Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Villains

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. If you want to join or find out more information about the weekly themes check out the Goodreads page! Today’s theme was a fun one, and perfect for October: favorite villains.

THE DARKLING – He is one of the best villains ever written, in my humble opinion. The way Leigh Bardugo wrote his character was brilliant: I was charmed and fooled into falling for him, just like Alina was in the first book, until his true self was revealed. There is so much to hate about him and the things he did, but at the same time I loved reading about him. 

MAVEN CALORE – He’s such complex, interesting character and to see the way he changed over the course of the series was one of the most intriguing things about the books. He did some messed-up things, but at the same time I could understand how he became the person he was, and I couldn’t help but feel for him. 

CERSEI LANNISTER – The tv show version of Cersei is a lot more humane and understandable, but the Cersei Lannister of the books is horrible. She’s vain, controlling, cruel, and greedy. Her list of atrocities are pretty unredeemable, and yet her chapters in A Feast for Crows are one of the few POVs that I’m enjoying. It’s interesting – and terrifying – being inside Cersei Lannister’s mind. 

QUEEN LEVANA – The wicked queen of the Lunar Chronicles series, that’s all she was to me…until later on. Sometimes a villain is just a villain, and other times a villain is a given a explanation and reasoning to all their craziness. We end up getting that backstory for Levana, and while it doesn’t make her any less evil or cruel, it does make her more human and changed my perspective of her. 

DOLORES UMBRIDGE – Let me be perfect clear: if I had to choose between killing Voldemort or Umbridge, the Dark Lord would still be (kinda) alive and (mostly) well. The amount of hatred I have for that woman knows no bounds. And the fact that while everyone may have different opinions about the other villains in the Harry Potter series, we all agree that Professor Umbridge is the absolute worst. 

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Need to Reread

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. If you want to join or find out more information about the weekly themes check out the Goodreads page! Today’s theme was a freebie, so I decided to pick five books that I’ve been meaning to reread.

25203675STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN – Ever since I read Star-Touched Stories, I’ve wanted to revisit the first book in the duology. I absolutely loved A Crown of Wishes, and Roshani Chokshi’s storytelling is completely mesmerizing. I don’t remember much of Star-Touched Queen, but there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll enjoy it alot better the second time around, and I can’t wait to dive back into this world. 

– I finished this feeling like I read an entirely different book than everyone else. Most of the reviews rave about it, and it seems to be a favorite for a lot of people. I’m not sure if my initial dislike is a “it’s me, not you” kind of situation, or if it stems from the fact that this was my beach read while I was on vacation. Regardless, this has always been a book that I’ve felt I needed to reread. 

9780451477538_RebelOfTheSands_JK.inddREBEL OF THE SANDS
– This is one of those series that I really need to get to one of these days. I read Rebel of the Sands when it was first released, and then never seemed to have time or the interest to pick up the second when it came around. I have all three of theses books sitting prettily on my bookshelf, waiting for the day when I’ll finally make time to read them. However, since I don’t remember much from the first book, I definitely will have to reread it before continuing on with the series. 

23688792THESE VICIOUS MASKS – Again, I read this book when it first came out, but I never continued the series. I don’t think I enjoyed this as much because I had read it immediately after reading Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, and both books have very similar plots and settings. I really want to reread this before continuing the series, and I’m convinced I’ll like it a lot better the second time.

– I actually DNF’d this, so it’s not that I want to reread this but rather that I want to restart it. I usually devour historical fiction books, especially if they’re based in WWII, but for some reason I just could not get into this at all. Everyone I know that’s read it has really enjoyed it, so I’m hoping the second time I will too. 

Top 5 Wednesday: Love Triangles I Didn’t Hate

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. If you want to join or find out more information about the weekly themes check out the Goodreads page! The theme for this week was books we liked that contain tropes we typically hate. This was perfect timing since I had just thought of a blog idea with a similar theme! I decided to focus on the most dreaded trope in that YA genre: love triangles. I think we can all agree that the love triangle trope is overdone and usually unnecessary. Not only that, but they’re no fun if you know you’re on the losing side! However, I’ve always been adamant in saying that I actually don’t mind a love triangle, as long as it’s handled in a good way. Below are five books that featured love triangles that I didn’t hate.

