Top 5 Wednesday- Favorite Side Characters.

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is our favorite non-main characters. Those characters that although the story isn’t about them, we love them anyway.

I, personally, have always had a fondness for side characters. With the exceptions of Dean Winchester and Batman, I’m pretty sure all of my favorite characters are not the ones the main narrative is about. So, let us begin.

1. Spencer Martin from Maureen Johnson’s Suite Scarlet series

So I have this cat.

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And his name is Dr. Spencer Reid. However, he is named after several Spencers. One of them, being Spencer from Suite Scarlet. When I got Spence, there were a weird amount of fictional Spencers in my life. 2010 was a Spencer heavy year in media.

Spencer Martin is the silly, actor, older brother of the title character. He’s a voice of reason, while also being the character dispenses this advice atop a unicycle. He’s holding secret rehearsals for a full stage performance of Hamlet in the basement of this parents’ hotel. Spencer Martin reminds me of a very good friend of mine from college. He’s just this weird, goofy guy that’s also so smart and thoughtful and takes care of siblings/friends. Exactly the kind of person you should name your cat after.

2. The Weasley Twins (Mostly Fred) from the Harry Potter series.

The Weasley Twins (mostly Fred) are my favorite characters in Harry Potter. They are funny and ridiculous. They cause the best kind of chaos by being themselves and reminding us that even as the world is falling apart around us, it’s important to remember to laugh. From the moment we meet these boys at Kings Cross to the moment Fred dies, these boys are smiling and laughing no matter what happened to them. They are a symbol of youthfulness and enjoyment. And I love them (mostly Fred).

3. Ginny Weasely from the Harry Potter series

So this post could quickly become “5 characters from Harry Potter who aren’t Harry because Harry is one of the worst characters in Harry Potter” but I promise Ginny will be my last Harry Potter character.img_4865

Ginny is so important to the story. She is so different from Hermione, and essentially all the other female characters. She’s not afraid to be who she is. I feel like we forget, partly because of the movies, that Ginny was possessed by Voldemort when she was 11 years old. She’s a person that Harry can talk to about what’s happening with him and Voldemort and not just feel bad for him. She gets it, she understands. She’s one of those women who stand out looking at the books. She’s an athlete and fearless. She dates who she wants to date and doesn’t care what people say about her because she knows who she is. She’s Ginny Weasley, and is that bothers you, too bad. She’s living her life whether you like it or not.

4. Iko from The Lunar Chronicles 

I  have only read the first 2 books of the Lunar Chronicles, but Iko stands out as a character that I know I will love the more books I read. She’s exactly the voice that I would have in several of the situations that Cinder finds herself in. The wide-eyed best friend that pushes their friend head first toward what looks to be the best for them. “He likes you, and he’s the Prince. DO IT.” I identify hardcore with Iko’s fangirling and sarcasm. I hope the best for her in future books.

5. Takumi Hikohito from Looking for Alaska 

Why? Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox.

But serious, John Green has a talent for creating characters that are relatable in different ways. We don’t know much about Takumi’s life, but I think that many of us have a friend like him. He’s the one that can call you out on you crap, like ignoring your girlfriend for several months or making you realize that maybe, just maybe, the earth doesn’t revolve around you. We all need a friend like Takumi sometimes. He’s a great character.

I should also point out that in a book full of beautiful prose, I remember 3 lines, that one about people being rain, one about Thomas Edison’s last words, and “No one can catch the motherfucking fox.”

What are your favorite sidekicks? I’d love to hear about them.

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesday- Summer reads

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is a look ahead to the not so distant future to the summer and our favorite summertime reads. I’m not the biggest believer that books have a certain season that they should be read, but I do tend to read more in the summer, and I do tend to read shorter quick reads. So without further ado.

1. Every single book by Sarah Dessen.

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A few summers ago, I think it was almost 7 years ago now, I read all of Dessen’s books up to Along for the Ride which was the most recent release at the time. Most of her books are fun summer romances, some of them take place during the school year, but most are about summer and the beach and love. Thankfully, there is a new one, Once and For All due out next month! I am excited.

 

 

2. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

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This is a book is about a girl, Ginny, who’s dead aunt sends her on a mysterious summer adventure/vacation. There’s some love, and a lot of adventure. It’s a fun summer read. I loved it, the sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope is also fantastic. All of Maureen’s books are fantastic but I think 13LBE is the most summer.

