Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn-offs

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the theme is Top Ten book turn-offs.

It takes a lot for a book to annoy me enough to put it down but here are the things that sometimes make me want to throw in the towel! These are in no particular order…I hate them all equally!

  1. Unnecessarily Long Chapters: I get distracted easily and when chapters run on and on I find my mind wandering. I like chapters to be short and snappy so I can dip in and out of a book and not be lost.
  2. Too Much Description: You know when the author just has to describe EVERYTHING in minute detail making the book really hard-going and putting too many images in your mind? I prefer to visualise things my own way – otherwise I’d just put a film on!
  3. Jumping Timelines: When done well this can be great (Kate Morton for eg) but I feel like sometimes it’s done to mask a dull plot, or just for the sake of it and it makes me angry.back_to_the_future 2
  4. Poor Editing/Proofreading: The odd mistake makes no difference to my enjoyment of a book but there have been a few occasions where the text is sooooooo laden with mistakes that it makes the book hard to read.
  5.  Unlikable Characters/ Characters with no Redeemable Features: Sometimes having a horrible/evil character as a protagonist can work but on the most part unlikable characters are a big turn off. I particularly can’t stand narcissistic/ shallow characters and have to really push myself to keep reading to see if they change throughout the book – they usually do, but it’s never a good start for me!  Also related is when you just can’t relate to a main character on any level.
  6. Tenuous Links: You know when there is a plot hole and the author tries to cover it up with a very tenuous link or a coincidence or something? I can’t think of an example right now but it happens quite a bit in YA Fantasy. Ugh.
  7. Models on Covers: This is impossible to get away from, especially if you read a lot of YA and Paranormal Romance but ahh I don’t like it. I don’t mind when the covers aren’t centered on the models face but when they are it makes me angry because they never look like the characters described. And again, I like to visualise characters myself – this is why I also hate most film adaptations! BOOK RUINERS.
  8. Overwiriting/Trying too Hard: I hate it when authors try to sound clever or unique by using stupidly long, or odd words instead of simple ones. Yes, it’s good to be different but a twig is a twig! Hemlock Grove springs to mind here. ‘Her heart was a flicked mold of gelatin’ – Whaaaaat? That one will haunt me forever.
  9. Obsessive Romances/Stupid Teenage Girls: You all know the ones. Those so-called romances where the girls are unhealthily obsessed with a boy, or where the girls are all ‘but it can’t be because he likes me’ when it’s so obvious that he does. Rage! Just Stop!untitled
  10. All Tell and no Show AND Preaching: I wanted both of these on this list and I could probably choose another ten to be honest. The  former speaks for itself and the latter, well I hate when the author is trying to prove a point or take the moral high ground on an important topic that just comes across as preaching. No Thanks.

That was better than therapy, thanks, Hosts! 

WWW Wednesday! (11-09-2013)

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:
3636515 Following a massive rampage that left the streets of Santa Mondega soaked with blood, the elusive supernatural serial killer known only as the Bourbon Kid is now himself being haunted. Hot on his heels are several vampire gangs, the Secret Service, a couple of werewolves, corrupt cops, and the Dark Lord himself, and none will rest until he is dead. But the Kid has a vengeance of his own to wreak, and young lovers Dante and Kacy, hapless bartender Sanchez, Peto the Hubal monk, and the mysterious Jessica will each be drawn into the escalating vortex of violence.

This is the second book in the Bourbon Kid series by Anonymous. The first book, The Book With no Name was insane. In a good way. This definitely more of the same. Crazy characters (including Elvis as a hitman) and LOTS of violence and swearing.

I’m also reading The Daughter of Camelot. A YA novel set in the Arthurian era. Liking it thus far.

Recently Finished Click on the images to go to my reviews.
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I also just finished Rereading City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) before seeing the film yesterday. Review and Rant will be posted later today.

Up Next: I want reread the next TMI book and then carry on with the series at some point and I also have two great titles in my NetGalley library to read.

Sneak peak:
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Leave a comment with your link and I’ll have a peruse later today!

A Confused Werewolf in Pennsylvania: Hemlock Grove by Brian Mcgreevy

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An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares.

The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.

I feel like Hemlock Grove desperately wants to be Dracula (but y’know with Werewolves) when in fact it’s just one big mess. I finished reading this over a week ago and this whole time I’ve just been thinking what the hell WAS that!?’ I honestly didn’t know whether to rate it 1 or 5, it was that baffling.

Initially I appreciated the style, Mcgreevy was clearly trying to mimic the old school gothic lit of the past and give it a fresh going over, but it just didn’t work….I don’t think. The more I read the more I realised that his writing is so over the top and so laden with unnecessary symbolism that I had no idea what was going on, but I couldn’t stop. It was like watching a car crash.

For some reason I was interested in the story. The murders were brutal and gory (to my liking) and I enjoyed the ‘whodunnit’ element. Peter goes around telling everyone he’s a werewolf so obviously he’s prime suspect number one, even though no one really seems that bothered that he’s a werewolf, and I don’t really understand why they believe him in the first place because we don’t actually see any Werewolf action for most of the book. Or did I miss that? I honestly have no idea.

The other suspect is Roman. who’s a bit of a dick. That’s pretty much all I have to say about him, but I did like the dynamic between the two who then team up to discover the real truth about what’s going on. They definitely had some kind of homoerotic bromance going on, which kept me reading, obviously.

Shelley is a character who provides some Gothic Horror GOLD. She’s practically a giant with blocks on her feet, who is mute, glows demonically and is clearly supposed to be the Frankenstein’s Monster of the story. I think Shelley did work in that she pertains to the gothic atmosphere and provokes the questions ‘what/when/how/who’ but I don’t really understand how she fits into the ‘normal’ small town without people batting an eyelid. Odd.

I did really enjoy the setting though. The mystery and creepiness of the Biotech facility -which you can’t help but suspect is behind Shelley and the deaths – created an industrial, gothic feel to it which is new. Industrial Gothic…now there’s a genre we’ve been waiting for, no? The White Tower at least made the story plausible in that you can pretty much explain everything on scientific experiments, right?

I think that if McGreevy wasn’t concentrating so hard on nailing the Gothic Horror genre, and concentrated on just telling a good story that Hemlock Grove could be 100% better. But as it is it just seems a bit pretentious. The terrible grammar and inconsistencies made each sentence a chore. A CHORE. And the dialogue was just laughable.

Some of my favourite baffling lines:

She pulled Peter into a hug and kissed his cheek and gave his ponytail an annoyed jerk and harangued him didn’t he have a girlfriend to cut his hair.

So many things wrong with that sentence. WTF?

He pronounced ‘this’ in the phonetically correct fashion, but somehow it still rhymed with ‘us’.

???

‘Her Heart was a flicked mold of gelatin’ – What the hell does that mean???

A quality of thereness was missing from his face, his green eyes were windows to nothing. He was mercurial.

“Of course, minute as its impact may be in our physical universe, the fact of quantum entanglement is this: If one logically inexplicable thing is known to exist, then this permits the existence of all logically inexplicable things. A thing may be of deeper impossibility than another, in the sense that you can be more deeply underwater–but whether you are five feet or five fathoms from the surface you are still all wet.” You what now?”

Not to mention chapter titles such as ‘God doesn’t want you to be happy, he wants you to be strong’, Peter’s hierarchy of shit he can live without’ and ‘The most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off’. Brilliant.

So yeah, Hemlock Grove is entertaining in a way but so overwritten it’s hard to get to the actual story. I hope they did a better job with the TV series.

Details: Paperback, 319 pages. Published March 27th 2012 by FSG Originals. Thanks to Di for lending me this(I think)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Unicorns (I think)
Is it a keeper? It’s not mine, but err no.
If you liked this try: Dracula

August on Lipsyy Lost & Found

Monthly Round-Up

August 2013

Total Posts: 20

New Followers: 27

Books Read & Reviewed (4):

  • The Black Dragon (The Mysterium #1) – Julian Sedgwick, 3/5 (Review)
  • Water (Akasha #1) – Terra Harmony,   3/5 (Review)
  • Throne of Glass (ToG #1) – Sarah J. Maas, 4/5 (Review)
  • The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton, 4/5 (Review)

Read; Yet to Review
Frost Hollow Hall – Emma Carroll
Hemlock Grove – Brian McGreevy

Favourites Fridays:
Most Fridays I have been posting about my favourite books or authors

Most Viewed Posts:

  1. WWW Wednesday 21/08/2013 (View Post)
  2. WWW Wednesday 07/08/203 (View Post)
  3. TTT #2 (Things that make life as a reader/blogger easier) (View Post)

Books Purchased: 
I’ve been really good this month. And when I say good, I mean broke.

1. Pollen by Aaron Lamb (Kindle Edition) A friend of a friend of mine wrote this. Amazon £4.11
2. Fearless – The Story of Samantha Smith by Devon Hartford (Kindle Edition). Currently only £0.74 on Amazon
3. Beginning of a Hero (Legends of Windmere) by Charles E. Yallowitz (Kindle Edition) This was free on Amazon but is now just £0.77

ARCs/Giveaways:
Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll via NetGalley

* MY BOOK OF THE MONTH*
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*MY COVER OF THE MONTH*

*MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH*

This was released on the 29th August, but I haven’t been able buy a copy yet so it’s the one I’m most looking forward to in September.

WWW Wednesday!

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading: Once again I am blaming my friends’ wedding for my lack of reading time (the wedding was awesome and beautiful and epic btw) so I’m still reading Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll. No reflection on the book, I am really loving it now I’ve had time to sit down and read it. Will get a review posted in the next few days. I also picked up City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments) again as I want to reread it before I go and see the film (which looks pretty rubbish).

Recently Finished: Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy I finished this last week and it was one of those books that I didn’t know whether to give 1 Unicorn or 5, so I settled for 3. I’ll try to formulate a review in the next few days.

Up Next: I honestly have no idea…I have so many to choose from.

Leave a comment with the link to your post!

WWW Wednesday!

What a week! I have been recovering from a Bank Holiday Hen Party Extravaganza so it’s been a slow reading week for me. Looking forward to my friend’s wedding this weekend though! Therefore I am apologising in advance for lack of updates.

But Happy Wednesday Everyone. I did manage to finish one book and I have no idea how to review it!

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading: Frost Hollow Hall – Emma Carroll

View on Goodreads
View on Goodreads

Recently Finished: Hemlock Grove – Brian McGreevy

View on Goodreads
View on Goodreads

Up Next: I’m under instructions from my friend Dora to re-read The Mortal Instruments before we go and see the film. I couldn’t decide if I liked it the first time round and gave up after book 2. But I’d like to be able to compare them with it fresh in my mind.

WWW Wednesday!

www_wednesdays4

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading: Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy According to Goodreads it’s an exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares, according to my friend Di, it is so terrible I will love it.

Recently Finished:
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The Mysterium: The Black Dragon by Julian Sedgwick
This was a fun read but it didn’t have a lot to it.

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I also finished Water By Terra Harmony which gave me a lot of ranting material even though I liked it a lot. My Review is here.

Up Next: I kinda just want to read The Selection and The Elite again. Send help!