Saturday, April 20, 2013

Click to Read: Why Characters Matter

You may recall my February cover reveal blog post for L.M. Augustine's upcoming new release, Click to Subscribe (CTS) (out May 9, 2013). After having had a chance to read an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of the book, I can't even tell you how PERFECT of a job that Allie Brennan did with this cover. It so beautifully captures the fun, flirty side of West and his best friend Cat's personalities.

While I put my full review on Goodreads, I wanted to share a little more about why this book works with my awesome Albertinis!  

So, let's be honest. I write and edit YA and women's fiction. Sometimes, YA - especially in the paranormal and urban fantasy genre that I love so much - can go waaaaaay over the top in an effort to be ORIGINAL and to step up the "uniqueness" of their concepts. How do I top Hunger Games? Twilight? Harry Potter?

Sometimes it works, and other times you just want to sigh and say, "Please, please, stop TRYING so hard." Write authentically. FIND YOUR VOICE, not the voice you THINK will make you the next J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. The reason their books sold millions is because they used an easily relatable, authentic voice that didn't sound forced or pretentious. Just tell your story. Don't get so caught up in the "unusual" that readers can't fall in love with the characters.

wise writer once mused, "characters sell books, period." She's not saying plot isn't important. It is. No matter how good the characters are, you'll lose readers FAST if there's not a plot leg to stand on. But people remember remarkable characters FIRST: Romeo & Juliet, Harry Potter, Heathcliff, Meg/Jo/Beth/Amy March, Boo Radley, Scout Finch, Nick Carraway and Daisy, Bella/Edward/ get the idea and can probably name all of these books.

The point is, Augustine does a marvelous job with his two main characters who hold the story: West and Cat. HOW this is done is through AUTHENTIC LANGUAGE, a fresh, young voice, and consistently capturing the adorable quirkiness and awkwardness of their personalities. CTS doesn't actually have a huge tension arc that most books have. The tension is created in the language and ANTICIPATION of love brewing (KISS HER ALREADY!). And it works.

I will say, it felt like a true YA read. Meaning, the people who will love and worship this book the most are the book's demographic: YOUNG ADULTS. As an adult who reads YA, I liked and appreciated the characters and language Augustine used enough to read it and appreciate it for what it is: a young, fun, adorable love story.

Not too heavy on crazy antics to try to outdo other YA novels. Rather, refreshingly simple, everyday, REALISTIC, teenage characters with REAL issues to worry about, authentic teenage language used, and an ability to capture teenage feelings beautifully.

So, if you know a teen who loves love stories, share CTS with them in May. I'm sure they'll have no trouble falling in love with West and Cat too!

{For the reader: I <3 Sam Green! *Muppet-flails!*}


  1. I love those names. Young Adult is very much my favorite genre. Well, YA urban fantasy with a special dose of romance of course.

    1. Me too Anthony! I hope some day soon you'll get to read my book too - it's YA urban fantasy with a big does of romance =) Since I'm a sucker for ever lasting love!

  2. I am very excited to read this one!
    I read the first two chapters last week and I've been tapping my fingers since lol

    (fyi I nominated you for an award)

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It was just a sweet YA read. A nice refreshing love story. Award? Oh, do tell! =) Thanks!