Book Tag: The Romance Tropes Tag (Original)

Time for another book tag! Some of you might remember that back in 2018 I completed the fantasy tropes book tag. Fantasy is easily one of my favourite genres so answering prompts based around my favourite (and not so favourite) tropes was a lot of fun. Another one of my go-to genres is romance so recently I wondered whether someone had created a similar style tag. While there were a couple of romance related book tags, I couldn’t seem to find any dealing specifically with tropes. And so, I decided why not make one myself? Thus, ‘The Romance Tropes Tag’ was born!

Note:

  • If you’d like to do the tag, feel free! Just make sure to link back to this post so I can see all of your wonderful answers.
  • You are welcome to use my graphics or create your own.
  • Although this is based around romance tropes, your answers don’t have to be romance books. Whatever fits the prompt!

RED, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

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If there’s a limit to how many times I can say I love this book on my blog, please do let me know because I’ve probably long exceeded it already. After reading the first couple of pages of RW&RB I just knew I was going to love it. As it turned out, I was right and it ended up being my second favourite read of 2019. The book deals with the relationship between an alt-version of the prince of Great Britain and first son of the USA. It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s sexy, just magical really. RW&RB is over 400 pages long which is chunkier than your average romance read but I was so invested and having such a good time that the pages just flew by. Queer romance gold.

Alina & The Darkling (The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo)

I know, okay. I really do. This pairing is a complete toxic mess. The logical part of my brain recognises this fact. I never expected them to actually be end game while I was reading the books but *sigh*, the heart wants what it wants. Maybe it’s the whole light-dark symmetry, or that Mal bores me, or the fact that every conversation between Alina and the Darkling is just plain electric. Nah, in reality it’s probably more than likely because I love the drama that comes with the hero and villain being in love with each other but the plot persisting in pitting them against one another. Why, hello there angst.

Chain of Gold – Cassandra Clare

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Every time a new Cassie Clare book comes out, FOMO rears its ugly head. While I read The Infernal Devices back in the day, I haven’t read the last Mortal Instruments book. When The Dark Artifices were releasing I was still determined to catch up but since then I’ve decided not to read any more Shadowhunter books because I just don’t enjoy them like I used to. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel seriously left out and pressured to change my mind with every new release. They’re ridiculously popular so they’re always all over the internet. When Chain of Gold came out last year I was so tempted. The cover was everywhere and the amount of fanart is crazy. I haven’t cracked yet but when the posters for Chain of Iron went up last month, trust me, the struggle was real.

Layla – Colleen Hoover

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This book was not what I was expecting at all. Although, it’s likely my fault in this instance. Clearly I need to read the genre tags on Goodreads more because I somehow completely missed that this was a paranormal romance. The blurb does not suggest this in the slightest (or am I simply thick? Read it and let me know). There I was, thinking it was going to be a whole ‘other woman’ scenario (which I guess it sort of was but with a very different approach). So, you can imagine my shock when a ghost showed up a few chapters in. I wasn’t super keen on it for the most part but the twists towards the end certainly picked things up and tied them together somewhat.

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Their Inner Beasts: 'Lord of the Flies' Six Decades Later - The New York  Times

I first read Lord of the Flies when I was in high school and hated it with a fiery passion. However, I ended up having to read it again a few years later during my university ‘Law & Literature’ elective and found that I enjoyed and appreciated it more the second time through. Published in the 1950s, the book follows a group of schoolboys who get stuck on a deserted island and try (and fail) to create their own version of an organised and lawful society. Sure, the characters were still stupid and nuts, but on reread I was better able to understand what Golding was attempting to say and demonstrate about society and humanity. From 1 to 3 stars. Not bad.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies – John Boyne

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I don’t normally read lots of historical or literary fiction but I was determined to give this book a read. I’m glad I did because it was great and very different from much of what I’ve read in the past. The story centers around the life of a gay man named Cyril living in Ireland before homosexuality was legalised. I’m not sure how he does it but Boyne magically straddles the line between humour and tragedy throughout the book, jumping back and forth without ever giving you emotional whiplash. It’s a quirky, somewhat absurd read at times but super charming and immersive and I’m really looking forward to reading other books from Boyne’s backlist.

Kingdom of the Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco

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Originally I wasn’t going to read KotW because I’m not a huge fan of Stalking Jack the Ripper, but there were just too many things associated with it that I love – witchcraft, murder mysteries, demons, paranormal romance…so I gave in. It’s about a witch and a demon prince in 19th century Sicily teaming up to solve the murder of the witch’s twin sister. I was very unsure early on (I think it’s the writing, lots of tell rather than show) and the story took a good while to grow on me. However, by the second half I was having a much more enjoyable time – the plot had come together better and the dynamic between the two leads was working well. I was actually sorry to see it end so I’ll likely read the sequel later this year.

The Nevernight Chronicle – Jay Kristoff & Shades of Magic Series – V E Schwab

Why did I set myself such a challenging prompt? Crazy. Now I’m imagining all my beautiful books going up in smoke *hyperventilates*. I have quite a few favourite series so I’m approaching this prompt as: which two series would I hate to have to replace? With that line of thinking, and excluding Harry Potter to avoid sounding like a broken record, I’m going with The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff and the Shades of Magic Series by V E Schwab. While I certainly adore both of these series for their great characters, amazing fantasy world building, and exciting story arcs, it more comes down to the fact that my copies are all signed (some personally addressed) by the authors so I would be heartbroken to lose either of them. Even if I were to buy them again, they wouldn’t be the same. I guess I’m going up in smoke with them then.

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Before you start throwing things at me, I liked The Hating Game (I gave it 3.5 stars after all), but I didn’t LOVE The Hating Game. Considering how hyped this book was I was expecting something more. The banter was a lot of fun and the chemistry between Lucy and Josh was great, I even laughed a few times while reading. However, I really wish the whole enemies part of the enemies to lovers transition had lasted longer than it did and that Sally Thorne hadn’t felt the need to repeat certain descriptors over and over again. Josh’s frequent alpha-male asshole-ness also put me off at multiple points.

I’m going to do 2 answers for this prompt – one for fantasy and another for contemporary. These were both books that I came across during mid-high school and really started my love of the genre.

Fantasy: Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

Twilight (Twilight, #1) by Stephenie Meyer

I assume this would be a lot of people’s answer to this question. No avoiding it because it’s true. I have a little soft, squishy spot in my heart for The Twilight Saga. Probably always will. While it certainly has its many flaws, at the age of fifteen I was pretty obsessed with Bella, Edward and Jacob, and their supernatural love triangle woes. This book hurtled me into the depths of the paranormal romance genre, something I still guilty pleasure enjoy today, many years later. Would probably still reread at some point in the future, not gonna lie.


