Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hope by Victoria Ferrante


(I apologize in advance for the long review. Happy reading)

When I was first emailed to review this novel I was thinking about turning it down. Reading the description of Hope I found it to be interesting, but I don’t like reading sad books. I prefer to watch a sad movie and read a happy book.

The story of Hope is about a mother's struggle dealing with her little girl, Hope, who is autistic. Juggling between having to deal with a husband who doesn't help out unless it with money and trying to remember that she also has another son, the story of Hope leaves you praying for the families who have children with mental disorders. 

The story read to me like a diary. I felt like I was reading a mother's struggle through life with her children and husband. I'm not sure if that's how the story was supposed to read, but I felt like that's what I was reading. In my opinion it read better as a diary than as a book to me. (Though it was not a diary). Reading through the novel I couldn't help but to keep referring to the movie My Sister's Keeper. I'm not sure if you guys have ever read it or seen the movie, but it's about a girl who has cancer and her sister who was born to be a pin cushion and body supplier (bone marrow, blood, etc.) to her sister. Even though dealing with a child who has cancer and dealing with a child with autism don’t correlate with one another, it's what kept ringing in my head as I read it. I didn't want to watch My Sister's Keeper because no matter how much I watched and hoped there to be a happy ending I knew there wasn't going to be. In Hope I had the same feeling. The feeling that no matter how much I wanted to believe that it was going to have its happily ever after, in the back of my mind I knew it was just wishful thinking. 

What I liked about the novel is the way the author Victoria Ferrante describe the way that Hope would have a meltdown. It was like you were there watching a her have the meltdown and hearing it piercing your ears. I also enjoyed how the story flowed. One day didn't drag on for a chapter. It was a quick and easy move throughout the story that kept me reading trying to figure out if I was going to be happy with the way the story ended.

What I didn't per se like about the story is somewhat complicated to voice. Bear with me as I try and explain this as clearly as possible without sounding like an idiot :) The main character in the novel frustrated me(Christina) I was having a hard time in some cases feeling sympathy for her character being a character. Does that make sense? Let me explain. If it was a true story I would have without a doubt understood where the character was coming from and why she was the way she was. From a work of fiction there was never a happy moment. I refer back to My Sister's Keeper and even though it was a heart wrenching story there were parts where I felt happy that the character was happy. In Hope I never felt like the character had a moment to breathe. There never seemed to be a happy moment.
It's so hard for me to write this and try to explain. Maybe this is a way to clear what I mean up. Even in the saddest of books that I've read there was always a moment that I was elated with the characters. I didn't feel it in this novel. I felt nothing but sorrow for the mother, but that could have been what the author was going for. To give a true vision to the folks of what it's like to deal with an autistic child. 

(novel point of view) I hated reading about the father and how his character didn't seem to really care about how hard Christina worked and tough the situation was for her. (From real life point of view) I understood what would made him frustrated. The same things that made him frustrated were the same things that made me frustrated throughout the story. I was truly surprised he lasted as long as he did. I also have to add though that his weakness seemed to make her stronger. I liked that.

Now for the controversial ending which I will warn you that this might be somewhat of a spoiler. It reminded me of Gone Baby Gone movie. (If you haven't seen it drop everything and run out and rent it :p Just a suggestion!) You ask yourself the question, "What would you do?" How could one judge the ending without being in the situations? I could see people saying that was a terrible ending how could someone do that? Then I could see people saying that they weren't surprised with the amount of stress that Christina felt dealing with her daughter after years of trying to find a cure or at least a solution to deal with the meltdowns and the constant feeling that no matter what you did it wasn’t right. You might ask well what did I think? I thought it was a sad ending to a realistic story. I could without a doubt see it happening. I also believe I've heard of situations like it before. Though reading about it and seeing it on the nightly news is two totally different situations. In the book it's fiction on the news you feel the sadness from it being real and you judge no matter what the person has to say. Reading the book though I didn't feel the same way, I felt as if I understood. I don't feel the same way when I watch the news, but this book has made me see things differently.

I hope this all make sense. I haven't ever written a review where it was a realistic story. Therefore I might be all over the place with my opinion. I recommend picking up a copy of this novel if it's the type of drama that you enjoy reading. 


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Forever Girl: Sophia's Journey


Click cover for goodreads description

When I first started reading The Forever Girl and when I read the description it wasn't a book that I thought I was going to be into. I'm really not into the whole vampire thing, yes I did read Twilight, but other than that I'm not into vampires, werewolves, leprechauns, unicorns, all mythical creatures. I'm not into the it, but yet again this was another fantasy book that has changed my mind about the genre.

(I always forget to add a little tidbit about the story so I'm adding this in after I wrote the rest of this) The novel is about Sophia Parson, an outcast Wiccan, who gets thrown into a world that she doesn't understand or truly believes exist. After dealing with the knowledge that their are vampires, shifters, and other out of the ordinary beings she needs to figure out who she is and what she's truly capable of. With the help of Charles Liette she learns more about her family tree and gets the answers she looking for, while all along forming a bond with the mysteries Charlie along the way.

There isn't many times that I've said that I loved the female lead, but the main character Sophia Parson kept me interested throughout the whole book. There was never a time when I thought, holy crap I can't take her anymore or was annoyed. Even in some of my favorite books I get frustrated with the characters, but I didn't with her. I found her to be very likeable, smart, and strong. I would also like to add that it was also the first time I liked the female character better than the male. (I'm a sucker for a hot male lead) Speaking of the hot male lead Charles Liette I wanted to shake him and tell him to make up his mind about his feelings. Though those are the best part about books. The sexual tension and attraction between two characters I believe is what keeps you reading. This book does not lack that at all. I found myself smiling a few times as I read about the two of them.

