Posted in Books

Popular YA Books I Couldn’t Get on Board With

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a little while, so here goes nothing…

We all know the feeling. We’ve picked up a book because of the seemingly endless 4 and 5 star reviews and the high praise from friends and fellow readers and book bloggers, and then it turns out to be a steaming disappointment. For me, popular YA books live up to the hype about 50% of the time for me, and the other 50% is either just…not feeling anything from it, or not liking it at all. And there’s plenty of hyped books that I’ve loved! But sometimes, a lot of these books just haven’t worked for me.

And before I start, I just wanted to say this – if you liked any of these books, this post isn’t meant to shame anybody’s reading preferences at all. If you liked them, good for you! These are just my opinions here, and as per the Latin proverb, to each, their own is beautiful. I just wasn’t a fan of these books.

Let’s begin, shall we?

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😕POPULAR YA BOOKS I COULDN’T GET ON BOARD WITH😕

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) – Victoria Aveyard

Amazon.com: Red Queen (Red Queen, 1) (9780062310644): Aveyard, Victoria:  Books

MY RATING: ⭐️ (DNF)

It’s been about three years since I’ve read this one, but it was a pretty quick DNF for me. Red Queen felt like every bad YA trope melted into a single book – an unoriginal dystopian world with the “plain heroine that doesn’t realize how beautiful she is and is THE CHOSEN ONE” and gets into an insta-love romance…gah, I forget how long it took before I put it down, but this was just painful.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) – Holly Black

Amazon.com: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, 1) (9780316310314):  Black, Holly: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️

Holly Black is a hit-or-miss author for me, but The Cruel Prince definitely fell among the misses for me. The worldbuilding was great here (and I loved the little ink drawings at the beginnings of the chapters!), but all of the characters were astronomically unlikable. Everybody just seemed intent on bullying and backstabbing everybody else, and there wasn’t any balance with a character with a slightly better moral compass. And don’t get me started on Jude and Cardan being a thing…WHY? If I remember correctly, Cardan spends about 3/4 of the book relentlessly degrading Jude, and then gets down on his knees and tells her that he loves her…HUH?

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HOW MUCH MORE TOXIC CAN YOU GET? And somehow, Cardan’s up there with Kaz Brekker and that dude from ACOTAR (I don’t remember his name, I haven’t read the books and don’t intend to) with the brooding YA dudes that everybody fawns over? Makes me lose a little faith in humanity sometimes…

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) – Sarah J. Maas

Amazon.com: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, 1) (9781599906959): Maas,  Sarah J.: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️

Here’s one that everybody recommended to me…should of listened to that guy in my class in middle school who did a book report on this one and didn’t like it

Okay. Maybe this one’s a little skewed. I read most of Throne of Glass when I was home sick with a stomachache, but even then, I think I wouldn’t have been a fan. The ✨fantasy names✨ were a pain to pronounce, Calaena came off as a very static character with very little development, if any, and everything seemed to worked out a little *too* well for her in the end. The worldbuilding was interesting, though. I guess. Probably not gonna pick this one up, but I don’t think I’ll go for ACOTAR or Crescent City either. Meh.

Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik

Amazon.com: Spinning Silver: A Novel (9780399180989): Novik, Naomi: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️

My main problem was the same one I had with The Cruel Prince – the toxicity of the main relationship. Mirnatius spends about 3/4 of the book being borderline abusive towards Miryem, and then, ✨poof!✨ Happy relationship!

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Yeah, no, that’s just weird. Also, wasn’t there a significant age gap between the two of them? Final nail in the coffin, really…

All the Stars and Teeth – Adalyn Grace

Buy All the Stars and Teeth: 1 (All the Stars and Teeth Duology, 1) Book  Online at Low Prices in India | All the Stars and Teeth: 1 (All the Stars  and

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️

This one lured me in with a gorgeous cover and the promise of mermaids, and…well, we got a mermaid, but the rest of the book didn’t make up for it.

All the Stars and Teeth felt very formulaic for me, right down to the conveniently-placed puppet show to explain the worldbuilding. We’ve got a protagonist with dangerous magic, the mysterious love interest…it just felt like every other YA fantasy in the last few years. Not much to distinguish it from the others, if anything at all.

Cinderella is Dead – Kalynn Barron

Amazon.com: Cinderella Is Dead (9781547603879): Bayron, Kalynn: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️.5

Out of all of the books here, Cinderella is Dead is probably the one that I had the highest expectations for. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with a book with a sapphic, POC lead taking down the patriarchy in a world sculpted from the myth of Cinderella?

