Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013

This year I had a fair few ambitions.  Write a lot and read a lot.

I succeeded.

I read over 30 books this year which was better than the target of 26 that I gave myself.  I discovered some amazing books this year.  These ones have to be my favourite:

Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion
Light - Michael Grant
Eve and Adam - Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
Delirium - Lauren Oliver
Blood Red Road / Rebel Heart - Moira Young
Unearthly / Hallowed - Cynthia Hand
More Than This - Patrick Ness
Divergent / Insurgent / Allegiant - Veronica Roth

The absolute favourite winning my book of the year is 'Divergent' by Veronica Roth.  The film in 2014 better be good.  (It will never be good enough.)

Next year I'm looking forward to so many patient books on my shelf, one of which is 'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green which I expect great things from.

Now on to the writing and editing side of my year which has been on fire!

I released two books this year.

'Gambling a Fairytale' the second book in my 'Immorality of Immortality trilogy'.

And 'ZA' my stand alone zombie novel.

I'm starting to create a real portfolio of books.  This year, as well as releasing two, I also wrote two.  One that is kinda about werewolves and another which is a tragic love story with a twist (what else but NaNo 2013.)  My grand total is now eight books in my four years of writing.

An ambition for next year is to reach ten books in five years and then I might slow down!

Oh yeah, I did some A'levels too.

And let's not forget that I was shortlisted for the Sony Young Movellist of the Year Award with my NaNo'12 novel 'I Dare You'!

And was also in the paper!

This year has been amazing.  But next year is going to be even better.  My loyal fans will enjoy the final instalment of the 'Immorality of Immortality trilogy', 'Chancing the Truth'.  And 'I Dare You' is also on my list for next year when I'll give it the love and attention it deserves.  

2014 is the year it's all going to happen.

Mark my words.

Molly Looby

Author at heart


Sunday, 29 December 2013

Insurgent - Veronica Roth

This review may contain 'Divergent' spoilers.  Read at your own risk.

A Spoiler Free Bit About the Book

Heading off to Amity headquarters with Tobias and Caleb, Tris knows one thing.
The Divergent are not safe.

My Review

'Insurgent' was so different from 'Divergent' but somehow it matched its brilliance.  The plot was extremely detailed and clever and I could hardly put it down.

Roth has an amazing talent and reading 'Insurgent' had bubbles of emotion filling me.  I felt everything Tris felt.  I can't even believe how attached I grew to Tris across the novel.

The new characters were as good as the old ones and their development was excellent.  Even knowing more about them, I still loved them.  Nothing seems to be able to put me off these characters.  I don't care what they do.  I'm committed.

In 'Divergent' we gain an understanding of Abnegation, Dauntless and Erudite, leaving Amity and Candor behind somewhat.  But don't worry about that.  'Insurgent' gives you a full understanding of all the factions which still even after reading 'Divergent', fascinated me.

A few lines in 'Insurgent' were phenomenal.  They stuck with me and rendered me speechless.  Just another one of Roth's talents.

I was left awed and gasping for the finale - 'Allegiant'.


Plot - 9/10 - didn't enjoy quite as much as 'Divergent'.

Way Plot Was Pursued - 10/10 - I wanted more info on the factions and I got it.

Characters - 10/10 - new and old all excellent.

Style - 10/10 - I can't praise Roth enough.

Pace - 9/10 - Although fast paced, at times you had to trek.

Would I recommend it? - Yes, of course.  All readers of 'Divergent' have to give 'Insurgent' a try.

Would I look up the author? - Yes, if there was anything for me to look up.

'Insurgent', though not as good as 'Divergent' was still a blast to read.

Molly Looby

Author / Reviewer / Blogger / Editor / Movellian / Wrimo / ZA Ready

Email me here about books, writing, zombies, vampires, werewolves, Movellas, NaNoWriMo, teen fiction and all of that awesome stuff: molly.looby@hotmail.com

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Divergent - Veronica Roth

A Spoiler Free Bit About the Book

The world is divided into five factions: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite.  The selflessness, the peaceful, the honest, the brave, the intelligent.  At the age of sixteen you are tested to see which faction you have an aptitude for.  And then at the Choosing Ceremony you must pick one and if you chose to leave your family your faction become your new family - faction before blood.

