May 14, 2019

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Do You Prefer Action-Driven Books or Quiet Books?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:


I'm a little ambivalent about this. If I often find myself gravitating toward books where things happen (I mean, lots of things, and pretty fast), I love it when the action is balanced out by introspection/inner monologue. I'm going to post three lists - the first is comprised of some of my favourite books/series where a lot happens (though they still meet the introspection requirement), the second sports books that are part action-y, part quiet, while in the third you'll find equally engaging books where not much happens. (Note: these were all 5 or 4.5 star reads I wrote a full review for).

FAST PACED: Deadgirl series by B.C. Johnson (YA) | Riven series by B.C. Johnson (YA) | Dark Passages series by Ilsa J. Bick (YA, but very dark) | Thirst series by Christopher Pike (YA/NA/Adult) | The Outs by E.S. Wesley (YA) | The Switch by A.W. Hill & Nathanael Hill (YA, but suitable for MG) | Child of Nod series by C.W. Snyder (YA/NA/Adult - very dark)

MIDDLE GROUND: Remember Me series by Christopher Pike (YA) | Cold Awakening series by Robin Wasserman (YA) | The Season of Passage by Christopher Pike (Adult) | Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace (YA) |  Jenna Fox Chronicles series by Mary E. Pearson (YA) | Singing the Dogstar Blues by Alison Goodman (YA) | Windows into Hell anthology by James Wymore et al. (Adult) | The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich (YA)

QUIET: Sweethearts by Sara Zarr (YA) | Luna-C by Jutta Goetze (YA)| Trying Hard to Hear You by Sandra Scoppettone (YA) | The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (YA) | And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky (YA) | The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan (YA) | This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready (YA)

Well, that's it for now. And if you're interested in participating, here is the TMST prompt list for the rest of May and the month of June:

  • May 21st: Are most of your review books for publishers or are you reviewing books of your choice?
  • May 27th: Who are some of your favourite authors?
  • June 4th: Who are some of your favourite audiobook narrators?
  • June 11th: Summer picks for 2019
  • June 18th: Do you think Advanced Reading Copies are worth it?
  • June 25th: How do you keep going when sometimes blogging feels like too much?

I'll be back for the meme on May 27th, since I don't get any bookmail, neither I am in contact with any publisher at the moment (and I doubt things will change in the near future...).

Now tell me you need action in your books for them to keep your interest? or do you prefer quiet books? or...both? any book in your less favourite style that managed to surprise you?


  1. I like a nice balance, if you get too many action books in a row, it gets tiring. I love to read before bed and sometimes read a high paced action book is not great for settling me down. Thanks for the question! Happy reading.

    1. I can see your point. Thank you for hosting my question!

  2. You already read my answer but it doesn't really matter to me. I like both and it depends on my mood and more important to me - is connecting to the characters.

    I don't like extremes of either though or I get bored/skim.

    Love your lists!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. I do attach a lot of importance to plot, but at the end of the day, if you don't care for your characters, plot alone can't save the book.

      Thank you!

  3. I definitely read quieter books. I am all about a great character driven story and I like little to no drama in my books too (for the most part). I do read mysteries, thrillers, etc, but not as often as my quiet contemporaries.

    1. Hehe, I figured. I don't particularly like drama either though, even if I can love books with strong themes at their core (like the Jenna Fox trilogy). Do you like classic, cozy mysteries? Like Agatha Christie's?

  4. I love this list, and I totally agree with you in that each category can be entertaining, I have favorites in all of them. I never knew (I think?) that you read the Jenna Fox series! I really enjoyed the first book, and never got around to the rest... maybe one day.

    1. The Fox Inheritance was from Locke's POV...because of course, he and Kara got a second chance at life. More action-y than the first one (and with a conspiracy at its core), but still dealing with ethical and moral problems - another winner for me. Fox Forever was from Locke's POV again (with a brief featuring by Jenna though). Still action-y etc., but built around a romance that I wasn't a big fan of (and not simply because I don't do romance). Still a good book, but definitely my least favourite of the three.

  5. I don't mind quiet books with a quick pace! I really love character-driven books, but I also enjoy fantasy worlds with an abundance of new information. It really just depends on my mood and how it's received. For me it really boils down to pacing. :)

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

    1. I don't think I've ever read a quiet book with a quick pace...It sounds like an oxymoron, but since you mention it, the thing exists! Any example?

  6. Ooh, very nice lists. I definitely see what you mean about Remember Me being a nice balance of action and introspection. That's a great example. Pike hits that middle ground a lot, I think. That's one of the things I love about him.

    I can never pick just one thing, so naturally I love both kinds of books AND the ones in between. There are some action-packed books I couldn't live without (Six of Crows, Graceling, Thirst), but looking at my favorites list, it looks like there are a lot more quiet, introspective ones (I'll Give You The Sun, The Raven Cycle, The Art of Escaping). I guess I'm not surprised I prefer philosophy to fight scenes, but both have their place.

    At the end of the day (or a book), I don't care about plot nearly as much as I care about character, writing, or overall message. I might still love a book where the plot is boring or derivative, where things don't happen, but it's highly unlikely I'll end up loving something that's short on the others.

    1. Awww, TAOE made your "quiet" list too! And of course you would love a philosophical book 😉 (hey, just joking, it's fine! I have a thing for books with characters who speculate).

      I don't know if I might love a book with a "meh" plot etc. but I agree (as a few people above) about characters being the driving force of a story, and writing and message are usually both more important to me than the actual plot as well.


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