[TOP TEN TUESDAY] Worlds I wouldn’t want to live in

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This week’s TTT, hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish, is one that definitely appealed to me! I read a lot of dystopian and apocalypse fiction so the answers came to mind pretty easily for me, so I decided to mix it up and make my post a little different. I’ve included the top six worlds I definitely would not like to live in, and the top four that I would!

Worlds I Would Hate to Live in:

1. The Hunger Games Trilogy (Panem)
Does this one really need an explanation? Not only are the citizens working to death and still starving, but they’re also being forced by an oppressive government to send their children into an arena to murder each other. Umm… I’ll pass, thanks.

2. Slated Trilogy
Kyla lives in a world where children can be taken away and have their memories ‘slated’ overnight. Accused of terrorism, they’re given a second chance under close observation with a new family, a new personality and a new mind. Sounds scary enough without even factoring in all the shady business, suspicion and lies the people responsible for slating are involved with. Nope, no thank you!

3. Penryn and the End of Days
I have no burning desire to witness the end of days, with angels of the apocalypse being sent down from Heaven to destroy everyone and everything in their path. Not my idea of a good day.

4. Blood of Eden (The Fringe)
If I were a vampire, this would definitely make it onto my list of worlds I would like to live in. Life seems pretty grand as a vampire. Sadly, being the feeble human I am, I can’t say a life of extreme poverty quaking under the constant shadow of a hoarde of predators really does it for me.

5. Mindjack Trilogy 
Living in a world filled with the constant noise of other peoples’ thoughts would drive me insane. I wouldn’t be able to deal with knowing everything someone was thinking, and knowing that they could hear exactly what I was thinking too! The privacy of your own mind is a blessing I don’t think many people would like to sacrifice.

6. Mistborn Series (Scadrial) 
This has a lot to do with the extreme poverty and dictatorship again, as found in more than a few fantasy novels. While having the powers of Allomancy would definitely be a plus, I don’t think I’d be happy to trade off for a life of scavenging and oppression.

Worlds I Would Love to Live in:

1. Harry Potter Series
I don’t believe that anyone in my generation who grew up with Harry Potter hasn’t felt the bitter pinch of disappointment when birthday after birthday their letter didn’t arrive from Hogwarts. The Harry Potter universe is a wonderful, magical place hidden within the everyday, urban, boring world of Muggles. Yeah, Voldemort might be trying to destroy everything and kill everyone in his path, but you get to be a wizard! With magic!

2. Draykon (Seven Realms)
Draykon’s world is absolutely gorgeous, filled with mysterious plants and creatures and its own unique pattern of night and day. The whole world is magical and I would just love to dive in and experience it first hand.

3. Wheel of Time 
This world is so expansive with a history so rich that it already feels like it could really exist in some kind of alternate reality. I love High Fantasy and the old-fashioned historical feel to it, so I could definitely imagine myself jumping straight into Two Rivers and joining Rand’s adventure. I think I’d like this place even if I wasn’t an Aes Sedai (but I do want to be, please oh please!).

4. Black Jewels Trilogy
A matriarchal society where nearly everyone is gifted with varying strengths of magic? Yes please! I’d take even a White jewel to live in that world! I see a pattern emerging, I clearly have a thing for the promise of magical powers. Oh dear.

I really enjoyed this weeks Top Ten Tuesday! Let me know in the comments which fictional worlds you would love or hate to live in!

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[TOP TEN TUESDAY] Best sequels

Image Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and this weeks list is the 10 best book sequels ever! I really struggled with this list as while I love series, I often find the first book is the best. For example, even though I’ve included Catching Fire in my list, Hunger Games is by far my favourite in the trilogy. It also doesn’t help that I haven’t read a lot of these series in full for a while!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling
It’s always tough to pick a favourite from the Harry Potter series, but I love Azkaban purely for the Lupin and Sirius content. There’s less Voldemort so Rowling could focus on things like characterisation and plot, which definitely set up the rest of the series.