Contemporary: The Secret Dream World of a Shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella

The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic/Confessions of a Shopaholic | Sophie  Kinsella

This book was a gift from my mum and I actually DNF-ed it the first time I read it. I still have no idea why but in my defense, this was a really long time ago. I gave it a second try on a trip to visit my grandparents and ended up racing through it. Having read many more contemporary romances now, were I to re-read it today it probably wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it used to be but at the time I remember it being a lot of fun – Becky and her crazy shopping/debt antics. In the years after I read a whole bunch of Kinsella’s other romcoms (including several in this series) and it’s probably where my love of these types of novels started.

Jude and Cardan (The Folk of the Air Series – Holly Black)

Once again, I’m mentioning my messy and stabby faerie x human power couple, Jurdan. Eventually you all will get sick of me mentioning them over and over (then again, maybe you already are), but for now we’re going to talk about them for the millionth time. These two are somewhat of a toxic clusterf*** at times. However, they just get each other so much better than anybody else does and they feel perfectly matched. Plus the conflict and sexual tension is simply *chef’s kiss*. I love it when they’re sniping at each other, stabbing one another in the back, working together, or being adorably sweet and vulnerable.

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My two favourite romance tropes are enemies to lovers and fake dating. They’re massively overdone but I can’t get enough, especially when they’re in the same book. A book I enjoyed that featured both was The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. It’s about Olive and Ethan who hate each other but whose siblings are getting married. After the bride and groom wind up with food poisoning, our leads decide to make use of their all expenses paid honeymoon to Hawaii. However, certain circumstances result in them having to pretend to be newlyweds. It’s a lot of fun and I love a good CLo read, especially one with good verbal sparring.


I hope you all enjoyed trope-ing it up romance style with me and fingers crossed I managed to tick off most of your favourite tropes from the genre. I’m not usually one to tag other bloggers in these types of posts but I’d be absolutely thrilled if you gave the tag a go. If you’d like to, the prompts are listed below for easy copying and pasting. Until next time!

Prompts:

  • Love at First Sight: A Book You Fell in Love with Almost Immediately
  • Forbidden Love: A Romantic Pairing You Probably Shouldn’t Love but Do
  • Stuck Together/Forced Proximity: A Book You Felt Pressured to Read (By a Friend, Bookstagram, Bloggers, etc.)
  • Mistaken Identity: A Book that Wasn’t What You Were Expecting
  • Second Chance Romance: A Book or Series You Enjoyed More the Second Time Around
  • Opposites Attract: A Book You Love from a Genre You Don’t Usually Read
  • Enemies to Lovers: A Book Whose Second Half is Better than its First OR A Series that Gets Better Over Time
  • Love Triangle: Your House is on Fire & You Can Only Save One Series! Which Two Series Do You Die Trying to Choose Between?
  • Friends to Lovers: A Book You Wanted More From
  • Meet Cute: A Book that Got You Hooked on Romance
  • Soulmates: Two Characters Who Are Made for Each Other
  • Bonus: Your Favourite Romance Trope/s & A Book that Features It

The Dark Academia Book Tag

In recent months my eyes have been opened up to the ultimate level of “coolness” that is dark academia. Clothes, music playlists, books, interior design, it’s all just so deliciously gothic and mysterious. And what better way to fully dive in than The Dark Academia Book Tag? This tag was created by *Emmie* and CarolynMarieReads on Booktube. So crack out your skulls, musty books, Greek philosopher busts and autumnal shades of tweed. We’re about to mess things up in the pursuit of higher knowledge!

I recently finished If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio which fits both dark and academia and loved it. There are a lot of similarities with The Secret History by Donna Tartt (which I also enjoyed) but still some big differences. I love seeing how bad decisions and secrets can lead people to completely implode over time. Plus, the way Shakespeare is woven into this book is very cleverly done.

In terms of “dark” movies, I really like The Silence of the Lambs and Se7en, and it’s fairly comedic but The Mummy sort of covers both dark and academia in a different way.

I’m not much of a poetry reader but I really enjoyed studying the work of T.S. Elliot in high school. My favourite among his poems is ‘Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’. It looks at things like social anxiety, isolation, insecurity, and inner vs outer life. It’s so wonderfully weird and melancholy, and there’s so much to unpack. I also quite like ‘The Hollow Men’ which deals with the aftermath of WWI. The last few lines of that poem, ‘This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper’ have stuck with me ever since I heard them for the first time.

I’m not so big on sculpture but I love art and frequently buy prints of pieces I really like. Just like with books though, I’d find it impossible to pick a favourite. So, a few of them are Almond Blossom & Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez, The Thames Below Westminster by Claude Monet and for something more modern, Leonid Afremov’s Alley By The Lake.

How do people pick just one for these questions? There so many beautiful feats of architecture in the world! I have three favourites: 1) Basílica de la Sagrada Família, 2) The Alhambra and 3) the Palace of Versailles.

Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain

I’m not religious, however I have visited quite a few churches across Europe. The Sagrada Familia is easily my favourite. Those stain-glass windows are absolutely breathtaking. You stand in the middle of the room and it’s just a riot of colour and light. The carvings around the exterior of the church are gorgeous as well.

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

The Alhambra has a long, complicated history which is why its architecture is so complex and varied. Upon visiting there, you can’t help but be amazed by the beautiful details on every wall, ceiling and doorway, especially knowing the limited tools that were available to create them compared to today. The gardens and views of the surrounding area from the fortress are divine, too.

Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France

With Versailles, it’s the sheer level of opulence. Every little detail manicured to perfection. Looking at the beauty and size, you definitely understand why the lower classes hated the French monarchy as much as they did. There’s gold all over the place. Even the floors you walk on are works of art. I can’t even imagine how many staff are employed to maintain it all.

Twelfth Night | Book by William Shakespeare, Dr. Barbara A. Mowat, Paul  Werstine | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

While I have some knowledge of Shakespeare, it’s only limited to certain plays (mostly Othello, Julius Caesar and Romeo & Juliet) so it’s a bit hard to know which lead I’d prefer to be. I’m also not much of an actor – the stage fright would likely kill me. However, I think I’d prefer one of the comedies (a tragedy is far beyond my capabilities). Something like Twelfth Night seems like it would be fun with all the romantic hijinks involved, plus I’d get to do some cross dressing, dueling and make plenty of confused expressions as Viola.

Alas, English is my only language. To all those multilingual people out there, I both envy and admire you. I did study French for a semester at University and didn’t end up continuing with it because of how intense the coursework was for such a short period of time, but I kind of wish that I’d given it a better crack now. Japanese would also be interesting to try out.

There are too many beautiful phrases from far too many talented authors to answer this question. Here are a few I love:

‘I am haunted by humans’ – The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

‘Sometimes reality comes crashing down on you. Other times reality simply waits, patiently, for you to run out of the energy it takes to deny it.’ – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

‘Wasn’t friendship its own miracle, the finding of another person who made the entire lonely world seem somehow less lonely?’– A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara

‘I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.‘ – The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller

“But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer.” – The Two Towers, J RR Tolkien

Animated gif about gif in Bellatrix Lestrange by Goddess

Um, so I can’t just die peacefully in my sleep? No? Okay, in that case I’ll meet my demise via Avada Kedavra or The Killing Curse from Harry Potter. Quite a few characters in the series meet their end this way – Harry’s parents, Sirius Black, Fred Weasley, Cedric Diggery, etc. It seems to be pretty quick and painless which is a win. A flash of green light and you’re gone.

