Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Cry

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, it’s asking for the top ten books that made you cry.

This is a difficult one, I think. Here are mine!

1) The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

Pretty sure this one is going to be on a lot of people’s lists. Reading this book is like getting repeatedly punched in the heart and enjoying it. I don’t even know how I’m going to be able to watch the film when it comes out – the trailer made me tear up!

2) My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

That ending. Seriously, I must have been twelve or thirteen when I first read this, or maybe slightly older. I just remember finishing it, putting the book to one side, and then trailing downstairs to sob on my mum. I probably could mention other Jodi Picoult novels, but this is the one that will always hit me hardest.

3) The Reluctant Dom – Tymber Dalton

The first of a few erotic novels on this list, this one was one of the ones that hit the hardest. Knowing from the beginning that one of the main characters is going to die does not ease the heartache when he actually does.

4) Aftermath – Angel Martinez

Another erotic novel. This one deals with the aftermath of rape, and it does so very well. A difficult subject for me to read, the way Angel Martinez handles it makes this one worth the read even if you’re not into M/M fiction.

5) Dark Citadel – Cherise Sinclair

Yet another erotic novel. To be honest, most of Cherise Sinclair’s books make me cry a little when I read them, but I’m pretty sure this one was the worst. I got so involved with the characters, and Kari and Dan have remained my favourite couple ever since.

6) The Night the Angels Came – Cathy Glass

This one’s a true story. Cathy Glass writes a lot of heart-wrenching novels based on her experience of being a foster carer, but this one tugged at my heart strings the most.

7) The Tiger’s Wife – Téa Obreht

It is very rarely that a book effects me as much as The Tiger’s Wife did. It was the little throwaway sentences that hit me hardest. Gah. :(

8) The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch

I’m not ashamed to admit it with this one. If you’ve read it, you probably know what part made me tear up. Curse you, Scott Lynch. ;A;

9) A Game of Thrones – George RR Martin

Martin made me so upset over the death of a minor character early on that I had to put the book down and only picked it up again months later. I was not prepared.

10) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – JK Rowling

I think I was pretty much a wreck from the moment I opened this book to the moment I shut it. Yeah.

So, that’s it for my list. What books have made you cry?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Worlds and Characters I Never Want to Be

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, it’s asking for the top ten fictional worlds we’d never want to live in, or characters we’d never want to trade places with! Here are mine – I’m going to do five of each! :)

Fictional Worlds I’d Never Want To Live In
1) Panem: I think this one goes without saying. Whilst I might be lucky and be born into the Capitol, more likely than not I would be born in one of the twelve districts and then have to worry about avoiding being picked for the Hunger Games. Because I wouldn’t do well as a tribute, not at all.

2) Westeros: As much as I love A Song of Ice and Fire, Westeros does not seem like a very inviting place to live. War, white walkers, dragons… yeah. I’ll stay happily behind the pages of a book.

3) Camorr: And the surrounding areas. I love the city of Camorr in The Lies of Locke Lamora. It’s incredibly well described and brought to life. But would I ever want to live in a place with jumping sharks, cut-throat thieves, and as much filth and grime as I could shake a stick at? No, thanks.

4) Middle Earth: I would probably be slaughtered by orcs. :( Also, there are giant spiders. Nooooo.

5) The Muggle World: I would love to live in the Wizarding World, but sadly, I’d probably be a muggle. And, knowing my luck, I’d have a magical child, so I would know about the Wizarding World and be forever jealous. :(

Honourable Mention: Gilead (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Characters I’d Never Want To Trade Places With

1) Locke Lamora: The amount of crap this guy goes through on a regular basis? No way. I love him and his brains, but I’d never want his life.

2) Anna (from My Sister’s Keeper): Anna was born specifically to be a bone marrow match for her sister, Kate, who is dying of a rare form of leukemia. Imagine having that hanging over your head.

3) Mo (from Inkheart): I love his power to read things out of stories, but it brings him so much heartache. :(

4) Hazel (from The Fault in Our Stars): *gross sobbing*

5) Sansa Stark: Because. Just read books 1-3 of A Song of Ice and Fire. I’m on book four, so things could get better, but it’s been pretty horrible so far. To be honest, this could have been any number of characters from ASOIAF, but I’m pretty sure I’d be most likely to be in Sansa’s position.

Honourable Mention: Severus Snape (Harry Potter)

So, that’s it. What would you guys choose?

Top Ten Tuesday: A Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, it’s asking for the top ten things on our reading wish lists, or what we would like to see more of in the books we read. Here are mine. :)

1) More unconventional relationships in books where the relationship is not the number one focus of the text. Kind of like Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner series, where the main characters are in a gay relationship. I want to explore the relationship spectrum: gay, straight, lesbian, poly, etc.

2) On that note, more LGBTQ characters/protagonists where their sexual orientation is not the main focus of the book. For once, I want to see how an asexual or transgender character saves the world. We need more LGBTQ heroes.

3) Fantasy worlds that are not based on medieval England. There are so many other cultures and so much history in our world that fantasy worlds could find their roots in.

4) Love triangles that do not have an obvious conclusion. Usually when there is a love triangle in a novel, you can see from a million miles away who the protagonist is going to end up with. Why not make both love interests equally as likely? Why not have your protagonist end up with someone completely different, or no one at all?

5)  Unreliable narrators. I find them fascinating. Related to this, unlikeable narrators.

6) Protagonists that are parents, particularly in the fantasy genre.

7) Court/political intrigue, once again in the fantasy genre. I love tangled webs of lies and characters that are able to navigate all of this.

8) YA fiction that deals with mental health issues (anxiety, OCD, autism, schizophrenia, etc) or physical disability, though not necessarily as the thrust of the plot. Similar to the above point about LGBTQ characters. Everyone is capable of being the hero of their own story; why don’t we let them?

9) Sibling relationships. I want to see more books where the protagonist is really close to their brother or sister, or when their sibling is along for the ride to save the world.

10) Unconventional gender roles. Characters that are defined by who they are and not what’s between their legs.

So there’s my list. What would you guys like to see more of in fiction? :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2014 Debuts (That I’m Excited For)

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, it’s asking for the top ten debuts that we’re looking forward to in 2014. Here are mine. :)

This actually took quite a bit of research, seeing as most of the books I’m excited for are from authors I already know and love. But it was worth it, I think.

Click on the links to find out more about each book! :)

1) The Headhunters Race by Kimberly Afe

The Headhunters Race

2) The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

3) Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

4) Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

5) Pointe by Brandy Colbert

6) Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano

7) Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

8) Fake ID by Lamar Giles

9) Alienated by Melissa Landers

10) The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen

So there we have it. What debut books are you most looking forward to in 2014? :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Goals for 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, it’s asking for the top ten goals for 2014. So here are mine! :)

1) Read at least 50 books this year.

2) Polish the reviews I’ve already posted on Goodreads and cross-post the best ones here.

3) After spending my book voucher today, limit buying books to, at most, once a month. I already have so many books on my shelf I haven’t read yet.

4) When I’m more established as a reviewer, check out NetGalley and request some ARCs (this is more an end of 2014 goal, I think).

5) Read at least 3 classics this year.

6) Catch up with George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (I’m on book four).

7) At least three quarters of the books I read this year should be from books already on my ‘to read’ shelf.

8) Write at least a post a week for The Book Bean.

9) Finish reading the pile of young adult books relevent to my PhD.

10) Try and read at least a chapter every day.

What are your bookish goals for 2014?