Tropes That I Hate

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! So, after my post yesterday about series I don’t intend to finish, I thought I would write a post about my most disliked tropes. Some tropes literally have me putting down a book at the first sign, and the writing could be great, the storyline fairly good, but as soon as certain tropes rear their head I’m unable to continue.

Please note some of these tropes may be your favourites, and that is completely okay. As always this is my personal opinion, and I love hearing when you guys agree with me, or on the other hand think I’m wrong. So, please bear in mind this is not an attack on you if you like these tropes. It is just my list of disliked tropes. 

1 – Love Triangles

I’ve already mentioned I hate this trope, but let me tell you why. The love triangle often revolves around an individual (most commonly a girl) who has two other individuals pining over them. The problem I have with this trope is the indecision that comes from the main character. Now, correct me if I’m wrong people but ‘most’ individuals would rather have a love interest who only wants them, am I right? Why on earth would you want someone who can’t decide between you, and someone else? Why would you continue trying to win the affection of someone who clearly can’t decide if you are important enough to them. It drives me bloody loopy! I can’t even tell you how much this annoys me. I want a romance that burns, one that isn’t “oh I don’t know if I should choose x or y!”. Why is that so hard! I know the point of the love triangle is to create a form of tension within the romantic sub-plot etc, but trust me…tension can come from other areas!

2 – Asshole Guys

Okay, so that was a bit unspecific. I don’t hate an asshole guy in books – not at all. What I hate is the constant way they are portrayed. How many books have you read when the guy tries to force himself on the girl all of a sudden? Too many? Yeah me too. I’m so sick of the representation that for a guy to be a ass he has to be handsy or rapey. Yes, it happens, your girl here knows it, but that doesn’t mean I need every asshole to try rape in a book. Be creative please. Guys and girls can be shitty without using sexual assault. It really annoys me that when an author wants to show how terrible a guy is they must add it in. Can we not add in something else. Terrible personality, megalomaniac tendencies, selfishness etc? Anything? I’m just so over this damn trope. (I should say I don’t mind rape being represented in books- not at all, but I am sick of the crutch that is ‘to be a dick he has to sexually assault someone. I think there are better ways to show someone is a flawed character)

3 – Miscommunication

I know a lot of people like this one, but for me it just frustrates. When two or more characters misunderstand, and it leaves their relationship or the plot estranged because of it. The whole time this plays out I am so vexed I struggle to enjoy the book. Why can’t they just talk?! Why? I know it is designed to leave you feeling this way, but it honestly isn’t an enjoyable experience for me when I have to read it. We are adults – we can use words, right? Apparently not when it comes to this trope.

4 – Instalove

Speaks for itself. I really dislike coming across a book where there is no relationship build up. It goes from 0 to 60 faster than a McLaren P1, and I honestly don’t know who exactly thinks that is a good idea? I like seeing a relationship develop from friendship/ mutual respect into something beautiful. I like seeing the moment when things change, and knowing how its going to turn out (Yes, I’m a romantic…get over it!). The real problem with instalove is that I am rarely ever invested in it, and therefore care not what happens with the couple etc. That makes my reading experience not a great one which is why I tend to stay away from them. I know they can sometimes work, and didn’t mind Lazlo and Sarai, so if you know of any you think will change my mind hit me up in the comments.

5 – When the main character thinks they know better

I’m talking about that moment when they decide “Hey, I know what…I’ll go off on my own and damn the consequences because, you now, I know best!” This is so annoying! I get so angry at this moment. Like the whole novel they have had sense but then think “nah let’s do this instead.” It often leads to an absolute mess of panicking characters and I can’t deal with it. I have to put down the book and walk away when I encounter this trope normally.

Let me know in the comments what your most disliked tropes are. Are any of the above your faves, or do you agree? Next week I plan to do a post on my favourite tropes, so stayed tuned for that.

Series I Don’t Plan on Finishing!

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! Sorry I have been rather absent over the weekend, I’ve come down with the cold, and was feeling pretty sorry for myself lol. I promise to catch up this week! Anyway, today’s post is about all the series that I don’t plan to finish – this is of course subjective, I may be inclined to change my mind in the future, though at the moment that doesn’t seem likely.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

1 – The Darkest Minds Triology by Alexandra Bracken 

Okay, before you start attacking me, or hunting me down, I liked this book – I really did, and at the time I read it I thought I might continue. But…and there is a but, I just feel there are so many other books I want to read, and continuing with this series really isn’t a big deal for me. Not knowing what happens next is not something I will stay awake at night over. Sorry booklovers!

