Personal Posts

Why I love to read?

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When I was I bored, I read Junie B. Jones and laughed at her antics.

When my sister was sick and away in the hospital, I could pretend she was staying with Amelia Bedelia and would be coming home soon.

When my parents were divorcing, I realized it wasn’t as scary as the Goosebumps books stuffed beneath my bed.

When I was angry, I could calm down in the arms of my favorite teen heart throbs (Tamani from Wings and Dimitri from Vampire Academy, I’m looking at you).

When I was alone and felt like the world may crumble around me, I could run and run and run forever with the characters in Stephen King’s Cell.

Even today, when I don’t think I’m going to make it, I can pick any book on my shelf and escape for awhile. That’s what books are – glimpses. Glimpses into worlds I will never see. I’ve made friends that I can’t talk to, met people that don’t exist (or did, but don’t anymore). I’ve had adventure after adventure – I’ve had a life full of impossibles made possible by words on a page. I’ve lived so many lives, all while never leaving the comfort of mine. Why I love to read?

Reading has made my life richer than any job or promotion ever could. Reading is happiness.

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy

P.S.

And parents, please read to your kids.

Personal Posts

Things Beta Readers Should Know

I’ve already made one post on general beta reading for writers, and now this will be directed at beta readers.

  • If a writer requests a beta reader, that doesn’t mean they will send this first draft to everyone. Often times, I will send it to the first few, then make changes, and send that draft to the next group of beta readers. I want fresh eyes, always.
  • If a writer requests a beta reader, that doesn’t mean they will choose you. It happens, sometimes. Most of the time, it’s nothing personal. We’ve all had different experiences with beta readers, and we all have a certain things we look for in beta readers. If I think I’ve already found what I’m looking for, then I may not send a draft to some beta readers. Once again, it happens.
  • “I like it,” usually isn’t what I’m looking for. It’s nice to hear, but if that’s all you have to say, then it wasn’t worth my time. Sorry. If you want to say “I like it” then the best thing you could do is follow it with “because…” and explain why you like it. It lets us know what we did right.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell me you don’t like it. I’m a writer. I’ve been rejected more times than I care to admit. You telling me you don’t like my work isn’t going to hurt my feelings. If the writer can’t handle it, becomes defensive, and is just plain rude, then that’s their problem, not yours. Don’t beta read for them again.
  • The same goes for the “I don’t like it.” It’s okay if you don’t like it. That’s fine, but I’d like to know why. It might be something I can fix, and if not then it’s good to know why people may not like it. The more detail you can give, the better.
  • I don’t expect you to be an editor. If you wanna mark it up, great, but I don’t expect you to. Feel free to read it, then just tell me.
  • A writer should never give you the only copy of their manuscript. You shouldn’t have to feel obligated to read the manuscript, much less feel obligated to keep up with the only known copy of it. If I receive a paper copy, my first question will always be, “Is this the original?” If it is, I give it back and request a copy. I don’t want to be the person who loses it. Do you?
  • If you find that you just don’t have time, you don’t have to read it. You’re doing us a favor, but please let us know so we’re not just waiting around to hear back. It’s just common courtesy. If the writer wants to be rude, then don’t beta read for them again. Another lesson a writer should learn is that they won’t always receive feedback. It happens.
  • Don’t expect the writer to listen to everything you say like it’s gospel. You’re not perfect and neither is your feedback. It’ll be okay.

These are just general things you need to know if you want to be a beta reader. Writers can learn from this just as much as a beta reader can. Know what you should expect from each other, learn, and form literary relationships that can last a lifetime. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Let me know, and comment below!

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy

Want to be a beta reader? Click here to fill out the contact sheet, and let me know!
Want to guest post? Want to trade posts?
Same goes to you! 
Don’t be shy!

Want to check out some books?
CLICK HERE

 

Personal Posts

Parents, please read to your children

Dear Parents;

  • Children who are read to have larger vocabularies.
  • Children who are read to tend to continue to read into adulthood.
  • Children who are read to have higher comprehension skills.
  • Children who are read to develop writing skills much earlier.
  • Children who are read to tend to have higher grades throughout their schooling.
  • Children who are read to often become writers.
  • Children who are read to will read to their children.

Parents, please read to your children.

Sincerely,

A person who was read to as a child.

