Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jolyn's New YA Project

Hey everyone!

Sorry I've been absent on this site, but I've been busy with my books intended for adult-aged readers. But, no more...

There is a Young Adult book I've been wanting to write for a few years now. I keep putting it off, letting it intimidate me and (frankly) scare the heck outta me. But it keeps flirting at the edges of my mind, and it's time to face it (quick-like, before I chicken out! LOL). I'm not going to share much about it at this point, but I will say it's going to be an intense writing experience - like no other I've faced before. So, if I fall off the face of the Earth, please be patient with me. Oh, and please wish me TONS of luck! ;)

Please see below for the cover I made for it, to help with keeping up my inspiration. This may be the cover it's published with, depending upon who does the publishing in the end. Or, it may end up with a different face. Either way, I thought I'd share.

For my Amber Eyes fans out there: Crimson Eyes is about a 1/4 of the way complete, and I will be picking it back up just as soon as this project is completed. :)

Thanks for all the support, and take care of yourselves!! *hugs*

~ Jolyn

Friday, August 24, 2012

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls

By Cassandra Clare

This is Book Five in the Mortal Instruments series.  (Prior books - City of Bones, City of Ash, City of Glass, and City of Fallen Angels)

Synopsis from GoodReads:

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.Can the lost be reclaimed? What price is too high to pay for love? Who can be trusted when sin and salvation collide?

     Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge.

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

(Not a very thorough hook, huh? - But if you haven't read the first four you should take a look at my review of City of Bones and then RUN out and find a copy!)

I loved the first three books.  Let me get that out of the way right now.  The fourth book didn't thrill quite as much, but after reading the fifth in the Mortal Instruments Series and can appreciate that book four was a set up book, and as such is okay that it was less thrilling. (actually it ticked me off a little bit)

Why did it tick me off you ask?  Well I went through all the pains and aches with the characters in the first three books, to finally get the HEA (happily ever after) and then book four sort of ripped that away, but that didn't make the journey I traveled in the first three books any easier to bear, but it did negate the satisfaction I felt at the resolution of it.

City of Lost Souls has gone a long way to making up for ripping my poor little heart out for a second time. 

There is a lot going on in this book, and typically I'm not a fan of head flipping, but for this book it's necessary because you've got so many people in so many different places.  It wouldn't work if we didn't get to spend a little time in Clary, Simon, Jordan, Maia, Izzy and Alec's heads.

In this book there was a great plot, but what really won me back was all the relationship building.  Cassandra spent a lot of time building up the relationships I've come to love throughout the series and really showed the vulnerable sides of the characters.

And of course there is Jace!!!   He's possibly my favorite leading man of all times.

I can't say too much, because I don't want to give anything away.  Suffice it to say, you should read this book! :D

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Candor by Pam Bachorz

Review of Candor by Pam Bachorz

Synopsis from GoodReads:

In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. The son of the town’s founder, Oscar earns straight As, is student-body president, and is in demand for every club and cause.

But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliant—perfect—through subliminal Messages that carefully correct and control their behavior. And Oscar’s built a business sabotaging his father’s scheme with Messages of his own, getting his clients out before they’re turned. After all, who would ever suspect the perfect Oscar Banks?

Then he meets Nia, the girl he can’t stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever. Keeping her in Candor, Oscar risks exposure . . . and more.

Monica’s Review:

Again, I had high hopes for this book.  I’d heard such great things about it.  Sometimes you had to take the reviews (as is the case with this one too) with a grain of salt.  The person reviewing has different experiences in life and in book reading than you.  What seems like a ground breaking, fresh new concept to some, may to others feel and overdone premise.

I think that may be the case with this book.  If it were the first of its kind that I have read I might have thought it more amazing.  It was well written and it was a new take on the brainwashing concept, but only so far as how the brainwashing is done (for me at least).

It does raise the same questions/issues that are brought to mind similar books:  Is having utopia really worth the expense of individual thought/choice, or individuality period?  And who gets to decide what utopia really is?

I didn’t really connect with the main character in this book.  And since it’s told in first person, through the eyes of the main character, Oscar Banks, that made it difficult for me to really immerse myself in his world or be invested in what happened to him.  I did like Nia the new girl in town and I was more invested in what happened to her.

I think the author may have succeeded in what she was trying for with the book, and like I said was really well written and may have achieved the goal Pam Bachorz was aiming for, I’m not sure.  I just wasn’t really as impacted by it as I’d been hoping for.  That may be because I’ve read other books that covered the concept and had characters I was rooting for and deeply invested in. 

