Sunday, April 16, 2017

Books and Series I'm Not Going to Finish

     There comes an inevitable point in a reader's life where he or she will come across his or her first book that just cannot be finished. Sometimes it's through lost of interest, but typically it's just not a very good book in the eyes of the reader. I always try to finish a book or series that I start, but sometimes it's just... impossible. If somr of these are your favorite books, I'm not saying they're bad or anything, it's just that they are not really my favorites. Here are some of the books and series that I remember that I started and most likely will not finish.

The Young World
     Ok, if there is ever any one book that has actually annoyed me, it's this book. Not only did the author, who I am not putting down in any way because I'm sure he is a very nice person, make the narrator sound like a 13 year old in a cheesy 90s sitcom, he also breaks the fourth wall. This is the wall that is rarely suitable for a novel, excluding the classic case of A Series of Unfortunate Events in which it is done tastefully. In the introduction of one of the main characters, Donna, she clearly regards the "unreliable narrator" and the first words she uses to describe herself is "I am not beautiful." What the heck? We are past the era where the whole "I'm not your typical girl" premise for a character is acceptable. Donna is what primarily annoyed me, but it really is a tie with the protaganist just because of the hip teenage lingo he uses. I know I'm a grandma in every sense of the word except for literal, but it was so weird trying to piece together what he said with what was going on. If you're into the over-exaggerated middle grade stuff, this book might be perfect, but I juet couldn't stand it.






Dreamland
     In my freshman year of high school, I had a HUGE Sarah Dessen kick. Her books were so perfect for feeding into my over-romanticized idea of high school love. I really did like most of the books, and I think The Truth About Forever was my favorite YA contemporary romance (which there isn't much competition for that title because I don't usually read that genre). However, I just really wasn't feeling this book. The whole teenage duggie love interest really bugged me because, to me, drugs just aren't cute. And I hate dreds. I hope I'm thinking of the right Sarah Dessen book, but I'm pretty sure it's this one. This is probably a great book for a person who lives for teen romance novels, but I just really can't get into these kinds of stories. I got little more than halfway through and gave up. I'm sorry if this is your favorite book, but I just really can't do it.







The Giver
     I really wanted to get into this series, I have always heard people talking about it for so long and the concept seemed really interesting, but I just couldn't get through the second book. The first one had my attention the whole time and the characters were great, but the second one, Gathering Blue, was just boring to me. It seemed really repetitive in the main character's every day life to just keep going back and forth down a path and doing the same tasks all day every day. I just don't think I could get through the second book to get to the third, though I really wish I could to see what the rest of the series is like. I also wasn't a huge fan of the movie and that kind of ruined it for me. I don't really see me ever trying to finish this series, but maybe one of you would really like it because I think it was just my preferences in a story that got in my way.
     







The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
      I honestly don't know why I stopped reading this book. I liked it from the beginning and felt like it was pretty action-packed, but I just put it on my shelf one day and never picked it up again. I had really been in the mood for vampires during October and this book was good for that since I had already reread Twilight to death. I would recommend it to skmeone looking for a more light-hearted thriller, I know that sounds weird, but I just wasn't feeling it after a while, I guess. Unless I hear that the ending is super amazing, I probably won't continue on with this one.












Beautiful Creatures
     This is such a beautiful book. The writing is magical (no pun intended) and really illuminates the atmosphere of the book. The beginning had been really slow, but halfway through, it really picked up and from there I couldn't put it down. The plot was really interesting, unique, and quirky, but I just wasn't as consumed in it as I am with other novels that I would read before finishing this series. I loved it, and like the next series I'm going to talk about, there may be a time in my life where I decide to find this series again, but I can't see it happening right now. The romance was adorable with these two characters who really didn't know how to be in a relationship, and the love they found was so just quirky and fun to follow. I would love to finish the series if I find the time because the books are huge, and I hope that day comes








A Series of Unfortunate Events
     I absolutely loved this series as a kid; I flew through this series and I would NOT put it down. I actually got yelled at for reading too much and not doing my chores when I was addicted to this series. But around like the eighth book, I lost interest and never picked it up again. As of right now, I would be interested in rereading my favorite one, when they go to the boarding school, but I really have no interest in finishing the series because there are so many other books I have been wanting to read. Although I do wish I had finished the series when I was a kid because I still have no idea how it ends and it still bugs me. Now don't get me wrong, I still love the series, and feel free to hold this post against me if I do decide to finish the series, but I just don't see it happening in the near future.








