I Can’t Quit You

Currently, I’m reading the final book in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy. This has gotten me thinking about my choices and how sometimes they don’t make sense. See, I started this series when I had a cold and I read A Discovery of Witches all in one day, which is actually a feat because these books are monsters, and I loved it. I can only presume it was the cold. When I read Shadow of Night the illusion crumbled and I wondered how I’d gotten myself into this series that is totally Twilight for wine and history nerds. I didn’t really want to read The Book of Life, and yet I have to. I needed to know and nothing would satisfy me but actually reading the whole unnecessarily long book myself.

I quit series all the time. According to my fairly up to date series spreadsheet (courtesy of Snuggly Oranges), I’ve quit 258 series. Of course, the All Souls Trilogy is in it, so this isn’t entirely accurate. I hoped for myself that I wouldn’t finish reading this series, but I couldn’t resist. I tried to help myself, but I could not. Sometimes, though I hate a series, I HAVE to finish it, against my own will. I am, somehow, too curious to know the ending despite otherwise a lack of caring. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF? Is it masochism? It must be, because, sometimes, I might even do some rereading so that I can understand the stupid ending I kind of don’t want to read in the first place.

If you personally love these series, I mean you no offense. Odds are I’m really into some series you would hate or dislike, and that’s totally fine. We all have different tastes, which is part of what makes book blogs so much fun.

I Couldn’t Quit

Maze Runner collage

The Maze Runner – James Dashner: I read all three books in The Maze Runner trilogy, even though I was meh about the first book and strongly disliked the second. In this case, I do know why I was curious and had to finish. I wanted to know if Dashner would ever explain anything, if there would be a point to it all. Nope is the answer to that. I LOATHED the third book. Also, as a sign of the madness, I was really tempted to read the prequel, but managed to resist. So far. My reviews of The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure.

Parasol Protectorate Collage

Parasol Protectorate – Gail Carriger: Carriger’s series has five books and I read them all, despite the second book making me want to set them all aflame. Honestly, the first one was fantastic, but I didn’t do more than feel mild affection for anything thereafter and all of book three was totally unnecessary, spent resolving a plot line that was out of character and idiotic. I had to finish, even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to look back on the series happily after book two’s ending and that I would never be able to feel the same about the characters. I still had to know. And I’ll probably read anything else Carriger writes. Reviews to come.

Chemical Garden Collage

Chemical Garden – Lauren DeStefano: *groans* To be fair, I was “forced” to read the final book for Sadie Hawkins, but if I were truly unwilling I could have just said no, because it’s my blog and I do what I want. Honestly, I was curious. I wanted to know if the series really was upholding all of this terrible stuff or if the ending would save it somewhat. Nope, it will not, I can now say with authority. My reviews of Wither, Fever and Sever.

Evernight Collage

Evernight – Claudia Gray: I sort of liked this vampire series at the beginning, but it swiftly went the way of the frustrating. Yet I put a hold on the final book when it came out and read it right away. It was worse than I imagined. I have, however, managed to avoid the spinoff novel, so that’s something. I wouldn’t have but I actually won it in a giveaway and it never came, so that fueled my righteous indignation enough that I didn’t touch it. Hurrah! My review for Afterlife.

Divergent Collage

Divergent – Veronica Roth: Okay, I actually had managed to quit this one. Twice. First, I got a review copy of Insurgent unsolicited, so okay fine I’ll give this series another chance, I thought. Some people said Insurgent was better. (Negative.) I quit it again. But then I got Allegiant in the mail and, what sealed the deal, I learned about the spoiler and I had to see it happen. Or hear it happen in this case. I actually ended up liking book three best, unlike everyone else in the world, but I never felt anything but judgment for these books. My reviews for Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant.

Paranormalcy Collage

Paranormalcy – Kiersten White: The first book was cute and fun. I will give it that. By book two, I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t. Yet there was only one book left and maybe it would be good again and I should totally finish. I should not have finished. Why do I ignore my instincts? My reviews for Paranormalcy, Supernaturally, and Endlessly.

Bronze Horseman Collage

The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons: *LOUD SOBBING* I may never have read a worse book than The Summer Garden, though The Bronze Horseman was pretty fucking shitty too. Book two was actually kind of okay. This series was over two thousand pages long. I hate myself.

I Probably Won’t Be Able to Quit

Women of the Otherworld – Kelley Armstrong: Typically, I enjoy Kelley Armstrong, but I didn’t like the first book in her adult series. I actually took this series off my to-read list, but then I put it back. I am compelled. I’ll probably read all of them and rate them 3.5 stars at best. Is this the best potential use of my time? No. Will it stop me? Probably not.

The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken: So far, I’ve only read The Darkest Minds, but I do HAVE Never Fade. I really just want to be able to see why everyone I know loves these books. I want to know if it gets better, even if I didn’t like any of the characters and suspect my least favorite trope will happen.

Stephanie Plum – Janet Evanovich: I just read a negative review for the latest installment (21) in the Stephanie Plum series that referenced The Monkees’ “I’m Henry the Viii” to great effect. It’s very true that the verses are all the same. I made it through fourteen or fifteen before I stopped grabbing them as they came out. I was already fed up with the fact that Stephanie’s plot arc plum stopped. However, I suspect that I’ll be binging all of the rest whenever the series finally ends so that I can see how the romance finally plays out.

gif wish i could forget the horrible

Delirium – Lauren Oliver: I did like Delirium when I read it in my early blogging days, but I sort of doubt I’d like it now, with so much more of the genre and more analytical thinking about my books under my belt. Yet, I am 99% positive I will reread Delirium and then read the other two books, so that I can experience the ending and see how I feel about it. Plus, Lauren Oliver’s books have been such a mixed bag and I’m just all kinds of curious. Even though I know I probably won’t like it much and shouldn’t spend my time on it.

Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson: Though Steelheart was one of my biggest disappointments last year and I hate all of the characters, I do not have it within me to quit Brandon Sanderson. It’s got to get better, right? Because I know he’s capable of writerly magic. That CANNOT be it. But unless he kills the characters and starts over I know I should stop. BUT I CANNOT.

Anita Blake – Laurell K. Hamilton: I didn’t get to where this series went completely off the rails into orgy town. I quit it. Sort of. I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that I’m going to read more of it someday. If I’m lucky, I’ll not end up finishing both this and her Merry Gentry books. This should not be so tempting, because I know how terrible they are. AND YET.

gif i wish i could quit you brokeback

So, gentle readers, what series can’t you quit? Or are you smarter than I am and just stop?

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #76: Fat Cat by Robin Brande

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #76: Fat Cat by Robin Brande

Fat Cat by Robin Brande
Published by Knopf BFYR on October 13, 2009
Pages: 336
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
four-stars

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An experiment so bold, anyone might think it was a little crazy...

Catherine Locke is smart, ambitious, and--okay, not the slimmest girl around. But she's always cared more about her brain than her body. So far that's gotten her where she wanted: into the most advanced, competitive science class at her high school, where she'll once again face her fiercest rival, Matt McKinney.

The guy who once broke her heart.

If Cat's plan works, she'll win it all: a huge improvement in her body and her lifestyle, first prize at the science fair, admission to the college of her choice, and best of all, revenge on Matt McKinney.

But as every scientist knows, even the best experiments can go wildly out of control...

Recommended by: Rose (@sloppydarling)

I’m grateful that Rose recommended Fat Cat by Robin Brande, because I’m not sure if I would have ever gotten around to it otherwise. Somehow it had been almost entirely off of my radar, which is a shame because this book is pretty damn awesome. It’s one of those books very driven by narrative voice, and I happen to love Cat’s voice. Brande tackles some sensitive issues, like weight and diet, thoughtfully and with an eye towards making healthy choices, not to conforming to society.

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Review: Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Series: Illusive #1
Published by Little, Brown BFYR on July 15, 2014
Pages: 416
Genres: Science Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
four-stars

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The X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of "super" criminals.

When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She's what's known as an illusionist...She's also a thief.

After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn't?

The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives.

The whole x-Men meets Ocean’s Eleven thing totally caught my attention. Such comparison marketing is often a lie, though, and the cover didn’t especially make me fall in love. Then Dahlia (The Daily Dahlia) told me that Illusive is a Christina book and that the marketing was not lying. At that point, my desire for Illusive went from curiosity to MUST HAS. Once again, Dahlia was totally right. The comparison marketing did not lie: superpowers plus clever criminal shenanigans are what you’re going to get from Emily Lloyd-Jones’ debut.

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Cover Snark (112): The One with Little Dreams of Better Covers

CoverSnarkChristina2

Welcome to Cover Snark, where the people are snarky and the covers quiver in fear. Since I don’t write many snarky book reviews here on A Reader of Fictions, Cover Snark is my outlet. If you click on the title of the book, where possible, I’ve linked to Goodreads. Clicking on the cover itself will show you the cover in a larger size, in most cases. Feel free to love covers I hate and vice versa. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Shiny and New:

1. The Paper Magician – Charlie N. Holmberg
The Paper Magician - Charlie N. Holmberg
Thoughts: Does this mean she keeps a paper plane in the train of her dress? Curious.

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Audiobook Review: Mermaids by Patty Dann

Audiobook Review: Mermaids by Patty Dann

Mermaids by Patty Dann
Narrator: Elizabeth Evans
Published by Audible on April 9, 2013
Duration: 4 hrs, 6 mins
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
three-stars

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"Mrs. Flax was happiest when she was leaving a place, but I wanted to stay put long enough to fall down crazy and hear the Word of God. I always called my mother Mrs. Flax."So begins this extraordinary first novel about one wild year in the life of fourteen-year-old Charlotte Flax, when she and her sister Kate move with Mrs. Flax into a sleepy 1960's Massachusetts town. Mrs. Flax is a woman who wears polka-dot dresses and serves hors d'oeuvres for dinner every night, and Kate is a child who basically wants to be a fish.And then there's Charlotte, who in Patty Dann's hands, is transformed into a young woman of infinite whim and variety. Charlotte's main ambition in life is to become a saint, preferably martyred, though she's Jewish. She's smitten with the shy young caretaker at the convent at the top of the hill. Dann has created a young girl who accepts the unkindness of the mad universe in which she's whirling and takes it on with a savage glee.Charlotte Flax is like no one you have ever met--and someone you know very well.

Fact #1: Mermaids came out in 1967.

Fact #2: Mermaids is not about mermaids.

Fact #3: Mermaids was made into a movie starring Cher as Mrs. Flax, the wild mother, Winona Ryder as the older daughter, and Christina Ricci as the younger daughter. Though I haven’t seen the movie, this is the perfect cast for this book, which ought to tell you something.

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