Inside and Out Book Tag

“No book tags,” I told myself. “Make up your own stuff.”

So far, I have done that. For the most part. Trouble is, the day this goes up is my last free weekend before I start my next semester of graduate school. I wanted something fun to write before throwing myself headfirst into academics again. Plus, I like tags where I don’t have to come up with a specific book for an answer. Kristin Kraves Books knows how to get to me with the book tags she posts on her own blog.

 

Inside flap/back of the book summaries: too much info or not enough?

Season 1 Too Much Information GIF by Friends

A summary is usually what draws me to a book, after title and cover. Often times, I find a book with a gorgeous cover, only to put it back on the shelf because the information on the front flap or back cover just does not do it for me. I personally want to know what I’m reading and if it is something I want to put time into. Even though it can be annoying, I also sometimes don’t mind if a synopsis offers too much information or is too vague. If it has the right buzzwords, I’m game.

 

New book: what form do you want it to be in? Be honest: audiobook, e-book, paperback, or hardcover?

fox films book GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Despite the current overflow in my bedroom, I prefer books in physical format. Hardcover or paperback, it doesn’t really matter to me, so long as the book is in good condition.

 

Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, take notes, make comments, or do you keep your books clean, clean, clean?

fairy tale books GIF by Primer

CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!!! I absolutely cannot bring myself to write in my books. The only books I can justify scribbling in are textbooks I bought for school. For my YA literature class, I will be taking notes in my notebook while I read.

 

Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

book read GIF

An author’s gender has never even been a considering factor for me when choosing a book. If I took a hard look at my Goodreads, I would probably find that 90% of what I have read is by white female authors. But there have been books by male authors that I have truly enjoyed, too. I think it is more important to focus on whether or not you are reading books by people of color or are of a different sexual identity than yours.

 

Ever read ahead? Or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

come jackie collins GIF

Sometimes, I read ahead if I am worried about a certain character. I will flip a few chapters to make sure they are alive by the end of the book. I try not to read the last page to avoid major spoilers. Most times I don’t care about spoilers, but I still do like to be surprised sometimes.

 

Organized bookshelves, or outrageous bookshelves?

book GIF

I would love to have organized bookshelves, preferably in alphabetical order by author. However, lack of space and a somewhat impulsive book buying addiction makes them outrageous.

 

Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

s reactions books GIF

Yes and no. What I mean by that is, I will be drawn to a book because of the cover. But only after I read the synopsis do I bring myself to buy it, such as was the case with books like The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston and The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. A book I can say I specifically bought for the cover was the reprint hardcover edition of Vicious by V.E. Schwab. It was a book I had wanted to read for years. And, admittedly, I thought the new cover was cooler than the old one.

 

Take it outside to read, or stay in?

caroline matilda of great britain GIF

Nine times out of ten, I stay inside to read. I cannot tell you how many times this summer I have promised my dog Ziva I will take her outside on cooler days, and then I end up staying inside with the AC. Plus, my dog is nine years old, and the heat takes a lot out of her to begin with. I also have a really stupid pet peeve where I don’t like wind blowing the pages while I’m trying to read.

 

I tag:

Shanah

Sophie

Rebecca

Sahi

Joe

Grey

 

The Book Snob Tag

I never understood how a “book snob” could exist until I met one. You know the type—the ones that only read Pulitzer Prize winners or consider reading primarily classics as “real reading” or say their favorite book is something outrageous like Dante’s Inferno.

Considering readers have gotten bad rep over the years, this is just wrong.

I was trying to avoid tags and make use the creativity I won an award for in college. Then, earlier this week, I saw Heather of Bookables do this tag. Mainly what drew me to it was that I did not have to think of a book for each answer. It is specifically an opinion piece.

I like giving my opinion.

leighton meester love GIF

Let’s find out if I am a book snob. (Spoiler alert: I’m totally not!)

 

Adaption Snob

Do you always read the book before you see the movie?

fifty shades of grey GIF

If I can and if I want to. One example is Fifty Shades of Grey. I have no interest in reading the books. I did want to see the movie though, out of curiosity to see if I liked erotica at all. However, there are times I do want to read the book before seeing the movie or TV adaption. This was the case with Good Omens. I didn’t want to watch it without having read the original material. But my dad wanted to watch the show and when he finds a new TV show he wants to watch, he binges the show. So, of course, I got sucked in. If anything, it made me want to read the book Good Omens even more.

 

Format Snob

You can only choose one format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which do you choose: physical books, e-books, or audiobooks?

books read GIF

The only format I can, and want, to read is physical books. I’ve tried e-books, but I’m uncomfortable reading on my phone or computer. Audiobooks were spoiled for me in grade school, with storybook narrators that put you to sleep. It also does not help that I love the look of bookshelves.

 

Ship Snob

Would you date or marry a non-reader?

beauty and the beast books GIF by Disney

Absolutely yes. It makes me sad when bookworms give prospective partners a hard pass just because they don’t like reading. I also do not like it when they try to force said prospective partners to like reading. To me, dating or marrying a reader is more of a bonus than a requirement. As long as he does not look down upon my love of reading or outright hate it and try to make me stop, it’s fine if he himself does not enjoy it.

