T5W | MISS GRINCH

This week, we are talking about our Bookish Things You’re A Grinch About.

Or bookish pet peeves. What ever floats your boat. But try not to get too-too serious about it. It’s the little nitpicky things. Or it can be huge ground-breaking issues too. Heh.

It’s all in good fun. No need to get hostile or defensive about these lists. I mean, we still read these books anyway whether it has a love triangle or absentee parent, right? It’s our shared dislike or disagreement in opinions that keep up together. And that’s beautiful.

With that said, here’s my list of “little things” that tick me off in the book scene:

MAGNETIC BOOKMARKS.
Yes, people. They’re cute but I don’t like them. There’s this boba magnetic bookmark that I wanted but then I thought… I don’t use those. I have those Harry Potter ones from Target but when I tried using one on a rather large tome, I didn’t like the way it looked and the way it was bulky in between the pages. No. Just… no. There are some adorable Yuri On Ice ones that I wanted off of Etsy but you can’t make me use magnetic bookmarks for any kind of book. On planners and journals, maybe, but not for books.

NO HALF-STARS ON GOODREADS RATING SYSTEM.
At least we have re-reads now. But half-stars is a must. I know you can choose to round up or down your half rating but there’s a huge difference between a 3- and a 4-star rating psychologically. I’d rather gravitate towards a book with a 3.8 star rating than a 3.4 stars. It does force the reader to be firm with his/her rating but still, that half-star is a huge thing.

WHEN BOOKSTORES ONLY HAVE MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS.
My example for this is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Prior to purchasing the 10th anniversary edition last month, all of the bookstores I visited only have mass market paperback copies. Same with the Mistborn trilogy (but I’ve decided to go to Book Depository for my Sanderson fix). I know it’s a space issue but still!

BOOKS WITHOUT BLURBS.
I see this especially with Magical Realism books. It has the author bio on the back and a bunch of quoted reviews. Inside, even more starred reviews. But no summary. What the hell is this book about?! I still do check GoodReads when book shopping but how will you interest your reader if you don’t have a summary of your book when people can read it? Do you want me to judge your book by its cover? Well, better make it an exceptional cover then.

CRAZY NAMES.
Khrysthyne Mharie von Auslesse, Jaxon Vryanth [title of book as character’s last name]. What’s up, New Adult? Nothing wrong with the standard spellings of Kristine or Christine. (Although, I do know someone who actually named their child exactly how that name is spelled above. Poor kid.) I can take it from Fantasy novels, the crazier the better. But these NA authors have the most creative names that it trips me up every time I encounter one on the page. So much that I have to audio book instead.


Well, that was cathartic. XD

Advertisements

#T5W | WRITING IDOLS

This week, we are talking about our Authors You Want to Write Like.

I fully intended to post this yesterday, early. This is the easiest list to compose for me.

But then I got to work. It was hell. I was too tired when I got home and I wanted to push finishing The Hero of Ages for Tome Topple (not happening, unfortunately).

So here we are. Top 5 Wednesday on a Thursday. That’s okay, right?

As many avid readers, I also dabbled in writing. I actually won NaNoWriMo 2010 and once I reached around 56,000 words, I fell off of it. So yeah, the Generation Kill TV mini-series fan fiction loosely based on Jane Eyre is still unfinished. I only really need to write an ending but I got stuck. Yup, that was seven years ago. I used to exclusively write CSI:NY fan fiction for a while. Then James/Lily stories. Hey, I do have a ff.net account (that is still alive) and an AO3 account which is mainly for anime fics. I never actually ventured into “original” works. I just write. It’s not really a passion. I just like doing it.

But if I were serious, I would love a piece of talent from any of these brilliant authors. They have such creative imaginations, skillful world-building, amazing story-telling, and rich characters. I love it all. Alas, I am but a reader but a girl can dream!


BRANDSON SANDERSON.
The Mistborn trilogy is a masterpiece. All 3 books in the core series are all more than 500 pages, perfect for Tome Topple, yet they are so easy to read. It’s like a gateway between YA and adult fantasy fiction. There are so many characters but you will remember all of them, their powers, and their backstories. The magic system sounds so complicated but it really isn’t. It’s so complex yet so engaging, you will not get lost. Brandon Sanderson was able to think all of that up – magic system, setting, characters and all – and still making it such a breeze to read. Don’t be intimidated by his works.

