Star at Star is All Book Up created this tag waaaay back when the folklore album first came out, and I saw her posting about it all over her Instagram but I was catching up on the tags that I was tagged in literally a year ago. So I’m only just now getting to it!
Full disclosure, I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about folklore. All of Taylor Swift’s albums sound so different, but post-rock isn’t my favorite style. Still, I said the same thing about both Reputation and Lover, so I’m sure I’ll come around. 🙂
a book you grew out of
I don’t usually grow out of books, I’m usually capable of reading a book from my past self’s perspective, especially my kids’ books. But I definitely don’t care for Eragon and the rest of the Inheritance Cycle as much as I did in my teen years. Part of it is because the last two books were so lackluster, but also I think because I’ve discovered SO MANY great books since then. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Eragon, just not as much as I used to.
Honestly I’m not feeling super celebratory this year. Over the top patriotism has bothered me for a while, but this year it feels especially off. We still ate apple pie and hotdogs, and we still went to fireworks (there is no such thing as a bad reason to set off safe, colorful explosives)*, but posting American flags made out of books on Instagram feels icky.
Still, since this year marks the 244th anniversary of signing of the document that started one of the more influential revolutions in history, I thought it might be fun to talk about some of my favorite books about revolutions. These are in no particular order. Half-assed listicles for the win!
*plus outside is apparently VERY low-risk of Covid spread, so I figured this was a good opportunity to get my kids out of the house for the first time in months
The Hunger Games Trilogy
Obviously! A good dystopia needs a good revolution, but my favorite thing about this revolution is how messy it is. Both sides are willing to do pretty terrible things in the name of victory, and in the end Katniss doles out justice on a whim. Nothing is black and white in this series, especially Katniss, which is what I think STILL separates this book from all the other YA dystopias out there. Plus the side-characters are SO COMPELLING!!!
The last 365 days or so I’ve made a big effort to read more in a variety of genres. The result is that I’ve read some amazing books that I would never have read before! So I thought I would take some time to share with you all my favorite book from each genre.
Literary Fiction: Bel Canto
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’re probably tired of hearing about Bel Canto. But I’m going to tell you again anyway. In an unnamed South American Country, a group of rich industrialists get together for a birthday dinner/concert. A group of guerrilla terrorists show up to kidnap the president of the country, who isn’t there. Their indecision leads them to being stuck with a hundred hostages when the military shows up. The terrorists and the businessmen get to know each other, form friendships, and even fall in love. It’s beautiful, it’s heartbreaking, it’s just wonderful.
After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.
Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.
With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.
It absolutely breaks my heart to say this, because Children of Blood and Bone is one of the best YA fantasies I’ve ever read (EVER), and I pre-ordered this book like sixth months ago, but… Children of Virtue and Vengeance suffers a bit from the second book slump.
An inadvertent theme here on Never Not Reading this summer has been re-reading. I have been consistently lamenting that I don’t re-read books anymore, and I’ve found out that I’m not alone! Apparently a lot of book bloggers prioritize reading new things over re-reading for the sake of creating content for their blogs, but wish they could find the time to re-read.
So today I bring you the books that not re-reading is breaking my heart.
10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
I read this book my senior year of high school and was so enchanted by it. I want to re-read it partly because it’s been long enough that I can’t remember it very clearly, and I want to get to know it again. But also because I bet that there’s a lot more to this book that I missed. I’m a much better reader than I was thirteen years ago, and I bet I would appreciate it at a much deeper level. I’ve been itching to re-read this one since I saw it on The Great American Read last summer.
Happy April! I promise I don’t have any April Fools jokes planned for y’all, just some straight-up honest gushing about books.
You guys! Surprise endings or shocking plot twists is one of my absolute favorite things in a book. A big twist gives the book such a wonderful feeling of fun and excitement! A book without any big surprises often falls flat for me. I want a book that can keep me on my toes!
So, obviously, I had a really hard time with this theme because I couldn’t pick just one favorite! Here are some of the amazing contenders that I was thinking of:
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (OMG THAT ENDING!!!!)
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (okay, I was 15, it was shocking at the time…)
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy (never saw his identity coming) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (seriously, what even HAPPENED?!?!?!)
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (if you tell me you saw the love interest coming, then I’m calling you a liar)
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (maybe I would have been less surprise if I’d have known it was a series…)
In the end I went with a book that a) I’m sure I’ve never used for Calendar Girls before and b) I read before ANY of these books. And, if we’re being honest, it might be the book that MOST shocked the socks off me. Ever. So, without any further ado, my favorite book with a surprise ending is…
Good gracious, is it only just now February? Is it just me or did January feel like it lasted forever? (It’s probably just me…)
Here in the states February is national Black History Month. It’s a topic of some debate. Many people on both sides of the political spectrum aren’t fans, and every year there’s folks protesting. But publishing is still dominated by white males, so book bloggers tend to go out of our ways to look for ways to celebrate authors who are not. So, here we are!
Honestly, this was a really hard topic for me. Usually our Calendar Girls themes revolve on a particular topic or genre, so choosing a favorite isn’t hard. But since we’re choosing by author I feel like I’m being asked to compare apples and oranges. But once I stopped overthinking it and decided to go with my gut, the answer was obvious. Because it was my #2 book last year.
So without further ado, my favorite book by a black author is…
Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly blog event hosted by Kate at booksaremyfavoriteandbest. It’s inspired by the 6 Degrees of Separation, a movie game where you attempt to connect actors in six movies or less. But we do it with books!
This month we’re starting with Fight Clubby Chuck Palahniuk.
I haven’t read Fight Club, and I don’t really have any desire to read Fight Club. Much like The Sixth Sense, I know the twist at the end, so I feel like the book is basically ruined for me. Fight Club is unique to me, however, because I feel like the movie is so much more well-known than the book. In fact, I would guess that many fans of the movie didn’t even realize it was a book first! Another movie I think lots of people probably don’t realize was a book first is…
2018 has been such a great year for me for books! Probably my best reading year ever. In addition to setting a record for the most books I’ve ever read in a year (not counting the upper/elementary middle school years where I read a book a day), I read the most 5-star books I’ve ever read. Where last year’s Top 10 list had I think three 5-star books, this year there are nine. NINE!
Zélie was ready. All of the other children around her looked scared, but that was what made them weak. Zélie wasn’t afraid. After what happened to her mother and all the other Magi, nothing could compare. She stood chin high and back straight, waiting for whatever the teachers would bring.
When the old woman with the tall hat produced an old battered hat, Zélie’s jaw dropped. This was the test? It required no skill, no training! This was no way to prove herself worthy!
She glanced around with disdain. One girl’s knees were literally quaking, shaking so badly that she had to hang on to the dark-skinned girl next to her for support. Zélie rolled her eyes. Then, the unthinkable happened. The hat began to sing.
Zélie was not hard to sort! While I wouldn’t call her ambitious in the most traditional sense, she is certainly ambitious in her belief that she can bring magic back. She thirsts for power, and doesn’t shy away from dangerous blood magic. And Zélie definitely has a dark side. She embraces revenge and doing whatever it takes to win. Continue reading “Sorting Hat Sunday: Children of Blood and Bone”→