Top Ten Book Characters I Would Add to TV Shows

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is a TV themed freebie, so I’m going with which of my favorite book characters I would add to my favorite TV shows.

1. Shazi meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Shazi, with her incredible clothes and impeccable archery skills, would fit right in with this group of badass characters. Imagine her and Buffy talking about clothes…and guys…and saving the world.

2. Alina Starkov meets Merlin

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The main character of the Grisha trilogy would be an amazing addition to Merlin. I honestly think it would be really interesting to see how her character reacts to a land where magic is outlawed.

3. Cammie Morgan meets Psych

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In the years after the graduates from Gallagher Academy, I can definitely see Cammie making a guest appearance on Psych. She’d probably think Shawn Spencer is a total idiot, but I can see her being BFFs with Juliet.

4. Blue Sargent meets Doctor Who

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Blue and the Doctor running around, saving the universe together—is there anything better? I think she’d be best with the 10th Doctor, but honestly she’d be a great companion regardless.

5. also Lilac LaRoux meets Doctor Who

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I LOVE this one. Wouldn’t Lilac make the best companion?! She was one of my favorite characters in the Starbound trilogy, and would do an amazing job accompanying the Doctor on his adventures.

6. Wax meets Firefly

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To be fair, The Alloy of Law basically IS Firefly. (If you want to convince me that Brandon Sanderson didn’t binge watch Firefly before writing the series, well, you can’t.) Still, I think the dynamic between Wax and Mal would be hilarious to watch.

7. also Katsa meets Firefly

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And, because Firefly is basically a club for badass women, I think Katsa from Graceling would be an incredible addition to the cast. I can just imagine her becoming best friends with Zoe, trading fighting tactics and sparring together.

8. Gansey meets Sherlock

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I’m laughing just thinking about this. I don’t know if Sherlock and Gansey would know what to do with each other, but they would definitely have some hilarious conversations while they tried to figure out if they were friends or not.

9. Verity meets Lie to Me

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This one was actually my sister’s idea. It doesn’t make much sense, but it is simultaneously freaking hilarious. If you’ve read/watched both, what do you think about this pairing?

10. Sarene meets House MD

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Finally, brilliant and determined Sarene would be a great member of House’s team. She would definitely not take his shit and would be able to figure out the diagnosis waaay faster than the rest of them (probably).


What do you think? Have you watched these shows or read these books? What character-show combo do you wish you could see?

How Complex Should Side Characters Be?

I used to think that every book needed a few side characters that were flat, i.e. mostly one-dimensional, without a lot of backstory, existing just to bolster certain scenes.

But recently I have read a lot of books with complex, nuanced side characters. Characters that have their own identities and their own stories, even though they aren’t the protagonist. These books have made me rethink my belief that stories benefit from flat characters.

To be clear, this post is talking about side characters. Not the protagonist, not the love interest. The best friend, the side kick, the quest buddy, the girl you sass in the hallway at school. Some authors leave them simply described, embodying just a few key characteristics, while others spend time ensuring that every character in their story has deeper motivations and backstory that explains them. So…which is better?

side characters flat 2

Comic relief.

Flat characters make wonderful jokes. They are free to exist simply as the Idiot, the Class Clown, the Drama Queen, or whatever other role they fill in the story. They will not win any awards for creativity, but they can help inject some humor into a story without weighing it down with extra details.

A little bit of realism.

We do not know the deep desires and secrets of everyone we interact with, even if they are important in our lives. Sometimes—at least for me—I see a person largely as one characteristic, mainly because they play one distinct role in my life. They are important in that role, but to try to shove an extra subplot into my story surrounding them wouldn’t really make sense.

Sometimes, I don’t care about your backstory.

I think the reason that I initially preferred flat side characters over round ones is that I read a lot of books that weren’t done well. Backstory and subplots can really strengthen a book (more on that later), but when they are done badly, they can make a story feel choppy and overdone. If there isn’t a reason for me to care about the protagonist’s sister’s darkest secret, don’t waste time telling me about it.

side characters round 2

They kill stereotypes.

