Top Ten Tuesday – Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

Oh my. Do I have many? Yes. Hold on because I’ll probably upset you with at least one of them.


  • Schwab is a pretty sub-par author.

First unpopular opinion and I’m playing with the big boys now.

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If you don’t get this gif, we can’t be friends.

But, seriously. When I look back on when Chantel and I read A Darker Shade of Magic (our joint review is here), I rated it higher than I should have. It was fine, but it wasn’t that great. Then, I finished that series and hated it. I’ve also read City of Ghosts and, well, hated it.

The thing is, she had great ideas, but I hate how she carries them out.

  • JKR is a horrible person.

I’ve majorly had to separate myself from her as a person and an author. I will not read anything new she comes out with. Those Harry Potter “textbooks” she’s doing? Not buying them. I won’t read another Cormoran Strike novel. I won’t go see her damned pointless movies, Broadway show, or anything else.

I think she’s a horrible person, one I can’t endorse. She’s not a human rights advocate when she blocks and lets her rabid fans attack people from cultures outside her own for not representing them correctly. Not to mention queerbaiting and transphobia.

  • Authors can ship whatever the hell they want to.

For a while, Chantel (who does our Twitter) was lurking and reading the threads that popped up about authors and slamming them for shipping incest in books or TV shows. I’m pretty sure this was more around Game of Thrones (which is 100000% incest last I checked).

But, I don’t give a shit what authors ship. Whatever they want to ship is fine. Shipping doesn’t denote what they really believe about the issues at hand. I’m chill with incest ships, but that doesn’t mean I advocate for people to have incestuous relationships.

  • I don’t like Six of Crows.

I just can’t with it. I think it’s the YA aspect of it because I love adult books that have heists and a gang of unlikely people teaming up. But, it just was so boring and I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.

  • The Illuminae Files series is pretty meh.

I swear I’m going to go back one day and re-rate this series on Goodreads. I gave all of the books four stars but, when I think back at them, I’m like “they were just okay, not really good”. The plots are basically the same in all the books. The characters are all the same. I honestly don’t remember much of them and I have no plans to read them again or read anything else those two authors colab on.

  • Lila Bard is insufferable.

Yeah, I hate her. I think she’s just dumb. I know I’ve seen arguments about if male characters did what she did we wouldn’t feel that way about them. But, no. Stupid is stupid.

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I don’t care if the person is man, woman, or another identity. If they’re doing stupid, impulsive things I’m going to think they’re dumb.

  • Same with Sirius Black.

I hate Sirius. Well, I don’t know if I’d go that far. I just don’t like him. When he died in the books, I never felt sorry for him. I felt for Harry. But Sirius was a shitty person. I know it’s because he was emotionally stunted at the age of 20ish from spending years in jail. He never had a chance to mature. But, I still don’t like him. He’s as bad as Snape.

  • I have major side-eye for people who think Snape is a redeemable character.

I just don’t get it??? He bullied children. He physically harmed them. He tried to kill people. He was a Death Eater.

But, suddenly, when he’s ~~in looooveee~~ with Harry’s mom and was a double agent the whole time, that’s forgiven???? Sorry, but no. I think Snape is a shitty person. And his love? Jesus Christ that’s not love. Imagine you have a friend who was best friends with someone else. This person hangs out with the wrong crowd, insults them, and bullies people. Would you tell your friend to get with them and that they’re just some misunderstood creature? I sure as hell wouldn’t. I’d be telling my friend to watch their back.

  • I’m tired of forced romances (i.e. The Gilded Wolves, Spin the Dawn, Six of Crows, etc.) rather than keep characters friends.

Ugh. Romance is so overrated. It gets in the way of epic fantasies/heists/gang of people. I love books like IT where romance is kinda there but it’s literally not that important. All of those books I listed had forced romances and they just made no sense to me.

  • Overall, I wish there was less romance in YA period.

I know that relationships and fitting in is a huge part of the teen years. I know Erikson’s theory about identity v. role confusion. And, for a lot of people, testing identity goes hand in hand with relationships. However, I think most romance is pointless in YA. I’m fine with it when it’s done well, but most of the time it destroys the plot and then there’s love triangles (when I’ve never seen one IRL). Also, I start skimming and miss things in the book because I don’t want romance.


Talk to me!
What are your unpopular opinions??
Do we share any?

30 Days of Pride – Day 10

Once again, I’m going to tip my hat off to Youtube. Considering the rate of demonetization of queer creators, I want to promote them as much as possible. These are also people I watch on a daily basis. These creators are people I watch when I’m feeling down. I can turn to queer creators when I’m feeling alone. These are just two of my favorites.


