Top Ten Tuesday: Top ten books which feature characters who…crack me up!

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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: Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who _____ (are musically inclined, have lost someone, have depression, who grow up poor, etc.) I decided to go for my favourite funny characters. The ones that make you do a LOL when reading in public places.

Book titles link to the Goodreads page

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Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy: “Magic, monsters, crime fighting, a sarcastic skeleton detective and a girl who kicks ass…what more could you want?”

Mystery Man & Dan Starkey by Colin Bateman: Black humour at its best. Mystery Man is like Bernard Black from Black Books, trying to solve crimes. So good! I did a whole feature on it here. And, Dan Starkey is a feckless journalist who finds himself in ridiculously stupid yet very sticky situations, constantly!

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: Manchee the dog provides a lot of laughs and also tears in this book. I’ve never known a literary dog to have so much impact! Genius. [Review]

I am the Messenger by Marcus Zuzak: I loved Ed Kennedy’s self-deprecating sense of humour in this book. It’s such an underrated book overall in my opinion.

The Gates by John Connolly: Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell are a hilarious duo in John Connolly’s book about demon neighbours, portals, and the Large Hadron Collider.

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A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon: I found this book really funny as well as bittersweet and slightly heartbreaking.

George Hall doesn’t understand the modern obsession with talking about everything. ‘The secret of contentment, George felt, lay in ignoring many things completely.’

I loved George so much, and he was darkly hilarious without meaning to be.

The Martian by Andy Weir: Mark Watney provides some much needed humour in this book about one man stranded on Mars. [Review]

The Ruby Redfort books by Lauren Child: I loved Ruby’s ‘sarky, feisty wit’ in these action-packed spy books. [Review]

The Flavia de Luce books by Alan Bradley: “Flavia is witty, tenacious and doggedly independent with a fiery, yet caring spirit,” making these classic mystery books a breath of fresh air. [Review]

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Authors!

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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: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors

Seriously guys, why are you doing this to us!!?? Choosing ten favourite authors is just mean! But after much deliberation, I have chosen my ten. I can not put them in order though. That’s just too hard.

Click on the author pictures to view their Goodreads page, and book titles link to reviews or related posts.

Scarlett Thomas:

authors1Scarlett Thomas has taught English Literature at the University of Kent since 2004, and has previously taught at Dartmouth Community College, South East Essex College and the University of East London. She reviews books for the Literary Review, the Independent on Sunday, and Scotland on Sunday. She has written seven novels, including The End of Mr. Y and PopCo.

Books Read: Bright Young Things; Going Out; Dead Clever; PopCo; The End of Mr Y; Our Tragic Universe

Marcus Sedgwick:

authors2Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is a British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several books, including Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Days, both of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award.

Books Read: My Swordhand is Singing; White Crow; The Book of Dead Days; She is Not Invisible; Blood Red, Snow White; Dark Satanic Mills; The Ghosts of Heaven

Darren Shan

authors3Darren Shan (born July 2, 1972 in London, England) is the pen name of the Irish author Darren O’Shaughnessy, as well as the name of the protagonist of his book series The Saga of Darren Shan, also known as The Cirque Du Freak Series in the United States. He is the author of The Demonata series, as well as some stand-alone books, and a series of books for adults under the alternative name of D.B. Shan.

Books Read: The Saga of Darren Shan 1-12; The Birth of a Killer; The City Trilogy (Procession of the Dead, Hell’s Horizon, City of Snakes); Lady of the Shades; Zom-B

James Frey

authors4James Frey is the author of A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard. After battling with alcohol addiction and spending time in rehab, he wrote A Million Little Pieces which was published in 2003 in America and the following year in the UK to critical acclaim. He wrote the sequel, My Friend Leonard about life after rehab, which was published in 2005 in the US and the year after in the UK. He is also one of the authors that share the pseudonym Pittacus Lore, author of the Lorien Legacies.

