Book Blitz: Hope? I Hope Not By Raghav Gautam

 

hope i hope not by raghav gautam

 

 

 Hope? I Hope Not!

 

 

Genre:

 

Short Story Collection

 

 

 

Blurb:

 

‘Hope? Hope not!’ is a collection of stories from all walks of life and all age groups. It’s is a reflection on human behavior and its peculiarities, written from the narrative perspective. The story traps the struggles and aspirations of the common men through different themes and genres.

 

 

 

 

Intro Story:

 

‘There are two kinds of hope’, he read through the text he had written and memorized. He was to give this speech at many motivational talks he would be giving once he achieved his goals. ‘The one hope is which drives you towards your goals. It is the hope that is the burning fire when you are cold and dark. This hope has been the reason for all the good things in the world.’ He paused, reflecting on his own life.

 

‘There’s another hope, it’s a disease disguised as hope. You don’t achieve anything, get a false sense of failure and victory because your heart and brain fail to differentiate between truth and deception. Yes, you get deceived by what you want to be, even though you can’t be the person.’

 

He realized he had no breathing space. And he wasn’t breathing either. He was again in two places, the world where he wanted to belong; and the world, where the world had sent him. Of course he had fallen for the second hope he wanted to warn people about in his motivational talks.

 

hope i hope not by raghav gautam


 

Reviews:

 

“Worth every penny. Simple language, vivid portrayal, just the right balance between humour and seriousness. Eagerly awaiting more from the author.”

 

“This is an interesting book. All the stories gave different perspective about life. The narration is good with easy language. There is also dose of humour here and there with life philosophy. I liked it. If you want to experience different shades of life in a single book then go for it.”

 

This book is like a Diwali bonus to provide you with several characters and several stories in just a couple of hours.

 

Grab Your Copy @

 

Amazon India

Amazon UK

Amazon U.S.A and Rest of the world

 


About the author

 

raghav gautam writer filmmaker

 

 

Raghav Gautam was born in 1987, and from there his experiments with hobbies began. He started writing poetry around the age of 15, started writing stories around the age of 18, then moved on to sketching, digital painting, stitch painting, and so many other things where he just didn’t stick (except for verses and fiction perhaps).

 

Life changed for him when he picked up his camera for a heritage walk for the second time- after almost not using it for years properly. He moved beyond auto-focus, changed his ambitions of working in post-production to working in production and as it seems- he has found a hobby which has turned into his profession, and he still yearns for those moments of personal projects which stretch him, test him, and give him pleasure in equal measures.

 

His writing style is natural, as he doesn’t delve deep into descriptions. He remembers R. K. Narayan’s Dateless Diary, where he mentioned that he skips writing all the descriptions that he skips while reading. Raghav has imbibed this feature. His aim is to take people into an emotional space where they can experience a world of their own.

 

Stalk the author

 

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Book Blitz: Bound By The Marriage Contract by Dee James


BOUND BY THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT
(Double Trouble 1)
by
Dee James

Publication Date: Aug 3, 2020
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Romance



Blurb
Ashwin was the ever-so-serious, alpha-male who thrived on the next deal, the next million. Surprises were not his thing, especially when they were of the bad kind. After two years of working with his efficient EA, why did he feel an uncanny attraction to her all of a sudden? Was he missing something in the whole picture?

Dia was the quintessential romantic who read, wrote, and thrived on romance. She had nothing to do with the corporate world or her sister’s boss – the sinful-looking Ashwin Kumar. Only, her twin has been missing and she needed to investigate the reason behind her twin’s vanishing act. She thought it would only be a matter of few days, and she could conveniently play her efficient twin. Unfortunately, she wasn’t prepared for the man who could as well one of her reel heros.

When Ashwin suggests a marriage of convenience, neither of them expect to fall in love. Or, did they? What about Anita? Will she find her missing sister?

Grab your copy @


 About the Author


Dee James writes sweet, dreamy, romantic stories. A software professional by day, she wears her secret romance cape after work hours. Dee J loves to write about quirky, independent women and sinful-looking alpha men who find their own happily ever after. Her books feature a heavy dose of humor, drama, and love, of course! Apart from devouring all things romance, Dee J loves to read, blog, sing, and cook. Besides insta-love, pink lipsticks, and kohls, the one thing that she can’t do without is coffee!

