As I write this my Goodreads TBR is 182 it might still seem large to some but this is the lowest it’s been in a long time, in years. I have been going through my TBR a lot recently and I think I’m finally done narrowing it down. I got less and less picky each time I went through it today when I started it was around 230. I decided that there was no way I was going to read all of 230 of those books. Many of them have been on there for years it was definitely time to acknowledg that I’m never going to read them. I thought it would be fun to go through what made me decide to keep or get rid of a book, and share some of the notable books I kept and removed.
What I kept
- Fairytales and retellings: My love of fairytales is the one constant in my reading tastes I will never grow tired of them. If someone says a book reads like a fairytale or is inspired by them then I immediately add it to my TBR. Examples: The Shadow Queen, Tiger Lily, The Forbidden Wish.
- Historical fiction: I have really been in the mood for Historical fiction so therefore all the ones on my TBR are staying put. They all sound appealing so I will definitely be reading some soon. Examples: Under a Painted Sky, Among the Red Stars, Code Name Verity.
- Must read books: I kept most anything that is widely considered to be something everyone should read. Or that is loved by the entire blogging community like A Darker Shade of Magic. Other examples: The Book Thief, Wonder.
What I got rid of
- SciFi: I don’t like Sci-fi books I want to like them but I can’t seem to get into the genre. I think the only kept about three that looked to good to remove, hopefully one of them will be the one sci-fi book I actually like. Examples: Red Rising, Ender’s Game, Zenith.
- Books I couldn’t remember: If it had been on my TBR for a while and I couldn’t remember what it was even about then I removed it. I clearly was not going to read it anytime soon. No examples because I didn’t keep up with what I got rid of and can’t remember exactly.
- Books I had already tried: There was a few books I had read a few chapters of but never got back to. There’s some I kept because I genuinely want to read but just wasn’t in the mood at the time. The ones I got rid of are mostly hyped books that I don’t think I’m going to pick up again. Examples Walk the Earth A Stranger, Tower of Dawn, Perks of Being a Wallflower.
There are obviously other reasons for keeping or removing a book from a TBR but those are some of the main things. Mostly though I just took off books that no longer interest me and I’m sure a lot of you are going to disagree with my choices, but I think I choose well. There’s simply not enough time to read every book I have to be choosy and not wast time reading bad or okay books. I only have time to read books I love of course there’s no way to know for sure if you like it until you read it and this is why bookworm are forever agonizing over our TBR’s.
I thought it would be fun to share with you the first review I ever wrote and see how I have grown as a reviewer. The first book I ever reviewed is All the Bright Places, I reviewed it on February 17th 2015. That’s almost exactly three years ago it feels like I’ve been reviewing books a lot longer then three years. I will insert my review below for you guys then tell you how my thoughts on the book have changed.
This book is marketed as The Fault in Our Stars meats Eleanor and Park I haven’t read The Fault in are Stars but I have read Eleanor and Park and I see very little similarity’s between the two. I’m getting really tired of the this book meats this book thing, All the Bright Places is perfect for fans of Eleanor and Park but it definitively stands on its own. Its very original the characters were realistic although I would have liked to see more of the minor characters.
Violet had a lot of fantastic character development throughout the novel. Finch is complex and quirky and I loved him I liked his point of view better then Violets. I’m not normally a fan of alternating point of views but this one was very well done the characters both had very distinctive voice, the romance was cute, the last half of the book felt rushed and the ending was predictable but well done. The writing is wonderful and overall this book is thoughtful honest and lovely.
Well I don’t think it’s too bad for a first review but now I would completely cut the first paragraph and go into more detail. I’ve definitely learned to be more critical and how to better explain why I did or didn’t enjoy a book. I am positive that if I were to reread this that I would not enjoy it as much, and I’m sure I wouldn’t call it original. But part of what I adore about reading is that where you are in life can greatly effect how you feel about a book.
When I read All the Bright Places I had just begun to read contemporary and this was the first hard hitting one I ever read. Now I have a lot of books to compare it to and my reading tastes have changed. I originally gave this four stars if I were to read it now I would probably give it three maybe even two. It’s hard to say exactly how I would feel about and I don’t remember it too well. I know though that the book did not stick with me for long like I originally thought it would. I have since read contemporary stories that deal with important topics with a lot more care.
Today is September 1st which means, as every Harry Potter fan knows, it’s time to go back to Hogwarts. To celebrate this important and magical day I’m going talk about why I’m proud to be a Hufflepuff.
