Book Tag: The Romance Tropes Tag (Original)

Time for another book tag! Some of you might remember that back in 2018 I completed the fantasy tropes book tag. Fantasy is easily one of my favourite genres so answering prompts based around my favourite (and not so favourite) tropes was a lot of fun. Another one of my go-to genres is romance so recently I wondered whether someone had created a similar style tag. While there were a couple of romance related book tags, I couldn’t seem to find any dealing specifically with tropes. And so, I decided why not make one myself? Thus, ‘The Romance Tropes Tag’ was born!

Note:

  • If you’d like to do the tag, feel free! Just make sure to link back to this post so I can see all of your wonderful answers.
  • You are welcome to use my graphics or create your own.
  • Although this is based around romance tropes, your answers don’t have to be romance books. Whatever fits the prompt!

RED, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

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If there’s a limit to how many times I can say I love this book on my blog, please do let me know because I’ve probably long exceeded it already. After reading the first couple of pages of RW&RB I just knew I was going to love it. As it turned out, I was right and it ended up being my second favourite read of 2019. The book deals with the relationship between an alt-version of the prince of Great Britain and first son of the USA. It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s sexy, just magical really. RW&RB is over 400 pages long which is chunkier than your average romance read but I was so invested and having such a good time that the pages just flew by. Queer romance gold.

Alina & The Darkling (The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo)

I know, okay. I really do. This pairing is a complete toxic mess. The logical part of my brain recognises this fact. I never expected them to actually be end game while I was reading the books but *sigh*, the heart wants what it wants. Maybe it’s the whole light-dark symmetry, or that Mal bores me, or the fact that every conversation between Alina and the Darkling is just plain electric. Nah, in reality it’s probably more than likely because I love the drama that comes with the hero and villain being in love with each other but the plot persisting in pitting them against one another. Why, hello there angst.

Chain of Gold – Cassandra Clare

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Every time a new Cassie Clare book comes out, FOMO rears its ugly head. While I read The Infernal Devices back in the day, I haven’t read the last Mortal Instruments book. When The Dark Artifices were releasing I was still determined to catch up but since then I’ve decided not to read any more Shadowhunter books because I just don’t enjoy them like I used to. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel seriously left out and pressured to change my mind with every new release. They’re ridiculously popular so they’re always all over the internet. When Chain of Gold came out last year I was so tempted. The cover was everywhere and the amount of fanart is crazy. I haven’t cracked yet but when the posters for Chain of Iron went up last month, trust me, the struggle was real.

Layla – Colleen Hoover

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This book was not what I was expecting at all. Although, it’s likely my fault in this instance. Clearly I need to read the genre tags on Goodreads more because I somehow completely missed that this was a paranormal romance. The blurb does not suggest this in the slightest (or am I simply thick? Read it and let me know). There I was, thinking it was going to be a whole ‘other woman’ scenario (which I guess it sort of was but with a very different approach). So, you can imagine my shock when a ghost showed up a few chapters in. I wasn’t super keen on it for the most part but the twists towards the end certainly picked things up and tied them together somewhat.

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Their Inner Beasts: 'Lord of the Flies' Six Decades Later - The New York  Times

I first read Lord of the Flies when I was in high school and hated it with a fiery passion. However, I ended up having to read it again a few years later during my university ‘Law & Literature’ elective and found that I enjoyed and appreciated it more the second time through. Published in the 1950s, the book follows a group of schoolboys who get stuck on a deserted island and try (and fail) to create their own version of an organised and lawful society. Sure, the characters were still stupid and nuts, but on reread I was better able to understand what Golding was attempting to say and demonstrate about society and humanity. From 1 to 3 stars. Not bad.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies – John Boyne

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I don’t normally read lots of historical or literary fiction but I was determined to give this book a read. I’m glad I did because it was great and very different from much of what I’ve read in the past. The story centers around the life of a gay man named Cyril living in Ireland before homosexuality was legalised. I’m not sure how he does it but Boyne magically straddles the line between humour and tragedy throughout the book, jumping back and forth without ever giving you emotional whiplash. It’s a quirky, somewhat absurd read at times but super charming and immersive and I’m really looking forward to reading other books from Boyne’s backlist.

Kingdom of the Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco

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Originally I wasn’t going to read KotW because I’m not a huge fan of Stalking Jack the Ripper, but there were just too many things associated with it that I love – witchcraft, murder mysteries, demons, paranormal romance…so I gave in. It’s about a witch and a demon prince in 19th century Sicily teaming up to solve the murder of the witch’s twin sister. I was very unsure early on (I think it’s the writing, lots of tell rather than show) and the story took a good while to grow on me. However, by the second half I was having a much more enjoyable time – the plot had come together better and the dynamic between the two leads was working well. I was actually sorry to see it end so I’ll likely read the sequel later this year.

The Nevernight Chronicle – Jay Kristoff & Shades of Magic Series – V E Schwab

Why did I set myself such a challenging prompt? Crazy. Now I’m imagining all my beautiful books going up in smoke *hyperventilates*. I have quite a few favourite series so I’m approaching this prompt as: which two series would I hate to have to replace? With that line of thinking, and excluding Harry Potter to avoid sounding like a broken record, I’m going with The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff and the Shades of Magic Series by V E Schwab. While I certainly adore both of these series for their great characters, amazing fantasy world building, and exciting story arcs, it more comes down to the fact that my copies are all signed (some personally addressed) by the authors so I would be heartbroken to lose either of them. Even if I were to buy them again, they wouldn’t be the same. I guess I’m going up in smoke with them then.

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Before you start throwing things at me, I liked The Hating Game (I gave it 3.5 stars after all), but I didn’t LOVE The Hating Game. Considering how hyped this book was I was expecting something more. The banter was a lot of fun and the chemistry between Lucy and Josh was great, I even laughed a few times while reading. However, I really wish the whole enemies part of the enemies to lovers transition had lasted longer than it did and that Sally Thorne hadn’t felt the need to repeat certain descriptors over and over again. Josh’s frequent alpha-male asshole-ness also put me off at multiple points.

I’m going to do 2 answers for this prompt – one for fantasy and another for contemporary. These were both books that I came across during mid-high school and really started my love of the genre.

