Ayunda’s Thoughts

Book Titles: Length, Common Patterns and Names

Admit it, all of you have probably some time in your lives bought or read a book just because of its title. I definitely have numerous times. And I have always been fascinated at what writers (and publishers) actually do to make a book title, to make their future readers interested while they are browsing the bookshelves of the bookstore. Welcome back to Ayunda’s Thoughts on Tea and Paperbacks, and here are some interesting thoughts I have on book titles.



There are really long book titles, and really short book titles. I don’t know which one I prefer, but I realized that in the first month of 2016, I read five books in a row that only have one word on their title. It was completely coincidental, but it makes me really wonder about one-worded titles.

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Flipped by Wendelin van Draanen and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell are two great examples. The first one is a verb, a past tense. The second one is a noun. Both are very intriguing and once you read the book, you realize how it is connected to the story. Another really famous one is Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. This one is a little bit different because to be honest, the word twilight was only mentioned like twice in the book itself, and held no profound meaning to the book. Yet it felt by the author to be the most appropriate title to choose.

As for long titles, there are lots of combinations of them out there. A book title that really compelled me to read the book even though I didn’t know what it was about was The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Such a title that really pulls you to read it, right? Again, there are also The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, which gives a little more mysterious-y vibe to the book. And of course there is the all-famous Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, a book that I thought, because of the title, would be scary and chilling but ended up to be immensely disappointing.



There are several books that I picked up and added to my TBR shelf because I was intrigued from the title of the book. Here are some of them:

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You would probably notice after reading so many books that there are actually patterns that authors use to name their books. There’s always the “The… Of…” pattern. Examples I could give from the top of my head: The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The City of Ember, The Silence of the Lambs, The Blood of Olympus. Not to say that they are bad titles, it’s just that this pattern is a great way to summarize a book while also take the future readers’ attention.

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There is also the pattern of using punctuations like commas in a book. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is a really good example. What is the connection between a blind willow and a sleeping woman? Read the book to find out. Other books I haven’t read, such as Happiness, Like Water; All the Birds, Singing; Everything, Everything; Boy, Snow Bird grip me to put these books in my TBR list even though I’m not a hundred percent sure what they’re really about. Other symbols like questions marks (Death or Ice Cream?), exclamation marks (Swamplandia!), or dots (You’re Never Weird On the Internet… Almost) also gives various reactions from readers, ie me.



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There are also lots of books, namely series that have the name of the main character in its title. Examples include the Harry Potter series, the Alex Rider series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Eleanor and Park, Mr. Fox, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, and the titles in the Lunar Chronicles. This makes the books interesting especially when the names are unique. Other times you’d probably not be interested because the title doesn’t describe what the story of the book is actually about.

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What are your favourite book titles? And can you name the books you picked up just because the title looks interesting? Any book title dislikes as well? Let me know down below in the comments!


Sidekicks In Fiction and Why I Love Them

Good evening friends! How has your month went? For this post I have decided to share to you my thoughts on sidekicks in fiction, since I have discovered that some of my favourite characters in books, and even TV shows, are not the main characters, but their sidekicks.

Based on TV Tropes, sidekicks are: The friends and helpers of the main hero. They can be almost any type of hero playing a secondary role, a normal character observing the action, or Plucky Comic Relief – sometimes all three. Typically they are a Foil to the hero, and this is often underscored by their dramatically different appearance.


My favourite sidekicks:


Ron Weasley from Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Some of you have probably known that Ron is probably my favourite character in the world, and definitely my favourite character in the Harry Potter series. He’s such a loyal friend who deserves a lot more than being overshadowed by his best friend. I think that he’s a very valuable member to the trio and also to the plot of the story, and that his representation in the movies was horribly done. Despite the fact that sometimes people would overlook him and even though all his life he has always came second, he still remained a reliable friend to Harry.


John Watson from Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and BBC’s Sherlock
I have always liked Watson ever since I read the short stories when I was in middle school, but I fell in love with the character played by Martin Freeman. Again, I think that John was a very valuable character, and takes a really big role in the development of the story and to the main character Sherlock. He is also one of the most well-written and well-acted characters I’ve seen on television. There is much more to him that just the famous detective’s housemate.

Manchee from the The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (review)
Sure, at first Manchee was kinda annoying, both to Todd and to me the reader. But he definitely grew on me. Again, his loyalty and his friendship with the main character basically made the main character, Todd, a better character and acted as a huge part of his development. He might only be a dog and a sidekick, but he had a special place in my heart.

James Wesley from Marvel’s Daredevil
This is a very recent show I watched, and fell in love with. And I do love the main characters and all that, but for some reason I had a kind of a crush on Wesley. Unlike the previous sidekicks I mentioned before, Wesley is the antagonist’s sidekick instead of the protagonist’s, but that doesn’t mean he’s not as badass or as great as the others. The friendship and the devotion Wesley showed was amazing, and I had wished that he’d appear more on the episodes. Moments that showed Wesley and Fisk’s relationship are just wonderful to watch.


Isaac from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Isaac wasn’t my favourite character from this very famous novel, because I don’t think I have one favourite character. But he’s one of the characters I really liked most and the character that I would want to read about more. His friendship with Gus and his light personality was great, and I really enjoyed the scenes in the book that involved Isaac.


Leo Valdez from the Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan
My favourite character from the Percy Jackson world is probably Percy Jackson himself and Nico di Angelo. But Leo comes in close with those two. I looooved Leo. He was my kind of guy. He was such an awesome character, with a lot of depth and great personality. His humour, though sometimes I feel like was used too much as comic relief alone, was excellent and although he’s not necessarily anyone’s “sidekick”, he was sort of the outsider from the gang. I still think that he’s an amazing character and I love him a lot.

Sam Winchester from CW’s Supernatural
I love the show Supernatural, and again, the not-main-character is my favourite character. Yes, you might argue that Sam is basically the main character of the show, but when you think about it, Sam is basically Dean (his brother)’s sidekick, not just because of their age but also because in truth, Sam is basically on Dean’s leash. I feel like his role might’ve changed a little bit over the years, but still there are moments when Sam is overshadowed by his big brother. And we have actually explored this theme of the brother’s relationship a lot in the series.
Personally, Sam is an amazing character for me. He is basically my dream guy and I love his character so much. Despite his weaknesses and all, I still prefer him over his big brother.


Some more of them I really love:

  • Torin from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  • Samwell Tarly from A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin
  • Bolin from Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Legend of Korra series
  • Mike Wazowski from Disney’s Monsters Inc.
  • Samwise Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien
  • Sebastian from Disney’s The Little Mermaid
  • Robin from DC Comic’s Batman.
  • Ron Stoppable from Disney’s Kim Possible
  • Bucky Barnes from Marvel’s Captain America

These are only some of my favourite side characters from the fictional world that I can think of. And some of you might not agree with me but I love them. I feel like they are so underappreciated, and I can talk all day about them.


Reasons why I love sidekicks:

They are sometimes more important than the main character
Say Ron Weasley for example: can you even count how many times he has saved Harry’s life? And without Ron, they would probably have never passed the chess part in the Sorcerer’s Stone, or Harry would’ve drowned in the lake in the Deathly Hallows while trying to get the Gryffindor Sword. They play a very valuable role in the story of the book or movie or show.


The keep the main character alive
Basically all of the sidekicks I mentioned above are from adventure or fantasy-ish stories and most of them involve life or death situations. And the main character probably needed their best friend’s help to stay alive. Manchee has saved Todd’s life numerous times, and Todd knows and is forever grateful for him for it. Again, even if the story isn’t very adventurous, like TFIOS, the friend can always save the main character through different ways. Isaac keeps August hopeful and cheerful despite his sickness.

