I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
As I was reading Tiger’s Voyage, I couldn’t help but myself but Eureka! Finally a guide to how to write a book. Don’t believe me. I seriously believe that Colleen Houck could write a book on how to write a novel and its sort of all in Tiger’s Curse. Since she hasn’t patented this brilliant formula. I’ve decided I’ll write a guide. It’s not official or anything. But whatever. I find after a couple of glasses of wine it makes a lot of sense.
Step One: Have a Perfect But Doesn’t Realize It Character Who Everyone Including the Otherwise Asexual Villain is in Love With.
Every fucking everybody is in love with Kelsey. She’s so perfect, but doesn’t realize it. And she happens to get curvier as she loses weight. And has a Barbie size waist.
Is that even possible?
Whatever. She’s perfect which obviously means she’s the bestest YA heroine ever.
Honestly, I inwardly cringe when I read these books because it’s more than a little obvious that Kelsey is a self insert to the point it’s not even funny.
Step Two: Have two heros Who Are About as Male as, well, Ken.
Recently, my friend, Khanh, seemed to coin a problem that I’ve seen going on with several of the heros in YA. They lack penises. Seriously, I don’t get it. Why does every YA hero have to be a) a dick or b) lack any sort of masculinity? Houck’s heros are actually a weird hybrid. While Ren will be acting extremely chaste where the most romantic thing he’s doing is copying pasting a poem out of the public domain one page, the next he’ll be telling Kelsey that she can’t cut her magic induced butt length hair. I’m sorry, but butt length hair is impractical and makes you look like one of those people who have a show on TLC.
Not a thing that you really want unless you have time to do a lot of brushing. And if you do keep up the maintenance, I’m sure it look nice.
But Kelsey doesn’t fucking want butt length hair.
Step Three: People Enjoy Reading about Food and Clothes and Poetry..So Don’t be So Focused on Plot.
A good chunk of the book was something like this (note, I’m paraphrasing this is not an actual quote): This morning I was going to wear my red dress, but Ren didn’t like that said it made me look like a harlot. So, I put on the black one. But Kishan said it was boring. So I just decided to keep on my Garfield pajamas as I told the golden fruit (which could cure the problem of world hunger but I don’t fucking give a flip) to make me a Denny’s Grand Slam with extra bacon and maple syrup-oh, and some chocolate chip peanut butter crap too. And then Ren read me a Shakespeare sonnet (if I was actually Houck I’d insert the whole damn sonnet here). And then after that I made myself a pastrami sandwich, with some ranch chips, a Coke float, and a ice cream sundae from DairyQueen before I put on my purple evening dress and Ren read some more poetry that’s in the public domain.
I’m not joking people. This is literally what the first third of the book was. Okay, throw in some melodrama love triangle bullshit and some horrid accents which I’ll get to in a minute. But that was pretty much it.
Step Four: You want to show diversity well use a shit load of accents and make them offensive as ever.
This is a PSA for Ms. Houck. I am a born and raised Texan and I have never:
1) Road a horse.
2) Like Lonestar beer.
3) Gone honkey tonking.
4) Spoke incomprehensible English that makes me sound like Hagrid’s ill educated American cousin.
I guess it could be worse. Look what she did to the poor country of Jamaica. The way that character spoke you’d think that Jamaicans were drunk all the time and were related to Hagrid as well.
Authors, just state that the character speaks with an accent. Don’t try to do this shit. It annoys me.
Step Five: Start Your Halfway Mark by Having a Character Info Dump Wikipedia.
Mr. Kadam just needs to be replaced by Siri at this point. All he does is blurt out fact that Siri could find for you. There’s really no point for him to be there. Then, I guess be the money man who can just call in a yacht or a passport in a snap of a few fingers.
Which is just really unrealistic and pathetic. However, in this book I actually was cheering Kadam’s Wiki dump on because I knew the book was going to be halfway over. If there’s one thing consistent about Houck its her pacing. First half waste of space like I previously described. Second half begins with boring info dump which turns to the dumbest action scenes ever.
Step Six: Have All These Life and Death Action Scenes Guarded by Uber Powerful Dragons Resolved, well, Faster than a Disney Movie:
And Disney movies are at most ninety minutes long, guys (ninety minutes which translates to one page per minute of screenplay versus 560 pages that this book freaking had). Of course, Houck has lame action scene after lame action scene stacked on top of each other, but I really can’t get excited for any of them.
I think this book though had what had to be the lamest of all her action scenes so far. When a dragon, a freaking dragon, decided to give all the characters a princess makeover.
Oh, yeah, everyone including Kelsey’s boy toys had to be made over to look like they belonged at Disney World or at least where they could be cast members of Once Upon a Time.
This is where the butt long hair comes from.
Really, if you were a dragon would you use your powers to give idiots a Disney makeover for atmosphere value.
All I can say is this:
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Step Seven: End with Another Stupid Cliffhanger
Because that cash cow needs a little more draining.
Honestly, I am going to have to take a bit of a break before I force myself to read the fourth installment of this shit fest. They just get progressively worse and worse. The thing about this particular series is I can’t help but feel a little sorry and for that matter baffled by it. I mean, the wish fulfillment and self gratification that I can just read from it sickens me to the point I’m like why. Just no. No. F.