Book Review: Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros

goodnightTweethearCover: The cover is what caught my eye in the bookstore. It may be just a regular park scene with a couple on a bench, but it uses photography’s “rule of thirds” to give it a balanced and attractive composition. It also helps there is a cute little floating heart hinting towards its tweet-factor to make it a little more special.

Format: This is the epistolary novel of the 21st Century –the tweet. While this book mostly consists of regular prose, it also includes the messages the main characters send each other via Twitter. When I first noticed this peccadillo I thought it would be annoying to read, but in the end it was hardly noticeable and was no different than reading a play or even regular conversational prose.

Writing Style: While the prose isn’t anything spectacular, it does set the scene for the Twitter messages the main characters exchange. These tweets are very conversational, but filled with witty banter. There are also a lot of references to television shows to music to movies to books, and if you’re lucky you will recognize at least half of them!

Location: The majority of the story takes place in a renovated hotel-to-apartments in New York near Central Park as the main character tends to stay in her apartment with brief forays into the city. Her romantic interest is travelling the world, and takes her with him… if only vicariously through the Internet.

Hook: It’s a regular romance built on tweets and lies…

Plot: To be honest, there is nothing terribly special about the story line and yet it is such a satisfying read. It is the basic boy meets girl with their “meet-cute” being via Twitter, then boy loses girl because of his secret. Girl eventually forgives boy so they can work out their differences. Underneath the surface of this banality, the reader is able to feel a deeper meaning and can connect in some way with the tale.

Character: Margo is Abby’s “obligatory sassy but wise African-American best friend”. She is a bit flat, with very little development, and thus doesn’t garner too much attention. Margo is amusing when present and always supportive, but never steals any focus from the protagonist.

Personal Thoughts: While one reviewer said it was “timeless”, it really is entrenched in our time. With all the pop culture references and the tweeting it seems very 21st Century, thus making it a perfect depiction of North America as we know it.

Quote: Twitter is the perpetual cocktail party where everyone is talking at once but nobody is saying anything.

The Verdict: I bought the book on a whim that I regretted before I opened the pages… but once I started reading the novel I couldn’t stop. The story was surprisingly refreshing, possibly due to it’s Twitter-like formatting. I would actually recommend this as something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to read on the public transpo. I really think I just might read it again some day.

Simple Smile Saturday (July-2)

I have been pretty busy the past couple months due to my schedule at the day job changing, and because I’ve been editing like a fiend! I have FOUR more books finished for the pub company I do freelance work with, so check out the “My Edits” page to see them.

There are three more serials available for the Sorrow series, and once you get into those they are pretty addictive–you just have to know what will happen next. I have a tendency to sneak ahead and read my favourite character’s plot, as I cannot seem to keep my mind on editing the rest of the manuscript otherwise *LOL* I’m currently finishing up the twelfth part of the story, and there will be a few more after that. Keep an eye out for those!

The other was a full-length novel that is simply fantastic! This was my first time working with that author, and it’s a spec-fic novel you won’t want to miss! I absolutely loved it and would read it again, even though I’ve already been through it a few times during the editing process. Here is a link to check this novel, so be sure to clicky-clicky.

I also just got hired by a first-time author to edit his scifi novel, which I’m pretty excited about working on. I love getting word-of-mouth referrals as you meet a lot of interesting people and talented authors that way. The synopsis sounds fabulous, and once it has been published I’ll be sure to let y’all know where to get your hands on a copy. I really think it is going to be great!

Book Review: Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt

sean griswolds headSynopsis: Payton Gritas just learned her dad has multiple sclerosis, and to help her cope with the news Payton is sent to the school guidance counsellor. Payton is told to find a “Focus Object”, but instead of an inanimate object she picks Sean Griswold’s head. Before long, the big blonde head blocking the board becomes something more… but falling in love isn’t going to cure her dad. Payton is going to have to change focus and just learn how to deal.

Cover: The artwork is one long picture that covers the entire book making it look like a chalkboard. The front cover portion includes a boy facing away giving the same view that the main character would have sitting behind Sean in class. The board is covered with clues as to what’s to come like pie charts, cycling, and romance. It is actually quite eye-catching, making the reader curious as to what the book is about.

Plot: Teenagers aren’t just dealing with school and the opposite gender, but also family dynamics. It’s good to see a novel about dealing with non-cancerous illnesses and how a kid could learn how to cope with a life-altering experience in a fairly realistic way.

Point of View: The story is told in first-person and really gets inside Payton’s head. If the story was in third-person the reader would not be privy to Payton’s psychological meanderings that allow the reader to better relate to her experience, nor have access to the journal with her focus object exercises which not only reveal a lot about the character but are actually quite amusing.

Character Development: Payton starts out rather oblivious to anything but good grades and organization, but once she discovers her dad’s secret everything about her life becomes disorganized emotionally, mentally, and physically. Having a focus object allows Payton distance herself and eventually get to the point where she no longer needs a buffer between herself and her father’s illness.

Romance: Payton and Sean had been in the same classes for years, but never really noticed each other except on a superficial level. By making Sean her focus object, Payton begins to learn more about the boy and discovers that she likes him as a person and not a distraction. This gradual process of getting to know one another is far more realistic than the at-first-sight phenomenon.

Character: Grady is Sean’s very disturbing best friend. He takes goth to a whole new level, yet also embodies the moral of not judging someone by how they look or dress. Grady is the comic relief, an obstacle to overcome, and a life lesson.

DiY: People say the answers come when you stop thinking so hard, so when you next reach a point where you’re stressing instead of being productive try doing one of Payton’s Focus Exercises and distance yourself from your troubles to gain new perspective. This would also make a good writing exercise for all you aspiring authors.

Quote: The Focus Gods told me to. You don’t mess with the Focus Gods.

The Verdict: I rather enjoyed this novel finding it a nice mix of serious issues, teen angst, and humour. It is not the light and fluffy teen read of Simon Pulse’s RomComs, but doesn’t have the heaviness of Lurlene McDaniel books either. It is more along the line of accessible literary fiction for teens.