Wednesday 28 December 2016

Angelica Urbas - 5 Essential Tips on Reviewing Books


After you finish reading a book, do you feel like penning down the thoughts that come in your mind? If yes, you must attempt writing book reviews. As many people love to read book reviews, your creations can gain immense popularity, if you write them efficiently. For authors too, reviews are the much-awaited feedback on the books they write. Reviews are also a confirmation that the book has been read by people. If you want to engage in writing book reviews, you must make them proficient by following certain guidelines.

In this write-up, I am going to discuss some of the tips on writing proficient book reviews.

# Dedicate a lot of time on reading a book - If you want to write an admirable book review, you should give a lot of time to the book. First you have to go through the book quickly and then read it again slowly, giving enough time to each episode, so that you can analyze them. You must take down notes that can help you later on in writing the review. Renowned book reviewer Angelica Urbas is of the opinion that reading a book for a multiple number of times can assist you in understanding the point of view of its author.

# Remember the length guidelines and deadlines - In case you want to send your book reviews to a publisher, you must follow the guidelines on length and the deadlines. Publishers and editors always prefer book reviews that are of a proper length and are written when the book is still new in the market. Following these can allow you to get your work published in newspapers, magazines and so on.

# Review includes the summary in brief - You must summarize the book in brief, when you are writing a book review. However, do not disclose everything, so that your readers can retain the interest of reading the books themselves.

# Create a relationship between an author, a reader and yourself - This must be one of your objectives, when you review a book. For this, it is important for you to write an interesting opening line and include questions, so that readers can feel connected to you. A good review should also be capable of making the readers understand the viewpoint of an author and thereby, create a liking for his or her notable works. In this way, your reviews can help in connecting readers and authors.

# Evaluate the book - You must do an honest evaluation of a book in a review and mention both its strong and weak points. You should also say in which parts the author is brilliant and where he is not up-to the mark. However, always remember to give adequate reasons for your judgments and opinions.

According to famous book reviewers, such as Angelica Urbas, anyone attempting a book review must cater to these guidelines. Thus, if you want to write successful reviews, follow these tips and watch how your reviews become very popular among readers in no time.
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Tuesday 20 December 2016

Angelica Urbas - THE HUNGER GAMES by Susanne Collins


I started this novel for two reasons:
1) It has so many rave reviews and I enjoy the films.
2) I am currently writing a YA book and thought this would be a good case study on how to do it right.
First, I want to say I was right on the second one. It helped me a lot with some of the issues I’m having just by analyzing the way this book is written. It also helped me feel more confident about what I’ve written so far. As a case study for anyone writing YA Lit, I highly recommend reading it.
As for the first part, as is typical with books to film, there is so much content in this book that just doesn’t come across in the films. Katniss is far more practical and socially-oblivious than I first thought. I enjoyed reading her far more than watching her, and I connected with the novel version of her character far better. While the plot is pretty much the same, there are little nuances that don’t translate to the screen.
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Friday 16 December 2016

Angelica Urbas - 5 Questions for … Kathleen Rooney

Our 5 Questions for … series continues today with an echat with local author Kathleen Rooney, whose novel O, Democracy! was one of CBR’s Best Books of 2014. Her second novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in January 2017. In addition to her work as a writer, Kathleen is the founding editor of local house Rose Metal Press. Founded in 2006, Rose Metal Press, Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit publisher of hybrid genres specializing in the publication of short short, flash, and micro-fiction; prose poetry; novels-in-verse or book-length linked narrative poems; and other literary works that move beyond the traditional genres of poetry, fiction, and essay to find new forms of expression. We asked Kathleen what she’s working on, what she’s been reading lately, and what’s coming up next for her.

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Tuesday 13 December 2016

Angelica Urbas - 4 Useful Tips for Book Reviewers


Do you love to read and want to review the books your have read? If yes, you can follow your passion and write interesting book reviews. However, to write successful reviews, you must also follow certain guidelines.

