Top Ten Tuesday (March 5): Series I Want to Start

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today’s topic is one I have no trouble coming up with candidates for, because I just do not have enough time to read all the books I want to read. This doesn’t stop me from buying them — which is why half the books on my shelf are books I haven’t read yet — and I assume one day I will have read everything I want to read. But I may have to grow old and wrinkly first.

And then I’ll need someone to read to me, because my eyesight will be failing. Probably along with my sanity.

So there are many series I have started and not finished/continued yet. Most of which I plan to finish eventually. Sometimes I think back fondly on my pre-book-blogging days, when I could read a whole series in one fell swoop and then take my time to ponder the next thing I picked up. Now I feel like there are so many things I want to read, I don’t have the luxury of reading an entire series all together, because then when will I read the other books?

To be clear, the problem of too many good books is not a bad one to have. It’s why I keep buying more books. I want to read them ALL.

But anyway, for the purposes of this list, I won’t discuss the series where I’ve read the first book or two, but haven’t continued. These are all series where I have read none of the books, even though I really want to. Half of these are already on my bookshelf. Just waiting for the right time to plunge in.

And yes, in some cases, the reason I’m itching to read this series is because the author is awesome on Twitter. Proof that if you are awesome on Twitter, people like me will buy your books, even if we don’t have time to actually read them. I will link to the author’s Twitter profile, so you can follow them and experience their awesomeness too.

So here we go! (Yes, there is a LOT of fantasy on here. And what’s ridiculous is I do read a lot of fantasy. There’s just so much of it! I need to devote a year to just catching up on fantasy. And it would be a glorious year.)

Top Ten Series I’d Like To Start But Haven’t Yet

The Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren DeStefano (Book 1: Wither)

 Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi (Book 1: Shatter Me)

The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa (Book 1: The Iron King)

The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta (Book 1: Finnikin of the Rock)

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo (Book 1: Shadow and Bone)

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima (Book 1: The Demon King)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor (Book 1: Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

The Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins (Book 1: Hex Hall)

The Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Book 1: Beautiful Creatures)

Of Poseidon trilogy by Anna Banks (Book 1: Of Poseidon)

Fortunately, not all of these series are complete yet. Some are still on book one! So I’m not so very far behind. Except for the part where I probably will prioritize those last, and by the time I finally get around to them, the entire series will be out. But then I can consume them all in a glorious sleep-deprived three days of binge reading like I did with The Hunger Games.

Also, I now feel wholly inadequate as a reader and as a book blogger. Nothing like compiling a list of fabulous books that you haven’t had time to crack open yet to make you want to cancel the rest of March, and possibly April as well.

If you need me, I’ll be over here, in my bunker, buried under my TBR pile.

Top Ten Tuesday (February 26): Auto-Buy Authors

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Today’s topic is:

Top Ten Authors That I’d Put On My Auto-Buy List*

Basically, this is talking about authors whose books we will buy, no matter what they are. And this one’s tricky, because I recently had to DNF (did-not-finish) The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. And she would have previously topped this list. (For the record, I do intend to attempt The Casual Vacancy again someday. I just wasn’t able to get into it this first go-around.)

So then what makes an author an auto-buy author? I’m not entirely sure. It’s just kind of a gut thing that I can’t explain. It is what it is.

(These are in no particular order, as all of them are worthy of the same prize – a lifetime of book-buying).

1. Ruta Sepetys. I loved Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy, but also, Ruta is just one of the sweetest, most genuine people ever. She has a real passion for what she does, and she speaks so well. I will always want to support her.

2. Victoria Schwab. Not only does Victoria write beautifully (have you picked up The Archived yet? Because you should), but she is also a lovely, kind person who constantly strives to bring more beauty to the world. Victoria is also the author of The Near Witch and the upcoming Vicious.

3. Myra McEntire. I. Love. Myra. Hopefully that doesn’t come across in a creepy way, but she is legitimately one of my absolute favorite people that I’ve met in the past year (and I’ve met many). And her books — I love them. I push them on people in a way that might be considered somewhat extreme, except that no one that reads them ever tells me anything other than “THANK YOU SO MUCH I LOVED THESE,” so I’m assuming it’s all okay. Myra is the author of Hourglass and Timepiece, and the upcoming Infinityglass .