Rose & Rosie Channel

Rose & Rosie

These two are a British married couple and are #couplegoals. Their videos are hilarious and most of the time it’s just the two of them bullshitting on a sofa together. In fact, that’s pretty much all they do and I love it.

They are two of the funniest Youtubers I’ve watched and their videos don’t need a lot other than the two of them to be funny. If you aren’t careful you’ll get sucked down the rabbit hole of videos.

They also have a book coming out later this month called Overshare. I haven’t read it yet, but I will definitely be checking it out!

Book review – Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Caidyn's review (1)

Radio Silence

4.5/5

CW: parental abuse, animal abuse, suicidal ideation, depression, and cyberbullying


I’ll be straight up honest with y’all. (And, you’re thinking: Caidyn, when aren’t you??) But, I didn’t expect to like this book. I really didn’t. Yes, it’s queer. Yes, it’s got ace rep. Yes, it’s not very romantic.

But, here’s the thing, I don’t really read contemporary YA. Contemporary anything, really.

Yet, everyone kept telling me how amazing it was and that it’s just so great and blah blah blah. I finally decided to pick it up and give it a try since, you know, it’s Pride.

I really, really liked this book.

There’s only one con that I can think of and that’s that it really slowed down in the latter half of the book. I wasn’t a fan of how far it slowed down and that it got really depressing. Two characters dealing with depression and one having obvious suicidal thoughts. But, that’s it.

First, I loved the rep. The MC of this is Frances. She’s an Ethiopian-British bi girl struggling with school and what she wants to do.

Then, there’s Aled who’s definitely demisexual — demisexuality, for those who might not know, is a part of the asexual spectrum and is when someone only feels sexual attraction when they have a close bond with someone they’re romantically inclinded to — and questioning. I know some people say he’s demi and gay (as in, homoromantic, or only feeling romantically towards men), but it was never stated that he’s only into guys.

There are also wonderful side characters. Daniel, who’s a gay Korean immigrant. Carys, Aled’s sister and who’s lesbian. Raine, a friend of Frances and is an pan Indian woman.

Basically, the diversity was amazing. I loved how it was written and, honestly, the ace rep was perfect. It felt so accurate and I loved that romance just wasn’t the main point. I need more books like that, where romance isn’t a part of the story. It was in the background, but it wasn’t a huge thing.

And, I gotta love a questioning ace. I’ve been there and I felt the pain that Aled was going through as well. Just trying to figure out who the hell he is.

The plot is pretty basic. Frances loves this YouTube channel, Universe City, that’s basically like Welcome to the Night Vale. It’s her nerdy thing. But, Frances is, in a way, two people. She’s the person she is at school then she’s the person she is at home. And the split is slowly killing her. She became friends with Carys, but Carys ran away and only Frances knows why and blames herself for it.

Frances becomes friends with Aled, discovering his secrets, the good and the bad. I have to say, Aled was such a hard character to read. Mainly because I have his kind of coping skills. Something’s bothering me emotionally? Don’t talk about it. I have no problem telling someone when I don’t like what they’re physically doing, but I’m not good at confrontation on an emotional level. If that makes any sense. I usually wait until I can’t take it anymore and explode at the person. Which is, in a way, how Aled handles things.

This book was just so good on so many levels. I wish I could say more about the plot, but I’m worried that I’ll get into spoiler territory and ruin some of the reveals and different things. What I can say is that this book was excellent. It was such an enjoyable read and that I’ll definitely be reading Oseman more from now on.


Talk to me!
Have you read this? What did you think?
What Oseman book should I read next?

30 Days of Pride – Day 9

We all know about how tragedy is a trope in LGBTQ+ lit, movies, TV, etc. It really sucks, but when it’s done well it can be cathartic. I want to promote happy queer content as much as possible, but today I’m going to talk about something that’s not happy.


A Single Man poster

I’m going to preface this by saying that I haven’t read the book written by Christopher Isherwood. I have it and I want to read it but I haven’t. However, I absolutely love this movie. It’s beautifully directed by Tom Ford, who is a fashion designer by the way. It’s a very artistic movie and really puts the audience in the time and place of the 1960s.

It’s not a happy movie, that’s for sure. George, played by Colin Firth has lost the man he loves and as a result, is very depressed. I feel like this movie was a good portrayal of grief and depression. I thought it was beautifully filmed and well done.

It’s tragic, it’s gay, but Colin Firth did such an amazing job as George and it’s worth a watch just to see him work.

 

500 Follower Q&A!!

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As I said, I wanted to do a Q&A to celebrate reaching 500 followers!