 

Genre Snob

You have to ditch one genre—never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

library GIF

Nonfiction is a genre I would give up. However, this one is a cop-out. I rarely read anything from this genre. Most of the times I did read it was for school. I doubt I would miss it much, honestly.

 

Uber Genre Snob

You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

library GIF

Fantasy, which is another easy answer. It’s mostly what I read and what I am drawn to. Plus, the genre itself is so vast, I doubt I would get bored.

 

Community Snob

Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

read new york GIF

It’s a tie between romance and adults that read young adult literature. I am 26; the majority of what I read is young adult. Though I personally have not dealt with it (yet), I know many adult readers of YA get crap about “reading their age.” Truth is, most adults read YA because they are easy to get through and we need something to help us decompress from daily adulting.

Romance I know is a genre that gets snubbed a lot. I know I am one of those people that would not touch romance novels for years. This was mostly because I thought they were all about relationships and sex without any actual plot. Now, having read blogs and watched BookTube, I know better. With my own lack of love life, as well as overall new interest, I’m drawn more and more to picking up romance novels.

 

Snobbery Recipient

Have you ever been snubbed for something you have been reading or for reading in general?

season 5 netflix GIF by Gilmore Girls

When I was younger, I was definitely snubbed a lot for liking to read. I was made fun of for “reading too much,” too. Nothing truly nasty happened to me, but still, the scorn was there. And it wasn’t just kids either. A lot of adults in my life did not like my reading so much. They thought I should be more “social.” But I became a deeper introvert after forcing myself to put the book down. More often than not, I still found myself sitting alone at lunch anyway. Thankfully, at college I met people who appreciated my love of reading as a part of who I was.

Now that that therapy session is over, I tag:

 

Shanah

Rebecca

Grey

Crystal

Kristin

Sophie

Book Bucket List Tag

Thank the almighty bookish gods and goddesses for book tags! And Kristin Kraves books, though she did not tag me. I was struggling to come up with content….

Side note: I really don’t like making bucket lists. They cause me an irrational sense of anxiety. But this tag still looked like fun, because books are always fun (and safe) to talk about.

On to the tag!

 

What books or series that intimidate you (because of length, density, subject) would feel like an accomplishment to finish?

niecy nash getting on hbo GIF

I have quite a few books on my bookshelves, namely certain classics, that I would consider an accomplishment to finish. A book that fits this category is Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I attempted to read it a while back, got about 90 pages in, then set it aside for another time.

 

What author would you like to co-author a book with?

finding nemo seagulls GIF

No idea. I don’t think I want to co-author a book. I’m such a control freak over my own work.

 

If you could interview any author for your blog, who would it be? What’s one question you would ask?

i am cait part GIF

I think I would like to interview Francesca Zappia, a very good author that is very underrated. One question I would ask her is if she would ever write a magical realism novel. With her writing style, I think she would be good at it. I think she would also do a good job writing a magical realism novel featuring a character that has a mental illness.

 

As a writer, what genre is out of your comfort zone that you would like to conquer someday and write within?

darren criss books GIF

Science fiction is a genre generally out of my comfort zone, as anything scientific tends to go right over my head. I love fantasy and contemporary so much I’m not sure if I would ever write anything else.

 

What specific edition of a book would you like to own someday? It could be a rare, a first edition, an anniversary edition, signed, or one with a cover special to you, etc.?

Books Library GIF by DePauw University

Not sure. I don’t pay attention to anniversary or special editions. I own graphic novel adaptions of some of my favorite books, like The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, but do those count? If I already have a copy, I can’t justify it to myself to spend money on another copy of the exact same book if the old one is perfectly fine. I might consider getting the special collector’s edition of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas since it is one of my all-time favorites. Only that is a hard maybe.

 

Are there any books or bookish items that you like to collect?

cat books GIF

I likely have as many bookmarks as I do books. Lately, I have been getting into collecting graphic novel adaptions of classic novels, like The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood or well-known works, like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

 

Name one bookish place you’d like to visit. (Not somewhere you’d like to visit because of a book and not a fictional place within a book, a library, bookstore, etc.)

Eiffel Tower Paris GIF

Easy: Shakespeare and Company in Paris.

 

Name a bookish event you’d like to attend (a festival, signing, book fair, etc.)

90s books GIF

If I ever get the chance, to attend BookCon/Book Expo, Yallfest, or the American Library Association (ALA) Conference, I doubt I would turn it down. Problem is, crowds make me anxious.

 

Your WIP is getting published and designing the cover is solely up to you. What does it look like?

read harry potter GIF

Truth be told, since right before my mom went on hospice towards the end of 2017, I have done next to nothing on any of my works in progress. But an idea I always thought about was a young adult fantasy novel, with darker primary colors and a girl on the cover in a flowing dress.

 

What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish within the bookish world? As a writer, reader, blogger, whatever you want.

writing GIF

At the moment, that would be getting back into writing overall. Like I said, I have not done any work on any of my creative writing projects since before my mom died. Besides, having story ADD, she constantly needed my attention. I tried to get back into it, but writing suddenly became too hard. Blogging was just easier. I would like to write and publish a book someday. Graduate school is holding a lot of my attention now, but the urge to be creative is slowly coming back.

