Saturday, November 1, 2014

Bookish Pet Peeves Part 2

Not my cat...she does not wave.
Hello everyone!  My name is Eve from over at Functioning Insanity and I’m a good friend and former shift partner of the one and only Sarah Leigh.  She has invited me to post periodically on here, as I offered her the same, to get some different insights and such.  I’ve had this idea rumbling around in my head for a post for a while but it never made its way out until I saw the web address for Sarah’s blog, nerdy girl problems.  It was so fitting and I knew this is where this post was meant to be; because let’s face it bookish pet peeves are a serious nerdy girl problem.

Now this is Part 2 of by bookish pet peeves and focuses more on the story content.  Part 1, encompasses the physical aspect pet peeves and can be found on my blog Functioning Insanity.  I’m sure many of you will agree with me on most and may even have some of your own I’ve neglected to mention so please share them below so we can add them and discuss.  These are in no particular order, just as they came to my mind.

1) Names.  Okay so this one is kind of a hit or miss with me.  I can appreciate a strange name here or there.  I work in a position where I see names all day and trying to read them back is huge floundering mess, so I know people have some out there names.  That being said there should be a balance.  Chances are they’re going to be common names as well so if every single person has some odd ball name it seems forced.  Again there are exceptions where the story is involved but I would like to be able to attempt to pronounce the main characters names so that when I’m telling someone to check out the book I can discuss it without stammering on trying to figure out how to saw it.

2) Series drag/rush.  We’ve all probably ready books that were made into a trilogy when it would have been a much better dualogy.  Or the reverse where the 3rd book felt rushed to complete the story where it should have been explained further.  There is no reason things have to be a trilogy.  I am happy to read a single book alone or read many in a series as long as they continue to be amazing and complete.  I don’t want to feel like the whole book was a lead up to the next without a complete story itself.

3) Love triangles.  Or what passes as them, so I should say 2 love interests for 1 character and a choice.  I don’t get it.  I have found very few examples where it is a believable story and not thrown together for a plot device or to add conflict.  Some good examples for me involve one character believing the other is dead and finally moving on only to find the person is still alive.  That means neither character is fickle and the love could be strong and true but thought lost.  Because honestly if you are with someone and you find yourself in love with someone else, how can you say you truly love the other person? 

4) Average girl = special.  Who hasn't read a story that has some plain Jane girl who is completely average as her main point and that is what makes her special?  If someone is so plain and boring then what is the story about?  Please don't get me wrong, I understand that not everyone sees how great they are or they honestly have such a low self image of themselves that even when people compliment them they don't get it.  That is very real, heck, I've been that girl who has had guys interest and never known it all the while wondering why I never seemed to find anyone.  Sometimes we become consumed by a snap shot in time we take of ourselves and forget to update it.  Still when I read a story where the only thing that makes a girl special is that she is 'down to Earth', I roll my eyes.  I know us females can be a bit crazy at times, some more than others.  I blame the estrogen, it messes with you in a bad way sometimes.  This kind of goes along with the stereotypes but a girl who likes to read, paint, draw, etc. something that isn't cheerleading is considered special.  Again there are several ways this can work if the writing and story allow for it, a good example of it is the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  I found Katy to be a good mix, she considers herself average but she was more than happy about her positives even if they didn't seem super cool to others.  I respected that about her, even as she had moments of insecurity through the series.

5) Stereotypes.  Enough said.  Characters that fall into a specific stereotype are just dull and a fail in my book.  I find that sometimes in life there are people who fall into the typical stereotypes and they embrace the fact, that I can be okay with.  But to make the jock dumb or the popular girl a witch just to do so is a bit dated and really doesn’t do characters any justice or letting them come into their own.

6) Shallow secondary characters.  By this I mean characters who are in the story for snips to move the story along at parts or for a convenient sounding board.  I understand that not every character is going to be deeply developed and some are just there as a point of reference.  Still the ones you are supposed to care about, the best friends, the family, etc the ones who are supposed to add meat to the bones of the story but come out in the end more as a fallen cake.  I love characters.  I need good characters more than a good plot.  A good primary character is never fully flushed out if you have shallow secondary characters surrounding them.

And finally….

7) No development / too predictable.  I mentioned I needed good characters more than an amazing plot.  True.  I also normally have a book figured out 50 pages in if I think about it too much.  I like to think ahead and spin theories and as I read I affirm my suspicions.  I know this about myself.  Same for movies.  Still I enjoy them even if I am able to predict them.  But when a story is so flat and Point A to B to C the end without any real thought I get a bit disappointed.

                That is all I have at the current moment though I'm sure more will pop into my head as soon as I post this.  Thank you for reading.  Please, share your own Bookish Pet Peeves with us down below.  Again my name is Eve, and it was a pleasure to post over here and I thank Sarah Leigh for having me.  Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Liam Neeson is Angry & so am I!

There's something magical about meandering through a book store, letting your fingers trail softly over the spines of new books.  I'm that person.  I will touch the books just for the sake of touching 'em.  Eve and I recently ventured into BAM to purchase some books for our impending trip to YALLFest in Charleston, SC.  (If you're interested, here's the link.  YALLFest! )  This will mark my first book event and I am beyond excited!  This isn't my normal genre, but Eve has been so very patiently exposing me to new series and new authors that I would be remiss not to explore it!  Digress, I do.  We stalked the aisles, snagging books which snagged our attention.  I am so incredibly backlogged in my reading.  Books keep piling up.  Part of my issue is that time gets the best of me.  I seemingly always have something to do or something to which I must attend.  Also, I have an awful habit of reading more than one book at a time and my brain is one of those silly brains which already goes in too many various directions all at once.  The worst part, though, is when I get mad or annoyed and I strike against a character.  And believe you me, I do!  When I read, I get invested!  My emotions get tied up and twisted!  I've been known to cry, fuss, rant, smile, giggle, fall in love, talk trash, and even toss a book.  And as awful as it sounds, once I'm mad with a character, I pretty much write 'em off.  It's rare that I seek and find redemption.

So, have you ever been mad with a character?  Did you finish the book? 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Mad Dash Down Memory Lane!

As a young lass, I constantly read!  I read almost anything I could get my grubby little paws on.  My favorites?  Reader's Digest!  Four in one, man!  It was like my birthday, Christmas, and just because all wrapped in one deliciously bound volume.  My parents, God bless 'em, grew tired of me reading manuals and they set me up with a subscription to RD.  I'd race to the mailbox, my little girl's heart beating with hope.  When my book arrived, I'd nearly float home, so buoyed by the delight of four new stories.  I didn't always make it to the house.  Sometimes, the nearest tree was the best I could do.  Engrossed, the story would steal away my day, but I never entertained the idea that my day had been wasted.  I was always on an adventure!  I rode horses, I danced ever so prettily at the ball, I learned how to crank a Model T, I battled evil swordsmen, and so much more.  I travelled the world while sitting with my back pressed against the solid strength of my "reading" trees.  I would spend hours completely immersed in these written worlds.  It was a source of frustration to anyone who tried to gain my attention.  I wasn't ignoring them.  I just couldn't hear my name over the voices of the characters. 

I'm older now and I still love to read.  I'm still going places without leaving.  My taste has changed a bit, broadened if you will, as I've aged.  I've recently stumbled into the world of romance novels thanks to the wonderful Elizabeth Boyle (If you haven't read any of her books, remedy that with a quickness; she's awesome!).  However, I catch my mind darting down memory lane, trying to recollect some of the stories I read during those long ago days.  I cannot tell you how often I have poured over Google and all but harassed my local librarians in an attempt to find a book from my childhood.  It always comes in little snippets, just enough to tease me without mercy, but not enough to have a solid lead.  Until tonight.  It all started with the word "estate" and it jostled around in my brain until I broke my computer out of hibernation and started stalking the seven seas of the world wide web.  I knew there was an estate to which a young girl came to visit.  It wasn't her family, but she became an honorary member, so to speak, as the family embraced her.  I couldn't remember a single character's name or the name of the estate, but through meticulous research, I had a hit which lead me to my prize.  Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher!  I was all of eleven when I read it, but to this day, I remember being so invested in the characters that I cried, I balked, and I angrily denied anything which didn't happen the way I wanted it to and rejoiced when goodness slipped through the pages and kissed my characters!  I'm nearly thirty-one, so we're talking a few months shy of two entire decades.  You have to love a character that can draw you back in after that many years!

Surely I'm not the only one...