Top Ten Tuesday: Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is unpopular bookish opinions, and this is one that I really had to think about! This seems like it’ll be quite a day for Top Ten Tuesday.

Not every book about a controversial topic can be good

I’ve noticed that after pretty much every YA bestseller, a wave of similar books comes out. Take, for example, The Hate U Give. I loved that book. I thought it was a great story that was amazingly well-written. After the popularity of The Hate U Give, a number of YA books focusing on gun violence came out. While I’m sure many of those books were good, not all of them were.

Similarly, not every book about homosexuality, racism, religion, drug use, school shootings, etc. can be good. It seems like we’re almost expected to adore these books without question just because they’re about a difficult topic.

I can’t support Cassandra Clare

Not only do I feel like the writing quality in The Mortal Instruments really went downhill midway through the series, but after learning about her behavior in general, I just can’t support her anymore. I’m not going to go into detail on everything she’s done, but please feel free to check out the links below:

I hate it when romance novels end with a proposal or surprise pregnancy

I know, I know, I read a ton of romance. But when I read a romance novel, I expect to read something that adds to the genre, not something that recycles the most cliche plot lines of all time. I think that ending a romance novel with a proposal or pregnancy is probably the easiest way to wrap things up, and most of the time it just feels like the author couldn’t come up with anything better, so they were just like, “…and they all lived happily ever after, the end.”

I was not a huge fan of Six of Crows

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it or anything. I just didn’t have any strong opinions on it. I enjoyed Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone and I’m excited to someday finish that series (and read everything else she’s written), but I think Six of Crows was just way too hyped for me and I expected more. It felt like every other YA fantasy I’d ever read, just with a more diverse cast of characters.

All the Bright Places was not good

I’ve written a number of rants on what exactly is wrong with All the Bright Places, but I’ll summarize here: the main character is a smooth-talking mental illness (with no other character traits) and his love interest is overtly blamed for telling someone that he’s suicidal. The whole book glamorizes depression and idealizes suicide (he’s so dark and mysterious!) and I feel that it sends an incredibly harmful message to teens.

Bragging avoiding certain genres or formats doesn’t make you cool

Every time I hear someone say something like, “I don’t read books with half-naked guys on the cover, I read real books” or “Listening to an audiobook doesn’t count as reading,” I just cringe. I don’t care what you’re reading or how you’re doing it. What’s important is that you’re enjoying yourself.

I have no problem with an unlikable main character as long as they’re realistic

One of my favorite books of 2018 was Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi. I loved how realistic the main character, Penny, was. A lot of reviewers have taken issue with Penny and hated the book because of her, and I get that. Penny is not perfect, not by a long shot. She says the wrong thing all the time and she’s not always likable. But what teenager is?

Not every book needs a romance

Right about now, you’re probably thinking, “Whoa, whoa, what are you talking about? You mostly review romance books!” But it’s true. Not every book needs a romance. Sometimes sci-fi should just be sci-fi. Sometimes fantasy should just be fantasy. Sometimes a romance is entirely unnecessary and actually detracts from the story rather than adding to it.

I have no interest in reading classic sci-fi novels

I remember very clearly a moment when a man walked up to me, completely unprompted, and said, “How can you call yourself a book blogger when you haven’t even read Dune?” I mean… first of all, sci-fi from the 1960s doesn’t interest me whatsoever, but also, I blog mostly about romance! I’m not sure what that book has to do with anything!

I am not a fan of Penny Reid’s books

I’ve tried. I really have. I know that so many people adore her books, but I’ve enjoyed one of them and I’ve hated the rest. I one-clicked a lot of them when they were free on Amazon and so I’ll keep trying (eventually), but I was really disappointed by Neanderthal Seeks Human. Attraction is one of my least favorite books of 2019. And her Winston Brothers series has been hit or miss so far. Nothing against her personally, but her books are just not my favorite.

Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! What are some of your unpopular opinions? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Blog tour (+ interview!): Screen Queens by Lori Goldstein

Screen Queens by Lori Goldstein
Links: Amazon • TBD • GoodreadsB&N
Publication Date: June 11, 2019

The Bold Type meets The Social Network when three girls participate in a startup incubator competition and uncover the truth about what it means to succeed in the male-dominated world of tech.

This summer Silicon Valley is a girls’ club.

Three thousand applicants. An acceptance rate of two percent. A dream internship for the winning team. ValleyStart is the most prestigious high school tech incubator competition in the country. Lucy Katz, Maddie Li, and Delia Meyer have secured their spots. And they’ve come to win.

Meet the Screen Queens.

Lucy Katz was born and raised in Palo Alto, so tech, well, it runs in her blood. A social butterfly and CEO in-the-making, Lucy is ready to win and party. 

East Coast designer, Maddie Li left her home and small business behind for a summer at ValleyStart. Maddie thinks she’s only there to bolster her graphic design portfolio, not to make friends.

Delia Meyer taught herself how to code on a hand-me-down computer in her tiny Midwestern town. Now, it’s time for the big leagues–ValleyStart–but super shy Delia isn’t sure if she can hack it (pun intended).

