So much has happened over the last several weeks and months, my goodness! Let me be the first to say "Thank you!" for all of you who have subscribed to my blog.
I have an amazing announcement to make:
Starting January 1, 2021, I will be creating a weekly book review blog!
Yup, you read that right. WEEKLY!
I have spent the last several weeks reading like a woman who thinks her books are going to be stolen. Between buddy-reads online, AuthorTube hosts/hostesses who self-publish their works, and general recommendations from friends and family, I have a huge reading list to go through. With that, I will be reviewing one at the end of each week.
How is this different from any other review? Oh, I'm so glad you asked, italicized friend. Here's a quick word from my other career-side:
Being a Registered Nurse, I need to approach the beginning of my shift in a very systematic way: the Nursing Assessment. Generally, this includes a full set of Vital Signs, a Head-to-Toe Assessment, and a look into the medical/social/psychiatric/family histories in order to create a plan of care tailored to each patient. Of course, patient stability is ever changing, so I need to be on top of my game.
That's great, K., but what the heck does that have to do with reading books? Another fantastic question, italicization buddy. Here's how it works:
I read a book (Duh. You can't review a book you haven't read!) I know, I know. Let me finish.
I write down my overall, first impression of that book. A quick "Across the Room" glance, if you will. In the nursing world, the three questions are: "Are they awake? Are they pink/warm? Are they dry?" In this review form, that "Across the Room" answers these questions: "Is it coherent? Is it fun? Did I finish the read?"
A full set of Vitals:
Temperature: Mood/theme. Is it hypothermic (grim/dark/pessimist), Normal temp (fun/adventurous/with grit/balance of optimism/pessimism), or does it have a Fever (whimsical/only happy, ad nauseam)?
Heart rate: Pacing of the story as a whole. Is it Brady (slow-paced throughout), Normal (balanced), Tachy (fast-paced throughout)? Is it Irregular (slow/fast, but not balanced)?
Blood Pressure: Plot. Is it Hypotensive (boring/predictable/cookie-cutter), Normotensive (easy to follow, with some twists and turns. Never gets boring), or Hypertensive (so twisty and unpredictable, I just can't follow this! At risk of having a "stroke"--meaning DNF)
Respiratory Rate: Characters. Is it Brady (boring/predictable/flat characters), Normal (well-rounded, 3-dimensional. I want to root for these peeps, even if they steal for no reason! [I'm looking at you, Locke Lamora!]), or Tachy (aka "tacky". Is one aspect of them the entire purpose of that character? ie: the non-hetero or POC friend just for the sake of having diversity, the mentally ill "mad" king, insert offensive stereotype here)
Oxygenation: Setting. Is it Hypoxic (not enough description [John Oliver's White Void of 2020?]), Well-oxygenated (great balance between world building and setting/prose and dialogue), or Hyper-oxygenated (did someone ask for an info-dump?)
Work of Breathing: Immersion. How hard to I have to work to stay immersed in the story?
I find out the different histories:
Family: Genre (pretty straight forward)
Medical: Author's writing style/ grammar
Psych: relationships/reactions between characters
Socio-economic: What is the presumed target audience, based on this read?
Head and face: Cover and Blurb
Neck: Prologue/First Chapter. *Mr. Crabs says "The hooks! The hooks!"*
Chest: Inciting incident
Abdomen and Flanks: The action! The middle, the buildup, the adventure, the...the...You get the idea
Perineum ( AKA the groin, the nether-regions, the...ok you get it, right?): The character is desperate, at his/her/their breaking point.
Extremities: The Climax. The Payoff. The biggest, most important part of the book!
Backside: Resolution/ending/sigh of relief.
Prognosis (ok, ok. I know this isn't in my scope of practice in the medical world. I'm a nurse, not a doctor. But that scope is different when it comes to reviewing books)
Excellent: 5 stars.
Good: 4 stars.
Fair: 3 stars.
Guarded: 2 stars.
Terminal: 1 star.
I hope I never have to give out guarded or poor prognoses. I'd just hate to do that, especially since I've got my own work in progress!
So, that's it! The Triage of a Novel! I am so incredibly excited to share this with you, and I hope you're excited too!
Starting January 1, 2021, I will be posting my Triage every Friday at 3pmPST/6pmEST. As always,
Stay safe. Stay sane. Keep healthy. Keep smiling.