Top Ten Tuesday: I will be awkwardly repulsed by these things

toptentuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish. Last week the topic was centered around things that make me want to read a book. This week is the opposite: things that will make me NOT want to read a book.

Number One: I massively dislike the writing. (Passive voice, the writer can’t seem to figure out what tense their verbs should be in, their characters don’t sound like people… the list goes on and on. I want to call their editor and copy editor and give them a piece of my mind.)

Number Two: I’m just not into it right now. There isn’t anything wrong with the writing, characters, etc. I’m just not in the mood for this category, genre, or story. But I may come back to these books at a later date. This tends to happen with YA contemporary romance, sometimes the YA category in general, literary fiction (because tough subjects are a common attribute), and classics (they either need my full attention or at least a primary focus so I can comprehend what’s going on and get the deeper messages and stuff).

Three: The first chapter is a flash forward.

Four: Characters are consistently whining about something.

Five: Disturbing model covers. (Those clothes do not look lived in. That body position is unnatural. This book is about pioneers and yet somehow you have a French manicure and a spray tan… So many negative thoughts. My mom tends to read these books and I flip them over so I can’t see the front.)

Six: People describe it as being a “dystopian” or a “frightening representation of what our future is going to look like.”

Seven: “This book is the next – insert name of popular novel or series here – .”

Eight: Mention of the Fae, Sidhe, Seelie, or by any other name.

Nine: World War II

Ten: Nowadays I may hesitate if the description says it is set in Russia or an alternate Russia.

Nine Susanna Kearsley Books Ranked

book-review-bp

I’ve read most of the books Susanna Kearsley has written because the first one I read was not enjoyable and a bunch of people said that one wasn’t as good and I should try something else by her and so I did and really liked the second book I tried. Then I treated this as an unofficial challenge. I needed to read most of her books and gain a better perspective on this writer’s work. So here I am ranking what I read.

Best: firebird sk The Firebird

This is one of the dual narrative books. We get the present day narrative with two people who have paranormal abilities. She can see the past of an object by holding it. After holding a firebird statue she goes on a quest to find out the whole story. I loved both the past and present narratives. They were both strong stories and worked really well in tandem. The only downside to this book is: you have to read The Winter Sea first because the past narrative of that one is continued in this one. Luckily for me I accidentally read The Winter Sea before The Firebird. 

51gMZ3KRoML._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_ The Winter Sea

This was the second book I read by her and I loved it. I was motivated to read the other books she wrote after I read this one. This is also a dual narrative book and I did slightly prefer the past narrative but I did still strongly relate to the writer in the present narrative who was inspired by the ruins of a castle. This is also my most recommended book because people tend to grab The Firebird off the shelf and I feel compelled to tell them that they should read this one first or they won’t get the full emotional impact (or they’ll just be confused).

a-desperate-fortune-9781451673838_hr A Desperate Fortune

This is also a dual narrative. There were aspects of the past and present that I liked but other elements that weren’t quite working for me; however, they were not enough to upset me. I was a big fan of the fairy tales in the past narrative and I also really liked the two romantic leads in both narratives. And we get a glimpse of the past leads in The Firebird in this past narrative and it made me happy.

wp85b8fcca_05_06 The Rose Garden

This is the only book I’ve read by her where the main character physically time travels rather than reading a journal (A Desperate Fortune), reliving an ancestor’s memories (The Winter Sea), or sensing the past via paranormal ability (The Firebird). The leading man in the past was a pretty fabulous romantic lead. His conversations with the leading time travelling lady were my favorite bits. I also liked a modern woman learning how to do basic things in the past. I appreciated that detail. But this plot dragged. It wasn’t compelling until the very end. I could put this down for weeks and not pick it up. It wasn’t a chore to read but it still took me forever to get through it.

shadowyhorsessk The Shadowy Horses

The leading man in the present narrative of The Firebird is in this one but he’s a kid. You don’t have to read this one before The Firebird but the events in this one do come first. The Shadowy Horses doesn’t have a dual past and present narrative. We have the kid seeing a Roman sentinel and an old rich man convinced that this ghost is guarding a huge potential archaeological breakthrough. So he hires a team. There is a slow burn romance in this one that I really enjoyed. But there was a lot here that felt a little anticlimactic.

5166LIpxLmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The Splendour Falls

This one is also not a dual narrative. It is more of a murder mystery with historical elements and a little bit of romance. I really liked the setting and the characters and I liked the plot more than a lot of other reviewers but it isn’t as strong as the previous books on this list.

51yWoCsMDiL Season of Storms

This is mostly about a production of a play that has never been performed before. The romance was a little lackluster and the ending was a little awkward but the familial relationships were compelling and I really liked the leading lady. This one is also not really a dual narrative but there are a couple snippets of what the playwright was thinking while he wrote this play for Celia, the woman he loved who mysteriously disappears before the play could be performed.

mariana Mariana

I liked most of this. I massively disliked the ending. There were two big things, one in the past narrative and the other in the present, that I had big issues with but they are massive spoilers so I will leave it at that.

Worst: 51m+UrMokQL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_ Named of the Dragon

This was the first book by Susanna Kearsley that I read and my list of issues with it is rather long and does include spoilers. This book angered me on multiple occasions. Highlights: it all felt massively melodramatic and the main romances didn’t feel right.

A Breath of Life by Clarice Lispector

book-review-plumandgrey

This was my pick for the Read Harder task “set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author.” I chose Lispector because I’d never heard of her, wanted to know more, and to my knowledge I haven’t read a book set in Brazil or by a Brazilian author.

It is hard to explain my reaction to this book. It is about an author who creates a character and then watches this character live and die. I found it moving and disturbing.

It also reminded me of Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami in style (clipped yet profound) as well as subject matter (different types of writers) but A Breath of Life does not go further than the relationship between this author and his creation, Angela. Yet it is all so complex and strange.

Put simply, I adored it but it isn’t for everyone.

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

november-book-review

51987581

Ava tried to escape her family in Paris but her twin sister Zelda’s death brings her back to her childhood home and memories. Zelda has left behind a complicated game for Ava to play and it is entirely possible that Zelda is not really dead.

I was surprised that I liked this but I did. All the characters are dysfunctional and alcoholics. No one is innocent here. And yet there are pieces of Zelda and Ava that I still managed to sympathize with. I also couldn’t look away from all the drama unfolding.

So I recommend this to those who like character driven stories where the characters are not very likable.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