Love Stinks: Toxic and Unbearable Relationships in Fiction

12 Hilarious Anti-Valentine's Day Cards For People You Hate. Sending these to EVERYONE I know:

For some, today is to celebrate Valentine’s Day. For others, it’s Singles Awareness Day (SAD). (For me, it’s the day The Walking Dead comes back!) So to combine the themes of love and bitterness, I’ve come up with a list of some of the most Toxic or Unbearably Annoying relationships in fiction.

TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS

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Nick and Amy Dunne from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

They are probably the most toxic couple on this list. On their own, they can both be horrible people, together they’re a disaster. 

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Joe and Beck from You by Caroline Kepnes

These two are both sociopaths as far as I’m concerned. The stalking, the lying, the manipulation, the cage…

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Chloe and Oliver from Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Chloe was a seemingly nice girl until Oliver came to town. He leads her down a dark path and they ruin lives (even their own).

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UNBEARABLE RELATIONSHIPS

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Cole and Ali from The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter

I started out shipping these two, but by the third book their romantic interludes were so cringe-worthy to me that I couldn’t even finish the book. There was so much back and forth and will-they-won’t-they and when they finally got together it was a constant how-far-will-we-go-and-when rhetoric. I found it boring and annoying.

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Hayley and Bryce from Blackmail Boyfriend by Chris Cannon

This could also probably go under the toxic category since Hayley is kind of a psycho. Hayley and Bryce agree to a public fake relationship, but she believes that still means he should do boyfriendy things when no one else is around. She’s insufferable, but along the way Bryce begins to fall for her and this book just made me want to through my Nook at a wall.

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Sang and ALL the Boys from the Ghost Bird series by C.L. Stone

Sang is young and naïve and unbearably annoying and she is befriended by a group of seven guys, all of whom have a thing for her. All of whom, at one point early on in the series, agree to share her, which is when I had to stop reading this series, even though it was an oddly addicting read.

This list could go on and on, but I decided to stop at three each. What are some fictional relationships that you find toxic or unbearable?

HAPPY VALENTIE’S DAY / SINGLES AWARENESS DAY / THE WALKING DEAD IS BACK!

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: 10 Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me (a new book from a certain author,  a reading superpower, a character to come to life, to meet a certain author etc. etc.).

1. That my book crush would be real, age appropriate, and amicably split from their significant other and interested in me.

I was going to have this basically be a wish for all my book crushes, but that could probably take the whole list. But think, Daemon Black from the Lux series, Levi from Fangirl, Gansey from The Raven Boys, Warner from the Shatter Me series, Cam from the Wait for You series, Ethan Mirabelli from The Next Best Thing, Seth from the Covenant/Titan series, Finn from Illusions of Fate. Any of them would do 🙂

2. *Spoiler from the Hunger Games trilogy* Suzanne Collins would re-write a few parts of Mockingjay and Finnick would never die.

3. That Rainbow Rowell would let me read all her books before she published them. And that we were best friends.

4. One more book to wrap up The Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer because Sacrifice was not a satisfactory end to that series!

5. That there would be no wait for ebooks at the library and ALL THE BOOKS EVER would be available.

6. That I would be granted every ARC I request.

7. That there were more books by Jane Austen.

8. A more explosive ending to Gone Girl.

9. That I could get all my work done and read at the same time so I could spend my 8+ hours at work every day actually doing something enjoyable.

10. A perfectly adapted movie version of The Night Circus.

What are your Book Wishes?

Mean Girls Book Tag

I saw this over on Confessions of a Book Geek and loved it and knew I had to do it.

It’s Pronounced Like “Cady”.

Which fictional characters’ names did you get completely wrong?

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I just finished A Court of Thorns and Roses and I had no idea how to pronounce Feyre until I found out there was a pronunciation key in the back of the book. *Note to authors – if you need a pronunciation key for your character names, you probably should just re-name your characters!*

She Doesn’t Even Go Here!

Pick a fictional character that you would like to place in another fictional character’s world.

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I think I’ve said this before, but I would love to put Fia from the Mind Games series into the Shatter Me series. I would so love for her and Juliette to be best friends. I also think she would get along super well with Warner.

On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink.

Repetition, repetition. Which book gave you déja vu of another book while reading it?

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Red Queen was pretty similar to a lot of other books.

You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.

Which book gave you the complete opposite of girl power feels?

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Sang from the Ghostbird series. She completely lets the boys control her every move and word and it’s uncomfortable.

You Go Glen Coco!

Name a character you felt like you wanted to cheer on whilst reading.

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Katniss from the Hunger Games series, of course!

Get in Loser, We’re Going Shopping!

How long do you typically spend at a book shop?

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I generally try to avoid stores as much as possible, so if I’m going into one it’s with a specific purpose and I’m in and out. I do spend a lot of time browsing the Barnes & Noble website for my Nook, though.

It’s Not My Fault You’re Like In Love With Me Or Something!

Which character would have to get out a restraining order on you, if they were real?

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The Raven boys, Warner from Shatter Me, Daemon Black from Lux, Sean Kendrick from the Scorpio Races, Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door…There would probably be more than restraining orders since these are all YA characters….

I Can’t Help It That I’m Popular.

Which over-hyped book were you cautious about reading?

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Emmy & Oliver. I ended up giving it 3 stars, but I was super disappointed in it.

She’s A Life Ruiner. She Ruins Peoples’ Lives.

We all love Regina George. Name a villain you just love to hate.

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Amy Dunne from Gone Girl and the Dane Twins from A Darker Shade of Magic

I’m Not Like A Regular Mom, I’m A Cool Mom.

Your favourite fictional parents.

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Kami’s dad in The Lynburn Legacy series

That Is So Fetch!

Which book or series would you love to catch on?

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I adore The Lynburn Legacy and wish it got more attention.

How Do I Even Begin To Explain Regina George?

Describe your ideal character to read about.

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 The Raven Boys and Blue. Their friendship as a whole. Their individual personalities. I could honestly read about these characters forever – doing anything!

I Just Have A Lot Of Feelings.

A book that gave you a bad case of ‘the feels’?

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes made me cry. Like a lot.

Nice Wig Janice, What’s It Made Of? – Your Mom’s Chest Hair!

Which character’s one liners would you love to claim for your own?

I was trying not to repeat books, but for the third time I need to reference The Lynburn Legacy and say Kami Glass. She is such a funny character and I love pretty much everything she says.

Boo, You Whore.

Name a time a characters decision has made you roll your eyes.

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Becky Bloomwood from the Shopaholic series. That girl just never learns!!

Top Ten Tuesday: ALL TIME Favorite Authors

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors.

Rainbow Rowell

1. Rainbow Rowell. Her writing is beautiful, her characters are amazing. Everything she writes is pure magic.
Favorite book: Attachments

Linwood Barclay

2. Linwood Barclay. My Go-To author for great mysteries.
Favorite book: No Time for Goodbye

Maggie Stiefvater

3. Maggie Stiefvater. She writes some of the most amazing characters I’ve ever read.
Favorite book: The Raven Boys

Jojo Moyes

4. Jojo Moyes. Another writer with beautiful writing and amazing characters.
Favorite book: One Plus One

Kasie West

5. Kasie West. She writes really adorable YA that’s always fun to read.
Favorite Book: On the Fence

Jennifer L. Armentrout

6. Jennifer Armentrout. She writes characters with funny, snarky dialogue that I love. Plus, Daemon Black.
Favorite Book: Obsidian

Marissa Meyer

7. Marissa Myer. Every book she writes just gets better!
Favorite Book: Cress

Gillian Flynn

8. Gillian Flynn. She writes really compulsive reads with amazingly psychopathic characters. Now can she please write a new book!?
Favorite Book: Gone Girl

Erin Morgenstern

9. Erin Morgenstern. She wrote one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. Can she write a new book already, too?!
Favorite Book: The Night Circus

Kristan Higgins

10. Kristan Higgins. My favorite of all romance writers. Her books are full of fun and family and love.
Favorite Book: The Best Man

What are some of your favorite authors? Have you read any of mine?

Stephanie's Book Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Like To Check In With

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Characters You’d Like To Check In With (meaning, the book or series is over and you so just wish you could peek in on the “life” you imagine they are leading years down the line after the story ends).

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

1. Katness, Peeta, Haymitch, Gale. I needed more from the ending of the Hunger Games series.

Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)

2. Kami and Jared from the Lynburn Legacy. I want to see them living their happily ever after.

Illusions of Fate

3. Jessamin and Finn from Illusions of Fate.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

4. The Raven Boys and Blue. I know this series isn’t over yet, but I already miss them! I want to read about them forever.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

5. Anna and St. Claire. I want to see them  married.

Sacrifice (Elemental, #5)

6. The Merrick brothers from the Elemental series. The last book left things so open!

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

7. Juliette and Warner! I want to see them ruling the world.

The Night Circus

8. Everyone from The Night Circus

Gone Girl

9. Nick & Amy Dunne and their grown-up child. I would love to see what became of this hostile couple and if their child ended up as crazy as Amy.

