Books I Refuse to Read

Have you ever picked up a book and thought “Yeah I’m never reading this”? Or a friend has tried to push you to read a book that you know you won’t like? Or heard about issues with an author or book and thought, “Good thing I found out so I can never read their stuff again”?

Well, same. And here’s that list of books I refuse to read!

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Villains I love and love to hate

The best stories have a good plot, diverse characters, and a villain you can’t help but love. The more interesting a villain, the more I enjoy a book, and sometimes it’s hard to get that perfect balance of evil and likable. So, here’s a list of some of my favorite villains!

A Villain I LOVE

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The Darkling is such a charming, charismatic person you can’t help but love him. Every interaction Alina had with him had me anxiously waiting to see what happened next. He believed in his mission, he loved Alina, and he wanted to change the world. Those conditions and attributes combined created a villain I loved. I didn’t want to hate him, and I sort of understood his intentions, but we all knew they were skewed.

 

A Villain I love to HATE

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Maeve as a villain is someone I love to hate. She’s evil, vindictive, and had a lot of motivation for her actions. I still hated her though. By the end, I could see how she wasn’t the true villain of the story, but her actions in the series allowed for our true villain to appear. Man I hated that guy lol

 

 

A Villain I hate to LOVE

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Corien, who we get to learn more about in Kingsbane, is such an evil guy. And when I mean evil, I mean evil. But also such a good antagonist. I mean everything he does makes me want to smack him on the head and then we get to the kissy kissy scenes and I’m swooning. Damn him!

 

 

A (kinda) Villain I LOVE

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The premise of this book is that there are no heroes or villains. We just have anti-heroes really and that means I can love all my boys the same! Victor, our protagonist (I guess you could call him) doesn’t want to be a hero – he wants revenge. And Eli? Well, he wants to be seen as a hero, but I guess murder isn’t a good way of going about that as he eradicates everyone with a super ability. This pair of equally grey characters is such a fun read.

 

And a Villain I just HATE

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OOOOHHH LET ME TELL YOU. I hate Marcus, I hate the Commandant, and I HATE the Nightbringer. Oh my gosh I hate these characters with a passion. And it’s not even because they’re bad characters/villains, it’s because they’re so EVIL that I just want them out of the way so my cinnamon roll Elias and my baby Laia can FINALLY BE HAPPY. GOSH I GET SO UPSET.

 

I find myself loving books with morally grey villains, or at least charming villains, because they make things so much more interesting. Like how can I even be mad when your messed up plan actually makes sense? How can I hate you when you’re so lovable and charming?! It can be so frustrating.

What are some villains you love and love to hate? Let me know in the comments!

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Books I Regret Buying

I am shamelessly copying my friend Alexa, Writing the Universe, on this post but I have permission, so it’s fine!

We all have those impulse buys – you know the ones – the cover you can’t resist or your friend told you to buy it. I have several of those and while I may not have those copies anymore (because I got rid of them), I’m going to cover what books I regret buying.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Series

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I did not read this book at all. I bought an entire hardcover series and The Tales of the Peculiar signed copy and never read them. I eventually ended up selling them. I had heard great things about the first book, but I never got around to reading it, so there was no point in holding onto it. If I decide to read them in the future, I have friends who will willingly give me a copy to borrow or the library. I don’t see a point in owning this series anymore.

Illuminae/Gemina

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A friend gifted me Gemina without checking if I had read the first book, which I didn’t. So I purchased Illuminae and tried to read it. I really tried. The constant switch between formats actually made it harder for me to understand what was going on because I am a person who analyzes everything on a page, so on some pages I would take five minutes looking over anything before moving on. And then forget what happened. Maybe in the future I’ll try to read this monster of a series, especially since everyone raves about it and I loved their other series Aurora Rising, but at this moment, I regret having them. They’re taking up a lot of room on my shelf and collecting dust.

The Hunger Games

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I never read The Hunger Games. My friends read it in middle school/high school and always recommended it to me since I was a fellow reader. And it didn’t seem that interesting to me. But with constant persistence, eventually, I caved, and got a cheap/almost free paperback copy to read. I read five chapters and stopped. I hated it. I was bored to tears and honestly didn’t care about the book. So I sold the copy and moved on.

The Gilded Wolves

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I got two copies of this book, one from OwlCrate and the other I had preordered not realizing I was getting it in my OwlCrate. I have since sold the OwlCrate edition because I DNFed this book. I got over 100 pages in and I couldn’t get into it. I want to give this book another try because I love Roshani’s other series, The Star-Touched Queen, but this one was boring. I wanted a Six of Crows heist novel and I wasn’t getting that. It was frustrating. My friend Grace, who has a similar taste in books, loves this novel (and she’s the person I sold my OC copy to), so I feel like I need to give it another chance. But as of right now, I definitely regret buying this book.

Three Dark Crowns/One Dark Throne

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Before anyone comes for me, I loved these books! So it is less of a, “oh my gosh, I’m so mad I bought these, I hated the books or I never read them!” and more of a, “I don’t have the complete series and part of me wants them as e-books”. I read the first book in college in a day. Like I took it to all of my lectures and read them in that day and LOVED it. Now I have the first two books signed and I don’t own the last two books. And I kinda regret buying the first two instead of just getting a box set or getting them on kindle. I don’t know what to do!

The Mortal Gods

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Because I loved Three Dark Crowns so much, when I saw a signed copy of this at BookCon I jumped on it! Only to realize I never purchased the first book and at this point, I probably won’t! Since I’m moving, I need to reduce the number of physical books I have so I most likely will be purchasing more kindle books than physical books for the time being. Except for special editions of course! But that leaves me with a signed copy of book 2 having never read book 1 . . . So that’s a bit frustrating.

Into The Still Blue

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I saw this book on BookOutlet and didn’t even think to check the synopsis. I bought it, it arrived, and it’s the third book in a series . . .

I need to be better about purchasing books out of order, cause clearly I can’t trust myself to do the proper research! Yes, I bought the third book in a series by accident and no, I have not purchased book 1 or 2 at this point. I think I still have this book sitting on my shelf and it needs to go. Maybe I’ll get the e-book of Under the Never Sky, but who knows when that’s going to happen?

All in all, I’m grateful I don’t have too many books sitting on my shelf that I’m not going to read. I have either re-homed them or sold them, so I’m not out too much. But I’m sure this won’t be the last experience I have regretting a book I bought. Maybe I can do a series on this if it continues to happen (let’s hope it doesn’t!)

Thanks to Alexa for the idea! What are some books you regret buying?

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What’s the Deal with Spoilers?

Spoilers. A divided subject in the book community. On the one hand, they take away from the joy and excitement that a person may have for a mystery box, ruin the surprise in a book, or ruin the fun of finding out who the killer is. On the other hand, limiting someone’s freedom of speech is not okay, and telling people they can’t post spoilers is not something that can always be dictated by others. I’ve seen some interesting arguments regarding spoilers, but I think it’s important to look at them and determine what is a spoiler and what should classify as one.

A spoiler, in my own words, is information about a topic or item that is not obvious public information and effectively ruins the surprise of arriving at that moment. For example, someone posting about how sad they were a character died, when it is not common knowledge this character dies because the book has just been released. Typically spoiling occurs when an item or information is brand new and not many people have had the chance to view it yet. But this is where it can get a little less clear. When does a spoiler end?

Different people have different opinions on when something is no longer a spoiler. Some people say a month, others say six months, some say a year, and some say never. This divide on when information is no longer a spoiler is tricky, and one of the biggest issue in the book community.

In most of the book groups I’m currently in on Facebook, moderators put a one month spoiler ban on new releases, meaning no reactions/reviews/memes/nothing can include information about the current book. After a month, the spoiler ban is lifted or modified. For some groups, spoilers can be shared freely now. In others, there is a warning that is required for others who may not have had a chance to finish what they are reading, informing them that the information shared is a spoiler.