Fantasy: Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

Twilight (Twilight, #1) by Stephenie Meyer

I assume this would be a lot of people’s answer to this question. No avoiding it because it’s true. I have a little soft, squishy spot in my heart for The Twilight Saga. Probably always will. While it certainly has its many flaws, at the age of fifteen I was pretty obsessed with Bella, Edward and Jacob, and their supernatural love triangle woes. This book hurtled me into the depths of the paranormal romance genre, something I still guilty pleasure enjoy today, many years later. Would probably still reread at some point in the future, not gonna lie.


Contemporary: The Secret Dream World of a Shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella

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This book was a gift from my mum and I actually DNF-ed it the first time I read it. I still have no idea why but in my defense, this was a really long time ago. I gave it a second try on a trip to visit my grandparents and ended up racing through it. Having read many more contemporary romances now, were I to re-read it today it probably wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it used to be but at the time I remember it being a lot of fun – Becky and her crazy shopping/debt antics. In the years after I read a whole bunch of Kinsella’s other romcoms (including several in this series) and it’s probably where my love of these types of novels started.

Jude and Cardan (The Folk of the Air Series – Holly Black)

Once again, I’m mentioning my messy and stabby faerie x human power couple, Jurdan. Eventually you all will get sick of me mentioning them over and over (then again, maybe you already are), but for now we’re going to talk about them for the millionth time. These two are somewhat of a toxic clusterf*** at times. However, they just get each other so much better than anybody else does and they feel perfectly matched. Plus the conflict and sexual tension is simply *chef’s kiss*. I love it when they’re sniping at each other, stabbing one another in the back, working together, or being adorably sweet and vulnerable.

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My two favourite romance tropes are enemies to lovers and fake dating. They’re massively overdone but I can’t get enough, especially when they’re in the same book. A book I enjoyed that featured both was The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. It’s about Olive and Ethan who hate each other but whose siblings are getting married. After the bride and groom wind up with food poisoning, our leads decide to make use of their all expenses paid honeymoon to Hawaii. However, certain circumstances result in them having to pretend to be newlyweds. It’s a lot of fun and I love a good CLo read, especially one with good verbal sparring.


I hope you all enjoyed trope-ing it up romance style with me and fingers crossed I managed to tick off most of your favourite tropes from the genre. I’m not usually one to tag other bloggers in these types of posts but I’d be absolutely thrilled if you gave the tag a go. If you’d like to, the prompts are listed below for easy copying and pasting. Until next time!

Prompts:

  • Love at First Sight: A Book You Fell in Love with Almost Immediately
  • Forbidden Love: A Romantic Pairing You Probably Shouldn’t Love but Do
  • Stuck Together/Forced Proximity: A Book You Felt Pressured to Read (By a Friend, Bookstagram, Bloggers, etc.)
  • Mistaken Identity: A Book that Wasn’t What You Were Expecting
  • Second Chance Romance: A Book or Series You Enjoyed More the Second Time Around
  • Opposites Attract: A Book You Love from a Genre You Don’t Usually Read
  • Enemies to Lovers: A Book Whose Second Half is Better than its First OR A Series that Gets Better Over Time
  • Love Triangle: Your House is on Fire & You Can Only Save One Series! Which Two Series Do You Die Trying to Choose Between?
  • Friends to Lovers: A Book You Wanted More From
  • Meet Cute: A Book that Got You Hooked on Romance
  • Soulmates: Two Characters Who Are Made for Each Other
  • Bonus: Your Favourite Romance Trope/s & A Book that Features It

Babelicious Book Covers: International YA Covers

Something that never fails to give me those warm, happy tingles is discovering an aesthetically pleasing book cover. Oh, boy. It’s so good. There are a lot of factors that go into creating an awesome cover (I did an entire post on it, in fact) and sometimes publishers really excel while others, they bomb. Hard. I spend a lot of time talking about and comparing US and UK book covers which, being from Australia, makes sense. However, I thought it would be a fun change to have a look at some awesome international covers for popular young adult books. For reference, I’ll be popping the original US Covers towards the left and their international counterparts on the right.

Simon v the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli: Indonesia & Thailand

How cute is the Indonesian cover for Simon?! The colour scheme is fairly similar to the US cover but I love the illustration. You’ve got this great image of Simon literally hiding from the world, surrounded by objects relevant to the story – his laptop and phone for chatting with Blue, Oreos, and an iPod (music being super important to Simon and the overall book). Perfect cover choice!

While it’s not my favourite design, the anime-ish drawing of Simon on the Thai cover is pretty fun, especially with the mysterious, hooded Blue figure in the background. I also like the fact that they kept the idea of the speech bubble title and red background from the US cover.


A Darker Shade of Magic Series – V. E. Schwab: France, Indonesia & Bulgaria

Something I’ve noticed writing this post: France has some amazing book covers. Like, damn. The artwork for the “Shades of Magic” books in particular is gorgeous (the work of the ridiculously talented Charlie Bowater). The characters are almost exactly how I would imagine them to look plus the lighting, backgrounds, and colours are all fantastic.

Although I quite like the Indonesian cover’s font and the incorporation of the map into the ends of Kell’s coat, I’m not as fond of this one as the others. The Bulgarian cover, on the other hand, is awesome. I love the use of the compass in bold, bloody red and Kell at the centre.


The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer: Norway, Korea & Thailand

I’m not normally a fan of models in strange poses on book covers but I can’t help finding the editing on the Norwegian ones super pretty. They really do capture the great mix of fairytale and sci-fi that The Lunar Chronicles have. Although each image is quite different from the US versions (more about the people than the objects), it’s still easy to identify which fairytale the book is referring to.

I think what draws me to the Korean covers is their use of bold, solid colours which really makes the imagery and titles stand out. The art style is simple but fairly nice to look at as well. The Thai covers are heavy on the sci-fi side – space-y colours, planets in the background, obvious light sources… It’s different but it works.


Warcross – Marie Lu: Germany & Spain

As Warcross is set in futuristic Japan and centers around hacking and e-sports, this leaves a lot of room for bright, eye-catching, sci-fi cover designs. For some reason, the German cover gives me serious Ready Player One vibes. There’s this great dystopian feel to the way it showcases the contrast between the big, bright parts of the city and its darker underbelly (something Emika delves into). The title text is also really cool.

I feel like the Spanish cover perfectly captures the sense of wonder and possibility Emika experiences in being introduced to technologically advanced and exciting Tokyo. You really do get the sense that this is the sort of place where VR capture the flag type competitions could be a big deal. I do wish they’d done more with the text though.


