4.5 Star Review · Angels · book review · Brain · Romance · Youth/Young Adult

All Things New by Lauren Miller (a review)

All Things New by Lauren Miller

Published by Three Saints Press(August 1, 2017)

ISBN: 978-0998511115

After a car accident Jessa Gray finds herself wallowing in a bout of questions and insecurities along with a new disability: aphantasia. She can no longer visualize imagery in her mind, but once she moves to Colorado to live with her dad, not only does she meets new friends, she begin to learn that maybe this disability is not a disability, but unique and useful.

This book is incredible as far as imagery and ideas. When Jessa finds her boyfriend cheating on her, it throws her into a panic attack while driving and then some car speeds past a red light and hits her causing her entire world to change. As you read, you get the feeling Jessa has always relied on her beautiful  looks in the past to cover up who she really inside- which is broken. The author does an amazing job slowly peeling back the layers of Jessa’s life and helping us to see why she thinks and behaves the way she does.

The beautiful takeaway in this story is that panic disorders are real but with the right support and love, you can heal.”

The shining light is Marshall. His attraction to Jessa seems instant. Even with her scars he see her as beautiful and wants to spend time with her. He tries to see the best in everyone and even though he has a hole in his heart, his love for Jessa could repair her own. Their romance buds pretty fast and that was unexpected, however their interaction was all marshmallows and hearts.

My eyes are on his chin, his forehead, then, finally, his eyes, which leap at me…swallowing up air between us…let go of me. But he isn’t holding on to me…He’s just looking at me.” (All Things New, 2017)

What is also interesting about the book is the references to “The Portrait of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. The book seems to mirror the story as far as perception and the soul is concerned. It piqued my interest in reading Oscar Wilde’s novel.

In summation, the book was definitely good if you are into serious existentialist talk, Van Gogh, and teen issues. An overall good story.

Learn more about Lauren Miller and then if you’re feeling super geeky, check out this link on existentialism and learn more about that too and click Aphantasia to learn about that as well.

This book was received for free from Netgalley!

 

4.5 Star Review · African American · book review · relationships · Youth/Young Adult

‘Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice’ by April Sinclair(a review)

ain't gonna be the smae fool twice, yellow book covers
Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice by April Sincalir

Book Details: Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice by April Sinclair

Published: Open Road Integrated Media(1996)

Cover Design: Kat Lee(for ebook version)

ISBN: 978-1-5040-1866-1

Read on Freading app

4.5 stars

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Keywords: African American-Human sexuality-college age-Chicago-San Francisco-Women’s Studies-Lesbianism

Book quotes yellow background
Designed by Ericajean using Canva

April Sinclair has done it again with Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice, her follow up to Coffee Will Make You Black.

Jean Stevenson or “Stevie” has left high school with hopes of becoming a journalist while also still exploring her sexuality and how it could connect to her being black in the 70s.

In high school, she crushed on a white nurse(In the first book) and began questioning herself then, even though she had sex with a boy before. Even in college, Stevie dates men but soon she realizes there is more to her relationships than just sex. Racism, religion, and politics become a part of the stretching fabric of her life.

Stevie eventually finds herself in a few female relationships and she calls it “experimenting” yet those who care about her wonder if she is sure about any of her decisions. Recalling quotes from a loving grandmother and living in San Francisco with a homosexual hottie named Sterling, Stevie will need to muster all the courage and common sense she was taught just to survive.

My Reaction:

This book was just as good as the first! If you are someone who shies away from topics like lesbianism and racism with a dash of politics, then you may want to run. I am not into politics or sexuality topics like either, but the story was good.

A lot of Stevie’s experiences, sadly, has not changed in reality for 2016.

For example, when Stevie begins dating an attractive white female, they are stopped by the police and the police assumes Stevie is a black male and never once looks at her, he constantly asks if her girlfriend is okay. Unfortunately for Stevie, her white girlfriend is only offended when he calls her “ma’am”. This is Stevie’s crucial eye opener to the climate of the times she is in.

I enjoy Stevie’s personality and her wise mannerism to a degree. She can come off as scathing and wishy washy at the same time; most moments and even with a scathing, stern personality, she can become a rug for someone else even when she knows better. Her friends left much to be desire. I cared for no one really in California. The portrayal of the city she was in was one where people hold on to inhibitions, freedom and weed, but let go of sense and sensitivity.

