Requiem Review (SPOILERS)

lauren2boliverTo be honest, I am very disappointed with the way Lauren Oliver ended the Delirium series. I fell in love with the first book, once it started to pick up the pace. I even had the rest of the series two day shipped to my house once I finished reading because that’s how good it was and how intense the cliff-hanger was.

When I got to the second book, Pandemonium, I was sort of let down. The way the story was told was very different from the way the first book was told. It was harsher and it wasn’t in chronological order…but it worked for the actual story, it fit the way Lena had matured between the books. But, of course, Oliver had to add in another guy to Lena’s life. I felt that the addition of this new love was completely unnecessary. Given the plot line of the entire first book, and her hatred toward Julian, in the beginning, makes it almost impossible for me to believe that she’s actually fallen for him. (I would have believed that they had just become friends and that he fell for her (given the circumstances) but I just don’t think that the Lena I had come to know would have fallen for Julian.) Don’t get me wrong, though, Julian is a great guy. And then, at the very end of the book, BAM an entirely unnecessary love triangle added just for some drama and because all the popular books at the time had a love triangle. I just don’t find it possible that Alex is alive after the end of the first book. And even if he is, that he found Lena out in the vast Wilds.

After the let down of Pandemonium, I was excited to read Requiem, thinking that it would actually be better written. I was wrong. If it wasn’t for how much I loved the first book of this series, I would have given Requiem a one-star rating. I didn’t mind how Oliver told the story through both Hana’s and Lena’s point of views, I thought that it worked really well and accented the story wonderfully. And the story itself wasn’t too bad, though it wasn’t nearly as captivating as Delirium. But, for most of it, there was unnecessary drama, a vast majority of the background information wasn’t explained (because Lena, as a protagonist, was kept in the dark for most of it, which is fine; readers, though, shouldn’t be kept in the dark. That’s, like, rule number three of being an author. NEVER keep your readers in the dark, they love to know what the protagonist doesn’t.) and the ending didn’t even seem like an ending. The book just stopped, abruptly, leaving me wanting more that I wanted at the end of Delirium. Did the rebellion succeed? Is Hana alive? How will Lena break the news to Julian–who has nobody besides her–that she’s going to be with Alex? Why are you guys breaking down a wall when an entire nation wants to wipe you out? I wanted more. And the way the book just stopped made it seem to me like Oliver hadn’t even thought out an ending, or didn’t want to, and decided to call it good. I was very disappointed and almost didn’t even bother finishing the book.

Like I said earlier, if it wasn’t for the first book, I’d give Requiem a one-star rating. But it gets a three-star rating because of Delirium.

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Kindle: Page Size / Layout / Formatting

I just recently published my debut novel, Blue Vigilante, with CreateSpace (a post on the self-publishing journey to come!). Actually, I just published yesterday. The last 24 hours, after the physical copy of BV was done, I’ve spent frustrated over trying to make a Kindle edition of the book. So, after hours (yes, hours) of searching the internet for an answer, I’ve decided to compile my knowledge into one post with everything on it for anybody else who struggles with what I went through.

HOW TO FORMAT YOUR BOOK TO PUBLISH ON KINDLE*

PAGE SIZE

To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what your page size is. Go with whatever you’re comfortable with. This was the first mistake I made. I tried to resize my entire book, which is 375 6×9 inch pages, to fit the size of a Kindle screen. DON’T do that. Kindle isn’t just a device, it’s also an app which means that the size CHANGES depending on the device used.

Don’t fit your book to the Kindle, fit Kindle to your book.

FORMATTING

Format your book however you would normally. For me that just meant putting my chapter headings in the center, for example:

One

Or making sure that my little section separators were centered as well.

*****

Each book is different and unique, so each format will be different and unique as well.

CHAPTERS/SECTIONS

This is where I struggled the most. No matter how many times I clicked “return” I could not get my pages to be correctly spaced in the preview (ALWAYS check the preview). I struggled so much here because I was too busy focusing on the page size, rather than the tricks I could use to outsmart technology.

If you want to separate one page from the next, do not hit the “return” button, always hit page break. This is located under the “Insert” tab at the top of Word. I have both a PC and a Mac and I checked; it’s located in the same area on both devices.

It will look weird and you will question the formatting. I did. Several times. But trust me, once it’s uploaded onto Kindle Direct Publishing, it will look fine in the previewer. I went through all 375 pages of my book, just to be sure. (I recommend you do the same and double check that your computer listened to you.)

 

 

Good luck publishing! Let me know in the comments if you found this article helpful at all.

*This post is not made for image-heavy books, I would search the internet specifically about images.