So for my screenwriting class this semester, we have to write a 15-20 page screenplay for our final project. My screenplay is going to be about a couple, Catherine and Elizabeth, who wake up on the day of their four-year anniversary, both separately making the decision that this is the day that they’re going to propose to one another. The script follows the two women as they go about their normal day, thinking about their relationship to date. As the progresses, they begin to worry that they might be making the wrong decision. Despite their worries, the story ends happily, and they propose to one another and they both say yes!!! We had to write a scene-by-scene outline for the script and one of the criticisms that my teacher gave me was that my ending was too cliché and I should consider changing it. I love this teacher and I typically respect his opinions, but boy did this piss me off. In another class, one of the characters in my story explains that one of the reasons he lost his faith was because of the way his family treated him after he came out. When one of the girls in my class read it, she said “that whole storyline was a little cliché” which really infuriated me. So based off of these two experiences, I was inspired to write a little list about why clichés aren’t the worst thing that’s happened to literature.
1. The Reason That Certain Storylines are Cliche is Because a Lot of People Have Gone Through These Experiences.
In my four semesters at college, literally every creative writing teacher I’ve had has talked about clichés. And like I get it. Some things are overdone, and using those said things can be a sign of weak writing. However, I see the criticism of clichés as being relevant to individual sentences. For example, saying a character is the sun would be considered overdone, because others have said it before. Writing is all about finding new ways to express something that’s been said again and again, which is where cliché sentences come into play. But what pisses me off, is when people call experiences that characters go through “cliche. The reason that these experiences are seen over and over again, is because a lot of people have gone through these aforementioned experiences and find that expressing themselves through writing is the best way to understand what they’re going through. And the more that people write about it, the more others see these experiences being depicted and want to write about it as well. There’s no harm in having plot points or background information that has been done before. It’s the way that’s the story is written that makes it unique and meaningful. I don’t find cliches to be a sign of weak writing. It merely means that you’re able to acknowledge who’s come before you and make it your own.
2. Angst ≠ Meaningful.
A lot of people seem to think that for something to be meaningful, it needs to be angsty and I’ve never understood that. If anything those type of storylines have always been the weakest in my eyes. Killing off the main character or making them suffer with no resolution isn’t deeper than letting them be happy in the end. Everyone’s so obsessed with these dark plots and they’re held to this high regard, but why? If anything it’s these surprise twists that have become the new cliché and happily ever afters are a rare and treasured item. What makes despair and anguish more valuable than love and happiness? I love fiction because it tells us that there’s hope but these stories that defy clichés are just telling that life sucks and you gotta deal with it, and I honestly hate that.
3. Let Marginalized People Have Their clichés.
Clichés stem from white, heterosexual, cis, able-bodied storylines. People of Colour don’t get happy endings. LGBTQ people don’t get happy endings. Disabled people don’t get happy endings. But people are so over clichés, that they don’t understand that marginalized people haven’t had the chance to experience those cliches in fiction. The gay characters in all of my stories suffer, because I like to make my characters suffer. They suffer a lot and I basically put them through living hell, but I always give them a happy ending. Because gay people have been reduced to a tragedy for way too long and I’m not going to contribute to that. Cliches don’t harm anybody, because they’re so often rooted in pure emotions of love and happiness and if you’re threatened by that you should probably reevaluate your life.
What Do You Think about Clichés? Do You Agree with Me or a Firm Hater of Cliches? Let Me Know in The Comments Down Below!
When Marlowe gets a heart transplant and a second chance at life, all she wants to do is to thank her donor’s family. Maybe then she can move on. Maybe then she’ll discover who she is if she’s no longer The Dying Girl.
