Your Guide to the Types of Book Boyfriend in YA Books

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To all young adult addicts out there: we all have our own “list” of book boyfriends. We all have a secret list of “harems’, dedicated to the guys that we love the most.

If you say you don’t, either you haven’t been in this genre long enough…or you’re just flat out lying.

If you have read enough YA books, you’ll also start to notice certain recurring patterns within these guys, and sooner or later you’ll start to categorize them just like what I am doing right now). This list is basically a summarization of the “type” of book boyfriends I’ve encountered (so far). Tell me in the comments below if you agree!

The guys allergic to shirts (stop showing off buddy. We get it, you’re hot.)

We all know that book boyfriends are always in great shape, and these guys are not afraid to show it. And when they are shoving it into people’s faces 24/7, it provides great comic relief when people call them out (still a great view though). But despite their great appearances, these guys have great personalities too. The inside counts just as much as the outside – the outside just…adds to it.

Daemon Black – Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Come on Daemon, everyone can see it: you’re just taking those shirts off for Katy. Even she called you out for it (multiple times too). Oh well, I guess no one can complain about the view. If I am even remotely as fit as he is I would show it off too.

But to give Daemon credit, he doesn’t completely overdo it. He only takes it off when exercising or swimming, but even then he makes sure Katy sees it.

Raffe – Angelfall by Susan Ee

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It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Although both Raffe and Daemon aren’t ashamed to “show off” themselves once in a while, unlike Daemon, Raffe have a legitimate reason for his shirt being off. Being an angel with giant wings, it’s arguably a lot more convenient with your shirt off than on. So to summarize this in Raffe’s own words: “I didn’t hear any complains”.

“The Darklings” (a.k.a the less-approachable villains)

In the anime world, we call these characters “Tsundere”. To summarize these type of characters, they are people who seem really cold and aloof on the outside but is actually anything but that on the inside. “Tsundere” can also be used to describe the character development of these initially cold characters to a warmer, more opened character. One of the reasons why these types of book boyfriends are so popular is because of how cool they are. They are incredibly attractive, incredibly bad-ass, and have great in-depth personalities of a painful past that made them this way, making their character so much more interesting. And let’s just be honest here, it feels awesome to have a boyfriend how is completely cold to everyone except you).

Hideo Tanaka – Warcross by Marie Lu

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For the millins who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Hideo is the epitome of a Tsundere. He was so cold and aloof in the beginning (even Emika didn’t like him in the beginning). But as we get to know him (work our way down that icy shield), we start to see glimpses of Hideo’s more warm self and melting the ice in the process. Hideo is one of the “darkling” characters because of how he has it all – he’s a genius programming and business prodigy who is incredibly attractive and in shape with an unbelievable sense of fashion (one that I would further elaborate upon later in this list).

The Darkling – Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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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.

The Darkling is a more controversial case – while all the other characters on this list are the legitimate end-game boyfriend (who temporarily had villainous roles), the darkling is arguably the ultimate antagonist of the Shadow and Bone series. He’s handsome, powerful, manipulative, and definitely evil. He’s also the least redeemable character on this list with a refreshing fact that he doesn’t have the cliche “tragic past” most of the other characters have.

Kaz – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz is a thief, and he does his job well. Very well. He’s extremely successful in the crime business, a genius in the art of thievery. He even dresses his part – he looks like a human grim reaper magician himself. He sometimes is also heartless and damn calculating – but is he though? He’s been through a lot of hardship, and when it comes to those he cares deeply about *cough* Inej *cough*…yeah, appearances don’t’ tell the whole story, does he?

Misunderstood villains

The title summarizes these types of characters perfectly. These are characters who are deemed as villainous in their respective worlds, but in reality, they are actually just misunderstood. They either are too nice to try and correct everyone, no one would believe them anyway, or to enforce this facade to protect those who he cares about. This is why these characters definitely have a tragic backstory.

Warner (kind of) – Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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One touch is all it takes. One touch, and Juliette Ferrars can leave a fully grown man gasping for air. One touch, and she can kill.