Let us take a look at some of the tips that book reviewers must follow.

# Reading the book entirely- It is needless to say that you must read a book thoroughly, before you can review it. This obvious fact is included within the tips to point out that you should not read the book in parts, before you attempt a review.

# Not giving away too much - According to experienced book reviewer Angelica Urbas, the task of a reviewer is to give a stable overview of a book. He or she must hold back certain information, so that readers can retain the interest of going through the book themselves. A good review always increases a reader’s curiosity to read a book.

# Going deeper - A book reviewer must not only be concerned about the plot, character or scenes of a book, but also delve deeper to explore the theme and analyze what the author is saying. A reader should also have some understanding of the comments of a reviewer, even if he or she has not read the book.

# Being creative and constructive - The worth of a book review depends on the creativity and constructiveness of a reviewer. Hence, a reviewer should balance the positive and negative elements in a book and add his or her personal opinions, sense of humor, etc in the write-up.

These are the tips that every book reviewer must follow. If you want to be a book reviewer, you must use these tips to write reviews that will be loved by readers.
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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Angelica Urbas - If You Want Your Book to Sell, Get it Reviewed

If you are an author and want your book to stand out from the hundreds and thousands of books available in the market, you need to amp up your marketing strategies. You may have a killer cover page and an awesome plot to go with it, but without the right marketing efforts, your book will simply not sell. One of the most lucrative marketing tools that can catapult your book to the top of the sales chart is reviews.

There are several benefits of book reviews and it helps authors as well as readers, such as:
  • Reviews assist interested readers in making informed choices about their reading selections. It helps them save valuable time as they do not have to hunt good books to read, but the reviews give them a clear picture about whether the story is worth a read. 
  • In the sprawling book market, good reviews help to enhance the visibility of the book and make it stand apart from the rest. 
  • Reviews helps first-time or self-published authors establish their reputation as an accomplished and competent writer.
  • The reviews from stalwart book reviewers, such as Angelica Urbas, increases the sales of a particular book as the credibility of the author is greatly augmented. 
  • The feedback from reviewers also provides insight to the writer on how well he or she can improve his or her writing skills. 
  • Good reviews excite authors and they are encouraged to come up with more interesting plots and stories for their readers. 
So, if you have recently published your book and want to encourage people to read it, getting your book reviewed is the perfect way to highlight its presence. As the review for your book will be printed on newspapers and magazines, and posted across social media platform, it will not be long until your book becomes viral. 
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Wednesday 23 November 2016

'Super Mario Adventures' Book Review

Back in the 90s, readers of Nintendo Power were graced with comics chronicling the lives of the much loved Mario and Luigi, covering their adventures as well as introducing all-new characters. That comic is now back after two decades and Super Mario Adventures is still as much fun as I remember it.

While I didn’t have ready access to Nintendo Power in Britain, you could still import it and I remember reading issues with my friends. At the time, the only gaming representation we had of Super Mario characters were pixelated and it was only the box art and instructions that actually fleshed out the characters in a visual sense.

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Tuesday 25 October 2016

Angelica Urbas Review:The Medusa Chronicles: A science fiction of 2016


When it comes to naming some of the most interesting books of 2016, Angelica Urbas considers that The Medusa Chronicles by Stephen Baxters and Alastair Reynolds will surely be within the topmost ones. In this story, at first you will meet Howard Falcon, who was nearly losing his life and it was a cybernetic surgery that saved him. However, after the surgery, Howard was changed a lot. In the post-surgery period, authors have portrayed him as something less human and more machine. In clear words, he is an ambassador between the human beings and robots. Later the authors showed that the robots are becoming more and more self-aware whereas the the human beings are becoming harder. Howard faces lots of adventurous experiences because of the changes in nature of human beings and robots.

The story starts in the year 2080 when Howard was left almost crippled by a major accident. Then the cybernetic surgery took place and he converted into something which is just between human and machines. Angelica Urbas considers that authors have described nicely how after surgery Howard was put into loneliness. At the same time, he started feeling proud for his superhuman capabilities which developed as the effects of surgery.