 

 

3. Ally Carter’s Heist Society series.

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The way I sell this book to my friends is: it’s the TV show Leverage but with teenagers. Right now there are 3 of them, and they are quick reads. There are art heists and mystery and characters in shades of gray. You end up rooting for people who should technically be the bad guys. These books are great one sitting books that I just love. Perfect for sitting under a tree in a park or under an umbrella at the beach.

 

 

4. All Three of Carrie Fisher’s memoirs

I listened to the audiobooks of these three books, but I think they would be great physically reads. Carrie Fisher was such a gifted writer and just so funny. The books are quick reads to read during a day trip to a lake or whatever. Very entertaining and beautiful books.

5. The Peaches Trilogy by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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These books are very similar to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. They are about a group of friends in Georgia near a peach farm that is a big part of the town’s economy. There is love and pushing the boundaries of friendship as they girls come of age and start to see their town a little bit differently.

 

 

 

Those are my choices for summer reads. I’m excited to hear everyone else’s and add some more to the list as summer inches closer.

Have you read these? What did you think? Anything to add to you list?

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors you want more of

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is authors you would love to have more to read from. This was a tough one, I mean, there are so many great authors, so many amazing authors with only one book that I can’t wait to see what comes next. But I shaved it down to essentially my instant-buy authors that I anxiously await their next release.

16830632_669861920978_8152925717903566850_nMaureen Johnson: this surprised zero people, I am sure. She’s written the books in my featured image for most of my blog posts, and she is my favorite author/ person. Her next book which is a new series called Truly Devious comes out later this year or possibly early 2018, and that is not soon enough. I’m looking forward to the next installment in her Shades of London series. If you haven’t picked up a Maureen Johnson book, you should know that Lin-Manuel Miranda posted a picture of himself reading The Name of the Star. So… That is a recommendation.
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Lauren Myracle: I have read one and a half books of her’s, and I just love how she writes. I was introduced to her through her third of Let it, Snow which she wrote alongside Maureen Johnson and some other author, Her book Shine was so brilliant and heartbreaking, I just fell hardcore in love. The book I’m currently reading, The Infinite Moment of Us, so far is beautiful. I know she has a bunch of books out there so of them I’m not exactly into judging from the blurbs, but I will be keeping my eye out for more from her in the future.

 

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Megan McCafferty: So I may have mentioned this before, but I love Megan McCafferty. Her Jessica Darling series is drive across Maine in a snowstorm to get the next book and stay up all night to finish it good (That’s a true story). She’s just such a wonderful writer. I look forward to more from her, I can’t wait to see what’s next.

 

 

 

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Gayle Forman: She is something fantastic. I have loved all 5 of the books that I’ve read of her’s, and I cannot wait until she has more. She wrote Survivor’s guilt in I Was Here in the most beautiful honest way I have seen it portrayed. And the way she writes love stories, oh man. They are love stories that are so much deeper than many YA romance writers go. Powerful Writing.

 

 

 

I remembered that name of that third author of Let it, Snow! It’s John Green1406384

So, as I’ve said before, I’ve been a nerdfighter since 2008. I watched all the Brotherhood 2.0 videos before I picked up a John Green novel and reading his books, for me, are like reading the books of a good friend. I don’t know how to explain it. Anyway, I have lovehis books. All of them. He’s talked on the Dear Hank and John podcast about the difficulty of writing new books after the success of The Fault in Our Stars, but I am hoping for new material soon. It’s just really fantastic writing, and I much enjoy it.

 

And those are my choices. I mean this could be a list of 900 authors, but that rule is 5, so here we are.

What Authors do you want more of?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesdays, Future Classsics

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is books that when we are all dead, our children will read like we read Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickins, future classics. I find this super interesting, guessing what parts of our lives will live on and what that will say about us. How does our media represent us? I had a lot of fun coming up with this list, which I think is a little bit predictable, but hopefully correct.

Here’s my Top 5 future classics:

 

1.  Harry Potter by JK Rowling

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I can’t imagine a time where Harry Potter won’t be relevant. I think that books like Harry Potter, well-written fantasy novels, live on way past its original readers. Already there is a second generation of children reading (and loving) these books.   I can see people, living on the moon, with Harry Potter open on their lap. As long as there are people, we will be reading Harry Potter. The themes run deep and will always be relevant. I don’t see its impact going away anytime soon.

