October Update

Hello, I hope everyone is having a good fall! Or whatever other weather you are having! I haven’t given a proper update in a long time. For one it’s hard to update you on writing. That’s because it can be hard to see progress until a project is complete. What I can tell you is that I have completed my first readthrough of my manuscript. And I’ve started my first round of plot edits. 

In october I had my first book signing. It made me nervous but was a great experience.

Since my last update I up-ed my reading goal to 40 instead of 30. So far I have read 36 books for the year. Nearly there!

In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt: 1 star

DNF… I buddy read this one with my mom. It was terrible. The writing style seemed similar to Emma Donoghue’s in Kissing the Witch. Which is a style that I tend to like. It sounds poetic and seems to flow well. But in this story it didn’t work. We often didn’t know what was happening. 

Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer: 4 stars

Received an e-arc from Netgalley. I loved it a lot. Almost all of the poems were relatable in some way or another. I read them all, and I never found myself wanting to skip one. The art inside is also beautiful. Ultimately I think it’s a really well-done poetry collection. 

Year One, and Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts: 4 stars

It’s pretty rare that I will pick up a book by Nora Roberts, because I tend to think that she writes only romance or mysteries. I actually picked up this series because of the controversy that happens between her and Tomi Adeyemi, the author of Children of Blood and Bone. I wanted to see what the fuss was about on Tomi’s end. Quite honestly I found the whole debacle hilarious, as the books are not similar at all. Anyway yes, these books definitely do have romance in them. But that’s not the main point. Originally I thought this was a duology, but then I found out that the third one should be out around December. This is a great series. 

The Weight of a Soul By Tammy Elizabeth: 1 star

DNF… Received an e-arc from Netgalley. I stopped reading the book at 20%. I just didn’t gel with it. I found that there was a lot of info dumping right at the beginning, that didn’t really need to be there. 

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix: 3.5 stars. 

I buddy read this one as well with my mom. It was good, though the first third was slow. But it was necessary to the rest of the book. If you have a weak stomach though, maybe check out some spoiler reviews to prepare yourself.

Betty Bites Back: Stories to Scare the Patriarchy edited by Mindy McGinnis, Demitria Lunetta, Kate Karyus Quinn: 3 stars

 I received an e-arc of this from netgalley. The beginning of it was interesting enough, but then around 60% through the book I noticed that I didn’t enjoy the stories as often. To the point that there was a number of them that I skipped. It’s an interesting premise to write an anthology about, and some of the stories were executed well. However I don’t think all of them necessarily lived up to it. In my opinion, only about half of them interested me.

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey: 5 stars

SO GOOD! Review done.

Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao: 3 stars

Physical arc from Penguin Teen Canada. Full review here. http://www.kalagodin.com/2019/09/17/review-song-of-the-crimson-flower-by-julie-c-dao/

Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall: 5 stars

Physical arc from Penguin Teen Canada. Full review here. http://www.kalagodin.com/2019/09/30/review-rules-for-vanishing-by-kate-alice-marshall/

Wilder Girls by Rory Power: 5 stars

This was weird and so good! And kinda gross, but still really good. I don’t really get why people are saying that it’s like Lord of the Flies… 

Currently reading: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia 

Well that’s pretty much all I have to update you with. 
Happy reading and writing!

Review: Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

First, I would like to thank Penguin Teen Canada for providing me a physical ARC of this. I am honored to have received a copy!

Review: 

3 stars

This review doesn’t contain spoilers.

From what I understand this is a companion novel from one of her other series. I have never read anything else by her. And I can happily say that you don’t need to in order to understand this book.

What I loved most about the book was actually the setting, history, and politics. And I don’t like politics, so that’s saying a lot. 

Julie did a really wonderful job of putting you right into the world. Showing you where they live, and how. The setting was very beautiful; in just a couple of lines you can tell exactly what the characters are seeing.

However I was not highly invested in the main story between the main characters. There was a lot of side characters though that I would have liked to know more about. The main story is very soft. Starting softly and ending so as well. The stakes don’t seem very high, and even when they do, I didn’t feel that there was enough emotional build up to feel strongly about what was happening. 

I also felt that a lot of the timing of certain point reveals was quite a bit off. One character served only to confirm the plot points that were already known by the characters. To the point where you can actually tell when we would be interacting with that character. It was almost always a chapter after a big reveal, only for them to confirm what we already knew. 

If you like books that don’t necessarily have a lot of emotional turmoil, this would be perfect. I find that this book would be a good palate cleanser. Or if you like books that don’t have super high stakes, then I would definitely recommend this. 

A reading update, because I don’t have a writing one.

So far this year I’ve read 25 books is here. My Goodreads goal was 30, so it’s looking like I’m going to have to up that pretty soon.

I’m going to give you a reading update, instead of a writing update, because I don’t have one of those yet. I’m hoping to have one by September. During August I’m going to try to edit my manuscript into something that’s ready to query.

So since I talked to you last I’ve read about three to four books.

The Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor. (both books are undoubtedly five stars)

This series was one hell of a wild ride. It was beautiful and immersive, filled with so much detail. Because of its size, it’s a little intimidating to start. But once I finished the first book I knew immediately I had to pick up the second one. Thank God I had both.

Laini Taylor is seriously a master at what she does. There was multiple times that I couldn’t actually decide what genre it was. And that didn’t bother me, in fact I actually enjoyed it more because each page was a surprise.

I attempted Women Talking by Miriam Toews

(No stars)

This was rough. I was buddy reading this book with my mom, and if she wasn’t reading it out loud, I wouldn’t have even made it as far as we did before we DNF-ed it. We only made it 20 pages in. And it’s not a very long book. But quite frankly, it was boring.

I wanted a story about what happened to the women during the process of it happening. Instead you’re thrown into a story of a back-and-forth debate about what happened afterwards. I don’t think the synopsis gives a good interpretation of this. As I didn’t realize what we were getting into.

And the rerelease of The Near Witch by V.E Schwab.

(Also 5 stars)

I found out about this book before it was re-released, but after it was out of print. I always wondered what the first book was. And was a little bit sad that it didn’t make it very long. I can only imagine how happy she was when she found out that it was being re-released. Because I’m such a fan of her writing, I just about cried when I opened the first page. I’m ecstatic that this book is out again, when the market is more ready for it. When readers are ready for it. It’s a soft story with sharp teeth. And like everything I’ve read by this author, it’s phenomenal.

I’ve currently started Year One by Nora Roberts and The House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt.

…Hopefully I’ll have an update soon!