The Three Books You Shouldn’t Read

Yes, I actually read books. Well if you count screaming and getting so fed up with a book you throw it as reading. And not even in a good way. See, many of you may know I have an obsession with romance. I’m a hopeless romantic. Dream of the day when I meet the guy who makes me feel… whole. So in the mean time I read those books instead to fill that empty hole inside of me. But somewhere in my four years of high school these romance books that I cradled in my arms, that I loved with every fiber of my being, have turned to complete Sugar Honey Ice Tea. And I have given up. Yes, me, Lauren of YA Book Spot, has given up on all cute romance novels. Here are the three books that prove why said romance novels have gone down the sinkhole to hell:

1) Royally Lost by 18530135Angie Stanton

 Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he’s crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn’t have…is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca’s family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?

I was desperate. So very desperate for a romance novel that I picked this book up just hoping that it would turn out to be this great book full of laughs and true love. But no, it turned for the worst when the protagonist Becca started speaking. Now, the thing is I love history. I’ve had a 100 average my whole career as a student. I could name Generals from the American Revolution all the way to World War II. I just really love history. Now imagine reading a book with a main protagonist who constantly bashes history. Well, you get Royally Lost.

Instead of Royally Lost, I think the book should be changed to Royal Shit (excuse my language. I just have a lot of anger feels). Becca was nagging, no good, ANNOYING girl who just constantly complained about history. She saw it as useless. “Why live in the past?” She said at one point. BECAUSE WE LEARN FROM OUR PAST MISTAKES. You are in Europe, taking these amazing tours to these historical sites and you couldn’t care less? No, I’m sorry. Excuse me while I go push her off the Pont Du Gard.

One more thing that made me angry would be how easily she just went with Nikolai. “Oh look, a hot European guy who’s speaking to me. Let me totally take him on his offer to explore these random parts of Europe where I have never been! Screw stranger danger!” So maybe Becca didn’t say exactly this, but she sure as hell was acting this way. The  number one rule of Europe is you stay with your group. Even if you hate them and would much rather throw yourself into a bullfight (I may or may not have thought this when I was in Europe), YOU STAY PUT. Yes, Nikolai was a prince, but I could rewrite this entire book as sequel to Taken.

Do not read this book. Becca is naive, dull, and so stupid I swear my freaking lamp knows more than her.

 

182489332)Pulled Under by Michelle Dalton

A shy teen befriends an attractive beach town tourist in this refreshing summertime romance, in the tradition of Sixteenth Summer andSeventeenth Summer.

In the small town of Pearl Beach, Florida, Izzy Lucas needs only her surfboard and the water to be completely happy. She wants nothing to do with parties, popularity contests, or showing her face around the clichéd touristy hangouts. Izzy’s tight group of coworkers at the local surf shop have tried relentlessly to break shy Izzy out of her (sea)shell. But Izzy isn’t interested…until the day Ben Barker walks into the store.

Ben’s from the city. He’s cute, charming, and wants her help adjusting to beach town culture. As the weeks of surfing lessons and pizza shack visits fly by, Izzy and Ben realize their attraction goes beyond mere friendship. But Ben is only in town for three months, and Izzy wonders if this amazing guy is worth stepping out of her comfort zone for what might be the perfect summer romance—or her first heartbreak

My quest for a romance continued and led me to this book. This very boring book. I live by the beach. the smell of the ocean is the best smell in the world. I was intrigued by this book because the beach was in it. But that was the only good thing. The main character Izzy barely grew as a character and I found myself wanting to know more about her friend Sophie than Izzy herself.  Izzy’s relationship with Ben was also anther strike against Pulled Under. They just did nothing for me. Once again there was no growth between the two. Nothing that made their relationship feel real.

I barely made it through the book. And I usually finish a book like this within three hours. I skimmed through Pulled Under and found myself bored even doing that. And that ending? I still don’t understand it.

Yet again I found myself disappointed by another book. I wish there were more cute YA romance books out there. Or at least good ones. I mean, at least it got two stars.

