Guessing The Zodiac Signs Of My Favourite Characters

Hi! What’s up? (other than the sky of course, and perhaps the ceiling of your house)

You know how a lot of people say that their zodiac signs do not define their personalities? Well I’m definitely not one of them because I am (metaphorically, it would be a little hot otherwise) every bit raging ball of fire that the world proclaims Aries to be. I kid you not, I am an embodiment of literally each and every characteristic of Aries. Look up the traits of Aries on the internet, and you have my exact personality chalked out in front of you.

Moving on (since none of us are here to talk about me), let me try to explain the gist of today’s post to you. In a few moments we are going to be guessing the zodiac signs of certain book characters based on their personalities. The characteristics of the zodiac sign will be in bold, and later I’ll be justifying why I think that character has that sign. And there’s a slight possibility that I share quotes from that particular character, say it’s pretty self explanatory why I chose that zodiac sign and call it a day, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen, hmm?

Kavi (Not My Problem) – Gemini

“Ms. Devlin told me to come find Meabh and then I heard you both talking and it sounded so interesting and then I realized there’s a conspiracy afoot and so I listened to more and it all got very exciting and I’m sorry Meabh that your parents are so mean and your life is all busy and then I thought maybe I could push you off the stairs but then Aideen did it before I could offer and you fell down here and I picked you up so I could take you to the nurse and then you two were like Kavi, why are you threatening us and then I explained how I wasn’t and then it’s now.”

— Kavi “how-could-he-say-this-in-a-single-breath” Thakrar

Gemini are inquisitive with an almost childlike curiosity and often very funny. They are very sensitive and responsive listeners. They are highly entertaining and there’s never dull moment when they are around. They could talk to a brick wall if only it would listen (or even if it would not, for that matter) and they know how to bring dissimilar people together and make them get along.

Now in case you didn’t happen to notice that huge quote thingy above, i’d like to tell you that that’s exactly like our Kavi over here. He’s a major-side-character-in-a-way-that-almost-makes-him-the-main-character in Not My Problem. His monologues were the best thing that has ever happened to me. (And now I have a startling urge to share all of kavi’s monologues and just let them take over this post. But since I’d like to hold on to my dignity for a little while longer, the one that I shared above will have to suffice.) His genuine personality brightened the book. The main character once literally describes him as a “i just escaped from a bunker” wide-eyed kid. And then of course, he’s the one who brings Aideen and Meabh (the two main characters) closer, even though they had nothing in common (overachiever and underachiever duo).

_____________

Jem (The Infernal Devices) – Pisces

“I’ve never minded it,” he went on. “Being lost, that is. I’d always thought one could not truly be lost if one knew one’s own heart. But I fear I may be lost without knowing yours.

Jem “dreamy boy” Carstairs

Pisces are the ones with “soft” skills like sensitivity and intuition. Pisces tend to evade distinction. They tend to dilute themselves with larger personalities to avoid having to form coherent identities. They are dreamy, emotional and slightly detached from the external world. They are quite often absorbed in themselves. They’re romantics and prone to fantasy.

Look, Jem plays the damn violin, how could he be anything but a Pisces? wait you are expecting more explanation? Being the extremely compromising person I am, I’ll try to show you my mental image of Jem. Picture a boy with white (WHITE) hair, sitting alone in a huge empty room and playing the violin, eyes closed and utterly lost in its melody. Whenever I read his dialogue, they’re spoken in a soft, dreamy drawl in my head. And might I also mention what a hopeless romantic Jem is? Like I cannot blame Tessa for accepting his proposal (WILL THO 😭), the way he said it is enough to flatter any woman with sense.

_____________

Kaz (The Grishaverse) – Scorpio

AVENDELL — Kaz Brekker 🌙

“How do you get your information, Mister Brekker?”
“You might say I’m a lockpick.”
“You must be a very gifted one.”
“I am indeed.” Kaz leaned back slightly. “You see, every man is a safe, a vault of secrets and longings. Now, there are those who take the brute’s way, but I prefer a gentler approach – the right pressure applied at the right moment, in the right place. It’s a delicate thing.”

Kaz “i-know-all-your-secrets” Brekker

The Scorpio personality is a profound chasm of infinite complexity (or at least how they project themselves). They are difficult people to get to know. They socialize from behind a double-sided mirror, always scanning, reading you while you can only see your own reflection. They prefer to be the people asking the questions. They probe and push. They know the little things that make you tick. Your pressure points. The subtle ways to procure the answer they’re seeking. They have a ruthless view of the world. Eat or be eaten. Their knowledge of other people’s internal structures gives them an edge over the competition. They know how to play people against each other. They are intentional about the information they reveal.

NO WAY. The Scorpio description fits Kaz so perfectly i can’t even−
I mean, it was literally written that Scorpios make perfect con artists and good brooding protagonists, and our Kaz is both of those! And convince me that “profound chasm of infinite complexity” does not mean morally grey (spoiler alert: the convincing won’t work). Kaz can see straight into your soul and can make you squirm in your seat with a single knowing glance. Woe betide the man who thinks they can outsmart him. No matter how much of him (or his dangerously smart plans) you think you know, there’s ALWAYS more.

______________

Julian (Cemetery Boys) – Aries

“Julian was the most alive person he’d ever met. Even as a spirit, he was bright and full of constantly moving energy. A sun crammed into the body of a boy.”

Aries live their life how they want to, no filter. They are unafraid of conflict, highly competitive, honest and direct. They throw themselves at the world eagerly and without fear. It is not rare for them to get angry and then forget why they were angry. They nearly always have strong opinions and are ready to defend them. They are spontaneous, energetic and impatient because they don’t like to waste time. They can often be impulsive and hotheaded. They don’t always have the best self-control, and often react out of emotion than from a place of clear calm-headedness.

I am Aries. Aries is Julian. Julian is me.
Yeah no, I am not exaggerating. Remember (you don’t? you should pay more attention) how I said in the beginning that I’m the typical Aries? Well so is our Julian. He’s fierce in his anger, fierce in his love. He easily gets bored and cannot stay still for the life (no pun intended) of him. He also makes impulsive and rash decisions all the time, which is part of what makes him so endearing (just me? ok).

______________

Since there’s no other way for you to know whether I guessed correctly or not, once again I implore you to go read all these gems of books asap. Or this Aries fireball might go on a warpath. Kidding. Or not.

What’s your zodiac sign? Does it match your personality? Do you agree with the pairings I made? Which other characters do you think could match with these signs? Chat with me in the comments!

