Thoughts on a Classic-Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

tuck-everlasting

Beware, there are spoilers ahead!

I decided to re-read Tuck Everlasting because the story held a special sort of magic for me when I was young. As I read it as an adult, I was able to appreciate the story more. I was also able to better understand the messages that the author was trying to convey to the reader.

One of the big questions in the story is whether or not having eternal life would be desirable or undesirable. I feel that the type of eternal life presented in the book (one where a person would live forever, lose the ability to change and be stuck at a certain age) would not be desirable, at least not for me. I think that aging is a privilege and that the author was trying to convey that life loses it’s meaning without it. We only have a short amount of time to live our lives and although it may sound cliche, I ascribe to the idea that life’s moments are more precious because they are limited. However, I do feel that being stuck in one’s twenties or early teens might be exciting at first, but would probably grow boring over hundreds of years.

One of the questions that I had while reading the story was about whether or not the Tucks were able to learn or were their brains stuck as well. This isn’t addressed directly in the story, but by judging by the behavior of Jesse, it would seem that at least the maturity level of a person who drinks from the spring, is arrested as well. I think that not being able to learn anymore would be a horrible fate for anyone.

I thought that the author did an excellent job of explaining why the type of eternal life that she describes would not be desirable. She speaks about how individuals would feel if they had eternal life and the societal implications as well. She makes it clear that once people knew about the spring, they would find a way to monetize it.

I really enjoyed re-reading this story. I especially liked the dialogue, the poignancy of the novel, and the idea that making the right choices in life is often difficult. I also liked the relationship that Winnie developed with the Tucks. I thought it was interesting that she didn’t spend a great deal of time with them and yet she was able to develop a deep love for them. Overall, this book was an excellent read.

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New Poetry Book!

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Hi Everyone,

I’ve been working on a poetry book for the past several months and I wanted to share some information about it. The book will contain fifty poems that deal with different topics. I categorized the book into five different sections that include the following subjects: nature, mankind, music, dismal thoughts and the metaphysical. This is my first poetry book and I hope to have it published in about two weeks.  The book will be available on CreateSpace and Amazon.

Here is a brief summary from the back cover:

Ephemeral Thoughts is Avery Griffin’s first poetry book and second published work. Griffin has imbued her passion for nature, fantasy, science fiction, and many more subjects into the poetry found in this book. Readers will be taken on a journey of Griffin’s thoughts as they delve into the poems, such as “Creatures of the Night,” “Silent Forest,” and “To Mankind.” Readers are sure to enjoy the photography and digital images that accompany a number of the poems in this collection. The images are meant to enhance the reader’s experience; these visual components were designed to complement the writing itself. Readers of all ages will be delighted by this thoughtful collection of poems.

-Avery

Book Review: The Radiant Road by Katherine Catmull

Title: The Radiant Road — by Katherine Catmull

Release Date: January 19, 2016

Page Count: 368

ISBN-13: 978-0525953470

Summary from Amazon

After years of living in America, Clare Macleod and her father are returning to Ireland, where they’ll inhabit the house Clare was born in—a house built into a green hillside with a tree for a wall. For Clare, the house is not only full of memories of her mother, but also of a mysterious boy with raven-dark hair and dreamlike nights filled with stars and magic. Clare soon discovers that the boy is as real as the fairy-making magic, and that they’re both in great danger from an ancient foe.

My Review:

The Radiant Road was a very interesting read. The magic throughout the story was quite strange, but I was still able to enjoy the story. I found it difficult to get into the story at first, but once the action picked up a bit I was hooked. The cover of the book attracted me right away and I also liked the tree graphic that is found at the beginning of each chapter.

This story is very much about nature and humanity’s connection to it. Throughout the story, Claire’s connection to her tree is very important. She grows closer to her tree during the story and feels a need to protect it because she its guardian.The author tries to convey that all trees are connected and perhaps this was meant to imply that all humans are connected as well. During the story, Claire even becomes a tree and gets a sense of what it’s like to feel a connection with her Yew and other neighboring trees. Perhaps, the author was also trying to convey that humanity is the guardian of nature and as such, people have a responsibility to protect and care for it.

I enjoyed reading about many of the characters in the story. I think that Finn was my favorite character, but I also liked Claire, Her of the Cliffs and the Yew girl. I felt that the characters were interesting and often unique.

I thought that the imagery in the book was quite beautiful. The author’s writing was very poetic and she often created vivid images and scenes. My favorite part of the book was when Finn shows Claire a field filled with falling snow and fluttering white butterflies. I was able to picture this scene very clearly and thought that it was creative and beautiful.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a great deal even though it was strange at times. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about fairies.

Author Interview with Pembroke Sinclair

Hi Everyone,

I did an interview with Pembroke Sinclair about her upcoming book release, Wucaii. The book  is an urban fantasy novel that will be released sometime in June of this year. Pembroke is a prolific writer who enjoys writing in different genres. I hope that you enjoy reading the interview.