But with a little brother who dresses like every day is Halloween, a vegan warrior for a mother, and an all-out war with the hot butcher’s apprentice next door, Marlowe’s life is already pretty complicated. And her second chance is about to take an unexpected turn.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Going into Tin Heart, I definitely didn’t think that this book would affect me as much as it did. The subject of heart transplant is one that I’ve seen a lot in fiction, but this book was really able to get to the core of this topic and hit its readers eight in the feels. The raw emotion felt by Marlowe was written so well. I felt her pain as though it was my own, and I loved seeing her emotions evolve throughout the book. Her feelings were very complex and they felt very real and it was really interesting to see how these feelings affected the way she held herself and the way she made her decisions.
Another thing that I really liked was how flawed Marlowe was. She made some really stupid mistakes, and didn’t always think of the consequences of her actions, but she learned from these faux-pas. I really appreciated how not everyone forgave her instantly, once she realized her mistakes. A lot of the time in books, everyone just instantly accepts the character’s apology which just isn’t how life works. I thought that this realistic approach really added another layer to this story, while offering the hope that an apology could be possible in the future.
The different relationships that Marlowe had throughout the book were phenomenal. I especially loved the relationship she had with her brother. He was such a precious character and I really liked seeing how Marlowe’s relationship with him shifted throughout the book. THere was this scene towards the end of the book that had me dying of laughter and it just did a great job of showing how much Marlowe loves her brother. I also thought that the relationship she had with her mother was really great. I feel like the vegan thing was just a little over the top but it also provided some of the funniest moments. I would’ve liked just a little more insight into Marlowe’s mom but I really liked what we got.
The love interest provided just another reason to like an already amazing book. He definitely wasn’t the best thing about the book, but I really liked the chemistry between him and Marlowe. I love books that involve the enemies to lovers trope, so it was really fun to see how their relationship evolved. Their banter was hilarious and I just think that overall, the romance was really well done and developed.
One thing thast kind of bothered me was how easily Marlowe was able to find her donor’s family. It just a little bit unrealistic and too easy for me. it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book, but it was just one of those times where I had trouble suspending my disbelief.
Have You Read Tin Heart? Do You Want To? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below?
Today I’m bringing you three mini-reviews of three books that I recently really enjoyed. I have so many ARCs that I need to review and I don’t have that much to say about these books, so I’d thought I’d just clump these books into one glorious posts. I’m just going to do bullet points because who doesn’t love a fun point form review?(also I’m at the point in the semester where full fledged sentences seem pretty much impossible)
1. You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman
2. Darius The Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
3. Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My Rating: 4/5
“I bought of all those nights, at the club and not at the club, and how I’d still somehow never seen a constellation. And I thought, constellations weren’t the point. Constellations were just a bunch of separate stars. They didn’t become constellations until you connected them, one to another. Like families, like sisters, like friendship, like prayers.
And anyway, it turned out Nattie was memorizing all eighty-eight constellations. I didn’t need David in order to fall in love with the night sky.”
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Win 1 of 2 copies of In The Neighbourhood of True. ( US Only)
Start Date: April 3rd 2019
End: April 16th 2019
Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.
And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?
“The memories of our good times came in an onslaught, too fast and too bittersweet to fight them off. I felt like someone was taking my ribs and tying them into sailing knots. And then, just as quickly, I saw the twinkling stars and whispered conversations and booze-free recklessness drift away, a curl of smoke on the stub of a burned-out candle.
That was the thing about the good old days, I thought. No one told you at the time that they were the good old days.”
“That was what Levi forgot. Oar’s Rest held on to memories. Every first kiss, every last kiss. Every tragedy, every miracle. It was greedy for them. We’d talk about it before, but I didn’t think he realized that Oar’s Rest would hold on to him, too. The memories he left behind would be there in every grain of sand, in every wobbly plank on the pier, in every corner of my world. Places like Oar’s Rest were like that– they held on tight, tugged memories close, and gave life to the people who weren’t there anymore.
Prize: 1 Signed Finished copy of Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale (USA only)
Have You Read Small Town Hearts? Do You Want To? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!