2. The Fault and Our Stars by John Green

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Will the teenagers on the moon in a couple hundred years be reading John Green novels like we read Pride and Prejudice? Maybe. I mean, I feel like it has the staying power of a great story on top of being a great love story. I can see at the very least a second generation of people, our children and children of nerdfighters, reading it. It hurts and has such beautiful prose in it.

 

 

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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I talked about this book in an early post, but this book man. It’s so powerful. Although it’s about World War 2, I think that it can be projected onto other moments in time. It’s one of those books that already feels old. Like it has an old soul while only being 12 years old. I can see many generations reading it.

 

 

 

4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
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This is the oldest book in my group, and I’m sure it’s already considered “classic” by many, but I think that it will continue along the line it’s going on and become one of those books that end up on every single “Books to read before you die” list. It does deal with space travel, so when humans live on the moon, maybe it will have a bigger impact. Who knows?

 

 

 

5. Most of what Stephen King has written

So don’t judge me, but the books I’ve read by Stephen King are On Writing and part of Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. HOWEVER, there is no doubt that this author’s writing has have a profound impact on not only pop culture, but just about everything thing else. Stephen King changed writing, what it takes to have a popular book. He changed the horror genre in ways that it hadn’t been changed since Edgar Allan Poe. This man has so many books, and from what I understand, nearly all of them are amazing. I see people in their space suits on the moon in their lawn chairs on the moon beach reading IT. It’ll happen.

And those are my thoughts about future classics, what do you think?

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

TOP 5 Wednesday: Scifi and Fantasy Novels

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post 5 books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic: Science Fiction and Fantasy novels.

So this it’s a genre that I’ve read a lot of, and in looking at the posts of people who have posted their list for this week already, I have noticed that I  have read almost none of them. So this list is basically the five sci-fi and fantasy books that I have read.

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I  mean, obviously. Harry Potter shaped and impacted my life in a way that is so profound and intense that I would not be the same person I currently am if I hadn’t read it.  Harry Potter is the most important book I have ever read.

 

 

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I first read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when I was in high school. I literally hated it, probably because I hated that class with every bit of my being, maybe I didn’t get the humor then. However, I re-read it about 5 years ago, and I loved it. It’s just so good and ridiculous. Such a good book. I have the whole series in one of those fancy leather bound books from Barnes and Nobel editions, but I have only read the first one thus far.

 

 

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Oh man, so I kind of like the Hobbit. I read it for the first time my freshman year of high school and just really liked the whole idea of it. I mean, I’m pretty sure anyone reading this has read it or seen the movies, so I don’t have to tell you about how good it is, but if you haven’t, trust me, it’s good.

 

 

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Who doesn’t love 1984? I mean, here in the United States were are basically living in it. This isn’t the book I would choose to live in if I had a choice, but I don’t.

This is another one that I was forced to read in high school, and thought was stupid and then re-read later and greatly enjoyed it.

 

 

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This is a Sci-book, NPR told me so. Also, there are aliens and a person unstuck in time so yeah.

To be totally honest, I read this book about 12 years ago, and I can’t remember exactly what happens but I know WW2 is involved and I remember being very struck by it. This one is worth a re-read soon I’m thinking.

 

What are your top 5 Sci-fi and Fantasy novels?

 

Until next time internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesday- Books to Get You Out of a Reading Slump

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post 5 books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is books that get you out of a reading slump:

Harry Potter

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So Technically, the answer would be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,  but I’m going to go with the whole series. When I’m coming off a couple books that didn’t quite live up to expectations, or I’ve read too many of the same kind of book in a row, and I need something very different that I know I can get through pretty quickly, I turn to the boy wizard. I can finish the whole series in less than a month and find my way to something different after getting through these.

 Devilish by Maureen Johnson

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Maureen Johnson has written some great books, this one about a girl who makes a deal with the literal devil that involves a cupcake is my favorite. Johnson’s writing style is funny and thoughtful. She creates characters that have the feeling of an every person. Devilish is a one sitting read that can pull me right out of a reading slump and back into my TBR pile.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

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That’s a weird choice for someone who reads mostly YA, Deanna.  Yes. You are correct. A very dense John Irving novel sounds like the exact opposite of a “get out of a slump” book. However, this is my favorite book, and I’ve read it about 8 times. This book isn’t a one sitting read or one that I can read very quickly despite knowing what happens, but when I am bored with my TBR pile, and I’m not into re-reading Harry Potter, Owen Meany it is. Maybe someday I will explain my connection to this book, but that would have to be a Thursday long post as it’s not something I can explain in a couple of sentences. If you haven’t read A Prayer for Owen Meany, I would add it to your TBR pile because it’s amazing.

