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!

Stabtastic: 7 Assassin Reads for When you Feel Like Something Bloody & Murderous

I love a good stabtastic read on occasion (totally a real, not at all made up word). After all, a little moral ambiguity is good for the household bookworm. Plus, if there’s one thing assassin stories aren’t, it’s boring. Well, at least the majority of the time. But what books are out there to fulfill the occasional need for something a little dark and potentially messy? Here are 7 books that may fit the bill.

Just to state up front, I haven’t read all of these so don’t hate on me if there’s something here that you weren’t so keen on.

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

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Let’s kick things off with the obvious pick – obvious because I freakin’ love this series. Nevernight is about a girl named Mia whose family is killed by the Emperor when she is ten years old. Six years later she sets out in search of a school for assassins called The Red Church in the hopes of making herself into a weapon strong enough to get revenge. The Red Church is hardcore though and if you can’t hack it as a student, you die. Simple as that. Mia also happens to be special in that she’s a Darkin – someone with the rare ability to control shadows. One of the ways her ability manifests itself is as a shadow companion in the shape of a cat which she calls Mr Kindly. Basically, it’s dark, bloody, sassy, a little smutty, and it’s fabulous.

Shelves: Adult, Revenge-Story, Training-Academy, Magic, Sass, Quotable.

Grave Mercy – Robin Lafevers

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This one is on my neverending TBR. Grave Mercy follows seventeen-year-old Ismae who is supposed to be married off to an older man. When a mark on her back identifying her as one of Death’s Daughters is found, she’s sent off to the convent at St. Mortain. Here, the nuns give her a choice – leave and marry, or stay and train as an assassin to serve as a handmaiden to Death (assassin nun). Following her training, she’s sent to court in Brittany to protect the young Duchess, Anne, from the French. To do this, she poses as mistress to Anne’s illegitimate half-brother, Gavriel Duval, who may or may not be acting against her. What will come as a shock to no one, Gavriel and Isame fall for each other. Like Mia in Nevernight, Isame also has special abilities in that she has an immunity to poisons and can talk to souls. Although the story does revolve around politcial espionage and mystery, it’s in large part a historical romance and does have a slower pace so keep that in mind.

Shelves: YA, Historical-Romance, Assassin-nuns, Alternate-History, Political-Intrigue, Mystery.

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

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Sorry, did you just say you wanted MORE assassin nuns? Well, I aim to please. Red Sister is another book which utilises the good old training academy trope. It revolves around eight-year-old Nona Grey. Nona is taken in by the nuns of Sweet Mercy Convent after she shows signs of magical abilities derived from ancient bloodlines when she murders the son of a powerful man. The nuns offer her the opportunity to avoid execution by taking up a position as a novice and spending the next ten years training to become a fearsome warrior. RS spans over the first three years of Nona’s training. Much of the book is spent within the confines of the convent but there are also threats to Nona from the outside – the consequences of her actions before becoming a novice. Additionally, the book has a chosen one element and features a largely 90% female cast of badass characters.

Shelves: Chosen One, Magic, Assassin-Nuns, Strong-Female-Characters, Friendship, No-Romance, Training-Academies.

Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

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Come on, I had to do it. It’s not a fave of mine but could you imagine the rioting if I left it off? The Assasin’s Blade would probably be a better pick, but as ToG is the original, we’ll go with it instead. Book one in the series introduces us to Celaena Sardothien, trained assassin, and currently serving a life sentence in the salt mines of Endovier. In exchange for her freedom, Celaena is offered the chance to represent Prince Dorian as a candidate in his father’s to-the-death tournament to find a new royal assassin. Here she’ll be pitted against some of the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land, and either she’ll win or die trying. After books 1, 2 & the prequel, the series does direct focus away from the assassin vibe but Celaena’s history as an assassin and associated skills do play a big role in the other books. It’s high stakes fantasy with battles, faeries, magic and romance. But be prepared, the series is 8 books long so it’s going to take a WHILE.