When all is said and done, having characters I care about gives urgency and weight to a concept, and ultimately will make or break a book in my mind.

I give Candor 3.5 of 5 stars.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

News for Amber Eyes!

Big news for Amber Eyes! It is now available to purchase on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble! :)

Amber Eyes was previously a part of Amazon's Select program, so you could only buy it there. But it's branching out now!

And what else does that mean for the book? Well, that I'm able to post excerpts wherever I want, including my beloved Wattpad. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I'm reading now.

The picture-perfect new town of Candor, Florida, is attracting more and more new families, drawn by its postcard-like small-town feel, with white picket fences, spanking-new but old-fashioned-looking homes, and neighborliness.

But the parents are drawn by something else as well.  They know that in Candor their obstreperous teenagers will somehow become rewired - they'll learn to respect their elders, to do their chores, and enjoy their homework.  They'll give up the tattoos, metal music, and partying that have been driving their parents crazy.  They'll become every parent's dream.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Cas Lowood kills ghosts.  He hunts them down and kills them so they can’t continue to kill the living. It’s a skill/profession he inherited from his father.

The ghost he is hunting currently is like none he’s encountered before.  Anna Korlov, a young girl murdered on her way to a dance.  And her pretty white dress still drips from the blood that spilled from her slit throat.

Vengeful, beautiful ghost who tears people limb from limb.  Teen boy who kills the dead.  What more could you want?  Right?

I really wanted to like this book.   Maybe that is why it fell short for me.  I tried to get this book several different times.  I ordered it from a local bookstore, but I don’t think they put my name on it because it wasn’t there when I went in to pick it up.  Then the first two times I tried the Barnes and Noble in Anchorage, they didn’t have it.

All of the build-up and hype caused by the wait and the great reviews had my expectations too high.  Unfortunately, as sometimes is the case, having high expectations can lead to being let down.

The writing in this book was really good.  The kind of good that is clear even though a professional editor helped to shape into a polished beauty, the author has a way with words.  The problem was that it just didn’t pull me in.  It was easier to see the writing than the story for me.

The one thing I will give it is the author and the publisher didn’t wimp out on the gore just because it was a YA book.  Though the gore fit in some place, in others it felt like it was there for just so it could be called horror.

I don’t have much to say bad or good about the book.  It just didn’t do it for me.  It did for many other people based on the great reviews.   

I give this book 2.75 stars. (yes, I can make quarter stars if I want to.) J

Saturday, April 14, 2012

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

In anticipation of the upcoming release of City of Lost Souls, the fifth book in the Mortal Instruments Series, my first post is going to be about a series that really gelled my love for the Young Adult genre.

When I first saw the cover of City of Bones in Waldenbooks I was mesmerized. It was the first book I'd seen that had that matte finish that felt like velvet when you touched it. There was a shirtless man on the front with swirls all over his skin that had light pouring from them. It was beautiful.

I bought all three books and read them voraciously. I will admit that the first book didn't suck me in from the very start, but soon enough it had me by the throat.

The book is about Clary Frey, who stumbles onto a couple of teenagers in the process of killing another in the back room of a club. Only, none of them are what they seem, which is made even more clear when the victim disappears into thin air in front of her eyes.

When one of the killers shows up at the coffee shop that Clary frequents with her best friend Simon, she discovers that Jace and his friends are actually Shadowhunters a race of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons and keeping the rest of the supernatural world in line.

I won't give you anymore info. I love this series. Luckily, I discovered it when all three of the originally planned series were out. Now, I'm sure do to the overwhelming demand for more from fans, Cassandra Clare, the author has extended the series into a six book series.

The leading man in this series, Jace is one of my favorite of all time. He is snarky and sexy and completely fierce. Clary, the heroine is strong but likeable, attributes I find far rarer in YA fiction than I'd like.

This series has everything you could ever want in Paranormal/Fantasy - Demon hunting teens, Vampires, Werewolves, Fae, Warlocks and shirtless men with tattoos that give them power.

This book is well written, with some descriptions that are unique in a good way that really make the images come to life. The world that Clare builds for us rich and beautiful and the perfect escape from the real world. I've actually re-read the first three books in the series several times. I can turn to them when I need a nice break from reality and a guaranteed good read.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5 stars

(PS - I love discussing books - if you've read it let me know what you think. Or pop on over to GoodReads and join the discussion - )