Nanowrimo Tag

Hello everyone,

This year I will be participating in Nanowrimo this November and I am both nervous and excited. In anticipation IO decided to do a Nanowrimo Tag that I saw on Booktube and wanted to give it a try.

This year’s Nanowrimo project is The Helsing Society: Blood Moon War. After years of relative peace between the Witches, Vampires and Werewolves. A few attacks has lead to all sides declaring war on one another. It is up to Natalia, an apprentice of the Helsing Society; a group that monitors supernatural creatures, to figure out what happened and why.

The tag was created by Seihren the Bookish Witch

1. How many years have you participated in NaNo? 

-This is my second attempt at Nano. I tried last year and even wrote almost 5,000 words and then I got sick, then very busy. Cross my fingers I will suceed this year.

2. Are you a planner, pantser, or plantser?

-I feel like I am a plantser, I would start with a sort of brief outline of what I want to happen in my novel, but then sometimes I would make things up as a go along.

3. If you are a planner/plantser, what are the first story elements that you flesh out?

-Mostly the characters. I love writing about characters, their backstories, their motivations because I think characters is what makes or breaks a book for me.

4. NaNo Forums? Do you use them?

-Yes, I use some forums. It is nice to see what other projects people are working on and some tips for myself.

5. Writing Buddies? Do you prefer to write socially or alone?

-I like to write a bit socially and a bit alone. It is nice to have some writing buddies and I am on a twitter chat with some fellow Nano writers.

6. Do you diligently write 1,667 words a day, or do you write in spurts

-I write in spurts. I sometimes try to do an hour writing session and write as many words as possible.

7. Do you have a writing totem?

-I do. It is an I AM A WRITER sign that I place above my desk.

8. Do you go to kick-off, write-in, or wrap-up parties?

-Last year I didn’t go to any of the Nano parties, but this year I may go to some write-ins in the area.

9. When writing, are you an analog (handwritten) or digital writer? Does the same apply to when you’re taking notes or brainstorming?

-I have a notebook in which I consider my series “Bible” which has all of my notes with characters, locations, plot elements and worlds. But I usually type my actual manuscript.

10. Share your NaNo username (if you feel comfortable doing so) so that others can connect with you on the NaNo site!

-It is DLouis129, feel free to connect with me!

That is my Nanowrimo Tag. If you are also doing Nanowrimo let me know. I will be your cheerleader.

Advertisements

WWW Wednesday 10/24/2018

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Image result for access restricted

Last year I read, All Rights Reserved and I really enjoyed reading it. It was about a world in which every word is copyrighted, so speaking will cost you. A young girl named Speth, decided not to speak and sparked a revolution. So far the sequel expands heavily on its world and its premise and I am enjoying it.

Image result for y the last man

This is a graphic novel that I always wanted to read. I am a fan of Brian K. Vaughan’s writing mainly Saga, and this is a post apocalyptic world in which all men are dead and there is only one.

What did you recently finish?

Image result for red sister

After years of putting it off, I finally tasted the Mark Lawrence Kool-Aid, and loved it. I really enjoyed reading this book. It had everything I need in a dark high fantasy, with murder and stabby, stab. Sort of like if nuns were also killer assassins. I can’t to see where this story ends up. Thank you Meltotheany

Image result for the coldest girl in coldtown

This is the second book I read by Holly Black. While I did enjoy the book, I did feel that the characters didn’t stick with me like they did in The Cruel Prince.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Image result for what if it's us

The YA crossover event of the century. Ever since this book was announced, it was on my TBR. I recently saw them at Boston Book Festival, and they are awesome people. Now I just want to know if it’s a Silvera ending or an Albertali ending.

Image result for anger is a gift

This is another YA contemporary dealing with police brutality, but also issues involving mental health. I also meet the author at Boston Book Festival, and hearing him talk about the book, made me want to go and pick it up.

That is my WWW Wednesday. What books are you currently reading? What have you recently finished and what will you be reading next? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by: Holly Black

Summary:

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Review:

The Cruel Prince was the first book I read by Holly Black, and since I loved that book so much, and I cannot wait for The Wicked King to come out, I decided to start reading some of her early work.

This is a stand alone, which is very unusual for me to read, because I do like reading series most of the time, but this one caught my eye because it was about vampires.

In this book the Vampires lived in a sort of closed off place away from the rest of the world in a place called Coldtown. I like that within the story, Vampires were basically the product of a plagued. But not only does Coldtown inhabit Vampires but also humans who have been bitten but not turned yet. With her writing, Holly Black does a good job in describing Coldtown to the reader. I also love the Coldtown reality show, it really adds to some to the meta humor.