Hufflepuff doesn’t have a particular aptitude like the other houses to some this means were lame but really it means Hufflepuff is the most inclusive house. Helga Hufflepuff didn’t care about whether or not your a pure blood or a muggle born. According to the sorting hat when the founders were discussing who to accept Helga said “I’ll teach the lot,
And treat them just the same.” Helga Hufflepuff sounds like a great lady she’s probably the best person out of all the founders.
Some don’t like that Hufflepuff takes all the rest and see it as Hufflepuff taking the rejects Hufflepuff does take the oddballs and I think that’s grand. I love being a Hufflepuff because it takes all the rest Hufflepuff house is for the people who don’t fit in, for ordinary people who are kind and hardworking. Hufflepuffs are friendly and dedicated. We might not be the smartest the bravest, or the most astute but we are extremely nice and that does count for something. It counts for a lot actually.
I want to see more Hufflepuff hero’s I want more Newt Scamander’s more characters whose biggest strength is their compassion and thoughtfulness. Characters like Newt who are quirky, kind and sensitive are usually the side kicks I was glad to see one in the spotlight, it’s time Hufflepuffs become the heroes of more books and movies. I especially want male characters who are considerate and humble I’m so tired of angsty YA love interests I want more kind and soft boys in YA.
I’ll leave you with this quote and a reminder that J.K Rowling once said Hufflepuff was her favorite house and that we should all want to be Hufflepuff’s. And I agree we should and who wouldn’t want to be in a house that accepts everyone and treats them all fairly, plus we have a badger as a mascot, badgers are great. #badgerpride
“You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,
And unafraid of toil.”
I used to say that YA fantasy was my favorite genre but I recently realized that I now love YA contemporary’s just as much as YA fantasy I used to read primary fantasy and even now that I read a wider rang of genres its still half of what I read, when I first started reading fantasy books are what was primary available to me. Fantasy and dysopian were the two most popular genres when I got into reading and didn’t know what books existed outside off what my sister was reading and what was becoming a movie. Even when I started to learn about all the books out there and knew off a lot of contemporary books I still didn’t read them mostly because I thought they were all supper sappy or sad or at least all the ones I knew of seemed to be one of those things. The first contemporary that I read was Fangirl I loved it and it’s still one of my favorite books even though I loved Fangirl it was a while before I actively read books in the genre. Continue reading “How and why contemporary YA has become my favorite genre”
A few days ago I logged on to Instagram to find everyone talking about a new app called Listy, Listy is a social media for booknerds its sorta like a mash up of Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads. A ton of bookstagramers are switching to it I made an account but I’m not yet sure if I’m going to be active on it. When I downloaded it I was hoping it would take the place of Instagram since I don’t need another social media and Instagram has been frustrating me, but while Listey might have some cool features it comes with many annoyances. I was have seen a few bloggers do reviews of Listy and I have a lot of thoughts on it I figured I’d do one too. If you want to go into this with a better understanding of Listy then click here to read more about it or download the app.
What I like about Listy
- No algorithm: Instagram has a annoying algorithm that often shows you posts from days ago and causes you to mis3s a lot of posts from your favorite accounts. Listy has a chronological algorithm this is the reason many bookstagramers re switching to it.
- You can put links in your captions: This is a small thing but it makes it way easier to promote blog posts no more saying the link is in my bio.
- It’s exclusively bookish: I like that everyone on there is booknerd and this means no more random things popping up while I’m browsing bookish tags. I also feel like I’ll have a lot less people follow then imeadietly unfollow since most off the accounts that do that are not bookish ones.
- Easier to see comments: You have a serrate notification menu for comments on Instagram I often don’t see comments because they get lost in all my other notifications having a separate screen for them is another small thing that makes things easier.
What I don’t like
- The overall look: I don’t at all like the look of Listy I much prefer Instagram’s clean and simple design, I’m hoping they’l change the look to something better soon. It is fairly new so hopefully they will change the things I don’t like and improve it.
- It’s not as good as Goodreads: I think it’s intended to be a more social goodreads but it’s not as good, you can’t add multiple shelves you just have the three standard ones, you can’t mark what dates you read a book and it gives you less information about the book. It doesn’t tell you the publisher or let you easily view all the editions of a book, overall it’s harder to use restrictive and not as good as Goodreads
- Your posts can only be 451 characters long: How can you write a review that’s only 451 characters? I don’t post long reviews but I have Instagram captions that are longer then 451 characters. I can deal with having to write short posts but I would defiantly prefer to be able to have longer c captions.
