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: Books on my TBR I Predict will be 5 Star Reads

I’ve never done a post like this before. Why? It’s simple, I don’t give out many 5 star ratings. Check my Goodreads ‘read’ shelf and you’ll see that books with those five shiny things after them are in short supply. Remove all 7 Harry Potter books, and the list gets even shorter. The reason for this is that I don’t often read books that I absolutely crazy adore and have very few negative things to say about. I know I sound like a snob, and perhaps I have too higher standards, but unfortunately, it’s just the way I am. Because of this, posts like these have always seemed unrealistic for me. However, today we’re making an exception and attempting to be optimistic! Okay, not over the top optimistic which is why there are only 8 books on this list instead of 10. As far as final ratings are concerned, I’ll still consider it a win if any of these books manage to get a 4.5 star rating.

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War 2#) – R. F. Kuang

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The Poppy War was one of my favourite reads of 2019. I even gave it one of my rarely awarded 5 star ratings. With sequels is always hard to know whether they’ll live up to the original and before TDR was released, I was very nervous. After the ending of book 1, I wasn’t sure where the story could go but I now have a good feeling about this one! The average Goodreads rating is high, reviewers I trust have said super positive things and the blurb sounds great. So I’m pegging this for another 5 star read and I think the odds are high.


A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara

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I’ve only just started this book but I’m willing to make a bet that A Little Life will crack the big five stars. Now, this is in no way a short read – it’s over 700 pages long, and I’m fully aware of the fact that the story is supposed to be emotionally grueling (majorly so). Yet, I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it – the writing, the realistic and wonderfully crafted characters, the fact that it doesn’t leave you until long after you’ve finished it. I’m looking for something that’ll worm its way into me and stay there. I really hope this is it.


Educated – Tara Westover

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As I’ve mentioned a few times over the last couple of months, non-fiction reads have started to grow on me and Educated is a book I’ve had on my TBR for a few months now. I actually started it a little while back and got distracted but I’m determined to go back. A story about a young woman from a survivalist family, who with little education at all, managed to teach herself enough to be admitted to university and eventually earned a doctrate sounds like the kind of story I need in my life. I’ve seen some rave reviews of this book so I’m hoping it lands 5 stars with me also.


The Toll (Arc of a Scythe 3#) – Neal Shusterman

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This is another book where I’m basing a five star prediction on the fact that I rated previous books in the series highly. Scythe was a 5 star read and Thunderhead a 4.5 star read so the chance of another high rating seems likely here. I really love this series so it would be heartbreaking for it to stumble at the final hurdle. Book two ended in a major cliffhanger and I’m super excited to find out what happens next (well, after I re-read books one and two to refresh my bad memory). I’ve seen some amazing reviews and some disappointed reviews. I’m desperately crossing my fingers hoping I’ll be in the former camp.


The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon

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Another enormous book and another one I’ve started and will have to return to at some point. While the few pages that I’ve already read of Priory weren’t exactly grabbing me in a choke-hold of engagement, with a book this big I’m willing to put the time in to reach a point where I’m sure things will pick up in a major way. I still have a good feeling about this one being an amazing read. I’m trusting the hype train to be right here. It has everything I need – dragons, a badass female ruler and warrior, magic, a good verses evil battle. Don’t let me down Samantha Shannon!


The Wise man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss

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Time for another sequel. In 2019 I finally, FINALLY read The Name of the Wind and to my immense relief, I thought it was fantastic. It ended up being a 5 star read and got a place on my top 10 list of the year. Now, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll enjoy the sequel. I’m guessing another 5 star rating is likely but the problem is, the third book is still nowhere in sight and it’s already been YEARS. Who knows if it’s ever coming??? As a result, I think I’ll be putting TWMF on hold for a while even though I know it’ll be good. Don’t worry Kvothe, I’ll come back for you eventually.


Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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Now, Mexican Gothic hasn’t even been released yet so with this one I’m going entirely off a great blurb, good feeling in my gut and gorgeous cover. It’s a little scary though because these days I’m such a Goodreads rating snob. I’m really hoping that this book is what the movie Crimson Peak could have been if it had actually lived up to its potential and not gone…well, off the rails. A haunted house, creepy family, debutante heroine, suspense, mystery, and all in 1950s Mexico. I’m super excited. Please be gooooooooodddd.