This book is actually an extended version of another famous novella, ‘A Meeting with Medusa’ by Arthur C. Clarke. The fact might seem surprising to you as the novella was written in 1971. But while reading the story, you will find that the journey of Howard starts after events described in novella by Arthur. Apart from this, Urbas has pointed out some some similarities with the book written by Arthur, such as- use of same keynotes and Clarke's other ideas, although the entire story is written keeping demands of modern readers. So, even if you are fond of modern science fictions, Angelica Urbas states that you too will find the book unputdownable.
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Monday 17 October 2016

Review from Angelica Urbas : Know how slavery is depicted in ‘The Underground RailRoad’


In the current year, so far the book worms especially the fiction lovers have enjoyed a great time with several outstanding literary works. However, among them ‘The Underground RailRoad’ was highly preferred by those readers who look for stories with reflection of history. Angelica Urbas considers that this book is one of the best pieces which depict real facts of slavery in Georgia through an exciting escape story of a slave.

In this book by Colson Whitehead, the story is centered around a slave Cora who works in cotton plantation. At her teenage, for getting rid of the miserable life in Georgia, she decides to escape with her friend using the underground rail network. But, the journey was not at all smooth. While traveling to North Carolina, Cora has to confront with representatives of different levels of society, starting from- informers, lynch mobs to bounty hunters. Even Cora meets some railway workers too who are ready to help them at any cost. In addition to this, you will find another character in this book, Ridgeway, who is determined to catch Cora and destroy the whole network. Along with the exciting journey of Cora, Angelica Urbas states that there are many other things too in the book. In this book, the author, Whitehead has drawn a clear story of the lives of Black people in America before civil war. When reading the book, the readers will come to know how the slaves were kept deprived generation wise. The readers will also be amazed to see that lots of slaves attempted to escape without fearing about the brutal torture.

Not only the plot, the story telling approach of author also made this book unique. Both real facts and fable-like allegory is used in this book which is not very common. As per Angelica Urbas, the poetic voice of author to tell the story also made this book difficult to put down.
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Thursday 13 October 2016

Tips on Writing a Book Review

Book reviews always attract many readers. This is because, people are often interested to know the opinions of other readers about a book. Thus, if you want to write a book review, you must make it detailed and give your honest views. Only then, readers are going to like the review you write. Angelica Urbas has some tips that book reviewers must follow, in order to write effective reviews.

Here, we are going to discuss some of the tips that you must follow as a book reviewer.

# Begin with a brief description of the book - At the beginning of a book review, write in short what the book is all about. However, be careful not to reveal any twists in its plot. Do not give any detail of the proceedings from the middle of the book till its end. If the book you are reviewing is a part of a series, you can mention it in the beginning. Also, you can mention other books from the series you think a reader must read before reading this one.

# Say why you liked the book - Angelica Urbas suggests that you must make it clear to your readers, why you liked a particular book. For this, you can discuss the characters and what you liked about them. You can also mention the parts that you enjoyed the most in the book. Also, add whether the story was gripping and the emotions you felt while reading it.

# Rate the book - When you review a book, add a rating. Readers love book reviews that has a rating. It shows how much you liked the book. It also helps readers to understand how good the book is.

These are some of the tips by Angelica Urbas on how to do a book review. If you want to review a book efficiently, you must follow these useful suggestions. 
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Thursday 6 October 2016


*Spoiler free book review of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak*

Buy it?
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Thursday 29 September 2016

Is ‘The Girl You Left Behind’ a remarkable book? Review from Angelica Urbas


Romantic stories are loved by all types of readers irrespective of the age or taste. However, if you are looking for one of the best romantic books of recent times, I would name ‘ The Girl You Left Behind’ by Jojo Moyes. Here, Angelica Urbas discusses why this book is considered worthy to read.

