the book was that the reader has no idea of the setting until about half way through and even then it was hard to figure out. It turns out the novel is set in Australia but there’s no mention of that at all. The reader has to guess from town names and the fact that the main character mentions “Auslan” which is the Australian Sign Language. I think the author could have done a better job of mentioning that somehow instead of making the reader figure it out.

The second was that sometimes the book seemed a tad bit unpolished. What I mean by that is there were parts that were very cringe making (as Tally would say) and it was very hard to get through. Just things like unrealistic dialogue, or a character said something that seemed to old or too young for that character. It didn’t completely detract from the book but it was difficult to push through those moments.

Last but not least, I think some of the characters could have been developed a bit more. I have no real sense of any of the characters aside from Jazmine. Everyone else seems very 2D in comparison to her. I understand that the novel is from a first person perspective but characters can be made to be 3D from their actions as well as their thoughts. 

Now to the pros:

I definitely loved how easily the book captured being a teenager. It’s been a while (though admittedly not that long) since I’ve had to face the dilemmas of a high schooler and it was nice to be reminded of what it was like. It makes one remember how easily misunderstandings happen and how much bigger problems seem then versus now.

I also really enjoyed the main plot. I loved that the central story was about Jazmine finding herself. She did eventually find romance in Liam but the story didn’t focus on that. 

I liked the build up Patterson created when reaching the central climax as well. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and I had to force myself not to skip lines or paragraphs to get to the juicy stuff. 

It was definitely a fun read and well worth the whole 0.99 to buy it.

Anonymous inquired:
How to write a love struck teenage girl without it coming off as annoying?

ehnlee:

I really want to help you with this, but after stewing over it for a few days I’m just drawing a total blank every time I try to write a response.

Romance is really not something I focus on in any of my writing… I tend to write pre-established relationships, or potential relationships… the plot never, ever is focused on love though. I’m totally inexperienced with it (and I’ve never been lovestuck…!). All I can really give you is my own observations on the matter…

My instinct says, ‘don’t make her entire life about the one she’s in love with’. There’s nothing worse than a character with goals and motivations that totally change once a love interest walks into the story.

Bad Example

One of my favourite books was Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush until she wrote the sequels. The whole series revolved around Nora’s love for Patch. The plot line went from, ‘possible angel/fallen angel war’ to, ‘Nora thinks Patch might not love her any more’. It just felt like Fitzpatrick dumbed down any sign of the series’ potential so she could focus more on the fact that Nora’s boyfriend was Patch and they were passionately in love.

I mean, that’s great. I wanted Patch and Nora to get together. But the series was just so boring because nothing of actual significance happened outside of, ‘Nora and Patch are boyfriend and girlfriend which makes various people mad’.

What surprised me the most was how Nora’s best friend, Vee, justified waiting around for Nora to wake up out of the Patch obsession she had fallen into so they could act like they’d been inseparable friends all along right at the end of the final book. It was totally forced; Vee was shoved out of the way more often than not, because clearly Fitzpatrick had no clue how Nora would have time for anybody but Patch since their love was the main focus of every book after the first one.

Good Example

Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. What I loved about the romance in this book was that Karou never deviated from her main motivation because of Akiva. There were certain characters who would disapprove of the relationship, but not every character did. And whilst she still thought of Akiva whilst other things were happening, she didn’t forget 1) who she was (so her character didn’t change drastically to fit in with Akiva’s nature), 2) who/what she loved most (didn’t disown her family or anything wild like that to be with him) and 3) other stuff was happening whilst she was falling in love, so it wasn’t the main focus.

Generally, Taylor’s whole novel is perfectly balanced in terms of romance and then other plot elements. She also isn’t afraid to make things more complicated - and bigger - than Karou’s love interest.

I hope this is of some use to you, although I know it’s not the same as my usual advice style… Here are some more resources that will undoubtedly be more useful than mine…!

Resources:

Best of luck, Anon. Sorry I couldn’t be of much help ;____;

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