~ Rachel

My Top 10 Reads Of 2021! // in which i run out of words to describe these books

Ho Ho Ho! (ok my Santa imitation needs work)

Merry Christmas to all humans and elves alike! Let there be cheer! And presents! (you’ll never guess what i got! but maybe in another post) And candy! And more candy!

What better occasion than Christmas to flaunt my favourites (aka my obsessions) of this year? I read a total of 70 books in 2021, but only some of them are truly special to me. I’ve chosen the 10 books I liked the best (+ some honourable mentions of course), books that own my heart and soul, books I’ll never stop recommending till the day I die (atleast i’ll get prizes for the drama? no?)

I have also done the heart-wrenching task of actually ranking these books (believe me, it only looks easy) however I’d also like to mention that all of them have an equal place in my heart, but some more equal than the others (yes that was an Animal Farm reference). To keep the suspense rolling, we’ll go in reverse order; that means we’ll start off from number 10 all the way to number 1 (with #1 being like the best book of the year), and NOW I’M SO EXCITED I CAN’T WAIT ANYMORE LET’S STA–

~ #10 The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Choksi ~

“’You and your secrets.
‘Secrets keep my hair lustrous,’ said Severin, running his hand through his curls.”

I’d been hearing about this all over the bookish community, and though I read so many mixed opinions, one thing that I found common in all the reviews was the comparison to six of crows. Obviously, I knew I had to give this a try. And I wasn’t disappointed. Sure, it was a lot like the soc duology, but it put a different twist into everything. And not to forget, the author is an indian (like me!) and believe me the desi vibes were up to the mark (“laila-majnun”? i’m dying) and of course I adored the moral greyness (is that even a word?) of the characters. The banter was *chef’s kiss* and don’t even get me started on the found family.

~ #9 Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth ~

“I dug deep down into my empathy store and found a dried-up old raisin.”

To say that this book made me laugh would be an understatement. It had me snorting and chuckling and giggling (in the most embarrassing way) and basically a lot of people around me thought I’d finally lost it so there’s that. There was Aideen, aka the best narrator ever. There was the perfectly accurate description of students in a high school. And then there was Meabh. Sweet, perfect Meabh in whom I saw so much of myself that I think the author somehow based her off my personality. But. The whole point of those graphics were to stop me from boring you to death with essays, so we stop here.

Why I picked this up: It’s no coincidence that I started reading this a couple of days after reading Anoushka’s review! I was feeling the contemporary vibes anyway, so after reading her review I was sure I needed this!

~ #8 We Are Not Free by Traci Chee ~

“Is this what life is like? People coming together and drifting apart, coming together and drifting apart, over and over until there’s no one left?”

The award for “Most Tears Of The Year” (yes I just made that up) goes to We Are Not Free by Traci Chee! 14 POVs brought out the individuality of each character beautifully, and while this was not my first Traci Chee book, it was definitely the most impactful. And I’m sure it will also leave a lasting impact on you (and those poor tissues that’ll get wet in the process)

Why I picked it up: I decided to give this a try after reading Cherelle’s review!

~ #7 Supernova by Merissa Meyer ~

“Some people were always meant to be heroes.
Just like some people were always meant to be villains.”

Superheroes. And supervillains. But not the cheesy kind, I promise.

The third and final book in the Renegades trilogy, Supernova was the best of the lot. It was filled to the brim with action and anguish and secrets and I couldn’t have hoped for a better ending.

Why I picked it up: It was because of April’s review of the Renegades trilogy that I decided to read it. (though April, I do realize that you liked the first two books better?? but anyway.)

~ #6 Sands Of Arawiya Duology by Hafsah Faizal ~

A thousand leagues and a thousand sands. For you, a thousand times I would defy the sun.

I swear there’s some sorcery involved here because Faizal straight off picked all my favourite tropes, topped it with mind-blowing writing and humour, and named the result the Sands Of Arawiya duology. That’s how good this book is.

If you’re curious about the tropes in question, we had enemies to lovers, knife to throat, slow burn and plenty of witty banter. Still need convincing? Read the epic showdown of WHTF against the hype-o-meter!

Why I picked it up: I read Cherry’s and Kaya’s reviews, and it was then I knew that I needed to read this duology!

~ #5 Aurora Cycle duology by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ~

“He asks for nothing, this boy. No favor. No quarter. He lives every moment of his life is pain, but still, he lives it. And he stands, where others would have long ago fallen.”

Full of complex and well-developed characters, found family vibes, and cool spaceships, the Aurora Cycle duology (now a trilogy) has to be one of the best space operas I’ve ever read! And WOULD YOU LOOK AT THOSE COVERS??

Why I picked it up: Madeline convinced me to pick up this one through her constant ramblings about this series on her blog! Ashmita also recommended this to me!

~ #4 These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong ~

“You know me. Running around. Living life. Committing arson.”

Ok this was another one of those instances where I got carried away by the hype and am glad I was. Because #ownvoices historical fiction! set in asia! blood feuds! morally grey characters! badass girl and soft boy! enemies to lovers at it’s finest! and whatever else I mentioned in the graphic of course, but tell me, do you still need a reason to go bury your nose in These Violent Delights right now?

~ #3 Rule Of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo ~

“The world might crumble, but Nikolai Lantsov would be holding up the ceiling with one hand and plucking a speck of dirt from his lapel with the other when it all went to ruin”

I’ll have you know that this was the book that pushed These Violent Delights out of the top 3 at the very last moment. I finished reading the duology (but I put only rule of wolves here because i found it even better than king of scars) just yesterday evening, it doesn’t get any more last-minute than that. Also please do understand that because of the reason stated above, my feelings for this one are very fresh. So. ASJHDFHFGSJK MISS BARDUGO YOU DID IT AGAIN I LOVED THIS SO SO MUCH IT’S BRILLIANT. And did I mention I’m obsessed with Zoya and Nikolai’s characters? And the Six of Crows references were EVERYTHING.

~ #2 House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune ~

“Sometimes, he thought to himself in a house in a cerulean sea, you were able to choose the life you wanted. And if you were of the lucky sort, sometimes that life chose you back.

With dry sarcastic humour, out of the world character development and found family vibes, The House In The Cerulean Sea is in short, AWESOME. It will tug at all your heartstrings (note the use of “will”) and make you laugh and cry and then smile through watery eyes and much more including staring at the wall trying to process how a book can be so beautiful.