- There’s no messaging system. The comment system is better then Instagram but you loose direct messaging, and the stories which is a feature I’ve grown to love. I also don’t see how anything can truly be a social media without a messaging system.
I really don’t know if I’m going to use Listy much I have the same amount of pros and cons I think I’m going to wait and see if it improves and then depending on what changes I might swich ovover completely from Instagram. For now I’ll keep posting on Instagram and LiListy but if Listy doesn’t improve in a few months them I’m going to delete it.
What do you think off Listy? Do you have a Listy account, if not are you planning on making one?
When it’s announced that a book is getting adapted into a movie or show I’m always initially excited even if I haven’t read the book, but if I love the book then after a while I usually start to have conflicting opinions. I try to be cautiously optimistic it could be amazing and I do tend to want to see my favorite books on the big screen but it could also be awful.I used to always be exited about book adaptations but then the Divergent movie happened, I was so excited for the Divergent movie and it turned out terrible and now I’m scared that another beloved book will get a bad movie. Bad adaptations don’t ruin the book, but they do sort of taint they can change your feelings about the books and it’s just not fun to watch something you love get turned into a bad movie. Getting to see your favorite book adapted could be one of the best things ever or the worst it could mean getting to see everything exactly as you pictured it and getting to revisit the story in a new way. It’s as close as you’ll get to reading the book for the first time.
What I love about good adaptations is how they often expand upon stories and add more to the world I think most of the best adaptations aren’t exactly like the book certain things don’t translate well on screen so sometimes the story needs to be altered for the movie be good. I think most people love it when a book they like gets adapted it can turn out so well but I’m not sure the risk of it being bad is worth it. I also think that they don’t always choose the right books to adapt The Selection would make a great movie yet it’s been optioned for like a year and it looks like it isn’t happening and I’m a little sad that I will most likely not be getting a Selection movie. I think it could be a really good movie. I really hope more fluffy and fun YA books start getting adapted I don’t care about dystopian books anymore and I know I lot of people feel the same way but yet there is at least two dystopian books currently being adapted. I want to see books like Anna and the French Kiss and Geekerella on the big screen.
As you can probably tell I have a love hate relationship with book adaptations they could be an experience or an awful one it’s hard to know even trailers don’t help since they can be misleading. It’s really a case by case basis it depends on what the book is, the cast and crew, how much involvement the author had and tons of other things, my excitement for it mainly depends on how important the book is to me. This is where I have conflicting feelings I want my favorite books to be adapted but only if it’s going to be close to perfect, I just don’t want to watch my favorite thing get turned into something bad. I haven’t been exited for a book adaptation in a while mainly because I haven’t read any of the books currently being adapted I should probably change that. Part of me wants Six of Crows to become a show it could be such a good show hopefully it becomes one and has the right people working on it, people who have at least read the books why do some directors of book adaptations not read the books it makes no since to be. Yes I am talking about the directer of the Percy Jackson movie that movie was awful like it’s one of the worst adaptations ever.
If you’ve been following me for a while you most likely know that I’m not the biggest fan of romance, I mention this often today I’m going to discuss it in more detail. I used to be less critical of romance and found myself shiping the character a lot more often then I do now. My opinion towards romance changed rather abruptly for a while every romantic sub plot big or small annoyed me, now it’s usually just kinda there I don’t usually care much about it. The biggest reason for my distaste towards it is that I grew tired of it being in everything, it’s hard to find characters who get to be happy and single.
Romance is kinda just expected to be in every YA book, it’s aggravating how it’s tied with the genre YA is known for being filled with unrealistic romance, love triangles and insta love are the norm. Often the romance is unnecessary, I have read a lot of books that would have been better without romance. Books where it’s thrown in and isn’t even important to the story or well done. I don’t know why so many authors feel the need to throw it in it doesn’t have to be in every YA book,it’s actually only in recent years that’s it’s become so common.
Based on what I’ve read on the history of YA and lists I’ve looked for of romance free YA I’ve come to believe that that YA without romance didn’t become rare until about ten years, ago maybe less. A lot of the popular books that helped make YA into the phenomenon it is today didn’t have any romance or very little. Examples are, The Giver, Sabrial, Speak, The Book Thief and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. All published before 2008 and all frequently appear when I search for YA without romance, along with other older titles. I’m not sure when or why all the love triangles started popping up all the time, at least love triangles seem to be becoming less popular, thankfully.