 

Lastly, number 3:

 

18635079How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark

Find out what happens when you fall for your best friend’s worst enemy in this timeless and hilarious story of a forbidden first love and forever friendship.

Lucy can’t wait to spend the summer at the lake with her best friend, Mikayla. But when Jackson, the boy she’s been avoiding ever since he rejected her, reappears in her life, Lucy wonders if this summer to remember is one she’d rather forget.

Mikayla’s never had much luck talking to boys, but when she (literally) runs into the cutest guy she’s ever seen, and sparks fly, she thinks things might be looking up…until she realizes the adorable stranger is the same boy who broke her best friend’s heart.

As things begin to heat up between Mikayla and the one guy she should avoid, will Lucy be able to keep her cool or will the girls’ perfect summer turn into one hot mess?

Catherine Clark, the author of beach-read favorites Maine Squeeze and Love and Other Things I’m Bad At, has once again crafted a hilarious and spot-on portrayal of what it’s really like to be a teenager. Readers will love this irreverent coming-of-age story…and will be breathlessly turning the pages to find out what happens next.

I give up. I’m waving the white flag because I am done. I never knew it was so hard to write a cute romance novel. I find it sad when I read better stories on Wattpad. I picked up How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark because (as you can tell) I am desperate for a cute, care-free romance book.

And now I wish I hadn’t.

I always feel this connection with characters who have never had a kiss, or even a date, because I myself (even at 18) never did any of those things either. I was into the book in the beginning because both main characters were like me. Dateless and guyless. Then by page 137 I just gave up. I couldn’t stand Lucy. It was an actual hatred. I found her rude, annoying, and selfish. I skipped her POVs half the time. I think the book would have been better without Lucy’s POV.

Mikayla wasn’t as bad. But dear god YOU ARE 17! STOP ACTING LIKE YOU’RE STILL IN 8TH GRADE. The writing was also terrible. I don’t know if it was me, but half the time I felt as if half the words were spelled wrong. Not only that, but the maturity of the writing was extremely low.

I am so angry that cute books aren’t being written as good anymore. I think authors need to read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell because she did it right. Take notes too. Cath was that perfect mixture of nerdy/experienced/socially awkward girl. I would not recommend How to Meet Boys to anyone. I couldn’t sit still long enough to read it. I don’t care about insta-love (it really does not bother me), but what I do care is that it’s done right. And sadly, it seems that no one knows how to do it anymore.

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I am telling you right now to not read these books. They are boring, filled with naive characters, and writing that is more 4th grade than high school. If anyone knows a good romance please let me know. I’m getting desperate. Just tell me in the comments. I promise an actual nice review full of fangirling and squealing tomorrow for The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz (one of the BEST authors out there).

 

~ Lauren

Why Tris Matters: Representing Every Woman’s NO

Before you read my post, please go read this article. It’s short but man is it amazing. And it may help you understand my post.

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Tris being all badass

 

There’s no denying my love for Divergent, especially Tris. That is easily seen in my Allegiant review. But why? Yeah she’s freaking awesome. Badass? That too. I have had numerous debates about Tris and often find myself defending her and Divergent. But what is it about Tris that made me fall in love with her character? I have thought about it fleetingly. At random moments I’d find myself wondering what it is that I admire about Tris. But it wasn’t until I read The “Divergent” Rape Scene: Here’s Why It Matters: Rewriting the script on sexual assault — and giving power back to girls” that I truly understood why Tris matters so much to me and why so many young-girls should read these books.

At first I thought the article was going to be another report on how bad Divergent is or how much better The Hunger Games is. I was preparing myself to not flip out (which don’t deny you’ve haven’t done. I know at least one of you have). But then I saw title: “The “Divergent” Rape Scene: Here’s Why It Matters: Rewriting the script on sexual assault — and giving power back to girls”. I was intrigued, especially by that last line.

“Tris has one especially unique fear,” says the author, “and it’s an important one: fear of sexual assault.” The author continues to say that, “Every woman knows Tris’ terror, knows the horror of walking home late at night, clutching keys like knives between her fingers. Every woman lives with the looming fear that her refusal, her no, won’t be taken seriously.” We do live in fear. God, how do we not? The amount of times that woman have to deal with lingering looks, with men saying derogatory things towards us. It’s scary. As I continued to read I started realizing why I loved Tris so much. She makes a stand and says that her body is HER body and not anyone else’s. Even when it comes to Jeanine and her family. Tris chooses to do what she wants.

Not only is Divergent important for girls, but for boys too. Teenage girls all around the world are going to witness Tris insisting on consent, and teenage boys are going to witness Four listening to her,” says the author. Boys will see that they should respect a girls no. To listen to any female that says they feel uncomfortable because it is always the right thing to do. 

When I first read Divergent at 16, I just knew that I loved Tris. I said it was because she was a badass. Was my escape from everything shitty around me. Two years and one article later, I finally get it. Tris was the first character I read that voiced her no. I only read one other book where a female protagonist fought another man because he made a crude move toward her: Angelfall by Susann Ee. Two years later and only one other book showed a girl fighting for her voice and body. I want other girls to read these books. Damn it, I don’t even care if they just watch Divergent. They need to see that we are always in control of our bodies. They need someone like Tris to look up to. Tris who is a strong, stubborn, and fierce. Not some celebrity who goes out all the time and does God knows what.

I have read numerous of stories with badass girls as main characters and I’m not going to deny that. Maybe there are movies and books that had the same thing that Divergent had. Tris though… Tris is different. She represents strength. Hope. That we girls can fight. We can fight for our NO to be heard. We can defend ourselves. Tris is the one character that will always remain my favorite, even more so now. I’ll leave you with these parting lines from the article, something I wish everyone took from Divergent:

“Divergent marks the first time I have ever seen a teenage girl articulate, in no uncertain terms, that her body belongs to her. That she gets to decide who touches it, and how, and when. That her yes and her no are final, and unambiguous, and worthy of respect. 

Divergent is important.”

  ~ Lauren

Excuse My Rant: When You’re Disappointed

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I’m at the book signing excited and looking forward to meeting Rainbow Rowell. Now, if you’ve been to an author meeting you know they sign books. All the time. Right? Oh no, not this time. They decided to tell us AT THE PLACE that we can’t have books signed. Which doesn’t make sense because they’ve always allowed your books to be signed. I’m sorry guys. I really wanted to give you guys a copy of Fangirl signed but it seems like that won’t be happening. And it really upsets me.

I don’t understand why they never posted anything on Facebook and why they waited till we were all at the library to say, “Hey guys but it seems like there was a misunderstanding. Yeah, we’re not signing your books. Maybe next time!” Okay, so maybe it wasn’t said exactly like that, but it sounded that way. I love meeting authors. Love getting my books signed and speaking to them. Not looking from the back of a room and then leaving. It wasn’t fair of them to not say anything until people were there. I’m sorry once again that I have nothing to give you guys. Maybe my next signing.

~ Lauren

Allegiant: Why I Disliked it

I’ve tried to do this review a million times. I sat down and recorded it… which ended with me crying. I’ve always been better with words, better at expressing my emotions through sentences. Instead of making a review I’m simply going to write about something that happened in this book. If you have not read these books, or Allegiant, then DO NOT READ ON. I mean it. Because you know

We have read Allegiant and know what happens at the end. That very, very, very depressing holy-mother-this-is-not-real-but-it-is ending. Tris, the main character and the voice of this series, dies. Why? I have no idea. This- this plot twist angered me. Tris is was a character that had a tremendous impact on my life. When I first read Divergent I had a lot of things going on in my life. Divergent allowed me to escape from it all. For a good month that was all read, spoke, and breathed about. I was actually banned from ever mentioning it because people got annoyed. Like that would even stop me.

                            Divergent, Tris really, became this hero to me. Often I found myself saying, “What Would Tris Do?” She had this strength that I wanted. I found myself trying to be tough and strong and just to have courage. I took a piece of Tris into myself, which readers often do with characters they are fond of. When she died a piece of myself died with her. I was hysterically crying and really, it wasn’t a pretty sight. 