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Book Blitz: Truly, Madly, Crazily In Love by Esha Pandey










Print Length: 141 pages
Publication Date: July 25, 2020
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Romance


Blurb

What happens when you can’t let your first love go? What happens when you keep hoping that the one that got away, will be yours again…forever?


Sue is short, vivacious and dreamy. Viv is tall, spirited and focussed. Dressed to the nines on School Social, she bewitches him. He kisses her. She kisses him back. They fall in love. But the kiss that should have sealed their love, becomes their undoing. 


Sue is truly, madly and crazily in love with him. There is no one like Viv. She pines for him, but he can’t be hers. Days go by and she is still head over heals in love with him. 


When she finally lets him go and is ready to start over, he walks into her life again. 


Hearts are broken. Promises are shattered. Lives are wrecked. Love is tested. 


In a tale transcending time, Sue and Viv weave a story of love like none other. Will hope, trust and love win the test of time? From Lucknow, to Delhi to London, will Sue finally have her happily ever after? Read this sweet romance to find out.


Read the Excerpt

Excerpt 1:

Sukirti lingered on at the gate a bit longer than necessary. She wondered if her mother had noticed how she was lost in her thoughts when she walked in. She certainly didn’t comment on it. Sukirti went directly to her room. She had never experienced the kind of rush she felt with Vaibhav. When she was pressed to him on impact because of the speed breaker, it was as if her whole body had exploded. She was tingling wherever her body had touched his. She knew this was different than anything she had ever known. She remembered her elder cousin Garima telling her about her boyfriend and how he made her feel. At that time, she had not thought it was possible to feel like you were on fire. That day, she understood.


Was she developing a crush on Vaibhav?

Excerpt 2:


That smile was his undoing. He had fallen madly in love with Sukirti, the girl with a golden heart and the prettiest eyes. He couldn’t dare to lose her friendship, so he never complicated their relationship. It was difficult to believe that it had only been three months since they knew each other. They were inseparable. Their classmates and friends teased them, and boys even made kissing sounds when they were alone with Vaibhav, but he maintained that they were friends. In fact, Sukirti had never given him any reason to believe otherwise. She was a perfect friend and never lead him on to believe that she felt more for him. Once, when they were talking on the phone and somehow the conversation had moved to friendship and love, he had come very close to confessing his feelings to her, but his mother’s knock on the door had saved him just in time. 

“Of course, we will talk on the phone Sue, but practicing like this is much better na,” he said, hiding his disappointment at her not being as affected as he was. All he could do was hope that she would come for the farewell. He had something special planned for her.


Excerpt 3:

“Sir, please proceed towards Gate No. 74. There was a last-minute change in the boarding gate for your flight,” the ground staff said politely. What the fuck! He had postponed his boarding to the last minute and now the gate had been changed. His heart was beating fast as he pushed his trolley bag and walked quickly towards Gate No. 74. As he reached the gate, he realized there was a lot of rush because of the last-minute gate change. Though the first-class passengers were given priority over others, he still managed to bump into a hassled girl with a bang. Both liquor bottles went flying and the trolley bag hit him in his shin, hard. 


He was waiting for the crashing sound of the bottles and when that didn’t happen, he looked up to find dark kohled eyes, smoothened shoulder length hair, oxidized jewelry and red lips glaring at the mess he had caused. 


SUE!!!


His heart stopped beating. 


“What the hell? Where do you think you are going?” Sue looked up at him. Her eyes expanded in amazement when it registered that she had bumped into Vaibhav. Reining in her galloping heart at the right moment, Sue enquired if he was alright.


“Yes, I am perfectly fine, but my duty-free loot might be a different story.” He picked up the packet and sighed with relief when he found them to be okay. He signaled a thumbs up to Sue.


“What are you doing here? Are you on this flight?” Sue was shaken. Not visibly so, but she was. She had gotten very good at hiding her emotions and it would take a professional to know that she was experiencing euphoria and dread at the same time on meeting Vaibhav. 

Before he could reply, a ground crew member came forward and rushed him to the counter and he could only wave at Sue while she was also being rushed at the Economy Counter.

