Friday, May 26, 2017

A Book Review of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard



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Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Series: Red Queen (Book 1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen; 1st edition (February 10, 2015)
Page Count: 388 pages


I'd seen this book floating around the blogosphere for a while and it looked interesting, so I finally decided to read it and it was one of the best novels I've read in a while.

The Plot: The plot held me throughout. I was gripped all the way to the end. I love all of the different dynamics and I like a rebellion force that doesn't have a dark side. I'm getting tired of rebellions then they turn out to be evil. It's annoying. There were so many twists and turns in the story. It just love it! The climax had me on the edge of my seat!



The Characters: Mare is a great main character. I like how she finds herself throughout the book. At the beginning she believes her worth is less than her sister's, but then she grows to value herself more. I love her ability to create and control lightning. It's so cool!

Cal and Maeve present an interesting love triangle for Mare, but it definitely isn't your typical one. The brothers are so different and by the end of the book you clearly see which one is not going to get the girl.
Kilorn and Farley of the resistance are great too. At first I was unsure about them, but they grew on me as the story went on.

The King and Queen are formidable villains and very scary.


The Setting:
The environment is very unique. I'm not quite sure if it's supposed to be another world or our world in the far future since the technology is a mix between fantasy and far advanced sci-fi. It's such an interesting world! The tensions between the Reds and Silvers are so interesting and it makes me wonder the origins of the two. Were they always different or did something happen? All the different powers are so cool and detailed. I can never get enough powered people.

Epic Things:
I love love LOVE all of the symbolic phrases created with red as silver. "Red shields." "Rise as Red as the dawn." They create just amazing pictures in my head! I also love Mare's earrings for each of her brothers. It's such a neat symbol and immediately makes her standout from other protagonists because I'll always think of those three earrings.

The Theme: Discovering your worth and trust were big ones. Mare often wonders what is truth and what is smoke and mirrors and thinks to herself, "Anyone can betray anyone."

Content Cautions:
There is a good bit of violence since there is a war going on. Both Reds and Silvers die in various ways. The most graphic part was during a torture scene when a character freezes another character's blood into ice spikes. There is some swearing, but not a lot. H*** is used eight times, d*** two times, bi*** three times, and ba****d two times.



What We Can Take Away For Our Writing:
1.) A Protagonist with A lot of Siblings - For some reason a lot of YA protagonists are either only children or have one sibling. It's nice to see a character like Mave who has three brothers and a sister. It changes things up a bit and having so many siblings definitely creates different dynamics for the personality of the character.

How this can be applied to writing: Have you thought of having your protagonist have more than one sibling?

Conclusion: I love this book. It's the best one I've read in a while. Can't wait to read the rest!


About the Author:
I'm a screenwriter/YA author who likes books and lists. This site is the nexus of my universe.
My book RED QUEEN will be published Winter 2015 from HarperTeen at HarperCollins. I'm repped by the incomparable Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
The genres I'm into include YA, Fantasy, Historical, Adventure, Apocalyptic - if people are dying, I'm buying.

Blog//Facebook//Twitter//Goodreads

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

So Your Character is From Sri Lanka ... Featuring Dashie @ The Swashbuckler





It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last week's  So Your Character is From Indonesia ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

I actually didn't know anything about this country except the fact that it exists. XD I'm so happy Dashie could come to the blog to tell us more about this cool country!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts are as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Writing Lessons from Movies: How to Train Your Dragon




How to Train Your Dragon is one of the best animated films that's come out in the past ten years. Before I saw this film, it felt like the other children's animated features of the early 2010's were riddled with nothing but shallow plots and potty jokes. This film's animation is beautiful, the soundtrack breathtaking, and who couldn't love the characters? It also has some absolutely fantastic writing, which is why I'm highlighting it as this month's Writing Lessons. 

Let's go, bud!

Warning: Spoilers. 


