18 Best Book Deals for 3/30/19: The Rosie Project, Dune, Odd & True, and more

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Free

Reap by Casey L Bond

Slave, Warrior, Queen by Morgan Rice

Less than $2

Just an Ordinary Day: Stories by Shirley Jackson

Confessions of an Art Addict by Peggy Guggenheim

Odd & True by Cat Winters

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #23)

A Long Way Home: A Memoir by Saroo Brierley (adapted into the movie Lion)

Notorious RBG Young Readers’ Edition: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

Dune by Frank Herbert

A Widow’s Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Less than $3

Arrival (Stories of Your Life MTI) by Ted Chiang (adapted into the movie Arrival)

Maybe Not: A Novella by Colleen Hoover

I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

Less than $4

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion


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Discussion: Thoughts on YA Novellas and Short Stories

I’ve noticed a trend over the last few years where YA authors are putting out lots of novellas and short stories to accompany their series. Examples:

throne of glass novellas

The selection novellas

Please tell me, WHO ASKED FOR THESE??? I already have a hard enough time reading all of the books in a series, but now I have to read all of these novellas and short stories too? I know that I don’t HAVE to read them–nobody’s forcing me. But it feels like if the author’s putting it out there, then maybe I’m supposed to get additional information about characters or events from these stories.

However, I’ve found that a lot of times reading the extra material does not help or change my viewpoints about characters or events. If the events in the short story or novella were so important, then the author should have included that information in the book/series to begin with. To be completely honest–and I don’t really like feeling this way–it feels to me like these short stories and novellas are published purely to make more money by milking an idea that’s working for all that it’s worth. And that just leaves a bad taste in my mouth where that author is concerned. I feel like I, as a reader, am being taken advantage of.

kim kardashian money gif

So my position is that these little “extras” are unnecessary and just create added stress as a reader (not to mention cost, because libraries don’t often carry these–you actually have to buy them). Let’s think about one of the greatest series that has ever been: Harry Potter. If she wanted to, J.K. Rowling could 100% write a million more stories about day-to-day life at Hogwarts featuring a variety of characters. But she hasn’t. Sure, she’s fleshed out the world and made movies, etc. but she hasn’t done anything else with Harry, Ron, and Hermione and their time at Hogwarts. If she wanted to, I know for a fact that people would pay for that. So why hasn’t she chosen to do that while many lesser known and less popular authors with smaller fandoms have?

At the end of the day, I’m just sitting here pleading for authors to give me the whole story in one or two books (three max). I don’t have time to read four, five, eight book series anymore and I certainly don’t have time to read 50-100 page novellas and short stories.

What are your opinions on YA short stories and novellas? Are you a fan? Why do you think authors write them? Let me know in the comments!

Sex Trafficking Isn’t Just In the Movies | Ruby in the Rough by Emily Shore

Ruby in the RoughRuby has survived in the Ghetto for four years thanks to her friend Ink and her own ingenious survival skills. The Ghetto is a place where women are bought and sold regularly and are solely around for breeding and pleasure purposes. The Ghetto is ruled by gangs, a corrupt police force, and brothels. Ruby must avoid each of those groups if she ever hopes to make it out of the Ghetto alive. But with her face plastered on wanted posters all around town, that’ll be harder than you’d think.

I feel like independently published books are always a bit hit or miss when it comes to the quality of the writing (mostly a miss if I’m being honest), so I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing in this book. It read well, the language flowed, and I didn’t find myself noting errors every couple of pages. In addition to the great writing, I thought the overall message of the novella was great. The author is really trying to bring awareness to sex trafficking and to help readers to understand how people get caught up in it and why they might stay. Even though she’s created a world that is pretty different from the world we live in, I don’t feel like the topics she touches on are foreign.

I thought the characters were alright, but sometimes fell a little flat. The most developed characters were Ruby, Ink, and Angel which makes sense because they were the main characters, but I do wish there had been some kind of development of Big Sister and the other gang boss. Or even Ruby’s brother. I recognize that it’s a novella, so there’s only time for so much, but maybe that just indicates that this shouldn’t have been a novella–it should have been a full-length novel.

Some other areas where I feel like more time would have been beneficial is with world building and the plot. I didn’t really feel like the world was built all that thoroughly. The Ghetto was described to be really dirty and undesirable, but I needed more. I wanted more than just visual descriptions. I just wanted the world to have more depth overall. Then for the plot, there were some things that happened really suddenly–I didn’t feel like I’d gotten enough build-up to the events that happened. There were times when I would have questions regarding the plot. Some of those questions got answered eventually, but I feel like an author should anticipate what questions the reader will have and answer them before the reader even forms them. In this case, it was more like the author’s thoughts were developing at the same time as my own and all of the sudden she’d come up with a question and then answer it. The ending also took me by surprise and I’ve found myself questioning why the author chose to end the book that way, again, instead of just making her book longer.

My main issue, I think, is that I didn’t always feel like Ruby’s actions always made sense given the situation. There were times when she was really rude to the gang bosses and I just wanted to be like, “Girl, SHUT UP. They will KILL you. Aren’t you supposed to be a survivor? This is not surviving!” I also wondered a few times why Ruby didn’t cut her hair short? If it’s so dangerous to be a girl in this city, I’m doing everything that I can to pass for a boy.

Overall, I felt like there were some minor things that didn’t make the most sense to me, and I think the story could have benefited from being about a hundred pages longer. With that being said, I again want to say how important the cause is that this author is bringing awareness to.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Moderate
Violence: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking Moderate
Sexual Content: Heavy

Note: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. If you purchase this book, 50% of proceeds go back to Women At Risk, International – www.warinternational.org

Mini-Reviews: Fits of Tranquility & Afternoon by Robert Lampros

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For the most part, Fits of Tanquility is a short book of poetry about God, Christ, and nature. I’m definitely not an expert on analyzing poetry, but I do enjoy it every once in a while. I honestly couldn’t tell you technically what is good or bad poetry, but I can tell you how it makes me feel. This book made me feel overwhelmingly good. As a religious person myself, I felt like there were some lines that really resonated in me. Even if you’re not religious, a lot of the poems deal with nature and the spiritual experiences that being outside can bring. Overall, I definitely recommend! 4/5


Afternoon is a young adult novella centered around one boy 26056109and some of his decisions involving friends, family, and religion. I liked the tone and the overall writing quite a bit. Since it’s a novella, the reader is thrown into “the middle” of the story. There’s some history that we don’t know or understand right away and this can make things a little confusing. The other thing that I had trouble with was keeping characters straight. Again, I think this was due to the length of the book, there wasn’t really a good time in the story to introduce any of the characters and give the reader information to remember them by so they’re kind of just names on the page. The overall story was great, though. I thought the main character dealt with some really real questions and he felt authentic to me. I think the main critique I have about this novella is that it needed to be a little longer to include some more backstory and character introductions. 3/5

Note: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.