Tag Archive: book critique


I have a very good friend who writes about YA literature (as well as other genres) as a regular blogger. As such, I sometimes get lazy and simply think “What she said! That’s what I think.” Sometimes, it’s good to be a cheerleader for those who speak up and say what they feel about a subject–adding a “I completely agree with this” blog seems silly sometimes when people like this are so eloquent about it.

But when I read her blog about some NYTimes book review jerk who downplays an entire genre (YA lit) simply because it is “marketed to children and teens,” I go a little cross-eyed and rethink my stance on not commenting about some of these subjects. Others have already weighed in on his being a rather biased prick about certain books, so I won’t go into all the reasons he’s wrong, but I will say this: whatever you may think of a particular genre, be it YA lit, romance, mystery, memoirs, or whatever it may be, it’s never cool to insult the genre and its readers. Just because it isn’t your cup of tea doesn’t mean you need to insult those who love it.

Now, on to more constructive commentary on this subject. It has always fascinated me that people dismiss entire genres based on (if they’re good readers) a couple of books they’ve read that disappointed them in this genre or (not very good readers) what they’ve heard about that genre. I cringe to admit that I was one of those “I hate romance because the idea of focusing a whole story on love is stupid” readers; same thing happened with mystery.

When I realized that I really had no clue what I was talking about, I started reading books in different genres, just to get a feel for it. Do I like romance novels? Not so much, but now I can safely point to a number of books that I’ve read in the genre, say which ones I liked and didn’t like, and why. I’ve found, on the other hand, that I love mystery novels and I never would have unless I tried a wide range of them.

My point is: you can’t bitch about a genre or a series or a book or an author unless you’ve actually read their stuff. Also take into account that one book may not be indicative of an entire group. So don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, and don’t ruin it for the rest of us who love it.

I’m not saying reviewers or bloggers or critics shouldn’t give an honest evaluation of a work. But seriously? YA lit is for babies who don’t want to grow up? Way to alienate an entire reader base, dude.

Epenthesis-Episode 012: Working Outline

Where I talk about working outlines, why I hated Stephenie Meyer’s New Moon, and how watching movies like Stranger Than Fiction can help you structure your scenes. It was really fun to do and I had no idea it was going to be the longest one yet! I apparently have a lot to say when it comes to outlines. It’ll definitely come in handy when November 1st rolls around for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I believe I mentioned that this episode would be on another topic but I decided that this is what I wanted to talk about today. I’ll get into some of my pre-planned stuff on Friday. :) have a great day till then!

10 Influential Books

I know I just posted my huge Kindle reading list earlier this week (and believe me, that took a lot of doing considering how long it is) and right after, Marissa Meyer posted her top ten (or at least ten) books that influenced her. Pencil_gal responded here and Loki_onyx responded here to Marissa’s question: which are ten books that influenced you?

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Currently Reading

1)   The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Yes, I am still reading this one. I keep getting interesting books and I want to read them right away so I read this between whatever I’m currently reading.

2)   Traitor’s Moon by Lynn Flewelling

I think, if I could only ever read one author for the rest of my life and no one else, it would have to be Lynn Flewelling with her Nightrunner series. It is so good, I can’t even stand it. This is the third book in her series. In a nutshell: her main characters, Seregil and Alec, must journey to Aurenen (Seregil’s birth country) to help Skala in their war against Plenimar. Amazing, brilliant, gripping, I can never stop reading her words. I’m only about a tenth through it and I’m already wishing she had a hundred more books for me to read.

3) The Scene Book by Sandra Scofield

I’m already about two chapters in and it’s rhetoric with a few good points so far. I need to try one of the exercises because thus far, I’m not sure if it will help my specific issues.

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My writing buddy Nightmare and I were doing some joint critiquing for WriteOnCon together (because we’re nerdy gals and just love doing that sort of thing) when a scene we were reading struck me. At first I couldn’t figure out why some of the writing didn’t work. As Nightmare pointed out, it wasn’t bad writing, but there was something about it that didn’t scream good writing either. This isn’t to single out the person we were reading because I’ve come across this style often in writing, especially in fanfiction (where I first started writing) but also in various bad books I’ve endured. In talking to Nightmare (as always happens because we tend to read each other’s minds), I figured out why some of these things bothered me. Here are some lessons I’ve figured out how to explain from our joint analysis so far:

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