Top Ten Tuesday: As Time Goes By

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

Occasionally, after I read something and let it sit-sometimes even post review-my feelings change for it.  Here, are ten books for better or worse that my opinion changed post read.

10)

I gave this one a middling rating, but I found that I might underrated it.  There were some cool things about this book that I overlooked and as far as Snow White retellings go, it’s actually pretty decent.

9)

I still really don’t know what to think of this series and the second book has been released.  I was meh about it, on retrospect thought it explored some good themes so decided to give it another chance, and am now meh about it again.  Shrugs.

8)

I was a little disappointed after I read this one, but still excited for the next installment.  Thing is, I waited so long for the next book to be released, I now could care less.  And the sequel is just now sitting there on my shelf.

7)

I’ve just gotten angrier as I sit on this book, and I thought it would be one that I forgot.  I think the issue with this book is that it’s Richelle Mead and even though it’s more blah than bad that’s just unacceptable for a Richelle Mead book.

6)

I seemed to be a bit of a black sheep in how much I liked this one.  The thing is, when I read the sequel I started wondering if it really was as good as I though it was.  I’m finding that’s how a lot of these books that made this list turn arounds happened.  I read the original loved or hated it, then I read the next installment and bam.

5)

When I fist read this book I thought it was a sweet YA book that featured mermaids.  Now I think it was way too simplistic and I wish that some common sense would be knocked into the main character.  It is pretty typical YA for a book released in the period though.  Formulaic to a T.

4)

I still love this book, but my whole thought process surrounding it has changed upon reading its sequel. I think there were some things that I did not see first time around.

3)

Another Richelle Mead book.  I gave this one a five star rating, but in hindsight that was way too high.  I was just living up the ship at that point and could look past all the cheese.  Not so much now.

2)

I used to love this series, but in retrospect it was problem filled.  I think if I reread it from cover to cover I probably wouldn’t have given it as high as a rating as I did in the past.

1)

I only gave this one three stars, and I while I do think the rating was technically right.  I really enjoyed it, especially in retrospect.  It is such a fun book.  Perfect, no.  But I am finding that I’m still talking about it-a lot-a year post read and that’s a good thing.

Bond Boy Syndrome: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Source: GoodReads

Be forewarned, if you shipped a certain ship hard at the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses, you’re probably not going to like A Court of Mist and Fury that much.  As for me, I enjoyed it more than the previous installment and it wasn’t like I didn’t ship the ship in the last book.  But still, you’re going to be confused and caught off guard initially when you read this if you cared about the initial ship at all.

Don’t get me wrong,I loved that ship, and I did mourn it throughout what occurred in this book.  But upon reflection, I can understand why the ship ended up NOT working.

Maybe if I read the Throne of Glass series which I’ve heard has a bit of a Bond Girl complex but in reverse-the MC gets a new man like every book-I would’ve not have been amused with the romantic complications that occurred in this book, but as it stands it works.

It actually filled in some of the holes that I had with the first book.

There is something about this series in general that is so atmospheric.  In general I don’t like faerie themed stories, but there’s something about Maas’s spin on it that makes it enjoyable maybe it’s because she is loosely basing this series on some of my favorite fairytales and myths-first Beauty and the Beast and now Hades and Persephone.

Is the book too long: short answer, yeah.  There could’ve been stuff that could’ve easily been cut out of this one, but I still enjoyed it for what it was.  I enjoyed emerging into the Night Court learning more about Rhys and finding out that I did not know everything about Tamlin in the last book.

And Feyre really grew as a character.

Some people might argue that a lot of this development and reveals relied on bashing.  And a part of me thinks that they might have a valid argument.  While 600+ pages cause the reader to forget that what was established and built in A Crown of Thorns and Roses.   However, I would argue that the page count wasn’t what made the changes that were made in A Court of Mist and Fury  were.  I really think if you look at the two books that have been released at this series so far, it’s kind of obvious to see the subtext of book one and see it play out in book two.

Again, while I don’t think A Court of Mist and Fury was perfect by any means, I did think it had a lot to offer and I enjoyed it for what it is.

