Cloud 9 is a feature I do here at Rainy Thursdays twice a month. It is my version of those “Top 10” posts you see floating around the blogosphere. Instead of ten items, however there are, of course, nine.
Anything by Betty Neels
I wish I could give one example but all of Betty Neels’ novels are essentially the same, so it is hard to pick out just one. And when I say similar, sometimes I think Neels just created a general outline and used it for every single story.
Her novels are uncomplicated and lack the excitement you read in other romance novels nowadays. But something about them makes me happy. Maybe it is because my grandma is the one who shared Neels’ novels with me. Maybe because Neels writes about ordinary everyday people. Her stories are simple and down to earth that, despite their lack of earth-shattering plotline, I find myself enjoying them and getting a warm feeling in my little heart when I read them
This novel took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to like it nearly as much as I did. There are a handful of reasons I liked this book. First, I felt the characters were pretty realistic and relatable. Their personalities seemed genuine and I liked them. I also enjoyed the chemistry between the two leads. Watching them fall in love was a pleasure and it was refreshing to read a romance novel where the main couple did not argue the entire novel.
I was thoroughly pleased with this novel as a whole, so much so that I went and rented the first and am patiently waited for the other novels in the series to be released.
This is probably my guiltiest of guilty pleasures. Written for teenagers who so caught up in the ridiculousness that is high school mentality, Monster High was a series that I did not take seriously (which is probably why I was able to enjoy it.) I have a thing for fantasy and mythology. The concept of famous monsters’ children immediately caught my attention. The stories and characters are simple enough and the plotline was nothing special. Still, I found myself giggling and enjoying every page as I finished each book in one sitting.
Words cannot express how blown away I was by this novel when I first read it as a teen. It was one of the first novels that I read in the young adult genre, and I am sad that they don’t write them like this anymore. The concept of the story was just so fascinating: an amusement park that catered to your personality and runs on people’s souls. I could not put this book down. In fact, I kept it on my shelf for years because I enjoyed it so much. I just picked it up again recently, almost a decade after originally reading it, and I found that it is still an amazing novel and I still love it. And it’s still on my shelf.
Johanna Lindsey is one of those big name authors who has been in the romance writing industry for longer than I have been alive. If you read romance, you probably know who she is. I used to like her when I was younger. And then I grew up and realized that I did not. She has a few novels I enjoy, but her Malloy series is long and tedious and should have ended long ago. Her new stuff is also unsatisfying, having about as much depth and interest as a cardboard box.
But for some reason, I enjoyed this novel. Maybe it was because the lead couple was childhood “friends.” They did not like each other as children, but as they grew older, they realized their disdain for each other was misplaced. There are a handful of things I did not like about this novel. But overall, it was enjoyable.
This makes it on the list because, if you know who Mary Downing Hahn is, she writes fiction for children. Now when I say children, I man anywhere from third grade to sixth depending.
But I love her horror stories. I love every single page. I am a sucker for ghosts stories and Hahn is one of the few authors I know who still writes traditional ghost stories. When I say that, I mean that her stories are cut and dry: this is a ghost haunting this house that this family moved into. There are no mind blowing twists or crossovers with other fantasy creatures, although she does write an amazing novel about a vampire. Most of her novels are fictions about hauntings. And they are just phenomenal.
The reason Deanne Gist is on this list is because she is a Christian romance fiction author and it can be blatant in her writing. So why does that put her on the list? Because Christian fiction is the furthest genre from what I typically enjoy. In fact, if I have to read about the goodness of the Lord and how God will lead and take care of them on every page or for every problem, I start to lose it. It will drive me up a wall until I will want to throw the book.
Gist, however, makes it about the world and the characters and the story. But most of all, she makes it about history. All of her novels are historical romance and cover a topic that was big in history. One novel deals with the first phone lines while another has to do with when women starting riding bicycles. What I appreciate most about Gist’s writing is how much time and work she puts into researching these eras and events so that her worlds and characters are as accurate as possible.
I also enjoy that sometimes, Gist does not finish the novel with the main couple getting together. Most of the time, the couple ends up married or at least engaged, but there are those that do not.
As I stated earlier, I am a sucker for mythology. This novel doesn’t have to do with mythology per se, but it does have to do with the time where mythology thrived. This is a another novel that made it on the list because it was meant to be for an age group much younger than I was when I read it. Regardless, it was still an enjoyable novel with a strong, intelligent heroine that I fell in love with. After I finished the novel, I tried to see if the author had continued it or anything, but I was disappointed. There are very few standalone novels that I wish were series, but this is one of them.
The reason Stiff made it on to the list is because it is not a conventional novel, or one that many people would say they “enjoy.” Stiff recounts what happens to the human body after we die from the chemical processes to how the body is actually processed regardless of the method. As I am not a mortician, it was interesting to read how the body is prepared for a funeral and burial as well as what happens when humans are cremated or donate their body. Most people would consider this a morbid book. I thought it was insightful to a process that the average person usually wouldn’t know.
What are some of your guilty pleasure books?