…several things, as it turned out.

I found the worldbuilding to be full of holes, none of the characters were very distinct, the villain was an irredeemable caricature, and all of the attempts commentary on abuse and misogyny and such relied way too much on telling, as opposed to showing. For me Cinderella is Dead was just a case of a great idea, but poor execution. Shame…

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A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1) – Brigid Kemmerer

Amazon.com: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (The Cursebreaker Series)  (9781681195087): Kemmerer, Brigid: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️ (DNF)

This one was another DNF for me about two years ago. I still really appreciate that Kemmerer chose to have a disabled character at the forefront of a YA fantasy (Harper has cerebral palsy – not sure how accurate the rep is, though), but otherwise…meh. On top of the obvious attempt to make this Beauty and the Beast retelling as Dark And Gritty™️ as possible, the love triangle (and both love interests, if memory serves) put me off in the end.

Storm and Fury (The Harbinger, #1) – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Storm and Fury (The Harbinger Series Book 1)- Buy Online in Antigua and  Barbuda at antigua.desertcart.com. ProductId : 134271270.

MY RATING: ⭐️ (DNF)

Ugh, this one was a mess…

This was my first exposure to Jennifer L. Armentrout, and I don’t think I’ll be reading anything of hers after this. Again, this falls into almost every YA trope that I hate – the Chosen One who is so very clearly Not Like Other Girls, the Sarcastic Bad Boy Love Interest (Zayne still makes me squirm)…I forget where I DNF’d this one, but I just could not take another page. Yikes.

Instant Karma – Marissa Meyer

Amazon.com: Instant Karma (9781250618818): Meyer, Marissa: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️

Instant Karma was a sore disappointment…I’ve loved almost everything else of Marissa Meyer’s, but I just didn’t click with this one. I loved the premise of a magical-realism rom-com and all of the Beatles references were great, but Pru really got on my nerves, and the romance never made me feel anything.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! What were your thoughts on these books? What’s a popular YA book that you didn’t like?

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Today’s song:

That’s it for this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (7/11/20)–Hyped Books ✨

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Anyway, it’s time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is hyped books. I thought I’d mix it up a bit this time, so I’ll pick books from my TBR.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR JULY: 

7/4/20 — Coming of Age

7/11/20 — Hyped Books

7/18/20 — Books You Own

7/25/20 —  #OwnVoices Books

Rules!

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (7/11/20)–HYPED BOOKS

Instant Karma, Marissa Meyer

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

I mean, it’s Marissa Meyer, of course everybody’s getting excited! I know I am…

Either way, I am so excited to read this superpowered rom-com!

Felix Ever After, Kacen Callender

ReadWithPride: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender | The Nerd Daily

I was a bit hesitant to put this one on my TBR after how disappointing This is Kind of an Epic Love Story was, but after reading some reviews, I’m definitely willing to give this one a chance.

You Should See Me in a Crown, Leah Johnson

Amazon.com: You Should See Me in a Crown eBook: Johnson, Leah ...

This one came out a little over a month ago, and it sounds like an absolute delight!

Serpent and Dove, Shelby Mahurin

Amazon.com: Serpent & Dove eBook: Mahurin, Shelby: Kindle Store

This seemed to be one of the buzziest YA books of 2019, and it seems to be mostly deserving of it, from what I’ve heard. I had it on hold for a few weeks, and I finally have it on Kindle, so once I finish with my library books, I’ll have to see for myself…

Cinderella is Dead, Kaylynn Bayron

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Out of all the books on this Top 5 Saturday, this is probably the one that I’m most excited for. Even though we’ve seen a boatload of Cinderella retellings in the last decade or so, this one seems like a fresh and inventive take on it. It came out a few days ago, and I can’t wait to read it!

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

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Today’s song:

(About halfway through listening to this album…)

That’s it for this week’s Top 5 Saturday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Lunar Chronicles Book Tag

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Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at Brianna’s Books and Randomness, who is also the creator of the tag. Though I haven’t re-read the series in ages, The Lunar Chronicles was, from what I can remember, my gateway into YA books, so it will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason. It sounded like a super fun tag to do, so here I go!

The rules are simple: Answer each question, tag or pingback to the creator, and who you found the post from, and tag as many or as few people as you’d like.

