Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Books I've read: This Boy

I really wish I had liked this book more.  It started off so well and I was really enjoying Paul's peculiar sense of humor and his burgeoning friendship with Roby.  He seemed like someone I'd have fun hanging out with for a while.

But then, like so many guys seem to do, he turned into a complete ass and I lost any compassion or empathy I might have had for him.  He treats his friend like shit because he 'falls in love' with a girl, but he doesn't really seem to love her at all.  It's all about her looks and not about who she really is.

And then he becomes a drug addict and she dumps his ass.  Which he deserves because he's pathetic and does nothing to help himself.  And then his mother has to try and pull him out of it.

The depiction of his slide into drug addiction wasn't convincing although I did believe the way he cheated on his detoxing.  His mother is really innocent if she thinks she can trust an addict do actually be doing what he says he's doing where is comes to what he's taking.  Everyone knows junkies lie.  Or I thought they did...


I thought the voice was great in this book.  Unfortunately it wasn't a voice I wanted or needed to hear.  I'm not sure how the author managed to write this with such an obnoxious character living in her head all that time.  

So I wouldn't recommend this one.  And if I did, it would be because it captures the voice of an unlikable character perfectly.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Lauren Myracle brings her signature frank, funny, and insightful writing to this novel of a teenage boy’s coming-of-age.

Paul Walden is not an alpha lobster, the hypermasculine crustacean king who intimidates the other male lobsters, beds all the lady lobsters, and “wins” at life. At least not according to the ego-bursting feedback he’s given in his freshman seminar. But Paul finds a funny, faithful friend in Roby Smalls, and maybe — oh god, please — he’s beginning to catch the interest of smart, beautiful Natalia Gutierrez. Cruising through high school as a sauced-out, rap-loving beta lobster suits Paul fine, and if life ever gets him down? Smoke a little weed, crunch a few pills . . . it’s all good.

But in the treacherous currents of teenage culture, it’s easy to get pulled under. With perfect frankness, Lauren Myracle lays bare the life of one boy as he navigates friendship, love, loss, and addiction. It’s life at its most ordinary and most unforgettable.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Weekly Goals 28-09-20

 I'm ashamed to admit I got no writing done over the weekend.  All the time I had was taken up with family stuff and chores, which is annoying to say the least!

Especially since I spent time on Saturday going to visit my father-in-law in the hospital, only to discover when I got there that he'd been sent home.  So that was time I could have spent writing which instead I spent on buses and walking.

But on the plus side, at least he's back in his own house which has to be more pleasant for him. Although as he lives alone, I do worry about him.  We went to visit yesterday and he seemed very tired and a little frail which is not something I've ever thought about him before.

Which leads me to this week's goals...  To actually finish the work on Standing Too Close.  And I would also like to scribble down some notes about the plot of my Juliet and Juliet romance in case I decide to write that during NaNo.  It feels more and more likely that this is the story I'm going to tackle and in many ways, I feel like it makes more sense because this is a book with girl protagonists and A Stranger to Kindness is another boy book like Standing Too Close. I can't help thinking it might be good to write some girls again for a while.  It feels like a while since I did that.

So that's me this week.  What are your goals?

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Celebrate the Small Things 25-9-20


This post is part of Lexa Cain's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to sign up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

It has felt like a really long week again, so I'm looking forward to a couple of days off.  Even if I have a lot to do in those days off.

My father-in-law has had his operation and seems to be doing remarkable well.  They think he might go home today, and if not, tomorrow.

I haven't done as much work on Standing Too Close as I had hoped to do, but I have done some.  I'm hoping to get a few hours this weekend to really dive in and make some changes.  I'm not sure if I will though, with everything else I have to do over the weekend.

I am vacillating over which book to try and write during NaNo.  I have a very vague idea of the plot for A Stranger to Kindness, but I know the characters really well now, whereas I have a much better idea of the plot for my lesbian Romeo and Juliet story, but know the characters less.  I'm not sure which one will be the best to work on, or if I should try something truly crazy and work on both at the same time, switching between them as I get stuck at various points.

But I guess I have a month or so to decide...

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Books I've Read: Rabbit and Robot


I've been a huge fan of Andrew Smith's books since I stumbled across Grasshopper Jungle several years ago and thought it was one of the most bizarre, inventive and plan fun books I'd read in years.  Rabbit and Robot is very much in the same vein and it's going to be difficult to talk about without giving away too much.  But I will do my best...

Set in a future where war is a daily occurrance and most of the world is on fire, Cager and his friend Billy are among the few people in the world who are not either robots (cogs) or those who programme robots (coders).  This is purely because their fathers are the uber-elite, super rich who have built the system.  To keep the human population under control, a drug called Woz is administered freely.

Cager is not supposed to use Woz, but out of boredom he started taking it and is now an addict.  To try and wean him off the drug, Billy and Cager's carer Rowan hijack a luxury space cruiser for him to detox in.

Unfortunately, as they are prepping to leave the Earth's atmosphere, Earth implodes under the weight of too many wars, leaving the three men as potentially the only human survivors. The spacecraft is well suited to sustaining human life long-term.  A full staff of cogs is available to serve and food and drink can be printed to order.

