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Old 01-16-2020, 05:36 AM   #46
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I haven't been into cozies for a while, but I just read one recently that I enjoyed, "Dead in Dublin" by Catie Murphy (who is really C.E. Murphy, author of the Walker Papers series, among others). The heroine wasn't an annoying TSTL busybody, which is so often the case in cozies. I'm actually going to buy the next book when it's released.

I think that my biggest pet peeve about YA books is that they aren't often labeled upfront as such, so if I see a new book out by a favorite author, I think, "hot damn", then I read the synopsis and see that it some series about a wayward wizards academy, or a group of young tech whizzes, or some such thing, and my anticipatory hopes are dashed. I think that the introduction of the character of Wesley Crusher into Star Trek scarred me for life.

In recent years, I've been mainly a sci-fi/urban fantasy/mystery reader who somehow never hopped aboard the Harry Potter train, so any story line that seems to be a knockoff of it holds no interest - and so many YA SF/F books seem to be variations on the mythic academy theme. Or, it's a coming-of-age story and I've already got a pre-teen and a teen in my life - I can experience the drama in real-time, lol.
YA books that have bad writing are not that difficult to detect. Sometimes the blurb is a giveaway point. Sometimes the cover is useful, e.g. a Rick Riordan book where the hero looks exactly like Kurt Cobain.

But Harry Potter makes for very good reading. You like mystery. Well the first 4 Potter books are mystery-based. The 5th shows us a lot of Dumbledore. The 6th I don't recommend because it's full of romance, and the last one is a mess. (I did give them all 5 stars, but that is neither here nor there.)

I don't want to play the role of a misbegotten missionary but people of every age reads Harry Potter. And when we are all dead and Potter is in public domain it will surpass Sherlock Holmes as the most-adapted-to-screen books.
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:23 PM   #47
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Oh, I realize how beloved and widespread the Potter books are, and how they are going to be future classics. I'd never discourage anyone from reading them, and have given them as gifts to kidlets in my family because so many people I know love the series.

I actually saw the first movie. I just simply did not care about any of the characters, wasn't interested in Hogwarts, wasn't interested in what was going to happen. I tried to read the first book, because others have urged me to try it, but the Potterverse simply doesn't grab me.

I think that it's probably because I've read so much fantasy over the years, that to me the whole Potter thing is very derivative. I'm not saying that that's a bad thing or that the books should be dismissed; there's merely no new hook that grabs my particular attention.

I'm very happy that the books are popular because they've gotten massive amounts of kids and adults to start reading for pleasure, and have given a big boost to the fantasy genre, which needed it.
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:25 PM   #48
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Oh, come on. You're a Star Trek fan, aren't you? Anyone that can swallow Star Trek shouldn't have any trouble with a few quiet villages full of murderers.
But you would think that the people living in these towns/villages would move with the number of murders happening there. Also, the fact that in some cozy mysteries, the police are inept. So you have a town/village, lots of murders, and inept police. I'd move.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:02 PM   #49
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YA books that have bad writing are not that difficult to detect. Sometimes the blurb is a giveaway point. Sometimes the cover is useful, e.g. a Rick Riordan book where the hero looks exactly like Kurt Cobain.

But Harry Potter makes for very good reading. You like mystery. Well the first 4 Potter books are mystery-based. The 5th shows us a lot of Dumbledore. The 6th I don't recommend because it's full of romance, and the last one is a mess. (I did give them all 5 stars, but that is neither here nor there.)

I don't want to play the role of a misbegotten missionary but people of every age reads Harry Potter. And when we are all dead and Potter is in public domain it will surpass Sherlock Holmes as the most-adapted-to-screen books.
But what is bad writing can be very subjective. What is bad writing to one person is often very enjoyable to another. I've enjoyed the heck out of some books that objectively aren't all that well written. And I've been bored to tears by many generally acclaimed books. So I've learned to disregard the whole bad writing/good writing debate. I might take notice when the overwhelming majority of readers say the book is practically trash, but otherwise I pretty much ignore the reviews and opinions of other people in regard to what is a good book.

As to Harry Potter, I could not get into it either. It's not that it's derivative or YA; I've no beef with either one. Mostly it was the characters. They were just too boring, particularly Harry. The worldbuilding wasn't much better, imho. I finished the first book, but never read the rest of the series and probably never will.

In short, tastes differ pretty wildly.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:13 PM   #50
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These days the YA genre is dominated by even more dubious but just as successful authors as Riordan. E.g. Maggie Stiefvater, V. E. Schwab, and Sarah J. Maas.

These authors have all books on Goodreads with 4.00+ ratings! My blood boils whenever I see a young reader in denial about their quality. Typically they might rate their book 3.5/5, then round it up to 4 stars. I've seen stuff like that for other genres too, but it's festering in the YA genre specially.
What's so wrong with those authors? I've only read Sarah J. Maas and she's not too bad, imho. I'm not saying she's a shining example of what the YA literature should be, of course. But I've enjoyed some of her books.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:06 AM   #51
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Oh, I realize how beloved and widespread the Potter books are, and how they are going to be future classics. I'd never discourage anyone from reading them, and have given them as gifts to kidlets in my family because so many people I know love the series.

I actually saw the first movie. I just simply did not care about any of the characters, wasn't interested in Hogwarts, wasn't interested in what was going to happen. I tried to read the first book, because others have urged me to try it, but the Potterverse simply doesn't grab me.

I think that it's probably because I've read so much fantasy over the years, that to me the whole Potter thing is very derivative. I'm not saying that that's a bad thing or that the books should be dismissed; there's merely no new hook that grabs my particular attention.

