Top 10 Heroines | Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is our favorite heroines. I love talking about my favorite female characters (and I’ve done so before on Top 5 Wednesday) but I can never pass up an opportunity to gush about my ladies.

10. Anita blake (Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton)

anitablakeThe Anita Blake was one of the first book series I ever fell in love with and Anita herself will always hold a special place in my heart. She started the series as a vampire hunter/animator (yes, of zombies) and has taken on so many different roles of power since then. I adore her wit, and her general level of badassness. Plus she keeps the company of a host of awesome (and attractive) side characters.

9. Sabriel (From the abhorson series by garth nix)

sabrielI read this series in high school and Sabriel remains one of my favorite characters of all time. She follows the trope of “girl who never really knew she had powers but is actually a badass”, but does so in a different way. She is a strong character that still shows a realistic amount of fear for her situation. And she has an ability that I LOVE to read about: the power to go between life and death, where she “binds” the dead to stay where they belong (“put that thing back where it came from or so help me”). I also happen to use her name for every video game character I ever create…

8. Elphaba (from wicked by gregory macguire)

wickedElphaba is a character that grew on me post-read. She is so morally grey, which I love, but she also really sticks to what she believes in. Her story is a tragic one, and she is way more complex than I ever expected going into the book. Elphaba is probably one of the most realistic characters I have ever read about in a fantasy world.

7. Katniss (from the hunger games by suzanne collins)

MockingjayCoverDo I really need to say anything about Katniss? She was the face of a revolution. She was strong, and flawed. She was a survivor.

6. Saba (from blood red road by moira young)

bloodredroadSo far I have only read the first book in the Dustlands series, but I adore Saba. Another strong character who takes no crap. What I really love about her is her flaws. She is incredibly stubborn, but also very driven. She is cold, but very loyal. Her flaws really highlight her strengths and I love that about her.

5. Katsa (from graceling by kristin cashore)

Graceling_coverAre we sensing a theme with my favorite ladies? Katsa is another badass, who takes no shit. Another character whose flaws highlight her strengths. She is stubborn, and cold, and aggressive, and proud. But underneath all that, she is just a girl who is scared, loyal, and incredibly brave. I love the character development we see with her throughout the series.

4. cleo (from the falling kingdoms series by morgan rhodes)

Gathering DarknessCleo is a different character than the previous ladies I have mentioned, as she is not physically deadly like so many of them are. Her strength comes from her power of manipulation and her intelligence. Throughout the series so far, Cleo has gone through AMAZING character growth. She went from a spoiled princess to someone who believes in something more than herself. She is smart and cunning, and knows how to manipulate a situation, which has made her a strong survivor in this deadly world. I cannot wait to see what happens to her in the rest of the series.

3. Lia (from the kiss of deception by mary e. pearson)

thekissofdeceptionAnother character who is not physically strong, Lia is a character who I instantly fell in love with. She is another example of great character development, even within just the first book in the series. She is loyal and determined, and she is going to end up being such a power player in the rest of this series. She has grown and learned so much in the first book and I cannot wait to see where she goes from here.

2. Kestral (from The winner’s curse by marie rutkowski)

thewinnerscurseKestral was another instant favorite of mine, because the first scene we see her in she is gambling. I love a good morally grey character. Kestral fits the bill of the last few girls I mentioned as well because she is a mentally strong character in a world where physical strength is idealized. But she is able to outwit and outmaneuver those around her with her intelligence and her ability to manipulate a situation to her advantage.

1. alina (from the grisha trilogy by leigh bardugo)

siegeandstormThis should come as no surprise to anyone if you have been watching my recent videos, but my love for Alina knows no bounds. She is such a realistic character for a world that is so unlike our own. I love the way that she embraces her powers, and those moments that she embraces who she is are some of my favorite moments from any book series EVER. I adore her character development and how she grows through each book (we do not talk about the regression in the very end of the last book… it doesn’t exist to me). Her character arc is my favorite from any series I have read thus far. I love her.

Who are some of your favorite heroines?

One Can Only Quote Mini-Challenge #3 | Book Blogger Love-a-Thon 2015

Book Blogger Love-a-Thon is hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books. It is a week long event to foster positivity, creativity, and love in the book community!

