Saturday, November 1, 2014

10 Infinite Weeks: Infinite Limits Review



When I started reading, I became overwhelmed with a sense of nostalgia because man oh man, did I miss these characters. Reading Infinite Limits was a nice break from Stephen King, although Doctor Sleep is definitely giving me feels. Buuuut Infinite Limits definitely topped the charts. Why? Read on, if you dare. 

First off, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. HOLY CRAP, CONGRATS TO YOU GUYS BECAUSE YALL HAVE BLOSSOMED INTO BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES. A quote taken from one of my Who Is Charleigh McAfee post. I love it how Audrina and Jade learn to let go and move on. It just goes to show how much people can change, no matter how long it takes. And it sure did take a long time, lemme tell ya. 

Let me focus on Audrina specifically. She kept going back to Pax and then she finally let him go because she realized that he didn't need her like she thought he did. I thought that that was especially hard to do because you're letting go of someone who means so much to you. Good job, girl. I mean, I don't love you, but I commend you for that. 

AND JADE. MY BABY. I WANT TO HUG YOU. also great development. I love how she chose to move away from all of her troubles because with people, they sometimes don't chose to do that. They let their problems follow them. But Jade didn't. She tried to fix them... Or at least get away from them. That's literally my situation right now. 

Silas and Larson. Stop being cute and supportive of each other. I love how Silas was just supportive and ready to lend Larson a hand or shoulder or whatever the phrase is. I'm super tired, so I honestly don't care. And then Larson finally gets the courage to tell Silas everything. DEVELOPMENT. UGH. 

okay, pax. Who I never call Paxton. The whole "Pax committing suicide thing." I liked it in the sense of "wow, thanks for acknowledging that this is an actual thing." But I hated it because wow, Pax could actually die. No. Just Pax in general was great. He wanted to fix things and he did. Granted it wasn't easy, but he did it anyway. Just goes to show that if you really want something, you can get it if you try hard enough. 


All in all, the book was fantastic. With its ups and downs, it left you on the edge of your seat. It left you in tears or laughter or tears of laughter. Whatever you prefer. The book was just amazing. Okay? Okay. Go read it. Now. Please. So I'll be happy and can get sleep at night. Ha. Just remember that it's okay to be happy. :)


10 Infinite Limits: What Does Small Circles mean to Me

Books have the tendency to stay with us long after we finish reading them. That's an understatement. They don't have the tendency, they just do. That's basically my relationship with Small Circles. 

Books also have the tendency to pull on your heartstrings and make you cry like a baby, good and bad. Or maybe a mix of both. Small Circles is one of those cases because it's like Megan just reached into my head and pulled out all of my problems and feelings and put them into different scenarios. And for that, I say thank you, Megan. It's like you just get it and it's really refreshing. 

Small Circles speaks about things that some people are scared to talk about. But that doesn't solve the problem. That just leaves it there with the possibility of getting worse. The only way we are going to solve things is taking the first step and acknowledging that things are wrong. I really appreciate that throughout the book, problems weren't made light of and that they're treated with the air of seriousness it deserves. Four for you, Megan. You go, Megan. Ah, Mean Girls. 

I feel like you could say that Small Circles is one of those things where you could say a lot but you can't get it out because of the fact that the thing means so much to you that you can't possibly get out everything you want to say. Or maybe I'm just tired. Probably both. 

If anything, thanks to Megan for creating characters that I love and a story that will stay in my heart forever. 


10 Infinite Weeks: An Interview with Megan Duke

Have you accepted Megan Duke as your Lord and Savior? Because she writes awesome books that make you cry. Kidding, Jesus all the way! (Not trying to offend anyone's religion, by the way.) I got to ask Megan some questions concerning Charleigh and the Small Circles series.

1) What inspired you to start writing Small Circles?
The first thing that motivated me was the passion I had for writing a coming of age story. I knew I wanted to write a contemporary/realistic novel, so once the ideas started coming it was quite easy to get going with it. One of the biggest things that inspired me was equality and the need for diversity in YA. I wanted to have a gay teen male be the main character, versus just a side character. Also, the “it’s ok to be happy” mantra had a huge influence in the inspiration.

2) Is there anyone out there who helped or inspired you throughout the writing process?
Other authors are the most influential people to me. I look up to John Green and Maggie Steifvater, as well as authors like Jandy Nelson and David Levithan. I want to write stories that are truthful and still fun. These authors did that.

3) how was the writing process with all three books? Surely there were ups and downs.
Each book took a different level of dedication. Three Sixty was the easiest for me, partially because it’s so short. But also because I knew the storyline from the very beginning. I had no question of what was going to happen. All I had to do was sit down and right. Small Circles and Ninety Degrees were a bit more intricate. I had to create the characters and build the story from the beginning. And there was still room for them to grow and expand. What I’d originally planned for Ninety Degrees was not how the final book ended up.

4) Small Circles has definitely helped me, and countless others, through tough times. Did you have any trouble writing the hard parts of the story?
I didn’t have a hard time writing the touchy parts, but I had a hard time releasing them into the wild. I was terrified of what the public’s opinion was going to be. Especially because I live in Nashville - a major part of the Christian bible belt. Because a huge chunk of my story revolved around a gay couple, as well as drugs and sex and profanity, I had no clue how readers were going to take it. But I had to remind myself that writing is a freedom of speech. It’s a form of expression. And I’m not here to please the people that don’t agree with me. I’m here to inspire the readers whose lives I can make a difference in.

 5) Getting on the topic of my character for 10 Infinite Weeks, where did the inspiration for Charleigh come from?
Charleigh McAfee started with a name. “Charleigh" was all I had when it came to Silas’ best friend. I had no clue what she was going to look like or what her personality was going to be. But then it came to me pretty easily. About 50% of Charleigh’s character is based off one of my best friends. This includes the different hair colors, and the clothing style. As well as her view of the world. Her “we’re just lines and angles” attitude came from my friend. Charleigh’s physical appearance was inspired by a reader. I knew a girl that was not confident in her looks, thinking she was big boned and not skinny like other girls. I wanted to write a character that she could relate to, so I targeted Charleigh towards her and other girls like her.

6) Charleigh has had some ups and downs with the two boys in her life. What would you do in her situation?

If I were Charleigh, I would have done the exact same thing. However, I would have wanted Logan to be my boyfriend from the very beginning. I’ve been in similar situations before. Not as extreme, but I was tied between choice like her. I had to make my own choice. For Charleigh, the choice was made for her by Tucker stepping away.
7) Sometimes, authors tend to put a little bit of themselves into their characters. Are there any qualities or little details from Charleigh that you see in yourself or the people around you?

Definitely her style. Her clothing is completely mine. I write on all my shoes just like she does. And I had all guy friends in high school, just like her.

8) Where did you get the idea to name her Charleigh McAfee, which—not gonna lie—reminds me of coffee.

I actually created the name Charleigh when I was writing my first attempt at a novel. It was called “Never Let Go”, but this was in like eighth grade, so it wasn’t good. I’d always loved the name, but I wanted to spell it differently. As for the last name, I just looked in my baby book of names. That’s how I come up with a lot of them. Except for Paxton, Larson and Audrina. Those names were the first character I came up with, and they came to me naturally.

9) Are there any hints you can give us concerning as to what happens to her in the story?

As for Charleigh, I can promise that she is happy. We pretty much know her fate at the end of Ninety Degrees. It doesn’t change that much, except for a few life mile marks.

10) I've always wondered about past characters coming across new characters being introduced after another's passing. How do you think Charleigh and Owen would've interacted around each other, or would that be entirely up to us as readers?

I’ve never thought of Owen interacting with any of the new characters from Ninety Degrees. It seems weird. If Owen was still alive, Silas would have never been introduced into Larson’s life. This means Charleigh would have never crossed paths with Larson’s friends.  At the same time, they all knew of one another because they attended schools in the same town. At the beginning of ND we see that Silas and his friends were actually had the same restaurant as Larson and his friends. Maybe, if things had turned out differently, they would have still met. For Owen specifically, I think he would have been amused by Charleigh at first. Maybe even envied her. I have no doubt they would have been good friends, though.


10 Infinte Limits: Who is Charleigh McAfee

Charleigh McAfee is a character introduced in Ninety Degrees, the second book in the Small Circles series. She's that kind of person who doesn't appreciate herself as much as she should. She's used to getting things her way and doing things herself, two things I wish I had under my belt. She's always been able to understand her best friend, Silas, but things change when a new student transfers to Chattanooga Prep. As she shows interest in the new guy, feelings for another guy resurface, feelings she thought never had a chance. Her newly found obsession with finding love inevitably leads to heartbreak--who would've thought! Not me. Through all of this, she finds out that what she does matters.

Charleigh's got this free spirit vibe goin' on, and I really like it. With her dyed hair and written-on sneakers, you can probably find her look-a-like on tumblr. Her personality is different, so to say. She's got spunk that you don't see in characters these days. Even the way her name's spelled is different; you don't see that many Charleighs walking around with their names spelt like that. Or I just don't know many Charleighs.

Her relationship with Silas, her best friend, is honestly one of my favorites. Their relationship is genuine, and you can tell because Silas trusts Charleigh enough to tell her that he's gay. I really appreciate friendships like that because in some stories, the characters have crappy friends. It's nice to see a friendship that means a lot.

Charleigh and Logan. What can I say about them? A lot. Their relationship is slightly complicated so to say. Well for starters, Charleigh had feelings for Logan and didn't think he'd ever recuperate them... Surprise! And then of course Logan inches away because he's not good for her or he's a bad influence. Something like that, I don't  remember. And honestly, this was different because usually, the guy uses the fact that he's a bad influence as an asset. Another thing I appreciated.

Let's move on, shall we? Hey, look, there's another boy?? What a shocker. The thing is, I actually liked Tucker. He genuinely liked Charleigh and wasn't that much of a douche. Although I have to say, stealing the pills for his brother wasn't the best idea. I like how their relationship started in art class and Charleigh wouldn't include him in their art project and how it "blossomed like beautiful, horny butterflies." That quote was brought to you by my friend, Bailey.

All in all, Charleigh McAfee is a unique character with an interesting story. If you want more info on her, I suggest reading Ninety Degrees I remember remotely nothing from that book. Stay tuned for the next post which is going to be up today because, wow, all f my posts are overdue. Help. :)