The moment the seat belt sign switched off, the stewardess came to escort the girl sitting next to Sue. Vaibhav popped into the seat next to her immediately after. 

 






    

Esha Pandey, is an author and a police officer. She made her debut as an author with her book I Will Meet You There, a collection of short stories.


Esha is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 2010 batch. She has a Masters in International Relations and Masters of Philosophy in American Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Before becoming a civil servant, she dabbled with the idea of being a journalist and worked with Times of India as a copyeditor. She has won a United Nations FPA Award for Excellence for the “Best Short Story”. 


Esha has kept her passion for writing alive through her tough assignments in policing because writing is music for her soul. Her TDH hero is her partner for life, her husband Rajiv, who supports her in all her endeavors. When she is not doing either, policing or writing, she is busy dealing with her two bundles of naughtiness, her sons. 


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Book Blitz: The Passionate Princess by Sundari Venkatraman

 




Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published)
Publication Date: September 9, 2020
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Historical Romance

All it took was one look. And they were in love…

Princess Hemangini is mesmerised by Prince Devendra when she falls into his arms while rushing across the royal gardens.

The Prince of Indrapuri is amazed that the Princess of Mahendrapuri is even more beautiful and graceful than what the visiting bards sang in praise of her.

Their mutual attraction blooms into love and they decide to get married. Tying the knot is easy, but consummating the marriage is another matter altogether.

As their love and passion draw them towards each other, Devendra’s mother, Queen Kanchana Devi, keeps throwing obstacles in the path of the lovers; sometimes in the name of rituals and sometimes inflicting doubts in their minds; doing her best to keep them apart.

As the frustrated bride and groom tolerate the intervening time with impatience, something happens to shake up Hemangini; something that makes her refuse to let her husband touch her.

What will the proud prince have to do to make his princess fall into his arms once again?

Read this historical romance from India to find out if the passionate princess finds happiness with her prince or not.


It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR


Read an excerpt







Sundari Venkatraman is an Indie Author who has 40+ books to her credit. These books have consistently featured in the Top 100 Bestseller Lists on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1 Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

The Passionate Princess, Book #1 of The Princess Series, is the author’s first attempt at penning a historical romance. 

Even as a child, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome and she grew up on a steady diet of fairy tales, Phantom comics and Mandrake comics. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy ending after the protagonists surmounted all unexpected obstacles.

Once she entered her teens, Sundari switched her loyalties from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to local heroes and heroines. And of course, the joy of vanquishing the ubiquitous evil villains! Her imagination soared and she happily ensconced herself in a rosy romantic cocoon for many years.

Then came the writing—a true bolt from the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.


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Book Blitz: Along Came A Spyder by Apeksha Rao

Blurb:

Are your Spidey senses tingling?

At 17, Samira Joshi has only one dream in life. She wants to be a spy.

And why not?

Spying runs in the Joshi genes.
Her great-grandmother was famous for sticking her nose in everyone’s business. Her grandmother had a flourishing side-business of tracking down errant husbands and missing servants. Her parents are elite intelligence agents for RAW.

Yet, they want their only daughter to become a doctor.

When she sees a college friend being trapped by a pimp, Samira does some spying of her own, and discovers the existence of a secret sisterhood of teen spies — The Spyders. And, she wants in!

The question is, do they want her?

To find out, read this fast-paced, gripping YA novel by brand new author, Apeksha Rao.


Book links:
Amazon India: https://amzn.to/3miRgof
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52663172-along-came-a-spyder

Author bio:

Apeksha Rao fell in love with words very early in life. While other kids of her age were still learning to spell, she was already reading her older brother’s books and comics. She wrote her first story at the age of seven and submitted it to Tinkle, a very popular children’s magazine.Writing took a backseat, as she established a thriving medical practice. But Apeksha rekindled her love affair with words, while on maternity leave. She would tap away at her keyboard while rocking her twin babies to sleep, as sleep deprivation stimulated her dormant creativity.
She wrote numerous short stories, that she published on her blog.
Apeksha has been lauded for her taut and gripping stories, that always come with a twist at the end.
In addition to Along Came A Spyder, she has written The Itsy Bitsy Spyder, a prequel novella to the Spyders series.
A Mumbaikar, born and bred, Apeksha comes from a family of doctors.
At the ripe age of thirty-four, she wound up her practice and moved with her family, to Bengaluru.
She is now a full-time writer.
She is also a die-hard foodie, who’s still trying to find the best vada-pav in Bengaluru.
She has twin boys, who keep her on her toes.
Apeksha’s husband is her inspiration to write, as well as her biggest critic.

