Bookish Tags, Other

T5W: Favourite ‘Unlikeable’ Protagonists

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s theme is unlikeable protagonists. I personally love a brilliant villain, but it can be difficult to have a good unlikeable protagonist. You have to take someone with serious flaws and make readers see some light in them. It’s difficult to do, and sometimes a ‘good’ unlikeable protagonist just becomes someone that you can’t stand, and the balance between flaws and strengths is lost. Here’s a list of examples where I think it’s been done right.

1. Naondel – Maria Turtschaninoff

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I couldn’t just pick one of Naondel’s many narrators, but something that I think Turtschaninoff did really well was craft really complex characters. All of the women that narrate this novel are out to save their own skin, and largely remain so for most of the novel. They are selfish and ambitious out of need and form few friendships and bonds between them. However, you come to love them as characters because their lives and thoughts are so well presented and you see their distinct personalities coming together when they realise they should not be enemies any longer.

2. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

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I chose the protagonist of the early books in the Throne of Glass series over that of the later books because Celaena was everything that I enjoy in an unlikeable protagonist. I loved how she toed the line between hero and villain. She was dangerous, a threat to everyone and not afraid to show it, proud of her strength and skill, scheming, and powerful, but at the same time we saw gentler sides to her. We saw her both as an assassin and as a friend, lover, and protector. While some people simply love Celaena, I actually often toe the line between love and hate in these books, especially in the later books. There are moments where I love her sassiness, her wit, and the double sides to her character, and there are other moments where I feel tired of it, and want her to just pick the a side, good or bad. I guess that’s what makes her such an intriguing protagonist.

3. Eva from We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

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Eva is far from a likeable character because of her crude honesty. She is completely open about not having wanted her first child Kevin, about her dislike for him as a child and uneasiness around him, about her resenting many of the choices that she allowed herself to be talked into by her husband. We learn that her son Kevin killed seven students and two adults in a massacre at his school, and we see Eva visiting him in prison and even preparing her house for his return, taking extra care to ensure he will be comfortable. Throughout the novel, I wasn’t ever quite sure about Eva, and I definitely felt uneasy reading this novel, but it was an unfamiliar feeling that I actually really enjoyed.

4. Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R. Martin

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I always get weird looks for saying that Cersei is one of my favourite characters in this series, but she is just the epitome of a great villain. What I love about Cersei, and about the characterisation in this series generally, is that you always see the characters’ motives for their actions. Cersei is undeniably selfish and cruel, but you also know that she does the things she does to protect her family. I also think she’s a fascinating character in how scheming she is and how she is one of the most dangerous characters in the series without being a warrior in the typical sense.

5. Pip – Great Expectations from Charles Dickens

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Reading this novel, I actually actively disliked Pip. I thought he was selfish and couldn’t see past his own desires, he was ungrateful to his uncle, and narrow-minded. I hated how he treated those who had helped him, and how quickly he seemed to forget all about him. However, it all fits into the story well, as it is about growing up and learning valuable lessons, which Pip definitely does. He learns that the things he had thought were wrong, and comes to realise the errors of his ways.

Do you like an unlikeable protagonist? How many flaws is too many flaws?

Bookish Tags, Other

T5W: Side Ships

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s topic is relationships that don’t involve the protagonist. I am a major shipper, so this was a lot of fun. There is some repetition in this post, as much as I try to avoid it, but I couldn’t help it! Here we go!

1. Dorian and Manon (Throne of Glass)

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I almost gave Manon her own entry here, just “Manon with herself” because Manon really doesn’t need another party to be whole, but her and Dorian are a great couple to read. I saw it coming a mile off, but their characters really do read together really well.

2. Lorcan and Elide (Throne of Glass) 

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It’s almost impossible for me to not fall in love with a ship where two people who initially hate each other are stuck together on a long journey, both pursuing different aims and possibly secretly each other’s enemies. It’s a recipe for great sexual tension and relationship angst, and Sarah J Maas really delivered here. If there is anything that Maas does well, it’s relationships!