Days of Blood and Starlight – Laini Taylor
I can’t get enough of Laini Taylor’s writing, she’s amazing! The plot is so strong and Karou really grows up, I seriously can’t wait for Dreams of Gods and Monsters!

Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
Another sequel with a good plot, I loved going back into the arena with Katniss and seeing the revolution build around her.

The Eternity Cure – Julie Kagawa
The Eternity Cure was so fast paced and every turn was completely unexpected. I love the way Kagawa writes and Allie is such a great protagonist.

Son of a Witch – Gregory Maguire
Gregory Maquire has turned Oz into a dark world and it was amazing to continue Elphaba’s story with her son. The story is original and fits perfectly into this more sinister Oz.

Insurgent  – Veronica Roth
While I didn’t think Insurgent was quite as good as Divergent, I really enjoyed visiting all the factions and following Tris as she tries to uncover the truth before it’s too late.

Since I didn’t make it to 10 make sure you comment below with your suggestions and ideas! Do you tend to prefer the first book or their sequels? 🙂

[TOP TEN TUESDAY] TBR List (Autumn 2013)

BlogAfter last week my TBR list has definitely at least doubled! Everyone had such great picks that I couldn’t help but add a few to my list. I’ve managed to pull out a mix of the Top Ten I can’t wait for this Autumn and the ones I’m really excited to pick up next!

In no particular order:

Allegiant – Veronica Roth (22nd October 2013)
The final installment in the  Divergent Trilogy, I can’t wait to see how Roth wraps everything up and I’m especially excited to see how the double narration works. This book can’t come soon enough!

World After – Susan Ee (19th November 2013)
Does November count as Autumn? I’m not sure I care. I loved Angelfall and I’m so excited for the sequel, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Ee can keep up the pace in World After.

Not a Drop to Drink – Mindy McGinnis (24th September 2013)
I already love the plot outline and I’ve heard so many great things that I couldn’t not add it to my list. Survival in a barren world with limited water supplies is a completely different game to the other apocolypse books I’ve read so far and I’m interested to see how this pans out.

Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
First published in 1999, Speak sounds heartbreaking and dark with a strong message. I’d like to read this for something more serious than the usual.

Wool/Shift – Hugh Howey
I picked up Shift a few weeks ago thinking it was the first book (somehow missing the giant II on the spine, duh), but then I found out it’s actually a prequel. Which do I read first? Help!

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
A classic I should definitely have read by now, I’ve been meaning to pick this up for a long time but it keeps getting pushed further down the list the more new books I find. I’m going to find time to finally read this soon!

All Our Yesterdays – Cristin Terrill
Another book that is blowing up right now, the concept is different and interesting so I’m excited to get my hands on a copy! I’m pretty sure this will feature as a review soon enough.

Feed – Mira Grant
I’ve never read a zombie book and Feed seems like a good place to start. The reviews are great and I like that we enter the world 20 years after infection, offering a different take on the classic zombie thriller.

Neverfall – Brodi Ashton
Another book I keep putting off, I finished Everneath and Everbound within a matter of days and I need to find out what happens to Nikki! I did love the first two books and I will get round to Neverfall at some point!

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus was all over Top Ten Tuesday last week and I want to find out what all the fuss is about for myself. It’s supposed to be really visual and magical so I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Have you read any of my choices? Or are you adding some to your TBR list too? Leave your comments below!

[TOP TEN TUESDAY] Books I would love to see as a movie/TV show

ImageThis weeks Top Ten Tuesday (click the image for the wonderful hosts!) was super easy for me. A lot of books I love have already been made into films or tv shows (for better or for worse) but there’s always going to be a long list of favourites I still want to see on the big screen! This list only stands under the condition that they’re done PERFECTLY (of course)!

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time Series)  – Robert Jordan
I would love to see this incredible series turned into a Game of Thrones style TV show. Epic adventure, magic, characters that just scream to be brought to life and a classic fantasy tale spanning 14 novels. Please, I am so ready for this.

