Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Archive for September, 2010

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Posted by Caitie F on September 30, 2010

Title: The Truth About Forever

Author: Sarah Dessen

Hardcover: 374 pages

Publisher: Viking (Penguin)

ISBN: 0670036390

Rating: +++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death.

But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about, the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

Review:

This might be my favorite Dessen book, I don’t know it is close. I absolutely loved the characters, which is what Sarah Dessen does so well.  Macy was so realistic. She pushed and pushed to make her mother happy, to make her think that Macy was doing okay after losing her father and to deal with her grief. She worked hard and did everything right, but she was missing one thing – happiness. I loved seeing her transform throughout the book from a scared girl who can’t stand up for herself to a strong young woman who is finally letting herself be happy.

As always, the secondary characters were amazing too. Wes was swoon worthy…but not (just) because he is gorgeous. Mostly it is because he is such a great guy. He watches out for his younger brother, a well-meaning geek. He is an artist who isn’t pretentious and works hard to make what he loves. He is honest and makes MAcy feel comfortable enough to share things she hasn’t told anyone. *Sigh* he is a great literary crush!

I liked all of her friends from the catering group and how much they contrasted from her “perfect” jerk of a boyfriend and his perfect friends. They were fun and kind and seemed to really know what friendship was. I would be Kristy’s friend in a heartbeat!

I did find something that bugs me about Dessen books – there tends to be a mother who is very pushy, kind of bitchy, and who does not try to understand her daughter at all. I really couldn’t stand her mother in this and I think she could have had some redemption before the very end of the book.

If you haven’t read a book by Sarah Dessen yet (and really, where have you been?) this is a great place to start. It was a really enjoyable read about real issues, and a great main character who finds happiness that seems impossible.

What did you think of the book? Do you know of any authors that have an aspect in many of their books that you can’t stand? Let me know in the comments!

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Posted in Review | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Why I Hate Harry Potter???

Posted by Caitie F on September 29, 2010

The link didn’t work earlier so I am reposting it.

Hmm…for some reason today’s post on Reading With Tequila is linking back to this blog even though it is written by an anonymous Slytherin and I am no Slytherin!

But there must be some reason for it, so go check out Why I Hate Harry Potter written by some anonymous source…

(thanks to Jennifer for hosting an amazingly fun week!)

Posted in Blogging | Leave a Comment »

Why I Want To Be A … Series Intro

Posted by Caitie F on September 29, 2010

In my goal to write more about publishing, I am going to do a weekly series for the next month or so talking about the different areas in publishing and why I would want to work there. I am not 100% sure of all of the areas I want to cover, but here is a tentative list:

Acquisitions
Editorial
Marketing
EBooks
Publicity
Agent

Then I will end the series on why I do not want to be a writer, since most people seem to think that if you work in publishing it is just because you want to write. While talking about why I want to do the jobs, I hope I can give everyone a little more insight into what each job does.

Today I want to talk about why publishing.

My love of reading started when I was three. When I was in fifth grade, I was interested in how a book got published. I had to do an independent study project every year for TAG, so I decided to research how a book got published. I wish I was at my parents so I could scan the pictures and show you some of what I did. I found out about the process and even interview an author – Brian Cleary who did the “It could be Verse” series.

I didn’t really think about publishing after that until college when I was an English major and didn’t have a direction. I took one class because I thought it would be interesting and changed my major one week after the class started. There were so many different jobs within publishing, which made me interested right away. It is also not too difficult to move to different jobs once you are at a company. As someone with a wide variety of interests, it seems perfect.

What really got me was that some books that I was reading that were just bad. I don’t want to go into specifics, but books that were so formulaic; books that had horrible, unrealistic voices (especially YA); and books that were just plain bad. I knew they could be better. I also knew that there are some amazing writers out there that get market and get voice. I wanted to help find them. I wanted to help make their great stories and ideas even better and help them get out to the most people and the right people.

Every class and internship solidified that it was an industry for me. Hopefully it will all work out!

Posted in Publishing | 6 Comments »

Ash Winner!

Posted by Caitie F on September 28, 2010

As always, I put the numbers into random.org and got…

6!

And six was…

Em!

She has been emailed and has 48 hours to claim her prize! Congrats!


Posted in Contest | 2 Comments »

TSS: Fall is here and I am not excited

Posted by Caitie F on September 26, 2010

Today there are so many posts with proclamations of “Fall is here!” with lots of excitement. I don’t understand that excitement at all. I am not happy with the transition from summer to fall for many reasons.

1. My allergies kick in again. I am allergic to trees, both when they are growing, and when the leaves are falling. Especially when the leaves are falling. While a good pile of leaves looks like a lot of fun to jump in, I would have issues breathing for a week as a result.

2. I get my asthma cough. When it gets colder, I suddenly can’t breath. I used my rescue inhaler six times last week. I have  had to use it once when I wasn’t exercising before in my entire life. I am heading to the doctor tomorrow to find out if there is something I can take because this cough sucks and breathing has been difficult.

3. It is that horrible season when I have nothing I can wear. I have a ton of summer clothes – T-Shirts and polo shirts, skirts and dresses. I have tons of winter clothes – corduroy pants, vests, and big comfy sweaters. But fall? I have some 3/4 length shirts but not much else. And then you get the days when you need to dress for both!

