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A Reader of Fictions: Top Ten Authors Whose Books Are Like Crack

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Top Ten Authors Whose Books Are Like Crack

If you read a lot, there's probably a good chance that you have a list of 'guilty pleasure' authors. You know that their books might be pretty close to without literary merit, but, whenever you read one, you are completely enraptured for the couple hours it takes to devour. Every time you see that they have a new book coming out, you get super excited, even though you know it's not going to be 'good.' Even though they've burned you in the past, you can't help it; you need to read that book. They're bad for you, but you just can't stop.

You know you'll regret it, but there's no stopping you.

Thankfully, I have managed in the last couple of years to cull a couple of these authors (I'm looking at you P.C. Cast) from my list, but there are a number who are hanging strong. Pretty much all of them regularly write the most trite plot lines (love triangles, instalove, etc.), but I keep reading like an addict.

10. Charlaine Harris

I mean, hey, it's not like I'm addicted to all of Charlaine Harris' books. I really only care about the Sookie Stackhouse books, and only because of my obsession with True Blood. Totally justified. In fairness, I have only read the first few of these, but, despite not being very impressed, I still really cannot wait to keep going because I desperately must know 1) how the show is different and 2) if Sookie stops being an idiot and chooses the much superior Eric over Bill permanently.

Pictured above: why I care

9. Rachel Caine

Like with Charlaine Harris, I haven't gotten through all of Caine's books. In fact, I've only read 3 or 4 of her many, many series. However, I know I'll get there. Her Morganville Vampires series is about as ridiculous as you expect most YA vampire books to be these days. And, even as I read them, I judged myself, but I also enjoyed myself and shipped one of the couple combinations like whoa. Nothing will stop me from finishing that series and reading her other ones.

Vampires in glass houses shouldn't throw drained corpses.

8. Jana Oliver

Here's where things start getting a little more personal, aka I am slightly angry with myself for having read most of their books. I've only read two of Oliver's books so far; only when I consulted Fantastic Fiction just now did I realize that she's written other series. Who knew?
Anyway, I enjoyed the first book, The Demon Trapper's Daughter, and didn't even think it was that bad. I mean, it wasn't the deepest, but it was not committing too many grievous irritations.

Then I read book two, in which her relationship with her boyfriend goes down south. That's usually something I approve of, except for these factors:
  1. Riley saved his life, so he becomes convinced that she is the devil.
  2. Riley gets over it by having sex with mr. sexy shmexy obviously a bad guy.
  3. I think I'm supposed to be shipping her with Beck, who has an obnoxious southern drawl, expects her to be obedient, and is a bit of a manwhore.
Buuuut I still want to read book three, and was jealous when I saw that The Story Siren had an ARC of it.

Real reason I liked this one: her awesome plaid pants.

7. Kelley Armstrong

Sometimes I try to convince myself that my guilty pleasure books really aren't that bad, even though that's like comparing diet coke to water. Armstrong's YA series Darkest Powers is so much fun to read that I wanted to believe that she was actually a deep, skillful author. I'm not alone in finding these addictive, even amongst discerning readers.

Anyway, then I read the first book in her new YA series Darkness Rising. Here we have another love triangle, another choice between the 'good guy' and the 'bad guy.' Plus it's set in the same universe. Actually, I think all of her books might be in the same universe, because thinking up new worlds is hard.

I even read the first book in her Women of the Otherworld series, Bitten. I hated it and told myself that was it for her adult books. But then I saw a pretty cover for book 12 in the series or something like that, so now I'm planning to give it another go. I also desperately want an ARC of the second book in the Darkness Rising series.

Blingedy bling bling.

6. Anna Godbersen

Oh, The Luxe. After every single book in this series, I told myself that I was not, under any circumstances, going to read the next one. Then I would see an image of the cover. Then I would read the book. Not only that, but I have the first book in her second series on my to-read list. Damn my obsession with pretty covers.

Pictured above: dresses the size of my closet.

