Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Each week, Shanah gives a topic, and participants are invited to come up with their top 5 for that topic. This week is Top 5 Opening lines.
For my first opening line, I’m going with something that I imagine might be on quite a few lists (although, I could be wrong.) But, I’d be remiss if I left the first line from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen off this list.
It is a truth universally acknowledge, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Next, I am putting the opening line of one of my favorite children’s book, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.
Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating even if it did happen years ago.
My third choice is Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, which has a beautiful first line that perfectly sets the tone of the entire book.
That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift.
Honestly, I don’t know why I love the first lines of Beauty by Robin McKinley so much, but I love, love, love when books start with characters declaring who they are. I even copied that style when I was a baby writer of 17 and working on my first novel.
I was the youngest of three daughters. Our literal minded mother named us Grace, Hope, and Honour, but few people except perhaps the abbot who had baptized all three of us remembered my given name.
And, last, in a slightly different tone, is the first line from Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry.
When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week then there’s either something wrong with your skills or somethign wrong with your world.
And there’s nothing wrong with my skills.
And that’s it, my top 5 favorite opening lines. What are some of yours?
Can you believe that 2019 is over? It feels like only a couple weeks ago that I was setting goals and getting excited for the year. And now, it’s all over. It went by quickly.
Today, I’m posting my top 10 reads of 2019. I know, I know;I should be doing top 19 books of 2019, but I feel that kind of dilutes the list. Ten is a good, strong number. This list is in no particular order, although the first on the list is probably my favorite.
If you’ve been around this blog awhile, you probably know how much I love A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer and Beauty and the Beast retellings in general. This one blew me out of the park. A highlight of my year was meeting Brigid Kemmerer and getting to tell her how much I loved the book. I just wish I had done it more eloquently.
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston remains one of the most romantic book I read this year. It was so lovely. The letters the boys wrote each other thrilled me to death and made me melt into a little pile of goo. I cannot wait to reread it.
I was skeptical about Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid book because I’ve never read anything like it before. But it was amazing. There were so many lines that touched me. They were like poetry (and I’m not talking about the songs). This is the only book that I’ve ever tabbed so I could go back and reread the lines whenever I want. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a masterful writer.
I’d always assumed Caravel by Stephanie Garber book just wasn’t for me. I’m not much into high fantasy and thought that this would be that. But, I gave it a try and loved it. I love Scarlett and Tella so much! They are both so strong and fierce, each in their own way. I loved watching Scarlett navigate the world of Caraval, trying to get it to conform to rules that it never did.
Spellbound by Allie Therin combines Prohibition with magic and mystery. It also has a very sweet romance and one of my favorite tropes, when one character becomes fiercely protective over another and incredibly loyal. I cannot wait for the next one.
K.J. Charles hands down writes the most romantic declarations from the most unlikely characters, and she manages to make them totally believable. Any Old Diamonds was so good. It’s got intrigue, silliness, kickass female characters, and a very believable and romantic love story. Do I have time to reread it?
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnnelly was a surprise. I had never heard of it, but thought I might enjoy it. It was hard to stop listening to. The story was so well crafted and intricate, and the characters, especially Isabelle, so interesting, that I was swept into the world. I love when “evil” characters are given motivations and stories of their own, especially when that backstory doesn’t necessarily make excuses for their behaviors, just explains them.
Now, technically, The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner doesn’t come out until next year, but I read it this year and loved it. A group of people who are brought together by their love of Austen, and who play out the stories in new, original ways? Yes, please.
Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia was a book I literally could not put down. I read it in a few hours, I was so engrossed. I love reading about people who are involved in fandom in some way and who struggle to participate in the real world. Eliza was sympathetic and understandable. I loved this story.
A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian was probably the only het romance I read that I didn’t get in a giveaway. I love so many aspects of this novel. I loved that the female lead was bisexual and a writer. I loved the male lead and his struggle to do what was right and follow his heart. I loved how it tied back with a another novel of Sebastian’s. It was just great.
It’s Tuesday! That means in two day, I’m running my first 5K! I’m excited and nervous. I know I can do it, but I’m still worried that something will happen.
But that’s Thursday. Today is Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Thankful Freebie”, which means we get to choose the topic. I’m going with Top Ten Books I’m Grateful I gave a Chance.
The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. So, I’ve been in fandom a long, long time, and I knew who Cassandra Clare was long before she started writing books. All I knew about her was that she was wanky and got her fans to buy her a laptop. Because of that, I never read any of her books. However, this year, I decided to give Clockwork Angel a chance and I’m so glad I did. Not only was the whole series wonderful, but it helped inspire me to start writing again. I didn’t realize that all her books were set in the same universe and it occurred to me that I could do the same thing. In less than a year, I went to having one book written to almost three (I’m currently writing the third.) So, yeah, I’m super glad I gave the books a chance.
