book tag

The Unpopular Opinions Tag

8:00 AM

Soooo this unpopular opinions thing. I have them of course. BUT I do not think that everybody should agree with me or that my opinion is the gospel truth (but you can think that if you want ;) ). THIS IS A FUN THING. And, please, if you want to-- go ahead and write a huge comment disagreeing with me. 



Sophia from Ravens and Writing Desks tagged me and according to her this tag originated with TheBookArcher (I'm trusting you, Sophia). Thanks so much for the tag!


1. A popular book or series that you didn't like:

   

Yup, you saw right. :D

I don't like The Hunger Games series. 

The weird thing is, the first time I read the books (or the book, the first one) I loved them. I thought they were the greatest thing in the universe. BUT, when I read them the second time... I wasn't so impressed. Especially with the way Katniss was written. Something about it totally didn't work the second time. 

I don't even know why this happened. It's never happened to me with other books before! At least not at this level of drastic-ness. 

Also,


Sorry. But not sorry. It just didn't hit it off with me. I loved the world-building but everything else seemed SO cliche. It was a book of cliches basically. In my opinion.


2. A popular book or series that everyone seems to hate but you love:

I can't really remember many books right off that loads of people hated... (and I usually agree with popular opinion so that makes it even harder). 

Um...

Let's go with The Mortal Instruments series. 


I don't think everybody hates it, it's just that from what I've seen everybody either loves it or hates it. Many hate it. 

I LOVE it. 

The plot isn't the most gorgeous thing but it's the characters that get me. I love the characters and all the snark and sarcastic humor that goes on. It's made me laugh so many times :D

And shadowhunters. What's not to love about shadowhunters? 




3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR an OTP that you don't like. 



Okay, the love triangle is kind of confusing in this book but it's there. And GRRR, I'm so sad that my favorite dude didn't get with Katie. 


It's upsetting. THE DUDE SHE ENDED UP WITH WAS A JERK. 

Okay, I'm done. 


4. A popular book genre that you hardly reach for:

YA Contemporary. It's not I don't ever read it, it's just that more times than not I'm not feeling it. 

Also, I don't read that much YA fantasy. Urban fantasy, yes. Good old fantasy, no. For the same reason as contemporary. 

Adult/New Adult Romance, Adult fiction in general... nope not my thing. No offense to adult books but... they're kind of boring. And all focused on romance (it seems like anyway. is there nothing exciting after you become an adult than having a relationship? *sprints away*). 

Okay that was offensive. 


Amendment: I'm sure there is good Adult fiction. I just love my YA books too much. 


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

Okay, I'm seriously going to get persecuted for this. 




I read Throne of Glass ages ago when it wasn't hugely popular yet and, well, I didn't really like Celaena Sardothien. There, I said it. 


*whispers* I didn't really like Prince Dorian either. 


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

I don't actually read tons of books by the same author, much less the same popular author. So I think I'm going to have to pass on this one.


7. A popular book trope that you're tired of seeing:

First and foremost, love triangles. Sometimes they're good, but most of the time I can't stand them. It's time to retire. 

Secondly, missing dads. Or missing moms. What happens to these parents? I want to know. 

Good girl... bad boy.... girl thinks she can change the guy. Guy doesn't care until he does. I mean, if this happened to me in real life. Yes, I have the personality that's intrigued and attracted by bad boy types. BUT IT'S SO OVERUSED. Those aren't the only types of relationships in existence. 

Instalove. I don't believe in instalove. I believe in instalike. 'Nough said. 

"The Dystopian Female Main Character." It's a thing, you know it is. And it's way too common. Maybe she isn't plain. Maybe she's gorgeous but she got no skillz.



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


The thing about the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series is that I read the first book, but it didn't work for me. I just couldn't get into the characters. And when I tried to read the second book, I felt like it dragged on quite a bit. I dunno. I'm not really interested in reading the rest of the series though.


Yeahhhh, that's not happening. Ever.




I guess it's a combination of its not-so-fantastic reputation and the fact that I flipped through it in the library and I didn't like the big font. 

Yes I know. I have such legit reasons.

*stares at feet* Sorry. I'm a book snob sometimes like that. 