4. Summer is over. I love summer and everything that goes with it – swimming outside in the chlorine, heading to the beach, reading a book in the sun, the fairs and festivals and everything else! Fall is the beginning of all of my favorite things ending.

I do love taking drives and looking at the pretty leaves, but that doesn’t make up for all of the things I dislike!

Are you like me? Or do you love fall? Let me know and try to convince me of why I should in the comments!

Posted in Blogging | 5 Comments »

Guest Post on Reading With Tequila!

Posted by Caitie F on September 25, 2010

Reading with Tequila is hosting Harry Potter Week this week. It has been a lot of fun reading why people love v(and hate) some of the characters!

Today, my post on why I Love Luna Lovegood is up. You should check it out and join the conversation!

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An Overabundance of Adjectives

Posted by Caitie F on September 24, 2010

I saw a very interesting and accurate tweet yesterday that I had to retweet to all of my followers. It was from @hallojen, who is the executive editor of children’s books at Random House.

“Make sure every adjective has a purpose. Avoid “creamy chocolate” or “nimble fingers” unless it’s important to know”

I have been reading partials and queries from writers and almost every single one has this issue. They overuse adjectives like crazy, especially in spots when they are unnecessary or redundant. It is overly wordy and shows that they didn’t really think about every word that they chose. Really, that is what needs to happen. Every word should be important in both the query and the manuscript.

I have gotten a few submissions for stories that have to do with vampires. I always send back to the person that, while they shouldn’t give up, no one is taking vampires anymore unless it is the absolutely best vampire manuscript ever. I pointed out the issues and said that they need to look at every word, phrase, and idea they have written and make sure it is the absolute best way they can say it.

That doesn’t just apply to vampire books though. Every writer that wants to be published should do that. I know, you have revised your manuscript so many times, but to make it in this industry, you have to be amazing. I know it is frustrating to see established authors write things that make you crazy, but they did have to go through the process too.

That is why some agents will see more than one typo or grammatical mistake and automatically say no. If the writers haven’t bothered to catch and fix typos, how could they have gone through their manuscript enough so that it is as good as it can be?

Now., it is even harder due to the economy. Publishers can’t publish as many books, so agents are taking on fewer clients, which means what you have has to be even better. Agents don’t want to have to say no to so many things. There were so many times when I was interning where we wanted to say yes because we loved the idea, but the writing just wasn’t good enough.

A suggestion (that will be added to every response I send back to submissions I get): Go through the manuscript and look at every adjective. All they all needed? Are they all the best adjective you can come up with? If not, think of something better or get rid of them completely.

Have you seen published books that use too many adjectives or adjectives that don’t make sense? *cough* Dickens *cough*. Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Some Books I Didn’t Love

Posted by Caitie F on September 22, 2010

There are a few books i have rad recently and don’t want to give a full review, summary ect, but I would still like to mention them.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

I didn’t love this like most people seem to. It was an okay book. Really, the perfect example of a three star book. I like the writing and I thought the beginning was fantastic. . . but after that I did not care as much.

I didn’t really like Frankie through most of it. I could tell she was overcompensating and I found her annoying. She was very selfish, pushing Anna to do things she didn’t want to – from wearing clothes that made her uncomfortable to sneaking out to the makeup. That was not me at all and I had friends that pushed it…there is a reason we stopped being friends!  I think she crossed a line with the unforgivable thing she did. I don’t think anyone would forgive as quickly as Anna did in real life though.

I did like Anna’s with moving on after Matt — I thought it was very realistic and genuine. She was still in love with him and felt wrong to move on, but couldn’t hold onto him forever because that wouldn’t be healthy.  I also like how they showed the family reacting to the death – it felt authentic.

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

Bloggers have been raving abotu this book, so I was really excited to read it and rave along with them. Well, I can’t do it. I thought the book was cliche and nothing new for almost the entire book. Until the last 50 pages I was going to give it a 1 on Goodreads. Luckily, the ending made up for that and made it something different and interesting.

I should have known better. I tend to dislike teenage pregnancy books because they don’t feel new anymore. Girls gets pregnant, religious parent is angry, other parent stands up for them once. Oh and the guy is usually not in the picture and there are some bitchy friends. Nothing new. Nothing exciting. The end of this book makes it decent, as does the story of her sister, but it wasn’t as good as I expected.

Naomi and Eli’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn

This book was bad because Naomi was annoying, shallow, and delusional. Eli was not much better, he just wasn’t delusional, just a jerk, mean, and a moron. He knew how Naomi really felt and wouldn’t just tell her to stop. She didn’t get that he was actually gay…even though he was obviously actually gay and not into women at all.

I was disappointed in this book so much because I really wanted to like it.

I have a few more of these to do, but i will post about those books this weekend!

Posted in Review | 4 Comments »

Interview on Rach Writes!

Posted by Caitie F on September 21, 2010

I did an interview for a writers blog – Rach Writes.  This interview is about my internship at Writers House and is about what an intern does, what we look for in query letters and partials, and a bunch of other information that I hope will be useful for writers.

So if you are a writer, or just want to know more about how it all happens, go check it out!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Winners for the BBAW Giveaway!

Posted by Caitie F on September 21, 2010

There were 24 entries so that means there are two winners!

I put the numbers into random.org and got 20 and 23

And they are…

Linda Kish who recommended The Capitol Game

and

Sue who recommended Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Emails have been sent to both winners. They have 48 hours to respond, or I will be picking new winners.

Posted in Contest | 1 Comment »