Friday, January 29

Win Beautiful

By Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

Quickie Review


Since childhood, seventeen-year-old Ellie Summerfield has fought to overcome her grandfather's painful words that push her to be driven, determined, and successful to the detriment of those around her. She always strives to do more, be more, help more. But when a tragedy stops her world short, Ellie is confronted with her deepest fears and this question: what is her life really worth?

Experience one girl's journey to rebuild herself into someone who is truly beautiful.

My Thoughts: I honestly didn't know if I would like this as I began! I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would! I finished it in one day! I really liked Ellie and her personality. I even liked her family! The story also revolved around her sister, Megan. I liked how things didn't always go the way I wanted them and there were some surprises throughout the book! I also enjoyed her boyfriend, even though I'm sure some will disagree with me. I wanted to give this book a huge review but since I'm also hosting a contest for you to win it PLUS a little bit of time with Cindy, I decided I would shorten it! I will also be reviewing Cindy's other book soon!!!! Overall, I really liked this book and I think you will too!!!

I also have a guess post with Cindy and a contest to win a copy of Beautiful!!!!


Writing YA Fiction – Themes and Lessons by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

At family gatherings, I often tease my sister about what a little monster she was as a child. She inevitably responds, “Yeah, but who was the mess as a teenager?”

It’s true that my teen years were filled with angst and confusion as I struggled to find my place, my faith and essentially me. Now as an adult, I wish to save young people from similar dark times. While I was able to move beyond those years, some of my classmates haven’t and some made mistakes that will harm them for the rest of their lives. I think most adults have thought, “If I could go back and do it all over again, I’d change everything.”

But as a YA writer, there is a temptation to try teaching my audience life lessons and truths that I’ve discovered – to help save them from the struggle of the coming-of-age years, the insecurity, the fear and emptiness, the longing, and the sense of being invisible or other times the target of rumors. YA fiction however, is not to meant to be a lesson plan for teens.

Teenagers and young adults often think adults are out-of-touch and don’t understand. They don’t want a life talk or message – and that’s especially true when they open a novel. To write for the YA market, the writer must not come as a teacher or preacher. The writer must first work hard to get in-touch and to understand what teens are experiencing today, then any life discoveries should be woven through the story journey and the mistakes and struggles of the characters.

There’s a big different between a theme in fiction and a lesson.

In my newest YA, Beautiful, Ellie and Megan are sisters who no longer understand or even like each other. One has been labeled perfect and the other “the bad sister.” Through a tragedy, the each take their own unique journey as their outside world is peeled away. Just as in life, not everything wraps up perfectly and not everything is learned by the end of the story. Sometimes I’m tempted to be nice to my characters and wrap up a happily ever after for everyone in the book. But we find human and eternal truths only by being authentic.

Readers want to escape, discover, explore and find understanding in a novel. They want to feel something. For YA writers, these are the needs we must focus on meeting if we want our stories read. Our lesson plans can be saved for the classroom.

Fill Out The Form To Win A Copy of Beautiful
You MUST be a follower to Enter! (that is your main entry)
Contest Ends Feb 5th!
+3 for tweeting and/or blog post (total 6 possible)
Open Internationally


Trollololol said...

You didn't say if it was international or not so I entered anyway. Sorry if it isn't, but at least I helped get the word out by tweeting. :)

Gaby G said...

International?? Anyway, i will send my form just in case...

Kara said...

Nice contest....
I've nominated you for the Happy 101 award:

Pam Calvert said...

Just wanted to let you know I tried to pick up one of your buttons, but it's hard to copy and paste. The scroller doesn't scroll when you copy it. ??

Cute buttons, though...ah well...

Cindy said...

Hmmm. It scrolls when I do it.

Bianca said...

great contest!

cindyrella64 said...

I filled out the form with name addy enter me!...Please!

I'm a follower!


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