Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Just Didn’t Click With

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is: Ten Characters I Just Didn’t Click With.

Taken

1) Shannon from Taken by Dee Henderson. I just found everything about her so completely off-putting that I ended up DNF-ing the book.

The Murderer's Daughter

2) Grace from The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman. I didn’t hate her, but I didn’t really care about her. I think she often did things contradictory to her character development and I just didn’t really care enough about her to ever get really invested in this story.

Luckiest Girl Alive

3) Ani from Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. She was just all around unlikable.

The Dare (The Bet, #3)

4) Grandma Nadine from The Dare by Rachel Van Dyken. One of those characters that just drove me crazy every single time she was in a scene.

The Heartbreakers (The Heartbreak Chronicles)

5) Stella from The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak. I thought she was such a brat and she drove me crazy.

Emmy & Oliver

6) Emmy from Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway. She was kind of a brat sometimes, but she had less brat-like moments, too. Overall, I just never really connected with her character.

The Wrong Side of Right

7) Kate from The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne. She got a little better as the book went on, but for the first half of the book she just drove me crazy.

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

8) Willem from Just One Day by Gayle Foreman. I have zero patience for his gypsy lifestyle.

I guess I’m just going with a top 8 for now. I’m sure I’ll realize ones I forgot after I read some other lists. What characters didn’t you click with? Were you un-clickable with any of my choices?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From. So there was probably a way better way to do this, but I exported my books from Good Reads, sorted them by the author, and ran a formula to count how many times the author appeared.

Beginnings: Obsidian & Onyx (Lux, #1-2)

1. Jennifer Armentrout/J. Lynn = 27 books.
I’ve read almost every JLA book. Obsidian was the first book I’ve ever read from her and I’ve been hooked since.

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)

2. Charlaine Harris = 15 books
The Sookie Stackhouse series. I stopped enjoying them maybe around half way through, but I was determined to finish the series.

The Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)

3. Kristan Higgins = 13 books
I’ve read all of her published books to date. I adore her writing style.

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)

4. Richelle Mead = 12 books
The Vampire Academy and Bloodlines

The Protector (O'Malley #4)

5. Dee Henderson = 11 books
Mostly the O’Malley series, which I really liked, and a few standalone/part of other series which I didn’t enjoy as much.

Unseen (Will Trent, #7)

6. Karin Slaughter = 10
Mostly the Will Trent series. I am sooo ready for the next book in the series to come out already! She’s written two standalones since the last installment instead.

Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1)

7. Sara Shepard = 9 books
Most of the PLL series before I just had to stop.

I've Got Your Number

8.Sophie Kinsella = 9 books
Mostly the Shopaholic series until I couldn’t take anymore. I’ve Got Your Number is by far my favorite, though.

Storm (Elemental, #1)

9. Brigid Kemmerer = 8 books
The Elemental series

The Dead Will Tell (Kate Burkholder, #6)

10. Linda Castillo = 8 books
The Kate Burkholder series.

Which authors have you read the most from?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: May 2015

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle, #2)

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2) by Rachel Hawkins. Read May 5-7. 3.5 stars.

All the reviews I’ve read have said this book wasn’t as good as the first, but I liked it at least just as much. I think I may have liked it even more than the first. Perhaps because the first book was so raved about and I thought it was just ok.

I found Harper much less annoying this time around. I liked David, though I think we could have gotten a little more of him. I didn’t mind Ryan in this book and the love triangle I was expecting wasn’t quite what we got. I didn’t like Bee, in fact I forgot her character even existed. Oops. I thought Bee’s trajectory was very predictable, as well.

Overall, the book was enjoyable and ended in such a way that I’ll definitely be reading the next book.

Summer in the City

Summer in the City by Elizabeth Chandler. Read May 9-10. 3 stars.

I’ve been on a YA Contemporary kick lately and was really craving something sweet and light and this completely fit the bill. (A big thanks to my generous blogger friend Diana that bought me a copy!!!!) The main character was likable and so were most of the supporting cast. I loved Josh, especially in the last couple chapters! Overall a cute read!

Secret Girlfriend

Secret Girlfriend by Bria Quinlan. Read May 10-11. 2 stars.

I loved Luke Parker! He’s so sweet! But he didn’t quite make up for all the ridiculous going on in this book. Amy drove me crazy for about the first half of this book. Chris was completely awful during the whole thing and there was no reason for Amy to be so misguided about him. I think the melodrama went on just a little too long, but I did like the ending. And I loved the whole Parker family.

Getting Lucky Number Seven

Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen. Read May 11-12. 3 stars.

I’ve liked some of this author’s other books so I thought I’d give this one try. It was a little more graphic than the others I’ve read which is a downside and very similar to a bunch of other NA books out there, but I liked the main characters and it was an easy read and fit in with my contemporary kick I’m on.

The Dare (The Bet, #3)

The Dare (The Bet #3) by Rachel Van Dyken. Read May 12-15. 1 star.

I started the first book in this series once and couldn’t get through it. I got this one for free so I thought I would give it a try. While there were some humorous moments, the characters weren’t all that likable – I HATED the Grandmother character. I’m glad it was free 🙂   

Cinderella Screwed Me Over

Cinderella Screwed me Over by Cindi Madsen. Read May 13-15. 3.5 stars.

Cute Chick Lit. I liked the “case studies”, though they didn’t really resemble the fairy tale characters they were compared to. I loved Jake and the main character was likable.

The Dead List

The Dead List by Jennifer Armentrout. Read May 24-26. 3.5 Stars.

This book reminded me that I really enjoy JLA’s YA books and it’s a cool idea that she released a whole book for free. This is a draft that wasn’t fully edited and really there weren’t many typos and only one glaring continuity error that I could tell.

I liked the characters. Ella was a good main character and Jensen was a pretty good book boyfriend, though I thought he was a little too domineering at times. The mystery was well done. While there were some parts that I thought were predictable, there were other things that surprised me. I would have liked a little more background from when they were younger and I think it took too long to find out what happened with Penn, but overall it was a good, enjoyable read.

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RE-READS

On the Fence

On The Fence by Kasie West. I’ve really been on a contemporary kick this month and with the anticipation of The Fill-In Boyfriend coming out, I was craving some Kasie West.

The Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)

The Best Man, The Perfect Match, Waiting on You, and In Your Dreams (The Blue Heron series) by Kristan Higgins. What can I say? I love Kristan Higgins. I re-read The Best Man and then I just wanted the rest of the series.

Somebody to Love (Gideon's Cove, #3)

Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins. This is kind of a sequel to both The Next Best Thing and Catch of the Day. The first time I read this I hadn’t read either of the other novels and I have to say that I enjoyed it much more this second time around, recognizing all of Parker’s friends now.

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BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days, #3)

End of Days (Angelfall #3) by Susan Ee. I think I may need a re-read before I go into this last book. I really didn’t remember much of what happened before and there wasn’t much recap.

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DNF

Taken

Taken by Dee Henderson

I got about a quarter of the way through this book before I decided I needed a break from it. After a couple of weeks I just can’t make myself pick it up again.

I’ve liked many of Henderson’s other novels, but Taken just didn’t do it for me. While I liked Matthew well enough, I just couldn’t stand Shannon. I found her attitude extremely off-putting. I was just really annoyed about how she had a plan in her head of what to do and even though she went to Matthew for help, she refused to listen to any of his input. For the life of me I can’t understand why he catered to her so completely and trusted her so easily.

And while what I read didn’t get very far into romance at all, I can’t really get behind Matthew and Shannon being romantically involved. His first impression of her was how she reminded him of his daughter and that just puts an ick factor to it.

