Top Ten Tuesday: It’s all about Dads! #TTT #HappyFathersDay

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Father’s Day related Freebiefavorite dads in literature, best father/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your dad, worst dads in literature, etc

I thought it was about time I joined in another TTT post. It’s always fun, but I don’t always find the time. I thought I’d make a special effort this week however, seeing how it’s Father’s Day this Sunday.

I’m going to split my list into two: Good Dads Vs Bad Dads!

Good Dads in Literature

  1. Vicente – The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: Sáenz writes such wonderful characters, and the dad in this novel is a new favourite. He’s kind, loving, strong, and cool. He’s always there for his son, Sal, but he doesn’t smother him. He’s a gay artist who gave up the man he loved for his adopted son, and he treats his son’s best friends as his own. He’s the best!
  2. Jack Peak – She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick: I thought I’d be able to remember more about this book than I’ve just realised so forgive me for inaccuracies, but I do remember that I loved Laureth and her relationship with her semi-famous author Jack Peak who goes missing. Laureth is blind but she doesn’t let that stop her. Her father’s interest in seeing patterns and connections in things rubbed off on her and she uses those skills andsheer bravery to try and find him.
  3. Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I really want to reread this book as I haven’t read it since I was at school. Atticus Finch is possibly the most recognised dad in fiction though and so it’s hard to forget about him. He’s a single father in a tough economic climate but he still manages to raise his two children as kind, loyal and accepting.
  4. Matt – The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lipton: I really loved this book, and for some reason, Matt -the father in this story- stood out. I say it like that, because I’m not sure how good a father he actually was. Matt is a wildlife photographer and was absent for a lot of the book (and his daughter’s life by the sounds of it). Similar to She is not Invisible, Matt goes missing, and his daughter Ruby goes in search of him. Ruby is deaf and loves that her dad doesn’t try to make her speak like her mum does, which brings them closer together. They have a unique bond that made the story as good as it was.
  5. Mo – The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke: For my last pick of ‘good’ dads I was torn between Mo and Detective Swan from Twilight…they are both great dads! But Mo wins for his storytelling abilities and huge heart.

Bad Dads

  1. The Marsh King – The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne: This one is fresh in my mind because I finished it recently (and loved it!). The dad in this story is the worst kind of dad. He kidnapped, raped, and abused Helena’s mum, and Helena was born into captivity. The even worse part was that Helena didn’t know any different and almost idolised him because he taught her how to hunt and live in the wilderness. He also trapped her in a well when she did something he didn’t like, though. BAD DAD. 
  2. Humbert Humbert – Lolita by Vladimir Nabookov: I think this one speaks for itself. Humbert is the worst ‘step-father’ ever. A scheming, slimy, seductor. Eugh.
  3. Jack Torrence – The Shining by Stephen King: Alcoholic, unhinged and the worst taste in jobs; Jack was never gonna be in the running for Dad of the year.
  4. King Shreave- The Selection series by Kiera Cass: It’s not apparent at first but the King in this series is horrible. He’s controlling and violent and has lied to the entire country. Poor Maxon!
  5. Pastor Thorne – Release by Patrick Ness: Adam Thorne’s dad was pretty bad but to be honest I wanted him to be worse. I felt like this book need more drama and less subtlety, but that aside, he was still a dad who is close-minded, strict, and bigoted. So still not great. Especially for the lovely Adam who just wants another boy to love him.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s lists this week because there were so many others  I could have chosen. Who made your lists? Leave a link in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out. 

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Top Ten Tuesday: I don’t think we should be friends…

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Ten Characters You Just Didn’t Click With

Oh OK, that’s how it is, is it?

Hmm this topic is so hard because it’s hard to remember those characters you didn’t really get on with as compared to those that you love and want to be your BFF! But I’m going to give this a go…

Celeste (The Selection series by Kiera Cass): Yeah OK, so she turned good in the end but even then I just couldn’t!