VE SCHWAB.
I follow her on social media and it seems that she’s always writing. Writing and editing multiple books at the same time, released two in a year, starting a new one as soon as the other is finished. Girl! You deserve a full 12-hour sleep! But I love her and I love her work. Like with Sanderson, she managed to make a rather complex world (I mean, FOUR Londons) and magic system easy to follow. She’s introduced concepts that are unlike any other in the YA scene today with her Monsters of Verity duology. I don’t see any huge difference in her treatment of readers in both the YA and adult audience and I appreciate that. Her writing is so solid. I just love it so much.

MARIE LU.
No one writes action like Marie Lu. Her books are so smart and fast-paced, I look forward to reading everything she’s ever written. When I read Legend, it honestly felt like it was in one sitting. I could not put it down. Same with Warcross. She writes action scenes so cleanly and effectively, you can almost see it unfolding in front of your eyes. Her concepts are so cool – video games, virtual reality, mixed with a dystopia that is frankly not far from possible truth.

LAINI TAYLOR.
I literally just finished the audio book for Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Every time I read her books, it feels like I’m transported into that setting. Her writing is not exactly what you can call “flowery” but there’s a certain magic in her words. It’s so lyrical and I love it so, so much. I guess this is what they mean when they call words “beautiful”. Laini Taylor’s words are beautiful. There’s so much heart and emotion in them. Yes, the narrator might have added to that but I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone on hardcover and I had the same experience. It is just so lovely.

DAN BROWN.
What can I say? I’m trash for Dan Brown. His books are auto-buy for me. While his latest one is not my favorite, Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code are still two my favorite reads of all time. I can only imagine the research that went into those… so much that it actually had people scared enough to boycott the books and movies. I love that his Robert Langdon adventures are based on real places that you can visit. His other works require a certain level of disbelief but there is still that research aspect of fictionalized history/technology in there. I don’t mind him taking a long time in between books. I know I’m going to be in for a ride when they come.


Goodbye, November! I’ll be posting by November and Tome Topple wrap up together either tomorrow (that’s pushing it lmao) or next week.

Have a wonderful day!

#T5W | Fictional Boyfriends of Years Past

This week, we are talking about our Nostalgic Fictional Boyfriends/Girlfriends.

I tried to think of book boyfriends but I never got into those until recently. Like… 3 years ago recent. I mean, I can still list those out but I decided to reach farther back into my fangirl history. I have a pick each from a TV show, film, anime, video game, and of course, a book series.

My personality is dangerous – for my mind, heart, and wallet – when it comes to obsessions. So needless to say, once I get attached, I’m never letting go.

Let’s get this out of the way, shall we? I know every Top 5 Wednesday topic has room for a Harry Potter character so here we go:

Oliver Wood, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film.
Yes, specifically the film. Because Sean Biggerstaff. This is also the reason why I am so salty about the lack of Quidditch in the 3rd film. The screen would light up whenever he’s there; I would rewatch Great Hall scenes just to see Oliver Wood. In fact, my first ever celebrity autograph was of Sean’s. So yeah, not only do I hang on to every Oliver Wood scene, I’ve checked out every one of Sean Biggerstaff’s other works.

Leon S. Kennedy, specifically in Resident Evil: Degeneration.
And Resident Evil 4. And 2. Actually, every reincarnation except the live action travesty. I hardcore ship him with Claire Redfield. He’s grown so much in the course of the games, from being the unluckiest rookie cop of Raccoon City to the badass agent and zombie killer that he is currently. But hot damn, that fringe! That voice! He’s hot. That’s all I can say.

Michael Vaughn, Alias.
Where do I even begin? He’s the reason why I watched Alias. While I did like Sydney and Jack and the whole double-triple agent drama, it was Vaughn that made me stay through to the end. I was a SydVaughn shipper and hated every other character paired with him LOL. Yes, I was super invested. I loved how low-key he was yet so dependable at the same time. There was a quiet strength in his character and Michael Vartan portrayed that so well.

