Sunday, June 22, 2014

Want to be Published? Of Course You Do!

Do you have a short story that fits into the New Adult category?  Is it between 5,000 and 10,000 words?  It is?  That's perfect!

With a small submission fee of $15 you can enter you short story into a contest and have a chance to get your story published in a New Adult Anthology coming out this fall.  Sounds pretty awesome, doesn't it?

This contest will end on June 25, 2014!  So hurry up and get those submissions in!  You will not regret it.

This contest is hosted by Elephantine Publishing.  Visit their website for more details!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review: Love Edy by Shewanda Pugh

When Edy Phelps falls hard for her best friend, she knows nothing can come from it. Forget actual chemistry, or the fact that she cherishes his mother more than her own; centuries of tradition say that Hassan will grow up, marry the girl his parents pick, and forget his best friend: the dancer with the bursting smile. Except he can't. In a world erupting with possibilities for the boy with a body of steel and dreams of the NFL, everything seems promised while nothing at all is; when he's denied the girl he wants most.
Two hearts. Two families devoted through generations of friendship. Could Edy and Hassan really risk all that? And yet ... how could they not?

Description taken from Goodreads

I received an ecopy of this book in an exchange for an honest review.

My Review 

Now, I’m going to start with the bad so that we can end on a high note.  Because, we always have to take the good with the bad.

First off, though, let me just say that Shewanda Pugh is an amazing writer.  She definitely has a way with words.  She’s also excellent at writing extremely flawed characters.  Now, I love flawed characters.  They make them seem real and relatable.  I hate perfect, cookie cutter characters that can be recycled time and time again.  Pugh didn’t write perfect characters, but she also didn’t write likable characters.

I found every single one of them to be absolutely irritating.

Edy was a pushover and indecisive.  She used her friend for a hidden agenda and was so whiny and spoiled.

Hassan was controlling and a bit abusive (not physically) and hypocritical to the max.

Wyatt was extremely weak and was attaining a stalker status.

Both sets of parents were old fashioned, also abusive (not physically), and sometimes downright mean with absolutely no excuse.  (I’m glaring at you, Rebecca.)

The only character I really loved was Ronnie Bean, Hassan’s cousin.  And he was only in the book for a little glimpse.

Edy and Hassan’s relationship just didn’t sit right with me.  It was definitely verging on an unsafe and abusive relationship.  With Hassan regulating her friendships and sabotaging them as well was just absolutely ridiculous.  It’s the first sign in ‘How to Recognize if You’re in an Abusive Relationship 101’.  And then getting his friends in on it too.  These weren’t friendships at all and they just disgusted me. 

The ‘love triangle’ didn’t make sense to me.  Edy uses Wyatt to make Hassan jealous.  Wyatt is in love with Edy after a day and calls her at least 20 times a day and texts her at least double that.  Hassan treats Edy like she’s a porcelain doll and can’t sort out his feelings.  Edy has always been in love with Hassan but I see no plausible reason as to why.  He is a horrible person.

The overall plot was a little bland.  All it really was, was a ‘will they, won’t they’ kind of situation with little things thrown in to flesh it out a bit.  The football, the ballet, different cultures, the new style of dance.  I wish there was a bit more to the supporting story lines.

Even though the plot was nothing to write home about, Pugh’s writing was absolutely phenomenal.  It flowed so well.  She definitely has a way with words and I would definitely read more of her work knowing I’ll be in for a treat with her grand descriptions and ability to write out emotions so well.  She just needs a little work on the plot and fleshing things out making it a bit more solid.

I also, really love how much culture there was in this book.  Usually, there isn’t any at all and as I stated above I would have loved to have read even more.  Even though I don’t agree with some of the norms, like the arranged marriage and most of Hassan’s mother’s ideas, it was still a treat to learn a little about this culture.

During the course of Love Edy, we follow Edy through two birthdays which is definitely not something you come across every day while reading a book.  So it was definitely nice to see how things unfolded and to see a bit of character development.

It was also really nice that it was set in New England.  I’m from Connecticut so it was great to catch the subtle descriptions that were so familiar to me.  The old houses, the bitter winters.  It was perfect.

As much as I ragged on the characters and the relationships, I really did enjoy Love Edy.  Was I hoping for a bit more?  Of course.  But did I regret reading it?  Not at all.

And I have to say that the last 10% definitely made me anxious and then it ended on a massive cliffhanger.  I was left in utter shock and completely ready for a second book.