Rosalie (The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer): Again, she got better as the series went on but it was too little too late for my liking. Plus, she’s way too beautiful to stand next to me. Go away!

Edmund & Lucy (The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis): Ugh these two. Edmund was an idiot and made me furious a lot, and Lucy was sweet but a bit too whiny. I much preferred Susan and Peter from the early books.

Natalie (Sixteen Sixty-One by Natalie Lucas): I just couldn’t get on with how stupid Natalie was to allow herself to get into the horrible situations she did – her age was not a good enough excuse!

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Oliver Gooch (Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory): Oliver was such a strange, troubled character…I’m not sure I could handle being his friend, but I would like to visit his gothic bookshop!

Jorg (Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence): We’re really not supposed to like Jorg, but even as a anti-hero he didn’t do it for me. I never want to meet him!

Tally (The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld): Man, she was irritating. I really enjoyed this early dystopian series but for most of it I didn’t get on with Tally at all. We made friends by the end though.

Violet Lee (The Dark Heroine series by Abigail Gibbs): Violet was fearless bordering on stupidity and a bit self-involved so I’m not sure we’d get on.

Peter Pan (by J.M Barrie): Oh Peter. He’s the ultimate bad boy isn’t he? He promises the world with his magic and adventure but HE WILL NEVER LOVE YOU! SOB! Poor Wendy.

The Heir by Kiera Cass

HEIR
Title: The Heir
Author: Keira Cass
Series: The Selection #4
Edition: Paperback, 352 pages
Publication Details: May 7th by HarperTeen
Genre(s): YA; Dystopia
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

Goodreads // Purchase

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

Review

You should all be aware of my unashamed love of The Selection series by now. I can’t help it, they are just bloody addictive!

With that in mind, I probably should have been happy at the prospect of Cass carrying on the series with a new protagonist – Maxon and America’s daughter Eadlyn – but I kind of wasn’t. I was worried that the series had peaked. And I thought it was rounded-up satisfactory, so why drag it on, why milk it?

Well I’m pleased to say I needn’t have worried. The new generation of The Selection has everything I loved in the first three books. And man, it was just as addictive.

Since we last saw Maxon and America, Illéa has abolished the caste system, meaning anyone can do whatever job they like or marry who they like. With no reason to attack the palace, the rebels have disbanded, but the kingdom isn’t in as much peace as they’d hoped.

Jobs are sparse, and prejudices about who used to be what caste are still threatening to cause problems, leaving Maxon and America at their wits end. So what to they do? Beg their hard-nosed, Queen-in-training daughter to have her own selection, of course.

Will it bring peace to the Kingdom? Will Eadlyn warm to any of her suitors?

Seriously guys, if you liked the original books, there is no reason that you won’t like this one too. I found Eadlyn quite hard to warm to because of her stern demeanour, but it was more understandable as we get to know her.

I liked seeing the tables turn and watching the girl calling all the shots. It was refreshing, and I couldn’t put it down. OBVS. I totally wanted more Maxon/America action though. I kind of feel like it’s OK to fancy him now that he’s older…not that it stopped me before…

I’m hoping they’ll be more of an uprising within the Kingdom in the later books, because I think it needs that more serious side to it, but, overall, I couldn’t help but love this book.

Keira Cass strikes again!

unicorn rating 4

The Heir is available now in paperback, from Waterstones.

Current Giveaway: Win a copy of The Violet Hour by Andrea L. Wells and/or a Kindle Fire HD here!!!!

Anyone Can Betray Anyone: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen Trilogy #1
Edition: Digital ARC, 320 pages
Publication Details: February 10th 2015 by Orion / Feb 12th 2015 (paperback)
Genre(s): YA, Dystopia; Fantasy
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase


The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Review

OMG THIS BOOK!

I’d gone through a whole array of feelings about this book before I even picked it up. Firstly, from the cover alone I was so taken with it I couldn’t wait to read it. Then I started seeing it described as The Hunger Games meets The Selection via X-men, and my mind was blown. BLOWN.

