Things I hate about books

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My room is 60% books, but there are some things about them I just HATE. Things that grate and annoy and make me want to tear my hair out. I’m sure I could think of more, but this is a starter list.

Love polygons

Pick a guy already! This trope is notorious within Young Adult and Romance, but it’s starting to infect other genres as well. IT MUST STOP. Seriously, it’s a relationship, not ice cream. If you’re conflicted between two, you need to stop sampling one or the other because those are people’s hearts, not Baskin Robins.

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You’ve heard of “love triangles,” now get ready for…”love PENTAGONS!”

Mismatched covers

Just…no. I have several series where the publisher did this mid-series or, worse, end-of-series and it made me want to scream. To this day, it physically hurts me to look at them together.

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I mean…how sick do you have to be to do this?

Differing spine heights

This is done by the same monsters who pulled off the cover style swaps and is no less heinous/agonizing.

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I was appalled when the last two “Shadowmarch” books came in the mail.

Bad writing

Don’t draw me in with a pretty cover, good premise, stellar blurb, then have “flashing eyes” and breaths “she didn’t know she’d been holding” every two pages. Also no willy-nilly “hot” seductions where the characters didn’t even make eye contact until two pages ago. I mean…why??? But seriously, there are a hundred things that could go here, but you all KNOW what I mean.

I was going to put a picture here, but I got rid of the books I thought had bad writing.

 Good writing

Bad writing is like nails on the chalkboard. Good writing is like hooked talons that dig into your chest and tear out your bleeding heart. Beware the feels and beware the life-changing revelations.

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To date, four books have made me cry and two of them are pictured here.

Flaky authors

Authors, don’t go and write two to-die-for books and then write 900+ pages of crap when we KNOW you can do better. Get your act together, damn it.

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Yes, Christopher Paolini, I DID lie to your face when I said I liked the ending.

Cannon fodder characters

You know those characters who show up for like half a scene and are sweet and eerily flawless until they’re gruesomely murdered for nothing other than shock value? I hate that.

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Well…can you deny it?

Cancelled sequels

How DARE set it up for another book and not follow through! Leave me hanging with loose ends and questionable ending. Not cool, man.

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There was “kind of” a resolution, but “kind of” not. Also, I just want another damn book.

Biased publishers

I could rant all day about this one. The thing is, it’s luck of the draw as to which authors get “picked” for promotion by publishers (this applies to the Big Six publishers especially). The vast majority of authors are expected to handle promotion on their own dime. Which means we don’t hear about the vast majority of books published!

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Only fan letter I’ve written in my life was to this guy and the publishers don’t share my enthusiasm. Bastards.

Biased bookstores

The thing is, stores like Barnes and Noble and about 97% of other bookstores (unless specified otherwise) only stock the bestsellers’ list. Seriously. It’s why I stopped going so much (besides being broke).

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Crappy photo, but these are two AMAZING books you won’t find in stores.

What are some of the things you hate about books? Do you relate to any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Favorite Bromances

In the wake of last week’s bromance talk, I decided to write up a blog post detailing my top ten favorite bromances.

Darmik and Neco (True Reign series by Jennifer Anne Davis)

Their bromance isn’t really in plain sight until the second book in the trilogy, but I adore it. They have that whole brothers at arms thing going on and that just gets to me.

Peter Pevensie and Edmund Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis)

These two brothers fight, argue, and are basically just boys. But they always have each other’s backs. I especially love how Edmund is there for Peter in the later books and movies. So sweet.

Gimli and Legolas (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien)

I particularly like the Legolas/Gimli dynamic. They start off making racist jibes at one another and end up sailing off into the unknown as BFF’s. (Shh, don’t tell Thranduil.)

Devon and Julian (The Kindred series by Erica Stevens)

Unless you’ve read the last three books in the series, this won’t make sense. Devon and Julian are literally trying to kill each other in books 1-2, but bond over their shared love of Cassie and their desire to protect her. In the end, they get over their jealousy of one another and stand shoulder to shoulder, a true bromance.

Harry Potter and Ron Weasley (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

If this one needs explaining, go read the books and then we’ll talk.

Will Treaty and Horace (Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan)

In the beginning, Horace is the bully who kicks little Will’s backside for laughs. Then as girls, war, bigger bullies, giant pigs, battles, and other horrors assail them, they become close friends, even besties. I may have decided I disliked this series after book 5, but their relationship was still adorable.

Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, and Castiel (Supernatural, created by Eric Kripke)

Okay. Talk about a bromance! Nine seasons of these idiots killing monsters, betraying, making up, going to hell, going to heaven, coming back, dying, resurrecting, hunting, crying, being there for each other, missing each other—yeah. It’s just really hard not to love these guys.

Dorian Haviliard and Chaol Westfall (Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas)

As Crown Prince and Captain of the Guard, there is a certain class barrier, but they’re both one another’s only true friends and it’s precious to see them tease and scold each other. I really hope their friendship isn’t damaged after Crown of Midnight because that would suck rotten eggs. (GO TEAM CHAOL!!!)

Terence and Sir Gawaine (The Squire’s Tales series by Gerald Morris)

They start out as a teacher/student type duo, but as Terence gets older, Gawaine becomes closer to Terence than his own siblings. Then they become brothers-in-law, thus canonizing their bromance.

Arthur and Merlin (The Adventures of Merlin, created by Julian Jones)

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Oh my gosh, I started this series two weeks ago and I’m besotted. The brotherly relationship between Merlin and Arthur—with all their teasing and name-calling and being willing to die for one another—is definitely one of the highlights.

Thus concludes my Top Ten. If you haven’t read/watched any of these series, you really should. What are you favorite bromances?

So behind…

I am so very behind on my reviews that it isn’t even humorous. I’m going to have to do a whole post just to show you how very behind I am. but until then, this is what I am currently reading! (It’s pretty flipping awesome so far!)

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As the last of the Incenaga Witches, Emmeline has been tortured and forced to use her power to kill. But unlike the Incenagas before her, she has survived. With her freedom restored, she should feel safe, invincible even. After all, she has the protection of Prince Erick’s army and a power strong enough to obliterate any enemy. Yet Emmeline lives in fear for the next person who will try to control her, and no one can seem to find the tyrant threatening to claim her.

Until it’s too late.

With everything on the line, and the enemy at her throat, will Emmeline be able to use her power like never before? Even if it kills her?

In The Underground Witch, the second novel of the Incenaga Trilogy, Debbie Dee delivers enough adventure, heartbreak, and suspense to captivate readers at every turn.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

Review: Kindled (The Kindred, #3) by Erica Stevens

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Fueled by rage and a thirst for revenge, Cassie no longer recognizes the person she has become. Determined to destroy Julian, no matter what the cost, Cassie pushes away the ones that love her most. Though she tries to deny it, and fights against it, Devon’s love may be the only thing that can bring her back from the brink of madness she is teetering upon. Just when she is starting to come to terms with her grief, a startling revelation threatens to unravel everything she has always known. Her bond with Devon is severely tested as a new enemy arises to tear them apart. A new enemy that Cassie never could have foreseen, but one that may be even deadlier, and far more ruthless than any vampire she has ever faced. Torn from her friends and Devon, Cassie is stunned to find herself having to rely on the man she hates most, Julian. Together, Cassie and Julian struggle to survive an adversary that is determined to destroy them both.

Book 3 of 5

This is a young adult fictional story that includes some language, violence, and mild sexual situations. Recommended for ages fifteen and up.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

The cliffhanger of the last book, when :SPOILER: Cassie rejects Devon :SPOILER OVER: had me writhing in agony and needing the next book to make sure they would work it out. You’re all probably beginning to think that if I review something by Erica Stevens it’s going to be an automatic 5-star and that’s true so long as her works don’t disappoint me and so far they’ve done just the opposite!

The plot:

I got tossed around a bit in this book, the quick change in direction keeping me on my toes as I tore through this series. Things could get better or, more likely, turn nasty in the bat of an eye and Ms. Stevens, the mistress of the cliffhanger, gives us yet another one to leave us aching for the sequel.

The characters:

Despite their rocky circumstances at the beginning of this book, Devon and Cassie’s relationship still grows, even with the nasty start. More questions are raised as to Cassie’s mysterious lack of a power (as all Hunters and vampires, as far as they know, have one) and just why it is she heals faster than any of her friends.

Here we see more of Dani, a young Hunter with power to create electrical surges, and finally meet Annabelle, the woman who changed Devon’s existence, while Julian, our prevalent baddie up to this point, shows a side of him we haven’t seen before. Isla, the sickening succubus, is also back and this time she wants Cassie’s throat.

Another fantastic YA paranormal romance from a fantastic author! A must-read for lovers of vampire romance and teen paranormal romance!