No one knows why Juliette has such incredible power. It feels like a curse, a burden that one person alone could never bear. But The Reestablishment sees it as a gift, sees her as an opportunity. An opportunity for a deadly weapon.

Juliette has never fought for herself before. But when she’s reunited with the one person who ever cared about her, she finds a strength she never knew she had.

The reason Warner is “kind of” a misunderstood villain is that he is arguably one of the most messed up characters on this list – the only on that can even remotely compete with the Darkling in terms of evilness, but it’s not really his fault. Unlike the Darkling, Warner actually does have a legitimate reason to be the way he is a.k.a tragic past. Also, he has realized the wrong nature of his ways and is trying to change largely thanks to Juliette.

Rhysand – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a terrifying creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not truly a beast, but one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled her world.

At least, he’s not a beast all the time.

As she adapts to her new home, her feelings for the faerie, Tamlin, transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But something is not right in the faerie lands. An ancient, wicked shadow is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it, or doom Tamlin―and his world―forever.

Rhysand is completely misunderstood, it’s not controversial. It’s just a fact. Everyone thinks he is this evil man – the villain of the story – and he enforces this facade in order to protect the things he cares about. But he is anything but that. I really can’t discuss more because it involves heavy spoilers, but anyone who has read this series knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Go read this series. You will not regret it.

Aldrik – Air Awakens by Elise Kova

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A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war. Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all–the Crown Prince Aldrik–she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

Aldrik was labeled the black sheep of the imperial empire’s royal family, and it’s not just because he’s the only person who wears black. Despite being the legitimate heir, nobody accepts him and either hates or fears him because of his dark – arguably villainous – appearance and aloof characteristics. However, after opening up to Vhalla, he learned to open up to the world and start to heal for the wounds of being alone that accumulated all those years. He was truly misunderstood.

Bully turned romanic interest

These characters can be even more controversial than the Darklings because it’s a thin line between “bad boys” and abusive relationships. Authors need to be aware of the dangers of romanticizing bullying, it is not okay and a lot of times it’s not forgivable. Lines should be carefully set for characters like these.

Cardan – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Cardan was really drawing the line I just mentioned in this book. He humiliated and bullied Jude despite the fact that he cannot help but be attracted to her. What he has done is really close to crossing the line, but Cardan’s popularity definitely sets an example for this type of book boyfriends and how likable they are.

Darren – First Years by Rachel E. Carter

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Before the age of seventeen the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice –follow tradition, or pursue a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight or mage…For 15-year-old Ryiah the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead –the realm’s most notorious war school for those with magic.

Yet when she arrives Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every “first-year” is given a trial year to prove their worth –and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail –and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve –and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat… Still, nothing is ever as it seems –and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in –herself. Will it be enough?

Darren, unlike Cardan, is not controversial at all. He doesn’t push the line as much as Cardan. Yes, he had a shaky beginning with Ryiah, but even then their relationship was not even a quarter as toxic as Jude and Cardan’s. But he is a good example of this trope.

The personal trainers

These are the guys who are usually assigned to our bad-ass protagonists to help improve their physical fighting skills. Usually, our heroines would be a really sassy and feisty girl and these guys would initially dislike the girl’s attitude, but eventually, be drawn toward her as well.

EVERY INDIE BOOK EVER

I am not kidding, this trope is literally in every single indie book ever, especially in those paranormal/young adult books. The reason these kind of book boyfriends are so reassuring in genres like this is because of how these paranormal young-adult books usually involve the trope of our heroine being dragged (usually unwillingly) into a supernatural world, and they need to train. Chances are, they already met these guys and hates them – they are arrogant and rude. But since they are forced to work together to train together, they develop a relationship as they get to know each other.

Say what you want, this trope is insanely popular for a reason. I personally love this trope as well.

Dimitri – Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies…

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger… and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

Dimitri originally hated Rose’s guts. I personally adore Rose’s sassy don’t-give-a-crap attitude, and I find it incredibly entertaining to watch Rose purposely make Dimitri suffer knowing how much he hates her messing with him with her sassiness. This made some great character dynamics, which is why their romance is so satisfying and cute.

