BOOK TAG // UNPOPULAR OPINIONS

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UNPOPULAR OPINIONS

I know this is an old tag of Booktube and Bookstagram, but I have yet to participate in it myself. I’m usually discussing the stories I adore and the characters who have captured my heart, although I have not spoken in-depth of my dislikes. I’d like to think I’m more optimistic when it comes to the arts, but there’s nothing wrong with talking about the things I’m not fond of, so I thought this tag would be a good way to vent a tad.

(Note: I mean no offense to anyone who likes the books or characters I mention below. These are simply my opinions and I mean no harm towards anyone.)

Q. What’s a popular book or series you didn’t like?

A: All right, well there are actually quite a few of these because for some reason, I find most popular books are overhyped and are simply repetitions of the same best-selling themes we’ve seen before.

One of my least favorite popular books is probably A Court of Thorns and Roses. I found the writing to be simple and repetitive and the characters to be predictable and a bit bland, but what really bothered me about this book was the problematic themes. Feyre’s relationship with Tamlin was borderline abusive and possessive. I’m so tired of these controlling men to be romanticized as something you want in a man. It’s not cute to hold someone against a wall and basically force yourself on them until they give in. You know what is cute though? ASKING FOR CONSENT.

Q. What’s a popular book or series that you love but everyone else seems to hate?

A: There are a couple of books I happen to love but don’t have the best reviews, though the most popular out of that bunch is probably The Paper Magician.

Yes, this book was slow at times and didn’t offer too much character depth (which is typically a massive no from me), but there was something so charming about this series. I love Holmberg’s writing style and the sort of magic she created. I could see everything play out in my head as though it was a film, and that’s not something I experience often. This series isn’t mind-blowing, but I really enjoy it.

Q: What’s a love triangle where the character didn’t end up with who you want or an OTP (one true pairing) you don’t like? *spoilers for The 5th Wave ahead*

A: Many people don’t know of this book, and this is one of novels that actually doesn’t have great reviews but I think is ONE OF THE BEST COMING-OF-AGE STORIES EVER MY HEART IS STILL BROKEN. *ahem* But The Vanishing Season by the incredible Jodi Lynn Anderson features the most realistic love triangle I’ve ever read, which is why it didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Anderson approached the situation with realism, and though it made sense and I knew it was going to happen, I was still devastated and I STILL AM.

As for an OTP I don’t like, it has to be Cassie and Evan from The 5th Wave series. Sorry, but I think stalking someone you were meant to kill and falling in love with them from simply observing them over weeks (months?) is both unrealistic and quite frankly creepy. BEN WAS MUCH CUTER AND HAD A BETTER PERSONALITY. Just saying.

Q: What’s a popular genre you rarely reach for?

A: As a writer, I try to keep an open-mind and read just about any genre. But, I typically don’t like reading books that are all about romance. There has to be some magic or family drama or a war going on in order to keep my attention, otherwise I’ll probably be rolling my eyes at the absurdity of romance. There are a few romance books I have loved *side-eyes Etienne St. Clair* but those are very rare occurrences.

Q: Who is a popular or beloved character that you don’t like?

A: This has to be Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. I only read the first novel, but I found Katniss to be extremely bland and unrealistic. She showed no emotion during chaos and death, no sense of urgency or doubts. She came across sort of robotic, only showing feelings towards Peeta or Gale (both of which I also didn’t like).

Q: Who’s a popular author you can’t seem to get into?

A: Definitely Sarah J. Maas. After reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, I don’t wish to continue reading anymore of her work. Quite frankly, I’m tired of seeing her books all over Bookstagram when there are hundreds upon hundreds of books without problematic tendencies.

I don’t say this as an attack towards Maas at all. I don’t think she was trying to write anything problematic or make POC feel lesser, but still, I don’t wish to continue with reading any of her books.

Q: What’s a popular book trope you’re tired of seeing?

A: Oh my stars, let me get the list.

I’m so tired of the “you’re different from other girls” saying (It’s demeaning towards other women and WOMEN NEED TO SUPPORT WOMEN). I’m exhausted of the special snowflakes who begin as underdogs. Also, why must every family member die? You don’t have a single cousin or SOMETHING COME ON. Also, INSTA LOVE AND LOVE TRIANGLES CAN JUST STOP. And finally, I have had enough of the shy girls who are super awkward and clumsy but attract the attention of the most popular douchey guy. No. Just no.

Q: What’s a popular book series you have no interest in reading?

A: Definitely A Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Again, her writing style wasn’t for me and I’ve heard the problematic tendencies in her series, so I don’t plan on ever reading this series.

Q: The saying goes, “The book is always better than the movie”, but what film or television show adaptations do you prefer to the book?