Shelves: YA, Tournament, Royalty, Lost-Princess, Magic, Kickass-MC, Friendship, Book-Boyfriends.

Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb

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Robin Hobb is a big name in the fantasy genre and the Farseer trilogy is considered to be one of her best series. In Assassin’s Apprentice, we meet Fitz, the royal bastard. Fitz has difficulty finding his place, something made worse by the fact that he has a magical link with animals known as the Wit – a craft hated by the nobility. Once he gets older, Fitz is adopted into the royal household and begins training to become the royal assassin. The books follow Fitz’s adventures and trials, dealing with politics, war, loss and revenge. This is another series that starts out slow. However, the books were so popular that they spawned two more series about the character.

Shelves: High-Fantasy, Royalty, Magic, Mentor-Apprentice, Coming-of-Age, Politics, Underdog-Protagonist.

Graceling – Kristin Cashore

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Another kick-ass leading lady and another romance style fantasy. Our MC is Katsa – a girl born with a Grace (exceptional skill or talent) for killing people. Because of this, she serves as a thug for the king, her uncle, travelling across the land killing, torturing and instilling nightmares. However, as she grows up Katsa starts to question her role. One day she comes across Po, a graced man as talented in fighting as she is. He turns out to be a Prince who has come searching for his kidnapped grandfather. The two start up a friendship and set out together to track down the kidnappers. As you’d expect, the two also fall in love. The book is a series of three which changes focus characters each time around. It’s won a bunch of awards, has a 4.12 average GR rating, and known to contain one of the most loveable romantic interests around. Although, I should note that the feminism aspect to this novel is very much on the side of: reject all things considered to be feminine and girly.

Shelves: YA, Romance, Friends-to-Lovers, Adventure, Magic, Coming-of-Age, Action, Radical Feminism, Kingdoms-and-Royals

The Way of Shadows – Brent Weeks

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This book is one of those weird ones where the average Goodreads rating is high and the top reviews are negative. Probably because the story itself has some issues but people seem to enjoy it as a sort of guilty pleasure read? The first book in the Night Angel series introduces us to Azoth, a guild rat who lives a miserable existence in the slums. To escape his situation, he apprentices himself to renowned Wetboy (aka super assassin) Durzo Blint. Azoth is forced to leave his old life entirely behind and is given a new name, Kylar Stern. He then begins his training in magic, fighting and poisons to become a Wetboy himself. His skills are soon put to the test when his city is threatened. While the dialogue is supposedly questionable at times, and the attitudes towards women could use a lot of work, The Way of Shadows is supposedly an action packed and fast paced ride. If you enjoy fantasy tropes, this book includes a few of them. The book doesn’t involve much focus on world building, although the magic system is reportedly pretty interesting, and instead directs attention to plot and characters.

Shelves: Adult, Grim-Dark, Action, Magic, Coming-of-Age, Male-Protagonist, Mentor-Apprentice.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

What’s your favourite assassin themed book?

Books I’ll Probably Never Read Tag

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

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A Really Hyped Book You’re Not Interested in Reading

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

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

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

A Classic You’re Just Not Interested In

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

Any Genres You’ve Never Read?

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

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

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

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

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

Love Ashley

Let’s Talk: Fairies in Fiction

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When I was ten, I was captivated by the magic of The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. The fey in these stories varied in their appearance and nature, ranging from brownies and goblins to nixies and ogres, but just like in any other book about the fair folk, they were also tricksy, mysterious and of course, dangerous. As I moved into my teenage years, fairy stories soon began to lose their appeal in favour of vampires, angels, and werewolves. However, over the last few years the genre has had an epic resurgence in fantasy and, much like a lot of other people’s, my interest has returned with a similar vengeance. So, recently I started thinking about what it is exactly that’s so appealing about stories dealing with the fey these days, and here’s what I came up with:

Magic

One of the best parts of fantasy is magic and it’s something that features pretty much constantly in fey stories. It’s most common purpose is  reinforcing a hierarchy – separating the all-powerful rulers from the ruled or, more commonly, the annoying antagonist character that needs to get their butt kicked from our central characters. Magic in fey stories is also often a court identifier and shows just how rooted a fairy character’s court is in their personality. In Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, Summer King Keenan isn’t just the ruler of the Summer Court, he literally exudes sunlight and warmth. And we wonder why fey are usually arrogant asses…

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Magic’s great at spicing up conflict situations. I mean, reading about Aelin kicking ass in the Throne of Glass books is pretty awesome but assassin abilities plus fey magic? Now you’re talkingFairy magic also acts as a great plot device in regards to coming of age or transformation stories, particularly where it’s somehow bestowed upon someone who used to be human (or at least thought they were) and now has to learn how to use it. Eventually they accept themselves, develop as a person and progress on their path towards bad-assery, as we find with Laurel in Wings and Feyre in A Court of Mist and Fury.

Truth Telling & Two-Sidedness

A fascinating component of fairy lore is the idea that the fey are incapable of lying. Yet, because of this they’re exceptionally good at telling half-truths and using the truth to manipulate situations to their advantage. Just look at the scene introducing the fairy queen in Cassandra Clare’s City of Ashes – one conversation, a little bit of honesty, and suddenly everything’s topsy-turvy in our characters’ relationships.  I love this trope because it forces you and the characters to read between the lines of what’s being said and creates the perfect circumstances for a plot twist or betrayal.

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…Or a reverse betrayal as the case is in Margaret Rogerson’s An Enchantment of Ravens.

This idea feeds into the fairy nature of being two-faced. While the fey are outwardly very beautiful and seem to delight in light-hearted things like games, music, dance and food, underneath it all there’s a compelling darkness and twisted cruelty. This provides such a great opportunity for characters to rise above all of that in order to serve as interesting protagonists. Yet, it also allows for some pretty terrible villains, acting out of a desire for power or simply their own amusement (like the asshole fairies in Black’s The Cruel Prince).

Immortality & Beauty

Okay, let’s be honest, it’s rare to find fairy based stories that don’t involve a romantic component and if there’s romance going on, you can bet that the characters involved will be damn attractive.

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And fairies are just that. They’re athletic, beautiful (often almost verging on too much so), experienced in the ways of the world, and will likely stay that way forever – that is unless someone decides to physically attack them. Essentially, there’s the attractive elements found in the vampire genre minus the creepy, well, dead issue. Listening to every human character go on and on about how amazing looking fey characters are in comparison to themselves does get a bit old but hey, a reader needs someone swoon worthy once in a while, even if they can be kind of a sucky person on occasion (e.g. Prince Cardan from The Cruel Prince, Dorian from Dark Swan, or Kiaran from The Falconer)

Courts & Conflict

Another very common feature of fey based stories these days is to follow elements of traditional fairy lore by dividing the population up into different courts. This is usually based on seasons, times of day or whether they’re feeling particularly Seelie or not (haha…okay, bad joke. I’ll see myself out.) It’s a structure used in Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan books, and Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series, just to name a few. And why? Because it’s a perfect driver for conflict. These courts don’t just differ in name, but also in culture, attitudes and temperament. Then again, it doesn’t help that fey kingdoms often resemble modern-era Europe in their desire for power and tendency to prey on the weak. Plus, anyone who lives as long as fairies do is bound to build up some serious grudges over the years. If it were me, I’d start screwing with people just to alleviate the mind numbing boredom of immortality…

Fairy courts also provide opportunities for alliances and political intrigue, and at times even all-out war. The fun part is watching them try to interact with one another with sometimes awful or hilarious results. See A Court of Wings and Ruin for an entertaining example. Essentially, Me:

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Are you a fan of fey related books? If so, why and what are some of your favourites?

Love Ashley

The Dim Sum Book Tag

I saw this on someone’s blog a little while back and thought it looked like fun. Then it popped up on Jessica (The Awkward Book Blogger)’s  blog the other day, and I knew I just had to give it a go (thanks Jessica)! I love dim sum and I love books, what a match made in heaven for my first book tag post.