We follow our protagonist, Tris Prior, born of Abnegation.  But she's sure she isn't selfless enough for it.

The Choosing Ceremony is only the beginning.

My Review

'Divergent' had cropped up a lot in the teen fiction community over the past few months and after hearing about it I knew it was one I just had to read.  I knew it was going to be amazing, so amazing I would become obsessed, or it would be overrated.  Well, let's just say a few chapters in I looked up and said to whoever was in the room at the time "this is going to be awesome".

I wasn't wrong.

My first love of 'Divergent' was our protagonist, Tris.  She was so real to me, doing what anyone would do and making good decisions.  She worries about weakness as we all do and yet again on some level she still wants to be helped.  Her battle between being brave and being herself sucked me in and kept me reading.  I connected with her from the off and the simple voice Roth gives her makes you want to follow her to the end of the universe and not just to the end of the book.  Tris worries about the truly important.  She knows what it means to be selfless and she knows what it means to be brave.  She was my perfect heroine.

The other characters too, stole my heart.  They were round and full and so real.  But what shocked me most was that they were so very quickly, meaning they had plenty of time to develop across the novel.  They were all different and relatable for different reasons.  And they all had sound motives which teenage fiction is sometimes lacking in my opinion.  I loved the ones I hated but not as much as the ones I loved and that if nothing else, is the mark of incredible characters.  Roth paints real friendships with their ups and downs and sometimes the characters broke my heart.

The universe in itself with its five factions was so interesting.  I just wanted to know more, wanted to know everything.  (I suspect I would be in Erudite.)  The idea is great and I loved how different the factions were in ideals and personality.  And of course how even with this system, humanity will always mess it up.

Th pace was excellent.  I could hardly put it down from the first sentence and the action was perfect.  It was so easy to follow even thought it was fast paced and I always knew who was throwing the punches.


Plot Idea - 10/10 - five factions, different from anything I've ever read.

Way Plot Was Pursued - 10/10 - I can't imagine the story being told any differently.

Characters - 10/10 - Rounded.  Different.  Relatable.  Loveable.

Style - 10/10 - loved Roth's peppering of short sentences and Tris's narration.

Pace - 10/10 - not slow at all, couldn't put it down.

Would I recommend it? - Yes.  It's without a doubt the next big thing in teen fiction.

Would I look up the author? - Yes.  Or I would if this wasn't her debut.  I certainly would.

'Divergent' was everything I wanted in a story.  I can't fault it.  The only novel so far I've given perfect ten all round.

Molly Looby

Author / Reviewer / Editor / Writing Coach / Blogger / ZA Ready / Wrimo

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Unfed - Kirsty McKay

As usual, as this is a sequel, it will contain spoilers from the first book, 'Undead'.  But this review will not contain spoilers from this book, 'Unfed'.

A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book

After surviving the zombie attack against all odds, thinking they are safe, Bobby, Alice, Pete and Smitty have to think again.  Bobby wakes up from a coma after the bus crash and is told that it's all over and the zombies were contained.
She knows it's too good to be true.

My Review

I was looking forward to reading this book as last summer I really enjoyed reading 'Undead'.  I couldn't put it down.  Unfortunately, 'Unfed' did not have the same effect on me.  Overall, I was thoroughly disappointed.  It felt repetitive, like I'd read it all before.

The plot in itself wasn't bad.  Like 'Undead' there were zombies and sticky situations.  But I was bored of it.  It didn't help that the characters irritated me - all of them - the entire way through.  I didn't care what happened to them and I didn't connect with them, new or old.  And thinking about it, there wasn't much character development and isn't that what sequels are best at?

Most irritating of all was our protagonist and narrator Bobby.  In 'Undead' the narration entertained me and made me laugh but this time it got old fast.  There are certain things you wouldn't joke about during a zombie Armageddon and it really stuck out when this was the case.  I didn't want to hear what little she mentioned of her family life because why should I give a damn?  There was nothing tying me to her as a character.  In fact, as the novel went on, she became more and more unrelatable

Another issue was that a lot of the time I had no idea what I was supposed to be picturing.  I would read the description again and again and still be none the wiser.  I really struggled to follow it at these points.

