Top 10 Books I’m No Longer Interested in Reading

top10tuesday

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: 

It’s probably because of my age, but I’m actually not a big fan of John Green. Sure, I liked Looking for Alaska, but I just couldn’t get into the other novels of his that I’ve read. In part, this is probably due to the fact I’m not crazy about realistic fiction (at least in YA). When it was at its height in popularity, I thought about reading it just to see what all the fuss was, but I never got around to it, and now I probably never will.

 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth: 

I actually liked Divergent, but I also read it after having read a multitude of other YA dystopian books. I was pretty tired of the genre (I still am), so I never continued with the series. While the concept was interesting, the series has already been spoiled for me, and I don’t think I’d enjoy it since I know what happens.

 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: 

I tried this one. I thought I would like, but I  didn’t. At the time, I decided to put it back on my shelf and try again later. After all, maybe it wasn’t the right book for me at that time. But I don’t think I could ever really get into it. I like a good romance every now and then, but I’m definitely not into it enough to read something long.

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson: 

I FINALLY read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo three years ago, and I had every intention of finishing the series. But I don’t plan on ever getting to it now. I just wasn’t as invested in the characters as I thought I was.

Moby Dick by Hermann Melville: 

The ONLY reason I wanted to read this was because it was a classic, and I wanted to see if it really deserved all the hate it gets. But yeah, that’s not a good reason to read something.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini:

 I had really wanted to read this when it came out, but I never got to it. I don’t think I’d enjoy it as an adult.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James:

I was in college when this came out, and SO many of my friends loved this book. Granted, they were also huge fans of Twilight. I had every intention of checking it out because it was so “romantic”, but then I discovered what it really was about. Also, I listened to Ellen read a passage from it. I can’t suffer through that writing.

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer:

 I actually tried to read this once. I think I read three of the stories, but I hated it. I thought I might get back to it someday, but I hate that era of literature. I’m not going to put myself through that.

Fallen by Lauren Kate:

 I remember when this came out, and I thought it would be something I’d enjoy. Now, I’m pretty sure it’d be something I hate.

The Selection by Kiera Cass:

 This was one of those that I really wanted to read. I mean, I liked Matched, so I probably would like this. But I’m STILL totally over the dystopian romance genre, so I have no plans of picking this one up anytime soon, if ever.

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What I’m Reading #8, and Some News!

News

I mentioned once or twice that I am a teacher. I’m also pretty sure I’ve mentioned that I’m no longer crazy about my job. Anyway, after five years, I’ve put in my resignation, and this is the most freeing thing I’ve ever done. I’m writing this here because I can’t really talk about this to my family or friends yet because with this resignation comes a big move.  But I’ve never felt more relieved than I do now. Anyway…onto the post!

Recently Read

pride and prejudice

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners—one of the most popular novels of all time—that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.

Currently Reading

nightingale

Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, Vasya loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon. Wise Russians fear him, for he claims unwary souls, and they honor the spirits that protect their homes from evil.

Then Vasya’s widowed father brings home a new wife from Moscow. Fiercely devout, Vasya’s stepmother forbids her family from honoring their household spirits, but Vasya fears what this may bring. And indeed, misfortune begins to stalk the village.

But Vasya’s stepmother only grows harsher, determined to remake the village to her liking and to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for marriage or a convent. As the village’s defenses weaken and evil from the forest creeps nearer, Vasilisa must call upon dangerous gifts she has long concealed—to protect her family from a threat sprung to life from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S.Lewis

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  • Title:  The Magicians Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia #1)
  • Author: C.S. Lewis
  • Genre: Children’s, fantasy, classic
  • Pages: 221
  • Format: Paperback
  • Other: Amazon, GoodReads
  • Grade: A (5/5)

Blurb 

On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan’s song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible.

 

Review

Sometimes, I feel like I missed out on an essential part of childhood by not reading The Chronicles of Narnia. Sure, I saw the movie (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). What kid hasn’t?

So I’ve decided to address the problem and read the series but instead of reading it in order of publication, I’ll be reading it in chronological order.

The Magician’s Nephew is an origin story. Even if you haven’t read Chronicles of Narnia, you probably know about the wardrobe and Narnia. Well, this is before all of that. It’s quite interesting to learn how it all started, to see Narnia in its very beginning. It’s magical and enchanting. Even as an adult, I was taken into another world.