A: I would have to say Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children played out very well on-screen. I did enjoy the book, but there was something lacking in my reading experience. I suppose it felt younger than the intended audience, and not nearly as scary as I thought it to be. (Also, it was in the film where I discovered Finlay MacMillian and I have never been the same since.)

I still haven’t recovered.

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LET’S CHAT

Once again, I want to apologize to anyone after this short rant of mine. I do not mean in any way to attack your favorite books or characters, although I do urge you to consider some of these things that can be very harmful and problematic to certain communities. I’m still becoming educated myself, but it’s important now more than ever to listen to unrepresented voices and give them the recognition they deserve.

I don’t enjoy being negative, but it feels good to get those thoughts out. I hope you all enjoyed this book tag and hearing my thoughts on certain subject matter. I would of course love to hear your opinions as well and if you agree or disagree with these thoughts.

I look forward to participating in more tags in the future!

taysignoff

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WRAP-UP // JUNE 2017

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THE MONTH OF JUNE

This is the part where I’m supposed to crack some jokes on the ups and downs of the adulthood and reading, followed by telling you what I’ve accomplished this month. But instead, I want to dedicate this section to something else. To someome else.

PEANUT

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On June 28, 2017, my dearest Peanut passed away. I knew he was getting old as he recently aged to seven, but I think we can all agree that when you’ve had someone in you life for so long, you don’t expect them to leave. Of course I know all things must come to an end, but Peanut seemed like my magical little partner who would never leave. But when I woke up one day to find him limping, I knew his days were coming to an end.

I can’t begin to describe how heartbroken I was to watch my little Peanut go from hopping to walking to crawling, until all he could do was lay down. Thankfully, he didn’t appear to be in any pain and went peacefully within his own home.

I felt empty. Lost. In a way, I still do. But I think Peanut passing gave me a lot of perspective on life, on appreciating what we have and the world around us. Peanut taught me a lot about life, believe it or not.

Peanut, I miss you so much. Even as I write this, tears fill my eyes. I hope you know how loved you were and will continue to be. You have filled so much joy and laughter. You were such a light in my life, and you will forever live on in my heart. And I swear, I get these signs that you’re here with me, as though you’ve never left.

And to everyone who sent me love through these last couple of weeks, who held me as I cried, thank you. Without your love and support, I don’t know where I would be. So thank you.

Now let’s move on to the books of this month before I continue with all of my sappiness.

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THE BOOKS OF JUNE

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (HARRY POTTER #5)

REVIEW:

I know, I know. I STILL haven’t finished the Harry Potter series. There’s no need to blame my TBR on this one. I simply keep postponing reading this series because it is GIANT and honestly, I often have trouble getting into each book in the beginning.

But after reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I had high hopes for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Unfortunately though, I found this segment in the series to be unnecessarily long and lackluster. There were many moments while I was reading that my mind would wander, thinking, why the bloody hell is this scene necessary?

I understand this novel is supposed to mainly provide character development and back story. I get that. But this was so, so very long. It dragged on for me. I don’t mean to sound negative because I did still enjoy this book and I know millions adore this series, but I really had trouble with this one.

Nonetheless, I look forward to completing the rest of the series in due time. (And yes, I said I was going to binge the rest of it, but I’m looking at those giant books on my shelves and NO THANK YOU. I’m leaving this one up to the TBR jar.)

RATING: ★★

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GRAY WOLF ISLAND

REVIEW:

Reminiscent of The Raven Boys and your classic treasure hunting story, Gray Wolf Island is a fantastic, eerie book that will keep you guessing. Much like The Raven Boys, these characters were strange, raw and touched with a little magic. Their interactions will leave you smiling, laughing and maybe even crying.

But that’s the thing: in a flash, alone becomes lonely. Maybe I’ve been waiting for someone to push me. That’s what these boys are doing, I think. They’re forcing their way under my skin.

The story is told from two perspectives, one being Ruby, who lost her twin sister after promising her to find the treasure of Gray Wolf Island, and then Cooper, a mysterious boy who has a strange tie to the treasure.

I adored Neithercott’s style, how she constructed and captured the setting of Gray Wolf Island with such precision. I felt like I was in the misty trees, smelling the flowers and damp soil. I felt completely and utterly transported into this book, feeling the pain and wonder the characters went through.

For my full review on this mysterious treasure hunting tale, click here.

Thank you to Random House for approving me to read an ARC of Gray Wolf Island. This ARC was received through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Gray Wolf Island is expected to be released October 10, 2017.

RATING: ★★

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IN THE AFTER BY DEMITRIA LUNETTA

REVIEW:

In the After is a post-apocalyptic tale similar to The 5th Wave. (Except we don’t have too much teen angst or a love triangle, thankfully.) Our main character Amy is left alone at her home when the Florae (zombie-aliens) strike. She learns to survive alongside Baby, a toddler she found years ago.

