Book Review 1. In a Dark, Dark Wood

The first book I am reviewing is for adults. Most of the books I will be reviewing on here will be for young adults and children, but I just finished this one and thought I’d kick off my reviews with In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware.

This is a psychological thriller full of mystery. Our main character is Nora who decides to go to a hen for her once best-friend, Clare. The only thing is, they haven’t spoken in over ten years, having left an unsettled past behind them. Upon going to this hen despite her best wishes, she finds herself in the company of various strangers and it’s not long before things go awry and someone is suspected for murder.

Was it Clare, the perfect person in everyone’s eyes, even in Nora’s. Was it her over-obsessed friend, Flo, or was it Nora, who can’t remember exactly what happened the night everything went wrong?

I enjoyed this book. It was down-to-earth, easy to read, and kept me engaged. While I couldn’t relate to any of the events in the book, I could relate to the main character’s motivation for going to the hen as well as some of her internal insecurities.

Each character was well thought out and individual. And even though I had a pretty good hint as to who-done-it, I was still interested as to the how and why.

This book would be good for adults who love mystery and suspense. On a scale from 1-5, 1 being the least and 5 being the most adored or enjoyed, I’d give this book a 4.

The last note I have for this book and as a warning, it does have a fare amount of language. I simply choose to ignore that, but in truth, I really didn’t enjoy that factor.

You can find her website here: http://www.ruthware.com/

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Book Reviews Up Next

Hi all!

I will be reading 8 books a month and blogging about them here real soon. The first book I will be reviewing will be Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Reviews will include the intended audience, my reflection of the work, relevant links to the work and author, as well as a rating and the ways in which it relates to teens.

Keep an eye out!

And, as always, happy writing!

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Writing Tip – Put Figurative Language in your Arsenal

Have you ever wanted to write, but just wasn’t feeling it? That has been me for quiet some time. I fell in love with writing but over the last year or more, my writing hasn’t really sparked much joy; it’s been more like work. I would tell myself to do it because I loved it, but I wasn’t doing it because I felt in love with it.

I recently took a state exam for English and even though I already knew this, I kept reading sections in my study guide that said something like this: Great writers use figurative language in their work, language like similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, etc. I’ve taught English and would help students identify and analyze figurative language, but I never mindfully tried to incorporate it in my own work.

So, one evening when I sat down to do some writing, I took an old passage that was rather thin (small paragraphs) and said to myself: “Okay, let’s redo this using that figurative language that great writers use.” The effects were huge. My writing went from skimpy in quantity to actually having much more substance. I even found myself enjoying the process so much more and looking forward to getting back into it. I could feel myself falling in love again.

It’s not that I didn’t try to employ all of the five senses as well as balance the amount of showing and telling, but my writing just didn’t feel… alive. Needless to say, after mindfully using the various literary elements I’ve had in my arsenal for so long, my writing has that spark again.

If you haven’t been already doing this, mindfully or naturally, you could always give it a try. You never know what it might do to improve your writing.

As always, Happy Writing.

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