AUTHOR CHAT WITH MEGAN JACOBSON!

Hey Guys!

Today I have a very special post, I got to chat to Megan Jacobson author of Yellow and her latest release The Build Up Season, I got to chat about her inspirations to write and also who her influences for her latest protagonist Illiad Piper. Find below Meg’s amazing answers to my questions and I hope you enjoy!

What was the inspiration for The Build-Up Season

I work at the ABC in TV news production so I’m exposed to a lot of confronting things daily, but the Rosie Batty story deeply affected me, and from then on I was hyper aware of the issue of domestic violence. Later, we did a story about how women between the ages of 18-23 were twice as likely as their older peers to experience domestic violence, and this struck me as significant because I’d always thought it was predominantly an issue for older women with kids. This is what spurred me to begin writing the book, because I wanted to show young people how the violence begins.  

In my early 20s I was in a relationship which, looking back, was abusive, though I didn’t realise it at the time because I hadn’t had enough experience to identify what a healthy relationship should look like. Though I was pushed so I fell, and he’d punch the wall next to my head, I didn’t define it as abuse because he never actually punched me. Punching was the only domestic violence narrative I’d ever heard. While developing The Build-Up Season I spoke to several friends about their early relationships, and I was struck by how many of them had been in unhealthy relationships as well, without realising it at the time. It’s not as black as white as the Hollywood depictions of domestic violence, and the people who stay don’t always stay out of fear, often, they stay because they love their partner, and most of the time the perpetrators aren’t always violent, they can be sweet and kind as well. Also, we’re raised on a diet of Twilight-esque depictions of insta-love and codependent relationships. We’re taught that it’s romantic if the guy gets angry when you talk to other people. I wanted to play into those tropes, then flip them on their heads and tell young women – nope – not romantic – not cool. Troy is the extreme conclusion to abusive behaviours, but I wanted to mostly show young people what the early warning signs are, the ones that ‘build up’ to violence, and what to look out for.  

How long did it take you to write The Build-Up Season 

The first draft took me about nine months, written predominantly in two month-long bursts overseas, but the editing process took me over a year, with major structural upheavals. I was editing it until the day before it went to print! 

Did you have any particular influences for Illiad Piper? 

Yes – I was obsessed with the video clips of Lorde while I was writing. I’d watch ‘Royals’ and ‘Tennis Court’ on repeat and I loved the way Lorde came across as so fierce and defiant and simultaneously so vulnerable. I really wanted to channel those emotions when I wrote, so whenever I was stuck I’d watch those two video clips and try to write with the same vibe.  

I was also influenced by one of my all-time favourite characters, Rick Blaine from the movie ‘Casablanca’. I love how complex he is – how he’s seemingly unfeeling, wearing a tough exterior to hide the hurt inside. I love how he tells the world repeatedly ‘I stick my neck out for nobody’ and yet, you see through his actions, again and again he totally sticks his neck out for others in multiple situations. I wanted Ily to be like that.  

Was it different to write The Build-Up Season, than it was to write Yellow? If so, how? 

It was a little bit – Yellow was the first book I’d ever written, so I was second guessing myself the whole time, wondering whether I could actually write a whole book, and if so, if anyone would ever want to read it. With The Build-Up Season I had a bit more confidence – whenever I was stuck and didn’t think I could finish, I remembered I had finished one before, so that helped me keep on going. Also, Kirra’s so shy, so writing her was sort of like seeing a small girl in the shadows, and I sort of knew she wanted me to follow. It was a bit tip-toe and dream-like. Ily on the other hand ran up to me and grabbed me tight and stuck her tongue out and skipped forward and pulled me along like I had no say. I actually had another story I was going to write, but Ily wouldn’t let me. She’s pretty headstrong.  

What inspired the lifestyle of Illiad and her family?  