~ #1 Six Of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo ~

““Greed is your god, Kaz.”
He almost laughed at that. “No, Inej. Greed bows to me. It is my servant and my lever.”

At this point, I am 200% sure this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, given the amount of SoC references there are in my posts. And there have also been posts specifically dedicated to this duology (apart from the review), the latest being Books I’d Use As Weapons // aka books i’d throw at jesper if i was david.
I am wholly and truly OBSESSED with everything that has to do with this duology. I don’t even have words (turns out, i do) to describe the sheer PERFECTION this duology is – it’s captivating, it’s brilliant, it’s… perfect. (yeah I’m running out of synonyms here)

Why I picked it up: Well because it is so massively hyped and everyone was raving about it. But I first came to know about it from Cherelle’s blog last year, so shout-out to her!

A quick little vote of thanks before we move one- THANK YOU Anoushka, Cherelle, April, Cherry, Kaya, Madeline and Ashmita for recommending these fantastic reads to me because it’s very likely i never would have read these without your persuasion!

I had to include an Honourable Mentions section because I am afraid of the wrath of the bookish gods even though these books couldn’t make it to my top 10 because of ~competition~, nevertheless they cannot be left out as they were also absolutely amazing books that deserve all the love they can get.

Cemetery Boys
Perfect on Paper

Soo I feel like I’m supposed to make an eloquent speech at the end of this post so here goes *ahem * GO READ ALL OF THESE BECAUSE TRUST ME, YOU NEED THESE IN YOUR LIFE OKAY?! Ok not quite the eloquence I was hoping for but it gets the point across.

How was your Christmas? Candy? Gifts?? Which were your best reads in 2021? Have you read any of mine? Thoughts?
Oh and before you go, let’s scream it together – NO MOURNERS, NO FUNERALS!!

~ Rachel

The Christmas Song Book Tag

Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh, o’er the fields we go, laughing all the way…

Am I the only one who has christmas jingles stuck in my head since the past couple of days? I mean I literally cannot seem to get rid of them and my mind unhelpfully supplies them at the oddest of times. Trying to recall the periodic table? “jingle bells jingle bells” Trying to square 33 mentally? “we wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year” See what I mean?

I’m also eating plum cake as I type this, so the conclusion is that the christmas vibes have totally settled in over here.

Anyway. We’ve got a very appropriate tag for this wondrous occasion – The Christmas Song book tag! I saw this tag on Maddie’s blog, and it looked fun so here we are!

You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch

~ Name a villainous character you can’t help but love ~

Kaz Brekker, though I’d never for the life of me call him ‘villainous’. And also Nasir Ghameq (i’m sorry but he’s an assassin so… but I love him okay?)

All I Want For Christmas Is You

~ Which book to you most hope to see under your Christmas tree? ~

Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2)

I’m surprised by how easy this was to answer. The book I’m craving most at the moment is Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong (under a metaphorical tree because we don’t really celebrate christmas that much) because of obvious reasons that I dare not elaborate without bursting into tears all over again.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”

~Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves ~

This Last Adventure

Um okay literally almost every main character? But since I’m bound by the unwritten rules of book tags, I’ll pick Archie from This Last Adventure by Ryan Dalton. It’s about how he handles his grandfather’s growing memory loss due to Alzheimer’s so obstacles? There’s a lot of them. (but more about that in my review later)

“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”

~Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty and nice list?~

Naughty list, let’s see. The Darkling? I mean, I finished King of Scars yesterday so he’s the first one to come to mind, and rightfully. (*wagging finger* no gifts for you kirigan)

Look there are a lot of competitors for the nice list okay? But again, remember the unwritten rules of book tags? Yeah, i thought so. Once again I’d pick from King Of Scars, and it’d be Matthias. (i thought i was over him, but then Bardugo had to go write this duology)

“Frosty the Snowman”

~Which book just melts your heart?~

The House in the Cerulean Sea

To answer your unasked question (but you were going to ask, hmm?), no it’s not a contemporary. The House In The Cerulean Sea seriously has so much feeling; believe me when I say Klune’s a magician.

Klune: *writes House In The Cerulean Sea*
Me: *while reading it* omg so adorable, my heart *eyes well up*
Klune: oh you think i’m only good at making people cry? challenge accepted *writes the Extraordinaries trilogy*
Me: *while reading it* omg. omg. what. wh- *undignified giggles and snorts*
Klune: the show’s not over yet! *writes Under The Whispering Door*
Me: *buys a copy as soon as it is out but is too afraid to read it and have her heart shattered* (don’t worry I’ll get to it. eventually.)

“Feliz Navidad”

~ Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own ~

Yeah no this is too easy, hardly any book I read nowadays is set in India. Let’s go with We Are Not Free by Traci Chee, which is set in America after the bombing of the Pearl Harbour.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”

~Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?~

The Miracle on Ebenezer Street

I haven’t read a lot of Christmassy books, but The Miracle Of Ebenezer Street is one I distinctly remember. There’s so much christmas merriment! and joy! and cheer!

“Sleigh Ride”

~Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)~

I’d love to have some cheerful and sarcastic characters around so – Aideen (from Not My Problem), Jesper (Six of Crows), Nikolai (King of Scars) and such would be my top picks.

“Baby its cold outside”

~Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?~

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

As much as I would like to gasp and say “oh no i’d never do that to a book!!”, I unfortunately have had the (dis)honour of having read The Young Elites by Marie Lu, and I despise it with all my heart so into the flames it goes. (it’s probably best that I don’t own a physical copy of this)

“Do you hear what i hear”

~Which book do you think everyone should read?~

Now that. Is. Hard. You want me to rattle off a list of my favourites? Or recommend a book that will magically make non-readers readers? (it doesn’t exist sorry) Or maybe a book that people of all ages, and fans of all genres will love? (that doesn’t exist either)

So very graciously, we are going to skip this question and not talk about it. (and yes I run away from problems instead of facing them) don’t tell a soul.

i tag…

Amber @EscapeLifeInThePages || Georgia @Lost In Neverland || Saima @Stories With Saima

Which book do you hope to see under your Christmas tree? Which is your favourite Christmas-themed book? Let me know in the comments!!

~ Rachel

My Worst Reads Of 2021! // ft. a lot of disappointed sighing

Someone stole my Office keys. He’s gonna pay, you have my Word. (get it? like Microsoft Office? MS Word?)

Oh hi. Yeah I don’t know what happened there. Obviously my poor attempt at lightening the mood was unsuccessful. Well then. Points for effort.

Sooo. As part of wrapping up the year, you’ll be seeing a lot of these bookish lists on my blog this month. And what better to start off than a list of the worst books I read this year, right? What can I say, I always believe in getting over and done with the bad stuff first. (if you ever say to me “i have good news and bad news”, like they do in the movies, you know, I’ll always vote for the bad news)

Some quick little pointers before we start!
– all of this is based on personal opinion. Though I didn’t like these books for whatever reason, that doesn’t mean I hate their fans. If you liked these books, i’m happy for you.
– this list is in no particular order, though I did dislike some books more than the others.

With that out of the way, let’s get started right away!

~ The Young Elites by Marie Lu ~
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

Ironically, The Young Elites was our first pick for the hype-o-meter series (a series of posts in which I and my dear friend April determine whether or not a book is truly worth the hype), because hello, it’s Marie Lu, the popular author whose books everybody seems to love.

I think this book and me got off in the wrong foot (the initial scenes weren’t very encouraging), and after that, well, everything just went more and more downhill. I mean okay, so Ms Lu tried very hard to create morally grey characters but they just turned out to be conflicted and confused about everything in their life. And to top that, the narration was first person, and if I despise the main character, do you really think I’d be interested in seeing the world through their eyes? I mean, Adelina had no direction. She thought something, said something else and did something totally different (and often these actions were stupid). Add to this sorely underdeveloped characters and you get a recipe for what Rachel dislikes in a book.

~ The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman ~
The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1)

This. This was the biggest disappointment this year, maybe the biggest ever in my life. Maybe it was my fault for having huge expectations? I read this back in the month of April, just a few days after it got released. This honestly had SO much potential, the concept was mind-blowing, but the execution just fell flat. *sigh* Nami as the main character and also our narrator was so repetitive that it got really annoying. Unpopular opinion, i know.
Then the plot twist at the end was sort of lazy writing, to get the reader excited for the sequel i guess. I don’t know. I just didn’t care.

~ Shadow Jumper by J.M Forster~
Shadow Jumper (Shadow Jumper #1)

To be honest, the first part of the book wasn’t bad. In fact, it was good. But I have no idea what happened after that. Like everything seemed too hasty and not properly researched. The plot was quite predictable and the conclusion was extremely unsatisfactory too. I think I also read this during the time I was just giving up on middle grade, so that might have played a part too.

~ The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum ~
The Middler

Once again, the synopsis was so promising, even the whole concept of ” the middle child being bad luck” was unique, but the story as a whole failed to deliver. I read this way back, in February, so I don’t even remember much of it. From what I recall, I almost dnf’ed it several times, it was so monotonous. I felt distanced from the characters; I didn’t care what happened to them. The escapades seemed too convenient and some plot points didn’t even make sense.

~ The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He ~
The Ones We're Meant to Find

This is the classic “it’s not you, it’s me” case. I spent nearly the entirety of the book feeling confused and stumped. The dual povs + the switching timelines were something I couldn’t keep track of, so I barely understood what was going on. Among the things I liked were the atmosphere, the worldbuilding, and the unique take on climate change. Unfortunately it was not enough. Among the two sisters Celia and Kasey, I liked Celia’s chapters much more than Kasey’s (at least initially) and the whole “surviving on a remote island” concept was cool until it got boring, and once again, confusing. I also felt quite underwhelmed by the plot twists. Sorry but no.

Which were your worst reads of 2021? Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Chat with me in the comments!

~ Rachel

September Wrap-Up // ft. more diverse reads and lots of blog hopping!

Would you look at that? My wrap-up post is actually on time for once! I can’t really promise to make this a habit though. What can I say, I like to be fashionably late. *flips hair in sass*

Speaking about fashion, did you know that the bearded vulture purposely dyes its feathers with red soil? Interestingly, it is the only bird that likes to play dress-up in this manner.

Yes, believe it or not, that was the weird bird fact for today.

Since the entire purpose of my monthly bird-fact intros is to spare me from writing long introductions to my wrap-ups, we get started right away!

I didn’t get much time to read this month – most of it was a whirlwind of exams and schoolwork – so I barely read anything for the first half of the month, it was only later that I found some time to read. The books were all 4 star-ish so I guess that’s a good thing?

The highlight of this month, however, is something else. Somehow, ALL my reads this month were written from first person point-of-view! Like, how? An utter coincidence, Nature playing a joke on this poor soul, or the bookish gods trying to convince me that not all first person narratives are boring? Whatever it may be, I am actually glad I gave (5!) books with 1st person POV a chance, because upto this point, I had ended up disliking nearly every book told from 1t person POV. However, I for once enjoyed reading the narratives of most of these 5 books, so happy realization to me!

Onto the books I read!

The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games, #1)
The Wolf's Curse

A Clash Of Steel by C.B. Lee (ARC)
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
This was a lovely diverse retelling of the classic favourite Treasure Island – with strong woman characters, pirates and treasure hunting! It was one of my most anticipated releases this year so I’m grateful I got the chance to be a part of the blog tour!

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
A book that has gotten popular recently due to its recently released sequel, I buddy read The Inheritance Games with April for our hype-o-meter series of posts! While lacking in several aspects, I laud the author for creating such an intriguing atmospheric mystery!

The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis (ARC)
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
A beautiful, lyrical, atmospheric middle grade fantasy centered around death and life, love and loss among lots of other meaningful themes, this book completely stole my heart.

We Are Not Free

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
This was an intriguing murder mystery set in an elite prep school where secrets don’t stay buried for long. A completely Asian main cast of characters, flashbacks and dark secrets – this book will keep you hooked.

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
Rating: ★★½ (4.5 out of 5 stars)
An impactful story about 14 Japanese teenagers living in war-torn America during WWII, growing up amid discrimination and facing all odds to stay happy together – We Are Not Free was deep. Full review to come!

Most of my posts this month were basically reviews of some sort so yeah, compared to the plethora of creative posts I published last month, this month’s content was pretty stale. Still, some of the reviews are nicely written, with quotes and moodboards and hype-o-meters and what not.
Here are all my posts this month, check them out in case you missed them earlier!

  1. August Wrap-Up // the month of mostly mediocre reads, creative posts and blog redesign! : The month started with me wrapping up my reads, blogging etc in August. The weird bird fact of the month was something on albatrosses.

2. We Hunt The Flame vs the Hype-o-meter // Review : New favourite book incoming! This post was the second in a collab series with April, in which we determine whether or not a popular book is worth the hype! And my, We Hunt The Flame definitely was!!

