T5W: Books You Want to Read in 2017

So, basically I’m a terrible friend to loan books to. I once held on to a book for three years (House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski… which, to be fair, is a long read… right?). And my friend STILL loans me books of his after that debacle. The worst part is, I had actually given him the book for his birthday and then promptly “borrowed” it to read it myself.

ANYWHOOOOO

My list of books that I want to read in 2017 are all books that my friends have loaned me and that I desperately need to finish and return. I’ve started 2/5 of them and do like them, it’s just hard to bounce between all the great new releases in the self-published and traditionally published worlds, and I also keep finding amazing books that lead into a series that I just can’t stop reading (cough*The Royal Elites*cough).

The top five (because believe me, there’s more) books I want to read in 2017 are:

  1. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
  2. Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
  3. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
  4. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  5. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand


Hahaha

All of these are purely intellectual so I can learn more about a certain writing style. I can honestly say it’ll take a certain mindset to tackle each of these. But, for the sake of my friendships, I will try to tackle these sooner than later.

Do you guys think I should make this a monthly TBR? Start off January with my brain imploding? Lol

Let me know what you guys are going to read next year!

 

Until next time,

💭

Live,

Morgan Paige

T5W: Characters You USED To Love… But Not So Much Anymore

So I’m going to be kicking off my reentry into T5W posts with a post that kind of stumped me lol

Today, let’s talk about characters that we either loved and came to grow out of or became neutral about – this is an awesome prompt given to us by Sam and Lainey over at the T5W Goodreads Group.

I’ll be throwing around sacrilegious opinions, though, so hold tight! This could be fun:

  1. Ariel from The Little Mermaid
  2. Odd Thomas from Odd Thomas
  3. Darcy Patel from Afterworlds
  4. Kate Harker from This Savage Song
  5. Boromir from Lord of the Rings

 

OH HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN

I can practically hear the pitchforks being lit, I’m so sorry everyone. But let me just start by saying I don’t think any of my opinions in this post are a reflection of the author (except one… meep). 3/5 of these authors are incredible and I could never hope to touch them in terms of talent, and one is a movie/Danish fairytale so it’s kind of cheating, but oh well…

Let me try to explain myself:

As far as Ariel, I used to love her as a kid, but I just grew out of it. As the comedian Iliza says oh-so-succinctly in her new standup routine, “No Soy Mermaid.”

No, but seriously, it’s just not a character who I really think is a good role model and I still laugh at her antics. She’s crazy. But I still love her soundtrack. Unashamed.

Odd Thomas is a bit of a heretical choice, too, and I’m sorry to admit how my feelings have changed in the past couple of months. Koontz is an amazing author and I don’t think this was a fault or anything to his books, but Thomas is a bit… whiny. It kind of sunk in how self-pitying he is and how much he defines himself by his relationship (which is really the only interesting thing about him, and it’s so disappointing that this happens because the dude can TALK TO DEAD ELVIS! How can a person become so defined by his relationship that Elvis can’t even save him??). Yeah, bad things happened to him, but self-pity is a deal-breaker for me. Self-Awareness = Good. Self-Pity = Bad.

Darcy from Afterworlds was a kind of shining spot in the darkness for a while, too, and I understand her character arc is WAAAAY different than most characters (after all, she kind of serves as a vessel for teaching the audience about the publishing industry as well as an entertaining storyline), but she is just a little too… wish fulfillment-y? She has all the right edges in all the right places and I think the end of her story was really forced upon further inspection. Westerfeld is an amazing author, though, and I think he just wasn’t sure how to give her an author’s happy ending lol

Aaaand the “strong” Kate Harker. I wanted to like her. I did, at first. I like her background and the conflict she has with her father. I like the world she lives in. I like her polar identity crisis with the other characters in the book. It took me a while to come to a conclusion about her, and I told myself for a while that I would buy the sequel to see what happens to her. But I won’t. She isn’t strong. She isn’t what the author was trying to portray her as. She’s such a shadow of what she could have been. This is the only character in the bunch that I think is the fault of the author, because Schwab’s schedule is stupid, disgustingly full to the brim. She has to churn out so many books- of course her characters will suffer. Kate is so weak I just… I can’t care how things turn out. She’s like that person in high school that always made things worse for themselves but couldn’t justify why. And here, the author doesn’t even justify it to you. You’re just left watching this trainwreck. No thanks.

