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 Book Tags

The Last 10 Books Tag

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I have a whole load of book tags that I want to do soon, and I figured I’d give this one a go, it sounds like a lot of fun! I was tagged by Stephanie @ My Book Throne, (thanks so much!) and the tag was originally created by Marc Nash.

Let’s begin, shall we?

🔟THE LAST 10 BOOKS TAG🔟

LAST BOOK I RE-READ

Amazon.com: Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows (Six of Crows, 2)  (9781627792134): Bardugo, Leigh: Books

The Netflix adaptation of Shadow and Bone made me go back and read the Six of Crows duology. Needless to say, tears were shed.

LAST BOOK I GAVE UP ON

Amazon.com: Falling Kingdoms: A Falling Kingdoms Novel (9781595145857):  Rhodes, Morgan: Books

I haven’t DNF’d anything in a while, but I got to about the 70% mark in Falling Kingdoms (on my Kindle) before I couldn’t take it anymore.

LAST BOOK I BOUGHT

The Ones We're Meant to Find by Joan He

I went down to my favorite bookstore on Thursday morning and got three books that I’ve been really excited to read! The Ones We’re Meant to Find is one of them.

LAST BOOK I SAID I READ BUT DIDN’T

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I…never really do that, and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t remember…

LAST BOOK I WROTE IN THE MARGINS OF

Let the Great World Spin: A Novel: McCann, Colum: 9780812973990:  Amazon.com: Books

In most cases, I’m firmly against writing in books, but we’re supposed to annotate while we read for school books, so…

Let the Great World Spin was the last book that I read for AP English, and there’s lots of pen marks in there…

LAST BOOK THAT I HAD SIGNED

Amazon.com: Aurora's End (The Aurora Cycle Book 3) eBook: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Kindle Store

Weeeeeeeeell…this doesn’t *really* count since it isn’t out yet, but I preordered a signed copy of Aurora’s End, so that’s about as close as I can get. I haven’t really been to a whole lot of book events other than Denver Pop Culture Con, and I can’t remember the last trade paperback that I got signed off the top of my head…

LAST BOOK I LOST

Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare Library) - Kindle edition by Shakespeare,  William, Mowat, Dr. Barbara A., Werstine, Paul. Literature & Fiction Kindle  eBooks @ Amazon.com.

(Why do I keep putting books I read for school in this tag?)

I rarely lose books, but I panicked for a bit last year when I lost my copy of Macbeth for a short time. I think I found it behind the headboard of my bed, or something…

LAST BOOK I REPLACED

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Uh…I’ve never really replaced any of my books…I rarely lend them to other people and I try very hard not to damage them, so…

LAST BOOK I ARGUED OVER

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

I mean, I don’t remember the last time I’ve full-on argued with somebody about a book, but I’ve had several people insist that I try reading Throne of Glass again, and…nah. Not for me. True, I was grumpy and sick when I read it, but I really don’t think that contributed to the low rating.

LAST BOOK I COULDN’T FIND

Dark Days (Skulduggery Pleasant): Derek Landy: 9780007325979: Amazon.com:  Books

Whew, here’s a throwback…

I LOVED the Skulduggery Pleasant books in middle school, but I had to stop at book 3 because I just couldn’t find Dark Days anywhere. ANYWHERE. Such a shame, these were so much fun…

I TAG:

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Today’s song:

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

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (6/20/20)–Books You’d Give a Second Chance 🤔

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

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 books that you’d give a second chance.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE: 

6/6/20 — Books Set Near/On the Sea

6/13/20 — Books with One Word Titles

6/20/20 — Books You’d Give a Second Chance

6/27/20 —  Books with Morally Grey Characters

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 (6/20/20)–BOOKS YOU’D GIVE A SECOND CHANCE

Foundation, Isaac Asimov

Foundation: Asimov, Isaac: 9780553293357: Amazon.com: Books

This is more of an “it’s not you, it’s me” kind of deal; from the premise, I thought there would be a little more action, but it ended up feeling like a bunch of old white guys in the room discussing their eminent annihilation. I suppose I didn’t quite appreciate it for what it was, but I don’t know.

