Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Parallel Minds...

Through the wonderful world of ROW, I have become acquainted with several new and wonderful authors.  One of these is Claudia Lefeve, whose work I sampled via her goodreads profile page.  BTW- Readers, if you are interested in an author but want to sample their work before you download, I recommend looking at their profile page to see if they have any short stories or chapter samples posted.  This will give you a good idea as to their writing style.  I myself have a couple of chapters of Six Keys posted, as well as my short stories The Angel & Her Gun and Perfect Man Plus.  They are free to read.

In Claudia's case, I read the sample of her book Heir, which later became Parallel, and was intrigued enough to beg to be on her beta reader list.  To my excitement, she accepted, and that is what I'm going to talk about today.

Because I am a beta reader I'm not going to give Parallel a traditional review.  I don't know if that would be considered "ethical", which is why I wouldn't ask MY beta readers to review my book.  Usually betas are people you like and root for, and I'm sure that could be considered a conflict of interest.  However, since I do think Parallel is WORTH talking about, I'm going to at least feature it here on my blog.

It's always nerve wracking, being a beta reader.  There is certainly a lot less pressure, since the product involved is a work in progress and the author generally WANTS feedback.  But it's tough.  I've done it a few times, and there are a couple of times that I've pretty much didn't like the books I read.  I had to put aside my subjective feelings and give constructive feedback without telling the author involved that I thought their work was crap and that I would be surprised if anyone liked it.  I know that seems harsh, but again, we can't always read the books that are intended for us.  I'm sure that some of the books I've read weren't even remotely written for me, as a reader, so I take it all in stride.  As I do when someone else has the same reaction to MY books.  You can't please everyone.

So it was with some trepidation that I received Parallel.  I wanted to like it SOOOO bad, you see.  Thank goodness, I can say with all honesty that I LOVED it.  Sure, there were some inconsistencies and plot issues, because Parallel was a work in progress.  Having read the final version, I can assure you that she addressed all of them and more.  She even added more words, which was my overall comment.  Give me more book, dammit!  :)

Parallel is the story of Etta, orphaned girl and foster home hopper, who finds herself endowed with powers most humans only dream of.  In the course of this story, she will have to hop through dimensions, use her powers to find her real family, and try to discover the true identity of the mysterious, yet sinfully handsome Cooper.

I LOVED the idea of this book.  The world Claudia creates is so fascinating.  I have never read anything like Parallel in YA fiction before.  She manages to describe the differences in worlds perfectly, yet she also leaves enough mystery to leave you clamoring for the next addition in this series.

My other favorite part about Parallel is the romance, which is again, so far from the usual YA fair, that it's a breath of fresh air.  I'm so tired of teeny-bopper love, and this has all the makings of mature, passionate love. The two characters are perfect for each other, but this book gives them the time they need to fall in love, and save the world, all at the same time.

If you don't like cliffhanger endings, you might want to wait for the sequel to Parallel, which is supposed to by out by winter, at the latest.  But the ending to this book is so fabulous, you might want to give it a chance anyway.

In summary, this book is a winner and though it is still too short for my taste, I highly recommend it!  Also, if you want to tag along on her blog tour, stop by Claudia's website for a list of all her appearances!

Happy Reading!

PS- Okay, ROWers, I'm up to 99,036.  Yay me!  I've been taking advantage of New Baby's early rising time to feed him and then write my fingers to the bone.  I will finish this dang book!!


Claudia Lefeve said...

I have to add something to your post... First off, I don't deserve this wonderful post. Kate totally made me want to make it better after her initial beta read. I totally value her opinion and it really mattered to other words, if I could get past Kate, I'd be okay. And yes, I even added another 20,000+ words :)

Kate - thank you (and your mom) again for all your comments and suggestions. And I'm waiting for the part 2 of Aeris!

Robin M said...

Looking forward to reading Claudia's book. I read her short story "The Fury" and enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

That is an excellent point about Goodreads--I just started my Author Q&A group but was looking for a way to preview my novella.

Thanks so much!

Kate said...

@Claudia- Wow, you give me way too much credit, and scariness. hahaha You are fabulous and you better get to work on Paradox!

@Robin- I never read The Fury. The synopsis led me to believe it wasn't for me. YA fiction, however, is right up my alley. Be sure to check out Claudia's blog tour!!

@writer-monkey -post a sample on your page and I will read it, guaranteed. Also, why does your LJ hate google? It wants access to my contacts and my IP address. Say what???

Nadja Notariani said...

Reading a book that 'melds' with our ideals is one of the greatest pleasures! I read the prologue of Claudia's book, but haven't had the time to sneak in more. (Uhhmm..I made that pesky goal of reading non-fiction for's ruining my reading mojo...ha!) Anyway, I just loved that opening. I hope to get to it soon.

Glad that New Baby is setting a schedule that leaves a few spare moments for writing! I still have Compis on my Kindle....I'd like to read it by the end of the year....ha!

So many books, so little time...