Mamoru Chiba, Sailor Moon.
Here’s the thing… I loved Tuxedo Mask. But I hated Moonlight Knight (or Knight of the Moonlight if you happened to watch Sailor Moon R in the Philippines). I am aware that he is just another one of Mamo’s alter-egos but try explaining that to four-year-old me. (Yes, I was basically born an otaku – I started watching anime way before I knew what cartoons were.) I reacted negatively to anything that came in the way of my first OTP, Sailor Moon x Tuxedo Mask. I can confidently say that this character is my first ever crush.

And finally, for the book pick… Ned Nickerson, Nancy Drew Mysteries.
Nancy is damn lucky to find not only friends but a boyfriend that likes the same stuff and activities as her. He’s as interested in solving mysteries and is willing to help out with his own group of “chums”. And the way he is described in the books is attractive to me. He seems like a good guy. Boyfriend material. Someone you can take home to mama.


In my draft, I put Legolas on there but everybody has in on their list so I think that’s a given. Really, just put Orlando Bloom. XD

#T5W | Problematic Faves

This week, we are talking about our Problematic Faves.

I’m pretty black and white when it comes to characters. I do have my guilty pleasures here and there but when it comes to characters, I let them redeem themselves. If the character is stupid – *cough*Lara Jean*cough* – then I wouldn’t even bother wasting my time to justify their actions even though they’re the main character. I actually find myself liking side characters more than protagonists most of the time.

For example, I never ever liked Draco Malfoy. If not for the movie, I wouldn’t have cared much for Snape. Their actions were questionable and they never truly redeemed themselves to me. (Yes, Snape loved Lily so he felt obligated to protect Harry but… it’s a whole can of worms that I’m too tired to open up.) If he’s painted as a bad guy, then he’s a bad guy in my book.

But having said that, I easily found five that I can share. Actually, it was 7 but everybody already had The Darkling on their lists and A Court of Wings and Ruin isn’t a character. But to explain, I liked The Darkling 1000x better than Alina and Mal. Him and Nikolai were the only reasons why I finished that trilogy; I mean, there wasn’t enough David and Genya to sustain my interest. As for ACOWAR, it’s my favorite from the series. The only way that anything could top that is an Azriel-centric book. Anyway, on with the list.

Tooru Oikawa as Asuma Kousuke… or it’s the other way around. 😉

Tooru Oikawa, Haikyuu!
(It’s not enough that I’m obsessed with the anime. I freakin’ LOVE the stage play too.)
Oikawa is the “great king” of the court. He’s seen as pompous, arrogant, and he always provokes his opponents especially the Karasuno team. He rarely shows a vulnerable side of him. On paper, he’s sort of the villain of the story. But I can’t help but like him. He’s such a rich character. Yes, he’s arrogant but he’s also determined and focus. I mean, there’s a reason why a genius setter like Kageyama looks up to him and wants to surpass him, right? Then there’s Ushijima regretting that Oikawa didn’t go to Shiratorizawa. And most of all, even with so many people admiring him, he still feels insecure at Kageyama’s genius tendencies, Sugawara’s “refreshing” vibe, Hinata’s athleticism, and even Ushijima’s abilities.

Wow that was long. I’ve always wanted to discuss that but I don’t have anime-watching friends. Or reader friends on that note. Hmm.

Robert Langdon, The Da Vinci Code and the like.
Professor Langdon goes with another name: Gary Stu. There’s not an arc in the Langdon series books where his eidetic memory is not mentioned. He’s well-versed in every ancient concept. He’s studied and lectured in all the ivy league universities around the world. He has friends in astronomically high places. He falls from a helicopter and survives. And oh, women love him. His only flaw is his claustrophobia. But dang, he’s such a compelling character to follow.

Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre.
Let’s face it, Mr. Rochester is a lying piece of shit. He insta-fell in love with Jane but never ever mentioned his own circumstances. His term of endearment is belittling Jane’s status and abilities. He doesn’t know how to show affection. But damn if he’s not the most romantic person in classic romance. Sue me, I still fall into giggles every time I read Jane Eyre at how strangely sweet he is to Jane. You can have your Mr. Darcy. I’m keeping this one, missing hand and all.

Kaden, The Remnant Chronicles trilogy.
I’m listening to Beauty of Darkness right now and from the reviews, he unfortunately gets demoted to platonic friend from potential love interest. But that’s okay. I sort of knew from the start where he fits in the story. I still really like his character though. His backstory has so much potential and his character can really go anywhere. I actually don’t like Rafe that much because he reminds me too much of Tamlin and I honestly don’t see his motivation and reasons behind his decisions.

