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

 

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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

The Aesthetically Pleasing Book Tag

It’s time for another fun book tag. I can thank Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall for this one. I stumbled across her post and knew I had to try it out because who doesn’t love looking at pretty books?

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Best Colour Combo On a Book Cover

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All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater is my pick for this one. I really love the use of blue and orange here. They’re complementary colours on the colour wheel so they create a striking contrast when used together that really makes the cover stand out.

Best Typography/Font On a Book Cover

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I quite like the typography on the cover of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. It gives the appearance of the words appearing out of smoke as they wind their way around the tree branches, adding to the mysterious look of the cover.

Best Simple Cover

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Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden. I actually have this book on kindle but I’m really tempted to buy a physical copy.  It’s such a simple cover, a pair of painted red lips and some pale skin, and yet it’s still so eye catching. I also like that it complements the novel itself, showcasing a taste of the traditional geisha make up style.

Best End Pages

I don’t own many hardbacks as they’re really expensive to buy in Australian book stores, but at the end of last year I purchased the gorgeous special edition of A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. It broke my rule of not having more than one copy of the same book but it was so worth it. I mean, the end pages alone are amazing.

Best Map

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I’ve noticed that a lot of people have been going with Middle Earth for this one. It’s a fantastic map but for something different, I’m going to use one of my fave series, good, old Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (any excuse, right?).

Best Naked Hardback

Sorry guys, I don’t actually have an answer for this one. Like I said, I don’t own many hardbacks and the ones I actually do own are unfortunately very plain beneath their jackets.

Best Back Cover

backcovers

So, this seems to be another one targeted at hardbacks because just sayin’, paperback backs are pretty damn boring. It’s usually a solid colour and a blurb. From my very limited range of HBs to pick from,  I’ve ended up with Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco because of it’s cool surgical instruments and another Maggie Stiefvater book, Shiver because of the pretty tree branches and leaves.

Best Chapter Headers

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I recently finished The Cruel Prince by Holly Black and I loved the sweet chapter headers with their flowers, toadstools and bees.

Best Illustrations

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As if I could pick anything else but my Harry Potter illustrated editions. The art in these books is amazing. I could spend forever just flipping through and staring at the beauty of Jim Kay’s illustrations.

Best Spine

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This is probably cheating because it’s a whole series rather than one book but eh, too bad. I adore the new covers for Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series because the spines make up a cool picture of the main characters facing a bridge, preparing for battle.

Favourite Cover on Shelves

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You have no idea how hard this one was, there are so many wonderful covers on my shelves, but eventually I had to resign myself to the fact that I completely fell in love with this one the moment I saw it. The stunning blue colour, shining golden text, and the ornate styled moth, it’s gorgeous and I find it difficult to draw my eyes away every time I look at it.

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And…we’re done!  I’m not so big on tagging individual people but if you’d like to do this one, please go for it.

The Fantasy Tropes Book Tag

I’m about to reveal something that will not shock you in the slightest: Fantasy is my favourite genre. And…that was the sound of no-one’s jaw’s dropping. When I came across this tag on Holly’s blog, Nut Free Nerd, I knew I just had to do it because not only am I a fantasy fan, I’ll admit that I’m also kind of susceptible to a lot of common fantasy tropes. I know that it’s wrong, okay! It just feels so right! Special thanks to One’s Particular for creating this awesome tag.


The Lost Princess

A Book/Series you Lost Interest in Halfway Through

Air Awakens by Elise Kova – I read the first three books in this series and it started so promisingly!  I really, really enjoyed book one but all you have to do is look at my Goodreads ratings to watch them drop from a 4 to 3 and then finally 2 before I just stopped reading the series.


The Knight in Shining Armour

A Hyped Book/Series you were Swept up by

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The Red Rising Series. It had to be. I’d wanted to read RR for about a year before finally starting it the other week. I had a bit of a rocky start with book one now I’m just captivated. I finished book two earlier this week and believe me, I’ll be buying book three as soon as I’m next at the bookshop. The action, politics, romance, twists, characters, ah! It just has everything and more.


The  Wise Old Wizard

 An Author who Amazes you with his/her Writing

I’m not sure whether this means I-love-this-author’s-books or whether it’s about amazement at the actual writing style. So here’s both.

Option 1: Victoria Schwab –  because I love everything I’ve read of hers. Her world building, characters, dialogue and plots are wonderfully done every single time.

Option 2:

Andre Aciman: I just finished Call Me by Your Name and it’s not even close to my usual book type but there are just some points I reached in the story where I couldn’t help but pause and go, wow, now that line is truly beautiful and gut wrenchingly real. It’s like poetry.

Laini Taylor: The writing in Strange the Dreamer, guys. It’s so magical and lovely – definitely befitting a title with the word ‘dreamer’ in it.


The Maiden in Distress

An Undervalued Character you Wished had a Bigger Story Line

HP

Marauders. As simple as that. We all know how it ends but I would love to read about the journey – schooling, creating the map, learning to become animagi, the war. I’d be so down for that.

**You guys should check out Viria13‘s other awesome fan art on DeviantArt


The Magic Sword

A Magical Item/Ability you Wish Authors Used Less

Okay, I’m going to call this magic because it always seems to turn out correct – tarot card readings. I’ve noticed them cropping up in so many books now. The hero/heroine gets a reading from a mystic who somehow predicts the suffering, betrayal and romance to come. I wouldn’t say I’m sick of it, it’s just something I’ve started to notice authors using a lot.


The Mindless Villain

A Phrase you Cannot Help but Roll your Eyes at

A) “You’re special/different,” – Aren’t they always? Damn, chosen ones.

AND

B) “I never should have trusted you.” Well, duh.


The Untamed Dragon

A Magical Creature you Wish you had as a Pet

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I would love to have a dragon but I feel like they’re so majestic and intelligent that calling it a pet would be pretty awful, more like a companion. So instead…Would someone just get me a niffler already? I mean, sure it’ll steal all my valuables but they’re so bloody cute, it’s worth it. They’re basically magical platypuses.


The Chosen One

A Book/Series you Will Always Root for

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I’m always using Harry Potter so I should probably spread the praise round a little. I’m going to go with Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead for this one. I fell in love with the series during high school and I’ve read it so many times since – still just as amazing as the first time. They’re full of action, magic, romance, humour, friendship, and are just generally great reads. *Waves pom poms and cheers*

If you love fantasy, TAG! You’re it. 

The Stranger Things Book Tag

I love Stranger Things and haven’t done a book tag in a while. I’ve seen this one pop up a few times over the last few months so I thought I’d give it a whirl.


EPIC INTRO

THE OPENING SEQUENCE OF STRANGER THINGS IS AMAZING AND REALLY GRABS YOUR ATTENTION. NAME A BOOK THAT GRABBED YOUR ATTENTION FROM THE FIRST PAGE.

And-Then-There-Were-None

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie doesn’t start off with a bang, it’s actually quite a subtle and slow build up to the action, but because you know where the story is going, you hang off every detail and word.

Illuminae by Amie Kauffman & Jay Kristoff – I can’t explain why, but I was hooked from the start. There’s a break up, a planet gets attacked and evacuated, and then the fleeing ships are being chased down by a villainous corporation. Pretty good start if you ask me.


DUNGEONS & DRAGONS

NAME A FANTASY WORLD YOU WOULD LIKE TO EXPERIENCE YOURSELF.

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I wish I could be unpredictable, I really, really do but…I’m not. So let’s just say I want to go to Hogwarts and move right along (I’d also take Diagon Alley or Hogsmead too if they’re up for grabs).


 SQUAD GOALS

WHEN ELEVEN MET MIKE, DUSTIN AND LUCAS IT WAS A *MOSTLY* PERFECT TEAM. NAME YOUR FAVOURITE BOOKISH GROUP OF FRIENDS.

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To go for something other than Six of Crows or ACOTAR, I’m going to pick the shadowhunters of the London Institute in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series. Tessa, Will, Jem, Charlotte, Henry and Jessamine each have their own quirky personalities but they work really well together and never fail to make me smile.


ABC’S & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

JOYCE BYERS GOES MAD WITH GRIEF AFTER WILL GOES MISSING. NAME YOUR FAVOURITE MENTALLY UNHINGED CHARACTER

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Let’s go with Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs for this one. He’s nuts, a cannibal, and yet also intelligent and charming. Hmmm….


THE UPSIDE DOWN

NAME A BOOK THAT WAS THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU EXPECTED.

Geekerella

I’m actually going to pick Geekerella by Ashley Posten for this one. Not because it was different from what I expected story wise but because I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. As you guys know, I don’t read much YA contemporary and I read this after being disappointed by When Dimple Met Rishi, expecting another bleh book. To my surprise it wasn’t, it was fun!


MAD SCIENTISTS

BRENNER LIKES TO GET FREAKY WITH HUMANITY. NAME THE FREAKIEST DYSTOPIAN GOVERNMENT YOU CAN THINK OF.

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Gilead of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Hands down. There are a lot of crazy governments in dystopian books that I’ve read but this one actually terrifies me. It’s because it’s so much more believable as Atwood drew only on practices that have actually happened at some point in some part of our world to create it.


DEMOGORGON

NAME A SCARY BOOKISH CREATURE THAT YOU WOULD NOT WANT TO COME THROUGH YOUR WALLS.

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So, I forget entirely what it’s called but there’s a giant worm in Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff which vomits up its own stomach to trap people before sucking it back in. I vaguely remember there being some kind of acid involved too.  In other words, no thanks…


CLIFFHANGER ENDING

NAME A BOOK THAT LEFT YOU WANTING MORE.

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Everything definitely went to crap at the end of A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab (for the characters that is, not in terms of story quality). So I was definitely super keen to get my hands on book three but unfortunately had to wait several months.


As always, if you feel like engaging in a little book tag/Stranger Things fun, go for it and tag me so I can see your answers!