Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Top Ten Tuesday | Hyped Books I've Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week's theme is 'Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read' or, in my case, in which Jess has read basically none of the most popular YA books out there.

I have nothing against YA. In fact I think YA's pretty great, but I definitely haven't read mainly YA in a while. I don't want to say I've 'grown out of it' because a) I don't think it's possible to grow out of books and b) I think saying something like that sounds as though you're saying YA is a juvenile genre, when actually there's a lot of really important YA out there.

However, as a reader who primarily reads speculative fiction I find it very hard to read YA that isn't the same as the last YA book I read. I think the genre is definitely starting to change, in fact it's always changing, but what I mean is it does seem to finally be growing out of the constant love triangles between the heroines who aren't like other girls, who are plain but stunning, and the two guys who are either the friendzoned best friend or the dark, brooding asshole.

Anyway. There's a lot of YA I haven't read, despite how popular it might be, because it falls into that trend and, not to sound too much like a hipster, I really hate that aspect of YA. I hate the sameness to so many books in the genre, though I fully understand there are plenty of YA books that are completely different.

(I should also say that if the books I just said I didn't like are the books you do like, that's fine! I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad about what they read, this is just how I personally feel.)

I also find myself reading a lot more standalones than series nowadays, and it's so rare to come across a YA book in the speculative fiction category that doesn't get stretched into a series.

So some of these hyped books I haven't read for the reasons above, and there's nothing wrong with that, and some of them (not all of them are YA!) I haven't read because I just haven't gotten to them yet!

On with my list!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: This has been on my TBR for a long while, and now I even own a copy so I will get around to it at some point, but I'm very hesitant to go into it. On the one hand I love that this is a YA book with an overweight protagonist, but on the other hand I've seen many reviews that have talked about the blatant racism and fetishism surrounding Park that have made me really reluctant to pick it up. The reviews I've seen in which they've pulled direct quotes from the book have made me cringe.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: I know a lot of people love this book and the two books that follow it, but it's just never interested me. I did enjoy Stephanie Perkins' story 'It's a Christmas Miracle, Charlie Brown' in My True Love Gave to Me, but I still have no real interest in picking up any of her novels.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Maas and I just don't get along. I have nothing against her personally, of course, but I just have no interest in her stories. I picked up a copy of Throne of Glass and then ending up DNFing it after a couple of chapters because I just wasn't feeling it, and I have no interest whatsoever in A Court of Thorns and Roses. I think it's amazing that she has such a huge fanbase, it's really lovely, but sadly I'm not one of those fans.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: Again, I just have no interest in reading this series. See? YA blasphemy. I know Cassandra Clare has an even bigger fanbase than Sarah J. Maas, but I've just never found any of her books that appealing. Plus I don't like the way she speaks to some of her readers.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: Yet another series I have no interest in. I don't like love triangles and, even though a lot of people seem to love him, Warner puts a bad taste in my mouth and I really don't like it when a character's behaviour is excused because they have daddy issues.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: Now this one I would quite like to read, I've just never gotten around to it. Since Twilight I've stayed away from YA vampire stories, but I don't think that's fair because I imagine there are plenty of YA vampire stories that are amazing. Though I must admit I've never found vampires that interesting; when it comes to fantastical creatures I'm a lot more interested in witches and werewolves. I've heard a lot of great things about this series, so I'd like to give it a try eventually!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: I've owned Fangirl since it was released because I'd heard such wonderful things about it, but ever since I came across those reviews of Eleanor & Park I've been hesitant to go near any of Rowell's writing. The only novel of her's I've read is Attachments, which I thought was only okay, and I read her short story in My True Love Gave to Me which, while I enjoyed it, wasn't one of my favourites. Not only that but I've been nervous to read a book about a girl starting uni now that I've left, because I'm worried I'll feel really sad.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: I own this and I can't wait to get to it, I just haven't read it yet!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: Same goes for this one, I haven't read it yet but it's waiting on my shelf for me!

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson: I own this one too, in fact I own the whole Mistborn trilogy because I heard such amazing things about it, but I'm slowly getting back into high fantasy and I don't feel quite ready to tackle this one yet. I will, though!

Which books made your list?


    1. I think the problems with Eleanor & Park came out of a genuine attempt to portray teenage infatuation and attraction, without really thinking about the way it came across. If I remember rightly, anyway. I don't think I found anything problematic in Fangirl. I like Rowell's style, though, and really enjoyed Attachments. If you're not a fan so far, probably not worth making yourself read 'em.

      I liked A Court of Thorns and Roses a lot more than Throne of Glass. The latter was written when Maas was about sixteen, and I don't think editing fixed the problems with it that came from immaturity.

