Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Sinner - Maggie Stiefvater

A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book

Sinner is a companion to the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy (Shiver, Linger, Forever), which I loved. But this is even more exciting because it's featuring the two characters I loved the most: Cole and Isabel.

My Review

I cannot express how excited I was when I discovered this book existed. Just Cole and Isabel? Perfection! Don't get me wrong, I liked Sam and Grace (the protagonists in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy) but not nearly as much as I adored Cole and Isabel. If anyone's read the GONE series by Michael Grant and fallen in love with Caine and Diana, this is exactly the same kind of disastrous relationship.

However, saying all this, I was worried that I'd been away from these characters too long and would get confused by mention of previous plot. It was two years ago that I finished the trilogy (so long ago it was before I started writing reviews) and to be honest, the finer details of the story have long since vacated my brain. I didn't have to worry though. Stiefvater only mentioned previous events in passing and in general so I didn't get lost.

Stiefvater is a master at description. It's little and often, and when I say often, I mean almost every other line. Usually that would grate on me in one chapter but it didn't. That's because Stiefvater is so incredible at crafting it that you don't realise you're reading description. That's a huge plus for me. I usually tire of description in two sentences. It was always in the perfect place and almost always made me think.

Although I may have forgotten the workings of the trilogy, I was reminded in chapter one why I loved Cole so much. I was so glad to be back with him and I felt the exact same way when Isabel appeared in chapter two. They both felt so real and so complete that they're impossible to fault in my opinion. They might be dramatic at times but it fits and it makes total sense. Cole and Isabel are two of the greatest characters I've ever read due to their complexity and heart. There was so much truth in them, it hurt. I was truly amazed. Awe isn't a strong enough word.

There were so many sarcastic and phenomenal one liners that I wanted to write in my notebook but had to stop myself. I would've filled the thing. I laughed and gasped aloud and lived and breathed with them in California.

I know I'm pretty much fangirling at this point but it was perfection, perfection, perfection! In the most imperfect human way possible.

With lines like this: "I let my gaze eat the world", how did you expect me to put it down?


Overall 10/10

Would I recommend it? Yes. I was blown away.

Would I look up the author? Yes. In the process of buying and reading more Stiefvater.

Sinner was perfection in the most imperfect human way possible.

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo

Monday, 19 October 2015

Insanity for Imprint: a NaNo Challenge

Most of you know how nutty I am about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month - writing 50,000 - or a novel, really - in 30 days). It's my favourite writing event of the year and is the reason I average two books a year. One at a leisurely pace in the summer and then a crazy one month sprint in November. However, NaNo fever gets stronger in me each and every single November and that caused my leisurely pace to become 23 days this year without the pressure of NaNo.

Am I crazy? I don't know. But one thing's for certain, it's getting too easy. 
50,000 goal reached: Day 29 (2011), Day 21 (2012), Day 22 (2013), Day 12 (2014).

Time to kick it up a notch. 
 (Note: Futurama references are always welcome.)
And how you ask? How will I make the craziest writing event even harder? Well, with a little something I'm calling Insanity for Imprint.

Imprint is the (current) title for my NaNo '15 project and as this is my fifth year of NaNo, I knew I'd have to do something great.

When I was small, I used to hate the number five for some reason. I have a feeling I'm going to hate it even more this November. I'm pledging right here, right now, to write:


Wait, can I take it back? Whoops, too late.

My writing friend and NaNo nemesis Midnight Rogue has challenged me to a ten day NaNo and after she beat me by about 12 hours last year, I am not settling for second place again.

To sum up, NaNo - for normal people - looks like this:

Last year for me it looked like this:

And this year it's going to look like this:

To encourage me in this, quite frankly, ridiculous target, please donate to NaNoWriMo via my stay classy fundraising page, IMPRINT - NaNo'15. NaNoWriMo is a fantastic cause because stories matter. So I'm making sure the world is full of them.

Be ready, November. I'm coming to get you.

Molly - Wrimo

Want to be NaNo buddies? Me too! I'll add everyone. NaNo is more fun with friends. 

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo

Monday, 12 October 2015

Editing and Critiquing

As some of you may know, I now offer editing and critiquing services. This includes query submission critique, line editing, developmental editing, writing coach services, and book reviews. All the details you need to know are on my Editing and Critiquing page which you can access in the top right or by clicking here!

If you need help with your work or know someone who does, please let me know! I would love to help.

There are some exciting things coming up next year and I can't wait to tell you about them, but meanwhile I am here for all your editing and critiquing needs. Drop me a comment or email and I'll get back to you right away.

Also, thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me during all of my projects.

2016 is going to be big!

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas / NaNoWriMo

Monday, 5 October 2015

Burn - Paula Weston

Burn is book four in the fantastic Rephiam Series. Please be aware that Shadows, Haze and Shimmer come before this!

A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book

Gaby remembers everything . . . 

My Review

What can I say? I knew I'd love this book before it was even out. There's just something about this universe and these characters that makes me want to read and read and read and never put the books down. I was so excited to read the prologue I had to stop myself making excited noises and my heart was racing. Like all other readers, I was desperate to know Gaby's whole story at last.

Weston went about this in the absolute best way. Instead of trying to explain all that had happened leading up to Gaby's memory loss and making the writing clunky and awkward, Weston let us live it with her. And when I'm alongside Gaby, I'm all kinds of ready. It was fascinating to be beside Gabe for once and not the Gaby I'd come to know and love.

It was amazing how Gaby and Gabe were the same person a year apart and yet they were so different. Gaby's much softer and . . . wait, I really want this to make sense . . . Gaby has more memories and therefore sees the world a little differently and that subtle difference between the past and present in this story makes me want to bow down to Weston because it is nothing short of perfection.

And just as I get my head round explaining that, Weston blows me away by doing so in less than fifteen words:
"I've been someone else for a whole year; I'm a different shape now."
As with all four of these books, you get a such-a-long-day kind of feeling as you battle right beside Gaby. It's incredible that I can feel as though I'm living all of it. It really is a masterpiece.

I was in the middle of  Burn for about thirty-three hours. Twenty-five of which I was awake and obsessing about it. I couldn't sleep for thinking about it. Then, when it was all over, I was so lost. I felt like I was missing something . . . no, someone.

I miss Gaby already!



Overall 10/10

Would I recommend it? Yes! In a heartbeat! 

Would I look up the author? Yes but I don't have to.

Burn was everything I was expecting and then a whole lot more.

Molly Looby
Author / Ghostwriter / Editor / Blogger / Reviewer / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready