“Folklore” is the first time I felt seen by an album. Or, really, the first time I paid attention to an album as an entity, as a whole. I’m notorious for simply liking music as it is – I don’t pay attention to artists, genres, albums, any of it. But of course Taylor Swift has been someone that I’ve grown up with, and so I’ll always give her stuff a go. But I have never listened to all of an album before and loved it to so many pieces. 🥰 It’s played innumerable times on repeat, and never fails to touch a chord.
a book with an ending that left you speechless
I haven’t talked about this book in a while, but while there are plenty of books that packed a punch in those last few chapters, this is one of those that take the cake. House of Earth and Blood or “Crescent City” by Sarah J. Maas is a lengthy book, and it’s pacing is a bit slower than most urban fantasies (which I happened to like, by the way). But the last couple chapters of this book??? Goddamn. They went by in a bolt of lightning, so much action and emotions and politics and clue-catching, it was impressive. I closed the cover of this book and – well, firstly I felt tired since I read it all in one sitting. But I just had to sit there and ruminate on what I had just read. I absolutely loved it, and I can’t wait for more from Bryce, Hunt, and their gang/fam/friends/frenemies.
a book that makes you feel happy and sad all at once
I’m going a bit off the cuff for me on this one. It’s not hard for a book to make me happy and sad because I cry at everything in fiction (movies, tv, books, etc). If someone is tearing up or saying something adorable or depressing, I’m tearing up. But most books also make me happy, that’s why I read them. In this case, though, I’m going with Brothersong by TJ Klune. You know this is my favorite series of 2020 – since I discovered them back in April. I’ve been eagerly waiting like a kid for Santa for this book for months. And the release date has arrived and passed, and the pre-ordered book is sitting on my desk unread. That’s because I’m terrified of series finales, but that’s a topic for a different day. I’m happy because I adore this series with all of my heart. The Bennett PackPackPack genuinely feels like family, and I’m already in love with Carter and Gavin’s story. But… I’m sadlonelyupset that the series is over. I’m really sad about it. Which is why I haven’t read it yet, even though I’ll love the story 🥺🙈
the last great American dynasty
a book with a fascinating and extremely well-told story
“Extremely well-told,” tells me I’m looking for a writing style, and while I have several of my favorite authors in mind, one in particular stuck out. I first read The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater last April when home for spring break (the one that still hasn’t ended), and I was blown a w a y. It’s been years since I’ve read a new-to-me Stiefvater, and it has admittedly been a while since I’ve picked up one of her books in general. I’d forgotten how breathtaking her writing is. It was lyrical and daring, and the story was extremely fascinating and unique (and bloodthirsty and soft – read my review here). This has to be one of the most well-written and unique stories I’ve read in 2020, hands down.
a book you wish you hadn’t read
Strangely, I think this book would be Making a Play by Abbi Glines – read my full rant review here. I am confused and hurt by this book, still.
It follows senior football star Ryker, and new girl Aurora, who is deaf. Ryker is immediately smitten by Aurora, and they have a very quintessential, stereotypical high-school drama insta-love romance that was very sweet. I thought the disability was well handled throughout the book… and then the last ten pages hit. They made me mad on a feminist level, on an ableist level, and on a human being level. I’ve never read a book where the last 10 pages can change my mind so completely. Read my full review for details or more information, but I felt so betrayed! I’ve been reading and enjoying Abbi Glines’s books for years – this is the first time she’s handled heavy topics. She left me down, and she left me questioning whether I can recommend her books anymore, even if they were some of my faves.
my tears ricochet
a book that made you cry uncontrollably
Look, it’s really not hard to make my cry over fiction. A character stubs their toe and I’m crying, it feels like. So, yes, I cry during a lot of the books that I read. But one of the more recent sessions that kickstarted a sob-fest, where I actually had to stop reading for a few minutes to calm down, was during Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews.
This series has been with me for years, and the Kate Daniels gang is family. To watch them go through what happens in this book had me so upset. I b r o k e with Curran in this book, and, according to my review, I had to stop reading to get tissues on six different occassions. 🥺 If you’re looking for my timelines recommendation for adorable but tearjerker reads, check out A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole. I’ve never cried like that while reading.
a book that feels like it was written just for you
I have this thing, rather childlike actually, where if I love a book, I claim it as mine. I don’t want to share it. I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to slip it into my pocket, hold it close, and read it daily. ✨ These are all urges I try to stifle, of course, because I recognize that these are not only mineminemine, but books other people will love. Here are a few of those…
a childhood book that makes you feel nostalgic
Like, come on, of course! It’s all thanks to Percy Jackson that I love to read at all! One year, I believe the summer into fourth-grade? My brother drove me to another brother’s house a few states away. To make the drive less boring, he had me read The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan aloud to him. Honestly, it’s a wonder my stubborn, proud ass agreed, but thank goodness. Percy was my childhood soulmate, and I’ve been really thinking about rereading these books! All of Rick’s books were so precious to me in upper Elementary school, middle school, and beyond. Hell, I still have the poster on my door.