Once upon a time, like everyone I suppose, I dreamed about going to Oxford. I love London and the University itself is just so beautiful and magical looking. There’s a great deal of history to it as well. Then, of course, I realised (a) how expensive it would be and (b) how difficult it is to get in. Trinity in Dublin is similarly stunning and I really enjoyed visiting there a few years back. I like the Gothic feel to parts of it and my goodness, the Old library is what bookworm dreams are made of. In reality though, I attended the Australian National University in Canberra.

If you want to murder someone successfully, it has to be poison. Something quick, easy and which comes off looking like a natural death. Anything else and you’re inviting too many potential opportunities for evidence to be created and used against you at a later date. However, if you can’t be neat about it and need to get rid of the body entirely, acid is the way to go. Yes, I’ve thought about this. From a fictional standpoint only, of course.

Hm, this is tough. My undergraduate major was in modern history so perhaps something related to English or French history? Otherwise, maybe English Literature. Honestly though, I don’t really have much interest in doing a PhD. I haven’t even paid off my undergraduate degrees yet!

While I certainly enjoy reading about stories based in Greek and Roman mythology, there’s no way I’d want to be a part of it. Those Gods are selfish, asshole-ish nightmares, constantly getting up in each other’s business and other people paying the price for it. Ancient Egyptian mythology, on the other hand, sounds awesome. I mean, sure, they had their problems as well (chopping your brother up into 42 pieces and scattering them across the land for your sister-in-law to find comes to mind) but overall, they’re a bit more stable. Plus they have some interesting concepts about death.

I have a lot of different fictional characters that I adore but there’s none I’d “die for” (Yes, I realise the question isn’t meant to be taken literally). Still, it’s hard to choose an ultimate favourite. There’s far, far TOO MANY. However, last October I did two posts in which I listed my favourite book characters by letters of the alphabet which you can find here & here.

Leather bound or Cloth Bound Books

Leatherbound – they feel nice and they’re a lot more durable than cloth bound, as lovely as cloth bound are. Although, considering the animal impact of leather bound, if I could do faux-leather bound that would be good.

Dog-earing Pages or Highlighting Pages

Do I have to pick one? Because if neither is an option, I choose that. If I do have to pick, it’ll be dog-earing because the idea of highlighter potentially bleeding through the back of a page is giving me serious anxiety.

Sculptures or Paintings

Paintings. I’m not much of a sculpture person.

Piano or Violin

Piano. I adore a beautifully written and played piano piece that hits you right in the soul.

Films or Theater

I enjoy both but there’s definitely something magical about going to the theater. More of a special occasion than an everyday activity. I actually cried the first time I saw The Phantom of the Opera performed. It just feels so much more tangible happening in front of you.

Poetry or Prose

Prose. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t really read much poetry, or any really.

Museums or Bookshops

Bookshops, of course! I do enjoy a museum trip but I feel most happy and at home in my favourite bookshops.

Smell of Books or Smell of Coffee/Tea

I actually don’t drink coffee or tea but I love the smell of coffee. It’s so warm, rich and lovely. So, as much as I enjoy book scents, I’m surprisingly going coffee here.

Fountain Pen or Typewriter

I’ve never used either but I really appreciate the vintage look and feel of a typewriter. It would be fun to try one out.

New or Used Books

New. I know used are better for the environment and that they’re well loved, but I have a weird thing about perfect looking books. Cracked spines and bent corners are my nightmare.


Would you look at that, we got through without anyone accidentally or intentionally dying. Go us. I definitely get the feeling I’m going to be seeking out more dark academia books in the future to see how they compare to the ones I’ve already read. Are any of you fans of this genre? If so, what’s your favourite dark academia read/film/tv show?

Book Tag: The Flower Book Tag

Many of you will be aware of the fact that I live in Australia. This means that while all you Northern Hemisphere babies are currently enjoying my favourite season, Autumn/Fall (can you feel my jealously from here?), in the Southern Hemisphere we’re in the last month of Spring. Lately I’ve been feeling somewhat put out by all the Autumn themed tags that have been popping up on my feed so I decided, why not do something spring-y instead? And what screams spring more than FLOWERS?

the devil wears prada fashion GIF

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Anyway, this lovely tag is courtesy of Veronika & Sabrina over at Wordy and Whimsical. Let’s get to it.


ROSES: Traditionally Given as an Expression of Love

Favourite Romance In A Book

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Josh + Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating – Christina Lauren: Gosh, what is it about tags wanting me to pick favourites? Don’t you know that’s IMPOSSIBLE? How dare you! One of my favourites will just have to do and that’s Josh & Hazel. I love these two and all their opposites attract, friends to lovers wonderfulness. They just interact together so smoothly, flitting back and forth between funny and sweet with ease. Sure, I wish their ending had been a little different (and it’s the only reason this book didn’t get 5 stars), but I would gladly reread this over and over just to see them fall in love again.


Stargazer Lilies: Named for Their blooms that Face Skyward

Favourite Ambitious Character

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Stevie Bell (Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson): Again with the favourites. STOP. Because I seem to mention Mia, Spensa and Jude constantly, today we’re using Stevie Bell. Stevie’s dream is to become a famous detective just like Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot and she believes solving the decades old mystery of Ellingham Academy is what’s going to get her there. However, there’s also the recent death of one of her classmates to keep her busy. Stevie is enthusiastic, intelligent, determined, and willing to do whatever she has to to find answers (even if it means putting herself at risk or nosing into other people’s business). She’s quirky, but it only makes her more endearing.


Peace Lilies: Known as Being One of the Easier Houseplants to Care For

A Book You Think Anyone Could Love

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Simon v the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli: I really, really wish I had something under the radar to use for questions like this but I don’t and honestly, I can’t think of a better answer than Simon (well, provided you aren’t homophobic, of course). There’s so much to love about this book and considering how popular it was when it came out, a heap of people agree with me. It’s just so darn sweet and uplifting. It’s also diverse, funny, and romantic without being sappy. I challenge anyone to finish this without a big smile on their face. I’m thinking 2021 might be the year for a re-read…


Chrysanthemums: Given on Mother’s Day in Australia

Favourite Fictional Mother

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Miss Honey (Matilda – Roald Dahl): Okay, so Miss Honey isn’t Matilda’s biological mother but she certainly acts like an amazing mum long before the adoption makes it official. Despite growing up in an abusive home with her terrible aunt, Miss Honey is kind, caring, smart, and loves her students. Most importantly, she recognises just how special Matilda is and constantly encourages her education, even if she has to press Matilda’s parents to ensure she gets the opportunities she deserves. If only we all had parents and teachers as wonderful as Miss Honey.