Books Read: A Million Little Pieces; My Friend Leonard; Bright Shiny Morning; The Final Testament of the Holy Bible; Endgame

David Levithan

authors5David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children’s book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

Books Read: Will Grayson, Will Grayson; Hold Me Closer; Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist; Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

Marissa Meyer

authors6Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her fiancé and two cats. In addition to her slight obsession with books and writing, she’s big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. Meyer is represented by Jill Grinberg. CINDER, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles is a futuristic re-envisioning of Cinderella in which Cinder is a cyborg mechanic

Books Read: The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder; Scarlet; Cress)

Colin Bateman

authors7Colin Bateman was a journalist in Northern Ireland before becoming a full-time writer. His first novel, Divorcing Jack, won the Betty Trask Prize, and all his novels have been critically acclaimed. He wrote the screenplays for the feature films of Divorcing Jack, Crossmaheart and Wild About Harry. He lives in Northern Ireland with his family.

Books Read: Mystery Man (Mystery Man; The Day of the Jack Russell; Dr Yes; The Prisoner of Brenda); Dan Starkey (Divorcing Jack; Shooting Sean); Murphy’s Law; Empire State

Kurt Vonnegut

authors8Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journalist before joining the U.S. Army and serving in World War II. His experiences as an advance scout in the Battle of the Bulge, and in particular his witnessing of the bombing of Dresden, Germany whilst a prisoner of war, would inform much of his work. This event would also form the core of his most famous work, Slaughterhouse-Five, the book which would make him a millionaire. This acerbic 200-page book is what most people mean when they describe a work as “Vonnegutian” in scope.

Books Read: Slaughterhouse-Five; Timequake; Breakfast of Champions

Derek Landy

authors9Derek Landy is an Irish writer and screenwriter. In addition to the bestselling children’s/YA series of Skulduggery Pleasant books, a supernatural mystery series starring Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton detective, and Valkyrie Cain, a young female magician, he has written two screenplays that have been made into films: the IFTA award winning “Dead Bodies” and the IFTA nominated “Boy Eats Girl”. Landy himself was nominated for an IFTA for Best Script.

Books Read: Skulduggery Pleasant 1-7; The Maleficent Seven

Patrick Ness

authors10Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Born in Virginia, he currently lives in London.

Books Read: The Chaos Walking Trilogy (The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer; Monsters of Men); A Monster Calls

I’m pleasantly surprised how many British and Irish writers I have on my list, it was totally unintentional.

Looking forward to seeing who everyone else has chosen. Feel free to leave your link.

Top Ten Tuesday: I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Started These YA Series Yet…

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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: Top Ten Books I can’t believe I haven’t read from X Genre…

I’m almost as bad at starting series than I am at finishing them. But the following books are ones that I do fully intend on starting…at some point…

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1. The Giver Quartet ~ Lois Lowry: I’ll be honest, I hadn’t even heard of this series before the movie came out and I can’t believe how long ago it was released. I’m very intrigued for that reason alone, so I’ve avoided the film thus far.

2. The Grisha ~ Leigh Bardugo: I’ve heard so many good things about this series and people have told me I’d love it.

3. Splintered ~ A.G Howard: I’ve enjoyed some re-imaginings of Wonderland before, and this one sounds great. Plus, the covers are awesome.

4. Percy Jackson ~ Rick Riordan: I love Greek mythology so I’m pretty sure I’ll love these books.

5. Matched ~ Ally Condie: I got the first book in this series from the YALC book swap last year, but I just haven’t got round to it yet.

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6. Young Elites ~ Marie Lu: I haven’t read any Marie Lu yet and this series sounds full of action.

7. The Magisterium ~ Cassandra Clare and Holly Black: I’m intrigued by this collaboration!

8. Snow Like Ashes ~ Sarah Raasch: The cover! That is enough of a reason to want this series.

9. The Children of Camelot ~ Donna Hosie: I love, love, love Arthurian lit, so a YA series based on that = slobber.

10. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins: I’ve wanted this since it was released. Everything about it just screams awesome.