But then, the hype just went a bit mad. It was all over the blogosphere and while I tired to avoid most of the reviews, I started to doubt my first thoughts and wondered if this was just another Hunger Games wannabe; all hype and no substance….

Thankfully, I was wrong. Red Queen, whilst having some flaws, ended up completely surpassing my expectations. And it made me want to throw it across the room (yet another downside to the e-book!), in the best possible way.

In Victoria Aveyard’s take on a dystopian future, there are two classes. The Redbloods, the lowly commoners who do all the physical and menial jobs, and are conscripted to fight in the war, and the Silverbloods, the ruling class, who all have different powers such as the ability to manipulate fire, water or metal – much like the X-MEN (which I LOVE).

I really loved this world. When you break it down it isn’t anything new, but the combination of ideas from other worlds made it original in its own way. It was a little bit Noughts & Crosses (Malorie Blackman) as well as being understandably likened to The Selection and THG.

Mare isn’t talented, unless you count stealing. She doesn’t have a skill like her sister does so she’s destined for a future in the army, just like her brothers and her best friend Kilorn. She hates the Silverbloods as much as anyone for taking them away. But one night she tries to steal from the wrong person – a handsome cloaked stranger – who listens to her story and can offer her a better life.

The stranger… is Cal, the prince and heir to the throne, and Mare finds herself with a job at the palace. But this isn’t any ordinary palace. It just so happens that Mare has arrived in time for the Queenstrial, where silver nobles will fight it out (with their powers) in the arena, for the princes hands in marriage (oh yes, there’s two of them to swoon over!).

Without giving away any massive spoilers all I’ll say is that somehow, Mare finds herself engaged to a prince, disguised with silver dust and the constant threat of execution hanging over her head.

INTENSE!

I seriously couldn’t put this down. The action was good, the whole on-off love/hate romance thing was pretty hot and man, it was just so good. HOWEVER, there were so many things that didn’t make sense. A few of them did by the end, but there were some definite annoying plot holes.

For example, there wasn’t really any need for the noble Silverbloods to train in the arena every day. They use the Reds to fight on the front line, so why do they need to train, and compete against each other so much? I felt like this was just an easy way to get more action into the plot and be a bit more Hunger Games-esque. It was a bit gratuitous.

Also, they change Mare’s identity (making her a Silver Noble) and swear her to a life of secrecy, but it’s not like no one will notice her – she is filmed on a few occasions – which is shown in the Red villages… and they make her fight in the arena, where blood is often spilled, so how do they expect her to not be exposed? ARGH!

Another huge thing which got my goat is that the Queen(the big baddy)’s power is mind manipulation. She can get into your mind and see all of your memories and thoughts, not to mention make you do anything she wants, and yet Mare and others are planning a rebellion under her very nose – errrr how!!!?

And while we’re talking about war and rebellion, I don’t think we’re ever even told why the war began. Something was mentioned about the Lowlanders being the ones they’re fighting against but that’s about it. Maybe this will be explored more in the next book, who knows.

But anyway, I need to breathe.

All of these things added to my enjoyment of the book, because y’know PURE GOLD in ranting material. I was really tempted to give this ALL THE UNICORNS, but the only reason I didn’t is because I predicted a major twist from quite early on. I need to stop thinking so much!

unicorn rating 4

Red Queen is available to preorder from Waterstones now, and the paperback is due to be released Feb 12th.

Top Ten Tuesday: YA Books for YABC

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic for this week is: Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club (or you could pick a specific kind of book club — like if you had a YA book club or an adult book club or a science fiction book club etc.)

My friend Di and I have an unofficial YA book club (YABC) where we meet up, drink wine, exchange books and rant/swoon over them. It’s pretty awesome. Therefore, I am choosing the books that have been the most successful YABC topics in the past.

