On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King and Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.

When it comes to books about how to write, the most recommended book I’ve seen has been Stephen King’s On Writing.

I was not going to read this book.

The main reasons for completely disregarding it were (1) I’m not a fan of King’s work (nothing against him or his writing, it’s just not for me) and (2) I didn’t think a book about writing would actually hold any information I don’t already know or can’t readily google.

I was half-right about that second one.

What I didn’t realize, whenever those recommendations popped up, was that this was a memoir, a book not about how to write, but about how he grew as a writer. Sure, he gives some advice too (nothing you can’t find if you google the topic) but the book wasn’t about writing, it was about becoming a writer.

I am so glad I read it because I really appreciated seeing and feeling the struggles he went through, the struggles most writers are still going through to get published. I related to so much of it.

So I guess I’ll be joining the masses that say every writer should read this book, whether for motivation or commiseration, but I’ll be sure to say why. It’s not a writing textbook, but a story of how one person overcame so much to become one of the most famous authors of all time.

Now, the Elements of Style, that’s a textbook.

I picked it up because King recommended it several times throughout his book as a great starting out guide on the biggest mistakes new writers make in their work. From comma usage, to wrong word meanings, it’s a pretty good guide. I’ve found that some minor things in it were outdated (like the use of they for singular non-gender specific nouns) but overall, it was a comprehensive what-not-to-do list from which I took a few notes to keep in my writing toolbox for future reference. Sure, I could (and have) google it all too, but for how short the book was, I didn’t mind.

Overall, these two were a good way to start off my year of being an agented author, and hopefully a professional one. If I thought waiting on agent responses was hard, being on sub with editors is 100 times worse! Here’s to fingers crossed!

Advertisements

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

31137128.jpg

The amount of research that must have gone into this book is insane. If I thought researching 18th century Austria was a chore, the reclusive Isle of Man, with its own language, dialect, traditions, and every day life seems impossible.

The story itself was a haunting fairy-tale style book. I loved that the characters acted their age and had parents to keep them that way. Most YA books forgo the parents (of which I’m guilty as a YA author as well) to give their characters more freedom, but this book broke that trope and did it very well.

The book kept the tension really high throughout the whole thing. Yes, there’s insta-love and a love triangle and deus ex machina, but the story flowed so well it wasn’t dominated by it. You never know who is safe.

This author’s way of bringing me into another world seriously shocked me. I can’t wait to read her next book, Reign of the Fallen, that comes out in a few weeks (can we say pre-ordered?). It has an f/f romance as well, so YES PLEASE. The world needs more f/f YA fantasy!

Overall, I enjoyed reading it and was lost in how real the world was, even with its monsters and eerie happenings. I do think it was aimed at the younger YA audience, but it did a perfect job at portraying a dark fairy tale.

Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

31574894.jpg

I really enjoyed the Glittering Court, and I thought the idea of a parallel story that takes place at the same time but with a different girl (especially Mira!) sounded really interesting.

I was not disappointed.

While it flew through everything prior to their arrival in Aldoria, once she was there I loved how her character developed. I loved the moral dilemmas and the pirates and the spying. Honestly, I loved it all!

And what a beautiful cover! WAY better than book one, where the girl looks really creepy. I can’t wait for book 3! Tamsin’s story is now even more fascinating. The release can’t come soon enough.

Royal Replicas by Michael Pierce

34738102.jpg

The Selection gets a sci-fi makeover in Royal Replicas. Basically, a dying princess is cloned and the clones are sent to each section of the country to be raised by a high standing family. Once of marrying age, they are brought back to the palace to complete for a neighboring prince’s heart. The one he picks becomes his wife, and the rest…well, it’s not hard to figure out where this is going.

This type of book is 100% a guilty pleasure. I can’t help but enjoy them, just like arranged marriage turned love scenarios. I didn’t go into this book expecting anything mind blowing, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was pretty much what I expected, aside from a few hick-ups that bothered me (like for the second half of the book, the MC totally forgets she has a second sister…).

Overall, I enjoyed it, but I won’t be picking up more of the series. Too many books on my to-read shelf. That cover though – so pretty! Though book two’s cover is a bit more…ahem…adult.

36029959.jpg

It looks like a BDSM romance (or porn). o_0

The Devil’s Lullaby (The Devil’s Advocate #2) by Michaela Haze

36195703.jpg

AAAHHH this book! I could squee to Hell and back with how much I enjoyed reading it.

If I thought that book 1 was much like the Lucifer comic books, this book takes a turn and becomes a lot more like the Lucifer TV series. It tones down on the sex and violence and gives us angel wings and magical artifacts. Since I love both, it was the icing on the cake for me. I honestly cannot wait for book 3!

The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea by Melanie Cellier

28444523.jpg

I have never read a Princess and the Pea retelling, so this book immediately got my attention. Fairy tale retellings are my jam!

I was really excited to read this, and it turned out to be a sweet basic story that reminded me of the Faerie Tale Collection Series by Jenni James, minus the insta-love. The constant emphasis on beauty felt a bit distasteful, but it was a fairy tale. What did I expect? I did enjoy the book and I’m really interested in the next one.

However, there was one issue: someone stole all the commas.

millie bobby brown omg GIF by Converse

Ok, so maybe not ALL the commas, but a lot of them. Maybe it was an ebook conversion error that ate the commas like pacman.

psychedelics GIF

Or maybe Australia has different grammar rules? I don’t know. I did enjoy the book, though, and I hope book 2 has escaped the comma thief.

Bloody Banquet (The Corpse-Eater Saga Book 2) by Leod Fitz

36478589.jpg

*squee* It feels like I’ve been waiting for this book forEVER. I loved Awfully Appetizing and could not wait for book 2.

So we have our unconventional protagonist, Walter, who is a ghoul and eats dead things. He has morals, though they’re quite grey at times, but throughout the whole book you want to cheer for him. He’s so strangely likable, I wish there were more mcs like him in literature.

This book had so much action, I was taking notes on how to make great fighting scenes. Raw and realistic, and so well written I couldn’t get enough of it. Did I mention I love Walter?

My only gripe with this book is that I wanted to read it to get answers from a foreshadowed question in book one: what did his blood do to a newborn vampire? And we get nothing but more teasing! Ahoa;kjdf;goakwj;lk! That means I have to wait for the next book to come out before I find out (hopefully, anyway). This story was great, and I’m happy to have devoured it in less than two days, but now I need more!

Overall, a great continuation of the series, and I’m itching to pick up the next one.