3. Blogger Interview with Rachel! : Soo this was not a real post at all, it was a reblog of my interview with Riddhi from Whispering Stories! She asks me a set of questions related to everything from my blog to my future career and lots more!

4. Blog Tour: A Clash Of Steel by C.B. Lee (Review + Moodboard) || A diverse retelling set in imperial china ft. lost treasure and pirates! : I got selected for a blog tour of A Clash Of Steel, and got the chance to review an arc! Plus there’s a moodboard!!

5. We Hunt The Flame Quotes As Real Life Moments! : In my favorite post this month, I compare quotes from the Sands of Arawiya duology to moments in my life! Basically a sarcastic compilation of random real life moments!!

6. Blog Tour: Top 5 Reasons To Read The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis || A poignant tale revolving around superstitions and death : As part of the book tour of the recently released The Wolf’s Curse, I list the top 5 resons you should read this lyrical middle grade!

7. The Inheritance Games vs the Hype-o-meter // Review : In the third installment of our hype-o-meter series, me and April review a book everyone seems to be reading lately! Was it worth the hype? Click to find out! (and click here to read April’s post!)

I am not kidding when I say I did a LOT of blog hopping this month and I’m proud of how many great new blogs and posts I discovered! Here’s a list of some posts I enjoyed reading in September!!

Maddie @Inking & Thinking reviews The Bones of Ruin!

Darcey @Read In The Clouds reviews Under The Whispering Door!

Aashi @Words On Fleek writes a hilarious song-review of City Of Bones!

Becky @Becky’s Book Blog reviews Among Thieves!

Sabrina @Wordy & Whimsical lists six ridiculous reading worries!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura lists six bad reasons to dnf a book!

Kaya @A Fictional Bookworm reviews an arc of Beasts Of Prey!

Malka @Paper Procrastinators gives tips for Netgalley newbies!

Anoushka @Dipped In Ink wrote a hilarious post on why bookworms can be dangerous!

J @Midnight Book Blog gives helpful tips for writing reviews!

Maddie @Inking And Thinking writes a discussion on why she follows book blogs!

Saima @Stories With Saima shares 6 things she has learnt after 6 months of blogging!

Bertie @Luminiosity Library reviews an ARC of Under The Whispering Door!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura does the fantasy tropes book tag!

Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner reacts to five star reviews of books she hated!

Brianne @Peruse With Coffee shares her huge autumn tbr!

Cherry @Letters To The Lost lists the reasons why you should read We Hunt The Flame!

Sabrina @Wordy And Whimsical shares blog post ideas that she discarded!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura lists 6 features of a chill-out read!

Saima @Stories With Saima shares her spooky October tbr!

Siena @Booksophobia discusses unhauling books!

Rebecca @Bex the Bibliophile reviews A Dark And Hollow Star!

Alix @Alix Reads Books writes a discussion on annotating books!

Raji @Worlds Unlike Our Own recommends 7 thrilling reads to read during Halloween!

How was September for you? Which was your favourite read this month? Have you read any of the books I read? Let me know in the comments!!

~ Rachel

The Inheritance Games vs the Hype-o-meter // Review

Just yesterday, I came across this new (to me!) thing called a recursive acronym. For those like yesterday-Rachel who have no clue what this official-sounding word means – basically it is an acronym where the first letter is the acronym itself. Ehh sounds over-the-top but the essence is not that complex. For example, GNU is a recursive acronym that stands for GNU’s Not Unix, then we can expand the GNU in the full form again to GNU’s Not Unix, and our new expansion would be GNU’s Not Unix Not Unix and so on till forever. 

Now you must be wondering, “why in the world is Rachel giving us a (barely comprehensible) lesson in literature?? Wasn’t this post supposed to be a review?”. 

Well I do have a reason for talking about all this apart from the fact that it is an interesting concept, and that is – similar ~vibes~. With the book I’m about to review. Traps upon traps, riddles upon riddles – yes, the gist of The Inheritance Games is pretty similar to that of a recursive acronym.

With all that done, let’s get started with today’s showdown, (know more about it this blog series here) which is The Inheritance Games, a book that has recently risen to popularity due to its upcoming sequel, against our hype-o-meter! 

The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games, #1)

Title: The Inheritance Games
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: Young Adult Mystery, Contemporary
Synopsis:
Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.
Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

If yes is no and once is never, then how much exactly did I enjoy this book? Now that’s a difficult one, because this was one of those books I am extremely conflicted about. If I had to rate it purely on the basis of enjoyment – an easy 4 – 4.5 stars. But as a reviewer I do have to think a tiny bit about other factors too, and in this case, let us just say these factors were not in the book’s favour. Let’s break it down.

“Everything’s a game, Avery Grambs. The only thing we get to decide in this life is if we play to win.”

The narration was first person. Probably no big deal for most of you, but believe me when I say my relationship with first person POV has not exactly been the best and mostly books with such narrations leave me mildly annoyed (pfft who am I kidding? It’s more like throwing-things-and-banging-doors-and-hitting-my-head-against-a-wall-repeatedly level annoyed.) My aggressive behavioural actions aside, The Inheritance Games was a surprise in this aspect – a pleasant one at that. I actually enjoyed Avery’s POV, so conclusion : she must have been a really good character. Yes, that she was.

In the very opening scene we are told how much of a genius Avery is when she aces an impossible physics test and is lowkey accused of cheating by her principal (which. not cool.) and is confident enough to promise the same score in a re-test. And she also beats a homeless man, who is apparently a brilliant chess player, at chess. After a few scenes we see her answer an impossible-sounding riddle asked by a drunk teenager without batting an eyelid (the riddle: ‘If yes is no and once is never, then how many sides does a triangle have?’). Upto this point, cool. 

The story till here is nicely constructed, all the events well thought out – a normal teenager who was living her life with her half-sister or in her car, attending school on a scholarship gets good news in the form of a snobby boy in a suit who informs her that his rich grandfather has left her his entire fortune of billions. Too easy, but I’ll take it. 

Things went downhill from here. I do not know whether I was just in a very critical mood, but it seemed to me that the author had simply lost interest in creating an intriguing mystery, and decided to just let Avery have a fortunate stroke of serendipity. Everything – the clues and riddles were extremely amateur, and anyone with a little common sense could have easily figured them out – let alone our supposedly brilliant protagonist working with four impossibly-smart brothers. 

“He left you the fortune, Avery, and all he left us is you.”