Oh the rants we’ve had…

(Links go to related posts)

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1. The Hunger Games: Well, durrr. There was a period of time where myself and Di were banned from talking about THG in public because we just couldn’t stop, and it always ended in the same very heated (but y’know, friendly..) argument.

Mainly because it turns out that Di likes NICE BOYS like Peeta and is therefore WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING. I mean really, Peeta over Gale…?? SERIOUSLY. Other topics included why I hated the first movie (because I’m right) and why Di didn’t (because she’s wrong).

2. Vampire Academy: Oh, we are not even close to be being done with VA YABCs! But the series so far (we are up to book 3 I believe), has already provided us with so much good ranting material.

There’s been the obvious Dimitri-in-my-pants rants and girl crushing all over Rose Hathaway and her complete awesomeness. And then there’s the hilarity that ensued when we realised we couldn’t pronounce any of the vampire species so anyone listening in to our convo in the bar at Waterloo station probably thought we were having a stroke.

And lastly, there’s the fact that it’s impossible to discuss VA without comparing it to our favourite topic ever – Buffy!! So good!

3. Twilight: Possibly the first ever YABC-type rant in the history of Di and Lipsy book rants.

Topics mainly revolved around how ridiculous it is but quickly descends into how much we want to have sex with control freak Cullen, and ultimately how much we COULDN’T STOP READING. There has also been a lot of discussion over the TERRIBLE fashion choices Meyer made – if there’s ever a BEIGE POLO-NECK shortage just head to Forks, yeah!

Oh and in case you were wondering, I’m the lion and Di’s the lamb. LOLZ.

4. The Selection Series: The big debate here is clearly Team Maxon Vs Team Aspen but for once I think me and Di actually agreed (we did, right?). Team Maxon to the max…see what I did there. There was also a lot of talk about how this series helped with our post-Hunger Games blues, and how much we want GILES to play the king in the TV Series. What ever happened to that?

5. Graceling: Oh so much swooning went on at the Graceling edition of YABC. We swooned over the pretty much perfect Prince Po, and at how AWESOME Katsa is. We just love her. KATSA & PO 4EVA.

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6. The Chaos Walking Trilogy: This wasn’t so much a YABC meet-up as it was a constant texting/tweeting/ranting/raving/crying over how amazing, heartbreaking, and just plain HORRIBLE this series is. I think at one point I declared how much I hate Di for giving it to me. IT HURT MY IMPENETRABLE HEART. We cried over poor Todd. And how cute him and Viola are. And let’s not even mention the dog. I just can’t.

7. Uglies: After giving this to Di to read and hearing her thoughts on it I can’t even think about the book without bursting into laughter. I liked it. Sure, the protagonist was annoying, but I thought it was a really brave book that covered some important teenage issues. Di did not. Di hated it with a firey passion which naturally led to a particularly loud edition of YABC.

8. Divergent: There were only really a few topics we managed to focus on when discussing Divergent. First…back to The Hunger Games. Second, HOT MAKE OUT SCENES ON TRAINS. We did manage to briefly discuss which faction we’d be before quickly returning to swoon over Four and his tattoos. Sigh.

9. The Mortal Instruments: Let’s face it. There’s only really one topic in discussion where TMI is concerned – whether Jace and Clary will EVER get it on (I only got up to book 3). And not forgetting the whole possible incest thing. INCEST IS BEST. Ahem. I have a brother – It is NOT. Shudder.

10. The Lunar Chronicles: This is only so far down the list because for once we pretty much agree on everything about these books. Mainly, that they are beyond awesome. We’ve swooned over Prince Kai, Captain Thorne and even Wolf – or maybe that was just me? We love Cinder, and Scarlet and Cress and want to poke Levana’s eyes out. And now we’re just waiting for more.

One more thing: I feel the need to include Narnia here too. I don’t think we’ve even had an actual Narnia YABC but it’s never really far from our thoughts to be honest. Whether we’re discussing if it’s OK to fancy High King Peter, or laughing at Ben Barnes’ accent in the Prince Caspian movie….it’s always a Narnian life for us. For Narnia!