One of my biggest pet peeves with spoilers is what I call the “I don’t give a fuck” or “idgaf” period. This is the period of time immediately after the release of a book where most people are currently reading it or have not read it yet, and others who have read it early or quickly suddenly spoil large moments with no regards for anyone else. This “idgaf” period is typically in the first two weeks range of a book releasing where most people haven’t even had a chance to receive the book yet. Seeing spoilers on a book or book box during this time is honestly irritating for me and many other people.

After a certain amount of time though, when does information stop being a spoiler? For me, I would say three months. That gives people a good amount of time to receive their book or subscription, crack it open, and see what’s going on. In three months, the people who are anticipating reading or seeing it will have a chance to actually do that, especially since not everyone has the free time to read whatever they want, whenever they want.

So if it’s common knowledge not to spoil information immediately after release, why do people do it? Well – I don’t know. It could be because they are excited to share their opinions, they don’t care that others have not read it yet, or they could be oblivious and not realize it’s a spoiler. Whatever the reason, these moments suck for many of the readers who haven’t had a chance to experience the moment for themselves, and taking away that moment is a crappy thing to do.

Now, here’s where the problem comes in: if there is no set timeline on when a spoiler is no longer a spoiler then confusion is bound to happen and so is aggression. This comes about in aggressive comments by people who are upset or personal messages sent that someone is upset they were spoiled. Now if a certain amount of time has passed, these remarks are no longer valid and the person who is upset is unnecessarily aggressive – and this is where the problem lies.

The spoiler band wagon can be overly aggressive, especially when a good amount of time has passed from the release and should no longer be a spoiler. If the book community sets a timeline, then we can avoid confusion and hostility about spoilers and promote a more positive reading experience for everyone.

Now lets talk etiquette. 

When coming across a spoiler, especially in the “idgaf” period, it’s important to let the person know that what they’re doing is wrong, but in a non-aggressive way. Yelling at people, calling them names, or being utterly rude is not the way to go about the situation. Not only does that make the other person defensive, but it can create a mob mentality and others will join in. Being upset about a spoiler is okay though, but being abrasive or rude is not.

When it’s after the “idgaf” period, we enter the “beware” period. This period is the remaining two and a half months after a release when a person may encounter spoilers and can still justify being upset. In this period, it is still other people’s responsibility to be courteous to others about spoilers, whether by not sharing them or giving a warning. At the same time, the closer to the two and three month mark, the responsibility should shift onto the reader who wants to avoid them. If that means avoiding certain pages or groups who might share spoilers, then avoid them.

If it’s after the three month grace period then the spoiler worry is no longer on the sharer. People are allowed to post reactions, memes, jokes, photos, and more regarding to the books that are out and it is not their job to warn others or avoid spoiling others anymore. While some may still be upset at being spoiled, it is no longer their right to complain about them – except in certain situations.

  1. Someone is aware you are currently reading a book and spoils a big moment for you either on purpose or on accident
  2. Someone posts a spoiler for a series in a group that is focused on one topic (ex. a spoiler for The Wicked King in the ACOTAR group).
  3. Someone spoiling a book in a group chat/comments where a person is asking for opinions/thoughts on if they should read said book

Those are the only situations I would warrant upset regarding spoilers after this grace period. Besides that – it’s fair game.

Now, this is all my opinion. There are people who warrant longer or shorter grace periods, depending on their reading habits and consideration of other people. This is where the consistency should come in. The book community should come together and decide what is the “idgaf” period, the “beware” period, and the “free game” period. Without these time constraints, it is difficult to justify and end this debate.

Overall, spoilers suck and being malicious in sharing them immediately after release is a crappy thing to do. But being rude to other people, even when upset, is also a crappy thing to do. And getting spoiled after a certain amount of time no longer is the person posting’s worry, but the readers.

I think it’s important to open up the debate, so let me know what your opinions on spoilers are and the timeline and etiquette you think is far!