The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Before discovering BookTube, I’d never heard of these books. I was introduce to them by A Dash of Ash. Even hearing her enthuse about them, I wasn’t sure they were for me. Still, I decided to give them a try. At first, it was a huge struggle because I wasn’t following who the characters were. But, once I adjusted to the format, I fell in love. I love the characters, I love the story, I love the format, and I love AIDAN. In fact, it may be time for a reread of the series.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman. This was another book I’d never heard of before BookTube and I dismissed it at first because I didn’t know what it was about. Then, I picked it up at a bookstore and read the first chapter. I fell in love. I didn’t buy it, but I checked it out from the library. However, I think I’m going to buy all three books now that The Toll is out and reread the first two before diving into the third.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Yet another book I thought I wouldn’t care for, I bought this for three bucks at the library store. It was in perfect condition and I felt like I had to buy it. It was such a magical book. I loved the characters, the setting, the worldbuilding, everything. And to think,I never would have given it a chance if I hadn’t first read
Caraval by Stephanie Graber. I’m not a huge fantasy lover, and I thought this book would be out of my comfort zone. However, I decided to give it a try, and I’m glad I did. I loved Scarlett so much and the whole game of Caraval and her obsession with following the rules was just so much fun to read. I liked Legendary even more and I’m so excited to read Finale very, very soon.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This is another book that I picked up because of BookTube. It was so popular and people loved it so much, that I decided to give it a try. I admit, I struggled with it. I couldn’t get into it at first and actually put it down and stop reading. Then, one weekend last March, I hurt my foot and called in sick to work. I decided to spend the weekend reading and I went back to SoC and jammed through it. I was so glad I did. I actually liked Crooked Kingdom even more, but I never would have read that if I had’t read the first one.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I struggled so much to read this book. My mom recommended it to me, and I tried, but couldn’t get past the first chapter. It just didn’t grab me. Finally, I sat down and pushed through and I discovered the delightful magic of Harry Potter. I’m so glad I gave it a chance.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. So, one of the places I hang out on the internet has strong opinions about everything. I swear, everything they like, I hate and vice versa. Which is why I finally decided to give Fangirl a chance because they hated it so much. I figured, I’d love it. And I did. It was like reading about myself during my early years in fandom. I was never as popular as Cath was, but I had a very popular series that people made fanart for, fangirled my OCs, and kept me going through some dark times.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I don’t like dragons all that much, and when I read the description of this book, I thought it was about a literal dragon. And even when I realized my mistake, I wasn’t sure. However, I have loved every single fanfic that I’ve read of Naomi Novik’s and decided I was being stupid. I loved Uprooted so much. I’m so glad I gave it a chance.
Beauty by Robin McKinley. I remember the first time I came across this book. I was in eighth grade in our library. I was trolling the shelves for books and came across this one. Instead of reading the description, I read the first line and went, “A Sleeping Beauty story told in first person? That’s so dumb.” And I put it back on the shelf. It wasn’t until I got hurt (there’s sort of a theme here) and stuck in the library during PE that I gave it another chance and realized it was a Beauty and the Beast story and it was amazing. I cannot stress how much I love this book. It’s my favorite book ever and I read every year and just… yeah. It’s a huge part of my heart.
What are some books you are thankful you gave a chance to?
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Top 10 Changes in My Reading Life.
I listen to audio books after rejecting them for many years. The first time I tried to listen to an audio book, I hated it. I don’t generally like being read to, and I just wasn’t liking sitting there listening when I could be reading so much faster. But, last year, I decided to give it another chance, and found I really enjoyed the experience of listening to a book while I drove to work. Nowadays, I mostly listen to non-fiction, but it’s still a fun experience.
I’ve started reading ARCs in the past year. I read a few before, but those were only when I managed to get to a convention. I didn’t think I’d be able to get anything on NetGalley because my blog wasn’t big enough, but the community encouraged me and I gave it a try. Lo and behold, I was approved!
I’m trying to branch out in my tastes. I still don’t think I’m going to be reading much high fantasy (I’m not really a fan of dragons, for example), but I am reading more books that I’d passed over before, like Six of Crows. The best part is I’m realizing I really like books with fantasy elements, so that’s good.
I’m rereading books less than I used to. It’s not that I don’t want to reread books, but there always seems to be such new and exciting books that have just come out, I have less time to reread than I used to.
I’m going to the library more. One thing that changed is I started getting tighter in my budget, but I also stopped wanting to own every book in the world. Since I’m rereading less, it made less sense to keep every book I read and just keep the ones I know that will be reread and loved.
I’m reading more than I used to in a year. When I first started doing the Goodreads challenge, I never though I could read fifty books in a year. That’s almost a book a week and I work full time. But, I found time every day to read and right now am a 107 books. Let’s hope I can keep it up next year.
I’m also kind of reading less than I was earlier this year. I was reading about ten books a month for a while, then I got really into writing again. Now, writing has taken precedence over reading, so I’m back to not reading quite as much.
I’m reviewing almost every book I read. I always wanted to, but not enough to actually do it. But now that I have a blog, I make an effort to put my thoughts out there and tell people what I think.
