Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October 7, 2018

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi (October 16)
Overview: Shirin has gone to twelve different schools. Jumping from city to city, state to state, and even country to country, Shirin's parents are always in search of a better life. But a new place didn't always mean better, and Shirin knows that well. Being a young woman who chooses to wear a hijab makes her both an object of crude fascination and, in 2002 post 9/11 world, an object of ridicule. No one around her understands her choices, and, worse, they don't bother to listen about how it makes her feel empowered. She's, sadly, come to expect the negativity, though at every new place she walks into. She lives her life constantly on guard against the abuse of the world which makes it hard for her to understand new boy Ocean's kindness and interest in her as a person. Can she learn to trust someone else enough to let him in? Overall: 5

Characters: 5 Wow. Shirin is an amazing character both in general and as a …

Book Event: Lauren Oliver in Conversation with Liara Tamani

Last night I had the opportunity to see two lovely authors, Liara Tamani (Calling My Name) and Lauren Oliver discuss Lauren's new book Broken Things, which is out now, at Blue Willow Bookshop. I was so happy to catch the event while I was in town. Along with a delicate (so many spoilers to dance around!) discussion of the Slender Man inspired Broken Girls, there was plenty of good writing advice and laughs to go around.
When talking about craft, both authors were quick to admit they were not the authority, and some of the most common questions about writing just don't have good answers. Lauren discussed how the three act structure is how everything from books to movies to songs, and even jokes, is understood. Even if you don't like plotting, the recognizable structure has to be in the book for it to work. Sometimes it's easier than others as she contrasted the fluid outlining of Broken Things compared to the "murder board" she assembled for Replica.
They als…

One of Us Is Lying

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (360 pages)
Overview: Five kids are in detention. Only four come out alive, and they become the prime suspects of the most botched police investigation ever. They're the beauty, the jock, the brains, and the slacker. They barely know each other, but they're all tied together in one way or another to Simon, the school gossip leader with a severe peanut allergy. When all their secrets come out, the police investigation become the least of their worries. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 5 I loved McManus's cast. We get to see prospective from all three of them which is a nice touch. Each of them are a take on a classic stereotype. While they fulfill almost all of the regular archetypes, she makes them deeper, more human and relatable. I particularly loved Browneyn and Nate who are in the classic good girl/bad boy relationship, but somehow she makes it cute and irresistible not tired and cliche. I also loved the sister relationships that get explor…