3. Sevro au Barca and Victra au Julii (Red Rising) 

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Sevro and Victra are a power couple if ever I’ve seen one. I loved reading their relationship because they’re so different, they’re such bold characters, and they both hold their own. I almost couldn’t believe that they would get together!

4. Lupin and Tonks (Harry Potter)

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These characters’ deaths were some of the most painful in the whole series for me. Not only did it take forever for them to get together, but even once they got together they just couldn’t get a break.

5. Bill and Fleur (Harry Potter) 

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This pairing go through a lot, and to make things even better, all of their exchanges are told with a great written rendition of Fleur’s French accent, for example: “Bill, don’t look at me — I’m ’ideous.” How can you not enjoy them?

Bookish Tags, Other

T5W: Books For Your Hogwarts House

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s theme is about books that represent your Hogwarts house. I am a proud Ravenclaw, and so I’ve tried to think of books and characters that remind me of the themes of knowledge and learning. Here we go

1. When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandy Menon

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Dimple feels like a Ravenclaw through and through. She wants nothing more than to focus on her passion, coding and computers. Her love of learning marks her out as a Ravenclaw from the very beginning.

Read my review here.

2. Maresi – Maria Turtschaninoff

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This book takes place at the Red Abbey, a safe haven for women escaping from all sorts of traumas and dangers, but it is not only that. It is also a community that is dedicated to learning and knowledge. The girls who come to the Red Abbey have opportunities and access to education that they often couldn’t dream of accessing elsewhere.

Read my review here.

3. Uprooted – Naomi Novik

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There are several aspects of this book that reminded me of Ravenclaw. When Agnieszka is taken to live with the dragon, she is understandably afraid, but we later see her grow to become inquisitive and eager to learn as much as possible about her powers and the forest in her land. She knows that her power and strength and the only way to defeat the forest is through learning how to hone her skills.

Read my review here.

4. Matilda – Roald Dahl

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Another character that I don’t believe we can deny has some pretty strong Ravenclaw traits. Matilda loves to read so much that she reads her way through the library, she loves learning so much that she asks to be sent to school, and she can move things with her mind! I hope she got her Hogwarts letter when she turned eleven cause she definitely belongs in the Wizarding World!

5. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

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Book are an escape for Liesel, and not only stories. The first book that she stills is a gravedigger’s guide, and she still reads it religiously. The books also bring together the characters in the book, who are united by the stories that they read to each other, and for Liesel and Max, language and vocabulary plays a significant role in their relationship. As a Ravenclaw, I loved the way that words meant to much to the characters in the book.

Read my review here.

Bookish Tags, Other

T5W: Fandoms You Are No Longer In

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s theme is about fandoms that you used to be incredibly invested in and no longer are. This was a bit difficult for me, because I spent most of my childhood thinking about Harry Potter, and to be honest, I still do. I think part of the reason why I haven’t left many fandoms is that I only recently returned to YA books, and so most of the books that I read as a teenager were actually adult books that I am still into, like the ASOIAF series.

Although there aren’t many fandoms that I’ve left behind, I have thought back extra hard to remember what authors and books I really loved and devoted a lot of time to, so here goes!

1. Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

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I think most people around my age had a ‘Twilight phase’, or are still huge fans of the series. Mine lasted for about two years. I read the books twice through, if I remember correctly, and watched the first film countless times. I never watched the films after the third, and haven’t read any of the subsequent releases after the first series. It was a lot of fun for a teenage girl reading her first real fantasy romance novel, but I didn’t remain impressed for long.

2. A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket 

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This is a throwback way into my childhood. I read these books as a child and absolutely loved them. When the Netflix adaptation came out recently I vividly remembered hours spent poring over details in the book, trying to discover who killed the Baudelaire parents and what the VFD really meant. When the book finished, I imagined what the Baudelaire children would go on to do and where it would go on. I wrote emails to Lemony Snicket and got a suitably witty and pessimistic response.

3. Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

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This is quite a recent ‘throwback’, or not much of a throwback at all. My experiences with the Throne of Glass novels has been a whirlwind. I started reading these books about a year and a half ago, and went from loving them, delving right into Celaena’s character and the world of Sarah J Maas, and by the time I read Empire of Storms, eagerly picking up my copy on release day, I realised that I was just reading the books because I wanted to see what happened and not because I was really enjoying it anymore. I will still read the subsequent books, but basically just because I feel invested in the story.

4. Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy

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I was scrolling through upcoming events at a local bookshop recently and noticed a Derek Lady event for the release of the latest instalment of this series and it all came flooding back. I loved these books while I was at school, but I only read a couple. I don’t know how or why I ever decided to stop reading this book series about a skeleton man in a trench coat with a female teen assistant. It’s like a gory horror version of Doctor Who! Even over ten years since I started it, it still sounds appealing, but with ten books in the series, I think it’s a bit much to sign up for.

5. Percy Jackson & the Olympians – Rick Riordan

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My best friend introduced me to this series and I devoured my way through her copy of the books. I still recall, with a broken heart, how my school wouldn’t let us miss our English lesson to attend a Rick Riordan event with our librarian, but how she got us signed copies of his latest book.

This post was a lot of fun! I had forgotten about some of these series (particularly the last two) until I went through my goodreads account and remembered how much I had loved them. Are there any fandoms that you were a part of but then drifted away from? Do you remember why, or do you think you could still go back into that fandom like before?

 

Bookish Tags, Other

First Line Fridays: 19th May

Welcome to the new instalment of a new feature here at Ink Drops Books!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

I’m hoping this is a way for me to get more excited about books I’ve put on my TBR shelf and forgotten about so this week I’ve randomly chosen among my unread books.

So, let’s begin.

At dusk they pour from the sky. They blow across the ramparts, turn cartwheels over rooftops, flutter into the ravines between houses. Entire streets swirl with them, flashing white against the cobbles. Urgent message to the inhabitants of this town, they say. Depart immediately to open country.

Do you have any idea what this book is?

Have you read it before?

Is it on your reading list too?

Keep scrolling to find out…

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

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Goodreads summary:

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, [Doerr] illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.  

This book was pretty much everywhere when it first came out. I kept seeing it in bookshops and was drawn in by the stunning cover. I am really interested fiction set in the World Wars, in any format, whether book, film, or television series. I was even more intrigued to see the story being told about two children, even though this isn’t a children’s book.

Hopefully I get around to reading this book soon!

Book Reviews, Interviews, Other

Author Interview – Jaq Hazell

14042558Not long ago, I read and reviewed the brilliant novel My Life As A Bench (here). After that, I had the pleasure of corresponding with author Jaq Hazell online and even asking her a few questions. To celebrate the publication of My Life As A Bench earlier this week on May 2nd, below is the complete Q&A.

If you don’t know anything about My Life As A Bench, you can find some useful links at the end of this post!

 

Where did the idea for My Life as Bench come from?

Sounds mad, but a bench spoke to me. There are loads of memorial benches near where I live and I often pause and read the plaques. One day I was out with my dog when I imagined one of the benches complaining about being a bench. The voice was young, someone that wanted to be free and have a laugh.

Did Ren come to you as a fully-formed character, or did you spend a lot of time developing her personality and family situation?

It began as a 300-word story, so all I knew was that Ren was a teenager and wanted to hang with her mates and have fun. Ren’s background, her love of singing and the story of how she abruptly left her life in Devon to move to London all developed over a long period of time.

The novel is told from the perspective of Ren, but she is trapped inside a bench. Did you find this difficult and what were the biggest challenges?

It was difficult and I almost gave up at one point. The first draft didn’t work. I had to find a way to make Ren (who is dead) remain active. She had to want something and that triggered the idea about Ren learning to “break through” in order to talk to the living.

There are a lot of references to songs that Ren loves. Did music play a big role in the writing process?

I love music but can’t sing a note so it was fun to write about someone who has a talent for singing. Ren is a massive Amy Winehouse fan and I enjoyed researching the artists that inspired Amy, while also checking out more recent tracks that feature in the party scenes.

Do you have a favourite scene in My Life as a Bench?