I’m more up-to-date with what books are coming out. I used to know only when books I cared about were coming out. It’s the same now, but I care about so many more books and keep tabs on them.
I spend a lot more time thinking about books and the market and what’s popular than I used to. Having a blog really helps keep me aware of the vast bookish life
Those are my 10 changes. What are some of yours? Tell be below or leave a link to your list!
Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is top 10 extraordinary book titles.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely is a fantastic title. It captures the essence of not only Rhen’s curse, but Harper and Grey’s isolation and situations as well.
Daisy Jones and the Six is a great title because it sounds exactly what is it: a book about a rock band. It brings to life that era of seventies music and is just very evocative.
Muse of Nightmares is such a wonderful title, it’s a shame I didn’t enjoy the book. I love the idea of a figure that inspires nightmares. Not gives nightmares, but help the dreamer to weave them. And it’s such a perfect companion title to Strange the Dreamer.
The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is just… I love it. It sounds like a self-help book or one of those books for kids that tells them how to seek adventure. It’s wonderful.
The Ladies Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. See above.
I, Iago is another fantastic title that’s attached to another book that disappointed me. I just love the simplicity of it, they way it’s slightly sinister (maybe just because it’s attached to one of the greatest villains of all time). It’s just a strong title.
The Hate U Give is a great title that I didn’t realize was a pop culture reference until I read it. It’s strong and powerful.
The Misadventures of Maude March. It’s alliterative and I love alliteration. The title alone made me want to read this.
Under the Never Sky is a fantastic title. Right away, I need to read the book just to find out what a never sky is. Are they in space? Underground? Where are they? And it’s just poetic.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. I love this title because you know it’s about a girl who’s done something she needs to confess. It intrigued me right away.
What are some of your favorite titles? Let me know in the comments!
Since Top 5 Tuesday is on hiatus this week, I thought I’d give Top 10 Tuesday a try! Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is top 10 character traits I love.
Loyalty. I love characters who are loyal to someone or some cause.
Humbleness. Characters like Odd Thomas, who are very humble and grateful for all they have, light my fire.
Bravery. Especially if they are scared, but do whatever they need to do anyway.
Honor. I love characters who have a deeply ingrained sense of honor. And I don’t care if they’re good or bad. In fact, when villain have a sense of honor, that makes me love them all the more.
Determination. Characters that see things through and never give up, despite the odds.
Cleverness. I like characters who are able to think ten steps ahead of the situation and manipulate events based on it. Yes, I’m thinking of Kaz Brekker.
Adaptability. When characters are thrown into a new situation and they have to adapt. I especially when they adapt, but keep their core self in tact. For example, Enne Salta from Ace of Shades.
Wit and a sense of humor. I prefer it when the characters are smart and use their humor to lighten the situation, not hurt others (although, it can be interesting if they do and have to fix it).
Faith. It doesn’t have to be a faith in God, just a faith in something. I especially like it when the antagonist is driven by his or her faith in something and is so blinded by it that when they finally see the truth, they are utterly destroyed. Javert from Les Miserables is like this, and I love it.
Vulnerability, especially in men. This is why I’m so drawn to m/m romance. The men in those books have a kind of vulnerability, especially in deeply romantic scenes, that is unusual to see, even in traditional romance.
Those are my top ten favorite character traits.What are some of yours?
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, she posts a topic and you can respond to it by listing ten (or however many) things that fit that topic. Rules and upcoming topics are here.
This week’s topic is things that make me pick up a book.
The title. If the title sounds interesting, I’ll pick it up.
The cover. I know, I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. But a good cover is there to attract a reader, and I’m no exception. If it’s a pretty or intriguing cover, I’ll pick it up.
The summary on the back. I hate it when there is no summary on the back or inside the front cover. If all there is are quotes praising the book, I put it back. I want to know what the book is about, not what other people think about the book.
A female protagonist. I am more likely to pick up a book with a female protagonist than male, unless it’s a romance novel. I overwhelming prefer to read about women, but for some reason, like romance about men.
It’s a retelling. I’ll take any retelling, but I always am looking for Beauty and the Beast, Robin Hood, and King Arthur. The last two, I’m especially interested in books about Marian and Guinevere. (And, yes, I’ve read Sherwood by Megan Spooner; it was exactly what I want in a Robin Hood retelling.)
The author. There are some author’s I auto-buy, but generally I look for authors whose work I’ve enjoyed before.
The genre. I love m/m historical romances, paranormal YA, and historical mysteries. There are other genres I’ll try, and I’m coming around to YA fantasy, but I’ll try almost any book in those three categories.
Hype. I never would have picked up Daisy Jones and the Six or Six of Crows had they not gotten so much hype. If people like it, I’ll check it out.
Sister recommendations. I read a lot of books my sister has recommended or loans me.
The first few pages. I’ll skim the first few pages and see how I like it. If it clicks, I’ll take it. If it doesn’t, I’ll put it back and move along.
Those are things that make me pick up a book. What about you?