Why the book is different from others of same category?

Although the book is categorized as ‘Romantic’, while reading this, you will understand it is completely different from other creations in the same category. The story mainly centers on life of two girls of two centuries. The story starts at 1916, at the time of first World War. at the very beginning, we meet Eduoard, a french artist, had to leave his wife Sophie alone in the town for joining the French Army. When the Germans occupied their town, just like other citizens , Sophie too required providing the German soldiers everything they needed. Suddenly, she got noticed by a local commandant because of her portrait drawn by Edouard. Later, we see that Sophie is ready to risk everything for meeting her true love.

Angelica Urbas says that the author, Jojo Moyes created a nice twist here, by giving a pause to the story of Sophie and starting that of Liv. Liv, another girl of 2006, lives in London and has recently lost her husband, David. On their honeymoon, Liv received the portrait of Sophie from David as gift. After passing away of David, Liv falls for another man, Paul, who is an investigator of the artworks stolen by Germans and returning them back to legitimate owners. Later the readers will come to know that currently Paul is in search of the portrait of Sophie. It again brings twist in Liv’s life.

As per Angelica Urbas, the book is not just a romantic story. Rather the author has connected two different centuries making it unputdownable for historical novel lovers too.
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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Tips To Write A Book Review


When you are involved in book reviewing, you must know that the function is not just summarizing the entire matter. You should go through an analytical reading and provide a strong opinion about the book through your personal responses. Here are some suggestions from Angelica Urbas regarding the book review.

Go Through And Take Notes:  You must go through the entire book and take notes. You can write them down or use a voice recording for documenting some parts of the story. It is required for the brainstorming purpose and the notes need not be organized in nature.

Understand The Genre Or Field:  Try understanding the field of study or the genre of the book. If required, you can use the sources from outside to get yourself familiar with the genre. For example, if you are reviewing any non-fiction book, you can go through some other non-fiction books to get yourself accustomed.

Understand The Style Of Author:  You need to understand the writing style of the author and whether the style will suit the target audience or not. Depending on the same writing style, the author can even express different views.

Evaluation Steps:  According to Angelica Urbas, you are required to create the draft review in different steps. For the first step of the draft, you need a heading. If you have not been directed for a special format, you can use a standard heading like the publication place, date of publication or the number of pages in the book. After that, comes the introduction, and summary of the book. Finally, you can conclude your own opinions or the evaluation.

After completing the review, you must go through and re-read them. Angelica Urbas suggests that you can submit the best work only if you revise and get feedback, if possible. The feedback can come from your friend or any of your family members.
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Thursday 15 September 2016

Why ‘The One Man’ is the best novel by Andrew Gross


Adventurous stories are favorite to almost everyone of us. But, not each one of these stories give us a glimpse of old days along with a thrilling reading experience. However, Angelica Urbas considers that ‘The One Man’ by Andrew Gross falls under the above stated category. This books give valuable information on the miserable condition of Polish during the Nazi time. On other hand , this book also describes the adventurous experience of Alfred Mendl. If you still not read this book, know from Urbas, why you should not miss it.

The story starts in 1944 when one of its main characters Alfred Mendl and his family was brought to the concentration camp. Just after arriving the Camp, Alfred, who was a professor of Physics, was separated from his family and all his works were burnt into fire. Although the Nazi guards considered him as just another prisoner, actually he was one of those two people having knowledge to start or terminate a war. When Mendl was brought to concentration camp, the other one was already working for Nazis. Angelica Urbas states that the author has brought a nice twist in the story by introducing Nathum Blum, who in Washington DC, was assigned to a mission by the US government. The mission was about entering the Concentration camp and escaping with a person who can help Allies to win the war. Clearly, it was probably the most dangerous mission for Blum. But, still he was agreed to do it. As the story proceeds, as per, it becomes more and more thrilling.