*Fangirl Alert* The Heir by Kiera Cass

I know I’m late to the party on this one, but while the online world was going crazy over the announcement that Kiera Cass has expanded on her The Selection series, I was knee-deep in Horror October posts.

But now, let’s celebrate!

I am sooooooooooo excited about this, but also slightly worried that you can have too much of a good thing. Is Cass breaking all her own rules in this role reversal, where a selection of boys compete for the Princess’ (America and Maxon’s daughter, obvs) hand in marriage.

Cass addresses this question and more on her website…but to sum it up…we just have to wait and see. EEEEK! So long to wait.

The Heir, is due for release May 5th 2015. TOO FAR AWAY!

HEIR

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

And if that wasn’t enough, don’t forget about The Queen, the prequel novella which gets a digital release next month (December 2nd). Which is a much nicer wait than MAY is. Ugh.

I’m linking this up to Breaking the Spine’s Waiting on Wednesday.

Friday Feature: Great YA Father Figures

It’s my dad’s birthday today (happy birthday, Daddy Lipsy!), which got me thinking about my favourite dads or father figures in YA.

I actually tried to do this feature with mums on Mother’s Day but could hardly come up with any! I’m pleased to say I had more success with dads.

Jack Peak – She is Not Invisible

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This one is fresh in my mind because I finished the book earlier in the week (review will be up tomorrow). I absolutely love Marcus Sedgwick but I was worried about SINI because it’s such a departure for him. I needn’t have worried of course. Considering Jack isn’t actually in most of the book, due to being missing, he made a big impact. We get to know him through his daughter Laureth who decides to go and find him in New York.

There were so many things that I loved about Jack, but I think my favourite was that always treated his kids like equals, like adults. He never talked down them, or thought they were incapable, and he trusted them and valued their opinions.

He’s also slighty mad. I think all the best dads are!

BUY ME

Mo Folchart – Inkheart

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It’s been a long time since I read Inkheart, but I always think of Mo and Meggie’s relationship as one of the the greatest father/daughter relationships in contemporary fiction.

Both characters are grieving over the disappearance of Meggie’s mum but it only seems to make them stronger.

And, in the words of Dianne Tanner: HE COULD READ CHARACTERS OUT OF BOOKS SO THEY ARE ALIVE IN REAL ACTUAL LIFE !!!!! BEST SUPER POWER

He also passed on his love of books to Meggie, even if he won’t read aloud to her anymore…
 
BUY ME

Shalom Singer – The Selection

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Similar to SINI, Shalom doesn’t get a whole lot of page time in The Selection trilogy but through letters and the occasional visit it’s clear that America is the closest to her dad.

He’s the only one who didn’t push her into entering The Selection despite how much it could help their family.

He also turns out to be pretty badass.

BUY ME

Charlie Swan – Twilight

Twi
Oh Chief Swan. I had to go there didn’t I.

So yeah, he might be a bit overprotective as far as boyfriends go but who can blame him, his daughter is seeing a vampire with control issues. Compared to Edward he’s like the mellowist guy ever.

He doesn’t lurk, or pry, and he’s always off fishing. Party Time!

He’s also totally hot, right? RIGHT?

BUY ME

Skulduggery Pleasant


This series is full of great father figures, from Stephanie’s actual father, to her late grandfather Gordon who still manages to help her out when she’s in a pickle, and then of course there’s Skulduggery.

I love how Skulduggery and Stephanie’s relationship develops through the series. They’ll literally do anything for each other.

Plus, who wouldn’t want a sarcastic skeleton detective as a father figure!?

He’s also not happy about Stephanie/Valkyrie dating a vampire. Note to self: Dads are not a fan of vampire boyfriends.

BUY ME

You’ll Do Too…

Shout-outs also have to go to Luke in The Mortal Instruments (Werewolf Dad), and Jeb in The Host (bad-ass free-thinking Dad).

Who did I miss?