Empire of the Vampire – Jay Kristoff

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Jay’s Nevernight series is one of my favourites and I’m hoping that lightning strikes again with EotV. Teenage Ashley was majorly obsessed with vampires and I’ll admit, I still have a guilty pleasure love of them so I’m super keen on the idea of a darker, more adult fantasy approach. If anyone can pull it off, Jay can. As with Nevernight, this seems like another historical based world which is also really exciting. Basically bring on the violence, blood, romance, witty dialogue and emotional trauma. And GIVE ME A 5 STAR READ, PLEASE.


What do you think of my 5-star predictions? Way off base or likely to hit the mark. I’m crossing all my fingers and toes.

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Hope to Find Under my Christmas Tree (Or Will Just Buy Anyway)

It’s pretty much a guarantee that any time I’m ever asked to write a Christmas list, it’ll include books. A bunch of books. Let’s face it, I definitely won’t get everything on this list but that won’t stop me going out to buy a stack for myself on Boxing day.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Illustrated Edition – J. K. Rowling & Jim Kay

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Goblet of Fire is my favourite book in the Harry Potter series so I am beyond excited that the illustrated edition releases have finally reached this point. Normally I race out and buy these editions myself but this time around I’ve exercised some self control and added it to my Christmas list instead. Hopefully come x-mas I’ll be happily flicking through and looking at all of Jim Kay’s gorgeous illustrations and seriously considering a Harry Potter re-read.


The Toll (Arc of a Scythe 3#) – Neal Shusterman

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I’ve been eagerly awaiting the final book in the Arc of a Scythe series for a little while now, especially after the cliffhanger that was the ending to Thunderhead. Ordinarily I would have gone out and bought this on release week (I almost did, in fact!) but I thought holding off and requesting it as a Christmas present might give me enough time to do a re-read of books 1 & 2. As you can probably guess, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way but fingers crossed I still find a copy under the tree come December 25th. If so, 2020 will 100% feature a full series read.


Starsight (Skyward 2#) – Brandon Sanderson

Skyward was one of my favourite reads of this year, so you can bet I had this sequel added to my to-read shelf before you could blink. I actually planned to buy this on the last day of November and even added it to my purchased books in the wrap up for that month. However, schedules changed and I didn’t have time. So, what’s a girl to do? Well, add it to her Christmas list, of course! This is a book I’ll be guaranteed to go out & buy right away if it doesn’t show up under my tree. Then I’ll have to deal with the agony of waiting until 2022 for book three! Ugh!


A Court of Thorns & Roses Collector’s Edition – Sarah J. Maas

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I have no idea what it is about special editions, but whenever they’re released I’m suddenly overcome with the desperate need to own them. The first book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series wasn’t my favourite, but there’s no way I can resist that beautiful, gold embossed hardback designed by Charlie Bowater. Clearly I was a magpie in another life – I’m just hopelessly attracted to shiny things. At least it’s a good excuse to re-read the series.


Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

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I’ve been thinking about reading Little Fires for a while now and have yet to get around to buying and reading it. Knowing that the adaptation will be coming out next year has certainly given me a push to get my butt in gear. I’ve heard amazing things about this novel, it even took home the 2017 Goodreads choice award for fiction. Here’s hoping for something dramatic and enjoyable (and also that it’s currently wrapped up in paper with a bow somewhere!)


Know My Name – Chanel Miller

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This year I’ve read several books both fiction and non-fiction which have dealt with sexual assault. It’s an issue I’m very passionate about and one that breaks my heart. I remember following the Brock Turner case back in 2016 and I also remember being disgusted by how it played out. The fact that Chanel Miller was willing to not only sit down and write a memoir about her experiences but put it out into the world under her own name is incredibly brave. I know it’s likely to be a tough read but it’s one that I want to do to support her.


The Whisper Man – Alex North

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Keeping with my ‘try to read more widely’ vibe in the wake of my book burn out woes, I’m really interested in giving The Whisper Man a go. This is a crime/thriller read, something I’ve started to take more of an interest in of late. The book has a heap of great reviews and the word on the street is that it’s gripping and a teensy bit scary. I’m really craving something creepy that’ll keep me hooked until the end. It’s been a while since I read something unputdownable. Pretty please, with a cherry on top.


