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

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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

Young-Adult, New-Adult, and Holy Crap I’m a Senior: An Appearance with Future Me

                      It hit me today: I’m a senior. Come this time next year I’m going to be in college. Maybe the one two hours away or the one with my sister, maybe I’ll be doing Chem homework and wanting to cry. And it scares me. It scares me to the point where sitting in that fetal position crying for mommy seems really good. Why did it hit me today? Because I visited a college I could see myself in (and bought a book). It wasn’t like last year when I was a Junior. Pshh, I still had about two months left of school and another five till Senior year. I’ve got time. I’ve got no time. Senior year is more than just being able to wear any a sweater with my uniform, it’s growing up. I apologize for my “I don’t wanna grow up, I wanna be a Toys’R’Us kid” speech.

           When I was younger all my book characters were older. I was in 7th grade reading about a kid in High School. Then I was that kid in high school reading about teens and being their age. I felt like a badass. Yeah, I wasn’t. Questionable times those early high school years… But now half the time I’m reading books and the characters are younger. It is crazy. One minute I’m 15 and all these characters are so much older, then all of a sudden I’m 17 and wondering what the hell happened. This reason for this mental breakdown would be that I went out to B&N after all that college mumbo jumbo and bought the print copy of Wait for You by J.Lynn. (Cam on paper is like having Four in my bedroom: so much better.) It’s considered to be New Adult, which is like upper YA. As I was holding Wait for You in my car, just looking at it, I realized New Adult has turned into a lifeline for me. My thought process in my car was almost like this: “So I’m reading books that are almost YA, but not, and it may say Adult but the characters are in their 20s or so. Works for me. Forever young.” All that just by holding ONE book. YA books were basically my entire life growing up. I had all the romance and action I needed. Then of course one book turned into 200 and now I’m wondering what happened. When did I become a Senior? Time does fly by. I wish it didn’t.

           It scares me growing up. The future. As a kid, I never thought about how my age would catch up with those characters, how opening up a book doesn’t slow down the aging process (although I wish it did). These book genres have basically made me scared but excited for growing up. I don’t think people realize how huge books are to you as you grow up. I’m actually aging out of my genre and looking into new ones. Change is scary, but it is also good. But I will always need YA. Yes, I’m a senior and it scares me because I don’t want to grow up, but YA will always be with me. I haven’t come to some epiphany within the last five hours and this mini rant doesn’t end with my accepting the fact that I will be 18 next month, but I understand. Understanding is what’s important. So maybe next year I will be crying over Chem, but there’s more to every scenario.

           Which leads me to this: did anyone feel how I am right now? Shocked and scared and wondering what happened to being a teenager? Why is this word college thrown around? Please tell me I’m not alone.

 

~Lauren

PS:  I can’t wait to read this a year from now. Maybe then I’ll write about what I actually am doing at this time. Hi me. Please tell me all those future books are awesome…