The 80s Movie Tag (Original Tag)

While looking at book tags last month, I came across one labelled the 90s movie tag. I thought it was a really great idea for a tag, and it got me thinking about other movies I consider classics worthy of many, many rewatches. As it turned out, a bunch of the ones that came to mind were 80s movies, and so this tag was born!

There are so many popular movies from 80s. However, finding prompts for them that wouldn’t be ridiculously difficult to answer and hadn’t been done a million times already was very difficult. So if I haven’t included one of your favourites, it’s probably because my silly brain couldn’t come up with a decent prompt for it (You have no idea how sorry I am to skip The Breakfast Club, GhostbustersThe Terminator, and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back).


80s 1A Book That Kept You Up All Night

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J. K. Rowling)

When I first got into Harry Potter, I was about four years old. My mum and I would read the books together and we did this until about book four. By the time Half-Blood Prince came out, I was in my teen years, a very competent and quick reader, and just dying to get my hands on it. I read it during school lunch break, in between netball quarters, in the car, and late into the night. I just couldn’t put it down, I needed to know what happened next! I definitely gave myself a headache from eye strain but it was so worth it.


80s 2A Wonderfully Quotable Book

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

While I definitely quote Harry Potter A LOT, The Perks of Being a Wallflower has some really lovely lines about life, growing up, friendship, and love. Many of them actually made their way into the movie which is wonderful. Here are some of my favourites:

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” 

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“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” 

“I just want you to know that you’re very special… and the only reason I’m telling you is that I don’t know if anyone else ever has.”

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“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”


80s 3A Character Who Loves Breaking the Rules

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Kady Grant (The Illuminae Files – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman)

With Kady, if you tell her one thing, you can pretty much guarantee she’s going to do the exact opposite. Kady purposefully fails the testing to place refugees from Kerenza into service and then spends the rest of Illuminae hacking into whatever the hell takes her fancy as well as running around parts of ships she probably shouldn’t. Told to get rid of the crazy AI? Nah, let’s just save it to a datapad. You can also be sure that no matter what’s happening, she’ll be putting her two cents in.

(P.S. How cool is the Illuminae character art by Kira Knight??)


80s 4A Book Couple That Took An Eternity To Get Together

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Damen & Laurent (The Captive Prince Trilogy  – C. S. Pacat)

So, you start this series and get a general idea of the kind of books they are – it’s fantasy but mostly romance involving a lot of questionable content (don’t say I didn’t warn you). It also happens to involve a great deal of banter, sexual tension, and loads of sexual references. For this reason, you’d expect the two leads to get down to it some point soon, right? NOOOOPPPE. You’ve got to make it through the whole of book one AND THEN about two-thirds of book two before you get just about anything. This series redefines slow burn romance. If you’re into these kinds of books (book 2 is a lot better than book one and with far more substance, just sayin’), be prepared for a long wait.


80s 5A Book Involving Time Travel

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11.22.63 (Stephen King)

I read this book after watching the mini-series across a few international flights. It’s a bit of a change of pace for Mr King but it’s very well done. Time travel is key to the plot in that it revolves around an English teacher travelling back to the early 60s in an attempt to stop the assassination of JFK. The characters are good, there’s some mystery and romance, and as usual for King, the writing is great.


80s 6A Character With Unique Style

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Magnus Bane (Shadowhunters Books – Cassandra Clare)

If there are two things we can say about Magnus Bane, it’s that he’s (a) sassy and (b) got some interesting fashion sense  (or perhaps ‘flamboyant’ would be a better word). Glitter, shiny fabrics, bright makeup, leather, crazy prints, Magnus does it all and somehow makes it work, even when he’s running around to help save the world. It’s definitely out there but it’s also an essential component of his character.


80s 8Your Favourite Book involving the Training/Mentoring Trope

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Eragon (Christopher Paolini)

I was definitely not short on choices for this one – you guys know how much I love this trope. So I’ve gone with Eragon. I really love this book. It’s so tropey in general but I don’t care. I enjoy Brom teaching Eragon how to fight, use magic and just generally be a decent dragon rider. Eragon’s a bit of a rash idiot at the beginning but he gets there eventually and this relationship has a big impact on him for books to come.

Special mentions: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson) & Nevernight (Jay Kristoff)


80s 9A Book with a Trip that Doesn’t Go to Plan

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Mackenzie Lee)

Poor Monty, Percy and Felicity. All they wanted was to see a bit of Europe and get away from their stuffy parents for a while. Next thing you know, they’re being held up by bandits and on the run from a very angry French aristocrat whilst trying to protect the work of a famous alchemist. Boy, travel is stressful.


IndianaA Book with the Central Character’s Name in the Title

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

I’m going with my most recent read for this one, which I loved immensely. Evelyn is the heart of this story and the book details the events of her life from her teen years up until her 80s. She’s not perfect but she’s certainly interesting.


80s 11A Female Character who Comes out of her Shell

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Piper McLean (The Lost Hero – Rick Riordan)

Piper was my favourite of the newly introduced demi-gods in Riordan’s The Lost Hero. For large parts of the book, Piper’s quite down on herself. She doesn’t realise the full potential of her abilities, chastises herself for not being able to do more in bad situations, and lets herself get pushed around by others. By the end, she realises her value and power, and finds a new sense of confidence. She plays a crucial rule in saving the day, stands up to a bully, takes leadership of the Aphrodite cabin, and convinces herself she’ll win “back” her guy. Go Piper.