    2. I loved Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. Realistic characters and beautiful story line. Hope you gat a chance to read them. MyTTT

    3. Hiya I'm a new follower! :-) We have similar picks, I've never read the Vampire Academy books or The Raven Boys. I really want to read TRB though, it sounds like a great series :-) I adored Fangirl and Eleanor & Park! :-)

      Here's my TTT if you would like to check it out :-) Have a great day! :-)

    4. I wasn't a huge fan of E&P but Fangirl? Totally amazing, so don't give up hope on it just quite yet! I have a rocky relationship with Maas' books too, I was really meh on ACoTaR. Pretty cover, but not so great in terms of content IMO.

      Great list! <33

    5. Awesome selection here^^ Out of all of these, I've read Raven Boys, The Final Empire (both FAVORITES of mine ♥♥), ACOTAR and Fangirl (love!) and City of Bones and Eleanor & Park (no comment LOL) Shatter Me made my TTT post this week but I also really want to read Vampire Academy :)

    6. I lot of people have problems with E&P, but I didn't. I don't know if I didn't read it carefully or if it is because I read it quite a while ago, but I thought it was sweet yet meaningful, and enjoyable. I haven't read a lot of these either, and I think I will be skipping Shatter Me, Vampire Academy, and Anna and the French Kiss.
      Thanks for stopping by the The Local Muse

    7. I really enjoyed Eleanor and Park! I know I'm in the minority with preferring it over Fangirl though. Thank you for stopping by my blog earlier

    8. Anna and the French Kiss was good. E&P I still need to read.

      Thanks for sharing!
      Here's my TTT

      My $30 giveaway ends soon so check it out.

    9. Ooo, I feel you with the YA problem. As I got deeper into writing, I noticed formulas more and more in YA and it was disappointing. But they're great for a fast read/beach day and as you said things are changing. That said, you might be able to skip Cassandra Clare's book. I know a lot of people enjoyed it, and honestly I did too my when it came my way, but it is formulaic and (sadly) forgettable.

      Fangirl intrigues me too. I'll get around to it...eventually.

    10. I really like YA, but dislike the trope you describe so well, which makes life complicated at times...
      I thought Vampire Academy was okay, but I went in with low expectations. I loved E&P and liked Fangirl. I have issue with people pulling quotes out of context in order to "prove" something about a book. A book wound up getting banned at my school last year because someone pulled some cussing out of context. I have more issues with Cassandra Clare than Rainbow Rowell.

    11. I have one Brandon Sanderson book waiting on my bookshelf. It has been there a while. It has just never seemed like the right time to pick it up. It was interesting to see one of his books on someone's list today.

    12. Okay, let's see: I did love Shatter Me. But if you don't like love triangles, then it's definitely a skip for you! Good call on TMI- it's so long and so boring. Just... don't do it. ;) I also grew into SJM (I JUST realized that she and I have the same initials- it was strange to type that!), I did NOT like the beginning of ToG, but I think she definitely has grown as a writer, as the books have, for me anyway, gotten much better!

      Read ADSOM. I haven't read any of the others on your list, BUT most of them are on my TBR also- and like you, there ARE a few I am wary about (Eleanor and Park, Anna). Great list!

      Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    13. Hi Jess,
      I would highly recommend Vampire Academy. It's got the same flair as her succumbs series and I found it quite gripping! I was reluctant for the exact same reason! This series is more, "yeah they're vampires, so what?" Compared with Twilights, "oo! Shiny!". This is one of the extremely rare vampire books I've enjoyed.
      I hope you enjoy it too,
      Amy x

    14. I hope you like the Raven Boys! I ADORE MAGGIE STIEFVATER. I love aaaall her books and afjlsdka I just adore those adorable Raven Boys. The dialogue is just so perfect in there. *happy sigh* OH. I just recently read the first Mistborn book! I was really proud of myself, hehe, because I do like epic fantasy but the really big ones? I often get lost in them and too overwhelmed. But I just read Mistborn in tiny increments and really enjoyed it! I'm not rushing out for the rest, but I'll read them one day.
      Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    15. I don't blame you for not being interested in City of Bones...it was okay, and so was the second book, but I didn't see a need to continue forward with it because they were so underwhelming. Shatter Me is a love it or hate it series. I personally like it because it's so screwed up, but not because I particularly like their situation if that makes any sense.And if I'm being honest both guys (Adam and Warner) are not very good fits for the main character. And thing Brandon Sanderson gets my immediate vote of approval. I haven't read his Mistborn series yet either, but I've read some of his other books and really loved them. Elantris is my all time favorite from him.