Bookish (and Some Non Bookish) Resolutions for 2019

It’s that time of the year again! You know the drill- I’m gonna say a bunch of resolutions I plan to do this year and then spend the whole year not doing them 😉

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Bookish:

number 1

10 More Books from My Challenging list

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I considered making this less because I didn’t manage to read 10 in 2018, but then I thought, where’s the fun in that? I figured it would be more of a challenge this way 😉

number 2

10 Non-Fiction Reads

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Again, I didn’t make it to 10 non fic reads in 2018, but I figure I have a whole year to try and hit this goal!

number 3

5 Rereads

Because I had so much fun doing this last year! I have some really fun books lined up for this one!

number 4

5 Poetry Collections

Cos, why didn’t I read any last year? It’s gotta be the first year where I didn’t even pick up *one* collection- FOR SHAME!

Non Bookish:

number 5

Compile notebooks

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Another old ‘un but a good ‘un. Not only does the weird part of my brain that likes organising get a kick out of it, but it’ll make my life so much easier in the long run if I do this annually. There aren’t that many for me to go through this year, so it shouldn’t be too bad.

number 6

Complete another language on Duolingo

This is probably the most challenging one on the list and I could easily fail this due to lack of time… but no pain, no gain, right? I have previously completed two languages on there, yet the only way I ever seem motivated to go back and practice is if I’m learning a new language at the same time. I actually enjoy doing this (even if I’m still far from fluent in the ones I’ve tried 😉 ) so why not? Plus, Duo keeps sending me messages saying it misses me:

duolingo sad

I probably shouldn’t pay attention, because it’s a bit like a needy ex at this point, but I MISS WHAT WE HAD TOO 😉

number 7

THE DREADED EDITING

Okay, you got me, I’m exaggerating for comic effect 😉 I not-so-secretly actually like editing. HOWEVER, I’ve never undertaken *so much* editing at once. In fact, I’m a little scared about reading my last WIP (it’s not in good shape!!) I have so much to do in this regard, that I figure all the remaining points can be for this one!

And that’s all I’m doing this year! I decided to have some self-control and not add a bunch of resolutions I don’t plan on doing. Maybe I’ll add more goals as the year goes on instead of taking them off the list!

What do you think of my resolutions this year? Do you have any resolutions you plan not to do? Let me know in the comments!

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My Top Ten Books for 2018

Woohoo my top ten is here! Nothing makes me feel more warm and fuzzy inside than looking back on the year’s greatest hits. It’s like I get to curl up with my faves and get all cosy with my positive thoughts for them 😀 What could be better? *Cue the satisfied monkey*!

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As always, not all of these were published in 2018, I’m not including rereads and all book covers link to reviews! Alrighty then, enough of the preamble, let’s get to my semi-incoherent-adoration-addled-reasons as to why these books are *awesome sauce with a side of bananas*:

number 10

ravencry

Ravencry– as many of you know, last year I was blown away by Blackwing, so when the second instalment in the Raven’s Mark series stormed onto the scene, I had to pick it up. What’s so cool about this is the immense depth behind the hysterics. Though there can be no doubt that the world was well drawn, the plot was compelling and the characters were to die for, what I liked the most about this was there’s more to this book than meets the eye. Already in the first book psychological complexity was established- but this delves deeper into the psyche with one of my favourite folklore motifs of venturing into the wilderness and returning changed (you may notice a trend in some of the books on this list 😉 ). Incorporating this idea is just one of the ways there’s more to this story than meets the eye- and that’s what keeps drawing me back and back and back to the Misery. I can’t quite get this haunting story out of my mind.

number 9

guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society– when I read this I just *had to* share this with my sister- contrary to my review, I didn’t actually write her a letter- instead I immediately put it in her hands and said READ IT. Because that’s what everyone should do. It’s one of the best historical fiction books I’ve ever read and one of the finest in the oft-oversaturated market for WWII. I’m not usually a fan of epistolary novels and only recently discovering how well collaborative books can work- and this one really does work. Guernsey will take you on quite the journey- I can’t recommend this enough.