Overall Rating: Subjectively and A because of the sheer enjoyable but objectively it’s probably closer to an A- or B+

Not the Worst Book Ever: Triple Moon by Melissa de la Cruz

After they cause a terrible accident at their old high school, twin witches Mardi and Molly Overbrook are sent to live with their “aunt” Ingrid Beauchamp in North Hampton, on Long Island’s mist-shrouded East End. Because the twins cannot control their powers, their father begs Ingrid to tame them over the summer, before the White Council exiles the girls to Limbo.

Trouble continues to bubble and boil when the girls meet the younger Gardiner boys, who are just as handsome and sexy as their older kin. But all is not as it seems. As Ingrid helps the girls learn to control their magical impulses, Mardi and Molly have just this summer to figure out how to grow up, how to love, and how to be a family.

Source: GoodReads

Ah, Triple Moon it has been on my shelf dearest blog readers for months just sitting there staring at me to read it.  Obviously, I put it off for awhile—it was published in fall 2015 and I only now have gotten to read it.  But to be fair, I have been pretty busy and when I did have time to read I really didn’t want to take a chance with a Melissa de la Cruz book because I have been burned.

Burned so many times by this author.

To be fair though, I think a lot of my recent disgust for de la Cruz’s latest work might have been because my taste has evolved as a reader and the quality of YA books has—believe it or not—gotten better.  When the Blue Bloods series was first published way back in 2007, the YA selection wasn’t near as large as it is today.  And there was something so innovative about the mixture of mythology that Melissa used.  Of course, that series didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it too—way too many continuity issues—and its subsequent spinoffs were a little less than ideal for the most part.

Triple Moon is  essentially a spinoff of a spinoff.  Its parent series is The Witches of East End which was used to base a slightly cringe worthy Lifetime show that I sporadically did reviews for during its two year run.  I actually like the TV series better than the books—even though TV Ingrid deserved to be hit by a bus, but if you want to hear me rant about that read those reviews—but I never finished it so that might tell you my distaste for the TV series AND book series.

So, why read Triple Moon the first book in the Summer of East End series, nostalgia maybe.  That and I was hoping that maybe I could relive my glory days with de la Cruz’s books.  Needless to say, I didn’t BUT, BUT Triple Moon was far from being the worst de la Cruz book I ever read.

Note, when your competition is Frozen that’s a pretty low bar, but there were some things that I liked about this book.

The beachy setting for one, is always fun to read about.  I think the East End is supposed to be a set in for the Hamptons, where only people who are in the 1% seem to live.  And yes, while it does get old reading about rich people, I think de la Cruz can really capture the setting whether it be Manhattan or the Hamptons.    Yes, the cynical part of my brain is rolling my eyes throughout the entire read as teenagers drive around in Ferraris and wear clothes that cost as much as small animal surgery, but if you like those sort of settings de la Cruz nails it.  And admittedly, it’s the sort of setting you want to read on a nice hot spring day.

Though, I think she could’ve tried a little bit on the fashion realism since most teens aren’t likely to wear a bikini top when they’re driving through the Lincoln Tunnel to get to the Hamptons in their Ferrari.  Especially if their plans don’t concern going to the beach or on a boat-which FYI Mardi planned to go to neither at the time.   If it was South Beach, I maybe could see it, or if they were going to the beach—again, maybe.  But for a traveling outfit: um, no.

It’s just like I don’t expect someone to wear a studded dog collar as part of their daily wardrobe like Mardi does.

Why am I mentioning these ridiculous outfits rather than focusing on principle issues of criticism that we’re going to eventually get to in this (probably) long, long, review?  Because they were so jarring they had to be mentioned.  At this point, I feel like Mel’s editor  should know to look for two things  to put the little red pen on 1) stupid fashion ensembles that only a drunk clown would love, and 2) Continuity issues.

And yes, there’s continuity issues here (again). If you need a recap of some past continuity fails where I use quote by quote comparisons check out my review of Gates of Paradise.

