Flake-out Friday Brings You (dun-dun-dun): The Truth

So, over the past week, I bought, like a dozen books. YA books to be exact. Some I’ve been wanting to read for over a year, others have just come out and there’s been so much buzz about them, I couldn’t resist.

Two of my purchases were:

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I LOVED both these books, but in totally different ways. Present me with paranormal, fantasy, dystopian whatever, and I’m totally there, no questions asked. So, Divergent was a no-brainer. THEN I started reading it…and couldn’t put it down. I read it in one day. I put off eating meals to get a few more chapters through it. (Anyone who knows me understands the significance of this statement.)

What made Divergent work?

  • Worldbuilding
  • Tension
  • Strong Pace
  • Conflict–within the main character and between characters
  • BIG Stakes

And, there’s something (also awesome) that struck my as INCREDIBLY difficult to pull off:

  • The main character was likeable AND unlikeable. At the same time!!!! (I won’t explain why, cuz I don’t want to spoil it for you. Go read the book. NOW!)

Moonglass is a contemporary work. Not necessarily my thing..listen, I get enough “real life” at my day job, ‘kay? Anywho, it took me a couple chapters to really warm up to it. When I did, I got roped into the main character’s emotional roller coaster so much I read until the wee hours of the morning, powering through it even when my eyes burned like crazy. The author’s talent came through in spades. Not only did I “feel” the emotions (due to a SPOT ON voice), but I also saw, tasted, smelled, and felt the beach, salt water, stormy winds, and summer heat. Jessi certainly shows us how to evoke all the senses!

What does this leave me with? Well, since I’m querying (have I mentioned that already? *gives innocent look*), I keep in mind the quality of the work I’m putting out there. Is it par with the current published novels? Better? Worse?

Personally, I feel my work is competitive. (At least, I’m a hell of a lot more competitive a year plus ago.) This makes me feel good. Like I just have to hit the right agent at the right time with the right story and things will click. This also makes me feel, gulp, jealous. Why aren’t I on the shelves with everybody else, huh? Why not?

Gosh, what’s one to do with such opposing emotions?

Well, I:

  • Read more
  • Write
  • Commisurate with friends
  • Distract myself (the house keeps me busy, LOL!)
  • Keep on hopin’
  • Check in with myself as far as when would be the right time to look into other options

Okay, so I’ve covered a lot in this post. Any thoughts? Reactions? Questions? Comments?


One final note: I’m on vacation next week, so will be taking a break from blogging. See y’all on the flip side! (By “flip side” I mean the last week of June.) 😉

21 comments on “Flake-out Friday Brings You (dun-dun-dun): The Truth

  1. kendallgrey says:

    Hang in there, lady! You will find your place in the publishing universe soon. I know how awesome your writing is. All your hard work will pay off!

    Enjoy your vacation next week. I’m jealous!

  2. vixter2010 says:

    Moonglass sounds good, might check that out. It’s so hard to know what agents / publishers want and how your work compares but keep going and I’m sure you’ll crack it soon!

  3. I’ve been needing to get these. There’s just so many great books out right now. I need another set of eyes. 🙂 Enjoy your vacation.

  4. Lynn Rush says:

    Write on, my friend. I love that Divergent book cover. That’s pretty cool! I can’t keep up with my To Be Read reading list at all! LOL

  5. Carol Riggs says:

    Way good point, to compare your story with what’s hot and out there/published already. I need to keep that in mind, too. Like–is it as gripping? well-written? able to make someone stay up late at night reading?? Thanks for the food for thought. And I’ve added these books to my TBR list!

  6. Arlee Bird says:

    Both of these have some great covers.

    Tossing It Out

  7. Glad you enjoyed the books.
    Happy Vacation!

  8. Great reviews! It’s not my favored genre and I still think I want to read them. And I have a Kindle! I’m on a reading frenzy. Blessings to you, Laura…

  9. Sarah says:

    You make both books sound very compelling! Divergent was definitely on my TBR list, but I’ll add Moonglass now, too!

  10. Linda Gray says:

    First thought, I might have to read DIVERGENT, even though I’m usually NOT into dystopian, fantasy or paranormal (but there are always exceptions!! And I DO like metaphysical, so how far away can that be?:-)) Those are some pretty amazing plusses you listed that made the book work.

    Second thought, yay! You’re querying! All fingers and toes crossed for you.

    As I move forward in my own process, I’m continually amazed that learning opportunities open up like flowers every step of the way, depending on what I’m attuned to in my own writing at the time. Awareness of the factors you talk about it key. Great post, thanks!

  11. Kari Marie says:

    These are both on my to read list as well! Keep on querying and don’t lose faith.

  12. Donna Hole says:

    I’m not usually a YA reader, but the fantasy and paranormal stuff look pretty good, even to me. Divergent is on my reading list.

    Have a good weekend Laura.


  13. I’d love to read Divergent. Sigh. Those points that you mentioned are so important. I’m hoping that I’ll pull them off in my book. Enjoy the vacation!

  14. Catherine Johnson says:

    They both sound great Laura. That’s a lot of books, I don’t feel so bad about all the ones I want to buy like right now!!! I bought Water for Elephants and that was awesome. I ought to buy a poetry book with some of my poems in and get some inspiration to write more. I am about to sub this week, so I feel a bit queasy today. Good luck with your submissions!

  15. Sounds like I need to read Divergent. My kind of thing. And a character who is likeable and unlikeable. Hmm, interesting.

    When you return, come by my blog and pick up the award I have for you. 🙂

  16. I hear you, I feel the same. Commiserating with people in the same boat is sooo important. Hang in there and keep reading and keep writing!

  17. Nas Dean says:

    Thanks for the heads up regarding Divergent and Moonglass. I’ll have to check them out.

    Enjoy your vacation.

  18. Sound like great books. Have a great vacation.

  19. Ciara Knight says:

    Love that Divergent book cover.:) Hang in there and keep writing. Enjoy your vacation!

  20. akossket says:

    Ok. I think I have to allocate special time to dive into my copy of Divergent. 🙂
    Like you, I’m not a contemporary YA reader but I do read some occasionally and they’ve never disappointed me. I like your listing of what made these novels work.

  21. I just started reading Moonglass, and am surprised by the fact that I’m enjoying it. That’s not to say I wasn’t looking forward to reading it, because I was, but usually contemporary isn’t my thing either. But the style is so easy and friendly that it’s just… a nice book to read. Comfortable, sweet, enjoyable. Sometimes that’s really what you need out of a book.

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