August 7, 2016

YA Tropes I Love | Discussion

The Young Adult genre is riddled with book tropes. From love triangles to the damsel in distress there are many different kinds of tropes, good and bad. I do find myself ranting about how often most tropes show up in books but there are the many few I can't stop reading about. Maybe that says a lot more about my personality and how easily I am entertained, but I assure you there is a reason behind my madness. 

1. Good Girl Likes Bad Guy

These books are just some examples of the trope that has been in YA since the beginning of time. The trope is as follows: there is a girl (usually the main heroine/protagonist) and she's this sweet-loving beauty. She's independent (and perhaps even shy) yet somehow she's missing something. Now to warn you all, this trope usually follows some sort of love triangle as there is the "safe" guy and then there is the brother/friend who is a rebel and enjoys breaking the rules. The girl is immediately more attracted to the "bad" boy. Why? Simply because the boy is more exciting and makes the girl feel like she's "actually living".

2. The All Powerful 

This is a trope I used to get annoyed at because the author would give too much power to a certain character. I thought this was just unfair and didn't make sense as no one is that powerful. However, if it is done correctly I honestly have no problem with it. Take Celaena in ToG for example. In the book, she's known as the most notorious assassin but the series shows her constant inner struggle with staying at the top, boy problems and finding her identity. So although she may be Adarlan's greatest assassin, she has flaws that make her her.

3. "OMG I'm a what"

PLEASE DON'T HATE ME FOR LOVING THIS TROPE. I know so many people who hate it because it's so cliche and we think that when these characters have these epiphanies, their whole world starts to change for the better. That's not true! In fact, for some characters finding out their true power might be even worse for them. One of my reasons for loving this trope is you really get to see the development they go through from before the change to after they've fully come to terms with their powers/right.

4. Best Friends Falling in Love

This is one trope I won't ever get tired of. For all those that aren't aware, I am a huge disbeliever of insta-love. I think it's so overrated, cliche and just unnecessary. I HATE IT! I sort of have this belief that two best friends falling in love is the opposite of insta-love, since these two people have known each other since the beginning so it would make sense for them to develop feelings. I've also had the experience of falling for a best friend, so I guess it's sort of just relatable. D'awww I know I know, Alex falling in love. Sounds silly, ehh? 

5. Falling for someone who's at the top of the food chain

Here's a better way of thinking about this trope: Imagine you're pining after this celebrity, who you know you can't have but you still love him/her to pieces. That's what this trope reminds me of. The feeling of longing and pursuing someone you know you'll never be with is weirdly fascinating to me. 

6. Teacher & Student Relationships 

This trope doesn't necessarily mean the teacher and student have to be in love. I'm just talking about students having a plain and simple connection with their teachers, other than what's talked about in class. I think we can all personally say that we've had that teacher who just understands us more than our friends do. I mean, don't get me wrong I'm all for a teacher as the love interest but it has to be done astonishingly well. The topic is frowned upon and is often called taboo. A great example is Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott, which took the whole book to develop the love between student and teacher. It wasn't mainly based off of attraction or as a mere tactic to boost a grade. I'm sorry but a horrible example of this trope would have to be in Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. For starters, the MC only liked the teacher because he was 'hot'. Another reason was because they 'did it' while they were still in the school building, which I think is stupidly reckless. 

There are some cases where the student and teacher have a common interest and therefore have a connection. This doesn't have to be romantic in any way. In Forgive Me Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick the MC is a troubled young man who plans to kill his ex-best friend and then himself. However his mutual connection with his teacher, the only person that truly understands him, will be the one to save the day!

July 23, 2016

Dee's Travel: Sarajevo, Bosnia & what I've been reading

Where has Diamond been?

I've been in Sarajevo, Bosnia! If you missed my last post, you are probably unaware where I went off to when school ended. I'm living in Bosnia this summer and am doing archival  fieldwork and an internship here in the beautiful city of Sarajevo. *if you want an even earlier update, here's my prior prior update post

I wanted to share some pictures with you guys...just because its a beautiful place and it has really inspired me to read! Too bad the books I'm craving are not packed with me, luckilly I have my kindle..and I even bought a random book the other day on my kindle (and its non-fiction too!) *gasp*

First, since this is a book blog, I'll share what I'm reading so far since I've been abroad...
then I'll share with you my glimmering photos that I've taken so far in the 3 weeks I've been living abroad.

What I've been reading 

almost done with both of these..they've just been sitting on the backburner :8

I got this on my kindle after reading an excerpt and being so intrigued! I normally do NOT read nonfiction, but its really really interesting. Lately I have been so interested in "relationships" and what makes them "work" and how our personalities can affect who we are compatible with. If you're also into that stuff, I highly recommend this! I'm flying through, already 40% in! xP

Maybe books (weekend travel):

those are just the physical books... I also have some on my kindle too.. O.o

A glimpse of the kindle mother-load (glimpse, I tell ya!) :O


July 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #27

Happy middle of the week everyone! Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that celebrates upcoming releases and our excitement for them. It was originally created by Jill over @ Breaking the Spine. Link any WoW posts in the comments so we could check them out too! 

