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Books I Would Gladly Use to Fuel a Bonfire

The single greatest thing I love about birthdays is the surprises. I love not knowing what’s underneath all the tissue paper or wondering what that thick, square wrapped shape could be (probably a book). I guess it’s the element of the unknown, the mystery that gets me every time.

Sometimes though, reality does not meet with expectations. But, those moments when life does exceed your expectations- it makes all the disappointments and let downs worth it.


A few days ago, I celebrated my birthday. And, as I always do every birthday, I reflect on what’s happened in the past year. Last year on my birthday I  just started working at a bookstore (which would close a month later). I was planning me and Tim’s wedding. My best friend and I had just moved into a new apartment. I was upset that I didn’t know where or what I was doing with my life because everything was turned upside down.

Now, a year later, I just started working as a writer/editor for a website (they are not likely to close in a month…I hope). Tim and I have been married for almost 4 months! Tim and I are living in that same apartment- minus my bestie 😉 And, I am not as upset that I’m still not sure where or what I’m doing with my life because everything got turned upside down

Progress, right? It’s always funny looking back and seeing how many things change and how many things stay exactly the same. I’ve made some great decisions, like getting married to Tim, and made some really bad decisions, like taking that  job last November. I do believe that there is a plan and that I’m living it, but there are always mistakes along the way.

Which got me to thinking- what book mistakes have I made? Maybe they weren’t the worst books ever and I don’t regret reading them, but they were pretty bad- or maybe there were a total indulgence. But, now all I want to do is use them as Bonfire Fuel.

Yep, right in there! They are:

1.To Catch A Pirate: I know I discussed that in the last post, but I cannot emphasize enough what utter bonfire fuel this book is. The cheesy lines, the overworked description of thwarted feelings. The total lack of actual piracy. The only thing this book will catch is some air on the way down into a fiery pit.

2.The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin: Honestly, I picked this book up because of the cool cover. No, I haven’t learned from that mistake yet. It had so much political intrigue and backstabbing and gods and mortals that I felt so..oppressed. There are two different viewpoints throughout the book-one that the reader is never told who/what it is-and are not explained until the ending of the novel. At that point, it was too late for me because the ending was creeps-ville. It was so strange. I haven’t been so creeped out since I read a novel where the brother and sister are into each other, and at the end of the novel, the brother explodes. Yeah….so this gets a 6 on the Flame-o-Meter.

3. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl: This book has some good writing and some awesome settings- the gothic feel pared with a down-home Southern vibe is actually pretty cool. The problem? The story’s been done before. Girl has power. Girl tries to conceal power. Boy is inevitably drawn to girl, loves girl and gets messily intwined in girl’s life. I could barely make it to the end. In fact, I can’t really remember if I did. Doesn’t matter cause it just got ROASTED! Would you like marshmallows with that?

4. Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle: This time the cover should have helped me see this books true colors. On the back, in bold: “Magic or Marriage?” They’re young debutante sisters in 18th Century London with magic and nothing better to use it on than men. Oh wait except they’re not too good at that. I am not a fan of novels that feature women who pine away with unrequited love the whole book only to have it resolved  at the end (spoiler alert). For me, it’s just painful. Women with magic should be a bit stronger, I think. Watch out, the flames are getting higher!

5. A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist: I found this gem in the Christian fiction section. Although there isn’t any science fiction in this novel, there is a lot of harlequin romance! There is some serious tension in this book when a lumberjack buys a Mercer bride to join his family and feminize his woman-deprived town. The interactions and dialogue are not natural and feel a bit forced. Although the story was interesting, it just didn’t intrigue me. It was a total indulgence-I was being book-needy. Probably an 8 on the Flame-o-Meter.

Sadly, in life there is no physical Bonfire for mistakes in life.We just grow from them and move on. At least with books there is a physical outlet- a big, hot, fiery outlet. What books would you feed to a Bonfire and why?

*No books were harmed in the making of this post.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • 1. The subject line should read: “Books I Would Gladly Use to Fuel a BON-FI-YAHHHH!” ahaha. But that’s incorrect spelling, I know. I just can’t believe you said “bonfire.”
    2. While I feel like we are a lot alike in so many ways, we also very different: I HATE SURPRISES. AHHHHHH! ahaha. But I’m happy that you had a good birthday and your life has “panned out” so far! And I am truly happy for you getting that job and not me–it’s all good in da hood yo!
    and 3. LOVE YA!!!! <3

  • Pamela Wright

    Wow, Lisa, you really express pretty accurate opinions about the books you have read. It is very helpful in determining whether to read a particular book or not. I value your descriptions and opinions. Loved the lead-in for this posting.

  • Brandie

    I checked out beautiful creatures a week ago from the library….i believe I got to the middle of the book and could not get any further. I am truely loving your writting, and look forward to your next post!!!! Hope you had a wonderful birthday filled with great family and friends!

  • Kelli

    HAHA Tay-luh! I know, Lisa..there is no such word as bonfire. It’s bon-fiyaa!! 😛

    “The only thing this book will catch is some air on the way down into a fiery pit.” That made me smile 🙂 haha

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