80s 10A Death That Took You By Surprise

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XXX (Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor)

Avert your eyes if you don’t want to be spoiled. Sarai’s death is actually disclosed in the first few pages of Strange the Dreamer but for some reason, my brain just didn’t process it as being real. I was like, maybe it’s the past or a dream? Even when I got to the scene in context later in the book, I was like…nahhhhhh, Sarai can’t be dead. Later: Wait, she’s actually dead? Now she’s a GHOST. WHAT THE HELL? Let’s say I wasn’t expecting the story to take the direction it did going into book two.


80s 12An Ending that Left you Both Happy & Sad

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The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)

THUG was such a fantastic and yet gut-wrenchingly real book. The conclusion to the main storyline isn’t satisfying but it’s sure as hell realistic. The fact that this was the way things turned out made me feel absolutely awful for the characters, especially Starr, but worse still because this is what actually happens to African-Americans in the United States. At the same time, Starr’s final pages of monologue are extremely empowering and positive – she’s found her voice and won’t let anyone stop her from standing up for what’s right. She’ll keep fighting. The fact that it’s necessary is terrible but it’s a really strong and wonderful way to end the novel.

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And that makes an even dozen. There are actually two movies on this list that I haven’t seen, Nightmare on Elm St and Pretty in Pink. The first is because I don’t do scary movies and the second, I just haven’t got around to it. Perhaps in the near future?

How many of these 80s classic films have you seen? What’s your favourite 80s movie? 

I Tag 2

I know I actually tagged a list of people when I created my Six of Crows tag a while back but this time around I’m sticking to my usual practice and not tagging anyone. If you’d like to give my 80s Movie Book tag a go for yourself, please do! I would love to see your answers so make sure to tag me!!

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The Greek Mythology Book Tag

Having just finished another Rick Riordan book, it felt like this particular tag was calling my name when I stumbled across it the other week. However, from what I can see there are two variations of it. For the most part, they’re the same except for a couple of prompts in the middle and at the end so with those, I kind of just picked whichever of the two options I felt like doing. I’m a bit unsure where the tag originated from but if you know, pass the info on. Okay, let’s meet the Gods, shall we?


Zeus, The King Sky God

Favourite Book

Why do you guys insist on making me choose between my beautiful babies? It’s NOT possible! There are so many amazing books out there that limiting myself to one seems unfair. So, unfortunately, I’ll have to pass on this one.


Poseidon, God of the Ocean

A Book that Drowned you in Feels

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

This is a book of so many mixed emotions. There are some really sweet moments between the characters (they’re all really loveable) but there’s also a few heartbreaking ones with regards to recollections from the war and finding out what happened to certain people.


Hades, God of the Underworld

A Book with a Dark/Ominous Plot

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Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

If there’s one thing you can say about Gillian Flynn’s books, it’s that they’re a tad dark. She really digs into the not so pleasant parts of people and uses them to create twisted stories. No one is perfect and everyone has ulterior motives. Even the ending of this one is pretty bleak.


Hera, The Queen Goddess of Family and Marriage

Cutest Fictional Couple

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Percy Jackson & Annabeth Chase (Rick Riordan books)

There are a lot of fictional couples that I adore but not all of them are what I’d describe as “cute”. I haven’t read much of them as a couple yet, but so far Percy and Annabeth are definitely cute. I like the fact that they were friends first and that they complement each other so well – Annabeth is practical and thinks about things first while Percy tends to dive into things head on.


Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and Battle Strategy

Favourite Intelligent Character

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Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling)

I really should try to vary my answers a bit for these tags but eh, Hermione’s my girl. It’s not hard to see why she’s called the brightest witch of her age. Good thing too, she needs to be to make up for all the stupid stuff Harry and Ron tend to do. I mean, she was petrified in book two and still managed to give them the necessary information to help them solve the mystery.


Gaea, The Great Mother

Series with the Best World Building

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The Lord of the Rings – J RR Tolkien & A Song of Ice and Fire – George RR Martin

This one’s a tie for me. I don’t think anyone can deny the world-building skills of these two authors. I’m not a huge fan of Tolkien’s writing style but the man created maps, languages, history, music, races, everything you need for a rich fantasy world. Martin’s worlds are also fantastically rich, which is probably why his novels are enormous and take so long to write.


Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty

A Beautiful Cover

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The Last Namsara -Kristen Ciccarelli

I get asked this question in a lot of book tags and in an attempt to try and not reuse the same answers over and over again *cough* Strange the Dreamer *cough*, I’m going with this one. While I found the book itself to be a bit of an average read, I think the cover is lovely. It’s just so sparkly.


Aries, God of War and Battle

Most Violent Book you’ve Read

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Godsgrave (Nevernight 2#) – Jay Kristoff

I almost went with The Hunger Games on this one before I realised that much of the violence actually happens off-screen. Instead, I’ve gone with Godsgrave. Nevernight is pretty violent as well (not that I have a problem with it) but Godsgrave has assassins AND gladiators. There’s bloody chariot races, giant worms burning people with acid stomachs, and lots of stabby, stabby.


Hephaestus, God of Blacksmiths and Flame

A Scorching Hot, Swoon-worthy Character

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Jamie Fraser (Outlander series – Diana Gabaldon)

As if there was any question about how I’d answer this one. I ♥ Jamie. While he certainly has some not so good moments, he always tries to learn from them. He’s kind, brave, and treats Claire as a partner. Oh, and he’s hot. Can’t forget that part.


Artemis, The Virgin Goddess of the Hunt

A Heroine who Doesn’t Need a Man to Save her

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Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy Series – Richelle Mead)

Rose is one of my favourite heroines and she has been since I was in high school. She’s one of those rare MCs that you actually could say is your favourite character. Rose is spunky, passionate and she kicks so much ass.


