Hello again! It’s Tuesday, and of course that means it’s time for a Top 5 post. Top 5 Tuesdays and their topics are brought to you by Shanah @ the Bionic Bookworm. Check out her blog, she’s awesome, and this page for the list of topics for November!
Now, I’d never presume to know more about writing than the authors of these books. I’ve never written a book myself, though I have certainly taken writing courses and have privately penned stories for myself. But I am certainly a constructive criticism critic of the books I read and so the following post is merely an extension of that.
I will warn now of spoilers for any of the books I discuss, so if you’re worried about reading something about a book you have not yet read and still plan on doing so, you have been warned!
1. Shadow & Bone – Leigh Bardugo
I feel as those this book cannot be a surprise, I’ve complained about it a lot on this blog! I would not re-write much about this book, just a few choice things. Namely, I would re-write Alina’s character almost completely. I think she’s really unlikeable, and not in a good way (as in, on purpose), and I think she just doesn’t have enough interest for me as a main character. I didn’t find her compelling at all and she was rather similar to any typical YA heroine. She just didn’t stand out, except for her unlikability.
The other thing I would change would be the whole love-interest thing with Mal. I might even re-write his character, too, since he is also pretty unlikable (to me). I don’t really like stories about unrequited love that’s finally realized. People grow up and change, and Alina being hung up on the same guy for years just isn’t plausible to me.
2. The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: The Apocalypse Suite – Gerard Way
Gosh, I have so many problems with this graphic novel. For one thing, the story makes absolutely no sense. There is just not enough world-building or backstory. You’re just dropped into the middle of things and characters fly past you at the speed of light and you’re just supposed to somehow understand what’s going on.
So, I would re-write this book to contain much more of a cohesive story, with an actual plot that people can follow. I’d provide way more backstory for each of the main characters, so that, you know, people who read the book can actually get attached to them? And so that the stakes feel more…important? I would also make sure that there isn’t just a huge information dump right away and it’s never fully teased apart to make sense.
I would also change the ending to make a bit more sense, as well. I was left feeling totally underwhelmed by this book.
3. Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
Okay, so I know that this book is probably a strange one to pick, but honestly, there is a reason so many people were compelled by this story when it first came out. I actually really enjoyed it when I first read it. I was excited about reading the rest of the series, it was a great book to me!
But now I know more things about writing and…there’s a lot I would change. For one thing, I would totally re-work Bella’s character. She needs a lot more personality and a lot more interaction with the people around her. We spend the book a lot of the time just in her head and while that’s fine sometimes, in this case…she’s just not very interesting on her own. Plus, her one main motivating factor is falling in love with Edward. As a woman who wants stronger, more realistic heroines, I want a Bella who can exist without Edward (or any love interest) and who has hopes and dreams outside of falling in love and marrying someone, etc.
I would also re-work the whole vampire thing in this story. Sparkles? Gotta go! I love vampiric lore and Meyer seems to have really…taken all the fun out of it. I would add things I love, like vampire ability to shapeshift, to compel. And, while on that subject, I’d totally re-work her whole werewolf thing, too. And make it a lot less racist.
4. Again, But Better – Christine Riccio
So, I’d re-work Riccio’s book so it could be read again, but better…Lol, I’m kidding. Mostly what I’d like to change in her book is the whole is it/isn’t it magical realism. Is there time travel? Not in my version. I think the one thing I really didn’t like about this book was how out of nowhere, it became a time-traveling crazy business. I mean, Shane has to re-live whole years! Crazy! I don’t think this book needs time-travel. It’s a crutch, a deus ex-machina that doesn’t need to be and it cheapens the story. Shane can re-work her life without getting the magic to re-live it, on her terms.
I would also re-work Shane. She’s just all over the place and too…cutsy? Too manic-pixie-dreamgirl. I also would re-work Pilot. Also, I WOULD CHANGE LITERALLY EVERYONE’S STUPID NAME IN THIS BOOK. One of the things that irked me so much was everyone had really just awful, ridiculous names.
I would also develop the characters more, since everyone is really flat or just used as a plot device to further Shane’s story. I would change Shane’s dad, who literally comes off as a PSYCHO and shocked the hell out of me when I first read it.
I could go on, but if you need further ideas about what I would change, just check out my review, here.
5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Jack Thorne, John Tiffany
Ooooh, controversial! I know, I know. Would I actually change Rowling’s work? Except…this isn’t written by Rowling and no one can convince me otherwise unless they get me a personal conversation with Rowling so I can hear her say it.
This book is a work of fan-fiction of the worst variety. It makes absolutely no sense when held up against the other works by Rowling. And it’s somehow considered cannon! I cannot, will not accept that.
What would I change? Hmm…literally everything. I would change Harry somehow being a terrible dad (somehow), I would change his random, out of character decision to want his child to have absolutely no interaction with Malfoy’s kid.
I would change Hermione back into herself, you know – someone whose life doesn’t depend on her romantic relationship with Ron? Like, she can exist as her own strong amazing self without needing Ron in her life? (When the kids change her past so she and Ron are never together, her whole life apparently falls apart. Like, what? Since when was she so dependent on Ron? I think it was the other way around? It was such a misogynistic re-write of her character that I nearly fell out of my chair reading it).
I would change the fact that somehow Bellatrix and Voldemort have a child in the first place because…who, what, when how? Like, it doesn’t make any sense at all. The whole plot for this book is completely based on this totally unrealistic fact. In my opinion, this work is garbage. That’s the strongest feeling I’ll have about a book and I’m really sorry if it’s something you love, because I hate dissing things that other people like, but for me, personally, this book was an affront to the actual, magical, beautiful series and I hate that it exists.
Thoughts & Thanks!
What do you think of my selections? Did any of your favorites make it on this list? Thank you for reading this post. Let’s chat in the comments! And, as always, happy reading!