 

I tag:

Rebecca

Sophie

Shanah

Grey

Crystal

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag! (2019)

It’s that time of year again! To freak out on how much I’ve read this year and what I have not…mostly the latter….

I entered 2019 with low expectations for reading. I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 30 books, under the assumption I would not have a lot of free time to read once I started my second semester. To my shock, I had more than I anticipated. I had two days in the middle of the week entirely devoted to homework, leaving more wiggle room on the weekends. In May, I beat my goal. Currently, I have completed 34 books and working on a 35th. I do not plan on raising the goal any higher.

While I’m glad I beat my goal, admittedly, I am feeling rather meh towards my reading so far this year. That’s my fault. From January to April, I was on a book-buying ban. Instead of diving into the plethora of unread books I already own, I checked out books from the library. Obviously, that’s not a bad thing. I did read some pretty good books, too. The trips to the library were meant to quench the annoying desire for “new” books. Also, I have come to the realization that I have an irrational fear of running out of books to read as well as the masochistic urge to deny myself what I want. There are unread books I own, yet I continuously refuse to read them because I fear I won’t have money to buy more later.

Being a bookworm can be weird.

Now, enough of the therapy session and onto what you all really came here for: the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

 

The best book you’ve read so far this year

I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but not a lot of books this year have felt like “the best book of the year.” I’ve given a few 5 star ratings, although none of them stand out more than the rest. However, here are seven books I’ve read so far this year I consider favorites, in no particular order:

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

To Make Monsters Out of Girls by Amanda Lovelace

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Your favorite sequel this year

Screenshot_2019-07-06 Saga, Vol 9 (Saga, #9)

 

Not a lot of sequels read this year so far, which is honestly unacceptable. I have way too many series sitting unread and uncompleted on my bookshelves. Even so, my favorite sequel hands-down this year will have to be Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples.

 

A new release that you haven’t read yet but really want to

Where to even begin with this one? One new release that I really want to read is Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuistan. The others are Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich and Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, two books I was anticipating that I recently bought.

 

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco, the final novel in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series is likely the most anticipated release of the year for me. Another is To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace, which comes out in September. I almost completely forgot about The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh, a Gothic vampire romance coming out in October. Also coming out in October is The Fountain of Silence, a young adult historical fiction novel by Ruta Sepetys set during the Spanish Civil War. Lastly is The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, the sequel/companion novel to The Handmaid’s Tale releasing in September.

 

Your biggest disappointment

I thought I only had one…turns out, I have a few. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab was not the best, although I’m not surprised since it was her debut novel. Though I gave them pretty decent ratings, Vengeful by V.E. Schwab and The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan did not live up to their predecessors in their respective series.

 

Biggest surprise of the year

Screenshot_2019-07-06 True Notebooks

 

I had to read True Notebooks by Mark Salzman for one of my classes. On my own, I rarely read nonfiction. I certainly would not have read one set in a prison. True Notebooks centers on a struggling author teaching creative writing to students in a juvenile detention facility. The book covered a lot of different issues within the American prison system, as well as unexpectedly humanized these young criminals society had cast aside.

 

Favorite new to you or debut author

It’s a tie between Karen M. McManus and Robyn Schneider. I liked their writing styles, how they developed plots, and their realistic young adult characters. I’ve only read one book from each of them so far, but I enjoyed Two Can Keep a Secret and Invisible Ghosts so much I plan to get my hands on their other books.

 

Your new fictional crush

Again, I could not narrow it down.

The first is Sebastian Wyatt from A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin. If you love Thomas Cresswell from Stalking Jack the Ripper, Sebastian will turn your knees to jelly. The other is Liam Gerling from Evermore by Sara Holland. In the first book, Everless, he’s portrayed as an arrogant loner with a supposed nasty streak. In Evermore, we see a sweeter side to him that is impossible to resist. Lastly, Tyler and Kal from Aurora Rising by Aimee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Both of them were handsome, strong, and serious men that could be utterly adorable (especially Kal, the alien fae, OMG).

 

New favorite character

There are few characters I can say I have truly seen myself in. One of those is Rose Asher from Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider. She was smart and sensitive, and had a lot to offer, but her own insecurities (and the ghost of her whiny dead brother) kept holding her back.  I also really liked Sydney Clarke and Victor Vale from Vicious from V.E. Schwab. Both were complex and flawed, especially Victor. And though I don’t think I would call her my new favorite character, I was fascinated by Tetisheri, the protagonist of Death of an Eye by Dana Stabenow, a book I stumbled upon at the library. She was a private yet caring young woman with a strong will and a sharp mind. Plus, she had a complicated backstory we don’t know much about yet.

 

A book that made you cry

Voices: the Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott made me feel all the feels. It hurt me knowing a heroic young woman was ultimately killed by the patriarchy she was trying so hard to save. Saga, Vol. 9 slapped me so hard across the face, it took me a minute to fully absorb how hard I’d been hit.