5. Melissa de la Cruz

Way back in high school, I had my first encounter with de la Cruz, back when I loved reading books about wealthy teens doing stupid things. I read The Au Pairs. Even then, I didn't much like it. When she entered the realms of YA vampire fiction, I, of course, wanted to read the books. I read, and was hugely creeped out by, the first book, and yet have read three or four of them and plan to continue. Among other things, this series includes love triangles, soulmates, and incest. And yet, I have also added other de la Cruz books to my list of things to read, even though I don't especially enjoy reading any of them. Why? I wish I knew, because then I could make it stop.

Gossip Girl with Vampires

4. Andrea Cremer

At ALA 2010, I picked up a copy of Nightshade, which I should have known would be like a drug. I'm guessing it's dispensed either from the flower or the glitter on the crazy cover. I ate that book up and wanted more, even though it consists of yet more love triangle nonsense. Oy. Book two I was even less impressed with, my patience running low. Who wants to read book three? You guessed it. I never learn.

The drugs have already got you if you're reading this.

3. Richelle Mead

My first experience with Mead was the Vampire Academy series. Right up my alley post-Twilight in my initial foray into modern young adult literature. At first, I liked the series quite a bit (although still fluff), but that has been steadily decreasing. I keep reading because I have to know what happens and I ship Rose with a particular guy (yes, another love triangle, damn it!).

I've also read a few books in her succubus series. Yes, she wrote books about a succubus, which means what you think it means. But the succubus loves to read and works in a bookstore, so that's okay, right? And, yes, I do plan to continue reading both of these series. Clearly, I hate myself.

She went there. Literally.

2. Laurell K. Hamilton

Urban fantasy fans might make arguments for the quality of the beginning of the Anita Blake series, but I imagine most of her fans will accept the designation of literary crack for the rest of the Blake and all of the Merry Gentry books.

Anita Blake starts off as a kickass vampire hunter. She doesn't sleep around or anything and makes a pretty decent heroine, managing to resist the temptation of all of the sexy menfolk around her. I haven't gotten to where this one goes into crazy town, but, from what I've heard, Anita goes from waiting for marriage to sexing everyone.

Then there's Merry Gentry. Her goal is to sex everyone. Lit'rally. She is a candidate to be the next ruler of faerie, but, to become that, she must get pregnant before her cousin impregnates some poor faerie lady. So, amongst some court intrigue, she has sex with her male harem. So, yeah, there's really very little attempt at a plot here. To make things even more absurd, once she finally does get pregnant, Hamilton didn't want to choose one guy to be her king, so she decided that Merry was going to have twins, each with more than one father. Writing fail. The real fail here, though? That I'm going to keep reading both. *headdesk*

Warning: this is not a metaphor.

1. Cassandra Clare

Clare's first series features a love triangle (more than one actually), absurd level drama, romance novel-esque covers and a possibly incestuous main couple. Sounds awful, right? Well, yes and no. They go down so smooth, but then, when I put the book down, I feel a sugar coma level of remorse.

Then Clare writes a new series. Steampunk! She's doing something new and different; that will show those rumors that she stole her ideas off of another author on livejournal (or something like that) a rest, because now she's doing something of her own. Oh wait, you mean she's writing precisely the same story, only she changed the character names and added in some clockwork machines? And I fell for it? Dang.

Oh yeah, and after that, she decided why leave the Mortal Instruments trilogy a trilogy. I can write more books and make more money. Let's do it. I believe book five is coming out some time in the next year. Of course, even though I thought that was bullshit, I read book four...and own the first three books of this series and the first of the other one. They were all free, I think, but still.

Clare gets the first spot because she's the one who inspired this post. I was on Goodreads and saw that one of my GR friends had added the first book in a new series (The Dark Artifices) by Clare. Don't get too excited, as it's not set to be published until 2015. Anyway, as soon as I saw this, I immediately clicked to-read, and then I shook my head in disappointment at myself.