The Dim Sum Book Tag is the brainchild of Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Jenna @ Reading With Jenna. Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine in which food is served in small (tapas-like) portions and is common during yum cha (which means drinking tea). This tag is inspired by good company and good eats.

Rules:

Here are some rules to devour this tag:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site
  2. Devour dim sum and answer the tag questions
  3. Tag five others to join your round table for some dim sum fun
  4. Food coma

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Tea: A book that started off hot but quickly turned cold

It (Stephen King): I wouldn’t say this one quickly turned cold because for the most part it was excellent, it just failed to stick the landing. For most of the book I was actually anxious at how scary some of it seemed and then all that went out the window with a really badly introduced sex scene and a silly explanation as to what IT was.


Chiu Chow Dumpling: A book that features elements of land and sea

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A Conjuring of Light (V. E. Schwab): I love this series, it’s one of my favourites of recent years. It took me a while to get into this instalment for some reason but by the time Kell, Lila and Alucard were sailing around in search of a certain item, I was definitely mesmerised again.


Rice Noodle Roll: A favourite multilayered character you’ve read (ex. traits? skills? morally ambiguous?)

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Kaz Brekkar – Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo): I love a good anti-hero. It’s always wonderful to get a character that has layers, one that you’re not sure exactly what they’re going to do in a given situation. Kaz is exactly that. He has a heart, but it’s buried beneath a very carefully crafted façade, and he never fails to surprise me!


Shrimp Dumpling: A book with a transparent blurb that gives the story away.

I can’t think of anything I’ve read recently that’s done this however someone I know recently read The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu and they thought the blurb gave away massive late book spoilers.


Steamed BBQ Pork Buns: A book that is fluffy on the outside but packs a punch of flavor (ex. message? depth? controversy?)

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Pride & Prejudice (Jane Austen): Sure, the message is pretty evident from the title, but I’m going with it anyway. Wrapped up in a love story are two important ideas. First, we shouldn’t judge people based on their families, their wealth, first appearances, etc. It’s important to get to know them because they may surprise you. Second, we must not let pride and stubbornness get in the way of doing the right thing.

Side note, I love BBQ pork buns. If I could live off them without getting fat, I would.


Chicken Feet: A book with divided opinions

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Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas): I know so many people who adore this series and then others, like myself, who haven’t really been that impressed. The opinions have only gotten more divided as the series has gone on, particularly in regards to book 5.


Lotus-Wrapped Sticky Rice: A book you’ve received/given that was nicely packaged

To be honest, I’ve never received or given a book in anything other than your basic wrapping paper. I mean, sure I’ve had some nice wrapping paper, but nothing that sticks out in my memory. Plus, the stuff I wrap tends to look like a truck’s run over it so I doubt we’d classify that as nicely packaged. Clearly I need to up my game!


Egg Custard Tart: A book that uses simple ingredients and clichés but executes it perfectly.

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Eragon (Christopher Paolini): A lot of people would probably disagree with me on this, but I actually quite enjoy Eragon. It includes so many different fantasy tropes – the old and wise mentor, the chosen one, an evil ruler, a damsel to be rescued, and so on. Yet, I still think it’s a solid fantasy book. Maybe not “perfect” as the question says but pretty good!


Mango Pudding with Evaporated Milk: Any book recommendation + beverage/snack that’s a winning combination

I don’t usually eat while I read, mostly because I’m worried about getting anything on my books, but also because I’m really not coordinated enough to do both at same time. However, if I had to pick something, it’d probably be hot chocolate because what story couldn’t possibly go with hot chocolate?


Fried Sesame Balls: A book cover with embossed text/design you just love to run your fingers over.

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Uprooted (Naomi Novik): I love running my fingers over the gold ripples at the top. Also, it’s just generally an amazing looking cover.


Dim Sum Steam Cart: The type of carrying bag you use to bring books around.

