I was tagged by A Couple of B’s in November, and um, am finally doing it. Thank you for the tag!
And um, I guess get ready for a whole lot of 𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! and salty opinions.
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝙴𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐: 𝚊 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚖𝚊𝚍𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚐𝚘 𝙽𝙾𝙿𝙴 𝚎𝚒𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚒𝚗 𝚍𝚎𝚗𝚒𝚊𝚕, 𝚛𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚘𝚛 𝚜𝚒𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚢 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚊𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚌𝚛𝚊𝚙𝚙𝚢
I keep saying I’m going to write a flaming review of this one because I hated is so fucking much, but I don’t know anymore. It’s been too long and I remember too little except the ending was essentially forgive your emotional manipulator and s t a y t o g e t h e r
It’s horrible and not at all a love story and I just don’t get the high rating??? Also please don’t explain it to me I don’t want to be re-traumatized.
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝙿𝚛𝚘𝚝𝚊𝚐𝚘𝚗𝚒𝚜𝚝: 𝚊 𝚖𝚊𝚒𝚗 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚍𝚛𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚌𝚛𝚊𝚣𝚢
What really irks me are protagonists who are decidedly average or below average in every single way (not in their heads, as low self-esteem is there) but who, through their horrifyingly awful decision-making skills and poor planning processes, practically fail upwards somehow after endangering every person on their team or trying to fly into self-sacrificial heroics in order to save their teammates from certain doom (instead of like, calling for backup or actually communicating or whatever). And, of course, when they are applauded for their rationale, and told how smart they are, how beautiful, how witty and captivating despite all evidence to the contrary. These are the worst offenders I can think of right now, but there are more (the stupid self-sacrificing thing was something that really became a trope with Twilight, and carried well beyond the Divergent trilogy).
Decoy Princess was chosen not only for that, but because she “adjusted her top knot” every three sentences and hell no.
Decided to sort my GR read shelf by rating to capitalize on everything I despise, along with delving through my DNF and OMFG-awful shelves. Random, but between my TBR and read shelf I have 3,200 books on my profile. It’s nice and even and it will not last.
Honorable mention for Kristen from The Friend Zone, whose story was basically “let’s write a cheating partner/spouse of a deployed service member, but let’s make the cheater the heroine!” There was other stuff wrong with that disaster of a book, including the laughably non-existent research into the military.
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝙿𝚊𝚒𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐: 𝚊 “𝚜𝚑𝚒𝚙” 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚍𝚘𝚗’𝚝 𝚜𝚞𝚙𝚙𝚘𝚛𝚝
Most of them?
But let’s hit Twilight, aka the One That Started It All. Twilight didn’t create YA, but it definitely developed the age category into the booming rage it is now. However, it also definitely two major ships that were…problematic, at best.
If you were Team Edward, you supported one twu wuv and also a pedophiliac emotional abuser who carefully stalked, groomed and manipulated his prey. If you were Team Jacob, you supported an emotionally manipulative friend who was the definition of misogynistic friend zoning (and who ultimately pair-bonded with a literal infant, so there was that too).
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝙶𝚎𝚗𝚛𝚎: 𝚊 𝚐𝚎𝚗𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍
Probably Christian romance? Specifically, Amish or Christian Cowboy Billionaire. Yes, that latter category exists and no I am not interested. And just Christian fiction (and nonfiction) in general. I’m not religious and I live in the South. I get enough unwanted Christianity thrown at me on a daily basis, I don’t need to pursue it in my reading.
Note: this is my opinion. If Christian fiction is your jam, that’s awesome! It’s just not for me.
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝙱𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚊𝚝: 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚑𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚟𝚘𝚒𝚍 𝚋𝚞𝚢𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚞𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚕 𝚒𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚍𝚒𝚏𝚏𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚎𝚍𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗
I don’t really have one? Okay, when it comes to buying I am mildly particular. I am not a huge fan of traditional hardcover sizes (too heavy and too bulky), and I do not like super thick mass market paperbacks (finger strain while reading and generally small font size). I prefer trade paperbacks, and yes, I break the spine as a true chaotic neutral.
When it comes to series, I generally try to purchase the same size, although I tend to fail miserably with some of the older ones (and some of the newer ones). If I buy the “wrong” format, I usually just shrug it off and put it on my shelf, because I’m cheap and if I was going for aesthetics I’d have to rebuy everything. The only book I purchased a separate edition of so the series would match was The Abhorsen trilogy, and that only because I loved the hardback version of Lirael and I owned the paperback.
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝚃𝚛𝚘𝚙𝚎: 𝚊 𝚝𝚛𝚘𝚙𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚐𝚘 𝙽𝙾𝙿𝙴
The good rape trope. Nope, nope, nope.
I used to love Anne McCaffrey, but she really liked that trope a lot. Along with a couple other really popular authors.
