Tag Archives: 1st person present tense

The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

28 May

…or how I DNFed a book most everyone else seemed to love.

The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

For months, I heard everyone and their pet poodle praise this book, so I snagged it at some point when it was on sale.

I don’t know how it was that I didn’t realize it’s written in first person present tense–which I do not like. As far as I’m concerned, first person is incredibly difficult to do well, and present tense can be gimmicky. I have enjoyed first person present tense before (Ann Aguirre’s Grimspace books, for example), but it’s very rare.

One of the reasons first person is tricky is that it’s harder to read for the other characters, when you don’t connect with the main character.

I also didn’t realize this is the author’s debut until I looked up the blurb; the writing does not read like a first effort.

The first few pages are smooth and engaging, and I felt myself being pulled into the story. Among the pulls is the fact that the story is set is the offices of two ailing publishing houses merged into one, still failing, company.

Blurb:
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Trade Me, by Courtney Milan

26 Jan

Trade meLast week I posted a note to remind everyone about the release of Trade Me.

This is the actual review.

Trade Me, by Courtney Milan

In case you missed it: this is a contemporary new adult novel, told in present tense first person, with alternating points of view from both main characters.

Trade Me is also the first of at least three, but perhaps–please, please, please!–five novels written around Cyclone Systems, a made up, and massive, technology company that sits quite near the top of that food chain. The books, though, are about people.

Considering how incredibly picky I am about first person narrative and young protagonists, this should not have event tempted me, let alone worked for me.

But a) this is Courtney Milan and so far everything she writes works for me on one level or another, and b) holy shit, these two kids grabbed me by the throat so quickly and just would not let me go.

Warning: there may be is gushing ahead. Also, please note that I got this book as an ARC, though I’ve never been asked to write anything but my honest opinion.

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Wanderlust, by Ann Aguirre (a joint review)

26 Aug

Wanderlust, by Ann Aguirre

The second novel set in the Grimspace universe, Wanderlust starts a few days after the last events narrated in Grimspace. Like Grimspace, Wanderlust is narrated in first person, present tense by the heroine, Jax. While much more self aware at the beginning of this book than she was initially during the previous one, Jax is still very much inherently selfish and a loner by nature. Getting used to caring, and getting used to her own reactions to those feelings for others, take some doing.

Not that there is much space or time for introspection during the chaos that seems to follow Jax wherever she goes. Continue reading

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, by Laurie Viera Rigler

26 Jul

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, by Laurie Viera Rigler

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict is Ms Viera Rigler’s debut novel. I suspect that having a better education on all things Austen would increase the reader’s enjoyment of this book, since the author sprinkles quotes and bits of dialogue and all sorts of references throughout. Be that as it may, though, I find it generally charming and enjoyable all the same.

The story is narrated in first person, present tense (the second one I’ve ever read using this technique, the first one being Ann Aguirre’s Grimspace). The story flows easily, aided perhaps by the structure—the chapters are extremely short. Continue reading

Grimspace, by Ann Aguirre

8 Feb

Grimspace, by Ann Aguirre

This science fiction/fantasy/adventure/romance novel is Ann Aguirre’s print debut. However, she already has four titles published electronically under her Annie Dean pseudonym.

From the back cover:

By all accounts, Sirantha Jax should have burned out years ago…

As the carrier of a rare gene, Jax has the ability to jump ships through Grimspace—a talent which cuts into her life expectancy, but makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. But then the ship she’s navigating crash-lands, and she’s accused of killing everyone on board. It’s hard for Jax to defend herself: she has no memory of the crash.

Now imprisoned and the subject of a ruthless interrogation, Jax is on the verge of madness. Then a mysterious man breaks into her cell, offering her freedom—for a price. March needs Jax to help his small band of rogue fighters break the Corp monopoly on interstellar travel—and establish a new breed of jumper.

Jax is only good at one thing—Grimspace—and it will eventually kill her. So she may as well have some fun in the meantime…

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