Top Ten Tuesday: Horror Books For Readers Who Like Character Driven Novels

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

This week the topic is: Ten Books For Readers Who Like Character Driven Novels

As it’s October, I thought I’d make it even harder for myself by choosing Horror/Thriller books.

Character-driven novels are those where the character’s arc is the main element of the story, rather than the actual plot. I’m not entirely sure if all the these books would officially be classed as character-driven, but they are all novels in which the characters are well developed and undergo some kind of personal growth throughout.

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1. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice: Whether it’s the books or the film you’re familiar with, Anne Rice’s Vampire tale is very character-led. Each character has a strong arc, and has completely changed by the end of it. Or are y’know, dead.

2. Procession of the Dead by D.B Shan: Darren Shan’s first series for adults is one of my favourites in the horror genre, as long as we don’t talk about the last book! Protagonist Capac Raimi begins as a lovable young rogue, turns into the thing he feared the most, and has a monumental fall from grace.

3. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes: We follow Cathy from the present day where it’s clear that horrific events in her past have traumatised her beyond recognition. She has debilitating OCD and finds it hard to leave the house. Throughout the book we are taken back to the events that led up to her current state, and while this is also quite plot-driven, it’s very much about Cathy’s growth as a person, and letting go of the past.

4. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King: I love this sequel to The Shining. We get to how little Danny Torrence grew up and how Abra Stone impacts his life. They are both strong characters who have intense character arcs. I felt like this book was much more character-driven than the first.

5 & 6. The Woman in Black & The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill: I feel like most of Susan Hill’s books are very character-driven. Maybe it’s because they are gently paced with an emphasis on the character’s reactions to the supernatural. These are the two books of hers that stand out for me, character-wise.

7. Doll Bones by Holly Black: This is my current read so I don’t know how it ends yet. It’s a creepy tale about dead girl’s spirit trapped inside a china doll, but really it’s about three pre-teen friends feeling pressured into growing up, and their loss of innocence and imagination.

Gah I hate it when I can’t think of 10. What did I miss?

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated British Authors

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

This week the topic is: Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in X genre

Woah, this is a tough one. It was taking me a really long time to even chose a genre, so I’m just going for underrated British Authors!

I feel like authors are mainly underrated because of the genres they write in. I like to read a lot of different genres as I’m sure most bloggers do, but I think the average reader is more set in their ways and tend to overlook certain authors for that reason.

That was the basis of my thinking for this list. If it’s not a genre you usually go for, give these authors a go.

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  • Scarlett Thomas – Contemporary with a Sci-Fi twist
  • Derek Landy – Children’s Fiction
  • Darren Shan – Horror; Children’s Fiction
  • Marcus Sedgwick – YA
  • Mark Haddon – Contemporary
  • Kate Morton – Historical/Women’s Fiction
  • Ann Cleaves – Crime Fiction
  • Trisha Ashley – Women’s Fiction
  • Malorie Blackman – YA
  • John Connolly – Known for his Crime series, but check out his YA

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Adult Books For YA Readers

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

This week the topic is: Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read X (examples: New Adult novels, historical fiction, a certain author, books about a certain topic, etc).

I had a hard time deciding what to choose this week. My initial reaction was to do either YA or Fantasy, but I figured a lot of people might go for them, and I’d have a hard time getting it down to just 10 books.

What I’ve come up with is ten adult books that I would recommend to YA lovers.

I love reading YA, but I do think it’s important to read some adult books once in a while. And no, I don’t mean ‘adult’.

I think all of these books would make for a smooth YA to adult transition!

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Burial Rites (Hannah Kent): This book was a much easier read than I thought it was going to be. It’s written beautifully and is totally gripping.

Procession of the Dead (Darren Shan as D.B Shan): This was the first adult book published by Shan and one of my favourites by him full stop. It has all the elements I love in his younger books: horror; gore; violence but with added psychological creep factor. It’s the first book in The City trilogy.