Sad that’s it’s not surprising at this point and that I reading this principally for leisure and to review because that’s what I do, could find them by only paying half attention to the book while looking at the cute pictures that my sister posted of my mom’s new Corgi puppy—Elsie Clementine—that we picked out for her for Mother’s Day.

But I noticed some major continuity issues right off the bat.  Like Freya’s appearance, for example, has evolved to match that of TV Freya’s.  AND there was more than one major plot hold that had me hitting my head throughout the book.

Whatever.

One though affected the climax of the book, and I really, really, had to wonder how the editor’s missed it.

The characters were a bit blah as well.  And were more or less.  Mardi is more or less a rich version of Schuyler (from Blue Bloods) who was mentioned in passing to be bisexual.  Other than her saying this and having a bit of a girl crush on Freya, her sexuality is never mentioned again in the book.  More or less it’s used as tokenism in the book.

Then there’s Molly.  Oh, poor, dear Molly who dresses like Mimi Force and practically de la Cruz’s character to bash and to belittle throughout the entire book.  The villain we’re kept told is a misogynist, but his misogyny is not what I saw so much through the book but where I saw real misogyny was the way this character was handled.

How Mardi and everyone else frowns on her, calls her stupid, and how she learns a big lesson at the end of the book about not being so trusting it made me want to roll my eyes out.  Does that mean the character wasn’t a selfish brat-no.  But I felt for the way they handled the character.  Truly terrible.

The love interests are equally bland in this book-do not expect a Kingsley Martin, and Oliver Hazard-Perry or even a Jack Force.  All of them are forgettable.  And if you think there might be resolution to the Freya love triangle plot in the original triangle….

Well, you’re getting punk-ed again.

I know I am complaining a lot, but again not the worst de la Cruz book ever.  If you  like light frothy beachy reads, and can forget some major plotting and character faux pas you might enjoy this.

Overall Rating: A C-

Lifetime YA: More YA Novels Ripe for the Picking for Lifetime

A couple of years ago I did a post about YA movies being converted into Lifetime movies.  Unlike other forms of media, Lifetime movies have a certain quality about them that makes only a certain quality of book ripe for them.   With the advent of None of the Above-do not mess it up Lifetime-being picked up by the network, I thought I’d look at more Lifetime contenders.

I DNF’d this book but it has all the makings of a Lifetime movie or TV show.  Somehow Lifetime loves the idea of a fallen star or protagonist in general that has been sent to rehab.  The fact that Pagan has been convicted of manslaughter makes it even more Lifetime bait.  I do worry that Lifetime wouldn’t be able to get the period piece right though.  In Witches of East End their Edwardian flashback scenes were horrible in the fact that they thought the Edwardians were completely okay with complete displays of cleavage.  Obviously, they have not talked to the Dowager Countess to get that shit straight.

Because Mori is fucked up, and Lifetime likes fucked up leads.  The whole abuse storyline with her father is right up their ally too.  I can see Lifetime heavily upping the romance if they adapted this one though.  But if they kept Mori fucked up, it could make for an interesting television adaptation.

If done right this could be an amazing TV series or miniseries adaptation.  I’m skeptical that Lifetime could do this, but at the same time I could see them being the perfect network to adapt it because there are a lot of underlying themes of feminism here that Lifetime attempts to do from time from time.  And sometimes they actually do succeed at it.

Again, could make for an interesting series for Lifetime if they approached this anthology like True Detective.   Or maybe even focusing on a couple of these stories per season.  Why is this perfect for Lifetime because it centers around strong women characters.  Of course, it might not be as melodramatic as Lifetime likes.

I know they picked up None of the Above already and even though the stories are completely different-one is about a girl who finds out she’s intersex and the other is about a transgender girl, I feel like they do share very familiar themes in what is a woman.  I think it would sort of be cool if this book was turned into an original movie because I think it could showcase a lot of things in a ninety minute window.  And there’s a lot of heartbreak and drama in it, that if Lifetime did it justice could make it Emmy worthy.  Plus, I would really love it if the Network would embrace all kinds of women-meaning, not just cis gendered women.

Girl who worked as a stripper to support herself before finding out she has a rich guardian.  Lifetime movie right there, baby.  Or TV series.

Everyone who knows me, knows I really hate this series and the only reason I’m recommending it here is because Lifetime can make pretty decent adaptations of cruddy series-see The Witches of East End series and Aunt Wendy- and I’d like to see what they could do here.  Maybe they’d have America be a long lost princess in typical YA fantasy/dystopia tradition.  Or maybe they’d have Ass-pen go to secret ninja school or something to make him a little bit more interesting and a worthwhile rival to Maxon.  I don’t know, it wouldn’t take that much effort to make a TV or movie miniseries of this series better than the original.

This is another one that Lifetime could culture into being either a gem of a movie or a kick ass and interesting TV show.  It deals with mental illness-what’s real and what’s not.  I know there’s been that show on TNT, Perception, which touched upon these themes.  But I think Lifetime could make this book into something extraordinary.  Of course, it could be a total bomb too which I would hate to watch.  But if they did it right it would be wow worthy.

Lifetime has done the escaping from a cult trope more than a couple of times, sometimes it comes off better than other times.  I think Mathieu’s book gives them some good material to make a realistic version of how someone escapes one a patriarchal cult.  It doesn’t demonize the people in the cult so much, but at the same time she did address that the group was suppressive and wrong for the main character.

 

 

Quite Dry: Guilt by Katherine Longshore

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free–
and love comes at the highest price of all.
 

When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

Source: GoodReads

I bought all of the Royal Circle books at once, but I know I’m going to have to force myself to read Tarnished since I really didn’t care for Brazen ( I DNF’d it) and Gilt was only slightly more exciting.

 

I swear reading Longshore’s version of Tudor events is like watching wallpaper dry-extremely boring.

I think a lot of it deals with the narrator’s while Kitty was slightly more exciting to read about than Mary Fitzroy she was still a bore and I had to really wonder why she was so loyal to Cat (Catherine Howard) who was more or less a 16th version of Regina George in this installment.

You could tell Longshore sort of wanted us to be giddy when her head got chopped off.

I didn’t feel giddy about Cat’s death, I just felt sorry for her for being extremely stupid.

To be fair, I think Longshore did a decent job describing historical events of the Tudor court.  Maybe a little too well.  Part of the problem with writing fictional encounters about history is that if you diverge too much from history people are going to complain, but if  you keep true to history the book is going to be oh so dull like Gilt.

Props though for having cranky and fat Henry the VIII most people portray him as being handsome throughout his life like on the TV show, when it was well documented that he wasn’t in his latter years.

It’s sad that he was so in character and then at the same time I thought that Catherine Howard was more or less a caricature.  To be fair, that’s how history remembers her as being and I think Longshore was trying to be authentic to the source material but it just faltered for me.

I also really didn’t have any sort of feelings for Kitty either which hampered the book too.

I think at the end of the day Gilt didn’t work for me because it just seemed like there was an outside view of what happened.  Yes, Kitty was a supposed insider but she was a rather dull insider whose own story really wasn’t of much interest to me.  And that’s never something you want from a main character.

Overall Rating: A C+ not a horrible book but it’s more like a regurgitation of a history book than a story but in first point of view.

Good Issue Book BUT: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

Source: GoodReads

I looked forward to this one for awhile.  Transgendered issues have gotten more media attention in the past year, than they have in a very long time.  It’s probably in part due to Caitlyn Jenner which in turn has sensationalize the issues surrounding trans individuals, which has lead to some ill researched legislation that has been proposed and passed in some states.

While it has been great that trans issues have been getting more awareness as of late, the coverage of it has been particularly skewed which was why I was glad that there was a YA book touching upon it

The thing is, If I Was Your Girl was not about such an important issue, it would’ve been one of those books that I would’ve been sort of meh about.  In a lot of ways it reminded me of None of the Above which discussed its issue-intersex-in a informative type of way, but when it came to the actual storyline and side characters it wasn’t the greatest.

And that’s kind of sad, but at the same time sort of understandable.

When it comes to books that discuss an issue such as being transgendered in the case of If I Was Your Girl, you know that the storyline is going to be limited to a degree.  I think that what made me so excited about this book before readage was I thought it was going to be more  or less about a character that had already transitioned and was more or less functioning as a transitioned teen a la Jazz Jennings on her TLC show, but that was not the case.

While it was true that Amanda had transitioned physically, she was still dealing with fallout emotionally from transitioning and the book often used flashbacks to show her transition.

I didn’t mind this, but again it limited the scope of the story and made it more of an issue piece like None of the Above which again isn’t a bad thing but makes the book more educational to uninformed masses.

However, I think that’s one of things that I find that a lot of QUILTBAG books miss is that they make the books more issue oriented than identifiable books and I get why they have to be issue oriented.  The media often misconstrues a lot of different aspects about these individuals lives and it’s important that young readers who don’t exactly know who they are yet, be able to see books that deal with these issues.  But I also would really like these books to be more identifiable to its readers who identify to its narrator.  With If I Was Your Girl, I thought it would be more of a YA romantic contemporary with a twist, but it wasn’t.  And while that didn’t make the book bad, it did make me a little sad that society hasn’t reached a place where there can be a book about a trans character where the focus of the book isn’t about her being trans.

Issue book aside, I did like how this book presented trans individual issues for someone who is completely uninformed like yours truly.  I feel like this book should be introduced to anyone who wants to know more about people who are transgendered.  It does discuss different aspects over the situation perfectly.  Yes, Amanda’s transition is a little bit more effortless than most people’s, but the author addresses that in a note at the end of the story.

I also have to give props to Russo for Amanda’s character.  She felt completely realistic and the flashbacks before and during her transition made me cry.

The family elements also rang true, though I found her dad’s turn around in the end a little too fast.

What I didn’t like was a lot of the side characters.  I found most of them, save for Bee and Virginia to be pretty forgettable.  The boyfriend character was sort of a wash for me.  There was always something superficial about his relationship with Amanda and it just didn’t work for me.

Do I recommend this book: yes.  But was it as spectacular as I thought it would be: no.  Still, a good debut and I hope that Russo continues to write books about trans characters.

Overall Rating: A B.

When the Cover is Just as Adorable as the Book: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

Source: GoodReads

This was a pleasant surprise.  When I first started this book, I liked it but I didn’t love it.  Mainly, because I kept comparing it to Simon Vs the Homosapien Agenda and it’s sort of hard to beat that book (sorry).

But as the story progressed, I found myself liking this one enough to give it four stars on GoodReads.  It’s really a feel good adorable book, much like it’s cover-love the waffle theme and it actually connects to the book.

It’s also a nice feel good book.

And when I let go of the Simon comparisons I could enjoy it.

The main character, Jessie, isn’t that bad.  Yes, she has problems that happen to her and at times can be a bit on the melodramatic side, but her melodrama is perfectly age appropriate and I did not want to slap her for 85% of the novel like I want to do to other YA characters.

The romance was also adorable as well.  I’ll admit, I’m a little partial to books like this because I love You’ve Got Mail.  Of course, this is not a Meg Ryan movie and after the onslaught of The Boyfriend from the Internet movies from Lifetime, I was weary that this wasn’t going to be cute.

But don’t fear.  That does not happen in this book.  In fact, there are notes made about Jessie being weary that this could be that sort of relationship.

I think my biggest complaint about this book is that there was a little bit of the Mean Girl and Slut Slamming trope in this book.  Not enough where I groaned all the time, but enough where it made me weary about the book initially.

However, despite that the book wasn’t ruined for me.  I did enjoy that while there was a love story in this book, it discussed other issues such as lost, issues that teens have with parents, moving issues, etc.  It was a pretty nice contemporary.

If you want something light and fluffy that’s in the vein of Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda read this one.  I might like Simon better, but this book grew on me despite the girl hate.  And the waffle cover is just adorable.  I’m planning on keeping it for my shelf awhile, though I might loan it to my sister when I visit Texas in a couple of months.

Overall Rating: What the heck, and A-.

