Music Monday – Shatter Me – Lzzy Hale and Lindsey Stirling

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicWell, after a couple of crazy months of writing, I’m finally returning to a semi-normal blog schedule.

I apologize for being AWOL the past couple of weeks. It’s been a little rough…But, more about that later. Let’s hop into today’s Music Monday!

So, last week I participated in the first round of the Short Story Challenge 2015. As usual, it was a tough experience, but a good one. I’ll be sharing more about it in a post tomorrow. Today, I want to share a song that helped motivate me while working on my story for the contest.

While struggling through my first draft, I took a break and pulled up YouTube in hopes of finding some much needed inspiration. And I did when “Shatter Me” featuring Lzzy Hale and Lindsey Stirling popped up.

LindseyStirlingShatterMeCD-1The moment this music video began playing, I was infatuated with it. The imagery, tone, and words were exactly what I needed to see/hear to give my lagging story a swift kick in the rear.

Not only did “Shatter Me” help me tap into the raw emotions of my characters (anger, resentment, fear, sorrow), but it sparked my imagination with its amazing music video. I loved the shattering theme. It gave me some great ideas for my horror story’s morbid journey.

And, of course, “Shatter Me” has amazing lyrics with the power to inspire all kinds of emotions and ideas.

I pirouette in the dark
I see the stars through a mirror
Tired mechanical heart
Beats ’til the song disappears

So, if your story needs a swift kick in the rear like mine did, or you’re just looking for a great song, check out “Shatter Me” with Lzzy Hale and Lindsey Stirling.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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Photo credits: 

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Book Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

13104080Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi 

Synopsis

“tick
tick
tick
tick
tick
it’s almost
time for war.
Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.
She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.
Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.
In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.”

Jen’s Review

Overall, Unravel Me was fine okay good. Did I love it as much as Shatter Me? Unfortunately, no. Shatter Me was better. A lot better.

In the first book of the Shatter Me series, the protagonist, Juliette, was uncertain, fragile, and scared. And in this sequel, she was uncertain, fragile, and scared. And I’m betting she’ll be uncertain, fragile, and scared in the third book, Ignite Me.

Yeah, obviously I’d hoped wanted expected to see more character development with Juliette in Unravel Me. Her “I’m so scared and weak and useless” mindset quickly became frustrating. And what made it even more frustrating was in every chapter, she’d make some kind of vow to be “stronger” or “nicer” or “happier” after a pep talk/lecture from her friend, Kenji, or Omega Point’s leader, Castle…but then she’d encounter her boy toy, Adam, or she’d accidentally hurt someone, and she’d fall right back into her ol’ weepy, self-loathing ways. I hate to say it, but the only time I liked Juliette in this book was when she turned into that “monster” she feared. Then, she was cool insane badass.

On the plus side, I still worship praise adore Tahereh Mafi’s writing style. I can’t tell you how many times I’d re-read a sentence/paragraph for its sheer beauty or imagery. “My fists are full of unlucky pennies and my heart is a jukebox demanding a few nickels and my head is flipping quarters heads or tails heads or tails heads or tails heads or tails.” Mafi truly has a magical touch (no pun intended) with words.

I also loved many of her secondary characters, especially Kenji and Warner. Kenji is just plain fun. In fact, he’s probably my favorite character in this entire book. Strong, daring, hilarious. Kenji rocks. However, his many “Ugh, Juliette! Will you stop whining/crying/beating yourself up/making out with Adam?” moments highlighted Juliette’s many faults.

As for Warner…

…sigh

Unlike most, I fell in love with Warner in Shatter Me. I sensed there was more to him than lunacy cruelty bloodlust. And there was! In Unravel Me, we discover many of Warner’s humanistic emotionally scarred delicate layers. However, as much as I love love love Warner, I don’t love love love his involvement in the love triangle with Juliette and Adam. It’s too reminiscent of Bella, Edward, and Jacob…Okay, quick side rant: Juliette is blindingly beautiful. Adam is blindingly beautiful. Warner is blindingly beautiful. Everyone is blindingly beautiful in this book! Why? And why does that beauty overshadow more important qualities like personality? I just don’t like it when a protagonist has serious emotional/personality problems, yet she’s desired by all because she’s “hot”.

Well, anyways. I know it may not seem like it, but I did enjoy this book. Yes, it’s flawed, but yes, it’s good. And yes, I’d recommend it. And yes, I’m planning to read the third book in the series, Ignite Me. But, if you LOVED Shatter Me, all I can say about Unravel Me is:

Jen’s Rating

3 Star

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Review of Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Book Review- Unravel Me

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

13455782Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 

Synopsis

“No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.”

Jen’s Review

You can’t touch me,” I whisper. I’m lying, is what I don’t tell him. He can touch me, is what I’ll never tell him. Please touch me, is what I want to tell him.”

I loved loved loved this book. So much so much so much. You should need must read it!

Okay, sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I guess Tahereh Mafi’s writing style rubbed off on me a bit. It was so different unique strange. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. Actually, I mean it in a very good way. I thoroughly enjoyed Mafi’s fun take on formatting. I wasn’t at all fazed by her lack of commas and periods, repetitious sentences and crossed out words (I’m sure her Word document would beg to differ; I bet the entire thing was underlined in green squiggly lines).

Besides Mafi’s crazy weird cool style, her story was interesting captivating addicting. Okay, so perhaps it wasn’t the most original concept. I mean, a girl who can’t touch people without hurting or killing them? Sounds just like Rogue from X-Men, right?

However, Shatter Me wasn’t X-Men. It was too pretty poetic artistic. So many of Mafi’s lines would literally make me sigh out loud. She definitely has a way with words and painting them in a beautiful, imaginative way.

As far as her characters went, I found them to be a likable, complicated and endearing group. The protagonist, Juliette, was a big bag of polar opposites: quiet yet loud, weak yet strong, passive yet aggressive. And Adam, the love interest, was what every girl wants in a boy: gentle, protective and hotttt…Oh yeah, I’m still cooling off, ladies. Adam definitely qualifies for my Book Crush Club. And, if I’m being honest, Warren–the antagonist of this dystopian tale–might too. I know it’s weird and wrong, but his bad boy psycho complex personality was too interesting to dismiss.

I only have one complaint about this entire book: Adam’s eyes. Did you know they’re blue? No? Well, you will after Mafi tells you about them a hundred times. “Adam stares at me so long I begin to blush. He tips my chin up so I meet his eyes. Blue blue blue boring into me.”

Blue blue blue…

Despite the countless ooey-gooey descriptions of Adam’s blue blue blue eyes, I adored Shatter Me. And I highly recommend it. I do I do I do. So go go go to the bookstore and buy it. Now now now.

Okay, I’m done.

Jen’s Rating

4 Star

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Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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