On reading the story, you will realize the author used both real facts and lots of twists in the storyline in excellent way. The description of concentration camp and how people used to live there is so lively that sometimes it might seem terrifying to the reader and thus, Angelica Urbas considered it as the best creation of Gross till now, read more.

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Monday 12 September 2016

Reviewing: The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins


If you love reading psychological thrillers , then you have must heard of the best book of 2016 under this category i.e.‘ The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins. Still if you have not gone through it, know from Angelica Urbas why is it worthy to read.

The story is written from the viewpoint of three woman- Rachel, Anne and Megan. But you will find that it mainly centers on Rachel who is a divorced woman. Because of her intense addiction to alcohol, Rachel experience frequent memory lapses too. Every day, she rides on the same train for traveling to London and visit the locality where she used to live once with her husband. Apart from her ex-husband and his family, Rachel observes another couple, Jason and Jess, whom she considers as ‘perfect couple’. But, soon Rachel realized that the life of her ‘perfect couple’ are not at all perfect after murder of Jess whose real name is Megan and she involves directly the investigation. As the story proceeds, Angelica Urbas states that along with Rachel the readers start to realize some shocking truths and see how Rachel is putting herself into more and more complex situations.

As per Urbas, although the book is just debut of Paula Hawkins but after reading this, your perception about others lives will change forever. The author described all the incidents from narration of Rachel. All the incidents, from the very beginning to its twisted ending are put together perfectly so that you will not get bored. Use of three different types of characters- alcoholic and obsessed Rachel, perfect housewife Anna and Megan who has a troubled past has made the story unique. Finally, Angelica Urbas states that the writing style of Hawkins is quite interesting and cinematic. But sometimes you might find it Hitchcockian which made the book unputdownable.
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Tuesday 16 August 2016

3 Fashion Tips by Angelica Urbas for Busy Homemakers


Usually the homemakers spend the whole day for taking care of families and hardly get a break for their themselves. However, taking care of yourself and staying stylish everyday is not difficult if you are ready to put the least effort for your own. Here, Angelica Urbas suggests few tips which you can follow to add style in your daily life.

Replace your regular Tees with fashionable tunics: When you are at home, surely you will want to stay comfortable and thus, oversize tee's might be your first preference. But, you can bring significant change in your just by replacing the tee shirts with comfortable tunics. You can find the colorful tunics with both long and short sleeves. So, selecting one among them as per your preference will not be difficult. Not only at home, you can use tunics teamed up with skirts for outings with your families too.

Use shirt-dresses: The shirt-dresses are also casual and comfortable and thus, can be great for the busy homemakers like you. Whatever be your body type, a shirt-dress will surely suit you. For using at home, Angelica Urbas considers that you can choose a cotton shirt-dress which can be washed easily. Apart from using at home, you can use these dresses anywhere- from your kid's’ school to grocery shop.

Use skimmers instead of rubber flip-flops: For wearing at home, the rubber flip-flops might be your favorite. But, you can look more stylish in colorful skimmers than the flip-flops. The canvas skimmers are available in beautiful colors and design. So, adding more style to your look will not be difficult.

For looking the best, taking care of your skin every day is necessary. In most of the cases, getting adequate time for proper skincare and doing make up is not possible for homemakers. However, you should not forget to use moisturizer with SPF while going outside. Finally, Angelica Urbas considers, you should try to manage some time for your hobbies every week. It will also work a lot for reducing stress and the related problems.
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Tuesday 17 May 2016

40 Book Reviews in 15 Minutes!

A new author can help him or herself by doing book reviews as a promotional tool. Be sure you understand the basic rules of what to do and not do. Book marketing is becoming more and more the responsibility of the author.

Book reviews are essential for getting books noticed, and people who love books often decide to write book reviews, either as professionals or just by posting their opinions online. Getting started as a book reviewer is not difficult, although a few guidelines should be followed. Here Angelica Urbas is going to share an interesting video on 40 book reviews in 15 minutes. Watch the video and get a clear idea on book review.
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