Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Writer's View: Madly by M. Leighton

From Goodreads: Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl—for a princess, that is.

Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants.

In order to save her home, the lives of her family, and all of humanity, Madly must learn to wield her exceptional powers and recapture the Lore before it’s too late and all is lost. But Madly’s only help are her two best friends and the Sentinel, Jackson Hamilton, that threatens both her heart and her destiny. Madly has loved Jackson as long as she can remember, but he is the one thing even a princess can’t have. Can she resist love to become the queen she was fated to be? Or can she find a way to have both?

This novelette introduces you to Madly and prepares you for the quest of a lifetime

The Writer's View:

Some of you guys may have figured out I am a sucker for covers . . . I have a funny habit of buying a book just because I like the cover. I am a walking cliche, apparently.

When I saw the cover of Madly over at The Bookish Babe, I HAD to have it. I went straight to my Nook and bought it. :)

Overall, the first story in this series is cute. As a novelette, it functions to introduce readers to the main characters and the main premise of the series. In this, it functioned very well. The four main characters (Madly, Aiden, Jackson, and Jersey) are all introduced. Each has his/her own personality that really comes through in the writing. The story is very fast-paced. There is just enough plot and great characterization that made me want to to read the next installment, which is a full novel. I like the idea of making a small investment in time and money in a novelette to see if I want to read more. I think it was a great idea and I just might try it someday with one of my own WIPs.

My biggest nit is that the worldbuilding was very complex for such a short piece. I've started the next in the series with the hope that the worldbuilding will become more clear.

A Fish Out of Water

My biggest disappointment is that this story, which stars four Mer people, takes place entirely on land. I was so bummed. I wanted to travel under the water and experience what it was like to live in that environment. I wanted to see great underwater cities and understand how they operate. I wanted to expereince a culture that was derived from living on the sea. For me, there was a certain expectation in going into a mermaid story, and that expectation was not met.

Rather, the Mer characters really felt like normal human teens. They have iPods. They use phrases like "Ohmigod!" I felt like I was in a modern high school with modern teens.

What do you guys think about this? If you read a story about a mermaid, do you want / expect it to take place in the water, or at least to get exposed to a culture or world that revolves around water? This could be extended to all stories and the implicit or explicit promises made to readers. If you tell me a story is a romantic dystopia, don't try to feed me an X-men rip off (*cough* Shatter Me *cough*).

In all fairness, nothing in the premise hints that this story takes place in the water. This was just my own silly expectation that I established before reading the book. Despite my self-induced disappointment, I did enjoy the story and immediately download the next installment.


  1. Maybe this first book is just a set up and the next one will delve into the water a little more? For some reason whenever I see that something isn't a full novel I'm more willing to let things like world building slide a little. This sounds like a really interesting book regardless.

    And I am right there with you when it comes to the cover of a book! Which is probably why it will be the thing I agonize over the most!

    1. @ Lan - I agree, covers are so important! They can totally sell me before I even read the synopsis!

  2. Yep! I totally get where you're coming from. EVERY mermaid book I've read takes place on land. Where's the one that's underwater for heavens sake?! I'm still waiting...maybe one day.

    1. @ Jenny - Gah! Really? There are no mermaid books that take place in the water?? :(

  3. That would be so cool to read about mer-folk actually in their underwater habitat. They do tend to be on land more than under the sea. (There could be a book out there I don't know about. Going to do some research!) I'd get why you're disappointed, especially if the characters were too normal and common, like regular teens. I'd expect them to be unique, too.

  4. Okay, I did some research, and there are at least a couple of YA titles that do have good underwater world building/culture building:

    Forgive My Fins by Terra Lynn Childs & Everblue by Brenda Pandos. Everblue is only $0.99!

    1. @ Cathy - Woot! I will check out those titles! Thanks for the research!