My Bookish Confessions

children

Every now and then I do something while reading that I just know would be looked down upon by a more sophisticated reader than I. So I decided to write them all down, show everyone and run the risk of being shamed for it. HA! Below you will find a few of my bookish confessions.

I never pay attention to the map in the front of a book. Ever.

I love fantasy! I adore it! It’s easily my favourite genre. It’s also easily the most likely genre to have/need a map printed in the front due to all the world building that takes place. But do I ever look at the map? Well, with the exception of Holly Black’s ‘The Folk of the Air series’ (and only because it’s pretty) no, I never read the map. I don’t even really care much about where places are in relation to one another, I just read it and move on with the story.

I’m a spine cracker.

Ok, so I draw the line at dog earring a page, I hate that! But I will 100% crack that bad boys spine. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I love the feel of a paper back book, folded over itself to be made easier to hold one handed. It’s great! The perfect life hack for leaving the other hand free for coffee and/or snacks. Please don’t kill me!

I skim over words.

If I don’t know a word, I’ll just say “sfbuyerbfjk” in my head as I skim over it. Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh, I am the worst. If I can remember, occasionally I’ll look the word up to learn it. But more often than not, I just skim right over it and see if I can make sense of the the sentence as a whole.

I make up names.

I’ve actually spent the entirety of a series calling a character the wrong name. I didn’t learn how it was correctly pronounced until well into the series (I’m looking at you Chaol Westfall from the Throne of Glass series.) So I’ll either pronounce the name wrong for the whole series, or, if the name is particularly weird or misleading with its spelling, I’ll remember what it looks like and just do as above and “sfbuyerbfjk” over it. For those wondering, I called Chaol ‘Coal’ the whole time! For some reason my brain didn’t register the spelling at first and just made up a new name. It’s actually pronounced like ‘Kale’. It blew my mind the day I found out!

I will judge a book by its cover. Ruthlessly.

If it has a persons face on the cover, I struggle to pick it up. This is my most hated cover style. I’ve written a whole blog post about YA books that were given terrible covers to begin with, and most of them are terrible because they have models on the front cover. I really hate being shown how a particular character is meant to look. I’d much rather use my imagination and develop my own sense of the characters appearance. Movie covers are another one I absolutely hate, for the same reasons as above.

I prefer female protagonists.

I’m not saying I won’t read a book with a male protagonist, but I do prefer reading from a female point of view. But I suppose as long as the story is gripping, I’m not too fussed. Still, if I had to choose the same story but from a male or female point of view. I’d always pick female!

So that’s it, to name a few. Do you have any bookish confessions? Let me know in the comments or find me on bookstagram (@readingsumpton) and tell me all your secrets!

large

5 Popular YA Books That Were Given Really Terrible Covers In The Beginning

img_3744

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” your mother would say. Which, when it comes to people, is great advice! But when it comes to books, is easier said than done.

Below I have complied a list of really popular YA books/series that were given terrible covers in the beginning! Thankfully a lot of these books ended up getting new covers over time, but how anyone (myself included) picked them up to start with I have no idea!

img_1374

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

throne

So it might just be me, but I absolutely hate when books have realistic looking character  portraits, or worse, an actual photograph of a person on the cover. I don’t need you filling my head with ideas of what these characters look like, I want to read the story and do all that for myself! The Throne of Glass series is one of my most highly recommended reads. Thank goodness it was given top notch covers after this debacle!

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

$_32

So the original covers for this whole series where pretty terrible, but this one takes the cake for me! I remember I fell in love with this series despite its covers being horrible (and despite a certain weird plot twist at the end of book one! KEEP READING IT’S NOT TRUE!) These books were given a revamp fairly recently and are now much easier on the eye! Unfortunately I have the whole 6 book series in the above cover style though and I can’t bring myself to spend the money to get the new covers for books I already own.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

richelle-mead-vampire-academy-01-vampire-academy-1-728

Eeeeek… I hate these covers. I hate everything about them, there really isn’t much I can say I like! I guess the font is ok and of course I didn’t mind the story! Well, It was ok, I read the first couple of books years ago and I didn’t mind them. Sadly, even the new covers for the Vampire Academy series are pretty average, but thank goodness they decided to ditch the models!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Hunger-Games-UK-Cover-195x300

The Hunger Games series had the biggest ‘glow-up’ I have ever seen when it comes to book covers! Once the movies came out the covers were changed, but not in that horrible “movie cover” way, where they chuck pictures of the actors on the front and call it a day. These books got some really beautiful editions! I’ve had my set with the original covers (above) on my bookcase for years! Until recently when I found the trilogy, second hand, in the most beautiful editions I have ever seen for just $3 each! I couldn’t resist and snapped them up right away! If I have successfully peaked your interest, you can find a picture of these editions on my instagram, here.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter_Me