I’m particularly fond of the character Lionel and I like it when he makes his entrance. Lionel wasn’t planned. I didn’t know he was there until he started to speak. I also like it when Ren tries to break through and talk to people that sit on the bench. We’re all hardwired to be frightened of ghosts, but maybe it’s really tough being a ghost.

Is there a particular message or lesson that you would like readers to take from this book?

I never write with any message or lesson in mind, but I suppose the message that Ren’s life and death conveys is that we should all grab life while we can and make the best of it.

How long did it take you to write My Life as a Bench and did you always know how the story would unfold?

It probably took a couple of years on and off. It’s hard to say because I did leave it alone for a while (as I rewrote my psychological thriller I Came to Find a Girl), and then I went back to it for yet another rewrite. I had a rough idea of the ending when I started, but the first draft bears little resemblance to the finished novel. Ren is dead but she’s still active. She can’t rest because there is something she wants.

What are the best and most challenging parts of being a writer?

There’s nothing better than a day when you feel your writing has gone well. Every novel is a challenge and they all present their own problems. Solutions to plot issues can’t be forced and if a novel has stalled it’s best to do something else – take the dog out or cook dinner. The answer will always arrive when you least expect it, perhaps while taking a shower or when you’re about to fall asleep.

When and where do you write?

I’m up early and out with my dog, Basil, and then it’s back to my extremely messy desk where I sit for most of the day. Eventually, Basil hassles me for a second walk and my family arrive home. I can, however, write pretty much anywhere – trains are good, and I often write if I’m stuck in the car waiting for one of my kids.

What five books would you take with you to a desert island?

I’d take Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte for its mad passion, atmosphere and gloomy weather to remind me of home. Solo Faces by James Salter is a novel about mountain climbing that could just as easily be about writing and I love his spare, deceptively-simple writing style. ‘I know a Man’ by Robert Creeley is my favourite poem and I’d take his collected poems to gain an overview of his work. I’m currently reading The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney. It’s darkly funny and sweary and I’d take that along to finish and my last choice would be Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. It’s only just come out and I’m curious to see his take on the afterlife – it has talking ghosts!

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Goodreads / Amazon / Waterstones 

Thanks so much to Jaq Hazell for answering these questions with so much thought and care. I really hope you all enjoyed reading this interview as much as I enjoyed being a part of it.

 

 

Bookish Tags, Other

T5W: Favorite SFF Cover Art

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s topic is favourite Science Fiction & Fantasy cover art. Talking about book covers is one of my favourite topics, alongside the actual content of the books. Now, some of these books I’ve read, and some I haven’t but am hoping to. I’ve chosen these 5 purely for their looks – you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest, we’ve all done it.

1. Starflight – Melissa Landers

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I haven’t read a lot of science fiction novels, even though I love anything to do with space – something I am planning on fixing soon. This book cover perfectly captures everything that attracts me to science fiction. Jetting off to far off locations in a space ship, planets, stars, and probably some explosive drama along the way. I can’t wait to read this book.

2. Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton

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This book is great inside as well as beautiful outside, but from when I saw this book on the shelves at the bookshop, I knew I wanted to see what was inside. I love the different tones of blue, and the gold foil on the pages reflects light and it’s just beautiful, and the way it all centres in on the landscape feels like it’s just drawing you in to the story.

You can read my review for Rebel of the Sands here.

3. The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater 

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To be honest, I know very little about this book and the Raven Cycle series as a whole, but they are on my list of books to read. I don’t want to read them just because they’re beautiful – I’ve heard that this series is great – but that might be a part of it. I love the way that the images on the covers look very dark and ominous, but the little splash of colour makes me imagine that a lot of excitement lies within its covers.

4. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstein

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I haven’t read this, but the cover makes me want to. Just like with The Raven Cycle’s book covers, I feel like the cover captures your imagination without you even needing to know anything about it. I love the Victorian-style silhouette images of the man and the woman, and the simple black and white design with that dash of red. It attracts both the fantasy lover and the history nerd in me to the story.