All  in all I give this an exceptional rating. It was a perfect follow up to Coffee Will Make You Black.

Okay, bookworms! Would you ever read a book like this? What are some books you loved that had very sensitive topics for you? Discuss below and remember to share this post with your friends!

writing · Youth/Young Adult

The Slow Death of Escapism Literature?

mirror
Mirror-sky from snapwiresnaps.tumblr.com

Do you hear that?

Do you hear it?

The faucet is slowly turning off and the fast gush of teen supernatural fiction is(could be?) fizzling out.

Ginia Bellafante wrote a thought provoking, interesting post on the New York Times, congratulating youth literature for returning to grit and giving up the glam of vamps and wolves and zombies that have taken up e-shelves and bookshelves in the last decade.

Like I usually do, I scroll the comments and see other people’s opinions. To be honest, I think more people are upset because many of the “gritty” books coming out deal with the current political and racial tension we can feel in the air.

The commenters, bless their hearts, really did not respond to the change of literature, going back to the era of the “real”, they mainly focused on quivering in their boots because now they have writers who are not interested in fake monsters but the real evil in the world teens and adults must face.

Gritty books are simply mirrors of the times. The writer goes on to mention Judy Blume’s classic, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret as a timeless classic about a girl who wonders about God and goes through puberty, jealousy and other events fresh to teens.

Do we really need ghosts for that one? Or vamps? Or any other supernatural element?

No.

I think what Bellafante aimed for in this report, is to have us compare our childhoods with the literature we read then, versus what children read and experience now. The novels have gotten grittier these days.

Let’s play Devil’s Advocate now.

I like gritty tales, but I like supernatural books too. Anything fantasy and speculative, I enjoy.

Is it possible that speculative fiction can explore the beauty and dirt of growing older too?

In the world of Harry Potter(I never read the books, just watched the movie-sorry!), Harry Potter grows up and experiences first love, crappy “parents”, all kinds of evil, but it is amidst the backdrop of sorcery.

Same with Hunger Games and Divergent(I read Divergent). Those are Dystopic novels that are not really fantasy but more speculative- speculating on what could happen. To me that seems pretty plausible, given the current state of true hungry people out here having to fight to live.

All I am saying is, I have no problem with real stories for real teens. We can have escapism at any time, but I long for the mirror too.

Wattpad Stories · writing · Youth/Young Adult

3 Reasons to Read ‘Down to a Fraction’ on Wattpad

Math tools
Book Design by Ericajean using Canva

This is a quick little post of the three reasons you should go and read, “Down to a Fraction” right now.

  • Teen fiction romance. Who doesn’t love the first tickle of fresh, new love?
  • Geeky, anime lovers. Will totally love this ongoing story with references to popular manga and anime since the main character loves it too.
  • A super HOT guy who falls for his extremely smart, not so popular tutor.

If that doesn’t help you decide what to read on Wattpad. Here’s a bonus:

Wattpad is a free app where you can read and write stories for free.

That’s right. Go on your PC, Mobile phone or other device and share in the bookworm magic!

P.S. Please show your support to writers who upload stories daily by simply voting on an individual chapter or at least adding their stories to your library 🙂

Like. Comment. Share and Subscribe. It makes me happy!

Blessings!

Ericajean

Creative Writing · Devices for Reading · Smashwords · Wattpad Stories · writing · Youth/Young Adult

Is Wattpad the App for You?

Woman writing
Writing for Wattpad Can be Fun/ Image taken from stokpic.com

Wattpad may be the best social app for writers and readers out there, but don’t be discouraged or surprised if you find your works aren’t being read and as popularized as others.

I have learned quite a bit about Watppad within the last year and even though I really enjoy the app, it is not something that is working for me at the time. Perhaps you are thinking of posting up free stories on there too and so hopefully this quick guide can help.

Published or Unpublished, Unleash it on Wattpad

One of the first stories I published on Wattpad is Weight and See. I began it sometime around February 2016 or March?

By the end of June 2016-roughly three months, I had at least 800+ reads and quite a few comments. From one reader.

It was not a story I published previously, just one I wrote off the top of my head and I uploaded it weekly. Finally, I took it down and published it on Smashwords where currently it has 1,071 downloads.