I grew up in Darwin, so I wanted to set it there, and my childhood friend had a beautiful property in the rural area that I roughly drew upon to use as the setting for Ily’s home. I’m actually a yoga-loving vegetarian who was incredibly into crystals and tarot when I was a teen, so I drew heavily on that while writing Eve. I’m basically mocking myself a lot when writing her. The dishes that Ily hates so much are actually my favourite! Also there’s a big wellness community where I was writing in Ubud, and I’d go along to yoga and meditation classes. While a lot of those new age teachings have real, proven benefits, there’s a few that are scientifically and ethically dubious. I was really interested in why people are drawn to unconventional teachings, and through that I wanted to explore the different methods people use to heal or draw strength from.  

Huge thanks to Megan for answering my questions for today’s post, also to Penguin for organising this blog tour! I will link all the other blog tour days as they are posted if you would like to check out any of the others posts too!

THE BUILD UP SEASON REVIEW HERE: https://molliethereader.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/the-build-up-season-review/

FIND MEG HERE: https://meganjacobson.com/

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THE BONE WITCH BOOK REVIEW!

THE BONE WITCH BY RIN CHUPECO BOOK REVIEW!

SYNOPSIS:

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

MY THOUGHTS:

I was fairly pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book, I had heard some mixed things about it and I wasn’t sure it was going to be up my alley, but I found that I did really like it. Even though this book wasn’t the most perfect book ever, I still found it to be a very great book.

The start of the book was a little slow, I will admit this, but as I kept on going I did find myself to be getting addicted to the story and I honestly couldn’t put it down and ended up reading it all in one sitting. Once the story began to develop it was heaps easier to enjoy it and after I was a quarter in it really started to pick up.

The story was also very character based, which is what I loved most about the book as I am a person that likes to really connect with a character and if I don’t like the characters there is a high chance that I will not enjoy the book. There also wasn’t much romance in the book which is something I always find good especially in the first books of new fantasy series as I do find that sometimes the romance does take away from the world building especially if it is a complex building of the world, however I do hope for a lot more romance in book two.

Overall, this book was a very nice debut novel and a very character based story. I absolutely can’t wait to get the second book in my hands and read more of Rin’s books in the near future. I also love the diverse aspects in this book as it is also an Own Voices novel too! This book is perfect for those that love reading high fantasy, and witches!

STAR RATING: 3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS

BUY HERE: https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Bone-Witch-Rin-Chupeco/9781492635826?ref=grid-view&qid=1500610050414&sr=1-1

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MID-YEAR BOOK FREAK OUT TAG

HEYYYYY YA,

Today I am doing a tag that I don’t actually think I was tagged to do but it was co created by one of my friends Chami from ReadLikeWildfire and everyone seemed to be doing this therefore I had to join the band wagon

QUESTION #1 – BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ IN 2017 SO FAR?
For me I of course can not choose just one therefore I will give you three: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff, Draekora by Lynette Noni and Remind Me How This Ends by Gabrielle Tozer.

QUESTION #2 – BEST SEQUEL READ IN 2017 SO FAR?
Excluding the two mentioned in the first question, I would have to say I would have to go with A Court of Wings and Ruin because it was the end of one of my fave series ever.

QUESTION #3 – NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO?
I really want to read Telophy by Wanda Wiltshire, I have started it a little but I really would like to finish it sometime very soon!

QUESTION #4 – MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR?
This is a tricky one because I actually have read most of the ones that I anticipated this half early, but I am dying to read Adam Silvera’s new book They Both Die At The End.

QUESTION #5 – BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT?
Forever and Always Lara Jean, this book just wasn’t what I wanted at all and I all round just found it really rushed, I have a review of it on my blog if you would like to hear more HERE

QUESTION #6 – BIGGEST SURPRISE?
Remind Me How This Ends, I wasn’t expecting to relate to it as much as I did and I just all round loved it so much more than I thought I would.

QUESTION #7 – FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR? (DEBUT OR NEW TO YOU)
This is 100% Jen Wilde, the author of Queens of Geek, this book was awesome and had so many different diverse themes in it that I adored and can’t wait to read more of Jen’s works!

