Friday, August 27, 2010

You Probably Won't, You Think You're Cooler Than Me

Writing book reviews. . . you either love doing this or hate it. . . you either are really good at writing them or you suck. . .

I enjoy writing reviews, but I suck at them. This basically defeats liking the process. I read other book reviews and think wow that sounds great, it flows and is convincing. Mine not so much. This frustrates the heck out of me. I figured, though, better to be up front and honest about this hiccup in the Maddie machine. I'm hoping for some feedback, maybe some advice on how to better my technique or lack there of. Maybe you read a book or a blog post that told you what was what when writing book reviews. I don't know, but please share. Direction is much needed for a good ole boost to the self-esteem.

I also struggle to write negative reviews. I can't bring myself to crush the creative soul of an author by saying bad things about his/her book. I know, you are probably saying how could little miss nobody's (me) opinion have any affect on the feelings of a big wig author. They're human just like me and you. . . unless well. . . you're really aliens, then I have to start worrying. Do you have this problem too?

My book review for Nancy Werlin's next book Extraordinary (coming out next month!):

I would imagine it is extremely difficult for an author to write a book following great success from their previous work. The attempt to live up to the hype can only be a daunting task to undertake. As a reader it is hard to set the previous book(s) aside and only form opinions of the new rather than focus on comparing the old and new.

I found myself doing just that with Extraordinary, comparing it to Nancy Werlin’s previous work of greatness, Impossible. For a good deal of the book I didn’t like Extraordinary. I kept whining mentally, “Oh I want it to be like Impossible! Why can’t it be great like that was?” I know it was unfair of me. I finally, midway through, had to tell myself to shut up and look for the good in it, let it stand on its own. Lucky for me it did grow to be better than I first let it be. Although I felt, certain portions of the book should have been more entertaining.

On Phoebe’s first day of seventh grade she decides to leave behind her friends (snobby and mean) for the strange and intriguing (a.k.a. social outcast) Mallory. Fast forward a few years and Mallory and Phoebe are as close as sisters. Then Mallory’s brother comes back and strange things start to come to light about who and what Mallory and her brother are doing there.

Phoebe’s relationship with Mallory was odd to me at various times. I wasn’t sure of the undertones I was picking up throughout. At times it was hard to believe certain character’s behavior, Phoebe and her parents especially. It was fairly gag worthy to read how Phoebe abandoned herself to Mallory’s brother, but on the other hand Werlin did a good job writing these scenes, very convincing.

In the end you come to realize that you have to make hard choices and sacrifices for the people you love. Phoebe grows up by the end of the book and really learns what it is to be truly extraordinary even when everyone is telling you aren’t and can’t be.

The last half of the book was definitely worth sticking with it. (3 out of 5 stars)

Check out this cool project on
Mysterious Letters

They need backers!

Quote of the Day:

I have never been aware before how many faces there are.
There are quantities of human beings, but there are many more

faces, for each person has several.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
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