10 Blind Dates – Ashley Elston

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It’s summer time, so I couldn’t write out a Christmas book list without asking for at least one YA contemporary! This book looks both super cute and fun, and the reviews I’ve seen so far have been really positive. I even love the cover with the title done up in gold balloons. The fact that it’s set at Christmas time also makes it a perfect read for this time of the year. It’s only a bit over 300 pages long so if I do happen to find it under my tree come Christmas day, maybe I’ll be able to squeeze it in before new years?


Sword of Destiny – Andrzej Sapkowski

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Adaptations. They always get me scurrying for the book/s. I read the first collection of The Witcher short stories, The Last Wish, back in 2018. I’ve always planned to continue with the series but haven’t gotten around to it. At the time I wrote my x-mas list, the Netflix series was only a few weeks away from release and my keenness to read Sword of Destiny was in full force. Now that I’ve watched all 8 episodes, it’s even more so. I’ve heard some of the stories in this collection aren’t as good as others but as it features Ciri’s introduction and her meeting with Geralt, it’s pretty important. Plus, one of my favourite episodes in the series is drawn from a short story in this collection.


Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson

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Okay, so I haven’t read the last Morgan Matson book I bought yet (The Unexpected Everything) but that hasn’t stopped me from adding Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour to my Christmas list anyway. A road trip story with diners, cheap motels, meeting interesting people, Graceland, and two characters getting to know one another. From the sounds of it, it’s a solid summer read with some emotional baggage involved as well. I really loved Since You’ve Been Gone so I hope that Morgan’s debut is just as enjoyable.


Christmas is just one sleep away! I’m definitely looking forward to stuffing my face with amazing food, playing board games, and seeing my family open their gifts. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and that a couple of great books end up coming your in your direction.

**Top 10 Tuesday originated at The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Were Outside My Comfort Zone

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a freebie! So I’m using it to do a topic from a few months back that I missed during my blogging hiatus – books I enjoyed that were outside my comfort zone.

Saga Vol. 1 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

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This one may be a comic rather than a book but it’s too perfect for this list not to include it. I never read comic issues – the art is gorgeous but they go by so quickly! However, after seeing the Saga series pop up around Goodreads and on bloggers’ reading challenges repeatedly, I decided to give it a go for myself. It ended up being so much fun and has pretty much everything I need in a good series – action, humour, adventure and romance.


Eggshell Skull – Bri Lee

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Up until late 2018, non-fiction had never really been something I was particularly interested in reading. I’d always seen reading as a way of escaping reality. Nowadays I’ve started picking up the occasional one that interests me and been pleasantly surprised. Eggshell Skull is an example of that. Reading about how the state of Queensland (AUS) handles sexual assault cases as well as the author’s own experiences in bringing her case through the system was heartbreaking but absolutely fascinating. It was informative and the perfect example of why so many women don’t bother to press charges against their rapists.


Call Me By Your Name – André Aciman

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I’m not usually one for poetic, artsy books riddled with deep prose that people tend to label literature and spend long periods of time lovingly highlighting. They usually bore me to tears. Still, I gave this book a go after falling in love with the film. To my complete shock, I really enjoyed it. Better yet, I thought the writing was so beautiful at points that I even highlighted a couple of passages myself! There’s just something about this book that I can’t put my finger on – it’s emotionally a lot, but gosh if it isn’t a good reminder for me to try things outside my usual types of reads more often.

IT – Stephen King

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This book was a little out of my comfort zone for a few reasons. While I love a good fantasy novel, I don’t usually read horror books. Also, in recent years I’ve started to move away from larger sized novels and yet, here this was, in all its over 1000 page glory. Still, something about it made me take it off my parents bookshelves that day. Despite a not so great ending, I had a great time reading the rest of it, even though it successfully managed to make me a little anxious for a while. The characters were great and the writing was enjoyable as well.