          My sister told me something when I finished Allegiant, “There won’t always be a happy ending.” But I like happy endings. We live in a shitty world full of war, heartbreak, and death. It could books or a movie, maybe even a game, that helps you escape from it all. Books, for me at least, give me this hope that good things do happen. Which is why what my sister said angered me. I don’t want to face reality sometimes. I needed a happy ending in Divergent damn it. I needed Tris to live, to marry Four and live. I thought, “If Tris can survive every shitty thing that happens to her then so can I.” Reading her death was like watching all of those hopes and dreams vanish. I know how dramatic this all sounds, but we all have a series or a book that saved us. Allegiant felt like one giant slap in the face.

         Yeah, Tris died a noble death, she sacrificed herself for the greater good and blah blah blah. I get that VR wanted to kill her from the start. She had it planned out, but I felt like she was so stuck on this one ending that she did everything in her damn power to make it happen. Four, at least the one I loved, never would have left her. He was have stayed with her. All of that Evelyn bullshit and the whole, “Choose me or not,” annoyed the crap out of me. Not only that, but she lets MARCUS THE ABUSIVE ASSHAT LIVE. Oh, and of course Peter the LET ME KILL ALL THE PEOPLE is allowed to forget how much of an asshole he is. He can forget that he sexually assaulted Tris, almost killed her, stabbed Edward in the eye, worked with Erudite, and again WILLING TO KILL ANYONE. Isn’t that just all nice and cosy. So Tris dies and the two people who deserved to die the most live. Sure, seems fitting.

        Divergent… Divergent was my world. Tris was the character that saved me. It hurts that I will never be able to read these book again, won’t be able to watch the movie without thinking about this book. I give VR credit because she really didn’t care what people will think. It was her book and she won’t change a thing. But at the same time I hate it. She gave us two whole books with Tris’ POV. VR gave us all of Tris’ thoughts and feelings, everything she wanted… She gave us 6. It hurts because the book that brought me hope, the character that gave me strength, are both dead. I just have to hope authors don’t start rolling VR’s lead and start killing their main characters.

         What are your thoughts?

~ Lauren

 

City of Bones And The Feels

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Everyone has heard of The Mortal Instruments. Many have lived it. I’m the later. City of Bones was amazing. So many feels and just… people need to stop complaining. It stayed close to the book. Jaime was Jace. I just… No words. I grew up with TMI. My sister started reading them at 16. She read them when they came out. Now she’s in her 20s. We shared a room growing up and I slowly became more like her. I loved the books she read. I never asked for City of Bones. She turned to me when I was 12 and just said,”Here, I think you’ll like these.” I think that’s why I am so emotionally attached to them. These books connected us. I grew up with Clary and Jace. I waited impatiently for City of Glass thinking,”This is it. No more Clace, no more Malec. This is the end.” And it wasn’t.
Now I’m a senior in high school and these books are actually ending. These books have connected me and my sister. I know all of this- this ranting is all over, but these books are my childhood. To actually see these characters come to life was so much. I cried. Yes. I became That Girl, but these characters were my life. Are my life. I shipped Malec before I knew what a ship was. I pretended that I was a shadowhunter during my horrible grammar school years. I was able to ignore the outside world and enter a new one. I wanted to be Izzy and Clary. I wanted Alec to be my brother. I sound like a nerd, but I don’t care. This has been 5 years in the making, 5 years since I went on Cassie’s old blog and saw it was optioned. I love these books. I love this world. By the Angel, I am obsessed. Go out and read them, see the movie, and fangirl.

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~ Lauren

The first photo is me and my friend, the last is me.

Excuse my Rant #1: The Misunderstood Male Syndrome: Or Why Being A Dick is Acceptable

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I feel like this fits the post… And it’s funny.

*Please excuse any words that I say. It is just a way of explaining a character or how a character was explained in the book*

My sister has this thing where she can’t clean her room alone. As long as someone is there she’s good. That person is usually me. Yesterday was no different. I went to her room, sat on the bed, and took out my book. When she was done cleaning (and dancing like the 90s was back) she sat down next to me and took out a book. I don’t remember the title but I do know it is considered equal to 50 Shades. I think we’re all familiar with that book.