Furthermore, the imagery is concise and vivid all at the same, something that’s very fitting for the intended audience. And honestly, I like that it’s simplistic. Sometimes I think writers do too much. I don’t need paragraphs upon paragraphs of description. You create a vivid world with few words, and Lewis manages to do just that.

The characters felt like children, and the adults felt like adults (from a child’s perspective). One of the issues I typically have with classic children’s literature is that children often feel less like people and more like cartoons. I didn’t feel that way about Polly and Digory. Sure, the novel was still a product of its time, but nevertheless, it still felt real.

Ultimately, I can see why this series is a beloved classic. Had I read it as a child, I would have been enamored. As an adult, I’m fascinated, and I want to read more. And someday, I plan on sharing it with my own children because it truly is magical.

Writing Ramblings: Romance

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Romance. It seems to play an important role in many of the books I read, and I don’t even really read romance novels. But in so many YA books, it’s part of the subplot. And it makes sense. Most of us experience our first love in our teenage years. That experience is part of growing up.

But sometimes the books we read fail at creating realistic romances.  Sometimes it’s because there’s no chemistry. Sometimes it’s because it’s instalove. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense considering the characters’ circumstances. After all, when they’re fighting for their lives, how the hell do they have time to make out with their crush?

So what makes a romance good? For me, it’s the buildup, and I think that’s why I prefer romantic subplots over romantic novels. I like the tension, but I want a touch of it here and there, not an entire novel of it. And honestly, I’m a big sucker for the will they or won’t they trope.

For me, a good romantic build up takes time.  I want it to take up most of the novel. Let the romance emerge slowly as the characters get to know each other. Let them debate their feelings for the other character, debate whether or not they want to go for it. Or if they have a crush on someone, make them doubt the other’s feelings for a while. Make ‘em suffer a little bit.

Let them fight. Let them discover something they don’t like. How many of us see our partners as faultless? How many of us have discovered something about our partner that made us stop and think: is this person really right for me? Part of loving someone is accepting and loving their faults. For a young person, this might be difficult, but it’s a passage into adulthood and it’s something that needs to be explored  a little more.

Create passion. Early into our romance, we are passionate. Everything is new and fresh and exciting. If our characters are truly falling in love, there needs to be real passion and chemistry. And if the passion feels off or unnatural to you, it’ll probably feel like that for your reader. More importantly, I think this moment of passion is best towards the end of the novel, especially if your couple is “endgame” because if it happens too early, it’s going to feel forced. It’s going to feel like instalove. For your reader to buy into the passion, they have to know the characters, and they have to have felt the passion.

I know, I’m cruel. But the more work it takes, the sweeter it is. And honestly, insta-love just isn’t satisfying. In the real world, we fall in love once we get to know a person. Sure, we might have a mega-intense crush on someone, but we certainly aren’t in love.

I guess this isn’t meant for writers of pure romance. And honestly, I’m not a big romance reader. I like it in parts, but I don’t want it to drive plot. Ultimately, I want a good story, and I sometimes want a good romance to arise within that story, but I don’t want it to take center stage.

Down the TBR Hole #1

DowntheTBRHole

I’ve seen this floating around the internet, so I wanted to give it a try. It was created by Lost in the Story, and it looks like a lot of fun. I’ll be using my personal GoodReads account for this, so we’ll see how this goes.

Anyway, I KNOW I had a GoodReads account before this, but I think I made it when I had temporarily deleted my FaceBook, so I honestly don’t remember the login. Anyway, my point is that if I can ever figure out how to get into my first account, I might purge from there too….just for fun. 🙂

Anyway, it works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

 

 

 

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, added Jul. 6th 2012

I honestly had forgotten what this was about, but I remember hearing about it in a young adult lit class I took in college. Anyway, it has a lot of things that I think I would like. One, it’s historical fiction (set in 1906 and is inspired y a murder). Two, it’s a mystery (a sixteen year old girl is given letters to burn by a guest at a hotel, and then that guest turns up dead).  Three, apparently there’s some romance and I’m totally down for that.

