How to Finish NaNoWriMo in 9 easy steps

Finishing NaNoWriMo is easy.

By the end of this blog post, you’ll see why. If you follow these steps, you’ll finish NaNoWriMo extremely easily.

Don’t eat. Like at all.

You have no time for sustenance – you’re a writing MACHINES. Machines don’t need to be fed. They just have to keep chugging along.

And while you’re at it, don’t sleep either. That’s a terrible idea.

Wasting EIGHT WHOLE HOURS just for sleeping? What are you doing? That’s valuable writing time!

Shut yourself in your room and don’t ever come out.

If you move, you might start doing stupid things, like eating. Or sleeping. You MUST stay in the exact same spot all throughout November.

And speaking of which, don’t talk to anyone. ANYONE.

THEY’RE DISTRACTING YOU FROM WRITING. Cut them off. You don’t need family OR friends during this time. Not at all. Especially not if they’re being encouraging, because you don’t need that.

Don’t ever take your eyes off the computer screen. This includes going outside. See above.

The computer screen is God and you are one of its disciples. Your devotion must be unwavering. Who cares if you get square eyes? You’ll have 50,000 words.

Speaking of which, don’t worry about your health.

Have the worst headache in the world? That’s good! It means you’re writing a lot. Keep going. When your head is about to split in two, you know you’re nearly there.

Make sure every word is perfect.

Your first draft needs to practically scream this:

If you need to delete things, do that. That’s an EXCELLENT idea. In fact, why don’t you just go back and rewrite the entire thing. Because let’s face it, it all sucks.

Be jealous of other people.

You SHOULD be jealous. They’re already past 50,000 words? What are you doing there? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? You should be ashamed of yourself, clearly. How dare you have jobs/children/school/whatever else is keeping you from writing. It’s despicable, it really is.

And finally…my only piece of actual advice…realise that you shouldn’t do any of these things.

Seriously, guys, make sure you take care of yourselves. Remember to eat, and sleep. At the end of the day, your health is more important than 50,000 words. Remember that!

And good luck with these last few days!!

 

 

The Selection by Kiera Cass: fluffy abounds

the selectionTitle: The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Genre: YA dystopian

Length: 336 pages

Published by: HarperTeen

Source: library!

Blurb:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

This was an extremely fun read.

I was under no delusions that this would be an incredibly amazing book. And it wasn’t. You’re not going to come out thinking it’s the best book you’ve ever read…or maybe YOU will, I don’t know.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s a fun read despite not being the most well-written book out there.

PLUS. PRETTY DRESSES.

 

Let’s get the bad out of the way first: the names.

I didn’t like any of the names. America Singer is our main character (and she sings. Wow). Maxon is the Prince. You know what his name reminded me of?

Except with an M.

We also have Aspen, who sounds kind of snake-like. Didn’t like him at all. Then there’s a “Gavril Fadaye.” I mean, “Fadaye” just sounds like the most obviously made-up name in the history of made-up names.

BUT DESPITE THIS, I still really enjoyed it.

It’s a nice LIGHT contemporary, you know? It’s not heavy on the blood and the gore and the future of the human race. There are pretty dresses, cameras, a pretty cute guy (Prince Maxon…although his penchant for calling people “my dear” really ticked me off). Plus America was quite likeable. Although her friend Marlee was pretty flat.

I decided to read this because The Jewel was compared to it.

I liked The Jewel better, but this was still pretty great.

People have made comparisons to The Hunger Games.

And there ARE similarities – the caste system, the lottery system, Gavril Fadaye/Cinna, America herself…lots of things. But it’s a more FUN version.

So if you want a light dystopian, read The Selection.

Meanwhile, I’ll be trying to find The Elite.

Rating: 3/5 Wonderkitties

 PUPPYPUPPYPUPPY

 

 

Top Ten Books on My Winter-Summer TBR

00dc8-toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week there’s a different Top Ten list. It’s a great way to find and connect with other awesome bloggers.

It is almost summer in Australia.

I say “almost,” but considering we’ve had blistering temperatures in the past few weeks, it feels like we’re right in the MIDDLE of summer. And I say summer/winter TBR, because I’m going to England, where it WILL be winter, in a month. So that’s exciting.