 

A book that made you happy

kissmeinparisscreenshot

A book I found browsing my library, Kiss Me in Paris by Catherine Rider, was an adorable young adult/new adult romance set during a 24-hour exploration of Paris. Serena arrives to Paris on a mission to collect mementos for her family after a tragedy until her strict schedule goes out the window. Broody Parisian photographer Jean-Luc is determined to show this uptight American girl the “real” Paris. As you can imagine, neither gets what they bargained for. If you love The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, I highly recommend Kiss Me in Paris.

 

Your favorite book to movie adaption that you’ve seen this year

season 1 friends GIF by Good Omens

I have seen two book to movie adaptions so far this year. The first is Good Omens, the Amazon Prime show based off the book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I haven’t read the book yet. I only ended up watching the show because my dad was interested in it. Still, the Good Omens adaption was entertaining and made me want to read the source material.

season 2 trevor GIF by NETFLIX

The other is about two or three scores away from the original, and I’m not entirely sure if I watched in early 2019 or late 2018, but it’s the Netflix adaption of Castlevania. Castlevania is the name of a video game the show is supposed to be based on. Only there are elements in the storyline taken from Bram Stoker’s Dracula that make me still qualify it as a book adaption. The second season made up for the fail that was the first season with its dark humor and complicated views on humanity.

 

Favorite blog you’ve published this year

I’m not sure if I have one. To be honest, I was lacking in creativity during school (and now, if I’m being honest). I liked my Book Buying Ban Challenge post as well as the Game of Thrones tag. Book Blogger Confessions was fun. The Top 5 Tuesday on Slytherin House recommendations was also a good one.

I can’t pick one. Are you sensing a theme here?

 

The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received this year

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Sorcery of Thorns

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

 

What are some of the books that you need to read by the end of the year?

Where to begin?

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (PLEASE DON’T AT ME!)

Tower of Dawn and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Lord of Shadows and Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

There are plenty more where those came from. I had these books on the list last year. They WILL be taken off this year.

 

What are some books that have been on your TBR for too long?

The Anticipated Releases Book Tag!

I was tagged by Rebecca to do the Anticipated Releases Book Tag. So thank you!

To be honest: sometimes, I don’t pay too much attention to new releases unless it’s a book I’m very, very excited for, such as the next installment in a favorite series. More often than not, I forget when books come out until I see them available on Amazon or at the bookstore and library. I try to focus on the books that are currently released and in my possession or I have access to before I think about the ones not out yet. Somehow, though, I came up with enough answers for this tag.

 

Your most anticipated release of the year

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4)

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco, the final novel in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I am deliberately putting off reading Escaping from Houdini so I can marathon finish the series.

 

A book you’re not anticipating

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Wayward Son

This might hurt some of you, but Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell. Wayward Son is the sequel to Carry On. While I’ve enjoyed most of Rainbow Rowell’s books, sadly, I did not love Carry On like so many other people have. Chances are, I won’t read Wayward Son.

 

Most underhyped anticipated release

lovelywar

Lovely War by Julie Berry, which I already own since Barnes and Noble had an amazing sale recently. I have read two of Julie Berry’s novels and I immensely enjoyed both of them. Even if I had not read any of the author’s previous works, I would have been drawn to it anyway. It is a fantasy historical fiction novel told through the eyes of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, as she tells the story of doomed lovers to Ares and Hephaestus in a Manhattan hotel room.

 

A book you’ve been waiting on forever

lethalwhite

Though it is technically not a new release at this point—it came out summer of last year—a book I waited for what felt like forever for was Lethal White by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling. It is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series and the one that got pushed aside in favor of the disaster that was the Crimes of Grindelwald. As far as I am concerned, JK Rowling needs to retire her Boy Wizard and focus on her adorable, grumpy London private investigator.

 

A book you’re anticipating that’s out of your comfort zone

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Starsight cover image

That would be Starsight, the sequel to Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. I picked up Skyward last year because I’ve been wanting to get into Brandon Sanderson’s books for years and I wanted to read more Sci-fi. It’s not something I often reach for, compared to other genres.

 

Your top 3 “Can’t Wait” Books of the Year

Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Technically, all three of these books are out by now, but they were all ones I was anticipating when I first heard of their publication. Contradicting my previous statement that I don’t pay too much attention to new releases unless it is by authors I’ve read previously, that is partially true.

Teeth in the Mist is Dawn Kurtagich’s third novel, and I read, and enjoyed, the other two. I bought Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel An Enchantment of Ravens when it came out, though I haven’t read it yet. But if a synopsis has any mention of libraries, magic, and sorcerers, like Sorcery of Thorns does, I am all for it. And I’m trash for Beauty and the Beast, so you bet your bottom dollar A Curse so Dark and Lonely, which came out way back in January, is on the list.

 

Top 5 most anticipated backlist books on your TBR

 

 

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I came to a slightly uncomfortable revelation about myself this year: I want all the books yet I continuously deny myself what I actually want to read. All of these books should have been read by now, among so many others. Yet I keep putting them unfairly on the backburner. No idea why. I guess I am a masochist.

 

What is a backlist book you keep putting off “for the right moment?”

(TAG! You’re it!)

TBR Alphabet Tag

I don’t know what it is about book tags, but I see a whole bunch I want to do, I write up a draft almost immediately in a notebook, and then it takes me ages to type it up, edit, and post it on the blogsphere. I don’t get it.