I also love the first chapter. It had a really good eerie feel to it, in which Tana wakes up and sees a whole bunch of corpses from a late night party, and her confusion and dismay for the events that have been taken place. Like I said earlier, it is a great testament to her writing and her lyrical style.

A weak aspect I had with the book, was mainly its characters. Particularity Tana. I didn’t really feel a connection with Tana, like I did with other YA protagonists. I think a lot of her story arc took place around her. Some aspects I did like, was her relationship with her mother, and feeling that her mother’s death was kinda of her fault even though it wasn’t in the end.

There is Aidian, Tana’s ex boyfriend. I didn’t feel like he had an arc and was more of a plot device just to get Tana to Coldtown, to try to get him some help because he was bitten.

Gavriel, is sort of the Vampire bad boy, who has to guide Tana through Coldtown. I did like his backstory and his relationship with his maker, Lucian. I did really like his story line and I kinda wish his character was a bit more fleshed out.

I thought some of the other supporting characters were fine, like Valentina, who I really enjoyed reading about and Jameson.

While I did enjoy the book, I did feel that it wasn’t as good as The Cruel Prince. I kinda wish this book wasn’t a stand alone, and we could learn more about Coldtown, the Vampires and the Vampire hunters. The ending felt sort of rushed because of it, with Lucian a pretty cool antagonist being nothing more than a monster of the week.

In the end, I enjoyed The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Holly Black’s writing was really good and her descriptiveness helped really drive in the setting. I felt the characters were not as fleshed out as her other character’s and I really felt more stories set within this universe would have fleshed them out a lot.

Grade: 3.8/5

 

Vengeful by VE Schwab

Summary:

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

The Review:

Vicious was one of my favorite books that I read in 2018, so of course I was excited about a sequel that was being written. This was also the book that made me fall in love with VE Schwab and her writing.

The book picks up a little after the events of Vicious and the sort of battle between Victor and Eli, two people who started off as friends, but then grew into bitter enemies. With Victor sort of living and dying back to living again, and Eli being in jail for his crimes in Vicious.

This book was very character driven, and Eli was the character I thought was a lot more fleshed out. You see a lot of backstory with him going from foster home to foster home without anything close to coming to a real home. Even though it seems pretty much like a super villain origin story, it makes him a very complex character.

Sydney and Mitch also returned for Vengeful, and Mitch’s backstory was definitely a lot more fleshed out, and he had some great bits of character development.

Then there is Marcella. Oh boy, Marcella. I feel in love with her from the very first page. She is a mob wife, who was “killed” by her husband and then starts to come into her power. She was one of my favorite characters of the book. She kinda has the sort of “evil is sexy” trope and I love how after her “death” she begins to take control of her own situation, and basically being a mob wife with super powers.

I also liked how in Marcella’s story she recruits sort of her own band of lieutenants. There is June who is a shapeshifter and could transform herself into anyone she comes across. She was also another badass character.

While I wouldn’t say this is plot driven like her other works. This book is very character driven in every way possible. All of the characters are all complex in their own way, and I like that the title of the series, is called Villains. Because it is very hard to pin point who are the villains of this story. It made me hard to choose sides between Victor and Eli because they are both such great and compelling characters.

This book also plays a lot with time. It uses flashbacks, to further flesh out the characters of the book, mainly Eli and Marcella. It may have been a bit confusing at first to figure out where in the timeline you are, but it is very worth it and has a lot of good build up, especially towards the end.

She also took a story about people with super powers and made it very exciting, and took full advantage of its premise. Some books dealing with super powers that I have read never really ran with the powers concept, but VE Schwab, took that concept and ran for a 100 yard touchdown.

In the end, Vengful, solidified why VE Schwab is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are rich,vibrant and complex. It was such a page turner that I was captivated from the first page. I know its  suppose to be a duology, but I just want more.

Grade: 5/5

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Villains (Part 2)

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday, and the topic is:

October 10th: Favorite Villains
— It looks like we last did this topic in 2016, so I encourage you to pick new villains if this is not your first time covering this topic! (also, as before, try not to just use HP characters…)

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

I did one for villains already, but there are so many villains, but I also want to add from other medias as well.

Perry Wright from Big Little Lies

Image result for perry big little lies

He abuses his wife, Celeste which almost affected his twin boys. He also rapes another woman, and fathers that child while using a different name in order to seduce that woman. He plays the loving husband one second, and an evil abuser another second, and tries to apologize before the cycle repeats itself.

