'Tis The Season Book Tag


I have been gone for quite some time, but I'm back with a lot of new blogpost ideas! Since it's almost Christmas aka my favorite time of the year, I thought it'd be nice for me to return to blogging with a tag that first this time perfectly!


1. Do you have a favorite winter read?
Right now it's Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. People who have been following my blog for a while know that this is one of my favorite books of the year. It is beautifully written and one of the most incredible stories I've ever read. The title and cover both remind me of winter so it perfectly fits this season. I'm actually planning on rereading it before the second book comes out in February.


2. Find a book with blue on the cover.
The book I just finished has a beautiful blue cover: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
 
3. Find a book that you'd use as a star on a Christmas tree.
 I'm gonna place A Court Of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J Maas on top of my Christmas tree simply bc it was one of the best books I ever read.
Can I get through a single blogpost without mentioning how much I love Sarah J Maas? Nope.

4. Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a winter holiday.
I'd love to spend Christmas at Hogwarts! I think that the Christmas decorations would bring me in the perfect holiday mood. Maybe I could even go and visit Hogsmeade. 

5. Pick one fictional character that you'd take with you on your winter holiday.
I'd love to spend my holiday with Feyre Archeron from the Court Of Thorns And Roses trilogy (wow I'm mentioning a Sarah J Maas book again can you believe it?). But I'd love to spend my holiday with her because she loves painting and we could spend the entire time making art and talking about how beautiful Rhysand is.


6. Name one book on your wishlist this year.
I asked my parents for Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. I read Stalking Jack The Ripper earlier this year and thought it was really good. I finished it in like two days and actually want to reread it again soon! Hunting Prince Dracula is the second book in this trilogy and I really want to read it.

7. Favorite holiday drink, treat and movie.
Drink: Hot chocolate, definitely.
Treat: Christmas cookies
Movie: Lord Of The Rings. It's not even a Christmas movie but I love watching long movies during the holidays and LOTR has always held a special place in my heart.

~ Amber


Great Books That I Don't Talk About Enough


I was making a list with all the books I read throughout the past years in my One Note, to keep track of my reading besides Goodreads. Here I came across some amazing books that I read that I almost never talk about. Because they were so good, I wanted to share these books with all of you.

Question of the day:
Which books do you think were great but don't talk about enough?
 


Salt To The Sea - Ruta Sepetys
I always talk about how much I loved Ruta's other novel Between Shades Of Gray, but always forget about this one. This book follows the niece of the main character in BSOG. Even though I didn't love this one as much as Between Shades Of Gray, this was still really good. I was really mad at this character about the other book, but this really made me understand her choices too. What I really liked about this book is that it follows 4 different characters who all meet each other eventually. The way this is written is also amazing. Ruta Sepetys is an amazing author and this book needs to be read.
Goodreads

The Diabolic - S. J. Kincaid
I rarely read Sci-Fi books, but this was such a refreshing read. A lot of people found this book average, but to me it had something special. I really liked the idea of a robot disguising as someone else and going into enemy territory. I also liked that she was struggling with feeling things, even though she wasn't supposed to have those. This book took some really interesting turns and was something I hadn't read before.
Review | Goodreads


The Grisha Trilogy - Leigh Bardugo
This is actually a whole trilogy that I really enjoyed that I never talk about. I loved this world and the characters. The books were fast paced, interesting and the characters were all fun. The only thing I didn't like was how this story ended. I'm not going to spoil it, but I was really angry. I think that's the main reason why I never talk about these books.
Review | Goodreads

The Art Of Being Normal - Lisa Williamson
This was the first book with a transgender protagonist I ever read and it was so eye opening. I did make a tumblr post about how I think everyone should read this, but now I never really talk about it anymore. This book was fun, quick, had interesting characters and like I said, was so eye opening.
Review | Goodreads

 
Ash - Malinda Lo
This book was also something else. It's a Cinderella retelling, but with fairies and a gay Cinderella. Sometimes you just come across those books that are completely different from anything you've ever read. This book was one of those. It's really fast paced and the story just makes you want to keep reading.
Review | Goodreads

Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones
Wintersong. Where do I ever start? This book was incredible. It had all the elements that I absolutely love. The story has music and composing, it has great love and is written so beautifully. Sometimes you come across those books that are written in such a way that it's almost a poem. This book is one of them. I can't even start to explain how much I loved this.
Review | Goodreads

 
Stalking Jack The Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco
Another book that was really good. For whatever reason I rarely pick up mystery novels. But I was interested in the whole Jack the Ripper thing, so I wanted to read it. Reading this book was almost like watching an episode of Sherlock (and I love me some Sherlock). In my head I was trying to solve the case alongside out protagonist and the plot twist in this book omg. The best thing about this: there will be more books in this series!
Review | Goodreads
 
~ Amber

I Dare You Book Tag

I am so terribly sorry I've been gone for such a long time, but my life has been crazy with work and finals for college, so I didn't really have the time to write any blogposts. Today I'm back with a tag I recently read over at paperfury her blog, that sounded like a lot of fun and had some questions I hadn't seen before! Let's get right into it.




1. Which book has been on your shelf the longest?
I first took a look at my bookshelf but had no idea, so I scrolled all the way back in my google backup photo's (since I always take pictures of my new books anyway) to find out which book I got the longest ago haha. That book is The Complete Sherlock Holmes Long Stories by ser Arthur Conan Doyle. I got this book for Christmas in 2014 and I still haven't read it...



2. Which is your current read, your last read and your next read?
Soooooo this is quite funny. My previous read was A Court Of Wings And Ruin and my current read is A Court Of Wings And Ruin...Yeah...This book just came out and I loved it so much I just started rereading right away haha. And my next read will be........*drumroll*
A Court Of Wings And Ruin! 
No, just kidding. It will probably be The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.


3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?
People who have been following this blog for a while will probably understand my answer for this. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I didn't HATE it, because I don't think I've ever hated a book, but it was sooooooooooooooo boring. Too much irrelevant information, a story that dragged on and not a lot of excitement.



4. What book do you keep telling yourself to read, but probably won't?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I got it for Christmas, because at that moment I really wanted to read it. I got 10 pages in, almost died from boredom and picked up something else. I keep telling myself I'll get back to it, but I know I won't.



5. Which books are you saving for retirement?
Pride and Prejudice lol.


6. Last page: read it first, or wait till the end?
Wait till the end, obviously.


7. Acknowledgments: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?
Interesting! I don't always read the acknowledgments, but I love seeing authors talk about how unreal being published is and fangirling about their own characters. I also love seeing the people they mention, it always makes me realise how many authors know each other.


8. Which character would you switch places with?
Feyre Archeron! I'd tap Rhys his booty every day yes pls. Also, I want the Inner Circle and Lucien as my best friends.


9. Do you have a book that reminds you of a certain moment in your life? (a person, place, time etc.)
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Someone really dear to me died of cancer a few years ago. Reading that book felt like ripping open an old wound. I just avoid books about cancer all together now.



10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way?
My Infernal Devices boxset/books! During Christmas a year ago me and adarlansassasssin did a Christmas book swap. She got me a present and I got her one. She ended up buying me the Infernal Devices box set. At that point I was just reading and loving The Mortal Instruments and she was of the opinion that I HAD to read that trilogy as well.



11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?
I gave my best friend my copy of A Court Of Thorns And Roses for her birthday. I had two copies and decided that she had to read this trilogy. A year later I bought her A Court Of Mist And Fury.



12. Which book has been with you to the most places?
Well, it's not a lot of places, but rather the furthest away. I brought my copy of A Clash Of Kings with me to Prague. We went there on a 4 days city trip with school and I needed a long book with me to read on the plane, so I brought this.



13. Any ''required reading'' you hated in school that wasn't so bad a few years later?
Here in the Netherlands we don't have to read like specific titles. We (or at least I did) get this enormous list of books to choose from, so most of the books I read were great. I did read one book that was shit, but I never read it again and still think it's shit. It's a Dutch book called Oeroeg, don't look it up.