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Review: Moonlit (Moonlit, 1#) by Jadie Jones

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Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that cannot be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.

When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.

But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

I have another addition for my Shelf of Awesome! I downloaded this awhile ago, but like so many other Kindle books, it was allowed to sit neglected and ignored, gathering digital dust on my electronic shelves. Then I finally opened it when I was on the train and bored out of my mind, thinking I would “just start it,” but forty minutes later, I was nearly 20% in and had to pry myself from the screen. I had high hopes when I started for magic, mystery, a teen heroine, hints of romance, and best of all—horses! Ms. Jones delivered all of that mixed into a plot with twists, turns, and a villain who deserves to be in the Dark Lord Hall of Fame alongside Voldemort, Sauron, and Mordred.

The plot:

When I began Moonlit, I had no clue it was a reincarnation story. I admit my experience with reincarnation plots is limited, but I very much liked the way this one was handled. There were parts that I wanted to be condensed or shortened, but, I’ll be truthful, those were either because my phobia of hospitals was rearing its head or I wanted to see more of Lucas (I’ll explain who he is in a minute). Overall, the plot flows smoothly quickly, and has one or two good hairpin turns at the end. There was one part in particular that I thought should have been expanded and elaborated more, but the lack of detail turned out to be a part of the storyline. The author did an excellent job of subtly hinting at the final twist so that it didn’t feel contrived and ends with a cliffhanger that is driving me insane.

The characters:

I really liked the MC, Tanzy Hightower. I sympathized with the problems she was going through even before all the supernatural elements popped up in her life. She came across as a little lost, but stronger than she gave herself credit for and good at the core. There is this one part (I won’t tell you where it is for fear of spoilers) where I wanted to slap Tanzy and shake her and scream “YOU BLOODY MORON!!!” but I still became quite fond of her.

Now let me tell you about Lucas. Lucas is an immortal who has been around since the dawn of time, is an ex-villain, and has been in love with Tanzy for over a thousand years. We know that Lucas has a dark side and is capable of true evil, but when he was around Tanzy or Spera (Tanzy’s past incarnation), I wanted to say “aww” and sigh with girlish fancy. The words “so sweet” come to mind and it seems I have a fetish for overtly protective romantic interests with unpleasant pasts who are centuries (in this case millennia) old. There was one point when I feared that we would be faced with a love triangle, but my worries were unfounded and everything came together.

Our primary villain is Asher, also an immortal like Lucas. I seem to be coming across a lot of antiheroes with “A” names—Atticus, Agamemnon, Arobynn—anyway, Asher is a sick, twisted piece of work and I would not be overly opposed to jubilatory dancing atop his grave should he snuff it. He is devious and cunning, though at one point I did wonder why he would go through the trouble of doing legwork himself when he has legions of minions at his beck and call. I confess I have my fingers crossed that he will meet his end soon.

That review ended up being a lot longer than I intended, but I am entitled to occasional fangirling. I am anxiously anticipating the release of the next installment and after reading the author’s updates on her progress with the sequel, I’m both panicked and elated. I shall live in torturous agony awaiting the next book, but in the interim, I advise everyone who likes action, magic, romance, and horses to pick this up!

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Books I Cannot Wait For

So 2013 is a really big year for books! Everyone has their own “cannot-wait-for” list, but this is mine!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

I’m sure you’re all good and sick of hearing me talk about Ms. Maas’ literary genius, but Throne of Glass was completely magical for me. It just seemed to fit into a special place in my heart (no, I don’t care if that sounds sappy) like a missing puzzle piece. I am very, very, very much looking forward to Crown of Midnight coming out in August and plan to pre-order it!

Salvation (The Captive, #4) by Erica Stevens

Salvation (The Captive, #4)

Yes, I’m sure you’re also all sick of hearing me rave about this series. But the last book, Refugee, ended in a stinking cliffhanger and every time I read one of the teasers for Salvation, I get all hyped up and excited to read it! I desperately, direly, need this book and I shall suffer until its release on June 8.

Sunbolt (The Sunbolt Chronicles, #1) by Intisar Khanani

Sunbolt (The Sunbolt Chronicles, #1)

I helped with the cover reveal and beta-reading for this special little novella and can’t wait to see what the author did with the characters! It reminded me once again of why my heart will forever belong to true fantasy and I am very, very eager to write my review and praise its awesomeness until I drop! One of my favorite things about Ms. Khanani’s heroines is their simultaneous vulnerability and strength and I think more people should write like her!

