Renowrites blog!

Author of YA novel "Enlightenment" available March 2019!

Exclusively Chloe

Before I get into a book review posted on Goodreads, I have to say I’m super stoked the Braves took 3 out of 4 from the Dodgers. My heart melts for Alyssa Milano though. I know how it sucks when your team loses.

Okay, on to literary matters.

I recently read a book entitled Exclusively Chloe by debut author J.A. Yang (coincidentally a University of Michigan alum – Go Blue!).

Exclusively Chloe Exclusively Chloe by Jonathan Yang

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Debut author, J.A. Yang, tells the story of Chloe – a sixteen year-old adopted child of Hollywood royalty. Her father is a rock star, her mom is a movie star. She is a product of her environment, which can be superficial when she talks about jewelry and fashion, but thankfully Chloe has much more depth than you can expect of anyone in her position. When she begins searching for her birth parents, the book really takes a life of its own. Chloe becomes a character you root for. Deep down to the core, she’s a sensitive, down-the-earth girl looking for answers to her past.

The supporting characters are hilarious! Her fake dad, her jewelry friend. Even her adopted parents quirky behavior. Chloe’s innovative navigation through the glitz and glamour of Hollywood life gives readers an untrashy depiction of Hollywood life.

The ending is a little too cliche for me, but admittedly, I have a sordid view of happy endings. One side of me loves happy endings and I know Young Adult readers will love it!

The other side of me believes happy endings are not reflective of most of real life. I wonder how long Chloe’s new relationship will last? How will her discovery of her new family affect her as she grows older? What will her relationship with her adopted parents be like? Since she’s Chinese American, will she grow more in touch with her Chinese side?

And then I laugh at myself, because I realize I’m in my mid-thirties…and male. I’m like, totally not the target market for this novel. So teenage girls – line up! You’ll love this book!

A solid debut by J.A. Yang. Can’t wait to read more novels by this up & coming author! A sequel perhaps? A fast easy read, a strong recommend.

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Filed under: Writing

It’s August!

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If you can’t tell I’m a big sports fan, specifically an Atlanta Braves and Detroit Pistons fan. I based my decision to go to The University of Michigan mostly because of my obsession with Wolverine football. It’s part of my personality, although I do my best not to be obnoxious about it. A lot of my family are Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants fans, so I root for those teams when they aren’t playing my beloved Braves.

In my first novel – A Forgotten Innocence – my heroine falls for a high school basketball player. Before I took my novel to a critique group, the one thing I struggled with is how descriptive I should be with the basketball scenes. Since I played ball all through high school (and I’m currently a high school referee), I thought my scenes might be too detailed, especially with my novel targeted towards the tweens and women’s fiction. So my first thought was to generalize the basketball action, or on a more drastic measure, cut the scenes out entirely.

But life is full of surprises – and my critique group – in various parts of the country – suggested I keep the basketball scenes in the novel as I originally wrote them. They thought the scenes gave credence to my heroine’s love for her basketball star. One critiquer mentioned one of the more crucial examples of her love is during one of his basketball games in which she’s describing what’s going on. Their recommendation is not to take it out. If my editor says not to take it out too, then I’m convinced to roll with it, even though I wonder how many readers really care about a pick and roll anyway?

And on a note unrelated to writing, Corazon Aquino passed away yesterday. She was not only the first woman President of the Philippines, but the President who overthrew the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Rest in peace Corazon, and thank you for doing your best for the Philippines.

Filed under: Writing