Oh well. I saw this tag on Kristin’s blog a little while ago. Here it is now: the TBR Alphabet Tag.

 

A

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

Screenshot_2019-06-16 An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason

 

B

Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Beyond a Darkened Shore

 

C

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Crimson Bound

 

D

(The) Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

Screenshot_2019-06-16 The Darkest Legacy (The Darkest Minds, #4)

 

E

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Empress of All Seasons

 

F

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Far from the Tree

 

G

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1)

 

H

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Heretics Anonymous

 

I

Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Isle of Blood and Stone (Tower of Winds, #1)

 

J

None

 

K

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Kindred

 

L

Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Little Lion

 

M

My Name is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd

Screenshot_2019-06-16 My Name Is Venus Black

 

N

Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Northwest Angle (Cork O'Connor, #11)

 

O

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Out of the Easy

 

P

Providence by Caroline Kepnes

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Providence

 

Q: (The) Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Screenshot_2019-06-16 The Queen's Rising (The Queen’s Rising, #1)

 

R

Ruined by Amy Tintera

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Ruined (Ruined, #1)

 

S: Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Spindle Fire (Spindle Fire #1)

 

T

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)

 

U

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Under Rose-Tainted Skies

 

V

(The) Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory

Screenshot_2019-06-16 The Virgin's Lover (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #13)

 

 

W

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crawley

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Words in Deep Blue

 

X

None

 

Y

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

Screenshot_2019-06-16 You're Welcome, Universe

 

Z

None

 

I tag:

Shanah

Grey

Rebecca

Crystal

Sophie

Game of Thrones Book Tag

Confession time: I am not a Game of Thrones fan.

Yet I probably know as much about it as the true fan-people. If you are on social media, you can’t get away from the Game of Thrones memes and GIFs. In real life, my dad loves the show (until the finale) and so do the majority of my friends. I’ve gotten stuck in the middle of heated discussions over that week’s episode or conspiracy theories. I even watched a few episodes occasionally. But, for the life of me, the show could not hold my interest.

Well, except for the memes.

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With badass women, court politics, dragons, and morally gray characters backstabbing one another, I should have liked Game of Thrones more than I did. Ultimately, I boiled it down to having a beef with the show. While I was at college, my dad put a TV in my bedroom so he could watch the show in peace because my mom hated it. Every time I came home, I was banished from my own room on Sunday nights. The reviews claiming the show portrayed graphic violence against women and mentions of incest didn’t help much. Needless to say, from then on, Game of Thrones was tainted for me.

Except my blog needs content and I need to write or I will explode. Shanah provided an outlet when she posted the Game of Thrones book tag on her blog recently. She didn’t tag me, so I tagged myself.

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Before we go further, I should also mention that I only know maybe five of the families listed in this tag. So, I have no idea what their family mottos mean.

To the tag!

 

House Lannister (Hear Me Roar): Name a book that you originally loved but, upon a reread, you realized it wasn’t so great after all.

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I think most people can attest to this, but Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I reread the book about two years ago randomly during a long reading slump, then ended up putting it down after a hundred or so pages. Unlike most people, it was not so much the borderline toxic, obsessive relationship. Back in the day, I was Team Jacob, so Edward Cullen was already a dickhead. It was the cringey, boring writing style that made me give up. I couldn’t do it. But I didn’t change my high star rating on Goodreads. I loved it as a teenager and, as flawed as it might have been, a lot of good came out of the Twilight saga.

 

House Stark (Winter is Coming): Name your most anticipated read for the year.

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Easily Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco, the final book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I am deliberately putting off reading Escaping from Houdini solely for the purpose of preventing a book hangover or having to wait too long for the next book. Another close contestant is Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich. Except I don’t want to read it too soon, since it seems she takes a while to write books and she’s from England, making the wait longer than others.

 

House Targaryen (Fire and Blood): Name a book that you felt completely slayed with fantastic characters, plot, pacing, etc.

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A completely unexpected book that slayed me earlier this year was A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin. I went into it expecting a fun historical romance with spies. Instead, I got a group of strong, independent girls with their own talents and intelligence, swoon-worthy guys, and a fast-paced plot. It was a library book I read, though you can bet I will be buying my own copy, as well as the rest of the books currently out in the series.

 

House Baratheon (Ours is the Fury): Name a book that ended with a cliffhanger that genuinely pissed you off.

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I won’t say I was pissed off, but I was not entirely satisfied with the ending of The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan, the final book in his Heroes of Olympus series.

 

House Martial (Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken): Name a book or series that’s been on your TBR since the dawn of time.

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The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy by Stephanie Perkins, and the Selection series by Kiera Cass. The first two I currently have checked out from my local library, while the Selection series I plan to read, also from the library, later this summer. I’ve had these books on my Goodreads TBR for years, ever since I discovered BookTube and I was brought into a platform that introduced me to a plethora books I might not have found otherwise.

 

House Boulton (Our Blades Are Sharp): Name the most graphic or disturbing book you’ve ever read.

