Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Characters of All Time

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the awesome people over at The Broke and the Bookish. Check ’em out! 😉

There’s something you should probably know about me before you start reading this post.

I LOVE characters (which is probably a good thing for my writer-brain), and I get attached to them in ways that are probably unhealthy. I weep for them, I laugh with them, and I mourn them when they’re gone. Don’t get me wrong– I love “real people” too. I just have a fangirl problem.

So be ready. There will be MASSIVE fangirling ahead. MASSIVE. (Also, it’s a darn good thing this one is limited to books/graphic novels– I have half an hour to jot out this post and if I had TV/movie characters in there as well, it might literally take me all day. :P)

1. Crowley (Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett, Good Omens)

Yeah, Crowley gets top billing here. Badass Angel-Who-Sauntered-Vaguely-Downward who has a weakness for good food and classic British cars? Me likey.

 

 

2. Aziraphale (Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett, Good Omens)

Annnd I couldn’t mention Crowley without Aziraphale, now, could I? I appreciate his book obsession, and also the strange balance of utterly selfish and pervasively GOOD that Gaiman and Pratchett have achieved within his character.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Remus Lupin (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter series)

I try not to play favorites with HP, since I love all the HP characters, but Lupin has always been and will always be a character that I really appreciate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Katniss Everdeen (Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games)

Katniss is a badass with a heart of gold. ‘Nough said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Daine Sarrasri (Tamora Pierce, The Tortallbooks)

Daine was always a girl after my own heart, and her character progression throughout this series is FANTASTIC.

 

6. Numair Salmalin (Tamora Pierce, The Tortall books)

Part of what drew me to Numair is that he is a TOTAL DORK…. but he’s also a badass who could kill you with his pinky finger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Jem Carstairs (Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel)

Plays violin. Kicks demon ass despite his physical limitations. Kind, generous, and loving. Yeah, Jem is my favorite.

8.  Death (Markus Zusak, The Book Thief)

Doesn’t look like this. Also, BEST NARRATOR EVER.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Anna Korlov (Kendare Blake, Anna Dressed in Blood)

I just love her so much, both as a vengeful ghost and as the girl Cas falls for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Juushiro Ukitake (Tite Kubo, Bleach)

I’m cheating a little, because he is actually from an anime/manga, but whatever. At first, I kind of hated him because to me he broke the flow of the whole Soul Society arc, but he grew on me as time went on. What can I say? He became one of my all-time favs. Funny how that turns out.

 

 

 

 

What are your Top Ten characters? Let me know in the comments or link me back to your own TTT post! 😀

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books that Were Totally Deceiving (To Me, That Is)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the awesome people over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Disclaimer: It’s not that hard to deceive me. I often buy books based off of the cover and the summary blurb without really looking inside. Your Mileage May Vary.

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer


Why: The red shoes are in the forefront of the cover, which made me think that this was going to be more of a fairy tale.

From the cover, I kind of assumed this was more of a fairytale, less of a sci-fi. I was okay with it, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting. (Also, I still have an unfortunate association for the name Meyer. Why, Stephanie? Why??

2. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White


Why: Stock YA cover with stock YA Paranormal summary on a pretty unique book.

From the cover and blurb, this book looks pretty run-of-the-mill. However, once you start reading, run-of-the-mill goes out the window, to be replaced with awesomeness!

3. I‘d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You and sequels by Ally Carter

Why: Stock YA covers on awesome books

Again,the covers on these are unremarkable. Their content, however, wows and amazes pretty consistently.

4. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Why: Cover is more creepy in tone than content.

The cover is creepy. That girl feels like she’s staring right into your soul. But the content is more urban adventure fantasy than horror.

5. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Why: Cover looks like a Gothic/Victorian novel, not a modern paranormal.

This cover is so beautiful…. but there’s something distinctly Victorian about it, and aside from the Jack the Ripper plotline, very little Victoriana in the actual book.

6.  Romances in General

Why: The covers on pretty much every romance suck.

Julie at TBAB already mentioned these, but I thought they deserved another mention. There are a lot of romance authors who I actually quite like, but it’s hard to weed out good from bad when every cover and summary looks the same.