Every reader is different and what makes a great book for some, makes a horrible books for other. I’d thought it’d been fun to look at a couple of books that I’ve read in these past few months that I’ve loved and some books that I haven’t liked quite as much, to try to determine what exactly make me like or dislike a book.
Books I Have Loved So Far This Year.
1. A Spark of Light By Jodi Picoult
What Made Me Love The Book:
1. The way the story was told in reverse chronological order.
2. The way that Picoult managed me to feel sympathy for even the most despicable of characters.
3. How she took a topic that is extremely controversial and managed to discuss it with tact through the use of amazingly complex characters.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
2. The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
What Made Me Love The Book:
1.The swoon worthy romance.
2. The amazing character development.
3. The little bits of humour and intense emotional moments that made the book 1000x stronger
Rating: 4/5 Stars
3. Emma Mills’ Books
What Made Me Love Her Books:
1.The on-point humour that all her protagonists have that cause me to laugh out loud multiple times
2. The amazing balance between family, friendship and romance.
3. The serious moments amongst the fluff that left me feeling numb.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
4. The Nightingale by Kristen HannahMy
What Made Me Love This Book:
1. The unique take on a time in history that has been done to death.
2. The amazing use of dual perspective.
3. All the feels that this book made me go through which escalated into a perfectly bitter-sweet ending.
My Rating:5/5 Stars
5. Solitaire by Alice Oseman
What Made Me Love The Book:
1. The authentic teenage voice of the main character.
2. The extremely on point pop culture references.
3. The melancholy vibe that made me feel so incredibly seen.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
In Conclusion: So based on these books, it seems that I really like to have my heart torn apart while reading and I need to have amazing complex characters. If there are touches of humour or humour, then that would make the book all the better.
Books That I Did Not Love So Far This Year
1. Pretending To Dance by Diane Chamberlain
What I Didn’t Like About The Book:
1. The buildup to the big reveal was extremely disappointing.
2. None of the character’s justifications for her actions made any sense.
My Rating; 2/5 Stars
2.The One And The Only by Emily Griffin
1. There was a disgusting romance between the main character and her best-friend’s recently widowed father.
2. The dialogue was super unnatural and there were an over abundance ellipses and italics.
Rating: 1/5 Stars
3.The Devil in The Flesh by Raymond Radiguet.
1. The main character was the most insufferable asshole I’ve ever had the displeasure of encountering.
2. It was sooo boring and even though it was only like 150 pages, it felt like it dragged on for 1000 pages.
My Rating: 1/5 Stars
4.The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
My Rating: 2/5 Stars
1. The pacing was really bad and the author focused on all the wrong things.
2. The world building was really lacklustre and were so many unanswered questions.
Conclusion: It seems like there are many things that make me dislike a book, but I think the biggest thing is if there is an insufferable character or just a lot of plot points that don’t make any sense.
What About You? What Makes You Like or Dislike a Book? Let Me Know in The Comments Down Below!
About The Author:
Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.
Find Kara Online:
Buy Just For Clicks:
My Rating:4/5 Stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an
The phenomenon of internet fame is one that I found fascinating and it’s a subject that I love seeing being discussed in books. It’s mind-boggling to me that there are people out there who are famous basically for just existing. Before Just For Clicks, I had a vague idea on how popular mommy bloggers were, but this book really shed light on a subject that I had never really thought about before. I absolutely loved seeing Claire’s struggle between wanting to make her mother and sister happy, and removing herself from the spotlight. The discussion about internet culture that occurred throughout the book was super fascinating and it made me think a lot about the role internet fame plays in our society. There’s always a danger for subject like these to sound preachy, but that wasn’t the case in this book which I really appreciated. I really liked how Kara McDowell showed both the ugly and glamorous parts of fame. One that thing I think could’ve been addressed a little more was the enormous amount of privilege that Claire had because of her fame. There were off-hand comments where she did acknowledge her privilege but it still rubbed me the wrong way.
