Topic Tuesday – Hype Disappointments and Ratings

Today for Topic Tuesday I want to talk about some of the books that just didn’t live up to the hype for me and how I rate them. I feel like people think that Goodreads is the place to tell everyone how you feel personally when really we should be focusing mostly on critically – the characters, the plot, the setting… it drives me crazy when someone KNOWS they don’t like this author, or this genre and they rate the book poorly. “I don’t like adult romance so 1 star.” Like ? Why are you even reading it? Just say, “not for me,” and don’t rate it because you didn’t really give it a fair chance because you already didn’t like it!

I don’t believe that it’s fair for us to also rate books that are for an audience that isn’t for us poorly.  I’m a 31 year old, I’m not middle grade, or YA so when I rate a YA book and it’s too juvenile, I rate it as if I were that age. How would I feel back then? I see people on Goodreads reviewing books like City of Ghosts saying its too young and giving it 3 or less stars. Excuse me?!

I’m not trying to make this a negative Nancy post but I do think it’s important that we are honest with ourselves and our audience. I think we need to remember that authors are people to and we can’t bash them or rate their books poorly if we read it when it wasn’t marketed towards us. So with that being said, here are some books that for me, critically and personally, did not live up to the hype regardless of the issues listed above.


  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – There are so many problematic themes in this book just for the sake of being problematic. I have zero interest in reading TWK and QoN.
  • After by Anna Todd – Again, problematic and abusive themes that don’t really get addressed… it’s romanticized.
  • The Mortal Instruments by Cassie Clare – Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE THE INFERNAL DEVICES, but I cannot get into TMI. I’ve tried multiple times. I think the writing is poor and there is a weird taboo relationship theme going on here.
  • Dark Age by Pierce Brown – I am so beyond disappointed in this book. I was bored for so much of it. This adult scifi definitely needed some more meat.
  • The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young – Another book that felt like it had zero plot. I didn’t connect to any of the characters.
  • The Fever King by Victoria Lee – This book was just all around bad. It was promoted as a YA scifi/fantasy but I wouldn’t want my young teen kids to read this. The inappropriate language was flippant and unnecessary and seemed to be there for show. The plot had mega holes.

Now, although these books didn’t work for me personally or critically, that doesn’t mean they won’t work for you! I am a FIRM believer in people reading, no book should be shamed (unless it’s ridiculous… yall know what I mean), so if The Cruel Prince makes you happy, I’M HAPPY FOR YOU! I want you to be excited and to celebrate reading in any capacity!

I’m back posting this because I forgot to publish it yesterday LOL!

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Topic Tuesday – Problematic Themes in Literature

Hellllllo everyone! I hope everyone is having an amazing Tuesday! I had to wait until nap time before I could jump on! Below is a triggering topic, so if you are triggered and upset easily, please do not continue reading. I want my blog to be a safe space for everyone! It’s going to be a doozy!


After reading The Wicked Deep, I wanted to talk about problematic themes in literature. Now, I’m not one to get offended easily. I have gone through a fair amount of trauma in my past, which I am very open out; thankfully for me not a lot triggers me into panic. However, there are some topics that make people upset. There are many problematic themes like violence against women, rape, abusive partners that make it into our books.

I for one do not like reading Bully Romance, which is a huge reason as to why I did not like the After series. The reason why I don’t like it is not because of the topic itself, but it’s because sometimes those themes do not serve as a vehicle for the plot. Sometimes these characters are just shitty to be shitty and I can’t stand behind that. With books like The Cruel Prince, Jude and Cardan are SO MEAN to each other and there really isn’t much reason for it other than to be a dick (in my opinion, don’t @ me LOL). In After, Harden and what’s her face (I forgot already), were abusive to each other and then they would make up and then everyone would just gloss over it. They would have intense sex and then all is forgiven until they are screaming at each other in public and emotionally manipulating each other. That is NOT okay for me.

What I mean for a problematic theme to be a vehicle for the plot, is that it has to be addressed in some way and have a meaningful impact on those characters. There are many books out there that talk about race and prejudice and we see those characters go through some tough stuff, but it gets resolved. Someone learns something from it. The aggressor realizes that it’s NOT okay to behave this way. Most of the time, especially in YA literature, we don’t see it addressed – everyone just sweeps it under the rug.

Now to The Wicked Deep. If you haven’t read it, don’t read this paragraph as I will be discussing spoilers. The Wicked Deep is about the spirit of 3 dead sister witches who inhabit the body of girls and lure boys to their death out of revenge from their drowning. Penny, the main character, has what I believe is sex with the main love interest, Bo. Later on it is revealed that it is a sister witch, Hazel, inhabiting her body and she used Penny’s body to get close to Bo. The author literally swept this under the rug. No one even talked about how fucked up that was, not even Bo! Hazel says, please don’t tell Penny what happened, I will leave the good memories for her. Like ? Then we are not told if Bo reveals the truth, which I’m sure he doesn’t since the ending he’s still obsessed with Hazel even though he’s with the real Penny.