7. Vacations From Hell by Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Claudia Gray, and Sarah Mlynowski

Why: The cover fails at being relevant.

I don’t remember ANY of these stories being about a pink flower. That said, I might have forgotten…. (Overall, these stories themselves are pretty unremarkable, but check out Bray and Johnson’s contributions if you do ever pick it up. They were both awesome.)

8. Pretty much every cover for the manga Ghost Hunt by Fuyumi Ono and Shiho Inada

Why: The covers are very shojo and don’t really do a good job of conveying the things that Ono and Inada are good at it.

Again, a pretty cool series falls prey to Stock Cover Syndrome. Ono is good at constructing a creepy narrative that’s still definitely aimed at girls, and Inada is pretty adept when it comes to capturing that with her art. Also, while Mai does have damsel-in-distress tendencies at times, she does take a level in badass as the series goes on– the cover of the volume 11, which I own, does not capture that progression very well. At this point, Mai’s doing less staring at beasties with a deer-in-the-headlights expression and more saving-everyone’s-bacon.

9. The new covers for Tamora Pierce’s Alanna series.

Why: Stock Cover Syndrome again.

I used to own copies of the original Immortals quartet with the nice cover art. They were destroyed in a move, when a box of books was soaked through, and I bought new copies that had new covers that I simply didn’t like as much. Then, I saw the new covers for the Alanna books and began frantically picking up copies with the original covers wherever I could, because if the Immortals covers were meh, then the new Alanna covers are just BAD. The clothing on the models looks too modern, and the hulking Twilight male leads brooding on the cover of the third book don’t look Jon or George-like (also, Alanna would have clunked their heads together for flanking her like that.) This series is very dear to my heart, and while I appreciate that the publishers are trying to make them more marketable, I really did like the old fashioned girl-with-a-horse-and-sword covers– I feel like they captured the spirit of the series, whereas teh new covers are simply flimsy window dressing.

10. Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Why: Cover is beautiful, summary is engaging– content is blah.

Disclaimer: I have not yet finished Illuminate– mainly because of the following:

a.) It’s an angel book– with none of the things that make angel books awesome. No flaming swords, no kicking ass and taking names, no Raffe-and-Penryn style badassery, no wings, no awesome powers, no intense moral qaundary– just a main character who sleeps a lot and takes instruction from a notebook that generates writing for her.

b.) It drags terribly for the first 3/4, making it hard to get through.

In short, this is the opposite of Stock Cover Syndrome– this book has Boring Content Syndrome, wrapped up in a nice cover and an exciting summary.

What books are in your Top Ten? Let me know in the comments! 😀

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Book Covers of 2012 (So Far)

Greetings, dear readers. I apologize for being woefully absent over the weekend– there has been some rather crazy stuff going on in my life recently, and dealing with the fallout meant that I had to cut my blogging time a little :/. However, I’m back now, and so without further ado, allow me to present:

Em’s Top Ten Favorite Book Covers of 2012 (So Far!)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the absolutely charming folks over at The Broke and the Bookish.

  1.) Cinder by Marissa Meyer

   I haven’t read Cinder yet, but the cover is definitely one of my ultimate favorites. The juxtaposition of the slightly robotic leg and the red shoe is really quite attractive, and the font is glorious.

2.) Endlessly by Kiersten White

I personally think Evie looked better in Supernaturally‘s red dress, but I love purple and the sheer saturation of the purple in this cover is really, really pretty.

   3.) Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

     I call this one the “dime-store gothic” cover. It’s kinda corny, but I love it. :3

                                             

4.) For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Do I really need to comment? This one is just BEAUTIFUL.

  

5.) Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

   Again, this cover is just pretty. I love the little shadow-wings and the twinkling lights 🙂

        6.) Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

      I have one word for you all: GOGGLES.

 7.) Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr

  Love love love that dress. ❤

8.) Katana by Cole Gibsen

Awesome chicks, double swords, and sakura blossoms? Count me in!

  9.) The Book of Lost Fragrances by MJ Rose

  More pretty! 🙂

10.) Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Again, SO MUCH PRETTY.

