Best books — June 2012 (only for hard-core bookaholics)

A warning:

  • Do NOT continue if you hate books
  • Do NOT continue if you hate “best book” lists
  • Do NOT continue if you hate free books

So we have the naysayers clear. Now we can settle into fun. See, I was perusing Goodreads and saw this:

Most Popular Books Published In June 2012

Here’s the deets. (I’m selective so I won’t chat about no.s #5 and #4 because I haven’t heard of the book or author and I can’t endorse them.)

Click on the title for a giveaway I found on the web; or

Click on the author to be taken to their website. Enjoy!

6. This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

This book should have been much higher on the list. If it weren’t for my TBR (To Be Read) pile 60-something books high (electronically, not literally) I would have bought and read this book. Courtney Summers has an amazing story. She dropped out of school at age 14 and from memory her first novel was published when she was between 20 and early-20s. She’s still in her 20s.

She has an unhuman talent for creative writing. It’s not often I read a first paragraph and am convinced I’ll buy the book without any other stalking (author bio, author backlist, reviews, praises, etc) but this did it:

I sit on the edge of the bathtub and run the fingernail of my thumb up the inside of my wrist. I trace a vein until it pitchforks out and disappears under the fleshiest part of my palm. Lily couldn’t sleep; a few weeks before she left, she had all these pills to help her do that. I didn’t know why at the time but now I think her guilt was probably keeping her up at night. When I searched her bedroom earlier, I couldn’t find them, which is too bad. I was counting on it. Her. I should know better. It just seemed like maybe the stars would align for this–that the day I decided to die, everything would go right.

3. Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost (Sorry all giveaways ended)

I dunno if I’ll ever read her books. What I mean is she’s just another one of those authors. You know the type. Stephen King, Danielle Steele. They’re always going to be there. I’ll always have a chance to try her books. Maybe the marketing isn’t as hard-core / individualised as other some other books, but I’m still waiting for the marketing department to “grab” me on this one.

In this excerpt, you may see what I mean. Her voice is dull. I can’t get a feel for her style and moreover nothing POPS! at me; it’s just good writing:

The word “house” didn’t begin to do justice to the white and gray structure in front of me. I actually had to tilt my head back to see all the way up to the roof. It was at least four stories high, with additional floors on the triangular turrets that rose dramatically on each corner. A myriad of carvings decorated the exterior, from intricate balconies in front of soaring windows to stone gargoyles that glared down from their perches.

2. The Golden Lily (Bloodline #2) by Richelle Mead

I spoke about Richelle’s vampire series in my Vampire fest, Out And Proud post here. I’m interested in reading her books one day. Maybe it’s because I’m an easy target market. I love her covers, and I’m a vampire fan. Sold.

This series is a spin-off from her Vampire Academy series, so when I get through my 60-something TBR books, I’m giving this a go.

This series is just enough of fancy fantasy where types of human/creatures/things are called “Strigoi” and “Moroi”, but it takes place in somewhere I can relate to (although I’ve never been the America) in a boarding school, Palm Springs, California.

This excerpt is an exclusive to EW.com so you’ll have to visit the link to read it, but once again it just doesn’t live up to the strength and blew-me-away factor or Courtney’s novel. Here’s the link.

1. Rapture (Fallen #4) by Lauren Kate

I haven’t read the excerpt and I am going to say this sorta confidently. I won’t buy the book, I don’t endorse it and I don’t think it’ll be good. Now I’ve said this, I’ll probably have the most clicks out of my blog to this book, but whatevs.

Lauren Kate tried out a “3.5” kinda novella with Fallen in Love before this book. You can read my review here, but in short I gave it 2 stars because it was all lovey dovey and by halfway there was stiiiiill zero conflict. Yup. None. I was only reading because of my like for books #1 and #2 although book #3 had let me down.

Aren’t we all told as writers to have conflict from your first few paragraphs? Guess the rules don’t apply to NYT and other-famous-lists bestselling authors.

Basically, I have lost my trust. This is an example of a famous author getting it wrong. I gave her another chance after her third novel in the Fallen series, Passion (my review is glowing because I’d just started Novel Girl and I was still excited about her), let me down.

For those who still want to try the most popular book release for June 2012 …. here it is.

♥♥♥

What popular upcoming books have you disliked? What ones are you looking forward to?

My 5 fears (and me ripping myself to shreds)

This post is my chance to say the things I need to hear. I am not insane — although it is possible I have issues that need resolving. This is my experiment to share my writer fears and gather other writers’ fears so we can bask in the ridiculous things we think/say in our quest for publication.

FEAR: 1. Your manuscript isn’t good enough.

ANSWER: Of course it isn’t good enough now. But it will be eventually. The more time you spend putting yourself down the longer you’ll waste having to pick yourself up in order to be in the right mind-frame to write.

The easy solution? Quit being dramatic and write. And re-write. That’s the only way your manuscript will improve.

Almost … al-al-mo … nope. *hope dies*

2. You’ll never make it. Why do you try?

You’ll make it one day, Bec. Seriously, if you query 101 agents, one or some may say yes. If not, try the biggest publishers first that accept unsolicited submissions. Next, try the mi-list ones if you think they can do a better job at selling than you can.

Finally, you have this little, tiny blog-thing called NOVEL GIRL. And a Twitter page. And a Facebook page. You may find that two or three readers will support you.

Thanks Mum, Nanna, and Rachelle Ayala by the way ;)

3. I will break Darcie Chan’s record of 100+ agent rejections.

This is possible. I won’t sugar coat it. But Bec, didn’t you read that Kimberley Derting received a manuscript request THREE hours after she sent an email?

God! Stop being pessimistic.

Remember that Lauren Kate, #1 NYT bestselling author, received 100+ rejections before she was published. She told you this when she signed a copy of her novel for you at Target.

Kathryn Stockett gave querying one last try with #61. Only then did she receive a “yes”.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that this could be something you can wave around at agents, publishers and readers in the future. Something like “I received 200 rejections and now my novel has sold one million copies!” See? You can dream, Bec.

4. You’ll embarrass yourself by publishing your manuscript; there’ll always be holes and errors.

A photo of a REAL sign I took at my local, giant supermarket chain store, Coles.

Come on. You’re really going to be that ridiculous? Every book has errors! I’m talking typos (remember that cooking book that printed “black people” instead of “black pepper” and the print run had to be pulped?) as well as plot issues.

No one is immune. It happens to bestsellers as well as the books that go unnoticed. The trick is to dissect and re-write your manuscript to the best of your ability and that’s all you or anyone can ask for.

As a side note, please know I wouldn’t have answered your stupid questions if I realised earlier you were going to be this ridiculously look-at-me-I’m-a-depressed-writer.

5. Quit your fantasy and spend your time doing something constructive (money earning).

Okay, before I scream at you think about what you just said … go on, think.

“Quit” …?

You silly girl! You would have quit on day two if you didn’t want to do this. Not after you’ve spent 1 year and 9 months on your WIP novel, not after you enrolled in Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing at Box Hill Institute to improve your craft, not after finding a few critique partners to pick out issues in your manuscript, not after you re-wrote your WIP novel 10 times … urgh! I could go on forever.

Quitting isn’t possible. Okay, maybe it is. Sure, not breathing and not eating ever again are possible too but you wouldn’t survive long.

Come on, now. You were born to be a writer. That urge doesn’t go away. You’ll only satisfy it once you’re published.

Even then, the desire will grow and continue to grow.

♥♥♥

Thank you for listening to my spiel. I find my family and writing friends are too kind to me. The only one who was going to give myself that kind of slap-back-in-line was me.

For interested readers, that was the censored version. Please visit me at ## Xxxxx Avenue Xxxxxx ####, Victoria, Australia to see my diary entry — which is uncensored in all its glory.

As usual the mic is over to you. Comment with your writer fear then annihilate yourself for your dramatic/irrational/embarrassing fears.

Book review: Passion by Lauren Kate

Passion

Lauren Kate has satisfied fans in the third installment in the Fallen series. Passion starts off directly from where Torment ends and follows an on-the-go plot line. Lauren uses her captivating writing style to enthrall readers. Passion is a winner.

This book review will be mostly for any stragglers ogling at the angel/paranormal/Fallen bandwagon. I bought this book the day of release and finished it within three days. And, I feel like regardless of your age, if you like a bit of romance strapped in with faced-paced action, this is your book.

From the beginning, Passion draws you in with the distinct voice and vivid world. This romantic journey between a fallen angel, Daniel, and a human, Luce, is one of those love stories you remember years later. In this third book, we get to see what happened before the present day Daniel and Luce. Readers are taken on a chase journey all over the globe and back through time. One aspect that Lauren really upped in this book were the histories and relationships linking the other supporting characters, which created a lot more substance.

Although readers receive a satisfying insight into Luce and Daniel’s past first hand, tensions are raised further than they are resolved. I found that in leading up to the climax, many readers would figure out who the ‘bad guy’ is but don’t be discouraged. Lauren knows how to create a New York Times Bestselling series and she’s succeeded with the latest in the Fallen series. You’ll want to pay big bucks to whomever you can just to get your hands on the fourth,not-yet-released book, Rapture.

Passion is hard to put down; character and past insights are too tempting to ignore. I lost sleep by reading late into the night because Luce and Daniel’s journey resonates deeper than most. Passion won’t let down fans and has proven to be a winner. I hope new readers or anyone unsure of this book gives it a go. If you or anyone you know love angels; romance; action; or historical or young adult fiction, then please share this post. You can click the ‘share’ button below or simply copy and paste my blog link to your social networking site.

If you’d like to buy Passion or any of the other Fallen books, by Lauren Kate, I’ve provided links to my favourite (cheapest!) online book store to buy from. I’ve also listed the order of the books (and even the pre-order for the fourth book due to come out in 2012). Just click on the title to buy! ;)

Fallen (2009)
Torment (2010)
Passion (2011)
Rapture (June 2012)