Goodreads Book Giveaway

Back To Good by Laura McCarthy Benson

Back To Good

by Laura McCarthy Benson

Giveaway ends April 07, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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20 April 2009


I am amazed that I've managed to post EVERYDAY this month so far. Even if I've had nothing to say, I've posted drivel! And you guys are so great for following me and listening to my drivel! However, I have a question to pose to you readers of young adult novel out there: There are a few young adult authors that are very popular writers nowadays, however, they're books might be middling at best. Without naming names, are there any bestselling authors out there that you've read and kinda said, "meh?". Also, as I review books I'm seeing a trend in them (mom has disappeared, girl looking for answers, two guys vie for her affection [and of course one guy is NOT to be trusted], everyone gets their HEA (happily ever after).) I wonder if agents, publishers, editors, kinda understand that when a trend takes off, it's across the board. I'm leaving paranormal out this equation. I've read LOTS of bestselling authors, award winning authors and always wondered: how? why? and ugh? Because this author is dead and he is a classic author, I'll name him: Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, loved the book until the last few chapters where I screamed, pulled my hair out of my head and while screaming why!, threw it across the room into a wall. (Yes, I really did all of that!) Same with Wuthering Heights, I know that Emily Bronte is a fan favorite and there are discussions after discussions about her book, but honestly, I hated it. Absolutely no redeeming qualities in any of those characters. Cathy Earnshaw is spoiled, self-involved and cares only about herself. Heathcliff is just pure evil. I think of the two of them and wonder why people find them to be two of the greatest love story? I mean just ick! I have a few young adult authors that are out there now and I feel the same way. Writing is middling at best. Doesn't bring anything new to industry, rehashes old themes over and over again. Like a baseball player that has one great season and then the second season can't seem to hit the ball or catch a fly-out. So tell me have there been any authors out there current or past, that you just sit there and wonder what the hoopla is all about?


  1. Simple answer - yes.
    More developed - I think these bestselling authors find a fomula that works and then stick to it. There's nothing wrong with their books, but they just don't have that extra sparkle.

  2. You know, I didn't realize just how common the "missing person" premise was until I wrote a book where my protagonist's love interest runs away from home and leaves behind a memory box of sentimental items from their relationship that turn out to be clues to his whereabouts. I got a really good response on it from my crit partners, but when I sent it to my agent, she told me the premise is not strong enough to stand out and instead of revising, we discussed my other ideas and chose a different book for me to work on. At first I was devastated, until John Green came out with Paper Towns which had a similar premise (but still quite different even though ours both randomly had an abandoned warehouse and a character named Laci--I wrote mine nearly a year before his came out so this was completely coincidental).

    Anyway, since then I've been kind of tracking how many stories I see with this "missing person" premise and the protagonist investigating and I realize my agent was spot on in deciding not to sub it next.

    I'm working on a different book now with a much more unique premise, but I do have plans to eventually cut the "missing person" part of that book, keep the romance flashback plot line and make it the foreground plotline, and give it a brand new hook (I have ideas after a year away from this book). So not a total loss, but I realize the book is just not as unique as I had originally thought it was.

    Speaking of John Green, he's one who seems to have a formula. Smart only child with loving parents and some kind of quirk that involves obsessing over a useless fact (ex: famous last words). This protagonist has a very witty/fun male sidekick, and he falls in love with an unattainable girl who shows him the adventure of his life.

    I liked it in the first two books, but in Paper Towns I found it frustrating. But maybe I was just bitter about that novel!

    At the same time, sometimes I think formulas work. Like all three of Richelle Mead's vampire books have an act 3 kidnapping of some kind. Each of the kidnappings was different and had a different result. So same sort of formula, but done in a fresh way each time.

  3. Funny, you mention John Green, Shana. He is definitely one of those writers who is considered elite and I read his books and say "meh?". I haven't read PaperTowns or an Abundance of Katharines. But I did read Looking for Alaska and didn't really care for it at all.

    Formulaic is good, but when you're John Grisham and you use the same formula over and over again, your writing becomes boring and predictable. Same as Danielle Steel, Jackie Collins. I know that all writers use a formula and stick with it, but they should also switch it around as well to breathe new life into the material.

  4. Um, that was me, Laura, not my daughter, Lily who is 5:)


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