And here come the pitchforks, because Boromir is one of the most beloved characters in Lord of the Rings. I tried to like him- when I read the books I just kind of let him be, but then I watched the movies and remembered just how much of a jerk he was.

Yeah, he repented when he tried to take the ring from Frodo… he served as a moral story about how karma will get you if you’re bad… but basically I felt he was like a death-row prisoner saying he was sorry when he was asked to sit on the chair for the first and last time.

What do you guys think? Did I just lose some friends? Lol

Until next time,

And remember to stay strong and be bright, my friends.

Live,

Morgan Paige

T5W: Gateway Books to Your Favorite Genre!

Hey readerly friends!

I wish I were a fan of the most popular genres out there, like YA and mystery, or hell, even regular fiction. Alas, as you guys know, I am a HARDCORE fan of horror and fantasy- give me all the creepy and fantastical stories you got- and have a plethora of suggestions to convert even the most resolute realistic reader there is.

I think the first fantasy book I ever read was Harry Potter, but this was after years of reading King Arthur retellings (I consider that more historical mythology). So I was already well on my way to loving fantasy at a very young age! And as for horror, I think the first “horror” ish book I read was The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King. This is DEFINITELY an amazing intro for young readers into the horror genre. I’d say that it is way better than any of the soft horror that’s hitting YA shelves right now (like A Savage Song by VE Schwab or The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater).

However, I have a few other book options that I think are a bit more… mature? I guess? Since we’re not all in middle school anymore (I kind of doubt that I have many followers who are that young, so I feel like this is an appropriate way to approach the prompt), I think there are some other options that would interest people who want to start getting into Adult Fantasy or Horror.

I chose a few options other than the ones I mentioned above, but feel free to try out Tom Gordon or King Arthur. Those were a little out of the norm, but they were definitely what started my love for fantasy and horror!

 

Horror: The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

Black House is a bit darker, but the first installment in this series is perfect for people used to fiction or coming-of-age stories. It’s just the right amount of creepy and supernatural and is set in the real world. Both of these authors are known for scaring the bejeezus out of their audience, but this book is more of an emotional rollercoaster. The protagonist is an amazing little boy and his journey was the first book to actually make me cry (in a good way???).

 

Horror: The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

Not nearly as hardcore as HP Lovecraft, so I definitely think that Poe is the gateway author to classic horror. He led me to Shirley Jackson, HP Lovecraft, and Ray Bradbury (he is a modern writer, but has a very classic style). The Raven is a very easy and popular read, and is just the right amount of creepy and accessible for the historical fiction fan.

 

Horror/ Fantasy: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

So yeah, I’ve been fangirling over this novel all year, but basically this novel is perfect for the mature fiction reader who wants a taste of both horror and fantasy. Set in reality, this novel is such a fantastic narrative that makes you question beliefs, reality, and what it means to be good. The book isn’t inherently terrifying (the author even mentioned he never would have classified it as a horror novel), but there are some elements that are equally fantastical and horrifying. This is for the mature reader though, so check it out if you think you can handle themes about death, torture, and theology.

 

Fantasy: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

I’ve seen only a handful of people who dislike this book, but for people new to fantasy I think it is overwhelmingly approachable. It is a story written from a young girl’s POV during her coming-of-age years, but even with such a young protagonist I think it is one of the most age-accessible novels ever written. People of any age and background come to love Lyra and her world, which is an interesting take on our own reality and the religions within. I think that seeing such political and religious upheaval in such an imaginative world would be very appealing to people who love mysteries and coming-of-age stories.

 

Fantasy/Steampunk: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

So… this is a bit of a curveball, but my most beloved subgenre in scifi/fantasy is none other than steampunk. I ADORE anything steampunk, and what got me into it was a few great books I stumbled upon. Many aren’t very good, if I’m 100% honest, but sometimes you find a gem that really captures the aesthetic and feel of a steampunk world without coming off as cliché. One of these, too, is Cherie Priest’s steampunk series that begins with Boneshaker. This is a perfect book to read for the reader who loves history or fiction or even alternate universe stories. It focuses on the strength of family and community and also has an air of mystery about it. I’d highly recommend this book to all readers; Cherie Priest is the steampunk queen!

Have you guys read any of these books? Or feel like you may jump into one of these genres now? I’d love to hear some of your recommendations for other genres, too! I certainly find myself stuck reading similar things, and maybe that’s only because I haven’t found the right book to break into a certain genre yet.

Let me know! Until next time!

This prompt is run by Sam and Lainey over at the T5W Goodreads Page. Stop by and say hi!

Live,

Morgan Paige

T5W: Characters You WOULDN’T Want to Trade Places With

There are a lot of characters who I wish more than anything I could trade places with. For real: if I were Hermione, I’d be just as voracious with my schoolwork (hell, I was in Muggle school, too) and I’d learn as much as I could about the wizarding world… even with all the bad wizards and the troublesome Ministry of Magic. There are some characters who I love and just wish I had similar personal fortitude and will, or the worlds they inhabit are beautiful and interesting and I wish I could explore them.

Aaaaand then there are the characters who I love reading but happily say “see ya!” to when I flip that last page. Some worlds are horrible and are best seen from afar. Hopelessness and decrepit scenery are what usually keep me from daydreaming about particular worlds, despite the usual perseverance of the protagonists.

So for today’s Top 5 Wednesday (thanks to Sam and Lainey over at the T5W Goodreads page), lets chat about those character who you’d NEVER want to change places with!

 

 “Daisy St. Patience/ Bubba Joan” from Invisible Monsters

 

She’s a fashion model who has everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend. But when a sudden freeway “accident” leaves her disfigured and incapable of speech, she goes from being the beautiful center of attention to being an invisible monster, so hideous that no one will acknowledge that she exists. Enter Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, one operation away from becoming a real woman, who will teach her that reinventing yourself means erasing your past and making up something better. And that salvation hides in the last places you’ll ever want to look.

Bubba Joan only has a name thanks to Brandy Alexander. And though Invisible Monsters is a great story, Bubba Joan is one character who I could never trade places with. Not because of her disfiguring accident, not at all- she still is very interesting and I’d get a kick out of wearing veils and not worrying about being the center of attention. But her life revolves around vanity and fame and underhanded shallowness. That sort of a life repels me like oil and water… judgment and hidden intentions aren’t my way of life, and I would easily leave that life behind if I were forced to endure it.

 

Katniss from The Hunger Games

 

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.

I’m a HUGE fan of dystopias (notice the lack of typical dystopian worlds that are usually listed in prompts like this?), but The Capitol shares a lot in common with the model industry seen in Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters, and therefore is a world that I never want to be a part of. The vanity, the starvation, the sheer ignorance of the greater developed world… all of it just makes me sick to my stomach. I loved watching as Katniss conquered political adversity while also dealing with a typical teenager-ly love triangle, but if I were ever transported into that world, I would likely have been killed. I couldn’t handle any of my loved ones being Tributes in the Games, and I know I couldn’t kill anyone… so I’d volunteer and then get killed… I’d be worthless in this world… so I’d rather never trade places with Katniss!

 

Ged from A Wizard of Earthsea

 

Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this classic fantasy tale. Le Guin is an amazing writer… but I can choose many other fantasy worlds in which I’d rather live in. For one, the harsh gender inequality and oppressive magic system made the world bleak. Just in this first book, there didn’t seem to be a lot of “good” magic… but there was definitely a lot of bad. And the wizarding school Ged attended was more disciplinary than educational, it seemed. Granted, Ged got himself in a lot of trouble, but most of Earthsea seemed very harsh and unwelcoming. I wouldn’t want to trade places with Ged, but I’ll certainly keep reading more about him!