Let’s get to it.

faking it all our yesterdays cooper b is dead

Faking It by Gabrielle Tozer – I. Am. So. Excited. For. This. Book. I’m also participating in the blog tour, so that’s going to be a lot of fun! Look out for that in mid-December.

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill – so I borrowed this from the library and my sister stole it. But I intend to take it back very soon.

Cooper Bartholomew is Dead by Rebecca James – I spell “Bartholomew” wrong every time, I’m convinced. THIS BOOK, though…I’m so excited. All the Aussie bloggers are raving about it.

hope in a ballet shoe just one day cruel beauty nona and me

Hope in a Ballet Shoe by Michaela and Elaine DePrince – this is about ballet and war and it just…it looks really good, and I’m so excited to read it.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman – I’ve owned this book for a few months now and never get around to reading it. So I intend to this summer/winter.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge – I will get my hands on this book…somehow.

Nona and Me by Clare Atkins – Diversity, yay! This one looks amazing.

all the brigt places mara dyer 3 the summer i turned pretty

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – because it comes out in January, and that’s still summer/winter. I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – I seriously need to find a copy of this.

The Summer I turned Pretty by Jenny Han – because I’m hoping it might prove to be true, maybe?

So! Which of these should I be running to borrow/buy/pre-order/steal?

Why You Should Watch Mockingjay (like right now)

 

I don’t usually review movies.

This is because 1) I have no idea what I’m talking about, and 2) I don’t actually watch too many movies.

But if 1) it’s an adaptation of a YA book and 2) I DID in fact watch it, I’ll probably review it.

Like I did with The Fault in Our Stars

Dear Mockingjay…

Ha. See what I did there? With Jennifer Lawrence? GET IT?

Okay I’ll stop.

So first off, the acting was amazing.

First off we have Jennifer Lawrence.

AKA Queen of Derp. I don’t know how this girl became Katniss Everdeen, but she did. She was absolutely incredible. The way she portrayed Katniss – broken, but still determined to fight – was all I ever wanted. And it was powerful. Seriously, this girl can act (as if you didn’t already know it).

I was also really surprised by Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. He brought something that I really hadn’t seen from him before. I was really impressed by how both these two made Peeta and Katniss come to life.

We also had some new characters.

The most intriguing, to me, was Coin. In the book, I hated her. I cheered at a certain event towards the end. But in the movie, she’s portrayed differently – she’s just someone who wants to keep her people alive. So it’ll be interesting to see what they do in part 2 of the movie.

Then we had Cressida, and the rest of the new team. I thought she was pretty awesome.

We saw new things from some characters as well.

For instance, Effie.

I ALMOST DIDN’T RECOGNISE HER. But what I do like is that she provided some much-needed comedy to the movie. As did Haymitch, who appears occasionally. Those moments of humour took the edge off occasionally, and I thought they worked really well against the bleak nature of this one.

Basically, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would.

It was my least favourite book out of the three, but it’s my favourite movie so far.

It made me feel all of the feels. It was powerful. It was sad. It was beautiful in some parts. It made me tear up. I think my favourite part was when Katniss goes to District 8 – I won’t say anymore, but it involves this:

I also loved the song. The Hanging Tree song. Jennifer Lawrence is no brilliant singer, but she IS a brilliant actor, and the song was a really nice touch, I thought. I’m glad they put it in.

Oh, and I TOTALLY called the ending. Just saying.

Eight friends and I went to see this movie (and if you think that’s easy to organise, think again). We were all hypothesising about where they would end the movie. And I called it. BUT NOW I really want to watch the next one.

Although I’d settle for watching Mockingjay again. Maybe a few dozen times.

That would be good.

As for how faithful it was to the book…

I actually haven’t read the series for a while. I do know there were some direct quotes from the book, but they also changed a lot (well, splitting it into two, they kind of have to). But it kept all of the most important things. Including that bloody cat.

Have you seen Mockingjay? What did you think? Or if you haven’t seen it, what’s your favourite YA adaptation?

 

Mockingjay, Hot Weather and Maleficent

THIS WEEK IN HEADLINE NEWS:

* I saw Mockingjay at the movies on opening day. There were hardly any people. No idea why. But it was amaaaaaayyyyyzing, definitely my favourite of the three so far. I’ll be reviewing it this week.