Four – Divergent by Veronica Roth

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One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions.

Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she’s determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.

Although Vampire Academy does have a more cliche scenario (it is a YA paranormal series) with the classic dynamic between the bad-ass heroine and aloof hero, Divergent was a little bit more different in this dynamic. The setting is different too (maybe that contributed to the differences), Divergent is a dystopian world, making the atmosphere more…depressing. Which perfectly fit Tris’s more shy and timid nature – while still making her incredibly badass – and still throwing her together with the personal trainer. Now Four is just like Dimitri. Although he doesn’t really dislike Tris in the way that Dimitri initially disliked Rose, he definitely had to come to like her, he was not very approachable initially. Another reason why he fits this trope is that he is in the mentor/trainer position for this.

The unbelievably sassy (and lovable) ones

This trait overlaps with a lot of book boyfriends. It’s not either you have it or don’t have it – it’s a scale. The scale of sassiness the guy have. These type of book boyfriends are not as aloof, and they often tease/flirt with the heroine as comic relief, but of course, they genuinely feel that way for the heroine. Often times these guys hid their painful past behind this humorous shield, which give such meaningful depths to their character, making them even more lovable than they already are. Thanks to their humor, they are also incredibly charismatic.

Rhysand – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a terrifying creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not truly a beast, but one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled her world.

At least, he’s not a beast all the time.

As she adapts to her new home, her feelings for the faerie, Tamlin, transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But something is not right in the faerie lands. An ancient, wicked shadow is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it, or doom Tamlin―and his world―forever.

Rhysand is such an embodiment of this trope – although he has a very villainous facade (one that I had previously elaborated upon earlier), he is also incredibly humorous. Remember how I said these type of characters love just trolling and teasing our heroines? It’s one of Rhysand’s behavior trademarks as well. Even after they married he still does this

Percy and Leo – the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

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Oh my god, this pair. If they combined their respective level of sassiness they would make the world explode. I legit get third-degree burns when they get just a bit too savage. Well, maybe the world didn’t explode yet because of how Annabeth and Calypso’s respective badass-ness themselves are balancing it out.

The Nice Guys

The above categories can all fall under the “bad-boy” generalized category, but the category “nice guys” unfortunately is just one category because it’s such a minority (I am so sorry). It’s just that the above type of characters are so much more interesting and fun to read (and so much more shipable). But as readers, we should still acknowledge these “good guys”, they’re nice people too.

Maxon – The Selection by Keira Cass

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For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Yes, Maxon is charismatic, charming, and incredibly attractive, but if you really think about it, he’s not really a bad boy. You could say that he is one of the few examples of book boyfriends who is not a bad boy and is genuinely still beloved and popular with the fandom. That is so much more than what I can say for Mal from the Grisha Trilogy.

Mal – Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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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.

Both Maxon and Mal can fall under the “nice guy” category, but that’s where the similarities end. While Maxon is charismatic, lovebale, interesting, and popular with the fandom, Mal is anything but that. Mal is annoying, enraging, boring, and unpopular with the Grisha trilogy fans. Listen, we (the fans) are not irrational – we know the Darkling is not good for Alina. But the alternative choice could’ve been made so much better. It’s such a shame.

Blog Tour: Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell Book Spotlight + Exclusive Giveaway

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Dream Keeper

Author: Amber R. Duell

Pub. Date: January 29, 2019

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

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_________________________________________________

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

exclusive giveaway

ABOUT THE author

Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. Before becoming published, she had a wide range of occupations including banking, bartending (though she’s never tried alcohol), and phlebotomy (though she faints with needles). She also volunteered as a re-enactor at the local Revolutionary War fort and worked near shelter cats which led to her previous crazy cat lady status.

She does her best writing in the middle of the night, surviving the daylight hours with massive amounts of caffeine. Her favorite stories are dark with a touch of romance and a villain you either love to hate or hate to love.

When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, snuggling with her cat, and staying up way too late to research genealogy. She loves to travel and has visited more countries than states. Kissing the Blarney Stone and hand-feeding monkeys in the mountains of France will be hard to beat, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find the next real-life adventure.

tour schedule

2/4/2019- Graced with Books- Review

2/4/2019- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt

2/5/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads- Review

2/5/2019- BookHounds- Excerpt

2/6/2019- Singer of Stories- Review

2/6/2019- Kelly P’s Blog- Excerpt

2/7/2019- Oh Hey Books- Spotlight

2/7/2019- Two Chicks on Books- Excerpt

2/8/2019- Reese’s Reviews- Review

2/8/2019- The Reading Life- Spotlight

Want to Start Reading Fantasy? My Tips to Guide Your Introduction to This Genre

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Fantasy in a lot of ways is like Facebook with the social media industry. It’s one of the most classic, timeless genres that despite being “old”, is still going strong. Many genres have reached their heights and am already going down (Dystopia being a very good example), but Fantasy has always remained as one of the most prominent, popular, and relevant genre.

Being a classic, Fantasy is one of the best genres to start off if you want to become a reader, but it can seem intimidating. Magic, paranormal, and adventures, it can seem overwhelming. But with the right guide and introduction, not only can it open the world for all the other books out there for you, you will forever appreciate the many worlds and experience this genre can bring to the table.

The charm with fantasy books aside from the (obvious) magical factors is the complexity fantasy provides. It’s also what sets it from other fictional genres. Fantasy is a whole new level when it comes to fiction. It’s fantasy that requires the author to have to create a new world down to the culture, language, and the smallest detail. The fascination of learning a new world to such an extent and the new possibility the stories provide is what I love most about this genre, and frantically what makes it timeless too.

Whenever a noob hears the word “fantasy”, the first books that usually comes to their minds are The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter. But it is important to not jump into a random series, because if you don’t know what you except, your patience might be weaker than normal, so it’ll be easier for you to quit. But the thing that makes fantasy so special (and timeless) is despite its difficult introduction and intimidating description, once you get to know it, it will forever be the gateway to the most amazing escapes you will ever desire and need.

Low Fantasy and High Fantasy

Yes, there is a different kind of fantasies (because just one fantasy is not enough).

I understand that I am not helping you to feel more comfortable with this genre. But before you give up even trying, please hear me out. It will be much easier after you understand, so I’m ripping off the band-aid off cold turkey and giving you this emergency crash-course so you’ll have a better idea what the article is talking about. Low fantasy is a kind of fantasy where the author connects our real world (the one we’re living in right now) to another new fictional fantasy world. Notable examples of low fantasy books are the Harry Potter series, the Mortal Instrument series, and the Percy Jackson series. Both series follows the main character that is born and raised in the real world but then discovers another fantasy fictional world that exists.

High fantasy is when there is no this world, and the book only takes place completely in another place with no connection to this earth whatsoever. Notable examples for high fantasies are the Game of Throne series and the Lord of the Rings series. Both series takes place completely in another world and does not connect to the world we live in whatsoever.

Why is it important to let you understand low fantasy from high fantasy (and the fact that these two existed in the first place)? If you really want to start fantasy, it is vital for you to understand the importance of starting with a low fantasy book. Do not just go straight ahead and immediately and jump in a high fantasy world. Your brain would decay, and I’m talking about the full leaked-through-your-eyes-and-ears-and-nose-holes style. But what’s worse than this? You will quit, and most likely would never begin your amazing fantasy journey because of this traumatizing experience. The Game of Thrones for example have a fictional world renowned for the bewildering convoluted characters, world-building, and intertwining storylines. If a person who has never read fantasy book starts off immediately with this series, it would be the stupidest decision of that decade, and it will guarantee to be a boring, confusing, and excruciating experience for that person.

Starting with a low fantasy series would significantly ease your introduction experience with this genre because you would be learning about the new fantasy world along with the main character. Because the main character (like you) just recently discover this new world, the book would on behalf of the clueless protagonist make extra vital explanations to aid their understanding, and along with that will aid you in understanding it. Only when you are comfortable enough in low fantasies books would I be easier for you to read and handle high fantasy books. High fantasy books would take at least twice as long to learn about the world building than low fantasy, because since it wouldn’t make sense for the author to make extra explanations (since the book only have this world and our protagonist already know everything about the world), you can only learn the world gradually as the book progresses, from description, storyline, dialogues, and characters.

