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?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Disappointing Reads of 2014

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is a Freebie! I’ve decided to go with my Top Ten Most Disappointing Reads of 2014. Click on the links for my review (if applicable) or the Good Reads page.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. It seems like everyone in the blogosphere is obsessed with this series. I just don’t get it. I gave this book 1 star.

Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1 - 0.4)

2. Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth. I was hoping that this book would in some small way make up for Allegiant. Or make me fall for Four again. It did not.

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

3. Just One Day by Gayle Foreman. Yet another book the blogosphere loves that I did not. I just don’t get it, guys.

The Dancing Master

4. The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen. I really enjoy Klassen’s novels, but this one was pretty bad. Especially the parts where she actually plagiarizes herself from another book!

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes

5. All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant. This book had so much potential, but just didn’t live up to it. I really wish it would’ve focused more on the reality show plotline.

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)

6. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. While it started out interesting enough, it had super unlikable characters and became very confusing.

We Were Liars

7. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I think this book suffered from too much hype. It had a good twist, but it did not make up for the rest of the book.

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)

8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. Don’t get me wrong, this book was cute! But it was definitely my least favorite book of the series.

The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1)

9. The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris. I love the fake relationship trope and had been looking forward to this book for a long time and it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

The Archived (The Archived, #1)

10. The Archived by Victoria Schwab. Yet another beloved book in the blogosphere that just didn’t do it for me. I found it way too slow and pretty boring until the end.

What Top Ten Tuesday topic did you choose? What are some of your most disappointing reads of 2014?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books People Have Been Telling Me That I MUST Read

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So I’m doing a Top Ten Wednesday instead of Tuesday this week. It doesn’t have quite the same ring, but it will do. This week’s topic, brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read. I don’t have lots of bookish people in my non-blog life, so mine will be not so much recommended specifically to me, but books I feel the blogosphere insists upon.

Open Road Summer

1.  Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. This one was actually recommended to me on Twitter when I asked for a good contemporary. I’m currently on the waiting list at the library.

Say What You Will

2. Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on it, but a blogger friend recommended this to me, so it’s on my list!

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

3. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins. Everyone seems to love this book.

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

4. If I Stay by Gayle Foreman. Especially now that the movie is coming out, you can not get away from this book.

Maybe Someday

5. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. I feel like everyone everywhere loves Colleen Hoover and I have yet to read anything by her.

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

6. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. Another book with nothing but glowing reviews.

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

7. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. Everybody says this series is better than the Mortal Instruments so I always meant to read it. But now that City of Heavenly Fire has spoiled some major things for me, I’m not in such a hurry to read it.

This is What Happy Looks Like

8. This is What Happy Looks Like – or Any other Jennifer E. Smith book. Another beloved author I’ve never read.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

9. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas. I really did not like the first book in this series AT ALL. But everyone seems to love this series so much. Maybe it gets way better?

Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow, #1)

10. Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden. You can’t read Tash’s review and not want to read this! (Click on the review link for a chance to win a free ecopy of this book!)

Review: Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Foreman

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

I just don’t get it. Why is everyone so in love with this book? I will say that Foreman is a good writer. I had no problem with her prose.  Or even the general storyline. It was just where it went. So for those that haven’t read it and plan on it, I will say this was just ok for me and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. However, a lot of people really love it, so if you’re a big fan of YA Contemporary you may enjoy it.

***BEWARE OF RAMBLY SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON***

So Allyson is a high school graduate who has moped her way through a Trip of a Lifetime in Europe. While this is a little annoying, I get it. I can personally attest that having a Trip of Lifetime thrown at you when you are not in the right head space for it does not end well. But just before the trip ends, Allyson has a personality switch and decides to skip the last event to see some artsy guy in an artsy Shakespeare production. She takes the personality change even further when she leaves her best friend and goes with artsy guy, Willem, to Paris for a day.

This ONE DAY is supposed to be magical and romantic and change Allyson’s whole life. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why she likes Willem. Sure, he’s cute and foreign and charming, but it’s all in a narcissistic way. And I have no tolerance for his gypsy lifestyle.  They have a couple of moments where she “sees the real Willem” by his vague comments or a certain look in his expressive eyes, but she doesn’t really know him – or his last name, or his phone number, or his e-mail address. Their day together isn’t even that great, but Allyson romanticizes the fact that they avoid touristy things like the Lourve and the Eiffel Tower. When they break into a building to spend the night and she wakes up after having sex to find him gone, she freaks out. She ends up contacting her trip advisor who pays for her to reconnect with her best friend and extols these words of wisdom to Allyson after finding out he still has her super expensive watch:

“They’ll do that, sometimes. Take things as a sort of trophy. Like serial killers.”

So Allyson goes home and is so depressed (she thinks it’s because of being in love with Willem, I think it’s a cautionary tale of why you should wait to have some emotional maturity before having sex) and bombs her first semester of college. She finally decides to give herself a new start – by taking a class about Shakespeare. She finally makes a friend and he convinces her to look for Willem just so she can find out what happened. What if he didn’t really leave her?

So then some boring things happen where she fights with her parents and gets a job and she goes back to Paris to look for him. She meets up with some more gypsies who help her search. And by this time I’m hoping that she DOESN’T find him. I’m thinking, what a wonderful book this could be if she doesn’t find him. She finally stopped being mopey and stood up to her parents and made some friends and is feeling comfortable with herself for the first time in her life and wouldn’t it be wonderful to just end it right there? She met a boy, had an odd day with him that she eventually used as a springboard to become the person she was always supposed to be.

But, instead, after some amazing coincidences (or Accidents or Fate) she finds Willem in another country. He’s performing Shakespeare. And he has a girlfriend. Or just another girl. And she decides the door has closed and SHE’S FINE WITH IT. She doesn’t approach him and is in fact planning on leaving again. Then she realizes that since her day with him she’s grown so much and she just needs to be brave enough to tell him all about it. So she goes back after him. She introduces herself (because, yes, this guy she’s in love with never bothered to ask her real name) and he’s surprised.

The end.

What? So has he been looking for her? Does he think she’s a crazy stalker? Are they now in love forever? Does he start following her on Twitter? I feel like I must read the next book now. But I don’t want to.

And am I the only one that really hopes their relationship ends in nothing more than friendship? I would find it so much more satisfying for Allyson to just grow into herself and not for a guy.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 2
Characters: 1.5 (Allyson is well developed, no one else is even close)
Readability: 3
Enjoyability: 1.5
Overall Average:  2 Stars

Monday’s Minutes

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

WHAT I’M READING

Omens (Cainsville, #1)

Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong. This book has been on my TBR list forever and finally became available at the library. I’m not quite half way through yet, but I’m a little disappointed so far. After a promising beginning, the pace has slowed way down and it’s just kind of weird and confusing instead of mysterious. I thought about putting this down, but I’ve waiting so long to read it and am far enough into it that I want to see it through.

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Foreman. Everybody loves this series. I was about four or five chapters in when Omens became available and this one hadn’t done anything to interest me so far, so I made the switch. However, I’m planning on trying this again for a few chapters to give me a little break from Omens.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Boy, Snow, Bird    Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi and Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige just came off the hold list from the library, so I think I’ll be going with one of them.