If you enjoy fluffy contemporary romances then definitely check Love Edy out.  It just might be what you’re looking for.

3/5 hearts

Monday, June 16, 2014

Chat with Court #2: Are Book Buying Bans Effective?

Welcome to Chat with Court!  Where I talk about bookish things and non bookish things.  So basically anything!

This month, I figured we could talk about the dreaded book buying ban.  I've mostly heard about this through the Booktube community.  It's pretty self explanatory, but it's pretty much where you don't let yourself buy any books for a certain amount time.  Maybe you're trying to save money or you're running out of room or you just have way too many books in your TBR pile. 

We all try to limit buying to an extent but I find this ban a little crazy.  Say you want to enforce a ban for a month.  And you do really well, maybe you only buy one or two books, but only because they were new releases from your favorite author and you knew that you would devour them in one sitting as soon as you acquired them.  That's awesome, you did good.  Give yourself a pat on the back.  But then don't go crazy next month and buy all the books that you can find because you did so well last month during the ban.

That seems to be the trend.  Do well during the ban and reward yourself by going absolutely insane and buying 50+ books.  Doesn't that make the ban that you just went through absolutely pointless? 

I don't know, for me personally, I'm always on a book buying ban.  I limit myself to maybe four or five books a month.  If I'm buying from like Barnes & Noble or someplace where you have to pay full price.  But if I'm buying from Bookoutlet or maybe even Amazon.  Then I give myself a little more leeway because the books are cheaper.

So, how do you limit yourself from going crazy and buying all the books?  Do you attempt the dreaded book buying ban or do you just try and take it easy, like I do?  And what do you think of bans in general?  Effective or ineffective?

And let me know what you thought about this topic.  Was it totally useless?  Did it give you some perspective?  Let me know!  And feel free to leave some topics you would like me to discuss in the future!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.

And three years he's spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?

Description taken from Goodreads

My Review

Where She Went actually drained me of absolutely every emotion that ever existed.

I almost threw this book at the wall several times but then remembered that it’s a book and a book that I love and that it’s just temporary frustration or insert random emotion here that I feel.  So then I decide to stroke it and confess my undying love for it.

Now, I loved If I Stay when I first read it.  But since it had been so long since I had read that I knew I had to read it again before I started Where She Went, and I fell in love again.  Perhaps, even more then the first time around.

Where She Went takes a place a few years after If I Stay and we find out what exactly happens at the end of If I Stay.  Except this time, we get to hear from Adam.

At first, I wasn’t so sure about being in Adam’s head.  I was so content and comfortable being in Mia’s.  I love Mia’s world.  But, Adam was so raw and emotional and emotionless at the same time.  It’s like he refused to feel things but then the simplest thing would set him off and then was this raging hurricane of feelings.

I loved it.  Raw, emotional, heartbreaking.  Frustration, anger, sadness.  Every single emotion was felt.   By the characters and by me.  It was like I was living right alongside them and that right there ladies and gents, children and pets, is the sign of a fantastic novel.

One that makes you feel for the characters but also for yourself.  Makes you think about your troubles and your fears and feelings and puts them into perspective. 

The character development was outstanding and so surprising.  Not that I didn’t think Forman could pull it off, but because I saw so many different sides of Adam and Mia.  I saw the best and I saw the worst, I saw the cogs turning in their brains and the light bulbs going off.  It was a wonderful journey that I actually felt a part of.

I just love Forman’s writing style.  There isn’t a lot of dialogue.  Just a lot of thoughts.  And most people, including me, would get lost in that and might get bored without any interactions, but this is just done so well.  Maybe it’s because Mia in If I Stay and Adam in this book are just so damn likable and relatable that it’s okay to be stuck in their heads and not able to leave their worlds for awhile.

The extras in the back added a little something to the story, making it even better.  Everything about this book is perfection.  I see absolutely no flaws whatsoever.  That’s right, I said it!  No flaws!  Argue with me all you want, I don’t care.  I stand by my opinion.

Where She Went is definitely going down in my all time favorites.  No ifs ands or buts about it.  It was that awesome.  Actually, awesome doesn’t even begin to cover it.

If you haven’t read If I Stay then you really need to and then read Where She Went.  If you have read If I Stay and haven’t read this book, I have a question for you.  What’s wrong with you?  Read it!  Read it right now!

5/5 hearts!