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Horns by Joe Hill, which follows a young man, Ignatius, who was accused of raping and murdering his long-time girlfriend. A year after her death, Iggy gets drunk, pees on a statue of the Virgin Mary, and wakes up the next morning with horns protruding from his head. The magic of the horns compels people to reveal their deepest, darkest, most disturbing, most lustful, and sometimes grossest desires to Iggy. Thus, he intends to use them to track down his girlfriend’s real killer. And, in case you are unaware, Joe Hill is the pen name for Stephan King’s son. So, yes, like father, like son in terms of all that is graphic and messed up.

 

House Tyrell (Growing Strong): Name a book or series that gets better and better with every reread.

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Admittedly, I don’t reread books or completed series often enough. The ones I have reread have been only once or twice, and my feelings didn’t change. However, a book I reread last year, but in a different format, was Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. It was published in a graphic novel format last year.

Emily Carroll’s artwork added something more to Speak instead of taking something from it. She used a black-and-white art style that resembled the bleakness throughout the story. Yet the way she drew the characters, particularly Melinda, empathizes how young they all are going through and doing things like this. I don’t know if that makes any sense.

 

Are there any other fake Game of Thrones fans besides me?

 

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I tag:

Crystal

Rebecca

Kristin

Grey

Nope Book Tag (featuring random Game of Thrones and cat GIFs!)

I thought once school was out for the summer, my creativity would flow again and I would be able to write more for my blog. Only I think my brain is still in recovery.

Also, I’m still backed up on some blog posts. I saw this book tag, the Nope Book Tag, on Crystal’s blog a while ago. Thankfully, this is the last one I needed to finish.

Side note: I love Crystal’s blog and I hope you all check her out!

On to the tag!

 

NOPE ending: a book that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was terrible.

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The ending of The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton, a recent read. The ending was not terrible, but it was rushed and I went into the novel thinking that it was the last book in a duology. Although, there were too many loose ends and, after a search on Goodreads, there is at least one more book. I suppose I am in denial—I only wanted two books. Not that I don’t enjoy the series. Dhonielle Clayton is a good writer, but the world she created in The Belles already feels like its running dry of story ideas.

 

NOPE protagonist: a main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

Aelin from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas as well as Feyre from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I liked Aelin way better when she was Celeana and, honestly, I don’t think she’s fit to be a queen. She’s too wild and a hothead. Regarding Feyre, she was too much of a wishy-washy special snowflake for my taste. Part of the reason I haven’t gotten to the final novels in the respective series is because of them.

 

NOPE popular pairing: a “ship” you don’t support.

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Cassian and Nesta from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. I really like him but can’t stand her. He could do so much better.

 

NOPE protagonist action/decision: a character decision that made you shake your head.

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Most of the character decisions in Vengeful by V.E. Schwab, mainly the ones done by Marcella and Victor.

 

NOPE genre: a genre you will never read.

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Dark erotica, like an abduction turned romance. I fully understand Stockholm Syndrome is a real thing. I just don’t want to see it in any sexual capacity.

 

NOPE book format: a book format you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

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I prefer hardbacks and paperbacks over e-books and audiobooks. E-books you can’t smell and you have to stop reading to charge the battery. Audiobooks can be expensive and there’s the risk of a sucky narrator. But I don’t necessarily hate either of them, since it’s so easy for me to avoid them altogether.

 

NOPE trope: a trope that makes you go nope.

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One trope I’ve seen a lot, particularly in young adult novels, is authors butchering one love interest that was perfectly fine in the previous novel(s) for the sake of making a new love interest look more appealing, or simply introducing a new love interest for the sake of drama in an otherwise stable relationship. This trope is usually the most annoying to me because I’m always loyal to the ships I sail.

 

NOPE recommendation: a book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read.

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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Normally, I love high fantasy, but for whatever reason, I could not get into the media adaptions for neither of these works. With all the books I want to read, I’ll probably never get to these anyway. I won’t force myself to, either.

 

NOPE cliché/pet peeve: a cliché or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

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That love cures all in any compacity. That’s all I’m going to say.

 

NOPE love interest: the love interest that’s not worthy of being one/a character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.

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Seung, a character from Where I Live by Brenda Rufener, a book I read earlier this year. He was the best friend of the main character, who had a crush on him and could only talk about how hot he was. He had no personality to speak of. I simply couldn’t see what there was for her to like about him so much.

 

NOPE book: a book that shouldn’t have existed.

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I know I gave it a decent rating on Goodreads, but Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes. It is the sequel to You, which should have been awesome. Instead, we get a bloodthirsty yet totally boring stalker, an annoying new love interest I think I hated more than I was supposed to hate said stalker, and a plot that involved more sex than stalking. At the time I read Hidden Bodies, I had loved You so much and was so excited for the sequel, I couldn’t bring myself to give it a bad rating. Since then, I’ve seen other reviews that validated the negative feelings I have towards Hidden Bodies. I even unhauled it as a result.

 

NOPE villain: a scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

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Gaea from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Since she’s the actual earth, running away from her would be very, very difficult.

 

NOPE death: a character death that still haunts you.

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One of the four perspectives in Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys and the one character I did not want to die.

 

NOPE author: an author you have had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit.