Wish They Wouldn’t: Over Research

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Wish They Would/Wouldn’t Wednesday is my new feature where I talk about things I wish authors would or wouldn’t do. This week’s topic is: Wish They Wouldn’t: Over Research.

I’m not even going to pretend that I know all the hard work that goes into writing a book. Especially when trying to be accurate and authentic within specialized genres like historical fiction or something science-related, justice system-related, etc. A lot of research needs to go into making these stories feel real for the reader.

However, there are often times that I feel things get OVER researched. Like the author has done so much research that he/she can’t help but use it. It often does nothing for me in terms of enhancing a story. Sometimes it even feels like the author is flaunting his/her intelligence on the subject, taking away from the actual characters and their story.

Some examples:

Partials

Partials by Dan Wells.

It’s been awhile since I read this book (I still haven’t made it to Ruins yet), but what I remember the most was that it seemed soooo much longer than  it needed to be. And Kyra’s scientific research became way too detailed for me. I really have no idea if Wells did lots of Scientific research, if he’s just really smart, or if he made everything about it up. But how it came across to me was, “Look how smart I am, while I bore you for pages and pages and forget about the rest of the story.”  That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the rest of the story or his writing. The science was just too much.

Undetected

Undetected by Dee Henderson

The submarine description, Naval procedures, and science took up way too much time in this book. It made the book way too long and bogged down. I think it also really took away focus from the characters and their development.

The First Phone Call from Heaven

The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Ablom

I still am scratching my head over the inclusion of the history of the telephone in this book. This is a perfect example of over researching a subject and including it in a book when it really does absolutely nothing at all to advance or add to the plot.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Are there other books you think are Over Researched?

 

 

Wish They Would/Wouldn’t Wednesday

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Welcome to my new feature: Wish they Would/Wouldn’t Wednesday. This is where I’ll discuss issues that I wish authors would or wouldn’t do. This could include favorite styles, themes, genres, or pet peeves. And my first topic is………

I WISH THEY WOULDN’T: CREATE SERIES WITH NEW PROTAGONISTS FOR EACH BOOK

So we’ve all been there. We read a book and fall in love with not just the story, but the characters. Even if the plot wraps up in a satisfying way, you still crave more of the characters. And you’re in luck! It’s a series. HOWEVER, instead of focusing on these characters that you adore, a minor character from the first book takes center stage.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of series like this that I end up really enjoying, but each new book drives me a little bit crazy waiting for my old favorites to show up before I start to like the new characters. And even when I really get into the new protagonists, I still can’t get enough of the characters from the first installment. I wish these types of series at least included more of the previous primary characters in each new book.

Some examples of these series that I read and enjoyed, but was still annoyed with (click on the picture for summaries):

The O’Malley series by Dee Henderson

The Negotiator (O'Malley, #1)  The Guardian (O'Malley #2) The Truth Seeker (O'Malley #3) The Protector (O'Malley #4)  The Healer (O'Malley #5) The Rescuer (O'Malley #6)

The Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey

Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1) Shattered (Alaskan Courage, #2) Stranded (Alaskan Courage, #3)  Silenced (Alaskan Courage, #4)

Reviews: Shattered, Silenced

Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)  Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)  Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer

Storm (Elemental, #1)  Spark (Elemental, #2)  Spirit (Elemental, #3) Secret (Elemental, #4)

Reviews: Storm, Spark, Spirit, Secret

What do you think of series that change protagonists with each new book? Love them? Hate them? Read them, but are annoyed by them?

Review: Undetected by Dee Henderson

Undetected

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Synopsis from Good Reads:

When asked what he does for a living, Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: “I’m in the navy.”

