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! 

Bargain Books: Car-Boot Sale Finds

Today, for once I actually got up early enough to go to my local bi-monthly car-boot sale. Check out my BARGAINS.

All of this for under £2. UNDER £2. Including the cute glass espresso cups.

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I haven’t read this since I was little…I can’t believe this is the first copy of it I’ve owned! MAGICAL!

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WWW Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

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:

Click images for Goodreads.
Click images for Goodreads.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

I am in love. I’m in love with this whole book and totally crushing on Celaena. She’s an assassin and kicks-ass but she’s compassionate and smart, and a bit shy. I LOVE HER.

Just Finished:
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
I finally managed to finish this (it wasn’t a reflection on the book, just on how little time I actually spent reading last week). I really enjoyed it and gave it 4/5. Read my review here.

Up Next:
Oooh so many to choose from. I should be getting a copy of Hemlock Grove from Di which I’ve been told I HAVE to read:
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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.

Also on the list:
17453243 Deer in Headlights – Staci Hart

How do the Greek gods kill time? Because they’re always bored. It’s an unavoidable downside of being alive for thousands of years. So, they play games. Games with human players. Remember Shakespeare? Yeah, that was Apollo. Bonnie and Clyde? Aphrodite vs Ares.

It’s Aphrodite’s turn once again in the rounds of competitions, and she’ll defend her domain: Love. She hasn’t lost a competition on her turf in over three millennia, and she’s not about to start now. Apollo is her first competitor, and he’s on a mission to win. If he wins, he’ll get a token; a favor that Aphrodite must fulfill. And with that favor, he’ll finally get the one woman he’s never been able to have.

Aphrodite and Apollo will choose their human players, and if Aphrodite can’t get them together before the clock runs out, Apollo will get his way. And she couldn’t have that.

12755985 Water – Terra Harmony

Elemental powers in the palm of her hand…and it won’t be enough to save her. When Kaitlyn Alder is involuntarily introduced to a life of magic, she becomes part of an organization hell-bent on saving the Earth. Just as her new-found life holds promises of purpose, romance, and friendship, the organization divides and a rogue member holds Kaitlyn hostage. Now one of the most terrifying men the human race has to offer stands between her and Earth’s survival.

AND I have the books I got on Bookswap last month.

What should I pick?
Leave a comment with the link to your post! 🙂

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it: The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton

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During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.

Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From pre-WWII England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined.

The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths people go to fulfill them, and the consequences they can have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers, and schemers told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world. Image and synopsis from Goodreads (Click the Image to go there).

The Secret Keeper is another winner from Kate Morton. She has found a definitive style that suits her perfectly and creates beautiful, engrossing drama and decade-spanning mysteries. So, if it’s not broke don’t fix it right?

Usually I’m not a huge fan of shifting timelines but Morton does it so well. We start in the 1960’s when our protagonist Laurel is a teenager and witnesses her beloved mother stabbing a random man. We’re then propelled foward to the present where poor mum is approaching her 90th birthday and on her deathbed. With Laurel back to take care of her she aims to find out for once and for all what exactly happened that day. The mystery emerges bit by bit in true Morton style – by following Dolly (Laurel’s mum), through War-time London and beyond.

This is a hard book to review without just relaying the story. So much goes on but so little of it seems important without seeing the bigger picture, so it’s hard to pick out certain elements. One of my favourite things though was the description of London during the raids. The characters weren’t fazed by it because they’d become so accustomed to it. It’s funny how you can just get used to something so awful. They almost seemed immune to death and destruction which definitely helped put Dolly’s story in perspective. I also really enjoyed the family dynamics, especially Gerry, he was a lovely, complicated and quirky character.

I can’t say I was gripped the whole way through, but I certainly was for the most part. On numerous occasions I thought I knew exactly where the story was going and what the secret would be and whilst part of it was easy to guess, the final blow definitely wasn’t which made for an excellent read.

If you’ve never read any Kate Morton, I definitely recommend her work. I haven’t read every single one of her books on account that they sound so similar to each other, but the ones I have read have been really pleasant surprises.

Details:Paperback, 602 pgs. Published May 9th 2013 by Pan Books.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Unicorns
Is it a keeper? As much as I enjoyed it, I know I’ll never read it again so no. I have added it to my Book Swap List. (UK only, soz!)
If you liked this try: The House At Riverton

WWW Wednesday.

Sorry guys, my answers are the same as last week as I was away at the weekend and did not even manage to open a book. I’m really enjoying The Secret Keeper though and will hopefully get it finished soon. Busy Busy. Please still leave a comment with your post so I can peruse them through the day! Hope you’ve all been more productive than me this week. 😉

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:
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton – ‘A a spellbinding mix of mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love’. View on Goodreads.

Just Finished:
Poison by Sarah Pinborough – ‘A beautiful, sexy, contemporary retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale’. I was sooooooooo excited about this and it hurts me to say that I was a bit disappointed. Maybe I expected too much? Sad Panda. Review to follow shortly. View on Goodreads.

Shiny!
Shiny!

Up Next:
Either Throne of Glass or Storm Glass. It’s all about the glass apparently.

Click to View on Goodreads
Click to View on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads

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:
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton – ‘A a spellbinding mix of mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love’. View on Goodreads.

Just Finished:
Poison by Sarah Pinborough – ‘A beautiful, sexy, contemporary retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale’. I was sooooooooo excited about this and it hurts me to say that I was a bit disappointed. Maybe I expected too much? Sad Panda. Review to follow shortly. View on Goodreads.

Shiny!
Shiny!

Up Next:
Either Throne of Glass or Storm Glass. It’s all about the glass apparently.

Click to View on Goodreads
Click to View on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads

BEST POST DAY! (New Arrivals)

It FINALLY arrived! I’ve been waiting for a delivery all week and I was getting anxious because I bought one book in particular that I’m really eager to read (Poison), and Amazon told me it had arrived on Wednesday…when it didn’t. 😦

Turns out it actually did, but it wouldn’t fit through the letterbox and the STOOPID postman put my flatmate’s name on the ‘Sorry you were out form’ instead of mine! Grrr.

So poor Dora went to pick up what she thought was her package today…to find out it was mine. HURRAH! (Sorry Dora, thanks Dora!)

So yeah, eventually…BEST POST DAY!

Yesss!
Yesss!

I thought all of these would be great summer reads and Poison looks especially amazing! I totally forgot it was hardback too. I’m in love with it already. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Shiny!
Shiny!

Sneak Peak:
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I featured Poison in my WWW Wednesdays post here, but here’s a bit more about the other two.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
I’ve only ever read one other Kate Morton book which was The House at Riverton. It’s not usually the kind of thing I like but I was surprised by how much I loved it. This one looks more of the same.

The new novel from the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours is a spellbinding mix of mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.

During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.

Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From pre-WWII England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined.

The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths people go to fulfill them, and the consequences they can have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers, and schemers told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world. Synopsis from Goodreads.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve seen this around everywhere and couldn’t resist. Sounds pretty epic. I’m hoping it’ll fill the void of there being no more Graceling Realm books.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted? Synopsis from Goodreads.

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I also got good post in the week when my Gollancz goodies arrived for getting my review posted. Fun! You can never have too many geeky t-shirts and badges right?

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