Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Books I've Loved: Not If I See You First

I didn't totally love this book, but it's probably the best of the ones I've read over the last couple of weeks.  The main character is Parker, a fiercely independent blind girl who has recently lost her father to apparent suicide.

Parker has a lot of rules designed to keep her safe.  She's been deceived by people using her blindness before, and she won't allow that to happen again.  Unfortunately, a lot of the things Parker bases her rules on aren't entirely true.

Which is the problem with the book really.  Parker is so rigid about her rules and so certain she's always right, it's hard to like her at times.  And the way she treats her friends and Scott, the boy she claims to have always loved despite his betrayal is pretty terrible at times.

But there is also a lot to admire about Parker.  Especially her determination to run despite her blindness.

I just wish I'd liked her as much off the track as I liked her on it…

But don't take my word for it.  Here's the blurb.

The Rules:

Don’t deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you're just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.

Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react—shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened—both with Scott, and her dad—the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

Combining a fiercely engaging voice with true heart, debut author Eric Lindstrom’s Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Weekly Goals 30-5-16

I didn't get as much work done on my book over the weekend as I had hoped to, so it's all about revising again this week.  I'm through 11 chapters so far, and the next few won't need much more than a few tweaks, but beyond that, there is a lot of rewriting to do.  A lot of twisting and changing and moving things around.

I'm not sure I'm going to meet my self-imposed deadline.

But I'm okay with that.

I'll aim for it, but if it looks impossible, I can extend it by a few more weeks.  I don't want to kill myself to get this done, or rush it and do a terrible job.

But it does need to get done.

So my goal for this week is to get through eight more chapters. That will get me near the halfway mark.

I just wish I was better at plotting…

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things 26-5-16

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

So what am I celebrating this week?

It's Friday!

Somehow this week has felt very long.  I'm not sure why.  Yet even though it has been long, I don't feel like I've achieved anything like what I needed to achieve.  I guess some weeks are like that…

I've finished revising the first seven chapters of My Murder Year.  I think they set things up better now, but I'm not entirely sure.  I'll keep forging ahead.  My CPs will tell me if anything isn't working.

My son's school was evacuated on Wednesday after the high school next door had a bomb threat phoned in.  He wasn't scared at all - more annoyed about being taken out of school to be honest, but it was a little nerve wracking for me at work, not knowing why or if he was scared by it.  Especially since he'd told me the previous week that they'd had a lockdown drill, and that scared him because he didn't know if it was real or not.  I'm just glad there wasn't actually a bomb!

I hope to get a lot of work done on my book this weekend.  I have to go to a conference in the middle of June, and I'd really like to have finished with this before I go.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Books I've Loved: Symptoms of Being Human

I realized I've missed a few of these book love posts.  Apologies!  I've been all out of whack since the A-Z Challenge finished. But back on track now….

I loved this book. I thought it was genius how the author never gave even a hint at what Riley's birth assigned gender was and that it didn't matter. Riley was still a whole and fully realized character even without that information given. The struggles and issues Riley dealt with are so real too and I liked that Riley was in a place of privilege where they had a voice and a way to turn the horrors that happened into something positive. Far too many people outside the gender binary don't have that luxury.

The book is light on plot, but that isn't a bad thing because the small portion of Riley's life we were given access to was enough. Things happened, led to other things, and led to an ultimately satisfying conclusion. Is it like real life? No. But it's still an honest representation of this character's experience.
But you don't have to trust me…  Here's the blurb!

The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is…Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Weekly Goals 23-5-16

It's all about revising this week (and probably for the next few weeks if we're being honest here).  My MS is ripped into shreds at the moment as I try to piece it back together again in a new way.  I thought I'd finished the beginning yesterday, but then I had a brilliant idea of how to move the sequence of events around a little to make it shorter (maybe) and introduce more ideas and characters.  So we shall see if that works.

Other than that, I don't have a huge number of goals for the week.  It's likely to get busier at work from today with the team coming back from Cannes, so I will have to protect my energy levels and brain space if I want to make any significant progress o my book.  I'm quite determined to finish this revision by mid-June, if I can, so I ned to focus on it seriously.

What are your goals this week?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things 20-5-16

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

So what am I celebrating this week?

I had a lovely birthday weekend last week.  A night out with my girlfriends, and then the next day I took a whole pile of clothes to a clothing swap.  I didn't find as many new things as I might have liked, but I did get a gorgeous new winter coat which kind of makes up for the fact I only really found 3 other things.

I've made some progress with my revision of My Murder Year.  And even more importantly, I have ideas where I need to change things and drop little pieces of information in.  I'm still thinking about how to reveal things at the other end of the book, but that's okay because I have a while before I get there and hopefully by the time I do, I'll have worked it all out.

I have a nice, quiet weekend ahead of me, although I do have to clean my oven.  We had a special lunch at work yesterday, and I made quiches.  Unfortunately my custard mixture spilled out over the pastry a little on one of them, and leaked through the bottom of the quiche pan while it was baking.  So now the bottom of my oven looks like it's covered with a layer of omelet…

What are you celebrating this week?