Apollo, God of Music, Light, and Healing

A Sequel that Redeemed its Series

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Golden Son (Red Rising 2#) – Pierce Brown

Redeemed isn’t really the word in this instance (the only one that would work for me is  A Court of Mist and Fury by SJM and I don’t want to use it for the umpteenth time) but I scored Golden Son higher than the original book, Red Rising, which is very, very rare for me. It’s a fantastic sequel in a fabulous series. Highly recommend.


Hermes, God of Messages, Travelers, and Thieves

Book with the Best Message

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Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde

There are quite a few books out there that have really nice messages so for this tag I’ve decided to go with Queens of Geek. This novel is massively diverse and inclusive, but even better, it promotes kindness, equality, women supporting other women, self-love, and putting yourself out there even though it might be scary to do so. While there may not be much of a plot and the writing is a little simplistic at times,  it’s definitely a feel-good book.


Hestia, Goddess of Hearth and Home

A Book you go to for Comfort

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Alanna: the first Adventure (Song of the Lioness 1#) – Tamora Pierce

To avoid using Harry Potter AGAIN, which really is my go-to comfort series, I’m going with Alanna: the First Adventure (which yes, I know I’ve mentioned a few times in the past but too bad). It’s the first book in one of my favourite series from childhood. I can always read these books and be taken straight back to primary school, which for some reason is very reassuring. They’re quick, easy reads and Tamora Pierce is a great fantasy writer.  I really should read her newest book, Tempests & Slaughter when I get a chance.


Demeter, Goddess of Agriculture and Fertility

Favourite Bookish setting

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Hogwarts (Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling)

Hogwarts. You could ask me this question a million times and I’ll always give you the same answer. I want to go to Hogwarts – hang out in a common room, attend a feast in the great hall, meet the house elves in the kitchens, watch a Quidditch match, take a trip to Hogsmeade, walk the grounds with Hagrid, chat with ghosts, play a game of exploding snap, try out the room of requirement, I WANT TO DO IT ALL.


Dionysus, God of Wine and Feasting

Most anticipated 2018 Release

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What If It’s Us – Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

I’ve mentioned my excitement for Wildcard by Marie Lu & Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor before so for something different, here’s a YA Contemporary due out in October. What If it’s Us just sounds super cute and I think the characters will be really great. I’ve liked both the Becky Albertalli books I’ve read so far and I’ve only heard good things about Adam Silvera. Here’s hoping this one’s a winner.


Hecate, Goddess of Crossroads and Magic

Favourite Magical read

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A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic 2#) – V. E. Schwab

Now, this was another difficult one because I read so many fantasy books that involve magic. I have a lot of favourites but A Gathering of Shadows is definitely high on the list. The book actually involves a magic competition which was immensely enjoyable for me – how could it not be with three of the major characters as competitors?


Nemesis, God of Revenge

Favourite Revenge Story

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Vicious – V. E. Schwab

Nevernight is probably my favourite revenge story but since I’ve already used Godsgrave above, Vicious is my pick for this one (yep, another Schwab book. I’m in love, no point denying it). There are a lot of morally questionable characters in this story, which is great. This especially applies to Victor, our male lead, who will do whatever he has to do to get back at Eli, even if it means hurting others. It’s different, a little bit dark, and there are x-men-like powers. A great read.


I Tag

You all know the drill, only if you (a) feel like doing it and (b) haven’t already. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended if you don’t! If you do, I’m looking forward to seeing your answers!

Lu @ It’s Lu Again

Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice (for after your mini-hiatus)

Priyasha @ Books and Co.

Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall

Rendz @ Reading with Rendz

If I haven’t tagged you and you’d like to do it, go for it!

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There were some really tough ones in here, you’d be surprised how long it took me to complete this tag. Then again, I probably make it harder by trying not to use things I’ve answered with recently (however, in some cases I fail, epically).

How would you have answered some of these questions? Do you have a favourite book or are you like me and simply refuse to choose? 

Love Ashley

The Ultimate Harry Potter Tag

You know me, I never go too long without expressing a lil’ bit of the old Harry Potter love. Tomorrow night I’m attending an HP trivia, dress up, and treasure hunt event at my favourite bookstore so it seemed like the perfect time to tackle this chunky HP Q&A tag. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. I’ve no clue where it originated from but if you know, pop it in the comments and I’ll give them the credit they’re due.


1. Favourite Book?

Goblet of Fire has always been my favourite. I love the challenges (come on, dragons anyone?), Draco Malfoy as a ferret, the Quidditch world cup, introduction of the other schools onto the scene, and dramatic ending. Plus, it’s the last book before things become dark and serious.

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2. Least Favourite Book?

Order of the Phoenix. It’s not that I don’t like Order of the Phoenix, I do, it’s just a lot heavier (in tone and physically) than the previous books. Harry’s extremely angsty through large chunks of it, Sirius dies at the end, and I hate how Dumbledore spends the entire book blowing Harry off. Also, Umbridge. She’s worse than Voldemort.

3. Favourite Movie?

I adore Philosopher’s Stone because it’s the very first and has such a purity to it but my favourites are probably Prisoner of Azkaban (Buckbeak, Lupin, time turners, werewolves, so much to love) and Deathly Hallows Part 2 (it’s not exactly true to book but I love the epicness of the fight sequences).

4. Least Favourite Movie?

Order of the Phoenix. Now, this was a book that could have used two films. They stripped that novel down to the barest of bones and left it feeling hollow and bleak. There’s barely any of the character building elements other than the DA and I feel sad when I think about all of the wonderful side plots that were missed out on.

