Writing & Publishing

Book Club: Review of Thirteen Reasons Why

I have been without internet for a few days, but we made it to Illinois! I’ll be posting more on our trip later! (Including how I ended up stuck in a cemetery on moving day and how the rabbit was free and under my seat in the truck most of the trip!)

For now, here is a book review: (Be sure to friend me on Goodreads where I post my reviews!)

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher (Goodreads Author)

Tina Russo Kinney‘s review

Apr 30, 2017

 

Have you ever wanted to love a book but just couldn’t? I REALLY wanted to love this book. It had been brought to my attention twice in the past week, so I bought it off Amazon and had it shipped. As soon as it arrived, I started reading. By the time I finished the book, I almost hated it!

The book is about a teenage girl who has killed herself. Before committing suicide, she makes a set of tapes explaining the reasons why she killed herself, and the people leading her to commit suicide.

Let me say the book is well written. The first 2/3 of the book had me captivated. Then I found out the reason why the main character was part of the tapes.

I felt cheated.

The main character did nothing wrong. The reason he was on the tapes was quite cliche. At this point I considered putting the book down, but I was quite vested. I read to the end, but was extremely disappointed. I think I held out to hear the last reason amd hoped it would make it all worth the read. I was even more let down by the last reason why!

As someone who has a mental illness, I understand first hand the feeling of wanting to be dead. I understand the thoughts of suicide. None of the reasons given by Hannah Baker deemed ending her life. The girl really needed some perspective. The character also needed more reason to struggle with suicidal ideologies. I know high school can be rough, but none of the stories warranted the feeling one needs to die to escape their pain.

The back of the book included the first chapter of the next book by Asher. At first I was excited to read the sample chapter. By the time I finished this book, I did not bother to read the start of the next one. I had been too let down.

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Writing & Publishing

Book Club: Six Miles to Charleston

Six Miles to Charleston: The True Story of John and Lavinia FisherSix Miles to Charleston: The True Story of John and Lavinia Fisher by Bruce Orr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever read a book in one sitting? I did! It was this book. Granted, the book is not exceedingly long at 125 pages, but the content was so engaging.

When I first moved to Charleston, South Carolina six years ago, one of the first things I learned about was the legend of Lavinia Fisher. Some claim Lavinia Fisher and her husband John Fisher were convicted mass murderers, making Lavinia the first female serial killer in the United States.

Legend has it, John and Lavinia owned an inn just six miles north of Charleston. When someone would stop there on their way in or out of town, Lavinia would invite them to tea and ask questions to determine if the guest had anything of value on them and if they would be missed should they not turn up at the next destination. If the visitor fit the bill, Lavinia would poison them with tea. Once the guest was asleep in their hotel room, Lavinia would sneak into the room, pull a lever, and the unsuspecting guest would fall into the basement pit, allegedly full of spikes. John Fisher would then dismember the body while Lavinia robbed them of their belongings.

The legend goes on to say there was one man who escaped (he did not care for tea and poured it in a plant) and made it into Charleston where he alerted authorities to the gruesome crimes taking place just outside of Charleston. John and Lavinia Fisher were arrested and brought to the Old City Jail.

The couple was then sentenced to hang for their crimes. The beautiful Lavinia is rumored to have worn her wedding gown to the gallows where she hoped after her husband was hung, she would find a suitor to marry her and save her from death. When one such man did not appear, her final words were “If you have a message for the devil, give it to me and I shall take it to him.”
It’s quite the story, don’t you think? Since her hanging in 1820, locals and tourists alike, claim to see the ghost of Lavinia, roaming Charleston in her wedding gown.

So why does this book exist? Well, there is a lot wrong with the legend, and so Bruce Orr, a Charleston local, set out to find the truth on Lavinia Fisher. As exciting as the legend is, much of the story is not true. The facts however, are quite engaging and interesting; so much so, I could not put the book down. It involves a highway gang, a president of the United States, a drunken jailer, a disagreeable sheriff, corrupt local government, and some other unsavory characters from historic Charleston. As sad as it is to find out the legend told to thousands of tourists each year is not the exact truth, the discovery of the truth in this book is even more exciting than the legend.

I originally picked up this book as a point of research for a historical fiction project I am writing, only to discover a well written, engaging, true story anyone who has ever lived in or visited Charleston needs to read!

 

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Writing & Publishing

No Stress (Pitch) Wars

It’s finally here! The window is open for Pitch Wars! What is Pitch Wars? It’s the chance to be picked by a mentor to help you polish your novel to submit to an agent. You must have a finished novel. You must have already polished your novel as much as possible before submitting. Each author has 4 entries, so 4 possible mentors they can submit to, and each one of them picks ONE person/novel to mentor.

To enter, you send in a query letter and first chapter. Then you sit and wait until someone asks you for a full manuscript. On the 25th of this month, the mentors will announce their picks.

As I watch the feed on Twitter, I’m surprised by how many people are FREAKING out about this. There are people just sitting on their computer, stalking the feeds!! I had to close out of Twitter because it made me wonder if I missed something! I want to be picked more than you know! I also don’t want to stress about the whole thing. I would be so honored to be picked and I would work harder than anyone to make my book as perfect as possible, but at this point, my hands are tied.

I already sent in my submission. There is literally nothing I can do now. The only hang up is my mom has my novel. She was going through and doing a final proofread, and then my grandmother had to be rushed to the hospital. Thankfully, the emergency surgery she had seems to be working! She had 3 kidney stones on one side and it apparently shut down her entire kidney! My mom keeps getting upset because she wasn’t working on the novel, but the few chapters she did go through, she said she didn’t find a whole lot. If I have to send a full manuscript with some errors, it just has to be that way. I would much rather my mom take care of my grandmother, since Bill and I can’t go home. So with this said, the situation is what is is, and now we wait!

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(Talia with my grandmother.)

In the meantime, I started another project. I had the idea for a children’s book I really want to write, and last night I got it down on paper. I crafted the query letter (the letter I send to agents) and now I will work on the bio and marketing plan.

Hopefully this will keep me busy in addition to continuing to send out the proposal for Literary Crazy. I also have been working on my new blog: Little BookWorm Blog. If you have children, I hope you will check it out!

Lastly, I’m reading a new book for book club and will hopefully have that for you Monday, so be sure to check back……if you hit the “Follow” button on the right, you will be notified when it comes out! You don’t want to miss this book!