Katsuki Bakugo, My Hero Academia.
I recently finished watching the anime. I thought the first season had so much fillers but season 2 was jam packed. I’m excited for the next season and the next volumes of manga. I admit, I still sort of don’t like Kacchan compared to how I love everyone else in the show/manga. To me, he’s more fitting to be a villain. His attitude is rotten. His quirk is more destructive than helpful. But I think he knows that. And that’s the most important thing. His attitude is more of a front. He’s so vulnerable and insecure of Izuku, of all people; his quirkless childhood friend who looks up to him. Why is it so important for him to be better than Izuku every time? And then the destructiveness of his quirk. Even with explosions threatening to destroy life and property, he still fights to be a hero instead of a villain. I still don’t truly get his motivations and why he’s so rotten towards other people but the fact that he’s aware that he can easily be a villain but chooses not to… makes his very endearing.


What is up with these anime-related essays?! I’m curious… do you watch anime? We can talk about it!

#T5W | Scary Non-Horror Books

This week, we are talking about Non-Horror Books That Scared You. And yes, I am aware that is is already Thursday. 😉

I have not done this weekly tag all month. I just feel uninspired. Not just over this… but with everything — reading, writing, watching anime, crochet… life, in general. Most of my reading this month is either manga or audio book. Origin will be finished by the end of the month, for sure. But I think I hyped myself up so much over that that it sent me to a sort of slump. A slump that stretched to all aspects of my life. But I’m slowly crawling back and here we are with the final T5W for October.

This was sort of a struggle for me. As you know, I don’t get scared easily. Movies, books, TV shows, in real life. Well, real life is a different story but in fictional media, I’m pretty chill. In fact, I like horror movies. Asian horror movies to be specific. There are some horror books that freaked me out but the deal with this week’s topic are book NOT under the horror genre that scared me. I managed to think of 4 that freaked me out a bit and I just have to throw in one actual horror book/short story collection to round up five titles.

wtf asahi!

Warm Up by VE Schwab
This is a companion short story to Vicious. It’s not going to make sense if you haven’t read Vicious but let me tell you… THIS is how you make a companion piece. It was eerie, atmospheric, and pretty dark. VE Schwab was able to put so much in less than 20 pages and it was so good.

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
It’s not about paranormal scary but more of scared of the situation. Grace was sent to an insane asylum with several forces working against her and she must find a way to outsmart it all. But if you’re supposedly sane and then sent to a mental institution by powerful people, how can you convince them that you are not crazy?

Armada by Ernest Cline
Alien invasion. Tell me, who won’t be scared by that? But this novel is pretty cool. I don’t get why it get so many low ratings just because people expect Ready Player One V2.

Confessions by Kanae Minato
This one is really blood-chilling. It’s technically a mystery thriller but in the usual Japanese fashion, it’s pretty damn dark. I can’t tell you why this novel scared the hell out of me but when you read it, you’ll know why it’s terrifying.

And for my actual horror pick:

ZOO by Otsuichi
I believe I have a full review of this where I talk about all the short stories in this collection. Like I said, I don’t get scared easily but this book had me from the first short story all the way to the end.


What are you dressing up as this Halloween? I have a comic convention this coming weekend and I might dress up. 😉

#T5W | A Community of Enablers

This week, we are talking about Books I Read Because of Booktube.

I already have a similar Top Ten Tuesday post about this. I think it was more about the books that I bought because of booktube. I can also have a separate list of another 5 books that I bought – but have not read yet – because of booktube but this first list is going to be the books that I already read and loved.

Frankly, I very rarely listen to recommendations from popular booktubers. Especially when their videos come out at the very same time. I have no issues with any of them; I mean, I still enjoy watching their content. Sponsored videos are a part of that business and they’re free to do it. However, I had been severely burned by a popular booktube recommendation before. The Fault in Our Stars. I wish I could take back those two days that I wasted. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Geez, really? And lately, I’ve seen so many book that are being shown on booktube around the same time and never spoken about again because it turned out to be an overhyped book with low ratings. Oh well. *kanyeshrug*

But where else do I get recommendations anyway? Sure, blogs and other social media streams help but the truth is… booktube is a massive resource for recommendations and reviews. I love watching and I’m grateful to the many good reads I gained from it. Now here are 5 that I really, really loved:

No reason. I just want to post a Tsukki photo for his birthday! 😉 Oh look, he has books on his desk!

