Books I Loved Less || Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Continuing my spree of surprising people with a series of posts, here we have a Top Ten Tuesday. Oh my word. And it’s going to talk about books that I loved less? (Woman, who are you?) New and improved. I have been on a reading journey the past year and I realized a lot of things that I did not know about myself. Yes, I was still reading last year. I just did not have the time to socialize lol. Anyways, let’s get to through this Top Ten (Five) Tuesday, shall we?

Side note: I am not saying that I don’t like these books (with the exception of the last one), but these are generally the books that I thought that I will absolutely love. It ended up being less than what I thought they were going to be. Oh expectations, and the hype. *sigh* And yes, these books are in order. If it is your favorite, yay for you! You liked it, and I didn’t (which is sad for me).

5. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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I wanted to like Gemina. I really did. It was one of my most anticipated reads last year, and I almost sacrificed an arm and a limb to get my hands on an advanced reader’s copy. But luckily, I did not.

I still thoroughly enjoyed this book, particularly loving a new character named Ella. She was another girl behind the computers and I bet she and my mom Kady will get along just fine. The chemistry between Hannah and Nik did not work well with me, and I still shipped Kady and Ezra more. The fact that the characters from the last book had more impact on me than the characters that were basically in the last 500 pages is saying a lot. The action was still there, and I am still very much intrigued on how the series will go from there. I just thought that this one will automatically get 5 stars from me.

4. Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

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For crying out loud, this was a historical fiction novel. Bianca, this should have been automatically rated as a 5-star read. I know, right? But why not, you ask?

I found myself dragging over some of the parts, like Jacob and Zofia’s perspectives. I need not to read their endeavors since I did not get much at all. I was also excited to just immerse myself in the world, but the characters took that one star away from making it a 5.

I like books with multiple perspectives, and 3rd person narratives are always the best kind of books to read for me. I found Alexander nice, and Katerina lovely. The queen was definitely a character that I would want to read more of. That’s why I was still able to give the 4 star rating for this book.

3. Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

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Oh man. I had such high hopes for this book. Again, it all comes down to expectations. I wanted to read something that will hit me hard in the feels. Yet, did this book deliver? Not really, as I stated in my review.

It did succeed in giving me a lot of feels, feelings of hatred for one of the main characters. Mia was unbearable. I understand where her hatred is coming from, but she came off really strong and unpleasant.

I generally loved everything else, the message it wants to get out there, and the writing style. It was actually quite refreshing to read a book set outside the United States. //shot But the feelings were all negative, accompanied by a resolution that was just meh, and a character that did not look like she will change for the better.

2. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

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WE GET IT. YOU BROKE UP. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE 400 PAGES LONG?

I ended up DNF-ing this book after wanting it for so long. Our school library had it on its shelves (much to my surprise)  and I wanted to lay back and just read. I ended up returning it the two days after with a whole week still under my belt because I just had enough.

What I read was a string of conclusions that are woven to make a coherent conclusion realizable from the very first page. Do you get me? As for now, this one gets two stars from me. Writing style is okay, and the art was simply gorgeous, but with everything that is spiraling around, it gets a no from me right now.

1. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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I had a series kick last year, and this one was actually on my list. I did expect to like it, because my own classmates gave me good ratings for this book. But sad to say, yes. I hate this book because of the CHARACTERS again.

Juliette annoyed every fiber of my being and so did Adam and Warner, who I think are both dominant and abusive as fudge. This book was just full of bad decision-making. -_-

I discontinued reading the sequel despite wanting some more Kenji action (who I think is the most sensible person in this entire trilogy). I had hopes that Juliette would make more sense in the next book, but it ended up like a cliche. I was able to predict the next twists and turns, based on the direction that those guys are headed. But fret not, it could have been a one star if not for Tahereh Mafi’s glorious writing style. I love you guys, and I know that a lot of you loved this book in particular. But I am not sorry for disliking these characters. The frustration was just strong.


I narrowed the list down to five because we could be here all day if I did list down ten books. I actually have more books to share about but this post is getting too long for me. I might be boring you with the details already.

And that’s a Tuesday for you and for me.

What books should I give a second look to? What books did you expect to love and loved less? Let me know so we can chat in the comments below!

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Book Review: Zac and Mia

This book will not follow my usual review format because this one is a special case.

Have you ever wanted to read a book so badly… and be devastatingly disappointed? Well, it just happened to me. And I am one sad fangirl.

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20256715Title: Zac and Mia

Author: A. J. Betts

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Date Published: 24th of July 2013

Series: None

Publisher: Text Publishing

Source: Paperback, bought from Fully Booked

Summary:

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this tough and tender young adult novel that’s a lot about love (and a little about cancer).

“When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.” So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.

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There was something off. Flying through the book felt like a breeze, but it was a hot steam kind of breeze. The book has the fair share of pros and cons, which I will gladly lay down.

Pros: It discussed a heavy topic in a lighter mood. Hard-hitting illnesses such as cancer is messy to deal with, if not done properly. Yet this book managed to deliver it in a manner where it’s targeted audience could understand it, and it still leaves room for further research. The writing was made for young adults to learn something, and it is commendable that the author has shed more light unto such topic.

Cons: There is too much angst. This comes in the form of Mia, one of the main characters. Depending on the reader, her attitude will probably be on a hit or miss basis. There was so much hate that I could not stand while reading. It pains me to say that the anger is normal, but it can be frustrating.

Pros: The family that sticks together. This comes in the form of Zac’s family (and Mia’s, in the latter part). His family is downright supportive, especially his mom and his sister. The story has other characters who talk about the realities of the world, and it built up this “Everything is okay.” environment.

Cons: The unnecessary romance. It can be said that Zac and Mia are polar opposites, but the story could have centered more on a friendship aspect. I admit that I smiled when they had a cheesy moment. Yet it feels like something was off. One minute, it was bursting rage. Then in the next one, they say uplifting things sounds cute. But then you cut to Mia, who will suddenly burst your bubble. Zac is too nice, and he is a devoted friend. Mia on the other hand, is just angry.

Pros: The uplifting POV. This comes in the form of Zac. You get that he is having a bad time, as he weighs the chances. He is a character that will uplift and question at the same time, similar to that of Craig from It’s Kind of A Funny Story. The book started in his perspective, and I thought that it was going pretty well until;

Cons: The “I hate everything” POV. This comes in the form of Mia. Despite the message that Mia needs to learn how to love herself, it was painful to read rage. It went downhill from there.

Zac and Mia is a beautiful book full of aspiring thoughts, a cast of characters that find themselves, and a beautiful setting. I am probably at fault for raising my bar too high because despite the beauty of the prose, it felt flat for me. It was an easy read, and it is digestible for such a heavy topic. But if I had to drag myself to finish it then sadly, this book is not for me.

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(Know more about my rating system here.)

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AJ

AJ Betts is an Australian author, speaker, teacher and cyclist. ZAC & MIA, her third novel for teenagers, won the 2012 Text Prize, the 2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and the 2014 Ethel Turner prize for young adults at the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards. Inspired by her work in a children’s hospital, ZAC & MIA is available in 14 countries. AJ’s other novels are WAVELENGTH and SHUTTERSPEED (both with Fremantle Press). She’s lived in Perth since 2004.

Connect with A.J. on her:

Facebook || Twitter || Official Website

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