Simply Marvelous: The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

Source: GoodReads

I loved this book.

Was it perfect, no.  The syntax was off at times and it had some disgusting purple prose, but it wasn’t too over powerful to deprive the book from its wonderful characters and story.

The Star Touched Queen incorporates a lot of things I like and it is different from a lot of the fare in YA, yet in a weird way it reminded me of A Court of Thorns and Roses (I think in the fact that this was one sexy and sensual book-and it had  mysterious dude takes girl to his castle trope in it as well).

The book world is inspired by Indian folklore and mythology and the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades with maybe a little bit of the Psyche and Cupid story thrown in there for good measure.  It was a very enjoyable book.

And it wasn’t ridiculously long either.  Which was nice.  I think one of the reasons I get so bogged down with YA fantasy is it’s so long.  Give me a contemporary and I can finish that puppy in a good couple of hours max.  With fantasies it usually takes me four or so hours.  But not this book.  I read it in the course of about three hours and I liked it a lot.

The story is also self contained.  While the author did mention that she planned on writing about other characters in this universe, Maya and Amar’s story is clearly done in this book and I was glad.  No need dragging this book out longer and it ended on a perfect note.

The thing is even though I liked The Star Touched Queen and will be recommending it a lot on this blog for probably at least the next six months or so, it was not free of problems.  Like I previously mentioned the language at times was a bit purply.  Also, while I did appreciate the short length of the story, I did think that some parts of the book could’ve been expanded on.

Still though, I think it’s one of my favorites that I’ve read so far for 2016.

Overall Rating: An A.  Yeah, maybe it should be an A- but I really enjoyed this one flaws and all.  It had tropes I enjoyed and the book was so much fun.

Random Essay: Canceled Series

This weekend I had a chat with my pen pal about a series of books that was the reason for our friendship, and I was like hmmm, the second installment to the adult spinoff of that series should be published soon.  And for that matter, the author had another series that I was interested in catching up with.

One trip to said author’s blog later, I found out that said series had been basically canceled—ones first draft was being released for a small fee for charity ( a first draft, mind you is probably riddled with grammar and continuity issues, which even though the profits were going to a good cause sort of made me wrinkle my nose that she was charging a fee for this when some author’s have released free proofed content—in some cases entire books) and the other was partially done and being released as well.

The reason behind these cancellations, the author didn’t like the way they turned out and the author’s “heart” was no longer there.

Needless to say,  I did a major eye roll then and promptly started having an interesting chat on Messenger about it with my Pen Pal.

Unfortunately, this author isn’t the only one whose series have mysteriously came to a halt, and for that matter won’t be the last one who pulls stunts like this.  But it really had me fuming and thinking about unfinished series in general.

There are numerous reasons a series can become unfinished: Contract negotiations fail, a publisher decides to not purchase the next installments in a series, the author becomes incapacitated or dies, etc.

I remember before the last Harry Potter novel was released, Rowling mentioned that she had the ending to her bestselling series someplace safe should something happen to her.

But with book series, we don’t usually think that they’ll be suddenly cancelled like television series are.  I think as a television viewer, I’m halfway ready for a show to end at any time.   Let’s face it, series futures are precarious things.   And  it almost seems like the show’s writers are scared too, since a lot of television shows end each and every year’s season finale on a note where it could be the last episode.

But not so much with YA books.

Most YA books series half an arc built to fit a trilogy.  You have the first book that has the general set up with a relatively mild cliff hanger (just enough to get the audience to read the next one, and start presenting the series arc), the second one is the buildup book (and often fails as a result of this) and ends with a very tense cliffhanger, and the third book of course is the finale.

Screeching a series to a half after the first or second installment is obviously going to cause a lot of heartache.

In the two series that I found out were randomly dropped this week, one of them had a more dramatic cliffhanger than the other.  The first series, while there was a definitive ending, there was enough room to move on to the second book.  However, I heard that the first draft that is being released for a small fee is supposed to have one hell of a cliffie.  The second series—the adult spinoff— that was cancelled had one of those nail biting ending, and was in general just a tease.  It was like watching a reunion show without getting to the good characters.  I kid you not, the book ended with the true stars of the series just appearing as the designated cliffie.