Want to be a beta reader? Click here to fill out the contact sheet, and let me know!
Want to guest post? Want to trade posts?
Same goes to you! 
Don’t be shy!

Want to check out some books?
CLICK HERE

 

What I've Read

What I’ve Read: The Society of S by Susan Hubbard

These posts are for book discussion and to express my overly-fangirly nature over certain books and series. Though I already have an extensive library with plenty of reading material, I’m always looking out for new or interesting titles. Not only is this for me, but for other writers! Often times, writers forget they started off as readers. Support your fellow authors and read!

WARNING: SELF-PROMO IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS
It will be considered spam and deleted immediately. However, if you would like me to buy and read your book, I’ll gladly take recommendations on this page. Fill out the contact sheet with a link to your book, and I will get to reading! While I will read most recommendations, I won’t review them all. If the book in question would probably get less than three stars, I’ll simply keep the review to myself, and either email the author directly (if they themselves sent me a contact sheet), or just not discuss the book at all. I want to recommend books that I will read, and that I think others will enjoy. No need to embarrass or completely wreck a book’s reputation in the name of reviewing.

Now, with all of the “rules” and “disclaimers” out of the way, on to the books!

I read the first book of the Ethical Vampire series, The Society of S by Susan Hubbard.

Genre: YA/Paranormal
Rating: 3/5

Let me start out by saying, there is no doubt that Mrs. Hubbard knows her craft. She’s a master at it, but, in saying that, she spends far too much time showing it off and not enough time on showing me what the book is about. To be honest, most of the book could’ve been summed up in about 100-150 pages, but Mrs. Hubbard spread it out to a nice 304.

But, like I said, she is a master at her craft. The gothic descriptions reminded me so much of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire, and they had me enthralled from beginning to end, but I also said that drug out the plot. Thankfully, I did eventually figure out what the book was about.

Ariella, nicknamed Ari, is an intelligent thirteen year old, whose days are spent reading about the world she has never experienced and having her fill of a poorly prepared vegetarian diet.  Her mother left her and her father the very day Ari was born, and though she has never met her, Ari feels a strange connection with her mother.  In an attempt at discovering more about herself, her father, and the answer as to why her mother left, Ari finds herself face-to-face with the realization that she’s not quite the human she had always assumed.

She’s a vampire. The series is called the Ethical Vampire series. She’s a vampire. I couldn’t help, but laugh at all the obvious references to her being vampire, but without her blatantly saying so.

Her father’s basement kitchen had a very “gamey” odor to it. She is lucky that she has “strong teeth.” They’re vamps, my darlings! Vamps!

But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t question myself at some points. It’s obvious that she’s a vampire, but my paranoia had me wondering if she was actually another creature. It would be my luck that she actually was just a human,  or a werewolf. Thankfully, the paranoia didn’t last long, and I was reassured in my assumption.

The book has plenty of drugs, teen-drinking, and other things young kids do while trying to find out who they are, and I’d be lying if I said that my friends and I didn’t also want to dye our hair black and become pagans, but we certainly didn’t party as much as these kids did at their age. Regardless, when I finally made it to the plot, I felt as hazed and nauseous as the MC. Mrs. Hubbard is fantastic with weaving descriptions and feelings together. It was realistic and interesting. Love, love, loved it.

At this point, the book probably would have gotten a whopping 4/5, but as quickly as I had gotten to the plot, more descriptions were dumped on me. It messed up the wonderful pacing that had been built up, and also left me hanging as far as where the next book was going to go. There was no hint or even indication of a sequel. If I hadn’t already bought the entire series, I might not have even checked for another.

This book teased me, pleased me, confused me, then hurt me, but I loved every second of it, or at least I loved most of it. I would recommend this book in a heart beat.

Purchase Status: Purchased

Thanks for reading!

-Lissy

What I've Read

What I’ve Read: Matched by Ally Condie

After some thought and endless back-and-forth with myself, I’ve decided to start a little mini-series of posts, if you will, of some of my favorite books from month to month, always posted at the end of the month in question (or at the very beginning of the next month. I’m lazy, and it will probably happen).

These posts are for book discussion and to express my overly-fangirly nature over certain books and series. Though I already have an extensive library with plenty of reading material, I’m always looking out for new or interesting titles. Not only is this for me, but for other writers! Often times, writers forget they started off as readers. Support your fellow authors and read!