Status: Owned

Decision: Keep

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, added Jul. 6th 2012

Hmm…Okay, so I at least recognized A Northern Light, but this? No idea. It’s about a girl (young woman?) named Cassandra who has recently lost her grandmother, Nell. She inherits a book of dark fairy tales from her grandmother and this leads her “on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family, and their past”. Anyway, I was honestly bored just reading the synopsis because it sounds like nothing interesting really happens.

Status: Don’t have

Decision: Remove

 

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey, added Jul 6, 2012

Don’t remember this one either, but judging from the synopsis, I know why I added it. It’s a Jane Eyre retelling, and I LOVE Jane Eyre. However, it seems to be an exact retelling, just set in in 50s/60s instead. Gemma’s father dies. She goes to live with her aunt who hates her. She’s sent to school. She becomes a governess for a rich dude. I’m all for a retelling, but it sounds like this is going to border on plagiarism.

Status: Don’t have

Decision: Remove

 

Les Miserables by Victory Hugo, added Jul 6, 2012

This is on my list because it’s a classic, but based on the synopsis, I’m not sure if I’d like it. Plus I can’t get over the musical (which I stopped after 30 minutes). So I don’t know. I’m undecided about this. I want to read it because it’s a classic, but it’s also incredibly long, and I’m not sure if it even interests me.

Status: Don’t have

Decision: Keep (for now)

 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, added Jul 7 2012

Okay, I actually started this one because everyone recommended it to me after it became a show. However, I made it through like maybe a hundred pages. I’m  not crazy about the fact that the MC is ALREADY MARRIED. And I hated the sex scenes. So obviously, this will be an easy decision for me…

Status: Own

Decision: Remove (and trade in to the used bookstore)

 

All the Books I Want, #1

I’m a pretty indecisive person. I’m also on a budget because my husband and I are saving money for a down payment on a house. Besides, I already own a bunch of books I haven’t read (well over 60…I counted). Anyway, because of this, I can’t buy every single book on my list. And honestly, I need a little help.

So I want to hear your thoughts. These are the books I’m choosing between. Are there any that you have read and loved? Any you hated? What do you think I should purchase next? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Two of these:

I’m pretty set on The Bear and the Nightingale, but I can’t choose between The Hazel Wood and Everless.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, Vasya loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon. Wise Russians fear him, for he claims unwary souls, and they honor the spirits that protect their homes from evil.

Then Vasya’s widowed father brings home a new wife from Moscow. Fiercely devout, Vasya’s stepmother forbids her family from honoring their household spirits, but Vasya fears what this may bring. And indeed, misfortune begins to stalk the village.

But Vasya’s stepmother only grows harsher, determined to remake the village to her liking and to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for marriage or a convent. As the village’s defenses weaken and evil from the forest creeps nearer, Vasilisa must call upon dangerous gifts she has long concealed—to protect her family from a threat sprung to life from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Everless by Sara Holland

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

One of these: 

I have no idea, honestly.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Two best friends use their magic to save the world from war and corruption in Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling YA fantasy, Truthwitch.

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others. 

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble―as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her―but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safiya’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safiya and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and privateer) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.

In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich’s most mysterious and powerful commanders.

Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share.

Top 10 Tuesday: Romantic Swoons and Romantic Fails

top10tuesday

Hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl

 

Did any of these make your list? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Top 5 Swoons

acourtofthonr

Feyre and Rhys. Like seriously.

hpsorcstone

Ron and Hermione. Gotta love a good friends-to-romance relationship.

jane eyre

Jane and Mr. Rochester. It’s just a good gothic romance AND I love Mr. Rochester.

darkfever

Mac and Barrons. Yeah, Barrons is kind of a dick, but I still love him.

maybesomeday

Sydney and Ridge. I don’t usually like modern/realistic romance, but I LOVED this one.

Top 5 Fails

hunger games

Katniss and Peeta. Really, it just should’ve never been about the romance.

twilight

Bella and Edward. They had, like, no personality.

greatgatsby

Daisy and Gatsby. I feel like SO many people say they’re such a romantic couple, but did anyone actually read the book?! Daisy was horrible, and Gatsby should’ve just moved on. It wasn’t romantic. (I love the book, but I’d hardly swoon for them as a couple).

markveronicaroth

Cyra and Akos. There was no romantic chemistry whatsoever.

wutheringheights

Heathcliff and Catherine. Okay, this is one of my favorite books, but you gotta admit, Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship was incredibly unhealthy.