Cover Image: Hook Them Or Lose Them

Hook Them Or Lose Them

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Member Reviews

Engaging, accessible, and practical. A recommended purchase for collections where writing craft books are popular.
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There was a lot in this book that I didn’t know before, so for me this was a very interesting read.

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
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I’ve read plenty of writing craft books in the past, so I was excited about this one. What appealed to me first was the title. As writers, it’s our job to pull the reader in, immerse them in the story, and refuse to let them go. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, though! 

This was unique in its approach, which made the book a useful and entertaining read. I picked up many tips to improve the hooks in my writing that I have seen nowhere else (which, in my opinion, is getting harder and harder to do). 

It was a short but engaging read that wasn’t stuffed with so much information I didn’t know what to do with it. What I picked up was valuable and helpful from now on in my writing journey. I hope the author writes more writing books in the future! 

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher, for a chance to read and review this book.
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No Rigidity..
An engaging and interesting guide focusing on one aspect of the writing process. The author has based the book upon a workshop that she held. Here we are given tools to create a hook with straightforward, easy to grasp concepts. Forget the rigidity of rules and stop curtailing the creativity.
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You consider this book , an immense valuable  piece of literature if you love writing. The information provided put s you in action and it delivers. Enjoyable and a short book, but quite powerful.
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D. Leitao, Hook Them Or Lose Them An Author’s Guide to Catching Readers on Page One, Sparkly Wave, 2022.

Thank you, NetGalley, for providing me with this uncorrected proof in exchange for an honest review. 

D. Leitao, a writer of science fiction and fantasy and lover of young adult fiction, has written a handbook for writers that will fit well with additional works on crafting a good story. I must admit my prejudices before writing this review. I am not a lover of science fiction and fantasy, and at times I found the authorial style a little grating. I was keen to get to the content, rather than spend time getting to it. So, if you, too, have these prejudices, this review is for you. If not, you will want to upgrade the star rating. 

A book of this nature needs to be useful, to provide information in a timely fashion, to be as succinct as possible, and to give examples of how the information can work. The book is certainly useful, provides information, and there are numerous examples. The examples are largely dependent on science fiction and fantasy, and I should have liked the author to move a little more widely to make the examples more representative of the feature she was describing. However, they were solid examples of the best ways of hooking a reader, and for this reason will resonate. The reader can adapt the ideas to different types of fiction, and this could be a good exercise in itself.

The chapters move from the general ‘The Hooking Formula’ in which three aspects of ‘hooking’ are described, to more specific advice on  ‘Beginnings’,  ‘Openings’ and First Sentences/paragraph; ‘Sound, Mood, and Character’; ‘Magic, Awe, and Wonder’; ‘Engaging Dialogue’; ‘Goals and High Stakes’; ‘Short and Straight To The Point’; ‘Questions From The Start’ ‘Description And Tension’ ; ‘First person Engaging Prose’; and ‘A Quirky, Fun, First Line’. The book then moves into describing some problematic beginnings, a useful section indeed! The remainder of the book looks at how to raise the reader’s curiosity with questions, story futures, and timing and tension, plot (with attention to Jane Austen). No book on writing could end without turning attention to the ending, and this is covered. Pacing, making emotional connections, characterisation and the characters’ flaws, goals, behaviour and personalities are followed with useful examples. 

With a conclusion that covers additional tips and reference to other books about writing that could be useful, this is a good handbook for writers to put on their shelf alongside other similar references for would be authors.
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This is a nice little book for authors packed with tips and examples on how to start a book and hook your readers. In essence, it boils down to three simple things, and Leitao gives plentiful examples of book beginnings that work... and also explains why they work.

I think it's a worthwhile read for fiction authors, and I would definitely recommend it. (I did have to take a star off, though, for some of the clunky writing and grammatical iffiness. When a book on writing craft has two editors, I expect the text to be a lot more polished.)
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A very short but informative read
Full of useful tips which I can see myself using in order to improve my own introductions
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This was an enjoyable book with plenty of examples of what and what not to do. There is actionable information here for budding writers. It should be a welcome addition to writers' shelves.
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This book has lots of quick and useful tips based on the author's workshop focused on engaging readers and keeping them interested. You'll start to see the formula everywhere. I specifically liked all the examples given to illustrate the ideas.
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I liked this book - short and sweet. However I hope the final release isn't written entirely in italics, that seems like a very odd typographic choice!
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Concise and thoroughly engaging. Leitao talks about how to hook readers and keep them interested. This book was a great example of a theory in practice. 

She gives great examples with little fluff, which I found particularly refreshing. A solid reference for writers.
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Hook Them or Lose Them won't provide groundbreaking insight into the craft of writing but it's a light, quick read that is sure to get the juices flowing. It presents its advice simply and grounds it in real world examples that make this the perfect book for aspiring novelists looking to keep their audience engaged.
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A quick helpful guide for writers on how to keep a reader interested in your work. Focuses on certain principles like emotion and prose.
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Unlike many book on writing that deal with all facets of the craft, Hook Them Or Lose Them is a short (easily readable in a sitting or two), tightly focus book dealing with a single aspect of writing. Hooking readers. More specifically hooking readers from the first page. D. Leitao’s lays out her ideas on the subject in a simple to understand manner, using real novels as well as movies/TV shows to back up her beliefs. She fully acknowledges that her way isn’t the only way and may not work for everyone, but I definitely think there is merit to her ideas and are worth considering. Thanks to Sparkly Wave and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an eARC of Hook Them Or Lose Them.

https://www.amazon.com/review/R3I2EDCWU4EFS0/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
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This made for a light evening read, the kind that you'd want to know to add onto what you've heard before- and for me that was quite refreshing. The author shares three elements that your writing can have to keep readers hooked- and what I loved was the simplicity of them and the author's shared experience navigating good and bad examples of beginnings and tales.
Thanks Netgalley for the eARC.
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