All three series (Mortal Instruments, Percy Jackson, and Harry Potter) are known to be the most popular gateway books that are the direct nail in the coffin in transforming many young children officially into a reader they are today. They are also often credited as classic examples of fantasy books and books that are the easiest to get into, and therefore introduce the fantasy genre.

So if you really want to start fantasy, I strongly suggest to you start with a gateway low fantasy book/series. One of the most prominent reasons (aside from just being amazing books) for the Harry Potter, Mortal Instruments, and Percy Jackson series to become such classics is because of their identity as the most popular and eminent gateway books to young children. Their addictiveness and how easy to get addicted to these series are the books’ greatest asset in officially solidifying the children’s love for books through their story. 8/10 kids would say that their gateway books are from one of the three series (if not all). It’s not an exaggeration, why do you think these books are so popular?

So here is a summarization of this article:

  • Don’t start with a high fantasy book/series.
  • I strongly suggest starting with one of the “big three” (Mortal Instruments, Percy Jackson, and Harry Potter). They are definitely one of the easiest fantasy series to get into, and in result is the best introduction you can get with the genre.

The definition of something that is a “classic” is timeless. A thing becomes timeless when it is a classic, and fantasy is a classic. No matter what the hype is anytime and anywhere, fantasy would forever go strong. It’s timeless, and while other genres’ hypes come and go it will forever be the most pertinent, popular, and preferred genre. That is because of the opportunities this genre provides. Things such as magic and fantasy sound really cheesy, but it provides so much hope and self-confidence to ht readers through its characters, and the amazing experiences as well as lessons the book teaches have the power to transform how the reader views the world as well. Fantasy shows us through their infamous “life-or-death” scenarios and even when there is no way that plan is going to work, the characters’ impressive wits, undying loyalty, and love, as well as unchanging morals. These all shine a light on the path of positivity no matter how negative the situation is. “The good medicine always tastes bitter”, sometimes, the least pleasant choice is the best, and that is one of the things I definitely learned from the Percy Jackson books.

You know the book is good when…

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When you’ve read a lot of books, you kind of reach a stage when you start to notice patterns. You start to see how certain kind of books behave, and in result, it slowly becomes harder for books to fool you. You know what to look for, so even the slightest hints can tick you, and it’ll take no time for you to figure out what is going on. You also start to notice patterns that would identify a book as good or bad (most of the time, not completely). So I’ve collected up a list of my experiences in reading, and how I myself identify the moment to finally realize that I’ve hit a jackpot.

You get the famous “adrenaline rush”

I genuinely don’t know if any other readers feel this (because I’ve actually never mentioned this to any other reader before), but does anyone else feel that adrenaline rush when reading a good book? This specific kind of adrenaline rush is not achieved through suspense in the book or specific heart-stopping scenes (or cringey ones when the character just does something so stupid), but the kind you get at the beginning of a book, and for me, is the most obvious instinct and feeling I get when I officially start to realize that I’m having a good book in my hands. Is like you get that rush, and that rush signals me to let me know I’m excited, so I know that this is a good book.

Your favorite trope appears

Although tropes are usually regarded as a negative thing, I disagree. Everyone has a list of tropes they execrate (definitely), but at the same time, they should also have a list of tropes they love. Tropes are also useful to help you identify what kind of things you enjoy in a book, so you can more clearly identify what you love and don’t love as a reader. For me specifically, if I ever see a (good) hate-love relationship, 9/10 that book is pretty much secured a spot in I-enjoyed-the-book list.

You cannot physically put the book down (literally, no joke)

This is not a literal device, or an exaggeration, and you should indubitably recognize this as a fact if you’ve ever read a good book. Which is caused by just simply cannot waiting to see what happens. If the book is not that good, you’ll notice that you have no problem just reading the book pages a day instead of books in days.