* It was hot. As in, 40 degrees hot (that’s more than 100 for you ‘Murican people). And I was dancing in that heat. So clearly I am invincible.

* I also watched Maleficent finally. That’s not related to YA or anything. I just thought you’d like to know. Oh, and also I loved it.

* It’s also sinking in that I’ve done my first HSC assessment. So that’s terrifying. And I’ve got about twenty seven million in the next two weeks, so you might not be seeing as much of me around the interwebs!

Disclaimer: that’s a lie. You probably will. I do a lot of procrastinating.

 

Books Read Since Last Week

the selection the program

We’re back to two books again, hurrah! Although I’ve done next to nothing on NaNoWriMo, and all my time is spent with school work. I really liked The Selection, though. The Program…not so much.

Currently Reading

fairytales for wilde girls

This. Is. Awesome. The writing style reminds me of The Book Thief and it’s just so cool.

Reading Next

egg and spoon

Yep, I’m going to tackle this massive book. I was GOING to read All Our Yesterdays, but my sister stole it so I have to wait for her. And she’s slow.

Gif of the Week

This cat is majestic.

Posts on the Blog

Monday: I matched Disney songs with YA books

Tuesday: I talked about the sequels I desperately need to read

Thursday: I told you all a bit more about my NaNoWriMo novel

Saturday: I reviewed This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Did anyone else see Mockingjay? AND DID YOU LOVE IT??

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

this shattered worldTitle: This Shattered World

Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Genre:YA sci-fi/dystopian

Length: 390 pages

Published by: Allen and Unwin

Source: received for review (thanks so much, Allen and Unwin!)

Blurb:

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

It’s always hard reviewing a book when it first comes out.

Usually, when I review books, I hop over to Goodreads and have a look at what other people think. That’s really helpful in constructing my own thoughts about the book. But for This Shattered World, I’m privileged to be one of the first readers – and that means there aren’t many reviews out yet.

And none of them seem to think the same things as me.

I’m trying, John, I’m trying.

Okay. Words.

I didn’t like it as much as These Broken Stars.

The main reason? There wasn’t the survival aspect that I loved in the first book.

That was my absolute FAVOURITE part of These Broken Stars. It might not have been yours, in which case you’ll probably love This Shattered World. But that’s what I loved about it – I loved how Lilac and Tarver learnt to tolerate each other, and work together. I loved that they were seemingly alone in an unknown world, and had to navigate it.

That wasn’t there in This Shattered World.

I also didn’t feel as connected to the plot or the characters.

And again, that’s not the book’s fault. I found the plot a bit dense, and I didn’t know what was going on some of the time (I think half the problem was that I was reading this while finishing NaNoWriMo…not the best combination).

I didn’t feel a connection with either Jubilee or Flynn, and the excerpts at the beginning of each chapter didn’t flow to me. BUT THAT’S JUST ME.

I did like how both stories wove together.

We got to see glimpses of Tarver and Lilac (well, more Tarver than Lilac) which was great. It wasn’t too much, and not too little – just enough to tie the stories together.

PLUS. IRELAND.

There was a lot of Irish stuff going on. I love how there was that connection to Earth. It really made things more relatable.

And I have to admit I did love the ending.

The ending was where I really paid attention and took notice, because things were happening that I cared about, and I wanted to know what would happen. Unfortunately, though, the beginning and middle dragged too much for it to be completely redeemable.

Rating: 3/5 Wonderkitties

PUPPYPUPPYPUPPY

 

Beautiful Books – in which I talk about my NaNo novel

Beautiful Books is hosted by Cait @ Notebook Sisters and Sky @ Further Up and Further In.

Be honest: how is your writing going?

IT’S GOING QUITE WELL. I just want to finish it at this point, though. November is a CRAZY busy month.

What’s your first sentence/paragraph?

Caution: swearing.

beginning

It’s weird how many F-words I’m using in this novel. I don’t even say it in real life.

Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?

grizzly coverI DO NOW.

Okay so this is the worst thing ever created, but it’s got a bear, so that’s nice. Actually, I’m not even sure why I called it Grizzly.

That’s what second drafts are for, though, right?

 

 

 

 

Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)

I’m going to refer you to my Pinterest board.

What scene are you most excited to write?

The end one. Mostly because I want it finished.

