Friday, June 17, 2011

Recap 6/11 to 6/17

In case you missed anything, here's a recap of what was posted Saturday, June 11th through Friday, June 17th.

+ DNF Review of Legacy by Cayla Kluver

Feedback please!

I've temporarily switched my commenting system over to a pop up window instead of the imbedded form. Some of you said you were having trouble commenting with the embedded form. Hopefully this problem gets resolved soon, but for now I've switched to make things easier for you. 

How does everyone like this method of commenting? I personally dislike it, so I'm not sure how long I'll keep it. I'll consider keeping it permanently if most of you prefer it to the embedded form.

Reviews



Memes


Features

 Review Comparison Submissions: Entwined by Heather Dixon
Still open!

Spotlight List: Fairy Tale Retellings

Giveaway of Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren

What's Your Status?

A meme created by Zakiya from Butterfly Feet Walking on Life where we recap our reading week. Feel free to visit her site and link up your own What's Your Status Posts. Here's how my week went:

Finished

(Click on the link to go to Goodreads)

Reviews to come on all of these! I liked them both a lot.

Currently Reading


Did Not Finish


Received: Publisher/NetGalley
Page 272 of 488

Due to an inaccurate page count listing of 304 pages on Goodreads (that seems to have been corrected now), I was under the impression that Harlequin Teen had done a good bit of trimming from the original independently published version. That doesn't seem to be the case, though it really should have been. 

Three hundred and four pages would have been a lot more appropriate given how much useless description could have been hacked out (no, I don't think it's an overestimate to say that 184 pages of description could have been slashed without affecting the plot in any way). Almost every time the main character entered a room I was ripped out of the plot to endure a few paragraphs of superfluous description about how the room was set up. What furniture was there, what fabric was used on the drapes, how the positioning of the shelves related to the positioning of the doorways. Enough! That isn't necessary and only served to distract me from the story and keep me from getting immersed.

And don't even get me started on the freaking gardens. 

I also don't need descriptions of the eye color, skin tone, face shape, and hair color of characters who, at most, enter a room once and never say anything.

The characters were stock caricatures that did not distinguish themselves in any way for me (except to make me facepalm about a hundred times. Particularly Alera, the Too Stupid To Live MC). The only character that I actually liked was London, but he disappears within the first 100 or so pages and doesn't appear again until page 300 something (or so I hear). This is a real shame because he was stunning. He was interesting and sexy. He had depth, personality, and an intriguing past. I loved him. If only the other characters were as nuanced and alive as him. I zipped through the whole beginning, but it wasn't until London exited that I realized how much he had been carrying the book for me. 

The world building also needed work. There were a few glaring inconsistencies that seriously interrupted my ability to enjoy the story. Most notable is the structure of the guard and the assignments they were given. London, who is repeatedly said to be among the highest ranked officers there, shares the same position with a very inexperienced guard. This doesn't make any sense, but none of the characters seem to question it so I can only assume this inconsistency is not supposed to be an inconsistency. That, or this is actually strange and will play a KEY ROLE later on but the characters are all too stupid to notice now. Either way, that needs to be worked on. 

There is another aspect that doesn't make any sense, but I can't describe it without spoiling things:
Narian comes back--out of the blue--after being raised by their enemy for 16 years. He's accepted into society no questions asked. Seriously, no one seems to wonder if this is perhaps a trap or infiltration attempt of some kind? Though some characters do view him with suspicion, these characters are all disliked by Alera, so should I assume the reader is supposed to agree with Alera? Alera not only trusts Narian completely (for NO reason), but she also begins to fall for him. 

Alera--the CROWN PRINCESS AND ROYAL HEIR--is also allowed to spend hours of unsupervised (or mostly unsupervised--her inept "guard" watches her sometimes) time with Narian. This makes no sense. What kingdom would allow their HEIR to cavort around unsupervised with a person who has spent their entire lifetime raised by the enemy only to mysteriously appear all of a sudden. Not only is Alera TSTL, but apparently so is her entire kingdom.

All that said though, this isn't a complete wash. Instead of scrapping the book entirely, a good editing would do the trick. It should be noted that the author is, as far as I can tell, only about 17 years old now (which means she must have written the book when she was around 13 or 14). The book shows a lot of promise. Her dialogue, writing, and basic plot were a great foundation that can easily be improved upon. And, of course I can't forget London, who was fantastic. With a little more practice and a better editor, I could see Cayla becoming an author I would very much enjoy.