Darth Bane from the Star Wars Darth Bane trilogy

Image result for darth bane

Some would argue that he is an anti-hero. But reading the first two books of the series, you start to see a person’s slowing descending into the dark side, but at times it is almost understandable. He is just trying to survive the best way he knows how. He also challenges the Sith way of thinking and reestablishes the rule of two.

Xifeng from Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Image result for forest of a thousand lanterns

Sort of like, Darth Bane, it was nice to read a story from a villains perspective, and also seeing a story in which there is a sort of villain origin story. She spends most of book trying to manipulate her way into becoming empress, that it is almost impressive.

Eli from Vicious

Image result for vicious by ve schwab

Part of me, almost don’t really consider him a villain, but more of a self appointed protagonist of his own story. Following his story in both Vicious and Vengeful, you start to see his way of thinking. He believes himself to be this religious zealot, who believes he is doing the right thing.

AIDAN from The Illuminae Files

Image result for the illuminae files

An AI, who only believes in binaries and code. His thinking lead to the deaths of several people, because his system doesn’t take into account humanity. He makes decisions based on statistics and nothing else. While he is very fleshed out, he basically operates like a HAL system.

Those are some of my favorite villains. What are some of your favorite villains? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

Big Little Lies (Book/Adaptation Review) By: Liane Moriarty-Also spoilers

This is something that I always kinda wanted to do for quite sometime now, in which I discuss both the book and its adaptation in the same review.

Also this will contain spoilers for both the show and the book.

For Big Little Lies I watched the show first last year when it was on HBO. I always would see the book at stores but never really would pick it up because it was never really a genre that I would grab towards which is mystery novels. My girlfriend would sometimes read mystery novels and they could either be really good or really bad. I also borrowed this book from my girlfriend for almost a year before reading it (sorry Julie).

I am first going to review the show.

Big Little Lies

Image result for big little lies show

The show premiered on HBO last spring in 2017. It starred Nicole Kidman as Celeste, Reese Witherspoon as Madeline, and Shailine Woodly as Jane.

It started with a mystery of what happened on a school’s trivia night and a dead body that came with it. Was in an accident or murder? That is what the book is trying to figure out.

It felt as if I was watching a very long movie, with nice and solid pacing. It was written by David E. Kelly who I have been following since his legal dramas, The Practice and Boston Legal, and it really paced out the book well.

What they left out/Changed

Since it is an adaptation, there will always be changes to fit the narrative. A major change is the setting. While the book took place in Australia, the show took place in California.

Also Madeline had another son, and so did Reneta who weren’t in the adaptation. It wasn’t a big change since those characters didn’t really add a lot to the plot.

Also there was an affair that Madeline had with her musical director in which she worked at, that wasn’t in the book, and I sort of didn’t like the subplot in the show. But it did give Madeline more to do.

There is also the character of Bonnie. Who in the end, was the one that pushed Perry during the trivia night. Her character was a lot more fleshed out in the book, and it actually gave reason as to why she pushed Perry off.

How it is as an adaptation

I watched the show, before I read the book, and I had the book for months because I borrowed it from my girlfriend. The show did follow a lot of the beats as the books.

It starts with the trivia night, and is told mostly through interviews of the other parents and teachers who were there, and starts from the first day of school. In which an incident occurred involving two of the children and Ziggy the son of Jane is accused on bullying, and from there it deals with the fallout from, party invitations, to wars between parties and gossiping moms all around.

It also deals with a semi civil war between the career moms and the stay at home moms. Especially with Renata and Madeline. The book dived more deeper into that situation.

It also dealt with the issue of domestic violence and how while Celeste and her husband Perry seem like an happy normal couple, who goes away on extravagant vacations all the time, but underneath there is violence among the marriage and Celeste tries to hide under all of that.

The show did a good job at highlighting the various degrees of a domestic violence perpetrator in which there are scenes of Perry being a loving and caring Husband and father, and then becomes the monster that he is.

I also liked how both the show and the book, had the same twist in which Perry was Ziggys father. The book was Jane saying his fake name and revealing that he was her rapist, was very chilling in both the show and the book.

As an adaptation I thought the show did an amazing job with the characters, and most of it lies in its performances especially by Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailine Woodley. Aleksander Skardgard and Laura Dern. Those performances elevated the characters and its now suprise that Nicole, Laura and Aleks all won Emmys for their peromances.

Image result for big little lies show emmy

Both the show and the book was amazing. I usually don’t read contemporary books and especially mysteries for that matter but loved it any way. I may read more of Lianne Moriarty’s work.