You start having physical reactions to the book

True bookworms always have physical reactions to books. If you laugh at funny scenes, squirm at cringey scenes, squeal and cute scenes more than 20 times at least, then…it’s probably a good book.

You finish the book in record time

Similarly caused by not being able to put the book down and because you just NEED to know what happened next…yeah, this is just going to happen (it’s inevitable).

On Book Reviews and Tips to Being a Book Critic

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I have read my entire life. But I only started reviewing books about a year ago. My, how things have progressed.

This is one beautiful thing about the internet. It puts everyone on (almost) all equal ground, and provide them with almost all the same tools. You just have to use them. I used this opportunity, and I took a risk. Now, this blog is my greatest and proudest achievement (at least currently).

I am going to be perfectly honest, I know how to write, but I much more prefer to be the critic that just gets to sit back and judge everyone and everything *sinister laugh*. As awful as that sounds, I can guarantee you all critics feel this way. It’s because we’re critics, we know especially well how hard it is to create something like a complete book. The time needed and the stress involved, I am perfectly happy where I am now.

Reviewers get a lot of benefits, but they do always have to do their job under the pressure of not completely ripping apart the creator with their criticism (even when they want to), but at the same time tell their true opinions. It’s especially awkward when you receive an ARC directly from an author, and that book was just an absolute atrocity. Let’s be honest here, we all had that moment *cough*.

But this is truly heaven for me. I love reading, I get to express my thoughts and talk about books I love (or hate), and I get free books in exchange. How can I complain about that?

Not to add on in this one short year, my journey as a reviewer and my experience level had grown so much, and I just know it’ll keep growing, and that though arouses me. The fact that I am a content creator and I’m to a point this point in my life as a reader really means a lot to me.

Being a reviewer is to review someone else work, but the reviewer themselves grow a lot as well. As their experiences go on, they learn and experiences a wider variety of works that can help them to identify and judge works more even more accurately in the future.

The main advantage of being a reviewer is that you read a lot. A lot of books get sent to you, and you have an amazing vantage point from which to observe what’s going on in contemporary fiction – not only genre stuff, the whole spectrum.

-Lev Grossman

Of course, then there’s the matter of receiving free passes from being a book reviewer. This is probably what I loved most about being a reviewer, and that is getting free books without having to pay. I honestly cannot remember the last time I actually bought a book myself because 1) I receive books for free often from most of my favorite authors and books I want to review, and 2) I’m already trying to finish and clean up my ARC pile (so there is no way I have time to read “other” books).

So what do I do when I write a review?

Every reviewer and critic has their own distinct voice. Some have a stronger one than the other, and everyone’s review style and opinion is different. For me, whenever I read a book, a big factor is how much I enjoy the book. I will make it clear in my review if I feel like this book is not good, but I still really enjoyed it. The quality, writing style, and how much I enjoyed the book all play huge roles in what review I give to a piece of work.

I know some reviewers don’t like to mix their own emotion with their “technical” reviews, because they feel like them they critic, they should only focus on the technical part of the piece. I disagree. I feel like a big part of a work such as a book is also how much the reader and audience perceive and receive the final product.

“As for literary criticism in general: I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split.”

― Kurt Vonnegut

I also really prioritize character portrayal, developments/arcs, story-line, story flow, and tone/atmosphere in my reviews. All these reflect not only on the enjoyment of the book, but the technical aspect and the general quality of the literature piece.

What do you feel about book reviewers, and your opinion on book reviews and criticism in general? What do you feel about how I review my books? Tell me in the comments below!

To All the Authors Out There: Why Would Bloggers Take So Long to Review ARCs, and Why Sometimes They

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This is an awkward subject for both parties that no one wants to discuss. But from a blogger’s perspective, I feel like it will benefit everyone for everyone to understand why scenarios like this happen.

To make things clear, this is truly an awful, awful thing to do. Nothing about this is right and no one should ever do this. If you received a book for free, you are obliged to review it. And if you really are not able to finish it, no matter what happens, you must leave a review.

Bloggers are always trying to stay afloat in a sea of ARCs

When an author’s ARC request is accepted by a blogger, it might be ARC number over 100 (trust me, I know a lot of bloggers that actually have over 100 ARCs). Logically, bloggers should review those books in order, so that’s why it takes so long. Sometimes, it’s not just because the blogger is an incredibly slow reader, but it’s because your book has to weight in line.

Bloggers tend to prioritize books with important due dates

Do not misunderstand this statement! This does not mean that bloggers in any way look down at you, or feel like your book is not good enough for them. What I meant is that bloggers often prioritize books on NetGalley, Edelweiss, or blog tours.

Your book was…not the best

This is one of those moments that made reading feel like a job, no matter how much we (as bloggers and reviewers love reading). All readers understand clearly that being forced to read a bad book is one of the cruelest forms of torture. If it’s bad enough, reviewers might push it back, then, more back, then even more back, forever…

What should blogger do in this situation?

Review the book. Right now. It may be really, really awkward for both parties because depends on your situation, the book could have been given…ages ago. But don’t fall victim to this mindset, and just review it. Once you have reviewed it, it’s done. So keep thinking that way, and you’ll clear out this problem in no time.

To all the authors out there:

You might be really mad, but you have to understand how busy the bloggers and reviewers can be. They have a life too, and they have their own priorities to get through as well. So I know this can be a really hard situation for you to cope with (and not blame and get really mad at the reviewers), so please understand.

The Problem With Dystopian Books

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The problem with Dystopia novels.

I think it is pretty safe to say that the title summarizes what I’m going to say pretty well.

I literally had an idea for this post the moment I walked out the theater of The Maze Runner: Death’s Cure yesterday. The ending of the movie was really lazily written, although I do give it props for at least trying to be accurate to the book.

But how does that have anything to do with this post’s topic?

I love dystopia. It’s truly something unique. It portrays a story and world that overlaps in Science Fiction, Post-Apocalypse, Young Adult, and sometimes even Paranormal and Fantasy. It allows you to enjoy what you loved most about Science Fiction (the technology), but made it more realistic (and arguably more enjoyable) due to its Post-Apocalypse factor. Not to add on the relatability of it really brings the fear out of how the scenario is actually possible. Dystopia also provides some of the best relationships in the YA genre because there’s just something about people bonding through near-death-horrible-hell-hole situations that just appeals so much to us…for some, weird…mysterious reason.

However, we need to talk about a problem in this genre that seems like so far, no YA Dystopian series young adult author in this century seemed to be able to grasp.

What. The. Hell. Is. With. The. Endings.

I understand that it’s really hard to make a great ending and wrap up for a world that you created that by DEFINITION is a worst possible scenario for humanity. But the endings are really bad. I don’t know if I’m the only reader to have noticed this, but a Young Adult Dystopian series always decelerate in quality as the series progresses. Always.

It really sucks, because the first books are always so amazing. It makes us fall in love with the characters, the world, and everything about the book so much, and then they throw us a crap of an ending. It’s like the authors all are thinking: “I have absolutely no idea how to solve and save humanity in three books and my due date is approaching so I’ll just throw in a crappy ending. It doesn’t matter because my series is already popular and it can get me money either. Oh, and in case the crappy ending is not enough, I’ll make sure that the male protagonists that my readers adore will end up with the one girl my readers utterly abominate with their souls”.

And I KNOW that the authors think this because of how the endings are not even subtlety lazily written, they were flat-out lazy. It’s like the authors know that there is nothing we can do about it besides from dying from a stroke because of how mad we are.

I wouldn’t make this point so strongly today if not every single dystopian book I’ve ever read and ever will read is like this. Remember how I asked if I were the only one to think this? Well, looking at how the Goodreads review for all the dystopian series books goes down every single book, with the last book always having the worst review, something tells me they do agree.

If this isn’t convincing enough. Look at the swarm of Goodreads, Reddit, and other chat group’s horrified and absolutely enraged conversations about the endings.

Well, that was a very emotional rant.