-Avery

Interview with Pembroke Sinclair

1. Where are you from?
I’m from Wyoming.

2. What genre are your books?
I write in a variety of genres, from sci fi to fantasy to horror, though most of my books have some dark elements in them. I also write adult and young adult fiction.

3. What draws you to this genre?
I am fascinated with the question: What does it mean to be human? And I think the best way to explore the answers to that is by looking at characters that aren’t human.

4. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Aelana is a half-human, half-dragon hybrid, and she travels the universe with the full-fledged dragons destroying worlds. This gives the planets the ability to regenerate, but Aelana ensures that not all of the inhabitants are destroyed.

5. How did you come up with the title Wucaii?
I was looking for a word that meant “Royal Dragon,” and I found this in a scientific name for a dinosaur. I liked it, so I used it.

6. What project(s) are you working on currently?
I am currently working on another young adult zombie series. The first book is completed, and it’s called Humanity’s Hope.

7. When did you decide to become a writer?
To be honest, I don’t think anyone ever decides to become a writer, it’s foisted upon us. We have a need and desire to put stories onto paper. If we don’t, we feel hollow and lacking.

8. Why do you write?
The voices in my head won’t leave me alone until I share their story.

9. Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Ha! I wish! With a full-time job and two boys under the age of 10, I squeeze in writing when I can.

10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
My first draft is usually written out in longhand, then I transfer the chapters to the computer.

11. Where do your ideas come from?
It depends, but more often than not, they come from my dreams.

12. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Ummmm, that’s a good question! I’m not really sure how to answer that. I would like to think I’m getting better at writing and that my stories are concise and to the point, but I’m not sure that’s true.

13. What is the hardest thing about writing?
Finding time and promotion.

14. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Honestly, it depends on the type of book. For my young adult novels, on average I can have the first draft done in 3 months. For my middle grade books, I like to challenge myself to writing a chapter a day, so I can get those done in 2 weeks with LOTS of editing afterwards.

If it’s nonfiction, on average it takes me a year to complete, mainly because of the amount of research that goes into the book.

15. Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I try to read when I can, and I have lots of favorite authors: Christopher Pike, Piers Anthony, Dante, Milton, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carrol.

16. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
I don’t have a preference. I love them both. Having an ebook reader means the books are more portable, but there’s nothing better than breaking the spine of a paper copy. Makes the book stay open soooo much better.

17. What is your favorite positive saying?
“You have to follow your own voice. You have to be yourself when you write. In effect, you have to announce, ‘This is me, this is what I stand for, this is what you get when you read me. I’m doing the best I can—buy me or not—but this is who I am as a writer.’”
– David Morrell

18. What is your favorite book and why?
I have a lot of favorite books, but the one I read over and over is Alice in Wonderland. The wonder, excitement, and hidden meanings within the story means I discover something new every time I pick it up.

19. How do you market your books?
I look for reviewers, do blog tours, give away free copies, present at conferences, and do workshops and presentations.

20. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never give up, but don’t ever stop having fun writing.

21. Is there anything that you would like to tell your readers?
Thank you for checking out my work. You have no idea how much it means to me and how much I appreciate it. You’re the reason I write.

Summary of Wucaii

It has been 500 years since Aelana has been home, and a lot has changed in that time–including her. As a half-dragon, half-human hybrid, she has been traveling the universe destroying worlds. Both anxious and excited to return, she wonders what she will find. Her memories of home are filled with pain and loss, especially for her first and only love. She knows he won’t be there, but will his memory? Will her anguish remain?

What waits for Aelana on her home world? Find out in this exciting urban fantasy novel by Pembroke Sinclair.

About the Author

Pembroke Sinclair is a literary jack of all trades, playing her hand at multiple genres. She has written an eclectic mix of fiction ranging from horror to sci-fi and even some westerns. Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming–the home of 56 nationalities–it is no wonder Pembroke ended up so creatively diverse. Her fascination with the notions of good and evil, demons and angels, and how the lines blur have inspired her writing. Pembroke lives in Laramie, Wyoming, with her husband, two spirited boys, a black lab named Ryder, and a rescue kitty named Alia, who happens to be the sweetest, most adorable kitty in the world! She cannot say no to dessert, orange soda, or cinnamon. She loves rats and tatts and rock and roll and wants to be an alien queen when she grows up.

Pembroke Sinclair’s Links

Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Goodreads Author Page
Amazon Author Page
Wucaii Goodreads Link  

 

Photo of Pembroke Sinclair

Book Review: The Black Bead by J. D. Lakey

Title: The Black Bead — by J. D. Lakey

Release Date: January 10, 2016

Page Count: 162

ISBN-13: 978-0692609477

 

Summary for The Black Bead (from the inside flap)

What if you were on a colony ship and your spacecraft landed on a planet where all the animals and some of the plants were psychic? Not just psychic but psychically adept at manipulating their environment?

If you were a band of renegade scientists, you would genetically alter yourself and your children to be able to compete in the savage world of escalating mind games and then create a social system that honed the skills that would keep you alive.