5. Favourite Quote?

There are so many wonderful quotes in this series, I couldn’t possibly pick just one so here are some of my favourites (which I’m sure you’ve all heard many, many times before):

“…[T]he world isn’t split into good people and death eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Sirius Black

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” – Sirius Black

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” – Albus Dumbledore

And a quote that’s especially important to remember in the world of today:

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” – Albus Dumbledore

6. Favourite Weasley

Fred and George – they’re a package deal. They never fail to make me laugh and I enjoy every scene they’re in.

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7. Favourite Female Character?

Hermione Granger – it may seem a bit cliche but Hermione was one of my favourite characters growing up. She was brave, hardworking, smart, and without her, poor Harry would have been a very dead chosen one not far into the series.

8. Favourite Villain?

This is a tough one. Umbridge, for example, is a “good” villain but she also happens to annoy the hell out of me. I think I may go with Barty Crouch Jr/Mad Eye Moody for this one. Mad Eye is such an entertaining character in Goblet of Fire, but because it’s not actually him, I guess it’s Barty I find so enjoyable. I like the unpredictability, the thought and patience that went into his plans, and the backstory to him ending up masquerading as Moody.

9. Favourite Male Character?

I have a bit of a soft spot for Neville. He’s such a sweet character – clumsy, forgetful, and loves plants. How could you not love that? I also like the fact that over time he gets more chances to showcase just why he got selected for Gryffindor house – deep down, he’s got the heart of a lion (well, except where Snape and his Grandma are concerned).

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10. Favourite Professor?

Minerva McGonagall – that woman is amazing. The sass alone is enough but she also happens to be a badass who can shapeshift into a cat. Need I say more?

Lupin gets points as well for always having a stash of chocolate on hand.

11. Wash Snape’s Hair, or Spend a Day Listening to Lockhart Rant about Himself?

Snape’s hair because I’m sure there’s an easy spell for that somewhere.

12. Duel and Elated Bellatrix, Or an Angry Molly?

An angry Molly because Bellatrix is freaking scary and crazy as hell. At least Molly could probably be reasoned with. Probably.

13. Travel to Hogwarts Via Hogwarts Express or Flying Car?

The Hogwarts Express, hands down. Watch all the beautiful scenery go by and eat a million sweets from the trolley at the same time, yes, please!

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14. Kiss Voldemort, or Give Umbridge a Bubble Bath?

Er, neither. Is that an option? If not, maybe the bubble bath provided I get earplugs and a blindfold.

15. Ride a Hippogriff, or Ride a Firebolt?

Definitely a Firebolt. As lovely as Buckbeak is, I’m not so big on birds (terrified of them actually) and hippogriffs have eagle heads so that’d be a no. Broom all the way.

16. Is there a Character you felt Differently about in the Movies VS the Books?

Ah, Ginny. I really, really like Ginny in the books – she’s such a strong character but she’s massively shortchanged in the films to the point where she’s almost a non-entity unless the plot specifically requires her to show up e.g. Chamber of Secrets, romancing Harry. So disappointing

17. Is there a Movie you preferred over its book?

I do love the movies, but no. The books are better.

18. Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?

I think Richard Harris is absolutely the perfect Dumbledore. Visually he’s fantastic and just has the perfect combination of quiet strength, quirkiness, kindness, and intelligence that Dumbledore possesses. However, there are moments where I wonder how he would have done with some of the more action-packed parts of the books such as the fight with Voldemort in book 5, especially since Michael Gambon managed these very well. Guess we’ll never know.

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19. Your Top Thing (Person or Event) which wasn’t Included in the Movies that Annoyed you the Most?

God. Just one? Peeves, SPEW and the house elves (especially Winky), Hermione & Ron’s prefecture, Hermione blackmailing Rita Skeeter to help Harry, Cho blowing up at Harry in some teeny-tiny teashop, there are so many things I wish had been included but I recognise the fact that a lot of them weren’t necessary to the overall plot.

20. If you could Remake any of the Potter Movies, which would it be?

Order of the Phoenix, surprise, surprise. I’d split it in two and add in more of the side plots from the book to enrich the characters and story.

21. Which House was your First Gutfeeling you’d be a Part of?

I think everyone wanted to be a Gryffindor when they were little but as I got older I came to realise that Hufflepuff is where my heart truly lies. Loyalty, honesty, and dormitories right near the kitchen. Sounds about right.

22. Which House were you Actually Sorted into on Pottermore?

Back before Pottermore was re-vamped, I did the quiz and got sorted into Hufflepuff. After the changes, I had to do the quiz again for some reason and ended up in Gryffindor, surprisingly. I guess I’m more a Gryffinpuff (or Huffledor) than I realised.

23. Which Class would be your Favourite?

I think Charms would be a lot of fun – levitating feathers, freezing things, making your wand light up, and so on, but Defence Against the Dark Arts could be exciting as well.

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24. Which Spell do you Think would be the Most Useful to Learn?

Lumos would certainly be useful when you need to do something in the middle of the night without waking everyone up (or stepping on a cat, in my case), but I’m extremely lazy so Accio would probably be my pick.

25. Which Character do you Think You’d Instantly Become Best Friends with?

Hagrid – I could teach him how to bake better and he could convince me to get out of the house more. Plus the hugs would be amazing, and I’d get to pat Fang.

26. If you Could Own One of the Three Hallows, Which Would it be?

The invisibility cloak. Nobody should have the power of the Elder Wand, plus I don’t want people murdering me for it.  The stone scares me a little and it seems a bit unhealthy in encouraging you not to let go of those who’ve died. However, I can’t deny that it’d certainly be cool to have conversations with some famous dead people.

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27. Is there any Aspect of the Books You’d Want to Change?

Hm, I haven’t read them in a few years now so things aren’t as fresh in my mind as they could be. The only thing that comes to mind at the moment is maybe the first section of Deathly Hallows. There’s a lot of what feels like nothing and during my first read, it did get a bit boring. I wish there’d been more direction, less bickering.