4. Lauren Oliver. I love Before I Fall and the Delirium series (although Requiem is not out yet, so we’ll see how I feel about that one). I haven’t read The Spindlers yet, but I do own it and am looking forward to reading it, eventually. Her writing is lovely and I will always be interested in more of her stories.

5. J.K. Rowling. Okay, okay, I know what I said before, but let’s just assume The Casual Vacancy was a fluke. I’m not sure if I’m talking about the book itself or my experience reading it. But the bottom line is, I do plan to return to it someday. And if she comes out with another book after it, I’ll pick that one up too. *crosses fingers and hopes it’s about wizards*

6. Katie McGarry. She’s only got one book out right now, Pushing the Limits, but I managed to snag an early copy of her upcoming book, Dare You To, and it is just as good if not better. And she’s got two more on the way, spinning off the same characters. I love the first two in a way I pretty much never love contemporary romance, and her writing just has a way of pulling my emotions in every direction imaginable. I will eagerly pick up anything else she puts out.

 7. Suzanne Collins. Which reminds me. I need to pick up the Underland Chronicles. I’ve been meaning to forever, since I love The Hunger Games so much and want to read MORE of her lovely words. I even liked Mockingjay.

8. Michael Crichton. I think this one might be a cheat, as I think — I think – I’ve already read all of his books. Some of them were so long ago that I’d have to re-read them to tell you what they’re about, but that still obviously qualifies him for this list. Sadly, in a fit of insanity, I donated a huge amount of books to Goodwill when I got married, including most of my Crichton novels, so now I have to slowly rebuild my collection. Seriously, I don’t know what I was thinking.

9. Robin HobbEven though the Soldier Son was not the best thing ever (nor was it the worst), and even though I was disappointed by the Rain Wilds Chronicles, I will still check out anything Robin Hobb writes for the rest of forever. Because the Farseer series was honestly. That. Good.

Aaaaaand I’m out, one shy of ten. There’s other authors I would definitely check out anything new they wrote, but I don’t know if I’d pull the book-buying trigger. Their books would definitely warrant a trip to the library, though. These authors include: C.J. Redwine, Sharon Cameron, Beth Revis, Stephanie Perkins, Maggie Stiefvater, Veronica Roth, Julie Kagawa, Marissa Meyer, Rae Carson, Kristin Cashore, James Dashner, John Green, Scott Westerfield, and I’m sure many others. I’m just cheap, and it takes a lot to weasel your way onto my auto-buy list. Truthfully, some of these authors would probably be there already if I’d read more of their already-published books. So it’s probably just a matter of time.

How about you? Whose books saturate your bookshelves, yet you still can’t get enough?

*Just because they’re auto-buy authors doesn’t mean I’ve read all their books yet. It just means I have them, or am planning to acquire them, and intend to read them, someday.

Top Ten Tuesday (February 19): Favorite Dystopian Characters

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

I considered thinking outside the box for this week, but then my kids had a 3.5-day-weekend and we had company and I am TIRED. So instead I’m going to pick what is probably an über-popular genre, and I’m not going to go into detail on my answers, because the options for this evening are either write a curtailed post, or write nothing at all. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Here we go.

Top Ten Favorite Dystopian Characters

(Also, I understand that some of these are borderline dystopians. I’m going based on what the popular consensus is, even if I personally think some of them tread a little more in sci-fi territory).

10. ZanePretties. Did anyone else really like this character? Just me? He actually tried to figure out if there was something more outside the world of the Pretties without being pushed. Tally always needed someone forcing her hand. Zane didn’t. And he was good to her. I know I’m supposed to be all about Tally and David, and in a way, I am, but I just really liked Zane and don’t feel like he gets a lot of love.

9. Rue, The Hunger Games. I can’t talk about Rue or I’ll start crying. Such a sweet character.

8. Tris’ mom, Divergent. I’m supposed to pick Four, right? But seriously, even with her abbreviated page-time, I loved Tris’ mom. Tough, loving, self-sacrificing, forgiving. I wish more YA parents were like her. 

