3 Bookish Pet Peeves

There are book tropes I think everyone’s tired of – i.e. the chosen one or the love triangle or the insta-love. These pet peeves I think are a little less talked about but they drive me nuts all the same.

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1. Hot people doing stuff

It torments me to no end when you open a book expecting an actual plot and all you get is 500 hundred pages mentioning how attractive each character is as they do stuff. Don’t bullshit me with your thrilling backcover synopsis. This is just hot people doing stuff. (Looking at you Paper Princess). It also bothers me when everyone in a book is good-looking and it’s a common talking point. I felt like the ACOMAF series did that quite frequently. How dull. Honestly, aside from basic descriptions, I don’t really give a flying rat’s ass what your character looks like. If describing their appearance isn’t a vehicle for some backstory, world-building or character development, I don’t want it. 

The solution? Either create characters that are physically distinctive from each other or forget appearances all together. A Daughter of Smoke and Bones is guilty of occasional gratuitous descriptions, but we also get really imaginatively vivid characters descriptions. I remember hearing the appalling description of Razgut and Izil and picturing the whole scene so clearly. It made it all the more revolting when Razgut licks Karou. Not to mention all the incredible creatures she describes throughout the book. That’s about the only time appearance matters to me.

 

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2. Instant ramen fighters

You don’t get a week of fighting lessons and then go off to war. Hunting rabbits does not a warrior make. You take karate classes at your cool private high school? Nope, still not enough. I’ve been training for fights everyday for a year and a half now, which isn’t that long of a time. If it’s taught me anything, it’s that you don’t get to open a packet of seasoning, add hot water and pop a fighter out of the microwave. It takes years. Years. And even then, that may only give you the skills to hold your own against someone of your size and stature. Forget about fighting off monsters and men strong enough to have become esteemed warriors or evil villains.

The solution? Have characters out-smart or use their own personal strengths to get out of those situations. Example: Lila Bard from ADSOM. Constantly outpowered or outnumbered. She doesn’t always win, but when she does it’s because of her cleverness and willingness to bend the rules to her advantage.

 

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3. Pseudo-intellectual teenagers

AHEMjohngreenAHEM. Really, please see any John Green love interest to see what I’m talking about. It’s lazy characterization to me. Rather than placing your character(s) in situations that reveal their intelligence or maturity, we get ridiculously cheesy descriptions and pages of bad dialogue. This often falls in step with the manic pixie dream girl and hipsters. They’re all an attempt to be different from the mainstream, but are done in such a way that they become their own cliche. Plus, when I’m reading YA, I kind of expect to see immaturity. These are coming of age stories – immaturity and believable age are important.

WHAT KINDA KID TALKS LIKE THIS. 

The solution? Stop trying so damn hard and let kids be kids. See More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, where his characters play tag and behave entirely like teens but still have real, powerful struggles with identity, acceptance and love.

 

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Any of this stuff drive you bananas too? Or is it just me sipping on the haterade?

 

Happy Reading!

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Rapid Fire Book Tag

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Book Tag Yay! I’ve never done a book tag before, but this was pretty fun. Send me more, friends! I stole this tag from Jess @ BeaucoupBooks.

1. E-book or Physical book?

E-books! While I love actually having physical books, I find that I’m reading a lot more with e-books. They’re so portable and wallet-friendly. I’ll still go out and buy a book if I really loved it though or if the cover is amazing and I neeeeeeeeed it.

2. Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback. Unless there’s a super pretty hardcover version. I’m a sucker for pretty things.

3. Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

I like browsing in-store and then actually pulling the trigger on books online. Maybe it’s nostalgia from going to the library every weekend with my mom, but I love the smell and feel of libraries and bookstores. Plus I like touching all the books.

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4. Trilogies or Series?

Trilogies. Either is fine really, but sometimes series can go on for too long, whereas trilogies tend to have a nice conclusion.

5. Heroes or Villains?

Heroes. I got a soft spot for the good guys. Too many superhero shows and comicbooks as kid. Not to say there aren’t great villain stories though like Marie Lu’s The Young Elites.

6. A Book You Want Everyone To Read?

The Harry Potter series. A common answer maybe. But I was one of those weirdos that didn’t read this until I was twenty-one because I thought it was way too mainstream and hyped growing up. When I finally decided to read them, I binged all the books and all the movies in a couple of weeks. So sad I didn’t read them earlier as a kid.

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7. Recommend an Underrated Author?

I actually can’t think of one off the top of my head. 😐 Recommendations below pls!

8. The Last Book You Finished?

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

It’ll be in my February Book Reviews post later, but long story short, I loved this one.

9. Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

Toilet paper. Clean toilet paper, guys, obviously. But let’s be honest, everyone reads on the crapper and when you need a bookmark, the TP is there.

10. Used Books: Yes or No?

Yes! I used to raid the Goodwill bookstores where they have used books for $1 or $2. I’ve been reading almost exclusively on the Kindle lately though, so used books aren’t really an option.

11. Top Three Favourite Genres?

Fantasy, Contemporary, and Sci-Fi.

12. Borrow or Buy?

Borrow! I’m pretty sure I’m a library felon because I’m terrible at returning books on time so I haven’t checked out an actual book in a long time.  I do, however, love Overdrive and Hoopla for borrowing e-books and audiobooks.

13. Character or Plot?

Mmm. This is difficult because why would you want a book that only had one or the other. That being said, if I absolutely had to choose, I think I’d go with characters. Believable characters are what drive emotional investment for me and a plot can be found in solid character development.

14. Long or Short Books?

Either or. It’s all about that pacing. Short books can still drag and long books can still fly by.

15. Name The First Three Books You Think Of.

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Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.

Wink, Poppy, Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

16. Books That Make You Laugh or Cry?

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The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silver

I’m not a book-laugher I guess, but I’m definitely a book crier. The last two heart-breaking books I read were probably these two. Maybe not sobbing, but definitely teary-eyed.

17. Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Our world. I can’t remember the last time I read a fantasy novel.

18. Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Yes? I’ve never successfully finished one. It always takes long to listen to one than to read a book obviously, but I’ll listen to a few chapters than get overeager and just read the rest. This happened with The Martian and Red Rising. Though I recently started listening to Prodigy by Marie Lu and I may actually finish that one. We’ll see.

19. Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Guilty.

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20. Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

TV Shows. Especially with a lot of YA series, I feel like you get more out TV adaptations. Plus, you get to see all your favorite scenes and more with shows. I feel like movies always lose out on something. There are exceptions of course where a movie makes more sense. (i.e. Gone Girl or Perks of Being a Wallflower)

21. A Movie or TV Show You Preferred to the Book?

Book-snob here. Let’s be honest, the book is always better.

22. Series or Standalones?

Meh. Either or. Though I don’t like reading series where you get no closure until the final installment. You gotta give me a little something along the way. I have no patience.

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Tags:

I’ll tag some of my most recent book blogger follows and anyone else who wants to do it. Happy Tagging! 🙂

Priscilla @ Rand0m Book Girl

Wing Yee @ Bibliphilic Med Student

Ashley @ What’s She Reading

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February Read List

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Hi folks! Here’s my much belated read-list for February. February was pretty busy for me. I didn’t squeeze in as much reading as I would have liked. It’s a read-list rather than a review list because I feel like everyone and their mother has read this series. So no need to throw my two cents in. I read City of Bones years ago when it first came out, but decided to  finish the series when I heard that the new Shadowhunters series was coming out. Have any of you started watching the show? How do you feel about the casting, etc? The acting is a little cringey to me sometimes, but to be honest, I’ll probably keep watching anyway.

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

My second year of college, I took a class in experience design. One particular week we had a guest lecturer who warned us of “The Curse of Knowledge”. The idea is that those with a certain knowledge of a subject have a bias that prevents them from understanding the perspective of those without it. Imagine a person with a song stuck in their head. They spend the whole day tapping out a rhythm with their fingers and that rhythm sounds unmistakably like the song they hear. However, to you, me and the rest of the world, that rhythm could be any number of things and holds no significant value to us.

The vast majority of us go through life blissfully unaware of that curse. We take advantage of the fact that we can think and function by the same rules as most other people. It takes no conscious effort on our part to read emotions, default to standard social norms or pick up new slang (i.e. “on fleek”). We all hear that song in our heads.

For those like the autistic 15-year-old Christopher Boone, those rules aren’t innate. He operates on an entirely different set of logic and has to manually translate all the overwhelming information around him into something he can process. Nonetheless, Christopher proves to be remarkably intelligent, brave and endearing as a hero. The novel starts off as Christopher’s adventure in solving a local mystery, but quickly evolves into a journey in which he learns to navigate his family problems and the world on his own.

I’m finding that my favorite novels are ones with the simplest language. Less is more right? Christopher as a narrator is quirky and smart-definitely not one for fluff paragraphs. It makes this novel a quick and easy read with plenty of humor, heart-warming moments and a whole lot of perspective. Pick it up if you get a chance.

3.8/5*

*I am not a fan of numerically rating novels. It’s difficult to put such different books on a singular scale. However! I know it makes a difference to a reader deciding what to pick up next, so I’ll be adding these ratings as just a footnote from now on.