14. Used or brand new?
I used to be all about the brand new books, but recently I've been getting some used books in this YA Facebook group I'm in and they're all in great condition. If they still look good I don't mind that the books have been read before. I have also been getting some books from a seller that are brand new, but have like a small fold in the page or a slight tear in the dust jacket, so they can't be sold for the full price anymore. I don't really mind those things, so I buy a lot from that seller as well. (it's a Dutch seller, sorry everyone who was interested)


15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?
I picked up the Dutch version of the da Vinci Code, got to about 50 pages and got super bored. I ended up sellinng the book.


16. Have you ever seen a movie that you liked more than the book?
Lord Of The Rings. I read the first book and enjoyed it, but thought all the descriptions dragged on a lot which made it such a slow read. I LOVE the movies though, I've seen them all several times.



17. Have you ever read a book that made you hungry? Cookbooks excluded.
Uhm...I don't know, I've never really thought about that. I don't think I have. Though, when pizza is mentioned, I want pizza.


18. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?
There is several people, actually. First there is my best friend, because we love the same things and know exactly what the other liked. I am mostly the one to give her recs, though haha. Then there is my blog buddies over at spinesandcovers, they like the same things as me as well and we always talk about books in our little Twitter DM group haha.

Book Talk | Caraval

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Page Count: 407
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Goodreads Rating: 4.07
My Rating: 4
Book Cover Rating: 4.
Bad Book Review: People jumping from balconies and buying dresses with days of your life.
Add On Goodreads

This review is spoiler free.

Synopsis
Scarlett and Tella are sisters with a very abusive father and a dream to once go to the magical event Caraval. For years Scarlett has been writing to the Master Legend, the Master of Caraval, for a ticket and a week before her marriage she finally gets and answer and is sent three tickets: one for her, one for her sister and one for her fiancée. First she has to escape the island she lives on though, because her father never lets the two sisters out of his sight. With the help of a mysterious sailor they manage to get away, but that is only the beginning of this story.


The Story
It's quite hard getting into the story without spoiling it, but I am going to try anyway. I knew absolutely nothing about this book when I went into this and I think that's the best way to read this book, that way the mystery of Caraval will remain. Caraval is very magical and messes with your head a lot. I kept thinking I had figured out the story, but then it turned out that I was wrong over and over and over again. I really liked that. The ''world'' of Caraval was also very interesting. There are a lot of people playing and watching the game, but it feels like it was more of a society. A place where people lived and went shopping and met old friends. At times it was hard to remember that it was actually all a game.



The Characters
Let's start with Scarlett, our protagonist. To be perfectly honest, Scarlett is one of those very forgetful characters. There weren't really any traits about her that made me like her a lot and besides that we didn't get much back story of her either. I did like her way of thinking. Even though her decisions weren't always the smartest, she did figure all of Legend his clues out pretty fast.
Tella, Scarletts sister, just annoyed me. The only thing she wanted was to go out and have fun and made some very stupid decisions. And we didn't even see her much. She just seemed very childish to me.
Julian, the mysterious sailor, I liked the most. He was mysterious (duh) and I knew there was a lot more to him than he was showing. I couldn't wait to find out what the truth behind him was. Besides that he was sassy and smart and I just adored him.

The World
Although the story of this book was pretty clear, to me it lacked something very important: world building. Obviously this book is fantasy, fantasy novels need world building. This one had none of it. There is a map in the beginning, which shows nothing of how the lands look, where Scarlett and Tella are from and how long it takes to get to the island where Caraval takes place.
The second aspect it missed, which is vital in a fantasy novel involving magic like this one: an explanation of the magic system. They keep saying that ''Caraval is possible because of magic'' and that ''Master Legend payed a very high price for his magic'' and things like that, but what is this magic how does it work????? I know Stephanie wanted it to remain a mystery together with
everything in Caraval, but it was kind of annoying to me. I want to know how things work.

It may seem like I didn't enjoy this book, but don't get me wrong, I did rate it 4 stars, which means that it was quite alright. But I have seen everyone praising this book like it's the new bible and I think that's not really true, because it did miss some very important things. But overall the story was very mysterious and exciting and I couldn't wait to figure out what was going to happen next.


