Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Blog Revamp

         Okay… So now I’ve been blogging for a while now I kind of have to stop trying to excuse the overall humbly-jumbly-rambliness of my blog by telling people that ‘I’m new!’ and that ‘I’ll get the hand of it’! The fact of the matter is, I’m lazy. I’m rubbish at properly proof reading my blogs and editing them into a more readable state, I’m a terrible rambler and if I don’t get my act together quick then I’ll never be a blogging superstar! Okay, I don’t actually care about fame, I just want my blog to be a bit prettier. So here it comes, my Chinese New Year Blogging Resolutions! (That’s a thing right?)

The Perfect Excuse...

    1.   Short and Sweet
Every Tuesday I essentially post a 1000 word unstoppable rant onto my blog and it has come to my attention that that might be a little hard to swallow. I barely have the attention span to sit down and read 1000 words on some book I’ve never heard of, so why should I expect you guys to as well? I want to make my blog more accessible and this I think is the first step. That’s not to say I’m banning the epic Lord-Of-The-Rings-length post, I’m just going to try and trim!

    2.   Structure
As I said, I’m not good at editing my blogs and it’s time for that to change. Perhaps not with discussion posts but I realize I don’t actually write many reviews because it’s so hard to write an 1000 word review and keep it somewhat interesting. Most bloggers have an easily-readable structure to their posts and those are the blogs I usually like best, so I plan on making my thoughts and opinions a little more structured too!

    3.   Routine
If you haven’t worked it out, I post a new blog every Tuesday at about 5pm and that is just impossible! So far I have kept very strictly to my schedule however what with Tuesday being a school day and an after-school rehearsal day for me. So I might (I haven’t quite decided) move my post day to a Sunday, just to make things a little stress for myself!
    4.  Makeover Time
   I'm not even gonna pretend to know anything about web design. I want my blog to look prettier - I'm not talking Vogue style perfection. I mean, I want my blog to undergo that process in the teen movie where the cool kids take of the dorky girl's glasses, give her some lip gloss and teach her to smile and oh look she was pretty all along! So if any of you know how to work that kind of movie magic... let me know

    5. Connect more
Last, but not least, I want to put myself out there! I don’t speak to you guys nearly enough! I’ve never done events or buddy-reads (yet!) and I think that should change. I vow to at least try and remember to answer my comments, update my goodreads and make myself known in the community. Soon enough, I promise, I’ll be tweetin’ like a little bird!

So there we have it, a makeover-to-be! But I’d like to know whether these things were ever issues for you guys or was it just me? Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make this blog a better place that I haven’t already mentioned. Let’s get started guys-

Talk to me! I promise I’ll talk back!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A Bad Review - Soulmates by Holly Bourne

The official blurb:

‘Soulmates do exist. But not as you think. Every so often to people are born who are the perfect match for one another. Soulmates.
But what if meeting your soulmate is earth-shattering – literally?
An epic electrifying and extraordinary debut about falling in love’

My Thoughts:
       Sigh. I hate to say it, but this book, in my opinion, was really not very good at all. I expected so much. I think that might be the biggest issue I had with this book. Having had my mind blown by Bourne’s second novel ‘The Manifesto on How To Be Interesting’ I thought that Bourne’s burst into the literary world, her grand entrance, would be even better – but sadly I was proved wrong.

         ‘Soulmates’ is a book that, though the blurb does not give much away, has a spectacular plot concept! The story is based around the idea that Soulmates do exist, but when a pair meets, the chemical reaction between them is so strong that it their hormones can cause storms, earthquakes and huge life-threatening natural disasters. There is a secret government facility that works to frantically try to prevent these soulmate disasters from happening. This plotline, combined with my history with Bourne is what sold the book to me.

The story is told through a first person perspective from one half of two Soulmates, 17 year old Poppy Lawson, as well as an interesting occasional third person extracts of the actions of those running the government facility.
    This is where the goodness ends.

         For starters, this fantastic, awesome, mindblowing idea of a plotline fell absolutely flat on its face. It’s a firework that never goes off. We spend a long 450 pages listening to Poppy Lawson whine on and on about how ‘Oooh Nooo… I’m in love! But I can’t be in loooove, I can’t actually like a boy! I am such a feminist!’ Poppy is one of these irritatingly strong-minded characters who seems to think that if she shows so much as a wink of affection for a member of the opposite sex then she has tainted the rights of women everywhere and is no longer a true feminist. Poppy had lots of likable qualities, her bitter confidence and sarcasm were amusing and interesting at times, but I feel, at least for me, this was broadly overshadowed by her sheer close-mindedness.