Thank you all for asking your questions for us and for following us. We love all of you and, trust me, I’m so happy that we reached this milestone!

Let’s jump into the questions, though!


Seji @ the artisiangeek asked: What’s our profile picture?

Okay, our profile picture is an inside joke.

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I’m not allowed to talk about our name, but it has something to do with it. Either way, it’s buff bears dressed like Wonder Woman.


Virginia asked: How did Chantel and I meet?

Okay, so we met online. We used the same platform for online role-playing. Got randomly matched together and we decided to continue over email. Then, we just kinda started chatting about plot and characterization. Then we talked about ourselves. Then we just kind of went from there.

Either way, we’ve been friends for three years now! And, I know that we’re going to be friends for a lot longer!


Ally asked: Many questions!

  • If you could only name your cats/dogs/children/plants after book characters from one book series, which book series and which names would you choose?

Hm. I actually have plants that I’ve named after Harry Potter characters! So, Harry Potter is my series since there are so many names. I have a plant named Fred’n’George because it’s very colorful like them. Then I have a prickly succulent thing (I’m not good at plant names) that I named Rubeus because it’s got a prickly exterior but it’s pink.

  • Who was your favourite childhood author?

JKR was definitely my favorite. I also loved R.L. Stine because I just adore horror with all of my heart.

  • What spell from Harry Potter do you wish you could use?

Riddikulus! I’d love to be able to turn things that I’m afraid of into something silly.

  • What’s your favourite breakfast?

I don’t really eat breakfast?? If I cook something, it’s usually eggs. But I eat an apple at work every day for my breakfast.

  • Oh also what made you want to go into the field you work/study in? Is that what you always wanted to do? Do you enjoy it?

So, I’m studying social work right now at a master’s level. This time next year, I’ll have my MSW and (fingers crossed) be licensed as an LMSW. I really enjoy it and I’ve always wanted to go into a helping profession. For a bit I thought it would be as a psychologist, but social work is way more flexible and doesn’t take as long!


nsfordwriter asked: Fave things about blogging? What blog posts are you most proud of?

I think my favorite thing about blogging is interacting with you and seeing you all enjoy what I post. I really love that because, as you all know, blogging is hard. It’s gratifying to see your hard work recognized.

As for the posts I’m most proud of, I think my number one is the one I did about blogging burnout. We don’t talk about it, but it’s a serious thing. We talk about burnout in my profession a lot, but not about other things.


Soffii @ A Book. A. Thought asked: What genre have you never read, and why? Do you have any unpopular opinion about books in general?

Hm. I never read straight up romance. I can’t read romance. It’s not my thing. I can only think of one romance book that I’ve enjoyed before, but yeah. I don’t read it! It doesn’t reflect me and I get bored.

But, I have tons about unpopular opinions. I’ve written whole blog posts about it! Schwab, Bardugo, and other authors are way overhyped. Schwab is bad at plotting (never read a book by her I loved or enjoyed a lot). JKR is a horrible person and shouldn’t be considered a human rights campaigner. Kristoff’s Nevernight series is not YA. Oh and Illuminae is so boring when it comes down to it.

I could go on.


Thank you all again for asking me questions! I want to do this again when we get to 1000 followers. Maybe with a giveaway, too. But, we have to get to 1000 first!

Talk to me!

Who was your favorite author as a child?
What do you like most about blogging?
What are your unpopular opinions?

30 Days of Pride – Day 7 & 8

Since I completely forgot to have a post ready for Day 7, like a fool, I’m going to talk about two different shows.

I’m gonna be honest, Netflix doesn’t have the best track record with shows featuring LGBTQ+ characters. Two of my favorite shows were both canceled. The fact that they featured prominent queer characters made the blow that much worse. Whether it was intentional or not, it hurt. I really hope that the trend doesn’t continue.


First, I’m going to talk about the show Netflix hasn’t canceled (yet) and hope that if you have a subscription that you check it out because it’s really good.

Poster_for_Netflix's_Special

If you haven’t heard about Special, I don’t blame you. Netflix chooses which shows and movies to feature and I heard about Special from Twitter. Even then, I didn’t know much about the show until I looked it up. I even heard about it from my mom. Y’all don’t even realize how rare that is.

But let me give you a summary of this show. It stars Ryan O’Connell who has cerebral palsy and is starting an internship as a blogger. He’s also gay. It’s semi-autobiographical and to me, that makes it great. Here’s a gay, disabled man who gets to tell his story the way he wants and gets a mainstream platform to do so.