Follow her:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apeksha.rao.71
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rao.apeksha/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/apekshar

Advance praise for Along Came A Spyder:

“A thrilling read with several nail biting moments. Will keep you hooked till the end.”
Andaleeb Wajid, author of The Legend Of The Wolf

“A fantastic spy story, keeps you on the edge and you can’t stop till you finish the book. A fantastic debut book. Look forward to reading more from the author.”
Kanchana Banerjee, author of Nobody’s Child and A Forgotten Affair.

“Witty, snarky and a thorough entertainer, Along Came a Spyder is a welcome addition to India’s YA genre.”
Shilpa Suraj, author of Love, Marriage and Other Disasters, Saved by Love, and, Driven by Desire

“Apeksha Rao writes a taut espionage thriller with a twist-a-minute narrative that is sure to get all readers hooked. The language is flawless, the characterization spot-on, and the plot is filled with rich details. It is the kind of story that you’d leave all your other work aside to read. Be warned!”
Neil D’Silva, author of Haunted, Yakshini and Maya’s New Husband

Book Blitz: The Ramyeon Girl by Nethra A.






One afternoon, Lee Jung-Su, a star at the peak of his career meets Meena at a ramyeon shop, and thenceforth things take a turn. He gradually grows to like her, but encounters racism first-hand as he falls for the Indian girl. Celebrities don’t have it easy, especially not in South Korea. His fresh approach towards acting and the consequences of his relationship with Meena changes his perspectives of black and white, of good and bad, of reality and fantasy.

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR






Based in Bangalore, Nethra is a post-graduate in Business Administration from Christ University Institute of Management and is a graduate in Computer Science & Engineering from University Visvesvarya College of Engineering-Bangalore. She is a voracious reader and a fiction writer, who puts quality writing over everything else. Her interest in good stories and writing made her start Fablery Mediaworks, a media house and a publisher of novellas and graphic novels.


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The Worst Daughter Ever – What Critics Are Saying

This is a collection of all the reviews The Worst Daughter Ever is receiving. This collection will be updated regularly. The Worst Daughter Ever is published by Rupa Publications and is available at bookstores worldwide via Amazon, Flipkart and local bookstores.

  1. Arti Metroreader Says
  2. A L’ouest Says
  3. TheReadingCorner Says
  4. Kohleyed Me/Muffy Tales Says
  5. Kavita Rajesh Says
  6. Meldramatic Bookworm Says
  7. Enakshi Johri (Alive Shadow) Says
  8. Meenakshi Ramakrishnan Says
  9. Padmajha Suresh Says
  10. Shilpa Suraj Says

The Struggle Is Real

There are three, at the most, four people in the wide world (virtual and
otherwise) who know what a hot neurotic mess I really am. Writer Gal has
*issues* peeps – some of them have been solved and shelved away neatly, while others rear their ugly heads from time to time.

Today, the issue bits have turned me into a piping hot mess and, I figure,
it’s time to share this aspect of my life with y’all. The ugly, messy, full of
self-doubt, and epic meltdowns part.

The last two months have been crazy hard on me – personally and
professionally. Oh, not because of setbacks but because of the sheer amount of stuff that I needed to handle and take care of, on every single front. All
while battling an insane case of sinusitis which finally only cleared after I religiously did something called a nasal wash (try it, next time your nose is blocked. It is fucking magic!)

I did the final read through of The Worst Daughter Ever on the day of my grandfather’s cremation because deadlines wait for nothing.

Yep, the book where I wrote about a beloved grandparent passing on was actually put to bed on the day my beloved grandparent passed away. The sheer, heart-breaking irony of it was like fate actually laughing at my words.

*Tears were shed, peeps. Tears. Were. Shed.*

I had to see my mom suffer through almost a decade of chronic, nagging pain, plus five years of her losing weight and appetite and finally two months of intense physical therapy to emerge the strong, confident, victorious woman she always has been for me. All while literally keeping our large, grieving family together with nothing more than her steely spine and titanium knee.

