Hey y’all! I have some more exciting news for you writers! On Monday, May 20, Emily P. Freeman, co-founder of Hope*Writers, is hosting an online training class for writers called “How to be a Working Writer Without Losing Your Mind.”
Hint: You don’t have to sell your soul, change your personality, or become a cartoon version of yourself to make it as a writer.
Emily is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author who knows how to hustle but hasn’t lost her heart. And good news! She loves talking to writers about writing.
If you’re a writer but you struggle to share your work in a way that feels like you, then you don’t want to miss this free training.
Plus – you’ll get to choose the time that fits you best.
A New Beginning is a very fun middle grade read that I highly recommend for new fans or old! I would have absolutely loved to have read this when I was younger! My middle school heart would have soared to have this story. That being said, adult me had a great time too! The writing is quite good, you can easily follow along. The plot about the Rangers letting a girl join for the first time ever was really well done. It seemed like an easy transition. I had a good time reading about the training that goes into being a Ranger and the cool moves they have skills for! One of my favorite tropes is when a princess becomes a warrior. And Maddie does not disappoint. I love the fact that the author wrote about a regular moody teenager, and giving them something to fight for. To make them feel/ do something important. Maddie’s character development was spot on. As was Will’s, even though he is a seasoned Ranger. There are still things left to learn for him as well. Their easy going banter makes this readers heart happy. They have such a sweet Uncle/ Niece relationship!
I can’t wait to see what adventures and mischief Maddie gets up to next! This was a grand adventure!
John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia, hoping to be a writer. John began writing Ranger’s Apprentice for his son, Michael, ten years ago, and is still hard at work on the series and its spinoff, Brotherband Chronicles. He currently lives in the suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife. In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons.
I have a very exciting writers opportunity for YOU the next two weeks! I have partnered with Hope*Writers to give writers like you some advice and help when it comes to writing what you want, AND the process of writing and publishing! Cool, right?! I will list details below, as well as my affiliate links to everything! There is also a GIVEAWAY going on for Instagram users! It’s over $100 of items in one gift basket! Woohoo!
These are the prompts for the Instagram writers challenge! Just post a photo (even one that fits your theme!) and talk about the prompt for that day! Have questions? They are completely open to DM’s! I will also try my best to answer anything!
GIVEAWAY prize! They will choose a winner as long as you use their hashtag AND tag them! Good luck friends!
As you can see, I rated it 5 stars, so I obviously loved it. I literally have nothing bad to say.
Writing. Absolutely beautiful. Meyer paints a richly colorful story that I very desperately want to be in. I never once got lost or confused, and let me tell you there were some things in this book you really had to imagine. She writes like how you dream. The rooms in the house were so fantastical that I loved how different it was from anything I’ve read! One of the rooms had glass bobbles that had different things in them, like lightening, but when you touched them they cut you like knives. Not to mention the wonderful library! Who wouldn’t want to hop inside of a book?!
Plot. I LOVED how she did a retelling of the original East of the Sun and West of the Moon. That’s the story that beauty and the beast was based off of so naturally it’s one of my favorites. Also, I saw a movie as a kid that was based off of this and I loved it! So this read was actually kind of nostalgic for me! (Side note: I need to find that movie. :P) I really enjoyed the super sweet romance. It was perhaps a bit slow burn? Or maybe somewhere in between slow burn and insta love. The message of the book was love, but with a strong dose of forgiveness. I love when authors write about forgiveness. Not a lot of people forgive these days. It made the characters relationship quite relatable actually.
Characters. Another element that was done really well. Echo was strong and brave, but also sweet and nice. She had a nice balance. She has severe scarring on her face and even though she fights low self-esteem because of it, she knows it’s not a measure of what she’s worth. The Wolf was so sweet as well! He always tried to protect her. Hal was very interesting. He was always so mysterious and his story is extremely compelling, and how it ties in with the other characters. Mokosh… sigh. I feel so bad for her! That’s all I will say!
Final Thoughts. Um, read this. Everyone. Well, if you like fairytales and retellings. It’s such a beautiful book!
*Normal disclaimer that content warning isn’t necessarily my personal thoughts. It’s for parents. *
CONTENT WARNING: Kissing, violence, the characters share a bed but it’s more for safety reasons.
OTHER CONTENT: Learning how to be in a relationship, making friendships, forgiveness, love is the most powerful thing in the world.
I don’t normally read contemporaries, but I’m glad I picked this up! I had just read a heavier book and was in a bit of a funk over it, so this was the perfect fun, fast, cute read! It was sort of a pallet cleanser for me. And even though I had a couple of issues with it, I am still interested in reading the other books in the series!
The thing I did really like was the plot! I’m a sucker for a fake dating plot! I think they are so funny and cute and how could it not create a little va-va-voom between the characters?!
Okay the issues I have are a little sporadic. I liked all of the characters but they all had some major flaws. Maybe it’s my age (27), so I couldn’t relate anymore, I don’t know. Also, let me say, that I have had quite a few people tell me I reminded them of Lara Jean when I was in high school.
Lara Jean. She was so cute and naive. But I hated that she had a crush on her sister’s ex, Josh. Not that she did in the first place, but that she did after they broke up. Now, I don’t have sisters, only brothers, so maybe I don’t understand how she could do that. It just seemed kind of icky.
Josh. I know a lot of people liked him, but he was my least favorite character. He was kind of a schmuck, but acted like the nicest guy. Maybe he was both?
Peter. He was kind of the opposite of Josh. He was a sarcastic meanie some of the times, but he was actually really nice.
Also, I’ve got to say Margot was kind of annoying. She dumps her boyfriend so she can have fun in college. Wow. So mature…
Do y’all read contemporaries? What do you like?
*Disclaimer for CONTENT WARNING. This is so parents can make a decision. It does not necessarily reflect my personal views.
CONTENT WARNING: They are in high school so lots of sex talk and some bullying. Kissing scenes. Minor swearing.
OTHER CONTENT: Strong friendships, family bonds, forgiveness, how to navigate bullying.
*Gorgeous sign by Bookish Signs! I have a code too! Lauren20 to save on two or more items!*
This was a weird book. But in a good way. I don’t normally like Magical Realism. But I actually enjoyed this one! It was a tad bit more on the magical side than real, which helped. I found the mystery extremely compelling and interesting.
I loved how the relationships in this book played out. Even though it was only over a week, they went through really traumatic experiences individually and together. I think going through something with someone no matter how long you’ve known them, creates a connection.
Character growth was done really well too. Especially for a 300 page book. Everyone confessed something and grew from it.
I really enjoyed the writing style! It was very beautiful but also straightforward. If that makes sense. She did a really good job of having the main character likable despite her awful secret. It’s a hard thing to do! I liked that it was from two different points of view! There is Ruby, and then there is this mystery character. Very well done.
The only thing a slightly disliked was that it took awhile to get into. The first half was really slow. But the last half I couldn’t put it down. I had to know the secret of the treasure and Island.
And the ending broke my heart and I wasn’t expecting that. I actually like when books do that though, because it’s surprising.
So, if you think a weird, magical realism, mystery about treasure and an Island sounds good to you, then you should read this. I really don’t have anything to compare it to. It was very different.
*I have read a lot of reviews that compare this to The Raven Boys. I am not sure why. I have read that book and didn’t think it was that similar. Her writing style DOES remind me of Maggie Stiefvater’s though!
Do you like Magical Realism?
*Usual disclaimer about the content warning, I just put these here for YA books for parents who want to make the decision to let their kids read or not to read a book. This does not necessarily reflect my own person opinions.
CONTENT WARNING: Swearing, mention of rape but not following through with it, sexual talk, kissing, murder, death, depression, lying, trauma, assisted suicide, bullying
OTHER CONTENT: How to handle a traumatic event, healing, friendship, healthy relationships, telling the truth, dealing with bullies