The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers

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Another genre I don’t usually read much of – sci fi! While fantasy and science fiction are usually shelved together, I pretty consistently stick to books in the former rather than the latter. Yet, after hearing some good things about this novel, and in search of some lovable, diverse characters, I decided to try TLWTASAP (what an acronym!). While I can see it not being for everyone, I thought it was a nice change of pace to read something that was more about the people and the journey rather than the destination. It’s definitely encouraged me to think about trying out some other sci-fi books in future.


Red Sparrow – Jason Matthews

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My decision to pick up Red Sparrow can very easily be attributed to me watching the film shortly beforehand and wanting to see how the book differed. This was a very out of field choice for me reading wise as I don’t think I remember ever reading another spy/espionage type book before in my life. I’ll repeat, I should really read more books outside my usual genres because I found this super engaging and illuminating at the same time. It’s kind of odd at points (there’s recipes randomly included) but at the time it was a refreshing change of pace.


The Lightning Thief ( Percy Jackson & the Olympians) – Rick Riordan

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The majority of the books I read during the year fall within the young adult classification. Middle grade, however, is something I generally stay away from (it’s a little hard connecting with characters that young as a 26 year old woman). But as Percy Jackson is generally put up on a pedestal as the Harry Potter of the generation below me, I thought it was important that I give the series a try. In the end, while it did read a little young (as I’d been expecting), the story and characters were so charming and fun that I ended up having a great time and continued through all five books in the series.


The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

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Looking at it, The Night Circus seems like a book that would fall very squarely within my comfort zone – a fantasy novel with magic and a bit of romance. At the same time though, it’s not something particularly known for its plot or characters, two things that are usually extremely important to me. It’s more about setting and gorgeous writing. This is actually why I put off reading it for so many years because I was worried I’d find it tedious. While I’m not obsessed or completely in love with it like some other readers, I did like it and really appreciated its beauty.


It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover

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I’m not typically a big romance reader (although that has changed a little recently) and when I do read it, it’s usually the fun, fluffy type of romance rather than the series and dramatic kind. Colleen Hoover was an author I’d been interested in trying out for a while and after hearing such positive things about this particular book, I decided to start with It Ends with Us. It was quite different from what I’d been expecting but ended up being a great read because of it. Colleen handled some super difficult issues in a really fantastic way and it’s because of this book that I ended up reading and loving one of her other works, Verity.


Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

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As I’ve mentioned repeatedly on my blog, I’m not a classics reader. At all. Either they bore me (I’m somewhat of an impatient person) or frustrate me. Despite being very much aware of this, for some reason, in high school I was curious about Jane Austen and wanted to give her books a go. I’d seen the mini-series Lost in Austen (it’s fabulous, by the way) and loved it so I thought Pride & Prejudice would be the right choice. Going in, I was fully prepared not to enjoy it but like other books on this list, it surprised me. The characters were engaging, some of the dialogue witty, and who doesn’t like a good slow burn romance?


Over the last year I’ve come to realise how important it is to try different types of books once in while in order to stop yourself ending up in a reading rut or a slump. After all, you never know when something will end up being fantastic and open you up to a whole new range of stories. I definitely think I’ll aim to add to this list in the future.

What are some reads that were outside of your comfort zone which you really enjoyed?

Top 10 Tuesday: Favourite Literary Names

This week’s TTT topic is actually a freebie to do with being thankful but because (a) we don’t do Thanksgiving here in Australia and (b) I’m weirdly coming up blank on potential topics, I’m going to do something different. Back in early 2018 I did a TTT post on literary names that I thought best suited their characters. It’s been a little while since then so I thought it might be fun to try my hand at another names based top ten, this time on character names in books that I just generally love (and would name many The Sims babies after). Just to state up front, this isn’t a comment on any of the characters these names belong to, only their names.


The Ember Quartet (Sabaa Tahir)


Aurora Rising (Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman)


The Bone Season (Samantha Shannon)


Ash Princess (Laura Sebastian)


A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Brigid Kemmerer)


Call Me By Your Name (Andre Aciman)


Arc of a Scythe (Neal Shusterman)


Percy Jackson & The Olympians (Rick Riordan), The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue (Mackenzie Lee)


Throne of Glass Series (Sarah J. Maas)


Sorcery of Thorns (Margaret Rogerson)


Do any of these also float your boat? What are some of your favourite literary names?