     Thank you so much for reading, and comment down below any books or series you will not be finishing!
                                                                       -Taylor

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Senior Year: Expectations vs. Reality (Bookish Version)

     Hello, everybody! As my senior year in high school is coming to an end, I figured it was only fitting to do a post on the expectations and realities of senior year, and add a little bit of a bookish twist to it. Tell me down below if you can relate to any of these and what you thought your senior year was or is going to be like.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Expectation: I'm going to have so much time to read because senior year is going to be my easiest school year yet, and I'm going to power through my tbr.

Reality:  I have been working on the same book I started reading for pleasure for over a month and half because I'm drowning in school work and college admissions stuff.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Expectation: AP Literature will be so cool, and the reading will be great. We'll read Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and so many great classics.

Reality: Psych, it's just essays. We'll only read four books (The Awakening, Heart of Darkness, Hamlet, and Candide) and I only really liked the last two. And the passages and poems will be good, but you'll be reading them so fast trying to analyze and answer questions on it that you won't be able to appreciate any of it. You will also analyze the books so much that you're sick of them and can quote them in your sleep.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Expectation: I think this year I will really come into myself as a writer and really develop my work to bring it to a whole new level.

Reality: I think I may have become a worse writer. All of the analytical work that I have done this year has made my writing more structural and collegiate, which is good for essays, but not so much for YA fiction.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Expectation: I'm going to set my Goodreads challenge at 50 books, but I'm going to read so many more than that.

Reality: I have a Goodreads challenge?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

     Thanks for reading!
                                                                                                                   -Taylor

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Dream Author Conference Panel


     Hey, guys! So for this post, I was inspired by Eventbrite, the largest self-serving ticket and event/conference platform, to help with a project and create my dream panel of authors I would like to have at a conference. Sadly, this panel may only forever be a dream :( but I can still dream right? Hearing these  YA fiction authors speak and even POSSIBLY getting to meet them would make my whole life. Their books have changed my life in different ways, but they have each had a big impact.

     Sarah J. Maas
     Sarah J. Maas is an author that I have known to love over the past year when I first discovered the Throne of Glass series. I am still truly in awe of both her Throne of Glass series and ACOTAR series. Both are entirely unique and completely engrossing. I would love to hear her talk about how she came up with her ideas and what her inspiration for the stories were. Also, I would really want to make sure she knows exactly how much I love both Chaol and Tamlin because I don't think anyone understands how deep my love runs for the two of them. I would also want to explain to her exactly how much a movie is needed for both stories. I am also just really interested in her, and each of the author's, story of her writing career, because each one is so different from the next in when and why they took up writing and their inspirations.

     J.K. Rowling

     My queen. My main woman, One of my favorite people in the whole world. J.K. Rowling. Do I really even have to state why I would want her on my dream panel? I am watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as I write this, and I can only be stunned by her creativity and imagination. I have written so many papers and scholarships on who inspires me on this woman. She may be the sole reason I took an interest in my own writing, and I wish to meet her one day just so I can thank her for all she has done for me without even knowing. I could talk literally forever with her about her world building and character development, and really just all the thought behind the world of Harry Potter. I have based my own story outlining partly on the techniques I have read and seen pictures of her using, and I would love for any advice that she could give. Also, can we talk about how beautiful her writing is? The words always, not just most of the time, but always, flow so smoothly one after the other. I would love for her to give advice on her writing as well because I can only dream to write half as well as her. Another question I would like to ask is about the amount of publishers she had gone too before one chose to publish her; I would really like to hear of the process and how difficult was, and aslo the relief of finding a willing publisher. J.K. Rowling would probably be the highlight of this panel, in my opinion, just because of her success and her incredible, unbelievably believable fiction writing.


     Sabaa Tahir
     An Ember in the Ahses changed everything for me. I had never liked books set in the desert, I don't know why, I know it's weird, but this was a game changer because it was so different. I would love to know her inspiration for the "forces" that are incorporated in the novel as we hadn't seen them through much of the first book but became more prominent in the end. Also, I don't know much about her, other than the first book of the An Ember in the Ashes series, so I would love to get to know more about her in person as I believe she is a new author, but don't quote me if I'm wrong lol.