I was surprised these were awful why?

So what about you guys? Any authors that you just can't quit reading, even though you know you should stop?



Blogger Nori said...

I think this is my favorite list of yours so far, mostly because I agree with you 100%. Cassandra Clare and Richelle Mead would be my top two! Armsrtong and De La Cruz would so be on that same list. I have also finally given up on the Casts! Though, I think a book or two after you...So sad. Also, I don't think I knew you read The Luxe books! I so read and enjoyed them too.

March 14, 2012 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I'm judging you so hard right now. Just kidding!

I keep eying the Luxe series whenever I'm at work, even though I know you told me it was awful. I think it may become one of my guilty pleasures, too, along with Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy. The Summoning was so great!

For me, the worst guilty pleasure is the Life as We Knew It trilogy. I liked the first book, hated the second book, yet I still feel compelled to read the third book. For the love of all that is sacred and humane in this world, why?

March 14, 2012 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Oh man, you must read more Charlaine Harris. The books are super different than the show, but in a really good way. And they read like crack, much like Janet Evanovich.

March 15, 2012 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Nicki said...

LOL! Totally agree with the Richelle Mead comments. Fluff, yes, but I LOVED the first couple books in Vampire Academy. I'm not even sure what the point was of the last 3. Anyways, I also agree with Clare's steampunk books repeating almost exact character traits. Will = Jace, Jessamine = Isabel, etc.

March 22, 2012 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yeah, I spent like all of the book where Rose goes to Russia wanting to fling the book across the room, but it was from the library, so I didn't.

I do actually like the steampunk series better than the original series. For all that they're almost identical, I prefer most of them. Plus, steampunk.

March 22, 2012 at 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Christina Kit. said...

I totally agree with you about Andrea Cremer and Richelle Mead. They are both awesome. They pull you in so you feel you're there and you begin to think about the characters all the time!

March 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Gabrielle said...

I completely agree about most of these. But Cassandra Clare is like anti-crack to me. lol It takes me months to gather up the will to finish her books.

March 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Owl In A Cloak said...

de la Cruz reminds me of when I was searching for a good book for my friend's birthday. She'd recently been into this angel stuff so I thought I' check out good reads for what I should get her. I was recommended Blue Bloods. Since that was THE silliest book series name I'd ever encountered, I called my other friend, told her about it, went to Wikipedia and read the synopsis out loud. And, FRENCH. THE. LLAMA. It was the most ridiculous plot story ever. My friend(to whom I called) and I were literally on the floor laughing and trying to imagine the horror on the birthday-girl's face if we gifted her this!

Now that you mention it, Clare's Infernal and Instruments are pretty similar, but I kind of like them. Although, I never found that there was any need for City of Fallen Angles.

March 29, 2012 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh man, Blue Bloods is ridiculous; I don't like it, but keep reading them, but it's actually one of my friend's favorite series. To each their own. But I do not remember a llama or any french? Hmm, either the Wiki got spammed or I just don't remember. Sadly, probably the latter, knowing me. Also, you didn't mention the incest. I don't care if they're lovers that reincarnated as brother and sister...hands off for this go round.

Yeah, City of Fallen Angels was unnecessary. You said it was a trilogy, so you stop after three!

March 29, 2012 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger mimz said...

I've only read Cassandra Clare's books but you're so right. Everything is basically the same story with different characters and just SO MUCH DRAMA. I thought everything ended pretty well with the third TMI book so I felt like the fourth was kinda unnecessary and a bit disappointing... Still, I'm gonna read the next one when it comes out. lol

March 31, 2012 at 6:17 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

There are drugs in the paper or something!

March 31, 2012 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Kali Skittles said...

Lmao. I know exactly what you mean with Clare. I actually read Clockwork Angel before her other books, and I was SUPER excited and I really enjoyed it. Then I read 1-4 of City of Bones because I couldn't get a hold of Clockwork Prince and I needed to read! And I was like...wait what? It's the same fucking STORY. Just in America! (I know it's not the SAME but yaknow.) She pretty much did a spin-off of it in England to me. I have a love-hate relationship with her books. I hate that I enjoy them, because even as I read them I'm like "this is dumb!" and I actually skim a lot in her MI series...I didn't skim at all through Clockwork Angel though, so I dunno if she does something different there writing wise, or if I just prefer England back then compared to America now as a setting. And I can't stand Jace. Although, yes, like crack, I will be reading the fifth. And probably asking myself every few pages why am I still reading it?

I haven't read any of the other authors ;( I have quite a few on my Kindle that I need to read, but....one day...

April 2, 2012 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Precisely how I feel every time.

And I totally agree with you about Jace! He's so annoying! I love Alec and Magnus, though. They're the best thing in the MI series imo.

They'll get you, those other authors. :-p

April 2, 2012 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger Kali Skittles said...

I love Magnus so much! I was beyond excited when I realized he was in both series.

April 3, 2012 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

High five! Yeah, they're just so completely cute together. They're my only ship in the series.

April 3, 2012 at 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Armstrong, Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare are soooo awesome! :D Especially Richelle Mead's character Adrian Ivaskhov from VA and Bloodlines! ♥

April 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I love Adrian. Rose is crazy pants for continuing to want Dmitri, or is it Dimitri? Whatever. Adrian's better.

April 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Owl In A Cloak said...

Oh, haha. French the Llama is like Oh My God :P

April 14, 2012 at 12:54 AM  
Blogger Alessandra said...

I'm totally with you on Cassandra Clare. I learned only recently that she used to write Harry Potter fanfiction, and I think they were Draco/Hermione, or maybe Harry/Hermione *shivers* (I'm all for Ron/Hermione). Then I read she's been accused of plagiarising Harry Potter, Buffy, and Star Wars. I'm not very familiar with Buffy, and the Star Wars thing is pretty obvious, but Harry Potter? When I forced myself to think about it, I could find quite a few analogies. It almost made me wish for mental bleach.

However, who's biting her nails for Clockwork Princess right now? Yeah, me. I'm very torn between Will/Tessa and Jem/Tessa, but I will be very surprised if Tessa is not with Will at the end.

To my (our) defense, I can say: that I feel the Infernal Devices series has so far been made better than Mortal Instruments; and that I've read the first three Mortal Instruments books back-to-back, without letting them sink in, which might have clouded my judgement in other respects, but I found the idea of Jace and Clary being siblings to be totally unbelievable from the start.

August 9, 2012 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Wow, I didn't know she wrote HP fan fiction. That's hilarious. In real terms, I'm all about Ron/Hermione, BUT I will confess to having read the occasional Draco/Hermione fic AND that my favorite one ever was Harry/Hermione. The author totally made it work. Sigh. I need to reread that fic. It was so good.

I stopped reading Cassie Clare's books. At least, I hope I have. I've told myself to stop. I do like TID better than TMI, but the characters are pretty much the exact same, so that frustrates me. I would probably be a much bigger fan if TID had been first. I don't think Jem has a chance. If she surprises me, I might pick her up again.

Yeah, it was pretty obvious that they wouldn't be, but, still, why make potential incest a plot line? If it were a manga, I would expect it, but that's not really a popular trope in the US.

August 9, 2012 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Apparently I'm just going to read all your top 10 posts now. Okay, I totally know what you mean about Cassie Clare. I really loved the first 2 books in the TMI series, the last one was just sorta meh. Then I read the fourth one. Meh again. ...and for whatever reason, I'm going to keep reading them??? But I just can't say no. Also, Anna Godbersen? I LOVE HER! I don't feel guilty about that one though haha

November 13, 2012 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Haha, fine by me!

Thankfully, I did later give up on Cassandra Clare's books. I decided life was too dang short! I'm still planning to read Anna Godbersen's books though. Haha.

November 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM  

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