Novels With Real, Live Father Figures (i.e. Not dead ones)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a Father’s Day related freebie.

At first, I wanted to do my ten favorite Dad’s in fiction, but this proved difficult. Instead I’m focusing on books with Dads who have not not: a.) died or B.) abandoned/abused their children. It turns out they are rare indeed.

The first nine are my selection, and the tenth is a selection made by my father when I asked which book had is favorite father is from.

Bluejay Feather

 

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Challenger Deep

Thoughts

I don’t really remember much about Caden’s father, but from what I remember he was alive and seemed to care for his son.

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Dark Life

Thoughts

It’s been a long time since I read this (my freshmen year of high school to be exact), but I remember Ty’s parents being caring. Though, I think the other main character was an orphan.

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Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings

Thoughts

The main character’s father seems like a pretty nice guy, even if it does get more than a little awkward at times as he tries to fulfill what would otherwise be the role of our protagonist’s mother.

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Splintered

Thoughts

I don’t remember much about the father’s involvement in this first book, but he became very involved later in the series.

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Mister Monday (The Keys To the Kingdom #1)

Thoughts

Okay so, technically, the main character’s biological father is dead. However, Arther loves his adoptive family a lot, so I’m counting it. Also, I think I read this book in elementary school? I feel so old! (Hint, I’m not.)

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Found (The Missing #1)

Thoughts

Okay, so this is another one where the main character is adopted, but the main character is close to his adoptive parents.

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The Sun is also a Star

Thoughts

The parents in this book have major conflicts with the protagonists, but they aren’t horrible parents, either. The protagonists’ parents are also, most importantly,  not dead. Yes, this is seriously the best I can do. . . sorry.

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Alienated (Alienated #1)

Thoughts

One of the protagonist doesn’t have parents, (he is an alien clone) but the other one has two very supportive ones.

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Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)

Thoughts

Okay, this is another case where the parents are a major source of conflict for the protagonists. Hey, at least they’re not dead.

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White Noise

Thoughts

Okay, so I know nothing about this book. I asked my father what book he thought contained the best father figure he’d ever read. This is what he came up with. So, there you go.

Bluejay Feather

Wow, that was oddly depressing. I had to resort to a book I read in elementary school just to list ten books where the father wasn’t dead?

Who are your favorite literary fathers? Are all these real, live fictional dads hiding someplace beyond my notice? Can you name any other books where characters have fathers who aren’t dead and haven’t abandoned their children?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Splintered Series Review

125582851744919722447220Titles: Splintered, Unhinged, Ensnared

Author: A. G. Howard

Publication dates: 2013-2015

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Retelling

Synopsis: Alyssa Gardener has always been afraid of ending up in an asylum like her mother who spends her days having tea parties, talking to the bugs, and dressed like Alice from Lewis Carroll’s book. This “curse” has afflicted Alyssa’s family ever since her ancestor, Alice Liddell herself, inspired Carroll’s novel.

When Alyssa’s mother’s mental health becomes so bad the only option is electroconvolsive therapy Alyssa learns Wonderland is a real place. Desperate for another solution to her mother’s mental health and to prevent herself from ending up there herself she must travel into Wonderland and complete a series of tests to break the curse Alice brought upon her decedents.

Review: I had a hard time getting into the first book, but ultimately really enjoyed it. The story begins by talking about our protagonist’s use of bugs in artwork. Being not too fond of bugs myself, I found this habit creepy rather than endearing.

The world-building in this series is a lot of fun. A. G. Howard’s vision of Wonderland was rich and well imagined. I liked how it was essentially a blend of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland with fairies, but not Disney fairies, the tricky, untrustworthy type.

Due to this fairy element this series reminds me of The Iron Fey. I read the first book of The Iron Fey, The Iron King, after having read the first two books in this series and was immediately struck by the simulates. This is not to say the two books are copies of one anther, both series draw on much of the same mythology and it is likely their similarities occurred merely by chance.

My biggest pet peeve in this series was the love triangle. It was practically a constant competition between the main character’s two love interests to the point that it often overshadowed the plot, particularly in the third book.

The family dynamic in this book was great. In too much YA the main characters family and the rest of his/her life before are entirely neglected by the author as though they never occurred at all. In this book, however, the main character’s family life and personal history were what set the plot in motion.

In the second book I wanted to see more of Wonderland. Much of the book took place on Earth which I didn’t care about too much. Unhinged, unlike the first book, drew me in almost at once, and kept my attention.

The final book in this series was too focused on the love triangle for my liking, though I enjoyed the world-building and getting to see new places like I’d wanted more of in book two. I still enjoyed Ensnared, just not as much as the first two.

Favorite Quote: “Tearing down the rest of the world won’t make you happy. Look inside yourself. Because finding who you were meant to be? What you were put into this world to do? That’s what fills the emptiness. It’s the only things that can.”
― A.G. Howard, Splintered

What Readers Should Know: There are some references to sex, and some of the characters sleep beside one another in bed together but no sex actually occurs. There is some cursing but it is infrequent and PG-13. There are references to violence and blood, but none are gory.

Rating: Splintered on it’s own would get a 4 for it’s ultimately captivating storyline but slow beginning. Unhinged would get a 4.5 for being captivating throughout but not enough forward motion in the plot, and Ensnared would get a 3.5 because although I enjoyed the story and world-building the love triangle felt too overpowering without serving any real purpose in the plot.

I recommend this series to people looking for something similar to The Iron Fey and fans of retellings of classic tails.

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