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Eliza Wass, who wrote The Cresswell Plot and The Life and Death Parade. The Cresswell Plot was a novel I remember being really excited about, then was relieved I checked it out from the library when I read it. A novel about extreme religious ideals in families that was not written well, I forgave it because it was her debut novel. Then, I read The Life and Death Parade last year, a book about a girl tracking down an elusive group she hopes can bring back her dead boyfriend, and was again deeply disappointed by the failed potential. Safe to say, I don’t think I’ll read any more of Eliza Wass’s books.

 

I don’t know who else has done this tag, but consider yourself tagged if you want to!

 

Who is an author you’ve had a bad experience with?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Should Have Read That Book Tag

Like any bookworm, I have a large to be read pile that keeps growing. Not that I mind—I accept it at this point. Still, there are books sitting on my shelves unread, for longer than they probably should be. All for different reasons that I will try not to get into over and over again. You all just want to see the books, right?

I saw this book tag on Crystal’s blog.

 

A book that a friend is always telling you to read.

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I don’t have a lot of friends who are readers. But one who is a reader has frequently recommended the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray. I have wanted to read this series for years anyway.

 

A book that’s been on your TBR forever, yet you still haven’t picked it up.

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Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge, which is a fantastical retelling of Little Red Riding. I loved her debut novel, Cruel Beauty, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast blended with Greek mythology. I want to get back into Rosamund Hodge’s books.

 

A book in a series you started, but haven’t gotten around to finishing yet.

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My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. It’s the second in a series of companion novels about famous characters named Jane from history, in which the familiar stories are turned on their heads with a humorous fantasy twist. My Plain Jane is a retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

 

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read.

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For one year of summer reading in high school, I was supposed to read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Only I read enough of it to fill out the worksheet. Now I’m an older and wiser reader, fully embracing my hopeless romantic side, I want to reread Wuthering Heights from start to finish.

 

A popular book it seems everyone but you has read.

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The Hate U Give is a book I swear everyone and their mother has read and loved.

 

A book that inspired a film/TV adaption that you love, but just haven’t read yet.

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I had no idea the Hellboy movies were based off comic books until I actually looked it up. I love the 2004 film directed by Guillermo del Toro with Ron Perlman as Hellboy and Selma Blair as Liz Sherman, as well as the sequel, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. To this day, I have not read the comic books nor do I really have any desire to do so.

 

A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up.

I see a lot of books on Instagram that I have not gotten to yet. I swear it changes almost daily. Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo…The Cruel Prince by Holly Black….The list goes on.

 

I tag:

Rebecca

Grey

Kristin

Sophie

 

What books have been sitting on your TBR for too long?

Behind the Blogger Book Tag

It’s catch up time now!

With school, I didn’t have a lot of energy for creativity and I wasn’t reading enough to do individual book reviews. I found the Behind the Blogger Tag on Rebecca’s blog a while back. Now, I’m finally getting around to posting it.

Trying not to babble too much. On to the tag!

 

Why did you start blogging and why have you kept blogging?

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I started my blog in the fall of 2016. I had just graduated from college and found myself unemployed. Between filling out job applications and sometimes getting an interview and always getting rejected, I was slowly going insane. Worse still, I had story ADD—I could not settle on what novel project I wanted to focus on. I needed something to keep me grounded.

My friends had encouraged me to start a book blog. I don’t have a lot of readers in my life and social media offered a platform to find like-minded people. Most importantly, it would keep up my writing habit. After more deliberation, I wrote my first blog post on WordPress.

Three years later, I am still blogging. Besides meeting a ton of nice people in the comments, blogging has been overall therapeutic. It was a distraction when my mom was sick. It has continued to help me relieve stress in between homework and school projects. Though this past semester was relatively easy, one before was really stressful. Writing helped a lot.

 

What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

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Though I haven’t done any this year, monthly TBRs and wrap-ups. I’m a goal-oriented person. I like picking books I want to read in a month and then see how I did at the end. But in 2019, I wanted to try something different in order to work around my school schedule. That, and I wanted to see if I liked having the general reading wrap-ups, usually posted once I get around to it, over a monthly commitment.

 

What are your top 3 favorite blog posts?

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The first I thought of was the Recommending Books I Didn’t Love but You Might. I’m not a fan of bashing a book, even if I genuinely hated it. No one reads the same novel and I would feel guilty if I deterred someone from finding something they might enjoy just because it was simply not my cup of tea. The books on this recommendations post were ones I rated between 2 and 3 stars. Only they were not without their qualities I think other people would appreciate.

The second favorite blog post is the most recent: Top 5 Tuesday Slytherin House recommendations. I consider myself as far away from Slytherin as one can get. Yet, of all the House recommendations in Shanah’s Harry Potter themed February, the Slytherin post was the most fun.

The last of my favorites is a tie between the Random Books on my TBR post and the Hidden Gems Recommendations. The former was meant to remind me that there are books quickly gathering dust at home that deserve my attention. The latter I wrote while still on a high after reading four great books in a row. It was a blog series idea I had, since I tend to read a lot of books that fly under the radar. I still might do another one in the future.

 

What are some of your favorite things to do to relax?