number 8

titus andronicus

Titus Andronicus– it’s absolutely staggering how shocking this is hundreds of years after publication. Even though I knew what was coming, I still ended up scarred by this story- and that’s quite the feat! Now it’s obviously redundant to describe the finesse of Shakespeare’s language or the substance of his place- but I can say that this is now a firm favourite. I also recommend the 1999 film version- it’s a truly sensational adaptation (and this is coming from someone super fussy about takes on Shakespeare)

number 7

grey sister

Grey Sister– what is most incredible about this book was its ability to drag me out of a slump. I was super busy in June and yet I still managed to read the entirety of this book in one sitting- I just couldn’t help myself! For pure entertainment value alone, I’d have loved this book. However- as I often say on these posts- IT WAS SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! All the intricate details from Red Sister were taken to another level. Most importantly, this book *excited me* and whenever I think about this book I want to jump right back in- and for a bookworm it doesn’t get much better than that!

number 6

words in deep blue

Words in Deep Blue– I need a little courage to talk about this one, because *this book broke me*. I cried from beginning to end. I’m not joking (kinda wish I wasn’t that much of a sap, but there you go). It’s think of book that holds you under its spell- I felt breathless and emotional by the end. The characters, the romance and the story were all *swoonworthy*. I’m also *a complete sucker* for book love in books and this did explored that topic so well. With some genius strokes to the narrative structure, this plunged into much deeper waters than I expected.

number 5

circe

Circe– even though I read this right at the end of the year, I knew while I was reading that I *had to* find a place for it on my top ten. In fact, it rose in my esteem as I got further and further into the book. I often find myself at odds with Goodreads choice awards, but I can safely say this deserved its win. Forged from myth, its epic proportions are well balanced and creatively engineered. It’s more than simply well researched- the stories woven into the narrative feel lived-in. I’d say this is Miller’s aristeia, only I predict she’s going to keep being victorious with every book she releases. Dorky classics allusions aside, it’s such a wondrous retelling that I know I’m going to love this more and more with time. Needless to say, Circe has me under her spell and I can’t wait to see what this author pulls out of her repertoire in the future.

number 4

hazel wood

Hazel Wood– this book combined two of my favourite things: fairy tales and stories within stories. What a match made in heaven! Yes, this goes at a steady pace, yet this still managed to be twisty and unexpected. Perfectly drawing up the veil between a dreamscape and the real world, I was enchanted by how I couldn’t quite pin it down. Somehow it manages to be a retelling of folklore with a Gothic flavour- whilst also having a life of its own. That indefinable quality made feel like it has its feet in multiple worlds- and that’s why I love it!

number 3

girl in the tower

Girl in the Tower– I loved stepping back into Arden’s reimagining of Russia’s mythic past. For me, this exploration seems so enticing and different and lovingly evoked. One thing I adore about the Winternight Trilogy is how each book seems to stand so well on its own. Like the first book, this presented a world that most people cannot see. However, what made it stand apart was that the uncanny elements were ratcheted up and it was darker than its predecessor. That haunting note clung to every facet of this beautiful venture. The writing was just as lyrical, immersive and gorgeous as Bear and the Nightingale; the characters made me fall in love all over again. I’m so freaking wowed by this series- I can’t wait for the last book! Bring on January 9th!

number 2

strange the dreamer duology

Strange the Dreamer/Muse of Nightmares– yes I am putting them both on the list and counting them as one- but you guys should know cos I do it every year… so really this is your fault for letting me get away with it 😉 Anyway, shh, these books are both brilliant, deserve to be here and I couldn’t pick between them! I adore Taylor’s writing and am always spirited away by her world building. I can’t help but feel like her series embody escapism and brilliant stories. They leave nothing behind in terms of what I look for in a book: the characters, romance and intrigue are top notch. Laced with a dreamy quality, this duology lived up to every hope I had for it.

number 1

the master and margarita

The Master and Margarita– simply speaking, I haven’t read a better book in a really long time. Where some of these I had to squeeze into position, I didn’t have to think when it came to placing this book. Describing what I feel about it though? Now that’s nigh on impossible! Perhaps it makes sense, since this is a book of where the impossible meets reality. Surreal and hard to pin down- and yet not totally otherworldly- Master and Margarita deserves more than the accolades and bananas I can give it. It’s strange on the surface- however lurking at its core are more truths than I can possibly articulate. A true artistic endeavour and literary masterpiece, it feels more real than reality. If you’re searching for a classic that’s more than a little magic, look no further.

So have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? And what was your favourite book(s) of 2018? Let me know in the comments!

My Most Disappointing Books of 2018

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Thanks in a large part to blogging I pick up fewer books on a whim. That means a lot of what I read tends to be vetted and I’ve been choosing a lot of better books this year. Even so, a number of stinkers have slipped through the net- and that’s what this post is about! Of course, as the title suggests, these are mostly just books that let me down in some way. As always, if you click on the book covers you can click on the book covers and see my less-than-glowing reviews- however you’ll also see I haven’t completely slated all of these. Evidently, *fumbling to insert quick disclaimer*, I’m not saying these are the *worst* books on the planet- a lot of them merely didn’t live up to what I hoped they would be- starting with…

number 10bone queen

The Bone Queen– I actually gave this one a middling rating- see I told you they weren’t all terrible! Still, this made the list because I thought it would be *so much more*. I loved the Pellinor series when I was younger, so when this prequel rolled around I was PSYCHED. Sadly, this didn’t end up building on my pre-existing love. Instead, I got a book that was stuffed to the brim with infodumps and all the dramatic moments being told not shown.

number 9

lonely hearts hotel

Lonely Hearts Hotel– this one might be the most controversial one on the list, because a lot of people love it. And I get why. It’s a really well written book- but boy this was not my cup of tea. Honestly, the biggest flaw with this book is that it’s totally miss-marketed. Described as “the next Night Circus”, I was expecting delicious magical realism; what I got was a heavy dose of stomach-churning historical fiction on topics that were too much for me.  That’s not to say it’s bad- it just wish I’d had some inkling of the actual material going in. If you’re into gritty (bordering on gross) topics, then go for it; otherwise maybe give it a miss.

number 8

ashes to ashes

Ashes to Ashes– it pains me a little to put this on here, because I really enjoyed the rest of the series. Ultimately though, this was a great example of a series fizzling out. There was a lot of potential here- yet I didn’t feel like the ending lived up to it. It felt rushed, unsatisfying and underdeveloped. *Sigh*- and it could have been so good!

number 7

forest of hands...

Forest of Hands and Teeth– years ago I saw this title and swooned- it’s a thing of perilous beauty. Unfortunately, the charm ends there. There’s nothing remotely thrilling about this all-too-generic read. It’s so meh that I wouldn’t have bothered putting it on this list if not for the fact the title got my hopes up. Unless you’re a massive fan of love triangles and the regular host of YA tropes, I’d give this one a miss.

number 6

life's golden ticket

Life’s Golden Ticket– I kind of feel duty bound to put this on the list based on the simple fact that it wasn’t well written. And while I can handle a little cheese, this one stunk to high heaven. Turns out allegorical, glorified self-help books are not for me.

number 5

ransom my heart

Ransom My Heart– I’m disappointed in myself for reading this one when I had reason to suspect it was gonna be bad! I’ve had a hit and miss relationship with the author to be fair- so I should have known not to give this one a chance. But it sounded different and I liked the idea of it being one of her character’s novels and *excuses excuses*- I read the damn thing and now I have to live with myself. As historical fiction, this isn’t remotely believable- unless you count the misuse of archaic words. Since this is supposed to be Princess Mia’s (from Princess Diaries) book, it could be a comment on how celebrities sometimes manage to get their crap books published just cos they’re celebs… somehow I doubt it though. It seems more likely that this is simply a crap book.

number 4

truth or dare

Truth or Dare– I think I’ve wiped most of the memory of this book from my mind. All I can remember from it was that it was aggravating and nuts. There’s lots of virtue signalling and infodumping and even an instruction at the front of the book to go read other, better books. Seriously. Even this author thinks you should choose something else. So go do that- cos I ended up wondering why I didn’t take that advice.

number 3

falling fast

Falling Fast– there were very few things this year worthy of having a banana peel slung at them- and this was one of them. Everything about this sucked. Worst of all though, it wasn’t sure what it wanted to be. There was mature content written in such a childish way that I couldn’t pin it down. Not to mention that the characters were horrible and the romance was awful.

number 2

mysteries of udolpho

Mysteries of Udolpho– oh man, this pushed me into a realllly long slump. Not to mention the fact that I couldn’t even finish it cos it was BORING AF. I was hoping for thrills and I got overindulgent descriptions of the landscape. I got *zero* pleasure out of this when I all I was looking for was a good bit of escapism. The only horrifying thing about this was that it was horrifyingly dull. Pick this up at your peril I guess.

number 1

foxhole court

Foxhole Court– I can’t believe I read this. There seems to be a chain of foolish readers who pick this up out of morbid curiosity (I read it cos I saw Angelica’s negative review, Lucinda then went on and read it, and who knows read it after that!). We’re all completely daft obviously– because this book is on big, steaming hot pile of NOPE. Want to read a book about a bunch of rapey weirdos obsessed with a made up sport that makes no sense? No? Well, I suppose you could read this book anyway, cos that’s what I did. And I don’t suppose this disappointed me by living up to its reputation-though it would have been nice if it wasn’t quite this awful- but I had to put it on the list cos it’s definitely, objectively the worst, most bizarre-in-a-bad-way thing I’ve read in a long while. The only explanation I can give for its existence is to give me the opportunity to exclaim “why god why?” at random intervals. And what makes me even more bemused is that this is massively popular in some groups- well I guess I’m (happily) not down with the tumblr kids, cos I don’t get why this is a thing.

So- dare I ask- what do you think of these? Have you read any of them? And what were your worst books of 2018? Let me know in the comments!

Naughty or Nice Tag

christmas tag

Hello all! It’s been a while since I did a tag and there’s so many fantastic end-of-year ones to choose from- this one particularly looks like a lot of fun!! Thanks so much to the wonderful Jill Jemmett and the lovely Beth @Reading Every Night for tagging me to do this one! They’re both fantastic bloggers who have so much wonderful bookish content and you need to check them out! And a special extra *thank you* goes out to Jill, for sending me this beauty (which I received today!!!) for winning her 1000 follower giveaway:

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The Rules

  • Tag & link the person who tagged you.
  • Tag and link Jenniely’spost, for she’s love to read everyone’s answers!
  • Tick/cross off the ones you’ve done (ticks = naughty, crosses = nice)
  • Tag another 10 people.
  1. Received an ARC and not reviewed it  

Errr do samples count? I’m gonna say no- just cos.

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  1. Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley 

Nope!

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  1. Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did) 

I rarely put my comments on GR- let alone review- so this was a safe no.

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  1. Folded down the page of a book 

*Coughs awkwardly* yeahhhh. To be fair, it’s a great way to do references for non fic (and mark pages to go back to later in general).

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  1. Accidentally spilled on a book 

Nope! What kind of philistine do you think I am? (to be fair, considering how much tea and hot chocolate I’ve drunk over my books in the last year, I reckon I’ve been incredibly lucky not to have done this)

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  1. DNF a book this year 

Yeah I DNF’d and I’m proud of it! After struggling through half of it for a month, I finally decided to call it quits. I actually consider my inability to DNF one of my weaknesses as a reader and have been trying to get better at it- if achieving that goal puts me on the naughty list then so be it!

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  1. Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it  

Err I’ve definitely cover bought, but I always intend to read it (even if I never do)- so gonna go with nice for this.

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  1. Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework) 

*Looks around guiltily*. Oh come on, you’ve all done this. Don’t pretend you haven’t.

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  1. Skim read a book 

Errr yeah- that’s what happens when you refuse to DNF really lousy books.

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  1. Completely missed your Goodreads goal 

Hehe well considering I didn’t really have a goodreads goal, it’s pretty hard to fail this one.

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  1. Borrowed a book and not returned it to the library

Okay I’m overthinking this question, because I *always* have books on the go from the library, but I also *always* make sure they’re renewed/returned on time. So I’m going with a tentative no?

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  1. Broke a book buying ban 

What ban? Okay- never mind- you can all see through the pretence. Guilty as charged.

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  1. Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about 

Hahaha I’ve done this for mini reviews and then end up with two lines of comments- I think it’s fairly obvious 😉

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  1. Wrote in a book you were reading 

I don’t actually think I’ve done that this year… wow, that’s a first.

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  1. Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads 

Oh no, I’m basically compulsive about Goodreads. I finish a book, I put it on there.

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  1. Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend 

NO! The horror, the horror. I’m basically a saint when it comes to borrowing books from friends 😉 (but also don’t like to do it cos it makes me STRESS so much)

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  1. Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book 

Hahaha! All. The. Time. Unless it’s to my sister- then the answer’s always “after I’m done with it” 😉

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  1. Broke the spine of someone else’s book 

Nooooo! That would be too cruel. As bad as I am with a lot of my own books, I hate the idea of ruining someone else’s books. If I borrow a book from someone I’m going to be squinting at the half-opened pages rather than spoil it (also, again, I’m mostly too afraid to borrow people’s books)

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  1. Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged 

Ahhh this happened to me and it was really sad!! I had to take my Muse of Nightmares out with me (alright I technically have to, I wanted to, cos I was reading it and it was amazing, okay?!) and so I decided to leave the dust jacket behind so it wouldn’t get ruined. But I couldn’t leave it out, so I put it in a drawer, consequently forgot it was in said drawer… and crumpled it when I took it out. Not too badly, but still. I feel like I was punished enough for this one- sadly Santa doesn’t feel the same way so it’s onto the naughty list *sigh*.

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  1. Sat on a book accidentally 

Sounds like me (regular Bella Swan me #sorelatable) but I don’t remember this specifically, soooo no?

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Final Score: 8/20

Well, with some very careful interpretation of the questions I’m on the nice list! Although I feel like that said interpretation might be why I kinda deserve to be on the naughty list… let’s not think about that!

Cos I’m naughty at heart, I’m not gonna tag a lot of people, just:

Drew, Sam, Rivermoose, Kat, Bookstooge, Katie and Cozy Pages

And to everyone else- do you reckon you’d be on the naughty or nice list? Let me know in the comments!

Book characters I would fight! – Inspired by Paperback Dreams

orangutan list

Not much of a preamble for this: I saw this over on Paperback Dreams and thought it would be fun to do. Especially after I’ve been talking about being all girly

orangutan in dress

I thought it was time for a transformation!

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I think you’re supposed to see a load of characters and decide whether you want to fight them- but I figured why not just take down a bunch of peeps I really don’t like. Let’s go for the traditional twelve rounds in the ring shall we…

Round 1

Harry_Potter_and_the_Order_of_the_Phoenix

Dolores Umbridge– she deserves a smackdown even more than Voldy- am I right?!

Round 2

game of thrones book

Joffrey Baratheon– there are a lot of villains worthy of being beaten up in Westeros- however I don’t think I could even manage to lay down the law with the likes of Cersei, let alone anyone else. Joffrey on the other hand is not only a total weasel, he’s also a bit of a wuss- I think I could take him

Round 3

selection

America– THE MOST ANNOYING CHARACTER EVER! Supposedly in the prime position to help save her country and marry a prince, this “charming” whinger spends three books deciding which bloke she prefers.

Round 4

new moon

Jacob Black– Ok I put him on this list knowing full well I couldn’t win. I dunno, I could distract him with pictures of babies and maybe I’d have a chance… see why I’d want to fight this one now?

Round 5

lolita

Humbert Humbert– speaking of perverts, this one would deserve it more than most. If I’d made it this far, I think my worry wouldn’t so much be his strength as that he’s a slippery snake and I’m not sure I could beat him there.

Round 6

hunger games

President Snow– I don’t think the odds are in my favour for this one- yet he seems keen on poison- maybe I could try that?

Round 7

armadale

Lydia Gwilt– talking of poison instantly brought this villainess to mind. Her villainy stems more from cunning, so I reckon this fight would be more about outwitting her.

Round 8

court of thorns and roses

Tamlin– moving on to brute force, I don’t stand a chance of winning this, BUT Tamlin is officially the WORST example of an alpha male in fiction and I gotta give it my best shot. Now, I recently heard Maas saying this was intentional and he was designed to be a douchbag (although, while I can rest easy in the comfort I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG, it does make some of the things Rhys does in book 1 more questionable). Regardless, I reckon I’d even have the author’s approval for this one.

Round 9

tess

Alec D’Urberville– on a similar note, this guy is a douchbag and deserves a beat down.

Round 10

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Alexander– ugh this two timing creep perving on the mc totally deserves a smack round the head- at the very least!

Round 11

after the fire

Father John– because blech!

Round 12

gone with the wind 2

Scarlett O’Hara– this might be the least popular choice I make, cos she’s technically a heroine. But after recently reading the book, I had to go with it. Granted she could probably kill me (and doubtless wouldn’t blink at it) but she’s a terrible person and she’d deserve it.

Phew, that was more exhausting than I expected! And I think I got my ass whooped a few times there. But it was worth it. Do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? Which characters would you chance if you got the chance? Let me know in the comments!

Where I recommend books everyone hates…

orangutan list

Okay, hate is a strong word. And, I guess it’s fair to say that not everyone hates these books. Nonetheless, these are the books that I see getting *a lot* of bad reviews and have lower ratings than I’d expect… which unfortunately can really effect whether some people (*coughs* me included *cough cough*) pick it up or not. Now obviously what’s considered a low rating is pretty subjective- so I just used the magic of GR to organise my books by ratings and picked the ones where there was the biggest discrepancy.

facing the light

Facing the Lightrating 3.49– this one has the biggest difference between my rating and the general consensus. I like to think that the main reason for that might be because it’s not all that well known and the limited number of ratings are skewed because of that. Either way, I genuinely thought this was an intriguing and captivating book that deserves more attention.

broken things

Broken Thingsrating 3.6– I often consider Lauren Oliver underrated famous author- because she always has great sales, but mixed reviews. Anyway, you might remember my fairly recent review where I talked about how completely brilliant I found it.

hazel wood

Hazel Woodrating 3.62- while this isn’t the lowest rating on the list, I do unfortunately see a lot of negative reviews for this, particularly saying that it “wasn’t worth the hype”. Now that hurts my soul a little cos I genuinely loved. Here’s the thing, I get why this is hit or miss for people. The writing style and pacing aren’t going to be for everyone- BUT I highly recommend giving it a go, because it’s atmospheric, beautiful and deeply rooted in the fairy tale tradition. For its cleverness alone, I think this book deserves to be read.

horrorstor

Horrorstorrating 3.61– this is another one where I understand the hit or miss reviews- annnd totally disagree with them. Say what you want about the abrupt ending, it makes a certain amount of sense to leave a ghost story a little unresolved. Also, this completely delivered on what promised: it was funny, innovative and suuuuuper creepy.

how i live now

How I Live Nowrating 3.58-okay this is the one on the list that I really get why it’s not so well loved. It’s got some deeply shady stuff going on… but for some reason it worked for me. Sure, it’s strange; yes, it’s a little mad- however for book set at the end of the world that makes a lot of sense. Plus, beyond its dodgy post-apocalyptic aura, it’s a story of characters I really came to care for and is an exceptionally moving story. Fair warning, it’s not going to be for everyone- and yet I recommend it anyway.

And now, because Classics don’t always get a fair rep on social media sites/blogs, I’m gonna include some books that get a fair amount of hate, but you should read anyway:

heart of darkness

Heart of darknessrating 3.42– this is by far the lowest ratings I’ve seen for something I’ve given 5 bananas… and I get that. It’s a peculiar book, with somewhat obscure writing and some questionable content. However, once you dig a little deeper and find that kernel of meaning at its centre, you’re sure to have a rewarding reading experience.

turn of the screw 2

Turn of the Screwrating 3.44– I have absolutely no idea why that rating is so low. And I’m stumped by the reviews, cos there doesn’t seem to be a general consensus of why people don’t like it (just lots of reasons I’d put down to personal taste, like writing style, content, etc). So I’ll just say why I do like it. Turn of the Screw is one of my favourite classics because it has one of the best unreliable narrators ever written and the answered of mystery over what the actual eff happened. For me, the unending questions surrounding this book, coupled with elegant prose, makes it a slice of perfection.

canterbury tales

The Canterbury Talesrating 3.49– this is another one that makes me go *ouch* when I look at the rating. Look, I get that it’s hard to read for modern audiences- but to look at it on that level alone will mean you’re missing out on some of the best characterisation in literature!! And some really complex stories! Also, a useful tip if you are struggling with this is to read it aloud.

crucible

The Cruciblerating 3.56– okay, I get that Arthur Miller can be a little on the nose with his messaging. And I’ve been told plenty of times even by fans of Miller that this isn’t his best work- and yet I still recommend it for the tension and drama it produces.

catcher in the rye

Catcher in the Ryerating 3.8– alright, I’m breaking my rules of going based on ratings here, cos it’s fairly high. The reason I’ve included Catcher in the Rye is the sheer amount of hate I see for this book around and how every time I mention it, people say that they don’t. And that’s absolutely fine- I even understand why people hate the protagonist and aren’t crazy about the plot (or lack thereof). HOWEVER no matter the hate towards this book, I think there are things we can all recognise are done well. Salinger’s classic is one of the smartest reflections on teenagehood and an exceptional example of creating a character through voice. Like it or loathe it, Catcher in the Rye can teach you a lot about writing and reading between the lines of an unreliable narrator.

Alrighty then- do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? Do you love any unpopular books? Let me know in the comments!

All the Endings: Books Finales that *WOWED* Me

orangutan list

So I mentioned yesterday that I’m being a bit introspective at the moment and thinking about endings. A lot of books are about the journey- but let’s face it, the ending can often make or break a book. Since I’m upto that stage in my WIP, I started to fret about the kind of endings that leave me dissatisfied, but while I was writing the piece I realised there are a lot more endings that blew me away than let me down. And since this seems to be such a great procrastination tool, I decided I should do a counter-post and share some endings I’m utterly enamoured by:

c2813_poison_4cc_z

Poison– no spoilers, but loved the inventiveness of the book and unexpected ending blew me away.

emperor of thorns

Emperor of Thorns– completely bold, completely perfect- this ending was everything you could want from a series finale.

golden son

Golden Son– I love a good cliffhanger- it’s a special kind of torture to have to wait between books when everything’s on the line- I’m weird I guess 😉

Heir-of-Fire-UK

Heir of Fire– what was I saying about cliffhangers? 😉 It was an emotional end to an emotional book. This happens to be my favourite of all Maas’ books- and that’s cos the drama didn’t let up for even a second. And while the conclusion resolved a lot that went down in the book, it set up plenty for the next instalment.

broken things

Broken Things– kind of spoilery, but this is kind of my answer to the issue with TFIOS ending. I love when books are a little meta- especially when that means they mirror an aspect of a book within the book.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets

Chamber of Secrets– this is my favourite HP ending. It has the best mystery and reveal in the series in my opinion. And I simply adore how it was executed.

daniel deronda

Daniel Deronda– I love how realistic this felt at the same time as meting out justice for the characters. While the flawed heroine didn’t get exactly what she wanted, it made sense to me. And the perfect hero got exactly what he deserved. It felt so right.

persuasion

Persuasion– I’m a sucker for a happy ending and no one does that quite like Austen. This for me is the most perfect of all her creations in that regard, because it feels the most earned.

memoirs of a geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha– in a similar vein this appealed to the romantic in me. I love how this book is devoted to the idea that love can work out in the end.

tess

Tess of the D’Urbervilles– I also really appreciate books on the other end of the spectrum and frankly this is that. It’s perfectly tragic.

we were liars

We Were Liars– this heartbreaking finale made me absolutely break down- and I can’t say anymore because of *spoilers*- it’s best to go into this book blind and see for yourself.

count of monte cristo

Count of Monte Cristo– not only does this deliver exactly what you want, it also deals with a complex moral in a clever way.

shades children

Shade’s Children– this is the kind of ending that I used to just pick up and read on its own over and over. Because it’s just perfection. The twist towards the end was great, but really the best moment in the whole book is that flash forward.

anansi boys

Anansi Boys– I always love the way Gaiman shifts the story around a twist- and this is no exception. In fact, this was the book that made me fall head over heels for Gaiman’s work. And that ending- I wasn’t expecting that at all- *mindblown*.

noughts and crosses

Noughts and Crosses– it kind of had to end this way- but OH MY HEART! I will never be over it.

strange the dreamer

Strange the Dreamer– of course, Laini Taylor had to make it onto the list- because this is how to do an ending. I love how it felt both foreshadowed and sudden!

And that’s all for now! Do you agree or disagree with any of the books on this list? And what’s your favourite endings? Let me know in the comments!