But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping its crew trained and focused during 90-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and carries it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating in the Pacific Rim, the navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, pretty, and very smart. She’s a civilian, but she understands life in the navy. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. But a breakup she didn’t see coming has her focusing all her attention on what she does best–ocean science research. She’s on the cusp of a breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop’s perspective and help. Because what she’s told the navy she’s figured out is only the beginning. If she’s right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter…

It took me several chapters to get into this story. The beginning is so weighed down by Naval description and procedures that I had to put the book down. While this got better – for the most part – as the story went on, there was way too much Navy procedure and scientific descriptions for me. It didn’t feel necessary to the story, as much as one of those instances when the author is stating, “Hey, look at all the research I’ve done for this book!” I also thought the formality was a little overdone. Almost every time the story comes back to focus on Mark, he’s introduced to the readers again as, “Captain/Commander Mark Bishop.” This got better after maybe ten chapters or so, but then it would do it sporadically. There aren’t so many characters in this book that I can’t keep track of one by their first or last name.

Gina Gray is a genius. She’s worked on many discoveries for the Navy, all with the intent on keeping her brother Jeff safe. She comes to his Naval base to visit him after she had a bad break-up and begins to work on her latest theory – which leads to another theory – and another theory…She’s super smart, guys. However, she’s not so smart with relationships and she wants to get married before she’s thirty, so she asks her brother to set her up. Jeff wants to set her up with his best friend, Mark, but Mark is hesitant since he’s about 11 years older than Gina. Jeff settles instead for the kind and funny Daniel.

However, Mark begins to develop feelings for Gina after spending some time with her and from there the love triangle begins. It’s not your normal  love triangle, though. Both guys are super chill with each other and go out of their way to help the other guy. Also, Gina doesn’t realize Mark is interested until late in the game. And he’s not just interested, he’s ready to get married interested.

I found Mark’s pursuit of Gina a little off-putting at first. Though he does love her and wants to be with her, I often got the feeling that he was talking down to her,

“Marry me, Gina. You need me. I want you as my wife. there are worse reasons to get married.”

“We’re going to disagree occasionally, Gina, on what is best to do with a discovery. That’s one of the reasons these kinds of decisions are never simple. There are two perspectives, and both might be valid. I’d like to think you’ll come to trust me on these difficult calls.”

Though it took awhile, I did begin to  like their relationship. I also really liked that all the romance in this book was based on more than attraction. There was never a statement of how Gina is the most beautiful woman ever created or description of how Mark’s muscles ripple under his t-shirt that just happens to be a little tight around his big, broad, tan shoulders. (Seriously, try to find a romance that doesn’t involve those type of statements.)

While the story focused on character and relationship development, I enjoyed it. When it veered off into the overly descriptive Navy/science scenes, I found it a little hard to get through. I did like how all the time spent on Gina’s discoveries didn’t go unused. I also was surprised to find out that this is either a book in a series or a companion book to another Henderson novel, Unspoken, that focuses on Mark’s brother (which I recently bought at a library sale, but haven’t had the chance to read it).

Overall, I did enjoy Undetected. I would have preferred less of the Naval and scientific jargon, but the rest of the story helped to make up for it. I would recommend this book to fans of Hendersons and Christian Fiction.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 3.5
Characters: 3.5
Readability: 3
Enjoyability: 3
Overall Average: 3.25 stars

 

Monday’s Minutes

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Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry. Ok. So I had no intention of continuing this series anytime soon, but I found myself faced with a few review titles that are long-ish and serious-ish and I’m just not in the state of mind for serious reading. I also find I’m not in the mood to read anything I really care about it, so this came up at the library and I decided to try it. While it appears to have heavier themes than most YA romance, it’s still, at it’s core, YA romance, which always fills the bill when I need something fluffy to read.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Ruins (Partials Sequence, #3)   Undetected

Ruins (Partial Sequence #3) by Dan Wells and Undetected by Dee Henderson. I’ve been putting off Ruins because I was pretty disappointed with book 2 in this series. I haven’t heard great things about the conclusion to the series, either. But I still want to read it. I enjoyed the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson, so I of course had to request Dee Henderson on NetGalley. However, it’s a pdf and not an epub, so reading it on my Nook is super annoying. But I’m still looking forward to it!

What are you reading?