The Selection – Kiera Cass: Vietnam & Persia

The Vietnamese covers for The Selection books are very similar in feel to the US covers except they use illustrations instead of photographed models. And well, I have absolutely no problem with this because the illustrations are pretty and suit the books just as much as the originals.

I’m not sure what it is about the Persian cover, but I like it. It probably doesn’t fit the actual story very well considering The Selection is supposed to be set in a dystopian future. However, I like the romantic, historical feel of it. Also points to both covers for remembering America’s red hair.


The Diviners – Libba Bray: Germany, Spain & Australia

Whoever is handling The Diviners covers around the world, you’re doing a top notch job. I adore the clear 1920s feel of both the German and Spanish covers. The costuming on the German version is lovely and the woman’s head popping up from the border on the Spanish cover is really cute. The title fonts on all three are great, too. I will say though that Australian cover probably captures the darkness and mysticism of the book more than the others.


The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo: France

Okay, I really tried not to include another bunch of French covers, but WOULD YOU LOOK AT THESE GRISHA COVERS?? They’re just….*heart eyes*. Gosh I wish I’d continued with my French studies at university. The colouring, borders, font, imagery, it’s all so gorgeous and Alina looks like such a badass.


Caraval – Stephanie Garber: China, Russia & Iran/Persia

It turns out that Caraval has a smorgasbord of cool looking international covers. The Chinese cover is 100% my favourite. The artwork is stunning. I especially like the layout with the girl in the sweeping dress at the front, Caraval itself in all it’s glory, and then the back of Legend’s glorious top hat above the title. It just feels wonderfully mystical and adventurous.

The Russian cover has a few bits and pieces that look somewhat out of place (the woman on the left) but overall, it’s vivid and eye catching. The use of colour suits the story and I really like the idea of the big, voluminous dress flowing across the centre.

What I like about the Iranian/Persian cover is that it’s different from covers I usually see. I enjoy the simple red, white and black colour scheme and the use of silhouettes. It looks nothing like the other covers here but still manages to give the same sense of mystery and magic, although with a little danger mixed in.


Do you have a favourite non-US/UK cover for a young adult read? Link me up! I’d love to see it.

Top 10 Tuesday: Fantasy/Sci Fi Sequels I Enjoyed More Than the Original *Gasp*

This week’s TTT topic is a genre based freebie so I’m looking at books which managed the impossible – they impressed me more than the original book in their series. Shocking! I know. Here are 10 sequels that made the cut.

Morning Star (Red Rising Saga 3#) – Pierce Brown

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I could have comfortably listed either Golden Son or Morning Star on this list but I’ve decided to go with entry 3 because it’s my favourite book of the original trilogy (before Pierce expanded the series). I’ve mentioned my love of these books quite a few times on this blog, recently even. So, why not mention it again for the zillionth time? I really like Red Rising, it’s fantastic, but it’s always those pages at the beginning which let it down. A 4.5 instead of the full 5 stars. Morning Star is just amazing from start to finish. Action, humour, friendship, THE EMOTION… There isn’t a dodgy sequel in sight with this book. Basically, if the series had ended here, I would have had no complaints.


A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR 2#) – Sarah J. Maas

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This entry will be a shock to absolutely no one. As I’ve said before, when I first read A Court of Thorns and Roses, I liked it, it was fine, but it wasn’t exactly my new obsession. I only continued with the series a good while later (after a re-read of book 1) because of how popular the sequel was. I ended up being so glad I did because I really loved it. The characters are so loveable and the dynamics between them are great. Also, the expansion of the world beyond the Spring Court was a lot of fun. And need I mention the romance? It’s awesome. Fictional ship gold right there. Mutual respect, passion, banter – I’m in love.


Siege & Storm (The Grisha Series 2#) – Leigh Bardugo

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Like ACOTAR, this is another series where I didn’t mind book one but I wasn’t blown away. In the end I decided to keep going with the series because (a) I liked the villain, (b) I loved the Six of Crows duology and, (c) I was determined to meet the famous Nikolai Lantsov. I ended up having a great time with Siege & Storm. There was a good amount of action and the book kicked into gear quickly. I appreciated certain characters a lot more and Nikolai was, well, everything people said he was. This book is easily my favourite of the three.


Legendary (Caraval 2#) – Stephanie Garber

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If you’ve read my re-read review of Caraval, you’ll know that despite liking the setting & atmosphere, and progressing through the book quickly, I had a few issues with the story, characters and world building. I never saw myself continuing the series but after seeing book 3 pop up everywhere on release and hearing that people with the same Caraval problems as me had enjoyed Legendary, I decided, stuff it, I’ll try it out. As it turned out, people were right. I liked Tella as a protagonist much more than Scarlet and the world building in this book was miles ahead of Caraval. Plus the introduction of Jacks was a lovely surprise. I’m almost tempted to read Finale. Almost.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter 4#) – J. K. Rowling

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Everyone who follows my blog will know by now that I’m a major Harry Potter fan. But in a series of seven books there’s, of course, going to be some you like better than others. While I love The Philosopher’s Stone, it’s the book that made me fall in love with the characters and world after all, Goblet of Fire has always been my favourite of the series in all it’s beautiful, chunky glory. A magical competition, dragons & merpeople, more wizard schools, and a Big Bang ending that completely changes the direction and mood of the series going forward. I’ve read it a hundred times and could probably stand to read it a hundred more.


The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air 2#) – Holly Black

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I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince when I first read it and I was certainly one of those people who eagerly awaited the release of The Wicked King before quickly going out and buying it on release day. Book two is definitely my favourite book in this series. I love the sense of momentum, plot twists, romance, and more morally grey characters doing questionable things. This book made me appreciate Jude as a protagonist a lot more which then translated over to my re-read of book one later on. Also, as a writer, if you’re looking for a way to end your novel that basically guarantees your audience will be desperate for the next one – this book is a prime teaching material.


The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle 2#) – Maggie Stiefvater

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After reading three books in The Raven Cycle, my response to this series is still somewhat apathetic but I’ll willingly admit that The Dream Thieves was the entry I enjoyed the most. I feel like I got to know the characters much better in this one which was nice. My favourite element of the novel, however, was Maggie’s inclusion and development of Ronan’s dream based abilities which made for some interesting plotlines and an exciting climax in seeing those powers tested against that of someone else’s. Overall, I liked the book enough to want to continue to book three and was a little sad I didn’t have the same level of engagement going forward.


