Ten books I disliked* but still appreciated something about them

*Sometimes dislike is too strong of a word. So a lot of these are disappointments, which––for anyone who’s ever disappointed someone before––is far worse than if they just dislike you.

I’m going to try my best to not be super negative in this post because I tend to go all angry English major when I read books that disappoint me in some way. As a result, I tend to avoid books that I know I’ll dislike because I don’t want to spend time on something that makes me unhappy. But sometimes, a book comes up to you with a beautiful premise and a visually engaging cover, promising that it will be the next thing you’ll love, only to disappoint you in the end.

I’m splitting my post up between dislikes––or changed opinion––and disappointments. I think that better reflects my readings of these books.

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Disappointments

I’m finishing up my review on this upcoming novel this week, but if I had to sum it up in one sentence, it would be about the unfulfilled promise of its premise. I wanted to love this one––and there’s two more in the series so maybe things will be better in the next ones––but ultimately it just was looooonngggg without much going on. There’s a lot of potential, though, so I’ll be continuing it!

The one Scott Westerfeld book that has disappointed me. Somehow the fact that he wrote this with two other authors makes it worse. Someone should have had the writing power to make this interesting.

I fully expected to like this one when I read it. I’d liked her sister’s Jane Eyre and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. But Wuthering Heights wasn’t what I was expecting and that made this a difficult one to get through. I’d like to think that if I gave it another chance I may find enjoyment in it, but I also don’t know if I can get over Heathcliff’s aggression. I don’t really see how this is a great love story.

The disappointment I felt for this one tasted especially bitter. Seraphina was such a unique and fascinating story, but the sequel did not bring back everything that I loved about the first novel. I’m really interested in checking out Tess of the Road, as it’s set in the same world.

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[Tyler Johnson Was Here] Jay Coles

Tyler Johnson Was Here is the second book I’ve read this year that throws light on the experiences of members of the black community in the United States. It focuses on twins Marvin and Tyler Johnson, who are slowly drifting apart as they prepare for college. Marvin wants to be close to his brother again, but there are some things that Tyler isn’t telling him. In an attempt to keep an eye on his brother, he follows him to a party where there’s a shooting. When Tyler doesn’t come home, it’s up to Marvin to cover for his brother. As the hours pile up, Marvin finally reveals the thing that scares him the most: he doesn’t know where Tyler is. When his brother is found dead and a video showing his death surfaces, Tyler is suddenly a hashtag trending on the internet. In his search for justice, Marvin wants to show the world that Tyler was so much more.

This is another hard book to review. I think that the book was successful in telling a story that shows what it means to be black in the United States (and elsewhere in the world, but this is specifically set in the U.S.) and how Marvin Johnson’s whole life––his whole survival––is based around the idea that he has to act a certain way in order to not be killed. This is something that I’ve never had to experience. I have a lot of privilege that allows me to move through life without thinking about daily survival. While I had other lessons on “how to behave,” I didn’t have the lessons that Marvin and Tyler were taught. Books like Tyler Johnson Was Here are part of my lesson in learning how my life is drastically different than others around me. Like The Hate U Give and Long Way DownTyler Johnson Was Here struck me in the heart and made me incredibly angry about the systemic racism that has permeated all aspects of the society of the United States.

It’s impossible to read this book without feeling emotional, and I went through a lot of anger and sadness as I read the story. While this is a fictional story, Coles did a good job of weaving fiction with reality. That’s what makes books like Tyler Johnson Was Here difficult to read.  You can’t just read it as a work of fiction. It can’t be thought of as only a work of fiction when the book illustrates the reality of black men and women being harmed and killed by the police. There’s a reality that is unavoidable when you read books like this, and I don’t recommend that you try avoiding it. It’s something that needs to be read. It’s something that needs to be understood by those who have never had to experience it. It’s so important, and I’m so glad that books like this are being talked about.

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Ten books with bits of green

Today’s prompt is to write about books with your favorite color on their covers. I decided to go with green, because spring is finally here and I wanted to celebrate! Green always makes me think of fresh and happy things. I really like this prompt, so I may do some more later, but with different colors!

The books I picked today are ones that I’ve read before and have had an impact on me, or books that I really want to read, because––you know––endless TBR pile and all that.

