The Possibility of Whales — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”

~ J. K. Rowling ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Is your novel full of stage directions? M. L. Keller of The Manuscript Shredder has a great post HERE to show you how to get rid of them.

Lori Freeman has a terrific post HERE on Writers in the Storm that will help you with a very effective way of structuring scenes.

Every writer needs inspiration now and then. HERE are some inspirational ideas from 50 writers.

I have been spending a lot of time unwriting the last few weeks. My middle-grade novel, The Incredible Journey of Freddy J., is too long, and I have to tell you, unwriting is harder for me than writing. That said, I have cut 10,000 words in the last few weeks and still need to cut another 5000. It’s getting harder and harder. Sigh. I will be glad to get back to just writing.

Thanks to those of you who signed up to subscribe last week. If you haven’t yet, please do. I will keep sending you here from my old blog for a while, but not forever. Some have had trouble accomplishing the sign up, but please be persistent, and please let me know if you are having trouble.

Last week I offered a gently-read hardcover of Heartwood Hotel Book 3 Better Together by Kallie George to one of you. First, it was nice to see some new names show up and some folks I haven’t heard from in awhile along with a few of my ever faithful readers. Our winner this week is a brand new reader who shared my link for extra chances. It worked. Congratulations, ReadRedRead!I will get the book out to you this week. For the rest of you, please keep reading. I have another super book to give away this week.

Possibility of WhalesWhen I ran across A Possibility of Whales for review at the Tulsa Book Review, the title really caught my eye. Then when I discovered it was written by Karen Rivers who wrote one of my favorite middle grade books, The Girl in the Well is Me, I snapped it right up. And if you are interested in my review of The Girl in the Well is Me, you can see it HERE. Now for the review I wrote of A Possibility of Whales.

Nat is twelve years old and has moved many times in her short life. Her father, XAN GALLAGHER (all caps always because he is truly larger than life) is a hugely popular movie star who hasn’t had a hit in many years, but that doesn’t stop the paparazzi from following them around, a big impetus for the many moves. Moving means losing friends and trying to make new friends. Nat had a best friend before their last move, and now she has a friend, Harry, whose real name is Harriet, but Harry insists he is a boy — just wasn’t born that way. His parents don’t see it the same. It’s complicated. And Nat doesn’t know who her mother is, and, as Nat approaches womanhood, that is a huge hole in her life. And then there are the whales.

Karen Rivers
Karen Rivers

Author Karen Rivers has written a richly layered story filled with beautifully-rendered characters and settings and a story that captures readers and compels them to keep turning pages. This will not only connect with middle-graders today but will grab older readers and remind them of the angst and poignancy of early adolescence. This book deserves wide readership. Don’t miss it.

I have a gently-read paperback copy for one of you. All you need do is be a follower or subscriber (it’s free!), have a U. S. address, and leave a comment below. If you would like extra chances, please share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and let me know you have done that. If you are reading this in your email, please click HERE to get to my blog, then click on the title of the post, and leave a comment. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

11 thoughts on “The Possibility of Whales — Review & Giveaway”

  1. I sympathize with you in having to cut words out of your manuscript. My first MG manuscript was about 30,000 words too long and it took me multiple revisions to finally cut chapters out that i didn’t need. This sounds like a really good story. Glad you enjoyed it and that it is by a favorite author.


  2. I enjoyed all the links and the stage directions post was extremely helpful. I’m right there with you on cutting words. I dropped 30,000 from one story I wrote and its down to a more manageable and improved 45,000. If the scene wasn’t moving the story forward or was unneeded backstory, it got clipped.
    I’ve added The Possibility of Whales to my list of books to read in the next few months. The set-up is just too appealing: Adolescence and Whales! Thanks for the review. (Note I followed your blog though Word Press so I don’t have the option of signing up here).


  3. I just finished reading Ivy Amberdeen’s Letter to the World and enjoyed the diverse character so needed for middle grade girls. This book sounds similar with the character trying to figure out who they are/where they fit in, so I would love reading this book too. Thanks for the post and for sharing with us always. I shared this post on tumblr, Facebook, pinterest, twitter, and google+.


  4. Cutting is a challenge, and so I wish you the very best.. Thanks for the links. My first drafts have everyone walking or turning somewhere. I hate that, but fortunately, my computer deletes them at every opportunity. 🙂


  5. Your review left us with a cliffhanger!! I wondered where the whales fit in — or perhaps it’s a metaphor. You have me really curious. Perfect book for kids trying to figure who they are and how they fit in with others. A theme in a recent book I reviewed. Very difficult time for youth.


  6. Good luck with unwriting. It must be painful!
    I also wonder about your review. How do whales fit in to the story? I’d enjoy finding out!


  7. We are opposites. I love revising my writing and whittling it down. The hard part is actually writing a solid first draft. Thanks for all the writing links and the thoughtful review. Sounds like a great story.


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