Mystery Man (Bateman): I never get bored of recommending this series. It’s hilarious and I think YA readers will love the crime caper plots.

Room (Emma Donoghue): This book is narrated by a five year old boy. It has a tough subject matter but I think Donoghue really nailed the tone of it, making it a compelling, if not disturbing, read.

The End of Mr Y (Scarlett Thomas): I love everything about this book. It’s very visual and at times I felt like I was walking through a computer game. I think YA readers will enjoy its quirkiness.

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The Ice Queen (Alice Hoffman): This is my favourite Alice Hoffman book so far. As with most of her books it’s about human nature with an injection of ‘real’ magic.

Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut): I basically think everyone should be forced to read this book. ‘Nuff said.

A Spot of Bother (Mark Haddon): Haddon did a great job of portraying an autistic teen in The Curious Incident…, but I think I prefer this one. It makes you think a lot about growing old, and it’s funny to boot.

The Gargoyle (Andrew Davidson): I’m not really sure why I thought about this book for this list. I really loved parts of it, and not others but it’s beautifully written and just look at the cover!

Doctor Sleep (Stephen King): I thought Doctor Sleep was quite a quick read considering the length of it. And I loved seeing Danny’s story continue. His friendship with young Abra gave it a bit of a YA feel.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s lists this week, but I’m not looking forward to what it will do to my TBR Pile/Wishlist!

Top Ten Tuesday: Desert Island Companions

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

This week the topic is: Top Ten characters you would want to be stranded on a desert island with.

I was really excited about this topic when I first saw it, but then I totally hit a blank. The only ones I could come up with were ones that surely everyone will choose (Katniss, Tris etc – everyone who could do all the hard work so I could sit back and relax on the beach), but after some brainstorming I came up with the following. And I still had to include Katniss – it’s impossible not to, SOZ.

Katniss (The Hunger Games)

Let’s just get it out of the way. She’d do all the hunting and cooking, and I’d make her bracelets out of foliage. Or something.

Let’s Break it down: 80% Skillz & Protection; 15% in the hope that Gale would come and rescue us; 5% for company

Katsa & Po (Graceling)

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I think they’d both be pretty handy on a desert island, and even though they’re a couple, they wouldn’t make you sick with loveydovey nonsense because they’re all about getting things done. They’re both pretty hot, and kick-ass (despite becoming blind in Po’s case).

Let’s Break it down: 60% Skillz & Protection; 40 % Hotness & Company

Dimitri (Vampire Academy)

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He can be a bit of an idiot sometimes for sure, but I’m sure I could take his mind off Rose for a while. Let’s put it this way, I wouldn’t be frantically trying to make a raft out of my back hair if I was stuck on an island with him. Not that I have back hair, of course.

Let’s Break it down: 80% Hotness; 20% Skillz & Protection

Jeff (Dark Eden)

Jeff was the pretty much the only likeable character in Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden, and he’d be totally useful on a desert island. He’d make shoes out of leaves and find a bizarre species of animal to tame and breed. He’d probably figure out how to use a tree to catapult them home or something.

Let’s Break it down: 100 % Skillz & Intelligence

Captain Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles)

No doubt Captain Thorne would think he’d have all the answers but they probably wouldn’t quite work out so you’d be stuck there for a while. It wouldn’t really matter though, he’d keep you entertained.

Let’s Break it down: 100 % for the LOLZ & Company

Westley & Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride)

This is my current read and although I’m a huge fan of the film, it’s the first time I’ve read Goldman’s book – I love it. I think having both Westley (for the swoon) and Inigo (for protection and the lolz) stuck on an island with me would be swell. Both of them would be full of stories, and they know how to look after a lady. I can be that lady!

