Category Archives: Novel

#60Books Review 14/2016: Daredevils by Shawn Vestal

Read as part of my 60 Books Challenge: One-word title

Daredevils by Shawn Vestal is a coming of age story with a twist.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s not so much a coming of age tale, but more a loss of innocence.

It follows Mormon life from the 1950’s Short Creek, Arizona to 1970’s Gooding, Idaho, and takes not only the characters, but also the readers, on a vivid roadtrip across the United States.

Central to the story is 15-year-old Loretta, whose life changes after she is caught sneaking out of her house one night. As punishment for wanting a normal life, her parents marry her off as a sister-wife to a Mormon Elder.

What follows is the urge to escape, the yearning for freedom from the confines of the family faith, not only for Lori who lives in a polygamist community, but also Jason who is also a Mormon but monogamist. He idolises Evel Knievel, and longs for a life of adventure. Together, they embark on a trip in search of gold and freedom.

The story is a page-turner from cover to cover, and not only provides an insight into Mormon religion and communities, but also into what teenage life is like governed by those restraints. Throw in the 70’s and a joyride across the States, and you’re left with a novel that shows the deeply human desire to break free.

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Title: Daredevils
Author: Shawn Vestal
Publisher: Penguin Press
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1101979891

 

Daredevils by Shawn Vestal was provided to me as an
Advance Review Copy in eBook format by
Penguin Random House’s FirstToRead

 

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60 Books Challenge 2016

 60 Books Challenge 2016

  1. A book written by someone under the age of 25 
  2. A book written by someone over 65 
  3. A book published before 1850 Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  4. A book published this year Hard Red Spring by Kelly Kerney
  5. An anthology 
  6. A book published by an indie press
  7. A book about or by someone who identifies as LGBTQ 
  8. A book that takes place in Asia 
  9. A book written by an Asian author 
  10. A book by an African author 
  11. A book that takes place in Africa 
  12. A book by or about Native Americans 
  13. A book by or about Aborigines 
  14. A Young Adult novel Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sàenz
  15. A sci-fi novel Doctor Who: The Angel’s Kiss by Melody Malone
  16. A National Book Award winning book 
  17. A Man Booker Prize winning book 
  18. A Pulitzer Prize winning book 
  19. A retelling of a classic story 
  20. An audio-book Silver: Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion
  21. A book adapted for radio The Gaveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (adapted by BBC)
  22. A book that was recommended to you My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
  23. A book originally published in a different language 
  24. A book in a foreign language 
  25. A book you consider a “guilty pleasure” 
  26. A book published the year you were born 
  27. A book with more than 500 pages 
  28. A classic romance 
  29. A book that became a movie Octopussy & The Living Daylights by Ian Fleming
  30. A book with a number in the title 
  31. A funny book Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  32. A mystery or thriller And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  33. An erotic novel Casanova: The Venetian Years by Giacomo Casanova
  34. A book with a one-word title Daredevils by Shawn Vestal
  35. A nonfiction book We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  36. A popular author’s first book 
  37. A book from a favourite author you haven’t read yet 
  38. A book based on a true story 
  39. A book from the bottom of your to-read-pile The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
  40. A book based on its cover alone The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
  41. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t 
  42. A book with antonyms in the title 
  43. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit 
  44. A trilogy 
  45. A book from your childhood 
  46. A book with a colour in the title 
  47. A book that makes you cry 
  48. A book with magic 
  49. A book by an author you’ve never read before The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  50. A book you own but haven’t read How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  51. A book that takes place in your hometown, state or country 
  52. A play Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
  53. A banned book 
  54. A book based on or turned into a TV show Doctor Who: Sleepers in the Dust by Darren Jones
  55. A NaNoWriMo winning novel 
  56. A book your dad loves 
  57. A book your mum loves 
  58. A book your grandparents love/own 
  59. A book by an author with your initials (C.K.) 
  60. A book by an author with the same first name (Cornelia/Conny) 

Top 15 Fandom Story! Please keep voting!

We did it guys!! Thanks to your votes my story The Bravery of the Soldier is now in 15th place in Inkitt’s Fandom Writing Contest out of 1,710 entries!!!

It’s now closed to new submissions, but voting continues for another week! So please keep voting and help an aspiring author out! With your help I can stay at the top!

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To vote follow this link and click on the heart. If you’re not on Inkitt yet (and really you should be because there are awesome new stories published every day – original and fanfiction) you’ll be ask to set up a free account.

Bravery is the first novel-length piece of writing I’ve ever shown to a wider audience. It was written during NaNoWriMo 2013 and has gained an overwhelming number of positive reviews in AO3 and fanfiction.net since then as part of the BBC Sherlock Fandom . The latest comment I received on it (yesterday) was: “This is just… WOW! All the kudos!”

I like to think you’re doing OK when your story leaves fangirls speechless. It’s also been hailed by members of the armed forces for realistic portrayals of both, active war zones and the struggles returning personnel face back home, and I have been asked more than once where I served despite not having any affiliation with the military myself.

I promise there is no smut in it whatsoever, and wartime experiences are only told in flashbacks to explain John Watson’s current day state of mind. The focus is on John today, how he became the man he is, and in how many ways he could give a certain consulting detective a run for his money.

Your vote can help me show this story to a whole new audience, as the winning stories can get editing help and possible publication! To reach that stage would make this writer’s dreams come true, and you can make it happen!

Inkitt Contest Update! OMG!

You guys!!! Thanks to your clicking and liking, my little fanfic The Bravery of the Soldier is currently in 28th place out of 1,034 entries in the Inkitt Fandom Writing Contest!!!

28th of 1,034 and counting!!!!

*happy dance* OMG, I still can’t believe this!!

With only 9 days left to vote there is still a gap of 100+ likes between the top liked stories and mine. If you’ve already voted I thank you for your support! If you haven’t, please consider to take a few seconds and follow the link to click the little heart (and read the story, of course, if you like) and help out a fellow writer in her first big writing contest!

I never would have dreamt that this little NaNoWriMo story I dreamt up while I was in hospital would become so popular. Please help me show it to a wider audience.

Thank you!

 

UPDATE:

Officially in the TOP 25!!

But here’s the competition to beat:
The Bravery of the Soldier - in 24th place of the Fandom Writing Contest!
The Bravery of the Soldier – in 24th place of the Fandom Writing Contest!

The Doctor Who makes reading cool

The Doctor of BBC’s Doctor Who might be a world-saving, time-travelling 900-odd-year-old alien, but even he makes time for a good book or two in his hectic life.

What started over 50 years ago as a (somewhat) educational filler-programme is teaching kids today (in a very sneaky way) that literature isn’t dull. Literary references abound on the show, and the Doctor is showing a whole new generation that it’s perfectly acceptable to geek out a little when you meet your favourite author or cry over fictional characters. Sometimes, the literary nods are subtle, a throw-away line here or a sneaky glimpse of something there, but sometimes they are bold and in your face. For example, there are a whole episodes dedicated to William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Some episodes were even written by famous authors. The list of authors includes such names like Ben Aaronovitch (known for Rivers of London), Douglas Adams (known for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Neil Gaiman (known for Neverwhere) and Mark Gatiss (known for the Lucifer Box trilogy).

As it is World Book Day today (except in the UK, because they’re special little snowflakes) I compiled a list of 40 references to literature or reading on Doctor Who, with a little help from my cousin.

Have we missed anything?

Continue reading The Doctor Who makes reading cool