Let’s Talk! (Week #20 – 3/15/13)

We’re up to week 20 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

Do you rate a book differently based on the genre? Are there certain genres that you hold at a higher standard? Are there books that will gain an automatic “pass” or overlook of issues just because you love the genre/ type of world? If you don’t rate books, you can answer the questions based on your review criteria.

Wow… talk about a question that makes me think…. Honestly, until I saw this week’s question I didn’t think I played ‘favorites’ and then I started to think…. hmmmm….

Even though I’m an eclectic reader, I have my favorite genres. If we are totally honest, I think we all do. If it’s well written and I can get lost in the either the characters, the plot or the world that the author creates, it’s a read that I will enjoy. Now that I think about it though, I’m probably a little bit more critical of books that don’t fall into my favorite genres. Why? I think it’s because the authors of those books have to do something exceptional to grab me. One of those genres is YA Contemporary. I tend to stay away from them – but when I do read one I expect it to be exceptional. That could be why I’m so picky when I read them and why the few YA Contemporary reads that I have reviewed have received high ratings from me.

On the other hand, I read so many PNR books (my obvious favorite genre) that it has to be exceptional to gain a 5 star review from me. I can easily tell when things work and when they don’t.  When characters are just put into convenient situations to force a match and when things don’t flow the way they should. Be it YA or Adult, I have read so many of them that I don’t just automatically give books that rating unless I feel like they deserve it.

So I guess my answer is no. I don’t play favorites. I had to think about it really hard though. If anything, I think I may be harder on my favorite genre than I am on the others. Why? Mainly because books in other genres have to give me a really good reason to give them a chance in the first place. I read the synopsis well, I see who in my trusted crew of bloggers has read them a little of what they are saying about them and I pick from trusted authors. It may not be fair, but I’d rather be picky than to either not leave a review or give an author an undeserved bad review just because I should never have picked it up to begin with. Hey, at least I’m honest 😉

So what about you? Does a book’s genre pre-determine how you rate it? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

Too Stupid to Live (Romancelandia #1) by Anne Tenino


Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.

Until he meets Ian.

Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.

Until he meets Sam.

Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong . . . can they?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I had been eyeing Anne Tenino’s books for a while before I finally picked up Frat Boy and Toppy. I’m so glad that I finally picked it up. Her characters are smart, witty, fun and caring – Too Stupid to Live was no exception.

Sam and Ian are not the perfect couple. In fact, they are pretty much the opposite of perfect. Ian is an ex-firefighter and a jock who was really good at hiding who he is. Sam is a gangly, uncoordinated geek who loves to read romance novels and is very comfortable with who he is, even if he doesn’t have a lot of self esteem. You can’t choose who you fall in love with though, right?

Like I said, the characters are the draw in all of Tenino’s books. Not only the main characters either. The supporting characters are just as important. They all play off each other. They don’t pull any punches and they give each other honesty and support when they need it most – even if the person receiving it doesn’t want it. The book also switches POV between Ian and Sam, which is a good thing. I think without a glimpse of what was going on inside Ian’s head I wouldn’t have liked him at all. Not that I didn’t want to smack him more than once regardless. He came off as a jerk, but he also had a lot of baggage and most of it he was still dealing with. Sam, on the other hand, was someone I would love to have as a friend. He was sweet, lovable, honest and quirky. His inner dialogue was perfect and gave readers an idea of exactly who he was.

Too Stupid to Live was more than a light and funny romance. It dealt with a lot of serious issues too. Family, tolerance, prejudice to the extreme and a lot more were covered. It wasn’t just glossed over either. The things that happened touched all of them and the love, support and respect that they showed each other made me love these characters even more.

If you want a taste of this series, there are two prequel novellas available. They make up the Whitetail Rock series and there are links to both of them on Anne Teninos blog. Whitetail Rock and The Fix feature Nik and Jurgen and give you a little bit of background into Sam and Ian’s history, but mainly just introduce them. They are so worth reading though. Getting to know Nik and Jurgen was great and made me want to get to know them even more. Enjoy!