28. Favourite Marauder?

All of them are great except Peter but if I had to pick, probably Lupin as James and Sirius did some bullying in their teen years which I’m not a fan of.

29. If you could Bring one Character Back to Life, which would it be?

Hedwig. I don’t even like birds and her death was bloody traumatising. I get it was supposed to be about the loss of innocence and all that, but really, WHY??

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30. Hallows or Horcruxes?

Hallows. I’m not really up for (a) murdering people, (b) tearing up my soul, or (c) living forever. Nope, nope, nope.Divider

There we have it, 30 questions done! Some of them were quite difficult, too. Doing this definitely made me want to do a re-read of the series. It’s been AGES. But when do I find the time? The TBR just never stops growing (aka. I never stop buying new books, so it’s my own fault).

Enough from me, tell me all about your own HP favourites and disappointments! What’s your house, favourite book, and fave character?

Love Ashley

The Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

I’d been thinking about doing this tag for a while but then the other day I was actually tagged to do it by Beth at Reading Every Night. It was a sign, I tell ya! When I first started working on my answers for this tag I was like, eh, it’s fine, I’m not freaking out but then I started thinking about my readathon for next month. My brain suddenly realised it was going to be July. JULY. JUUUUULLLLLLLYYYYY. Oh good gawd. *waves arms in the air panicked*

Where has the year gone guys? Where? It’s just disappeared so quickly and I feel like I’ve done nothing. Seriously, the minute you leave school, life just seems to go by in the blink of an eye.

Stop it already. Just stop.

Reading wise, I’ve actually had a good first half of the year. My original goal was for 50 books in 2018 and I’m so happy to say that I’m already at 40! I can’t believe it! It may not seem like a lot to some people but to put it into perspective, in 2017 I read 45 books over the entire year and 38 in 2016. I blame (thank?) bookstagram and all of you lovely book bloggers out there. You push me to read more and forsake all other life activities in favour of being a hermit. Go, you guys!

I’m kidding. I wouldn’t find half the awesome stuff I read if it weren’t for you. So thank you! On that note, let’s get on with this tag.Divider

Best Book You’ve Read Yet in 2018

Fave reads

As if I could pick just one. Here are my favourites of the year so far:

  • Scythe – Neal Shusterman
  • The Cruel Prince – Holly Black
  • Simon v the Homosapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
  • Warcross – Marie Lu
  • Golden Son & Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Best Sequel You’ve Read so Far in 2018

sequel covers

I’ve read a lot of great sequels this year! About 15 of the books I’ve read have been part of a series and not the first book in that series, so there were bound to be some good ones. My favourites have been:

  • The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians) – Rick Riordan
  • Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe) – Neal Shusterman
  • Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood Series) – Becky Albertalli
  • A Torch Against the Night (Ember Quartet) – Sabaa Tahir
  • Golden Son & Morning Star (Red Rising) – Pierce Brown

New Release you Haven’t Read Yet but Want To

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

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I really enjoyed reading An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night, so much more than I expected I would. It’s nice to see some non-white characters front and center for a change, even though I’m not always the biggest fan of Laia. However, I really like Elias and for some inexplicable reason, I love Helene. After the end of book two, I’m very much looking forward to seeing where things go now that a lot of thing have gone pear-shaped and perhaps learning more about the magical elements of the world.

(I have to mention though, I’m mildly annoyed about the cover change choice for the UK/AUS edition. The whole reason Sabaa wanted to change the covers was for diversity and representation, to actually show brown MCs on a book cover. But what do we get? A hammer. Like, really? What the hell guys?).


Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

Wildcard by Marie Lu & Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Muse & Wildcard

Why choose one when I can have TWO. The preceding books to both of these sequels were big surprises for me. I’d never read a Marie Lu book before and while I had read a Laini Taylor book, I wasn’t much of a fan. I ended up really loving both of them and I’m now genuinely excited to get my hands on their sequels. Strange the Dreamer ended in a really bad place for the characters so I just need to know that they’re going to be okay, okay? As for Wildcard, I’m really interested to see where Marie takes the story after the flip at the end of Warcross. Plus I’m a big Emika fan.


Biggest Disappointment

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard & We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Truthwitch: I was really hoping to find a great new fantasy series to get excited about with this one. The book ticked so many boxes and yet for some reason it was missing something crucial, I just don’t know exactly what. I had very little connection with the plot or the characters and knew I wouldn’t be reading the sequel as early as half way.

We Were Liars: I had been warned about this book but decided to give it a go anyway. As I’ve said before, I really loved the premise and there were some lovely moments but my problem was with the execution and writing, especially in regards to how the twist was handled.


Biggest Surprise

Prince’s Gambit by C. S. Pacat

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The first book in this series, The Captive Prince, had a few issues for me but I decided to continue on anyway. To  my surprise a lot of my concerns were improved upon in book two and I ended up enjoying the sequel a lot more. It’s kind of trashy at times but I have to admire the fact that there’s actually some good world building and character development in these books and even though it took me a while, I was definitely rooting for Damen and Laurent by the end of this one.


Fave New Author

Pierce Brown & Neal Shusterman

I had never read anything from either of these authors at the beginning of this year and now their books are some of only a short list to have received five stars (or close to) from me on Goodreads (the number is rising though!). The Red Rising series was a fantastic sci-fi read and I now regard it as one of my favourite series. The Arc of a Scythe books were a pleasant surprise for me and  ended up being absolutely wonderful. I’m so sad that I’ll have to wait ages for the third installment.