Let’s Break it down: 50% for the LOLZ & Company; 25% for the Skillz; 25% Hotness

Aslan (The Chronicles of Narnia)

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It’s usually pretty hard to pin Aslan down. He generally turns up just when you need him and disappears again straight after so you never get to ask all those burning questions for have for him. You’d definitely have time to do that on a deserted island. Plus, he could breathe on some fire wood to set it alight, or heal you if you chop your own hand off with a makeshift machete.

Let’s Break it down: 70% Company; 30% Skillz & Protection

Peter Pan

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He’s pretty cute and clever, and you know, he’s got that whole ‘never grow up’ thing going for him so when you’re getting old and can’t bend down to spear the fish anymore, he’ll be as spritely as the day you washed up on the beach. I would tell him stories and be his Wendy. Obviously.

Let’s Break it down: 50% Skillz; 50% Company

Top Ten Tuesday: Books You Should Read If You Like…

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

This week the topic is 10 Books You Should Read if you Like X (TV show/Film etc).

Ooh I like this topic, it’s fun. But I had a hard time coming up with 10 books for just one TV Show or film so I’ve split it into a few categories.

Books you should read if you like…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
BTVS is my favourite show of all time. It’s everything a high school drama with vampires should be! It’s witty and has a kick-ass protagonist, as do the following books.

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The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Veronica Mars
V Mars is so awesome. She’s ridiculously intelligent and mature for her age, and she can’t help getting herself into sticky situations. Her dad -who is pretty adorable- is a PI, and the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. These books also have feisty female protagonists whose inquisitive natures get them into all sorts of scrapes, whether it’s fighting octopuses (Ruby Redfort) or studying poisons (Flavia de Luce).

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The Ruby Redfort books by Lauren Child
Skulduggery pleasant by Derek Landy
The Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley
The Lily Pascale mysteries by Scarlett Thomas

True Detective
I just finished watching this show last night (gooooood ending), and I did enjoy but it has such a slow-burning pace. And that’s what really reminded me of this book.

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The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Before I Started Blogging…

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week. This week the topic is a freebie. We could pick a previously done topic, one we missed or something chosen at random. I don’t fancy revisiting any previously done topics just yet, and I’m sure there’s loads of good ones I missed but what I really want to do is Top Ten Books I Read Before Blogging That I Wished I’d Reviewed!

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The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson: I had a love/hate relationship with this book. From what I remember I loved the present day story but got a but bored by the flashbacks. I wish I’d reviewed this as it was a really interesting read even though I only gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.

Dirty Angels by Andrew Clover: I remember really loving this book but I can’t remember a thing about it – it only has TWO reviews on Goodreads and it doesn’t even have a synopsis!????

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes: I loved this too, but a few of my friends read it and hated it. Why did I love it so much?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: I wish I’d reviewed this before the film came out. I had been wanting to read Perks for about six years before I actually picked up a copy and it broke/melted my icy heart! But now all I can think about is the AWFUL film which everyone else seemed to enjoy. No.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: I have kind of reviewed this in a Favourites Friday post, but I wish I’d written my thoughts down about it at the time.

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Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion: Again, I wished I’d reviewed this before I saw the film – which I didn’t hate, but I definitely preferred the book. The film was much more light-hearted than I found the book. I did a very short Goodreads review before I started blogging.

The Gates by John Connolly: I will get the opportunity to review this for my Rereads Challenge so watch this space. This book was funny, clever, and just awesome.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan: I think this has been my favourite Green book to date, and maybe my favourite Levithan too. The characters have left a lasting impression on me but I can’t remember the ins and outs of the story.

Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin: I knew about this book before I’d ever even heard of Game of Thrones, it’s a bizarre tale of a riverboat captain and a vampire. I remember it being really hard to get into but also too intriguing to put down. I’d like to give it another go at some point.

The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas: Scarlett Thomas is one of my favourite British authors and this is the first book of hers I read, falling in love instantly. I class it as a favourite but I’ve only read it once, and everyone that I’ve convinced to read it didn’t like it as much as I did….so maybe I was wrong?