Top 10 Tuesday: Tropes I Secretly Can’t Get Enough Of

Most of the time, when you hear the word ‘trope’ uttered, it’s generally followed by a lot of moans, groans and other unhappy sounds. By their very definition, tropes are ideas, plots, elements or themes that pop up a lot and for that reason, they’re likely to feel boring, annoying and, from a writing standpoint, lazy. However, the reality is, the reason some tropes won’t die no matter how much we complain about them is because there are always groups of people out there who just can’t get enough of them. Even when we’ve seen them a million times before in every way possible, there are some tropes we can’t help taking a bit of guilty pleasure in. Here are 10 of my favourite bookish tropes:

Training Academies

I’ve mentioned this trope quite a few times on my blog, almost to the point where my talking about it has become a trope for my blog. So many of my favourite books involve some kind of school or training academy in which our hero/s learn to harness magic, special abilities, the ability to kick ass, etc. to ready themselves for the road ahead. I love the sense of competition and watching the characters develop, harden, and excel.


Enemies to Lovers or Friends

Another trope I can’t help but love. There’s just something attractive about reading as two characters who don’t like each other learn to overcome their differences and understand one another better to eventually form a good relationship. It’s the kind of trope that provides a perfect ground for character development and conflict, and, when handled correctly, it also creates a basis for some beautifully complex character interactions. Basically, fight and now KISS (or high five).


Game/Competition Plots

I know, I know, this one comes up ALL THE TIME but I really, really like it, okay? There’s conflict, momentum, high stakes, opportunity for drama, the formation of friendships and nemeses, betrayals, ahhhh…so good. You find yourself unable to stop reading because you need to know who wins and how it plays out. An oldie but a goodie.


Complex or Close Sibling Relationships

This is kind of two tropes in one but they’re both great. One provides the opportunity for big ‘AWWWW’s of cuteness and the other for drama with a great sense of catharsis. Siblings can have such different relationships with so many layers. They may be very similar and have a fantastic connection or perhaps they don’t understand each other and have treated one another badly. Either way, I want to read about it. Well, when it’s done right, that is.


Mentorship

Like training academies, this is another fantasy staple and sometimes you might even find a book with a double whammy and get BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. For me, I really like seeing the bond between student and mentor form and finding out how that relationship impacts the story, especially as the student is usually the MC. Will they have to get justice for their mentor’s death, will they achieve the skill their mentor believed they could, or will they disappoint them completely and end up on opposite sides of a conflict? You never know!


Opposites Attract Friendships

This is another relationship based trope that I love. It’s always fun to have two characters who are close friends and yet, somehow also polar opposites. It’s interesting seeing them play off each other in different ways, fill the gaps in one another’s personalities, and often work together toward whatever goal the plot has set up for them. Sometimes the story’s conflict strengthens their bond and others, it sends it all crashing down.


Here Comes the Cavalry

This trope verges onto deus ex machina but there’s something about back up arriving at the last possible moment, when the reader thinks that everything is lost, only to completely knock the enemy on their asses and save the day. It’s ridiculous but always gives me the warm fuzzies.


Hero/Villain Acts Like the Opposite

Character development and plot twists all rolled up into one magical trope. I get very excited when something like this happens because, despite it being a trope, it’s still very much unexpected. With a villain, it could pave the way to a fabulous redemption arc and with a hero, a potential downward spiral towards being an anti-hero or full on villain.


Found Families

It’s impossible not to love this trope because it’s so sweet and heart warming. There’s nothing more wonderful than a bunch of characters, some of which may not have supportive or living real families, coming together and developing connections so strong that they form one themselves. Usually these found families involve a mishmash of different personalities which I enjoy even more and I especially love it when they have to work together to overcome plot obstacles. You may not be able to choose your blood relatives but you can definitely choose the friends you want to face the apocalypse with.


Gender Bending

With the whole gender inequality thing, the majority of the time this trope is about girls pretending to be boys. For this reason it usually comes off as very feminist and female empowering. I can’t help but love seeing talented, brave and strong girls going up against boys and totally killing it after everybody said they couldn’t. They eventually reveal who they really are and the boys are all left with a slice of humble pie to eat up.


What are some of your favourite tropes? Would any of these make your list?

** TTT is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl

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?