Books exist to make you FEEL something or LEARN something or just to be entertained. In a perfect world, you get all three in one. A lot of the time I find myself whispering things in my head about the book/characters/author/plot while I read. Most commonly I think “goddammit I wish I could write a book like this,” but a lot of the time I think the following things:
Normally this is a very excited kind of “omg what is even happening?” because I have no other ways to phrase my excitement and wonderment about how it’s possible for a book to be this good. Sometimes I just want to squeal and run around with the book. (Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke proved to be a great book for me, in this regard.) There are a lot of instances where I find myself so in awe of the book that I can’t even form a real-sounding sentence in my head about it. Of course, this can also be used negatively: like what the fuck is happening, I am very confused/stupid.
I have this thought a LOT. I am always wondering how authors are able to write what they do. I’ve met the characters and explored their world a little bit – now what is actually going to happen in this book?? I love when I read fantasy or sci-fi books and genuinely don’t have the brain power to predict what the plot will be like. I hardly ever think about this when I’m reading contemporary romance, because I can almost always predict that. Otherwise I’m just constantly wondering HOW the author is going to write a book and create events and just be a an author. Jennifer L. Armentrout, how did you ever come up with the idea to make DEMONS and GARGOYLES the main characters in White Hot Kiss? You crazy girl.
Another big (somewhat similar) question is wondering how the book is going to end. Sometimes I just can’t possibly fathom what the character is going to do. Books like this are awesome because you can eagerly await the end without thinking you’ve somehow figured it out. One major book like this for me recently was One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington. Is she going to kill herself? Is she going to live both lives? What about the boy??? HELPPP
I mean this is obvious, right? The main characters OBVIOUSLY love each other and need to get down to business but as usual they’re taking their sweet time arriving at the destination. Some of that can be GREAT slow burn style, but some of it can be frustrating because it’s soooo obvious and unnecessary. I loved the slow burn in Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally, but found Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins kind of annoying at times. (Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the book – I just didn’t see ANY redeeming qualities to Max and didn’t get what Lola was waiting for.)I haven’t read a lot of bad books this year. And I almost never DNF books. (It’s happened once.) So I do occasionally find myself wondering why I am still reading a particular book when I am not enjoying it at all. Sometimes I really wish I had the will-power to stop reading books I don’t like, but it’s a particular skill I haven’t developed yet. The closest I’ve ever come to stopping with a book was The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. Snoozefest.
Yes, this happens a LOT when I read contemporary romances. It’s pretty obvious that the two main characters are going to end up together, they’re going to have the same issues with their friend(s) to get through in the meantime, and some other major miscommunication is going to happen. (Pretty standard in Rules of Summer/Since Last Summer by Joanna Philbin) I call these the “typical YA” books. Doesn’t stop me from reading them, though! #YOLO
Finishing the first book in a series can be a difficult thing, because then (most likely) there’s the DREADED wait until the next book. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT? There’s not necessarily a major cliffhanger or anything, but there’s something about the book’s characters and world that you just want to stay in forever. You never want the book to end. I felt this way with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Those characters were my favorites and I just wanted to stay wrapped up in their world forever. Gimme book two, dammit!
This could be great and could be awful. Sometimes I’m so shocked by an ending that I just sit there with my mouth gaping open, regardless of the reason being good or bad. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was definitely one of those for me. Like most people, I didn’t enjoy the ending, but I thought it was fitting. Really how else could that book have ended? Didn’t stop me from sitting there like an idiot wondering if I ever wanted to get married.
Yeah, this reaction sucks. WHY did you end it that way dear author? I need more, more, more. This is usually my thought when I read a book with a cliffhanger that shouldn’t have been one. I’ve come to expect major cliffhanger endings from Sara Shepard, but the ending of The Perfectionists definitely took the cake. It was more abrupt than anything and of course left me wanting the sequel immediately. On the flipside, I felt like all of the action was building and building… then suddenly came to a screeching halt with the ending. I also wanted more from Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. The ending didn’t impress me half as much as the ending from The Husband’s Secret. Sigh.
FAVORITE REACTION. I’ve been known to sit on the couch clutching the book to my chest and smiling like an asshole for way too long. This reaction, folks, is indeed what dreams are made of. The book made you so happy and ended in the best way. The warm and fuzzies will last a very long time. I find that I am usually somewhat displeased with book endings, but Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler is the first one that comes to mind when I think of a solid ending. It left an appropriate amount of things open ended while answering the main things I’d wonder about.
Do you share any of these thoughts while reading?
How do you normally react when you finish a book?
First impression: Ready to figure out what’s going on!
Last impression: Grrrr
Format: Audiobook / 10 hr 20 min
Publishing Info: October 12th 2010 / Goodreads
Other books read by author: The Maze Runner
Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.
Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.
There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.
The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.
Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.
There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
First impression: Holiday senses are tingling
Last impression: That took me way too long
Format: Paperback / 260 pages
Publishing Info: October 26th 2010 / Goodreads
Other books read by author: None yet
“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”
16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges.
What follows is a whirlwind romance as Dash and Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City. But can their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions, or will their scavenger hunt end in a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
First impression: Let’s see if it lives up to hype
Last impression: Eeeeek can’t wait for the next
Format: Library hardcover / 358 pages
Publishing Info: June 5th 2012 / Goodreads
Other books read by author: None
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington
First impression: Parallel life – sign me up
Last impression: EEEEEKK
Format: Library hardcover / 352 pages
Publishing Info: July 22nd 2014 / Goodreads
Other books read by author: None
For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life – a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.
With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted… But just what – and who – is she really risking?
Tis the season — for a big ol’ giveaway!
The holidays are all about giving. We appreciate your support throughout the year and want to thank you; without our blogging audience we would just be talking to ourselves, after all😉 Just in time for the holidays, we’re giving away some major gift cards. Twenty of us bloggers are coming together to bring you: Book Nerds Unite, a Sharing is Caring giveaway!
To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below and start following some great bloggers. We’re offering a first place prize of a $150 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The second place winner gets $50 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Regardless, you’re a winner, because you get to add some great blogs to your feeds! Good luck!
Giveaway is US Only, running from 11/24/14 to 12/11/14. Winners selected at random. Please don’t mark a blog as followed if you haven’t in fact followed. All entries will be checked. Graphic created by Rachel at Hello, Chelly!