Sunday, July 28, 2013


My awesome crit partner, Liz Arroyo, sent me FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John. First, I was supremely excited because it was an unexpected book present. I love getting books as presents. They're the best, right? Second, isn't this an awesome cover? And then you've got the quote from The Philadelphia Inquirer saying this book is "A love letter to rock music." I grew up on alternative rock music so anything that takes me back to the days of Nirvana, Toadies, and Pearl Jam--I love. Third, there was a sweet note from Liz saying this book made her "laugh, cry, and cheer." So, needless to say, I was eager to tear into this one.

Here's a summary from Goodreads:

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig.
The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band's manager and get her share of the profits.
The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? 
And how can she do it when she's deaf?Piper can't hear Dumb's music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb.

What I enjoyed about this book:

  • The evolution that becomes Piper Vaughan, the main character. She irrevocably changes from the beginning to the end of the book--I love it when novels do this well.
  • The rock music (the music came off the page) and the realistic portrayal of the problems that come with trying to get a bunch of teenagers together to play music.
  • I don't know or understand the intricacies of leading life as a deaf teenager. Antony John does a great job of showing how Piper gets through life with her capacity to read lips, but that this too has limitations. He touches on the dynamics of a family that not only has one deaf child, but two, and then throws a third kid in the mix--a middle child that can hear perfectly fine.
  • Piper may be deaf but she's also been blind in some senses to the world around her, specifically Ed. He sucks at chess but joins chess club just to spend time with her. It's one of those not-obvious-love-stories that isn't all sweaty palms and burning cheeks. It's genuine and well written.

Monday, July 15, 2013

He Never Gave Up

I started seriously writing in 2004 and my concept of the word "serious" has transformed over the past nine years. And I'm sure nine years from now "serious writing" will mean something different to me than it does today. I've written many novels and gathered a lot of rejection. Sometimes the rejection hurts and other times I brush it off and focus on the other things I've accomplished in my life the past nine years. It helps to focus on those other accomplishments otherwise sometimes rejection can leave you feeling like a total failure.

Sarcastically Delicious (aka husband) had a dream too. He started studying and applying to dental school back in 2008. His rejections piled up as well. So many different reasons why he wasn't suited as a candidate. Some lame. Some understandable. None legitimate, in my opinion. And I promise you that I'm not being biased. So S.D. moved to Miami last year to get a Masters, to prove to all those naysayers in Dental School admissions that he was worthy of a spot in their class. He graduated at the top of his masters program and finally, in 2013, was offered letters of acceptance to dental schools all over the country.

It took him five years, but today he's off for his first day at UAB School of Dentistry! So proud and inspired by him. He never gave up, I'm not giving up, and to all those aspiring writers and dentists out there--you don't give up either!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Gossip Time...IMPOSTOR

IMPOSTOR is the sequel to Jill Hathaway's debut novel SLIDE. I enjoyed this fast paced read. The main character Vee Bell has an affliction where if she touches an object that a person has left a strong emotional imprint on, she gets drowsy, and slides into their body. 

Here's the book description from Amazon:

Vee's gift (or curse) of "sliding"—slipping into the mind of another person and experiencing life, briefly, through his or her eyes—has been somewhat under control since she unwillingly witnessed the horrific deaths of her classmates six months ago.
But just as things are getting back to normal—and her relationship with her best friend, Rollins, is heating up—Vee has a bizarre experience: She loses consciousness and finds herself in a deserted area, at the edge of a cliff, staring down at the lifeless body of the boy who had taken advantage of her last year. As Vee finds herself in stranger and stranger situations with no memory of getting there, she begins to suspect that someone else she knows has the ability to slide.
And this "slider" is using Vee to exact revenge.

Some things I love about this book:
  • Vee's taste for 90's alternative rock. Smart girl
  • It's a murder mystery, who dunnit type book with a paranormal twist.
  • Awkward best friend teenagers in obvious love but too silly to realize it.