Stereotypes 101: So Much Time to Love

 Stereotypes 101 is a way for me to blow off some steam caused by the frustrating stereotypes that frequent my pages. Seriously, no amount of insecticide can get rid of these overused ideas.

How do you love? I have only met a handful of books that don’t have romance. While romance isn’t bad, an influx of it at every instance, is annoying. These stereotypes make me wonder if love is even real. (Kidding, have you seen the way I look at my copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?)
Tip: don’t try these archetypal love scenarios. They only work in fiction. But if they work for you, you are a fictional character. Congrats!

Instalove

Love at first sight is the least original way to fall in love. Good for the books that can pull it off. There are very few ways this archetype can been used successfully and it’s very tricky. I would love to see a slow burn romance, to make romance a meaningful element in the story. Show me how they bond and what makes them get along so well. None of this skin-deep love.
Books That Discard It: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

love triangles

Twilight, thanks for this. Why is it fun to watch two guys fight over a girl? I find it so cringeworthy. Imagine trying to pick between the two guys. This is the stuff for sitcoms. For the sake of originality, let this idea go missing this year.

love heals mental illness

Protagonist has a mental illness but as soon as she finds love, she’s much better. When love interest isn’t around, her mental illness plagues here again. LOVE ISN’T A FIX. Repeat after me, NEVER A FIX. Mental illness is not a switch. It creeps up on you in any and every circumstance. Misleading people- especially those who struggle with a mental illness- to think that love is a solution is very shitty.
Books That Discard It: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Love In the Time of Cancer

On the same thought lines as “love heals mental illness”, I find so many books with cancer-diagnosed protagonists that add a love interest to the mix just because it’ll progress the plot. Why?! It’s an easier way to tell a story but c’mon, there are so many ways to look at the protagonist’s story, and their life as an individual. Stop using love to ease the pain. Confront it.
Books that Discard It: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Do any cliched scenarios of fictional romance plague your pages? Vent in the comments!

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Prescription for a Reading Slump

Reading Slump [n]

A sudden severe or prolonged loss of interest in reading, with or without reason. The experience varies for each reader who experiences it.


We’ve been there. The dire drought of literature in our minds, the absence of fantasy or character bromance in your heart. But no amount of persuasion or force will give you the strength to pick up a book. Sometimes it’s caused by a rotten book. Some instances, you pick up the slump after reading your next favorite book. Sadly, this happens more often than not when life is pretty rocky for you.

It sucks. I’ve been down this road too many a times. Here are a few ways that have helped me to tackle this Monstrous Fiction Blocker (trademarking this, for sure).
note: I do not consider myself a specialist. These techniques have helped me personally and I hope it helps you too.

Read Your Darlings

Pick up your favorite book ever and slowly immerse yourself. You already know what happens so you’ll be relaxed and reliving the exciting moments from the book. Reminding yourself what made you fall in love with reading in the first place can help to revive feeling in your reading limbs. 

Pick Up a Light Read

This is my way to not think and just read for the sake of it. I usually pick up contemporary romance books- the cutesy ones that don’t require me to invest my emotions into. This keeps my expectations low. While there is trouble in starting the book, the rest is smooth sailing and before you know it, you’re back to your scheduled TBR.

Try a New Genre

You’d be surprised how a new genre can light up your brain. When picking up a genre you usually never touch, your brain can’t fathom how absurd the action is, lighting up your thinking cogs.  In essence, surprise yourself.
I picked up this idea when I heard about the whole concept that your brain is usually on autopilot and anything new makes you pull the emergency brake.

Indulge in FAN FICTION

Embarrassing as it might be, it’s fun to see alternative realities of familiar worlds. It’ll either be enjoyable or it’ll be so repulsive (like the Draco Malfoy and Apple fan fiction) that you will question everything you know and get back to fiction that won’t creep you out.

Let It Go

Sometimes, the best way to deal with a problem is letting it go. Seriously, try a new hobby, or watch videos or binge watch that show you’ve always wanted to. Destress yourself and come back to reading with a fresher mind.

Reading slumps rob you from the joy you’d only get from devouring books. I hope that these tips have been helpful.

Do you have any tricks to tackle your reading slumps? Tell me your secret!