 

CINDER: A SARCASTIC CHARACTER WITH ALL THE SASS

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I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again: Finian from Aurora Rising is the YA king of sass. I’m in stitches from his one-liners every time I go back and re-read this.

 

PRINCE KAI: AN AUTHOR THAT DESERVES A CROWN

Though there’s a plethora of authors out there that deserve this title, today, I’ll dedicate the crown to Sarah Maria Griffin. Nowhere else have I seen such a deft portrayal of emotion and human nature–and not to mention, easily the only author that I’ve ever seen write the 2nd person and make it believable and readable.

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QUEEN LEVANA: A COVER WITH STYLE

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Ah, Crier’s Warso iridescent…so intricate…so wonderfully sapphic[wipes single tear from cheek]

 

CRESS: A FICTIONAL PLACE YOU WOULDN’T MIND BEING STUCK IN

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I would have absolutely no qualms about staying anywhere in Leigh Bardugo’s richly imagined Grishaverse. Except for the Unsea, maybe…

 

CAPTAIN THORNE: THE LAST FUNNY BOOK YOU READ

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By no stretch of the imagination is Rogue One a comedy, but there’s something to be said for K2-SO’s one-liners.

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SCARLET: A BOOK WITH A RED SPINE

[internally catalogues all of the library holds I’ve read in the past few months to search for a red spine]

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I’ve had this one for quite a while, and since I’ve already given lots of love to The Demon WorldI’ll shine the light on Inkmistress this time.

 

WOLF: A WHOLESOME CHARACTER THAT COULD KILL YOU

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I mean…what gets more “wholesome-but-could-kill-you” than a massive tardigrade that acts like a puppy? All my love to Otto the giant water bear…💗

 

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WINTER: A BOOK THAT PORTRAYS MENTAL ILLNESS

Image result for how it feels to float book

How it Feels to Float is a beautiful and deeply moving portrayal of depression and anxiety, and an incredibly underrated one, at that. I highly recommend this one!

 

IKO: A BOOK WITH ANDROIDS OR ROBOTS

Image result for lifelike jay kristoff

LIFEL1K3So many robots. SO MANY!

 

I tag anyone who’d like to participate! Give Brianna some love, everybody! 

 

Since I’ve already posted today, just head over to this week’s Book Review Tuesday if you’d like to see today’s song.

 

That just about wraps up this tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (1/7/20)–Supernova (Renegades, #3)

 

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Hey there, fellow bibliophiles!

I’ve mentioned this one several times before, as it was one of my most anticipated 2019 releases. And man, am I glad to say that this book was not only my first read of 2020, but an incredible conclusion to an unforgettable, action-packed series.

WARNING: This post may contain some spoilers for the previous two Renegades books. For my reviews/Goodreads reviews for books 1 and 2, click here:

Renegades (Renegades, #1)

Archenemies (Renegades, #2)

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Supernova (Renegades, #3)

Nova and Adrian. Both battling their forbidden romance and their inner demons. Both with double lives, days from being exposed and shattering each other’s relationships.

As an old enemy resurfaces in Gatlon City, the two Prodigies must reconcile their pasts and save their beloved city from the brink–even if it means exposing themselves and those who they love. And the further Nova and Adrian entrench themselves in their webs of lies, the more they realize…is the line between heroes and villains as clear as it is made out to be?

 

 

Marissa Meyer truly outdid herself in this final installment to the Renegades. With such a wide cast of characters, I’m still astounded by the way that they were all intertwined so seamlessly, without muddying or confusing the story. (Though, I suppose the very high body count thinned the cast out a bit, but mostly for character development. Mostly.) The theme of the moral gray area between good and evil was stronger than ever, and Meyer’s clever writing and world building truly shined in this novel. Clocking in at 548 pages, I was worried for the last 100 or so that the rest of the plot would be filler, but boy, we almost had not one, but two incredibly climactic battles that served the plot well and furthered the story in a satisfying way.

My only qualm, is, I’ll admit, pretty nit-picky. One thing that bothered me a little bit was the dialogue; some of the characters (Nova, etc.) seemed a bit…too eloquent in the way that they spoke. I get it, she and some of the others are intelligent characters, but their lines read like they were reading from a ghostwritten speech. It made for a bit of discordance in some of the more climactic scenes, but I’m glad to say that it didn’t take away too much of my enjoyment.