16429619KISS OF DECEPTION – This is a YA fantasy full of some of the most redundant tropes, but I was surprised by how much I found myself intrigued by the love triangle in this. I think it’s because throughout the book, the identity of the two love interests/male protagonists remains a secret. As readers, we don’t actually know which one the heroine is falling for until the very end, nor do we ever know which disguise each of the male protagonists is supposed to be portraying. It creates a level of mystery that is unique and makes both the book and the love triangle pretty suspenseful.  

15749186TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE – The main character pretends to be in a relationship with a boy to make another boy jealous? We all know how this is going to play out. This not only has a super cute fake-relationship trope, but it also has a love triangle that I never minded, because it was easy to figure out how it would all end. By the way, this movie comes out next week and I LITERALLY CANNOT WAIT.

7171637THE INFERNAL DEVICES – This is a love triangle that ascends all other love triangles because the dynamic between all three characters is unlike any other. Unlike other books in which the love interests are usually are pitted against one another, Will and Jem love each other brotherly as possible, and they loved each other before Tessa was even in the picture. Both of they are completely wiling to give up their happiness for the other. And while I was also 100% here for Will and Tessa and wanted them to end up together, I never could hate Jem and Tessa as much as I wanted to.  

32505753ASH PRINCESS – A lot of people didn’t like the love triangle in this one, but I loved it. First of all, there is nothing subtle or vague about it. Second, both sides of the triangle contain two of my favorite tropes. There’s both a friends-to-lovers romance, as well as a enemies-to-lovers. The latter is one of my favorite tropes to read about, so that’s the side I’m rooting for, but I’m totally invested in how both the romances (and the plot twists!) are going to turn out in the sequel. 

18660669VAMPIRE ACADEMY – The love triangle in this didn’t show up until later in the series, and while it would usually annoy the heck out of me, I didn’t mind it that badly. I’m not ashamed to admit that the only reason I didn’t hate the love triangle was because I loved both the love interests. Yes, I totally ship Rose and Dimitri and want nothing to come between them, but I couldn’t help falling for Adrian’s charm. And let’s be honest, sometimes a little competition is healthy 😉

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Books of 2018 (So Far!)

Happy Fourth of July to my fellow Americans! 🇺🇸 🎆 Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. If you want to join or find out more information about the weekly themes check out the Goodreads page! I was really excited to see this week’s theme because I’ve already read some great books this year!

34050917THE GIRL IN THE TOWER – I wasn’t as enamored by The Bear and the Nightingale as everyone else seemed to be, so I was initially apprehensive on how well I would like this. To put it simply: this book is stunning and it has become on of my favorites books. The atmospheric setting, lush writing, and vivid imagery all come together to create a magical, enchanting story full of history and elements of Slavic fairytales. I also felt pretty meh about Morozko when I read the first book, but now I’ve seen the light and I’m completely in love with the morose frost-demon. 

34726469SKY IN THE DEEP – This is exactly everything I want in a story. I read the entire thing in one sitting because it was that amazing and I couldn’t put it down; this is is the kind of book that reminds me of why I love reading. The dynamic relationships the author creates is one of the best features of the book; they were capable of evoking emotions in a meaningful and achingly real way. I’m not convinced that this is a debut book because everything was executed perfectly to created a breathtaking, emotional story full of grit and heart. This is my favorite book of the year (so far).

34728667CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE – If you’re nervous about picking this up because of all the hype like I was, don’t be. It’s well worth every ounce of hype and praise it has received. This book was a thrilling fantasy full of adventure, expert writing, and a cast of superb characters. It was very easy to be drawn into the story from the beginning due to a combination of Tomi Adeyemi’s excellent writing and the compelling characters she has created. There’s no doubt that the second book will be one of my most anticipated for next year.