And man, the stakes?? It was established in the beginning that not much could be done to challenge Avery’s inheritance, so what was the point of the whole solving-riddles thing? I went in expecting a thrilling round of who-solves-the-mystery-first-gets-the-money but apparently my expectations were too high.

Yet, I would not say I disliked this book because, honestly, I did not. While the big reveals were okay-ish (for a mystery, the gasp factor was shockingly low.), it was the little moments that got to me. Those moments when we got away from the main plot for a while (like Avery’s initial disbelief of the house having a bowling alley, later the scene when her stylist were working on her with Libby snorting in the corner) made me giggle and were enjoyable, so that’s a plus. 

And then of course there was all the family drama, the sibling rivalry (4x!) and all the fun moments between Avery and each of the brothers so yes, while the book could have been better in a lot of aspects, it was goood. I’m excited for the sequel!

It was a tough fight with the hype-o-meter, but The Inheritance Games emerged as a solid, so there’s that. Not quite worth the hype, but certainly worth a try. Click here to read April’s review!

Have you read The Inheritance Games? What would you give it on the hype-o-meter? Do you have The Hawthorne Legacy on your radar? Let me know in the comments!

August Wrap-Up // the month of mostly mediocre reads, creative posts and blog redesign!

Apparently an albatross can sleep while flying. Yes, seriously. I just found out that this bird can doze off comfortably while cruising through the air at a speed of 25km/hr. Talk about sleeping through a journey. (Kinda related, but how are people ever able to sleep in planes? It is the worst kind of torture there is for my neck)

And the “birds as weird intros to Rachel’s wrap-ups” saga continues. We had ducks in June, pigeons and July and the lucky ones this month were albatrosses. I wonder who’ll be next?

Ugh August was definitely not my best reading month. First, I read a lot lesser owing to exams, and even most out of those books were 3 star-ish. Still, I did find something I could call a new favourite, and I reviewed more books than usual so that’s an achievement.

The Supernaturalist
Down to Earth
The War That Saved My Life (The War That Saved My Life, #1)
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer

Rating ★★★ ½

Comments: Hmm, decent. Like the beginning was extremely promising, but the end did not quite live up to my expectations. But overall a solid sci-fi.

Down To Earth by Betty Culley

Rating ★★★ || Find my review here

Comments: Ehh from the coming-of-age point of view, it was brilliant. I wasn’t a big fan of the pacing and the plot line though.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Bradley

Rating ★★★★½

Comments: Its been a while since I enjoyed a middle grade, but I did. There was war, bombs, horses, found family, spies… what’s there not to like?

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)
We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya, #2)
The Ones We're Meant to Find
We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Rating ★★★★½

Comments: Gooood. Really. But I am not going to go into how fabulous, brilliant, outstanding and enchanting this book is here because you’ll begin to (rightly) think I’m obsessed. (also there’s a full review coming right up)

We Free The Stars by Hafsah Faizal

Comments: Okay I am cheating with this one since I haven’t finished it yet. But look I am like almost done okay?!

The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He

Rating ★★½ || Find my review here

Comments: Umm I get why lots of people totally love this book, but not for me. Sorry.

So as you can see, it was pretty much a sci-fi month for me. I am proud of the fact that I am making progress on my goal of reading more of genres other than just fantasy *applause please*. Next goal – more of crimes and mysteries.

Big news: I redesigned my blog yet again. I know I know, the proclamation has lost its glamour due to repetition, but then again, I get bored of my current them every few weeks, hence the inevitable change. This time though, I’ll try to keep a check on my itchy fingers.

Content-wise, I think I was pretty much at my creative best in August. I had some great ideas and actually had the energy to sit down and type them out so I am proud of that. Most of my posts this month have been some of my favourites so far (am I… am I actually getting the hang of blogging?) so yay to that!! Here are the links to all my posts along with a small description, and in case you missed any of them you are welcome to check them out!

  1. July Wrap-Up // I used to write something here but I can’t recall what: My first post of the month was all about recapping the month of July. Also there’s some talk about pigeons, so umm yeah.

2. Blog Tour: The Twin Stars by Bridgette Portman [Review + INTL Giveaway]: I review an ARC of The Twin Stars, a YA fantasy with a mc with OCD who gets transported into her own unfinished story.

3. The Young Elites vs The Hype-o-Meter!: A very exciting review post, the first in the Hype-o-meter series with my fellow blogger and friend April. Check out whether The Young Elites is worth the hype according to us!!

4. Books As Road Trips // a random post that emerged out of the void: Okay so I impulsively published this post and I’m actually really happy with how it turned out. Maybe its the ~excellent~ metaphoring on my part (comparing books to road trips?!) but it might just be one of my favourite posts on this blog.

5. 8 Things I Look For In Books // does it show that I am desperate for recs?: I list the things that guarantee that I’ll fall in love with a book in hope that I get some good recs (and I did! thank you guys!!)

6. Blog Tour: Down To Earth by Betty Culley + Moodboard: I review an ARC of Down To Earth, a middle grade science fiction full of wonder and coming of age moments.

7. Book Review: The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He || concept? brilliant. execution? not so much: And finally, I review the recently released The Ones We’re Meant To Find in a loong post. But again, I think its one of my better reviews.

Soo. Quality, check. Quantity, check. Not bad, huh?

Its that time of this wrap up where I shout out all of your posts that I enjoyed reading!!

Sofii @A Book. A Thought reviewed The Ones We’re Meant To Find, and I agree with a lot of points she made!

Erin @Reading on a star lists her favourite book tropes!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura writes about the 6 sins of us readers!

Eleanor @Wishing Upon A Star discusses what makes a book popular!

Kashvi @Elfhame Books reviewed We Free The Stars!

Emily @Frappes And Fiction does the reader problems book tag!

Ashmita @The Fictional Journal reviewed The Inheritance Games, a book that I’m currently reading!

Kaya @The Fictional Bookworm writes a mini review of Murder On The Orient Express! Its my favourite Poirot too!

Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner celebrates 400 followers and gives some pro blogging tips too!

Cherry @Letters To The Lost reacts to 1 star reviews of her favourite books, some of which coincidentally are my favorites too!

Maddie @Inking And Thinking discusses bookish pet peeves!

Cherelle @A Bolt Out Of The Book recommends books based on Marvel movies!

April @Booked Till Midnight pits The Young Elites against the Hypometer!

That brings us to the end of this wrap up!! In one sentence, blogging was good, reading was not. Anyway, happy September everyone!

