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14 Bookish Pet Peeves That Make Me Rage Inside

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Hooray for complaining!

I’m sure we all have our personal pet peeves regarding books, you know, like things you hate to see in books or annoying authors or unpopular opinions, etc. I’d thought it be fun to make an entire post dedicated to my bookish pet peeves, so I hope you enjoy!

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Insta-love

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If you’ve been around here for a while, you guys probably know how much I HATE insta-love. I’m personally a huge fan of relationships that take time, especially the ones where the development takes place over several books. Remember the days of Percabeth and Romione where it takes them a good five-to-seven books to get together? So do I.

Douchebag Love Interests

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I’m looking at you, Jace Herondale and Noah Shaw. I’m just not a huge fan of those teenage boys who are total players and act rude and like they don’t care, but all that they needed was this ordinary girl that doesn’t  know she’s beautiful to come along and change their temperament. Barf.

Last Book Sex

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I don’t know if this annoys everyone else, but I really hate how YA series seem to have this thing where couples kiss in the first book, go to third base in the sequel, and then have sex in the last book, and it bothers me SO MUCH. It’s probably why I appreciate Sarah J. Maas normalizing the idea of female characters not only not being always being virgins from the very beginning of the series and not being considered “sluts” for having sex before finding “The One,” but also that there’s not some weird “waiting period” where couples have to be together for some number of books to have sex.

Long Chapters

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Okay, this makes me sound like I have a super short attention span (and I probably do, to be honest), but I just can’t stand long chapters. When your chapters are pushing past 20 pages, at that point, I’ve stopped paying attention to what’s going on, and more on wHEN WILL THIS DAMN CHAPTER END?

Love Interests Smelling Good

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Wood. Pine. Cedar. Mint. Toothpaste. Man. Apparently, boys smell like this, and I’ve completely missed out on this phenomenon. Not to mention that this is AFTER these boys have gotten into a fight/been stabbed/been injured/run/literally any physical activity.

Overly Long Descriptions

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You guys know that I LOVE Cassandra Clare, but, man, I could read one of her books, and it could be two pages later, and 90% of the time, I’d still be reading a description about the building Clary just entered! I mean, great description, but I’m the worst visual person on the planet. Unless there’s a movie adaptation of the book, all the characters look like shapeless blobs and all the settings in my mind look the same, so it’s just a waste of time, from my point of view.

When a Plot Twist Makes Zero Sense

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As a huge thriller reader, this is a huge peeve of mine. Nothing annoys me more than when I read a YA or Adult thriller, and out of nowhere, there’s this huge plot twist that’s just there for shock value and has zero evidence backing it up or just straight up doesn’t make sense with the plot.

When Nothing Happens for 90% of the Book, Except for the Last 10%

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It always seems like the books with the most awesome concepts always tend to do this or sequels fall victim to this. Nothing will happen a majority of the time during the book, but then we hit the last ten chapters, and ALL THE THINGS ARE HAPPENING AT ONCE. Like, at least have SOMETHING else happen besides boring romance angst or characters sitting around having disagreements.

When I Have to Sit Through 10 Exposition Chapters When the Synopsis Has Already Told Me What Happens

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This isn’t really anyone’s fault, but I really hate it when a synopsis is like, “When Maria’s mother dies, a Grim Reaper arrives and asks if she’d like to die in place of her mother to save her.” (I made that up on the spot.) And then I start the book, and I have to sit through all this exposition for 100 pages even though I already know what’s going to happen and I just want to move on.

Ian Somerhalder Being Cast As Every Love Interest Ever

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STOP DOING THIS. I swear to God, if a love interest is in any way angst-y or has a dark past or whatever, everyone will be like, “Ian Somerhalder for casting!!!” Stop ruining all of my book boyfriends! I’m probably the only person on this very earth that finds him unattractive, so it just bothers me.

People Hating on Adam Parrish

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Again, this is more a personal thing, but when people hate Adam Parrish, it hurts my soul. I care about him so much and he deserves so many hugs, and, yeah, he makes some stupid decisions and says some mean things, but he is a human being who’s been constantly abused and is poor and just wants a better life for himself. HOW COULD YOU HATE HIM?

The Anxiety You Get When You Talk to People About What You’re Reading

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I always get into a total panic when someone asks me what I’m reading, mainly because I suck at summarizing what in the world happens in the book. Like, if I explained a V.E. Schwab or Pierce Brown book to you guys, you’d probably get it, but if I told my mom, she’d probably wonder what the hell I’m reading.

People Judging What You Read

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Okay, I’m horrible at this because I do it all the time, but I’m trying to get better at it! I personally hate it when someone judges any of the books I read, so I try not to do it at others (even though it’s hard to when they love a book you consider trash and hate a favorite of yours, but I’m tRYING).

People Whining About Harry Potter’s Kids’ Names

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Anybody who is still whining about this a literal decade after the book has been published is bordering on being unhealthily obsessed at this point, in my opinion. Does it really matter what the fictional character named his kids? Does it really matter that the kids’ names are not Rubeus Remus Hagrid Lily James Sirius Dobby the Third? DOES IT REALLY?

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And that’s it for all my bookish pet peeves!

I’d probably have even more if I listed every single one of them, but I’m going to refrain from doing so to make this post longer.

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What are some of your bookish pet peeves? Do we share any of the same ones?

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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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42

[LET’S CHAT] The Graveyard of Ugly Book Covers

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Ah, yes, it’s that wonderful time where we talk about ugly book covers. You might’ve heard that popular saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but, as bookworms, we know that is a total lie. We judge books by their covers, sometimes even buy books based off their covers, and will complain if they look in the least bit ugly. And we all know the Curse of the Ugly Cover, and, usually, they can be categorized in five groups.

I know that I usually post reviews on these days, but I was too lazy to write up a review over the weekend, and I had this post that wasn’t really scheduled for a date or anything, so I thought, “Why not go ahead and post it?” So, here’s me breaking my sacred schedule.

Also, I’m using the Slideshow format, so, hopefully, this won’t look like trash. Fingers crossed!

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Ah yes, the original covers of books a.k.a. Publishers Were Really Obsessed With Faces and Cover Models. You might be surprised to know that John Green has gone through a crap-ton of cover changes concerning his first three books, but he has, and BOY, are they disappointing. No wonder nobody picked up his books until The Fault in Our Stars was published.

(Just kidding; I love you John Green.)

Then, of course, we have 2012, which you might remember as the Year We Thought The World Was Going To End, but was really the Year Cover Design Artists Didn’t Even Try. I mean, seriously, what is up with these badass ladies posing like they’re about to take their prom pictures? Why would anyone want to pick up these books?

Fortunately, they have gone through vigorous cover changes, and we have now reached peak level of gorgeousness, as seen in the slideshow below. Make sure you don’t become blinded by the beauty!

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“I absolutely LOVE these books covers,” you say as you read your favorite book series.

“Oh, really?” the publishers respond as they contact a new cover designer to EFF UP THE BEAUTIFUL COVERS.

Seriously, what is this mess? Why are you changing the beauty of the original covers? Who do you think you’re appealing to? AT LEAST DO A SURVEY BEFORE YOU JUST LAUNCH NEW UGLY COVERS MY WAY! WHY IS IT SO HARD TO ASK FOR OPINIONS?

But, seriously. I find it highly concerning that publishers just change the book covers without even taking some sort of consumer report, since bookworms are easily reachable and we are literally the ones buying the books. Covers mean a lot, and I know publishers are well aware of that since they change covers all the time, so why do they change the covers of books that are selling well, and close to series’ completion? Why do they make the gorgeous cover out of print? Why do they change the books mid-series so I’m forced to re-purchase the previous ones in the series? WHY?

A moment of silence for the beautiful old covers that died for the ugly new ones. I highly recommend listening to this song by Lindsey Stirling to set the mood.

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Okay, for some reason, publishers went through this awful phase where they assumed bookworms liked seeing blown up faces on covers. Newsflash: we don’t, and we never have. There’s just something about seeing a close-up of a face that’s just a complete turn-off for readers, and, thankfully, the trend seems to have died over the years, but R.I.P. all the books that could have had beautiful covers if they were published recently.

Also, three of these covers went through changes, and, unfortunately, Vampire Academy suffers yet again. All Richelle Mead wants is a beautiful cover! Why does she have to suffer like John Green used to?

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Sometimes, the U.K. can definitely beat us at gorgeous covers that I lust for, but sometimes, they just fall flat. Have I already expressed my distaste for the U.K. editions of all of V.E. Schwab’s books? Because they are so god-awful compared to the beauty of the U.S. editions that I almost feel bad. The covers look so busy and boring and less minimalist than the U.S. covers. Not to mention how bland the ACOTAR trilogy looks. WHY DOES THAT AWFUL SHADE OF GREEN EXIST? WHY DOES THE ACOMAF BACKGROUND LOOK SO BORING?

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Of course, besides fangirls and bookworms alike being robbed by horrible book-to-movie adaptations, we are also greatly rewarded with ugly movie tie-in covers with stickers that ruin the book and are almost impossible to remove!

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(Somebody please help us.)

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And that’s it for my rant on ugly covers! I hope any of you guys found that slightly interesting or funny (I’m neither in real life). I’m absolutely loving these Let’s Chats, and this is my first time using the Slideshow format, so I hoped you like it. I thought it was the best post to use it for since the pictures sizes were all over the damn place.

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Do you agree with my least favorite covers? Are there any that I missed out? 

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35

My Least Favorite Series

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And with spring comes…me complaining about my least favorite series. Last month, I talked about a lot of my favorites and such because it was the month of love. But I thought it’d be great to introduce a bit more about me by talking about my least favorite series!

NOTE: Most of these series are super popular and well-loved, so if you’re not into that, you don’t have to read the post! No need to troll me because we all have different opinions.

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The Selection Trilogy

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Oh boy. I knew I should’ve stayed away from this one because of all the bad reviews, but the covers are stunning, plus, who knew, it might be one of those fluffy series that I liked even though I knew it was terrible (you know what I’m talking about). Yeah, it was just terrible. America is one of the most annoying characters ever (this is coming from someone who doesn’t really care too much about characters who are supposed to be annoying) and it really annoys me that this is attempting to be a dystopian, when it’s not. It’s one of those dystopians where the author thinks that if she throws in some sparse details about the world it counts, but it really doesn’t. Not to mention the romance is really boring and really cliche.

The Winner’s Trilogy

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I have a lot of series that are uber popular on this list, but this one is probably the most popular. I was really excited to read this series because it sounded right up my alley – a fantasy book centered around politics and a smart female MC with a forbidden romance. And, for some reason, it just didn’t work out for me. I love the politics and I love Kestrel to death, but the romance bored me to tears. When you don’t ship the couple, and you don’t like the main male lead, it quickly becomes annoying. I even tried to read this twice because I felt like I missed something, but it didn’t work out.

The Darkest Minds Trilogy

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Again, another popular series. I found these books to just be okay, nothing really spectacular. I think I owe it to the fact that these books are so incredibly slow at times and tend to drag in some places. By the time the third book came around, I ended up DNF’ing it and not looking back.

The Shatter Me Trilogy

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I don’t really know the general consensus of how popular this is, but I didn’t like it. This is just one of those series that just got worse and worse with each book, and the only truly redeeming factor was Warner (who is one of my favorite book boyfriends ever). Ignite Me was just a travesty since it was 2/3 romance, 1/3 actual plot, which felt like it was shoved in merely as an afterthought, with one of the most disappointing “big battles” ever.

The Under the Never Sky Trilogy

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Okay, so I can’t really say this is my least favorite series since I only read the first book, but, wow, was it a book. I literally rage-quit reading it because the insta-love was just SO BAD. It took about a week and a half for them to go from hate to love because Aria gets her period and starts to smell good according to Peregrine. No joke. It was also a really boring journey story, which, again, not a huge fan of.

The 5th Wave Trilogy

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This is one of the saddest series to see on my list, mainly because I loved the first book. Loved. Then the second book came along and was meh, but I still stuck with it. Then the finale came, and it all went to hell. It was all over the place, the ending left readers with way too many questions, and the romance was completely useless. I was just left disappointed, and the series just isn’t my favorite anymore.

Mrs. Peregrine’s Trilogy

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Again, this was a series I sort of made it halfway through, to be honest. Again, I fell in love with the first book and how quirky it was, but I was bored to death while reading the sequel, and ended up just giving up on the series all together because I had zero interest in the finale.

The Testing Trilogy

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This is probably the least known series on this list, but the first book was brilliant. It turned what could have easily been a cliche dystopian novel into something a little bit new. The sequel ended up basically following the formula of the first one, and the third was just plain boring, and the deaths in it were seriously unnecessary. I was just really upset with this one since it had so much potential.

The Wrath and the Dawn Duology

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And we have another popular one! I actually finally read this series last year over the summer, but I found myself feeling meh about the whole thing. The writing was beautiful, yes, and I loved how witty the MC was, but I just couldn’t find myself falling in love with this series. It isn’t bad by any means, but I just ended up giving both books around 3 stars.

The Mara Dyer Trilogy

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Again, another rage-inducing series. I knew from the Goodreads reviews I should have avoided this one, but I decided to read it anyway. Noah, the love interest, was probably the most annoying love interest ever. The concept was under-used, and the third book was just a hot mess of a finale that had a conclusion from out of the blue, not to mention probably the worst sex scene ever. This series just left me annoyed.

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And that’s it for all my least favorite series! We’re all done with the negativity and the complaining (for now).

Also, tomorrow, I’m going to be trying out a brand new time! Much like on Sundays, I’ll post early in the morning! It’s so stressful having to post and then promote before I start my track practice, so I’m just going to adjust the time instead. Hopefully, it’ll work out, and you guys won’t be completely lost!

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What are some of your least favorite series (I promise I won’t bite if they’re my favorite)? Do we share any (please say we do; I’m all alone)?

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8

The Emoji Book Tag

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What is this? A tag I’m doing where I’ve actually been tagged? Just kidding, I’ve just never been tagged in anything, and this is super cool. Reg @ She Latitude tagged me in her post, and this looked super fun (even though I’m not a huge texting person), but I do use emojis a lot when replying or leaving comments, as I’m sure you guys can tell. If I don’t, I’m probably replying from my laptop instead.

The point of this was to only do five, but I ended up doing ten instead because I’m out of control and I love talking about books, obviously. So here we go!

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🙈 Monkey Covering Its Eyes

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I usually use this emoji for shameful confessions, so I chose Empire of Storms. I’m a huge SJM fan, and I got this book a couple days after its release, the one with the gorgeous fanart, because she actually came into town and I got my book signed by her…and I’ve never read it. I don’t know why. I really should before TOG #6 comes out and I haven’t completed yet another series.

❤ Red Heart

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I use this one to express love, much like everyone, and for this one I’ll choose The Trap by Melanie Raabe. This is a thriller about a woman who is convinced that she has seen her sister’s murderer on TV, and writes a book based off the crime to lure him to her house. Yes, it’s just as awesome as it sounds.

🌟 One Glowing Star

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I usually use this for star ratings on Books Amino, but since this is one star, I decided this one would be for a book I rated one star. I actually rarely give out one stars because I usually find something redeemable about  book, but I gave The Perfect Girl one star because I was super bored by everything going on, the characters weren’t developed well enough, and the mystery was handled in the most underwhelming way.

🙌🏾 Black Hands Praising

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I use this one also for things that make me happy, and I’ve decided that for this one I’ll choose Because She Loves Me by Mark Edwards. I discovered this amazing thriller author last year, and this is my favorite book of his. It’s one of those books where you think you know what’s going on and have already figured out and then BAM! You’re wrong. It’s really nice to read a thriller that brings out something new instead of using the same old plot twists all over again.

😂 Face Crying with Laughter

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I use this one for when my friends tell me something funny, and I rarely laugh out loud at books, but one of the ones that made me really laugh was Laurent Linn’s Draw The Line, which is highly underrated. It deals with homophobia in the South, but it also balances it with an adorable romance and a great sense of humor.

😍 Face with Heart Eyes  

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I usually use this one for when people do things that make me happy, so I chose Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. The main character of this novel is a total brat/mean girl at the beginning, but after going through multiple do-overs, she becomes a much better character and goes through so much development. She makes you want to change your entire attitude.

😤 Angry Face

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I use this one for when I hear things that frustrate the heck out of me, and I’ll choose This Is Our Story for this one. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book (I gave it four stars), but this was a thriller with a super cheesy romance on the side that was just. Not. Needed. One of my biggest pet peeves is that YA books feel the need for a romance to be there that really doesn’t need to be. They could have been friends, that’s all I’m saying. But, again, a really good YA thriller.

😅 Face Trying to Stay Calm/Sweating

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I use this one for when I’m stressed out and pretending I’m totally not, so for this one I’m choosing These Broken Stars. You might be fooled by the gorgeous cover, but this is a true blue sci-fi that started out pretty calm, but then you hit this point, and the rest of the book you’re trying to keep calm while repeating, “WTF???” in your head about fifty times.

😉 Suggestive Face

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I use this one when I’m joking around with my friend about innuendos (because I act like I’m twelve), so I’m using ACOMAF for this one. I’m not sure this one needs to be explained, but Rhysand is definitely the embodiment of the winky face.

👋🏾 Black Hand Waving Hi

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I use this one for when I’m testing out people’s phone numbers and I’m praying to God I’m not texting some random stranger, so I thought a book that’d fit for this would be the first book in a series I enjoyed. I’m choosing Unearthly by Cynthia Hand because I thought this was a really good first book to an enjoyable series.

And that’s it for this fun book tag! It was super fun to do, and for anyone who’s read this and hasn’t done this one yet or think this one looks fun, go ahead and do it! I’d love to check them out!

Also, what the heck at yesterday’s post??? It’s my most liked and commented post so far, and I’m really shocked that so many of you guys enjoyed it! It means so much to me, especially since I’m always so nervous about posting my opinions (it comes with the social anxiety). 

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What are some of your favorite/most-used emojis?

3

December Wrap-Up

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Today, I come at you guys with my December Wrap-Up! I read 15 books in total this month, with only one DNF quite early in the month. I’m actually surprised by how much I read, considering I stopped reading pretty early this month, and I felt like I was in a sort of slump-y mood, but I’m proud of myself!

Also, I’m going to spending the last day of 2016 being SO busy. The last of my Christmas Book Haul should be arriving today (yay!), so I’ll be rearranging my bookshelves, and finally purging my shelf of some books/series I didn’t like/I’m not going to finish. I’m thinking of selling them to a bookstore for money so I can buy more books, so, there might be another haul this month because I can’t control myself! Then I’m going to be getting my hair washed (boo!), but hopefully this means I can finally write down all my future blog posts for January and February (I’ve actually completed all my January posts except my wrap-up and WWW Wednesdays and planned out all of February, so I guess I’m an overachiever!). But, of course…

2017

Now, onto the books!

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My Sister Rosa

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Che Taylor has four items on his list: 1. He wants to spar, not just train in the boxing gym. 2. He wants a girlfriend. 3. He wants to go home. 4. He wants to keep Rosa under control.

Che’s little sister Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and so good at deception that Che’s convinced she must be a psychopath. She hasn’t hurt anyone yet, but he’s certain it’s just a matter of time. And when their parents move them to New York City, Che longs to return to Sydney and his three best friends. But his first duty is to his sister Rosa, who is playing increasingly complex and disturbing games. Can he protect Rosa from the world – and the world from Rosa?

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❌DNF❌

So, this was probably one of my most anticipated YA thriller reads. I mean, a 17 year old boy has to keep up with his crazy sister? Of course I’m interested. Unfortunately, this was more of a contemporary masking as a thriller and nothing in this contemporary kept my interest. Apparently, the ending was mind-blowing, but I was halfway through and I much preferred I Let You Go (which I was reading at the same time), so I called it quits.

I Let You Go

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In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .

*

5 🌟

Hip hip hooray for second chances! I tried to read this earlier this year, and found it to be dreadfully boring, but decided to read it again because I heard so much about the brilliant plot twist, and I’m glad I stuck with it! The first part is definitely on the slower side, but then Part Two comes in, and I just couldn’t put it down. And I also loved the last couple of lines of the ending. CHILLS.

Dear Amy

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*

Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters – but none like the one she’s just received: Dear Amy,
I don’t know where I am. I’ve been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I’m afraid he’ll kill me.
Please help me soon,
Bethan Avery

Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything . . .

*

3.5 🌟

This one was pretty good. Near the beginning, I was slightly bored since it seemed slow and the mystery wasn’t really peaking my interest, but then the plot twist came in, and turned this into an okay read. Not my favorite thriller, but definitely enjoyable.

All Is Not Forgotten

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*

In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect.

Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.

As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.

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5 🌟

I was actually really surprised that I enjoyed this one so much because I’d only seen bad reviews for this one, but oh my God, I must be crazy, because this was brilliant! It was so suspenseful and captivating that I started and finished it on the same day. Alan Forrester is now one of my favorite twisted characters ever. Warning that this book is quite dark, but it was so good, if you’re into literary thrillers!

All the Missing Girls

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*

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

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4 🌟

So, I was immediately pulled in to this book by its premise: it’s a story told backwards. I saw that most people were bored and disoriented by the format, but I devoured this book (even though it had long chapters, which is my pet peeve, but worked in this place). Definitely slow-burning, and it reminded me of a less dark version of Flynn’s Sharp Objects, with the idea of a small town keeping so many dark secrets.

(Also, it took place in my state, so that was a bonus!)

Missing, Presumed

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*

Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date – the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.

Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman – door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor. Manon knows the first 72 hours are critical: you find her, or you look for a body. And as soon as she sees a picture of Edith Hind, a Cambridge post-graduate from a well-connected family, she knows this case will be big.

Is Edith alive or dead? Was her ‘complex love life’ at the heart of her disappearance, as a senior officer tells the increasingly hungry press? And when a body is found, is it the end or only the beginning?

*

3.5 🌟

After reading and surprisingly enjoying The Missing Hours last month, I decided to read another police procedural. This one was really interesting, and I definitely loved Manon as a character. Really, the only problem was that the ending to the mystery fell flat for me, especially after going through 700+ pages on iBooks, but I’m definitely going to read the sequel when it comes out next year!

Until I Met Her

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*

When Beatrice said she wanted to publish her next novel under Emma’s name, Emma thought she was joking. Why on earth would Beatrice, the famous crime writer, not want to publish her new book under her own name?

Precisely because she was so famous, Beatrice had explained. This time, Beatrice wanted to write something different, and publish it as an unknown author, and she wanted Emma to help.

After everything Beatrice had done for her, Emma could hardly refuse. But what was meant to be a favor has turned into a betrayal, and now Emma has done something terrible, something shocking, and the consequences are terrifying…

*

4 🌟

So, this was one of my most anticipated birthday buys, and it didn’t disappoint. I was glued to the Kindle app as soon as the MC admitted she murdered her best friend. Like, what? It was such a twisty read, and went into an unpredictable direction, which I really enjoyed. This wasn’t the best thriller ever in a critical sense, but it was a fun experience!

The Bird Tribunal

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*

Two people in exile. Two secrets. As the past tightens its grip, there may be no escape… TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough… Haunting, consuming and powerful, The Bird Tribunal is a taut, exquisitely written psychological thriller that builds to a shocking, dramatic crescendo that will leave you breathless.

*

1 🌟

Oh, look, I have an unpopular opinion on another highly loved book! Most of the crime book-related Instagram accounts I stalk (lovingly) rated this highly, but I just don’t get it. The book is about an unsettling romance in an isolated cabin, and…that’s basically what happens. I guessed from the first five pages what was going to happen, and was disappointed when I wasn’t shocked. It would’ve been great if the MC was the true villain, or if the reader was left feeling confused but satisfied about the man’s true intentions, but if you’ve read a thriller before, the true ending won’t satisfy you either.

The Troop

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*

Once a year, scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a three-day camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story and a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—stumbles upon their campsite, Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. An inexplicable horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival that will pit the troop against the elements, the infected…and one another.

*

5 🌟

I’ve been eyeing this book for so long after reading its concept, and holy crap, THIS is why I wait before announcing my Top 10 Books of 2016, or this gem would not have been on it. I refuse to say much about it, because it’s really best to go in blind, but warning: this book is disgusting. Both physically and mentally. I mean, the writing’s great, but don’t read this while eating. And I also loved the last line. ❤️

The Women in the Walls

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*

Lucy Acosta’s mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They’re inseparable—a family.  

When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she’s ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother’s voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin’s sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

*

2 🌟

I read Daughters Unto Devils, Amy Lukavics first novel, in October for my horror reads, and I didn’t love it. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t any better, and I gave it the same rating as her first one. Really, this one wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t for me. Also, it was probably a little unfair to read this straight after reading Cutter’s horror masterpiece, but what can you do?

I’m Traveling Alone

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*

A six-year-old girl is found in the Norwegian countryside, hanging lifeless from a tree with a jump rope around her neck. She is dressed in strange doll’s clothes. Around her neck is an airline tag that says “I’m traveling alone.” 

A special homicide unit in Oslo re-opens with veteran police investigator Holger Munch at the helm. Holger’s first step is to persuade the brilliant but haunted investigator Mia Krüger to come back to the squad–she’s been living on an isolated island, overcome by memories of her past. When Mia views a photograph of the crime scene and spots the number “1” carved into the dead girl’s fingernail, she knows this is only the beginning. She’ll soon discover that six years earlier, an infant girl was abducted from a nearby maternity ward. The baby was never found. Could this new killer have something to do with the missing child, or with the reclusive Christian sect hidden in the nearby woods?

Mia returns to duty to track down a revenge-driven and ruthlessly intelligent killer. But when Munch’s own six-year-old granddaughter goes missing, Mia realizes that the killer’s sinister game is personal, and I’m Traveling Alone races to an explosive–and shocking–conclusion.

*

4 🌟

I’m a huge fan of books that subtly introduce things that end up all playing a part in something bigger, and this book definitely gave me that! Holger and Mia were such great main characters, and I loved how tense the mystery was. This book was so addicting; one of those reads I would tell myself I’d stop at this point, but completely failed to do so because I needed to know what happened! I’m really excited for the second book to come out in June of next year!

The Book of You

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*

Clarissa is becoming more and more frightened of her colleague, Rafe. He won’t leave her alone, and he refuses to take no for an answer. He is always there.

Being selected for jury service is a relief. The courtroom is a safe haven, a place where Rafe can’t be. But as a violent tale of kidnap and abuse unfolds, Clarissa begins to see parallels between her own situation and that of the young woman on the witness stand.

Realizing that she bears the burden of proof, Clarissa unravels the twisted, macabre fairytale that Rafe has spun around them – and discovers that the ending he envisions is more terrifying than she could have imagined.

*

2.5 🌟

So, I was sort of in a slump with this book? It took me three days to read, which isn’t that long in retrospect, since I usually read books in two, but I was sort of impatient with this one. The ending left me completely unsatisfied, and I’ve read too many better books with the “evil boyfriend” trope – such as Into the Darkest Corner and Behind Closed Doors – that this one just didn’t make the cut. I loved the journal style though.

You Sent Me a Letter

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*

At 2 a.m. on the morning of her 40th birthday, Sophie wakes in the darkness of her bedroom, and finds a stranger watching her from the foot of her bed. The intruder hands Sophie a letter and issues an ultimatum: the message is to be opened at her forthcoming party, in front of gathered family and friends, at exactly 8 p.m. Any failure to comply will not end well. Sophie can only think of one person who hates her enough to have hired a professional to menace her like this: her fiancé’s ex-wife. But what can the letter possibly contain? And why must it be read in front of everyone she loves best? This will be no ordinary 40th party. Sophie is not the only person holding a secret about the evening ahead. When the clock strikes eight, the course of several people’s lives will be altered forever.

*

3 🌟

This one was extremely addicting, but again with the truly unsatisfying ending that left so many loose ends for a stand-alone thriller. I was definitely surprised by who sent the letter, since I thought I knew who it was halfway through, but was proven wrong, which was nice. Other than that, I’ve read better.

A Head Full of Ghosts

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*

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface–and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

*

4 🌟

So, if you were a fan of the latest season of American Horror Story or AHS: Asylum, you will most likely love this. It’s an unsettling look at a family who claims that their fourteen-year-old daughter is possessed by a demon, and how the media plays a part in it. I definitely loved the blogging about the episodes, and this book was definitely an addicting read and quite creepy. And I adore how the ending left things up to interpretation for the reader, which was the really fun part.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

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*

In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

*

4 🌟

And here we have a creepy and unsettling read. Once I finished this, I was like, “Huh?” But I found this entire page (don’t click this link if you’re planning to read this, and don’t want to be spoiled) sponsored by the publishers that is wholly dedicated to discussing what happened in this book, which really made me realize how genius this is. This is definitely one of the weirdest and unique books I’ve read not only this year, but probably ever. And I might just bump up my reading because it still surprises me when I think about it. So good!

The Assassin Game

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*

At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer is more than a game—it’s an elite secret society. Members must avoid being “Killed” during a series of thrilling pranks, and only the Game Master knows who the “Killer” is. When Cate’s finally invited to join the Assassins’ Guild, she know it’s her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.

But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save the Guild. But can she find the real assassin before she’s the next target?

*

1 🌟

And, unfortunately, the year ends with a really sucky read. First off, as a high schooler myself, I found the game to be absolutely ridiculous. There is no way I will ever believe a high school in this day in age would find something like this cool, but maybe I’m the lame one. Second, of course this had an insta-love romance! And an obvious love triangle! Why not! Third, no one really gets hurt until halfway through the book, meaning you have to sit through pages and pages of boredom and the regular game, which I’m sure 99.9% of people who pick up this book are not looking for. Fourth, finding out the so-called “killer” pulling the deadly pranks was really unsatisfying. Not only that, but all their lines were super cheesy, nor did I believe a teenager had the capability of pulling their entire plan off. Overall, I hated it, but, hey, I finished it, at least!

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And that concludes the wrap-up, and the very last blog post of 2016! Happy New Year’s Eve to you all, and I hope 2017 will be a much better year! And, hopefully, blogging will be a great journey for me, personally. New post coming at you tomorrow!

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What were your favorite and least favorite reads of December?

6

The Book Blogger Confessions Tag

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And I have arrived with another book tag!   I saw this first on Books Amino, and I thought it looked like fun, so I decided, “Why not?”

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Which book, most recently, did you not finish?  

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My Sister Rosa was my only DNF of this month. I love thrillers in general, but prefer adult ones to YA, and I thought this one would be a good one, but, it wasn’t. This was more contemporary than thriller, and even though there was supposed to be a jaw-dropping ending, I didn’t care to make it through pages of a romance I didn’t care about. Why do YA books ruin themselves with romance (this shall be a topic for discussion)?

Which book is your guilty pleasure?  

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Definitely the Everneath trilogy. These are just really fun, fluffy books with pretty good plot twists. I wouldn’t say it’s the best series out there, but it’s a really fun ride!

Which book do you love to hate?

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 Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. I actually read this book twice – once when I was twelve, and again earlier this year – and twelve-year-old me and sixteen-year-old me have very different opinions. I enjoyed it back in middle school, but as a high schooler, I just noticed how insta-love-y it was, and how poor the world-building is. I actually ended up rage-quitting. Not a good reading experience.

Which book would you throw into the sea?  

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[Insert Any Classic Here]. I honestly can’t even begin to choose just one, but I’ve only liked one or two school-assigned books, and have been completely unimpressed with the many others I’ve been forced to read (this calls for another future discussion topic).

Which book have you read the most?  

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Unwind, most definitely! I re-read it with joy this past year because I had finally acquired the sequels, and I’m pretty sure I loved it even more than I did reading it the first time. Just know that I will promote this book with my life, and you’ll probably see it mentioned about 2841849149 times on this blog.

Which book would you hate to receive as a present?  

Does “Any book that I already own” count as an answer? I think yes.

Which book can you not live without?

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Because I’m horrible at making choices, I’m going to horribly cheat on this question and say that I can’t live without any of Sarah J. Maas’s books, the Harry Potter series, the Percy Jackson series, and the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. These series and authors always make me so happy, and when I’m feeling down, or just need a little pick-me-up, these are my immediate go-to’s.

 Which book made you the angriest?  

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Hm, again, multiple answers for this. For Dangerous Girls, I was angry for the main character, who was treated horribly by the media and painted as this horrible human being, who also had to deal with the death of her best friend and her cheater of a boyfriend. For The Couple Next Door and The Game You Played, I was angry because the main men were total douchebags.

Which book made you cry the most?  

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I’ve actually never cried while reading a book; I’ve only teared up, at most. But, A Monster Calls drained all my emotions and I did tear up a lot reading those final pages AND during the movie trailer, so that’s who the award goes to!

Which book cover do you hate the most? 

It’s a tie between the original Shatter Me cover, the original Throne of Glass cover, and the new Winner’s trilogy covers. All three of these covers just don’t seem to understand the theme of their own books – Juliette and Celaena, who are both badass, look like they’re going to prom, and Kestrel, who can’t fight, is holding a sword – and they just look horrible in general.

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And that’s it for this book tag! Only two more posts left until the new year rings in: my Year in Review for 2016 and my December Wrap-Up!

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What are some of the ugliest book covers you’ve ever seen?