But weirdly enough I like writing the sad scenes. And also the scenes with Crispin (who is hilarious).

Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.

I’ve shared SO many snippets, and I’m running out of funny parts, but if you insist.

snippet 8

Now that you’re writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?

Yes, lots of things have changed. For instance, I had no idea a particular person was going to die. Every NaNoWriMo is a new experience – last year I wrote about a girl who got homeschooled by her granny, and for some reason there was a talking spider (I DO NOT KNOW WHY SO DON’T ASK). This year I’m staying to the structure, for the most part, but there are still big changes.

Is there a character or aspect of your plot that’s difficult to write?

All the sad stuff is really hard. The old “write what you know” thing has never been as applicable – a lot of it is really personal and that’s difficult, but hopefully it’s more truthful because of that. I don’t think I’ve ever been as invested in a group of characters as I am with writing this one.

What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?

I really love Crispin. He brings humour to it when it’s severely lacking. I also love Molly and Winnie’s relationship – they are just SO cute together, seriously. I ship it (is that allowed?).

Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?

Yes! And I’m not saying who or what those people/experiences are (people I know IRL read this blog, guys…I would be killed). But yes, there is a lot of my life in this book, more so than any of the others I’ve written.

Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?

I do! One word: Birdy.

Her songs fit SO well with what I’m writing that it scares me.

This is the playlist I listened to if you’re curious.

Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?

Crispin. Have I said it enough yet? He’s a combination of a couple of characters from manuscripts I’ve shelved, as well as some of my friends in real life. But right now he’s still a bit flat, so in my next drafts I’ll need to work on that.

How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)

Chocolate for sure.

And also Twitter. Twitter is a BIG help. But I think chocolate helped more.

What’s your favourite writing quote or piece of writing advice?

The fact that THIS guy is a New York Times bestselling author gives me hope.

Also the quote “I give myself permission to suck” (in relation to writing). That’s always been really helpful to me.

How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?

There have been some almost-tears. Lots of laughter. Some frustration when parts don’t go right. But I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s a first draft – that I can make it better.

And ultimately, first drafts remind me why I love writing, and that’s been a really useful thing for me this month.

How’s NaNoWriMo going for you? Or if you’re not participating – what’s something you’d love to see more of in YA (that maybe NaNo novels this year will provide)?

Top Ten Sequels I Am Dying To Read

00dc8-toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week there’s a different Top Ten list. It’s a great way to find and connect with other awesome bloggers.

By sequels I’m not just including second books but any “next books in a series.” Because I make my own rules.

faking it every move  winter marissa meyer

Faking It by Gabrielle Tozer

SO THIS IS COMING OUT SOON. I love the sound of it. I love the cover (mmm minty green freshness). I love Josie. I just…I’m really excited, okay?

Every Move by Ellie Marney

Awesome Aussie author and awesome crime-fighting duo. I can’t wait to see the shenanigans those two get up to next. But I have to wait until MARCH.

Winter by Marissa Meyer

This is a fan art cover, by the way, so don’t be getting too excited. I TAKE THAT BACK. GET EXCITED. I’m excited. It’s all very exciting (seriously, guys, these next few Top Ten Tuesdays are going to be using a looooot of caps, so buckle your seatbelts).

ensnared half wild spark a thousand pieces of you cover

Ensnared by A G Howard

Ignore Jeb for the moment. We’ll just pretend that it’s all about Morpheus, Delectable Lord of the Moths. And I am so pumped for this one.

Half Wild by Sally Green

You can tell it’s going to be good because of the Slytherin-ness on the cover. I mean, that just TELLS you it’s going to be awesome.

Stray by Rachael Craw

SO this is Spark. But there’s no cover for Stray yet. I don’t think. Stay tuned soon, because I’ll be making my own covers for some. BUT I NEED THE SECOND BOOK.

A Thousand Pieces of You Numero Two by Claudia Gray

We don’t even have a TITLE but I still can’t wait to read it.

 heir of firethe wicked will rise deathly hallows

THE NEXT ONE by Sarah J. Maas

Who knows what it’ll be called. Something bad-ass, no doubt. But at least in the meantime we’ll have A Court of Thorns and Roses to flail over.

The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

I actually really liked the first book. It was gory and brilliant. Can’t wait to read the next installment.

Harry Potter…I just need another book

*whimpers* Pleeeeease?