Montly Reading Recap | February

Since I am the worst person in the world and had completely forgotten February would have 28 days this year, it's suddenly March 1st and time for my Monthly Reading Recap! February was an awesome reading month for me, so let's jump right into the post.

 
Carve The Mark
First of all I finished Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth and I was not impressed. I was hoping that Veronica would redeem herself in this book but it was such a disappointment to me. The story had so much potential to be good, but it was way too slow. I can't even write a review because I remember literally 20% of the story.
3 stars
 
One
After the disaster that is Carve The Mark I needed something quick, so I picked up One by Sarah Crossan. I finished this book literally in a day and enjoyed it a lot. It was only a bit difficult for me to get into the writing style, since it's written in verse and I'd never read a book like that before, but the book was really good. I recommend it.
4 stars
 
Wintersong
This was definitely the best book I read this month. I also posted a review for it over at Spines and Covers if you're interested in my full thoughts. This book was incredibly. I rarely rate books 5 stars, but I couldn't rate this anything less. The story was so unique and it was written beautifully. Everybody who loves fantasy and music should read this.
5 stars

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here
I was very curious about this book, since the concept sounded really interesting to me. Since I didn't like A Monster Calls, I was a it hesitant about Patrick Ness, but I enjoyed this book a lot. The story was quick and the characters were all fun. It wasn't the best thing I've ever read, but I certainly liked the story.
4 stars

Stalking Jack The Ripper
This book wasn't on my TBR for February, but I am so glad I decided to buy this. I love history and while my mom and I were in London, we stayed at the area where Jack the Ripper was active, so I really wanted to read this. This was yet another book I could have finished in a day, because I couldn't wait to find out who was Jack the Ripper and solve the case alongside the main character. Read my full review here.
4.5 stars

 
The first book I'm gonna read/finish in March is the book I'm reading right now and that is Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I'm about 150 pages in and this it's beautiful and magical. For me it definitely lives up to the hype. I'll post a review one I finish it.

The second book I wanna read in March is Ever The Hunted by Erin Summerill. This was already on my Most Anticipated Books Of 2016 list, but never got around to picking it up until now. I love fairytale retellings so I'm already loving it.

In March I also wanna give The Book Thief another shot. I started reading it about 2 years ago, but wasn't in the mood for historical fiction at all, which made me put it down about 250 pages in. Now I am really in the Historical Fiction mood, especially after reading Stalking Jack the Ripper, so I can't wait to see if I'll like it this time around.

Because I'm gonna read The Book Thief again and am in a massive historical fiction mood, I also want to re-read Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I read this book last summer and it was one of the most beautiful books I ever read. Lately I've been craving to read it again, so I probably will in March.

I also purchased quite some books in February, though I also read a lot so I feel like it's okay (I know, I know, I'm making up excuses). 

First off I went to the bookstore at the station while I was waiting for my train to come, and I bought The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon and Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven. I've heard only great things about these books and there they were in front of me looking beautiful on a shelf, both only €10 each, so I had to get them.

Then I did some online shopping, since I still had a €25 giftcard and bought 3 beautiful hardcovers: Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, Caraval by Stephanie Garber and Ever The Hunted by Erin Summerill. I'd been dying to read all of these and Stalking Jack the Ripper was even on sale for €12,50, so I had to buy all of them.


Unpopular Opinions Book Tag 2

 
It was our first ever blogpost: the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag. Now, one and a half years of blogging later, it seemed like a fun idea to do this one again, since I have read so many more books since I last did this tag!



1. A popular book or series you do not like
Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth. I know there is a lot of controversy going on around this book with people saying it's racist and all (and I can see why you may think that), but that isn't even why I didn't like this book. It was so boring. I was going to write a review, but I can't even do that because I remember 50 of the 468 pages at the most.


2. A popular book or series that everyone seems to hate that you love
I'm gonna go back a really long time for this one and say Twilight. Everyone is always joking about this book and yes, the movies are not that great, but I did actually enjoy the book when I read it.