       Within those 480 pages we also explore Poppy’s blossoming relationship with her soulmate, local bad-boy, Noah. Noah’s in a band, a very tortured soul - Their eyes meet across a crowded room, one of his gigs actually, and of course, the attraction is instant.
       As a hopeless romantic myself, I enjoyed Noah and Poppy’s grand gestures and first steps immensely… at first. However, they’d been going out for one week, 200 pages, when the ‘I-love-you-I-need-you-please-never-leave-me’s started spouting and it all just got a bit… sickening. We get it. You like each other, you really don’t have to describe, in detail, every single time he blinks, coughs or looks at you. I mean, I’m not love-expert, but when they started speaking about how their children would look everything seemed a little unbelievable. There were no subplots, just the batting of eyelashes and a weirdly excessive amount of lust.
     I pressed on, wondering if the last 50 pages could save the book for me but… no. I feel like Bourne wrote the majority of the book in a rose-scented haze and only snapped out if it to write the ending when her publisher started phoning up, gabbing about deadlines and delivery dates. It is only in the ending of the book that the idea of the government facility actually comes properly in to play but with the rest of the novel styled as a contemporary romance, this seemed more than a little out of place. It was rushed, random and sadly, I didn’t like it.
       However, that’s not to say this book was entirely unlikable, in fact, I have read many reviews of people who thought the romance was, sweet, and well-thought-out with the twist at the end exciting the reader a suitable amount and tying a nice red ribbon around the story as a whole – but that’s  not how it was for me.
       For me ‘Soulmates’ was a two star book which should have been a five and without any substantial subplot or character depth other than the two soulmate’s deep unending love for each other it just didn’t cut it for me.

Three Word Rating: eh, okay, mediocre

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Bad Review

        You may have noticed (at least I hope you have) that I try and make my blog, Prescription Fiction a very light hearted, non-confrontational, comfortable place for all you lovely chaps to explore. I try my best to use non-offensive language, a fairly positive tone and just to be double sure that I come across as friendly to you lot I grin constantly while writing these blogs (actually, I might stop that, my face is starting to hurt). Now, all this fluffy, goodness-and-light pleasantry business may seem just fine and dandy to you, however being nice in the book blogging industry (If I call it an industry I sound way more professional) has one fatal flaw – I cannot write a bad review.

         I have tried. I have sat down, boring book in hand, scowl firmly set upon my face, ready to write some hard-hitting, brutally- honest blog posts. But it’s as if as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard all that anger just slips away and my head is crammed full of butterflies, rainbows and such a beautiful happiness that I simply cannot type a single tainted word. It sucks.
       So far, on this blog, I have not uttered a single sour word towards any book at all. I have pointed out flaws, yes, but more by way of creative criticism, two stars and a wish if you don’t mind reverting to primary school terms. I have avoided the bad review at all costs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I am a reading saint, immune to all negative bookish thoughts, enjoying every book presented to me, and it isn’t as I have been lying to you, swearing to you that the worst books are the best, tricking you into a day or two of bash-your-brain out monotony. No, I have simply avoided the bad review entirely. Making a conscious decision not to write about the books I don’t like. And why I hear you ask curiously through your computer screens, well, let me tell you.

        Guilt. Guilt is what stops me from tearing a book to shreds for all to see. I get that funny little knot in my tummy just thinking mean thoughts about my book. I would like to be honest with you, telling you about why I hated that love triangle or why the author’s sentence structure made me what to rip off my own eyebrows, but every time I hover my hands by the computer, ready to tell you what any professional book critic would, I imagine being the author of that book and finding a review like that.
       Every book you read has an author. Someone who sat for months, sometimes years behind a keyboard, dreaming up a world and spilling every ounce of literary brilliance they possess into the pages of a book. I have such a major attachment to some books, I will happily fight their corner in any way I can – if that’s me, I can’t even begin to imagine how strong a bond an author must have with their own book. How must they feel when they read a harsh review? We’re practically attacking their children!  I cannot bear to be responsible for that.
How could I ever be mean to Moran :'c

        That’s, not to say, however, that I have a problem with others who are bold enough to publish bad reviews, quite the opposite actually. I read bad reviews regularly, they’re juicy and interesting, and if it’s a book I did happen to like, I like to hear the different perspective. I respect the skill in being able to politely tell your audience that you disliked a book.

 However, there are times when that can go too far. I hate to see bloggers violently destroying a book without reason, writing only for the purposes of an interesting post, as opposed to informing others or expressing an opinion. I cringe when I see bloggers bite and snap over some poor guy’s debut novel on the basis that they ‘just didn’t like the book’. That is not a reason that is an opinion. If you really must be so harsh and aggressive about a book, I want you to give at least one good valid reason as to why, otherwise, you’re simply being mean. Not cool.

I could turn John Green into this...

I’m scared that if I write a bad review, this will be the case. All of this. I will write out all my negativity, hit publish and you guys will all read it and think I’m being terribly rude and mean and nasty! You will press un-follow and spread the world of my disgusting, evil character. I will never blog again. What’s more, the author of that book will somehow stumble upon my post. They will read my words with a look of misery on their face, one sad tear rolling down their cheek as they realise that they have failed as an author. They decide never to write again. With one post I will have kicked myself out of the blogging world, ruined someone’s life and looked like a prat all at the same time. Horrific, right? In my mind, this is the only outcome of writing a bad review and it terrifies me.

However, I do want to be the best blogger I could possibly be. I want to be able to talk about some of the books I didn’t like, start discussions, find out if you guys feel the same. So I write to you all today, looking for advice. I want to know! Do you guys want bad reviews? Do they make you cringe? Laugh? Do you like them? Do you read them? Tell me down in the comments, please! Because, honestly, I’m horrifically bad at the bad review.