Narration, Authorship, and Memorial in John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars”

(This post contains spoilers for The Fault in Our Stars… also, I wrote this as part of my application for MFA programs in spring 2017—and it worked!) Upon a first read, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (2012) might seem to be chiefly concerned with death. Indeed, the gut-wrenching novel about star-crossed teens is filled with morbidity and mortality—it has to be, for it is about terminal cancer. Hazel Grace Lancaster, bright and practical, knows that sand is falling through the hourglass of her short life. There’s no question that she will die, it’s when she will, likely when the miracle drug trial she is on fails to work or loses funding or she contracts an illness that would fatally cripple her compromised immune system. When Hazel meets Augustus Waters, aka Gus, at a church-basement support group for kids with cancer, she is intrigued by his easygoing-yet-blunt attitude. Gus smashes the defense-mechanism cage where Hazel guards her love and trust captive. Earlier Grace confessed to her mother that, “I’m like. Like. I’m a grenade, Mom. I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?” (Green 99). Later, Gus...

What I Wish Romance Writers Knew About Nerds | Best Nerd Romance

So you’re writing a nerd romance novel. I myself am currently reading a “nerd romance novel” to coincide with February’s Valentine’s Day festivities. I appreciate the obscure pop culture references, and the heroine is pretty adorkable. But I guess I find that both in writing my own new adult romance novel and, well, living life in the mid 2010’s as a geeky gal, there’s a little room for improvement in romance novels with nerdy characters. Here’s my wish list of what writers should know about writing nerdy characters, followed by some recommendations for the best nerd romance novels. Enjoy! (And happy Valentine’s Day.) Nerdy characters can flirt just as well as anyone else I really get annoyed at the whole “Smart characters only talk geek-gibberish and can’t flirt like a normal human being” stereotype that’s out there. So many nerds are good at flirting because they’re good with language and dialogue. And many of them have competed in debate club or Hi-Q, defended theses and dissertations, explained complex Boolean search techniques to others, and gotten into all kinds of heated fangirl and fanboy arguments about whether Snape was truly good or very evil and whether the second Spiderman reboot should be forgotten or praised. Nerds also...

An Epic List of 52 Book Blogging Ideas: From Cookbooks to Confessions

I consider myself “an idea person” and coming up with book blogging ideas is my specialty. You see, I’m one of those people who interrupts conversations mid-sentence to catch an idea before it dissolves into a disorganized mess. My eyes aglow, I say, “One second!”, and head to my mind palace while I write down a wisp of a thought on the nearest scrap of paper or on my iPhone. This is especially true if I’ve had a lot of caffeine, or med levels are a little low. As a freelance writer, blogger, and fiction writer, I love new ideas, especially book blogging ideas, and I understand how bad it feels to be grasping for something new to post. Today, I’m lifting back the veil and giving you some book blogging ideas in hopes that you may take them and personalize them for your own blog. Whether you’ve got blogging writer’s block, feel like the well of inspiration has run dry, or am just looking to vary things up, my epic list of 52 blog post ideas for book bloggers (one for every week of the year) is sure to have something for everyone. Enjoy! (Bonus article: Check out my Tips and Advice...

Some Writing Advice for YA Authors: Why Your Novel Is A DNF

In fall 2014 I took an elective in Young Adult Literature and Services through my graduate program in library science. My best friend knew I would love this class—because, well, I already loved YA—but he knew I would run into difficulties because, well, I’m super, super picky about all fiction but especially YA. And yet, when that YA novel comes along that so utterly crashes my world and leaves me with a book hangover, that hits on all the feels, I am reminded that YA has the potential to totally disrupt my jaded soul and electrify my desire to live fully and love totally. I am, at heart, a full-blown YA geek, the kind who bulk pre-orders upcoming YA in one fell swoop and then realizes by chance that she already ordered Passenger three times in three separate orders over the span of three months. Yes! It is kind of a gnarly mess, my Amazon “Open Orders” section. But of course, as with any other genre (literary fiction, romance, mystery, etc), the quality swings widely from high to low. When I start feeling particularly bitter I think about how I suspect some YA just gets churned out of the publishing mill because it’s a premise novel—a novel whose...

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Welcome to Broke By Books, a blog by Sarah S. Davis, where the guiding mission is to spread a contagious love for reading through helpful, thought provoking, and enjoyable writing about books. Please join me in growing an inspired, engaged, and fearless reading life.

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