Spider Plants: Easy to Propagate

A Hyped-Up Book You Love

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The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss: There are A LOT of options for this one because I am a massive sheep when it comes to my book choices. I’ll go with TNotW for this prompt because when I order my GR Read shelf by average rating, this one is pretty close to the top and I gave it 5 stars. The immense degree of hype surrounding this book had me super worried I would end up massively disappointed but as you can see, I wasn’t. It may be chunky, but it’s worth it. The journey! World building! Witty protagonist! Despite the couple of problems I had, there’s just something about it. Plus, there’s a magic academy so…sold.


Lily of the Valley: Pretty but Poisonous

A Book with a Beautiful Cover that was Disappointing

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Wilder Girls – Rory Power: The cover for Wilder Girls is gorgeous. I fell in love the first moment I saw it. Unfortunately, the book itself just didn’t reach the amazing highs I’d hoped for. See, this is the problem with having expectations! While 3.5 stars is not a bad rating, don’t get me wrong, I can’t deny that I was disappointed with several elements. I enjoyed the atmosphere, body horror and variations in writing style at certain points, but wasn’t so keen on the open ending, mass of questions I was left with, and underdevelopment of both the characters and romantic subplot. I still think I’d read another book from the author though.


Orchids: One of the Oldest Flower Types Known to Man

FavoUrite Classic Novel

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The Secret History – Donna Tartt: I don’t read many books classified as classics and of those I have, there are a limited number that I like. To avoid using Pride & Prejudice again, I’m going with a modern classic – The Secret History. I read this a few months back and was super surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The narrator is unreliable, the pacing is slow, none of the characters are particularly good people and there’s an air of pretentiousness about it all. And yet, I really liked it. In fact, I would probably reread it in a few years just to see if I can pick up more of the details and foreshadowing I missed the first time around.


Peonies: Require Lots of Care

A Bookish Friendship that was Caring and Supportive

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House of Earth and Blood – Sarah J. Maas: I love a book with a great friendship. As I only just read it in September, HoEaB is still fresh in my memory. I had some issues with this book but I really liked the friendship between Bryce and her werewolf bestie Danika. This relationship is the heart of the novel and the driving force for the story. While the nature of it is a little complicated as Danika is dead for most of the book, that doesn’t diminish the novel’s ability to showcase the strength of their connection and the immense, sisterly love they have for one another. I can’t say too much more without delving into spoiler territory but honestly, the loyalty, faith and trust between these two is unwavering and wonderful.


Hyacinths: Have a Sweet & Lingering Fragrance

The Sweetest Novel You’ve Read

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10 Blind Dates – Ashley Elston: I’ve read quite a few books that I’d say are sweet and heartwarming. Most of them are YA contemporaries. To avoid using the same picks again, I’m using 10 Blind Dates. This book is definitely sweet and fluffy, plus it’s set at Christmas time which gives it some extra sweet points. The book revolves around the MC, Sophie, being set up on a bunch of fun and interesting dates by her relatives to help get her over her breakup. It’s a pretty innocent and enjoyable premise but what I liked most about this one was the family dynamics. Sophie’s big, crazy, Sicilian family is just so warm, quirky and supportive that you can’t help but love them.


Tulips: Bright, Popular & Showy

FavoUrite Larger Than Life Character

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Sevro Au Barca (Red Rising Series – Pierce Brown): While he’s not exactly “bright”, Sevro is certainly larger than life with his own sense of…er, flair. He’s one of those extremely memorable fictional characters with a highly defined appearance, voice and personality which makes him so easy to visualise in your head. He’s cunning, scrappy, vulgar, quick witted and never fails to go against society’s expectations. Basically, you’ll be hard pressed to forget he’s present in any scene he happens to be in (in the best way). However, deep down he’s also extremely loyal and has a sensitive side.


Water Lilies: Can be Difficult to Eradicate

A Novel that has Stood the Test of Time & Remained Your Favorite Through the Years

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The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger: I can’t even remember how old I was when I first read The Time Traveler’s Wife. Twelve, maybe thirteen? It feels like such a long time ago now. The book was a gift from my mum who, based on a recommendation from someone at the bookstore, thought I’d enjoy it. I loved this novel and it’s one of the few that has ever made me cry. I’ve re-read it a few times over the years (not recently though) but it still gives me the same feelings every read through. I appreciate the characters and enjoy following them through their lives, adore the love story, and my heart breaks at the ending.


Lavender: Has Many Uses – Landscaping, Food, Cosmetics & Essential Oils

A Book You Love That Fits in More than One Genre

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This Savage Song – Victoria Schwab: I really enjoyed this duology. I’m also still majorly impressed by how good the concept is: Monsters which manifest as a result of humans’ dark deeds and a city split in half based on the different approaches to dealing with them. The plot moves along at a decent pace and there’s a few twists thrown in here and there. The main characters are likeable, too, and their friendship is very well done. It’s fantasy, horror, and dystopia all wrapped up in one great little package that very easily keeps you turning pages until the end.



What’s your favourite flower? Mine is sunflowers! They’re just so bright and happy. While I was travelling in Italy over ten years ago, we drove past an entire field of them and it was such a beautiful sight.

I hope you’re all staying well and that you’ve got some great books to keep you company.

The Disney Parks Book Tag

I love Disney. It doesn’t matter how old I get, the child within will always adore it. I’ve been wanting to take another trip to Disney World for some time now (despite my bank account pretty much screaming at the very idea). There’s just something about the rides, food, fireworks, shows and general sense of happiness wherever you go that’s irresistible. However, with the pandemic making a trip pretty much impossible for the foreseeable future, virtual travel will have to do for the moment. Cue this Disney Parks Book Tag created by Alexandra at Reading by Starlight. I stumbled across this one via Brittany at Perfectly Tolerable and knew I had to do it.

The Rules

  • Mention the creator of the tag and link back to original post [Alexandra @ Reading by Starlight]
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you
  • Answer the 10 questions below using any genre
  • Tag 5+ friends
  • Feel free to copy the heading graphics (thanks Alexandra!)

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It may not be a “jungle” cruise, but it’s definitely set along a river (which was a challenge for me to find in itself!) Just a more desert type one. Death on the Nile involves famous detective Hercule Poroit taking a trip to Egypt and, as usual, getting wrapped up in an investigation after a newlywed heiress and socialite is found shot to death in a cabin on his Nile cruise. As you’d expect from a Christie novel, there’s a solid cast of characters, each with mysterious backstories to unravel, and a vast array of clues, red herrings and motives. As far as quick, well crafted mystery novels go, and one from the queen of crime herself to boot, this is a good one.

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Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle 3#) – Jay Kristoff

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I have to say, I haven’t read all that many books which revolve largely around sea based travel. Maybe two? Three if I’m generous? While the majority of Darkdawn doesn’t take place on a ship, part of it does. A pirate ship to be exact, because any other kind wouldn’t be nearly as fun. The time on said ship introduces us to some quirky and memorable characters and gives us both sweet and angsty character moments. It also involves Mia & co. doing their best to stay afloat as they face off against a storm of epic proportions created by angry and powerful gods determined to stop them from reaching their goal. There may be a sea monster or two as well.