I watched my father cry. Really weep copiously and I don’t think I’ll ever
recover from it

In the middle of all the personal upheavals, a super-secret extremely cool
project was started and ended in three days.

My friends and I started an amazing new venture to talk about that most
stigmatic of all topics – romance! And the bonds of community beat all else,
hands down.

Another cool project was brainstormed on my way back from an epically cool event just last week in the rickshaw ride, start to finish.

Two books were released, one in a beloved series that people wait patiently
for. The second one, the one about the grieving granddaughter, is now
out. And book releases involve a kind of pumped energy I sometimes don’t really have.

Because, and this is the kicker, talking about stuff that matters to me
scares me. Makes me feel ashamed. Makes me feel small. Like I am not worthy of it.

The tasks seem never-ending and always far-fetched and that’s how they are supposed to be if we want to achieve the extraordinary and my mom has always encouraged me to do so but…

There is no earthly explanation for this, except, the more I do when my task
lists are all clear for the day – the less I feel I have done.

The less I actually am.

It’s not about comparisons, because that is a rabbit hole I try and avoid as
much as I can. But…sometimes, not always, not every day, I struggle.

I struggle with balancing responsibilities at home and at work. I struggle
with being enough. With loving myself even when I feel I’m not worthy of it, like today. I struggle with being okay with finishing tasks on my task list and not adding more to it.

I struggle with the most horrible thought a writer, this writer, can ever
have – What if the book I wrote last was the last one I’ll ever write?

I usually vent to my three-four persons who roll their eyes, give me hugs,
pat me on the back and say, woman take the day off. But, today the day seems endless and the struggle is real.

If there is one resolution I’d like to keep from this birthday, it would be to not let the struggle get me down. And to know, with every particle of my being, that I’ll be fighting fit tomorrow. Because, I always am! 

Until next time,

Writer Gal

 

Writer Gal Letter #3

The List: TOP 9 YA Characters Who Kick Ass and Take Names (and turn me into a fangirl)

The List is a series of blog posts which explores the things I love about books, reading, men, shoes, art and pop culture in, you guessed it, list form.

Jace Wayland fanart

Harry Potter. Edward Cullen. Percy Jackson. All genre-bending teenage/ young adult heroes that basically made even grown women’s hearts swoon.

In the case of the pansy-ass sparkling vampire, he even spawned off a successful fan fiction franchise, which let’s face it, stars a much-hotter dude than the original ever could. That being said, I am and always will be, I heart Team Edward complete with a t-shirt and everything.

It is incidental that all three heroes sold millions of copies of books and their series are the most popular thing in the history of writing. Not literature, because FSOG does not great literature make.

But as I am always ready to go on a YA-reading binge, I have stumbled across a lot of great, talented authors who could give Stephanie Mayer a run for her money. And heroes, who I SWEAR, are such cool, much awesomer than their real-life, grownup counterparts.

You call it reading, I call this research but hey, all for a good cause in search of writing the next perfect novel.

Anyway, with this much reading (35 books in as many days) I fell in love with the genre all over again and the characters who made it so popular.

Young adult love is this AMAZING space to explore so many issues of identity: political, emotional, sexual, and spiritual. And any of these authors will guarantee you a good time, so go ahead and pick ‘em up after giving this post a read.

Here are my top nine Young Adult Heroes of all time in descending order

9. Seth Summer

Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver trilogy has star-crossed lovers Seth and Grace become werewolves at different times, pulled together by a deep, abiding love that is best captured by German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Stiefvater’s prose is stunning and lyrical but it is Seth’s longing that shines through clearly with each book.

Seth is reluctant Alpha in the making, wounded by his tormented relationship with his parents and his desperate, hopeful love for Grace is a thing of absolute beauty. Read it all in one sitting to get a new twist on ancient werewolf lore.

8. Prince Ash and Shakespeare’s Robin Goodfellow

Julie Kagawa has quickly become one of my new favorite YA authors to watch out for. Her retelling of the land of faerie (one of two entries on this list) using characters from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is spot on and funny and with a heroine -Meghan Chase – who is mouthy and courageous and dependable.