Newest Fictional Crush

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I had a think about this one, and there isn’t really anyone in the books I’ve read this year that I’ve found myself making massive love heart eyes at. Weird, I know. So for this one I’ve just picked a character that I found particularly interesting which was Prince Cardan from The Cruel Prince. Swooning over him is a bit difficult with how badly he behaves towards Jude and others, but I’ll admit, I did enjoy many of his witty retorts and the exchanges he had with Jude in the later parts of the book. His character also seems to have a good amount of depth that I’m looking forward to exploring more in The Wicked King. 


Newest Fave Character

Another tough question. I’m not sure I can narrow it down to just one so here’s a couple of my new favourites:

  • Emika Chen (Warcross – Marie Lu) – Total badass hacker with rainbow hair. She’s strong, smart but also has vulnerabilities.
  • Cricket (Lifel1k3 – Jay Kristoff) – Always trying so hard to keep people out of trouble and has the courage of a robot a million times his itsy baby size.
  • Cress (Cress – Marissa Meyer) – She’s just so adorable, I want to wrap her up in bubble wrap but, of course, also want her to experience the world and see many, many trees.
  • Sevro au Barca, Victra au Julii, Ragnar Volarus, Mustang (Red Rising Series – Pierce Brown) – Okay, basically everyone. The characters are so well written. They make me laugh, break my heart, get me cheering and keep me guessing, sometimes all within one chapter.
  • Nico di Angelo – I can’t even explain it. He’s kind of annoying for a while and then by the end of book five I was like, protect at all costs my little skeleton-controlling cinnamon roll.

Book that Made you Cry

Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman

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I haven’t really read anything this year that has made me cry, there aren’t many books in general that have, but Call me by your Name certainly had me in that pit of despair feeling for a bit. We’ve all been there. The fact that they just go through their lives having always loved each other but destined to be apart kills me a little. Then again, the story wouldn’t be as poignant or beautiful if it had just had a happily ever after, would it?


Book that Made you Happy

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

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TGLAPPPS was such a nice read. While it definitely has its sadder moments, as you’d expect with recollections relating to WWII and Nazi occupation, the characters are so adorable and the ending leaves you with the biggest smile on your face. It’s a great reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the fact that light can come out of even the darkest of situations.


Fave Book to Film Adaptation

Love, Simon

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As if this was even a question. I loved this movie, so, so much. I can’t wait to buy the DVD next month and do a re-watch. It’s just the sweetest, loveliest, cutest thing, and perfectly captured the feel of the book.


Fave Post you’ve Done this Year

Gosh, now there’s a question. I don’t think I’ve really done anything particularly noteworthy. However, if we’re talking about the enjoyment factor, I think I had the most fun writing my discussion post on book lending  and my review of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I always love a good gif.


Most Beautiful Book you’ve Bought this Year

Circe by Madeline Miller

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My inner magpie came out with this choice, I just couldn’t resist the shiny object. I was tempted to wait and purchase the hardback because of how completely stunning it was (check it out if you haven’t already seen it), but I couldn’t stop myself from racing to the counter once I locked eyes on the paperback one day at the bookstore. The copper colour, shiny surface, lovely floral designs, font – I love everything about it, it’s beautiful. The fact that I got a matching tote bag free with it made the purchase even better!


Books you Need to Read by the End of the Year

Oh dear. How do I even answer this one. Everything. All of them. Every book unread on my bookshelves, books I haven’t even bought yet. Books I don’t even know about yet. JUST SO MANY BOOKS!

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And we’re finished! Here’s to another six months of wonderful reads. How’s the first half of your 2018 been? What’s been your favourite book, your least favourite? What are you most excited to read in the second half of the year? Tell me all about it!

Love Ashley

 

The 20 Questions Book Tag

It’s time for another fun book tag. This time we’re doing 20 bookish related questions. Thank you Holly @ Nut Free Nerd for tagging me in this one, there were some tricky ones!

1. HOW MANY BOOKS IS TOO MANY BOOKS IN A SERIES?

If I was going to speak generally, I’d probably say three or four is my ideal. It’s long enough to fall in love with the characters and go on a journey with them, but not long enough to massively drag. However, it very much depends on the series itself. Some stories are meant to be told in only a few books, then there are others that have enough of an engaging plot to go for a lot longer. If the plot has started to feel more like filler or has become repetitive, then it’s too long. Then again, engaging plot or not, my brain does do a very loud internal moan at the idea of 14 books in the Wheel of Time series (how does one have enough plot for that???).

2. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?

I’m in two minds about cliffhangers. When they’re at the end of a book and you haven’t got the next one to read for about another year, they’re an emotional gut punch. It’s agonizing. SO MANY QUESTIONS AND NO ANSWERS. At the same time, from a storytelling perspective, I have to admire them. They completely shake up the plot and end a story  somewhere very dramatic. If there’s one way to make sure a reader will continue with your series, it’s to end your book on an ‘Oh-Shit’ moment.

3. HARDBACK OR PAPERBACK?

Most of the time I’m a paperback girl – hardbacks are epic expensive in Australia. I’m sorry but I can’t afford to spend $35 on just one, thin book. Plus, nobody wants to deal with the awkwardness of trying to hold an enormous hardback in bed. However, I do have to say that hardbacks look a lot nicer on a shelf and they hold up against damage in my handbag a lot better than my poor paperbacks.

4. FAVOURITE BOOK?

The Time traveler's wife

Firstly, how dare you. And second, how dare you! I don’t have a favourite book, it’s just impossible to choose. THEY’RE ALLLLLLLL MY BABIES. One of my absolute favourites though, as you guys know, is The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. The writing is so lovely, the characters are really well developed (to the point where you feel like you’ve known them their whole lives), and the end always hits me like a ton of bricks, thereby reminding me that I do, in fact, have a heart.

5. LEAST FAVORITE BOOK?

Catcher in the Rye

This is also really, really hard but I think I’ll go with The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I had to read it back in year eleven for English and my gosh, I hated it. I’ve never come across a more annoying protagonist in my life. The whining, the angst…ahhhhhh…, and all over really stupid things. I honestly do not give a flying…well, you know, where the damn ducks go in winter, Holden Caulfield. How it’s become a classic, I’ll never know.

6. LOVE TRIANGLES, YES OR NO?

I recently wrote a post about this, you can find it here if you’re interested. Basically, I actually wouldn’t mind love triangles as a plot device if they were written properly, but they never seem to be – they’re imbalanced, drag on too long, take over the story, etc.

7. THE MOST RECENT BOOK YOU JUST COULDN’T FINISH?

Dividing Eden

The last book I DNF-ed was Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau. It just lacked, for a better word, soul. I couldn’t connect with the characters, the plot was un-engaging and the world building wasn’t really doing much at all for me. I made it half way before I finally cut my losses.

8. A BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?

The Last Olympian

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) – I’ve slowly made my way through the series and now I’m almost there! So close to the finish line. They read very young for most of the series (it’s improved a bit in this book) but it’s always been a bit of fun.

9. LAST BOOK YOU RECOMMENDED TO SOMEONE?

Gosh, I’m always recommending things to people. Pretty much the minute I finish a book I’m recommending it to people.

10. OLDEST BOOK YOU’VE READ? *PUBLICATION DATE*

Pride and Prejudice

I tend to gravitate towards more modern books but according to Goodreads, the oldest book I’ve read is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, published in 1813.

11. NEWEST BOOK YOU’VE READ? *PUBLICATION DATE*

Furyborn

I’ve read quite a few new releases lately. Probably the newest would be…Furyborn by Clare Legrand which only came out a few weeks ago.

12. FAVORITE AUTHOR?

I have a whole bunch and I love them all dearly so I refuse to pick just one. Here are a couple of my favourites: Jay Kristoff, Richelle Mead, V.E. Schwab, J. K. Rowling, Sophie Kinsella, and more!

13. BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING BOOKS?

I’m a buyer. I rarely ever borrow books these days. I feel bad about it, but I love having my own copies of books because I re-read them but also ’cause I love growing my bookshelves.

14. A BOOK YOU DISLIKE THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO LOVE?

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I was really looking forward to reading Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco because I’d heard so many good things about it, plus the plot and heroine sounded awesome. Unfortunately I ended up being really disappointed. The plot felt rushed, the MC did quite a few stupidly annoying things, and the ending was both predictable and a little silly. The hype train strikes again.

15. BOOKMARKS OR DOG-EARS?

*shocked face* Dog ears? Are you kidding me? There should be a special place in the afterlife (if there is one) for people who dogear. Plus, I adore collecting awesome bookmarks. They’re so pretty!

16. A BOOK YOU CAN ALWAYS REREAD?

I love doing re-reads of my favourite books. I don’t make the time to do so much these days and I really should. Some of my re-reads of choice are Harry Potter (obviously), Vampire Academy, The Hunger Games, and The Song of the Lioness books.

17. CAN YOU READ WHILE HEARING MUSIC?

Once upon a time, yes, but nowadays not so much. My brain always seems to get distracted by the music and starts singing along to the lyrics. There are exceptions though when I go on long car trips but it does take me a while to properly zone out, and even then I can lose my groove in a instant.

18. ONE POV OR MULTIPLE POV’S?

I like single POV books (when the MC isn’t frustrating AF) but I also don’t mind the occasional multiple POV book, however only where all the POVs are interesting. The last thing you want is to have to suffer through some sucky character’s POV or a boring storyline when there’s a better one going on. Essentially, I don’t really have a preference on this one as long as they’re done well.

19. DO YOU READ A BOOK IN ONE SITTING OR OVER MULTIPLE DAYS?

This again depends on the book. If it’s something I’m absolutely loving or a super fun, short book I’ll read it very quickly. Otherwise, it’ll take a bit longer. For example, I read The Selection by Kiera Cass in less than day, like it was crack cocaine, but I also managed something as big as Outlander in only a short period of time too.

20. A BOOK YOU’VE READ BECAUSE OF THE COVER?

Geekerella

I’m usually reasonably good about cover buys although occasionally I crack. Normally I use Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor for this question in tags but for something different I’m going with two YA contemporaries – Geekerella by Ashley Poston and When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I recently started dipping my toes in YA contemporaries and these were two of the first I tried. Geekerella was really fun and enjoyable but I was disappointed with WDMR, especially after all the hype.

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I Tag

I don’t usually tag people but sometimes change is good. If you don’t feel like doing it or have already done it, no worries. I promise I won’t be offended and/or crawl under a rock somewhere to quietly die of shame.

Rendz @ Reading with Rendz

Beth @ Reading Every Night

Michaela @ Journey into Books

Kristen @ Kristen Kraves Reviews

Love Ashley

The Sims Book Tag

It’s book tag time! I actually discovered this tag last year and while I began working on my answers, for some reason I never ended up completing and publishing it. I’ve probably spent about half my life building up sim skills and moving them up various career ladders (what is this word ‘outside’ people keep throwing at me?) so this seems like the perfect tag for me.

The Original Sims – the Best Author Debut

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Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

There are quite a few books I could have picked for this one but I’ve gone with Outlander. The amount of research and detail in this book considering it’s an author debut is pretty darn amazing. Plus it has great characters, a fab romance, an engaging plot, and even made the bestseller list.

