Wednesday, 12 May 2021

5 Gothics I Like and 5 Gothics I Want to Read


I've been so into Gothics lately. I don't know what it is. I'm just in a very spooky but romantic mood. I want to read all the Gothics. Some of my favourite novels are Gothics and in general, I feel like Gothics are a very underappreciated genre. I could be wrong but I don't think I've ever read a Gothic that I hated. Just to keep this post concise, I'm only doing five books I liked and five I want to read. There are so many I want to read but I'll just keep it simple for now. Also, I used Goodreads to confirm that these books are in fact Gothics. If I get any of them wrong, don't blame me. Blame Goodreads. 


5 Favourite Gothics


Beyond the Sea


“I no longer believed in curses, but I did believe that to live was to suffer. However, it was the sweet, heart fluttering moments like this, and the exhilaratingly exciting ones scattered in between, that made all the darkness, all the pain and the anguish worth it.”

I bought this for a very specific reason. That reason being I wanted to read this in the dead of winter while it was cold and snowing outside and I could sit in my new little reading chair and I could be a moody young adult. This did not come to fruition. My plans were foiled. It did not snow very much in Vancouver this year, my new reading chair is not very comfy, also my cat decided that my reading chair is actually hers and I listened to the audiobook. I wouldn't change anything about the experience though. A woman with a lovely Irish accent read this mysterious, romantic book to me. It was one of my favourite books of 2020. If you have a chance, I would highly recommend the audiobook. It's great for if you don't know how to pronounce Irish names. Which I don't.


Jane Eyre


“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

This is an OG favourite of mine. I originally read it because it was mentioned in the Infernal Devices trilogy. Didn't think I was really going to enjoy it as much as I did. I read this while I was literally at Niagra falls. My aunt got so mad at me since we went all the way to Niagra Falls to see this great wonder of the world just for me to spend half the time reading this one on my phone. No regrets. 


Frankenstein


“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!”


I just recently read this for a class and I really loved it. Mostly cause I really just like Mary Shelley. And her mother. I wrote a whole paper about Mary Wollstonecraft's possible influence on this book. It was a great time. 


The Cask of Amantillado


“He did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.”


So this isn't technically a book, but a short story. If you haven't read it yet, you are missing out. I love revenge. It is a great revenge story. You can find it probably out there on the internet. It's like a five-minute read and just leaves you wondering about the context. I mean, this is simply iconic behaviour.


Stalking Jack the Ripper


“Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.”


I love the girlies with morbid pastimes. There is something so satisfying about having this girl who should be really prim and proper being a medical examiner. Goals. More iconic behaviour. Living for it. Live your best life, my dude. If you haven't read this yet, what are you waiting for? I promise it is so easy to read. It's so easy to get into. Even if you aren't really interested in the Jack the Ripper killings. I am in that same boat. I am not interested in those whatsoever, but this book got me interested. 


5 I Want to Read


Rebecca



I accidentally watched the newish movie version of this without realizing it was based on the book and I am now invested. This is actually on the reading list for a summer class I'm taking so I will be reading this one very soon. I'm very excited to do so. I'm constantly hearing about how this book has one of the best first lines.


Mexican Gothic



Everyone and their mother are talking about this book. It has a beautiful cover and an intriguing storyline. I'm constantly hearing jokes about American Gothics and English Gothics, but I really have no idea what a Mexican gothic would be like. I'm so excited to read something new. This sounds like it would be right up my alley. 


The Year of the Witching



Perfect mix of gothic and witches. You guys know how I feel about my witches. I love me some witches. This one is also being talked about by everyone and their mother. 


The Shadow of the Wind



I've heard nothing but good things about this book. I've been meaning to read it for years and it sounds amazing. Like I literally don't think I've ever heard someone say they hate this book or even mildly dislike it. 


The Governess



This book seems like the perfect blend of trashy romance and intriguing plotline, you know? You know. Sometimes regular old romances are boring. You gotta add a little darkness and mystery. Really spices things up. 