She isn’t prone to hand-wringing except when pining over Winter Prince Ash, or ‘Ice-boy’ as Puck loves to call him. While there is no actual love triangle since Meghan clearly has the hots only for Ice-boy, the two characters are memorable for their hateship-friendship and of course, Ash is one hot Faerie Prince. He is also very open with his feelings once he sheds his ice-boy persona and that is such a welcome change from the contemp heroes who make you work for it!

7. Percy Jackson

Between Harry and Percy, I’d choose Percy simply because he has more character flaws and he is so very messed up with his choices (choosing to take a dip in the River Styx, picking a fight with Ares!) His choices are messed up but his courage and battle tactics more than make up for his hubris.

Plus, the demigod is loyal to a fault (Harry/Ron fighting over the Horcrux!!!) and that gives this dangerous boy-next-door pizzaz that everyone’s favorite wizard lacks.

6. Rath Roiben Riven

Roiben is one of Holly Black’s many, many creations . But by far, he is my absolute favorite, although Prince Carden from The Cruel Prince is fast catching up.

Stuck up, annoying, and proper almost to a fault, Rath Roiben more than makes up for the trouble he causes Kaye Thomas from the Tithe trilogy by giving up his rightful place as King of the Unseelie Court to be with her! (Yeah, these princes and their foreswearing…lesser mortals stand no chance, do they ladies?)

Rath Roiben Riven is not his actual name but if I give it away here, y’all might use it to make him fall in love with you and we can’t have that, can we? Read the book to find out what his real name is!

5. Carswell Thorne, Wolf, Emperor Kaito and Jacyn Clay

Marissa Meyer, the other Meyer has written a fabulous retelling of fairytales with Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter. Winter is by far my favorite because it has all the heroes and their storylines merging together to form a great finale. Not a disappointment at ALL!

And yeah, Kai is a pretty great guy for falling for Android Lunar Princess-in-hiding Cinder, it’s Wolf’s absolute devotion to Scarlet and his absolute berserker that really got me. Same for Sargent Jacyn Clay with Princess Winter (their mad-love and Snow White-worthy ending made reading 800 pages of Winter so delicious!)

And if there was a prize for Most Irreverent Pirate Of All, it would go to Captain Carswell Thorne. He is badass, funny and droll! It’s an irresistible combination of charm and piquancy and unexpected vulnerability that made Cress and me fall for him, hook, line and sinker.

4. Patch Cipriano aka Angel Jev

So Becca Fitzpatrick’s Patch in the Hush Hust series has this way of talking to heroine Nora Grey that made me feel like I was in the middle of a French film. Every line was full of double meaning, innuendo and so damned classy despite it all.

And, on top of that, he was determined to save her (over and over again) when he’d been sent to kill her! He does display stalkerish tendencies but his Italian black-eyes more than make up for it and color me impressed when he gives Nora a necklace with his real name on it. Promise. Ring. Much.

3. Dimitri Belikov

Technically Richelle Mead’s baddest of the badass Dhampirs Dimitri Belikov is not YA young, (he is 24 when he is introduced to us in Vampire Academy), and when I first read of a guy who is six-seven and snooty and uptight with a liquid vodka Russian accent to boot, I was like WHAAAAT?! No, not working for me. Then I saw the movie (badly-made, deliciously cast) and I was all onboard the Dimitri train.

By book three Shadow Spell I was totally swooning over Dimitri and rooting for Rose Hathaway (she can totally take Buffy’s place as a vamp-loving demon hunter any day) to get it on with him. Honestly, he was the only Strigoi vampire I could imagine macking with, even as I read feverishly for the cure that would change him back to the loving, warm (more action/less talk) Dimitri that Rose adored.

2. Kaz Brekker And The Crow Five

So I can NOT stress enough how much I love Leigh Bardugo’s writing. She dazzled with her first Grisha trilogy, but in my humble opinion, she’s come into her own with the Crow duology! Set in the same world as the Grishas but a separate storyline, Six of Crows’ ringleader Kaz Brekker, alley rat turned king of the Ketterdam docks is that rare hero: Bad to the bone, vulnerable to just the heroine Inej (OH! WHAT A JOY SHE IS!) and so smart you could kiss him for his brains alone. He limps (a la Dr. House) and has his personality to match but there is so much going on with Kaz, it’s like reading about a character who constantly plays chess like a grandmaster.