What are your favorite book covers of 2012? Comment below and let me know or link me back to your own TTT!

Top Ten Books I Would Save if Disaster Struck

(Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish.)

I don’t have a tremendous amount of time to blog this morning– I’m on a rather tight schedule for today and am also suffering from the Head Cold of Doom– but when I saw this TTT topic, I couldn’t resist jotting my list down really quick. 🙂

And the books are…

  1. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. This book is a classic for me, and definitely something I’d want to be reading if there was a disaster 😀
  2. Wild Magicby Tamora Pierce. Ideally, I’d be able to save all my Pierce books, but if I had to pick just one, it would be this one.
  3. Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones. I love the humor in this book, and the romance, and just… pretty much everything about it.
  4. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. Best steampunk I’ve read in a while.
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stoneby JK Rowling. Again, I’d prefer to save all of them, but this particular copy has sentimental value.
  6. The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. I just love this book too much– from the moment Nick Ryves popped his head and his sword out from under the kitchen sink, I was hooked.
  7. Drink Slay Loveby Sarah Beth Durst. Best vampire book EVER.
  8. White Cat by Holly Black. This copy also has sentimental value– it has been signed and doodled in by Black herself!
  9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Again, signed copy. Also, the most emotionally wrenching book I’ve ever read.
  10. My audiobook copy of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Because awesome story + Neil Gaiman’s voice= unforgettable.

What books are in  your top ten? Feel free to link me to your post or let me know in the comments!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That I’d Hand To Someone Who Says They Don’t Like To Read

When I was a kid, I devoured books. In first grade, I was already reading MG/YA  and classic novels as opposed to those little readers that they give you in school. Therefore, it was always anathema to me when my brothers or my friends would complain about HAVING to read books, because I was really interested in reading EVERYTHING EVER. As I grew and matured, I discovered to my shock and horror that this was not an uncommon attitude. Even now, there’ll be times when I run into people who say that they just don’t like to read, and give me a mildly dismissive shoulder shrug.

So I, of course, must rise to the challenge and recommend books to these people. When I saw that today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was Top Ten Books That I’d Hand To Someone Who Says They Don’t Like To Read, I just HAD to join in. 🙂

(Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke and The Bookish.)

Top Ten Books That I’d Hand To Someone Who Says They Don’t Like To Read

1. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone + sequels

This one is obvious. It got my brothers reading, it got my friends reading, and it started a wildfire in the world of young adult literature.

2. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett

This was the first novel I was able to get my youngest brother to read that wasn’t for school. Success!

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I’m guessing this is going to be on a lot of lists. Got my brother and three friends to read this one.

4. Anything by Patricia C. Wrede

Wrede’s witty, lighthearted style is sure to convert even the most hardened book haters.

5. Anything by Cassandra Clare

For that girl you know who says “I don’t read, but I did like Twilight.” Only, Clare is obviously tons better than Meyer.

6. The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

For that girl/boy you know who likes adventure and paranormal TV shows but doesn’t read.

7. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

For everyone. Ever. It’s impossible to hate this series.

8. Eragon + sequels

I am personally not as into these books anymore, but they do tend to get young people reading (and even writing!).

9. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Again, something of better quality for the Twilight-and-nothing-else chick.

10. The Amulet of Samarkand + sequels

This is a good one for boys or girls who are fond of The House of Anubis/similar shows but have a hard time finding something that suits their taste in books.

So, those are my (admittedly somewhat genre-slanted) offerings. What books would YOU recommend for reluctant readers? Let me know in the comments or link me back to your own Top Ten Tuesday post!

Top Ten Books That I’d Recommend to Someone Who Doesn’t Read Fantasy

Let’s face it, I am a ridiculous fantasy geek. The first novel that I read, at age 6, was The Hobbit. This was quickly followed by the Lord of the Rings series, C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books, and the first two Harry Potter books, and that was that. However, I’ve run into a lot of people who don’t read fantasy at all, or even folks who have a serious aversion to it. Some of this is a difference of opinion, I know, but I happen to think that quite a lot of it stems from the fact that there is so much bad fantasy and sci-fi out there, and it can be difficult to trawl through the bad stuff in order to find the good.