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Wednesday, 5 May 2021

The Nope Book Tag


This tag was created by The Farah Project over on Youtube. I need to do a big spoiler warning because honestly, I will be talking about things that happened during these books.


1. NOPE. Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy. 



The Beginning of Everything. That ending made me so mad. It felt like we were leading up to this big conclusion that would hopefully have a brightside to it. Nope. No brightside in sight. Spoiler alert, but the main character's dog fucking died and then he found out that his girlfriends brother died while hitting HIM with a car. She then breaks up with him because she feels guilty. That was the most garbage ending I've ever read and he didn't deserve all that bullshit. He was a pretty good main character.


2. NOPE. Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy. 




Zoey Redbird from Marked. She had a fucking god complex. She just acted so holier than thou and acted like she was so much better than everyone else. She looked down on others, but she would do exactly the same thing, sometimes worse. She basically thought Aphrodite was such a huge slut for almost giving her ex boyfriend a bj but then Zoey turned around and fucking cheated on her boyfriend. Like, one of those isn't even bad.


3. NOPE. Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE. after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore. 



Divergent. I was reading it because it was "the next Hunger Games". It wasn't as good. I would go so far as to say it was very bad.


4. NOPE. Popular pairing: A “ship” you don’t support.



Lara Jean and John Ambrose. They seem like good friends, but everyone wants them to be together and I just don't see why. I like them as friends and I never wanted them to be anything more than friends.


5. NOPE. Plot twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like. 



Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Finding out that she was just living her second life. She never bothered to question anything, never bothered to wonder how she got where she was. This plot twist did nothing for me. Finding out she had a past life just left me like, "Okay. So?".


6. NOPE. Protagonist action/decision: A character decision that made you shake your head NOPE. 




In Magic Lessons when Maria gave her daughter to the evil bitch. I hate dramatic irony. Just knowing that that woman was evil the whole time and then just watching as Maria probably makes the biggest mistake of her life was so frustrating.


7. NOPE. Genre: A genre you will never read.


Non-fiction science books. I'm not a science person. I find it boring. Unless it's something I'm very specifically interested in then I don't want to read it. I'm pretty open to most things, it's just that when it comes to non fiction I won't read it unless I either A. have to for school or B. am really interested in the subject.


8. NOPE. Book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition


Mass Market Paperbacks. Whoever created Mass Market Paperbacks deserves to be shot. 


9. NOPE. Trope: A trope that makes you go NOPE. 


Love triangles unless they are genuine love triangles. I want to see all the characters being into each other and not knowing how to choose. I don't want just one person being an asshole and not picking. I hate it.


10. NOPE. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read. 




Winter. My dumbass kept reading these books until I finally got to the last book and came to the realization that I don't have to read shit. Everyone loves this series and I do not. I will not waste my time reading this book because I know I won't like it.


11. NOPE. Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.


Girls just hating each other because they are into the same guy. Bruh, I am a girls girl. I will get drunk at a party and befriend every girl there. It makes me so mad when a character just hates every other female character. Obviously, people have genuine people they don't like but just making it every other girl they encounter that may show interest in the guy they are interested in is just gross.


12. NOPE. Love interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.



Where do I even start. There are so many that I'm just going to give a type and an example. Broody controlling assholes. Case in point: Tamlin from ACOTAR. In the first book, I was along for the ride, but it wasn't until I read the next book and saw the difference between how Tamlin treated Feyre and how Rhys treated Feyre that I came to the realization that I strongly dislike characters like him. Even if you are a broody asshole and your significant other is okay with that, I will tolerate it if they aren't completely controlling. It's actually pretty charming when there's that broody asshole, but he actually cares about what you have to say and what you want. 


13. NOPE. Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say NOPE. 



Daughter of Darkness. I won't say any more than that. That book is a monstrosity.


14. NOPE. Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.


I kind of have a thing for villains so this one is kind of hard for me. I guess Hitler? I've read some WWII books. Yeah, I'm gonna go with Hitler.