We are sharing some of our favorite quotes from books about love and friendship:


“Love is a rebellious bird that nobody can tame.” – Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi


“Maybe there were as many shades of love as blues of the sky.” – The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson


“Love makes hunters of us all.” – Wicked by Gregory Maguire


“Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.” – Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo


“I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with.” – Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi


Sadly, I do not tab my books so I had a hard time finding these. I had zero luck finding any that had to do with friendship, which is a tragedy in and of itself.

What are some of your favorite quotes from books on love and friendship?

Book Valentines Mini-Challenge #2 | Book Blogger Love-a-Thon 2015

Book Blogger Love-a-Thon is hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books. It is a week long event to foster positivity, creativity, and love in the book community!

book valentine to my current otp

For this challenge, we are to create a valentine to express our love to a certain character. But, I decided to dedicate a playlist to my reigning current OTP, The Darkling and Alina from the Grisha trilogy.

Since finishing this series, and LOVING it, I have completely passed over the realm of sanity and have shipped this pairing with my entire heart and soul. I frequently wallow in my feelings while listening to this playlist and browsing the Tumblr tags devoted to this couple. This is my gift to them (and you).

Like calls to like

i. Fear and Loathing – Marina and the Diamonds

“I lived a lot of different lives/ Been different people many times/ I lived my life in bitterness/ And filled my heart with emptiness”

ii. Eyes on Fire – Blue Foundation

“I won’t soothe your pain/ I won’t ease your strain”

iii. Crazy in Love (Remix) – Beyonce

“Your love’s got me looking so crazy right now”

iv. Heavy in Your Arms – Florence + the Machine

“I love you never felt like any blessing”

v. Twice –  Little Dragon

“Thought I had the answer once/ But your random ways swept me along”

vi. Waiting Game – Banks

“What if the way we started makes it something cursed from the start/ What if it only gets colder”

vii. Love the Way You Lie – Skylar Grey

“Even angels have their wicked schemes/ And you take that to new extremes/ But you’ll always be my hero/ Even though you’ve lost your mind”

viii. Still Here – Digital Daggers

“Every night, I dream you’re still here/ The ghost by my side, so perfectly clear/ When I awake, you’ll disappear/ Back to the shadows with all I hold dear”


You can check back with me in 6 months and I will still not be over this series and this pairing and these characters.

Do you have any songs that go perfectly with your OTP?

Book Spine Poetry Mini-challenge #1 | Book Blogger Love-a-Thon 2015

Book Blogger Love-a-Thon is hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books. It is a week long event to foster positivity, creativity, and love in the book community!

book spine poetry mini-challenge

bookspinepoetry2015

Red queen, heir of fire under the never sky

The crown of embers catching fire across a star-swept sea

The lost girl, burnt offerings, between shades of grey


I’m no poet, but I find these kinds of challenges a lot of fun!

Questionnaire | Book Blogger Love-a-thon 2015

BANNER - 2015 LOVEATHON

Book Blogger Love-a-Thon is hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books. It is a week long event to foster positivity, creativity, and love in the book community!

QUESTIONNAIRE

1. What’s your name?

Samantha

2. Where in the world are you blogging from?

The east coast of the USA

3. How did you get into blogging in the first place?

I originally entered the book community as a book vlogger, with my Booktube channel, Thoughts on Tomes. I love my channel and the community on Youtube, but I also wanted somewhere that I could post a review for every single book I read, which I didn’t have the time to do on my channel. I also wanted to get involved with the wonderful book blogging community. So I started this blog!
4. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?

My favorite genres are fantasy and scifi, mostly YA. But I read and review a little bit of everything!

5. Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2015!

  • 1. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
  • 2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • 3. Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes
  • 4. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkowski
  • 5. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

I told you I love YA fantasy 🙂

6. What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?

I do not nearly see enough praise for the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore. It is a wonderful fantasy series that takes place over many years through 3 companion novels. The protagonists are different in each book, but there is overlap as far as other characters. The strong female characters in this series are amazing, and the villain is one of my most hated of all time. Also, it is one of the few series I’ve seen in YA that has many characters on the LGBTQ spectrum as well as displays a variety of sexualities and how sexuality is expressed. It is nothing short of amazing!

7. Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?

I’m an avid gamer, with my favorite franchises currently being Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, Final Fantasy, and Elder Scrolls. I also love board gaming. I’ve tried to pick up knitting as well, but so far had little success.

8. Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?

I collect nail polish and lipstick, both in either obnoxiously bright or bold dark colors.

9. Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV show you want turned into a book.

I could not pick just one! I would love to see a film for The Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I’d also love a film of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, because I need to see that world on the big screen. As far as a film being turned into books, I’d LOVE Pirates of the Caribbean books following different characters in that world. I just want more pirate books!

I’m very excited to be participating in my first Love-a-thon! Thank you all for visiting 🙂

What I Love/Hate When It Comes to Romance in Books | Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week we are discussing things we love or hate when it comes to the romantic plotlines in books. I could write 10 examples from either, but I chose to give equal thought to each.

top 5 things i hate

5. Crappy love triangles

I will admit, I love a good love triangle. To me, a love triangle is good when I don’t know which love interest to side with. It’s a win/win. There is no favorite, either in my head or in the character whose being pursued (i.e. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson). This all goes to crap when the opposite happens. When there is an obvious “winner” from the beginning, but we still have 3 books of back and forth. 3 books of unnecessary angst. No thank you.

Example: Matched by Alli Condie.

4. Boring, too nice, too perfect guy

I like my characters to be complex. To be realistic. To have flaws. If the guy is perfect, stalwart, and true. Never selfish. Never making a wrong decision. I don’t buy that and I’m bored.

3. Promoting competition among women and/or slut shaming

These things seem to go hand and hand, and are very prevalent in the New Adult genre from what I have seen. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a book where the male lead is fawned over by every woman he comes in contact with. The main female character will constantly point out other women falling all over him like slobbering fools, and frequently will refer to other women as sluts. NO! Number one, I have never seen women reduced to slobbering puppies over a hot guy regardless of who he is. Two, STOP THE GIRL ON GIRL HATE.

Examples: Ignite by Lily Paradis and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

2. Instalove

There are few things I hate more in books than instalove. It is the laziest way to set up a love interest. It’s unbelievable. Give me a slow burn romance that takes 2 or 3 books to develop any day.

I’m not even going to give examples because there are so many and it would just make me angry.

1. Romanticizing emotionally abusive behavior

This may be spurred on by my recent read of Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, but nothing is romantic about emotional abuse. If I can check off multiple red flags of emotional abuse regarding the main characters, it is a problem. Especially so in Young Adult or New Adult books, where the target audience has a higher rate of abusive relationships than the rest of the population. It’s gross and it needs to stop.

Now that we got that out of the way, on to things I want to see more of!

top 5 things i love

5. Bad boy gets redemption

I love the bad boys of fiction (probably why it burns me up so much when they are lumped together with the abusive asshole characters I mentioned earlier). I love seeing a character go through tremendous character growth and come out on top. I love when a relationship helps someone become a better person. It makes my heart melt.

4. Supportive relationships

A couple that always has each others’ back, no matter what.

Examples: Aria and Perry from Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, and Warner and Juliette from Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

3. sassy banter

I love witty characters. And when a couple keeps each other on their toes, I love it even more.

2. Evenly matched

I love it when no one has the upper hand in a relationship. When a couple is evenly matched, and balance each other perfectly, without a constant power struggle.

Examples: Arin and Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski, Katsa and Po from Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and Chaol and Celeana from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

1. Couples that go from hating each other, to friends, to partners

There is no narrative I love more when it comes to romantic plotlines, and it’s probably because it usually comes with a mix of my other favorites (i.e. redemption for a “bad” character, witty banter, even match, etc.). I also enjoy the slow burn romance, and this is the perfect recipe for that. It is so satisfying when a couple we have been following for an entire book or more admit that maybe they like each other more than they originally thought possible. Few things make me fangirl more!

Examples: Lia and Rafe from The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, Aria and Perry from Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Warner and Juliette from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Kestral and Arin from The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski, Cleo and Magnus from Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, Celia and Marco from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern…. This list could go on forever.

Let me know what some of your hits and misses are when it comes to romance!