I'm very happy that the books are popular because they've gotten massive amounts of kids and adults to start reading for pleasure, and have given a big boost to the fantasy genre, which needed it.
Alright sir. If you tried the first book then didn't finish it due to finding it being derivative (which it is), then you'd be better off without having read them.

What about the books that made it in your good books? What do you recommend? As I'm reading only 1000+ paged books this year, I've been thinking about giving The Deed of Paksenarrion a second try. I didn't read enough the first time around.

For someone who doesn't read much Fantasy, my top 5 books are all of the genre. Harry Potter, the Stormlight Archives, and Game of Thrones are in that selected list. What I'm afraid to read are the Malazan books. They are apparently of a subtle complexity. Already so much of a book whooshes over my head that I fear to begin Gardens of the Moon.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:15 AM   #52
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But what is bad writing can be very subjective. What is bad writing to one person is often very enjoyable to another. I've enjoyed the heck out of some books that objectively aren't all that well written. And I've been bored to tears by many generally acclaimed books. So I've learned to disregard the whole bad writing/good writing debate. I might take notice when the overwhelming majority of readers say the book is practically trash, but otherwise I pretty much ignore the reviews and opinions of other people in regard to what is a good book.

As to Harry Potter, I could not get into it either. It's not that it's derivative or YA; I've no beef with either one. Mostly it was the characters. They were just too boring, particularly Harry. The worldbuilding wasn't much better, imho. I finished the first book, but never read the rest of the series and probably never will.

In short, tastes differ pretty wildly.
The fact that everything is subjective doesn't mean there are no patterns. The YA genre caters to people whose minds are still forming, who still are finding themselves. Add romance, and its bastard child, the love triangle, to it then a picture emerges where fully grown adults find these books cringe-y, full of awkwardness, with cheap twists galore. It's not rocket science.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:25 AM   #53
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What's so wrong with those authors? I've only read Sarah J. Maas and she's not too bad, imho. I'm not saying she's a shining example of what the YA literature should be, of course. But I've enjoyed some of her books.
I'm beginning to think you have a very, very low threshold for quality, Harry Potter notwithstanding. Maas is a writer of Fantasy who empowers her heroines only to weaken them during their journey to liberty, equality, and puberty. A lot of these books suffer from having too much romance stuffed into their innards. The charismatic alpha male and the power games are childish, just like the strategies used in Marvel superhero films. As a result of which, the pacing suffers a lot. Case in point, the books by Patricia Briggs are very awful, which is why I can't read these popular books.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:31 AM   #54
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The fact that everything is subjective doesn't mean there are no patterns. The YA genre caters to people whose minds are still forming, who still are finding themselves. Add romance, and its bastard child, the love triangle, to it then a picture emerges where fully grown adults find these books cringe-y, full of awkwardness, with cheap twists galore. It's not rocket science.
So in your opinion, there should not be any romance in the YA books? Ever?

As to romance being cringe-y, not everyone finds it so. Again, it's subjective. You don't like romance, that's perfectly fine. But many others do.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:41 AM   #55
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I'm beginning to think you have a very, very low threshold for quality, Harry Potter notwithstanding. Maas is a writer of Fantasy who empowers her heroines only to weaken them during their journey to liberty, equality, and puberty. A lot of these books suffer from having too much romance stuffed into their innards. The charismatic alpha male and the power games are childish, just like the strategies used in Marvel superhero films. As a result of which, the pacing suffers a lot. Case in point, the books by Patricia Briggs are very awful, which is why I can't read these popular books.
I could not care less about quality. What I care about is whether I enjoy the book or not. Yes, I'm aware of all those faults in Maas' writing, but I enjoy it nevertheless. Possibly even because of those faults. Strict political correctness in fiction is boring to me. But then, I tend to enjoy totally different things in real life and in fiction.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:59 AM   #56
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I could not care less about quality. What I care about is whether I enjoy the book or not. Yes, I'm aware of all those faults in Maas' writing, but I enjoy it nevertheless. Possibly even because of those faults. Strict political correctness in fiction is boring to me. But then, I tend to enjoy totally different things in real life and in fiction.
At least you're honest. You must enjoy a broad spectrum of books. Happy reading to you.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:03 AM   #57
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So in your opinion, there should not be any romance in the YA books? Ever?

As to romance being cringe-y, not everyone finds it so. Again, it's subjective. You don't like romance, that's perfectly fine. But many others do.
Romance is like flour. It's a very important ingredient, but at the same time it is a very common, not expensive, not hard to find ingredient. If you overload your recipe with flour, then you're creating something that's easy to make. The resulting cake, or quiche or whatever, will taste good, probably, but the baker cheated by including an unhealthy amount of a cheap ingredient.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:04 AM   #58
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At least you're honest. You must enjoy a broad spectrum of books. Happy reading to you.
Thank you. To you, too.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:12 AM   #59
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So in your opinion, there should not be any romance in the YA books? Ever?

As to romance being cringe-y, not everyone finds it so. Again, it's subjective. You don't like romance, that's perfectly fine. But many others do.
If it's got a half-naked man on the cover and it's said to be a romance, there is no way I will ever read that book. I find those sorts of books to be awful. But that is my opinion. There are others on MR who do enjoy that sort of book.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:51 AM   #60
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If it's got a half-naked man on the cover and it's said to be a romance, there is no way I will ever read that book. I find those sorts of books to be awful. But that is my opinion. There are others on MR who do enjoy that sort of book.
I don't generally read romance as a genre either, and also tend to avoid books with bare-chested men on their covers. But I sometimes enjoy romance as a component in fantasy or historical fiction. Less so in mysteries and science fiction.

On rare occasions I do read genre romance, but it must be historical romance, not contemporary. And it better not be only about sex and sexual attraction, or it gets boring awfully fast. Insta-love is another thing I can't stand.
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