To top it all off, there were typos in it too.


Plot Idea - 8/10 - there were zombies in it, a good start.

Way Plot Was Pursued - 6/10 - was repetitive after 'Undead'

Characters - 5/10 - irritated me - a lot.

Style - 5/10 - narration seemed unrealistic, description at times impossible to follow.

Pace - 8/10 - Nothing, wrong with the pace but pulled back by the other issues.

Would I recommend it? - No.  This is one of those books that if someone asks, you tell the to read the first one but not bother past that.

Would I look up the author? - No.  This did it for me.  There are too many good books out there.

'Unfed' showed me that if you succeed once you can't get too comfortable.

Molly Looby

Author / Movellian / Reviewer / Editor / Blogger / Writing Coach / ZA Ready / Wrimo

Contact me about writing, reading, books, vampires, zombies, werewolves and the like here: molly.looby@hotmail.com

Friday, 6 December 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Post #7

So . . . it's finished.

80,421 words of it.  351 A5 pages.  35 days.

That's 10 A5 pages a day.  Roughly 2,300 words a day.  Yes, every day.  Every single day.

Still no title - but I haven't thought too hard about it yet.  I've got a list of possible titles in my notebook.  I'm going to think about it during editing.  Not right now.  Now it's time for a well deserved break.

I'm not going to lie, I'm extremely proud.  I haven't read it through yet so I have no idea about the pace or how it flows or if there's any irrelevant stuff hiding away where I can't see it.  All I know is that the ending came out perfect.

I haven't put the whole thing up yet but most of it is here if you fancy a read and the end is coming very soon:

So now you will ALL be relieved to hear that my project is book three of The Immorality of Immortality Trilogy: Chancing the Truth which deserves a second draft more than anything.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about here are the links to book one - Playing with Reality, book two - Gambling a Fairytale and my Immorality of Immortality website and Facebook page.

PWR -  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playing-With-Reality-Immorality-Immortality/dp/1467879584/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1386327496&sr=8-3&keywords=molly+looby  (Paperback)
             http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playing-Reality-The-Immorality-Immortality-ebook/dp/B007OC4K0I/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1 (Kindle)

GAF - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gambling-Fairytale-The-Immorality-Immortality/dp/1481784137/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1386327569&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=molly+looby (Paperback)
          http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gambling-Fairytale-The-Immorality-Immortality-ebook/dp/B00BHX87CM/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386327546&sr=1-3&keywords=molly+looby (Kindle)

IofI website - http://theimmoralityofimmortalitytrilogy.yolasite.com/

IofI Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/PlayingwithRealityBook

I love CTT and I can't wait to read it again.  (and again, and again, and again unfortunately).  It should be interesting as I have no idea what I'm going to think about it after all this time.  I'm getting my ruthless head on and am going to have to be no nonsense about it.

It should be shiny and ready at some point in 2014.  For now that's all I can estimate as I have no idea of how much needs sorting yet.

But for the rest of the week at least I'm just going to sit back and read my reward: Allegiant by Veronica Roth.  (It so won't take me all week!  And yes, I know it's Friday.)

Don't worry, I know I've got loads of book reviews to do - five to be exact - well they're coming.  They are.  Promise.

So I'll leave you with the last quotes from NaNoWriMo 2013:

Ash - "Against all odds, we fit together: Shard and Flare.  In the most incredible moment of my life."

Cerulean - "We were dangerous together."

Cerulean - "It isn't right . . . But that's what we're best at right?"

Ash - "I just . . . I can't seem to say no to you."

Ash - "So no mater how dangerous and wrong I was, he was too."

Ash - "This was it.  The real deal.  Because without him there was no me.  Not anymore."

Ash - "It's us against the world.  And I prefer that much better to you against me."

Cerulean - "We're a tragedy aren't we?"

Ash - "Because if this was how it was going to end, what had been the point?"

Molly Looby

Author / Wrimo / Movellian / Editor / Reviewer / Blogger / Writing coach / ZA Ready

Contact me about writing, reading, being an author, NaNoWriMo, Movellas, zombies, werewolves, vampires and anything else that's awesome here: molly.looby@hotmail.com