My Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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When you read as much as I do, you’re bound to develop some opinions that others might not agree with. In fact, it happens quite a lot, so I’ve rounded up some of the most unpopular opinions I have on books. Quick disclaimer, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you disagree with me, that’s great, but please respect my opinion just as I vow to respect yours. Now, let’s get under way!

Please beware, this post may contain spoilers.

  • I did not like the Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare.

I’d heard so much about the Mortal Instruments Series before I had even read it. It was an equal amount of good and bad feedback, so I can’t say that it swayed my mind either way before I picked it up, but it was definitely a series that people were talking about. I was apprehensive at first, because books with a crazy amount of hype can sometimes end up being disappointing, but after I saw the movie, I thought I’d give it a go. Never the less, I read the first two books and ultimately felt as though the series wasn’t for me. At the grand old age of 25, I can’t help but think I’m not exactly the target audience anyway.

  • I liked Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

I would like to lay a foundation before I go into my explanation of this. The Cursed Child is a play, not a novel, and therefore should not be compared to Rowling’s original works, as it is a completely different medium to the Potter books. Not only is it a different medium, scripts are supposed to be bare and factual, because the play comes to life when you see it performed, with costumes, lighting, staging and props etc. You’re really only getting a fifth of the experience when you read a play. I have been fortunate enough to see The Cursed Child performed live and enjoyed it much more than I did when I read it, because I was getting the whole experience, the whole vision that Rowling has co-created. Finally, the point I would like to finish on, is that the any spin offs from the Harry Potter series will be destined to be unpopular. We’ve spent ten years theorising what happened after Harry said goodbye to his children at King’s Cross, and the result of whatever JK Rowling created next would not please everyone. I’m just thankful we have more produce from the Potter-verse to get excited about.

  • I liked that Tris died at the end of the Divergent Series. 

Everyone I have spoken to about the ending of Allegiant has been up in arms about Roth’s decision to kill off Tris Prior, rather than go for a happily ever after ending that we craved for her and Four. With the Divergent series, Roth has never been about sticking to the status quo when it comes to the Young Adult genre, for example, her books don’t include a love triangle for the main character, which has been one of the most overused tropes in the genre. Tris dying at the end of Allegiant fits with the character arc that Roth set up for Tris since the start of Divergent. Tris had been searching since the day of the Aptitude Test what it meant to be “selfless”, something which she struggled with on a daily basis being born and raised in the Abnegation faction. Ultimately, Tris released that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different. So Tris sacrificing herself for the good of Chicago, so that others may live free from the Bureau, is the perfect send off for the character, and brings Tris’s arc, quite literally, to a close.

  •  I thought The Maze Runner films were better than the books.

I read all three of The Maze Runner books and have seen the two films that have currently been released, and it’s safe to say, I prefer the films. I know that sentiment is practically book-lover blasphemy but it’s the truth. I think a lot of what was weak about the original books was erased or changed in the films, and I think that Wes Ball, who directed both The Maze Runner film and The Scorch Trials film, made, not only great adaptations, but also great science fiction and dystopian films.

  •   I like John Green’s books and style of writing.

John Green was the first author I read before heavily getting into the YA genre. I read Looking for Alaska back in 2011, and then read The Fault in Our Stars in 2012 along with Paper Towns, and Abundance of Katherines and Will Grayson, Will Grayson in quick succession. I found his writing, although at times repetitive in themes and structure, to be very poetic, lyrical and philosophical, which is just my taste. I’ve noticed in reviews that a few readers have found him to be pretentious, which I can understand, but for me, his writing really speaks to a part of my soul, and I’ll always treasure his books as they opened the door to the YA genre, and widened my reading tastes.

So these are my unpopular bookish opinions! Do you agree with me on any of these points? Or do you disagree? I’m happy to start a judgement free civil conversation in the comments!

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Top Five Series Next on My TBR

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It’s that age-old problem of too many books, not enough time. (Although, I could argue that there is no such thing as too many books!) Even though I have a long list of series that I want to start, I’ve decided to pick just five series to move further up on my TBR list. Here they are!

These series are in no particular order. 

The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas

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In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught. Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. – from Goodreads.com

This series is all over bookstagram and booktube and it is a cemented fan favourite. I sort of feel like I’m missing out if I don’t read this series, and with reports it’s due to become a TV series soon, I need to get a wiggle on.

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

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When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. – from Goodreads

This is pretty much everyone’s favourite series, and a huge staple in the YA community. I’ve seen the movie, I’ve seen the TV series, so what am I waiting for? Who knows.

The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

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In 1945, Claire Randall is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon in Scotland. Innocently she walks through a stone circle in the Highlands and finds herself in a violent skirmish taking place in 1743. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an outlander, in a country torn by war and by clan feuds. Marooned amid the passion and violence, the superstition , the shifting allegiances and the fervent loyalties, Claire is in danger from James Fraser, a gallant and courageous young Scots warrior. – from Goodreads.com

I first heard about Outlander from Sasha Alsberg who is obsessed with the series. Soon after that it was made into a TV show for Amazon Prime. Sasha’s love for the series has allowed a new wave of readership from the booktube community to enjoy it as much as her.

