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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.