What was the secret?

After not even getting a burp on Wattpad, I finally decided to tag my book properly. It was a teen fiction first and foremost, that happened to have romance in it. Also, I tagged it according to location, serious matters, and as general fiction. That may have helped.

Either way, I was jealous of teen writers with 1.5k reads and likes…

One Wattpader decided to upload an already published novel for free and she grabbed more fans that way.

Teen Fiction Rules in that Domain

Estelle Maskame

Ashley Royer

Are just two of many who have made their debut on Wattpad and are now publishing mavens with agents.

Both are in high school.

Some Wattpaders who are adults, write teen fiction and if they achieve the right voice and audience, make it big.

My favorite Wattpad author(including the gifted ones above) is LD Crichton, who writes new adult and teen fiction.

Not into writing for the much younger, pubescent audience? That is quite alright. Wattpad has many categories you can sift your writing chops into, just take note that right now Wattpad is dominated by the teen fiction category.

Why?

My opinion is that when Wattpad first began, teens took to it more and faster.

It is social media after all and you read free books all day long. Even I like that idea. You can literally type a whole book on your phone and upload it right after.

The Wattpad App, Technicalities

Yes. Wattpad is great.

The app is proclaimed as magical.

Yet there are some bugs Wattpad need to fix.

First of all, I was working on a teen fiction the other day and decided, “Let me write this on my mobile phone. For a new writing experience. Should be fun.”

And it was.

For a day.

Next thing I knew, I published my chapters and one was missing.

Wattpad warns you to never delete a story or even part of it because you cannot undo it.

So I did the “unpublished” then “re-publish” thing. Still not working.

I copied my chapter on my Android phone, and deleted the story. That way I can just copy to a new empty chapter- start over right?

Nope.

Nothing worked, nothing showed up. I deleted part of my story. I will never see it again.

Wattpad needs to fix this. Allowing Wattpaders to delete their story while giving a few days before a story is deleted permanently, is a better solution.

What Writing Platform is Working for Me?

Right now, Smashwords is awesome for me. I complete the manuscript, edit and upload it and the readers pour in faster than on Wattpad.

Just like Smashwords, Wattpad has an algorithm. You must use proper keywords, tags, update regularly(Smashwords prefer you post multiple books if you want to see great results), and an awesome cover and blurb.

I may use Wattpad again one day, I will definitely read stories on there now. But it is definitely too “loud” to be heard. Even with their writing contests, it has been rumored that those who are already popular on Wattpad may get chosen over you.

My advice? Try them all out. See what works best for you.

Patience is also the key, which is why perhaps I should have kept my teen fiction on there, seeing as people have requested a part 2 now.

Good luck to you all and let me know of your experience!

book review · Five Star Review · Romance · Youth/Young Adult

Dying to Return by Trish Marie Dawson(a review)

Dying to Return by Trish Marie Dawson
Dying to Return by Trish Marie Dawson

Dying to Return(The Station, Book 3), Trish Marie Dawson

Amazon eBook Edition(2016)

Read on the Kindle App

5 Stars

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Intended audience: Bookworms, book reviewers, suicide survivors, teens, young adults, librarians, Trish Marie Dawson fans

This book was delicious, sincere, enlightening and whatever good and wise adjective you can come up with. I really have been enjoying the Station Series by Trish Marie Dawson this summer and feel I have learned a great deal.

After Piper Willow dies, she finds herself at the station as a Volunteer, helping the living by inhabiting their consciousness and encouraging them to make the right decisions.

In the midst of her helping, she finds out she has an interesting gift as a Seer and by the end of Book 2, she leaves Sloan and Niles to go with the dangerously beautiful Andurush, to receive training and also to learn a bit more about Andurush’s(Rush’s) world.

And this is where Dying to Return, picks up. Piper experiences many emotions all at once and even finds herself confused as to whom she should love, because while her heart is with Sloan back at the Station, she feels it being tugged in another direction…

And this part as well as other parts of the story is what will keep you up at night reading.

Check out the really cool interview I had with Trish Marie Dawson recently!

My Reaction:

All of Trish’s books so far have helped me to understand more about people and their choices and why the Station is created. As Piper learns eventually,

The Station…it’s a place that moves us from one way of living to another. That’s all.”(location 1788 of eBook)

It is not just a place where the dead goes.

