Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Emma: A Latter Day Tale Blog Tour

Emma's her name and matchmaking is her game! 

Quirky life coach Emma wants to help her first-ever client, a lonely nanny named Harriet. But all of her attempts at matchmaking result only in embarrassing miscues and blunders, leaving the pair disheartened and confused. 

This modern take on the Jane Austen classic shows that sometimes the greatest match is the one we make for ourselves.

Pure fun. If you are a fan of Jane Austen retellings or cute LDS rom coms, add this one to your TBR list pronto. I really enjoyed reading this book—and when I heard it was coming out, I JUMPED at the chance to review it.

Emma is not my favorite Jane Austen book—and probably my least favorite Jane Austen character (though Fanny from Mansfield Park would run a close second…)—but Rebecca Jamison did a fantastic job of staying true to Austen’s characters, while giving Emma believable motivation for meddling in other people’s lives. This Emma was so dang likeable even while I want to shake her and tell her to stop putting her nose into everyone else’s business, because she genuinely cared for other people and wanted to do the right thing.

You can also check out Jamison’s first book Persuasion: A Latter Day Tale.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Reasons Why I Might Stop Reading Your Book

I’m not one of those people who feel compelled to finish a book once I’ve begun. There are so many awesome books out there and I only have time to read so many, so if a book doesn’t grab me and hold me tight, I’m done.

Here are some reasons (in no particular order) I’ve stopped reading books in the past few months:

1)      The men sound like women.
Example: Male love interest checks himself out in the mirror and primps, while internally obsessing over what the female love interest is going to think of him.

2)      Unbelievable conflict
Historical Romance: They can’t be together because he’s rich (except, he’s not because he gave up everything to come to America and make his own way in the world and is actually rather poor and estranged from his snobby family) and she’s poor (except, her dad was a super successful rancher and she’s extremely well educated.) I honestly didn’t understand what was keeping them apart.

3)      The conflict could be resolved with one conversation.
Personal Pet Peeve: Books revolving around an innocent miscommunication.

4)      I can’t connect with the characters.
I think this one is different for everyone, but I have a difficult time connecting with a character when I don’t understand their motivation.

5)      Boring/overdone premise that doesn’t offer me anything new once I get further into the story.
What did Snyder say in Save the Cat? Give me the same thing only different. Something like that. I’m sure I’m totally butchering the quote, but still—that’s what I want when I read commercial fiction.

6)      Slow starts with a ton of background info.
Example: I’ve recently read two books that revolved around someone inheriting a house they need to fix up—a premise I truly enjoy (which is why I picked up two books with it)

The first book started with the girl showing up at the house, seeing the mess it was (and thinking that she needed a project like this to take her mind of the massive mess she’d made of her life), and meeting the hunky/emotionally wounded/completely closed off  contractor all in the first few pages. -à I was immediately drawn in to the story.

The second book started with a girl thinking. Then she thought some more. Then she found out about the house, which of course, led to more thinking. Then a flashback that was supposed to be sad, but I had a hard time caring because I had no context for who she was talking about, then more thinking. We didn’t meet anyone in the first chapter except the main character, and she didn’t do anything but ponder the change this house would bring to her life. SHOW ME!-à Now, maybe the rest of the book is amazing, but honestly, I’ll probably never know.

7)      There’s nothing in particular that I can pinpoint, but I’m just getting a “meh” feeling. I don’t really feel a need to get back to it.

What makes you put a book down?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reading for fun...?

It’s almost impossible for me to read solely for enjoyment because I am constantly analyzing the books I read.

If it’s good, I’m asking myself:

Why did I like that scene so much?
What kinds of things did the author do to make me feel for this character in such a strong way?
What specific writing techniques were employed in this chapter that made it stand out to me?
What made this an “un-put-downable” read?

If it’s bad, I analyze that as well.

I’m constantly asking myself: What worked in this book? What didn’t work in this book? Why?

I feel like I’m back in college and I need to write a paper on If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch and dissect what she did with her language, the POV, the plot, the characters, the symbols, everything that added up to me not being able to put it down.

Can you turn off writer-brain when you read?

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