7. Hana, Delirium. I haven’t read her novella yet, but she was by far my favorite character in Delirium. Even more than Lena. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

6. Prince Maxon, The Selection. For me, there is no love triangle. Maxon is the clear winner. Aspen who?

5. Manchee, The Knife of Never Letting Go. He’s a dog, and it doesn’t even matter. Best part of the book.

4. Zeke, The Immortal Rules. I think I have a soft spot for strong-yet-compassionate leader-types.

3. ChubsThe Darkest Minds. I simply adore smart, loyal friends.

2. MinhoThe Maze Runner. All of the Minho scenes are my absolute favorites.

1. Peeta MellarkThe Hunger Games. Because Peeta rocks and I don’t even care about arguments that say different.

Top Ten Tuesday (February 12) – Favorite Romances

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Today’s topic is fun and appropriate for those of you who celebrate Valentine’s Day. If you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, either because your are Valentine-less or because you’re jaded or because you think it’s a stupid holiday, then I guess it’s no more appropriate than any other topic.

No judging. When I was in college, my friends and I used to dress in all black on Valentine’s Day because we were so Above It All. So if it’s not your thing, I get it.

Truthfully, I don’t think my husband and I are doing anything for Valentine’s Day this year either. Not Making a Statement, just…no plans. DOCTOR WHO IT IS.

Anyway. I’m getting off topic.

This week’s topic is:

My Top Ten Favorite Romances

I’m going to assume this is referring to the couples themselves, and not to actual romance novels, since I don’t read romance novels. So here we go (again, in no particular order, because I suck at particular orders):

Ron and HermioneHarry Potter. I love their friendship. I love that they have had Feelings for each other for years, but that wasn’t their main concern in life. There were bigger things happening, like Voldemort. But there was always this underlying, intangible thing between them, that of course was finally realized in the last book.

Anna and Etienne, Anna and the French Kiss. I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance, at all, but I was totally sucked in by this one. Their relationship was sweet and fun and gave me the heart flutters.

Elisa and HectorThe Crown of EmbersMy biggest problem with the first book in this series, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, was the lack of Hector. So when he was front and center in this book, I was a happy camper. Their slow-burn romance gave me chills. Serious. Chills.

Kaleb and LilyTimepiece. I loved Michael and Emerson in Hourglass, but Kaleb and Lily in Timepiece were just perfection. Their romance was fun and quippy and shivery-in-a-good-way. I loved every second of them together, even before they were together.

Claire and Jamie, Outlander. As far as male leads go, it just does not get any better than Jamie Fraser, pretty much ever. Their romance felt so deep and passionate and real. Even when Claire was still sorting out her feelings for him, just reading about how Jamie interacted with Claire was enough for me to feel All The Feelings.

Echo and NoahPushing the Limits. Another contemporary romance. The kind I keep saying I don’t read. What can I say, people keep recommending good books! I will admit that some of the things that come out of Noah’s mouth kind of ooze cheese, but I don’t care. I love him and I love Echo and I love them together. They’re the perfect compliment to each other. (And if the sequel, Dare You To, was out yet, I’d put Beth and Ryan on this list too, because they deserve it. But you probably haven’t read that book yet, so I’ll just say — read it. If you loved PTL, you’ll love this one too.)

Anne and GilbertAnne of Green Gables (the whole series). I’m a sucker for stories where the love interests grow up together. I love that Anne and Gilbert start out as childhood rivals. I love that their rivalry slowly evolves into friendship, which evolves into romance. I love that he calls her Carrots and pulls her pigtails and gives up his teaching position so that she can stay home.

Gus and HazelThe Fault in Our StarsI think I’ve mentioned before how this book utterly destroyed me, and also how, despite the criticisms I’ve heard saying that Gus and Hazel don’t talk like real kids, they actually talked pretty much exactly like some of my friends from high school. So they were incredibly real to me, and their relationship was so sweet in the midst of so much sadness. It ripped my heart out, but I loved it.

Wanda and IanThe HostI would never put Bella and Edward on this list, but I felt like this book came much closer to getting a relationship right. I loved Ian and how he could see Wanda so clearly, when no one else could. And I loved how she learned to trust him, even though it went against her nature to do it. Also, for the record, I am super excited about this movie.

Samantha and Kent, Before I FallTheir slowly evolving one-day romance made this book for me. Sam’s spiteful and shallow friends and some of her poor decision making just made me want to slap them all, but her growing feelings for Kent, and the way he always saw the best in her, even though she’d given him no reason to, are why I love this story.