WARNING: SELF-PROMO IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS
It will be considered spam and deleted immediately. However, if you would like me to buy and read your book, I’ll gladly take recommendations on this page. Fill out the contact sheet with a link to your book, and I will get to reading! While I will read most recommendations, I won’t review them all. If the book in question would probably get less than three stars, I’ll simply keep the review to myself, and either email the author directly (if they themselves sent me a contact sheet), or just not discuss the book at all. I want to recommend books that I will read, and that I think others will enjoy. No need to embarrass or completely wreck a book’s reputation in the name of reviewing.

Now, with all of the “rules” and “disclaimers” out of the way, on to the books!
I read the last book of the Matched Series by Ally Condie: Reached. While I only read Reached this month, I will only be doing a review of the first book. Mainly to prevent unnecessary spoilers, while introducing the series to new readers. I will review the others upon request or recommendation.
1st Book in the series: Matched
Rating: 4/5
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Matched is about a futuristic society, appropriately named the Society, which was formed after a vague technological disaster. The MC is Cassia, a teenage girl, Society-molded, and on her way to her Match Banquet, which is the ceremony that puts teenagers together with their soul mate. Though, in my opinion, it’s just a prettier version of a breeding ceremony – moving on!
At the banquet, Cassia is surprised to find that her match is her longtime best friend Xander Carrow. So many cuddly feels at this point, other than my disgusting image of a breeding ceremony *shiver* – moving on!
Cassia is happy and comforted by the fact that she already knows her match and even lives in the same borough (town, basically) as he does, which is rare, as most of the teens going to be matched don’t already know their matches nor do they live near each other. After receiving her match, she is given a microcard, something the Society creates in order for matches to get to know one another before meeting.
Cassia rushes home and pops that puppy in and everything is going hunky-dory-lovey-dovey until another face pops up on the screen. A face that isn’t Xander’s. Somehow she has been matched with two people, and the book has Cassia trying to figure out how and why this happened because the Society and supposedly perfect – the Society doesn’t make mistakes.
I’ll stop there, since most of the information I’ve given can be easily read on the back of the book, and I’m tired of info-dumping. *shrug* Onto the review portion!
This book completely gripped me. The world it built had me floored, and all of the wonderful technology involved was wonderfully crafted. The only reason this book didn’t get a full on 5/5 was because there have been many reviews saying this book is identical to Lois Lowry’s The Giver, I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to. I can’t really judge Matched on that because I have no idea if it is or not. So, just to be safe, I ticked off a star. Still, a great book.
This is your classic love triangle, though, in my opinion, the winner is apparent from the beginning of his introduction. I could just be biased, but I knew she would choose him. Anywho, in all honesty, I probably would’ve given this book a 4/5 anyway just based on the love triangle. I have nothing against them, and they definitely sell books, but I feel like they follow a similar formula every time.
Regardless, I love how Cassia grows from the love triangle. While most love triangles are just for the romance factor, with the MC barely growing as a person, Cassia actually takes the fact that there is a choice to make her more independent. The Society wants everyone to rely on them, obviously because they want control. Well, Cassia wants control, but of her own life. The revelations she goes through are very thought-provoking, at least in my own opinion. It had me turning pages and wanting to read self-help books. Condie needs to write a book called How to Take Control of Your Life by Using Love Triangles: Love is a YA Learning Device. Condie, if you’re reading this, you can find my contact page above. Let’s talk pages.
But the pacing is slow. While the revelations are thought-provoking and beautiful with their metaphors and symbolic meaning, they tend to be dragged on. The plot and pacing suffers for it. The only thing that kept me reading them was because they were well-written and beautiful, so kudos to Mrs. Condie.
All-in-all, it’s your fun run-of-the-mill YA romance book with a fun dystopian twist. Not exactly the quick kind of read, but one I would recommend to buy and add to your collection.
Purchase Status: Purchased
I hope you enjoyed my first review. This is far from perfect and a major experiment, but I hope you still find it interesting. I hope enough people like it enough to keep me writing more. Now, for questions, what did you think of the review? Did you agree, disagree? Any recommendations? Anything you’d like to add? Let me know, and comment below.
Thank you for reading!
-Lissy