Flat characters often exist only to embody stereotypes. That can add humor to a story (see #1 above), but it can also hold a story back. When authors take the opportunity to flesh out side characters—pushing past their original defining characteristic—their stories stop relying on stereotypes and really come to life.

They are opportunities for more diversity.

I want books with racially and sexually diverse protagonists, but I also want stories with white/cis protagonists to have diverse side characters. But to add in side characters that are diverse on paper but that are never explored in the story does absolutely nothing. In this case, rounder side characters are a must.

More bang for your buck—you get multiple stories in one book.

This one is pretty obvious. Why would you want to read one person’s story when you can read three or four people’s stories? It’s the reason readers enjoy stories with more than one POV, and it is the reason stories with round characters are often more interesting than ones with flat characters.

Complex stories are more captivating them simple stories (often).

Assuming that the story is written well, I like stories that have more than one layer, that talk about more than one thing, that explore lots of different sides of human nature. When side characters are left flat, this is less likely to happen, and I find myself less entranced by stories.


Right now, I am siding with round side characters. Who knows what I’ll think in another year.

What do you think? What are your favorite books with flat/round side characters?

August Wrap-Up 2016

In My Life

My senior year of high school started this month. It is going well, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t wish it was still summer. So far, I am enjoying all of my classes, especially AP Art History and ceramics.

On This Blog

I had eleven posts this month. I wish that I had more—honestly I had other post ideas, I just didn’t write them—but adjusting to school took most of my time.

Book Tags:

Top Ten Tuesdays:

In Reading and Reviewing

I have no time to read in class anymore! Last year, a lot of my classes focused on classwork, so I would finish early and have time to read, but that is not the case this year. While I am happy to have less boring classwork, this means that I only read three books this month.

I DNF-ed The Demon King halfway through because I just did not care about the story. Then I read Symptoms of Being Human and started rereading the Gemma Doyle trilogy. I also caught up on some book reviews this month.

  • Ruin and Rising (Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo — 4/5 stars (review)
  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson — 5/5 stars (review)
  • Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin — 3/5 stars (review)
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray — 4/5 stars (review to come)
  • Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle #2) by Libba Bray — 4/5 stars (review to come)

In Writing

This was a conflicted month for writing. In the week I had before school started, I wrote 10,000 words, bringing my total for my current draft (and my total for how many words I wrote this summer) to 62,000 words. Unfortunately, school started and I literally have not touched my WIP since them. I did publish a poem—Page One—at least.

Right now, all of my writing energy is going toward trying to get my Common Application essay done for college apps. I have written a ton of drafts, none that I like very much, but hopefully everything will come together in September. (And then I get to work on supplemental essays…yay.)


How was your August? If you’re a student, have you gone back to school yet? What are you planning on reading in September?

Top Ten Books I Have Owned For a While That I Haven’t Read

This week’s TTT topic is supposed to be “Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet,” but honestly I don’t remember what books I owned or wanted to read two and a half years ago. Instead, I’m highlighting a similar idea, which is books that I have owned for a while (at least a year for most of them) but that I haven’t read yet.

1. Bruised by Sarah Skilton

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My sister loved this book, but I have stayed away from it because I know it will be very emotional and I want to read it when I’m in the right mood. Unfortunately, that means I haven’t read it, even though my sister has been pushing it for a few years now I think.

2. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

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I have loved everything else Elizabeth Wein has written, but this promises to be the most heartbreaking one yet—and that is saying something. Again, this is the kind of book that I have avoided reading until I have time to cry…a lot.

3. His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik

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Uprooted is one of my favorite books ever, so I am really excited about reading Naomi Novik’s other books. The Temeraire series is REALLY LONG though, so I have been waiting until I feel like marathon-ing it.

4. The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella

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Again, my sister swears by this book. I am excited to read it, but somehow, something else always ends up above it in my TBR.