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝚁𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗: 𝚊 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚛𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚕𝚢 𝚙𝚞𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞, 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚜𝚒𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚢 𝚛𝚎𝚏𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍
Anything my mother recommends. She has literally no clue what I read or what my preferences are (we are estranged), and yet likes to force books or book recommendations on me because she enjoyed it therefore I will enjoy it. She likes books that have been on Oprah’s book club, and while I have enjoyed some, most are just too depressing and I don’t like having recommendations shoved down my throat. It is exhausting.
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝙲𝚕𝚒𝚌𝚑𝚎: 𝚊 𝚌𝚕𝚒𝚌𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚛 𝚠𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚎𝚝 𝚙𝚎𝚎𝚟𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚊𝚕𝚠𝚊𝚢𝚜 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚛𝚘𝚕𝚕 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚎𝚢𝚎𝚜
I have two. The first is the dreaded she let out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding sentence. Noooooo do not do it writers! Do not! It’s the modern suddenly a shot rang out sentence.
Also, I get really, really irritated when YA books keep calling the male love interest a boy. Granted yes, the majority of them are boys and literal children being under 18, however, it’s annoying because it pushes a strangeness of the (generally female) protagonist gaining agency and power while both infantilizing and over-manlifying the male protag, and plus it’s just annoying reading or hearing the word boy 50 million times as if that is his one personality trait (sadly, it usually is…along with his unfathomable infatuation with the heroine).
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝙻𝚘𝚟𝚎 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚝: 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝’𝚜 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚑𝚢 𝚘𝚏 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚗𝚎
Rafe from Openly Straight. Okay, yes yes yes he’s the main character, but this bastard should never, ever be a love interest to anyone (and maybe he becomes a love interest in the companion-sequel). This fucker lied, manipulated and emotionally abused Ben, his straight-ish friend who had second thoughts. He fooled a boy into thinking they were both taking a journey together for the first time, both exploring their sexuality and new things, that they were both on the same level of experience, when Rafe knew he was gay and had already had a boyfriend (and sex), and then pressured Ben to have sex with him when Ben was drunk and at an emotional low. I was so pissed to read this book, because while Rafe had several epiphanies, it was just so toxic and awful.
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝙱𝚘𝚘𝚔: 𝚊 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍𝚗’𝚝 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚎𝚡𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚍
You’d think, after my diatribes on Twilight and Openly Straight that both would be on the list, right? Okay, Openly Straight gets an honorary because it’s awful but I didn’t want to do it twice. Both of these books I listed, however, get a nod for different reasons.
Forbidden is the reverse-Twilight Dracula retelling you never knew you didn’t need. Between the poor writing and editing, random exclamation points, a spoiled rich vampire in teenage body who runs from her abusive rich vampire husband and wealthy European mansion and heads to Small Town Illinois (I’m 99% certain that’s where it is—I haven’t read it in forever but the entire thing is seared in my mind) to go to high school and live in a crappy apartment with a cigarette-stained mattress despite being wealthy enough to purchase anything she wants (she doesn’t wash her clothes, just buys new designer stuff and throws the used clothes on the floor), and the relationship with a literal child teenager….I lost the train of thought here but it’s just an awful book. Plus it has a cover that’s literally been on like, three other books. And it’s a trilogy.
This fucking book. [insert long scream] While I can see what Cabot was trying to do, this was a book that romanticizes and diminishes the very real danger of a cat 5 hurricane, in addition to turning a blithe no judgments! attitude to the fuckers who leave their pets behind when evacuating from a known natural disaster (due to advances in technology, you generally have warning before hurricanes). The attitude towards sexual assault victims is…not the best, the main character is literally a block of pink-haired cheese, the love interest is dumb, and the plotline is…romance during a natural disaster. This book is pretty much a giant middle finger who anyone who has ever lived through a large natural disaster. There is no sensitivity in its approach (beyond the pet thing, which, no). No research into the planning, event or recovery efforts after a hurricane. Nothing.
𝓝𝓞𝓟𝓔! 𝚅𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚊𝚒𝚗: 𝚊 𝚟𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚊𝚒𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚑𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚌𝚛𝚘𝚜𝚜
Uh…throw me at any evil magical wizard or authoritative dictator, but I will avoid like hell crossing any gaslighting, manipulative parental figures/friends. Gaslighters are my kryptonite, and I become a sniveling, paranoid mess around them. I do not like reading them, and I especially do not like reading them, particularly when the gaslighter/emotional abuser is the mother (mostly because a lot of those books end with forgive her because she’s your m o t h e r).
Whelp, those are my answers!
- Madeline @ The Bookish Mutant
- Hundreds and Thousands of Books
- Joanna @ The Geekish Brunette
- Julie @ One Book More
- Intisar @ Intisar Speaks
- And anyone else who wants to join in!
No worries if book tags aren’t your thing!