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Just add it to the pile––I’ll read it eventually:

A retelling and an evil queen origin story? Sign me up! This one also has a setting that I love reading so I’m super excited to read this one! I really hope it’s everything I want it to be.

I’ve heard that this one has art in it, which makes sense since the protagonist is the artist of an online web series. I love when books have more contained in them than just words!

I’ve talked about this one before, so I’m not going to today. I love how the colors in the titles of  Eliza and Gentleman’s are nearly the same though. Such a lovely green!

I’ve heard so much about this series including that it’s “Harry Potter for adults” so I need to read it.

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Ten books I’d slay a lion to get early

I love the prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. There’s a lot of books I want this year that I have to wait for. And for some of them, I have no problem waiting. But for others…others I truly would do most anything to get one early. Apparently that extends to slaying a lion. (Though truthfully, if it came down to it I’d never be able to do it. It’d be too scary!)

Anyway, this is my ultimate list of books I really, really, REALLY want. I will probably cry tears of joy if I got any of them earlier than other readers.

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1.

January 8th, 2019. (I don’t know how I’m going to wait this long!)

This is my number one right now. If I got this one I would disappear to read it in one go. I really loved the first and am so excited for this one!

2.

July 10th, 2018

This is the final installment in my favorite alternate-historical fiction. Lada is one of the most powerful female characters I’ve ever read. And her brother, Radu, is also extremely well-written. These siblings are two of my favorite characters.

3.

October 9th, 2018

I loved the first novel in this series and have been eagerly anticipating the second since I finished. I must see how it continues!

4.

June 7th, 2018

I’m intrigued by this because the author is a bookstagrammer and book blogger who writes books in two days. The story also sounds really sad but hopeful, so I want to check it out.

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Ten reasons why reading is the best

Why do I read books? Well…

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1.

You can escape into worlds more interesting than your own

2.

Magic

3.

Taking down horrible regimes alongside characters is cathartic

4.

Reliving the excitement of first love can happen more than once

5.

It’s fun to explore the idea of “What if…?”

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Fangirling Friday: March Fae Crate unboxing!

Before I joined bookstagram, I was completely unaware of the existence of book subscription boxes. I had no idea that companies existed that put together a box featured around a theme, filling them with lovely content like bookish candles, bookmarks, or quote prints, along with a new release.

Then I joined bookstagram, and the floodgates opened.

Living abroad makes it really difficult to get book boxes  (international shipping costs make me cry), but I did it anyway. Though it made my wallet cry, getting these boxes in the mail was something I looked forward to, a thrill of excitement that had me quivering with joy when I saw the box peeking out of my mailbox.

Recently, I discovered a relatively new company on bookstagram called Fae Crate and I ordered their very first box! They’re small right now compared to other book subscription companies, but I think that they have the potential to become huge! The care that they take in selecting their products and the way that they interact with their followers will pull more people to them. They’re so kind, which is a big reason why I wanted to support them for their first box! Continue reading

Ten books I loved but will (probably) never reread


Every bookworm has this same problem: 

There’s just not enough time to read everything!

As such, there’s a lot of books I’ve read and loved, but I won’t ever read them again. There’s so many books on my TBR list that I can’t afford to reread everything I’ve loved. Of course there’s books that I love so much that I reread them every couple of years, but they’re things like Harry Potter and Shades of Magic

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is about books I loved but will never reread again. I’ll definitely keep recommending them to readers, but I won’t be reading them myself. 

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Throne of Glass

While I may reread the other books in this series, the first one is really painful to get through. I never would have continued this series if I hadn’t been encouraged to. If you’re on the fence about this series, I recommend giving yourself until the end of the second book before deciding if you’ll continue or not.

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Out

This was such a creepy book but I devoured it. It’s about a woman who kills her husband and then asks her coworkers to help hide his body. It’s female centric too!

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Battle Royale

knew this one was going to be violent and grotesque, but I was still not prepared. I really enjoyed it but it’s so long!

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The Forest of Hands and Teeth series

One of the first YA zombie stories that I read! I remember really liking this series but it was so depressing! I don’t know if I’ll read it again because of that.  Continue reading