Top Ten Tuesday April 25, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week our topic is top ten things that will instantly make us not want to read books. I am going to do this list based on books I never picked up and books I did pick up but couldn’t finish.

An Unbelievable Premise.

The most important thing in any book is for it to be grounded in reality. If your book doesn’t have realistic characters with real struggles, even if it’s a high fantasy, then it will not work out.

Weak Writing

You know right away when the writing isn’t strong. The story the author is trying to tell us could be really amazing, but if the writing isn’t there then the story isn’t going to come together in the right way.

When Characters are Juvenile

Yes, this is young adult fiction but that doesn’t mean that this needs to be written for a young comprehension level or with characters who don’t match. I recently read a book that felt like the author was giving her view on teenagers (whiny, emotional, not good enough struggles or ability to comprehend the world around them) instead of writing teenagers as actual human beings. When you are an adult writing about teenagers you should be writing them as if you’re right in the middle of them, not someone who is so far removed from being a young adult that the entire story comes out mutated. Young adults are young, but they are also strong and are going through so many things and should be written strongly and not as if they are being scolded.

When Multiple Narration Doesn’t Work

When there are multiple points of view, but the voices don’t change with the different characters. If you’re going to do multiple narrations, then I should be able to tell each time it shifts and be able to tell distinctly who is speaking to me.

Social Commentary Fails

When it’s too obvious someone is trying to make a social commentary and it fails. You all know these books are going to be terrible and probably offensive just by the description. Someone tries to make a comment on something and they think it’s a great idea and somehow in the string of people who touched this book on its way to getting published no one else noticed this.

When the Point is too Preachy

This one goes with number five, but books that are trying to make a point and it’s really obvious. Your book should make a point and when I’m done reading it I should know what it is, but it shouldn’t be shoved in my face the entire book. There needs to be a point to YOUR point. You need to show me why this thing you want to teach us is important and show how it comes into play in everyday life. Books that teach a lesson are fine, but there should be a good story with it and not just be a scolding the entire book.

Terrible Cover

They tell you not to judge a book by its cover, but I think many of us are guilty. The cover is really the first thing we see of a book. Most of the books I read are ones I’ve heard about from other people, but don’t know much about. I usually purchase books solely on recommendation and good word from bloggers on Twitter or from authors I know I’ve loved in the past. Really with the exception of books I request from Netgalley I do not read any of the description of the books. I want to be completely surprised when I read books so unless it’s something I’m searching for to request then I don’t read anything on the book. Understandably covers have become really important to me. If a cover is really low quality (you know the ones I’m talking about) then I feel like the quality of the book itself would be low. As much effort needs to go into creating these covers as writing the book. The cover should show how amazing the book is.

Bad Plot Points

When a plot point just doesn’t make sense. This one calls back to number one, but there are some books that make sense in every single way except for one. I DNF’d a book last year that started off so well but about 1/3 of the way through the book something really weird happened. I tried to continue on in the story, but I just could not get over what she was trying to get us to believe and had to stop reading it. You can have an amazing book (and that book had favorable reviews) and one thing can ruin it for people. Unfortunately, it’s really hit or miss at that point though because some people are going to love it and think it’s brilliant and some people just aren’t going to get it.

Too Long

When a book is too long. Young adult books over the past few years have been getting progressively longer. For most of the books that’s great! But for some it just means the first 300 or so pages are so slow! I read these books and I get to that 200-300 page mark and wonder why things aren’t happening yet. Yes, I love the fact that you’re spending time setting up your world, but I need more action. I know the climax is going to come in that last 100 pages at some point, but I still need some sort of action in the first 300-400 pages.

When It’s Just Bad.

Sometimes a book has so many things wrong with it you wonder how it was published or why you decided to accept a review request from that self-published author. We live in a publishing world today where self-publishing is so accessible and easy for people. I have read some absolutely fantastic self-published books. Most of those authors spent time and money having it professionally edited and marketed and actually put in the effort the story deserved. Then there are people who wrote a book, decided to ignore the advice of all the beta readers (or maybe those people were liars) and publish their book without putting in the effort to edit it or make sure it made sense. These are the books that turn people off from self-publishing and it’s sad that there are so many of them that they ruin it for the people who actually tried and have talent. This doesn’t only happen in self-publishing though; it happens with traditionally published books. I finished a book recently that I purchased solely on the recommendation of a publisher’s tweet and it was a terrible book.


What are some things that drive you guys nuts in books?




Dating the It Guy Tour Blitz

Dating the It Guy

Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren, seems determined to get back into his life, along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

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“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”

“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.

Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”

“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.

“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,”Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”

I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?

“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.


Author Bio:

Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

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Digging in the Stars Blitz

Digging in the Stars
Katherine Blakeney
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: March 28th2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has justdisappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents stagedby the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claimthe lives of everyone she loves.

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“Please remain seated as we begin our descent into Thror.Welcome, and enjoy your stay.”
The time for action was at hand, and she still didn’t feel ready. The flight felt much shorter than she’d expected.
The girls exchanged bewildered looks across the aisles. Stunned silence. They couldn’t have missed that final announcement. Avoiding Professor P’s gaze, Carter still felt the look of shock the professor shot across the cabin. Once, Carter had seen herself arriving on Thror as a great explorer. Instead, she would be remembered as a half-baked deceiver and kidnapper. The Throrians would have called her a scent-changer.

* * *

Carter had been so close to her goal. She saw that crack with her own eyes, a portal into a lost ancient world, chambers filed with carvings, images that had never been recorded or reproduced. The greatest discovery of this or any other century, waiting less than twenty feet away. Waiting for her. And Conrad had been there first. The moment she thought it, she felt guilty. She was allowing herself to get carried away by archaeological fervor, mentally competing with Conrad, when he might have paid a terrible price for his discovery.

Author Bio:

I am an author and independent filmmaker/stop motion animator with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My thesis focuses on silent film adaptations of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Gothic novels, with a special emphasis on psychological and aesthetic representations of the Monster figure. My debut novel, a YA Sci-Fi adventure called Digging in the Stars, is forthcoming with BlazePublishing on March 28, 2017.

Raised by an Egyptologist mother, I grew up among museums and excavation sites,where I developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. I divide my time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in my studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. I have worked for more than 10 years as photographer and videographer for the South Asasif Conservation Project, an archaeological expedition in Egypt and I have published numerous articles on film and archaeology.

I write, direct, design, and animate short films and commissioned projects in my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been employed as an animator, screenwriter, modelmaker and art director for studios in Edinburgh, South Korea and Qatar. I have produced commissioned projects for IdeasTap in London, the Arts Trust Scotland and the British Library. My shorts have won competitions and screened at various international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2015, my short film The BurglarWith the Yellow Hand was nominated for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Research in Film Award.

You can find out more about all aspects of my work on my website,
My new blog is all about Digging in the Stars and my references and inspirations as a writer.

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Safe and Sound Read-a-Long

Hey guys! I am super excited to read Safe and Sound by Alli Hope. I was so lucky to be able to read it a few years ago, but I am looking forward to reading the finished product with new eyes. What I remember from before is an incredible story about a girl and a boy thrown back together as they go on an almost impossible journey. It also talks about human trafficking, which is something so serious that feels like it only get discussed when it’s in the Taken movies or when Ashton Kutcher talks about it. Atlanta is a hub for human trafficking and the town I live in isn’t that far from there. I hope that this opens the eyes of so many young adults who are reading it. It’s also a really great story of two teenagers trying to find their way in the world again.

Alli Hope is hosting a Read-A-Long for Safe and Sound from March 24-April 2.

16 year-old, Hailey Perish, knows her life can’t get much worse. Since her dad split a few years ago, Hailey’s mother has spiraled hard and fast, careening toward rock bottom and threatening to take her daughter down with her. Hailey now marks time by evictions, her mother’s poker games, and Saturday School where she voluntarily shows up for weekend detentions to secure her one promised meal of the week. She has no room for relationships, especially with someone like her childhood love and junior class golden boy, Carson Hart. Hailey trusted him once and Carson failed her. She’s determined not to let herself be hurt again.

When Hailey’s mom does the unthinkable and bets her own daughter in a high stakes poker game, Mitch, the loan shark, is all too eager and determined to collect on his debt. To him, Hailey is nothing but property. His property. And he’ll do anything to recover it. On the run from a fate that promises a much worse life than she already knows, there’s only one person in the world Hailey can call for help.

Will Carson be there for her in her darkest hour and deliver her from harm’s way safe and sound? Or will he abandon Hailey—just like he’s always done—just like they all do?

Alli Hope’s debut novel delivers an unforgettable story about love & surviving in the dark places. Safe & Sound contains mature situations and content.

Alli Hope lives on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. She spends her days working with homeless veterans and her nights putting words on the page. Co-creator of fangirl podcast All The Flails, Alli loves binge watching shows on Netflix or reading swoony books with characters she can fall in love with. She recently married Ricky Whittle and David Ramsey, despite what they’d say otherwise.

Use the tag #SSReadAlong to read along on Twitter! I know I will be!