No contemporary is truly complete without a swoon-worthy love interest, and Just For Clicks definitely delivered with Rafael. He was super sweet and caring and basically everything I could ask for in a love interest. It was so excruciating to have to read through so many near-kisses, wondering each time if this would be the time where one of them would finally reveal their GODAMN FEELINGS. Even if it was definitely frustrating, it made them getting together all the more satisfying. Claire and Rafael’s chemistry were to die for and I just wish there was less miscommunication drama and more swoon worthy moments.
I expected this book to be a pretty run of the mill contemporary, but McDowell hit me with some unexpected and heartbreaking plot moments. There was a point in the book that had me gasp aloud which like very rarely happens. At times I did find Claire’s reaction to this particular plot point to be a little stubborn but I did appreciated her development and her end reaction to it.
I really appreciate all the relationships in this book but I especially love the dynamic between Claire and Poppy. It felt very realistic to me and the author did a great job of depicting the love-hate relationship that so many siblings have. Things became especially complicated as the story progressed, and I love seeing how their relationship shifted throughout the novel. While I really did like their relationship, I would’ve appreciated a few more moments where we really get to see their sisterhood shine.
Ends February 22nd 2019.
Have You Read Just For Clicks? Do You Want To? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below
Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins’ lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars.
This is the only second book I’ve read by Emma Mills, but I can safely say that she writes some of the most well rounded contemporaries I’ve ever seen. With many contemporaries the main focus is typically romance with a little smidgen of quirky friends and a dash of a loving family, and I just always want less romantic subplot and more of the book focused on the other relationship dynamics. That’s not to say that I don’t love those type of contemporaries because I do but there always feels like there’s something missing. With Emma Mills, you get a great love interest, interesting and complex friendship dynamics and a family that doesn’t conveniently disappear halfway through the book. If this is what all of her books are like, I seriously need to read her first book and her latest one.
This book gave me serious The Perks of Being a Wallflower( the movie not the book) vibes which just made fall in love with the book all the more. I couldn’t help making parallels with the two set of character, and it definitely made my reading experience much more interesting. So like in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you’ve got an outsider who kind of finds their way into this friend group who have been friends forever and do everything together, and this outsider slowly begins a part of the friend group and just aghhh I didn’t realize how much I love this trope until I read This Adventure Ends. I absolutely loved seeing how the main character, Sloane, integrated into this friend group and I loved seeing how the individual members and the group as a whole responded to her. Additionally, I loved learning about the different friends. They were all such different people with different ambition and personalities, but they formed an amazingly cohesive friend group. I also appreciated the conflict that occurred towards the end of the book. It felt very natural and necessary to the progression of the story and it didn’t feel like it was added just for the sake of drama.
Even though this was a contemporary there was some very hard hitting moments that made this book feel all the more real. I finished this book in tears with a huge lump in my chest which are the best type of books. The journey of discovery that Sloane went through during the book was something that I related to immensely. I thought the way she developed from someone with a lot of apathy to someone who realized that that wasn’t the way she wanted to live was really interesting. The way Mill’s constructed Sloane’s personality was super fascinating and she was an incredible protagonist. I loved her humour and how loyal she was. There are some characters that you love because they’re a well developed character and then there’s character’s that make you feel as though someone stole your innermost thoughts and emotions. Sloane is the latter.
It’s usually pretty rare that one of my favorite character’s is one of the MC’s parent’s, but Sloane’s dad was amazing. He’s this renowned author who writes Nicholas Sparkesque books but he’s currently in a rut. While he’s in this rut, he discovers the world of fandom and falls in love with this Teen Wolfesque show. He begins to read Fanfiction of the show and even tries his hand at writing his own. I’m not a huge fan of fanfiction but I thought all the discussion surrounding fanfiction was super interesting. I loved seeing Sloane’s dad talking about coffeeshop and next door neighbor AU’s and tbh I would read an entire book about him. The one thing that I would’ve appreciated more about was Sloane’s mom. We really didn’t know anything about her which was a little frustrating.