Friday, May 19, 2017

My Dream Reading Space





Arhaus encouraged me to do a post about what my dream reading space would be (Check out their living room page to get a look at what they do!). Thus I've decided to go completely all out. I doubt this place actually exists and I doubt I'll ever have the money to actually do this, but it is dream right?

None of these images are mine.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

So Your Character is From Indonesia ... Featuring Cilla @ Paved with Books & Tasya @ The Literary Huntress






It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last week's  So Your Character is from India ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

I honestly didn't know very much about Indonesia before reading these interviews. I know some missionaries who live in India and I've heard them pray in the latest language. I also knew that Indonesia is primarily a Muslim country, but that was the extent of my knowledge until now.

Let's welcome Cilla and Tasya!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts are as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Villain Necrologies & Debacles: Pixar Edition




Villains meet their demises in so many different ways. For some this means death, for other this means an unfortunate incapacitating situation. Writers put a lot of thought into how their antagonist finally fails, but which way is best for your villain? That all depends on so many different circumstances, including audience and genre. This is what inspired my series "Villain Necrologies & Debacles." Over time, I'll be analyzing different animation studios, franchises, and more. These posts are meant to show you what sort of defeats have been done whether common or uncommon, perhaps inspire some villain defeats of your own, or you can just enjoy the morbid humor. Check out last month's Marvel Cinematic Universe Edition!

A lot of Pixar films actually don't have villains, but those that do have had memorable ones. Since Pixar has released less films, this is going to be a shorter list, but it's Pixar so I had to make an edition. Let's go!


Warning: Spoilers for all of the villains in those movies. 



Friday, May 12, 2017

Beautiful People: Parental Edition: Rouyn (Starbloods)





It's time for this month's Beautiful People! Yay! This is a link-up hosted by Paperfury and Further Up and Further In where you answer questions about your characters. I participated in Beautiful People for the last three years every month. Pretty crazy. XD This link-up has been just so helpful with character development. 

Immediately, when I saw the theme for this month's questions, I knew I had to do Rouyn. He's my main character from my high fantasy series Starbloods and he has an interesting relationship with his parents. If you'd like to participate in this link-up yourself, check out either Paperfury or Further Up and Further In to see how. Here we go!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

So Your Character Has Asperger's Syndrome ... Featuring Elizabeth Hemingway




I've known a few people with Asperger's, but I've never actually sat and talked with them about the condition, which is why I was really happy to find Elizabeth so she could share with us. According to Wikipedia, Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger's, is a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.[1] As a milder autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it differs from other ASDs by relatively normal language and intelligence.[4] Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and unusual use of language are common.[5][6] Signs usually begin before two years old and typically last for a person's entire life.

That's the encyclopedia definition, but what is it like to live with Asperger's? Let's welcome Elizabeth!

(Images aren't mine) 


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Elderly Characters 101




Many of my favorite characters in fiction are sixty and up. What makes us love them so much? When many young people think of older people they think of that lady down the street that yelled at them for running on their grass or the older man that used to give them candy. So what makes some of the the best older characters indeed the best and how can we in turn write great elderly characters? Let's take a look!

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Book Review of King's Blood by Jill Williamson




Buy from Amazon!

In the second volume of Jill Williamson's Kinsman Chronicles, a remnant has escaped the destruction of the Five Realms and now lives on several hundred ships adrift at sea. As a flock, they sail north into the unknown in hopes of finding land that might become their new home. 

As the king's illness worsens, Sâr Wilek takes authority over the expedition and struggles to rule the disjointed people, while assassination attempts, vicious serpents, and dark magic endanger his life.

One prophecy has come to pass, but another looms dauntingly in the future. Who is this Deliverer? And if the Magonians have him, what might that mean for the realm of Armania?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

So Your Character is From India ... Featuring Shanti @ Virtually Read & Rachna @ Rachna's Scriptorium



It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last week's  So Your Character Has Autism ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts are as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)