I picked it up, nosy as to what it was about. As I read through it I realized something: the guy in the book was demanding, the dark and mysterious demanding kind. It got me thinking of other books, Young Adult included. Maybe YA doesn’t have a lot of the erotica like some oder books have, but it still has the type of guy of who has a dark background. You know the type. They sit in the back of class, in the corner maybe, most likely brooding over something. The numerous rumors follow his every step. And the best: they hurt the girl to punish themselves.

Priceless.

“BUT IT WAS TO PROTECT HER!” Screams everyone. Yeah, because scaring her half to death, calling her names – not defending her – is swoon worthy as hell. That’s exactly what I look for in a guy. I can think of numerous of characters where the bad guy becomes a love interest to the fans because the said character is hurting on the inside. *cough* Shatter Me *cough* *cough* It’s so damn sexy when Warner forced Juliette to hurt people. When he made her cry hysterically. But it’s okay. He’s misunderstood… NOT. People sit there and basically say,”You know what, you’re doing all these horrible things because you’re just misunderstood. You were hurt by your parents, or your heart was crushed. Here, have a cookie.”

That would make Voldemort good, right? He was misunderstood. His father left and was put in an orphanage after his mother died. Let’s all give him a hug. He only killed people because he was confused. Let’s ship him with Harry now. Even though he killed his parents.

I declare Hardemort a thing now. Go forth and spread it.

I’m about to mention a character I love. Please don’t hate me… Will Herondale was like this. As I recall he called Tessa, excuse my French, a whore at the end of the first book. I think so. And I’m guilty of using the whole misunderstood thing to defend him. He was (again: excuse my French) a dick. A pretty major one at that. I still love him though because his character was complex. He did realize his mistake, albeit it doesn’t excuse every hurtful thing he may have done.

Even better, why do the girls accept this? Why did Bella curl up into a ball and basically act as if her life was over (and did every dangerous thing that exists)? Tessa burned her hand (Really? Cassie, you’re better than that). Just… do NOT get me started on Warner. I saw that coming the minute he entered the book. I wish authors would just STOP. Don’t excuse a villain, every sinister thing they did, because they are hot and have steamy scenes. Don’t make excuses for someone being a dick.

More authors need to write someone like Hermione. Who YELLED AND SCREAMED AT RON AFTER HE ACTED LIKE A JERK. SHE DIDN’T TAKE HIS EXCUSES. Katy from the Lux series also didn’t automatically forgive Daemon. She made him work. Ellie from Angelfire also didn’t take excuses. She basically said,”Me, you, and date. NOW.” Sophie from Hex Hall too.

Stop making excuses. Stop shipping two characters. Especially when the guy is the bad person. Just because he said he was “in love” and “only did it to protect her” means nothing. Only  two guy characters that I can think of right now who were mysterious, who had a past that was horrible, would be Four from Divergent and Alex from Perfect Chemistry. I won’t say anything because spoilers, but I will say Veronica Roth didn’t make excuses for Four. He showed Tris who he was and told her his past. Four didn’t try to push her away because of his past. Instead he actually wanted to tell it to her. He did dickish things. It happens. Everyone can make a mistake. Now, Alex really made a lot of mistakes, but him pushing Brittany away made actual sense. A lot of sense. He came from horrible conditions. Him protecting her made a lot of sense.

It really is annoying. I know a lot of bloggers who have written about the same thing. I get it. People are attracted to broken things. I think for women it’s the motherly nature within us to try to fix everything. I have been friends with guys who were jerks because I thought maybe, just maybe, I can help them. I knew though that nothing excuses  hurtful words or actions. This goes for girl friends too. I wish more authors showed this. Being a hot guy does not fix every wrong action. No more excuses.

Do you feel the same way? Can you think of a book like this? Or maybe a book where the girl didn’t accept excuses or the guys demanding nature?

~Lauren