 

Jacob from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

 

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

I wrote a summary on how I felt about this book at my Goodreads site, but overall I wouldn’t want to trade places with Jacob because of similar issues I found with Earthsea above. There are so many magical worlds/universes… and Miss Peregrine’s world has very underwhelming magic and annoying villains. I also wasn’t a fan of the premise of the “stay young forever” world bubble. The world was so unhappy and the kids were so… stuck. It wasn’t like in Peter Pan where you know the kids are happy and never want to leave. It was just a very sad existence and I honestly liked poor Jacob’s parents better than any of the Peculiar ones. So yeah… I wouldn’t trade places with him. Poor company, in my opinion.

 

Holly from The Bone Clocks

 

Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

Rich with character and realms of possibility, The Bone Clocks is a kaleidoscopic novel that begs to be taken apart and put back together by a writer The Washington Post calls “the novelist who’s been showing us the future of fiction.”

Holly probably has the most trying life of any character I’ve read, and the reason why I wouldn’t want to trade places with her is because of everything she had to endure. The only magic in this story tears her family apart and essentially manipulates her brain, until finally she grows old and the civilized world literally falls apart. She’s optimistic and lives through storybook romances, tragedies, and personal milestones, but there is literally nothing appealing about her life. I would not want to lose as many as she did and have to endure the end of the world.

What about you fun peeps? I’d love to hear if there are any of these characters that you’d actually like to switch places with! Who do you think in my list actually wouldn’t be that bad? Or do you have any characters that would trump this list completely? I’d love to hear about it!

Until next time!

Live,

Morgan Paige

 

 

All blurbs are taken from Barnes and Noble.

T5W: Books You Want to See as TV Shows

Isn’t this the most opportunistic prompt in the history of T5W??? I absolutely love it. All the best TV shows are coming back in the next four weeks: American Horror Story, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Supernatural (in its 16th season, if I’m not mistaken!)… if I could add to my growing list of favorite TV shows, I’d be the happiest fantasy/scifi enthusiast ever.
I’ve noticed that most of the TV shows I love are actual adaptations of books: Syfy’s The Expanse, Jessica Jones, Game of Thrones… but then there are the adaptations that I tried and just could NOT get into… Outlander, The Shannara Chronicles, and The Magicians to name the ones I liked the least. I just couldn’t get into them- I think they are written to appeal to different age groups.

But, if I had complete control over TV show adaptations, there are a fair few that would be on the drawing room floor STAT, complete with a little group of nervously hovering actors.

Some Book-to-TV-Show adaptations I’ve actually long dreamed for are:

  1. Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey – heaven and hell and oodles and oodles of volumes? Yes please! Kadrey cranks out these novels and I devour them when I get my hands on them. Stark and his weirdass cronies are amazing and I would LOVE to see them on screen fighting fallen angels and uppity mages. I would mostly love to see Kasabian’s weird dog body. Sign me up.
  2. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – I only say a TV show for this epic masterpiece because I feel like there is SO much material that has to be addressed and only a TV show could do it justice. I want to explore all the extra universes and see how Lyra and her little daemon Pan make their way into the underworld and through the tears. I think it’d be best for TV because of the graphics and the huge amount of changing settings.
  3. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson – There’s kind of a theme here- series with multiple installments would make such amazing TV shows. Like with Mistborn, I think all the extra storylines would be able to be followed in their own right kind of like Game of Thrones. However, for some reason I genuinely think Mistborn would be best animated. All the flying and jumping and weird mental powers? It would be excellent animated and probably wouldn’t lose much in translation that would have to be altered with live action.
  4. The Clockwork Century series by Cherie Priest – This is a fantastic steampunk series in which each book follows a different character set in the same universe. I think this would be a fantastic premise to follow the lines of American Horror Story- new book, new season, new characters. But it’s still the same twisted universe, and therefore would have a similar feel and touch each season.
  5. The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray – This book series would be fantastic for TV. It would be like a magical Downton Abbey… but what really made my decision is the cameo it made in Bray’s Diviner series. If these series are combined, they would make EPIC TV shows and it could go on for seasons and seasons and seasons… ugh… plus, I think the diverse casts amongst the books would be so fantastic to see on screen, and just like The Golden Compass series, with the multiple POVs, TV would be a great way to ensure nothing gets skipped.