3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with or an OTP that you hate.
<SPOILERS FOR THE GRISHA TRILOGY>
I absolutely HATE that Alina and Mal ended up with each other. I would've liked Alina with the Darkling, I would have loved Alina with Nikolai, but no, none of that. I don't even wanna talk about this too much, because I'm still pissed.



 4. A book genre you hardly reach for
It's funny, because the first time I did this tag I answered contemporary, while lately I've actually been reading a lot of contemporary novels. This time I'm gonna go for horror. I highly dislike horror movies and I hate being scared. When I read or watch something creepy, I can't sleep for like a month after wards and it just fucks with my head, so I stay as far away from it as I can.


5. A popular or beloved character you do not like
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I highly, highly dislike Chaol Westfall from the Throne Of Glass series. Did that happen because of his ''character change'' in book 4? Absolutely not. I've hated Chaol from the beginning of book 1. I think he's a major asshole and honestly, to me, the best thing about Empire Of Storms was that he wasn't in it.




6. A popular author you can't seem to get in to
I'm gonna say something very funny, since I read all of her books, but I'm gonna go with Veronica Roth. I really liked Divergent, but Insurgent was meh and Allegiant was soooo bad (in my opinion at least). I gave her ''another chance'' with Carve The Mark, but that was even worse than the Divergent books. I don't think I'll ever read another Veronica Roth book again.



7. A popular book trope you are tired of seeing
I am going to say something very controversial, but I am actually going to write a blogpost about this to further explain myself. I'm so sick of books with gay characters where the entire book and their entire character is all about being gay. It's so unrealistic to me. Like when you are gay in real life, it's not your entire being either right? Not your entire live evolves around you being gay. In books that often is the case and people even reach for those books just because it has a gay character. It's stupid.




8. A popular book or series you have no interest in reading
Anything written my John Green. Everybody is obsessed with this guy, I read the Fault In Our Stars, was not impressed, didn't think the writing style was anything special and therefor am not interested in any of his other books.



9. The saying goes ''the book is always better than the movie'', but which movie did you enjoy more than the book
I'm gonna choose Me Before You by Jojo Moyes for this one. I liked the book a lot and thought it was really cute, but I didn't quite feel it the way that I felt the movie. Just seeing this story on the big screen instead of in my head made it so much more sad. The Ed Sheeran music at the saddest part didn't make it better, my friends and I were ugly sobbing the last like 20 minutes of the movie.

~ Amber






Montly Reading Recap | January

This month I'm finally back with another reading recap! I know that I don't do them every month, the main reason of that is that I just didn't read that many books in that month. But enough about that, let's just jump right into the post!

 

My reading goal for 2017 is 35 books, which is my highest goal yet. I don't actually know why I set such a high goal for myself, because I'm trying to get into the University of Arts and have like no time to read, but okay...This month I managed to read 3 books...or well 2 and a half haha.

First I read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I also published a review for this book. If you already read that one, you know that I didn't really enjoy this book. I expected it to be freaking amazing, because I had only heard great things about it, but the story felt so average to me...
3.5 Stars

Then I read Ash by Malinda Lo. I really enjoyed this book and also wrote a review for that one. Ash is a fairy tale retelling, but such a refreshing and unique one. This was such a good book and I highly recommend it!
4 Stars

Right now I'm reading Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. I was really excited for this book, mostly because I loved Divergent (well at least the first book) and I was expecting something really great. I have to say that I'm disappointed. The book is sooooo slow. I'm 240 pages in and I can't really think of anything exciting that has happened so far except for a few really small events...


 


Usually I'm very bad at deciding what to read next, but I have a pretty good idea this time. First I want to read Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. I was lucky enough that Waterstones had this book on their shelf a week before it released, because this is one of my most anticipated books of the year and I must read it as soon as I can.

The next book I am definitely going to read next month will be One by Sarah Crossan. We translated this book into Dutch at the publisher where I have my internship and it sounds so interesting, so I got the English version on Bookdepository. It's about conjoined twins and is written completely in verse, do I need to say more?

Lastly I want to read The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. Even though I didn't really like A Monster Calls, I still want to give Patrick a chance. Also the concept of this sounds really good and funny, it's very original.