Needless to say, I wanted more especially from that second series so finding out that the book has been randomly cancelled leaves me and I’m sure other fans down.

Interestingly enough, sometimes series get picked up years later after they end.  Most notably Meg Cabot’s The Mediator and 1-800-Where-R-U series were picked up years after their first publisher decided to end them because of low sales.

Of course, by then Cabot was a household name amongst YA and there was quite a following amongst these books.  One of the series had a more proper send off than the other, but regardless it was nice to see both series come to a close.

I don’t know why a series cancellation hits me harder in book form than TV.  Maybe in the case of the two series that were recently cancelled it just seemed to come out of left field.  With TV shows, you sort of know when the end is near.  The programming scheduling will get jacked up, the writers will do really crazy things with the show, and the gossip mills will be talking about the various actors looking for other work.  But with books the cancellation is usually not imminent.  There have been a few times I’ve read a book that was supposed to have a sequel that never appeared, and I wasn’t surprised.  But usually even the worse YA series get a proper send off—cough, The Halo trilogy, cough.  So, it really is flummoxing.

Top Ten Tuesday: YA Characters I’d Like to See Grown Up

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

YA sequels in the adult genre all all the rage these days.  Sometimes these sequels really a delight like Meg Cabot’s Remembrance and Royal Wedding, and sometimes they make me groan like in the case of Vampires of Manhattan For this topic, I thought I’d list ten YA books I’d like to see aged up and some of the things I’d like to see in these characters futures.

10)

I read this book like a month ago, but I would love to see what happens next.  I’d like to see Elodie a little older exploring for plants on her own with her husband in tow.  The book is a perfect stand alone, but I wanted more adventures.  Like maybe traveling to South America or the Outback.

9)

I just need to make sure Riley was okay.  I felt like Riley was in a better place at the end of the book but I was still very worried about Riley’s future.  I’d like to see this character in a better place.

8)

Okay, not a follow up for the main character.  But I NEEEEEEEDDDDDDD a Freddie follow up.

7)

Because I really hope Kate’s life got better after the election.  And I think a novella seeing a happy Kate would be a good idea.  And  it’s sad that the election drama in this book is relatively claim considering all the crap that is going on in the current 2016 fuck-tacular election.

6)

Because everyone wants to see what Lola wears for a wedding dress.

5)

Okay, why would I put a book that I hate on this list?  Because I want this character to face reality.  Imagine it, Bethany Church a twenty something house wife with four obnoxious children whose day is spent driving her kids to ballet practice to soccer practice and trying to pick up loose cereal from the backseat of the car-you can never pick up all of the Captain Crunch-and Xavier, well, he’s being the “man” of the family and is getting all happy with Nurse Elizabeth Webber  at General Hospital who likes to wear the regulation soap opera  black underwear under her scrubs.  Whatever will a former angel do?  Okay, I might’ve drafted this scenario while watching the most sanctimonious character on GH and whine and thought about a way to make her likable-by introducing Bethany and Xavier to her life.

4)

Another case of I need to make sure this character is okay.

3)

This one has a sort of follow up, I didn’t read it because it was like a media colleague thing and it’s a little hard to keep up on things like that.  Cool, idea though, but again like I said I’m not the sort of person who follows like all the various multi-media it was on.  And besides it was more ro less a companion sequel, I sort of want a reunion special sort of thing.

2)

I know I wasn’t a huge fan of this one, but I want to see this character grow up a little get some common sense if she’s not kidnapped and put into a bunker for fifteen years by a crazy reverend who read fan fics about a bunny and kitty pair who solve crimes.…oh, wait, I’m thinking of an awesome TV show not this book.  But something like that needs to happen to this MC to give her some sense of reality or an awesome show to binge watch on Netflix.

1)

Because duh, but we’re sort of getting a play that’s a sequel-ish.  Though  it doesn’t seem like it’s enough. And yesterday was the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, so I had to put it on here.