A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes 2#) – Sabaa Tahir

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In all fairness, this is only the tiniest bit higher than book one but we’ll take it because I love it when a sequel does well. Book two is fairly different to book one. It really feels like a proper adventure and I enjoyed the cat and mouse dynamic between Elias and Helene. As Helene is probably my favourite character, I loved getting to see her given more presence & independence with her own challenges and plotlines. There’s a great level of political drama with the new emperor in charge and the Commandant pushing for power. Also in its favour is an exciting prison break sequence and a few major things happen with big consequences in book 3.


City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments 3#) – Cassandra Clare

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I was obsessed with this series in high school. I wanted all of my friends to read them and almost jumped out of my skin when I finally got to hold City of Glass on release. Back in the day, this book was my favourite of the bunch mostly because of the high stakes of it all and the fact that some of the other characters got more of a chance to shine. After re-reading the first four books in recent years, while books 1 & 2 have slightly diminished with time (we don’t talk about City of Fallen Angels…), City of Glass hasn’t and it’s still my favourite of the series (later additions included, even though I still haven’t read book 6. But let’s face it, there’s no way it’d be better than City of Glass).


The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & The Olympians 5#) – Rick Riordan

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Percy Jackson is another one of those super popular series. It’s also happens to have quite a few books, ergo there’s always a favourite among the bunch. As a whole, I liked PJ&O – they were fun, creative novels full of adventure, mythology and likeable characters. Yet, being intended for a middle grade audience, they did feel on the young side for me in my mid-twenties. However, I really, really liked The Last Olympian. In fact, many of my reasons for this are similar to City of Glass – action packed & dramatic battles, real stakes, and more characters in the spotlight. With the characters around 16 at this point, the book also read much older, which I appreciated. Major points to an author who can grow with their audience.

Top 10 Tuesday: The Good & the Bad of Cover Re-designs

This week’s edition of Top 10 Tuesday (brought to you by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl) revolves around cover redesigns. To ensure there’s a little variety, I’m doing five re-covers that made my eyes do that love heart thing they sometimes do, and five which I believe should have been given a miss by publishers.

Covers Re-Designs that Hit the Mark

The Mortal Instruments series – Cassandra Clare

I’ve mentioned these recovers on my blog multiple times in the past. The cover designs, the spine images – I adore them completely, and The Infernal Devices re-covers are equally beautiful. I already owned all but two of these in their original covers when I went out and bought them as a set. I ended up giving my old copies to my sister and definitely have no regrets.

The Hunger Games series – Suzanne Collins (10th Anniversary Editions)

I’ve already bought a second set of these books previously but if I hadn’t, trust me, I’d buy these ones because dammmmmnnnn. They’re. So. Freaking. Lovely. I can’t even explain what it is, I just can’t stop looking at them. I’m such a sucker for anniversary editions *sigh*.

The Mortal Engines series – Philip Reeve (Ian McQue 2018 Redesigns)

I’ve never read this series but ever since this version of the covers started showing up in bookstores, I’ve found myself picking them up a lot and considering it. The artwork is really lovely and I imagine that it captures the world of the stories fantastically as well. Even the font choice is kicking butt.

His fair assassin series – Robin lafevers

This is another series I’ve yet to read but looking at these cover designs in comparison to the previous ones featuring random models in capes and flowing dresses, I feel as though these are a huge improvement. I like the colours and the close ups of the different weapons. Far less embarrassing for me to be reading on the train.

The Grisha trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

These redesigns were so stunning that I actually changed the covers I was buying after book one even though I knew it meant I’d have non matching books. Yep, that’s how much I like them. I think I’ll eventually have to buy a matching copy of book one because (a) it’s purrrdddyyy and (b) I really do mind the matching situation.


Cover Re-designs that…Didn’t

Shatter Me series – Tahereh Mafi

I honestly wouldn’t blame you for thinking this one was a joke – someone’s terrible attempt at photoshop. But no. These are literally the covers being sold in bookstores in Sydney. Worse, these came after the stunning eye designs currently used. Just, why? WHY??

Ember Quartet – Sabaa Tahir

Okay, so Sabaa’s reasons for the cover redesign prior to A Reaper at the Gates were great. I am all for increased representation and ensuring that young readers are able to see themselves in media. However, I just find that the way they went about it ended up looking a little bit cheesy and awkward. I can’t help finding the way the models have been arranged really odd and posed. So YAY for rep but nay for design.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (50th Anniversary Edition)

One word: Creepy. Were the designers of this cover out of their minds? Not only do I have no idea how this even properly connects to the story, but it makes me feel downright uncomfortable. Burn it.

Strange the Dreamer duology – Laini Taylor

These covers aren’t what I’d call bad. They’re just really, really boring and pale in comparison to the absolute stunning beauty of the original covers. The fact that they were released so soon after the original versions is a little confusing to me. If you’re going to do a redesign that fast, at least make sure it’s as attractive as the original. On this count, not so much. Snoozeville.

Movie/TV tie-in Covers – in general

Yep, it’s the dreaded film/TV tie in cover release. I refuse to buy these. I get that the publisher is trying to appeal to the market of people who enjoyed the adaptation and make more money but at the same time, the book came first so why should it be suddenly taken over by the adaptation, especially if in many cases that adaptation completely changed aspects of the story. There’s also the issue of: what if the adaptation sucks and you’re stuck with a reminder of it forever? And lastly, a lot of adaptation book covers just look like awkward inserts of the movie poster with ‘Now a Major Motion Picture’ stamped across it. No thanks.


And that’s 5 + 5 = 10 covers. What are some covers that are not original designs which you’ve either really liked or wanted to hide under a bed somewhere?

The Villains Award Tag

This tag comes to me courtesy of the one, and only, Paper Fury. Everyone knows that a good story needs a fantastically written and memorable villain so let’s celebrate a few of the good ones (or evil, as the case may be).

SPOILER WARNING for some of the below paragraphs.


