Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review - Masque of the Red Death

Do you have a favorite type of character? Well, I do. It's the person who is so completely messed up and broken that you, the reader, actually want them to just give up and say goodbye to their cruel, cruel world. But they don't.

There's this part in them, somewhere deep inside, that refuses to snap. It's what actually holds them together, makes them stronger than I could ever dream of being. These characters make me swoon.

And I've only read a few of them. One is my favorite character of all time, Andie in Revolution by Jennifer Donnelley. Another is Araby Worth of Masque of the Red Death.

In a dark and twisted world where the plague has ravaged the lives of everyone, either through death itself or the loss of a loved one, Araby lives... sort of. It's more like she's suspended here in this time where nothing can touch her. She is invincible. But not by choice. This girl takes chance after chance, doing things that would certainly spell out death for many more careful people. And yet nothing takes her down. She just keeps on breathing, being tortured by her memories and the one person she lost.

The guilt of living without her twin brother gnaws on her day in and day out. Even while she sleeps, her dreams are full of him and how perfect and wonderful he was, how horrible a world without him in it is.

Then her life changes and death becomes more than a possibility. It's a certainty. At this point, Araby finds that maybe she does want to live after all. If not for herself, perhaps for her brother that will never have the chance.

Not only does the reader have the pleasure of being introduced to such a lovely character, but it also takes place in a breathtaking world amidst terrifying people who have no qualms about murder and deceit. Here the word debauchery is almost compliment.

This book is an enticing, torturous and sensual read. You do not want to miss out on Araby's journey. Beleive me, one page in and you will be just as devoted to her as I found myself being. The author, Bethany Griffin does not hold back on how imperfect this main character is and she has no problem throwing punches and taking nasty turns down paths that many writers of young adult literature would never veer down.

Read it, but do so with an open mind. Hold off on judgment until you've read the last page. Because the person Araby is in the beginning might break your heart, but the person she is by the end of the book not only mends your broken heart, but uplifts it and puts it in a cage waiting to be let free. But who knows when that will ever happen? Possibly never.

Masque of the Red Death will be released April 24, 2012 by Harper Collins. I received my copy via ALA Mid-Winter.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Challenges and Why I Suck at Them

So my 14-Day Challenge?

I failed.

But not entirely.

I did get a whole helluva lot more done than I would have otherwise. So, yay for that!

I'm way closer to finishing Burnout now and that is a very good thing. So I'm focusing on the positive. Mostly.

But considering that I've technically failed this self-imposed challenge, I've taken a few moments to self-reflect. Why do I SUCK so badly at challenges? Because, believe me, this is not the first time I have failed a challenge.

I do it all the time. I see people talking about some new word count challenge or there's the infamous NANOWRIMO and I get all hyped up for about five minutes thinking I can totally pull that off too if so many other people can. And then I start the challenge and do good for about ten minutes.... and then I fail.

Sometimes it's a spectacular failure that includes total and complete disregard of the challenge altogether and a whole lot of denial. Sometimes it's a little less dramatic. But I pretty much always fail them.

Am I some silly temperamental artist? Some flighty writer who can't commit to anything? No. That's not it. I'm not a quitter. I'm stubborn as all get out. That's courtesy of my parents. I swear both of their skulls are made of titanium instead of bone, which would make mine titanium to the second power.

But I think I've finally figured it out, guys. The thing that makes me stop all these online challenges that I keep signing up for.


Which is stupid. And pathetic. And just really, REALLY stupid.

Screw fear. I'm not a pansy. I mean, I like scary movies and zombies and blood and guts and gore. I adore haunted houses. I like being scared. I like the fear. Which kind of also explains why I keep punishing myself with all these challenges.

Anyway. What is my fear?

I'm thinking that it's finally finishing this damned book and have it end up being nothing more than a pile of literary rubbish that a fifth-grader would spit on.

Which is stupid. And pathetic. And just really, REALLY stupid.

But you know what else? This is a good thing. It's positive. It means I now know my fear. So, my next step is to face it and say:

HA! You know what big, stupid fear?! You can SUCK IT!!!!

So that's what I'm saying now. I actually said it aloud. Just so you know.

And hopefully this bravado of mine will resonate for longer than five or ten minutes... maybe, just maybe it will get me through the next week. Because I'm only eight scenes away from finishing Burnout. And that makes me all quivery and jittery and my heart literally thumped like Thumper in Bambi. Thumpthumpthumpthumpthump. Like that.

And here I am babbling again.


Must write.


Before bravado wears off.

Wish me luck!!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

14 Day Challenge

Yes, I know. That's a sticker for some sort of weight loss challenge.

But that's not what I'm doing here.

I am embarking on a 14 day challenge to finish the first draft of what I lovingly refer to as Project Burnout.

Is it Project Burnout because I will literally burnout and be a shell of a person by the time I'm done? Yes and no. The title of the book is actually Burnout. It's about a girl who becomes addicted to Speed.. not the drug, but actual speed.. in a car.. a 1968 Camaro to be exact. It's a sweet story. Really. No, not really.

But the point is... I am about halfway through the novel right now and I keep allowing myself to be distracted and give in to the oh-so-many other things out there that I would sometimes rather be doing. And then I pout and mope around because my novel isn't finished.


All of you lovely people that are following me, help me out here, will you? Hold me accountable. Badger me and nag me and ask me how many words I've written on any given day.

I will post on here as regularly as possible with updates on how I'm handling this challenge. It's just 14 days. I mean, how hard can it be? O.O

Best Wishes,

Amy Rose