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22 Things I Want More of in Books That You Didn’t Even Know You Needed

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Books are wonderful, but sometimes they don’t have everything I want.

Apparently, all books don’t cater to my interests (which is upsetting BECAUSE THEY CLEARLY SHOULD). So, I thought I’d talk about some of the things I want more of in books, continuing on with the whole “things in books” trend I’ve been carrying on for the whole month! Hopefully, you’ll be convinced that you need these things in books, too, because WHY WOULD YOU NOT?

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1. Heists

I don’t know about you, but because of Six of Crows, I now love heists. A group of people trying to steal something or overthrow a government? Count me in! There are clearly not enough heist plots out there, but about 240840284 books where a group of people is going from one place to another. WHY?

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2. More Realistic Horror

By this, I mean horror that centers less around paranormal activity and such, and more around serial killers and psychopaths. I’ve become really interested in serial killers in the last year because of all of the thrillers I read, and I think realistic horror is what really makes it scary. I’m not one to believe in ghosts and spirits, but a serial killer hunting me down? SHIVERS.

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3. Cut-throat Ballerinas

After reading the Tiny Pretty Things duology and then binging the mini-series Flesh and Bone on Starz (I highly recommend both of those), I’ve been so intrigued about how cut-throat and intense the ballet world is, especially since I used to want to do ballet when I was younger (then quickly let that dream die because ballet class was THE WORST). So I demand more books about the OTT drama of the ballet world, please!

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4. Male Protagonists

Because what would I do without Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and Darrow? WHERE WOULD I BE? But, seriously, I feel like I rarely read from a male’s point-of-view, even when I read thrillers, they’re usually narrated by a woman, and I wish there was more of it! Good thing I only have a large amount of books from a male’s point-of-view on my TBR.

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5. Missing Kids

I don’t know why, but this sub-genre of the thriller genre is one of my favorite things. Which sounds terrible, but I’m always intrigued about the whole mystery and what could have happened and whodunnit? I feel like I’ve only read a couple of thrillers with this trope that I REALLY loved – there are definitely some that are meh out there – and I’d like more that are done well!

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6. Alternate Dimensions

This is literally one of the most interesting things to read about. Like, the idea that there are alternate universes out there where we made different choices or there are different worlds? Excuse me while my mind explodes. I feel like this is such an interesting trope to play around with, and my obsession with Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter has not helped with damping my interest.

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7. Time Travel

Some people absolutely hate time travel because it’s confusing and weird, but that’s basically the reason why I absolutely LOVE time travel. It makes my brain hurt, and that’s what makes it so fun. Not to mention that this also has endless possibilities and interpretations to play around with, so no matter how many stories I read involving it, it always never fails to interest me. So more time travel stories!

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8. Fae

THESE ARE MY FAVORITE PARANORMAL CREATURES. It seems like vampires and werewolves and angels had their time to shine, and after that, fae were never really properly introduced, which is terrible, because fae are so sneaky and seductive and conniving and magical and a whole slew of things because there are SO MANY interpretations of faeries out there! Of course, I love Sarah J. Maas and Cassandra Clare’s books, but that’s only two authors out of the millions out there. WHEN IS IT FAERIES’ TIME TO SHINE?

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9. Speculative Science-Fiction

I totally enjoy sci-fi that takes place in space with aliens and the galaxy and all that, but I’m more of a fan of the type of sci-fi that’s satirical or manages to make me think about our society and some of the ridiculous things we do (not like that’s not already every single day of my life or anything). Basically, I want more books that are like one of my favorite shows of all time, Black Mirror.

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10. Non-Contemporary Short Story Anthologies

I absolutely LOVE short story anthologies, especially YA ones since they’re far and few between, but it really annoys me how pretty much all of them are contemporary-based. My fantasy/thriller/horror/sci-fi-loving self doesn’t WANT to read thirty short stories from contemporary authors I don’t like or read from making ten page short stories about falling in love. I want more Slasher Girls and Monster Boys and Scary Out There and Because You Love to Hate Me. BRANCH OUT IN DIFFERENT GENRES, PLEASE.

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11. Prohibition Era or Roman Era Settings

I talked about this in some other posts earlier this month, but I’m so tired of the Regency era and the World War II era being used EVERY SINGLE TIME a book is in the historical fiction category. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Roaring Twenties (thank you, The Diviners series, for giving me this obsession) and the Roman era with gladiators and ridiculously gratuitous amounts of violence (but is really interesting to me? Don’t ask why). There are barely any YA books in these settings, and it’d be nice if there were more out there and less of petticoats and fancy language.

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12. Gangs

A gang of anti-heroes. A gang of hunters. A biker gang. A gang of druglords. I honestly don’t care what it’s a gang of, I just want a gang of people doing gang-like things. I guess we could tie this into the previous point with the Roaring Twenties (NO, I haven’t watched Boardwalk Empire; IT’S ON THE LIST, DAMN IT). But I do think the concept would make for an amazing book.

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13. Mythology

I really don’t care what mythology is, whether Greek or Roman or based off of some sort of folklore, but I will eat it up. I feel like everyone thinks that only Rick Riordan can write about mythology, and even though I love his books and consider him one of my favorite authors, it really bothers me that he’s the ONLY source of mythology-inspired plots and concepts.

