Monday, February 19, 2018

4 Books I Did Not Finish // 4 Books I'll Never Start

Book bloggers like to talk about books they love and books they want to read, and we readers always eat it up because it seems we have this incessant itch to constantly add to our TBR piles. Even though the last thing our TBR piles need is another book.

I think this is also one reason why it's less common for book bloggers to post about books they've DNF-ed, or books they plan on avoiding like the plague for the rest of their lives. We're more hesitant to mark those kinds of books as Want to Read just because other people's opinions do influence us, even if it's only a little bit.

BUT, I decided it might be interesting anyway: to list four books I started but never finished (+ reasons), followed by four books I don't want to read and probably never will (+ reasons).

Let's get started!

~Books That had Their Chance but Screwed up Big-Time~

1. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

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After trying to read this, I unashamedly proclaim that I won't be picking up a book by this author again. 1) All the rest sound either lame or bleck, and 2) this one actually sounded good but... hahaha it WASN'T.

I picked it up because it's a YA Red Riding Hood retelling that legit sounded cool. When it started off eerie and a bit disturbing, I put my guard up, but it wasn't long before the odd vibe I was getting became a demonic vibe. My heart was beating fast, and not for a good reason. I just couldn't handle it.

What little I read of Crimson Bound was really dark, had some lusty romance that was only going to get worse, and was rather confusing. So...

2. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

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This is a Middle-Grade historical fiction, and what I read of it disappointed me on so many levels. I'm still confused as to why it was given a Newbery Medal??

The plot was all right, but the occasional foul language (including the s-word drawn out so long you can barely recognize it, but STILL CAN), the frequent crude (I'd even say inappropriate) comments, and the bad role models (grrrrr, I remember what the dad was like!) made me stop. I don't even like to see that kind of content in Young Adult books, for goodness' sake.

3. The Siren by Kiera Cass

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I tried to read The Selection a few years ago, but the romance was just ick (WHY is it always the romance??). For some reason, I was determined to read a Kiera Cass novel, so I picked up The Siren. Now that I think about it, I would almost be willing to try it again - I remember finding the sentient ocean who basically controlled the girls' lives reeaaaally weird, but that was about the only reason. The thing is, I'm afraid I'll be just as weirded out the second time around and end up DNF-ing for a second time.

It's probably safer just to let it go.

4. Dangerous by Shannon Hale

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This one sounded amazing. Danger was the main character's middle name - no, literally, her name was Maisie Danger Brown - and she got accepted to this NASA-like boot camp where she'd learn a bunch of awesome space stuff and most likely embark on an astronaut mission. And it started off great, with a love interest and everything! You know how I feel about romantic subplots.

But this subplot didn't stay a subplot. An impromptu make-out session before they even really know each other (like, AT ALL) quickly turned into living for this out-of-the-blue crush. Every time Maisie went to her space school/training/whatever... well, she was all about Wilder. Meanwhile, the actual space stuff (that would have been cool) faded into the background.

Of course, I didn't get very far, so maybe the book would have redeemed itself later on, but the kissy-kissy romance was waaaaay too prevalent and waaaaaay over the top.

It chased me away.

~Books That Will Never Get Their Chance~

It was a lot harder to choose four books I don't want to read than it was to choose four books I never finished. Believe me, this selection barely scratches the surface.

(Note: I know some of you have maybe read - or plan to read - one or several of these books, and so I just want to say that I'm not trying to send you on a guilt trip, or tell you not to read them, or ANYTHING LIKE THAT. Please understand that this is all purely my personal conviction! <3)

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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Along with every other John Green book that has ever been written or ever will be written.

I've heard enough about this book. I've heard enough about the romance, the language, and the writing style. I've. Heard. Enough.

I can't believe I'm doing this, but here is one of the several cringe-y snippets I've seen from this book:

"I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."

Who even talks like that??? I refuse to read John Green mainly because of content, but believe me, if dialogue like this - dialogue that would fit better in a Jane Austen novel - fills the pages of this YA medical contemporary, I don't think I'm missing much.

2. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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Part of me wants to read this series, considering all the hype and the awesome-sounding plot. But I've looked up the books - especially the later ones - and I see that the language is too much for my taste, the romance sounds a bit iffy, and one of the primary characters is (or becomes) gay.

Simply put, what I've heard of the content informs me loud and clear that I wouldn't be comfortable reading it. Again, personal conviction.

3. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

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I don't know anything about these books except that there's a group called the Shadowhunters, and they hunt demons. Something about that whole concept has made me want to avoid this series (and the TV show too). Maybe they're against the demons, but I still don't want to be reading about the demonic world all the time, even if the book's representation of it isn't realistic.