 

15. NOPE. Death: A character death that still haunts you.



How will I choose just one? I'm gonna go with Will Herondale. I know he died from old age, but still, what the fuck. Every time I read Clockwork Princess I just think about the fact that He's dead and Tessa is immortal and she has to live out the rest of her very long life without him. Just writing this has me tearing up. 


16. NOPE. Author: An author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.


Tie between Karina Halle and Ker Dukey. Karina Halle's books just are not my style. I never bonded with these main characters that she writes so I just refuse to read any more of her books. As for Ker Dukey, I thought I liked darker romances, but hers just got way too dark for me. I can't handle them. I had to stop reading them for my own sanity. 



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Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Top 10 Women in Books


These are in no particular order because I honestly can't rank them. I love all of these ladies so much. It was hard to trim this list down, but I think every single character on this list is absolutely deserving. Of all the books, all the characters I've come across over the years, these ladies were my favourites.


1. Regan the Radiant


“Apparently unaffected, she rose. "Yeah, you're probably right. I should be going." She feigned a yawn. "You've gotta head back to work and I've gotta head to jail. Big night for me. I'm planning to shiv someone for a bar of soap. --”

I love her so much. There are so many characters in this series and I do love a lot of them, but Regin is just the very best of them. She is so inappropriate and hilarious. I couldn't put anyone else on this list because It would have been a lie.


2. Rose Hathaway


“When I saw you fall..."
"You thought, 'Wow, she's a loser.”

She was my favourite character right from the get-go. you may notice a theme throughout this list. The women on this list are the ones that don't do what they're told. They are forces of nature and that's what I love about them.


3. Aelin Galathynius


“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”

She was born to be Queen and she very much embodies that. She is a force of nature. She gives off the "don't fuck with me" energy and I live for that.


4. Daria Followhill


“He pulls me into a hug. A rarity I know not to take for granted when it comes to Vaughn. I bury my face in his chest and let myself crumple, feeling my bones shaking inside my body.”

She is spoiled and selfish, and completely human. There's something so down to earth about her character despite her being the rich popular bitch. I don't know how to explain it. When I was reading the other books in this series I was just waiting for her to make appearances because she was my favourite character.

5. Isabel Culpepper


“She'd been here long enough that all of her feelings had been replaced with high-end linoleum.”

She was like the Daria before Daria. She was rich and popular and completely closed off and unattainable. I just loved her character so much. She is just such a bitch at times and I live for it. I like main characters with bite.


6. Lizbeth Salander


“There were not so many physical threats that could not be countered with a decent hammer.”

Lizbeth never allows herself to be the victim. Even when she is victimized, she gets her revenge and she doesn't let her abuser win. She's such a strong and intelligent main character and she made her book worth reading. I don't know if I would have liked the book half as much if she hadn't been in it.


7. Banks


“People dictate rules based on how they want to be treated, but I’ll tell you something. When someone else misbehaves, it’s black and white, isn’t it? We judge, and we condemn, but when we do it, it’s a gray area all of a sudden. Other people are subject to your convictions, but not you, right? Not Michael?”

I love Banks. She is so clever and loves to stir shit up. She's definitely her brother's sister. They're two peas in a pod. I love them together.


8. Mara Dyer


“How did you get my number?" I blurted, before I could stop myself.
"It's called research." I could hear him smirking over the phone.
"Or stalking."
Noah chuckled. "You're adorable when you're bitchy."
"You're not," I said, but smiled despite myself.”

Mara is so dark. It's great. She has this horribly disturbing power, and honestly, it fits with her. We slowly see her go from a protagonist, the "good guy", into more an antihero/villain. We rarely see the main character of a book turn into a villain and I can't wait to see where her story goes from here.

9. Isis


“I would love to slap you right now, but I’m currently wielding a nine-pound ball and I’m afraid that would be called murder.”

She is so funny. So maybe she isn't as strong as some of the other characters on this list, but she's probably one of the funniest. She also has a lot of emotional strength. She has had her own shitty backstory, but she doesn't let that stop her from being a ray of sunshine.

