Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I'm Moving!

Talk about a long hiatus!

So, things have been happening, or rather, things have been stalling, and I've decided that I need to actually do things in order to achieve what I want to in life. Where I want my writing to go, and what I want to dedicate my blog to.

When I first started MJA I had no idea what I wanted in a blog. I just wanted to write, and I hoped that the readers would follow me. And it took awhile, but you have! But I've been terrible at keeping up with this blog because I was trying to turn it into something that it just couldn't be.

I'm an author, first and foremost, and upon meeting other writers, I've learned so much and want to pass on that education to others, like they've passed on to me.

That said, The Modern Jane Austen isn't going to be getting updates anymore. This is a blog where I wrote about my life, some reviews here and there, and just a few tidbits about my writing journey. But it was mostly a confused mess, IMO, and I've decided to rebrand and start anew.

About two months ago I took advantage of a $7 blog setup special from Blogelina, which was setting up Wordpress, a year's worth of hosting on GoDaddy, as well as a blog design. I'd be mad NOT to take that deal. But I started a new blog. It's not live yet, and won't be until January 2, but this is going to be a blog completely dedicated to writing, publishing, and reviewing. If you're a writer and want to publish, there will be something there for you. If you're a reader and love finding new books, there will be a lot for you, as well. One of the most important aspects of blogging is finding your audience, and I realized that I want my audience to be people like me: Writers who want to publish.

I've learned a lot from MJA, and will keep it open in case there are posts you ever want to go back to (I want to keep it open specifically for my cornbread recipe. It's delicious!), but I won't be updating here anymore.

Thank you for joining me in this journey, and I hope that you'll join me at my new online residence, Rebekah Martin Writes.

God bless!

Becky Martin

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

These Are the MomentsThese Are the Moments by Jenny Bravo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't read much YA or NA, and I got this because I follow Jenny's blog, her Twitter, and have gotten to know her a bit more through #StorySocial on Twitter, so I was really excited to read her book.
This book was honestly like looking back at my own history. Granted, I've never loved anyone who couldn't get their crap together, but a lot of Wendy's teenage experiences, from going to Youth Group retreats to pining after a guy who has only shown a passing interest in me at first, rang real.

In fact, a lot of the world Jenny built was very real. I could see the town Wendy lived in, the friends she had, her younger sister's painful first breakup, the pain of catch and release with Simon's affections. I seriously wanted to punch him, and kept asking what it was about him that made her keep going back. Simon was a terrible person, and Wendy deserved so much better.

Everything in the story was very relatable, right down to feeling ignored by your recently engaged best friend (or any friend in a new, exciting relationship). These Are The Moments that we can all remember happening to us. I liked the story, and I'm looking forward to reading the prequel and sequel.

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice (The Austen Project, #4)Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have a love/hate relationship with Curtis Sittenfeld. I think she's a good writer if a bit pretentious. I read Prep when I was in college and was confused by its plotless story. I followed it up with The Man of My Dreams and was once again confused about when it would get to an actual story. By the time I got to American Wife I honestly had to ask myself if I'd ever read anything of Sittenfeld's again.
That being said, I read this because I love Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is probably one of the most amazing novels ever written. Elizabeth Bennet is complex, likable, and completely learns from her experiences.
I didn't feel that Liz Bennet learned anything in this modern remake. She was as judgemental as the characters she complained were judgmental. She goes through this entire novel acting like she's better than everyone because she's spent the last twenty years in New York, and not in Cincinnati, which is apparently Hickville, USA.
This is what almost every modern retelling of P&P gets wrong: Lizzie Bennet, while she definitely has her foibles, she's overall a kind person. Liz in Eligible just felt petty. She treats her parents like petulant children (though they were in denial, but she could've been more tactful, especially following her father's health scare), her sisters like children (though they were never forced to grow up, so that's to be expected, I guess), and the idea that she and Darcy decided to have hate sex just kind of grated on my nerves. She makes snap judgments on people, which are always spot-on. She's right about everything, which is annoying. I also felt like she was trying too hard to prove she was with the times, unlike her backward, conservative parents (Sittenfeld is seriously a one-sided writer).
I was glad that this book had a plot to follow. There were numerous goals with good challenges to block the goals, but I think the appeal of this book for me was the fact that it was based around P&P. I also thought the last bit with Mary's POV was unnecessary. It was just a POV to show how superior she was to her family. I already didn't like Mary, but that was overkill.

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All That Matters Now (Finding Neverland)

I've been a MASSIVE Peter Pan  fan since I can remember. Disney , Mary Martin version, I loved  this story. I actually have several memo...