Spring Talkback: Volume 1, Issue 3

Spring came in a whirlwind – and I missed two talkbacks. To make up for that sad fact, I’m condensing April/March/May to one post – a spring talkback. Other good news is that while I missed a blog post or two, I was able to write a lot. Very much. As in many, many words.

Spring talkback, my maps

My hand drawn maps for my book

Far too many. The very strange thing about my life is that the more pressure I’m under, the more I write.
Hoe much did I write exactly? Well, in the last two weeks of school, I wrote nearly 30,000 words.
But those 30k words helped me actually finish my book. The first draft is done!

There is still a long way to go, but the very hardest part – getting the whole story on paper – is done.

And that nearly sums up my entire spring roundup. Because in the middle of all that writing, I read very little. Almost nothing.

Until I came home in May, during the last two weeks, I was able to catch up on a bunch of reading. I’ve still not completed my to-read list, but I made a lot of progress.

Spring Talkback Reads

Sarah J Maas

Maas writes young adult fantasy, and I’m almost completely done with her both of her series, A Court of Thorns and Roses and Throne of Glass.
While her writing style is similar, the plots and POV vary. I’d never thought I would like first person more, but I definitely like ACORAR better than ToG, partly due to first person narrative.

Throne of Glass is her first published work and the style shows this. The writing is choppy and often cliché. I hate just starting something, so I kept reading the series. I didn’t become invested in the story until the third book, much longer than it normally takes. I suppose, when a series is 7 books long, you can afford to take a long time to invest in the characters.

Maas says her two series don’t exist in the same universes but the books are parallels to each other. She uses the same fantasy myths – Fae. I’m not that up-to-date on Fae mythology. But I’ve done a little bit of research since starting these series. One thing she does change in her anthology is allowing the Fae to lie. The standard European Fae myth is that Fae can never lie. I’m not sure why Maas changed the myth, there’s never a good explanation given.
Typically, I don’t like random changes. It’s kind of like changing history to write your own historical fiction. Just a tip to keep in my writing hat – don’t change myths or facts to suit your own narrative.

Six of Crows Duology

Six of Crows, Spring Talkback

Leigh Bardugo’s duology Six of Crows is easily the most gripping story I’ve read in a very long time. There were so many, many plot twists, I had to put the book down, just to wrap my mind around the story. It’s very hard for me not read a book in just one sitting, so that’s a testament to the speed of the story and the whiplash Six of Crows may give you.

I’m hoping to write a fuller review of Six of Crows later, so this is just terribly short preview.
Six of Crows combines fantasy, mystery and crime, and young adult/romance/action into one very fast saga. I’ve never seen so many genres combined into a very diverse story.

Also, I’d never heard of writing a duology until Six of Crows. I can’t decide if it’s better than a trilogy but it seems like a pretty smart idea.

Fangirl

fangirl, spring talkback

I’m not much for contemporary. Or character driven plots. But Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl is a sweet, too long, read. It is too long, over 400 pages, for the story it shares.
While you’d this the story focuses on fandoms, it’s really a coming of age novel, with some romantic elements. Will I write a longer review? Probably not. I enjoyed the college setting and the writing. In some ways, the characters experience of writing and staying afloat in college felt very familiar and personal, more so than most books I’ve read. And I suppose it should 😉

For Such a Time

For such a time, spring talkbackI have very mixed feelings over this book. I love historical fiction. But this book left me feeling close to ill.

First, it’s not historical fiction. Even though marketed as historical fiction, it misses the mark. It’s a biblical retelling of Esther set in Nazi Germany.

I simply think you can’t tell Esther that way. Nazi officers falling for a Jewish prisoner just don’t work. I’ll probably delve into this in a deeper review later, but this story was littered with cringe-worthy ideas. I appreciate the authors intent, but it didn’t work well.

Alex & Eliza, A Love Story

The ink has barely dried on my review of this new book – so be sure to check it out!

Confessions

I don’t normally read just fiction. But, I confess, that’s all I’ve read the last 6 weeks or so. I have a more invigorating summer reading list planned, complete with some nonfiction and theology.

All three books/series I’ve mentioned are problematic. Do you ever skip scenes? Because I certainly do. Other times I want to shake an author. Most of the time, I end up taking notes over what not to do in my own writing.
And sometimes if I have a sharpie, I might mark-out phrases. Or take notes over what to not read. 🙂

Guest Post 

In other news, my thoughts on dystopian fiction and crafting a dystopian world are published on Hannah Heath’s writing blog. This was a super fun post to write – so be sure to check it out!

Netflix Etc.

With a break from school, I’ve been able to watch several shows.
Spring Talkback, Designated Survivor

My favorite show this spring is Designated Survivor. My mom and I don’t always enjoy the same shows and genres but this show is an exception. It’s completely gripping, a mystery political thriller combination that leaves you begging for more.
And while I haven’t seen the entire season, the show is really clean.
It’s not on Netflix, I’ve been watching it on iTunes.

But on Netflix…

My current recommendations:

The Jungle Book

This is probably my favorite recent Disney adaption. It combines elements of the classic cartoon with the Rudyard Kipling book. It’s beautiful storytelling.

Schindlers List

I’ve never watched this classic before this month. It’s horrific and gripping. The ending is beautiful.
Like most movies set during the Holocaust, this story is graphic.
The movie is 3 hrs long. I split it into three parts and didn’t watch it all at once. I’m not sure I could stomach the whole film in one setting.

Anne with an E

I’ve watched the first three episode of this new show. I love anything Anne and think the directors have some pretty good ideas for the new show.

I know the series is controversial. I’m not sure if I’ll write a post when I’m done with the new series. But I thought Sarah Bessey’s review was helpful to understanding the new outlook on this series.

 

Do you have a book or show you delved into this spring? Please share your recommendations in the comments! 

 

A Redheaded Texas Gal. I love the woods and thrive where there’s green grass and room to grow. I dream of living in a used book store and wearing period costumes to work everyday. In the meantime, I’m studying Journalism and Political Science, and trying to follow Jesus wherever He leads.
  • Congratulations on finishing the first draft of your book! What an achievement!

    I watched Schindler’s List for the first time a few years ago. It’s a very difficult movie to watch but SO good. And I think it worked really well in black and white.