February Book Lessons

As part of my continued quest to read more, I dove into February with quite a few books on my TBR list. Sadly, February wasn't nearly as productive as January, but here are the books I got in and my take-aways.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

This novel has done something that is rarely done so well, converging story lines. If you have two main characters that don't cross paths until well into your story, you should read this one and study it done the right way. Meyer does a great job of not only weaving two story paths that seem to be completely separate from each other, she knows exactly when to cut back and forth. This is a skill in itself, knowing how long you can go before you've got to get your reader back to your other characters while leaving them on enough of a cliff to keep reading. The pacing in this book is also great and one to study to see it done well.
 Breeder by Casey Hays

First, I learned from this one that you can't always judge a book by the cover. I almost passed this one by because nothing about the cover drew me in and that would have been a loss since it's a great story. I was also reminded that while there really aren't any new stories, subtle changes and variations that each author brings can take an old story and give it new life. I thought I knew what I was getting with this dystopian, but I was wrong...and it was in the best possible way.

The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

So this one is on the list because I never finished it. In fact, I barely got through any of it. It came highly recommended by an author of another craft book I really enjoyed so I was looking forward to reading it. But this one didn't work for me and that's okay. This was a reminder that there will never be enough craft books for writers. Because even if the information is the same, the delivery can make all the difference. What clicks with one author will be a dense mess for another. Everyone learns differently, so if a craft book doesn't meet your needs, go out and find a new one.

Become by Ali Cross

This book was a perfect reminder for me in a time when I really needed it. I really enjoyed this book and bought into the story being told. That said, I didn't think the writing was amazing and it definitely had its flaws. But I still liked it and will likely read the next book in the series. Because, and this is a biggie, a book doesn't have to be perfect for readers to enjoy it. As I finish up the first draft for Rite of Redemption, I need to remind myself that I don't have to seek perfection on the page.While I want my books to be the best they can be with engaging characters, strong plots and solid world-building, I also want them to be written. And I can't do that if I'm analyzing every sentence for perfection. Readers don't demand a perfect story, they want a great book.

I'd love to find some new indie authors so if you have a great book you think I should read, leave me a suggestion in the comments