I got 6 books this month. I wasn't really planning on buying them but you know how it goes, you're just browsing on Goodreads and see some really cheap paperbacks and just have to buy them. Or some hardcovers that are on sale from €18 for €13, how can I not buy that? On Bookdepository I got 4 books this month. If you are ordering on Bookdepository you can use the code 'thenamelessbooks' or click this link and you'll get a 5% discount!

First up I got One by Sarah Crossan, the book I already discussed the book earlier in this blogpost, so I won't go into further detail about this.

Next I got It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. My friend Michelle and I went to the bookstore in December and she got this book, saying that she read it on her E-Reader and that it was really good. That meant that I had to buy it too.

Another book I ordered off Bookdepository is More Than This by Patrick Ness. My friend from college recommended this to me like one and a half years ago, but at that point I didn't really read stand alone novels yet, so I never picked it up. This month I saw it on sale and it immediately caught my interest and now it's mine to read and love.

The last book from Bookdepository that I got is Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. This one I got because I heard a lot of really good things about it on Booktube, but every time I saw it at Waterstones it was so expensive for such a small book. Now I got it for only €6! Isn't that amazing?

I just happened to arrive at the station early a while back and went into the bookstore they have there. I wanted in and the first thing I saw in front of me was the beautiful hardcover of Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth. It was expensive but I had to buy it.

Yesterday I had a little trip into Amsterdam and went to the bookstores. I love going to the bookstore alone and just browsing the shelves as long as I want. I think I ended up spending like half an hour at Waterstones and half an hour at the American Book Center, while usually the people I'm with would be bored after like 10 minutes.

At Waterstones I found two books that I had to buy. The first one being Wintersong, which I spoke about in my Febuary TBR part. They had it on their shelf a week early and I had to buy it (also major cover love).

The second book I got there was The Ashes Of London by Andrew Taylor. I had never seen this book before and it was in a section at Waterstones I usually don't go to, but I am so glad that I found this. It's a historical fiction and mystery novel that takes place during the Great Fire of London in 1666. I love history and don't know much about this yet, so I can't wait to read the book and learn more.


How To Create A Good Character | Names


Welcome to the first chapter of a series all about creating a good character. I am not an expert, but this is just my general experience and what I've noticed from other authors. In the past few years I've created a lot of characters and all of them are different and unique, like all the other 6.999.999.999 people I live with on this planet called earth. This was actually going to be one post, but as I had already written quite a lot for only names, I decided to make it into chapters. 

Disclaimer: I do not mean to offend anyone, this is my personal opinion and experience. 

Characters are by far the most crucial aspect of your book. If you characters are shallow and unrelatable your readers most likely will put your book into the darkest
Characters are the most crucial aspect of your book. Your characters are what makes your book interesting, without a good character your reader will lose interest. However, it's a task that does not come easily. Today we discuss: Names




From the day we were born
All of us were gifted with a name by our parents, they have spent hours looking on baby names websites looking for the perfect name for their precious child. Sometimes they name them after a celebrity they have alway loved. Names are as important in a book as they are in daily life.

The name of a character might be more important than most of us realize. I personally enjoy seeing uncommon names, and to find those I spend hours looking on baby name websites, which occasionally causes a diaper commercial to pop up when I'm watching a Youtube vid. But even though I love a unique name, it can't be too complicated.

I'll remember you
Why a name is so important is because your readers will likely remember that name for a few years or maybe even the rest of their live. That is why you should always be careful by picking a really unique almost unpronounceable name. For example, I have thought for a really long time that Feyre was pronounced as Fay-ruh and not much later Amber talks about someone named Fah-ruh, and I become  utterly confused. The best solution for that however, is a simple pronunciation guide at start or end of your book.

Tip: Let a friend or family member try to pronounce the name, if it is really too hard for them, consider alternating the name or choosing a different one entirely.

The origin and the character
Now this is something I have noticed quite a few times, especially in fan fictions, the name doesn't match with the ethnic of the character. For instance, I was reading this fan fiction about Mystic Messenger (Yes, Mystic Messenger) and the girl was supposed to be Korean but had a Japanese name. I am guessing the writer is an anime fan and really likes Japanese names because they are unique and pretty.