10. Cat 


“Let go,” I demand. “No.” My eyebrows snap together. “Why not?” “Because your gut reaction is always to punch, and I don’t like being tickled.” Tickled? Tickled! Indignation swamps me. I’ll show him a tickle.”

She is such a badass. If she had sucked I wouldn't have read A Promise of Fire as quickly as I did. She is always up for a fight. She is very near and dear to my heart. If you like fantasy romances this is a good one I promise.


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Monday, 19 April 2021

Rant: Rewriting Books from the Other Person's Point of View


Very rarely do I feel like a book needs to be told from someone else's point of view. I think sometimes it can be done really well, I think if the point is to show internal biases and how someone else may have perceived an entire situation, that would be a good reason to rewrite the same story from a different point of view. However, I feel like this is rarely the case. I can think of maybe one book where I actually enjoyed having this book from someone else's point of view. I think if there is actually important insight being added from this new book then it's great, but I hate when a book is literally from another character's point of view and everything is the same. Not having any new insight into the story.

“I’d said it before and meant it: Alive or undead, the love of my life was a badass.”

One book I would love to have another character's perspective on is the Vampire Academy series. I want to read that whole series from Dimitri's point of view. He was one of my favourite characters and I felt like he was just such a closed book. We knew what Rose knew about him and that really wasn't much. We only knew his present, we didn't know too much about his past and what he was feeling or thinking at any given moment. I would donate both kidneys to get this series from his point of view. There was a short story from Dimitri's point of view from their meeting and it gave me life.

“I've loved Hope since we were kids. But tonight? Tonight I fell in love with Sky.”

A book I did like from another character's point of view was Losing Hope. This one worked because Sky knew so little from her past. She didn't remember a lot of things that happened to her growing up, and having Holder's point of view and how he remembered things was really interesting and really built up their whole relationship. I think it was such a good addition to an already great book.

“I knew right then I would burn down the whole universe for her if I had to. I would do anything to keep her safe. Kill. Heal. Die. Anything. Because she was my everything.”

Now that I've talked about a few I liked/would like, I should talk about what actually bothers me. A couple examples that I didn't like were Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Rush Too Far from Abbi Glines. Those are just two examples. I liked them enough, I didn't hate them, but that's just because they were books that I already liked. I liked the originals and these books were basically the same thing from another point of view. I don't feel as though anything was added from these books. I didn't really get anything out of them. There were no revelations, nothing I didn't already know about. I'm never going to read those books again, but that's just because I liked the original and I'm going to reread the originals. There really is no point to having these additions because they did nothing to add to the story. The only differences were that we were able to see their emotions, but it's not like their emotions were ever any secret. 

“Leaning down, I pressed a kiss to her head. "I will fix this. I swear I will make it right. I love you enough to get us through this. I just need you to love me enough. Please, Blaire. Love me enough," I pleaded.”

I just think that if you plan to rewrite a book from the point of view of a different character, it should add something to the story, not just play off of what we already have.  I overall just think most books like this are so unnecessary and I feel like I'm wasting my time when I do read them. 

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Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Top 10 Books of 2016 Redo


This might seem a little weird, but I looked up my Top 10 Books of 2016 list because I was curious since that was the first one I did, and I realized it was very wrong. I'm here to right my wrongs. Because 2017 me was incorrect. I got rid of like, half the books I had on there originally. The list was wrong. I might be a little neurotic.

Honourable Mentions:

The Raven King


“No homework. I got suspended,” Blue replied.
“Get the fuck out,” Ronan said, but with admiration. “Sargent, you asshole.”

This was the perfect conclusion and the perfect setup to Call Down the Hawk.


My Heart and Other Black Holes


“Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.”

This one made me think a lot and at the time I didn't really like it, but the more I sat on it the more I liked it. It was one of those.


Captive Prince Trilogy


Source
“A golden prince was easy to love if you did not have to watch him picking wings off flies.”

If this had been a top 11 list this one would have made it. It was so hard not including this one in my top 10. I couldn't even just pick one book, they were all so good.