Starflight, Melissa Landers

Amazon.com: Starflight eBook: Landers, Melissa: Kindle Store

I remember…next to nothing about this book, but I rated it two stars, so there must have been something that didn’t click with me at the time. The premise seems…semi-intriguing, so I might try and go back and see what went wrong the first time around.

Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass) Sarah J. Maas: Bloomsbury YA

Everybody and their mother (including my own mother) seems to adore this series, so maybe there’s something I’m missing. Granted, I was feeling grumpy and I had a stomach flu when I read this, so that might have contributed to the two-star rating. Maybe.

Starglass, Phoebe North

Starglass (Starglass, #1) by Phoebe North

Again, I remember next to nothing about this one, other than the fact that I was listening to “(You’re My) Dream Come True” by the Temptations while I was reading it. Maybe it’s worth another read.

Orvis, Helen Mary Hoover

Orvis: Hoover, H. M.: 9780812557350: Amazon.com: Books

I read this one for school in 5th grade, and I remember thinking it was okay. I liked the character of Orvis a lot, but something about it failed to grab me at the time, but I think I might like it more the second time around.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

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Today’s song:

SUCH. A. GOOD. ALBUM. Expect a review next week…

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 Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (11/20/18)-Catwoman: Soulstealer

Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

After how much I loved Wonder Woman: Warbringer (see 9/11/18) and Batman: Nightwalker (which I stupidly haven’t reviewed, but will at some point), I figured that Catwoman: Soulstealer would be no different. So, I checked it out at the library, along with Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass. 

It’s funny, I kind of hated Throne of Glass (pleeeease don’t brutally murder me for this, it just wasn’t my thing), but I really liked Catwoman! I’d have to read more of Maas’ work to make my theory have a little more weight, but I guess I just like it when she’s given a set of characters and a world to work with, as opposed to creating her own. (Okay, that’s…probably a little mean, sorry, but that’s how it’s been for me thus far.) So whether you’re a Throne of Glass fan or not, Catwoman is spectacular!

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Enjoy the review!

 

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Catwoman: Soulstealer

Desperate to escape her drug addict mother and care for her terminally ill sister, Selina Kyle turns to a life of crime to get by. For years, she fights her way to the top of the food chain, struggling to provide for her and her sister, while simultaneously dodging the likes of Carmine Falcone. Eventually, she is discovered by Talia al-Ghul, who recognizes her potential and talent, and sends her off to train with the League of Assassins.

Many years later, Selina returns to the streets of Gotham City under the alias Holly Vanderhees. In the absence of Batman, she rekindles her reputation, and allies with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Together, the three of them are a force to be reckoned with. But can they evade the authorities for long enough?

 

 

I’ve always had something of a soft spot for Catwoman, partially because of the fact that I love cats, and because, well…simply put, she’s a spectacular villain, and, in some cases, antihero. I especially like her depiction in the animated show The Batman. (It ran in the early to late 2000’s…anybody remember it? Quality.) I mean, her costume is SPOT-ON. COME ON, GUYS. 10/10.

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I actually imagined Selina’s costume in Catwoman: Soulstealer a little like this. It’s always been one of my favorite interpretations of Catwoman.

But anyway, Sarah J. Maas did an incredible job of depicting Catwoman, as well as giving her some backstory and history. I also really enjoyed the camaraderie between her, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. They’re so fun together, and Harley didn’t get on my nerves.

 

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Let me elaborate on that. Usually, Harley Quinn is either a) not only oversexualized, but also incredibly annoying, or b) just adorable. My personal favorite is Batman: The Animated Series Harley, though her Catwoman description in terms of clothing was more along the lines of Suicide Squad.

 

All in all, a well-written novel that did considerable justice to the original characters!

 

Well, I hope you all have a great day, and for my followers in the U.S, have a happy Thanksgiving!