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The main thing I do to relax is read. Writing for my blog helps me unwind sometimes, too. Although, lately, watching BookTube videos and Netflix shows has been my preferred choice of relaxing.

Another thing I like to do to relax or to stay focused is make lists. Lately, it’s TBR lists of books I own and books I will buy/read eventually. Sometimes, my mind drifted off during class (I woke up at 4:15 in the morning, guys). To stay awake, I made a list or two in my notebook. Once I do that, I’m able to get back to task at hand.

 

What are 3 of your favorite things?

I made a point of picking things that are not related to books or writing, i.e. Happy Hello Art magnetic bookmarks or libraries….

One of my favorite things is Christmas. While everyone is stressed out trying to shop for everyone, I like shopping. I like going to stores, picking out new ornaments to put on the tree and cute wrapping paper at Target. Fortunately for me, my dad and my brother are easy to shop for. I love Christmas music and movies. I like the cozy feeling. Lastly, I love the wrapping up of one year and the anticipation of another.

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A second favorite thing is my dog Ziva! She is a nine-year-old female shorkie, a half-shih tzu and half Yorkshire terrier mix. We got her in July of 2010. She was named for Ziva David, my family’s favorite character on NCIS. It’s a rather odd name for a dog, but her quirky, high-energy, and feisty personality make it a perfect fit. She refuses to sleep on her dog bed in the kitchen anymore. Whenever we tried to make her stay, she knocked down the gate and proceeded to sleep in the living room on her favorite chair. We’ve given up at this point. Ziva also likes naps, peanuts, eggs, and running around outside.

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My third favorite thing is Beauty and the Beast. The live-action film, the animated film, retellings, and any merchandise. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but my bedspread is the glass window design from the original Disney animation movie. I was 25 when I got that for Christmas, but I asked for it and I don’t care. Sadly, I don’t have as much merchandise as I would like. I practically drool while browsing Hot Topic Beauty and the Beast stuff online.

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What are your proudest blogging moments?

Honestly, just starting a blog in the first place. I had to learn to “put myself out there,” so to speak. I had to learn how to build my platform and gain followers without being a troll. I took to Instagram and other apps to advertise whenever I posted. I became more involved in the blogging world, like participating in Top 5 Tuesday and commenting on other people’s works. When I started this blog, I had no intention of making it big. I only wanted to write and talk about books. I still only want to write and talk about books.

 

What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

Besides, reading and blogging, I don’t have a lot of hobbies. I like to go for walks, but I hate walking around aimlessly so I must have a destination in mind whenever I do. I watch a lot of BookTube videos. I watch movies on Netflix and sometimes TV shows; most recently, it was Castlevania (Alucard my babe <3).

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With Criminal Minds ending next season, I’ll have to find another TV show to watch. I want to say “hanging out with my friends,” is another hobby. However, after college, the majority of my friends moved out of state or our lives are so busy adulting we haven’t had a lot of opportunities to make plans. Fortunately, we text daily.

A hobby I want to get back into is coloring books. I got some coloring bookmarks from my latest trip to my local library. I forgot how therapeutic the activity can be.

 

Describe your personality in 3 words

Hard working: I put all I have into my school work and any job I have. I want my degree and I want money so I can move out of my dad’s house, into my own space.

Smart: Though I didn’t always feel like a smart person growing up, or even sometimes now, I know I am. I have to keep reminding myself that I possess my own type of intelligence that does not make me better or worse than anyone else.

A slightly extroverted introvert: Part of what drew me to the archives field of library science was that the job would not require too much interaction with the “public.” Then, I started my archives internship. While I had my own space to arrange the materials to best help me organize, not having frequent opportunities to interact with people was more uncomfortable than I anticipated.

When I met with my advisor to pick my classes for next semester, she asked if I ever considered reference or outreach in archives. She brought attention to what I had been wondering for weeks: that I might be a more sociable introvert than I always believed. It’s given me a lot to think about in terms of my career.

 

What are your top 3 pet peeves?

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  1. People who call and don’t introduce themselves. I got this all the time when I answered phones at my various jobs. I even don’t like it when it’s people I know who call me on my cellphone.
  2. Sexism on both sides, i.e. women can’t sleep around with whoever they want or a man can’t cry.
  3. I hate all of it.

 

What’s something your followers don’t know about you?

I repeated the first grade. I was never formally diagnosed with a learning disability, but I struggled in school as a child. For kindergarden and the first time I went to first grade, I attended Catholic school. My parents initially planned to enroll me in public school, but my mom changed her mind and somehow convinced my dad to send me to a private Catholic school.

Kindergarden was fine—my teacher so happened to be my grandmother’s godchild—only the first grade teacher was a horrible woman. I was a bubbly, quirky kid. I did not fit in with the norm. Worse still, even as they made parents pay through the nose for a supposedly top-notch education for their children, they did not have any resources to help me. My parents pulled me out of that school when they could, except it was too late. I was put into a box of expectations no one would let me out of it until I was well into my 20s.

Now, I have a Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college where I graduated Magna Cum Laude, and I’m now getting an advanced degree from a well-respected university.

F—k the haters.

 

I tag:

Shanah

Crystal

Grey

Kristin