Mini Book Reviews: Write Your Novel from the Middle and Split Second

I have two mini book reviews today for two very different books: a writing book and a fiction YA book.

GR-writeyournovelI read about Write Your Novel from the Middle on K.M. Weiland’s website, and after garnering so much helpful advice from another of Bell’s books, Plot and Structure, I really wanted to check this one out. What I didn’t expect was how short it would be (less than 100 pages), and that some of it would be rehash from Plot and Structure. While some of it was repetitive for me, the new information was fairly useful, though it did not impact me or my writing nearly to the extent I was hoping. It did give me some new things to think about though, and is a good reference point for redrafting and trying to figure out how to convey the heart of your story.

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split-secondWhen I saw that Split Second was finally available as an e-book with my library I knew I had to snatch it up ASAP! Per Stormy’s suggestion, I re-read the last chapter of Pivot Point before diving in since it had been a while since I read it, though I probably should have read more because some of what was referenced in the last chapter was a little lost on me, but I eventually remembered the most important stuff. (Full disclosure: Stormy suggests reading the last few chapters, but over time my brain translated it only as the last chapter. Do what Stormy says, not what I did.) All the characters we have grown to love make their return, with Lalia and Stephanie playing bigger roles, and some new characters popping in, including Connor.

Let me talk about the dual POV briefly. Addie and Lalia’s voices were distinctive, and I never had a problem knowing whose chapter I was in. I also liked getting Lalia’s perspective of life within the compound while Addie was away, however, I would have been fine if her chapters had been less frequent, since I really cared more about Addie’s story.

I also didn’t really buy into Lalia and Connor’s romance. I felt so dumb because I didn’t even realize that they were going to get together until almost right before something is said about it, and it made me groan to think about it because it felt a little contrived and forced to me. I could understand why they would be attracted to each other, but I didn’t actually feel like they were.

And then Addie, as much as I love her, is way too loose with the l-word, in regards to Lalia and Connor especially, though even with Trevor I felt, even though that was a little bit more earned. I know this happens in YA contemporaries, which is one of the reasons why I don’t often read them.

One last small complaint is the trope of “teenagers outsmarting adults.” I don’t know, this can be done well, and this turned out OK, but it’s not my favorite. But the new plot regarding the Compound and its ways was interesting, I just think I just would have liked to have seen it handled slightly differently.

Overall though, it was a fun read and I was glad to read some more about Addie, Lalia, and Trevor.

Content advisory: This one’s pretty clean! 

4stars2What were your thoughts on Split Second? If you have a favorite writing book that you think I should check out, let me know!