The Final Empire (Mistborn Series) – Brandon Sanderson
In the same vein as the Wheel of Time Series, with GoT and True Blood paving the way for fantasy TV I think the public would eat this up.

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle) – Christopher Paolini
I know, I know, but it wasn’t very good. I want to see Eragon in the same glorious, magical light I read it in all those years ago and the 2006 film just did not satisfy.

Wicked (The Wicked Years) – Gregory Maguire
The musical inspired by Maguire’s truly amazing work is light, fun and definitely doesn’t reflect the deeper, sinister tone he weaves into the story. I’d love to see a film which follows the novel more closely and really plays up the darkness. (Side note: I absolutely adore the musical!)

If You Could See Me Now – Cecelia Ahern
I went through a major chicklit phase about 5 years ago and while I don’t read it anymore, If You Could See Me Now has really stuck with me. It would make for a great easy-going, soppy film to rival The Notebook.

The End Specialist – Drew Magary
Also known as The Postmortal in some countries, I can’t get the idea of The End Specialist filmed as an edgy, hand-camera style movie out of my head. It’s written like a documentary and would translate so well to cinema, someone make it happen!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy) – Laini Taylor
Another fantasy novel I think would make a great film, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is quickly gaining popularity and I’m sure it won’t be long until someone smart snaps up the rights! With such a versatile vision, the series would make a fantastic 80s Jim Henson’s Labyrinth style film, a dark Tim Burton interpretation or a more serious offering from a fantasy loving director.

Animal Farm – George Orwell
While I’m pretty sure this has already been made into a film at some point, I’d love to see a modern update with some fun special effects.

The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles) – Anne Rice
Interview with the Vampire was so perfect and it’s such a shame that The Vampire Lestat fell through this April. Tom Cruise needs to reprise his role and bring Lestat back to life/death.

Divergent (Divergent Trilogy)- Veronica Roth
I don’t think I can wait any longer. PLEASE HURRY!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on books that would make great films or TV shows, make sure you comment below!

[TOP TEN TUESDAY] Books that should be required reading

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My memories of required reading in High School extend to an entire anthology of poetry, a lot of Shakespeare and Holes by Louis Sachar. Hopefully nowadays kids are encouraged to read a wider variety of books in their English classes! In no particular order, here are my ideal picks for the modern Required Reading List.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling

One of the first books I independently read for pleasure, the Harry Potter series is fantastic for younger readers first breaking away from Primary School books and holds so many positive messages to carry through High School.

1984 – George Orwell

One of my favourite books, best for slightly older readers who can understand and appreciate the original dystopian fiction. Father of so many modern novels, programmes and ideas I think kids would really identify with the tone and themes of 1984.

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

I adore this book. High School can be a tough time and so many teenagers feel alone and unable to talk about their emotions. The Bell Jar struck a chord with me as a 13 year old, made me feel hopeful for the future and showed the true power of a great novel.

Dracula – Bram Stoker

Real vampires do not sparkle.

Animal Farm – George Orwell

Animal Farm explained more to me in a much more enjoyable way than any history class ever did. It’s short but packed with strong messages that an English Lit teacher couldn’t help but love pulling apart.

The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

The father of all modern fantasy and adventure novels deserves recognition. Perfect for students graduating from Hogwarts, JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit is the perfect introduction to the original world of elves, magic and unsuspecting heroes.

The Help – Kathryn Stockett

Funny and powerful, Stockett vividly captures the two sides of life in the Deep South throughout the Civil Rights Movement. A history lesson and a great novel all in one, perfect right?

Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut

I will never stop professing my love for Slaughterhouse 5. It’s completely stuffed with messages to decode, a strong anti-war declaration and the perfect scifi slant that keeps the reader guessing. It will be forever relevant and I will never stop recommending it!

Since I didn’t quite make it to ten choices this week make sure you comment below with your thoughts!