Then there are the classics: The Rainbow Fairy Magic books, Junie B. Jones, The Magic Treehouse series, The Emerald Atlas and this weird series about a boy who was adopted, but turns out his adopters were giant ants in human flesh? IDK, friend 😂 The school library was a wonderful, terrifying space. What books did you love to read as a kid?
a book that reminds you of summer
This past summer (2020), I read The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (my review). I finally did it after weeks of bookstagram hype and I have to say, for once, I wasn’t even slightly disappointed in a CL book! I struggle with the author duo sometimes, but this time, I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this hate-to-friends-to-lovers, fake-dating story! It was (unusually for them) perfectly paced, and flowed naturally, and allowed me to just slip into their tropical vacation with them, and enjoy the sexual tension simmering. It was a great “Beach Read” because it was bubbly, lighthearted, flirty, and left me with plenty of smiles and laughs. Less a fluffy read and more a feel-good romance, it was exactly what I was looking for. Plus the incredible banter 👌🏻👌🏻
this is me trying
a book that deals with loneliness & sadness
a book that came into your life at the exact right time
There are a lot of books over the years that have helped me emotionally, and even mentally and physically. Books help me be a better person in general, so that’s no surprise. There are so many books/series/authors/characters that came into play at the exact right moment. But in the interest of keeping this recent… I’m going to use a literal example through House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. I read this book in one sitting, during my last day of college before spring break. I’d packed up my dorm room the night before, but my parents (who flew in a few hours away from vacation and were swinging by to pick me up from school on my way home), ended up being hours late. With everything packed away, I had nothing better to do. So I sat and read and read and read all morning through lunch and through mid-afternoon, almost to dinner time, and finished it during the carride home.
a book that gave you a book hangover
LOL is this answer any kind of surprise? I harp about this series to anyone who will listen – after all, it is free on kindle?? Literally, what is your excuse??
The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic is a book that was recommended to me by Cait @ Paperfury, and I thank the day I finally decided to pick this one up in spring of 2019 all the damn time. I read this trilogy in two days (quickly downloading books two and three for 99c when needed) and got zero sleep that week… because then I had to turn around and read it again. The pattern continued all year, and I read it a total of eight times in 2019. This is one of my all-time favorite comfort reads because it feels like I’m among family at this point, and it genuinely wipes out the rest of the world with a smirk and a shrug. (my review)
a book with a female character you adore
First of all, there are several. You can check out my Fierce Females in Contemporary and Fierce Females in Urban Fantasy posts (respectively) for a list of some of my faves. But one of the most awe-inspiring females I’ve read is my personal role model, Nevada Baylor from Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews (my review). Nevada is fundamentally relentless, practical, strong, and aggressively passionate about her family and keeping them safe and happy.
I love her not only because she has Mad Rogan, but because of who she is. Nevada has a grace that is certainly enviable, and it’s hard to describe just how fantastic she is. I love that she’s so practical, always strategizing, thinking of things from every angle, and yet is unafraid and quite frank in the face of emotional vulnerability. She never buckles or breaks, despite shouldering her family’s burdons, and taking charge of their safety and happiness at such a young age when her father died. I love that her ethics come first, that her only company rule (she’s a magical PI) is that at the end of the day, she has to be able to look herself in the mirror and like what she sees.
a book that is haunting
I don’t read very many horror-esque books, so I’m going to interpret “haunting” as “atmospheric!”
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (my review) is the first book that popped into my head, and it’s definitely one of the most applicable. The opening line says it all, a line you may have seen all over bookstagram on Nov. 1: “It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.” Every November, see, Puck’s town is run over by savage and bloodthirsty water horses. They only vaguely resemble horses, but they come from the sea, desperate to run down people and livelihoods for blood. The seaside setting was so vivid, wrought with an underlying tension and suspense that nearly broke me. Except I loved this soft story too much 🥺👌🏻
A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh is a mystery set in small-town New Zealand is incredibly atmospheric – probably the book closest to that “haunting” feeling as the characters tracked a serial killer across the terrifying and dangerous seaside New Zealand landscape. I’m seeing a theme here with seaside atmospheres… 🙈😉 I loved this book so much, not only because it’s written by my favorite author Nalini Singh, but because of the atmospheric feeling that was so pervasive from page one to the end. Even the characters feel super moody and suspenseful! It was really an outstanding debut for Singh’s first mystery book, and I’m really feeling another reread! It’s a perfect winter read, practically written to be read near a cozy fire.
a couple that fills you with yearning
Is this basic? I don’t think I care. “Yearning” is a strong word – that scarily describes my reaction towards most of my favorite reads and bookish couples 🥺 – but wow does that describe the intense emotional pull I have for Rhysand 🥰 Everything about A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas makes it one of my favorite comfort rereads, from Rhysand himself, Feyre’s journey and struggle with PTSD and depression, the emphasis of friends as family, and the city of starlight itself. I feel peace when I read this book, at home amongst the dreams, stars and fierce friendships. I love a group of friends that make each other strong and happy, and that perfect describes Rhys’s inner circle… his Court of Dreams ✨
a book character you’d die for because you love them so much
Literally so many 😂 It’s a wonder I’m still alive, quite frankly!! Here’s a shortlist:
a book you thought you were going to love but didn’t
This would most definitely be Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. I had such high expectations for twisty villainy and full of, well, wickedness! But no. Despite the hype, I ended up being so disappointed by this book! I wrote a full rant review here (which was so fun to write, omg!!) It was just absolutely terrible. I wish I had DNF’d. Read my full review here.
I had so many hopes and dreams for this book, but I found this to be such a dumpster fire, and please know that I don’t say these words lightly! I don’t like being unkind about something that an author put effort into, and I truly almost never rate books this low, but this was a bit of a special case. I’ve never read a book where the main character disappears so much in her own narrative!! But that’s only the tip of the iceberg in the problems that plagued this book.
Other tags you may enjoy…
Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!