Crooked Kingdom, the next in the duology was a revelation – in terms of storytelling, character reveals and an ending I did not see coming. But Kaz and The Crow Five have eternally earned my love and devotion forevermore.

I cannot wait for the next book in the Grishaverse – King of Scars, featuring beloved characters from both series.

1. Jace Wayland

So Jace Wayland has been my favorite YA hero since 2009 when City of Ashes, the second book in the Mortal Instruments’ Trilogy released and I read arguably, the BEST finale ever written in a book.

Sure, I find Cassandra Clare’s Clary Fairchild to be occasionally whiny, but Jace kicks ass up, down and four ways to Sunday. Jace is a jerk, an arrogant know-it-all with no apparent vulnerabilities and also vaguely stalkerish tendencies. Plus, he lashes out when he is hurt and at the end of City of Bones, he turned out to be Clary’s brother! EWWW, right? Wrong.

Cuz then comes CoA and everything I loved about young adult heroes became this boy, the yardstick by which I measure all future young adult heroes by.

Demon hunter extraordinaire, a musician in his spare time and using humor as a defense mechanism Jace is ALL that you want from a hero, YA or otherwise. He is Nephilim (half mortal-half angel) brave, badass, reckless, smart, and uses his heart to his own detriment.

His friendship with Alec Lightwood and Isabelle Lightwood is a rare and wondrous thing to read in modern books and he perfectly embodies the Perfect Outsider alienation emotion with every character reveal. He also has these amazing amber eyes that…well, you get the picture! I could gush about this boy forever!

Honorable Mentions

Magnus Bane, Alec Lightwood, Will Lightwood, Simon Lewis, Jem Carstairs: While not as exciting as Jace, the other heroes (The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices) created by Clare too are worthy of also-ran mentions. Will and Jem are another perfect example of Parabatai and Will is so charmingly irreverent, he and Carswell Thorne might well kill each other or become best friends if they ever met each other. Simon is hands down, the cutest. Vampire. Ever.

Peeta Mellark: Yeah, Susan Collins’s doomed Tribute could have made the top eight if Kaz hadn’t come along and upset the apple cart. But the truth is, he is NICE enough to make a great hero, just not badass enough. He is smart as all hell though with that camouflage trick in The Hunger Games, isn’t he?

Malyen Oretsev: I am become a blade. Leigh Bardugo’s hero from the original Grisha trilogy has this tattooed on his back as the series progresses and he realizes how far apart from the heroine Saint Alina Starkov he really is, how he can never be powerful and magic like her. And how his hunting and killing skills are the only things of value he has to offer her, apart from his wasted, beautiful heart. Extreme sighs alert.

Cabel Strumheller: Lucy McMann’s words are like bullets. Fast, piercing, lovely and sure to leave a scar. Her hero Cabel is no one special. Just an ordinary high school student with a very gifted girlfriend who he is madly in love with. And that’s EXACTLY why he is so awesome. He lets dream catcher Janie from the Wake, Fade, Gone series take the lead and provides silent backup and never once tells I told you so to her even when she almost gets raped/killed in a dream. Isn’t that just what we all want in a dude?

Angel Akiva: Just his name was enough to make me reconsider all my notions of love and happy ever after, and in Laini Taylor’s first book Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I was flat out falling for Akiva (meaning shelter in Hebrew). But in the second book, things took a dark turn and he started crying a LOT. I mean, a LOT! His fighting skills took a drastic backseat and he became an also-ran instead of ending up in the top 9. May I add that the series too took a drastic turn for the depressing in Days of Blood and Starlight. 

So, there you have it, folks. My dream list of yummy heroes. Demigods, fairy princes, fallen angels, alley rats and more made the cut. Who’s on yours? Tell me in the comments below.

Till next time,
Xx
Writer Gal aka Aarti V Raman.

PS: There is one hero who I refuse to mention here who has equal claim on my silly reader’s heart as Jace Wayland: Half-Bad trilogy hero Nathan Blackwood, who becomes such a comically tragic figure in the end, it reads like an emo song. I mean! WHY! WHY did he have to die Sally Green? Why couldn’t he have just lived with Gabrielle’s happy memories such as they were?

Till next time,

Aarti