Cheobawn has been born into just such a world. Two thousand years after planet-fall, she is the culmination of human bio-engineering. She doesn’t think of herself as special. Just the opposite, in fact. But the universe is shifting out from under her feet and she is forced to keep up with the changes happening inside her and the expectations of the adults of her tribal dome.

My Review

The Black Bead was a very interesting and compelling book. The book was a quick read and I had a difficult time putting it down. The story was very intriguing and had interesting characters as well. I liked the fact that the book contained a map and two glossaries. I found these items to be quite helpful as I was reading.

J. D. Lakey did a wonderful job with imagery throughout the story. I could clearly picture every situation. The author created a lush and vibrant world that was filled with dangers that left the reader wondering whether the characters would be able to survive or not. Speaking of characters, they were very interesting and well-developed. My favorite characters were Cheobawn and Tam who showed great courage throughout the story and matured by the end of the book.

I liked the way J. D. Lakey incorporated different mystical elements into the story. Many of the characters had psychic abilities and Cheobawn, the main character, was able to manipulate her own chi. These mystical elements were interwoven seamlessly into the Cheobawn’s world.

Link to download The Black Bead:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Bead-Book-One-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01AIK7OSM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Book Review: This Monstrous Thing — By Mackenzie Lee

Title: This Monstrous Thing — by Mackenzie Lee

Release Date: September 22, 2015

Page Count: 384

ISBN-13:  978-0062382771

Summary from Amazon

In an alternative fantasy world where some men are made from clockwork parts and carriages are steam powered, Alasdair Finch, a young mechanic, does the unthinkable after his brother dies: he uses clockwork pieces to bring Oliver back from the dead.

But the resurrection does not go as planned, and Oliver returns more monster than man. Even worse, the novel Frankenstein is published and the townsfolk are determined to find the real-life doctor and his monster. With few places to turn for help, the dangers may ultimately bring the brothers together—or ruin them forever.

My Review

This Monstrous Thing was an excellent read. The book is filled with the perfect combination of action, romance and suspense. I never felt bored when I was reading and finished the book rather quickly. The cover of the book attracted me right away and so did the summary on the inside of the cover.

The characters were very well developed. The author makes the reader care about the characters over time. My favorite character was Alasdair because he seemed so real. The fact that he was carrying an awful secret around made him seem very human. I liked the way the author explored how holding a secret affected Alasdair’s character. I also liked how Alasdair curses so much in the novel. I appreciated the fact that the author made up curse words for the book or found period appropriate curses. I also liked Oliver a great deal. The author gets the reader to like Oliver despite his appearance and misdeeds which I thought was a great feat. Clemence was also an interesting character that I enjoyed reading about. I also liked the way that Alasdair and Oliver grow as characters over the course of the book.

One thing that I really loved was the imagery in this book. Lee has a great ability for describing intense emotions, sensations and the characters’ surroundings. The book is filled with wonderful descriptions that help the reader to envision different scenes very clearly.

Overall, the book is a very well written, poignant story about two brothers. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Frankenstein.

-Avery Griffin

Book Review: The Boy at the End of the World — by Greg van Eekhout

boyendofworld

The Boy at the End of the World — by Greg van Eekhout
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Page Count: 221

Summary from Amazon

This is what he knew:

His name was Fisher.

The world was dangerous.

And he was alone.

Fisher is the last boy on Earth – and things are not looking good for the human race. The carefully crafted survival dome where Fisher and dozens of other humans have been sleeping for millenia has been destroyed. Through a lucky accident, only Fisher survived.

The world Fisher wakes up in is a lot like ours – but it’s changed, too. After the human race wiped itself out, nature took over, and wild creatures evolved into barely familiar beasts. Fisher must face them all as they set off on a journey that seems hopeless – at first. Then Fisher uncovers evidence that there may be a second survival dome far to the west. What was once a struggle for one boy’s survival becomes a journey of hope.

With a broken robot and a friendly mammoth as his only companions, Fisher heads West. But something is watching them… something that wants to find the second survival dome just as badly as they do.

My Review

I really enjoyed reading this dystopian book. It was only 221 pages and proved to be a very quick read. I couldn’t put this book down because I was intrigued by the characters and the story line. The pace of the book was pretty fast and I liked this as well. I don’t think that there were any dull moments in the story at all.

My favorite character was Fisher. He was very brave throughout the entire story and by the end of the book he had matured quite a bit. Click, who served as Fisher’s guardian, was also a great character. I really liked how the author envisioned robots in the future. I thought that Click was the perfect blend of human and robotic traits. I thought that the Intelligence was also a very interesting robot. The author is very creative and the Intelligence is just one example of his creativity at work. I enjoy reading about robots and I was pleased with how they were depicted in this book. Protein was also a wonderful character who was very loyal and fun to read about.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. His use of imagery was very good and by the end of the story I cared a great deal about the characters. Some ideas about the nature of humanity were explored in the book, but not so much that it bogged down the story. All in all, this was a great story. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick and thought provoking read.