They are much more deeper than only a way to add humor to the story
Leo Valdez, Ron Weasley, Manchee, Bolin, are some side-characters that were unnecessarily used to add humor to the story, and made as if they are stupid or ignorant to make the main character seem smarter or better. But they have way more depth than that. I can make a whole another post about why Ron Weasley is not the stupid, ignorant, lazy person you watch in the movies, or why Bolin is actually a really intelligent person who sometimes goes out of character to make the audience laugh in certain scenes.


They are always there
Sidekicks are loyal and they are the heroes’ true friends. Although they might start off as hopeless like Sam Tarly, they grew to become a reliable friend toward their main characters.
The main characters would turn to their sidekicks in doubt or trouble, and some main character might not appreciate them enough (and regret it in the end *cough*Manchee*cough*), yet some of them would show that even though they were the one who got the glory and has their name put up as the title of the book series, they wouldn’t have made it if it weren’t for their best friends. Sherlock Holmes in the canon stories had shown some aspects of humanity because of his friend Watson. The main characters can always rely on their sidekicks, on any situation. Because they are the real heroes behind the story.


So I might’ve rambled on way too long in this post, but as you can see, I have a very deep and passionate love for sidekicks and overshadowed characters. If you agree with me, leave your thoughts in the comments and let’s strive to make 2016 the year of Sidekick Love!!!

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Buying/Reading New Releases?

Last week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday got me thinking very deeply about something that I have probably realised in a long time. How often does one buy and read books that are newly released? Why? So I decided to discuss this with you guys, and let me know your thoughts on it in the comments!


Okay, so let’s go to our Goodreads page and count how many books we read in 2015 that were actually released in 2015. My count might surprise you all: I only read 2 books in 2015 that were published in that same year. That is only 4% of all the books I read! Now I am probably one of the minority in the book blogging community that has this kind of situation. I’ve seen that so many of you read books that were released only months or even weeks before. And it’s totally fine. But I just keep thinking, why?


One of the factors why I read so little new releases is of course, the most important factor: Money. I just don’t have the money to buy a full-priced book, which is usually a hard cover, that might probably cost almost half of the original price when I buy it the next year or later than that. Or I might wait for a few years until I can buy them secondhand for even cheaper! I know some of you would respond with, “Well Ayunda, if it’s the last book in a series and you’ve been anticipating this book for over four years, of course you’re gonna buy it without thinking of the price!” And I totally understand. Which leads me to my second point.

Anticipation. I think it is one of the main reasons why many of you bloggers buy a newly released book. You’ve heard so many people talk about the ARC maybe, or the book has been released for several months and all those times you’ve seen countless posts in your Reader of people talking about that book. And of course there’s also that factor of the book being a part of a series. I personally already have one book I know I will buy this year right after it is released, and I didn’t really care about the price because it’s the last book in one of my favourite series.
But when I think about it, the hype factor can also be a downfall to the book. I might see that single book everywhere in the internet, and it makes me want to buy the book less and less. So it basically depends.

What’s the difference anyway? I mean, when you actually consider it, I don’t even know why so many people are excited to buy newly released books. What is the difference between a book released in 2015 with a book released in 2000? My next favourite book might be a book released a day before I bought it, or ten years. It doesn’t really matter. The quality of a book is not affected by its publication year. So this could be one of the reasons why I always put off buying books that are newly released. I keep thinking, why buy it now when it’s still expensive and too hyped-up? I can just buy or read it in a year or so. The book itself will not change.
And I have actually done that in the past year. In 2015, I read 3 books that were released in 2014. And two of them were part of a series that I have loved and anticipated for years, but I put off buying them to wait for the lower price. Still a very low count – most of the books I read were still published in the 2000s but not as recent as many people’s bookshelves.


So in conclusion, I have nothing against newly released books. I love them. I see them all the time in the Booktube and book blogging community, and obviously on bookstores every time I browse through them. Half of the books I see constantly in the internet are in my TBR because I really do want to read them. But I just prefer reading books that were not recently released because of its cost and anticipation.


What about you? How often do you buy and read newly released books? Do you have any preference? Do you agree with any of the points I discussed above? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and opinions here!

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