     Rick Riordan
     This man, wow. How does he know so much about all kinds of mythology and remember it all?? And then turn around and spit out YA novels all over the place about it incorporated into today's society?? I am truly astounded. I would love to hear about his knowledge of mythology and what inspired him to write YA novels about it. Percy Jackson was the THING in my sixth grade class, like you weren't cool unless you read this series, and I'm still reading it as a high school senior, soon-to-be college freshman. How he can write a novel that engrosess a wide range of ages is amazing, and how he keeps it all based off true mythological concepts sounds even more difficult than if he had fabricated all of it. I am really interested in how he plots out his stories and keeps it in line with mythology because it's a reall cool technique for a YA novel.


     Veronica Roth
     Although I may never be able to forgive her for the ending of Allegiant, and then for the change in ending in the movie, her series is so awesome. There's no better word to encompass it because everything is just so awesome: factions, awesome; Tris, awesome; Four, awesome; their growing romance, awesome; the dystopian world, awesome. I feel like her dystopian society is one of the best I've read because there corruption and use of the main character is so well done. Any advice or pointers on dystopian novels would be great because I would love to write one myself one day.





     Victoria Aveyard

     I. LOVE. RED. QUEEN. My god that book is amazing. I really saw nothing in the end coming. I do want to know why shE WOULD DO THAT TO HER READERS. I ACTUALLY REALLY STARTED TO LIKE MAVEN. Why Victoria? That is my question for her. How could she tear my heart out and stomp on it in the best worst ending I've ever read? that's my only question.





     Comment down below what authors you would love to see in a panel together! Thank you so much for reading and make sure to check out Eventbrite for any author conferences and events!
                                                                                                         -Taylor

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

     Hello everyone! This post is incredibly late, I'm so sorry! But I haven't thought of doing this post until this week, so I'm going to do it anyway! (Even if I have already missed a few release dates). Here's my most highly anticipated books of 2017:

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (May 2)
     
     I haven't read the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury, but I may be able to read it before May 2nd, hopefully. The first book has become one of my all-time favorite novels. I didn't read the synopsis or anything about this one because I really don't want to spoil the second book, or this one. I want to go into this series and be enitrely blind-sided by all the craziness about to go down. If you have not started this series and are considering it, do yourself a favor and just read it. You'll be glad you did.






King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard (Feb. 7)


     So yes, this one has already come out, obviously, but I am so hyped for this series and this will probably be in my next book haul. I had been anticipating this book since November of last year and the release date completely slipped by me! The second book left me stunned, like literally in shock. At the end of the second book, we saw a huge, for lack of better terms, shit-storm. Mare is once again a prisoner under control of the new King, and I'm excited to see how things play out between her, Maven, and Cal (Cal was always my favorite).





Renegades by Marissa Meyer (Nov. 7)

     This book caught me off guard, and reading the synopsis, I am so excited for this November release! The premis is, wait for it...... superheros! I'm so ready for this book, this is the plot I didn't know I needed. The first line of Marissa Meyer's synopsis- "The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned." What? Did you just read that because I just did and I. Am. So. Pumped. I have never read a superhero novel, but if it's coming from the amazing author of the Lunar Chronicles, I am definitely going to read it.




Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (Feb 7)

     Another book that already came out, but I'm a little late with doing this post, so of course I'm going to include because I'm excited to read it. It is claimed to be a coming-of-age novel for lovers of the Labyrinth and Beauty and the Beast. I'm not sure what the Labyrinth is, but I LOVE Beauty and the Beast, so I'm sure I'll love this book. I haven't read much of the synopsis and don't really know the premise, but I'm still so ready to read this.







The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova (Jan. 10)

   Yes, it came out already. No, I haven't read it. Yes, I'm so excited to. I have heard all the booktubers raving about this book and I really just want to get in the hype too. I know there's dragons and an underground organ market, so it sounds really weird, but it seems pretty interesting and unique. It reminds me of Throne of Glass in a way because of the main character, but the premise is completely new.







Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (May 16)

   This novel is about a girl named Mariko, daughter of a samurai and an alchemist. When she is ambushed by the Black Clan, she decides to take control of the situation. From there, she infiltrates the clan and uncovers some dark secrets that she hadn't been expecting. I love stories like this, with samurais and infiltration, so this novel sounded perfect for me.
     







Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts (June 6)
     
     I don't know about you guys, but I've never read a book centered on all the illegitimate children of a king, lol. It sounded pretty interesting, and I really like the era of kings and queens. The book focuses on one girl, a child of the king, who is cast aside when the king has legitimate children. I don't have much else to say about it, just that I like the plot and I'm sure it'll be a new experience in reading.







     Let me know which books you're most excited for in the comments. Thanks for reading!
                                                                -Taylor