 Heist Society by Ally Carter

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So this book is much like the TV show Leverage but with teenagers. I named my cat after a character for Leverage, so needless to say, big fan of that kind of storytelling. The characters are fun, and the heist/cons are complex and interesting. They are fun, and I am a fan of the good guys stealing stuff for the greater good. Each of the books in this series is a one sit read. I love them. I saw on Goodreads that there may be a book 4 and I am thrilled by this development.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

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This book is sad but so good. I love John Green’s writing style. I can’t wait until he has something new to read. Until then I just have to re-read his already published books. His first is by far my favorite. I’ve read it 3 or 4 times. It’s just as great on a re-read as it was the first time around.

What books get you out of a slump?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesday: Book Trends You’re Tired Of

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post 5 books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is 5 book trends that you are tired of.

I have to admit that I am probably not up to date on the current trends of literature. I see that they seem to change kind of quickly, but there are still a thing that I’m just tired of seeing. Not that I won’t read books with these themes, but I try to put big spaces between books with these similar themes, so I don’t get overly bored with reading in general.

  • Love Triangles. I hate unnecessary love triangles, which is to say most if not all love triangles. There are times when a well-placed love triangle drives a little bit of suspense– like in a romance novel–, but for the most part, they are not necessary and don’t move the plot and fall flat. A love triangle is not necessary for every story.

 

  • Insta-famous. So we live in a world where becoming internet famous seemingly out of nowhere. However, in real life, even the overnight sensations and viral YouTubers have put a lot of time into their videos, and it’s months if not years of work. The idea that one post flings people into stardom and then that character complaining about the terribleness of fame, I just have never gotten it. There are YouTubers or Tumblr bloggers or twitter users that I have watched for years as they grow a small following and then finally break through with that one topical post. I find that many of the insta-famous stories don’t show that backside, the “unsexy” work that goes behind becoming insta-famous.

 

  • Dystopia. Okay so I love a good dystopia, but I have read so many dystopian trilogies that I’m close to never wanting to read another one. There are only so many ways that a nearly identical plot of a teenager overthrowing the government can play out. I mean, it’s a great idea. However, 7,000 times over is sort of beating it to death. Although, it does set up a nice instructional manual if we end up there.

 

  • Snowflakes. So this is a term that I don’t really like using, but it’s the easiest way to explain it because I dislike the term Mary Sue even more. This is a character (usually female) that is untrained in something but for some reason super good at it (See: Luke Skywalker). I hate it when a character who didn’t know they had magic is better at magic than anyone else who has ever done magic. No, 15-year-old, you are not the greatest wizard of all time, that’s Merlin, and you are not Merlin. Unless you are Merlin, which with the trends in YA you might be, but still even 15-year-old Merlin practiced. You need to practice. Sure, some people are just smarter than others, but we are usually not talking about being really good at multiplication.

 

  • Paranormal Romances where one character is immortal. I haven’t seen a lot of this lately, but that may be because I’ve been actively avoiding paranormal romance style books. Last time I went to Barnes and Nobel I think that section was a lot smaller than it was a year or two ago, but still, I don’t like it. I don’t like it because even though it is explained in detail how the character became immortal at 16 or 17 or whatever, they were born in 1532 and shouldn’t be dating someone born in 2000. That’s creepy. I don’t care. Creepy. First of all, what do these people have in common? I have nothing in common with someone born in 2000 and I’m only 14 years older than them. What do they talk about? I don’t see someone born in 1532 liking the Bachelor or whatever 17-year-olds watch. If they are a vampire, they can’t take selfies because they don’t show up in the picture, so can’t do that together. I have literally no idea what else teenage people do. AND it’s super creepy. 

I feel this contains too much negativity, so I will add one trend that I’m currently loving:

I’m not sure why this became a thing, but I’ve been seeing it everywhere, and I like the idea of the re-telling of classics. I probably have four different Alice and Wonderland re-tellings chilling in my TBR pile. I’m sure when I reach the end of them I will never want to read another re-telling again, but at the moment, I think it’s really cool. I know it is not that same, but I feel a little bit of a fan fiction vibe to them like that culture is becoming more accepted. As a fan fiction writer (I write pre-series Supernatural fan fiction about the boys’ childhood) I find it a fun challenge to re-imagine characters while still trying to hold true to the original stories.

What do you think? Agree or Disagree?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna