The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

This tag is an older one and was originally created by Nathan Hale over on Booktube. It seemed like some fun so I thought I’d give it a go. I had my sister’s help randomly picking the books from my bookcases and flipping the pages for me.

The Rules

  • Choose 5 books
  • Randomly order your books
  • Flip to a random page in each book and write down the first two names you see
  • Put the names in the categories listed below in the order you saw them!
  • Cry at how screwed you are…

My Books & Characters

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Jesper Fahey & Wylan Van Eck
  2. Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff – Eve & Lemon Fresh
  3. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – Audrey Rose Wadsworth & Thomas Cresswell
  4. Vicious by V.E. Schwab – Victor Vale & Sydney Clarke
  5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Noah Czerny & Richard Gansey III

The First Person to Die: Jesper

Oh, come on. The guy who knows how to use a gun with minimal bullet wastage when ammunition is scarce is the one who dies first? My luck sucks. This doesn’t exactly get me off to a great start.

The Person you Trip to Get Away from the Zombies: Wylan

Wow, I’m seriously heartless in a zombie apocalypse situation. Wylan is the sweetest, little cinnamon roll and I’m all like, here zombies, tuck in! Sorry, Wylan. Please forgive me. Hopefully this happens after the whole Jesper-dying-situation otherwise things are bound to get ugly…

The First Person to Turn Into a Zombie: Lemon

Oh. Dear. Poor Lemon. I sincerely hope she doesn’t keep her special abilities as a zombie because if so, shit will hit the fan in a big way. I’m sure it happened trying to save the rest of the team’s butts.

The Person who Trips you to Escape the Zombies: Eve

I wouldn’t put it past her. Eve has seen some serious things and considering she lives in a post-apocalyptic wasteland already, she’s very much aware of the sacrifices you have to make to survive.

The Team Idiot: Thomas

I have to laugh at this one. Thomas prides himself on being one of the smartest people in the room, but admittedly, he’s also likely to be very much a fish out of water in a zombie apocalypse scenario so maybe it rattles him enough to make some stupid decisions? I’m sure he’ll turn it around!

The “Brains” of the Group: Audrey Rose

I could see this happening. Audrey Rose is a pretty smart cookie and she has no problem with gore. I imagine she’d be collecting zombie corpse specimens as we go along to try and work out how the apocalypse happened and how to fix it.

The Team Medic: Victor

This could be a good thing or a very bad thing. Good, because with Victor’s ability to numb pain, it’ll allow others to push through their injuries enough to get out of sticky situations and deal with the injury later. Bad, because we might end up not realising just how terrible an injury is until it’s too late. Next thing you know, oopsie daisy, our friend is eating our brains.

The Weapons Expert: Sydney

Hm, interesting. Sydney’s certainly tough and could probably manage with some time and experience but to start out, she’s maybe not the best choice. Who knows though, she might end up like Little Rock in Zombieland.

The Brawler: Noah

Well, we’re officially screwed. Considering Noah’s a ghost and his personality is more on the softer side, probably not the best choice as the group brawler. Guess I’ll have to work on my running.

The Team Captain: Gansey

Phew! This seems like a perfect fit. Gansey enjoys the whole taking charge thing. He also largely manages to stay calm under pressure which’ll work well here.

As far as my odds go, I think I’m in with a small chance of survival. In all realness though, if the zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow I’d be dead for sure. My fitness is terrible and I have no idea how to use a weapon. *cries* Fingers crossed we manage to avoid a The Walking Dead scenario.

Do you think you’d be able to survive the zombie apocalypse? And if it did happen, which literary characters would you want on your team?

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The Mid-Year Freak Out Tag: 2019 Edition

Around this time last year I did the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag for the first time. It turned out to be a really great way of wrapping up the first half of the year so I’m bringing it back to my blog for a second go around in 2019.


Best Book of the Year So Far

I hate this question. Why? Why must you do this to me straight out of the gate? At this point, I’ve had a couple of 5 Star reads in 2019 (which I included as part of my top 10 reads of 2019 so far earlier this week) so this question is touggghhhh. I think I may hold out on answering this one for the moment. I know, such a cop out.


Favourite Sequel So Far

The Wicked King – Holly Black

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Oh good, an easy one. Phew. The Wicked King takes this award for now. This series is an addiction for me. I just want to devour it all as fast as possible. I had high hopes for this sequel and it didn’t disappoint, thank god. The problem is, that after finishing it in about 24 hours, the wait for book three seemed ESPECIALLY agonising. I’ll definitely be re-reading this at some point down the line.


A New Release You Have Yet to Read but are Excited To

Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson

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Most of my crazy-excited-for releases for 2019 either have already been read or are still yet to be released. However, Sorcery of Thorns is something I am looking forward to reading even if I’m not jumping out of my chair excited. The reviews have been good so far which is encouraging and I still find the blurb intriguing even after several months of it sitting on my Goodreads TBR. Fingers crossed for a good read when I get around to both buying and reading it.


Most Anticipated Release for the rest of 2019

This is another tough question. I recently did a Top Ten Tuesday on precisely this topic. There were six books on my list and I can safely say I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on all of them. The later months of the year can’t come fast enough. Still, if I absolutely had to narrow it down to just two, it’d likely be The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black & Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff – the minute those come out I’ll be locking myself in my room and reading until the late hours.


Biggest Disappointment So Far This Year

King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo

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KoS wasn’t a bad read, just an average one. Then again, expectations were super high on this one. I’m still madly in love with the characters (I’m officially head of the Zoya fan club now) but the plot in KoS was on the slow side for me. When we did finally find some momentum, I wasn’t majorly engaged by the choice of narrative direction (even with the inclusion of an awesome dragon). Plus the ending… talk about complicated feelings.


Biggest Surprise

Again, but Better – Christine Riccio

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Kind of a negative surprise with this one and mostly in terms of the number of issues there were with the writing. For someone who’s read as many books as Christine has in this genre and who’s actual job is talking about their pros & cons, I expected something better than this and was generally surprised that this was what she ended up with. More importantly, how her publisher and editor failed to course correct on a lot of things (e.g. extraneous detail) was also a little odd.


Favourite New to You or Debut Author

Colleen Hoover

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Despite having heard really good things about them, I had never read a Colleen Hoover book until this year. I can now say that I’ve read two and really liked both of them. It Ends with Us was an interesting look at an abusive relationship and it actually made me consider things in a way I hadn’t before. Verity, on the other hand, was dark and addictive, and very enjoyable. I’ll definitely check out more of her books in the future.


Favourite Fictional Crush

None of the characters in the books I’ve read so far this year have really done anything for me on this side of things. There have certainly been a lot of characters that I’ve really liked, just not ones I’ve sat there swooning over. A lot of the time I get really on board with shipping characters with each other but not with me. Check back at the end of the year!


New Favourite Character

Spensa Nightshade (Skyward – Brandon Sanderson)

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There are several good characters in the books I’ve read so far this year but I’ll go with Spensa for this one. She’s definitely someone who takes some getting used to at first (as in, she’s hugely intense) but after a while you see just how strong, hardworking, funny, loyal and kind she is. If I needed to pick a fictional character to have my back in a tough situation, Spensa would be high on the list. Bonus – she’s also a kick ass pilot.


A Book That Made You Cry

Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberly & Austin Siegemund-Broka

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I don’t really cry during books very often. It’s probably happened with only about three or four, so this one I base on getting that sad, hollow feeling in your chest. Always Never Yours is actually a fun and sweet, little contemporary, but for some reason, towards the end of the book, where Megan is feeling really lost and down on herself, it hit me harder than expected. Of course, it ends happily (as you would want in a book like this).


A Book That Made You Happy

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

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RW&RB very much gave me the happys. I had a huge smile on my face throughout large chunks of it which is partially why I rated it so highly. It’s such a sweet, positive and funny read. Honestly, if you’re having a bad day or even week, this book is definitely the medicine to rectify it. Bring a little Henry and Alex into your life.


Favourite Adaptation so Far

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As I mentioned recently in one of my wrap ups, I finally got around to watching seasons one and two of Killing Eve and massively enjoyed it. This show is an adaptation of the e-book novellas by Luke Jennings. The series blends espionage, thrills, drama and dark comedy into something unique and wonderful. The acting is fabulous (Jodie and Sandra = love) and I’m so keen for season three, whenever it makes itself known. And with only short season runs, it’s perfectly bingeable.


Favourite Post You’ve Written So Far This Year

Like last year, I’ll choose two posts for this prompt – a book review and a discussion. I have a bit of a soft spot for my Skyward by Brandon Sanderson review. I like the flow and the coverage. Discussion wise, I enjoyed writing about the importance of fanfiction and thought it was a cute and fun topic to look at.


Most Beautiful Book Bought

The Name of the Wind 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition – Patrick Rothfuss

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I took a chance and bought this special edition without knowing whether I’d like the book itself. But the darn thing just looks so damn pretty. There’s beautiful illustrations scattered throughout, a nice looking jacket, red stained page edges, info about money, calendars and a whole bunch of other things, and I rather like the front inner cover as well. No regrets at all.


Books you Want to Read Before the End of the Year

I definitely need to do a reread of both Nevernight books to get primed and refreshed for when Darkdawn releases later this year. It’ll probably take me a good long while, but I’d also very much like to tackle The Priory of the Orange Tree in all it’s bug smashing, paper weight glory. And if I were being super optimistic, I’d love it if I finally went back to and finished Iron Gold, especially considering The Dark Age will be released very, very soon. Hopefully they’re all achievable goals!

It’s crazy to think we’re more than halfway through the year now. If only I were halfway towards my Goodreads goal as well – eek! Still, despite this tag’s name, I wouldn’t say I’m freaking out too much this year. Hopefully I have a bunch of exciting books to tackle in the second half of the year.

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Book Tag

As my family and close friends know, I’m a big Buffy fan. Huge. Enormous. I mean, this is a show that absolutely revolutionised TV in the 90s. I pretty much try to get everyone I know to watch it at some point. Amazing characters, great dialogue, gripping plots, badass action scenes, female empowerment, one of the first ongoing gay relationships on TV, the best musical episode of a non-musical TV show ever (fight me), some corny but fun CGI…it’s just so good. Go watch it if you haven’t already.

Anyway, when I came across a book tag devoted especially to it, I knew I had to do it. Just HAD TO. This tag was originally created by Lauren over at Book Slaying but was then changed slightly by Sarah at Written Word Worlds. I’m going to do a combination of the two versions, with my own changes and additions because why not? Let’s get slayin’.


Buffy: A Character Who Lives a Double Life

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Nova Artino (Renegades- Marissa Meyer)

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There were a few options for this one but I’ve decided to go with Nova. In Renegades, Nova’s allegiance is to the so called ‘Villains’ group in society. She resents the Renegades, (who act as the city’s political body/law enforcement group) for their past failures, and believes they’re not what they claim or people hold them up to be. In order to gain valuable intelligence on the inner workings of the Renegades team, she joins them, complete with an entirely new (and fake) personal history.


Willow: A Badass Witch

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Manon Blackbeak (Throne of Glass series – Sarah J. Maas)

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I don’t use Throne of Glass related things for many prompts. It’s mainly because I wasn’t a huge fan of the series and only made it about 4 books in. Still, there’s no denying that Manon is 100% a badass witch. Or more specifically, a scary-ass witch. I mean, she’s killed people and actually drank their blood, has retractable iron fangs and nails, and she flies a wyvern. Combine that with an icy, ruthless and determined personality, and the end result is…well, don’t cross her if you can avoid it.


Xander: A Character Who Mostly Provides Comic Relief

M-BOT (Skyward – Brandon Sanderson)

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While M-Bot certainly has its other purposes, as you do being a super advanced stealth space ship, its main contribution to Skyward is as comic relief. If you’re laughing at something during this book, 80% chance it’ll be M-Bot. Sometimes it’s talking about its drive to catalogue mushrooms, others it’s randomly hacking into Spensa’s communications channel to give commentary, and then there’s the constant crapping on poor Rig as he attempts to repair it. Regardless, M-Bot is an easy fan favourite.


Giles: A Parental Figure

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Miss Honey (Matilda – Roald Dahl)

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Honestly, can you guys think of a more perfect parental figure than Miss Honey? She’s kind, gentle, smart, wants the best for each of her students, and tries hard to ensure that Matilda will receive the kind of care and education that she deserves. The two develop a special bond with Matilda using her telekinetic powers to ensure the return of Miss Honey’s home and inheritance from Principal Trunchbull. By the end of the book, Matilda goes to live with Miss Honey and it’s pretty much a happily ever after.


Dawn: Favourite Sibling Relationship

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Tyler & Scarlett Jones (Aurora Rising – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman)

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Ugh, Dawn. I almost changed this prompt to ‘A character you found ridiculously annoying’. There are a few sibling relationships I really love, but for the sake of variety, I’ve picked Tyler and Scarlett. Having just finished Aurora Rising, these two are fresh in my memory. They have a great degree of banter, trust one another, are able to communicate with little more than a look or a raised eyebrow, and have faith in the other’s abilities. Ty and Scarlet are squadmates and siblings but more importantly they’re good friends.


Oz: A Book With Werewolves

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Nightshade -Andrea Cremer

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I read this book YEARSSSSS ago and I can’t remember anything about it other than it was about werewolves and the main character’s name was Calla. Based on my GR review, I must have liked it somewhat (but not enough to read the sequel). Obviously I was drawn in by the pretty purple cover. Gosh, that’s a nice colour. I have a sneaking suspicion that I wouldn’t be so keen on it were I to read it now – male wolf dominance, love triangles and all that, but eh, it’s a werewolf book and it’s something different from my usual book tag choices.


Cordelia: A Character Who Undergoes Major Growth

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Zoya Nazyalensky (The Grisha Trilogy & King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo)

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When we first meet Zoya, to put it mildly, she’s kind of a raging bitch. But after being knocked off her pedestal and then joining Alina’s & Nikolai’s fight against The Darkling, she undergoes some great character development. However, much like with Cordelia Chase, it’s a spin off that really gives her the chance to shine. Zoya is sassy, resilient, able to handle Nikolai (a feat in itself), a badass grisha, and has not got time for your shit. Basically, we stan. Zoya for Queen of Ravka.


Angel: An Extremely Broody Character

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Victor Vale (Vicious – V.E. Schwab)

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Ah, Victor. You’re certainly a very broody character. Admittedly, this is fairly understandable because: (a) he went to prison for years for a murder he committed accidentally, giving him plenty to brood about, (b) how else would he plot his nemesis & former friend’s demise?, and (c) it just fits his whole gloomy, anti-hero image. So, in Victor’s case, unlike some other’s, it actually works very well.


Spike: A Character with a Redemption Arc

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Severus Snape (Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling)

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To avoid reusing Holland from ADSOM for the millionth time, I’m going with Severus Snape. In fairness, I don’t think I’ve ever used this one in a book tag before despite how popular a choice it must be and how much I love HP. Snape definitely has some massive flaws and he’s far from being fully redeemed by the end of the series. However, our view of him as a character is certainly very much improved in Deathly Hallows by the introduction of a whole bunch of new info about past events.


Tara: A Book with a LGBTI Relationship

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Alex & Henry (Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston)

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There are so many wonderful LGBTI ships out there in fictional land. I recently finished this book so it’s been on the brain which is probably why I jumped here first. However, it’s also probably because these two are so darn CUTE. Ahhhhhh. Alex is smart-mouthed and outgoing while Henry is a closet-nerd and major romantic. The two start out a bit rough but eventually their relationship develops into hilarious late night texting convos, sexy, secret rendezvous, and some genuinely sweet heart to hearts.


Anya: A Character Who Grew on You

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Nesta Archeron (ACOTAR Series – Sarah J. Maas)

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Yes, more SJM. I’m sorry I’m a cliche, okay.
If you happen to go through my read along posts for ACOTAR, you’ll find that I didn’t have many nice things to say about Feyre’s sisters early on. Nesta can be harsh, closed off and selfish, but after spending more time with her, I ended up loving that she was a more emotionally complex character. Some people will find it difficult to like her but I know she’s going to have her moment once the new series kicks into gear. Also, if she doesn’t end up with Cassian, I’ll riot.


Faith: A Character with Questionable Allegiances

Ashlinn Jarheim (Nevernight Series – Jay Kristoff)

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Ah, Ashlinn. I can’t really say much on this one without giving away major spoilers to anyone who hasn’t read Nevernight. If that’s you, go do it already! Before book three comes out in September! I will say that she’s sassy, resourceful, and calculating, and I’m looking forward to seeing where she ends up at the end of the series. Somehow I doubt she’ll do any more plot twisty things but considering her character, you never can be entirely sure.

Are you a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan? I love finding people to gush about amazing TV shows with, especially older ones. If so, who’s your favourite character?

I definitely think it’s time for a re-watch!

The Villains Award Tag

This tag comes to me courtesy of the one, and only, Paper Fury. Everyone knows that a good story needs a fantastically written and memorable villain so let’s celebrate a few of the good ones (or evil, as the case may be).

SPOILER WARNING for some of the below paragraphs.


Villain You Absolutely DESPISE and HATE

Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J K Rowling)

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This was an easy pick. There are some villains you just love to hate but Umbridge, I just flat out hate her. She’s just evil. I mean, the woman tortures students as a form of “punishment”, is a crazy control freak, is so power hungry she basically gets on board with the death eaters when they take over the ministry of magic, treats any intelligent creature that isn’t a full wizard like scum, and worst of all… she thinks kitten plates are good interior decorating.

Villain Who is Entrancing

The Darkling (Grisha Verse – Leigh Bardugo)

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I know, an obvious choice, but how could I not? The Darkling is a dodgy dude. I know it, I really, really do. And yet, he just has something about him. Every time he enters a scene, I’m captivated. There’s this charisma and sense of mystery…I have no idea what it is. But bad guy. BAD.

Book You’d Like to Read From the Villain’s Perspective

The Wicked King – holly black (cardan greenbriar)

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I had a tough time with this one. Like, really hard. I need to read more books with good villains. So I’m going with a sort of anti-hero-ish character? I have no idea at this point. What even is Cardan? While I get what’s happening with him in The Cruel Prince, I would love to have some more insight into what’s going on inside his head in the sequel, especially considering the ending. Plus, there’s an extended period during which Jude is out of commission and a lot of things clearly went down that we don’t have info on. I needs to know, please.

Worst Antagonistic YA Parents

Valentine Morgenstern (The Mortal Instruments series – Cassandra Clare)

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This guy is not winning any father of the year awards. He’s a terrible parent but also a crappy person. He (1) made his wife ingest demon blood against her will which turned their baby into an evil demon-shadow hunter hybrid, (2) tried to enslave the shadow hunter race and then kill them all when that failed, (3) told his daughter that his adoptive son was her blood relation so they’d think they had incestuous feelings for each other, (4) imprisoned and tortured downworlders to “learn” about them, and…the list goes on.

Antihero Who is a Little Bad, Little Good

Gosh, how long have we got? There are so many good picks for this one:

  • Kaz Breker (Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo)
  • Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards Trilogy – Scott )
  • Victor Vale (Vicious Duology – V. E. Schwab)
  • Kelsier (The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson)
  • Severin Montague-Alarie (The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi)
  • Lila Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab)
  • Jude Duarte (The Folk of the Air Series – Holly Black)
  • Mia Corvere (Nevernight Series – Jay Kristoff)

Villain Made From Tragic Circumstances

The Nightbringer (Ember Quartet – Sabaa Tahir)

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The Nightbringer was once the leader of the Jinn before the Scholars betrayed them. In a desire for power, the Scholar leaders took advantage of the Jinn’s hospitality and tricked them into handing over their magic. They then proceeded to kill many of them, including their children and the Nightbringer’s family, and bound the rest in a magical grove. As you’d expect, the Nightbringer has good reason to be pissed off.

Minya (Strange the Dreamer Duology – Laini Taylor)

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Minya is one of only a few survivors of her race. After years of torment under the power of their gods, the people of Weep fought back against their oppressors. Worried that the children might grow to become threats, they slaughtered them as well. Only six years old at the time, Minya remembers the day in detail and is haunted by her failure to save more children from the nursery during the attack. For this reason she harbors a deep hatred for the humans of Weep.

Antagonist Who Gets in the Hero’s Way but isn’t Necessarily “Pure Evil”

Cassius au bellona (Red Rising Series – Pierce Brown)

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Cassius actually starts the series as MC, Darrow’s, friend, however, we all knew the minute he found out Darrow had been forced to kill his brother to enter the Gold military academy this would fall apart in spectacular fashion. And it did. Cassius isn’t an evil character. He has strong ideas about loyalty and honour, but because of how he’s been brought up, he aligns with the existing gold elite. He does come through in the end but up until that point, he’s kind of a thorn in Darrow’s side rather than a big bad.

A Non-Human Villain

  • BeiTech (The Illuminae Files – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff): Massive evil megacorporation that decided to take over an illegal mining operation on a distant planet knowing its inhabitants would be unable to call for help and then proceeded to try and murder all the witnesses.
  • Smaug (The Hobbit – J R R Tolkein): Obviously, a dragon. Is all like, NO, YOU MAY NOT HAVE YOUR GOLD AND MOUNTAIN BACK. ALL SHINY THINGS FOR ME.
  • Pennywise (It – Stephen King): Ancient being of great power who feeds off fear and often takes the shape of a creepy ass, child eating clown.

Villain Who you Think is Wicked but they’re Intriguing

Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris)

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Hannibal is a murderer and a cannibal, but he’s just so smooth, suave and intelligent that sometimes you forget. That is, until he makes some weird and creepy comment about eating some dude’s liver with wine. Every scene he’s in you pause, just waiting to see what he’s going to say or do. The fact that he only gives you half the story at any given time (because he wants Clarice to work out the rest herself) also enhances just how intriguing he is – a truly captivating character.

scythe goddard (arc of a scythe – neal shusterman)

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Good lord, Scythe Goddard is bad news. Honestly, the guy is both a physical and mental threat, and he knows how to command a room too. What a cunning villain. Just when you think he’s failed or there’s a line he won’t cross, think again. Goddard has absolutely no qualms about massacring a room full of people and he genuinely believes scythes are better than everyone else. But while he may be awful, I’m always interested in seeing what his next move will be.

Antagonist Who Gets a Redemption Arc

Holland vosijk(A Darker Shade of Magic Series – V E Schwab)

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Oh, Holland. Sweet baby Holland, who just wants to help his world, but of course turns to a super-duper, evil dark magical being to do it. In the last book of the series, Holland joins Kell, Lila and Alucard’s quest to find an object they believe will save their world. By the end of the story, he redeems himself in a big way and *major spoiler* sacrifices himself to fix the situation he helped create.


Who are some of your favourite literary villains and anti-heroes? What makes them so damn good?

The Fellowship of the Ring Tag

This fabulous Lord of the Rings themed tag (and it’s lovely graphics) comes from Nandini @ Unputdownable Books. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of the LotR books (too wordy and too much info dumping, although they do have some really wonderful individual quotes, as you can see from this post) but I looooovvveeee the movies so when I stumbled across this, I knew I had to do it. Nandini’s also added in Gollum just to round out the question total.


Gandalf – A Book that Taught You Something

The Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling

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I’m going to double down on Nandini’s obvious answer for this one with good old HP. I grew up with this series and I think I learned a lot about bravery, friendship and loyalty from it. Hermione, in particular, taught me a lot about having a great work ethic and not being ashamed of being smart. Luna showcased the fact that it’s okay to be a little bit quirky and not to worry about what others think of you when you have good friends who accept you as you are. From Neville, I learnt that you can still be brave even if you’re scared and that it’s important to call people out on things even if they happen to be friends. Honestly, I could keep going but better not otherwise we’ll be here all day. 

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Frodo – A Book that Left a Mark on You

Sadie – Courtney Summers

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Sadie was such a raw, emotional and unflinchingly honest read. The book goes to some pretty dark and deep places, and tackles some heavy topics. I don’t think I’ve read many things like it. As a result, it really burrowed its way into my thoughts and emotions. Even without the sudden and open ending, I still think this book would have been playing on me for a long time afterwards. It’s definitely not something I’ll easily forget for a long time.

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Legolas – A Book You Finished in One Sitting

The Selection – Kiera Cass

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I find it difficult to get enough time to read books in one sitting because of my schedule but also because the books I read are often a bit too big. So, instead, I’ve picked something I raced through like there was no tomorrow (which also happens to be very short). The Selection is not well written and its main character, America, can be extremely frustrating, but it’s just so darn addictive in its trashy-ness. I mean, it’s the dystopian Bachelor. I had an absolute ball reading this book and finished it in no time at all.  It’s comfort fiction at its best.

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Gimli – A Book that Features an Unlikely Friendship

Zelie & Amari (Children of Blood & Bone – Toni Adeyemi)

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While I didn’t absolutely adore Children of Blood and Bone in its entirety, one of the parts I really enjoyed was the development of Zelie and Amari’s friendship. These two are from very different worlds and part of a social structure that puts them at odds with one another. When the book starts out, Zelie is extremely judgemental and resentful of Amari, treating her like the snobby and useless princess she believes her to be. However, over time she comes to realise that Amari is a lot more than this. Zelie helps Amari to come out of her shell and be brave. In turn, at the end of the book when Zelie needs it most, Amari is there for her and pushes her to stay strong even when it seems like all hope is lost.

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Merry – A Book that Pleasantly Surprised You

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

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I went into Fangirl thinking it’d be another cute, fluffy YA contemporary book that I’d enjoy but because of the hype would likely end up feeling a bit overrated. In the end, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it (a lot) but especially by the fact that it actually covered some more serious issues like mental health, broken families, and binge drinking. This book gave me some serious fanfiction nostaglia and while I’m not crazy about it like some people are, I wouldn’t say it’s massively overrated. Also, Levi = major love heart eyes.

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Pippin – A Book that Made You Laugh

The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

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Books rarely manage to make me laugh out loud beyond a casual snort, or maybe a slightly heavier breath, but as I mentioned in my recent review, The Hating Game did it on multiple occasions. I just love the banter and snark between Lucy and Josh – they have fantastic chemistry and although the barbs can be brutal on occasion, I can’t help cracking up when the real winners come out. Lucy, as a narrator, also manages to come up with some pretty funny commentary on events, while even some of the situations themselves are just amusing on their own (e.g. paintball warfare).

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Boromir – A Book/Series that You Think Ended Too Soon

Shades of Magic Series – V. E. Schwab**

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Okay, with already three books in this series I’m probably just being greedy. Also, considering the fact that a lot of series go on far too long beyond where they should have finished, Schwab likely did the right thing going out on a high. Still, I want MORE. *spoilers* A Conjuring of Light ends with Kell and Lila going off to explore the world together. Rhy has become king and is back together with Alucard. I would love to have read about Kell & Lila’s adventures, seen more of the world beyond the taste we got in book 3, and found out how Rhy rebuilt Red London/learned how to be a ruler. *end spoilers* I also feel like there’s a whole bunch of questions I’d really like to get answers for, in particular about Kell’s and Lila’s backgrounds.

** Okay, in the process of writing this post, I’ve actually just realised (HOW DID I MISS THIS) that last year Schwab signed a book deal for three more novels set in the same world as ADSOM. It’ll be called Threads of Power *jumps up and down and screams in excitement*. Okay, it’s not a direct sequel but I’ll take it!

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Sam – A Book with Memorable Side Characters Who Stole the Show

The Shadowhunters Books – Cassandra Clare

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Last year I re-read the first two books in this series (I will eventually re-read/read the rest, okay! I’m slow!) and realised that my favourite characters actually weren’t in them as much as I remembered. Over time, I think Cassie realised that although Jace, Clary and Simon were her leads,  people really loved Isabelle, Alec and Magnus, and as a result, they became much more present as time went on. Honestly, Magnus and Alec are so shortchanged in the early books, it’s almost criminal. I’m so glad that over time they got more page time to properly develop their stories and relationships.

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Aragorn – A Good Book with a Bad/Average Cover

Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead

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I’ve mentioned my eternal love for the Vampire Academy books repeatedly on this blog. It’s one of my absolute favourite series (exciting plots, fantastic characters, dramatic and funny writing, fab ships, and a great friendship at its heart) but the one thing I just can’t get behind is the covers. *sigh* Especially the first book in the series. What is it about YA books and their tendency to put random models on covers in awkward or weird positions? Worse, they’ve been recovered a couple of times and can never seem to come up with a winner. Even the 10th-anniversary edition is lacking a wow factor. Just because a book has vampires in it does not mean it has to look seedy.

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Gollum – A Book that had Great Potential but Disappointed You in the End

Sabriel – Garth Nix

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Sabriel is one of those books in fantasy circles that people seem to really talk up and Garth Nix isn’t exactly an unknown author either. The book has an interesting concept, too, and with all this in mind, I thought I’d be in for a really great read. Parts of it were good but on the whole, I had such a hard time getting into it and often found myself bored. The magic system that I’d heard so many amazing things about massively confused me and the world itself just felt a little odd. If there was one thing I did quite like it was Mogget, Sabriel’s massively powerful magical companion trapped in a cat’s body.


And there we have it. Done and dusted. You guys know I’m not one for tagging people but if you’re a LotR fan and would love to do this tag, I highly recommend it- just make sure to link back to Nandini’s original post.

Who’s your favourite member of the fellowship? Mine is definitely Sam – that sweet little hobbit, saving the world with his heart of gold and a frying pan. But if we’re talking movies,  I should also mention that I’m with you, Eowyn – Aragorn is a total dreamboat.

The Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag

I recently came across this tag over on The Caffeinated Bookworm Life and thought it seemed both fun and seasonally appropriate so thanks Swetlana! I then also found a version on Howling Libraries with a few more questions so I’ve added those in as well (thanks Destiny!) After all, with Santa coming soon, it’s the perfect time to find out whether I’ve made it onto the naughty or nice list for my bookish behaviour. Let’s begin!

Received an ARC and not reviewed it?

Starting this off well with a big no to this one. Each of the ARCs I’ve received, I’ve read and reviewed except for To Best the Boys which I was only approved for like two weeks ago so I think we can all fairly agree, it doesn’t count. Generally, being still a small blog with only a few ARC approvals under my belt, I want to keep my review percentage as high as possible so that publishers know I actually do read the books I’m given. Otherwise how am I supposed to get approved for more?

Have less than 60% feedback ratio on Netgalley?

I’m currently sitting on a very healthy 80%. Yay! So that’s another tick for the nice column.

Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)?

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Damn, a naughty one had to come up eventually. Yes…guilty as charged. I just read so many books, take so long to write one review and THERE’S JUST NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY, OKAY.

Folded down the page of a book?

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*gaps* Fold. Down. A. Book. Page. I would NEVER. How dare you.

Accidentally spilled on a book?

Spilling, sigh. I do most of my reading on the train to work and home which means I carry them in my handbag with my lunch and water. I’ll admit, there have been…accidents in the past. My poor copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will never forgive me after a bad altercation with my water bottle. *cries*

DNF a book this year?

I’m going to classify this as DNF by choice rather than I got busy and distracted. I rarely do this but this year I decided to cut my losses on two books – Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and Diving Eden by Joelle Charbonneau. Life’s too short and there are too many fantastic books to waste time on ones you don’t enjoy.

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it?

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No. I have been tempted but no. I always buy with the intention to read. Money doesn’t grow on trees and nor does book shelf space spontaneously appear. But also books are just meant to be read. However, I have purposely spent more on buying a physical copy of a book rather than an ebook because I fell in love with the cover.

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)?

Hm, not really. I’m an adult who works full time so no school. Sleeping maybe? If I’m reading something good right before bed on a work night, I may on occasion do it for longer than I should.

Skim read a book?

Noooooope. I miss things when reading normally so I can’t even imagine how lost I would be if I were to skim. But also, I feel as though if I were to try and do that I wouldn’t connect with the story as well as I could and should.

Completely missed your Goodreads goal?

No! My original goal was 50 which I reached about half way through the year. I then adjusted up and then adjusted again. This has actually been my best reading year ever and I’ve smashed my own expectations. I’m now sitting on 82 books (plus the two halves of the books I DNF and one comic issue) and hoping to make 85 by the end of the year!

Borrowed a book and not returned it?

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Not this year. I don’t really borrow library books, but I am still currently holding onto a friend from university’s copy of The Great Gatsby that I’ve had for a few years now. I really do need to get an address to post that to…

Dodged Someone asking if they can borrow a book?

Sort of. I’m usually fine with lending books out as long as people return them. One of my friends likes to borrow my books occasionally but I won’t let her borrow more until she’s finished the ones she’s already got so in a way I’ve kind of done this but kind of haven’t.

Broke a book buying ban?

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Oh god. Which time? I’ve broken every book ban I’ve set this year (the self control is low with this one) except for November during which I finally succeeded! I don’t spend on a lot of things constantly, books are my major self indulgence, so most of the time I just let myself do it.

Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about?

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Oh yes. I’ve started a few reviews this year and been unable to finish them because I no longer remember enough detail to write a thorough review. This really pisses me off because I’ve already spent several hours on the damn thing, guaranteed. The Wrath and the Dawn was one, Queens of Geeks was another and I’m currently stuck in a series review for The Grisha Trilogy. Must finishhhhhh.

Wrote in a book you were reading?

I think my soul just died a little at the idea of doing this. The only time I’m okay with writing on books is when a book is a gift and you want to put a nice dedication at the front OR it’s a cookbook and you’re adding tips or clarifications after you’ve cooked something as a reminder for next time. I know a lot of people love annotating but that’s definitely not my style.

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads?

No, I always add my books to Goodreads as I’m reading them and when I complete them. How else am I supposed to keep track of my reading goal progress for the year?

Sat on a Book Accidentally?

Um…that’d be a no.

Took the jacket off a hardback to protect it and ended up making it more damaged?

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Results

And the result is…DRUMROLL…

Naughty: 5

Nice: 13 (WINNER)

Looks like I’m not getting coal for Christmas this year. How exciting! And also what a relief because I asked for more books again.

Okay guys, fess up, were you naughty or nice this year?

Book Tag: R.I.P it or Ship It

I recently stumbled across this fun, silly, little tag thanks to Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. After a little digging, it turns out we can attribute the original tag (it’s a little old now) to booktuber, Emma at Emmmabooks. The basic premise is simple: write down a bunch of character names on bits of paper, mix them up and then draw two at a time. You then have to decide whether the two characters you draw would work in a relationship or not. In other words, do you ship it or is this r/shp dead on arrival and should just R.I.P.? I’ve noticed that a few people, including Emma, separated their characters into male and female jars but in going for a more inclusive and diverse approach, I just threw all of mine in together and pretended everyone was bisexual. We’re also ignoring any potential character deaths here, too. Additionally, I did try to keep to popular characters that a lot of people would know.

Match Up 1: Percy Jackson (PJO) x Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy)

It sounds super weird but I feel like maybe these two could potentially have a thing. BUT that thing would clearly be super bad for the rest of the world. Both Rose and Percy have a habit of rushing into things without thinking and their canon partners are perfect because they ground them. If these two were together it’d be like, Person A: I have this idea (a terrible, crazy idea) Person B: That’s a GREAT idea, let’s do it! Sooo….they probably shouldn’t date because they’d get each other killed and probably a bunch of other people in the process.

Verdict: RIP – for the sake of them and the world

Match Up 2: Blue Sargent x Richard Gansey III (The Raven Cycle)

I swear I didn’t do this on purpose. 100% chance occurance.

Verdict: It’s canon – why fight the flow? Ship

Match Up 3: Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows) x Holland Vosijk (A Darker Shade of Magic)

This seemed like a really weird combo at first but then I started to think that it might actually work. Inej seems to have a thing for broken boys with troubled pasts and clever, plotty minds which actually does fit Holland pretty well. Inej would also probably be a good influence on Holland, and maybe help him see more of the bright side to life. They’ve both been through some crap times so perhaps they could help each other through it.

Verdict: Ship

Match Up 4: Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) x Nova Artino (Renegades)

Yeah, I don’t see this one working very well, mostly because they’re too similar in a lot of ways. Tough, troubled pasts, snarky, carry the weight of the world on their shoulders… However, I do think that after some headbutting they’d grow to really respect each other and might even become friends.

Verdict: RIP

Match Up 5: Maven Calore (Red Queen) x Amren (ACOTAR)

Oh. Good. Lord. What in the world? My sister thinks that Amren might actually be good for Maven but I have a sneaking suspicion that Amren would simply not be able to handle all of Maven’s drama. She’d be like: I am ancient and a badass, I will not put up with this bullshit. I mean, at least Maven would be able to keep Amren in pretty gems. Still, the idea of this is just hilarious.

Verdict: RIP

Match Up 6: Isabelle Lightwood (Shadowhunter Novels) x Peter Kavinsky (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)

Isabelle is not at all like Lara Jean, Peter’s actual love interest, but at the same time I think Isabelle has a lot of the traits that attracted Peter to his ex, Gen, without all the bitchy parts. I think they’d have some nice deep and meaningful talks which both seems to need in their r/shps. On the flip side, Isabelle’s taste in Simon shows that she likes softer boys with sweet hearts and Peter can definitely be that guy for her, provided he can avoid being intimidated.

Verdict: Ship

Match Up 7: Nesta Archeron (ACOTAR) x Magnus Bane (Shadowhunter Novels)

BAHAHAHAHAHA. Could you even imagine? Someone turn this into a reality show, it’d be gold.

Verdict: If pigs flew and hell froze over.

Match Up 8: Harry Potter (HP) x Cress Darnel (The Lunar Chronicles)

This is a bit of an odd one. Harry’s another one of those rash heroes who jumps into things without thinking which is why he needs people around him, and a partner, who reign him in a little. I think Cress might remind Harry slightly of Luna which doesn’t really seem like his type. With Cress, on the other hand, Harry may not have Thorne’s sense of bravado but he does have a bit of sass and the hero thing down. He’s not bad looking either so maybe Cress will be into it? Overall, I think this one might be a friendship only.

Verdict: RIP

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And…I think that’s enough crazy-ness for now. It’s so weird trying to match up characters from other fandoms. I find that I’m constantly comparing them to the characters’ actual romantic interests and seeing if there’s an overlap but I guess it’s always hard to know. You just can’t account for chemistry.

Do you guys agree with me on these ships? And do you have any weird cross-fandom pairings that you secretly ship?