Top 5 Wednesday: Most Unlikable Characters

Hello fellow readers and happy Wednesday! Today for this week’s #T5W post I will be discussing my choices for the most unlikeable characters, just not villains! Also, I hope that you all continue to have a good week.

If you would like to join in on T5W please feel free to check out our Goodreads group. Let’s get started!

-Samantha 🙂

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1. Dasha from The Bronze Horseman: Paullina Simons

Is it truly ever a Top 5 Wednesday without me talking about The Bronze Horseman? No! Ahaha but Dasha is no laughing matter. As the sister of sweet and gentle Tatiana you think she would be a likable character like her sister? Wrong. Dasha rubbed me the wrong way the entire book. She carried the opposite traits of her sister. She was self-centered, cruel, and though deep down she did love her family she rarely showed it.

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2. Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments: Cassandra Clare

I know for a fact that people with pitchforks will be standing outside my home after I post this. I KNOW! I just really didn’t like Clary as the series progressed. I found her annoying and whiny at points. At times her decisions made me want to toss the book outside. She just wasn’t my favorite character out of the book I guess you could say.

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3. Bella Swan from The Twilight Saga: Stephenie Meyer

I don’t want to go too much into my dislike of Bella because this could turn into a very long post. She is just a character that grated on my nerves and she dulled the Twilight experience.

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4. Gideon Cross from One with You: Sylvia Day

Okay so this character is a bit tricky. I really did enjoy Gideon in the beginning of this series but as it went on he secured his downfall from my good graces. He became a man that I didn’t like reading about and kept too many secrets. In the end, he wasn’t my favorite.

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5. Tom from The Forbidden Game: L.J. Smith

This is probably my most strange unlikeable character because I really have no idea why I disliked him. For some odd reason I found myself always annoyed with Tom from this series! He wasn’t a bad guy and he was truly in love with Jenny but just something about him rubbed me the wrong way!

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Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Character Names

Hello fellow readers and happy Wednesday! For this week’s #T5W we will be discussing “Favorite Character Names” and I am so excited! I love good character names.

If you would like to join in on T5W please feel free to check out our Goodreads group. Without further ado let’s get on with the names!

-Samantha 🙂

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1. William Herondale

After reading this book I have associated William as the best name a man can have. I have no idea why but it sings to me!! William Herondale is strong and sweet, and a total babe. *insert dreamy sigh*

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2. Kaz Brekker

This is one of the most unique names I have seen! With a unique name comes with a unique personality and Mr. Brekker sure has one. He’s got lots of tricks up his sleeve!

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3. Emma Carstairs

I absolutely love the name Emma, it is a name I hope to name one of my children hopefully as silly as that sounds. Emma Carstairs is badass, strong, and has a big heart. She was given a beautiful name!

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4. Rhysand

I don’t know if it’s more the name that has shivers running down my side or the man’s personality!

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5. Tatiana Metanova

Tatiana is one of my all time favorite names! My best friend from elementary was named Tatiana and the name reminds me of her. Tatia in the novel is strong and willing to do whatever she needs to to protect the ones she loves.

The Harry Potter Spells Tag!

Hello fellow readers! Happy Friday! I hope that you are doing well this fine day.  This tag was created by TurtleSympathy over on Youtube. I tag anyone who would love to participate!

-Samantha 🙂

1. Expecto Patronum: A childhood book connected to good memories

Definitely Green Eggs and Ham by Doctor Seuss. This book holds so many dear memories in my heart that I couldn’t ever part with it!

2. Expelliarmus: A book that took you by surprise

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon! I never expected to enjoy this book as much as I did. I fell in love with the characters and cannot wait to read on.

3. Prior Incantato: The last book you read.

OUTLANDER BY DIANA GABALDON!!! If you would like to more of my thoughts please check out my book review. (self-promo hehe)

4. Alohamora: A book that introduced you to a genre you had not considered before.

I’m going to go with The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. I have never read historical fiction before and this got my feet wet. I really enjoyed it and moved on to read more historical fiction books.

5. Riddikulus: A funny book you’ve read.

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton is by far the funniest book I’ve ever picked up. It is a good hearted read with lots of fun and interesting characters, most importantly a snazzy cat named Clive.

6. Sonorus: A book you think everybody should know about.

Throne of Glass by my book mother, Sarah J. Maas. Everyone needs to pick up this first book and continue on with the series so that we may all cry together because it is epic.