 

Do you guys watch any TV show adaptations? Maybe I missed some that have premiered and would LOVE to have some new suggestions! What makes a great adaptation, too? I feel like staying true to a book is most important for TV shows, and movies have a lot of shifting to do because of their time and financial constraints.

I’d love to hear which books you guys would love to be slotted for an adaptation J Let me know!

Until Next Time.

Live,

Morgan Paige

 

 

 

T5W: Characters You’d Want as Family

Hey guys 🙂

I have been such a terrible blogger, I know. I honestly think my whole “creative groove” has been completely reset by the flu that I had. It turned me into a lump of uselessness and it kind of extended into every aspect of my life. Since I’ve recovered (last Thursday… two weeks of a sickness really blows), I’ve put a ton of effort into things that would help me recover on more of a soulful level. Socially, I’ve been reset after an amazing girl’s weekend, and I’ve been making mindfulness and meditation a daily practice in order to connect fully with my own thoughts and creativity. I think I’ll make an actual post about that if you guys are interested… it’s fascinating how a clear and healthy mind/way of living really helps your own creative output. At least, it helps balance the negativity that can the world can inflict on you, you know?

Let me know what you guys think- and in the meantime, let’s talk family members 🙂

This week’s prompt from the Top 5 Wednesday group is pretty amazing. Its prompts like these that really help me remember just how important family constructs in stories actually are. I mean- can you honestly say Harry Potter would’ve been as touching without the Weasley family?


If I could, I would construct my own literary fam from a bunch of different books. I honestly found that it was really hard for me not to choose a million sisters lol is there a construct like this that you realized you are drawn to, also? I think I just love books where I can imagine the female lead is a best friend of mine… and who’s a better best friend than a sibling?


So here is my own little literary family- I’d love to hear what kind of parents you’d choose, also. I feel like the parents that people would choose for themselves are a bit more difficult, especially since very rarely do YA authors write complex parental figures.

  1. Mother– Calixta from The Glass Sentence by SE Grove. A mouthy, motivated, warrioress pirate who captains her own ship into a flourishing place of revenue? Yes, please! Everyone who works for her respects and fears her, but she also is fiercely protective and loyal to a fault. She would be a perfect matriarch to my little motley fam.
  2. Father– Gavin from The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. Okay, so he’s actually a terrible father to his son in the books. But he is incredibly motivated, powerful, and resourceful, and I can’t help but feel like he would be an amazing dad once he came to terms with fatherhood. On the inside, he is a good and just leader who puts the world on his shoulders so no one else will fall. Plus, mixed with Calixta, I think the family would be unstoppable… literally no one would be ballsy enough to mess with those parents.
  3. Sister– Lyra from The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. Seriously. Such a hard decision to make. But ever since I was young, Lyra was my go-to girl. She’s so strong, so confident, but she’s so much that I’m not. If I were to have a sister, I’d need someone more extroverted and unflinching than I am, and even though there are many other female role models that I wanted to choose as my literary sister, I’d want Lyra through-and-through.
  4. Brother– Bode from Locke and Key by Joe Hill. This is such a strange decision lol because I love my (actual) brother, and Bode really isn’t much like him. Just reading through the graphic novels made me feel some sort of protective instincts for him rather than “I just want to be his friend!” Bode is clever and super curious about everything, but he still has that childish innocence that little kids have even when they’re faced with dark events. I think his adventures and blatant trust in himself and his family would make him an awesome brother… and mixed with Lyra, they’d be the most evasive, exploratory duo in the history of fantasy.
  5. Pet/Familiar/Daemon– Bartimaeus from The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud. Now, Bartimaeus is probably cursing me from the Other Place. He definitely isn’t a pet- he’s a proud djinn with infinite power and skills, blah blah blah. But dang he’d be an amazing coconspirator, and since he isn’t human he doesn’t really fit the other categories. But he’d definitely make it into my family, nonetheless!

img_3388

Well there we go! I think my literary family would be such an amalgam of destruction and sass. Bartimaeus would probably be besties with Bode, and Lyra would drive Gavin up the wall, but hey, I’d have a ball! Maybe Calixta would teach me her Captaining ways and I’d just sail off into the sunset as my pirate-y alter ego.

Sounds like a pretty good life, eh?

I’d love to hear about your makeshift authorial family! Would you want a mansion full of crazy aunts and uncles from Miss Peregrine’s world? Four siblings to drive your Mr. Darcy father crazy? I’d love to hear 🙂

Until next time!

Live,

Morgan Paige

 

T5W: What Books Will I Never Read?

Hey buddies!

So, to try and get back into the swing of blogging (I’m still pretty sick, which is seriously killing my writerly self-esteem), I feel like a nice gentle post to begin with would be the awesome Top 5 Wednesday prompt hosted by Lainey and Sam over at the T5W Goodreads Page. The prompt,

What Books Will You Never Read

is actually a really interesting prompt. I’m more curious to find out what you guys don’t think you’ll ever read despite the hype and popular recommendations made by your friends/the book community. For me, the books are all fairly straight forward:

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  2. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  3. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  4. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  5. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan


So, yeah… all of these are incredibly popular book series that I genuinely know I will never read. The Dresden Files is the only one that I’ve actually heard starts out poorly written and isn’t that great… but apparently, it gets better and better with each book. Still isn’t enough to hook me.

All of the others are lauded as life-changing and appealing and epic. What appeals to me most about a book is intelligent design and message- I want something that’ll teach me and wow me throughout. Riordan appeals to a much younger age group I think, so his books seem a little too young for me. Clare and Roth, however, appear to have written books that are near mockups of some favorite YA Fantasy books that have already been written… I just… come on… we’re all aspiring writers. Quit copying others or at least try to throw something original into the storyline.

Their books just seem too much like interpretations of more popular series, and it is hard for me to drag up any sort of interest in a book like that.

ACOTAR, however, I just genuinely have no reason for it. It just seems like too romance-y/not enough substance for me. It’s a completely judgmental reason, and if I’m wrong, please tell me!

What do you guys plan on never reading? Something inside your favorite genre that genuinely looks unappealing? Something outside your favorite genre that has been recommended to you? Something your school assigned? Lol

Let me know! I’d love to hear it 🙂

Until next time,

Live,

Morgan Paige

T5W: Favorite First Lines

Favorite first lines?? This is almost as good as favorite last lines.

This week’s T5W focuses on the best first lines in a novel and I love it because it’s just beyond nerdy. It shows what kind of readers we are and what hooks us. There’s this cock-and-bull story that in order for a publisher to pick up your book, you have to start with action and GRAB the reader right where it hurts. I think this is a bit of an oversimplification, because even without a rough-and-tumble first chapter or a jaw-dropping opening paragraph, all it comes down to is whether or not the author can draw you into their world. Books aren’t social media- they shouldn’t just appeal to shock and awe.

It’s all about quality 🙂

I usually know when I read just the very first sentence if I will like the story within those pages, and it’s based on intuition and feel.

So, my favorite first sentences are all about setting up the feel of the story. They kind of vary between genre and era, but all-in-all can carry the weight of the story in just those first couple of words.

    1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    2. First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys – Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.
    3. Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. – Harry Potter by JK Rowling
    4. People often shit themselves when they die. – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
    5. Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure. – The Stranger by Albert Camus

 

These are all some of my favorite books (though I’m currently reading Nevernight and Something Wicked This Way Comes, and I’m looooving them both), and you can definitely get the feel of the book just with those lines. What are some of your favorite first lines? Do any of these make you smile/laugh/cringe as they did me? Or do they intrigue just as much, too?

Happy Wednesday, readers, I’ll chat with you soon! Join the T5W crew at this Goodreads page!

Live,

Morgan Paige

T5W: Authors You’re Waiting on Another Book From

This T5W post has me fangirling like nothing else. There are too many authors that I love that have books either coming out (Libba Bray, Garth Nix) or who are just SITTING there writing without telling us ANYTHING!