But something has been let loose on the spaceship.  Something that makes the cogs behave in an increasingly bizarre manner.  And who are the human girls on board that Cager alone can smell?  Will they be able to help Cager and Billy escape a lifetime trapped in space?

There is so much to like about this book.  From the fully functioning cogs, each of whom has one defining characteristic - cheerful, depressed, know-it-all, outraged, horny - to the visit to the ship by another species of alien who claim to be fully responsible for the human race.  And then there's the French-speaking amorous giraffe...

Cager is kind of an annoying protagonist.  He's spoiled and weak and unable to do anything much for himself.  But it's clear this is not really his fault.  His parents have brought him up this way, allowing Rowan to be a surrogate parent/valet/man-servant all in one.  They've even paid kids to be friends with Cager and Billy.

To give away more would be too much, so I won't go into much more detail. Just know that everything that happens in this book is surreal, strange and immensely fun.  I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but if you like quirky, extremely imaginative stories, this one is for you.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Cager has been transported to the Tennessee, a giant lunar-cruise ship orbiting the moon that his dad owns, by Billy and Rowan to help him shake his Woz addiction. Meanwhile, Earth, in the midst of thirty simultaneous wars, burns to ash beneath them. And as the robots on board become increasingly insane and cannibalistic, and the Earth becomes a toxic wasteland, the boys have to wonder if they’ll be stranded alone in space forever.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Weekly Goals 21-9-20

 Once again my goal this week is to finish my new draft of Standing Too Close.  I'm not any closer to reaching that goal than I was on Friday because my weekend kind of got thrown out of kilter when my father-in-law (who is 92 today) was put into the hospital.

So now I am going to have to try and get the work done in the mornings, evenings (if I have the energy) and possibly next weekend, although I have a feeling my time will be taken up with Peter quite a bit then too.  What is it they say about best laid plans?  

On the plus side, this book has been hanging around for so long now, I suppose a few more weeks isn't going to kill it.  My deadlines are my own, not anyone else's, so if it takes me until the end of October to finish, I'm the only one who will be disappointed.

Anyway, that's my week.  What are your goals for the week?

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Celebrate the Small Things 18-9-20

This post is part of Lexa Cain's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to sign up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

It's felt like a long week even though I had a half-day off on Tuesday because I felt sick, and then worked from home on Wednesday.  Still managed to get a lot of work done though...

Looking forward to the weekend and getting the house cleaned.  I was away at the mountains last weekend, and of course nobody thought to do anything useful around the house like laundry or cleaning anything.  My younger son did vacuum, he says, but the cats shed so much fur, it's always a little hard to tell.

My elder son turned 16 this week, which is both wonderful and terrifying.  And his band won their heat in the battle of the bands which means they move into the next round.

I've been working on Standing Too Close and hope to have a new draft finished by the end of the weekend (or next week at the latest).  I'm determined to get this finished by the end of the month and will query widely through October.  Eeeek!

What are you celebrating this week?

Welcoming Author Patricia Lynne

My friend Patricia Lynne has just re-released all her YA novels with new covers and I'm excited to be able to share them with you today.  Aren't they pretty?  And they're great reads too.  So if you're into paranormal stories full of mythical creatures, these books might just tickle your fancy...

Being Human

Tommy forgot his human life when he became a vampire...but it didn’t forget him.

Like all vampires, Tommy must do one thing: survive. With no memory of his life before death, his only connection to humanity is his twin brother. When Tommy rescues a young girl, he learns not all monsters are undead. After returning her to her family, Tommy struggles to understand why he felt so protective of her when she has no connection to him.

As the years pass, and with his twin’s help, Tommy moves on with his ‘life’ but never forgets the young girl or the monster who hurt her. When she re-enters his life as a teenager, Tommy struggles with his vampire need to survive and his desire to protect her. He will be forced to decide which part of him is stronger: The vampire? Or the human? The answer may destroy him. 


Cyclop can see other people’s futures, but his own is clouded by a past he can’t escape and a man he calls Master.

It’s not Cyclop’s albino skin and mismatched eyes that make him stand out, but his ability to see the future and a dark past he escaped. Only those close to him know his secrets, and with their help, he has carved out a normal life. But his past refuses to let him go, and when the man he calls Master finds him, he is forced to return to his old life.

Imprisoned, Cyclop clings to the hope of freedom. To do so, he must break Master’s control over him. Will he find the strength to become the master of his own life? Or is his past destined to be his future?

Leaves of Fall

Armory was raised to hate nature, but not all trees wanted a war.

Armory was born in a world torn apart by the war between man and nature. The threat of another attack looms over Armory and the survivors hidden in the remains of New York City. When Armory is kidnapped, a tree nymph is her unlikely savior. 

Birch claims he can return Armory safely home. Can she trust a tree? If she wants to see her home again, she has no choice. As they travel across the wasteland of America, Armory meets both humans and trees who want the fighting to stop.

But the hatred between man and nature may be too deep of a wound to heal. In a world destroyed by hate, can Armory and Birch’s friendship change minds and forge peace? Birch has a plan to make it happen. He’s just not sure he’ll survive.

About the Author:
Patricia never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was more of an art and band geek. Some stories are meant to be told, and now she can't stop writing. Her young adult stories often have a paranormal, fantasy or sci-fi twist.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. She also writes New Adult Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance under the name Patricia Josephine.


Links to Books: