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Top 10 Tuesday | Books We Loved Less/More Than We Thought We Would

Hi friends, Claire here. My apologies for posting this nearly at midnight (and therefore almost not on Tuesday)! Today has been a little hectic–I was out of my apartment from 11am to after 11pm. But, better late than never, right? (PS I will be adding pictures (and then deleting this comment) to this post at sometime tomorrow so you can see all the lovely covers.)

What books did you end up liking less or more than you originally thought?

Claire’s Choices

Liked Less

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken is one of my favorite books. I thought the sequels were good, but didn’t live up to the first in the series. I was hoping that with Passenger, I would once again fall in love with Bracken’s work. Unfortunately, Passenger still didn’t quite do it for me. I have hopes for the sequel though!

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

M: I read one page of this book and instantly decided to put it down for another. I plan to give it another shot – I just wasn’t excited about it at the time.
C: I really wanted to like this book more than I did. It’s a book about books and ancient libraries! In the end though, I just didn’t find the world building or the characters compelling enough to continue reading the series, even though the first book was enjoyable.
M: Yes! I was so excited to read a book about books and ancient libraries fascinate me! I wish I could visit a library in Europe, maybe Greece – wherever an awesome, old library exists! The fact that I was bored after the first page may be a sign that I should give it up!

The 100 by Kass Morgan

C: I am an enormous fan of the TV show based off this book–it’s one of ~3 shows currently airing that I watch avidly. So, assuming that the book would be just like the TV show, I went into this book with high hopes. Instead, I found the book to be a bit cliche, the characters underdeveloped, and just overall lacking the grit that makes the TV show so compelling.
M: I see a ton of amazing things about The 100 TV show, but I seem to be the only person in the universe who has never seen it!

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

C: For my feelings on this book, please refer to Lila’s list.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

C: Disclaimer–I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, it’s just that I was expecting more from it (especially after reading The Infernal Devices). I think nostalgia factored a bit into my high rating, since I had some issues with some of the decisions Clare made. Still, I am EXTREMELY excited to get my hands on the next book!
M: I haven’t read Lady Midnight yet, but I’m really excited to! I LOVE The Infernal Devices, although I’ve only read Clockwork Angel thus far. Two words – WILL HERONDALE!
C: One word– SWOON.
M:

Liked More

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

C: I think I talk about this book a lot… I honestly don’t remember why I decided to listen to this audiobook, other than I was about to go on a small road trip by myself, but I absolutely did not expect to become so entrenched in the story. When I finally got to my destination, I didn’t want to leave my car! It goes without saying that I highly recommend this book.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

C: I tried reading this book on two separate occasions but never got very far. Finally, I took it with me this past summer to my apartment with the intention of finally reading it, and I’m glad I did! Although I wasn’t alive in the ‘80s, I loved it I understood one of Cline’s references and appreciated how much detail that went into his worldbuilding. Third time’s the charm!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

C: I was hesitant to read this, but when I saw it at my library I figured I might as well check it out. I ended up reading it in one night (do not recommend, you will end up in a comatose pool of emotion), and the book has stayed with me ever since.

Cracked by Eliza Crewe

C: For some reason this book was like, $1 on Amazon so I decided to buy it. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading it but ended up loving it so much that I immediately bought the other two books in the trilogy.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

C: Given the format of this book, I was unsure if I was going to like it. I initially thought that the pictures and typography would detract from the story, but instead I found the opposite. Not only was the story compelling, but the unique format of the book gave certain parts of the story unexpected depth.
M: This is, as y’all will soon see, is on my ‘less’ list; but I totally agree that the format is amazing!

Lila’s Choices

So I’m starting with books I liked less than I thought I would because a) I’m still salty (okay, when am I not?) and b) I know that’s what y’all came for, don’t even pretend!
M: Lila, you tickle me! 😀

Liked Less

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

L: Ah, The Infinite Sea, also known as “The Most Disappointing Book. Like, Ever.” I adored The 5th Wave–it was engaging, the writing was great, and it had so much meaning, thematically speaking. But The Infinite Sea? It made me want to throw the book against a wall and scream, “WHAT HAPPENED, RICK?! I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU–WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU!!!” Yeahhhhh…Let’s just say I went in with colossal expectations and was sorely disappointed. The Infinite Sea suffered from a bad case of losing itself in its own philosophizing and plot. I left this book scratching my head and wondering what in the world I’d just read.
C: I completely agree with everything you just said. I read it on ebook, and assumed there was an error when I got to the end. I thought for sure that there would be at least another ⅔ left of the story, but nope, that was it. I felt like literally nothing happened in the book, and certain phrases (*cough*undulating waves*cough*) were way overused in an attempt to make the book sound more profound. AND I WAS EXPECTING SO MUCH FROM IT.

Ever The Hunted by Erin Summerill

This book suffered a horrible case of Mediocre Fant

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

C: Red Queen is another one that could have made it onto my “less” list–I was so disappointed with what I thought was a very cliche YA-dystopian-romance.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

M: I usually am not into super descriptive writing, but for some reason, The Star-Touched Queen really sucked me in! Chokshi’s writing just has such an easy flow to it – I’m really looking forward to the next in the series, A Crown of Wishes!

The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

Liked More

A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

C: My friend recommended this book to me, and I read it despite thinking I wouldn’t like it at all. I ended up devouring it in one sitting, it was so entertaining!

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

M: Yay! I’m thrilled you liked Nimona! I have it, yet still need to read it. I was already excited about it, but it;s going up on my TBR list!

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Maggie’s Choices

Like More

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan

C: This was such an interesting story! When I picked it up, I definitely wasn’t expecting an alien invasion.

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

M: I had to read The Good Earth for 8th grade English and I was the ONLY kid in class who fell absolutely in love with this book – EVERYBODY hated it and probably thought I was nuts! There is a gorgeous edition on Amazon that I’m longing for – but I’m too cheap to pay, like, $25 for a paperback…:(

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

C: I read this book in 6th grade and it BLEW MY MIND. I thought all of Dan Brown’s plot twists were exceedingly clever.

Liked Less

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

M: I think my hopes were WAY too high for this book – I was incredibly disappointed and got bored with the plot really fast, but I stuck with it. While beautifully written, nothing happened, at least nothing that interested me. The ending is so predictable that it’s kind of sad…

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

C: Oh noooooooo. I’m sorry you didn’t like this book as much as you thought you would! I have it on my “more” list for just the opposite reason.
M: I did give it four stars on Goodreads! I liked it a little less because the story didn’t hold my attention like I hoped. However, the format of Illuminae blew me away – I LOVE that aspect – that’s the main reason I rated it four stars.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

L: OMG – I LOVED this book so much and then it took a turn for the stupid! I adored the story until the really paranormal aspects hit – I was so disappointed with the ending. It’s seriously like the author got sick of writing and got silly with the plot!

Red Winter by Annette Marie

M: Red Winter sucked me in big time in the beginning then it totally lost me. I was incredibly excited to read another book steeped in Japanese lore, as I really enjoyed The Girl in the Well by Rin Chupeco. I love to read fiction, but learn cool stuff at the same time. So, this book begins with the lore I love, but unfortunately lost its magic midway through the story.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

C: I read this book a while ago (maybe 6 years?) and remember being really excited for a creepy, bloody, haunting tale. What I got was……not that.
M: I expected exactly the same! I thought it was so weird that it turned into a paranormal lovey dovey type tale – THAT gave me the creeps! Plus, at the risk of sounding sick, the manner in which Anna was killed was boring.
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Top 10 Tuesday | Maggie and Claire’s Hidden Book Gems We’ve Read in the Last Year

We skipped last week (whoops), but now we’re back with our picks for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday! Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week Maggie and I are going to list some underrated books we’ve read in the last year. Let us know in the comments if you’ve read any hidden gems lately!

Maggie’s Choices

1. The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

2. Seven Ways We Lie by Ridley Redgate

3. Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander

4. Killing Jesus: A History by Bill O’Reilly

5. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie

6. Phish: The Biography by Parke Puterbaugh

7. The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

8. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

9. The Schopenhauer Cure by Irvin D. Yalom

10. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

Claire’s Choices

1. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

2. Bel Dame Apocrypha by Kameron Hurley

3. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

4. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

5. Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

6. The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

7. Cracked by Eliza Crewe

8. The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

9. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

10. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

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Fantasy Series I (Claire) Want to Read in 2017

I just finished reading the first two books of Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archives (review coming sometime relatively soon), and it has filled me with a fervor to read ALL the fantasy books. I have a quite a few fantasy series on my TBR that have been there for a while, and I’m hoping that 2017 is the year I can finally read some of them! One of the good things about putting off reading these for so long is that many of these series have multiple books out already. Perfect for book binging!

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima

Lightbringer by Brent Weeks

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Temeraire by Naomi Novik

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

 

Let me know if you’ve read any of these, and what you thought of them! Also, if anyone has standalone fantasy recommendations (like Uprooted by Naomi Novik), I would LOVE to hear them. 

 

 

 

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Top 10 Tuesday | Claire and Maggie’s Most Anticipated 2017 Debuts

HAPPY NEW YEAR! *throws confetti* Today’s prompt for Top 10 Tuesday (the weekly bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is to list the top 10 2017 debuts you are most excited for. Lila is sitting out this one, but without further ado, here are our lists!

Claire’s Choices

Alas, there are really only 3 debuts I am actively anticipating. Instead of filling the rest of this list with 7 other books I don’t really care about, I decided to stick with just these 3 promising novels.

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

C: (This is really petty of me because I absolutely love the concept of this book but I really wish she spelled it “You”.)
M: I completely agree with you! It drives me nuts when words aren’t spelled out or are purposely misspelled!

3. Empress of a Thousand Suns by Rhoda Belleza

Maggie’s Choices

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

2. Gilded Cage by Vic James

M: OMG! Ladies, I just checked my email and I’ve been approved on NetGalley to receive an ARC of this one! Happy dance!!! I never dreamed I’d get approval – I totally requested it just for the hell of it! YAY!
C: Congrats! That’s so exciting!
M:Thanks, Claire! I’m still in shock!!!

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Reaper by Kyra Leigh

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

The Secrets of My Life by Caitlyn Jenner

This is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe

M: I adored Gabourey in American Horror Story: Coven and when I discovered she’s written a book, I knew I must have it! She seems so cool and I know she’s hilarious!

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando

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Top 10 Tuesday | Our Best Books of 2016

Happy holidays, everyone! Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today Lila, Maggie, and I are using this as an opportunity to reflect on our top 10 books of 2016. We commented on each other’s selections, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on our top 10 picks as well as what books you would have chosen!

-Claire

Continue reading “Top 10 Tuesday | Our Best Books of 2016”

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Claire’s 2016 End of the Year Book Survey

Thank you to Maggie for telling me about The Perpetual Page-Turner’s End of the Year Book Survey! Filling this out was a lot of fun and gave me the opportunity to both reflect what I’ve read this year and also got me excited for what’s to come in 2017! This post is pretty long, so I’m putting everything under the cut.

Happy (almost) New Year, everyone! Good riddance to 2016!

Continue reading “Claire’s 2016 End of the Year Book Survey”

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In a galaxy far, far away… | Space Recs

I saw Rogue One in theaters today and have not been able to get it out of my mind, so I decided to recommend some space sagas for anyone else out there who has a Star Wars hangover!

If you love the visual aspect of Star Wars…

saga1…then you might like the graphic novel series Saga by Brian K Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples.

The basic premise of Saga is that two soldiers from rival alien races fall in love and have a child, prompting leaders from warring factions to chase after them in a galaxies-wide manhunt. Vaughan and Staples have some serious imagination when it comes to setting and character design. Of all the graphic novels I have read, Saga has one of my favorite art styles–every page is vibrant and full of life. Each new planet and spaceship introduces a diverse array of aliens both lovely and bizarre. There is a fair amount of sex and violence portrayed in these books, so I would recommend with discretion.

If you like epic space romances…fortunespawn

…then try Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach.

To be honest, the romantic aspect of Fortune’s Pawn is one of its minor plots. BUT IT WAS A STRONG (AND STEAMY) SUBPLOT. Devi Morris is an unapologetic space mercenary who needs to complete one more job before she can advance in the ranks. She takes a posting as security for a notoriously troublesome trading vessel, only to find herself embroiled in a complicated web of secrets, lies, and conspiracies. This book is the first in a trilogy.

If you like exploring planets and meeting new alien species…

alongwaytoasmallangryplanet…then you’ll probably like A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

Do you ever read a book and then think “Ugh I would totally read a 10k fic of these characters just living their everyday domestic lives”? (No? Just me?) This book is pretty much that, but with original characters. A multispecies crew of alien wormhole builders must go on a long journey to their next job site, and along the way we get an in-depth look at each of the crew members and their interactions. The strength of this book is its diversity–in general it’s nonheteronormative, but the book takes that even further by introducing alien cultures that are just unlike anything found on earth. Honorable mention for this category: Starflight by Melissa Landers.

If you like the fight scenes and cool technology…godswar

…then try picking up God’s War by Kameron Hurley.

This book is VIOLENT.  Since this planet was colonized, two factions of a religion loosely based on Islam have been fighting each other for territory in a never-ending holy war. The story follows the life of an ex-assassin as her bloody past catches up to her. The fight scenes in this book are really well done, but what stood out to me in this book was the technology. Everything from cars to weapons are organic and bug-based. Since I am not fond of bugs, I felt this added another layer to the grittiness of this world. Aside: this book also did very well in terms of racial and sexual diversity.

If you are fascinated by artificial intelligence…

illuminae…check out Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff!

What happens when an AI’s directive to protect humanity causes it to kill people? Normally I find this trope oversimplified and overdone (e.g. Age of Ultron), but in Illuminae I found the exploration of this question to be compelling. Also, this book did such visually compelling things with its typography, making it extremely fun and engaging to read. Notable mention for books with AI: the Lunar Chronicles series has a very spunky and lovable AI/eventual droid. Those books are more fairy tale than sci-fi, but I definitely recommend giving them a read!

 

And those are my space saga recommendations! I am currently suffering from Star Wars withdrawal, so if you have any galactic books not on this list, please recommend in the comments!