Extras

This week I participated in The Slowest Bookworm's new Book Blogger Bingo! Click on the button to learn how you can join in and win books!

The Slowest Bookworm

Check this out! Here are two new buttons from Lisa T. Bergren (the author of the FABULOUS River of Time series!) that you can grab to put on your blog and help spread the word. Do you see the big button? Did you happen to catch MY QUOTE?!?! Yep, that totally made my day!




Cialina from Muggle-Born.net is also hosting an entire month dedicated to all things Simon & Schuster! I've participated with a few reviews and cover reviews. Click the button below to see what she's put together and how you can join in!




Miss anything last week? Click here to read a Recap

18 comments:

  1. Another great week. Legacy is staying off my list, it sounds a bit too much dragged out.

    And I love those River of Times buttons. I will have to add one to my blog :)

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  2. Wow, it sounds like Legacy could use a much heavier edit, both structurally and with stylistic details. That much description would bore me no end!

    And very cool you got quoted in the River of Time button :D

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  3. I prefer when the comment form is embedded, but if peeps are having problems, then pop-out is OK for a while. :)

    I've read a lot of good reviews of Legacy, but it never really sounded like my thing. I think the cover is pretty, though!

    You got a special mention on my blog today - just wanted to let you know. Big thanks! :)

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  4. Books that are too long and badly edited drive me nuts. I don't mind a long book if there's a reason for the length and it keeps me entertained. Otherwise editor, slash and burn the extra stuff, it's your job!

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  5. I actually enjoyed Legacy. Maybe i did because i knew from the start that the author was 14 when she wrote it and i didn't over judged her. There is no comparison with other fantasy books, but i liked it.
    If you want to see my review (which i just noticed has a thousand grammar mistakes..LOL)


    Oh, btw i linked you Two Castles.. by Gail Carson Levine review into mine ^^

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  6. Don't know if this helps you or not, but the reason for the embedded comment problems was a bug with Blogger when they upgraded to allow you to attach a "location" to your post.

    There were a couple of workarounds: hit preview a couple of times, and eventually your comment would show up
    OR
    make sure the "keep me signed in" box on your Gmail was unchecked, otherwise it led to an endless loop of signing and re-signing in (very buggy, you see?)

    Of course, most commenters can't be bothered with such extra steps, so comments went way down for bloggers everywhere.

    I believe they have it all worked out now. I've tested my blog on a couple of different platforms (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox) and it all seems to be okay with embedded comments now.

    Can't think of why I'd ever want to attach a location to my post, though!

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  7. Whoa you are a blogger extraordinaire! I'm impressed with all your bookish activities! I'm looking forward to your review of Love Story, I'm really excited for that one:)

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  8. Wow what a week it has been! Thank you for your frank and honest review. I prefer this form for comments, as it seems to work better and it is easier to read the other comments and share everyone's opinions. But I enjoy reading your posts regardless of what format you choose - its you thang do whatch wanna do :) hee hee

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  9. I know we talked about Forget You (emailed) and I can't remember if that's the one we both read or I didn't. I can't wait to see what the decision on Love Story is.

    You are probably one of the busiest bloggers I know. I loved the Fairy Tale Retellings yesterday. Some books I'd really never heard of. You always add some interesting reads to my shelf. Thanks for that!

    Heather

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  10. Too bad about Legacy! I don't mind a lot of description...if done correctly. I actually like knowing hair color and eye color. Sometimes that's never even mentioned in a book and I can't visualize the characters. But the fabric on curtains not so much! However, sometimes it's interesting to get a sense of where we are. I've always seen it mentioned that writers should add all the senses. I want to know what a place looks like, feels like and smells like. But too much can definitely go a long way.

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  11. Sorry to hear you had to DNF Legacy. I'm often very tolerable of books that have tons of description but even I reach my limit if the description seems incredibly pointless. I just finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which had tons of extraneous, pointless information that could have been edited out. I'm always impressed by young authors though, so at least from that point of view, I might be able to enjoy Legacy if I keep in mind how young she is.

    I personally dislike the pop-up form of commenting as well, but if people are really having trouble commenting on blogs then I might have to switch over as well.

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  12. I'm generally not a fan of the pop up comment form or the one that opens a new page, but it's not like I'll stop commenting if you switch over. Whatever is easiest for your commenters, I say, since you don't have to comment too much on your own blog.

    I need to read Legacy for NetGalley, but now I'm worried. I hope I like it.