4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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When I first heard of this, I thought it sounded interesting. I thought that maybe it would be something I'd like to read. But since then, I've heard that it glamorizes suicide. Maybe that's true, maybe it's not, maybe it's subjective - I DON'T KNOW. (I read somewhere that a school district took it off their libraries' shelves, I guess because it's potentially harmful to teenagers who are depressed or already having suicidal thoughts??) Besides, when I saw it at the store one time, I flipped through it a little out of curiosity and didn't like what I saw.

All right, now that I've blabbed and ranted for long enough, it's comment time! What are your thoughts on these books? What are some books you couldn't finish, and what are some books you don't want to read? <3

~ Lila Kims

Monday, February 12, 2018

10 FABULOUS WRITING QUOTES // thought-provoking + relatable

Pinterest is great for writers. It's a wonderful source of prompts to spark your next great story. It's the home of hundreds of pictures of models - and just random people - to use for character inspiration. It contains links to countless writing articles that have proved beyond helpful to me. And then there are quotes. Encouraging quotes. Relatable quotes. Hilarious quotes. So many quotes that you couldn't possibly name them all.

For today's post, I've weeded out ten of the most awesome writing quotes I've stumbled across whilst procrastinating on scrolling through Pinterest.

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

It can paint an odd picture in the mind, but when you think about it, isn't this pretty accurate?? So many times I sit down at my computer thinking, "Imma SLAY these 1,000 words," and five minutes later all I've written is "the."

Sometimes the words flow smoothly, and sometimes I might as well be an amputee trying to color inside the lines and not choke on my crayon in the process.

Writers aren't exactly people... They're a whole bunch of people trying to be one person. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

No, we're not talking about Split here (a movie I never want to see. EVER. *shudders*). We're talking about characters. Isn't it amazing how there can be multiple books written by the same writer, and yet each one is about A VERY DIFFERENT PERSON? When you think about it, writers know their main characters so well that they kind of ARE their main characters. O.O

It's like having 23 personalities all at once, with a frightening new 24th about to come out...

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~ Maya Angelou

Hence all these ominous stories we hear in the paper about plot bunnies swarming poor writers like locusts, then whisking them away into fresh new adventures. Except... the writers usually haven't even finished their previous adventure, so it isn't long before they find themselves agonizing over something else entirely - a multitude of stories, and NOT ENOUGH TIME TO JUGGLE THEM ALL.

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. ~ Toni Morrison

You know what frustrates me? That there are literally, like, zero clean YA Peter Pan retellings out there. This world... it's so broken and twisted...

You see, Peter Pan is my all-time favorite fairy tale (it counts as one, okay??). You can imagine, then, how annoyed I am about this:

Me @ all the smutty Peter Pan retellings

BUT, I agree wholeheartedly with this quote and am therefore in the midst of writing a fairy tale retelling with Peter Pan in it. *whispers hopefully* My baby is going to do big things when it grows up.

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. ~ Franz Kafka

I love this quote because I know I'd strongly feel this way if I tried to stop writing. I have to add, though... aren't ALL writers, both non-writing writers and writing writers, courting insanity?? Because I confess I often feel like I am, and I write at least a little almost every day. :/

^^^ Typo: it's Maya, not Mary :P

Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little. ~ Holley Gerth

I don't know if I've ever tried to scare myself with my writing. Goodness, I don't even really know what that means for me. I want to be brave, go out on a limb, etc., but I guess I haven't figured it out yet? Exactly?

The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. ~ Robert Cormier

This quote makes me extremely thankful for the firstness of first drafts. Imagine if it was UNHEARD OF to edit a first draft, or rewrite a story. What if you had one shot, and that was it? The story get released to the world as it is.

Yiiiikes. O.o

This quote also makes me greatly admire the bravery and skill of brain surgeons.

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~ William Wordsworth

This one makes me think of the heart we put into our writing - the blood, sweat, and tears we pour into our WIPs because not only do we want to write a story, but we want to write a GOOD story. A story that hits home with our readers.

We want our stories to have a heart, so we give them ours.

You can't blame a writer for what the characters say. ~ Truman Capote

Why? Because sometimes when we write, our characters end up doing things we didn't plan on them doing, or saying things we didn't plan on them saying. I mean, what if their behavior ruins their arc, or several scenes we had planned, or the ending, OR THE WHOLE STORY??? We can't have that, so we glare at them like, "Stop ignoring me... OR ELSE."

And our characters be like, "Lol, that's cute."

Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious. ~ Christina Katz

The method to becoming better at writing is simple: Just keep writing. And you see, I find that incredible, because even though it's hard to sit down and type out a story, the bare bones of the process is really not that complicated. You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another... (another fabulous quote...) Then, once you get into the swing of things, you find that you don't want to stop.

~ Lila Kims

Which of these quotes is your favorite?
What is another quote you would add to the list?
Let's chat in the comments!