That is rape you guys. Penny did not consent to this. It doesn’t matter that she was unaware and that a witch possessed her. It doesn’t matter that Hazel left the “good memories.” Penny could not consent. I am not pointing all of the blame on Bo as he did not know at the time, but I do think it was his responsibility to tell her the truth once he knew and she was Penny again. I had a long conversation with Kibby (www.somethingofthebook.com IG: @somethingofthebook) about how wrong this, in fact she’s the one who initially brought it up and I was like wait no, wtf, I didn’t even think of this!

If the author were to have made Bo reveal what happened and discussed how wrong that was even for a freaking paragraph, I would be singing a different tune. This is how we perpetuate rape culture. It is NOT cute that Bo and Penny are now together and Hazel is a ghost in the wind still whispering she loves him. NO! It’s like Bo got to have his cake and eat it too (thank you Kat IG: @kathardistywrites for this phrasing because it’s PERFECT).

Don’t get me wrong, I still think this is an enjoyable book, but those things need to be fixed. We cannot keep sweeping these problematic themes under the rug. They have to be there for a reason, it has to drive the plot forward. I heard people are boycotting Ninth House because of a problematic theme but then from others I hear it’s addressed in the story. It’s okay to have traumatic events in book! What’s not okay is acting like it’s normal and not discussing the issue for those characters and for the readers.


Well,  thank you all for reading my rant if you’ve made it this far! How do you view problematic themes in literature?

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Topic Tuesday – Top 10 Audiobooks

Welcome to Topic Tuesday! Today I am going to be talking about my Top 10 favorite audiobooks!

Audiobooks to me are a unique experience. It wasn’t until last year that I really started getting into them. I had listened to some here and there on my way to and from work, but that was almost out of necessity – I needed something to fill the time of driving 1.5 hours both way! In order for me to really love an audiobook and invest those hours into it, it has to have a phenomenal narration. I am so picky with my narrators. My top 10 favorite audiobooks will include the voice actors that I love and why these books are so great!

  1. The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff, narrated by Holter Graham – Holter Graham gave an Oscar winning performance when narrating The Nevernight Chronicles. There was never a time where I questioned his artistic choices. His cadence is so unique, his voice for Mia is spot on – honestly, her sass would not have come through nearly as much without him! Sex scenes usually make me uncomfortable on audio, but not these!
  2. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, narrated by a full cast of 20! – This is narrated by a full cast, not narrators switching with POV. It is literally like listening to an awesome SCIFI movie on in the background. Need I say more?
  3. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, narrated by a full cast – The full cast in this SCIFI adventure switches narrators with each POV! You will hear a lot of your Illuminae favorites in this one! Zila’s narrator is ICONIC.
  4. An Ember in the Ashes series (soon to be quartet) by Sabaa Tahir, narrated by Fiona Hardingham, Steve West, and Katherine McEwan – AEITA is a YA fantasy filled with action, drama, and heartbreak. The narration switches with each POV. You really get into the grit of the story in A Torch Against the Night when we are introduced to Katherine McEwan. Her voice is one of my favorites. She is saw gritty and raw, you can feel all of the characters emotions. I also love her in The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein!
  5. Strange the Dreamer Duology by Laini Taylor, narrated by Steve West – This is an audiobook I can fall asleep to every night. Steve West has a dreamy, lyrical voice that matches the way the books are written. There are a lot of female characters, but his voice wasn’t distracting. I think he did a marvelous job! He also narrates in Gemina as well as AEITA!
  6. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld and Holter Graham – I just finished listening to this book and I am ready to listen again. Saskia Maarleveld has one of the most breathy, beautiful, and addicting voices. There are books I’m not really interested in, but after finding out she narrates them, I am adding them to my TBR. Her french does not sound forced or fake in this book, which sometimes can easily be ruined with the wrong narrator. Lou would not be the same without Saskia! Holter Graham delivers a perfect performance as the male POV!
  7. The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, narrated by Michael Kramer – Michael Kramer took some getting used to. When I first listened to his voice in The Final Empire I honestly was kind of… turned off by it. I was unsure of his deep voice. It sounds like a older guy reading to you by a fireplace and he’s almost falling asleep. It’s weird, I know, but TRUST ME. His narration is GOLD. I am addicted to his voice. He narrates all of Mistborn and I am currently reading the Stormlight Archive in which he narrates them, too along with his wife!
  8. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, narrated by Neil Gaiman – This was the first audiobook I ever listened to. Neil Gaiman has a wonderful voice for reading out loud. Especially since he likes to narrate his own books, he understands the character, how they would sound in that scene, what their feelings are. It’s truly amazing to listen to him. He narrates Coraline and The Graveyard book as well!
  9. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, narrated by Jim Dale – Can we sing enough praises about Jim Dale? Not only does he give an iconic performance throughout the Harry Potter series, but his tone and accent are perfect for this whimsical tale. I will say, if you aren’t paying attention, you can lose your place very easily with this one!
  10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JKR, narrated by Eddie Redmayne – This super short audiobook is a companion book to Harry Potter and it is SO FUN! The fact that Eddie Redmayne narrates it should say enough. There’s also sound effects!

Well, there you have it folks! I’m sure there’s audiobooks I missed or things I forgot I wanted to say, but those are the first 10 that came to my mind so they must be important, right?! Let me know if you have listened to any of these books and what you think! I wouldn’t survive without audio!

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