This book tugged on my tear ducts. The beauty of the writing and the character of Andurush grew on me. I did not like him in the second book because I was unsure of what he was and he did come off as pompous.

But the banter between him and Piper lights up the page and his interaction with his family softened me up a bit towards him.

The description of his home planet is plain gorgeous. Movie worthy.

Now, the issue of dying and suicide plays a big role in The Station Series. I like how Trish used her imagination and research together to create memorable moments and thought provoking ones.

A few unlikely reunions happens in this book that shocked me, and the book made me miss my father and mother in law who passed away some time ago. Not from suicide, but reading The Station gives me hope that they are somewhere else, still “living” but in a new way.

Love isn’t meant to be easy. Even after you die.”(Location 1696 in eBook)

IMPORTANT Side Bar Note and FYI:

Trish Marie Dawson has a lot of fans and great reviews of her books. But one of her blog posts caught my attention last night. A reviewer thought that Trish was glorifying suicide in her books and I’d like say that if you read all of her books in The Station series, that is far from the truth.

The Station series has not glorified suicide AT ALL. If anything, the hard childhoods of many of the characters and the difficult choices and pain they faced leading up to their suicide, creates a big heartbreak after killing themselves.

Her young mind had no idea one little bullet would steal her away from the short life she was given-forever.”(quote from Dying to Return)

Trish’s books have taught me to empathize with people when they are going through.

And if you want to know the key themes that stick out in Book 3, it is Love and Forgiveness(Redemption). Those are very powerful ideas.

In sum, this is a wonderful series and I will be getting Book 4, Dying to Know really soon!

Please share this post and/or discuss it. I’d love to hear from other bookworms and the general audience on this topic!

 

book review · Five Star Review · Romance · Youth/Young Adult

‘Melt With You’: a Totally ’80s Romance (review)

Melt With You
Cover Design by Gaffey Media

Melt With You(A  Totally 80s Romance, Book #1)

Addison Moore

Hollis Thatcher Press(2016)

Read on USB app on my LG Tribute

5 Stars

Intended Audience: Young Adults, 80s Fanatics, Addison Moore Fans, Bookworms, Romance Readers

Warning! This book is young adult fiction, yet includes explicit language and sex scenes.

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What an amazing story! Before I gush about this book with face flushed from the constant swooning, let me tell you the story…

Melissa Malinowski always had a crush on the hottest of guys at Glen Heights High School. It is 1984 and the only time she gets close to Joel effing Miller…

Is when he runs over her with his truck.

The accident shakes both of them up but other things get shaken up too when Joel starts caring for her by walking her to class, picking her up from home and taking her back home. Like, how awesome is it to have the hottest football player, the cutest boy on earth, care for you so much?

Joel Miller does not know what he has on his hands, but he does have a girlfriend already. A hot one, but there is something real, something different about Melissa.

My Reaction:

From the Go, I was in love with the story. I was born in the early 80s and so chapters like, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “Like a Virgin”, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, I was totally into it. Even the cover looks very Flash Dance-y. So, I was hooked.

What is really beautiful about this story is the way Joel and Melissa connect. She is not a hot chick, per se who wears heavy makeup and she does not think the sun rises and sets on her – nope. She is self conscious, an introvert and loves to write.

Joel is portrayed as beautiful, but is a hero in many aspects. He willingly accepts responsibility for Melissa’s pain and sometimes when he talks, he comes off as older than his years in my opinion. He is a senior in high school but you get the feeling he is on his way to being a decent human being.

Melt With You Quote Graphic
Image designed by Ericajean using Canva

Finally, Addison Moore has a way with words. I reviewed Moore’s super charged sexy book 3:AM Kisses, and I mention how she has a way with words. Her character’s dialogue and internal monologues are what I live for.

Check this out: “The sky blushes when she sees how blue they are…”(pg. 72). I love that sentence!

What kept me up at night were the feels and thrills when I realize how much Joel is falling for this girl. It is sweet and endearing how much she means to him and you pray she knows it.

Of course there is partying, booze drinking, loud and crazy music, prom…all the makings of a great book.

Another great read from a great author.

Get your butt in gear and read this book NOW, download full novel for FREE on Amazon!

And yes, this is a series. Thank God. 🙂

Happy reading!