To be honest I only really carry my books and kindle around inside my handbag. Super boring, I know. It’s of a reasonable size and made of brown leather. I’ve had it for several years now and it was a birthday gift from my aunt and uncle. It has heaps of space, looks great with everything and is super durable!

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Tag

I tag (all of which are wonderful blogs that you should check out if you haven’t already):

Azia @ The Uncharted World Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense | Wendy @ Birdie Bookworm | Jackie @ Too Much of a Book Nerd | Alice @ Arctic Books | Nicole @ Live Life Reading | Swetlana @ Reading Through the Nights | Taylor @ Mischievously Managed Books

Feel free to skip it if you’ve already done it (oops!), don’t do tags, or just generally don’t want to do it.

Also, if you’re feeling up for dim sum fun, I tag you too!

And…Food Coma!! *passes out*

Love Ashley

Top 10 Tuesday: Kick-Ass Female Characters

Today marks the beginning of June, a new season, and the second half of the year. Woo! However, today is also the day that the DC comics’ movie, Wonder Woman, opens in cinemas. This is the first big comic book movie ever to focus on a female protagonist. In other words, it’s a pretty big deal! I’m super excited to see the film and it’s got me thinking about the many other wonderfully strong, brave, determined, and just generally kick-ass women who have their origins on the page. There are so many amazing women that come to mind that limiting my list to 10 is a crime, so for now, here’s fourteen:

Hermione Granger (The Harry Potter Series)

It’s impossible to leave Hermione off any list of this nature. She’s kind, courageous, and incredibly smart. While Harry may have been the chosen one, without Hermione both he and Ron would most certainly have died (many times) over the years, and failed a heap of school assignments along the way. Whether she’s solving riddles, crafting massively complicated potions well beyond her years, or erasing someone’s memory, Hermione is most certainly the best person to have in any magical situation.

Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass)

If there’s one thing you can say about Sarah J. Maas, she knows how to write strong, bad-ass women. As a trained assassin, Celaena knows just about every which way to make a person hurt and yet, still takes a great deal of pride in her femininity. When someone can kick your ass wearing a dress and high heels, you know they’re definitely not someone you want to piss off.  Having lost her family and spent several years as a slave, Celaena hasn’t let her suffering slow her down. This is a girl who knows how to best serve revenge: ice cold.

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

Katniss goes through quite a bit over the course of her life – the death of her father, extreme poverty and almost starvation, risking a lifetime of slavery to hunt for game, and that’s all before the books even begin! She’s agile, strong, and a wiz with a bow and arrow, but more importantly, she’s not afraid to throw herself into danger to help the people she cares about or fight back against those who prey on the weak. Even through all of her suffering, Katniss never loses her exceptionally kind heart and it’s from this that she draws her enduring strength of character.

Delilah ‘Lila’ Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic)

A thief, a pirate, a magician, is there anything Lila can’t do? Having been on her own for most of her life, Lila has had to keep herself alive on the rough streets of London. An adventurer at heart, Lila is willing to throw herself into new languages, skills, lands, and experiences without so much as batting an eyelash. Where she finds herself at a physical disadvantage, she relies on quick and creative thinking to get out of tough situations. In doing so, she proves that size and strength are no indication of the trials one may overcome and the enemies they can defeat.

Feyre Archeron (A Court of Thorns and Roses)

My most recently discovered kick-ass protagonist. With her varied and powerful magical abilities, strong will, and determination to protect the human race, she most certainly belongs on this list. Feyre isn’t afraid to speak her mind and call someone out when they’re being a prick. She’s also constantly working to better herself and improve her usefulness to others. Most importantly, she can kill a giant worm utilising only some mud and a couple of old broken bones. If that isn’t kick-ass, I don’t know what is.

Lisbeth Salander (The Millennium Series)

Having grown up with an abusive father, been admitted to a psychiatric facility as a teenager, and survived a sexual assault as an adult, Lisbeth’s life is not a happy one and it’s sometimes difficult to understand how she remains as strong as she does. An exceptional hacker with a photographic memory, Lisbeth is intelligent, calculating, and unafraid of personal expression, even where it makes others uncomfortable. No matter how bad the situation, she never stops fighting. As someone who ties up and tattoos her rapist, sets a man on fire, and even survives being buried alive, Lisbeth is most certainly a kick-ass heroine.

Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows)

Inej, or The Wraith, is the right hand woman to thief extraordinaire, Kaz Brekker. Reserved, spiritual, and honest, Inej has the balance and flexibility of an acrobat, and the strength and knife skills of a warrior. Often filling the role of spy, Inej spends much of her time traversing the roof tops of Ketterdam. Kidnapped and sold into prostitution at fourteen, Inej somehow manages to retain an underlying belief in the goodness of others. As someone who is able to move through the night without making a noise, defeat trained assassins, and scale heated metal chutes with only a pair of rubber soled shoes to assist her, Inej is in good company on this list.

Paige Mahoney (The Bone Season)

Paige, also known as the Pale Dreamer, is a member of one of the rarer clairvoyant categories in Scion. She’s powerful enough to enter dreamscapes and push people’s souls out of their bodies. This would be badass on its own but on top of her magical abilities, Paige is also a part of the Seven Seals, one of the more powerful gangs in Scion’s criminal underworld. Her time with such a group has made her very capable of protecting herself, skilled in picking up on small details, and unwilling to give up when the going gets tough.

Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs)

Clarice is a student at the FBI academy and determined to prove herself in a field largely dominated by men. Despite her inexperience and extreme discomfort, Clarice constantly throws herself into each stage of the Buffalo Bill investigation. While others doubt her investigative efforts and hunches, it is through careful questioning, reviewing of the evidence, and persistence that Clarice digs up the necessary clues to identify Bill. With no back up and only her side arm to protect her, Clarice takes on Bill in a final showdown, her success resting on quick thinking and smart use of FBI training.

Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy)

A trained dhampir guardian, Rose is direct, witty, protective, and kicks a lot of ass. Over the course of six books, she decapitates strigoi, overcomes death (repeatedly), fights back against bullies, discovers a way to retrieve her boyfriend’s soul, and travels half way across the world to fulfil a promise. At first a little arrogant, Rose grows and develops, and eventually comes to realise that protecting Moroi isn’t as simple as she’d once thought. She’ll make you laugh, make you cry, and in the end you’ll believe, with a little help from her friends, there’s almost nothing she can’t do.

Kady Grant (The Illuminae Files)

The second hacker on this list, Kady is stubborn, extremely tech savvy, and not afraid to bend the rules from time to time. She’s a bit of a flirt, a little snappy, and likes to go in guns blazing. But when your planet gets attacked, your AI goes psycho, and a zombie outbreak hits your ship, this is the girl you want on your team. She reboots entire computer systems, tracks down even the most secure information, can survive a ship full of murderous infected people, and somehow stays on the good side of the crazy AI. Definite kick-ass protagonist material there.

Irene (The Invisible Library)

Irene is a librarian. An awesome librarian. One who jumps between different universes, fights fey, makes deals with dragons, and solves mysteries with Sherlock Holmes like detectives. She’s level headed, articulate, and yet still able to deliver a beat down to pesky werewolves if need be. Irene is the kind of heroine who will bravely rush in to save a friend but she’ll damn well do her best to plan it out beforehand. If that’s not possible, she’s an expert in improvisation. Plus, you can’t help but love a character with the same appreciation for books as the reader.

Daenerys Targaryen & Arya Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire)

It seemed unfair to pick between these two wonderful female characters. Martin’s women are all well-developed, complicated, and just as strong as the men (in many cases even stronger). Both Dany and Arya have suffered great personal losses and been forced to leave their homes because of them. However, both have also worked extremely hard to reshape themselves into people who can claim what they are due, by force if necessary, and will get revenge for those they have lost. Dany and Arya are determined and resilient characters, and although one may show strength through dragons, and the other a “needle”, each is set to accomplish big things in books to come.


Who are some of your favourite kick-ass heroines?