Crooked Kingdom


“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”

I couldn't put this in the top 10 because that ending upset me too much. This was a very good book, incredibly well written on honestly I'm surprised that 2017 me overlooked this one for the original list.


Tales from the Shadowhunter academy


“Little James Herondale, age two, was in fact holding a dagger quite well. He stabbed it into a sofa cushion, sending out a burst of feathers.
"Ducks," he said, pointing at the feathers.”

If you looked at my ranking of the best Shadowhunter books you may be surprised to not see this in the top 10. Lady Midnight just edged this one out by a slim margin. I couldn't justify putting both of these on the list. 

10. Empire of Storms

“Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen, knew the time would soon come to prove just how much she'd bleed for Erilea.”

This book stayed in the exact same spot. This was not my favourite book in the series, I liked it, but it definitely wasn't any higher on the list. 

9. The Power

“You don't apologize,' Deacon said, pressing a kiss to my greasy head, unlocking best friend status.”

This is a new addition to the list. I remember when reading this one, I couldn't stop reading it. The first book was okay, but this book was such a step up. I don't remember where I was when I read this one. I do remember I was on a trip or something when reading this one and I just devoured this book. So good.

8. Fires of Winter

(I could not for the life of me find any quotes for this book and I don't have the time or patience to go through the book and find them myself.)

I love vikings. I love biking romances. When I read this book I didn't realize I would love it as much as I did. I've reread this book so many times. 

7. Fear Me

“I will do everything in my power to make it work. You see, I have nothing to lose…but you do.”
“Maybe you do, but you just don’t care,” I argued.
“Then that makes me a very dangerous man.”


I didn't think I liked this book that much when I read it the first time. As time went on I realized I liked it more and more. It is now one of my favourite romance novels. Keiran is my favourite Antihero. Honestly me not thinking I liked this one that much to begin with was the reason I never put it on my list. I've definitely changed my mind though.

6. Emerald Green

“Did you know that Gideon and I were trained in Krav Maga?" Charlotte took another step closer to me, and I automatically took one back.
"No, but did you know that at this moment you look like that crazy rodent in Ice Age?”

I loved this book. I actually reread the series a year or two ago and I remembered that this trilogy only took place over the course of a week. All the time-travelling really messed with me. I really want more books about this. I honestly don't know why I didn't put this on my original list.

5. The Name of the Wind

“Call a jack a jack. Call a spade a spade. But always call a whore a lady. Their lives are hard enough, and it never hurts to be polite.”

This is probably one of the best fantasy novels I've ever read. It's so well written. Everything is so well planned out and it's long but never boring. If you love fantasy and you haven't read this book yet I would highly recommend reading this one. 

4. The Bourbon Thief

“How are you going to get revenge against dead people? Dig ’em up and stake ’em through the heart?”
“I asked myself that same question, and I think I know the answer. You destroy what they loved, and you love what they destroyed.”

I never expected this book. I got an arc of it and just thought whatever, it's just a romance. But I read this book and it changed everything. I was so obsessed, I immediately reread it. I posted a review on it when I did read it, but I ended up privating it because I didn't think it was a very good review. I don't know if I updated it yet or not. I do plan on rewriting the review if I haven't already done so.

3. Lady Midnight

“He bumped into a pay phone and said, 'Excuse me, miss,' on our way in," said Julian.
"It's polite to apologize," said Mark with the same small voice.
"Not to inanimate objects.”

I just talked about how much I loved this book. It really showed how much Cassandra Clare has grown as an author. It was so well thought out and all the side characters were so interesting and dynamic. This book was an A+.

2. A Court of Mist and Fury

“He thinks he'll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

I remember absolutely losing my mind when this book came out. I know, it's no longer at number 1. I still love this book, but I think time has dulled it a little bit for me. I still think this is an amazing book and I would definitely read it again. I just think with time I do like the new number 1 book a little more.

1. A Monster Calls

“Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.”

This book was so good at displaying grief. This is a children's book and it so eloquently showcased grief and how we come to terms with life and death. This book was a masterpiece. 


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