2 –  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

I could not tell you how much I did not like this book! Honestly I was so unbelievably disappointed by it, and really struggled to finish it. I will not even entertain the notion of picking this series back up. No way! I know a lot of people like this series but it is 110% not for me, and I don’t even care if ‘it gets better’ I’m not reading it.

3 – Furyborn (Empirium Series) by Claire Legrand

I’m not going to talk about why I didn’t like this book. I already did that in my post Books that had me saying “WTF” – you can read that here.

This book did not work for me, and I absolutely have no intention of continuing with the series. I know this is another book people love, but it just didn’t do it for me. Sorry, not sorry.

4 – Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian 

Perhaps I should have called this post unpopular opinions instead, because clearly this will have people throwing stones too, but I did not enjoy this book. I found it all too cliche, and predictable, and honestly can’t say I have any desire to pick up Lady Smoke. Again, I know a lot of people in the community really loved this book, but for now I don’t think I will go back to it. That’s not a never, just not now.

5 – Everless by Sara Holland

This is another book I spoke about in my Books that had me saying “WTF”, so I won’t get into it, but I will say I really struggled to read this. Honestly I disliked it so much, and I know the second book is out, and no I don’t care, nor I am not planning to continue the story.

6 – The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate

I got onto book 3 in this series (pretty impressive huh) before I could no longer continue. It was so interesting to begin with, but man oh man is that main character a pain in my ass! I cannot stand her, and her terrible lack of common sense irritated me to no end! It was like hello plot twist I can see you a mile away why can’t our main girl! So frustrating, and so I had to put it down. I have no regrets there at all. None! I just can’t deal with main characters who make unbelievably annoying decisions because they think they know best…kills me!

7 – A discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

ARGHH! This book! I really can’t even talk about it! Nothing really happens, apart from some controlling vampire pining after a witch, who is lusting after him, but they don’t have sex because why? Well he isn’t that sort of vampire lololololol! I can’t deal with this book! It had such promise, but I’m just not a fan when everything fixes on a instalove romance. That’s exactly what happened. It’s cringy, and I cannot stress enough that I will not pick it up again…like at all! 

8 – Talon by Julie Kagawa

Talon (The Talon Saga, Book 1) by [Kagawa, Julie]

So, I’ve been asking myself why I read this, and then I remember…uh Dragons Steff…obvs! I love me some dragons, like I’m dragon mad, and so I really wanted to read more dragon books, and someone on Instagram recommended this. I was not in love with this story, it wasn’t terrible by any means, just not to my liking, but I really have no intention of continuing on with it. I could 100% feel a love triangle coming on and that is even higher on my dislike list than instalove! I hate love traingles, so for that reason I don’t think I could continue on with it. (Perhaps I need to do a post about tropes I hate/ love? lol).

9 – The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

So, I read the first book of this series, but was a little underwhelmed by it. Perhaps I fell victim to the hype, I’m not sure, but either way I just have no desire at all to continue with it. So many people in the community sing its’ praise but honestly from the first book I can’t really see why. This is one, that I may pick up another day, but if I’m honest that doesn’t seem likely.

10 – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Put the pitchforks down, I’m not a monster okay? I did like this, just not enough to care overly about what happens next. Which obviously means I don’t intend to continue, but I did enjoy this book – just not enough! This is another one where I think perhaps I may want to continue in the future, but for now it’s not got enough pull to lure me back!

There you have it! My list of series that I don’t intend to finish, how many of you want to scream at me? In all honesty there are some that maybe one day I’ll feel inclined to revisit, but for now it’s just not on the cards. Please don’t take offense if any of these books are your favourite series etc,. This is just my opinion (unpopular as it might be), and I really have no issue with anyone who loved these books they just didn’t suit me.

Are any of these your favourites? Have you yourself given up on any of these? Let me know in the comments below.

March TBR

Hello Booklovers! Today’s post is my March TBR! I am still just so shocked that we are in March already! Anyone else? Life is just moving far to fast for me to catch up right now lol!

Anyway, lets get to it, I have compiled a bunch of books I want to get to in March, hopefully I can get through them!

1 – The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Obviously I’m hyped for this book -there are dragons, and I am currently about 440 pages into it! So far I’m really loving it, and can’t wait until you all read it too! I won’t talk about it until I upload my review this month, but even then I will be leaving it spoiler-free. All I’m going to say is this book is meeting my expectations so far!

2 – Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto 

This is an arc I received through NetGalley and I am slowly chugging through it, so I’m planning on finishing it up quickly.

3 – Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy 

This is another arc I am planning on getting through quickly, and am super excited for! Who doesn’t love the idea of a King Arthur retelling!

4 – The Extinction Trails by S. M. Wilson 

This is a recommendation from a friend (who incidently is dinosaur mad!) and I thought since it’s sat on my shelf why not? The fact that it’s pitched as The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park seems epic to me, and I’m hoping I love it as much as others in the community.

5 – Red Rising by Pierce Brown 

I figured I am about the last person to read this, and that situation needs remedying urgently! I’ve heard such good things, and honestly don’t read enough Sci-Fi (although I do enjoy it).

6 – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Quite honestly I don’t know why I haven’t read this yet, it has sat on my shelves neglected for far too long, but this month I hope to see what the fuss is all about!

So that is my March TBR if I am able to work my way through this I do have another few to pop onto the list, but for now I aim not to be overly ambitious!

Have you read any of the books above? Probably, considering I am the last one to the party on a few! Let me know in the comments below what you thought of any of these books, or let me know what you are planning on reading this month. 

February Wrap Up!

Hey Booklovers! I can’t believe it is the end of February already!! That is crazy, right? I mean where does time go? In book community tradition I am coming at you today with my Feb Wrap Up! So buckle up as I have 11 books to tell you about!

1 – Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

My Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

The first one I finished this month is Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice, book 1 in the Farseer trilogy. I’ll keep this brief – I really enjoyed this story, it was a great, and Robin Hobbs writing was lovely. I have a spoiler free review you can take a look at if your interested.

2 – Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

My Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟

Having not read Elantris before and people saying it was a bit like marmite – I was apprehensive going into this story. Perhaps because I wasn’t expecting much I ended up being pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed the story line and characters. Sanderson really has a knack for making good strong female characters and being able to change your opinion of others at the drop of a hat.

3 – In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I love this series. I really do, and I love how whimsical Seanan McGuire’s writing is. The stories are breathtaking, and although small I normally find they are perfect at that length. That being said, I did feel this one was a little short of what I wanted. Don’t get me wrong I still really enjoyed the story for what it was, and appreciate that Seanan McGuire is covering a large span of time, but I just wanted more of the how and why things happened. Let me be clear – the story is complete in its’ goal – the goal was not to tell me the hows and whys of that persons story, it was to convey a message of how the MC got to where she did, and it did that perfectly which is why I still gave it 4 stars.

4 – China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan 

My Rating:🌟🌟🌟

I liked this book just fine, but felt that it was lacking in the actual plot department. The majority of the time throughout reading I felt simply at a loss of why such and such was happening. It was fabulous in its’ ability to overwhelm me with the level of snobbery etc (which was the point) but I felt the story could have been better.

5 – Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Another great example of Sanderson’s ability to write amazing and well rounded characters. I loved this book – like adored it. You can find my review on the review page, but if you are thinking of reading this…read it!

6 – Master of Sorrows by Justin Call

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

So…I may have gushed about this once or twice, or a hundred times! I love this book. I love the fact there is a disabled main character, I love that there is such depth to the world and religion. I love that the characters are so conflicted, and that every step of the way you are wondering what will happen next. This is such a good book, and I am so happy that I got an arc.

7 – Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski 

My Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I adore the witcher series so it’s no shock that I rated this so highly. These books are full of magic, and craziness, and I love them so much! If you haven’t read these books, then what are you doing?

8 – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 

My Rating:🌟🌟🌟

I really wished I had of loved this book, but for me it was just okay. Average, and didn’t hold enough sway to make me want to read on. Perhaps it wasn’t the right time for me, or perhaps I expected more because I had heard the hype. I don’t know, but it just didn’t do it for me.

9 – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

My Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟

So at first I wasn’t sure about this book. It was slow to start – not that I mind that generally – but I thought that maybe I would fall victim to the hype again! Luckily for me I ended up really enjoying this book, and Laini Taylor’s writing is just lush! This world is fantastic, and the twists – oh my gosh! It was a great read.

10 – The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French 

My Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book needs to be read by more people in my opinion! I really love this book! It’s fantastic, and funny, and crazy, and GAH!! I adore it and cannot wait for book number 2 to come out! I need it! Like right now! 