The Study Series by Maria V Snyder

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Yelena has a choice – be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can’t. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head? – from Goodreads.com

Once again, this was another recommendation via Sasha Alsberg and her BookTube channel ABookUtopia. I hadn’t heard of the series before Sasha recommended it, and clearly the word had reached further than my laptop, as I found the first three books in a charity shop where I live for 25p each!

The Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith

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When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. A war veteran, wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike’s life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger. – from Goodreads.com

JK Rowling’s (not so secret) psudoymn, and after the backlash of the Casual Vacancy I’m not sure I blame her for chosing to publish under a different name for her debut crime series. She has always expressed a want to write crime, and I always express a want to read her books. I’m slowly getting more and more into the crime genre, and so I’m hoping to pick this one up asap.

So these are the top five series I want to start reading. Have you read any of these?  Can you recommend them? What five books are on your next TBR list? Let me know in the comments!

Top 5 Shows to Watch on Netflix (UK)

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Despite the controversy of geo-pirate-gate, I’m going to be listening the top five TV shows on Netflix UK that I love watching. So regardless of where you live in the world, take note. Your next favourite show could be on this list.

These TV shows are in no particular order.

1

Bates Motel

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Bates Motel is a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film “Psycho,” and gives a portrayal of how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years. Fans discover the dark, twisted backstory of Norman Bates and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma, truly is. – from IMDb

Bates Motel’s fourth season is currently airing in the US, and all three previous seasons are up on Netflix, so you can make sure you’re up to date for when the show is reported to finish at the end of it’s fifth series.

2

House of Anubis

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When one of their number disappears on the same day that an American girl joins their ranks, a group of English boarding school students embarks on solving a mystery. – from IMDb

Man, looking for an appropriate picture gave me all of the ~feels. I know this show is technically for kids, but so is Pokemon and we all watch that, right? A group of school kids board in a creepy old house with tonnes of Egyptian mythology and go on tonnes of adventures, whilst dealing with raging hormones? All three seasons of the show are on Netflix, and season two is by far the strongest.

3

The Tudors

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A dramatic series about the reign and marriages of King Henry VIII. – from IMDb

For history fans, the most (in my opinion) scandalous time in British history is adapted to screen. All four seasons of the show are on Netflix and chronicle all six of Henry’s wives. Particular highlights are Henry’s marriages to Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, as both of these ladies were beheaded for their treasonous behaviour against the king.

4

Sherlock

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A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London. – from IMDb

I absolutely adore this intervention on Conan Doyle’s classic story, and Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are the perfect duo. Set in a modern day, England, Sherlock and John still go on adventures solving crimes. All three seasons are on Netflix, including the New Year special The Abominable Bride. Particularly great episodes are the pilot A Study in Pink and the Hound of the Baskervilles.

5

Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments

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After her mother is kidnapped, Clary must venture into the dark world of demon hunting in order to find clues that can help her find her mother. – from IMDb

Despite the controversies when the pilot aired, Shadowhunters seems like great fun. Set in New York, this urban fantasy chronicles the underworld beneath the city, where Shadowhunters fight demons and protect the mortal world. Although I haven’t read the Mortal Instruments series, it’s definitely a book that sounds up my ally. Shadowhunters is contracted for thirteen episodes, and debuts weekly on Netflix.

Are any of these shows your favourite? Or is there a TV show you think I’ll love and have missed? Let me know down in the comments which TV shows are in your Top 5.

Book Adaptation List: TV Edition

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In light of Shadowhunters: The TV Show (based off of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and beginning with City of Bones) dropping this New Year, I’ve thought long and hard about what books I would love to see be adapted into TV shows. Why not movies? I hear you ask. Good question. Some books are just too complicated or too layered to be compacted into a film, and once you see my list, you’ll understand why.

These books are in no particular order.

1

The Heather Wells Mysteries

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Heather’s perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York’s top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather’s residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft. – from Goodreads.com

Can you imagine a comedy/drama/crime TV featuring a body positive message and exciting murder mysteries? Talk about breaking the mould, much. I can only imagine Jen Morrison in the role as Heather Wells the badass amateur sleuth and Ben Barnes her gorgeous love interest Cooper. Does it sound perfect? It does to me.

2

Nineteen Minutes

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Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes–or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show–destroying the closest of friendships and families. – from Goodreads.com

One of the things I loved the most about this book was it’s ensemble of characters, and how all of them played a vital role in the plot. Picoult crafted this book so well, with moral complexity, layers and much more, and I can definitely see it being adapted in the near future.

3

 Dorothy Must Die

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Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road – but even that’s crumbling. – from Goodreads.com

I would love nothing more than to see Danielle Paige’s new (but not improved) world of Oz come to life. Everyone loves the character of Dorothy, but now that it’s under her rule, I want everyone to see what she’s been up to whilst we’ve been away.

4

Paper Valentine

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The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls. – from Goodreads.com

For fans of Pretty Little Liars, I think this book would fill the void it our hearts once our precious PLL ends. *sob*

5

Fallen

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17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. – from Goodreads.com

Yes, I know Fallen is already in the works to be made into a movie, but City of Bones was a movie before it was part of the Shadowhunters TV Series. I think what really drew me into this book was Luce’s adventures at Sword and Cross, which I think would translate really well to TV. Who knows? Hopefully if the movie is successful they can make a TV off the back of it?

So this is the list (so far) of books I think would make good TV shows. What are yours? Let me know down in the comments if I’m missing out on any adaptation gems!