Overall, a simultaneously shocking and satisfying conclusion to a YA superhero series that may well become the benchmark for the sub-genre to come.

Solid 4.5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

 

Supernova is the end of the Renegades trilogy, but I’m almost certain that Marissa Meyer has another whopper up her sleeve, though nothing’s been confirmed yet. I just have a gut feeling. 😉

Image result for gut feeling gif"

 

Today’s song:

[heart eyes] SOOOOOPPPHHHHIIIIIIIEEEEE

 

That just about wraps up this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Stay tuned for more content later in the week! Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books, Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020

Happy Sunday, everybody!

Whew, what a week it’s been, the last week of the decade, and the start of a new one. Also, this is my last day of winter break, so…school starts back up tomorrow…[sad harmonica]

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Hey, at least I soaked it all up. I had a lot of fun–festivities with family, two rounds of TRoS and one of Knives Out, the first ski trip of the year, and LOTS of reading and writing. Success! 😀

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: 

Bowie’s Bookshelf: The Hundred Books that Changed David Bowie’s Life–John O’Connell

(⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Supernova (Renegades, #3)–Marissa Meyer (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Image result for supernova marissa meyer

Darius the Great is Not Okay–Adib Khorram (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Sanctuary (Sanctuary, #1)–Caryn Lix (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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POSTS AND SUCH: 

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK

Half Bad–Sally Green

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Rebel–Marie Lu (Finally bought it!)

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I’ll start posting a list of the week’s songs once I get more of them, but since I only have two, I’ll skip it this time. But this one’s been stuck in my head for a few days this year, and I’ve really taken a liking to it, so here you go…

 

Hope you had a great start to the decade! Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Get To Know Ya Book Tag

Happy New Year, bibliophiles!

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I found this tag on A Little Haze Book Blog, and I’m so excited to take part! Let’s begin, shall we?

 

FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME

Oooh…hard decision, but if I had to pick, I’d go with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I read it a little under two years ago for the first time, and it’s never left my thoughts since.

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FAVORITE BOOK FIVE YEARS AGO

The entire Search for WondLa trilogy captured my heart around middle school, but my favorite of the three was the beautifully written (and illustrated) and shocking finale, The Battle for WondLa. 

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FAVORITE DUOLOGY/TRILOGY/SERIES

Hands down, Ashley Poston’s masterful Heart of Iron duology. Both books are so lovable in every sense of the word.

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LAST BOOK YOU READ

I’ll be reviewing this one later, but I just finished up Supernova, the last installment in Marissa Meyer’s Renegades trilogy. Such a stunning end to the series!

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LAST POETRY BOOK YOU READ

I bought a collection of Tennyson’s poetry in April, I think. Such remarkable and heartstring-tugging words…In Memoriam was probably my favorite.

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WHAT BOOK MOST INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE?

Alright, sorry, I know I keep coming back to this, but The Search for WondLa was not only my gateway to my favorite genre, science fiction, but what inspired me to be an author. Tony DiTerlizzi will never stop being my hero, just for that series alone.

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BOOK THAT MADE YOU UGLY CRY

Yeeeeeeeesh, A Monster Calls SLAYED me when I first read it. I had to re-read it over twice, and both times, I ended up bawling my eyes out at the end. GOD. 😭

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BOOK THAT MADE YOU LAUGH

Good Omens, without a doubt. I don’t think a book has made me laugh as much as that in a very long time.

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CHARACTER YOU’D LIKE TO BE FOR A DAY 

Hmm…the first character that came to mind was Alosa from Daughter of the Pirate King duology.Oh, to be a fearsome pirate queen on the high seas (with fabulous hair)…

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BOOK SO GOOD YOU DREAMT ABOUT IT

I can’t quite think of any books that come to mind other than WondLa, and I’ve already mentioned that one in two of the questions, so…sorry about that.

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BOOK YOU DNF’D

Oh, there’s a long, long list…

But the most recent book I DNF’d was Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters. Such an interesting concept for a plot, but the dialogue made it crash and burn. Curse you, deceptively gorgeous cover…

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WHAT BOOK ARE YOU EXCITED TO READ?

I loved The Hazel Wood, and I just found out that the sequel, The Night Country, will be released on January 7th! REJOICE!

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That just about wraps it up! If you’d like to do the tag, feel free to do so. Please be sure to link back to this post if you do so 🙂

 

Today’s song: “One and a Half Stars”–Wilco (listening to this as I wrap up this post!)

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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