The first part of the story was amazing. I loved the relationship between Amy and Baby, how they lived in this new world. I was in love with their story.

But then the second and third parts struck, and I’m afraid I started losing interest. The perspective went from first-person, to third and first person, the third person being told from the future. This shift in perspective, along with the environment, made the novel feel disjointed.

I still enjoyed the whole of the story, but not enough to reach for the second novel. Unfortunately, I won’t be continuing this series, but I did enjoy parts of this book, especially the first section.

RATING: ★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

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LET’S CHAT

I apologize for that sorrowful beginning of the wrap-up, but I wanted to be honest with all of you. I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who pretends their life is perfect, that nothing tragic ever happens. I typically make jokes about going through the minor blemishes in life, but I haven’t really expressed some bigger issues, so I wanted to be real. (Or, as the kids would say, I want to keep it 💯.)

But enough about me. How was your June? How many books did you read? Any new favorites? As always, be sure to let me know! I love getting recommendations and hearing about your reading endeavors.

taysignoff

 

#5BOOKISHFACTS

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5 BOOKISH FACTS ABOUT ME

1. I HAVE BOUGHT MANY PROPS SPECIFICALLY FOR BOOKSTAGRAM

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When I started out on bookstagram, I took pictures of books in their simple beauty. Over time, I began incorporating little things around my room, threads of nature from the garden, and any other piece of magic I could find. But once I was upgrading to a DSLR, it was time to take this bookstagram thing REALLY seriously.

So I bought some props. Like, a lot of them.

I have no regrets.

2. MY BOOKSHELVES MUST BE ORGANIZED IN A SPECIFIC WAY

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I’m not about that messy life. (Well, at least not aesthetically.) My room and my things must be organized in a particular manner, especially my bookshelves because they are my children.

I’ve changed the layout over time, but as of now, my stand-alone/unfinished series bookshelf (right) is organized by color and covers. Meaning, my hardbacks are all together at the top, while my paperbacks sit atop the last two shelves.

My series bookshelf (left) is sorted by genre and age group. So it goes: fantasy, paranormal, science-fiction, contemporary, with graphic novels at the very top (which are obviously sorted by DC and Marvel because I’m not a monster). Each genre goes from the youngest age to group to the oldest: children’s, middle-grade, young adult, and finally, adult.

Can you tell I like to be organized?

3. I WILL TAKE HARDBACKS OVER PAPERBACKS OR EBOOKS ANY DAY

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I don’t discriminate, especially when it comes to books. I love all of my little stories, no matter how they come. BUT, if I had to choose one format for the rest of my days, I would select hardbacks.

Yes, they can be a bit tedious to hold or travel with, but they are SO pretty. I love the structured feel of the spines and the details that can often be found beneath the dust jacket. They also tend to be the same size as most novels, which completes my need for a clean, even look.

But again, I love all books. They are clearly my life.

4. I USED TO HATE READING AND ANYTHING LITERARY

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That’s right. I used to despise reading and writing. Crazy, right? This is only because of school, which I associated with stress and anxiety. The thing is, I love learning, but I didn’t love school. I didn’t love the repetitiveness, the lack of creative freedom, and just everything. So when I thought of books or writing, I thought of school, and I cringed.

But about three years ago, my sister, who has been a bookworm since her childhood, encouraged me to try reading for fun. I did, and it quickly stuck. After reading the Divergent series, I finally decided to start writing this idea down that had been in my head for over a year.

Three years later, I’ve read close to two hundred novels and written two novels, both of which stemmed from that very first idea of mine. And now, I couldn’t imagine my life without reading or writing.

Moral of the story: give second chances and never say never.

5. BOOKS ARE MY BEST FRIENDS

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I have carried them with me to the sea and the desert. To the sun and the stars. I have stayed awake in the peak of the night despite my old lady sleeping patterns, ecstatically flipping page after page. I have stained the ink with my tears, both out of joy and sorrow. I have filled my room with their spines and stories to admire with every breath of my life. They have carried me through my times of flight and saved me in my days of drowning. They are my dearest companions, and I love them with the whole of my heart.

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LET’S CHAT

I know this tag is usually presented as a casual post on Instagram, but I decided to bring it over to my blog to allow myself to be a bit more creative with it. If you’ve read this all the way through, then consider yourself tagged and tell your followers five bookish facts about you.

Thank you to the lovely and magical Sofia @ The Literary Casanova. This girl is always tagging me to participate in the absolute best tags of the bookstagram community. If you aren’t already following this girl, head on over to her blog and other social media outlets and give her a follow.

Have a happy Friday! *blows kisses*

taysignoff