Taking Talon (Arcadia Falls Chronicles, #2) by Jennifer Malone Wright

Taking Talon (The Arcadia Falls Chronicles: Book 2)

Okay, so I had some problems with this series’ prequels, The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter short stories. My main issue being the whole thing about vampires being purely evil with pretty much no shot at redemption under any circumstances. (Religious thing, I believe in second chances.) But I still greatly enjoyed the first book, Love and War. I like how the author isn’t shy to talk about violence and guns and the sarcasm and mythology make a great recipe for an action-filled adventure!

Collapsed Cathedrals (No Angels, #2) by Eli Hinze

Collapsed Cathedrals

Eli Hinze, I. Want. This. Book! Since reading No Angels last year, I have been very eager to read about what happens with Liz Patrona. I am also kind of missing Riven, I won’t lie. I don’t usually read Christian fantasy because…well, how do I put this? Um…me and artistic license with Christianity don’t get along and a lot of Christian fantasy authors seem to take liberties. Yeah, that’s it. (Yes, yes, boring, I know. You have been warned!) But I greatly enjoyed No Angels and I highly recommend it!

World of the Beasts (The Witches’ Sleep, #2) by Kaitlyn Deann

Cover Reveal: World of the Beasts

So I read the first book in this series, The Witches’ Sleep, and I was quite effectively blown away. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did (dystopia and I have a nasty history), but I found myself glued to my iPhone, flipping pages, and writhing in suspense. I thought it was original, intriguing, and I came to care very deeply for Tuck and Sea-Anna, who are the main characters of World of the Beasts, and I’m really, really worried about them!

Born of the Blood (The Night Gives Up Its Secrets Trilogy, #3) by Mary Eason

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I discovered this series just a month or two ago. It’s more of a novella series (I think the first two both run under 150 pages), but I have nothing against novellas. The last installment ended in a very sad cliffhanger and let’s just say that everyone’s lucky there’s another book and a shot at HEA or else I would be in depression right now.

These are all books that have captured my heart and succeeded in infatuating me with their characters. I am so, so, SO excited to get my hands on them and have a great feeling it’s going to be a great year.

So what books can you not wait for?

#FictionalDeathsIWillNeverGetOver Part II

Lately, the hashtag #FictionalDeathsIWillNeverGetOver has been trending on Twitter. As soon as I saw that, I immediately thought of characters—whose deaths I will never get over. I could not let it pass and so I must tell you all about the imaginary deaths which shall haunt me forever.

Prince Hector

As I’ve said before, the 2004 movie Troy is my favorite film of all time. (Again, don’t ask why because I have no idea.) I felt so sad when Hector died because Achilles’ reason for seeking revenge on the Trojan prince really wasn’t Hector’s fault. Achilles’ young cousin, Patroclus, was mad about Achilles refusing to fight the Trojans so he dressed up in Achilles’ armor and led his cousin’s men into battle. Hector killed Patroclus, thinking he was Achilles, but he felt really bad about it when he found out and while he had his brutal moments, he clearly had a more developed conscience than most the other characters. Oh, and he had a wife and infant son, too. He really, really was one of those characters who you wish could have lived. (Yes, I know he dies in the traditional myths, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!)

Quark the Quarkbeast

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A friend of mine loaned me Jasper Fforde’s YA debut, The Last Dragonslayer for a road trip and I enjoyed it greatly. The main character, Jennifer Strange, has a pet whose coat is described as “an open knife drawer,” eats tin cans, and has to be careful so as not to dent Volkswagens when he wags his tail. Quark was a semi-sentient creature who was fiercely loyal to his young mistress and ended up dying to save her. I knew he was going to die because once again, that detail was spoiled for me, but I still adored him and was very, very sad to see him meet his demise.

Adaon

The Black Cauldron (The Chronicles of Prydain, #2)

One of the great underrated fantasy series of all time is Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles. In the second installment, titled The Black Cauldron, we meet a young and mystical warrior who is equally skilled with a sword as the harp and seeks to make and keep peace amongst his companions. He is betrothed to a beautiful and wise young woman with whom he is deeply in love and was an all-around good guy. But…in a scuffle with the zombie-like warriors sent by the dark lord, he is fatally wounded and dies. Adaon is of the minority of my FDIWNGO in that I didn’t see his death coming. Though that didn’t subtract from the devastation I experienced at the others’ deaths, it certainly was a compounding factor with Adaon.

To be continued…