Verity – Colleen Hoover

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I’ve read a couple of thrillers now and Verity by Colleen Hoover has definitely been my favourite, part of the reason for which is the creepy atmosphere created by the isolated manor house setting. The book centres around a writer named Lowen, recently hired to finish a series by bestselling author Verity Crawford who has been seriously injured in a terrible accident. Lowen visits the family estate to go through Verity’s notes but ends up finding a autobiographical manuscript which details some troubling revelations about the years prior to Verity’s accident. Next thing you know, Lowen’s questioning what’s real, what’s not, whether she’s being watched…you get the vibe. I highly recommend this one!


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Illuminae (The Illuminae Files 1#) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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YA fan favourite Illuminae will never not be a perfect answer for this type of prompt. It’s gripping from start to finish. I mean, the book opens with the invasion and evacuation of a planet and then later involves a zombie virus, crazy AI, space battles, and twists & turns galore. It’s just ridiculous amounts of fun. The characters are great, the story is super engaging and the writing format is really refreshing. Sitting down and reading this in one sitting is entirely reasonable because once you get stuck in, you have to keep going. Even if you’re not a huge sci-fi fan, there’s a high chance you’ll enjoy it.


The Sookie Stackhouse Series – Charlaine Harris

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The problem with reading a bunch of fantasy novels is that when geographical prompts like this come up, finding a suitable book becomes a tad bit difficult. Even more so when it’s this narrow. Luckily enough, I’ve read several of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris which are set in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. These are the novels that were adapted to create HBO’s True Blood. Just in case you weren’t already aware, the series is set in a world where humans know about vampires and it follows a telepathic waitress named Sookie who falls in love with a vampire, Bill. They’re not always the best written books but fun as far as paranormal romance goes. Plus, I quite enjoy the mystery elements in them. What’s love without a little murder?


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Not a castle in the traditional sense of the word but hey, that’s what Howl’s magical moving home is referred to, so why question it? The castle is a significant setting in the book. While the outside is held together by magic and has stone walls and turrets which billow smoke, the inside looks more like a welcoming cottage with a hearth and plenty of knickknacks. It also happens to have a magical front door which opens onto several different locations in the land of Ingary depending on which direction the knob above it is turned to. The windows, too, will often look out onto different places. The castle is home to self-absorbed ladies man/wizard Howl, his crabby fire demon Calcifer, Howl’s teenage assistant, Michael, and later Sophie, cursed to look like an old crone.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

I don’t think anyone can debate my answer for this prompt (especially since the ride is the Mad Tea Party). Were you to investigate the themes and subtext in Alice it may bring you to some less than whimsical ideas, but just reading the book for what it is, it’s definitely strange and unusual in a fun and playful way. This is especially so if you’re a kid reading it for the first time. Food and drink which alter your size, babies changing into pigs, a grinning Cheshire cat, a court trial over the theft of some tarts, and a hare who’s somehow always late – it’s certainly magical and mesmerizing. Caroll’s use of parody, poetry and nursery rhymes probably also help its case somewhat in the whimsical department.


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I’m having difficulty thinking of many books I’ve read that would fit this prompt (you’d think there’d be more mountain journeys in the fantasy I’ve read), so I’ll just go with the first thing that jumped to mind, The Lord of the Rings. If you’ve read the books or seen the amazing film trilogy, you’ll know that in the first entry of the series, The Fellowship of the Ring, the eleven members of the fellowship attempt to make their way across the narrow and dangerous pass of the Misty Mountains to reach the elven realm of Lothlórien. Due to a terrible blizzard, they’re forced to turn back. Instead, they take the route through the mountains and into the Mines of Moria which brings them a great deal of trouble and misery.


The Poppy War – R. F. Kuang

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The Poppy War was one of my favourite reads of 2019. The first in an adult fantasy series, the world and story events are drawn heavily from China and its history, particularly the Second Sino-Japanese War including the Rape of Nanjing. For this reason, it can be a brutal read to tackle at times (the author doesn’t shy away from the atrocities of war), but it’s also exceptionally well done. The book follows Rin, an orphan who gets accepted to a prestigious military academy and works her butt off to eventually become a soldier in a long standing war. There’s action, great characters, magic, emotional moments, just an overall fantastic book.


Saga – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

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I’m going with a comic series for this one. Saga is 100% one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever read and yes, some of the stuff in it may be for shock value but it’s also a lot of fun to read. The plot has fantastic momentum and is a perfect blend of action, adventure, romance and comedy. The series is narrated by a girl named Hazel who recalls how her parents met, fell in love and escaped with a baby despite being soldiers on two different sides of a never-ending galactic war. In their quest to find a safe place to raise their daughter, the two come up against a host of obstacles including bounty hunters, alien monsters, ghosts, and more.


Have you ever been to Disney World or Disneyland? If so, what was your favourite part? Mine was definitely Space Mountain and the Mickey ice cream sandwiches!

If you haven’t, and you had the chance to go, what would be the thing you’d be most excited to do/try?

The Netflix Book Tag

I love books. I love Netflix. This tag is thus a match made in heaven. Or is it (considering one usually distracts me from the other…)? I stumbled across this tag via Kristin at Kristin Kraves Books but it was originally created by A Darker Shade of Whitney over on booktube.

Recently Watched: The Last Book You Finished

Golden Son (Red Rising 2#) – Pierce Brown

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A Golden Son re-read wasn’t even listed on my TBR for March. And yet, here we are. I should have known this would happen. You can’t just read Red Rising and not keep going. Even now I’m so damn tempted to just pick up Morningstar and let the good times roll. I love this series. I really, really do. I gave this book five stars the first time around and I feel completely confident in my rating after the second time through. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll re-read these books again in the future. If that isn’t a glowing endorsement, I don’t know what is.


Top Picks: A Book That Has Been Recommended To You Based On What You’ve Previously Read

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz 

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I’ve had Ari & Dante mentioned to me quite a few times as something I’d probably enjoy and the consensus on it in general seems to be very, very good. I actually think this is something I’ll read eventually because I quite like the looks of the blurb. It feels like a really great character focused, coming of age story. It also happens to be a LGBTI book with two Mexican-American leads so yay for diversity. I’ve heard that the audiobook read by Lin Manuel Miranda is solid so maybe I’ll end up checking that out.


Recently Added: The Last Book You Purchased

Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin

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I bought 3 books as my last purchase (blame book depository) and Wolf by Wolf is one of them. I stumbled across it watching one of Hayley in Bookland’s videos and thought it sounded really interesting, so why not give it a go? It’s an alternate history story in which the Nazis won WWII. Each year they hold a multi-continent motorcycle race to commemorate their victory, the winner of which gets to meet Hitler. Impersonating a previous winner, a former concentration camp prisoner, Yael, decides to enter the race to win and kill Hitler. The problem is that both the brother and former lover interest of the racer she’s pretending to be are also competing. The book has great reviews so I’m really excited to read it.


Popular On Netflix: Books That Everyone Knows (2 You’ve Read & 2 You Have No Interest In Reading)

Weird assortment of books, I know but this question was pretty broad.

  • Daisy Jones & the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid: Read it, liked it but didn’t love it like I did The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Kind of wish I’d listened to the audiobook but ah well.
  • All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven: Read. An okay YA contemporary but I wasn’t too keen on the ending and couldn’t help feeling like the story was a little emotionally manipulative.
  • The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins: The things I’ve heard about this one, particularly from my grandma, definitely make me not want to bother with it.
  • The Testaments – Margaret Atwood: I pretty much have zero interest in reading this one, mostly because it just seems unnecessary.

Comedies: A Funny Book

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

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I had to pick this one. I haven’t properly laughed reading a book for good while and I did multiple times reading Red, White & Royal Blue. It’s so much fun. The texting and phone calls between Henry and Alex were fantastic. My favourite one, however, has to be in which Alex is stuck in his room with the turkeys set for presidential pardon the next day and calls Henry to complain. If I’m ever having a particularly tough week in the future, I know that re-reading this book would be a sure fire way to make me feel a lot better.


Dramas: A Character That Is A Drama Queen/King

Evie (The Diviners – Libba Bray)

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Having only recently finished this book, the characters are still fresh in my mind. Evie loves a bit of a drama and it certainly seems to follow her around, which makes for some fun situations. She does object readings at parties and reveals scandalising gossip, makes deals with the press on the sly to get her name in the papers, and will happily confront people for past slights in fiery fashion (despite saying she’ll leave it well enough alone). Things are never dull with Evie around. But hey, that’s the way she like it after all.


Animated: A Book With Cartoons On The Cover

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

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I am not so secretly a big fan of these cute animated styled covers. I’ve noticed that they’ve become super popular in recent years, especially when it comes to contemporary romance books. They’re just so sweet and fun looking. It automatically puts me in a rom-com mood. As far as the actual book goes, I really enjoyed Fangirl. It’s a great celebration of nerd & fan culture and has a super relatable protagonist for so many introverted people dealing with things like anxiety.


Watch It Again: A Book Or Series You Want To Reread

Arc of a Scythe Series – Neal Shusterman

I love the Arc of a Scythe series. It feels so different from other things I’ve read and the world building is fantastic. The last book in the series, The Toll, was released in 2019 and because it seems like ages since I read books 1 & 2, I really want to do a re-read before I tackle book 3. I’ve definitely become one of those people who needs to do re-reads to refresh themselves on the important details of previous books before tackling a series’ new release. I enjoy them so much more that way.


Documentaries: A Nonfiction Book You’d Recommend To Everyone

Eggshell Skull – Bri Lee

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I’ve started to read the odd non-fiction book now and again, and there are a few on my list to tackle in 2020. Eggshell Skull was one of my top 10 reads of 2019 and it’s one I’d easily recommend. It looks at how sexual assault is handled by the legal system in Queensland, Australia and I was engaged, horrified and saddened. The writing isn’t always perfect but it was very interesting to see the issue from the perspective of someone who has been on both sides – a judge’s associate in sexual assault trials and a complainant. It’s great at showcasing why women avoid reporting assault and the profound effects being a victim of assault can have on a person even years later.


Action & Adventure: An Action-Packed Book Or Series

Percy Jackson & the Olympians Series – Rick Riordan

As far as action and adventure go, Percy is always a suitable choice. Monsters, quests, sword fighting, the potential end of the world, vengeful Greek Gods – “action-packed” is one way to put it. It’s pretty much never a dull moment for Percy and his friends, but it certainly keeps things exciting…and well, dangerous.


New Releases: A Book That Just Came Out Or Will Be Coming Out Soon That You Can’t Wait To Read

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City 1#) – Sarah J. Maas

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In a choice that will come as a surprise to absolutely no one out there, I recently received my pre-order of Sarah J. Maas’s new book and I’m super keen to read it. My attitudes towards Sarah’s previous books vary a lot but I’m hoping that this one will be on the A Court of Mist and Fury end of my likeability scale. This is an adult book so I’m looking forward to seeing what SJM does with a bit more freedom (then again, her “YA” books have never truly been YA anyway due to their sexual content but eh). Angels, faeries, murder, romance, please let this be worth devoting 800 pages and my time to.


What are some of your favourite Netflix shows?

The Cliché Book Tag

I’m always on the look out for fun book tags to pass the time with and this one recently caught my eye. I tried to backtrack through all the tagging to find the original creator but unfortunately reached a bit of a dead end with a deactivated blog. *sigh* Still, let’s tackle some terrible (yet, fabulous) cliches.

Actions Speak Louder than Words: A Book that Wasn’t or Couldn’t be Better than the Movie

The Lord of the Rings Series – J. R. R. Tolkien

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I know, according to Tolkien fans, there’s probably a special place in book hell reserved especially for me purely for having this opinion. But to that I say: worth it. I gave The Lord of the Rings book series a red hot go, I really did, but I couldn’t make it past The Two Towers. SO. MUCH. UNNECESSARY. INFORMATION. I was drowning in it. Add in a smug writing style and not enough attention devoted to the actual story & its big dramatic moments, and I’m out. On the other hand, the movies are some of my favourite films – the scenery, music, costumes, humour, amazing battle sequences, wonderful characters – AH, I love them. Amazing.


The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side: A Rags to Riches or Riches to Rags Story

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Evelyn Hugo is easily one of my favourite books and one of the reasons I enjoy it so much is Evelyn herself. Evelyn comes from a Cuban immigrant family with very little to their names and wants nothing more than to get out of Hell’s Kitchen, away from her alcoholic father and his heavy hand, and to make it to Hollywood. At fifteen, she marries, moves to California and slowly starts to work her way towards becoming one of the country’s most famous actresses. Wealth, fame, notoriety – it’s not an easy road and she has to sacrifice a lot of herself to get there, but get there she does and with plenty of cash to spend.


The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree: A Parent-Child Relationship you Love

Anne & Matthew (Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery)

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While Matthew and Anne aren’t blood related, their relationship is 100% that of father and daughter. Where Anne is a massive chatterbox, Matthew is quiet and more than happy to sit and listen to her prattle on for hours. She makes him laugh and he’s there when she needs some encouragement. Every time I think of their relationship, I’m reminded of two things, 1) him going out to buy Anne a dress with puffed sleeves, knowing it was the one thing she wanted more than anything, and 2) shortly before he died, him calling Anne his girl, who he was proud of. *cries*


You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover: A Great Book that Needs a Better Cover

This Savage Song – V. E. Schwab

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I really enjoyed The Monsters of Verity duology but goodness me, the UK/Aus covers for these books were lazy and boring. The font looks like it could be chilling on the front of a copy of Twilight while the graphic design elements aren’t doing anything for anyone. I mean, at least the sequel tried to incorporate a violin but this rose seems really out of place. Every time I look at the US covers for this series I think about what could have been and wish I’d taken the time to order them from Book Depository. Re-cover these, stat!


You Can’t Please Everyone: A Book You Hate That Everyone Loves

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin

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I don’t know if the problem is that I read Mara Dyer too long after books of its type were popular or whether it’s just me. Still, either way, I really don’t get how this ended up with a 4.06 average star rating on Goodreads. It’s full of tropes & cliches – the bitchy mean girl, the comic relief bestie, the bad boy love interest. *sigh* The thing that frustrates me the most is that the author starts out by trying to hook the reader using a paranormal mystery plotline but in reality it’s just a romance and an unhealthy, eye-roll worthy one at that. Also, the slut shaming in this book – not cool.


What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger: A Book That Made You A Better Person For Having Read It

Becoming – Michelle Obama

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I’m slightly cheating here as I’m not finished this yet but eh. Michelle Obama is an elegant, intelligent, kind and inspiring woman, but at the same time she’s wonderfully relatable in so many ways. So far, her biography has already taught me a lot about life, relationships, motherhood, loss, the experiences of African Americans, and growing up working class in the US. She shares many pieces of advice/wisdom that I think people could benefit from – some I wish I had heard earlier, and others I’m glad to have before they become relevant. I honestly believe I’ll be a better person for having read this.


Love Is Blind: A Book With A Disabled Character Or Actual Blind Love

100 Days of Sunlight – Abbie Emmons

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It’s pretty sad that when trying to think of an answer for this prompt, only four books came to mind. It might just be my limited reading range but somehow I don’t feel like that’s the case. 100 days of Sunlight actually fits both parts of this prompt as the two lead characters are Tessa, a girl with temporary blindness, and Weston, an amputee. The story revolves around Weston assisting Tessa with producing content for her poetry blog during her period of vision impairment and helping her to experience the world despite her disability. As you would expect of a fluffy YA contemporary, the two eventually fall in love.


Ignorance Is Bliss: A Book That’s Bad But You Just Don’t Want To Admit It

The Selection – Kiera Cass

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I know the prompt says to select a book you don’t want to admit is bad, but I have repeatedly said that I realise how dodgy The Selection series is. The thing is, I just don’t care. I binge read this series like a kid shoveling in Halloween candy. The story is tropey (hello there, love triangle), the world building is as weak as anything, the lead character can be a whingey pain in the butt and the story is kind of a feminist’s nightmare, but I DO NOT CARE. It’s the reality TV of YA fiction. Loveably trashy.


There’s No Time Like The Present: Your Favorite Contemporary Book

The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

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I hate questions involving the word ‘favourite’. They’re just downright cruel because I have a long list of favourites, thank you very much! The Time Traveler’s Wife has been a favourite of mine for years now. I received it as a gift from my mum and fell instantly in love. While it does involve time travel, its main story is grounded in the present. The ending has made me cry on more than one occasion. I will say though, the last time I read it was about 7 years ago so who knows whether it’d still remain a favourite. Guess I’ll add it to the enormous list of books I want to re-read but don’t have the time to.


Better Safe Than Sorry: A Book You Don’t Want To Read In Case It’s Bad

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive 1#) – Brandon Sanderson

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Ask an avid fantasy reader about their favourite series and I guarantee you they’ll mention The Stormlight Archive. The love for this series is insane. If I order my to-read shelf by average rating, The Way of Kings is no.2 on 4.65! So, I have to question, how can anything with that much hype possibly live up to it? According to reviews I’ve seen, the book has a bunch of different characters to follow, involves a heavy amount of world building and takes a good while for the story to get going. For these reasons I’m really concerned that won’t enjoy it. And yet, it’s still on my to-read shelf after all this time. So maybe, just maybe I’ll eventually take the plunge.


That’s it! We’re done. I had fun with this tag. While cliches certainly make you want to roll your eyes, they’re also kind of fun to play around with. What’s your favourite cliche?

More Breakfast & Books: The Waffle Book Tag

As some of you may have seen, I recently completed the pancake book tag. Well, I have now discovered that there is in fact also a WAFFLE BOOK TAG (courtesy of Kat at Novels & Waffles). So I thought, why let the breakfast book tag train stop at pancakes when we can make this a sweet buffet of fluffy goodness? Exactly. Both Eleven and Nina Zenik would approve.

The Rules

  1. Link back to Kat @ Novels & Waffles
  2. Feel free to use Kat’s adorable waffle graphics (and I shall, thanks Kat!) just make sure to credit her
  3. Tag as few or as many people as you’d like to partake in the waffle-y goodness

Okay, grab your fork and some syrup, and let’s get going!


waffle book tag belgian waffles
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As someone who isn’t usually one for classic novels, I’ve got a limited pool to pick from on this one. In the end I’ve decided to go with good, old Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. While I do find it difficult to sift through the older style language and the wordy descriptions, as I do with classics in general, I actually like the characters (especially Elizabeth) and story in this one. It has some amusing dialogue and it’s certainly enjoyable seeing Lizzie and Darcy slowly re-evaluate their opinions of one another. Plus, I’m always a sucker for a slow burn romance.


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I heard the word wholesome and my mind immediately jumped to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, because how could it not? I first read this book on a cruise through the pacific islands, the bulk of it by the pool, and it was an absolutely perfect fit – adorably sweet, funny, romantic, and light enough to get through in a short period of time. There’s also the added bonus that it’s virtually impossible not to have an enormous smile on your face for hours after finishing it.


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Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I’m going to bypass my typical answer for this one, Harry Potter, and go with something different. In my teen years, like everyone else, I was completely obsessed with The Twilight Saga. Ga-ga for it. As I’ve gotten older I’ve definitely come to realise the problems with the series and the central relationship but still, reading it always takes me back to crazy, teenybopper Ashley. I can’t help but feel extremely comforted by it. Weird, I know. I guess reading something about 100 times will do that to you…


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Cress from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is the very definition of sweet. She’s so freakin’ adorable and naive and loveable that I can’t help smiling whenever she’s in a scene. Her getting excited about seeing a tree for the first time and calling everything she sees in the desert beautiful is ridiculously cute and endearing. I also love her interactions with Thorne because she’s pretty much every reader of the series with how much she swoons for him.


waffle book tag blueberry waffles
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I loved Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer but it was certainly an emotional ride for my poor heart. Sure, it has a happy ending, but we’ve got a roller coaster of feels to get there. Juliet’s still dealing with her mother’s death and trying to reintegrate into the world, Declan’s got all this family baggage, anger and guilt, and then there’s Rev’s trauma, and it all just HURTS, OKAY? But it’s also super cathartic, so at least there’s that.


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The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum is certainly different. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like this in terms of both content and presentation. It’s dark and deep and takes an interesting look at mental illness and toxic relationships. Structurally it’s broken down into very short chapters, sometimes only a page long, and visually the book uses photographs, handwritten notes and other inserts along with varying degrees of black ink around the page edges to supplement the story.


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There are quite a few series that I’ve seen all the way through to the end but Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead is easily one of my favourites. I fell in love with these books, campy as they are, when I was in high school. At the time only three of them had been released and I anxiously waited out the remaining years as each of the remaining 3 came out. A butt-kicking heroine, funny dialogue, a fabulous friendship, some great romance, and a super entertaining plot – it’s got everything I need, and vampires to boot.


waffle book tag waffle iron
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Hm, this is hard. While I love my Kindle and collection of wooden bookmarks, for practicality reasons I have to go with my booksleeve. I do most of my reading on the train and to do so I keep my books in my handbag. Before getting my sleeve, my books would end up scratched, bent, and sometimes even the coating on the covers would start to peel up. It’s so much better being able to pop my books inside and know they’ll be protected. Also, bonus points because my sleeve has a HP marauder’s map design on the fabric.


We made it! And once again I’m left with an unbearable craving for sweet, fluffy breakfast food smothered in maple syrup or Nutella. Yum-yum. I’ve really got to stop doing this to myself…

Want to get in on the waffle and bookish fun? (Because, of course, you do). If so, I tag you!

Breakfast and Books: The Pancake Book Tag

I love pancakes. LOVE THEM. Maple syrup, lemon & sugar, Nutella, all of it. Load me up and then get ready to wheel me out the door when I’m done. Breakfast food is the best, honestly. So, how could I possibly resist doing a pancakes themed book tag? I can’t. It’s impossible. This sweet tag (along with the ridiculously cute pancake graphics) was created by Becky over at Blogs of a Bookaholic and which I stumbled across thanks to another breakfast lover, Kat at Novels & Waffles. All this food talk is making me very hungry…

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The Rules

  • Link back to the original creator (Becky @ Blogs of a Bookaholic)
  • Feel free to use any of the pancake graphics in your post, or create your own!
  • Tag 5 other people at the end of your post, and let them know you’ve tagged them. 

The Pancake Book Tag 1
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I have to agree with Becky on this one – while I wasn’t head over heels for the characters and plot in Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus (it’s certainly very…different), the writing is beyond lovely. I’m not usually one for flowery descriptions or phrases that attempt to be deep and profound, but some of the lines from this book are just beautiful. Reading it is, well, to quote the book itself, “Like stepping into a fairy tale under a curtain of stars.” As a book about a magical and mysterious circus, the fantasy of the writing is perfectly suited to its story.


The Pancake Book Tag 3
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Kvothe from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is the first character that comes to mind on this one because he’s sharp in both wit and temperament. Intellect wise, he’s basically a prodigy, especially where it comes to magic and music. However, it’s his wit and snappy tongue that get him in to trouble when he reaches university. Pissing off the sons of wealthy nobles with a lot of pride and influence is not always the best idea… But hey, at least it’s entertaining: “I even started a few rumors that were pure nonsense, lies so outrageous that people would repeat them despite the fact that they were obviously untrue.”


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God, I love pancakes & nutella..*drools* There are a few books that are for sure comfort reads for me (usually YA contemporaries), but this time around I’m going with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Honestly, that whole series in general is the sweetest, most easy-breezy, comforting set of books. And so quick to finish, too! Lara Jean is such an adorable protagonist and, despite their issues, I love LJ and Peter together. Even the side characters are loveable. It just gives me all the warm fuzzies.


The Pancake Book Tag 9
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The Wicked King by Holly Black – the book hangover was strong with this one. I guess that’s what happens when you sit and do nothing else but read for hours on end until the book is over and then have to remember what you normally do with your life. I was so excited for this release and hooked from start to finish. Then it ended on a big twist and I was like….what. I have to wait a year to get the next one? Brain does not compute. Why. Why. Why.


The Pancake Book Tag 6
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I’m going with one of my faves, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid for this prompt. Indulgent? Check. Feels? A million times check. I flippin’ love this book. Its such a dramatic ride and it really manages to hit you in the guts at several points. Despite its many issues, I can’t help being intrigued by the gliz and glamour of old school Hollywood, which is what drew me to this book originally. Plus, I can never resist a well developed romance, even when I know it’s going to break my heart to pieces.


The Pancake Book Tag 4
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Ah, Baz. You start out so rude and potentially murderous only to turn out to have the hots for the chosen one. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is such a bizarre yet fun book and Tyrannus Basilton “Baz” Grimm-Pitch is easily one of the best parts. He’s all like, why yes, I may have tried to kill you on more than one occasion, potentially stole your girlfriend and constantly acted like an ass for about six years, but I am in fact sensitive, possess a traumatic backstory, currently dealing with my vampirism, and very much in love with your blue eyes and bronze curls Simon Snow. Winner.


The Pancake Book Tag 5
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The plot in The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton definitely kept me guessing, mainly because it’s so intricately done and tricky to pin down until the last third or so. There’s just so much happening with all the different timelines and characters. For large chunks of the book, the main character is even more confused than the reader is. Still, it all manages to come together in the end. This book is surely one of the more creative mystery stories I’ve ever read. It’s nice to read something that isn’t really predictable from the get-go.


The Pancake Book Tag 7
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A weird choice considering I haven’t read past book 4, but for some reason my brain keeps flashing it up – Aelin & Rowan from the Throne of Glass series. When Rowan was introduced in book 3, I was still hung up on Aelin & Chaol so I was sitting there going, please, please don’t become a romantic thing (even though I could see it coming from a mile away). But, then the idea grew on me over Queen of Shadows. Since then I’ve seen a lot of snippets, recaps, and discussions of the later books and I think that if I actually finished the series I’d be very much on board with the ship because of how loyal they are to one another and how much crap they go through together.


The Pancake Book Tag 8
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Don’t worry, Becky. I’m not much of a fan of Peanut Butter either, except for Reese’s Peanut Butter cups weirdly enough. Anyway, ugh Marcus Farrar from The Ember Quartet by Sabaa Tahir takes the cake (or pancake) on this one. The guy just makes my skin crawl and for good reason. He sexually assaults slaves, hurts people for the pleasure of it, and just murders as he likes. I can’t say too much because of spoilers, but Marcus does some seriously messed up stuff during the series, especially during book 2 – A Torch Against the Night.


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I may have had a few problems with The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi but the characters were not one of them. In fact, they were the best part! And they’re so fabulously diverse. We’ve got Algerian-French, Indian, Filipino-Spanish, Polish, and Haitian-French covered just in the main cast alone. There’s straight characters, bi characters, curvy characters, skinny characters…ahhhh…it makes my heart do a little happy dance. They’re all so quirky and brilliant, and create this perfect little found family. If only more books achieved this.


Annnnnnndddddd…now I’m dying for pancakes. Why do I do these things to myself. *cries* Speaking of which, are you guys team pancakes or team waffles? I think I prefer pancakes but I absolutely love both. Give me a breakfast smorgasbord, pretty please.

I’m going to do my usual no tagging thing but if you love pancakes and feel like giving this tag a go, I strongly recommend it. I had a blast. Just make sure you eat beforehand!

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?

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.