Books I attempted but never continued

These are not DNF books because I never got past the 2nd chapter, which is too short of a length to really decide I’m never going to finish the book.  None of these books I stopped because I hated them, it was just the wrong time or I just wasn’t interested in the book.  That latter case makes it seem like it should be a DNF but because I never got a significant portion of the way through the book I consider these books as ‘attempted’ not DNF.  Kind of like the first chapter challenge, you wouldn’t say that you DNF’ed the books you didn’t end of reading because you were determining your next read based on a small part of the book.

Matched – Ally Condi

Allegiant – Veronica Roth**

Kiss of Deception – Mary E Pearson

Sabriel – Garth Nix

The Diviner – Melanie Rawn

Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

Starflight – Melissa Landers

Pathfinder – Orson Scott Card

A Mortal Song – Megan Crewe

The Defender’s Apprentice – Amelia Smith

**This one is actually likely a DNF because I got about a page in and decided I couldn’t stand reading another book in the weird 1st person PoV with the weird verb tenses Roth uses.  But I decided this based on less then a page of reading…

 

 

 

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Dark Is Not Evil


Thanks to the website TV Tropes for the title of this important post.

I stumbled upon an important article that analyses the contents of two upcoming highly anticipated releases.  This is the link to that article that I highly recommend you read (though beware there are some spoilers for those two books).  Please, Please click the link and read the article!

To summarise what it says, the first few sentences of that article provide that eloquently:

Oh, worldbuilding.  You are so hard and so important to any fantasy world.  Worldbuilding sets the scene in a big way and allows a writer to create a world unlike ours in which to tell a story. 

But what happens when your worldbuilding is vaguely racist and relies heavily on aspects of white supremacy?

[…]

Both rely on a tired old trope for their worldbuilding: a dark skinned savage race that serve as the aggressors throughout the story.  This isn’t anything new, but it is lazy and promotes problematic ideas of race and culture.

It goes on to point out how the plot of the highly anticipated Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth and The Continent by Keira Drake follows the racist and white supremacy themes.  Having not read either book, the points the article make are very clear and compelling.  Being white, this is also something I’m not finely tuned to see in literature as I benefit from my whiteness.  Thus, I am so so thankful to have read this article and I want to share it as widely as I can.  Sure, I did know it was an issue, but I never had it explained so well.  Now that I am aware of this trope and issue and how it can manifest in the novels that I read I can hopefully more readily identify it in other novels and point it out to others.  

The point of this post is this:

1) To highlight someone’s words on this topic that are so much more important and eloquent then mine.  In all likelihood they have more experience and expertise in this area and I want to give their words a wider audience.

2) To help shed light on this topic so that readers can point it out as being something they don’t want to see in books thus pushing publishers to not publish novels with similar themes.

3) To point out this issue to all the future authors they may be reading my blog so they can endeavour to avoid falling in this trap in their writing. 

Edit #1: Adding a link to a great review for The Continent (with spoilers) which talks more on this subject.

Edit #2: There are many more reviews out there for The Continent in the blog-verse and on Goodreads that discuss it’s issues and there is some starting traction for Carve the Mark.  YOu can find them if interested, yet the point of my post is the same, I want to bring awareness to the issue so that is can be addressed.

Unpopular opinions book tag

tagI’ve wanted to do this tag for a while but I only now have some good answers for the questions!  No one tagged me but I’m doing it anyway because that is how I roll. 

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like.

Fangirl and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.  I don’t hate them, I just find them ‘meh’ to everyone else’s absolute 100% adoration of these books. 

Divergent by Veronica Roth. I would have liked them a touch more if I could get into the writing style of Roth, but it made me cringe too much. 

2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.

Hmm, hard one really since most books I love are just not well known instead of not well liked.  

3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with.

The glass series has a sort-of love triangle/square thing happening that I really, really hated the outcome to, a first for me.  Normally the character ends up with the person I liked best or I didn’t care one way or another but this time I had really intense feelings about the ending relationship (for more I have a spoiler post up on my blog). 

Also I wanted Katniss to end up with herself at the end, since I think that would have been best for her.  

4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.

I almost never read paranormal books, even less of it’s paranormal romance.  It’s just not my thing.  Also Classics because I hate pretentious writing. 

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.

The main characters of Carry On (of which I can only remember Baz’s and Penny’s?? names).  I just didn’t find them interesting but I didn’t hate them.  

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.

Long list here, but off the top of my head: Cassandra Claire (because she is a dick to fans), John Green (not my style of author/writing), Stefenie Meyer (not my type of genera/author), Rainbow Rowell (not my type of genera/author), etc. 

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)

There are a lot of tropes that get on my nerves, but more because they are done terribly and repeatedly.  I think all tropes can be done well given the right author and attention to detail.  There really isn’t one that is worse then another for me since there are just so many that I’m sick of seeing done terribly.

Actually, I take that back.  The trope I’m the most sick of seeing is the bland female main character and somehow saves the entire world and gets a boyfriend (or three!!) while being as flat as a paper towel.  Also as white as one.  

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

Basically see #6 plus a few others. 

9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

The Magicians by Lev Grossman was on one hand better then the books (Shout out to Eliot and his actor here) but on the other hand the book was better.  

Similar thing with Game of Thrones.  The books were better for giving more background into the headspace of the characters but they were heavy books, whereas the tv show does fantastic at bringing them to life and and costuming, man.  Love it. 

Books I DNF’ed

list>The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank – first book I ever (remember) not finishing

>Game of Thrones by G.R.R. Martin -attemped twice and got ~100 pages to the end

>The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

>The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

>Insurgent by Veronica Roth – not certain this should be on this list as I only got about 4 pages in before abandoning it

>Point of Impact by Stephan Hunter – this book taught me I can’t read books set in the American south because I read them in a heavy Southern accent that dramatically slows down my reading

>The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker – absolutely excellent book and I really do need to pick it up again, but it was a teacher’s book and the end of the school year 

 

Book sacrifice tag

green tag1. An over hyped book

Situation: You’re in a store when the zombie apocalypse hits. The military informs everyone that over-hyped books are the zombies only weakness. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you disliked do you start chucking at the zombies?

Carry on by Rainbow Rowell.  Added bonus that that book is heavy. 

2. A sequel

Situation: torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

3. A classic

Situation: You’re in English class and your professor raves about a Classic that “transcends time”. If given the opportunity to travel back in time, which Classic would you try to stop from ever publishing?

ALL OF THEM.  I can’t say which is the worst of the worst because I have read less than 2 handfuls but the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger has got to be the most boring, unrelatable book I have ever read.  

4. A least favourite book

Situation: apparently global warming = suddenly frozen wasteland. Your only hope of survival for warmth is to burn a book. Which book will you not regret lighting?

All of the classics, top priority are those written by old white men. If we are talking about those books people might actually have on them (i.e. written in the past 15 years) the Twilight series or 50 shades (I have read neither of these, for the record).