Have You Read This Adventure Ends? Have You Read Mills’ other books? What Did You Think of Them? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below.
There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.
Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection.
Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome.
The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?
Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.
What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
My Rating: 2/5 Stars
You know when you read a book with the most epic concept ever and you’re expecting it to be your new favorite thing and then you read it and it just falls short in every single area? That was what reading The Love Interest was like for me. A book that featured a love triangle where the guys fall for each other instead of the girl is arguably the best subversion of the trope possible and the fact that this book was horribly executed makes me so frustrated.
It’s so hard to pinpoint just one thing that frustrated me but one of my biggest source of anger was the lacklustre world building. The Love Interest is set in this weird dystopian/sci-fi world that somehow feels like the modern world and I had so many unanswered questions. Like the main character, Caden, has this romantic coach to like help him win over the girl he needs to fall in love with and this romantic coach can read his mind. Which is totally cool and awesome and yes please give me more books that feature mind reading, but I needed to know more about this. Is this something that was like created in a lab or something that came about supernaturally? Also her reading his mind seems to be on and off basis and was only employed when it was convenient for the plot which was super frustrating. I really don’t mind if there’s some unanswered questions in books like these because it’s hard to fix all the holes, but when the story is completely filled with holes it’s really hard to ignore it. Another thing that really contributed to the poor world building was the lack of description. I could not for the life of me picture the compound where Kaiden was raised and all of the places that were described felt like skeletons instead of fully fleshed out places. I think the thing that made the most frustrated was that there was absolutely no contrast between how Caden experienced the outside world vs the world he was used to. The only thing he knows about the real world is what they fed to him and you’re telling me that there’s no culture shock? I don’t believe that. I would’ve loved to see that confusion depicted because without it, it just made the world all the more one dimensional.
I could’ve forgiven the crappy world building if the characters were anything to write home about but they weren’t so this book became even more disappointing. I get that the characters were supposed to be a play on the typical archetypes one finds in YA novels which is fine, great even! I love the idea that Caden is forced to be Nice while Dylan is forced to be Bad, and I thought the way the author portrayed the trope of the boy next door vs the brooding secret softie. The only thing that was missing was development and there really wasn’t any. I didn’t feel like any of the characters grew or became better people or went beyond what they were taught. Obviously it’s hard to unlearn something that has been instilled in you for almost your entire time but I would’ve liked just a little indication that there was going to be growth in their future. Another thing that infuriated me was the way the girl that Dylan and Caden were fighting to fall in love with, Juliet, was portrayed. She’s supposed to be this genius who’s destined to do amazing world-changing things and yet that intelligence is shown at such a basic level. If I weren’t told that she was intelligent, I wouldn’t know because the way she acts, talks and her general personality isn’t indicative of that all. She was reduced to a crappy side character with no agency whatsoever and that infuriates me. If you’re going to subvert cliche characters then you actually have to do work and you can’t claim that you’re doing it.
The final thing that pissed me was the horrible pacing. The climax took place over a span of about 30 pages and so much happened in such little time that it was hard to believe any of it. Revelations and tragedy happens left and right that it was impossible for me to care about what was going. The ending was weak and while it was a happy one that I would’ve been happy with in any other situation this book didn’t earn that easy ending. I feel like the author focused too much on some things( like the size of the MC’s abs) and not enough on more important things( like why the fuck Juliet would believe Caden when he tells her that he’s a spy.) I’m all for suspicion of disbelief but this was taking things a little too far.
If this had featured a straight MC I totally would’ve one starred it, but I do think that the exploration of Caiden’s sexuality was what salvaged the book a little bit. I love that we’re getting more books about gay people that go beyond the normal contemporary genre. This book may have not been for me but I really hope that a gay teen will one day pick this book up and feel a little less alone.
Did You Read The Love Interest? What Did You Think of It? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!