Day 12 of this respective challenge I’m posting a little early, considering I’m going to be working on more reviews and other things in the next 24-48 hours, but this day’s prompt asks me about books I love but hate at the same time. Would this classify guilty pleasure reads, then? I think I’ll go with that definition.
This is another one that’s difficult for me to name books for I guess, for the very nature of the question. There may be things I don’t like, or things that annoy me about them. I wouldn’t use the term “hate” here personally.
Still, expansions below the cut on what books I consider my guilty pleasures, and why.
I’ll start with Eileen Cook’s “Unpredictable” – because this was a random book I picked up for under $3 at Barnes and Noble back when it was first released and I thought “Ooh, look at the cover, it’s so pretty.” The hearts and designs on the cover are even raised so that you can run your fingers along them. I actually have this book in front of me in my hands right now. XD And Jenny Crusie blurbed it, so how could I say no?
It’s not the type of book I expected to like because the heroine’s VERY ditzy, clumsy and the ending is predictable and inconclusive. But strangely enough, around the time I read it, I liked it. Kind of wished there was a bit more to it, but I enjoyed the journey.
If reflecting upon Cora Carmack’s “Faking It” – I would say I liked this book much more than the first book in the series, but there were factors about it that annoyed the crumb out of me. I liked that it had a rebellous heroine over the usual tattooed guy. I liked that there were palpable issues in the heroine’s life that the narrative explored. I didn’t always like the hero’s role in this though – sometimes the narrative had its moments of cheese or factors that made me want to smack my palm against my forehead for the obvious formula. I even liked that there was a musical element to the work (though that drove me up the wall for reasons I stated in my review).
But begrudgingly, I’ll concede that this book made me want to see where Carmack’s narratives go from here.
Kate Brian’s “Private” series are not the kind of novels I would normally pick up, but somehow I found it compulsively readable. I think I went to my local library once on a random trip and picked up the fifth book in the series and then backtrack read it from there. They’re the kind of YA books that might be modeled in the typical “elite boarding school with high social clique” that series like Gossip Girl and such emulate, but this kept me engaged for reasons that I don’t even know. (And I’m still reading them. *cough*)
Oh dear. Before “Private” was even written, I read so many of the Sweet Valley Twins book installations (Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley Jr. High, Sweet Valley High, Sweet Valley University, Sweet Valley Senior Year, etc.), it was ridiculous. I own a bunch of them from when I paid ten cents for them at used book sales (and I still collect them). I think the appeal for me was that when I was younger, I wanted to read books about twins, since I am a twin. This was one of the first series that I just picked up and ran with them as far as reading went. Some stories were hits with me, and some were far, far misses. But I can’t help but have a sense of nostalgia seeing the covers for these series because they were everywhere at the library and at used book sales when I would see them in my hometown.
Oh my word, Find Your Fate/Choose Your Own Adventure books were my deal. I read so many of them, that honestly the only way I keep track of them is if I find a cover I recognize and say “Hey, I read that one!” I even own some of the Jem and the Holograms ones like this:
Usually the first run through, I tried to get as far as I could towards a good ending, but after that point, it’s a free for all – trying to figure all the ways I could actually DIE in the story. Oops, you slipped on a banana, fall down a chiasm – THE END. Indiana Jones slipped and fell into a pit of a thousand scorpions that stung every part of his body. Noooooooo. THE END. Jem gets locked in a room and some unknown person slips toxic levels of gas through the area. Yikes. THE END. (I’m pretty sure something like that happened in one of the books if I recall correctly, I’m not making that up.)
But you get my point. And sometimes the ways to die were really ludicrous. For some reason, “Your Code Name is Jonah” comes to mind when I think of some of the traditional CYOA lines – some of the ways to die in that were just…wait, wha? I didn’t see that coming. O____O
I almost hesitate to call “Joe the Barbarian” a guilty pleasure because for every consideration, I liked this short comic series. The imaginative backdrops were really cool, and the story started off with a bang, but kind of lost momentum as the series went on – it was difficult to suspend disbelief at all that was going on. Basically – Joe’s a kid who has diabetes and is sucked into a dream world in which he has adventures that take him between the real world and the fantasy world. He has to find his medicine between the visions or he will die.
I hesitate to call the various Nancy Drew series a guilty pleasure as well because I loved reading them when I was younger, though I realize that many of the stories show their age in recent considerations, and some of the stories were a matter of hit or miss.
Hardy Boys was much the same for me as well, and I often read between the two interchangeably.
I”m going to put R.L. Stine’s “Fear Street” series in this consideration because so many of the titles were hit and miss when I read them, but I read each book compulsively for a quick horror fix when I took frequent trips to the library (at least until I started reading Stephen King among other horror writers).
I think that’s it for this entry. Next entry will be Sunday so I’ll have some time to think about a list of my favorite writers. =)