Attachments

10. Lincoln & Beth because we didn’t get enough of their Happily Ever After.

Top Ten Tuesday: ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years. In no particular order, they are:

The Night Circus

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

2. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Illusions of Fate

3. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

One Plus One

4. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)

5. The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

6. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

I've Got Your Number

7. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophia Kinsella

Defending Jacob

8. Defending Jacob by William Landay

Gone Girl

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Stephanie's Book Reviews

Reviewing the Unreviewed: October + Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday! I have nothing book related to say about that, but I just wanted to share it 🙂  Yesterday at work my coworkers made me a candy bouquet!

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Before I get to my reviews, I want to say that you probably won’t see a lot from me in November, as I am attempting to participate in NaNoWriMo. If I’m successful at this, it means way less time for reading, so we’ll see how it goes. Now, onto the book stuff…

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.

In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)

In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4) by Kristan Higgins. Read September 30 – October 2. 3 stars.

Another adorable book by Kristan Higgins. I liked that there was a pretty decent presence of the whole Holland clan in this one.        

Always On My Mind (Lucky Harbor, #8)           

Always on My Mind (Lucky Harbor #8) by Jill Shalvis. Read October 13-14. 3 stars.

I’ve read one other book by Shalvis and didn’t love it, but was encouraged to give her another shot, so I picked this one because of my love for the Fake Relationship trope. However, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. There weren’t really any cute moments where they were a fake couple out and about. It was just kind of announced they were couple to the town and the only times they were together really were in private where some slightly-more-graphic-than-I-would-like things happened. I felt like their background could have been expanded on and the side-plot was a little too predictable. But overall, it was an ok read.

Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally. Read October 20-21. 3 stars.

While the premise of this book was interesting and had some unique aspects, I had a lot of issues with this book. Mostly in the relationships between the characters and how the guys viewed it. One example, a girl really liked one of the guys and slept with him and when Jordan asks him about how he feels about the girl his answer is that “she’s a good lay” and it’s a nice stress reliever. The whole book highlights all the reasons why these characters are too immature to be having sex, yet it is never addressed as being emotionally harmful, but completely normal and casual.

There were times that I was ready to give this book 1 star, but because of it’s interesting premise and the fact that I liked how it ended, I’m giving it three. I’m going to try the next book in the series only because I got the 3 book bundle from the library.

Stealing Parker

Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2) by Miranda Kenneally. Read October 21-21. 3.5 stars.

3.5 stars. I liked this book better than the previous one in the series. While it had it’s own set of issues, it made up for all the issues I had with the previous book (which was not showing any of the possible emotional effects all the casual sex could bring). I also thought it was interesting that it involved God and a relationship with Him and church, without being preachy. It had the full spectrum of “church people” which is unusual to see in a non-Christian-fiction book.

Perhaps my biggest problem was that Parker’s mom’s big life lesson to her daughter was to do whatever makes you happy and to forget everyone else. That may work sometimes for a seventeen-year-old, but as a mother of 2, it kind of makes you horrible.

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2)

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2) by Jennifer Armentrout. Read October 22-24. 2 stars.

This book didn’t really keep my attention. I think it was a bit longer than it had to be. An interesting twist in this series is that readers get the chance to vote for which guy in the love triangle we want Layla to end up with in the next book. However, I didn’t feel like it was written in a way for there to be any real contest. I think it’s obvious who it’s supposed to be, even though I’m totally voting for the other guy!     

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

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris. Read October 24-25. 3 stars.

I’ve been looking forward to this book for awhile and ended up being a little underwhelmed. While it was overall cute, it didn’t have a lot of the things I love about the fake relationship trope.

Racing Savannah

Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally. Read October 25-26. 3 stars.

When book 3 in this series didn’t keep my attention, I skipped to this one. It was ok, but I think it’s the last in this series that I’ll read.

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BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)  The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)  Visions (Cainsville, #2)

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Visions (Cainsville #2) by Kelley Armstrong. These are all books I barely started and  just couldn’t get into. I was in a pretty big reading slump, so I put them back on the TBR shelf.

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RE-READS

Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I wanted to read this again before I watched the movie. While I prefer the book to the movie, I thought the movie was very well done. And I forgot just how much I loved the book!