So sorry for all the emotional outburst in this post. I hope it does scare any of you away XD. But in case if it’s not clear, the reason I decided to do this post after watching the Maze Runner movie is that the movie (being based on a Dystopian YA novel/series), of course had a crappy ending. Which finally made me realized the pattern after many experiences, and ultimately did this post.

What do you guys think? Do you agree? Please let me know (seriously, I’m curious).

Reveal Post: Slippers and Thieves by Christina Bauer

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Slippers And Thieves

by Christina Bauer
Series: Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #3
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: TBA
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Years ago, Elle—never call her Cinderella—escaped her evil step family in order to build a new life for herself in Manhattan. Today, Elle’s awful past is a distant memory. In fact, Elle even attends West Lake Prep, an exclusive high school where regular humans mix with members of the Magicorum, such as fairies, shifters and witches. Although she still must live in hiding from her evil stepfamily, Elle has always found ways to get whatever her heart desires.

That is, until Alec Le Charme.

Alec is the heir to the Le Charme dynasty of high-end jewelers. He’s also kind, charismatic, has a knee-melting smile. Elle has fallen for him, hard. Unfortunately, thanks to Elle’s evil step family, Alec is absolutely off limits. In fact, if Elle and Alec so much as kiss, it will start a magical chain reaction that would end in powerful factions of witches and wizards going to war. As a result, Elle and Alec vow to stay friends, no matter what. Then West Lake Prep holds a masquerade ball. Identities get mixed up and forbidden kisses are finally shared.

Time for the Magicorum to go to war, and for Elle to confront her hidden past in ways she never thought possible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Blog

Year of 2018 in Books, What’s the Plan?

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Oh my god it’s already 2018.

But even when a lot of people would say 2017 was horrible (which I kind of can see why), on a personal level, 2017 was one of the most successful years for me.

I successfully dieted (although I haven’t reached my goal yet, the fact that it’s working meant a lot). My blog…well, I’m working on it. It’s my fault and my fault only that my blog hadn’t been growing that much this year. Of course, this official makes grow my blog one of my main 2018 new year resolution.

Ways I can do that is:

  • Sign up for more tours
  • Do more ARCs
  • Read more books
  • Reply to comments
  • Comment more

My grades had also made this year a big year of improvement for me. I’m officially a straight A student (except for ONE subject, dang it). And I hope to improve and grow myself in that area further in the current year. So maintain or improve my grades is my second goal.

Ways I can do this:

  • Study (duh)
  • Always make sure I understand my homework
  • Don’t be afraid to ask teachers for help
  • Continuing what I did the previous semester

I’ve also been not reading as many books as I hoped after summer ended, due to the complicated, busy, and full work schedule. I hope to improve that as well, so I can actually finish my TBR list books and resume in doing ARCs.

Just writing all these down and thinking about it is actually freaking me out a lot. What are you guys’s plans for 2018? Share it with me!

Why I Don’t Really Like The Idea of Celebrities Publishing Books

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There are many different ways for a celebrity to use their status and fame to their and advantage to make some extra cash. Beside from commercials or being a spokesperson for a brand, one of the most popular ways for them to use their fame to their advantage is publishing and writing their own books. Usually memoirs and stories of their own experiences. Because of their fame, their books usually go into best-seller lists really easily.

And this is the exact reason why I don’t like celebrity books, and refuse to read them.

I know, that this might raise a lot of controversies, because celebrities have the right to write and publish books like everyone else, and this earning money strategy is actually really clever too. But every time I see another celebrity self-published memoir on the best-selling shelf, I can’t help but scowl a little bit by the thought that that spot could’ve been filled with another hard-working book by an actual author.

Authors work hard to write a book with a good story-line, lovable characters, something that people would enjoy completely out of their head. While celebrities’ books aren’t on popular because they’re good, but because they’re just written by celebrities. And that is my biggest problem.

Of course, this feeling doesn’t apply to all memoirs and biographies. Please understand that these feelings only apply to celebrities (especially celebrities such as the Kardashians or any sort of Musical.ly stars), not actual great figures like a president, or someone who has been through hell, and more.

What do you think? Do you agree?

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