35068705THE POPPY WAR – This is a blessed year of absolutely stunning debuts. This book is a spectacular grimdark fantasy featuring a fierce heroine, addictive writing, and plenty of action. There are so many amazing elements about it that make it a totally engrossing read. My favorite thing about it was the amazing protagonist, Rin. She was such a well-developed heroine and her growth as a character was amazing to follow. Be forewarned: this is a grimdark, so it does contains graphic violence, graphic rape, mutilation, torture, mass murder, drug abuse, and many other things of that nature.

32702487THE BIRD AND THE BLADE – Megan Bannen’s murdered me in cold blood with this ending and completely annihilated my emotions. This was a fascinating, compelling, stunning story that captured my heart and attention from the very beginning. The story was both unique and intriguing in that it blended historical elements of the Mongol Empire with the Italian opera, Turandot, and it did so seamlessly. The story ends in a way that is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. An unforgettable, breathtaking, impressive book and definitely one of my favorites of the year.

Have you read any of these books? What has been your favorite read of 2018 so far? Let me know in the comments!

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters I’ll Always Defend

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. If you want to join or find out more information about the weekly themes check out the Goodreads page! May is going to be Top 5 Wednesday Rewind month, so the topics are open to any that we’ve missed out on in the past. When I was browsing through old topics I saw this and I was SO EXCITED! I immediately thought of three of my characters who I will defend until my dying breath, and then I started writing this post, and realized those were the only three characters I could think of! So this is more of a Top 3 Wednesday haha, but this topic was way too important to me to skip.

SANSA STARKThe North knows no queen but the Queen in the North, whose name is Stark. The amount of people that vehemently hate Sansa Stark is so disheartening. It’s okay to dislike a character, but the reasons people hate her are terrible. She gets blamed over and over for the death of Ned when she was only an eleven year old child who was cleverly manipulated by adults. People seem to hate her for the mere fact that she is more feminine in nature and enjoys things such as singing and fairytales. She’s most often compared to Arya and Daenerys and found lacking because she’s not as “badass” or strong. I think that’s the issue that bothers me the most: if a female character doesn’t show interest in weaponry and fighting, then they’re considered weak and insignificant, even if it’s far from the truth. I happen to like things that are often considered “girly” (such as clothes, makeup, the color pink) and so I like characters that show more traditionally feminine traits because I find myself connecting with them better. And the amount of people that believe Sansa deserves everything that has happened to her – beaten, tortured, raped – and hope she is killed next are absolutely sickening to me and I have no time for any of that nonsense in my life. 

CHAOL WESTFALL – I’m a proud and original member of the #ChaolDefenseSquad. The treatment of his character by SJM is one of the main reasons I cannot stand her. The fact that an author can destroy the characterization of one of the protagonists all for the sake of another ship and to boost affection for a new character, is horrible. And the amount of fans that completely ignore the fact that she basically rewrote entire plot lines mid-series is such a shame. The introduction of Rowan and Rowaelin (which was completely fanservice, but that’s another issue I won’t delve into) gained her so much popularity that wasn’t there with the first couple of books, and so she decided to toss Chaol aside like trash and many fans followed suit. We are a small, but us few members of the #ChaolDefenseSquad will always defend that sweet, loyal Captain of the Guard. 

MALYEN ORETSEV – This just baffles me. The amount of hate Mal gets is so unnecessary and uncalled for. I honestly believe a lot of people started to hate him when they realized Alina would never choose the Darkling. And listen, I love the Darkling as much as the next girl, but Malyen Oretsev is my boy. Yes, he has his moments of weakness, but he’s human like the rest of us. He walked half the length of Ravka to get to Alina. He was loyal to her above all else. He loved her fiercely. He understood who she was, supported her, and never once tried to change her. He fought for her, risked his life for her, fucking died for her. Goodness, where can I find a man like Malyen Oretsev?