Honorable mentions to: Every Jane Austen romance ever (especially Elizabeth and Darcy, and Elinor and Edward), Westley and Buttercup, Jane and Rochester, Jo and Laurie (yes, I know they didn’t wind up together, but I still love them), Christy and Doctor MacNeil, Clare and Henry, and Katniss and Peeta. All romances I loved and was super-invested in, but ultimately, didn’t make me feel quite as much as the ones above. (Going totally on books here. In the movies, Jane Austen always wins for Fluttery Feels.)

How about you? What couples make your heart go pitter-patter?

Top Ten Tuesday (January 29) – Frustrating Characters

What’s that you say? I’m actually participating in a Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by our friends at The Broke and the Bookish)? Why yes, young padawan, I am! I’ve been out for a while, because in keeping with my whole “blogging should be a fun hobby” philosophy, if I think the topic is going to be too difficult or just doesn’t interest me, I skip it. But this one seemed fun. And as a slight spin, I’m going to keep these characters limited to BOOKS I REALLY LIKED. Just ‘cuz a book is awesome doesn’t mean it can’t have frustrating characters. And just because they’re frustrating doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t like them. Plus, it seemed like more fun than just trashing books I don’t like.

So HERE WE GO.

Dolores UmbridgeHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Oh, how I loathed Umbridge. And yes, she frustrated me. Every time she would give Harry one of her torturous detentions or take points from Gryffindor for no good reason, I wanted to throw things.

Gale Hawthorne, Mockingjay. I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m Team Peeta all the way, partially because Gale frustrated me so much in this book. He was angry and impulsive and reckless and his bad decisions had some seriously awful consequences. I still don’t see how people think he was a good match for Katniss. They would have destroyed the world.

John HammondJurassic ParkHOW many times was Hammond told that cloning dinosaurs was a Seriously Bad Idea? Many. Many, many, many. And yet he did it anyway and was somehow surprised when everything went wrong.

Mackenzie Bishop, The Archived. Yes, I seriously loved this book, and I seriously loved Mac. But she made some terrible choices. I could see why she made them, but that didn’t keep them from frustrating me, because I could clearly see that they were bad choices. You know why? Because SHE knew they were bad choices, yet made them anyway.

Nikolai Kretzsky, Between Shades of Gray. I spent this entire book wanting Kretzsky to redeem himself, and occasionally we’d catch glimmers of it — but then he’d go back to behaving like the rest of the NKVD. It made the book even more heartbreaking (FABULOUS book, if I haven’t stressed that enough) because someone we could see had the potential for good, so often chose not to.

Mr. StalasBetween Shades of Gray. Yes, ANOTHER character from this book I adore. This book is really aptly titled, because a lot of the characters really do fall into a gray area. Mr. Stalas is one of them. He’s just kind of a miserable man who almost seems to go out of his way to make life harder for his fellow deportees. Yet he’s not the one keeping them in the labor camps. Almost every time Mr. Stalas opened his mouth, I wanted to throttle him.

LiIncarnateUgh, is there much worse than a hateful, spiteful parent? I couldn’t stand the way Li treated Ana and made her feel worthless — which, of course, was the point.

Beth, Dare You ToOkay, I know this is unfair since this book isn’t out until May (and guys, if you liked Pushing the Limits, you WANT this book. Trust me), so first off, a disclaimer. I LOVED this book. And I loved Beth. But the way she pushes people away and doesn’t trust anyone is infuriating. Understandable, yes, but frustrating. Also, I very nearly put Beth’s mom on this list, but she more saddened than frustrated me.

FitzChivalry Farseer, Assassin’s Apprentice.  Again, I love this book (favorite Fantasy EVER) and I adore Fitz, but there is a whole section in there that made me want to throw him off a roof. (Heh. That is a joke that you will get if you’ve read the book). I knew his brain was being messed with, but still, I just wanted to take him by the shoulders and yell “SNAP OUT OF IT!”

Lindsay Edgecombe, Before I Fall. As Sam Kingston starts the book as an Obnoxious Mean Girl, it only makes sense that her BFF is also an Obnoxious Mean Girl. But unlike Sam, who keeps her memory of the looping day and evolves through the course of the book, Lindsay just stays an Obnoxious Mean Girl. She drove me nuts.