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mephistia

attempting obscurity

I mess around with writing, but deep down I'm pretty sure I'll never actually get published because I treat it like a hobby and not a passion -- I write when I have time, instead of making time to write.

 

When I read, I prefer YA sci-fi/ fantasy as my go-to fiction reads. I tend toward this genre because I read fiction as an escape from the daily drudge of life. YA sci/fi-fantasy usually has more upbeat/ hopeful endings, while adult fiction of any genre (except romance) tends to have more depressingly realistic endings. Sometimes I read romance novels, but I really prefer the type with plot/ character development between sex scenes, and I don't like having to hunt for them.

 

In non-fiction, I prefer history, biographies, psychology, gender studies, social/applied sciences, and law/ public policy.

Currently reading

Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps -- And What We Can Do About It
Lise Eliot
White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race
Ian F. Haney López

The Blood That Bonds: Part 1 of the II AM Trilogy

The Blood That Bonds (II AM Trilogy, #1) - Christopher Buecheler I do not like this book. It was free for e-readers on B&N.com, and the cover is was cool.* The premise sounded vaguely interesting, and I figured it might be a fun, fluffy read.Oh. My. Gosh. It sucks. I am so very, very glad I didn't spend money on it.**The writing is choppy and awkward -- Buecheler seems to favor "telling" his reader what's happening rather than "showing" them. It's one of those things that doesn't often work well, and it doesn't work at all here. In addition, the backstory to the protagonist just feels . . . wrong, off. Apparently, he wanted her to be a completely tragic character with absolutely no joy in her life (so we could make sense of her decision to become a vampire, I suppose). Her name is Two Ashley Mason (I may be mis-remembering the exact last name, but I know it starts with an "m"). The reason, we are informed, is that she was born at approximately 2 A.M., so her parents named her something that was reminiscent of it.Sounds like something goofy, nerdy and very loving parents might do, right? But within a few paragraphs of learning her name, we're informed (not shown, told) that Two had a horrible childhood. Apparently her mom died before her 12th birthday and her dad -- while he never actually abused her -- was physically attracted to Two, which made home-life really bad. So Two runs away by the time she's 17 and is reeled into a drug-addicted life of prostitution.It's a possibly believable premise -- a little over-the-top, but if he'd written it a little better, it might work. Except. Except that he also makes it clear her mom was a less-than-stellar mom, one of those, "more interested in herself than her kid," type of parents.So why, why, why did her parents name her with such a loving name? Something that indicates they wanted her, hoped for her, dreamed for her? Something that seems to scream of inside-jokes and laughter and doting, adoring parents? Now, if they'd scrawled "2 a.m." on the birth certificate, that would be a little more understandable of the type of parents he's presenting them as. But a thoughtful, jokey little name? One that indicates they must have thought it out in advance -- "If she's born in the morning, her middle name will be Ashley, if she's born in the afternoon, her middle name will be Petunia," type of thing. Edit: Thus far, I seem to be alone in this viewpoint, as seen in the comments below. I guess I tend to think quirky = thoughtful/ cute, I dunno. I'm not very far into the book -- the brooding vampire with a Past has just changed her and she's about to go for her first hunt. I don't really need to go into my whole beef about vampire books again, but suffice to say, Buecheler is hitting every cliche thus far, without straying.And his writing sucks. I did finish the book, and . . . still didn't like it. When it comes down to it, it wasn't the vampires or quibbles about character development or any of that. It was poor plot structure, uneven pacing, over-reliance on info-dumps and telling the reader what happened, not showing them, and weak dialogue. Just didn't like it.* The cover has changed since when I first downloaded it -- this cover is horrific and would not have enticed me to read it at all.**Not all the free books on B&N.com suck. "His Majesty's Dragon," by Naomi Novik, was available for free download. So hopefully this is an aberration.