The episodes are short, about 15ish minutes, and there aren’t many so binging this show won’t take up a lot of time. It’s worth it, trust me. The side characters are fun too, such as Ryan’s best friend at his job and his mother who is trying to have a life while taking care of Ryan.

If low viewership is the reason why other queer Netflix shows were canceled then I hope this show doesn’t become the third victim of this trend.


The second show I’m going to talk about is a reboot of an old sitcom with way more diversity. You may have heard of it…

ODaaT
If you haven’t heard of it, go watch it!

For me, this cancelation by Netflix hurt. A lot. There were so many campaigns on Twitter that were trying to make sure this show got renewed. Hell, the creator and actors are still trying to save the show.

In the most popular sitcoms, if any male character is a tiny bit effeminate they are the punchline of a joke. I’m fucking talking about you, Friends. After a while, you get fucking tired of being the butt of all the jokes. The reason I loved One Day at a Time, was the laughter was never malicious.

This show is about a Cuban-American family and I loved that. A divorced mother who had been in the military is dealing with PTSD, and trying to raise her two kids while her mother sleeps in her living room. I know that sounds kind of dark, but they deal with it well. When shows aren’t afraid to get real, even if they are a sitcom, I appreciate that.

And of course, the daughter Elena is a lesbian.

gay me gay
And awkward af. I can relate.
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Instead of laughing at her, we are laughing with her. 

She also has a nonbinary love interest and that’s a big fucking deal. I’m pretty sure we can count on one hand the amount of nonbinary characters on TV and I hope that changes and is normalized like it was on One Day at a Time. Despite Elena being openly proud of being a lesbian, not everyone accepts her. Her mom struggles with it and her dad is not okay with it at all, but she doesn’t change who she is.

I miss this show so much and if it gets saved then I will be over the moon. However, I hope that TV networks take a look at this show and start setting examples of how sitcoms should be.

Rita Moreno is also funny as fuck.

Book review – Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Caidyn's review (1)

Miracle Creek

4/5

CW: child abuse, sexual assault, Asian fetishization, disfigurement, infertility, and death


What a book.

Throughout the whole thing, I kept reflecting on how this felt like Jodie Picoult back before she got stale. It was a tightly woven courtroom thriller that kept me guessing until the end. Hell, even when it was revealed what happened, I was shocked and still don’t quite believe it.

The Yoo family (Pak, Young, and Mary) moved to America from Korea and decided to start up a hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in a small, rather insular town. They treat a number of people with various “problems”. I use quotes because some of them aren’t problems and there’s definitely an underlying discussion of the medical vs. social construction views on disability that I really enjoyed.

One night, during a “dive,” something goes wrong. With people inside of the pressurized chambers, a fire breaks out. It kills some of the people in it and leaves others disfigured. In the end, the police find evidence that Elizabeth — Henry’s mother, a child who died in the fire — set it to kill her son because she’s been abusing him.

But is that really what happened that night?

I really loved that this book dealt with a lot of topics. Child abuse and what makes things child abuse. Do you have to leave a large, physical mark to call it abuse?

What about the medical model of disability? Are we wrong when we say that someone is disabled? I’ve read a lot about this — most notably Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure by Eli Clare — and I definitely lean more towards the social construction view of disability. But, I loved seeing how characters grappled with this issue.

Then, we have sexual assault and whether it was really a sexual assault. I know I struggled with it when I was labeling my content warnings. I kept switching it up, changing it from sexual assault to dubious consent then back to sexual assault; or wanting to add a caveat to it. In the end, I labeled it as sexual assault because that’s what it was, although it’ll be interesting to see what other people think.

Plus, throughout the novel, it grappled with the Korean culture and how different it is from the American one, the immigrant experience in different generations, the fetishization of Asian people.

I think the thing that I had the hardest time with was that there was so much going on in the book. It had so many hard topics buried in it that came up throughout the book, then there were so many characters that I could never keep them straight, then actually trying to figure out what really happened that night.

It was a lot. And I think that the author did well with juggling it all, but it was way too much for me. A lot of it could have been cut out without changing things. I loved the commentary on these things, but there was too much going on for it to be fully explored.

What my review comes down to, really, is that I’ll definitely be reading whatever Kim publishes next. She impressed me so much with this debut!


Talk to me!
Have you read this? What did you think?
What’s a great courtroom thriller that you’ve read and would recommend?

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

By the time Jesse realized where they were heading, it was too late to object.


Yet again, I’m only choosing the first line of this book. I felt like it was enough to leave it there at that.

So, this book is horror. It’s by, basically, my favorite horror author who has never let me down. The author is a woman (who is amazing!).

It is…

If You See Her

I haven’t started this yet, but I’m super hyped for it because I’ve been wanting some good horror recently! Sometimes I just crave it. I’m just trying to decide where I’m going to squeeze it into my reading schedule. I have a feeling this book will need to be read in one or two sittings.

The first line in the prologue definitely caught me. Too late for what? What is Jesse objecting over? Makes me super curious about what’s going to happen next!


Talk to me!
Would you read this based on the first line?
Do you have a favorite horror author?

30 Days of Pride – Day 6

I would be lying if I said I didn’t prefer my queer books to have happy endings. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy books that completely rip apart my soul.

The Song of Achilles cover

Our Joint Review

This book hit me like a ton of fucking bricks and it HURT. SO. GOOD.

I don’t have too much to say about this book that hasn’t already been said. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Madeline Miller is the author I wish I could be and know I never will be. She has some of the most beautiful writing of all time and when I read her books I cry.

If you haven’t read either of her books, check them out. Some authors have a fucking gift and Madeline Miller has it.

I mean, I loved Circe too and that wasn’t even gay.

Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Hello all!

I was tagged in this by the always amazing Laura! Spring cleaning is one of my favorite things, although I rarely do it in the spring since that’s when shit hits the fan in my school life. I usually wait until summer. I know it’s not technically summer, but I’m on my summer break so I count it. Thank you for tagging me, Laura!


THE STRUGGLE OF GETTING STARTED: A BOOK OR SERIES YOU STRUGGLE TO BEGIN BECAUSE OF ITS SIZE

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)

This series was very hard for me to start because I had never read Sanderson and there are so many books with interconnected worlds. Now I’ve finished this, but it was hard at first because I had no idea where to start. (My review.)

CLEANING OUT THE CLOSET: A BOOK OR SERIES YOU WANT TO UNHAUL

The Memoirs of Cleopatra

I love Cleopatra and have since I was a kid. Yet, I don’t love Margaret George. I read one book by her — The Confessions of a Young Nero — but I tried to pick up other books by her only to find that the main character’s voice in the books was pretty similar and it felt like they were all the same. So, I don’t want my lovely Cleopatra’s name tarnished.

OPENING THE WINDOW AND LETTING FRESH AIR IN: A BOOK THAT WAS REFRESHING

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1)

I don’t usually read YA mystery, but when I have I typically am amazed. This book was very refreshing! I was very hesitant about this book, but I thought that it handled rape, drug addiction, and PTSD very well. That was refreshing because I never felt like I was being smacked over the head with things or it was forgotten about for a while then, suddenly, the author remembered and put it in. (My review.)

WASHING OUT THE SHEETS: A SCENE THAT YOU WISH YOU COULD REWRITE

The Picture of Dorian Gray

It’s not a scene so much as a whole chapter. While this is one of my all-time favorites, there’s one chapter that bores me to death every time. I think anyone who has read this will know the one. It’s the one where Wilde goes over in painstaking detail all the things that Dorian got interested in. Paintings. Gems. Fabric. Books. God, I want it to stop every time I reread it. Needed major editing. (My review.)

THROWING OUT UNNECESSARY KNICK-KNACKS: A BOOK IN A SERIES YOU DIDN’T THINK WAS NECESSARY

I honestly cannot think of a book! Maybe that’s because I think that all books in series are needed in some way. Maybe that’s because I really did block out the book from my memory. Either are very good possibilities.

POLISHING DOORKNOBS: A BOOK THAT HAD A CLEAN FINISH

The Escape Room

My review for this will be up next week, but it had a very clean finish to it. It was wonderful and I always appreciate books that chop it clean in a way that didn’t feel too abrupt. Perfect stand-alone thriller.

REACHING TO DUST THE FAN: A BOOK THAT TRIED TOO HARD TO RELAY A CERTAIN MESSAGE

Crime and Punishment

This was one classic that I hated. Yes, I plan on rereading it at some point, but when I read it in high school I hated it. I thought that it beat me over the head with the message that all crime is punished, whether by the law or guilt eating a person up inside. Whenever I think about this book, I cringe a little bit to this day.

THE TIRING YET SATISFYING FINISH: A SERIES THAT WAS TIRING BUT SATISFYING TO GET THROUGH

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)

Okay. I gave this book five stars, but oh my god I didn’t like it until I got to 100 pages left. I thought it was going to end on a dud and it was a bore to get through for me. I’m very glad that I’ve read it and I can’t wait to move onto book four, but it was a slog. (My review.)


I tag:

Lori | Kayla | Elise | Evelyn | Sara