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14. Dark Fairytale Retellings

Because even though I love Disney and what it’s done with some of the fairytales, it’d be really great to see more books written surrounding Hans Christian Anderson’s original dark fairytales.

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15. Boarding Schools

I feel like boarding schools were a thing for a while because of Harry Potter, and then they just completely died out as a setting, but I absolutely love the boarding school setting! It’s just so interesting to see the main characters navigate a school throughout an entire series, and also leave me jealous because I WANT TO GO TO HOGWARTS, DAMN IT.

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16. Superheroes 

Okay, this is 100% inspired by my love for Marvel, how excited I am for Avengers: Infinity War (IT’S BEING DIRECTED BY THE RUSSO BROTHERS), and the start of the DC Icons series starting next month with Wonder Woman, but I want more superheroes and superpowers! Out of all the books I’ve read involving the concept, only a couple of them have satisfied me, so I want better stories surrounding superheroes.

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17. Villains and Anti-Heroes POV

And banking off the other point, I really love seeing villain’s origin stories or reading from the POV of anti-heroes. Yes, I love being confused about my feelings towards people that I’m supposed to hate, but do I really actually hate them, and is it wrong for me to love them?

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18. Video Games

It’s actually funny, because I don’t even PLAY video games – but I absolutely love watching people play video games and I love reading about it as well. There are a couple of books out there surrounding video games or taking place in a video-game type world on my TBR, but not nearly enough to satisfy me.

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19. A Closed Environment

I’m a huge fan of any sort of plot where people are stuck in a room together for a long amount of time because what will happen? Why are they stuck there? There’s just an endless amount of questions and possibilities. I’ve watched a lot of movies that deal with closed environments, but, funnily enough, I haven’t read too many books that have the same thing.

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20. A Group of People Stuck Together

Again, WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES? This can definitely tie in with a closed environment, and I have read a couple of books that deal with this subject, but I don’t feel like I’ve found too many, and I’d like more of them.

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21. Robots

I find robots super interesting, especially since you can make them good or evil and have some other sort of side on their own. Again, movies and shows seem to have tackled robots in their many different forms a lot, but I rarely see them pop up in books, and most of the time, they’re usually fun side-kicks. WHERE ARE MY KILLER ROBOTS AT?

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22. Zombies

I know so many people think that zombies are over-done and need to stop, but I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of zombies and the zombie apocalypse. I just love how every single one of these stories seems to be different and explores a different aspect of zombies. I mean, World War Z, The Walking Dead, and I Am Legend all deal with zombies and are completely different, but I don’t feel like there are enough zombies in YA, so I demand them.

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48 Book Releases I’m Anticipating This Fall

Fall Book Releases

So, I know today is review Monday, but, like the responsible blogger I am, I have not written any reviews.

Fear not, because it’s not because I’m not reading, it’s actually because I’m reading SO MUCH, I can barely keep up with writing reviews. I know, I’m terrible.

So, I decided to grab an almost-finished August post, edit it and tidy it up a bit, and post it today instead of next month! I mean, why not? This, kids, is why you should always have 30+ drafts in WordPress AT ALL TIMES.

(I’m just kidding. Let’s get to the books.)

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They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera (Sep 5) – Keeping up with my tradition of reading Adam Silvera books in one day, I did it with this one last weekend, and I can now say that a book has officially made me cry. You’ll definitely want to read this one when it comes out.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart (Sep 5) – I was very nervous to read this one because most of the YA thrillers I’ve read this year have been really disappointing, but OH MY GOD; this book was absolutely brilliant. Just a super clever and addicting thriller, and it was told in a backwards format, WHICH I LOVED. Everything about this book was so good, so I’m definitely going to be reading We Were Liars!

Feral Youth by Shaun David Hutchinson and Others (Sep 5) – I’ve been intrigued by this concept since I heard about it, and I’m glad it’s coming out this year and not pushed back into next year! I actually read a little bit of The Canterbury Tales for school this past year, and I’ve mentioned that I love anthologies, so I want!

Lie To Me by J.T. Ellison (Sep 5) – I’m always in the mood for a good book about an awful marriage, and combine that with a missing persons case, and I’m hooked.

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton (Sep 5) – I haven’t read too many thrillers where the main character has to run for their life, but I’m definitely intrigued by the concept of a woman having to keep away from a murderer who’s out to get her!

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (Sep 5) – This is supposed to be a feminist retelling of Snow White, and that’s all I needed to know before I got excited!

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas (Sep 5) – Well, duh.

Devils Within by S.F. Henson (Sep 5) – This book deals with a boy who’s trying to get used to life after being under the influence of white supremacists, and it sounds brilliant! Also, I may be hoping a little bit that he falls in love with that other boy in the synopsis, but it’s a dream!

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (Sep 12) – All I had to hear was that this was a mix of Fangirl and Simon vs the Homo-Sapien Agenda, and that’s all I needed to know! I’m intrigued since Christina Lauren usually only writes straight erotica, so this will be interesting.

Warcross by Marie Lu (Sep 12) – I read this book just last weekend, and I absolutely loved it! Her characters, her writing, her romance were all absolutely brilliant, and that ending was SO GOOD. I didn’t expect the direction it would take, and I really enjoyed it. Also, I need Warcross to be real, thank you very much.

Lies She Told by Cate Holahan (Sep 12) – I actually discovered this one via Netgalley and have an e-ARC of it! The concept of this book really intrigues me! I haven’t read this author’s previous book, but maybe if this one’s good, I’ll try it out.

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda (Sep 19) – This sounds SO INTERESTING. The concept is vague, which I really appreciate, but it tells just enough that I need to know what happens. More thrillers about marriages falling apart please!

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (Sep 19) – I’m loving this rise of all these books about feminism, and the idea of a girl starting a feminist revolution at her school sounds amazing! I’ve heard nothing but good things!

Release by Patrick Ness (Sep 19) – Ah, I’m so glad I read this one because I really enjoyed it! I wasn’t really a fan of the whole magical realism story line – it wasn’t as intriguing as Adam’s story and I ended up just skipping those parts – but it was a really beautiful and touching book that I highly recommend!

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows (Sep 26) – Hey, it’s anxious black girl a.k.a me! Count me in!

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson (Sep 26) – FAE. COURTS. CHARLIE BOWATER. This sounds like the perfect book to fill the Sarah J. Maas-hole in my heart. I can’t wait to have my hands on it!

The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics (Sep 26) – I actually haven’t liked Lukavic’s previous two books (both got two stars), but her premises are so interesting and she’s one of the few true YA horror writers out there, so I’ll cave. Also, CANNIBALS!

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins (Sep 26) – I haven’t read any of Stephanie’s other books, but this is a horror novel, so I’m intrigued! I’ve heard that it’s super gory, which makes me extremely excited.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King (Sep 26) – I have yet to read a full Stephen King novel, and this one sounds so good and so intriguing that I’m hoping this is my start!

Freefall by Joshua David Bellin (Sept 26) – This sounds like a mix of Red Rising and the movie Passengers, and I AM HERE FOR IT!

Invictus by Ryan Graudin (Sep 26) – I also got an ARC of this at Bookcon, and it sounds AMAZING. It’s an entire book about time-traveling! This book is basically made for me. I’ve had this author’s books on my TBR forever, so, hopefully, this will be a domino effect.

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Exquisite by Sarah Stovell (Oct 1) – I LOVE toxic friendships in thrillers, so I’m super excited for this one! I’ve only heard terrific things!

The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood (Oct 3) – Five teens end up getting lost on a field trip to a creepy house and find some dark secrets? I AM SOLD. Hopefully, this won’t be bogged down with romance since way too many of my anticipated horror/thriller reads seem to be doing this year!

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey (Oct 3) – I’m usually not one to read a lot of police procedurals or books featuring detectives, but I’m interested enough that I really want to read it! Also, SMALL TOWN SMALL TOWN SMALL TOWN.

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough (Oct 3) – After reading and loving Behind Her Eyes, it is now my mission to read all the Pinborough books! Also, this has a really interesting concept, and I WANT.

The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook (Oct 3) – Kidnapping! Tarot card reading! A girl is faking her psychic powers! I have an e-ARC of this one, AND IT SOUNDS AMAZING.

27 Hours by Tristina Wright (Oct 3) – I got to meet Tristina Wright at Bookcon and get my ARC signed by her, which was awesome, and I’m so excited to read this one! It’s supposed to be really diverse, and I’m just a huge fan of sci-fi in general, so I’m excited to read it!

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler (Oct 5) – I found this book via Netgalley, but actually held out on requesting it on Netgalley (look at me, being responsible!), but as soon as I read the concept, I knew that I just had to have it! I want to know all the answers!

Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski (Oct 10) – As soon as I read the concept of this book, I KNEW I HAD TO HAVE IT. It sounds absolutely amazing, and I love competitions in books and SPACE, so I’m ready!

The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan (Oct 10) – I read Monahan’s previous books and thought they were just meh, but A GIRL IS GOING TO TAKE VENGEANCE ON THE GUYS WHO ASSAULTED HER AND TAKE THEIR BODY PARTS TO BRING SOMEONE BACK TO LIFE OH MY GOD. AND IT’S GORY. SIGN ME THE HELL UP.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (Oct 10) – JOHN GREEN IS WRITING A NEW JOHN GREEN IS WRITING A NEW BOOK JOHN GREEN IS WRITING A NEW BOOK JOHN GREEN IS WRITING A NEW BOOK.

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (Oct 10) – It’s Maggie Stiefvater, so duh.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (Oct 10) – THIS IS THE DARK FAIRYTALE RETELLING I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR. I got an ARC of this at Bookcon, so I can’t wait to read it!

This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis (Oct 10) – I have yet to read a Mindy McGinnis book, but as soon as I saw she was writing a dark YA psychological thriller about a woman who thinks that the twin she absorbed in the womb is taking over her life I WAS IN. I have an ARC of this one from Bookcon also, so I’m excited!

Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Oct 17) – With everything that’s been happening recently and with the hype of The Hate U Give, I’m really excited to see a more direct perspective of this written from the POV of a black boy. It sounds amazing, and I have an ARC of it, so I’m pumped!

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo (Oct 17) – This sounds like an amazing thriller book, so I’m super excited to read it! And, again, dark friendships and murder! I’ve had other Malinda Lo books on my TBR, so I might be able to finally get to one!

The Innocence Treatment by Ari Goelman (Oct 17) – An intriguing concept! A special format! SPECULATIVE SCI-FI! THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN FOR ME!

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum (Oct 31) – This one sounds AMAZING. Also, it’s supposed to be written in a weird format, which I love, so I’m so excited for it! Also, I’m hoping the two guys get together; I’ll admit it.

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi (Oct 31) – First off, the cover is stunning. And second, the premise sounds absolutely brilliant! I’ve been missing fantasy, so I need more!

Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten (Oct 31) – I haven’t read Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls (I have it on my TBR), but this sounds like such a dark YA thriller that I can’t pass it up. AND THE COVER IS BEAUTIFUL OH MY GOD.

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The Other Twin by L.V. Hay (Nov 1) – I haven’t really read a good old mystery novel in a while, so this sounds interesting!

Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin (Nov 7) – CULTS CULTS CULTS CULTS. Also, maybe a side-plot of things falling apart and people taking over other people’s lives. I’m intrigued!

The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller (Nov 7) – I’m always a huge fan of sci-fi/dystopian novels where the perfect world isn’t as it seems, so I’m super excited for this one!

Renegades by Marissa Meyer (Nov 7) – I love reading about superheroes and supervillians, but don’t think there are enough good books surrounding that premise, so I’m counting on Marissa Meyer to save the day!

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvuda (Nov 7) – Okay, I mainly decided to read this because I saw the word “plague” but this one sounds really good! And, again, sci-fi! And hackers! Who can change at will!

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (Nov 9) – SMALL TOWNS SMALL TOWNS SMALL TOWNS.

No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear (Nov 14) – I’m not a huge historical fiction fan, but this is a thriller! Apparently it’s based off of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, which I haven’t read, but is on my TBR! This sounds really interesting!

R.I.P. Eliza Hart by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (Nov 28) – This sounds like a fantastic mix between contemporary and mystery, so I’m really interested in this one. It sounds weird, but I love weird books, so I’m down!

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54

17 Things That Make Me Want to Pick Up Your Book

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I definitely have my fair share of bookish weaknesses.

I think we all do, of course. We all have our preferences that make us want to pick up a book, and I thought it’d be fun to share my own! I guess you could say this was inspired by that old Top Ten Tuesday topic, but it’s not really a tie-in? So enough confusing you, let’s get into it!

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1. An unreliable narrator. Any mention of reading about a main character that I can’t trust makes me super excited. I just really enjoy wondering if they’re telling the truth or if they’re lying or if I can trust them. Some people are tired of this trope, but I just can’t get enough.

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2. Promises of “twists and turns.” Okay, this is totally cheesy, but when a thriller or horror novel promises me that it’ll be a twisty ride, I can’t help myself! Onto the TBR it goes.

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3. The story’s told using flashbacks. Some people totally hate flashbacks, but when I’m told that a book is going to be told in the present and the past, I NEED THE BOOK. I love that type of story-telling everywhere – in my books, in my shows, in my movies. So, just enjoy it in all formats.

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4. It’s like “insert favorite book here” or “insert favorite author here.” Obviously, these are usually marketing ploys, but I can I resist myself when I’m told that the book is a combination of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo? Or if it’s like The Hunger Games? No, no I can’t.

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5. It’s a character portrait. I don’t know why, but I really love it when a book observes a certain character and what happened over their life to make them the way that they are. I’ve seen this done a lot in literary fiction, and it always interests me. I don’t even know why.

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6. It takes place in a small town. Did you say that the book takes place in a small town filled with secrets? Because if you did, I AM THERE. I feel like I’ve just read so many of these types of books and fallen in love with them all, and now they’ve become my favorite thing.

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7. The characters are anti-heroes. I LOVE ANTI-HEROES. Are they good? Are they bad? Are they really villains? Is it weird if I love them? Anti-heroes are just so endlessly interesting that I’ll be sold on your book if I know that there’s a gang of them.

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8. It’s about missing people coming back. This has been a recent trend in thrillers, and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it. It’s one of the few tropes that you can do so much with that it never really gets old. And I just really like the idea of having to awkwardly adjust back to your normal life after being away from your family for so long.

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9. It’s a dark fantasy novel. I’m already deep in love with fantasy, but if it’s a dark fantasy, COUNT ME IN. Bring in the anti-heroes and the villains and everything to do with them.

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10. It has a magic system. I absolutely love magic in my books, whether it’s a fantasy novel or just some good old magical realism. I emphatically blame Harry Potter for giving me this obsession.

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11. It contains an awful family with lots of secrets. For some reason, I just really love stories where some rich family is at the center of it, pretending to be perfect, and then some event upends their persona and spills all these secrets. It’s just so interesting to me. AND I’m nosy, so I always want to know what those secrets are.

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12. There are some sort of games going on. I don’t care how many times I read a summary that is clearly trying to cash in on The Hunger Games and its popularity, I just love the idea of people having to compete in some sort of games. It’s just so much fun and always manages to keep me on the edge of my seat!

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13. The world is split into two (or more) different sections. I know this usually makes zero sense and people are tired of this type of story, but I’m always intrigued and I’ll always add it to my TBR. I don’t care how cliche it is, it’s just my favorite thing to read about.

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14. There’s a curse. Who caused the curse? Why are they cursed? Are they actually even really cursed? What does the curse entail? Can they get rid of the curse, and if so, how? I don’t know, but I’m definitely going to find out!

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15. There are creepy, creepy woods. Because I obviously need more reasons to be convinced to never go camping. But, seriously, this type of setting is one of my favorites in thriller and horror because there’s just so much mystery and uncertainty. Points if the book mainly takes place at night.

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16. It promises to be a quirky, weird book. Because I’m weird and into really weird things, so if the book is also weird or has a weird sense of dark humor I enjoy, then that obviously means that that book is meant for me.

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17. It has something to do with cults. For a while now, I’ve been really interested in cults. How they start, how they grow, how people even manage to get involved with them in the first place when the leader is CLEARLY out of his damn mind. So I really like observing characters in that type of setting, whether it’s them just living in a cult or even realizing what’s wrong with it and escaping.

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12

[ARC REVIEW] Reasons Why I Fell In Love With FINAL GIRLS (And Why You Should, Too)

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Genre: Horror, Thriller, Suspense, Adult

Series: None

Rating: 5 STARS

Release Date: July 11, 2017

Description:

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

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Holy crap. Well, that was amazing. I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but this was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I heard about this book through bookstagram, and as soon as I read the description, I fell in love. Horrors and thrillers have quickly become my two favorite genres after I dived into them for the first time in the last half of the year, and this sounded like a brilliant combination of both. And after hearing good review after good review, I knew I just had to have it. So imagine how happy I was to see that the book was available for request on Netgalley, and how shocked I was when I was actually approved to read it. Whaaat?

This book was just as amazing as the synopsis hyped it up to be. Kudos to whoever wrote that description to draw me in. I’m one of those people that is usually drawn in from the title, and from there, the description. And, sometimes, you read a book and it ends up not delivering to your own expectations. But, wow, did this one completely deliver and blow me away. I couldn’t really tell what the true mystery would be just by reading the synopsis, which I’m thankful for, because it just made the book all the more addicting and leaves you with the feeling of constantly wanting to know what’s going to happen next.

The pacing for this one was perfect. Right off the bat, you’re pulled into the action, and then yanked out into the present. I would say that there’s not a single dull moment in this book. As soon as I started reading the book, I just. Couldn’t. Stop. I needed to know what was going on, what Quincy was going to get herself involved in, what the memories of Pine Cottage would reveal next. This book is basically the definition of “Just one more chapter!” (and I’m sure all my fellow bookworms will understand this). There are several plot twists, but unlike some thrillers I’ve read, they weren’t gimmicky and didn’t feel tacked on to make the book some unpredictable mess. All the twists had clues and a little bit of foreshadowing that when you find out something happens, you’ll be angry at yourself for not noticing it before.

I really enjoyed the cast of characters in this one. Quincy is a complicated character in and of herself, since she feels as if her past and present are colliding, and she just wants to be seen as a normal person. I quickly grew to liking her and cheering her on, even though she made some decisions that might make some frustrated, but I felt like it was realistic and true to her character, especially after what she’d suffered through. Sam is a complicated character, who I feel you’ll either totally love or totally hate, since she can definitely be a bit much, but I won’t dwell on her character too much because she’s more of a person you’ll want to figure out for yourself. We also have Coop, who I truly loved, and was such an interesting character, one who I brushed aside at first.

The ending was absolutely fantastic. I loved how everything tied together so well, and when everything is revealed, it’s truly shocking. I’m definitely not going to spoil anything, but I’m glad that I was knocked so hard off my feet at the revelations. It’s good to know that even though it sometimes feels like some genres are quickly becoming too formulaic, that horrors and thrillers can still manage to keep me on my toes.

Please add this to your reading list. You will definitely not regret it.

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A huge thank you to Dutton for giving me an e-ARC of this novel via Netgalley! This was actually the first e-ARC I ever received on the site, and I’m still shocked because I literally only had about twenty or so followers at that time, so thank you so much for giving me a chance! 

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16 TV Shows You Need to Be Watching (Like, Right Now)

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So, it’s no surprise to some of you, I’m sure, that I’m a huge fan of watching TV.

I love TV (even though I fail to watch it sometimes because I either have to choose between binging a show or reading a book. Hard choices), and I love talking about it, but most of the shows I love are either underrated, or they’re not really shows geared towards my audience (basically other sixteen year olds), so I can’t talk to anyone about them in real life. So, why not take a break from talking about books to talk about some of my favorite shows, and force you to watch them, too (I do love me some popular TV shows such as Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, Daredevil, and a whole slew more, but everyone knows those already, so yeah).

Also, feel free to click the titles of the shows! It’ll lead you right to their IMDb page where you can see all the warnings and what the age range is. Most of these are TV-14 or TV-MA because that’s just how I roll.

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Spartacus

spartacus

Genre:

Action

The Lowdown:

Basically, the movie 300, except more violence, more slow-mo, and more sex. But, you know, if you remember the general revenge tale of Spartacus, then you’ll understand what it’s about.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Okay, so, my favorite time period to read about is the Roman era. “Mikaela, why are you a fan of such a bloodthirsty, horrible period of time?” Because it was a bloodthirsty, horrible period of time, duh. Which is why I love this show so much. It’s violent and over-dramatic and it uses way too much slow-mo, but who cares because it’s so much fun? Also, the actor who played Spartacus was gorgeous (even though, unfortunately, the actor died before season two because of cancer, so there’s a replacement, and NO, he’s not as good). I haven’t yet watched season two yet, but I will. I swear. Soon.

Queer as Folk

queer as folk kiss

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

Five gay guys and two lesbians who are all friends are juggling romance, love, and other struggles in the midst of gaining basic human rights in the early 2000s.

Why You Need To Watch It:

This is literally one of my favorite shows of ever. You might be like, “Mikaela, this show is from the early 2000s, therefore it’s irrelevant,” and that is wrong! So wrong! It will make you cry, it will make you laugh, and it will honestly give you all the feels. Not to mention that it’s probably one of the most entertaining dramas I’ve ever watched that deals with a lot of issues in such a brilliant way. And the character development is so on point (especially Brian’s). Also, Brian and Justin are my total OTP, and I will flail about them to anyone if they are willing to listen.

Banshee

banshee

Genre: 

Action

The Lowdown: 

Lucas, the main character, finally gets out of prison, and only a day after coming out, gets caught in a gun fight in a bar where the new sheriff is murdered. He decides to adopt the sheriff’s identity, taking charge of the police force and trying to hide his previous life while hunting down his old partner in crime, Carrie.

(Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds.)

Why You Need to Watch It:

Probably the best action show ever. Like, seriously. It seems like no one knows about this series, which sucks, because I love it. Much like Spartacus, there’s a lot of senseless violence, but that’s the best part, you guys. Lucas is also another total hottie, and we have my girl Carrie, and Sugar, a bartender who gets involved, and Job, a badass drag queen. The entire squad is just total goals, you guys. It’s just such an intense and twisty series, and it also managed to make me almost cry in the end, which is shocking, because I was only here for the violence, not the emotions! Also, this is one of the few shows I’ve actually finished, so there’s that!

Black Mirror

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*you watching Black Mirror*

Genre:

Sci-fi/Dystopian

The Lowdown: 

Every episode presents the viewer with a different future dealing with different characters. The stories range all over the place, and manage to mess with your mind and expose things about our world that you’d never notice.

Why You Need To Watch It: 

I CANNOT GUSH ABOUT THIS SHOW ENOUGH. Charlie Brooker is a goddamn genius. Every single episode showcases a different sort of dystopian future that brings to light an issue in our world, and it’s all kinds of brilliant. Not to mention how this show creepily predicts some things that happen in real life to the point that it’s chilling (watch The Waldo Moment, and realize how scarily close it is to how the 2016 Presidential Election played out). It’s a show that really makes you think, and you must watch it. I honestly can’t recommend it enough. I highly recommend not binging the episodes, though, or your mind will melt and you’ll become extremely depressed.

Friday Night Lights

friday night lights

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

Football. Family. Drama. Basically, every football movie you’ve ever watched, except it’s actually good and not cheesy.

Why You Need to Watch It:

Okay, so, usually, I’m not a huge fan of “contemporary” sort of shows. I get bored of them easily. Plus, I hate football with my entire being. But, I ended up caving and checking this one out, and I literally almost cried watching the pilot. It’s just that powerful. I’m a huge fan of bromances, so that’s primarily the reason I love it so much, but I also love the relationships between the characters and the families, not to mention all the emotions it’ll give you. This is the only show that makes me care about football in any way, and that’s a feat.

Mr. Robot

mr. robot character

Genre:

Uh, sci-fi, I guess? Maybe drama? Who knows?

The Lowdown:

Um, so there’s hacking? And a snarky main character. Also, two-thirds of the time, you don’t even know what’s real or what’s not. And, there’s a secret society trying to overthrow a secret corporation. So, yeah.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Believe the hype with this show! Not only is Rami Malek an amazing actor (and attractive), but this show is so clever. It’s about hacking, but also about a secret group of people fighting against society, and I think my favorite thing about this show is the fact that you don’t know what’s real or what’s not. Not to mention that Elliot is probably one of my favorite narrators ever with his dry humor and such.

Gravity Falls

gravity falls

Genre:

Paranormal

The Lowdown:

Twins Dipper and Mabel are sent to live with their Great Uncle Stan in Gravity Falls where they encounter strange creatures and even stranger people. It’s basically a kids version of Supernatural, if you want a short explanation.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

“Mikaela, why are you recommending me a cartoon?” This show is not simply a cartoon.  The humor is truly funny and clever and for all ages, Mabel and Dipper have such a wonderful relationship, and the show is just so fun and positive, not to mention how twisty the plot is. Just because it’s a kids’ show doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely clever and well-written and funny. And, no, I totally WAS NOT crying during the finale; what are you talking about?

(Ok, maybe I was.)

Hannibal

hannibal

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

So, Hannibal is a psychiatrist to this guy who’s a total loner and considers himself a psychopath because he’s able to basically see into the mind of serial killers whenever he’s on the crime scene. And, yeah, Hannibal eats people.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Unfortunately, this show was cancelled (damn you, NBC and Bryan Singer), but this show is just so damn good. I’ve only watched season one, but it’s basically perfection. It’s incredibly well-shot and aesthetically pleasing, not to mention violent and weird and just all around wonderful. This show is intense, so I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive people, but, damn, this show is dark, so I think most people who love thrillers would love this. Also, Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelson are hot, end of story.

In the Flesh

in the flesh better

Genre:

Dystopian/Drama

The Lowdown:

In a dystopian future after a zombie apocalypse, scientists have come up with a cure to save the zombies and help them to assimilate back into society and their families. We follow Kieren, a teenage boy who’s trying to get back into the dynamics of his family and see his best friend again.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

You have probably never heard of this show in your entire life, BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE. It’s British, and, again, this one was also cancelled and ends on a cliffhanger, unfortunately, so I’d enter this one with trepidation, BUT YOU SHOULD WATCH IT.  It’s such a good show, and it actually heavily parallels the whole Donald Trump/Muslim ban situation in season two, even though this premiered way before then. And Lucas is adorable and precious; I love him. Not to mention that Lucas is gay as hell, and he has an ADORABLE relationship with this guy named Simon and it’s aljflajfajlfa. PLEASE WATCH IT.

in the flesh kiss

Political Animals

political animals

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

We follow Elaine, a former First Lady who’s now Secretary of State dealing with the chaos of her family.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Again, another cancelled show, except this one only lasted one season (boo). If you like more political-leaning shows, you’ll probably enjoy this one a lot.  It’s a really good drama, and it can even sometimes be funny at some points. Not to mention that I absolutely love how all the storylines come together, and how it can be really touching at times. Sebastian Stan is in this one, and he’s kissing boys, and if that doesn’t make you want to watch it, I don’t know what will.

Sense8

sense8 better

Genre:

Sci-fi

The Lowdown:

Eight people of different backgrounds, origins, gender, and race end up being interconnected in some weird way regarding their minds, and they try as hard as they can to figure out why.

Why You Need to Watch It:

Probably one of the most underrated Netflix shows out there! Not only is everyone on this show super attractive, but this is a very diverse show since everyone comes from a different background, which is really cool. Also, the ships give me all the feels, and the characters are so wonderfully three-dimensional. The show is truly captivating. Also, the sci-fi aspects of this show are brilliant.

AND NO, I HAVEN’T WATCHED SEASON 2 YET; DON’T GIVE ME THAT LOOK.

UnReal

unreal

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

We follow our main character, Rachel, who is probably one of the most corrupt and twisty women you’ll ever see on television, who comes back on to the Bachelor-like show, Everlasting, after a public mental breakdown.

Why You Should Watch It: 

If you hate reality TV, you’ll love this show. One of the people who works on the show used to work on The Bachelor, not to mention that the show is extremely interesting regarding how the producers on the fictional show twist everything to make the contestants hate each other or push conflict to happen. It’s also actually really political in some places, and quite diverse. And, personally, I think it’s feminist?? Does it count?? I count it. It’s just such a highly entertaining show to watch.

American Crime

american crime

Genre: 

Drama

The Lowdown:

A gay boy admits that he’s been raped by one of the basketball players at a party, and it spirals into a whole load of heavy events that get out of control.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

 There are three seasons of this show (it’s the one on ABC, not O.J. Simpson), but my favorite season is definitely the second one. It explores the taboo of male rape and internalized homophobia and racism and school shootings (it seems like a lot, but the show is really good at exploring multiple topics well). It’s an extremely powerful season, and, in my opinion, the best one out of the three. I will say, it’s quite an open-ended show, so if you don’t like endings like that, I probably wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s a fantastic show. Also, the two characters who I’d consider the main characters remind me so heavily of Ronan and Adam from The Raven Boys, like I would 100% cast them in the TV show adaptation. You’ll get it if you watch it.

The Fall

the fall

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

A male serial killer going around murdering girls is constantly being chased by a female detective trying to solve the mystery of the murders.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

This is also a British show, and it’s absolutely brilliant.  Jamie Dornan, despite how awful he is in the 50 Shades franchise, is fantastic in this show, and so is the wonderful Gillian Anderson as the female detective, Stella. This show is also intense and dark, and, again, one I’d highly recommend to those who like thrillers. Not to mention that this show is fiercely feminist, and that’s always wonderful.

Eyewitness

eyewitness main

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

Two gay teens making out in a cabin in the woods get tangled up in a mystery when a murderer intrudes and murders three people. One of the teens’ foster mom is a police officer trying to solve the case, but the other teen doesn’t want to tell her because he doesn’t want to come out. It’s complicated.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

You might have heard of this show when it was on last year, but I’m going to talk about it again. First off, the show is so wonderfully diverse. I absolutely love Philkas, and it’s so nice to see a gay couple normalized in something else that’s not really contemporary. Also, their moments are adorable. Not to mention it’s a brilliant thriller that takes in a small town (WHICH IS MY WEAKNESS), and you get to follow the serial killer from his point of view, which makes the show ten times more tense than it already is. Like, seriously; this is such a taut and well-plotted thriller that has fantastic character development. And the acting is absolutely brilliant. And the cast is wonderful. JUST WATCH IT PLEASE (especially to those who don’t like or were disappointed in Riverdale like I was).

eyewitness philkas

The Replacement

The Replacement

No suitable gifs for this show. Boo.