Stereotypes 101: Bugs in My Contemporary

I recently read a book whose stereotypes frustrated me, raved to Sana and Maraia about it and when that didn’t suffice, I came up with a post series to blow off some steam!

Stereotypes 101 is a way for me to blow off some steam caused by the frustrating stereotypes that frequent my pages. Seriously, no amount of insecticide can get rid of these overused ideas.

I love a light contemporary on those hectic days I have no time to get emotional over fantasy. I’m not one to get coy about how I read fluffy books but I am a stickler for my books to reflect a certain standard in plot and character. I’ve had too many instances when I pick up a contemporary as a break between an epic fantasy and end up stuck with a story that approve shitty behavior.

The bad boy/ the mystery boy

Listen, I love a troubled guy with an ink sleeve as much as the next person but please stop and think how tired this trope must be? It’s so worn out, it’s not even interesting anymore. So many books feature this ridiculous character to add colour and flair to the story. It isn’t the guy I have a problem with as much as it is how flat and sans personality he is made out to be.
Books That Discard It: Simon VS The Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Makeover

Let’s focus on the root problem. Cinderella brought this over from the dark side. But surely, this 300 year old trope can’t still exist?! Wrong! While it may not be overused, I bet that the few books that do work this stereotype are enough mess with female readers’ heads and make them feel like they aren’t good enough. And we wonder why girls have a complex about their looks.
Books That Discard It: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cheating

Urgh, no. Not even a kiss. Not even if the person in the relationship runs away after and the other person mumbles apologies. This basically shows how little the third person is valued by his/her significant other. How is it okay for book characters to get together if the same situation would be viewed horribly in real life?! There may be books that use it as a reflection of life or to prove a valid book. But it will never ever be appropriate to write in cheating for the sake of it and using it as a way to progress your plot or as a plot twist is just

Damsel in Distress

Yes, women can get emotional and sometimes, have trouble lifting heavy things. But, our sensitivity is a catharsis and books need to use this as a tool to bring out the bolder us (just like in real life). So, if a guy rolls in just in time to comfort the girl, proudly call bullshit on that. And fast.
Books that Discard It: Glory O’ Brien’s History of the Future by A. S. King.

What stereotype(s) in contemporary have you steaming? Rant away in the comments!

On Reading Whatever YOU Want

I’m back people! Weeks of radio silence and now, I’ve got a bundle of posts to write and 14 books to read. No, I have no excusable excuse this time. Procrastination, manga and psychology articles got to me. But, I’m back and hopefully, I’m staying for a while!

I saw a couple posts back when I started, on how YA readers are judged and then last week, I heard someone’s experience on how adults get shit for reading YA

So I’m here to rant, with my personal experience(s).

One of them was when I was reading Pushing the Limits and someone noticed. This someone politely interrupted me to ask about the book. And then they (note that this is a senior in high school) said, “I find YA novels to be degrading; the language is so crass and it is all so phoney…” (I tuned out the rest but you get the gist)

Now here’s a person who reads the classics and listens to Eminem (which I respect), telling me that all YA books reflect degrading standards (despite having very little knowledge of the genre) . I don’t get it. She loves getting into debates so she kept pushing me until I said something along the lines of



Even though YA is only just rising around where I live, it has been with me as I grew up. Even though I will be one in less than a year, Adult books are too old for me. You know that stage where you try figuring out who you are and what you want, and then the next stage that transcends into finally having figured it all out? Young Adult books portray that. It’s spring and we all want to read spring, not winter (even though I do like the cold).

So, to all those hating on and pointing out the wrongs of YA,



because if you are against my reading it,



Also, to highlight for anyone who can’t get this point that has been said a gazillion times:
Young Adult books do not mean “for Young Adults” but are about characters of that age group. This does not put an age limit.

On the topic of reading what you please, READ. Yes, I don’t like certain books and I share my negative opinions on a book but that is just a subjective opinion. Read what you please. If you read Sidney Sheldon or Stephen King and someone looks horrified and inquires why you like it, don’t be embarassed. You should actually be proud of what you read. Because at least you read.

So, if someone gives you shit for reading something and it doesn’t stop, throw them a sassy line



or if it’s relentless, go Hermione Granger on them.

Maybe

That’s about it. I feel much better now 😉
breakactual

How do you take haters? Has anyone made you feel horrible for reading a specific book? Share your experience! I swear you’ll feel better.