    Also, thanks for the reminder about the LTB buttons! I saw I'm on there too! *craps pants*

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  13. I love blogs that use the pop up comments window as it's so much easier to comment. You can still scroll through the post and remind yourself of bits you wanted to comment on without losing the form and also you can carry on reading previous posts without having to go back to the top and clicking home. So much easier! You may find more people read previous posts too on their visits.

    I can totally understand why you didn't finish Legacy. That much description drives me crazy and usually end up skimming.

    Oh and Dawn of the Dreadfuls has a totally scary cover. OMG I feel freaked now!

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  14. What a busy week! Sorry about Legacy. I would be skimming through all that description. Congrats on the quote!

    I love the pop up comment for much the same reasons of Slowest Bookworm: easier to comment and easier/quicker to comment on several posts, can see other posts while commenting, don't have to reload new page, easy to review the post I'm commenting on. But it's all about what works for you. I'll still keep commenting!

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  15. Nic, Legacy was less that there were lots of drawn out boring parts, and more like every sentence should have been cut in half. Does that make sense? Can’t wait to see the RoT buttons on your blog!

    Danya, Yes, it’s a shame that it hasn’t been edited more, but I did read an ARC, so maybe they’ll still edit further? They should. The book would actually be really good then. Thanks (about the button)!

    Leanna, Thanks for the feedback! I prefer it embedded too because then I only have to scroll once. It saves time, plus you don’t have to hunt for the comment link. I love the cover of Legacy. I’ve seen some really good reviews for it too, but unfortunately I didn’t have the same experience. Thanks for the special mention!

    Sara, They drive me nuts too. Agreed, a book can be long, but there should be a good reason for the length. I wonder how much this book really was edited, considering it’s about the same length as it was prior to Harlequin picking it up.

    Yiota, I knew she was young, too, but it still bothered me. I think it’s great for her, but there are still standards for publishing and it just didn’t cut it for me. I did like the overall story though. I’d definitely pick it up again if it were edited more. Thanks for the link to your review. I see I actually already read (and commented on) it! Thanks so much for linking me on your review!

    Jenny, lol! I do feel like I’ve been busy lately. I’m liking Love Story so far. I like it more than Forget You (which I didn’t finish) but not as much as Going Too Far. I’m not so sure about this guy yet…

    Lah, Thanks!!!

    Denise, You’re welcome. Thanks for your feedback about the commenting. You’re a sweetie :)

    Heather, I don't remember (about Forget You, ha, that's kind of amusing!), but I do know I couldn't fish Forget You. I just finished Love Story today and I like it more than Forget You, but no where near as much as I liked Going Too Far. It was just an ok read for me. I feel busy! I feel like I have zero time. I don't know how you bloggers who are moms or who have really busy jobs manage to blog! You're so welcome :)

    Julie, I agree. I like it when authors tell me the hair and eye color of the characters, but it was just so excessive in this book. Even characters who don't even speak get described in detail. The settings were described too much and just the way it was done felt awkward like an interruption instead of flowing with the narrative.

    Aylee, I heard that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo took about 100 pages before it really took off. It's really popular at my library, but I don't think I'll ever read it. I am impressed by young authors too. She's definitely talented, no doubt about that, but she does need a more attentive editor. Thanks for the feedback on the commenting system.

    Logan, Thanks for the feedback! I actually like commenting this way on my own blog because I can more easily reply to people while keeping their comment in front of me. It's on other blogs that I don't like it as much. It takes more time to leave a comment. I hope you like Legacy more than I did. It does have a lot of potential and Melissa from I Swim for Oceans loved it, so don't feel too discouraged by my experience :) I saw you on the button too!! That was a great line from your review.

    The Slowest Bookworm, Those are all good points about the pop up window. Hm, ok, maybe I'm coming around a little. :P Every time I read Dawn of the Dreadfuls I have to put it down with the cover facing down so I don't have to look at the cover (cause I'm a wimp like that). It's a fun book though.

    Alyssa, Thanks! Thanks for the feedback. I didn't consider a lot of those aspects of the pop up commenting.

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  16. Madigan, I don't know why your comment isn't showing up sometimes! Sorry about that :) Thank you for all that information. I was wondering what had happened to cause the problem. For whatever reason I never was affected, but I know a lot of people were.

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  17. That's the one- Going Too Far was the one we both liked! I never read Forget You. Going Too Far is the only one of hers I've read. I did really like that one. Thanks for reminding me of the name.

    Heather

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