Saturday, October 26, 2013

Book review: Good, by S. Walden

I won this book in a facebook giveaway that I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. I rarely ever win anything, but I always try! Whenever I get a package in the mail, namely a book, I get excited like a 4-year-old with a new toy, so I jumped right in, also because I love controversial stories.

Here's the synopsis of this one:

Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she's lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It's a lonely existence.

But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him--a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can't help it. He's the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn't expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.

And that's when her life goes from bad to good.


I must say, the book hooked me from early on, which is what a good book is supposed to do. I'm not a fan of the pure romance genre, but I do enjoy a twisted, somewhat dark love story. I enjoyed this book because it a perfect mix of all the things that move me: forbidden fruit, conflicts, lovable and despicable characters, "wow" moments, inappropriateness, a sprinkle of decency, and humor.

I think this on warrants my likes vs. dislikes bullets! And just so you know, this review will contain spoilers, so shut your eyes if you don't want to know anymore.

Likes

  • I actually didn't despise the main (female)character, which is most often the case. I liked her. Cadence was not unbearably whiny or ridiculous, although she did whine and make bad choices. I think she acted her age and didn't hesitate to be herself.
  • The story was fast-moving; something was always going on--no snooze periods. 
  • I liked the writing overall, with just a few minor annoyances, which I'll cover in the dislikes bullets. First-person narrative is my favorite.
  • I liked the characters' names. (This is a big deal to me)
  • The conflicts that occurred throughout the story, like when Mr. Connelly embarrassed Cadence in front of the class as a comeback to her yelling at him on the phone the night before, were evenly distributed in the storyline, and I thought the author did an excellent job of the surprise factor. Just when I thought nothing was really going to happy, a character did something to surprise me. 
  • Each and every character mentioned in the book served a purpose, even if it was a tiny one. 
  • The story was compelling enough that it kept me hooked, and I had to finish reading it in one day, neglecting all else I had to do. 
  • I thought the sex scenes were well-written and not overdone. 
  • No typos! Yay. 
Dislikes
  • There were 3 redundant issues in the wording that annoyed me a little. 1) Describing Cadence being "on fire" when she was aroused by Mr. Connelly. 2) Constantly saying that a character "furrowed his/her brow." 3) Most of the times he touched Cadence, it was described as he "cupped" his hands on her face. 
  • I didn't feel like the dialogue was believable half the time, such as when he was having a regular conversation with her while he was in the act of taking her virginity. They just said out-of-context type things all the time. And he was incessantly apologizing, explaining himself over simple things, or asking her questions that were more or less an attempt to get her approval for everything he said. 
  • He kept saying he fell for her because of her maturity, but nothing she did or said in the story proved her maturity. To me, she acted like an immature 17-year-old. 
  • I didn't get enough of a feel for who the characters were and what they were about aside from the issues at hand. Her parents just came across as self-righteous, overly emotional jerks. I had no idea what any of them really looked like. I just pegged Cadence as the girl on the book cover. Mr. Connelly got the most description but primarily his clothing and taste in music. The main characters were described a little in the intimacy scenes.
Overall, I loved this book. No book is perfect, so some might take all the dislikes and trash it, but not this girl. I like to give an author due credit for great effort and work done. Good was an intense and gripping story that kept me away from my laundry until I finished every word. It made me laugh, gasp, angry, and shocked all in one sitting. I will be reading the sequel, which comes out next month. I grant it 4 stars. 

Sound like your kind of read? Find it on Amazon!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A writer's favorite word: published!

For the past week, I've been furloughed no thanks to the government shutdown. Yep, I'm one of the 800,000 people home without pay. It's sad, but I'm not one to mope. I'm more of a glass-half-full kind of gal. With my unexpected free time, I've been trying my best to BE A WRITER. I mean, I am a writer, but because of my usual 8-5 duties, mom duties, household duties, and all else, I hardly get serious writing time. I'm sure many of you can relate!

Ironically, during this furlough, I've been hugely productive. The best news is that an article I wrote about childhood bullying was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids! I'm on page 166 if you ever decide to check it out. This is huge for me because I was in a slump for quite some time being a stressed out autism mom and totally lost my mojo. I randomly submitted my story to them, and when I got that email of acceptance, I literally shrieked. It has inspired me to kick it into overdrive and write as much as I can while I'm not working. To a write, seeing that byline in print is just invigorating. I want more! And I'm going to work hard for it.


I'd like to share something else with all of you. I recently discovered the wonder of Fiverr.com, and I purchased some promo gigs from others, plus I signed up as a seller. If you're an author, I'm an author too plus a professional editor. I added a couple services that you might want to check out. Here they are:

Get your bio, welcome, or about me page proofread for $5!
http://fiverr.com/neesha101/proofread-your-bio-welcome-or-about-me-page

I'll edit the first 5 pages of your book & provide feedback for $5!
http://fiverr.com/neesha101/edit-the-first-5-pages-of-your-book

If you or any other writers you know could benefit from these affordable deals, please share this post. I like to do anything I can to help and support fellow writers, plus I'd love the business. I love my work, and I want to do it all I can. I have lots more to say about this topic, so I'll write more on it tomorrow, so come back!

Hope your week is going nicely.