The books reviewed here are far from the first self pubs that I have reviewed on this blog. Some I was even asked for.
I was pleased to see BookRiot push people to read self published work. It’s still hard work to self-publish, not by any means the easy way of getting your book out there, even though there are not the gatekeepers that there are for traditional publishing. It doesn’t appear faster, either, to get your book traction on your own, and I think some of the stigma is fading from it.
Also, in case anyone is wondering, I am so pleased that the beauty of summer is here. This weekend I am spending with friends as a Bon Voyage to a friend who is moving to the Netherlands to do a post doc. I usually see my long distance friends over the summer, but later on after the school year is done in New York. I might have to visit him in the Netherlands whilst he is there.
But on to the self-published books.
A Self-Published Book:
The Inevitable Fate of E & J, Johanna Randle
A teen boy and girl who used to be best friends but who fell apart through circumstance are brought back together by forces they cannot control: namely, that their souls are linked via past life experiences and they are warned that being together to figure out the story can be detrimental to them both. Clearly, this is only the first in a series of indeterminate length.
I actually found this via an indie author community on Twitter and asking one another to comment their books for consideration. It was hard to determine what books are self-published and which are not, as evidenced by my reading two Ania Ahlborns before I realized that she was picked up by Amazon. (but also not wasted time. She just came out with a new book that she published herself, Now You See Her, so of course that landed on the TBR). But I follow Johanna Randle on Twitter and she makes no qualms about having put her own work out there, and I admire her that.
I liked this story, it was completely wholesome and the nice boy is the one who wins, which I always like in YA romance, and the girl is learning through the story to stand up for what she likes and wants, not what others want of her. The world of what everyone thinks a teenager wants is the life she leaves behind in favor of what her heart says. However, as this is the first in a series, there is a lot of set-up in this one. There is a lot of uncertainty of the hearts coming back together, a lot of self doubt and wondering over action. It picked up right in time for setting up for the next book. I’d be interested to see if the second books speeds up with all the initial stuff out of the way.
A Light Amongst Shadows: Dark is the Night, Book 1, Kelley York and Rowan Altwood
Two boys meet and fall in love in a sinister, Gothic era/novel reform school. Ghosts crawl the property and when James’ roommate goes missing, they discover the sinister reason why and free the school of it’s dark secrets.
This was an ambitious novel, Gothic and historical, for something self-published, as well as having a romance/sexual relationship between two males. I know LGBT is becoming the thing lately in YA, and I can’t say the book I’m sending out doesn’t have that, but I still think a gay relationship is forward in mainstream YA books. I swiped this one off the list of BookRiot recommends, seeing as I can barely handle finding out what is a self pub on my own.
This one moved along a little more, but it could have used some perking up. Some more subplots to keep it going. The curiosity is drawn out with the boys not knowing why the others have been disposed of in reform school, and the reveals do have their effect on the main romantic relationship, as they should. I loved the ghosts, and the secrets, and there were some very scary parts to this one. It was deliciously dark, which is why we pick up Gothic stories in the first place. This one also is the start to a series that would be worth continuing. I saw in getting the image for this post that there is already a 2 and 2.5 out? Nice. I love finding something where I can keep reading.
Mayhaps I have a summer reading/blogging plan. It could possibly be forming. It still looks like weekly posts, but I am thinking about working through some of my short story collections, now that I seem to have a better idea of what makes a short story good or special or stand out. It might help me form my own shorts better if I read a lot of them, armed with this knowledge. And I could use a short story read down.
But my next post will be two popular novels by women that have gotten a lot of attention. Ones that I don’t feel I can miss while still considering myself well-read.