Let me straight up and honest with you. If your character is for example Korean, and the story is set in Korea, there will be a 0.2% chance that her parents would actually give her a Japanese name. That's unless the true ethnic of the character is actually Japanese. Giving the character a name that does not fit the setting of the story or the ethnic of the character, can make your story  a lot less realistic.

The true meaning
If you're having a difficult time choosing a name for your character, try searching by the meaning of the name. Think about what kind of person this character is, what does he or she stand for, how do you want to portray them. I have done this numerous of times and I always end up finding perfect names for my characters.

There are quite a few sites on names and their meanings, but I have always loved using behindthename.com. This site never let's me down and they're reliable. So you can thrust the information on the website.

Basically, just try to have some fun with it and keep it realistic. As I said before, this might be a name that will stick with a reader for a long time. So of course you want that name to be unique.
I hope these tips were helpful,

Yours truly,

Shania

 Question of the day
What's the name of your character and what does it mean?


Slow Reads

 
I uploaded a blogpost about fast reads a couple days ago, but unlike books that I flew through while reading them, I have also read some books that took me forever to get through. Today I want to share those books with you, as a follow up on my previous blogpost.




Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
This book took me two whole weeks to get through. For me that's quite a long time and I was very surprised that this book took me so long, because usually I finish Cassie's books in a couple days, even the longer ones. I think the main reason why it took me so long to read, is because I felt like this book could have been around the 200 pages shorter. It was sooooo long and eventually it felt like the story just dragged on. The book was good, but a year later I forgot about 50% of it, just because it was unnecessarily long...



Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Unlike Lady Midnight, I have no idea why this book (and the second one too) took me so long to read. About two, two and a half weeks. Like I said before; that's a long time for me. I love the story of this book and it's so funny, so that can't be the reason and it's just an average lenght, so that isn't the problem. I think that for me it's just the way Rick writes, I don't know what about his writing style it is, but I just can't seem to read it fast.
 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I think everybody takes a long time reading this book. It is adult historical fiction, which doesn't make it a very easy read. There are a lot of detailed descriptions, a lot of very thin pages and long conversations. Did that make me like this book a little less? No it didn't. 
This book was amazing, Diana Gabaldon is an incredible writer and I have learned so many things about the history of Scotland and England from this. Even though it's a very slow and intimidating book, it's definitely worth your time. 


A Game Of Thrones by George R R Martin
It's no secret that these books take forever to get through. A Game Of Thrones was the first English book I ever read (read more about this in my reader story) and it took me about 3 months to read. But at this point I never read and it was my first English book, so I felt like I did well haha. About half a year after I finished this, I read A Clash Of Kings, the second book, and that took me about 3 weeks and it was 1006 pages long.
Why do these books read so slow? They are long, they are complicated, there are so many characters from whose POV you read and it's overall just a lot. You should still read them though, every fantasy lover should, it's a must.



The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien
I feel like I never really talk about this book, and I think it taking so freaking long is the main reason for that. This book took me 13 days to get through (I just checked Goodreads). I have to be perfectly honest with you about The Fellowship Of The Ring...I expected it to be better, more exciting. I love the Lord of the Rings movies and have seen them many times. The story is absolutely incredible and Tolkien basically set the example for modern fantasy. 
But this book...It was so slow and there were sooooo many little details, too many, really. I don't feel like reading 7 pages about the way a forest looks. I like detailed books, but this was just too much. It's also what has really put me off to reading the other two books in the trilogy...Perhaps I will someday in the future, but no time soon.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
If you read my blogpost over at Spines and Covers, you will know that I recently sold my Raven Cycle books. I read the first two and they were so slow, not much exciting stuff happened and it just didn't grab me. I expected to love these books, because so many people I follow online do, but it just wasn't for me. I actually felt myself finding other things to do instead of reading, because I just didn't want to read these books.


What are some books that took you forever to get through? Let us know in the comments so we can talk about them! :)

~ Amber