MK’s Book Reviews: Looking for Alaska

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With this uber-popular John Green novel (that was redundant) set to become a movie, I thought I’d add my own book review to the undoubtedly dozens out there…

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You Can’t Rest on Good Writing

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So I’m taking a writing class this summer at this fine institution. (It’s awesome. I highly recommend it.)

The structure of the class is that each week, some students hand in writing submissions, and the next week you’re “workshopped”, meaning everyone tells you what they thought. When it was my turn, the teacher of the class had something really interesting to say…

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Friday Things

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Happy Friday! I love summer. It’s the season of getting invited to go beautiful places for free. We spent last weekend at Lake Sacandaga at our friends’ parents’ cabin, and this weekend we’re headed down to Long Beach Island to stay at my boyfriend’s aunt’s beach house. I’m looking forward to a few days of reading and relaxation. But first, three things that made my week:

  1. In my writing class, I was accused of being “too coy” with the plot of my novel. There’s a delicate balance between hinting at a mystery to create tension, and frustrating your readers by not telling them enough. This post does a really good job explaining how to toe that line.

2. Five life lessons from five years traveling the world.

3. Finally sundresses for the rest of us 🙂

Reading: Still this. It’s long. But good.

Watching: Friends on Netflix as I get ready in the morning. Laughing is such a great start to the day.

Listening to: Mat Kearney. It’s good stuff.

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Learning from the Masters: Voice

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I’ve written about voice in YA contemporary (twice), I’ve written about voice in YA historical, and today I’m going to talk about the voice of a writer who’s not YA at all. Because while it’s absolutely crucial as a writer to read within our genres, there is a tremendous amount to be learned from other genres, also.

So here is this week’s voice example. Perhaps we can play “guess that super-famous author/novel”…

Frannie leaned one hand against the warm metal of her car, took off her sneakers, and put on a pair of rubber thongs. She was a tall girl with chestnut hair that fell halfway down the back of the buff-colored shift she was wearing. Good figure. Long legs that got appreciative glances. Prime stuff was the correct frathouse term, she believed. Looky-looky-looky-here-comes-nooky. Miss College Girl, 1990.

Then she had to laugh at herself, and the laugh was a trifle bitter. You are carrying on, she told herself, as if this was the news of the world. Chapter Six: Hester Prynne Brings the News of Pearl’s Impending Arrival to Rev. Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale he wasn’t. He was Jess Rider, age twenty, one year younger than Our Heroine, Little Fran. He was a practicing college-student-undergraduate-poet. You could tell by his immaculate blue chambray work shirt.

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MK’s Book Reviews: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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I’m back after a long, amazing weekend at Lake Sacandaga in upstate New York. I missed a few days due to no wifi at all (which can be quite nice) but now I’m back and it’s Tuesday which means it’s time for a book review.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of the best books I read last year. You should read it too. Here’s why…

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