9. A movie or TV show adaptation you prefer more than the book:



The book is on the left and the movie is on the right.

To me, the book was not... very well written. Just the style and voice. It was just a romance with emphasis on finding a romantic Darcy dude. And... it was just cringe-worthy.

On the other hand, the movie is adorable. (Still a little cringe-worthy in the corny parts but this time it's bearable). It's like cotton candy in movie format. It's lighthearted, funny, romantic, and relatable. It's my comfort food movie. :)


10. A popular style of cover you can't stand:

Le Face. I do NOT like faces on book covers unless it's done in a really creative or artistic way.

Also, covers with really plain (flat color) backgrounds and a single object on them and big standard font (similar to Times New Roman or some other plain font). Nuh uh. Not my thing.


I'm gonna go ahead and be that person who tags everybody who sees this post (if you want to do it) ;) Also, these people:

college

It's a Random Day {4}

7:16 PM

I think I need to make a new picture for this.

It's been a while since I did a "random day" post so I thought I'd do one today. :) I'm sorry I don't get to post more than once a week usually, but that's a huge improvement from last school year so I'm happy.



Songs I've Been Listening to:


This gem is Fronting by Seventeen and it's on their newest mini album. I really like it. <3 And you should go have a listen. 


I've also been listening to this awesome Celtic music to get me through preparing for my American History presentation. It really made me concentrate and also, Celtic music is my love. I can't get enough of that flute music.

School is....Blegh:
This week I've been just in a bleh mood with school and everything. Everything's boring. Everything makes me tired... and bored (did I mention that already?). It's just a ho-hum week. And ever since I've been back to school, it's basically just been school for me.

I have three art studio classes (again. I don't know why I willingly submit to this torture) and an honors general, plus I have the honors version of some scholarship so I have volunteer work, two committees, and etc. etc.

But I got to go see my family last weekend! It was so great hanging out with them, especially since this year the breaks between going home are longer.

I'm working on a presentation with four other people for my American History class. (My roommate is part of the group too. :D ) So three of us are sophomores and the other two are freshmen. I hate to say it, but it's true... you can totally tell they're freshmen.

Also, I HAVE TO START THE PRESENTATION.

Edit: I SURVIVED THE PRESENTATION. (I admit my legs were shaking a little but that's a huge improvement.)

Praise.
In Other News:

>>> I have now driven home and back to college a few times by myself. I'm really happy that I've learned to drive on the interstate semi-calmly. Merging still scares me but, hey, you got stay focused and being scared is a good way of making me focus. I know, foolproof method.

meaning here: I am invincible
>>> I survived my first presentation of the semester. Oh wait, did I already mention that? ;) IT'S VERY NOTEWORTHY.

>>> I have to go to a wedding on Sunday. >.< Which I am excited about because I get to see my family (squee!) and I get to wear a boss outfit, but which I am not excited about because I have to talk to extended family that I don't know. What sins have I committed?

>>> A youtube video will probably be up this weekend. Probably.

>>> I just started watching King of High School Savvy and I'm loving it so far. You should check it out :))

>>> I discovered a new K-pop boy group with ten members called Up10tion (I don't understand it but they're the ones who have to live with it) and I am furiously backing away and threatening myself with painful punishment if I get into them. I DO NOT need another huge group in my life. That's way too many.

Social Media Stuffs:

Most of you already know this, but I'm on YouTube and I just recently revamped my Tumblr account. You're welcome to check them out, but neither of them are blog-related very much. My YouTube channel will have videos about books but my Tumblr is pretty much K-pop right now. As is my channel.


You can visit my YouTube channel here (click on the picture):


Aaaand my Tumblr here:


ALSO, I'm gonna start putting some kind of YouTube channel recap along with my regular blog recap for those of you that are watching my videos (if you are, thank you. you are beautiful. I love you so much). 

I hope you guys had an awesome week! And if you didn't, I hope you have a gorgeous weekend to make up for it. <33


book review

Guest Review: Grisha Trilogy by SJ Bouquet

8:00 AM





I wanted to be a pirate princess when I was a little girl. I wanted to wear leather, shoot guns, swing swords, and amass hoards of treasure. Unfortunately, pirates don't represent the same romantic notions they once did. At 19, I'm still growing up, and still want to throw all my responsibilities to the wind and chase freedom. But alas, I've exhausted my interest in college (didn't care for that whole write 10+ pages worth of essays CONSTANTLY thing) and I've developed a strong fear of open water (watched one too many movies about ship wrecks). So how does this pirate wannabe spend her days? Tweeting pics of my dog and reading aaaalll the YA and classic novels. I'll always be a pirate at heart, but for now I'll settle for being an Erudite, a Slytherin, lover of Sebastian Stan's face, and a die-hard Leigh Bardugo and Jane Austen fan. 


 






Dear Readers,
You should be warned that I liked this series a lot. I just read them for the first time in the month of July, so the genius that is Leigh Bardugo is still fresh in my mind. I believe that overstatement is underrated, but I am a guest, so I'll (try to) keep this short and sweet.

Sincerely, 
SJ Bouquet



Grisha Trilogy


What I liked: Everything

What I hated: Nothing

Quotes: The books


....okay okay maybe that's a little too short?
Let's try this again...



Plot: I'm giving the series a 5 out of 5 stars, so obviously I think the plot was amazing. There was action, and those nitty gritty details that didn't shy away from violence. There were pirates, and chases, and steamy hot romantic scenes. But these things can be found in a lot of stories, so what made The Grisha Trilogy special? It was realistic and so well written. This is a good quality series. Now I'm not going to delve too deeply into the plot here, because that would just result in spoilers and a super long review. The rest of my review should give enough insight as to what the story is about :) So read on, dear reader!


Pacing: Again, this is an action packed series. The pacing was good for the most part, but I felt like Leigh Bardugo kind of dropped the ball in the second book- Siege & Storm. First half of the book was great. My favorite character is introduced (Nikolai). Mal and Alina are hunted. They hunt a mythical sea creature. Fun. But then the story starts to drag. The characters experience a period of waiting. They have to wait for everyone to heal and regroup, and gain forces and plan military strategies. There's a lot...of....waiting. Now the character's were great, and made these dragging parts not seem so incredibly boring, but I still wish there was a bit more substance to the middle of Siege & Storm





Character Development: Alina is the main character of the three books. She is a... muted character at first. She lives in the shadow of her best friend Mal. She isn't particularly talented. She isn't all that attractive. She's in the background, living the life of an orphan who got drafted into the army. She's nobody. Until her power is discovered and she kicks ass. Aside from finding out she has a rare power, I don't think Alina grows all that much. Yeah she has things happen TO her, but as a person, she doesn't really change. She's still that girl who doesn't really crave attention. She likes a quiet life. She likes Mal. She's happy being normal. Even when she has the amplifiers causing her to crave more and more power, she is literally still the same girl. No real development on her part. I liked her as a character, but she wasn't outstanding.  She had scenes that made her seem badass, made her relateable, and she even had a reasonable personality. None of this angsty teenage crap. She's quite beautifully written, but doesn't change.


Mal changed a lot, and for the good. He starts off as this goofy yet devastatingly handsome character who all the honeys flock to. But then life happens, and he's forced to grow up. I actually really liked reading how Mal developed. In a scene from Shadow & Bone, and a good bit of Siege & Storm, I couldn't stand him. He reacts so poorly to change. I found him to be immature and sulky. In Ruin & Rising, well, he rises above that, and just develops into a really truly great guy. He maintains a sense of humor, he's still handsome, but the war scars him and leaves him matured. It's wonderful to see this unfold.
I can't go into much detail about The Darkling, but let me just say that there are many different sides to him and it was difficult to know what was the real him, and the fake him. He has such a DEEP character.  My favorite version of him was in the last book, Ruin & Rising. He develops so much. We learn so much about him. His ending is tragic and gorgeously written. It made me cry, and I want to read it again and again. He thoroughly got the ending he deserved. I respect Leigh Bardugo so much, and praise her for that realistic, yet respectful end.

NOW FOR NIKOLAI! I'm questioning whether or not I saw the most development in him because he was the one I was obsessed with, or if he actually changed the most. Idk. Maybe both? Nikolai starts off as this swash buckling rapscallion bastard prince with charm just oozing out of his sassy self. I LOVED Nikolai Lantsov. He maintains that cocky demeanor and quick wit, but his ending left me sad. This man deserved more than the lasting scars of what The Darkling did to him. He changes from such a happy character to someone with a more melancholy undertone. It breaks my heart. 

World Building: While going on a crazy fan researching spree, I found out that Leigh Bardugo had come up with her idea for this story partially because she saw some old Russian art. One of my favorite things is that throughout the book, you can see those Russian elements seep in through the character's names, and the architecture of the palaces. Even looking at the map in the first few pages, you can see how Russia influences the landscape. It's north of a land where the people have almond shaped eyes and olive skin- basically a collective version of China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia... other Asian countries. And to the north and west of Ravka (the main country in the Grisha Trilogy), there are super tall blonde people, which I saw as Scandinavians. 

One of the characters, The Aparat (a priest) reminded me of Rasputin from Russian history. There are all kinds of parallels that can be drawn between Ravka and Russia and it fascinated me.


Now what the hell's a Grisha? Grisha are these people with a talent for the Small Science. They aren't witches. They can't just create something from nothing. The best way I can explain it is, think of Magneto or those bender fellas from Avatar. They can control/bend certain elements, right? Grisha have gifts that allow them to, as I understood it, work the elements. There are Grisha who can heal people, who can kill people by simply squeezing their fists and thus squeezing the person's heart. There are Grisha who can work fire (they require a flint to get it going though), and they can call on the wind. There are some who can tinker, create wonderful inventions, and others who can tailor a humans appearance. They can't change what a person looks like forever, but they can alter features to look a certain way over time. It's really fascinating.

While the world of Ravka and the Grisha were pretty cool, the series ended and I found myself left with some questions. There's a world beyond Ravka and its border countries. Across the sea there are other people, and that world is only briefly explored. It's never mentioned (as far as I remember) whether Grisha live there or what that country thinks of Grisha and how they are treated. In the countries bordering Ravka, the Grisha were treated like witches. They were hunted down and killed or experimented on. What about this country across the sea, though? Why couldn't the Grisha find sanctuary there?


Another thing that bothered me was we never really found out the origins of Alina, the Sun Summoner. She isn't like the other Grisha. She can wield light. Sun beams. But why is she different? I realize she's an orphan, and can't know her own history, but the author could have found a way to let the reader know why Alina was the Sun Summoner. Or why the Darkling could control the shadows. What made these two different from everyone else? Were they just a fluke? I don't know! AND THE SERIES IS OVER SO I'LL NEVER KNOW?! My biggest beef with this series is I wish everything was explained more thoroughly. I have questions, and I NEED answers.


Romances: Okay so instead of a love triangle, this book has a Love Tetrahedron. Yeah that's right. There are three potential romances all revolving around one girl. You might think that's a bit ridiculous, but I think it's oh so wonderful. There's the Darkling and Alina. Mal and Alina. Nikolai and Alina. I personally could ship her with all three of them at various parts of the books, but my main OTP was Nikolai and Alina! Because I love him and obviously I want him to have a happily ever after. The only time, I did not love this Tetrahedron was when Mal was getting all pissy and acting like a baby. That man could hold a SERIOUS grudge. And it hurt Alina deeply. I wanted to strangle Mal on one than more occasion. Ugh. Bastard.

Side note: There's an LGBT romance, and while I do think it's nice it's in the book, I think it could have been developed sooo much better. As it is in the story, it's just kind of thrown in as an afterthought. It annoyed me how undercooked that romance was. 


Prose and Dialogue: The interactions between the characters are so delightfully written! The dialogue is either one big banter fest (one of the many reasons I love Nikolai is because he's just so witty and charming), or a means of learning new information, or just a way of leaving you with goose pimples, and it's so incredibly great. There are many wonderful quotes to pull from the pages--


(she would make herself a reckoning. she would rise)






Okay, I gotta stop before I get too carried away! But those are just a handful of the beautiful quotes. And there are loads of funny ones to be found too.

Even though I quite thoroughly enjoyed this series, as you can tell from my review, it's not perfect. There are flaws, but I honestly believe that all the good in this series outweighs the bad. If you haven't read it, then I hope you do and I hope you enjoy it! 

Read my individual reviews here!

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