Thursday, 29 December 2011

Tessa and Jem - so not the perfect couple!

Just finished reading "Clockwork Prince" by Cassandra Clare. I loved the book, as I have loved all her other books. I think she's one of the most intriguing YA authors at the moment and I'm among those queuing in front of Waterstones the day her latest book is launched.
"Clockwork Prince" was no exception. To any rule - I got in on release day, I loved the story and devoured it in the matter of days, and I hated Cassie's "second book twist".
Tessa ends up with Jem? Are you kidding me right now? I'm really sorry about all the "team Jem" fans out there but honestly - JEM?? I don't mean it in a way that he's not good enough for a lead male character, on the contrary. But hands up those who think he's way too perfect! He's always so calm, so composed, so kind to everyone; he's the one who sees through Will's bad behavior; he's the one with the fatal illness inflicted on him by force and still he's not complaining!
And yet, Tessa loves Will. She doesn't admit it, she probably doesn't even know it herself for 2/3rd of the book but she does. The heat they generate when they are in close proximity of each other is enough to keep you warm during the winter months without ever switching the heating on. Hot water bottle - who needs it? Just read the DSBS and you'll be set!
And if that wasn't enough of a proof for you that Tessa loves the bad boys, just think about the moment she actually notices Jem as something more than a friend. When is that? The only time he actually loses his temper, has a shirtless rant and appeares almost as human as the rest of us.
And what about Mr. Perfect not even suspecting Will has feelings for Tessa? Jem - the observing, considerate, intuitive Jem - didn't notice even a flicker of interest in his best friend's, his parabatai's, eyes? Was he too self-involved to notice, or did he simply not care enough?
I really hope he dies in book three (sorry team Jem, it's Cassie's fault) because that's the only way he's out of the picture and Tessa and Will can be together. The scenario where he dies and asks Will to "take care of her" may have been exploited to an agonizing familiarity but it's still better than him ruining Tessa, and Will's, life.
Let's face it, Tessa and Will are meant to be together from the very first page.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

"Silence" by Becca Fitzpatrick

Just finished the last of the "Hush Hush" trilogy last night. "Silence" was amazing!
I read "Hush Hush" in a day which may not be so speedy for some people but I simply don't have the time the sit around and read all day. But this book grabbed me and I just couldn't leave it. Which meant stirring dinner on the stove with a book in hand, reading in front of my son's nursery after I left him and reading while walking to the supermarket (my eyes left the book just to cross the road once). 
I immediately fell for Patch. No other YA book character had grabbed me from the first moment he appeared. Not Edward, Jace, Damon, not even my all time favorite Eric Northman. Ms Fitzpatrick had managed to convey his presence from the first scene. And I believed every word.
When I finished the book I was so disappointed. Not because I hated the ending or even because I had to wait for almost a year before the next one came out. I was disappointed because it finished. Reading the last few chapters I had that funny feeling when you want to know what happens but at the same time you savor every single word because you know it will end soon and you so don't want it to. Very few books make me feel this way.
"Crescendo" is the second in the series and for me it was a bit disappointing. Maybe I had waited a long time or maybe I was expecting something better than the first one. I liked it but still couldn't shake the feeling it was a step back from "Hush Hush".
And then "Silence" came out. I fell in love with every single page. It absolutely resonated the warm feeling I had inside when I read "Hush Hush". Nora and Patch's chemistry almost gave me a paper cut. Several times. The action was non stop, there wasn't a single moment when I felt a bit bored or distracted. 
I admire Becca Fitzpatrick for managing to create such a lovely trilogy with such memorable characters. The whole atmosphere of the book is so intense that even though I started another one today ("Last Breath" by Rachel Caine), I still feel Patch lurking behind the corner and expect to find him or Nora at the end of that long, dark alley.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Thank you!

I have a habit of thoroughly reading the "thanks" section at the end (beginning) of a book. I can't wait to get a new book out of the library and turn to the acknowledgements! I know most people skip that part altogether but to me, it seems so intimate to share with the author their genuine gratitude to all the people who have helped them create this book.
It might be the neighbor who poured them endless cups of tea while they went through a meltdown (one of many); or the postman who delivered that all important "YES" letter from the agent; or their children's nursery teachers who gave them a few hours of peace each day; or their family who tolerated their absentmindedness for the past 2 months... 
The list is endless. But unfortunately, they have to keep it to a page.
I can't wait to sit down and write my acknowledgements, mentioning every single person who has been there for me, realizing it or not. I also can't wait to send them a copy and make them smile.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Why do I write?

That is the single most hateful question to all writers. And the single most asked one. Let me tell you why I write once and for all so that I never have to answer that again. I write because I can. As simple as that. I have stories building up inside me until I'm ready to burst. If I refuse to sit down and develop and write them, they start stalking me. Day and night. While I drive, while I sleep, while I watch TV, until I can't think of anything else and I can't remember what I've done the last few days. The only way to get rid of them is actually sit down and write them. I also write because I want to entertain people. I want to make them smile (mostly), cry (sometimes), I want to inspire them, transport them somewhere else for a few hours, make them FEEL. And most importantly I write because it makes me happy. Even when I don't have anything to say and stare at the white screen for hours. The few words that come out eventually make me happy. Even editing makes me happy. Thinking of the perfect name of a character gets me as excited as a little girl on a marry-go-round. It's very hard to answer that question with a single sentence - especially to us writers who love to elaborate. But if I had to sum up in a sentence it would be this: I write because it's hard not to.

Struggling with "The Power of Six"

Despite being a huge book worm and reading a few books a week, I'm struggling to finish "The Power of Six" for a couple weeks already. The first one, "I Am Number Four" was an average book that generated a huge hype because the movie came out almost simultaneously as the book. And we all know how excited everybody gets about "the new blockbuster", especially if it stars a fit teenage hunk and a Glee actress...
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that it's all bout marketing and promotion. I would've never bought that book if it wasn't on the first page of Amazon and on the front stands in the bookshops. All in all, it wasn't that bad, but the sequel is even worse. There is something missing, something loosing hold of my attention but I can't put my finger on it. Is it the flat characters? Is it the very predictable action scenes? Or the story dragging itself in circles and nothing much happening despite the abundance of fight scenes? I don't know.
But what I do know is that in the publishing world today it's all about who you know and how you promote yourself. Unfortunately, it's rarely about what you've written. Once you've lodged your foot in the publishing business' door, you can write any cr*p you want and still make lots of money.
I tried persuading agents and publishers to look at my work for months and nobody even read it before declining representation. Until I picked up my dry cleaning one day and it turned out the girl behind the counter's friend knew somebody who knew this agent's housekeeper's daughter.
It doesn't have to be that way anymore. I strongly believe that soon authors will take their careers back in their own hands and readers and writers alike will only benefit from it.
Back to the "Power of Six" then. Only 100 pages left. Let me just say, I won't be buying the third one.