Which was your favourite read this August? Have you read any of the books I did? Chat with me in the comments, and feel free to link your wrap-ups too!

~ Rachel

This blog turns 1 year old! + An A to Z of me

You heard it right, last week was my first blogging anniversary! I have been blogging for one whole year now guys!! (well technically not a full year, since I took a few months to figure out how everything works before I started posting actively, but you get the point).

One year since a barely-teen decided she could not hold all her thoughts in that overfull mind of hers, stumbled upon wordpress and created a little space of her own, where she could talk all day about the thing she loved most – 📚books📚. (will she stop talking in third person now? Yes, she will.) So that’s how A Bookworm’s Paradise came to life. I had never ever ever dreamed that I would actually get such a wonderful audience like you all, and that I would actually commit myself to my readers like I have. It’s amazing, right? I know I don’t say this very often, but I feel at the top of the world whenever any of you take some time to read and appreciate my content.🥰 It is YOU who have made this journey possible, because I would have quit a long time back had it not been your encouragement.

Okay, that’s enough cheesiness for today (I spoiled the moment, didn’t I? You had just begun getting all puppy eyed). So I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized that most of you don’t know much about me apart from the fact that I am a bookworm (and you just need to see my website’s name to know that much). One year’s a long enough time to get acquainted, but now we should be friends, right? And friends should know little things about each other. That is why, today I will be introducing myself from A to Z, meaning that I will have a word beginning from each letter from A to Z, which describes me, or is a particular favourite or something along similar lines.

This idea is not original, I saw this post over at Asic’s blog and requested their permission to do a similar post. So without any further ado, lets get started!!

My zodiac sign is Aries, and I am what you’d call a typical, hardcore Aries! Competitive, aggressive, bold, will-say-it-to-your-face, impatient, impulsive – that’s me!

Duh. So obviously you know this, but books complete me and make me who I am.

I love chocolate!! Who doesn’t? But dark chocolate is the closest to my heart!!

I often zone out and day dream about the most ridiculous things. Seriously, my train of thought is not one anyone would like to travel by.

Most of you may know this as a faction from the Divergent series, but it is a real word and it means to have or show great knowledge or learning. While I would not like to say that I completely match the definition, I think out of the 5 factions in Divergent, this one would be the best fit for me.

Fire is my element, which is pretty obvious, since I am an Aries and I am so hotheaded and short-tempered. One touch and I ignite…

I think I have mentioned before that I really enjoy learning new languages. While I might be casually teaching myself other languages, German is the one I have been seriously pursuing. Not bragging here, but I gave the Fit 1 exam when I was 11, while the appropriate age for it is 15. And even now, I am learning the A2 level (from a European teacher!) alongside students double my age. So yeah, I like to consider myself kinda fluent in German.

History nerds, raise your hands! *raises both hands* Unpopular opinion among my peers, but I really like history in general. In school we had been studying Indian history for the past 3 years, and while I liked that, this year we have French, German and Russian history and that is so much more interesting! And also, historical fantasy is one of my preferred book genres.

My MBTI is ISTJ, but tbh I did not need that personality test to tell me that I am an introvert. Many of you would find it hard to believe that I have only one IRL friend who is actually a real friend of mine (not a “badminton friend” or “a classmate friend”), and I haven’t talked to even her since almost a year (I have Covid to thank for that). Hence proved that I am terrible at making friends and a completely antisocial person.

I am often very quick to judge people and I am so stubborn that I am not very likely to change my judgement of anyone. Just another glimpse at my ISTJ personality.

My Kindle has been my constant companion during the lockdown, as most of the books I have read in the past two years were e-books. My Kindle (not really mine, I share with my dad) is a regular old paperwhite with a dark blue external cover.

While I have absolutely zero musical talent, I do have a knack of memorizing lyrics of songs I hear, and I hardly ever forget them. This includes both Hindi and English songs.

March is my favourite month of the year. I love the March weather, and my birthday fall in March too!

I am a nature lover. It does help that my house faces a big trove of tall trees, and I have the most amazing view from my room window or my balcony. I took up bird watching as a hobby quite seriously last year (yup I have these hi-fi pair of binoculars which can sometimes show me even the eggs in the different nests!) and though I quit a couple months back, I still am very interesting in casual bird spotting and plant growing and other similar stuff.

I am a pretty good observer and often pay attention to small details which are mostly overlooked by others. But then again, at other times I am so focused or distracted that I don’t even notice what someone is doing or wearing 🙃

Aha, another one of my many interests! I enjoy writing huge codes and working out logic and debugging my programs. I also used to take programming courses before the lockdown and made a pretty impressive multi-functioning robot (I used Arduino, if you’re curious)

I like doing quizzes in general, but history quizzes and math quizzes (and of course, quizzes on books!) are particular favourites of mine!

I like to think of myself as a rational, practical and logical person, as I generally look for reasons behind things and try to verify stuff with facts rather than assumptions.

Okay so you certainly don’t need another reminder of how much I love the SoC duology, but it can’t not be on a list of my favourite things, right? It is a big deal for a book to make it to this list, and that’s how much I am obsessed with this.

I hate travelling. I don’t like eating anything that’s not homemade, or waiting for hours in airports or train stations, or dragging my suitcase behind me, or sleeping in an alien bed. I also get homesick really soon (no place like home, right?) Add to all this the fact that I am terribly motion sick, whether I am in a car or in a plane. That means, I can’t read while travelling!! Do you even need another reason?

I pride myself on being absolutely fair and unbiased in all situations. I play by the rules and don’t like somebody who doesn’t.

No not the icecream flavour. I do not like wearing dresses or wearing makeup. I have never worn heavy jewelry or put on nail paint in my life. A plain-Jane if you want, but I have no problem with it.

I think I win over people quite quickly (especially my school teachers lol) with my oh so charming words and often succeed with getting someone to warm up to me. A useful skill for getting out of trouble, right? I really hope my teachers don’t find out about this

I have had a love-hate relationship with the colour yellow. When I was little, yellow was by far my favourite colour. But something changed and about 3-4 years back, I started really disliking the colour. At present, my feelings toward yellow is almost neutral.

And that was me in 24 words! (Yeah, I couldn’t find anything that started with an x and z). Hope you got to know me a little better after reading this!

Can you pick up some words that describe you? Let’s chat in the comments!

Get To Know The Fantasy Reader Tag

Hello everyone!

