What's Up Wednesday is a blog hop for writers, started by the lovely Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. If you'd like to join in, you can learn more on Jaime's website.
What I'm reading
As I mentioned last week, I've started delving into some Middle Grade fantasy books. I read GREGOR THE OVERLANDER by Suzanne Collins and FABLEHAVEN by Brandon Mull, both fun reads. GREGOR THE OVERLANDER was fantastic - excellent story-telling, with a fast-paced plot, memorable characters, and such a unique world. Highly recommended! FABLEHAVEN was great too. The start felt a bit slow to me (especially for MG), but the ending and world building made up for it. I can definitely see this series being a good one, and it would be perfect for readers who are a little older. Next up is THE REVENGE OF THE WITCH by Joseph Delaney, the first book in The Last Apprentice series.
Sidenote: If you have any MG fantasy recommendations, let me know! I'd love to add to my list. :)
About a million years ago (okay, last January), my writerly friend Kristina Atkins recommended SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman. I finally read it last week, and guys? It was AMMMMAZING. Prepare for some serious book gushing. :)
Let's start with the opening:
That might be my favorite first line EVER. And it only gets better. Even the chapter openings are delicous! And the world building!! Honestly, I can't figure out how to communicate just how awesome it is ... Fortunately, there are people with mad wordsmithing skills who have gushed about SERAPHINA:
“A book worth hoarding, as glittering and silver-bright as dragon scales, with a heroine who insists on carving herself a place in your mind.”
Naomi Novik, New York Times bestselling author of the Temeraire series
(That's pretty spot on, because I'm thinking about buying a copy of my own to
And Maggie Stiefvater talked about it on NPR when she highlighted the best 2012 YA fiction she read in 2012:
My relationship with high fantasy — fantasy set in another world — has always been tumultuous. Actually, I'd like to refer you to the first item on this list. Everything I said about historical fiction also applies here. Which is why, despite multiple recommendations, I let this debut novel about a half-dragon, half-human girl sit unread on my desk for five months. I'll admit I very much wanted to remain a curmudgeon, but the thorough world-building and specific characters won me over. This city of austere dragons and emotional humans felt complete, as if I could turn down any number of alleys and never find the seams showing. At 480 pages, the novel is satisfyingly plump with politics, religion and prejudice — and a restrained but edifying measure of love. It also has a healthy dose of music (I was unsurprised to discover Rachel Hartman was a fellow admirer of medieval polyphony), and I find I'm very interested to see what Hartman writes next. Teens and adults alike will love to creep down the magical streets of Seraphina's city. I certainly did.
Maggie Stiefvater via Goodreads
I loooove that line about never finding the seams to the world. It's perfect. The world building is above and beyond what you'd expect, but that alone wouldn't do it for me. The main character grabbed me from the start, and the ever-growing and deepening pool of fascinating characters kept me reading. Ohhhh, this book!
I'm going to stop there ... I think I need a little time and distance (perhaps another read-through, hee hee hee) before I can even hope to articulate the whys and hows behind my love for this book. I'll just end by saying that you should read it. ;)
What I'm writing
Yesterday, one of my first readers finishing reading my manuscript (eek!). We talked about it (there was much boucing/dancing - on my part), and I have pages of notes of things to improve/fix/think about. I'll be going through those starting today! Excited doesn't quite cover how I'm feeling. :)
What's inspiring me right now
Reading good books! Getting great feedback! Using exclamation points!
What else I've been up to
Mostly taking care of my body. Lots of yoga, walks in the desert, and special time with the foam roller and lacrosse ball (it's a muscle release-thing). I haven't shared desert photos lately, so I put together a few ...
Plus house-related fun (give or take the fun). We're painting our guest room, which until yesterday has been a lovely shade of fake wood paneling. Ahhh, yes. The creepy hunter lodge ambiance - all the rage when our house was built, apparently - is on the way out. It's our first really big house project, and although I don't love the work involved, I will be so glad when it's done.
That's it for me this week. I'd love to hear how you're doing!
P.S. My other What's Up Wednesday posts: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 22.