QUESTION #8 – NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH?
Teddy from Windfall was pretty cute and I’d totally have him hahah but also the gorgeous Rhysand as usual I would accept just as much.

QUESTION #9 – NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER?
I really loved the character of Esther Solar from The Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares, she was so intriguing and just all round different from what you see in a lot of books, you can read more about her in my review HERE

QUESTION #10 – BOOKS THAT MADE YOU CRY?
Geekerella by Ashley Poston made me cry a lil in a very emotional scene but it was more so angry tears and tears of frustration hahah, but it was just so cute I couldn’t help but adore it.

QUESTION #11 – A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?
I loved reading Draekora by Lynette Noni, any new book by Lyn has me super happy because I would go on adventures with Alex any day of the week if I could TBH

QUESTION #12 – WHAT DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?
I must get to reading some of V E Schwab books because Sarah from WrittenWordWorlds has been begging me forever to start them and I just bought her duology therefore I should have no excuses to not read them soon!

THATS ALL FOR NOW!

COMMENT BELOW WHAT YOU’RE EXCITED TO READ BEFORE THIS YEAR ENDS

5 BOOKS IVE CHANGED MY MIND ON!

HEY GUYS,

SO TODAY’S POST IS A POST I KINDA THOUGH OF WHILE I WAS WATCHING MAKEUP VIDEOS ON ‘PRODUCTS IVE CHANGED MY MIND ON’ AND I THOUGHT IT WORKED PERFECTLY FOR BOOKS AS WELL SO I DECIDED TODAY TO EXPLAIN HOW I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND ON SOME BOOKS AFTER SOME TIME POST READING – SOME FOR THE BETTER SOME FOR THE WORST

BOOK #1 – CARAVAL BY STEPHANIE GARBER:
This book when I first read it I liked it for the most part, but then as it came out and then my friends began to read it and they began to find some problems with it, my thoughts and feelings were changed and instead of the original 4 star rating I gave it, I would now give it about a 2 star rating. I didn’t really like the characters and the more I ranted about them with people the more I hated them and there were other aspects that i hated but I shall save your time reading my ranting and end it here.

BOOK #2 – A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES:
The first time I read this book, I did adore it but I also wasn’t in love with it and after not liking Throne of Glass, I just kind of shoved it into that category and you’ll never believe that I was never going to continue the series. However I read it with my book club that I had at the time and when it came the time to chat about the book, I soon realised that it really wasn’t like Throne of Glass after all and I really fell in love with the world and from that day on I couldn’t get Rhysand out of my head and wanted to learn more about the different courts.

BOOK #3 – THE FAULT IN OUR STARS:
This book at the time was something that everyone was reading back when it first came out and in that time I really did love it and had read nothing alike it and it was one of the first Young Adult books that I had read. But as the time passed and the movie came around and I decided to re read it beforehand and in that time I found that I just didn’t like it as much as I did that first time and I found that in that time I had read so much more and had so much more that it just wasn’t up there as a favourite this time around.

BOOK #4 – TO ALL THE BOYS IVE LOVED BEFORE:
At first, I didn’t LOVE this book but I also didn’t HATE it, I think I gave it a 3 star rating originally. After reading and when I was writing a review I had so much to talk about and had so many points that I loved about it and I also found that I really loved the culture of the book and I soon found myself bumping up my review to a 4.5 rating in the end because it really didn’t deserve my 3 star rating.

BOOK #5 – DIVERGENT:
This book series was ruined for me in so many many ways, two of the main reasons being one: the movies – I reallyyyy did not like Shailene as Tris and that really put me off (I could rant about the movies in a huge blog post but I’ll save your time today). reason two being: Allegiant the final book of the series just being complete utter meh and it just ruined the semi good build up from the first two books. Because of these two reasons, I now hate this book series with a passion and I can not watch past the first movie.

AND THATS A WRAP!

HOPEFULLY YOU ENJOYED THIS POST! COMMENT BELOW A BOOK YOU HAVE CHANGED YOUR MIND ON!!