11 – The Binding by Bridget Collins

My Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟

Overall I enjoyed this book, and the romance within. The writing was lovely, the story engaging, the romance tragic and beautiful (very swoon worthy), and I really did enjoy it. However, I have to say I think I went into it thinking it was one thing, and getting something else; though I am still happy I read it. That was 100% my issue not the books. I went into it not knowing much, and thinking it was about magical book binding; in a way it was but it was more focused on the relationships than the magic itself. Again, this book is very enjoyable – I just went into it thinking it would be more about the magic, which it wasn’t. In conclusion if you are into magical realism with epic romance, this is a book for you.

I don’t want to spoil this book but oh my gosh I loved that ship!!

As you can see I had a pretty good reading month; nothing below 3 stars, and a few 5 stars, which is amazing considering how few I gave last year!

What have you read this month? Have you read any of the above? Did you enjoy them? Are there any you want to read from my list? Let me know in the comments below!

February Book Haul!

Hello beautiful Booklovers! Today is a post I am super excited to be doing, although…it does kind of make me realise I have a problem; my book haul for the month of Feb! I cannot stress enough that I did not buy all of these brand new, some are bargain buys and therefore don’t judge me too harshly!

Books  I bought new

  • The Familiars by Stacy Hall (it was a bargain at £4.99 on Amazon!)
  • The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
  • The Extinction Trails by S. M. Wilson
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – illumicrate personalised edition
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – Waterstones signed edition
  • Master of Sorrows by Justin Call

Books I got secondhand etc,.

  • The Dragon’s Legacy by Deborah A. Wolf
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  • A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – this I have already read, but didn’t have a physical copy of.
  • Runelight by Joanne M. Harris
  • The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
  • Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
  • The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan
  • Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
  • Twelve Kings by Bradley Beaulieu
  • Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
  • Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris
  • Runemarks by Joanne M. Harris

Boxsets I got

Trueblood boxset by Charlaine Harris – containing:

  • Dead Until Dark
  • Living Dead in Dallas
  • Club Dead
  • Dead to the World
  • Dead as a Doornail
  • Definitely Dead
  • All Together Dead
  • From Dead to Worse
  • Dead and Gone
  • Dead in the Family

Kindle books I bought

  • The Blood Tainted Water by T. L. Greylock
  • Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski (I have read the witcher series before but they were borrowed from a friend, and since kindle was selling them for 99p each I got them all!)
  • Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • The Tower of the Swallow by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski

ARC’s I recieved for review

  • Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
  • Holly and Hazel by Sara C. Snider
  • One and Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy

So, as you can clearly see I have a severe problem with my Feb haul coming in at 39 books (including arc’s)!! I can assure you my haul next month will not be as crazy as this, because I intend to be a good girl, and knock some books off the tbr…she says! I have no shelf control!

Let me know how many books you managed to get this month. Have you read any on my list? Do you have a blog post with your own wrap up? If yes, send me a link, I’d loved to see how everyone else’s wrap up is looking this month – hopefully you are all being much better behaved than me!


Reading Update #4

Hey Booklovers! Firstly thank you all for your support yesterday with my post about how books helped me open up. I really appreciated how well it was received by you all, so thank you a hundred times! You are all awesome!

Secondly, my reading update is coming to you on a Tuesday instead of a Wednesday this week, and the reason for that is that I’m uploading my February book haul tomorrow instead – which I am so excited for!

Books I Have Read This Week

Since I last updated you I have managed to finish Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, and The Grey Bastards by Jonathon French. Both of which I really enjoyed! Strange the Dreamer – what was that! I am shooketh! As for The Grey Bastards, I loved it, and can’t wait until the second book comes out!

Books I am Currently Reading

I am currently about 280 pages into The Binding by Bridget Collins – which I am not sure how to feel about yet. I don’t really know what’s happening yet as far as plot goes anyway. Although, I am totally shipping the romance! Also I just started reading Crown of Feathers, though I am not far into it at the moment so I’ll need to let you all know how I get on with it as I progress.

Random Tidbits

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon releases today, and oh my gosh I am excited about it! I love dragons so much and am so hyped for this beast of a book!!

Also, there may or may not be a giveaway happening on my instagram tonight for this book (wink, wink)! So be sure to check that out people! You can find my bookstagram at @booksteff

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned above? What are you reading at the moment? And are you as hyped about The Priory of the Orange Tree as I am? Let me know in the comments below.

How Books Helped me Open Up!

Today Booklovers I write with trembling fingers. Today is a post I am equal parts excited and anxious to release onto the internet, because today’s post is of a more personal nature. This isn’t something I have done before and it is nerve-wracking, but I figure if my story can help someone out there not feel alone then that is surely a good thing.