Villain You Absolutely DESPISE and HATE

Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J K Rowling)

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This was an easy pick. There are some villains you just love to hate but Umbridge, I just flat out hate her. She’s just evil. I mean, the woman tortures students as a form of “punishment”, is a crazy control freak, is so power hungry she basically gets on board with the death eaters when they take over the ministry of magic, treats any intelligent creature that isn’t a full wizard like scum, and worst of all… she thinks kitten plates are good interior decorating.

Villain Who is Entrancing

The Darkling (Grisha Verse – Leigh Bardugo)

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I know, an obvious choice, but how could I not? The Darkling is a dodgy dude. I know it, I really, really do. And yet, he just has something about him. Every time he enters a scene, I’m captivated. There’s this charisma and sense of mystery…I have no idea what it is. But bad guy. BAD.

Book You’d Like to Read From the Villain’s Perspective

The Wicked King – holly black (cardan greenbriar)

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I had a tough time with this one. Like, really hard. I need to read more books with good villains. So I’m going with a sort of anti-hero-ish character? I have no idea at this point. What even is Cardan? While I get what’s happening with him in The Cruel Prince, I would love to have some more insight into what’s going on inside his head in the sequel, especially considering the ending. Plus, there’s an extended period during which Jude is out of commission and a lot of things clearly went down that we don’t have info on. I needs to know, please.

Worst Antagonistic YA Parents

Valentine Morgenstern (The Mortal Instruments series – Cassandra Clare)

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This guy is not winning any father of the year awards. He’s a terrible parent but also a crappy person. He (1) made his wife ingest demon blood against her will which turned their baby into an evil demon-shadow hunter hybrid, (2) tried to enslave the shadow hunter race and then kill them all when that failed, (3) told his daughter that his adoptive son was her blood relation so they’d think they had incestuous feelings for each other, (4) imprisoned and tortured downworlders to “learn” about them, and…the list goes on.

Antihero Who is a Little Bad, Little Good

Gosh, how long have we got? There are so many good picks for this one:

  • Kaz Breker (Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo)
  • Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards Trilogy – Scott )
  • Victor Vale (Vicious Duology – V. E. Schwab)
  • Kelsier (The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson)
  • Severin Montague-Alarie (The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi)
  • Lila Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab)
  • Jude Duarte (The Folk of the Air Series – Holly Black)
  • Mia Corvere (Nevernight Series – Jay Kristoff)

Villain Made From Tragic Circumstances

The Nightbringer (Ember Quartet – Sabaa Tahir)

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The Nightbringer was once the leader of the Jinn before the Scholars betrayed them. In a desire for power, the Scholar leaders took advantage of the Jinn’s hospitality and tricked them into handing over their magic. They then proceeded to kill many of them, including their children and the Nightbringer’s family, and bound the rest in a magical grove. As you’d expect, the Nightbringer has good reason to be pissed off.

Minya (Strange the Dreamer Duology – Laini Taylor)

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Minya is one of only a few survivors of her race. After years of torment under the power of their gods, the people of Weep fought back against their oppressors. Worried that the children might grow to become threats, they slaughtered them as well. Only six years old at the time, Minya remembers the day in detail and is haunted by her failure to save more children from the nursery during the attack. For this reason she harbors a deep hatred for the humans of Weep.

Antagonist Who Gets in the Hero’s Way but isn’t Necessarily “Pure Evil”

Cassius au bellona (Red Rising Series – Pierce Brown)

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Cassius actually starts the series as MC, Darrow’s, friend, however, we all knew the minute he found out Darrow had been forced to kill his brother to enter the Gold military academy this would fall apart in spectacular fashion. And it did. Cassius isn’t an evil character. He has strong ideas about loyalty and honour, but because of how he’s been brought up, he aligns with the existing gold elite. He does come through in the end but up until that point, he’s kind of a thorn in Darrow’s side rather than a big bad.

A Non-Human Villain

  • BeiTech (The Illuminae Files – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff): Massive evil megacorporation that decided to take over an illegal mining operation on a distant planet knowing its inhabitants would be unable to call for help and then proceeded to try and murder all the witnesses.
  • Smaug (The Hobbit – J R R Tolkein): Obviously, a dragon. Is all like, NO, YOU MAY NOT HAVE YOUR GOLD AND MOUNTAIN BACK. ALL SHINY THINGS FOR ME.
  • Pennywise (It – Stephen King): Ancient being of great power who feeds off fear and often takes the shape of a creepy ass, child eating clown.

Villain Who you Think is Wicked but they’re Intriguing

Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris)

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Hannibal is a murderer and a cannibal, but he’s just so smooth, suave and intelligent that sometimes you forget. That is, until he makes some weird and creepy comment about eating some dude’s liver with wine. Every scene he’s in you pause, just waiting to see what he’s going to say or do. The fact that he only gives you half the story at any given time (because he wants Clarice to work out the rest herself) also enhances just how intriguing he is – a truly captivating character.

scythe goddard (arc of a scythe – neal shusterman)

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Good lord, Scythe Goddard is bad news. Honestly, the guy is both a physical and mental threat, and he knows how to command a room too. What a cunning villain. Just when you think he’s failed or there’s a line he won’t cross, think again. Goddard has absolutely no qualms about massacring a room full of people and he genuinely believes scythes are better than everyone else. But while he may be awful, I’m always interested in seeing what his next move will be.

Antagonist Who Gets a Redemption Arc

Holland vosijk(A Darker Shade of Magic Series – V E Schwab)

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Oh, Holland. Sweet baby Holland, who just wants to help his world, but of course turns to a super-duper, evil dark magical being to do it. In the last book of the series, Holland joins Kell, Lila and Alucard’s quest to find an object they believe will save their world. By the end of the story, he redeems himself in a big way and *major spoiler* sacrifices himself to fix the situation he helped create.


Who are some of your favourite literary villains and anti-heroes? What makes them so damn good?

And That’s a Wrap: October & November Edition

November is done. Caput. Over. See ya later. And there’s just ONE month left in 2018. NOBODY PANIC!! *flails*
Now that’s out of the system, it’s time for a good, old fashioned wrap up. As you might be aware, I was on hiatus during October so that means we get two months of wrap up today for the price of one post! And by price I mean entirely free. Free fun woooooo!

Books I Read

October

October reads

Sadie – Courtney Summers ★★★★★ | Review

Man, this was good. And by good I mean terrifying and heartbreaking. The writing is fantastic, the pacing spot on and the attention given to characters and places, wonderful. It’s a dark read with a tough ending to digest but very worth reading. Additionally, the choice to tell the story half in first person and the rest in podcast transcripts was a solid one.