5. Naondel – Maria Turtschinanoff

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If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts recently, you’ll have seen that I just can’t keep talking about Maria Turtschinanoff. Her book Maresi is one of my favourites, and I can’t wait to read the next in the Red Abbey Chronicles. Apart from the fact that I love her writing, this cover is flawless. I love the blue and white lines, and the ship mast that looks like a face. It’s so simple, and yet so striking.

Have you read any of these books yourself? What do you think of them? Comment below with your favourite science fiction and fantasy covers, or tell me if you’ve made your own #T5W list!

Bookish Tags, Other

T5W: Authors You Want to Read More From

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s topic is 5 authors you would like to read more of, and it was actually very difficult to only pick 5! I tried to pick authors who have books out that I haven’t read yet, rather than authors I love who simply haven’t written more books yet, which made it a bit more challenging, but I thought it might be a bit more interesting to talk about the masses of literature out there already that I haven’t yet been able to experience.

1. Neil Gaiman

 

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I love Neil Gaiman’s mind. His work is always original, and he has this great way of mixing dark and funny writing together which I love. Even if I’m not head over heels with a book, I am always head over heels with the way his brain works. His settings and characters are always unique, and he can make everything feel new and different and slightly creepy. I’ve loved everything I’ve seen of his work, from novels to his Doctor Who episodes (The Doctor’s Wife is one of the best episodes ever – fight me.)

I admit, I am a little in love with Neil Gaiman’s brain. And the man.

2. Kazuo Ishiguro

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Never Let Me Go is one of my favourite novels of all time. I loved the delicate blend of different genres and Cathy’s voice as a narrator telling her story to the reader. Even though this novel isn’t exciting in the jam-packed-with-action type of way, I devoured this book in a day. I think that perhaps one of the reasons why I didn’t go straight to Ishiguro’s other novels is the fact that Never Let Me Go isn’t really a clear-cut genre story, so I don’t know whether the other books will be similar or not. I do know that I loved his writing and characters though, so I think I need to buckle up and give it a try.

3. George R.R. Martin

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I have read all of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and it is one of my favourite series. I haven’t read anything as expansive and exciting as these books, with such a vast array of complex characters. I love the moral ambiguity of his characters. Maybe the sheer size of this series, and the way that it feels like it is sometimes taking over my life, is the reason why I haven’t tried George RR Martin’s other books, but I would like to give them a try. I own a couple already, and I know that there is a lot out there to read across different genres and formats, from novels to short stories. There’s a lot to keep me entertained, it’s just a matter of time.

4. Maria Turtschaninoff

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Maresi was beautiful in so many ways. I loved the setting and world-building, the characters, the story, and the writing. It reminds me a bit of Kazuo Ishiguro’s writing in Never Let Me Go, with the narrator telling you the story after the events have happened, and Maresi’s tone was calm and dream-like like Cathy’s was. It is so refreshing to find an author whose writing feels so comfortable and easy, so I can’t wait to read Naondel, the second book in the Red Abbey Chronicles. I also know that Maria Turschaninoff has other books in Finnis. So, what do I have to do to get these translated to English?

5. Victoria Schwab

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I’ve read Schwab’s This Savage Song and am excited to see what happens in the sequel. Even though this book didn’t blow me away, I was impressed by her creativity and I have heard so many good things about her adult fantasy books published under the name V.E. Schwab, in particular A Darker Shade of Magic. From what I’ve read about these novels, I feel like I might get some Neil Gaiman vibes from Schwab’s writing, so I can’t wait to finally get around to reading these.

Bookish Tags, Other

T5W: Books That Would Make Good Video Games

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s topic is books that would make good video games. I’m not much of a gamer, but I’ve picked books that were filled with action and problem-solving from start to end. Here we go!

1. Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton

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There is so much travelling, running, fighting, and sneaking around in this book that it made me feel a little bit like I was in a video game! I felt like I was jumping off trains and trekking through the desert with Amani, and I really think the adrenaline of this book would translate well into a video game. The landscapes are great, and I can imagine little mini-games with the different magical creatures and powers.

2. Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

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I think that the first book in this series would make such a great game because of the tournament that Celaena is a part of. The game would include her training so that she is the best of the other candidates, the tournament itself, as well as the underlying mysteries around the palace, like when she discovers the secret tunnel in her room. Celaena would make a great video game protagonist because she is smart, adventurous, and completely badass. The location of the palace would work so well in a video game as well, and I would love to be able to explore all its different corridors and rooms.

3. Maresi –  Maria Turtschaninoff 

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When I read this book, I loved reading about the simple lives of the women in the Red Abbey. I imagine that this came would be less action-packed than my previous two choices, and instead would be a chilled out simulation game. We would play the role of a new arrival, learning the ropes around the Abbey, helping with chores and tasks, with the harvest and learning new skills. Then, we would become a novice and even a sister. Maybe this sort of game isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it might sound a bit boring to some, but I grew up playing Sims and the Red Abbey sounded great to me, so I would love it!

4. Red Rising – Pierce Brown

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There is so much to this world that I would love a chance to really be a part of it. Maybe we could be young Golds at the Institute, or a rebel infiltrator like Darrow, leading warships in space.

5. A Song of Ice and Fire – George RR Martin

A Game of Thrones

Okay, this is a bit of a cop-out, because I actually played a ASOIAF game once on my phone but didn’t get very far because my phone was too crappy to handle it. The graphics were so great, and you got to decide what house you were in, whether you were rich or poor, and make different choices along the way. The world in these books is so diverse that it really would need to be a story that you craft yourself, whether you want to be leading an army into battle like Jaime or Robb Stark, a schemer like Littlefinger, royalty like Cersei or just someone trying to get by like Sansa.

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T5W: Favourite Angsty Romances

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s theme is Favourite Angsty Romances, so without further ado, let’s jump right in!

1. Gus and Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

Fault-in-Our-Stars-book-cover

I don’t think you can get much more angsty than John Green generally, and especially not this novel. While I think Looking For Alaska is definitely much more angsty, the romance in this novel captured my heart from the start. Gus and Hazel are so cute, and I’m sure you don’t need telling where the angst in this comes from. I’ll just end by saying that this was one of my first experiences at truly heartbreaking YA.

2. Jude and Oscar from I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson 

ill-give-you-the-sun

This book is my favourite. Everything about this novel is angst, from beginning to end, but not in an annoying, eye-roll kind of way, but in a gushing, make you want to cry and laugh and scream and punch something all at once. Jude and Oscar are so angsty that it made my heart feel like it was being squeezed at times. I mean, you can’t get much more angsty than: “I gave up practically the whole word for you…The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.”

3. Twylla and Lief from The Sin Eater’s Daughter – Melinda Salisbury

sineatersdaughter

Twylla is the human embodiment of the goddess Daunen, the Queen’s executioner, and her touch is fatal. As if that isn’t enough to make her relationship to her new guard Lief risky to say the least, she is also engaged to the Prince. There is so much standing between Twylla and Lief that their romance is already angsty enough, and that’s before the main story of The Sin Eater’s Daughter even begins. Once the trilogy gets going, this relationship only gets more and more angsty.

4. Maddy and Olly from Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon 

everything-everything-nicola-yoon

Another great romance story that makes you not only squeal with excitement and butterflies but also squirm in apprehension at what might go off. Not only is the romance in this novel heightened by the fact that Maddy could literally die from an allergic reaction to anything and everything, but she can’t even be safe with Olly himself.

5. Celaena and Sam Throne of Glass series – Sarah J. Maas

throne-of-glass-cover

At first I chose Chaol and Celaena, then I chose Aelin and Rowan, then I decided to not choose any in particular, then I remembered that there are also all the other relationships, from Dorian and Sorscha to Elide and Lorcan. This series is so filled to the brim with angsty, steamy romances that I couldn’t choose for ages, but in the end I chose Celaena and Sam because they are the sweetest of the lot in my opinion and have the most dramatic end. I don’t think anyone can quite fit angsty romance into epic fantasy like Sarah J Maas can, and even though sometimes I am a bit fed up with the prevalence of romantic pairings in the series, I still get obsessed with them.