Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top 7 Underrated Contemporary and 3 Underrated Fantasy

1. It's Kind of a Funny Story: This book I don't really hear people talk about but I really love because of how the main character is struggling in his life with what seems to be depression mixed with anxiety. I really loved the first half of this book and it was shown that it was something as simple of not doing as well as he expected to do in school that caused him to start to spiral downward and I like that it was some over dramatic thing that happened to him that caused this but rather that he didn't feel like he had a real reason to feel the way that he did so he had no clue how to fix himself. I also enjoy the second half of the book were he stays at the hospital and starts to sort himself out and recover as well, I just love the whole book because I felt like it dealt with the topic in a realistic way rather than in the super dramatic way that it's usually dealt.
2. Perfect: I really love this book because it's a story told through four viewpoints and I love when there's multiple viewpoints in a book because I love getting inside as many different characters heads as I can. I love how this book dealt with the concept of perfection by having characters strive for it and either show how destructive it is or come to the realization that perfection isn't possible so they should strive for being happy instead. I love how this book had the characters stories loosely connected with each other and I loved three out of four the viewpoint characters which is pretty good although I hated one of them but he was a very hateable character so I doubt that's uncommon but other than his storyline I loved the book, on a side note I'd really love for Jenna to have a book with her point of view since she's a self-destructive enigma who I'm still super curious about.
3. White Oleander: This book is one that takes place over a large period of time and the character lives many different sorts of lives because she has to keep moving around due to being in the foster care system and she also becomes many different people so it was really interesting to see how much she changed through out the course of the novel. I also really loved the complicated mother daughter relationship that was front and center through out the book, overall this is just a great book and if you only saw the movie you should know they probably cut out about half of it and so you need to read the book because it's so much better.
4. Tricks: This book is another multiple viewpoint book by Ellen Hopkins which I loved this one I believe had five different points of view and the theme that linked the stories together was that having to sell your body. I really found all the stories interesting in this one and I actually enjoyed most of the characters despite them being in such situations that usually make you look down upon people but you see how they got to the point in which they are desperate enough to do so which while not the most cheerful of stories is certainly interesting. The thing is while had my favorite characters while reading the book the one I actually remember the most years later is Whitney who frustrated me to no end because she just kept making the most horrible life decisions so I just wanted to yell at her to value herself a bit more but now looking back I enjoy her storyline a lot more because I realize how her bad decisions just made me more invested in her characters, anyways I just really love this book.
5. Identical: This book is really interesting with how it deals with this really messed up family and it has two sisters who are both a totally mess but one is really open about it and is just very publicly showing all her damage and the other is just as messed up but is quiet about it and doesn't want anyone to see her as less than perfect. I also found how the sisters saw there parents to be interesting in that one hated and loved one parent and the other vice versa which lead to level of understanding of the parents that I wasn't exactly comfortable with but it was really interesting experience and really well written. I also loved how this book made use of the poetry with how sometimes the poems would be in shapes such as a razor blade or a wine bottle I just think that's a really great use of the style.
6. Tilt: This book is told in three points of view and is the last Ellen Hopkins book on this list although this book has three narrators the reason this book makes the list is because of one story which is Shane's. I really was surprised by Shane's story because I thought I had him and his storyline figured out right away in that I thought it would deal with his sexuality or drugs but then it really didn't instead it dealt with him having a crisis of faith and struggling with grief and I really hadn't read anything else like it and I loved it for how raw the emotions felt in his story. His story is one that isn't told very often and I really loved it because he spent so much of the later half of the book spiraling and he half wanted his mom to notice and half didn't want her to notice because he didn't want to burden her so I spent so much of the book just wishing that they could lean on each other rather than suffer in silence. Anyways great book overall and I really would love if you read the book to tell me how you felt about Shane's storyline.
7. Manic Pixie Dreamgirl: This book is one that I loved for it's honesty with how it didn't shy away from the fact that the main character is an asshole for having a girlfriend and being in love with the idea of another girl and not only is the book aware of it but characters through out the book call him out on his behavior and that his pinning isn't something that is seen as romantic when it usually would've been. I also kind often refer to this book as a more honest version of Anna and the French Kiss because of how the main Tyler's behavior is actually pretty similar to St.Clair's only the difference is that this book doesn't romanticize and excuse his behavior like Anna and the French Kiss did with St.Clair in regards to his dealings with Anna and Ellie(St.Clair's girlfriend for 90% of the book) so I recommend this book to Anna and the French Kiss fans because I think it would make you think about the book differently.

1. The Darkest Powers Series: This series has a bit of slow start but once it gets moving in the last half of the first book it gets really exciting and from then on the plot doesn't really ever stop moving which makes for a very exciting read. I also really love the main character Chloe because she's smarter than most heroine's in this genre which is refreshing and I also just like her a lot and her powers are interesting as well. I like that the romance is very much in the background of these books to the point that I would think that calling these books paranormal romances would be a lie because really it's more like paranormal action/adventure.
2. The Looking Glass Wars: This book series is by far the most interesting retelling of Alice and Wonderland that I have ever read. The world of wonderland being a really place that is full of strange magical things that are quite frightening and Aylss being thrown into our world and being seen as insane before she convinces herself after years of living here that her home world is a lie only to have to go back to it and become a bit of a warrior queen is an excellent twist on the classic tale. I also absolutely adore the relationship between Alyss and Dodge which is important in the story but by no means the main focus and I really wished there were more relationships like this one in YA in general.
3. Linger(Wolves of Mercy Falls): While the Wolves of Mercy Falls series is quite popular I don't think anyone seems to appericate Linger as much as I do since most people see this book as a filler book that contains mostly fluff. To me Linger is the character book which deals with the inter workings of the characters minds. This is the book that with Sam's storyline I like to call it what happens after happily ever after with how his curse has been broken but he can't quite believe that he gets to stay in his human skin like he always wished for but never dared to hope for. I liked how Sam still had plenty of flashbacks to the times when he was young and newly became a wolf and how messed up he was and how even though his curse his broken the damage that it caused is still there and I especially loved the moment when he admits to Cole how much of a mess he still is but that he's trying to improve. For Cole this book is when he's at his lowest point with how the whole reason that he's a wolf in the first place is because he can't stand being in his own head because he hate himself so very much. Also I love Cole because he's a deconstruction of a bad boy in that he's that asshole guy who sleeps around, does drugs and drags people down with him and he absolutely hates being that guy but he doesn't know how to stop being that guy so he decides that it's best that he stays out of his own head as much as possible. I love how we see Cole who's half charming confidence and half self loathing and self destruction and I also love this book because it's the one that got Cole to the point of figuring out that he can't runaway from himself forever and he might not actually want to. I also love this book for Isabel who is struggle with the guilt that she killed her brother when she was trying to save him and I really loved how the relationship between her and Cole developed with her seeing him as a means of self destruction and I especially love the moment when she sees that he's starting to heal and she resents him for that because she doesn't want him to get better before she does and I love that because it's so completely toxic and interesting. Anyways I love this book to the point that it's probably one of my favorites of all time and I would really wished people would look at the book more as a character study than a fluffy romance because the book is so much better when you do. Also I made a list a while back of my favorite moments in books and like half of the list was from Linger.

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