Armchair BEA: Development and Genre Fiction

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Thanks to Nina at ninareads.com for the graphic! You can find out more about the awesome online conference Armchair BEA at armchairbea.com!

I always feel late with post that have link-ups because so many people have already done them! I meant to do this earlier, but I was having computer issues.

Development

I’m a new blogger, so I have a lot of development and improvement to work on. I would definitely like to become a part of the community and work with other bloggers. So far I’ve done some memes and commented on other blogs. I would like to have a self-hosted blog at some point. I’m just going to take things as they come and try to be a better blogger!

Genre Fiction

I love genre fiction! I love any book with a good story and characters I can really care about. When I was younger, I really branched out and tried a lot of different genres. As a teenager, I read Robin McKinleyStephen King, Agatha Christie and Anne McCaffrey. When I got into college, I started trying out more romance. I love Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn! Regency Romance books are fun, even when they’re infuriating. I like contemporary romance and paranomal stories, too. I’m not sure I have ever met a genre I didn’t like.

My favorite genre lately is probably fantasy. I really love George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. He’s created a world with so many characters, and all of them are so important. They’re in a fantasy setting, but they deal with realistic problems and you can relate to their feelings. It’s also impressive how many characters I’ve changed my opinions about. There were some characters I absolutely hated in the beginning, and now they’ve become some of my favorite characters. When you start out hating a character but an author shows you what they are like and how they feel and you find yourself loving them, that is just good writing.

I have been a bit hooked on the fantasy genre lately. I’ve also been reading the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. I’m on the last book and I’m taking a break because I got a little too invested. I’m also taking a break from The Name of the Wind, which is the first book in The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I read Sabriel by Garth Nix and need to finish the rest of the Abhorsen trilogy.

I read genre fiction because I love a variety of worlds and characters. I have never been particular about genres. If a story is engaging and enjoyable, I will read it. I read for enjoyment and an escape, and magic worlds with dragons, a futuristic story in space, and ballgowns and romance are all enjoyable to me.

  I’m not sure why genre fiction books don’t get as much respect. If people can connect to a story, I think that should be enough.

I feel like I probably rambled. Hopefully it makes enough sense! I’m excited to read other posts about development and genre fiction! Maybe I can pick up some recommendations!

Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby

Golden coverGolden by Jessi Kirby
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon
Release Date:  May 14th 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series:  n/a!

Goodreads description:Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference

Parker lives according to her mom’s should. She should study all the time, work hard, be valedictorian, get a scholarship, and become a doctor. She should devote her life to her future. Parker’s best friend Kat has a different idea of should. She thinks Parker should do something unexpected, something wild. Senior year is ending and life as Parker knows it is changing. When she finds the journal of a missing icon of the community, she begins to find her own version of should.

Each year an English teacher assigns his senior students a journal to write about what they plan to do with their lives. Ten years later he mails students their journals. They get to look back and see how much they’ve changed and what was important to them in the past. This year, Parker is his assistant and mails the journals for him. What she doesn’t expect to see is Julianna Farnetti’s journal. She knows she shouldn’t read the journal, but she can’t resist. Julianna and Shane were golden and special. They went missing ten years ago at the end of their senior year. Everyone thinks they died and ended up at the bottom of the lake because that’s where the car they were in was found.

Reading journal entries written in the weeks before Julianna’s famous disappearance, Parker finds herself relating to the words of a town legend. Julianna followed expectations but wanted more for herself. The more Parker reads, the closer she feels to the missing girl. She becomes emotionally involved with Julianna’s story. Parker also learns more about Julianna’s life and starts questioning the circumstances of her disappearance. With the help of Kat and Trevor, the boy Parker’s always wanted, she seeks out to find the truth.

I like Parker a lot. She’s easy to relate to and feets realistic. The way she interacts with Kat, Trevor, and her mom feel real. I got frustrated with her for not being able to see certain things, but only because I was really invested. Throughout the story, she learns a lot about herself. She decides to make changes in her life and go after what she really wants. Parker really looks inside herself and definitely grows. She makes mistakes, she accepts them and she moves on.

Parker’s relationships add a lot to the story. I really liked Kat, too. All fictional best friends are not equal, and Kat is exciting and wild but very supportive. It’s easy to see that she really wants the best for her friend. I am also very fond of Trevor. He is genuine and sweet. In the beginning, he kind of seemed like a jerk but he quickly grew on me. I love the romance in this book, and that the book isn’t only about romance. Parker’s mom was infuriating at times, and there were door slamming arguments that really added authenticity to the high school age.

There were a few things that weren’t perfect for me that are hard to talk about without spoiling. Some things didn’t seem realistic to me, which was annoying but I still loved this book. When I took a break from reading, it stayed on my mind the whole time. It’s a book that I ended up dwelling on in a good way. I can see myself pushing it on friends and wanting to reread it sometime! I also want to read Jessi Kirby’s other books, In Honor and Moonglass now!

4.5 star rating

Check out Jessi Kirby’s website and twitter!