7. Obliviate: A book or spoiler you would like to forget having read.

I wish I could erase reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. For whatever reason back when I read this it did not settle well with me….

8. Imperio: A book you had to read for school.

I had to read Macbeth this past summer as a reading assignment for my english course and it was the first Shakespeare play that I read/annotate on my own.

9. Crucio: A book that was painful to read.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare was painful to read because it was heartbreaking! Ahhh painful in a good way I guess.

10. Avada Kedavra: A book that could kill (interpret as you will).

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is a book that could kill your mind and heart because it’s just that amazing.

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters You Defend

Hello fellow readers! I hope that your Wednesday is going well and that the rest of the week is kind to you! This week’s #T5W topic is all about “Characters You Defend.”

If you would like to join in on T5W please feel free to check out our Goodreads group. Without further ado let us get on with defending these said characters!

-Samantha 🙂

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1. Tatiana Metanova from The Bronze Horseman

Tatiana is like my child! I love and adore her so much. I know that she has a few rocky moments but in her mind she is in the right. She would do anything for the one’s she loves. Plus she’s one of the strongest characters I’ve ever read about!

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2. Clive from Wallbanger

Clive is main character Caroline’s feline pal and I LOVE HIM!! He is just so precious and pesky that we’re a match made in Heaven. Knock all of the sand bottles down that you wish little one.

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3. Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows

My heart goes out to Kaz. He’s a little bit ruthless and a whole lot hurting. He would do anything to get what he wants and it is that trait that makes him so endearing.

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4. Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter

Again my heart goes out to Draco. I’ve got a love hate going on with this boy (mainly because of his actions in book 6) but hate aside I feel horrible about the situation he’s in! I think he needs a good hand to guide him.

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5. Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I love Charlie for so many different reasons. He’s got such a big heart and he’s lost but when his guidance comes along his eyes are opened up to a whole new world. He is honestly like my child and my heart aches for him.

The Summer Garden: Paullina Simons

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Book Information (for this edition):

Published: June 2011 by William Morrow

Author: Paullina Simons

Page Count: 742

Amazon: $10.61

Barnes and Noble: $10.61


*Note: I have reviewed the previous novels, The Bronze Horseman & Tatiana and Alexander on my blog. Please beware of spoilers since this is the last book and this review will give away plot ideas that have come from the first two novels!


*Spoiler Free Section*

The end has come! In this thrilling and heartbreaking conclusion to The Bronze Horseman trilogy, Paullina Simons takes readers for the ride of their life.

The Summer Garden continues Tatiana and Alexander’s tale and journey to live after the war is over and they are in America. While the war might be over for the soldiers the war within Tatiana and Alexander’s hearts are not. They are tested over and over as they try to find common ground and fix the disconnect that has come between them after years apart. With all these tests they must fight harder to stay above water and protect their son from the horrors that hide behind their closed eyes.

This book was a roller coaster of emotions, both good and bad. The characters have changed so much over the course of the series that when we get to book three they are almost unrecognizable. The war has shaped the people that they once were and now they are hardened shells.

I cried so many times reading this that I kept the box of tissues next to me the entire time! It was gritty, real, and it showed that love has its ups and downs. There were parts that had my blood boiling and I had to put the book down. These will be discussed more in the spoiler section of my review so please beware!

I believe that this was a strong ending and it concluded the story perfectly. It hurts my heart to part with these characters but I know that Tatia and Shura will forever live inside my heart and soul.

The Summer Garden was such a touching way to end the trilogy and there won’t be a day where these characters aren’t thought about in my mind.


*Spolier Section*

What really had me heated and the reason why I had to put the book down was how unrecognizable Alexander was. Throughout the first 500 or so pages I disliked who he was. This was not the Shura we knew. This man yelled all the time, was cruel to his wife and son, did unspeakable things. I truly disliked this man. The war had changed him and he believed that his wife was the enemy.

What really solidified that thought was when Alexander cheats with Carmen! I CRIED ANGRY TEARS AND YELLED AT THE BOOK!!! I honestly was in the moment because I actually yelled “how could you do this to her???” at the book… an inanimate object. What can I say? This book had me going and I was heartbroken.

And when Tatiana finds out about the cheating and they have their argument what does Alexander do? He hits her! I had to set the book aside and take some deep breaths because this man was not our Alexander.

Tatia forgives Alexander and they finally are able to have another child. It was from here on out that the novel became better. I still didn’t prefer Alexander after everything that happened but he redeemed himself in the end.

Their son Anthony, bless his soul, truly takes on life. He doesn’t want to disappoint his family and he would do anything to live up to his father. I enjoyed how Simons made his life just as important as his parents.

At the end of the novel all their children come around as well as their grandchilden and it is the most touching epilogue I have ever read. That is where the story came full circle for me. It was touching and had elements of The Bronze Horseman woven within.


Favorite Quote:

“We’ll meet again in Lvov, my love and I…” Tatiana hums, eating her ice cream, in our Leningrad, in jasmine June, near Fontanka, the Neva, the Summer Garden, where we are forever young.”

This book was given a 4.5/5 star rating on Goodreads. 

Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons

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Book Information (for this edition):

Also known as The Bridge to Holy Cross!

Published: July 29, 2010 by William Morrow

Author: Paullina Simons

Page Count: 559

Amazon: $10.47

Barnes and Noble: $10.26


Note: I’ve reviewed the first book in this trilogy The Bronze Horseman. Please if you haven’t read that first book yet be careful for spoilers! The description of this novel gives away what has happened in TBH. 

I CAN’T EVEN WITH THIS BOOK!!! My heart is on the floor and I’m in tears as I type. I’ve just finished Tatiana and Alexander by the lovely and amazing Paullina Simons and it ripped me in two. There were so many times where I had to toss the book on the chair and run to get some Kleenex. (I’m not even kidding!!!)

So we pick up right where TBH has ended, Alexander getting ready to be interrogated and Tatiana holding her newborn baby boy at Ellis Island, thinking that her beloved Shura is dead. Throughout the book we see the struggles of the war on both characters. They are so much different then the people they once were. I believe that they have both hardened over the course of the years.

It broke my heart to see the struggle that Alexander was going through. He didn’t know whether or not Tatiana had escaped and after picking up bits and pieces of information didn’t know if she was being held captive. Tatiana who has made it to America now must take care of their son thinking that Alexander is dead! I cannot even begin to imagine that thought process.

We learn a lot about Alexander in this book. We are transported back into his memories of leaving America to go to Russia with his parents. We see the struggles he went through and feel exactly as he did in those moments of his life. We also get to read more about the lovely Lazarevo is revisited in those memories AND OH GOD IT KILLED ME IT REALLY DID!

There is so much angst and heartbreak in this book that I was opening sobbing in a classroom full of my peers, that’s how truly moving this book is. It sucks you right in and you feel as though you are standing right along side Tatiana and Alexander.

As I said earlier I do believe that the characters have become harder, especially Alexander. Tatiana has a stronger backbone in this novel, especially with the belief that Alexander truly might still be alive. The Alexander that was present is TBH is now hidden away in a colder and harder man. The effects of war and being interrogated have gotten to him.

Speaking of interrogation… WHY DO THIS TO POOR ALEXANDER?!? The things that were said had me both angry and in tears.

I waited for so long for both of the lovers to be reunited and the way the reunion was executed brought me to my knees (figuratively that is!) It couldn’t have been done better. Here you are reading this book, rooting for Tania and Shura to be reunited and BAM it happens the way it does and your heart aches, it really truly does.

I loved seeing Tania taking care of baby Anthony in her chapters and sections. Her son was her one connection to Alexander that she had left. He couldn’t have given her a better gift. Tania had such a big heart and seeing her with her son, taking care of him, and being a mother was so beautiful to read about. Alexander, though, would always be her number 1 and she wasn’t going to stop until she had the truth in her hands.

Tatiana and Alexander truly was the second half to The Bronze Horseman. It was utterly perfect and heartbreaking. The ending is open enough for book 3, The Summer Garden and my greedy reader’s mind is already devouring it. I cannot rave about this book enough. I highly recommend this series! It is a new favorite.

Favorite Quote: 

“There was once a time,” she said, “when you placed your hand on my chest and I thought my whole life was in front of me.”

This book was given a 5/5 star rating on Goodreads. 

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

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Book Information (for this edition):

Published: September 8,2012 by William Morrow

Author: Paullina Simons

Page Count: 810

Amazon: $10.11

Barnes and Noble: $10.61


Before I begin gushing about this novel here are some of my thoughts while reading thanks to Goodreads Update Status… p.84 – “I am so head over heels in love with this book!!” …. p. 203 – “cry count: 4” …. p.546 – “I’M SO IN LOVE!” All of these status updates sum up my thoughts perfectly. Also, this review will be broken up into a spoiler free section and a spoiler section so beware!

**Spoiler Free Section**

WHERE DO I BEGIN?! I honestly just need a good cry. So much happened in the book that made my jaw drop and my heart ache. I was so in love with the book from the beginning. I once said that I didn’t read too much historical fiction since I found it boring but this completely changed me. Going into The Bronze Horseman I was quite intimidated by its size but after hearing so much about it I had to check it out. Paullina Simons brings to the table a book so heartbreaking, so moving, so touching that you won’t be able to put it down.

The story kicks off by our sweet and innocent main character Tatiana Metanove being woken up by her family as they soon discover that Germany is going to war with Russia. Tatiana happens to be living in Leningrad when this happens. In a matter of minutes her whole life is about to change, no longer is life going to go on as it once has. Tatiana must now think of her family more than she already does which leads her to meet Alexander Belov, a young solider who harbors multiple secrets. Together they embark on a tragic love story that rips apart people left and right in one of the saddest and harshest periods of history.

This story truly took my breath away. I found it be fast paced and it kept my attention at every turn. The heartbreak was written beautifully and it felt like the characters were in the room while I was reading. I’ve never really delved my hands into a romance story (this was my first) and I can honestly say that I will be reading more. Simons crafted such gripping characters and the storyline added to the heartbreak.

There were a few minor things that didn’t agree with but I’m hoping that those will be solved in the next two books. Mainly it was character actions and decisions that didn’t settle well.

I’ve ordered Tatiana and Alexander as well as The Summer Garden to continue reading right away! My mind is still reeling from the ending!! I highly recommend this book.

This book was given a 5/5 Star rating on Goodreads.

Favorite Quote:

“Love is,” she repeated slowly, looking only at Dasha, “when he is hungry and you feed him. Love is knowing when he is hungry.”

**Spoiler Section**

Ahhh now we get to the good stuff! Just another warning, if you haven’t read The Bronze Horseman major plot points will be talked about down below. The above section is spoiler free! Without further ado let’s start at the beginning.

I guess that this book was love at first sight for me. I personally found how Tania and Alexander met in the beginning. It was fresh and exciting. It isn’t everyday you meet a handsome solider at a bus stop. Alexander was sweet, funny, strong, and helpful all wonderful things!

What crushed me and caused me to cry the first time (I’m telling you I cried so much I swear all the water I had in me left) was her sister Dasha and Alexanders “connection”! I truly couldn’t believe it, it was like some big joke was being played on Tania. The first boy she likes is her sisters love.

Speaking of her sister… I really didn’t care for Tatia’s family. That was one of my biggest issues in the beginning. My favorite character of the family was the grandfather Deda who wasn’t present often. They were mean and pushed her aside as if she was nothing. Dasha and her parents were self centered and Tatiana, being the loving and dotting sister and daughter, did everything they asked for and more. Several times they belittled Tatiana and hurt her but she allowed that to happen.

The love that Tatiana and Alexander have is what threatens to tear the Metanova family apart. All the sneaking around and private moments alone shared so many of the characters thoughts.

Secret keeping isn’t something Tania has ever had to do and suddenly she must at every turn to protect her sisters feelings. Through in the relentless best friend of Alexander’s Dimitri and it all suddenly becomes harder.

But then Alexander has to go and offer Dasha marriage to protect Tatiana from Dimitri… I actually shed more tears. This was like the punch in the gut of the story.

What broke my heart was all the death surrounding Tatiana as the winter months came. It all happened so quickly that she had little time to process this. I do believe that when Alexander was able to get her and Dasha to Lazarevo that it was the best thing he could ever do for her.

But it isn’t until her sister passes away that we see another side of Tatiana. We see her grow colder and it was than that I realized she would do anything for her sister. She pushed Alexander away all those months prior because she knew that she would only get one sister in her lifetime.

It is in Lazarevo that the story really took my breath away. So much love flowed in this village and from here the story became stronger. With no one stopping the two lovers from being together they embark on a new type of life, filled with love, loss, and of course heartbreak.

Favorite Quote:

“Love is,” she repeated slowly, looking only at Dasha, “when he is hungry and you feed him. Love is knowing when he is hungry.”

This book was given a 5/5 star rating on Goodreads.