August 29, 2017

TMST: Long-running series I need to find and read

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Rainy Days Ramblings. The topics are diverse and span from books and authors to blogging and the meaning of life (at least in regards to literature). This is my first time participating in the discussion, but I am super excited to do more. If you want to share your thoughts on the prompt, feel free to make your own post too!

As a child, the only thing that could stop me from reading was running out of books. I would read anything and everything, as long as it was words on a page. Thankfully, the middle grade genre has a lot of long-running series with the number of books in a series reaching over 20! I used to read long-running series all of the time, like 39 Clues, The Magic Treehouse, even some of the Rainbow Magic fairy books. 

In retrospect, many of the most popular MG books are a part of long-running (and seemingly endless) series. Unfortunately, that form of series is not common within the YA genre. Generally, YA books are longer and more complicated, so mass-producing them at the same rate as the long-running MG series is pretty much inconceivable. But then I get confused again because there are a lot of long-running adult series (especially mysteries) that also seem to be never-ending (@ James Patterson and Kathy Reichs). 

For my purposes, I am going to define a "long-running series" as any series with more than four novels, including spin-offs and revivals. Even though four books may not seem long to some readers, it is harder than you would think to find long-running series in the YA genre. Most of the popular, and longest, series I have already started (like Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, the Percy Jackson books, and Cassandra Clare's novels). 

I would love to see more long-running YA series that extend past the standard trilogy. The trend is so popular with MG, adult, and even picture books, yet almost non-existent in YA.

With my mini-rant over, here a few long-running series that I would like to read.

August 16, 2017

The dangerous difference between unlikeable and intolerable

There is a fine line between annoying and intolerable. Personally, I have danced across this line so often that I am very familiar with the difference. Unfortunately, there are some characters who are completely unaware that there even is a line. 

All readers have met unlikeable characters sometime in their book adventures. These are the characters who make your blood boil and your veins bulge in frustration. For some reason or another, they get on your nerves. In fact, they are a common literary tool used to stir up emotion within the reader. Think about all of the romances that are hate-to-love. In the beginning, we all hated Rhys from A Court of Thorns and Roses (and even though some of us still hate him, you get the point), Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices, the Darkling from The Grisha series, even Haymitch from The Hunger Games. When I think about it, there are a lot of characters who started pretty high on my "I'd-love-to-watch-you-burn" list, but ended up on my list of favorite characters. I classify these characters as "unlikeable" since they rub me the wrong way sometimes, but have not completely lost their chance for my respect

But, there is another kind of annoying character. The kind that crosses the line between decent indecency and hateful scumbag. These characters are definitely unbearable, but sometimes it can be hard to discern when they changed from merely unlikeable to full-blown intolerable.

August 1, 2017

The month of coming back (again) | July 2017

Even though summer is on its way out for the year, things are just heating up on the blog. I am finally feeling back into the groove of reading and blogging, even if I am still a tad behind.

I detailed all of the nitty gritty detail about my three-month absence in my earlier post, which you can feel free to read if you want. But, the point is that I am focused on the future of my blog, and I hope you are too. 

What's Up Next?

In the upcoming months, I have quite a few things planned, one of them being actually posting on the blog. I want to revive my book memes of Classic Conversations and Book Battles in the near future. And of course, post more reviews and discussions. Secondly, I want to diversify (literally and metaphorically) the content on my blog. Essentially, I want to start writing about more things (like TV shows, the occasional movie, and some discussions that lean outside of the book universe). I would love to hear any suggestions for non-book related topics you want to see here!

I am also painstakingly attempting to fine-tune my blogging style. The first one you probably did not notice, but it makes a HUGE difference to me. I am trying to make my blog graphics more cohesive and recognizable. 

I am also adding a new feature to the bottom of most of my posts called "Takeaways" as sort of a highlights reel of the post. For me, reading is important not only for the occasional laugh and OTP romance, but also to widen my perspective and learn something new. The true value of literature is not how it makes you feel while reading it, but how the words leave an impression after the book is closed. So, at the bottom of every review, I will recap what impact the book actually ended up having on me, if any.