[TOP TEN TUESDAY] Most memorable secondary characters

BlogMy first ever Top Ten Tuesday, hosted weekly by The Broke and Bookish, was a tough one. I spent a lot of time thinking about my choices and remembering why I absolutely adore, or despise, these secondary characters! I hope you like my choices and I look forward to reading everyone else’s picks!

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10. Caleb Prior – Divergent Series (Veronica Roth)

Tris spends so much time thinking of herself (forgivable, she is the narrator after all) we never get a chance to pick her brother’s brain. Even though he regularly pops up throughout the series his motivations remain a mystery, and it would be interesting to hear the thoughts behind his, often surprising, choices.

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9. Ron Weasley and Hermione Grainger – Harry Potter Series (JK Rowling)

No list about secondary characters would be complete without a nod to JK Rowling. Harry Potter is rife with minor characters as friends, enemies and creatures, arguably the most influential and important of which being Ron and Hermione. They’re the brains and heart behind Harry’s quest, always pushing him onwards and keeping him alive until the next challenge is thrown at him.

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8. Moiraine Damodred – The Wheel of Time Series (Robert Jordan)

This slot could have been filled by a number of similar characters, the classic mysterious and wise mentor to the protagonist. I chose Moiraine as she’s a complete badass, an incredibly powerful Aes Sedai who made it her mission to find and train the Dragon Reborn, fending off Trollocs and Forsaken with barely a bat of an eyelid and trailing all over The Westlands to keep Rand in check.

7. Dorothea SaDiablo – Black Jewels Trilogy (Anne Bishop)

Evil in the way only a woman can be, Dorothea is cut throat and devious, taking pleasure from her power and the ways she can wield it. The main antagonist in The Black Jewels Trilogy and The Invisible Ring prequel, she is memorable for her cruel and unusual ways of controlling men.

6. Kelsier – Mistborn Trilogy (Brandon Sanderson)

Vin’s mentor in Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy is a rebellion hero. Powerful and dangerously charismatic he inspires a full scale revolution, giving us the most unforgettable scene in The Final Empire which encompasses everything he stands for.

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5. The Tralfamadorians – Slaughterhouse 5 (Kurt Vonnegut)

Without these little green men Slaughterhouse 5 is a completely different novel. It is the philosophies and beliefs of these aliens that shape the novel, whether Billy is hallucinating or not. Billy used the Tralfamadorians to cope with the horrors he’d seen in Dresden, without them he would never have ‘travelled’ through the fourth dimension or learnt about the illusion of free will. Perhaps an unusual choice but the science fiction slant on what would otherwise be a literary anti-war novel is definitely unforgettable.

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4. Rue – The Hunger Games (Susanne Collins)

Easily the most heartbreaking moment in The Hunger Games, Rue’s death symbolises everything Katniss hates about the Capitol. Innocent Rue was not only a memorable character but created, for me, the most memorable scene of the entire series.

3. Zuzana – Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series (Laini Taylor)

Zuzana is the perfect sidekick. She’s fierce, loyal and most importantly, hilarious. She offers the comic relief to an otherwise heavy series with her animated ways and is the reason Karou has such an affection for the human world.

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2. Joffrey – A Song of Ice and Fire (George RR Martin)

No one who has read or seen Game of Thrones could forget Joffrey. The truly abhorrent eldest child of Cersei Lannister, he is cruel, spoilt and hated by his kingdom. Joffrey is without even one redeeming, humanising feature. Perhaps the most through-and-through evil character I’ve ever encountered and definitely memorable for it.

1. Tiny Cooper – Will Grayson, Will Grayson (John Green and David Levithan)

There is no other place than first for Tiny Cooper. He is loud, fabulous and completely steals the show. He stages the biggest school musical to ever grace Chicago, falls in love four times a week and eventually becomes the glue which holds the entire story together. Tiny is the embodiment of a memorable secondary character as he struts his giant way through life.

Make sure you comment below with your suggestions and most memorable secondary characters!