5. Lair of Dreams (Diviners #2) by Libba Bray

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I LOVE Libba Bray, and I’m really ashamed to say that 100% of the reason that I haven’t read her latest book is that it (and it’s predecessor) are MASSIVE. I’ll get to it someday…

6. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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This was a total hype buy that my sister read and thought was okay. I’m really curious about this story so I know I’ll read it someday, but knowing that my sister thought it was “meh” keeps me from diving into it right now.

7. Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

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We’ve entered the gauntlet of books that I haven’t read because my sister didn’t love them. She didn’t hate any of them, so we haven’t gotten rid of the books, but it is really hard to pick up a book (no matter how curious you are) knowing that someone with really similar taste didn’t get excited about it.

8. An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

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A hype buy with the same story as the last two.

9. Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

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I didn’t love Cinder, but for some reason I bought the sequel, so I know that I’ll read it eventually. 1) People have assured me that the series gets better, 2) I want to get swept up in the hype, and 3) I hate getting rid of books without reading them.

10. Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis

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I loved Across the Universe, but A Million Suns didn’t really work for me. I think I might go back and read the entire trilogy someday, but for right now, the last book remains unread.


Have you read any of these? Are any of your favorites wasting away on the bottom of my TBR pile? Let me know!

June Wrap-Up 2016

In My Life

June 1st was my last day of school! YAYAYAYAY!! Being on summer break has been amazingly relaxing, though I can’t believe a month of it is gone already! I haven’t really been productive yet. Whoops…

I took another online poetry workshop with the University of Iowa (more on that later) and I started a photography class. I’ve been hanging out with friends and generally relaxing, reveling in the glory of not having any responsibilities

The one sad part is that my sister left for a five week summer program at the Savannah College of Art and Design. FIVE WEEKS! We’re twins, and we’ve never been apart for more than a night, so being twin-less for over a month is very weird, but we’re surviving. She’s doing amazing stuff and we’re actually managing to keep in touch, despite being on other sides of the country (oh, the wonder of technology).

On This Blog

I had 14 posts this month! After two months of barely posting anything, I think I’m finally getting back into the habit of blogging.

I took part in three Top Ten Tuesdays:

I also did the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge (day 1, day 2, and day 3) and joined the Make Me Read It Readathon, which will happen in July. You can still vote for which books I should read!

If you guys don’t know, I started a bookstagram account (@52lettersinthealphabet) last month. This month I took part in my first bookstagram challenge and it was really fun! I’m really glad that I expanded this blog into that social media space and that I’ve gotten to connect with so many amazing bookstagramers and bloggers!

In Reading and Reviewing

I set myself the goal of reading 20 books this summer and I’m doing pretty well. I read 8 books this month and they were all amazing. If I reviewed them, they will have a rating and you can follow the link to my review.

  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater — 5/5 stars
  • The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater — 5/5 stars
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson — 3.5/5 stars
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACO #1) by Sarah J. Maas
  • A Court of Mist and Fury (ACO #2) by Sarah J. Maas
  • The King of Attolia (Queen’s Thief #3) by Megan Whalen Turner
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

ACOMAF was definitely my favorite book of the month (of 2016 really)! I will have a very fangirlly review coming soon, once I can get my emotions in order.

The only books that I read for the first time this month were TRK, SCS, and ACOMAF. The rest I reread either to continue series or because I needed to heal emotionally after a heart-wrenching book. Not all of the rereads will get formal reviews, but I have some discussion posts planned that tie into them.

I also caught up on some reviews for books that I read in May…and then fell behind again (as you can see).

  • The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater — 5/5 stars
  • The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater — 5/5 stars
  • Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner — 5/5 stars

In Writing

Though I didn’t post any poetry on this blog, I was actually working on it. I took another Flashwrite poetry workshop from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and loved it again. This one was more focused on peer workshops and it was really helpful.

I started a third draft of my WIP! I had an idea that fixed a lot of plot problems and made the story more exciting, but that forced me to rewrite most of what I’d already written. Luckily, I’ve actually gotten into a habit of writing (nearly) daily, and I’ve already written 18,000 words!