Genre: 

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

Life is going well for our main character until she becomes pregnant and has to go on leave. She decides to assist a replacement to be a stand-in for her until she comes back, but it seems like her replacement is trying to do more than take over her job…

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Basically, if you’re a huge fan of those thrillers with psychotic girls or that trope where the main character is the only person who sees what’s going on, you will binge this quickly. Because it’s a British mini-series (British shows are brilliant at thrillers, basically), there’s only three episodes that are an hour long, so you’ll go through it quick. Most people had issues with the very ending of the series, but it wasn’t SO terrible that it ruined the entire reading experience, so I still totally recommend to those who are curious.

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And that’s it for all my favorite TV shows.

Just kidding, this isn’t all of them. Once I find the time to binge some more, I’ll probably write up a second part to this post because this was so much fun.

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What are some of your favorite TV shows? Do we share any of the same ones? If we do, TALK TO ME.

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48

In Which I Talk About The Books That Lied to Me

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I’m sure we’ve all experienced it.

We pick up a book. We’re excited to read said book, whether it’s a stand-alone, a first in a series, the sequel to a series you fell in love with while reading the first book, or the finale to one of your favorite series. You read it. You keep reading it. And then you realize mid-way through, or maybe near the end of the book, that you absolutely hate it.

(Or strongly dislike it.)

And, of course you feel betrayed. You feel lied to. But everyone told you how good the book was? But the first book was just so good…how could the series come to this? But isn’t the sequel supposed to be even better than the first book? But the concept sounded so good once I added it to my TBR on Goodreads; what happened between now and then? BUT THAT BOOK WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME; HOLY CRAP?

So, I thought it’d be fun to talk about those books; those books that make you excited, or make you really downtrodden because you could have been so much better! Let’s get started!

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Second Book Slump

Do you ever have those moments where you’re fresh off the reading the first book of a series? The first book was either a really great start to the series, and you need to start the sequel, like, now, or the first book was just meh to you, and the only reason you’re continuing on is because your friends are insisting the series gets better; THEY SWEAR. So you decide to read the sequel, and it starts out okay (like most bad books do).

And then you realize, right in the middle of reading it, “Why am I still reading this? I’m bored out of my mind.”

Independent Study, Rebel Springs, and The Winner’s Crime are all culprits of this. For the first two novels, I enjoyed the first books in the series – The Testing and Falling Kingdoms, respectively – but while reading was really let down. For Independent Study, it was too much of a copycat of The Testing for me to enjoy it; for Rebel Spring, the book was SO BORING (though Gathering Darkness totally made up for it).

For The Winner’s Crime, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book, and went into the second book for another chance because everyone said it was SO GOOD. I didn’t like it the first time, and the second time around, I DNF-ed it. So, that was disappointing.

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WTF Finales

“I’ve been waiting for this book for so damn long! I can’t wait to read it!” you say as soon as you purchase the finale to one of your favorite series and curl up in your reading space to get ready to read it.

“What the actual hell did I just read?” you say once you close the book and realize how disappointed you are.

For me, those three books were The Last Star, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, and Ignite Me. Out of all three of these, The Last Star was probably my biggest disappointment. I loved The 5th Wave, and though The Infinite Sea wasn’t perfect, I still enjoyed it. But I remember being so upset after finishing The Last Star because so many things were left open, the romance was terrible, and it was just a completely unsatisfying ending.

For The Retribution of Mara Dyer and Ignite Me, I didn’t like the first couple books in the series too much, but I was actually good at binging series at that time, and I also wasn’t a huge DNF-er, so I went ahead and finished the series, because why not? Unfortunately, the finales just ended up finalizing that I hated both series, mainly because they were so disorganized and boring and just didn’t line up with the rest of the series in terms of plot and resolution.

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The Hype Machine

Ah, yes, the dreaded book hype. You read all the reviews praising the book on Goodreads, you see all these five stars, you see the book on everyone’s favorite list, the books have such a huge fandom, so you think, “Obviously, I’m going to enjoy this one as well!

False.

There are so many books with lots of hype that everyone loved except me, but I decided to just lessen it to four books: The Darkest Minds, The Winner’s Curse, The Wrath and the Dawn, and Under the Never Sky. Pretty much all of these books sold me with their interesting premises, gorgeous book covers, and all the amazing reviews.

And I didn’t like any of these books. I hated most of them in fact. Oops. Either too slow, just didn’t click with me, I didn’t like some of the characters, the world-building was awful, or I thought that the actual story didn’t reach the full premise it could have. The hype machine can do incredible things, but sometimes, it just completely misses the mark for me.

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Knocked My Socks Off

These are the books I didn’t think would surprise me or I thought would just be my ordinary reading experience, but totally and completely took my surprise in the best possible way. Whether with an awesome plot twist or fantastic character development or gorgeous writing – all paired with a stunning cover to boot – it just makes for an unforgettable reading experience that you wish you could have all over again.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Golden Son, and Crown of Midnight were definitely these types of reads for me. The first time I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I didn’t enjoy it too much, but the second time around, I fell in love with the prose. Golden Son and Crown of Midnight were sequels that were the exact opposite of second book slump and enhanced the series for me and launched it to my “Favorites” list.

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And those are some of the books that outright lied to me.

(Hopefully, I can avoid these types of books in the future, except the last category. Those can stay.)

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What are some books that you felt like lied to you? Have you experienced any of these categories? Do we share any of the same opinions?

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