So for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish), my topic will be Top Ten Books That I’d Recommend to Someone Who Doesn’t Read Fantasy. I’m also going to take a leaf out of Miss Anderson’s book and separate my top ten list into two lists, one featuring YA and one for adult fiction.

So, without further ado, allow me to present Top Five Books That I’d Recommend to Someone Who Doesn’t Read FantasyYA Edition.

1.) The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

The Thief Lord has always been one of my favorite books, and it has a cross-genre appeal that’s undeniable– I even got my anti-fantasy younger brother to read it, and he loved it. I consider this one a fantasy, but I know people who would say that it’s action-adventure or mystery, and who I am to argue? The point is that it is both fantasticAL and fanTASTIC. (The movie’s not bad either, even though it suffers from the usual  “overblown romance” issue that tends to be so prevalent in YA/MG movie adaptations.)

2.) Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

This book reads like a fairytale, and in a way it is. It is also a romance, a mystery, and a cozy-afternoon-and-tea kind of book. Even though there are so many fantasy elements, the central story and characters are all very realistic– who doesn’t know someone like Howl or Sophie or even Calcifer? Also, Jones’ sense of comedic timing is impeccable, and who doesn’t want to read a funny book every once and awhile? (Again, there’s an anime movie out there that’s worth a watch as well; Miyazaki took definite creative liberties, though, and after the first half, the movie is not much like the book at all.)

3.) White Cat by Holly Black

Again, this is definitely a genre book, in that magic is central to the plot. Again, however, this story is also much more than a fantasy; the complex family dynamic of the Sharpes and the dark romance that exists between Cassel and Lila would be enough to lift it up, but throw in the criminal element and the political issues that Black handles, and you have a satisfyingly thrilling and complex story with just a sprinkle of magic. (The sequel, Red Glove, is even better, and I am eagerly awaiting the third and final installment, Black Heart, which will be released April 3rd.)

4.) Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

This series is just fun. It’s hilarious, action-packed, and the main character grows exponentially over the course of the series without ever whacking us upside the head with his burgeoning morality. At its heart, ironically enough, this story is about friendship– not something you’d believe with the cold and callous Artemis as the main character, but it’s true. Also, it will ensure that you never look at fairies in the same way again.

5.) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

If you love books, then you need to read this book. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your normal reading fare is.  (You might consider reading the sequels and watching the movie as well, but nothing tops this first book. It is transcendent.)

Annnd the Top Five Books That I’d Recommend to Someone Who Doesn’t Read Fantasy– Adult Edition

1.) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

The Apocalypse is given a hilarious and strangely insightful treatment by Gaiman and Pratchett in this cult classic, and so far, I haven’t really come upon anyone resistant to its charms. Some might balk at the irreverent tone, but that’s about it.

2.) Palimpsest by Cat Valente

This book is just gorgeous. If you’re squicked by sexual content, then you shouldn’t pick it up, but otherwise, this is definitely a book I’d recommend. Cat Valente has an elegant, lyrical prose style that reads like a a song, and that alone makes this book worth a read.

3.) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

This is high fantasy, but with a literary twist. Jemisin’s prose style, like Valente’s, is lovely, and while her plots progress extremely slowly, they are complicated enough to keep even fantasy snobs coming back for more. I’m currently finishing up the sequel, and it is just as good if not better, so I think we can look forward to seeing this sort of intelligent, well-constructed mythology from Jemisin in future.

4.) The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner

Kushner’s qausi-Regency world should appeal to fans of historical fiction and romance as well as fantasy fans. Her grasp of politics and society– along with her wit-filled treatment of these subjects– is astounding, and a true pleasure and privilege to read. Her characters feel very real and present, and overall, this is just a truly awesome book.

5.) Od Magic by Patricia McKillip

Again, McKillip has a lovely prose style. Add to this a compelling plot, beautifully understated magic, and wonderful characters, and you have a total winner.

What is YOUR Top Ten? Comment or link to your own blog to let me know!