How was your June? Did you read any great books?

April Wrap-Up

In My Life

April was rough. Prepping for my AP exams (APUSH, AP Lang, and Calc AB) left little time for reading or blogging, which sucked. The first two weeks of May will be dominated by actually taking the tests, which also sucks—but then I’ll be free.

On this Blog

I only had six posts this month! *cries* Thank you to everyone who stuck with my through my unannounced hiatus. I hope to get back to my regular blogging schedule soon.

I do really like the posts that I wrote this month, however. I had two discussion based posts, both of which got kind of personal. I discussed whether to give myself reading “homework” and what it is like to read YA as a girl who cries. Also, 52 Letters turned two!

In shorter posts, I did the Cookie Book Tag, the BFF Book Tag, and received the Entertainer Blogger Award.

In Reading and Reviewing

I had no book reviews this month! AHHH wow I don’t think that has ever happened. Whoops.

I read two and a half books. I finished Shadows of Self and read Bands of Mourning, both parts of the Mistborn sequel series. I loved both of them and can’t wait to fangirl about them in my reviews (when I have a spare minute to write them).

I started Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez. I am about halfway through and it is amazing—very dark and emotional and intensely real. I’m fascinated to see where the story takes me…probably to some place with tears.

In Writing

I had a good month for writing. I didn’t add anything to my WIP, which wasn’t ideal, but I did something else…

flashwrite

I took part in the University of Iowa’s Teen Flashwrite MOOC. It was a massive online classroom where I got to learn more about the specifics of writing poetry, discuss poetry with experts, and then have my work critiqued by fellow students and teachers.

It was a fantastic experience and I’m sooooooooo glad that I decided to take part (despite how busy this month was). I met a ton of cool people, and I’m hoping that some of the friendships I formed will last a while.

I’ll probably share some of the poems I wrote and some of the stuff I learned in later posts.


How was your April? What books did you read? Did you have any exciting posts?

Fellow AP students—how are you doing? Are you hanging in there? Which tests are you most worried about? How ready are you for APs to be OVER?

Also! I haven’t had a chance to bloghop in a while, so if you have had any posts that you’re really proud of, link to them and I’ll check them out! I want to see what everyone has been up to while I’ve been studying. 🙂

The Entertainer Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Anna @ Space Cats and Books for nominating me!

the entertaining blog award

The Rules

  • Write a post with the award picture.
  • Nominate 12 (sorry, it’s not going to be that many) other bloggers who are funny, inspiring, and, most important of all, ENTERTAINING!
  • Add these rules to the post.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog!
  • Also, answer these questions down below!

1. Why did you start a blog in the first place?

My sister had started a blog a few months before to showcase her sewing and she was having a lot of fun with it so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. Unlike her, I am not crazy-talented at sewing, so I decided to blog about my love: reading and writing.

2. What is your favorite book?

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AAAAHHHH! I can never choose. My go-to answer is The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner because that book is incredible and not many people have read it, so I’m always trying to get people to pick it up. It’s the third book in a series, so if you’re interested—and you should be—you should read The Thief.

3. What do you dislike the most?

Wow, that’s a tough one. Probably people who know they’re breaking the rules, then look all offended when a teacher calls them out, then crack up with their friends when she turns away, like “What was that about?”

You were being an A-hole, that’s what it was about.

4. What is your favorite food item from the mall?

Pretzels! Any kind, I just love mall pretzels.

5. What is your favorite pastime activity?

Either reading or watching Netflix, depending on what my day has been like. I love reading, of course, but sometimes I just need to decompress and watch a few thousand episodes of TV.


the Funny, inspiring, and entertaining bloggers I nominate

Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

Ari @ The Daydreaming Bookworm

Ava @ Bookishness and Tea

You are under no pressure to accept if you have a lot on your plate right now!


What about you? Do you love mall pretzels?

What lesser-known favorite of yours should I know about?