Now I’ve gone and got myself all excited. Which sequels are you looking forward to??

If Books Were Disney Songs

A side-effect of NaNoWriMo is that I listen to a lot (and I mean a lot) of Disney songs while I’m writing. So I thought it’d be fun if I matched some Disney songs to books.

Because that’s what my sleep-deprived brain comes up with.

A Whole New World – Aladdin

I match it with…A Thousand Pieces of You – Claudia Gray

 a thousand pieces of you cover

Because, you know, parallel dimensions? GET IT? Although A Thousand Pieces of You obviously needed more flying carpets.

Can You Feel the Love Tonight – The Lion King

I match it with…Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

anna and the french kiss

Basically? Cutest. Book. Ever. Etienne is mine.

Under the Sea – The Little Mermaid

I match it with…Atlantia – Allie Condie

atlantia

I’m still disappointed this one doesn’t have mermaids, but it IS set under the sea.

You’ve got a Friend in Me – Toy Story

I match it with…Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

code name verity

Leave me alone. I’m still sobbing. But this is still one of the best books I’ve read about friendships.

God Help the Outcasts – Hunchback of Notre Dame

I match it with…Since You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson

since you've been gone

Because, you know, Emily is kind of socially awkward (not at ALL like me, of course…)

Okay, so I’m dramatising a bit by saying she’s an OUTCAST. My blog, my rules. Deal with it.

Spoonful of Sugar – Mary Poppins

I match it with…Flirty Dancing – Jenny McLachlan

flirty dancing

Flirty Dancing is pretty much the cutest book I’ve ever read. It’s ADORABLE. It’s light and fluffy and full of dancing, and it helps the medicine of homework go down.

When She Loved Me – Toy Story

I match it with…The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

the assassin's blade

Here, “me” is Sam. And we all know what happens to him.

I’m going to start crying now. This scene in Toy Story is the saddest in film history, and pairing it with The Assassin’s Blade is a cruel mix.

(don’t you love it?)

Poor Unfortunate Souls – The Little Mermaid

I match it with…The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

tfios

Do I even need to talk about this one?

I’ve Got a Dream – Tangled

I match it with…The Intern – Gabrielle Tozer

the intern for blog

This one’s all about Josie pursuing her dream of being a journalist. As if I haven’t talked about this incredible book enough! PS not long until Faking It!!!

So that’s my attempts at matching YA books to Disney songs.

Tell me in the comments some you’d pair up! Or make your own post. Or just soak in my amazing words (though this is a given).

And also – what’s your favourite Disney song?

This Week I Finished NaNoWriMo (huzzah!)

No Stacking the Shelves this week! I know, crazy. I only got one book and it was Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near. IT LOOKS AMAZING. But it’s probably a good thing, because I’ve barely been reading at all.

And that’s because I finished NaNoWriMo.

nanowrimo progress

So on the 9th of November I did a 10k day. Which was exhausting (also I worked for five hours that night and got up early the next morning…that was crazy).

I AM VERY TIRED RIGHT NOW. But I’m going to finish the novel by the end of November. I just might go a bit slower now, because I have HSC assessments and my dad’s moving house and I have School Spec and I really should be reading some books. Darn this Australian heat and making me feel sleepy.

BUT I WILL PREVAIL. I am determined. Stubborn, maybe. But we’ll go with determined.

Anyway, though, I’m really excited by this story. It’s awful in many places, but that’s what second/third/fourth etc. drafts are for. I love my characters and the banter and Molly’s mum and getting to write KISSING SCENES (which is a first for me, because I rarely write romance).

SO I’m very happy with it, basically.

In celebration, here are some more snippets.

One

snippet 5

Two

snippet 6

Three

snippet 7

 

Books Read Since Last Week

this shattered world

Only one again – THE SHAME. Which is strange when I’m used to reading 3 or 4 a week. Review will be coming soon, I promise!

Currently Reading

fairytales for wilde girls

Reading Next

the program

This one’s due at the library soon, so I’ve got to get onto it!

Gif of the Week

This was not a hard one to choose.

Posts on the Blog

Monday: The TBR tag!

Tuesday: top ten characters I want books about

Thursday: Review of Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Saturday: the top 10 books that have stayed with me

HOW ARE WE ALL THIS WEEK?