<body> Between The Lines

...Me! Me!! ME!!!

I'm Prodhi...you can call me Prod.
I'm a YA reader/reviewer/ other than that, I'm a nutcase gone awry. Yes, I'm insane so to speak:) I'd say I'm a girl next door, but I'm much better off without a Pinocchio nose, thank you very much. I'm a pretty fun chica, I guess. I also realize that this About Me section doesn't do the three dimensions of my character justice. Or four. Or five. Or six. Oh shooh!

...Contact moi, Lovelies.

Bloggers and readers, if you have anything to say to me, here: prodhi@live.com. YA authors who would like me to review their books, I'll be more than honoured. Contact me at the same address.

...Book I'm reading now

Not Like You by Deborah Davis

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    Wednesday, July 22, 2009
    A Word on Words
    So, I'm not too sure about this feature but hey, I can try things out! This is basically a weekly column where I'll put up three tips on writing. Tell me whether you agree or disagree, since they are only suggestions from the point of view of a reader and what I think could improve or spoil a book.
    Without further adieu, let's start with today's tips:
    1. Don't make the main character whiny. Sure, we all have problems. But it's only so long before we get tired of continuous complains from the MC instead of him/her doing something about it to fix it for good (or shutting up), snap and shut close the book.

    2. Make sure the tone is not monotonous. Readers like a little variation in the tone, otherwise it feels boring and drawn out.

    3. Throw in graphic imagery of good doses. When we read a book, unlike a movie we don't have visual support to make us feel pulled into the situation. In this case, vivid graphic imagery plays a great role in captivating the reader and create a strong reader-to-story relationship. But remember, too much detail will bore the reader.

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    WordVore Prod
    WorDissection: An Off Year by Claire Zulkey

    Did I like it? Yup, I did.
    You'll love it if you liked: Any book about a college-bound teen, or transitions.
    Read If: You're looking for a life-size story you can relate to. If you like action-packed thrill rides, then this is not the book for you.
    Narration: 8.5/10
    Aura: Simple and Realistic
    Main Character: Cecily Powell, 18 year old female
    Themes: Simplicity, Indecisiveness, Stepping Out of Comfort Zone, Relationships
    Plot: 8.5/10
    Characterization: 8.5/10
    Overall: 8.5/10
    Did I get bored anywhere? Not really. Sometimes the story got too mundane to captivate attention, but it manages to jump back up afterwards.
    Did any part confuse me? Nope. It was simple--that was the beauty of it.
    Line/ Page Skippability: 1.5/5. Only when the pace dropped a little too much.
    Writing Style: Average sentences, Casual, Flashbacks, Smooth flow.
    Uniqueness: 9/10. It's not everyday a girl turns back from college.
    Predictability: 2.5/10
    Reading Duration: Fast Readers-3.5 hours; Slow Readers-6 days.
    Favourite Quotes: 'Hey can we hang out in your room? It just feels like it would be more normal.' "I'm not having sex with you, Cecily, if that's what you're hoping."
    'You'd think an entire class could afford to donate more than just a bench, but maybe they were moe expensive than they looked.'
    Cover: 8/10. It's cute.
    Imagery: 6.5/10. Could do better.
    Songs to go with book: The theme song of Matilda the movie (that music at the end...I can't remember!), The Smiths- Let Me Get What I Want, Asher Roth - I Love College.
    Ending: Hanging, Realistic Closure. The ending was awesome--very deftly done.
    Cecily has always done everything as she was supposed to: taken the right classes, gotten the right grades, applied to the right colleges. But after a lifetime of following the rules, she surprises everyone by arriving for her freshman year of college . . . and turning around. There are infinite possibilities for Cecily’s unexpected gap year. She could volunteer, or travel around the world—but, for now, Cecily is content to do absolutely nothing. What follows is a year of snarkily observed self-doubt and selfdiscovery during which Cecily must ask herself, for the first time, what does she really want to do with her life?
    WordVore Prod's Review:
    An Off Year focuses on a girl’s indecisiveness about going off to college and facing the unpredictability offered with it. Cecily is someone who doesn’t like blending in and knowing that she has no friends around her, and she’d rather avoid stepping out of her comfort zone. On her first day of college, she just turned back and went home. Throughout the book, it’s subtly shown that she was not ready to take on the challenges of finding new friends and keep from dissolving into the background. The eroding friendship between Cecily and Kate disarms us of the notion that staying put in the same place in life is not going to change relationships. Very realistically, Cecily and Kate drift apart due to the growing differences between their personalities. I liked the overall portrayal of the people in this book—they were shown as pragmatic individuals that we can imagine walking by the streets in our everyday life. The book slaps brutal honesty into the reader’s face at times, which doesn’t come off as harsh but worldly. Youth issues are lightly touched but not in a preachy way, so everyone has something to relate to. I really appreciated the nature of Cecily and Mike’s friendship—it was fresh and not clichéd. Cecily’s relationship with her siblings was drawn excellently. None of them were unbelievably mean or unbelievably stereotyped—rather they both had the capability of feeling for their sister but had the relationship strained because of Cecily’s dad babying her and pampering her only. Here again, we see that it’s not like Cecily’s father doesn’t love all his kids, but he just sometimes lets Cecily get away with things because she’s the youngest. I loved the simplicity of the book; it’s like regular life put on paper. It comforts and advice anyone who has suffered from indecisiveness during a major decision of their lives.
    The problem I had was that: I would’ve liked a bit more of imagery. Vivid descriptions were avoided, so it was hard to be completely pulled into the story. The story-to-reader connection could have been a little better, in my opinion.
    But anyways, I would still recommend the book because the flow of the story and splashes of sarcastic humour along with everything else I have listed rolls in very well, and any young reader can relate to at least one element in the entire book. There’s something for everyone—that’s the core motto of the book.

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    WordVore Prod