What Alex is waiting for...

Title: The Diabolic 
Author: S.J. Kincaid 
Pages: 416 pages 
Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this epic novel about what happens when the galaxy’s most deadly weapon masquerades as a senator’s daughter and a hostage of the galactic court.

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

July 3, 2016

Summer Biannual Bibliothon TBR 2016

That's right! I'm finally participating in the Biannual Bibliothon. This summer is actually pretty chill and all going according to schedule so I know I'll have a lot of downtown to read during my 6 hour commute everyday! The #BiannualBibliothon is a week long readathon running from the 3rd to 9th of June run by a group of awesome Booktubers. There are prizes, reading challenges and video challenges! 

1. Read the group book

Because this readathon is kind of a like a book club as well, the hosts have chosen a group book that will be read and discussed at the conclusion of the readathon. I already read this so I won't be rereading it! I will, however, still count this towards the books I read because I feel bad if I just don't read anything for this challenge! 

2. Wildcard: Pick any book you'd like to read 

This is my current read. It's quite long and so I think it'll take me a while to finish it. Crossing my fingers that I finish it before Tuesday so I already have a jumpstart into this readathon. Did I mention that I always do really bad during readathons? This is just an effort for me to catch up on my Goodreads challenge! 

June 26, 2016

Title: Near Enemy
Author: Adam Sternbergh
Pages: 320 pages
Published: October 6th, 2015
Source: Paperback from Penguin RH
Genre: Thriller, Noir
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
New York is toxic-- decimated by a dirty bomb. The only people still in the city are those too stubborn to leave-- and those rich enough to escape to a virtual-reality haven, oblivious to the horrors raging outside their windows.

But for Spademan, the city's still home. And for a hit man, it's not a bad place to earn a paycheck.

At least, that is, until a routine job reveals a secret he can't ignore: terrorists are getting ready to attack the city again. This time in a way that should be impossible-- and that will leave the crippled city in ruins.

Spademan may be a killer, and New York may be a wasteland, but he'll be damned if he doesn't try to stop what's coming. And unless he can figure out who his true enemies are, he may be damned either way.

Buy it now! 
I'm stepping out of my comfort zone to try some hard-hitting literary fiction. Near Enemy is a book that packs a punch and takes place in a reality that doesn't seem so far off into the future. For fans of Ready Player OneNear Enemy is one heck of a novel that will have you seriously messed up by the end. 

The reason I compare this book with Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is due to the fact that it deals with the virtual reality concept. Reality sucks so people have to rely on a virtual reality world to get the most out of what's left of their lives. There was a similar concept between the two books but they were not played out in the same way. The virtual reality world is called the limn and it's primarily for anyone who could afford it. As a virtual reality world it gives free will for people to enjoy themselves except for one very important rule-- You can't be killed through the limn. It's not until speculating evidence gives light to the possibility of death through the limn does Spademan begin to realize that virtual reality isn't the safe haven the world has been looking for after the terrorists attacked. 

This book is more a mix of a mystery/crime scene novel and a thriller. You're obligated to follow the clues, along with Spademan, and find out the truth behind the killings and possible murders. This book doesn't stop short of anything. You're always on another lead, stuck in another situation, or even getting it down with a naughty nurse. The fact that this book didn't focus much on romance brings such a relief because I believe I've had my fair share with romance-- especially with YA romances, which are kind of cliche and unrealistic.

The writing style is... peculiar. The only real problem I had with this novel was particularly the writing style. At times it bugged the hell out of me and at others, I was indifferent. The author doesn't use quotation marks in dialogue and everything's just really staggered. I got stuck sometimes where I wouldn't know when a character was talking because I didn't see any quotations. I'm kind of curious, however, as to why the author doesn't use quotation marks. I mean, don't get me wrong. It's a pretty cool perspective and looks good on paper, but I personally wasn't a fan. 

How else do I say this? This book was so in and modern. I don't know how to fully articulate this point but being a girl from the city that never sleeps, there were so many references that made my heart flutter. If you're a sight-seer or wanderlust-er, this book will probably convince you to visit New York. There's talk of Hoboken, Times Square, and even Chinatown. 

On Goodreads it says that this book is the second installment in the Spademan series. I did not read the first book and don't think it's necessary to fully enjoy this novel. In fact, the beginning of this book doesn't even sound like a sequel. This book is just a follow up to its predecessor and another story about the same character, Spademan. It's not necessarily a 'sequel'. 

I think I've covered everything I wanted to talk about. My review doesn't do this book justice. The best way I can describe it is as a book that can be compared to others but is nothing alike. The writing style takes a long while to get used to but it's nothing we book-lovers can't handle. A gritty novel with twists and turns you'll never see coming. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Adam is a contributing editor at New York Magazine and Vulture, and the former culture editor of The New York Times Magazine. His first novel, SHOVEL READY, is a future-noir thriller about a garbageman-turned-hitman set in a dystopian New York City.

Raised in Toronto, he now lives in Brooklyn with his family.
Author Website