  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee.
    This was one of those books that exploded throughout booktube at the same time. Mainly because of OwlCrate, methinks. But everyone was talking about it. It did sound interesting to me but I wasn’t running out the door to pick up a copy. Then I saw the audiobook on Hoopla Digital. I loved it. It was amazing. Now, I’m looking to pick up a signed copy. Good on you, booktube.
  • Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire.
    Everyone was talking about this book. EVERYONE. Whether you read only YA or only adult, you must have heard about this book or read it already. I wasn’t at all interested, to be honest. I much prefer her work as Mira Grant. But I found it on Book Outlet for stupid cheap so I picked it up. I read it. It wasn’t as life-changing as many said it was but I liked it.
  • Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.
    I would’ve never picked up this book if not for a booktuber who said that this had playlists. Actual playlists. Guess what, I ended up loving not just the playlists, but the whole damn thing.
  • The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.
    You’re not a legit booktuber or bookstagrammer if you don’t have the pretty UK paperback boxed set in your possession. That’s just the truth. Even I did that. I got the mass market paperback set from Book Outlet but then unhauled that so I can purchase the UK ones. It’s now one of my favorite series of all time. Thank you, booktube, for your love of pretty covers and UK editions.
  • New Adult in general, specifically Him Us by Sarina Bowen.
    I’ve always been curious about the NA romance genre. But the free ones from Amazon were just plain garbage. I’m glad to have found some booktube channels that mainly feature romance novels and it made me see that there are good ones out there. I lucked out with Him and Us. I read them in collectively 24 hours and absolutely loved them. I now have quite the collection and I can’t wait to devote time to reading them.

I want to add as an honorable mention The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. I bought it because of booktube love but I haven’t read it yet. Soon. Very soon.

 

#T5W | Back to School

This week, we are talking about Classes Based on Books/Characters.

It’s back to school season. I’m on the final episode of My Hero Academia season 1. Let’s do this!

I remember doing a similar topic for Top Ten Tuesday… the Ten Things I Wanted to Learn Because of Books, or something to that effect. It had stuff like Archery because Katniss and playing the violin because of This Savage Song. This time, it’s classes in school that is based on books and characters. Or probably taught by said characters. Think Harry Potter and the instruction of magic. But HP is out of the running… that’s just too easy. 😉 There are other books and characters out there that can teach you how to fly, right?

I will try to make the subjects as “practical” as possible. Although, I wouldn’t mind being taught by Azriel Altin the art of angsty brooding and pining. XD

HOSPITALITY, Black Butler by Yana Toboso.
Instructed by: Sebastian Michaelis.
Anyone who has read the manga or watched the movie will know that Sebastian is the perfect butler. He can cook, clean, do laundry, garden, tend to pets, and more without a perfect hair out of place. And he does other stuff too. After all, “A butler that can’t do this much, isn’t worth his salt.”

INFILTRATION, Red Rising by Pierce Brown.
Instructed by: Darrow.

This is infiltration of the enemy camp to the extreme. It’s like Mission Impossible mask making on steroids x 100. Not to mention complete behavioral change to blend in with the enemy society. Combat and survival are also included in the curriculum.

TANKERY, Girls und Panzer.
Instructed by: Miho Nishizumi.

The rest of the Ooarai girls will have lectures on specialized stuff such as mechanical and technical aspects of Tankery, steering, supplies while in combat, paperwork, repairs, etc. Guest lecturers from different schools – St. Gloriana, Saunders, Anzio, Pravda, and Kuromorimine – will also provide further sessions and demonstrations.

METALLURGY, The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.
Instructed by: Kelsier.
Do I even need to explain this? This course will cover the different effects and/or benefits of different metals to a body. Also, experimentation as to the discovery of new alloys will also be covered. Pre-requisite to the Allomancy course.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION, Onepunch-Man by ONE.
Instructed by: Saitama.

Here is the curriculum: 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and 10km running. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Class will be joined by his protege Genos. Classes will be joined by Bang aka “Silver Fang” and his disciple, Charanko. 


I will be sure to sign up for any – all of them! Especially Tankery!

What was your favorite class in school?