The Grim Reaper – Saddest Character Death

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My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Picoult)

Only two questions in and already a super hard one as there are a lot of deaths in books that have really sucked. I’ve gone with this one because it hit me like a ton of bricks. I just wasn’t expecting it, at all, especially after everything with the trial had finally been resolved. There are only a couple of books that have actually managed to bring me to tears. This is one of them.

Bonus: Crooked Kingdom, Harry Potter Series

Sims Getting Stuck – a Character that Just Got in the Way

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Agatha Wellbelove (Carry On – Rainbow Rowell)

*sigh* Agatha, Agatha, Agatha. Baz thinks Simon’s still dating Agatha, Simon thinks Agatha’s having an affair with Baz, Agatha wants to break up with Simon, and really Baz and Simon just need to be together. But will Agatha just clear things up for everyone? Nope, that’d be too easy. And let’s not even get started on how NOT helpful she is at the climax of the novel.

Simlish – A Book with Amazing Writing

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The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)

I’ve mentioned my love for this particular book before. It’s one of my favourites. The writing is lovely and by the end you feel like you’ve known the characters their entire lives. It breaks my heart a little more each time I read it.

Expansion Packs – A Series where the Books Keep on Getting Better

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Red Rising (Pierce Brown)

You guys know how I feel about this series. It started off a bit rough, picked up and then kept soaring skyward forever after. The battles get bigger and the stakes higher, you get more invested in the characters, and it’s just impossible to put the books down. Plus, it’s rare to find a series with as strong a finale as this one.

Sim Romance – The Worst Case of Insta-Love

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Fallen (Lauren Kate)

I really, really hate insta-love. I just can’t deal. My eyes always almost end up rolling out of my head, and unfortunately it comes up a lot in YA. I read Fallen back in high school and could not believe how ridiculous the romance was. Daniel is terrible to Luce for ages after that “meet” and she’s still like, ‘I’m so drawn to him’. No. Just stop.

Cheats – a Book that was Entirely Unrealistic

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The Paper Swan – Leylah Attar

I actually DNF this book at about half way because it was so awful and ridiculous. The plot of the story involves the main character being kidnapped to hold her father to ransom. She is treated absolutely abysmally by her kidnapper (we’re talking a severed finger here) and immediately after she finds out who he is (someone from her past – I mean, come on, really), it’s as if she completely wipes her memory of everything he’s done to her and decides to fall head over heels for him. Still can’t believe it.

Needs Fulfillment – a character who made all the wrong decisions

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Ned Stark (A Game of Thrones – George RR Martin)

Oh Ned, you were such a good guy and not at all cut out to the play the game you stumbled into. So many wrong decisions that unfortunately led to your head on a pike, which was unfortunately necessary for the plot to really get going.

Error Code 12 – A Series that Started off Great but went Downhill from there

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The Mortal Instruments Series – Cassandra Clare

Many years ago, I completely fell in love with City of Bones. It had witty and hilarious dialogue, fantastic world building, some mystery, a great ship, and strong female characters. I devoured City of Ashes and City of Glass as they came out, and then came City of Fallen Angels. *shakes head* I have never been so disappointed in my life. The characters were annoying, the plot ridiculous, and even the humour had lost its lustre. I’m determined to go back and finish the series though so that I can read The Dark Artifices which I think may have returned to quality.

Special mention: Divergent Series

The Sims Vortex – a book/series that completely engrossed you

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Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

I adore this series. Just powered through in a way I haven’t with many books in recent years. I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on Darkdawn and find out how it all ends. It’s funny, gory, exciting, and Mia is the ultimate badass. A definite favourite.

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As always, no tags. If you want to do it, GOOOOOOOOO for it.Love Ashley

Books I’ll Probably Never Read Tag

It’s been a little while since I last did a book tag, and considering I was tagged by Holly at Nut Free Nerd to do this one a few weeks ago, now seems like a good time to do it. I get the feeling I’m going to struggle with some of these. Oh dear. Let the suffering begin!

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A Really Hyped Book You’re Not Interested in Reading

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The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins): I remember when this book was EVERYWHERE. It was all anyone was talking about and then they made the movie and the chatter started right back up again. I didn’t really have much interest in reading it originally but when my grandma read it and told me how not enjoyable and boring it was, well, that kind of sealed the deal. Nope.

A Series You Won’t Start/Won’t Be Finishing

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The Red Queen Series – Victoria Aveyard: I read the first book in the series and that was enough. It wasn’t bad, just highly unmemorable and I had a bit of difficulty connecting with any of the characters. Plus, Mare is kind of an annoying MC even in book one. No need to go through a whole series of that.

A Classic You’re Just Not Interested In

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Classics have never really been  much of my thing. I’ve read a few here and there but I don’t think I’ll be picking up any really in the foreseeable future. So I guess this question is only difficult in terms of which book to  choose. Let’s just randomly go with Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. No appeal there.

Any Genres You’ve Never Read?

Most of the things I don’t read fall under the non-fiction category – self help, true crime, etc. But if we’re talking fiction hm…I guess I’ve never read a western?

A Book On Your Shelves You’ll Probably Never Actually Read

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Sadly, there’s probably a few of these but this time I’ll go with Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I’ll admit, I tried to love this series for a long time because everyone else seemed to be nuts for it. I read the first four books, bought book five and then finally admitted to myself that while the ACOTAR series had become a favourite, it was probably time to give up on these.Divider

Alright, I have no idea why I was whinging. This one was actually pretty easy and short. What a great combination! Once again, thanks for the tag Holly! As usual, no tags from me, just an open ended offer to anyone who’d like to do it to go for it.

What books, series or genres of books are you guys not interested in reading?

Love Ashley