Disclaimer this is a post that will be talking about sexual assault, and therefore if you are not in a place to talk about this, or find this very triggering in any way please do not read on. 

Books for me are an escape, as I’m sure is the case for a lot of people, and normally I like to live in the walls of fantasy for that very reason. Every now and then I feel brave enough to read something closer to home. Something that is difficult but necessary for me. One such book was The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith.

I went into this book knowing it was about rape, and I knew it told a story of a girl too afraid to speak out about it until years had passed. The thing is…at the point of reading this story it had been 8 years since I myself was sexually assaulted. I was only 15. I was drugged at a party, and woke up with someone on top of me. I froze (something that took me a lot of time to deal with), and only when I realised he wasn’t the only person in the room did it kick me into action. I pushed him off and ran.

8 years, you would think, is a long time right? I thought so too, I thought I had ‘gotten over it’. Turns out I wasn’t over it. I cried so much during this book. So much that I couldn’t read because my vision was blurred. While I can honestly say that the experience of the main character Eden is not exact to my own, I still found it very emotional. Some words cut deep, and resonated with me. This book made me realise that bottling up my feelings may have hide them from me, but they were still there, and still so very raw even after all those years. My first big breakdown in this book was the following paragraph (Features the main character over hearing her parents talking);

“I never would have said ‘I hate you’ to my parents,” She argues.

“Yes, you would have. And I’m sure you did. And so did I. And so did Caelin, if you remember. They never mean it.”

Except maybe I do mean it. A little, at least. Because I let them push me around just like I let everyone push me around. I let them make me into a person who gives up control over her life, over her body, over everything. I do what they tell me to do, what everyone tells me to do. Why didn’t they ever teach me to stand up for myself?

I know that paragraph might not sound like much to some, but for me it was difficult to read, because I remember thinking “Why didn’t I stand up for myself? Why didn’t my parents teach me how to be stronger?” It’s not my parents fault what happened to me, but when I was younger I still felt let down by them. Still do in some ways – which is another thing I feel guilty about. Sexual assault is all about the guilt, and shame. Shame that it happened in the first place. Guilt because you think ‘what could I have done to provoke such a thing?’. Why hadn’t I stopped it sooner? Why did I freeze. Why oh why did I let that happen to myself. Why couldn’t I be like one of those strong girls I read about that would fight off their attacker, and show them that they aren’t to be messed with. But I wasn’t that girl, and therein lay the shame, and guilt. I carried those feelings around for a long time. I became hostile, and defensive, and particularly wouldn’t let anyone (especially a guy) get close to me. I didn’t have relationships and wasn’t intimate with anyone until I met my now husband of 6 years.

Now , I bet your wondering what my point is right about now. Let me tell you:

Recently someone close to me (who is like family) was going through a rough time. Her mental health was suffering a lot, and she was spiraling out of control – taking drugs, getting herself into debt etc. I didn’t know how to get her to open up about what was going on. I’ve never done drugs, so really couldn’t relate, but I knew she was trying to bury something deep inside. It was about a month after reading The Way I Used To Be, that I found myself in this situation. So, like Eden I decided it was time to share my story, to talk about what had happened to me, and how that inner struggle shaped me. After divulging my story to that someone close, she felt brave enough to tell me about her own issues; one of those issues…was being raped at a house party. We had more in common that I could have thought, we just reacted differently, and finally she had someone to release those feelings with. We both did. I honestly can say she is doing much better now. Not 100%, because we are not perfect, but she is really doing better, and I can’t believe that it was our shared horror that contributed to her getting the support she needed to get back on track.

Amber Smith’s book helped me talk about my past, and in turn helped me talk to a much beloved friend about her similiar experience.

Now, in no way am I suggesting that opening up solves all your problems. It doesn’t I still have some horrors that are hard to talk about. Some mental health issues that sometimes clamp their jaws into me, but I can tell you how nice it was to talk to someone who had been were I had been. Who could talk about it with understanding. Opening up didn’t solve the problem, but it sure as hell let me know I wasn’t alone. And that, booklovers, is exactly why I am writing this post today. So that all those people out there who are hiding secrets about what happened to them can realise they are not alone in this.

Although my profession is in the medical industry, I am in no way a qualified therapist/ psychologist etc. However, if you need a friend to talk about your experiences, I can be that person. But remember, that if you are struggling there are doctors and helplines that can support you better than I. Getting support or help in any form is better than nothing, and I will be happy if I have managed to get even one person to take the step to get help/ speak up about what happened to them. Thank you all for reading this post if you have stuck it out, and know you aren’t alone.