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?
This isn't something I would normally pick out to read, but I love Libba Bray's books and she blurbed this, so I thought I'd give it a go. And I'm glad I did.
Set in a world that is kind of like the one in The Handmaid's Tale, this book covers a little over a year in the life of Tierney James. She's sixteen, and in her County, girls are sent away for their sixteenth year to "get rid of their magic". Before they leave, they are betrothed to one of the eligible men in town and expected to come back and be good wives and mothers.
Only each year, only some of the girls come back and no one speaks of what happens during what they call 'the grace year'. There are rumours of course - it can't be helped when the apothecary is filled with jars containing various body parts of untouched women that are used as medicine. Plus one of the ways men living on the outskirts of the County earn money is as poachers who sell these girls to the apothecary.
Tierney expects the most difficult thing about the Grace Year will be the hardships of living in the woods, but is confident in her abilities in that area. Her father has prepared her well to survive in the outdoors. There are the poachers to fear too, but what Tierney doesn't anticipate is the other girls and the madness freedom from their constricted society brings on. It becomes clear from the first night they spend away from their families that not all the girls will return.
I won't go into any detail as to what happens in the woods because that would spoil it for you. But it is unexpected, even if some parts of the story don't make complete sense or feel unsatisfactory in some ways. Overall, it was a real page-turner and I really enjoyed it.
Until the ending, which didn't feel entirely satisfying to me. But maybe I was expecting too much... Or just something a little different to what actually happened.
But don't just listen to me. Here's the blurb:No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.
It's the week before NaNo begins, so this week is all about clearing the decks to make time and space for writing the new book. That means finishing up anything else writing related so my focus can be entirely on the new book when I start next Sunday.
Unfortunately the weather has not been ideal this long weekend, so the gardening that so desperately needs to be done is still not done, but it will have to wait until December now. Unless I get a few really good writing days in there and am way ahead. Or if next Saturday is fine enough to get some done after the rest of the housework.
What are your goals this week?
This was an interesting read about finding your identity and why it's sometimes better not to meet your heroes.
Juliet is a Puerto Rican who has grown up in Queens. She's just finishing her first year in college and hasn't yet come out to her family despite having a girlfriend she thinks is pretty serious. She's about to leave for the summer to intern with the feminist writer who has changed her outlook and decides to come out before she leaves. Her mother won't speak to her which isn't the best way to leave home for the first time, but Juliet feels like she's done the right thing by telling them and heads to Oregon.
As soon as she arrives she feels like a fish out of water. Harlowe is an ethereal, weird hippie and the work she sets her intern is vague and unstructured. And then there are all the complicated relationships in Harlowe's life that Juliet becomes entwined with.
As the summer continues, Juliet's eyes are opened in many different ways. Her heart is broken and she learns that nobody is perfect, even writers whose ideas challenged you to change your way of thinking.
I loved the way Juliet grew during the course of this book. She started out so clueless, but ended up with strength and wisdom that would carry her through the rest of her life. She began as a child and grew into a woman who, while not wholly confident, was way more sure of herself than she was at the start.
If you're looking for a book which asks some big questions about identity and race and your place in the world, this may just be the book for you.But don't just listen to me. Here's the blurb:
This week my goals are pretty simple.
I aim to finish the MS critique I'm doing for a friend. I got just past halfway over the weekend, so I figure I can do the rest this week.
I have sent out a second batch of queries for Standing Too Close. I also got my first rejection. Does anyone else find it really freaky when you send out a query and get a rejection within a couple of hours? I always expect it to take a couple of months!
I signed the contract for the new book to be published, and it looks like it will release in February or March 2021. More about that later. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that edits won't come in until December so I can keep November free for NaNo.
I'm trying to work out my plan for NaNo. I want to try and take a couple of days off work each week to work on it, but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to. I guess if I can get even a single day some weeks, that will help.
What are your goals this week?
I managed to fix my screw up with the word 'that' over the weekend and even sent out a few, first, tentative queries. Terrifying! I never thought I'd be doing that again, but here we are...
This week I need to write a synopsis since way more agents seem to want one now than they did the last time I queried.
I also have a beta read to do and a couple of other little bits and pieces of critique work. I need to get all this done before November hits and all my spare time is taken up with NaNo.
I would also like to send out another small batch of queries this week.
So that's me. What are your goals this week?
Well, I think I did it. I think I finished Standing Too Close. I just have to go through and finish removing all my 'crutch' words and those little things, then I think I'm done.
It wasn't even as hard as I thought it was going to be. And I didn't add as many words as I thought I might need to.
So the goal this week is to finish the final polishing and start researching which agents might be interested in a story like this. I'd like to send a first batch of queries out next weekend.
The other goal for this week is to write my little summary of Juliet & Juliet so I have that ready to go when NaNo starts. I may even start writing a few scenes before November because 50K is not enough words to finish a novel. It never hurts to have a few words already written before you start so you're not starting the month staring at a blank page.
What are your goals this week?