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Showing posts from September, 2011

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card

From one of the all-time bestselling authors of science fiction and fantasy writing comes an excellent resource for beginners or pros. How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card covers topics such as the creation of worlds and alien societies and the use and rules of magic, topics specific to the genre. Learn creative science fiction and fantasy writing from one of the masters.


I don't know why it took me so long to get to this book. I love to learn more about this craft I've chosen. Card teaches The Mice Quotient: "All stories contain four elements that can determine structure:

Milieu
Idea
Character
Event

While each is present in every story, there is generally one that dominates the others.
Which one dominates? The one that the author cares about most. this is why the process of discovering the structure of a story is usually a process of self-discovery. Which aspect of the story matters most to you? That is the aspect that will give you your sto…

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She's stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she'll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father's recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother's open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

First Line: "Jason was going to Brain Camp."

Another good book by Sarah Dessen, with an interesting plot and subplots, quirky characters, a lesson learned and romance.
Macy watched her father die. She and her mother now tiptoe around the reality of his death. Her m…

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.
But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.
So much for normal. 

Good, clean, paranormal read. Thank you, Ms. White for something new and different and clean.
Love: Evie thought normal included a locker! I enjoyed how she handled her assignments and helped the paranormals; new character, Jack.
Didn't love: Evie lying; Boyfriend turnin…

The Kiss of a Stranger by Sarah M. Eden

When Crispin, Lord Cavratt, thoroughly and scandalously kisses a serving woman in the garden of a country inn, he assumes the encounter will be of no consequence. But he couldn't be more mistaken--the maid is not only a lady of birth, she's the niece of a very large, exceptionally angry gentlemen, who claims Crispin has compromised his niece beyond redemption. The dismayed young lord has no choice but to marry Miss Catherine Thorndale, who lacks both money and refinement and assumes all men are as vicious as her guardian uncle.

Trapped between an unwanted marriage and a hasty annulment, which would leave his reputation tainted and Catherine's utterly ruined, Crispin begins guiding his wife's transformation from a socially petrified country girl to a lady of society. Their unfolding relationship reveals encouraging surprises for both of them, and privately each of them wonders if theirs may become a true marriage of the heart. But their hopes are dashed w…

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters …

13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Everything about Jessie Gillmansen's life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing.  Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change.But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she's about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent--he's a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie's small town.It seems change is the one thing Jessie can't avoid...

First line: "Rio stiffened beneath my touch, striking a glossy hoof against the floor."

 I want to say, "another werewolf book" but this book was more than that. Over three-fourths of the book set up the world, characters and love interest. Last part showed us the animals.
As the reader I knew what Pietr was from the beginning with the foreshadowing and use of words like "mutt," "growled," "brist…

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.


First Line"I've confessed everything and I'd like to be hanged."

This is the type of writing to drink in nice and slow, like a lemonade on a hot summer's day. The way Ms. Billingsley turns words and…

One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street by Joann Rocklin

When a mysterious man arrives one day on Orange Street, the children who live on the block try to find out who he is and why he’s there. Little do they know that his story—and the story of a very old orange tree—connects to each of their personal worries in ways they never could have imagined. From impressing friends to dealing with an expanding family to understanding a younger sibling’s illness, the characters’ storylines come together around that orange tree.

Taking place over the course of a day and a half, Joanne Rocklin’s masterful novel deftly builds a story about family, childhood anxieties, and the importance of connection. In the end the fate of the tree (and the kids who care for it) reminds us of the magic of the everyday and of the rich history all around us.

Nice story. I loved how all the children got page time to tell their story. All the stories then weaved all together. No one's life is what it seems outside their homes. There is magic in everyday and w…

Troy High by Shana Norris

Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider at Troy High, the story follows the Trojans and Spartans as they declare war on the football field. After the beautiful Elena—who used to be the captain of the Spartan cheerleaders—transfers to Troy High and falls madly in love with Cassie’s brother Perry, the Spartans vow that the annual homecoming game will never be forgotten. Off the football field, an escalating prank war fuels tensions between the schools.

The stakes are raised when Cassie is forced to choose between the boy she loves (a Spartan) and loyalty to her family and school. Troy High will seduce readers with its cast of mythic proportions.

A fun retelling of Helen of Troy for high schoolers, the battle taking place on the football.
And that's about it.
Okay, not really. This is a clean, quick, summer read.

Rating: PG 13
S: No
L:No
V: Rivalry, pranks, etc





First line: "It was a late Sunday afternoon when I kissed my best friend."

25% test (p. 65):
"...the same…