When the competition kicks off, Lucy, Maddie, and Delia realize just how challenging the next five weeks will be. As if there wasn’t enough pressure already, the girls learn that they would be the only all-female team to win ever. Add in one first love, a two-faced mentor, and an ex-boyfriend turned nemesis and things get…complicated

Filled with humor, heart, and a whole lot of girl power, Screen Queens is perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, and The Bold Type.

As a big fan of Morgan Matson and The Bold Type, I was really excited to get the chance to participate in a blog tour for Screen Queens! Instead of my usual review, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and doing an author interview!

Thank you so much to Penguin Young Readers and Lori Goldstein for making this post possible!

What inspired you to write this book?

I love telling friendship stories. The core of my previous books is female friendship, and that’s one of the major themes of SCREEN QUEENS too. In SCREEN QUEENS I liked the idea of telling a story set in an environment that would be unfamiliar to all the main characters so they have to come together and navigate the landscape as one—it’s a precursor to what happens in college and of course also happens in summer camps, and intense friendships can form as a result despite the individuals being very different people. Obviously I was also heavily influenced by the #metoo movement, which had developed shortly before I started writing this book. Centering the story on the harassment that women in a male-dominated field like tech experience felt both timely and important, for technology and social media especially has such a strong impact on the lives of young adults.

You’ve previously written fantasy novels. What made you take the leap from fantasy to a contemporary about Silicon Valley?

I actually think it’s less of a leap and more of a gentle hop! With my BECOMING JINN series being a contemporary fantasy, it’s grounded in our normal, everyday world with a little bit (okay, more than a little!) of magic thrown in. But the foundation being in the contemporary world means that the transition to an all realistic story without a fantastic element felt entirely natural. While Azra in BECOMING JINN struggles with her magical destiny, it’s so tightly interwoven in the life she has in the non-magical world that she feels very much like any average teenager coming to terms with who she is and who she wants to be. Those issues are core for my main characters of Lucy, Maddie, and Delia in SCREEN QUEENS. And I think many would argue that Silicon Valley is a “fantastical” place all of its own!

I think it’s so great that you’ve written a book with such a feminist theme. Was there any reason that you decided to set this book in the male-dominated field of coding?

I’m inspired by all forms of entertainment and media, especially podcasts. One of my favorite podcasts is called StartUp by Gimlet Media, which chronicles the issues faced by new businesses, especially tech-based ones. The second season centered on two women trying to grow their dating app. The struggles they encountered as female founders, things their male counterparts didn’t have to, affected me. Such as offers of funding from venture capitalists coming with the strings of dinner, drinks, or more attached. This led me to books like Brotopia by Emily Chang and articles in places like The Atlantic that offered deep insights into what it’s like to be a woman in the field of tech. The harassment and discrimination is a big part of the reason women leave the industry, which happened to a very good friend of mine who left her career as a coder. And it is also a barrier—among many barriers—for women entering the field. We all know that jobs in the future will be those related to tech, and we need to encourage more young women to consider this option from a young age, something I never did.

Your book features three really different characters. Which one do you relate to most and why?

I loved the ability to create Lucy, Maddie, and Delia, three strong, smart women with very different backgrounds and personalities. Lucy is ambitious and ready to do whatever it takes to achieve her goals, including using connections and pushing the envelope. Maddie is a talented designer, but unlike Lucy, Maddie wants to be successful simply to be able to take care of her younger brother, the only person Maddie’s able to open herself up to emotionally. Delia is loyal and deeply invested in her family and best friend. Though wildly intelligent, she lacks confidence and constantly compares herself to others. I see myself in all of these characters. My younger self was closer to Maddie; I was shy as a kid, and friendships didn’t come easily to me. As I got older, that began to change, yet I had many of Delia’s issues of lacking self-esteem, confidence, and just trusting myself. Now, I have Lucy’s drive and determination, but it’s tempered by my history and the pieces of Maddie and Delia still lurking inside. As a team, the three young ladies form a whole, and that’s mirrored in my own life.

Unrelated to your book, are there any books that you’ve recently read that you’d recommend checking out?

Absolutely! One of my recent favorites is the YA contemporary NIGHT MUSIC by the incredibly talented Jenn Marie Thorne, which focuses on a young woman struggling to find her place among her musical prodigy family. Jenn has a way with words that always leaves me aspiring to do more with my own work. Another is just about to come out on July 2, an adult called WHISPER NETWORK by Chandler Baker, which is similar to SCREEN QUEENS in its themes of female empowerment. It centers on three lawyers in a corporate firm with a boss whose behavior crosses all the lines, and the women decide to take action. It tackles so much about being a working mom and dealing with sexual harassment and discrimination but with so much humor and skill that you can’t stop flipping pages. Finally, another summer release (August 6) that I was fortunate to ready early is the YA REMEMBER ME by Chelsea Bobulski. It’s Titanic meets The Shining, and it’s a swoon-worthy love story that goes back and forth between the 1920s and present day that’s the ultimate summer read.

About the Author


Lori Goldstein was born into an Italian-Irish family and raised in a small town on the New Jersey shore. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Lehigh University and worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before becoming a full-time author. She currently lives and writes outside of Boston. Lori is also the author of the young adult contemporary fantasy series Becoming Jinn (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan). You can visit her online at

Have you read Screen Queens? Can you think of any other books about young women in traditionally male-dominated fields? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’