Renegades – Marissa Meyer ★★★.5| Review

I had a few issues with the pacing in this one as well as adjusting to the odd tonal shifts but overall I enjoyed it. The world building is really compelling, the superpowers are awesome and creative, the romance isn’t rushed into (thank god), and the twist works well for the narrative. Yet, I do wish that amongst the very (too) large roster of characters there had been more I’d cared about than the two leads – Nova & Adrian.

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) – Rick Riordan ★★★★

While I probably should have read this one right after I finished the first book, I did manage to get my head back into it without too many issues. The Son of Neptune was another fun and action packed Riordan book and once again, I really liked the new character additions – Frank and Hazel. The introduction of the Roman side of things was great and I had such a blast learning about their camp, practices, leadership, structure, etc. I’m also loving the more mature Percy.

The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3) – Rick Riordan ★★★.5

The Mark of Athena starts off really well but the book does get a little draggy and meandering in the middle. I quite liked the interactions between the characters (except maybe Jason who’s kind of lifeless and seems to gets injured A LOT for a hero type) and Hazel’s side of the story was very engaging. Major pro: Annabeth and Percy being ridiculously cute. The ending was fabulous and left me definitely wanting book 4. My favourite part of this though was getting to see Annabeth have some time in the spotlight without anyone to overshadow her, and she really shined. You go, girl!.

I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson ★★★★.5

I didn’t know what to expect with this one, especially after the first few pages, which almost turned me off because of the artsy-prosey writing style, but I’m so glad I kept going. The characters are deeply flawed and do some awful things to each other, but I love how real they felt and the fact that the book showcases how complex relationships can be. The story just conveys so much emotional depth. My biggest complaint though was the fact that there were a few things that weren’t resolved satisfactorily in the end – e.g. Noah’s relationship with Brian, Jude seeing her grandma’s ghost, etc.

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy 1#) – Leigh Bardugo ★★★.5

This was a reread for me because I wanted to give the series another go (it may or may not have anything to do with King of Scars coming out…) and surprisingly, I ended up enjoying it more the second time. I still really liked The Darkling as a villain, I saw past more of Mal’s annoying traits, and I find I enjoyed the general narrative more because I knew where it was going. Alina was still lacking definition as a MC but overall, I was reasonably happy.

November

Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan  ★★.5 | Review

I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this one and although I really wanted to love it, I was disappointed. I feel like it had a lot of potential, and major brownie points for both Asian and lesbian representation, but the world building was lacking and I had great trouble connecting with any of the characters. The king as a villain seemed very one-dimensional and while the story picks up at the end with a great climax and epilogue, I wish the plot had showed up to the party earlier on. I do have to say that the romance is well written – the descriptions are lovely and the attraction between Lei and Wren jumps off the page.

Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy 2#) – Leigh Bardugo ★★★★.5

I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. The plot clicks into gear very quickly (yay, sea adventures!), the writing is better (go, Leigh!), Alina becomes a much more defined lead character, we get introduced to Nikolai in all his glory, and the climax is fantastically dramatic. I had a fab time reading this, so much so that I went straight into book three.

Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy 3#) – Leigh Bardugo ★★★★

So, this one wasn’t as good as book two but had more meat, stakes and direction than book one. I liked that we got sto know characters that had just generally been circling around in previous books, and to my absolute SHOCK, Mal actually became not just bearable but likeable. Some of the plot points could have been improved (Nikolai, Leigh did you dirty here) but regardless, I really enjoyed myself. The ending has a few wtf elements but the actual end-end I liked – very sweet. I’m so glad I gave this series a second go because I had a great time reading it.

The Rules of Magic – Alice Hoffman ★★★★

I’ve never read the original book, Practical Magic, but I’d heard so many good things about the prequel that I decided to give it a go and it ended up being quite enjoyable. I really like character driven stories where you follow people through a large portion of their lives, get to know the characters, and share their ups and downs. Franny, Jet and Vincent are all very distinct characters and seeing them try to navigate adolescence and adulthood whilst dealing with their family curse was really interesting. Hoffman’s writing is also absoutely lovely. A great pick for magical realism fans.

History is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera ★★★★

I knew this book was going to be hard on the heart just from the title and then the blurb cemented it. This is another book that I feel works well because it deals with imperfect people who screw up, badly, but still manage to turn it around. I really liked the split between present and past here and it worked to give context to events and people over the story. I think Adam deals with the idea of grief really well here and while the book is definitely sad, he manages to break it up with moments of lightness to avoid you getting too bogged down by it.

A Reaper at the Gates (Ember Quartet 3#) – Sabaa Tahir ★★★★

I really should have done a re-read before tackling this one – so much memory searching for important details. The book does take a while to get going but boy, does it get going. I’ve never been too excited by Laia as a character before, nor her romance with Elias, but I ended up finding her more a lot more enjoyable this time around. Elias and Helene, my babies, had a rough time of it this book but I still really enjoyed their stories, especially Helene’s in terms of the political navigating. I absolutely loved the last third of the novel and couldn’t tear myself away. Can every fantasy have an epic battle that draws on my love of the LotR: The Two Towers movie? Because yes, please. I’m so keen for book four!

Books I Bought

October

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I already own a normal copy of Six of Crows but have you seen this special edition? It’s irresistably gorgeous and needed to be in my bookcase, okay? It just did. Both Muse of Nightmares and Vengeful are on hold until I can arrange time for a re-read of their previous books (sad face) but it has to be done. I want to enjoy them to their full potential and a refresher is a requirement for that. As I mentioned earlier, Girls of Paper and Fire was an ARC.

40556417November

NONE. I did not buy a single book. NOT ONE. I am so proud of myself. There were double rewards points promos, black friday/cyber monday sales, and still, not today Satan. HOWEVER, while I didn’t actually buy any books, I did get approved for one ARC from Netgalley which is To Best the Boys by Mary Weber. I’ve never read one of Mary’s books before but it sounds great and I’m loving the maze cover. Also, from the dedication, I’m expecting some serious female empowerment.