I have read a whole eight YA books with absolutely no romance and I’ve been actively looking for them for the last two year. I’m sure there’s more out there then I know exist, I wish they happened to be more popular because at least it would make them easier to find, finding them in difficult. Most of the romance free lists also have books with a little romance mixed in and that’s not what I want, plus there seems to be the same ten books on every list. I’ve also noticed that the books without romance tend to be on the younger side of YA and are very light reads. I guess most people start dating when their around sixteen but I’m eighteen and have never had a boyfriend so not everyone does.
What do you think, do you think there’s a reason it’s so common?
Today I’m posting something that I have been thinking about for a while now, and that is equality in fantasy and how in fantasy worlds there is hardly ever equality. There is normally some sort of sexism, it can be simply the way the world is, have lots of well written female characters or sometimes it’s the authors fault. And the inequality is because of the distinct lack of female characters or bad portrayals of them, therefore the misogyny of the author themselves.
I know that you should separate the person from the work but when it’s offensive in anyway then I can’t separate it and I don’t think you should not when it tends to mean that it is what the author believes. Lets get back on track and get to why I think these typical words need to change.The majority of high fantasy has a medieval world I feel like a lot of fantasy’s use the society in their world, to justify having hardly any female characters. The society of fantasy worlds tend to not treat women well, to keep them from reaching their full potential, making their own choicest do basically anything but look pretty. Having a world like this is not an excuse to not have female characters, yet there so often make dominated. I’m not completely opposed to medieval inspired worlds sometimes the authors still do a good job at empowering women by having them fight the patriarchy, but there are plenty of times where the opposite occurs. If you’re going to create a world with inequality do it right you can’t just throw things in or use them as excuses not to be inclusive. There should be more books that have worlds where all genders and races have equal rights. Obviously your world can’t be perfect there has to be conflict but the bad guys can give you enough conflict to keep things interesting. It would actually be super cool and unique to have a world where people were treated equally there would be so many opportunities for badass moments. You don’t have to mold your fantasy world after the Middle Ages or any time period, female characters don’t always have to wear pretty dresses and not have basic human rights. You can let girls be knights let them be blacksmiths let boys be seamstresses and make it be a normal thing in that world. I want to escape into a world where everyone has equal rights a world that has characters that defy every stereotype
We’ve all read a character who makes all the wrong choices who makes you want to throw the book across the room. For me that character is Emma Woodhouse she’s very frustrating but I liked her arc even if I kept telling her what to do and what not to. And getting annoyed when she didn’t listen. I didn’t like Emma half the time yet I liked the plot which was all caused by her actions. This brings me to this question do you have to like the protagonist? I think that as long as you enjoy getting frustrated by them. And as long as they actually change by the end of the book then I can enjoy a book without liking the main character.
The important thing is that the characters aren’t flat that their complex. You don’t necessarily have to like their actions or think their good people just understand them. No matter how unlikable the protagonist is you should be able to understand why they do the things they do and hopefully sympathize with them. I used to think that in order for me to love a character I had to relate to them but that’s definitely not true. I can’t relate to most of my favorite characters. I can’t relate to any of the characters in Six of Crows yet I think their all great and Kaz is a good example of an unlikable character. I’ve seen a few reviews of Six of Crows were the reviewer seemed to think that liking Kaz meant you agreed with the awful things he does. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why people think that likeking a character means you condone their actions.
I think Snape is a good character but I don’t like him he’s a wonderfully written character but he does some awful things. He’s certainly not the kind of guy you’d name your kid after. Liking a character doesn’t mean you condone their actions loving a villain doesn’t mean you think their right. So why should liking a very flawed character like Snape or Kaz mean you think they were in the right.
Okay back to the main point of this discussion I like characters who are very obviously flawed I think their more interesting and realistic. They have some of the best development or at least should it’s annoying when a character is almost completely unchanged by the end of the book. The characters who makes mistakes have to learn from them the thing is all their mistakes and flaws make them feel more real. I do have to like the character it’s just that I like unlikable characters as in characters who are hard to like or who I have a love hate relationship with. I do also love characters who are good people so I don’t know that there’s one quality that makes a character my favorite, other than being well written of course.
How do you feel about unlikeable characters?