Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: DUALED

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

That description, right? I was sold. 

Let me start by saying 3 things:

  • Giving bad reviews breaks my heart. So please note that while this wasn't for me, it doesn't mean it won't be for you.
  • My heart is in adult thrillers/suspense, but sometimes I dive into YA for something lighter.
  • I've been sorely disappointed by a lot of recent YA, so I might have been a bit hard on this one.

-- The protagonist, West, isn't entirely likable. Actions that are carried out with little to no explanation.  Good internal voice, but it doesn't always match what she is doing. Little to no actual relationship with the best friend. 

-- Lots of unanswered "Why's". We never find out throughout this entire book why they have to kill the alts. Vague references to riches and gold, essentially  but there are absolutely no stakes. It's like The Hunger Games as far as sad brutality, but if there wasn't the protection of friends and family and fear of untimely death if they don't play the game. Society says - "Force natural selection!" and the characters all say "Sure. Seems legit."

-- Intense lack of world building. So much unanswered potential. Every single scene is missing that umph that a new world creates. You are left inferring a lot of information, which sort of stales the reading process.

-- The absolutely forced and annoying relationship with Chord that made no sense. It's almost as if the author's first editor says "Aww... but there isn't a romance," so the author post-completion just went back and threw one in. Again, no stakes here at all. They've been friends all their lives, and then suddenly a wild romance appears! I was thoroughly annoyed.

I don't know. I finished the book in one day, and the pacing is pretty good for a suspense. It's just one of those books that was just meh. There was so much potential here, and it made the whole thing worse.

Without high exceptions I'd give this maybe a 3 star.
With a description like that, I'm going to give it a 1.5.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Okay, so I burned out on Channelers. Which makes me really sad. I got 40k into the story, and realized that it was complete. Except for fleshing out the "I woke up, brushed my teeth, went to work" scenes which COULD have filled up 30k, but I can't bring myself to make Dani that boring.

I totally have a girl crush on my MC Dani. She's a spunky little thing, and her voice makes me happy. So I'm putting it away temporarily until I can find more story buried in there.

So what am I working on now? Why thank you for asking!

The new premise? Think


Or something.

If I have a girl crush on Dani, then I'm going to marry Elizabeth someday. For a 700 year old mage she's amazingly non-cynical and sassy as all kinds of hell. And she can kick some SERIOUS ass. Which just... well, it makes me happy.

More to come. Besos.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Why Writers Like Lyrical Music

Have you ever noticed that most writers have two things in common?

1) Reading. This is obvious. How in the world are we supposed to write if we have no idea what we're doing? If we don't understand pacing, character building, world building, emotional input, etc.

2) High lyrical music. I've noticed that a lot of my writer friends listen to similar music. I set out today to figure out exactly why that is.

I was listening to my book playlist and encountered something magical.

How magical?

This magical.

I know, right?

Writers are fans of putting words together in a way that has the highest impact. Poets are some of the best writers the world has to offer.

They have the amazing ability to bring someone to tears in a couple of stanzas. How impressive is that, honestly?

So when writers need inspiration, why wouldn't they choose highly verbose music with catchy ways of saying them?

I want to write books that make people feel like these songs do. I want to give people those deep spinal shivers when they 'get it'. I want to invoke the kind of sadness and longing that music is capable of.


So what inspires you to write? Do you have a playlist?

Until next time.