So I read the first book in this series on a plane from New York City to Los Angeles and I loved it. I then promptly left it in the back of a taxi, along with a number of my other belongings, never to be seen again. But I can tell you now, I would not have picked this book up if it had had this cover. Once you start putting people on the covers of books, I lose interest really quick! Not to mention, this cover has very little relevance to the book in my opinion. I’m not sure what they were thinking here! This series did end up getting some really lovely covers though, which is probably what got me to buy the book in the first place!

So I know in the end it doesn’t really matter what the cover of your book looks like, it’s the story that matters! But I’m sure most book lovers would agree, a pretty cover sure does help!

14 Years Later: My Thoughts On Twilight By Stephenie Meyer (Chapters 1-5)

Please note: due to the large amount of commentary I seem to have on this book so far, I have decided to split these blog posts into parts! Chapters 6 through to 24 will appear in later blog posts.

img_2125

It was the year 2005. my hair was black and I wore more eyeliner than anyone ever should in their entire lifetime. I lived in skinny jeans, hoodies and converse sneakers. I was fifteen years old the year Twilight hit the shelves and it was really the first YA novel I ever read. And let me tell you, I was obsessed! I was in love! It was all encompassing and true!

I have since watched the movies of course, the nostalgia gets the better of me at times and although the acting is subpar and the idea of a 100+ year old vampire being attracted to a teenage girl does send up some red flags, I still, somehow, enjoy them for what they are. I have not however, picked up these books since those fateful teenage years all those moons ago. So here it is, I have challenged myself to reread Twilight. Yes, only the first one, I’m not some masochistic lion, you guys.

Below are my thoughts on Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. 14 years since I last read it.

img_1374

Chapters 1-5

If you haven’t read or watched Twilight, you’re probably the luckiest person in the world and if you have read or watched Twilight, my condolences. Here is a quick synopsis for the aforementioned luckiest people alive.

Bella Swan is your super average teenage girl who has decided to move to a town named Forks to live with her father, Charlie. She goes to school and meets a family of vampires. She falls in love with one of them. Ridiculousness ensues. 

So to start with, it appears, in my opinion, that Bella Swan is a wet blanket of a human being who is so self involved and self deprecating that it makes me want to gouge my own eyes out so that I won’t have to read one more word about how badly she “doesn’t want to be noticed” or how she “doesn’t communicate well.” Not to mention I couldn’t help but liken her to a freshly born calf, tripping over its own legs with the amount of times she references her clumsiness!

Now I tried to enjoy the first five chapters, I really did! But not only was Bella completely unlikable, but there was also quite a few times the author used words and phrases that could only be described as problematic. Some of these gems are as follows.

(Regarding Bella’s father, a police officer, no longer removing the bullets from his gun when he gets home)

“I guess he considered me old enough not to shoot myself by accident, and not depressed enough to shoot myself on purpose” 

and this zinger

(Regarding Edward talking to Bella)

“He enunciated every syllable, as if he was talking to someone mentally handicapped”

Eeeeekkkkk….

There was also a point where Bella actually thinks that her too pale, white skin will cause her to be noticed and ridiculed. As a white woman myself, I’m not even going to touch that one, but it certainly reeks of ignorance. Now not only is Bella extremely self conscious, she also comes across as extremely pretentious! At one point, the character Jessica is trying to befriend her and she literally thinks the following:

“I couldn’t remember her name, so I smiled and nodded as she prattled about teachers and classes. I didn’t try to keep up.”

Wow. Just, wow.

Bella is so incredibly self involved that all she really cares about is how everything around her is going to impact her life. She has little to no care for anything other than herself. Oh. Well, that is until Edward Cullen makes his appearance. In which their first interaction quite literally only involves him “glaring down” at her, no words are exchanged at all. But from that moment on, she is infatuated. She is so ridiculously emotionally involved that she then starts having all these weird dreams about a guy she’s known for maybe a month and for most of that time he is actively trying to avoid her. But hey, he’s hot right? That means it’s ok when he’s being a jerk! Edward eventually decides he doesn’t want to stay away from her anymore, however he makes a point of constantly telling her that he isn’t a good guy and that she should be scared of him. (GIRL, RUUUUUN!)

But again, he’s like, so hot right?

Chapters 6 – 10 coming soon. Whenever I can bring myself to continue reading this garbage.