Blog Posts

Top 10 Tuesday

Backlist Books I Want to Read

Favourite Friendships in Books

Book Tags

Book Tag: R.I.P it or Ship It

WWW Wednesday

21.11.18

Miscellaneous

Upcoming Releases to Get Excited About

Personal

So, I know you’re all asking: Ashley, what have you been doing for the past two months? Just kidding, I’m not that deluded but I’m going to tell you anyway. Truth is, I haven’t really been doing much of anything lately which is both good and bad. Work is extremely busy at the moment so that’s involved a lot of late nights and reduced my ability to have that thing normal people call…what is it again? Oh, right, a SOCIAL LIFE. I’m hoping to find it again once we get past Christmas.

TV

A Discovery of Witches [DVD]Some of you may know that I wasn’t much of a fan of Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches. The minute the words ‘Vampire Wife’ came up, I was out of there. Jokes, I read the rest of the book because clearly I’m a masochist. And because I make complete, total sense, I decided to watch the new tv series starrring Theresa Palmer and Matthew Goode. And…it actually wasn’t a total diaster? As in, I binge watched all 8 episodes in about two days. Yes, the relationship is still ridiculously over the top and instantaneous but I feel like they’ve fleshed out a lot more elements of the story and given everything more context. Also, ‘vampire wife’ isn’t mentioned so they’re already ahead. It’s still campy but it’s shot beautifully and the acting is pretty good.  Probs should do a Page to Screen post for it but we’ll see how lazy I am.

This aside, I’ve been very, very slowly making my way through The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which started off rocky for me but has been improving in quality as I go on. Gosh knows when I’ll actually finish it at my current pace but maybe before Christmas? Shortly after it came out, I also binge watched the hell out of Daredevil Season 3 and enjoyed it immensely. You have no idea of my despair at the fact that it’s just been cancelled. *shakes fist* Damn you, Netflix. Damnnnnnnn youuuuuu.

Music

Image result for youngbloodI’m a million-gazillion years late to the party, but I’ve recently gotten super into Marina and the Diamonds. I just love her style – she’s electric and poppy but still manages to have these fantastic lyrics with such depth. Also, have you seen her music videos? They are fabulously shot.

I also recently bought the new 5SOS album, Young Blood. Believe me, I’m more surprised than you are at this fact. Turns out it has a ridiculous number of bangers on there. I’m loving their sound right now – it’s catchy, got a good level of base and there’s a decent mix of boppy to slower songs. Great for rocking out to in the car.

Related imageGames

Aside from reading, I love playing video games. These days my time is on the limited side so I don’t get to do as much of it as I would like but this month I’ve been getting reacquainted with a very old friend, Spyro the dragon. Toys for Bob recently released the Spyro Reignited Trilogy in which they’ve remastered all three of the original games. My sister and I have had so much fun replaying them and the graphics are gorgeous.

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And that’s it for another month. Well, two in this case but you get the point. Time to catch me up, how was your October and November? And what books are you planning on reading before the end of the year?

Top 10 Tuesday: Favourite Friendships in Books

This week’s TTT topic, thanks to host Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl, is platonic relationships in books. I’ve decided to go all basic and just do friendships because there are few things I love more than balanced, well developed and amazing friendships in the books I read. So here are ten of my favourites, of which there are TOO many (and yes, expect to see a lot of frequented choices, sorry not sorry).

Will Herondale & Jem Carstairs (The Infernal Devices Series – Cassandra Clare)

  • They’re so close, they’re basically brothers
  • Jem tells Will when he’s being ridiculous, risky and over the top (demon pox). Will encourages Jem to get out and have hope for the future even though he’s technically dying
  • Even though they’re in love with the same girl, they’re both willing to accept Tessa’s choice and just be happy for their friend because they honestly believe he deserves it *heart tingles*
  • Badass parabatai warriors

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Rose Hathaway & Lissa Dragomir (Vampire Academy series – Richelle Mead)

  • Rose dedicates her whole life to protecting Lissa and is willing to beat up anyone who hurts her (even emotionally)
  • Lissa brought both Rose’s boyfriend, Dimitri, AND Rose back from the dead at risk to her own sanity
  • Their skills and temperaments make up for what the other half lacks and when they work together, they kick ass
  • They have a magical bond that allows Rose to know what Lissa is thinking and feeling, meaning she always knows when her friend needs support

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The Inner Circle (A Court of Thorns and Roses Series – Sarah J Maas)

  • They’ve managed to be friends for god knows how many years and still aren’t sick of each other (well, mostly)
  • Snow ball fights and jokes about wingspans
  • They perfectly span the spectrum of very serious to massive shit stirrer which makes for fabulous dinner parties
  • Would die for each other
  • Basically family and in some instances, probs a better family than actual family

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Harry Potter, Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling)

  • All bring something different to the table – humour, intelligence and…err, sass and chosen one-ish-ness in order to save the day, repeatedly
  • Do not give two stuff about school rules
  • Stick by each other even when things look awful
  • Took down big evil wizard and saved the wizarding world together
  • Bicker in a way I find very amusing
  • Just generally give me life, okay

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Sevro Au Bacca & Darrow (Red Rising Series – Pierce Brown)

  • Sevro stops Darrow from getting a big head when things are going too well and Darrow stops Sevro from going on massive murder sprees except where it serves his agenda= goals
  • Fought side by side during epic space battles and have saved each other repeatedly
  • Trust each other so much they’re willing to follow the other person’s plans even when they’re absolutely insane and more likely to get them killed than succeed
  • That banter

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Nikolai Lantsov & Alina Starkov (The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo)

Choosing to ignore the whole potential romantic interest thing and focus on awesome friendship instead because it was honestly one of my fave parts of this series.

  • Can have serious heart to hearts but also two second later switch to Nikolai being a cocky bastard and Alina saying she doesn’t like him at all (LIES)
  • Just generally get each other
  • Alina not being freaked out by Nikolai even when he’s a flying, fangy, people eating darkness creature
  • Nikolai following Alina around while being said people eating creature and still recognising her

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The Losers club (IT – Stephen King)

  • Teaming up to throw rocks at asshole bullies
  • Brave enough to go into scary, dark, icky sewers looking for a child eating clown and to vow to come back and kill it if it ever returns
  • Put up with Richie being a little pain in the ass with terrible impressions (who’s still loveable somehow)
  • Help Bev clean her bloody bathroom after Pennywise badly redecorates

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Anne Shirley & Diana Barry (Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery)

  • Because they’re kindred spirits and bosom friends
  • Anne saves Diana’s little sister’s life when she gets super sick one night
  • Diana doesn’t get mad at Anne for accidentally getting her drunk off mulled wine when she thought it was raspberry cordial
  • Diana indulges Anne’s insane dramatics and fantasies
  • Anne encourages Diana to live a little and have fun, even though it may be bending the rules

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Eragon & Saphira (Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini)

  • Can read each other’s thoughts – so basically know all the good and bad parts of each other
  • Work in sync to be the dream team in big epic battles
  • Tell each other when they’re being stupid – mostly Saphira telling off Eragon because he does a lot of stupid things and gives her plenty of opportunities for snarky commentary
  • Just generally have a great dynamic

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Kell & Rhy Maresh (A Darker Shade of Magic Series – V. E. Schwab)

Pretty much brothers but great friends too.

  • Kell brought Rhy back from the dead by binding Rhy’s ife to his own. Now that’s friendship.
  • Rhy tricks Kell into going out to bars, drinking and socialising = basically the kind of friends my introverted, couch potato self needs
  • Kell is willing to threaten Rhy’s romantic interests with immense violence to make sure they don’t break his brother’s fragile little heart
  • Rhy encourages Kell to enter a magic competition to blow off some steam even though it is clearly a very bad idea

SPECIAL MENTIONS: Frodo Baggins & Samwise Gamgee (LotR), Mia Corvere & Mr Kindly (Nevernight – Jay Kristoff), Madeline, Celeste & Jane (Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty)


What are some of your favourite bookish friendships or other platonic relationships?

Top 10 Tuesday: Series I’d Like to Finish or Continue with Someday

This week’s TTT topic is: book series I’ve given up on. I had a think about this for a little bit and since I didn’t feel comfortable including any series where I only read the first book before going, nah, not for me, I was running a bit short on selections. Instead I’m going with Jana’s (That Artsy Reader Girl) provided alternative which is: series I’d still like to finish someday. To give myself some more options, I’m also including series I want to continue with at some point. For me, this means the series hasn’t finished being written yet but I’m a little behind on it.

The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer

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I only started this series last year so it’s definitely not the oldest unfinished one on my shelves. At this point I’ve only got one book to go, Winter, which is relatively sizeable. I’ve been really enjoying it so far, mostly because the characters are strong, different, funny, AND ethnically diverse, which is always great. It’s a really well done fairytale retelling series but there’s still a lot of originality which keeps it feeling fresh, fun and surprising.


The Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini

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It feels like I’ve had only one book left in this series FOREVER. Oh wait, it actually has been forever. I’ve reread books one and two quite a few times over the years, and read book three once, but for some reason I never make it all the way through. I get busy, or distracted, or something. I’m determined to get there though, it will happen! Watch out Eragon & Saphira, I’m coming for you…eventually.


The Mortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare

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I gave up on this series after reading City of Fallen Angels years ago because it was so annoyingly bad. The problem is, I now really want to read The Dark Artifices and after reading about 180 pages into Lady Midnight, I found myself fairly lost. Then I realised some of the characters and backstory had been introduced in City of Heavenly Fire. I’m sure you can see where this going. So yes, I’m going to reread the first four books, finish the rest of the series and then finally make my way back to Lady Midnight. Lord save me from death by Clace angst.


The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater

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The Raven Cycle is one of those series that I felt pressured to read because of the amount of love the books get online. I found The Raven Boys a bit of an average read. It had it’s moments, but the tone and plot was always slightly odd. However, still I persisted – I mean, people LOVE these books, right? I had to be missing something. This idea pushed me through the next two entries in the series and unfortunately I still don’t fully get the crazy level of devotion people have to them. However, because of all my answered questions, as well as the amount of time I’ve now invested, I feel like I have to finish it all off by reading The Raven King, so that’s what I’ll do.


Mistborn Trilogy – Brandon Sanderson

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I read The Final Empire a few years ago back when I was at university and quite enjoyed it. The magic system was really original, the characters were interesting, the book got me with a twist about two thirds in, and I really loved the idea of the hero defeating the villain only to become one. I’ve had the second book for a while but haven’t been in the mood to read it yet. I’d definitely like to in the future though.


The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

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Originally, after finishing Shadow and Bone I had intended not to read anymore of this series. Mostly because the plot felt a little mediocre and I found the idea of Mal as Alina’s love interest extremely boring. However recently I’ve been thinking that I might finish the series after all. This is in large part due to the fact that I’d like to get a proper introduction to Nikolai (everyone seems to adore him) so that if I end up wanting to read King of Scars, I’ll be able to do so.  I also happen to be a fan of The Darkling as a villain so if I keep going, I’ll get some more development with him too.


Poison Study Series – Maria V. Synder

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I read Poison Study a long time ago now, we’re talking way back, when I was in mid high school. At the time it seemed like another series I didn’t think I would continue with. Like the Grisha books though, recently I’ve been seriously considering going back to it. It seems weird but I think that now, having gotten a bit older and read more widely, I’d enjoy the book a lot more than I first did. Guess the only way to find out is a re-read.


Outlander Series – Diana Gabaldon

Outlander

This is the first series on my list that isn’t actually complete yet, although it’s about eight books plus several novellas and spin offs in already. These are really long novels at around a thousand pages each so they do take a fair amount of time to get through, which means you really need to be in the mood. I took a break after reading Drums of Autumn as it wasn’t exactly my favourite in the series and I’ve heard that the next one, The Fiery Cross is the low point in the books before they very successfully pick up again. The motivation isn’t there right now, but it will be further down the line.


A Song of Ice & Fire Series – George RR Martin

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This is another series which is still many years off being finished and one in which each installment is extremely chunky, requiring motivation and concentration. When I began these a few years ago I read several very close together and burnt myself out a little about two hundred pages into A Feast for Crows. I’d like to go back to the series some day but not right now. However, considering the pace at which Martin writes, I can probably take as much time as I need.


Red Sparrow Trilogy – Jason Matthews

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I enjoyed the first book in this series a lot more than I thought I would when I read it a few months back (even with the constant references to Dominika’s clothing). I don’t read a lot of espionage or thrillers so it’s nice to have something different on occasion. After the end of book two, I’d like to continue on with the series and see where it leads.


Which series do you have plans on reaching the end of soonish (or sort of soonish, or maybe even just before you die)? Are there any series that you’ve given up on part way through because they declined in quality?