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! 😀

 

 

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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!

Book Review: “Paranormalcy” (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy

Author: Kiersten White

Available In: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook for Kindle, eBook for Nook.

Warnings: PG for mild sexual content, violence, and simulated profanity.

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS AND STRONG OPINIONS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Do not make the mistake of judging this book by its cover.

If you were to do that, you might think that this is one of the many shallow paranormal teen romances that make their way out every year, with covers that emulate the Twilight series and heroines who spent the vast majority of their time being pretty for the boys. Evie is definitely a pretty girly-girl heroine… but more in the style of Buffy Summers than Bella Swan.

Evie’s a girl who really likes to think of herself as normal. She loves pink, glitter, and soft soap-operas about high school. Sure, she has a job neutralizing all sorts of paranormal nasties for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, or IPCA. And she might possibly be falling in love with a shape-shifter. And yeah, there’s some faerie prophecy that she just might be a huge part of, the consequences of which could result in the end of the world. But that’s not too out there, right?

Overall, this is an appealing book. It’s got a lot of humour and quirk, and it’s definitely “light reading”, but that should not be mistaken for shallowness, because this book actually has a lot of depth. The romance between Evie and Lend is adorably sweet (rather than sickeningly so) and there are actually some pretty complex morality conflicts tied up into the plot, especially towards the end. The conflict/relationship between Evie and Vivian evokes echoes of the Buffy/Faith days of BtVS, and towards the end, the bits with the souls bore an eerie resemblance to Castiel’s storyline in late season 6/early season 7 of SPN. This book should appeal to fans of BtVS/Angel/Whedonverse, and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it MIGHT appeal to certain branches of SPN fandom, because despite her floofy exterior, Evie is one kick-ass chick.

Pros

  • Evie’s attitude. She’s just so quirky. The ultimate Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but I love it.
  • IPCA. I like the concept, and it was executed nicely as well.
  • The irreverent treatment of paranormals.
  • Lish and her computer set-up.
  • Lend <3. Definitely one of my fav romantic heroes of the year, and a refreshing change from the overbearing Edward Cullen type commonly seen.
  • White’s research was actually very well done, and she weaves little bits of legend in like it’s nobody’s business.
  • Unseelie Vs. Seelie. FOREVER LOVE

Cons

  • Evie’s ditziness. The same thing that attracted me to Evie turned me off to her just a bit; sometimes when her inner monologues came up I’d just roll my eyes, because I knew she was about to go off on some super-bubbly tangent. It wasn’t enough to detract from my enjoyment of the book, but it was noticeable.
  • Wandering, slightly frenetic plot. I felt like the Seelie Vs. Unseelie concept could have been introduced earlier in the book.

Theme Song: “Everytime We Touch”~ Cascada

Star Rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

Final Grade: A-. Would reread, will definitely read other books in series.

Friday Reads

Just a quick post for FridayReads today, dear readers, as I am at least 70% sure that the freezing rain in my area is going to cause a power outage tonight, and therefore wish to put this post up while I still have Internet. Oh, the joys of winter storms! 😛

Anyway, on to the books!

 

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

So far, this is a nice, light paranormal read with bucketloads of quirk. I’m not sure that I am entirely fond of Evie, but I do love her snark. And I absolutely LOVE what Ms. White has done with the mythology of faeries/vampires/shapeshifters! I’m not too deep into the romance quite yet– I am particularly interested to see how that might develop. (Also, this cover is LOVELY.)

Warning: I have some light spoilers in the next book-bit. Please don’t read if you haven’t read Mastiff and do not wish to be spoiled.

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

I’m only about 50 pages into Mastiff, but so far I am liking it just as much as the first two books of the Beka Cooper series. Unlike many reviewers, I do not believe that the abusive relationship that Beka found herself in is unrealistic or out of character– women who get abused don’t go around thinking “oh, I’m going to meet a jerk who’s going to do terrible things to me today”. Even the strongest of women can find themselves in an abusive situation, and I think that Pierce has portrayed that with a certain amount of grace, at least so far. Also, I am totally psyched about Master Farmer, who is one of my favorite new characters in Tammy’s pantheon. He’s adorable. 🙂

 

What are you all reading this Friday? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

 


 

 

 

 

 

Friday Reads + Book Goodies

I’ve had a pretty awesome week as far as books go. My PaperBackSwap membership has started paying off, with books that I don’t want leaving the house at least once a week, while ones that I do want trickle in. It’s helping me keep my book budget down, which in turn allows me to buy more new books. Which is awesome, considering that there are SO MANY great books coming out right now!

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to one of the aforementioned awesome new books, which was released exactly ten days ago:

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

How to describe The Fault In Our Stars? Well, if you haven’t heard of it or read it or gotten your hands on it at some point in the last ten days, then you are missing out. My usual Pros and Cons review notes have been tentatively re-titled Things That Make Me Laugh/Aww and Things That Make Me Weep, Sniffle, and Cry Like a Baby. I’m not going to say much more, because I’m over halfway through and will probably have my review up early next week, and also because I don’t want to spoil this book for ANYONE. If you’re questioning whether or not you should pick up this book, my answer is unequivocally “Yes.” Even if you don’t like “sad” books. Even if you “don’t read” YA. Even if you’ve never read  a John Green book before. GET THIS BOOK.

It’s one of those books that simply demands to be read.

TFiOS has kind of been dominating my thoughts recently, obviously, but I’ve also received a ton of other interesting/awesome/fun-looking books recently, courtesy of fellow users of PaperBackSwap and the wonders of Amazon.

I’ve been waiting to pick these two up for ages, and when I found them on PBS, I decided it was about time that I snagged them.

TFiOS (and yes, that is a signed copy sticker on there– I took a picture of that too :D) and Paranormalcy, which has been recommended to me by several people including the lovely adkwriter15. (I figured I might need that one as a feel-good once I got done with TFiOS– just in case the worst happened/happens.)

I’ve heard great things about Kleypas’ historical romance, and I’m a devoted fan of Bones, so these were kind of a no-brainer for me.

What great books have YOU gotten your hands on recently? Have/are you read/reading TFiOS? Feel free to comment and let me know!