I can respect them and that’s fine lol but the anticipation is killing me. I’ve even pestered some of these artists on Twitter and have yet to get a reply… maybe my persistence is getting to be a little too much. I mean… I can barely finish the first draft of the story I’m writing now. I should give them some slack, right?


Here are five authors who I REALLY want to release a new book soon but haven’t announced anything (but who are we kidding… they have to have a new book coming out soon… right? Right???)

  1. Jonathan Stroud (sob)
  2. Joe Hill (I know he writes graphic novels, too, I am just listing him here for novel purposes)
  3. JK Rowling (literally no info on the Cormoran Strike series…)
  4. Scott Hawkins (I’ve bothered him enough… he says he’s working on a story now but it’s still in the infant stages of production)
  5. Philip Pullman (pie in the skyyyy)

 

So, most of these amazing authors actually will publish something at some point but daaaaang does my heart break every time I see Jonathan Stroud’s books on my shelves. He is a phenomenal, groundbreaking author and I don’t think he’ll make any books soon that aren’t children’s books. Philip Pullman is along the same lines- they both keep releasing new editions of their successful books instead of actually coming out with something new and it destroys a part of my soul each time.


I just wish SO HARD that these guys would come out with new books because I haven’t read anything by them I haven’t liked. What about you guys? Have you any authors that you adore and are waiting oh-so (im)patiently for? We’re such good fans J Just rooting them on lol

Let me know what you guys think, I’d love to hear about some new authors that I can pine for.

T5W is brought to you from Sam and Lainey at the T5W Goodreads page!

Until next time!

Live,
Morgan Paige

T5W: Books You Feel Differently About

HAPPY TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY!

😀

This week’s prompt is a bit of a skull-scratcher, if you know what I mean, and I’d love to hear what you guys think!

You guys probably have noticed, but I have very specific tastes when it comes to books and writing style 🙂

Usually, I know immediately if I will love a book or hate it just based on the author’s ability. However, I realize that a lot of my taste in a story has to do with where I am in this adventure we call life! There are many books that I used to adore that I just don’t connect with anymore and honestly don’t enjoy. I find that there are more of these than books I’ve disliked and ended up rethinking.

For the most part, thinking of this week’s T5W, I realized that a lot of the books I thought I grew up loving I actually only liked because of bias or lack of reading experience. Just go ahead and check out this list lol

 

  1. Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey
  2. Lady Friday and Superior Saturday (#5, #6 in the Keys to the Kingdom series) by Garth Nix
  3. The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  4. Eragon (or all of the Inheritance cycle) by Christopher Paolini
  5. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

 

The first four books on the list were ones that I read and absolutely adored. Especially DRoP and Eragon, I just couldn’t get enough when I was younger.


Number 2 on the list, The Keys to the Kingdom books, were unfortunately just the weaker ones in a series. I genuinely can’t remember what happened in them because they were nondescript in comparison to the rest… and Tearling, unfortunately, just had so many inconsistencies that I first looked past when I was drawn in by Johansen’s writing. It took rereading it to really see what all the low-star reviewers meant in their synopses.


Odd Thomas was the opposite, however. The ending was moving but I honestly couldn’t say I was engaged through out the whole story after my first reading. It wasn’t very dark (everything advertised it as a horror… how do you consider a love story a horror? I was super disappointed it didn’t have many horror elements in it and also was very, very slow), and I wanted to like it because a friend of mine loved it, but I genuinely didn’t think it was anything special. After rethinking it, however, I realized there are some beautiful lines that Koontz wrote and have continued to stay with me until today. I think that sort of a lasting impression means something and I should give the author the benefit of the doubt- it may not have been my cup of tea or even lived up to its hype, but I can see that the author is a great storyteller and Odd Thomas is a good story in and of itself.

What do you guys think? Do you find yourself loving books and then realizing how much you were influenced by another reader? Or do you generally judge books a little harder and then realize that the book was actually pretty good? I’d love to hear what books you guys have read and changed your mind about. This prompt was a little bit of a challenge because I generally don’t revisit books I first disliked.

Until next time!

Live,

Morgan Paige