From start to finish the book will keep you guessing the storyline. I would have never been able to guess what the hay was going to happen. The concept of the forever girl and the background of how one becomes a forever girl is not only creative, but the way she created the back story was amazing. Without giving anything away my favorite part of the book was the back story about her best friend Ivory. The whole concept that Rebecca Hamilton wrote going back to the Salem witch trials made me sad but happy that someone could love someone so much. I absolutely loved it!

I would have to say that the only thing that threw me off a little was the cover. The character that I pictured and the character on the front cover in my head didn't match up. From the cover I thought it was a YA book and that also threw me off once I began to read, but I was happy that I was wrong. To make clear I like the cover, but I guess I'm a fan of not seeing a picture of the character so I can use my imagination instead.

I highly recommend The Forever Girl even if it's not something you're normally into. It has everything you need for a good story: action, romance, mystery, magic, and sass. I love sass! Definitely looking forward for the next book in the series.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Author interview

Hey to all my followers! If you haven't gotten a chance to stop by http://noveldtales.blogspot.com/ My author interview is today the first five to stop by and leave a comment will receive a  free ebook copy of my novel Such is Life!  There is an excerpt on the site but here's a little extra my book trailer! There are still three spots left for a free book so make sure you stop by!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Hidden World Blog Tour with author S.M. Boyce

Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by for the Hidden World Blog Tour. It's my pleasure to have S.M. Boyce with me today. I've gotten to know Boyce over the last few months and I've learned there is no end to her many talents. I'm glad to have her with us today! Now on to the interview :)

Where did you come up with the concept and the names for your characters?
The concept for the Grimoire Trilogy is a snowball. By that, I mean that I first had the idea almost a decade ago. I didn’t really think much of it at first. I’d have a daydream here or there about a character, but it wasn’t until I was 16 and started taking writing seriously that the idea for the trilogy came about. After that, I’d get an idea there or be inspired by something here, and over time, Lichgates came about. It’s been a 7-year journey, and an amazing one at that. I’ve never put this much effort into any one thing besides learning the writing craft itself.
The characters are half mine and half my writing peers’. Kara had about 7 names before I settled down with one, including Fiona and Kait. It’s been a long road! Ha. My friends J. N. Chaney and Aly Sanger were some of my greatest aids in coming up with names. Point is, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
When is the second book in the series going to be released?
Treason is coming out as early as Summer 2012. My goal is to have the entire series published this year. I’m still not sure if that’s possible, though, so at the latest, you’ll see Treason in Fall 2012 and Origins (Book 3) in Fall 2013. That’s the latest, though. You should see them both sooner.
On top of the trilogy, I will also be releasing an encyclopedia of the world, a collection of short stories and deleted chapters from the series, and even a few novellas from the perspectives of minor characters. At latest, everything in the Grimoire Trilogy should be available by the end of 2013. Exciting times!
If you’re impatient (like me) and want some of these extras now, you can check out the official book website by clicking here.

EBook versus print which do you prefer?
Ah, the great debate! My eReader rocks, because I can have hundreds of books at any moment, anywhere – as long as I charge it. Print books don’t ever run out of battery, but they’re a beast to store and transport. So, I have a compromise: I buy almost all of my books as eBooks, and then buy my favorites in print. 

Who is your favorite author and book?
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I know it’s a children’s book (I’m a seven-year-old at heart) but it’s just a good story. It’s timeless, magical, and fun!

What are your plans for your books?
After the Grimoire series is finished, I’m going to dive into zombies and ghosts. It’s going to be freaking amazing.

Are you self-published?
I am! It was a hard decision to make, and I spent weeks researching and debating my options. I’m pretty sure I drove my husband a little crazy with it, since he’s my go-to for venting and advice on tough decisions. However, I couldn’t be happier with my choice. If you want to read more on why I went indie without querying agents, you can check out my blog post here. I have nothing against traditional publishers, of course. I just feel that this is the best way for new writers to break into the market.

If you could be any fictional character in your book or in any other book who would you be and why?
Whew, lots of options!
Well, from my book? Probably Kara. We share a lot of the same humor (I’m a sarcastic twit, too), so it wouldn’t require much adjustment.
From any other book…Arwen Evenstar. Elvish princess, a destined king’s lover, and gorgeous? Yes, please. She’s fiercely loyal, can ride a horse like a pro, and she’s immortal. What’s not to love?

What/Who is your inspiration for writing?
My husband is one of my many inspirations. He’s a computer programmer, and yet helps me tweak the plots I design. His mind is incredible, and I know that I am one lucky lady to have him.
…I know. We’re gooey.

When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer? and was it always fantasy or do you write in other genres?
I’ve written everything from fantasy to literary fiction. I’m game for anything, really, because I’m a daydreamer. I love to come up with stories and conflicts, no matter what genre. I’m biased towards fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal fiction, though, because I’m a magic-nut and love to see the impossible.
When I was five, I wrote my first story…it was about a lonely pickle. It was pretty bad. I’ve improved since, though, and writing has just always been a part of my life. I’m just so lucky that my parents supported me, even when I had to break the news that I wouldn’t be a lawyer. Ha!

Thanks for the interview today and letting me apart of your blog tour. This was my first time so I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I have. I'm going to have a button made up that says, "I survived my first blog tour!" I'm just kidding, although that would be pretty sweet! Before I bid you all farewell, I would also like to mention that Boyce also has an editorial service. She's my editor and saved me from pure embarrassment of spelling simple words wrong and putting commas everywhere! If you need an editor you should without a doubt check out her services. I am definitely using her for the rest of my series and editing my blog tour post. JK ;)  http://edit.smboyce.com/ 

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