Deconstructing Genuine Fraud

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This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures.  E. Lockhart’s Genuine Fraud didn’t work for me. Or, I didn’t very much like it. Marketed as a mystery suspense, Genuine Fraud is a story told in reverse chronological order about two young women. Neither garnered any empathy from me as a reader. And, because it’s told in reverse order, it was neither suspenseful nor much of a mystery.  The first chapter had me hooked. I wanted to know […]

Write Like Restore Me

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This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures.  In a way it sort of feels like nothing happened in the latest book of the Shatter Me series. Restore Me (Shatter Me) was a bit of a let down in that sense. Mostly because there weren’t strong, irreversible decisions. Sure, Warner told Juliette the truth and they broke up, but given their history, it feels like nothing will keep them apart.  It does set up big promises for […]

Restore Me Scene Analysis

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I liked Restore Me, but it’s a book I had to let simmer in my mind a bit before it actually sank in. Not because it was too complicated to understand, but because what happened was subtle. There wasn’t a ton of action. And, I felt like the book was lacking because the irreversible decisions felt weak. But, given time, I found it to be better than my initial reaction.  Mostly, I wonder how the promises of this book will […]

Deconstructing Restore Me

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It’s been a while since I’ve read the first 3 books in the Shatter Me series. So long, in fact, that I should have caught up on them before starting the latest one, Restore Me, but I just couldn’t wait.  When Tahereh Mafi announced she’d be adding more books to the series, I was both surprised and excited. Surprised because it’s been so long since the last one even came out. Excited because it felt like the open-ended conclusion of […]

Write Like Truly Devious

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No matter what my analysis said, I still enjoyed Truly Devious. It has a lot to say without actually saying it about the nature of genre fitting into the young adult space. What’s interesting is that I think YA is more genre fluid than its adult counterparts. That might be due to the relative newness of the YA sphere. It might be because bookstores only separate YA by Contemporary, Action/Adventure, and Romance. Or, it might be that the intended audience […]

Truly Devious Scene Analysis

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The real reason I think Truly Devious doesn’t entirely work for me is that Stevie doesn’t really make any irreversible decisions. At least not ones with meaningful consequences. Meaning, the book doesn’t split easily into 3 acts. Instead, it weakly moves from the beginning to the middle and the end without clear boundaries forcing the characters into a new way of responding to the world. Stevie doesn’t have to leave anything behind in the novel.  She’s in exactly the same […]

Deconstructing Truly Devious

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson is an interesting book to study. Not because it hits all the points of a crime novel, but because it hits all the right points of a YA novel. Which, I’d argue, is more important when writing YA than focusing on the genre.  Don’t forget. Spoilers Ahead. Proceed with caution.  1. What is the Global Genre? Truly Devious is a long form, arch-plot, realistic, drama that turns on justice and injustice (or, life and death […]

Write Like Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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What I love about The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is that it’s uniquely familiar. It’s Romeo and Juliet in a way I’ve never seen before. And the amnesia coupled with a mixed up timeline create a mystery I want to know more about. Not only do I love Karou, I also want to know how she relates to Madrigal. And, what does that mean to the love story, but also to the battle between angels and chimaera? To learn how […]

Scene Breakdown of Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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I love a beautifully written sentence. Revel in the beauty of a well-turned phrase and a highly livable world. And, Laini Taylor’s The Daughter of Smoke and Bone does just that and more. Her story dramatizes scenes. Provides an example of craft weaved with well-spun phrases. And, Taylor knows “the rules” and when she can break them. That’s not to say she’s perfect, but I’d call her a master. And, one well worth studying.  So, here’s an in-depth look at […]

Deconstructing The Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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Question: what if Romeo and Juliet weren’t just star-crossed lovers, but ancient species from another world? Chimaera and Angel. A love story with a mystery at its core. And elements of a society at war. Answer: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.  Born from a seed and a ton of “what if” questions, this book turns Romeo and Juliet on it’s head. In fact, the answer to who “Juliet” is isn’t answered until the ending payoff of the […]