I’ve been having so many great (and mostly original) ideas for blog posts, but somehow I have lost the energy to form coherent words from my thoughts and type them out (hence the 18 barely-started-except -for-the-heading drafts just sitting there staring at me). It is at this time tags come to my rescue (cue heroic tune).

I was looking for tags related to fantasy (since its Wyrd And Wonder month) and I came across this one at Chonky books and it looked fun, so I decided to do it! Let’s get started!!


Rules:

  • Make sure you give credit to the original creators of this tag – this tag was originally created by Bree Hill.
  • If you want to, pingback to the post you first saw this tag
  • Have fun!

What is your fantasy origin story? (The first fantasy you read)

Huh I never thought about this actually. I guess it must be either Harry Potter or Charlie Bone or something.

If you could be the hero/heroine in a fantasy novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?

Well, since we’re already talking about dreams coming true, I think I would very much like to become the author of this fantasy novel😂. The one trope that just HAS to be there would be found family, or ragtag crew of mifits.

What is a fantasy series you’ve read this year, that you want more people to read?

My favourite fantasy series this year so far are the Six of Crows duology and the Aurora Cycle duology-soon-to-be-a-trilogy, but I guess a lot of people have read them already since they are pretty popular. So I’ll go with the Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend, which was one of my favourite fantasy series last year. It is so underrated and underhyped, but I’m sure you’ll love it if you just read it.

What is your favourite fantasy subgenre?

I can’t really name a favourite, it all depends on how it is executed. But in general I like futuristic, dystopian, epic, MG and YA fantasy. And I also enjoy the occasional mythological fantasy, especially Indian (Amish Tripathy’s novels are fab!!) and Greek.

What sub-genre have you not read much from?

A lot of them actually😅. I haven’t read any fairytale retellings, and I have read very little of Paranormal Fantasy and Medieval Fantasy.

Who is one of your auto-buy fantasy authors?

I don’t buy books just because I like other books by that author (I used to do that but ended up disappointed most of the time) so I can’t answer this one.

How do you typically find fantasy recommendations? (Goodreads, Youtube, Podcasts, Instagram…)

Mostly I get recs from my fellow bloggers’ posts (thank you, y’all!) though since I have joined Goodreads I get some good fantasy recs based on my tastes from there too.

What is an upcoming fantasy release that you’re excited for?

Aurora’s End (the final book in the Aurora Cycle trilogy) which is releasing in September and Keeper of the Lost Cities 9 (still untitled, but 9the final book in the KOTLC series) which comes out in November.

What is one misconception about fantasy that you’d like to lay to rest?

All fantasy is not magic spells and goblins and fairies. Yes, it does have some magical or supernatural element, but it is still very different from a fairy tale. (Go read Six Of Crows if you doubt me!)

If someone had never read a fantasy before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?

Hmm…I’d say Divergent, Percy Jackson and any Cassandra Clare would be a good place to start…? They are all quite different from each other, so you can try them out and see what sticks.

Who is the most recent fantasy reading content creator you came across and would like to shout out?

Not a content creator, but I would like to tell you about Wyrd And Wonder, which is “an annual geekout about all things fantasy”. And that’s right, its taking place in May, right now! Oh, and its not too late to sign up even now (click here for all the details!).

I tag Ashmita @the fictional journal || Cherelle @a bolt out of the book || Kristin Kraves Books


Another thing before ending this post – did y’all see that my blog has a brand-new blog button now? All the credit goes to Evin @A Curly Sue’s Ramblings. Thank you Evin for the stunning blog button!!


Are you a big fantasy reader? Any great fantasy recs for me? What is an upcoming fantasy release that you’re really excited for? Chat with me in the comments!

Discussion Post: Role Of Parents In MG And YA Fantasy (Part 1)

Hello everyone, I would like to wish you a very happy Mother’s Day! I wanted to do something special on this occasion, so I came up with this idea for a discussion post – talking about the role of parents in today’s middle grade and young adult fantasy novels! I know it’s slightly long (thank goodness I decided to divide it into two parts!), but I’ve worked quite hard to put all this together, so I really hope you enjoy reading it and also express your opinions, since it is a discussion post. So without further ado, let’s start!


To put it bluntly, in most modern middle grade and young adult novels, the parents are neglected. And I am not even talking about the other characters’ parents, I am talking about the main character’s. I totally understand the reason. When the entire story is about a teenage girl who, one fine morning, discovers she has magical powers (just talking about a general thing here, not pointing to any book) why would anyone want to know about her mother? But including the parent(s) in the story does enhance it in some cases. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely love to see the parent-child relationship develop through the course of the story. But of course, there are also a lot of novels (especially MG) which involve the parents wholeheartedly.

In this post, we are going to go through the different types of roles parents have in MG and YA fantasies through the examples of popular books.


I think one of the most common parent-related trope is dead parent(s). It is very convenient to kill off one or both parents before the book even starts. I believe this is because a dead parent not only reduces the complexity of the story (no need to explain the main character’s relationship with them, etc), they also provide a certain backbone to the story, as the main character struggles to accept their deaths, or follow their footsteps etc. Dead parents usually mean that though they are not physically present throughout the events of the book, their presence is somehow felt. This trope has been executed in so different ways, some good, some not-so.

In The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury, the main character Amelia lost her mother at a very early age, and after her death, her father disappeared. All Amelia wanted was to become a Maestro, because her mother was one. She chose flute (and that too her mother’s) as her instrument because her mother had been a flutist. And she wanted more than anything to go to Mystwick, because it was the music school her mother went too. Later in the book, she mentions (too many times!) that she felt very close to her late mother in Mystwick. And even later, her mother forms a huge part of the ending. I felt the story would have been better if it focused less on the dead mother and more on our main character.

We all know about Harry Potter. Orphaned when he was barely an infant, Harry learns more about his parents at Hogwarts. I like the little details we get, from Sirius and Snape and others, but maybe Harry could have shown a little more, I don’t know, like anger or sorrow or something for his parents throughout the series?

All’s not bad. I have come across books which have executed the dead parent trope wonderfully. Renegades by Marissa Meyer is a very good example. The murder of the mc’s (her name is Nova) parents and sister is actually shown in the very beginning, and after that it kinda takes a backseat. But it definitely fuels Nova’s hatred for the Renegades and her drive to destroy them. There are occasional mentions, enough for the reader to remember why Nova’s doing what she’s doing, but not enough to be irritating or repetitive. The perfect balance.


Then we have the parents who are very much alive, but not involved much in the story, in other words, the absent parents. I personally don’t favour this trope much. I mean, I know its fiction, but there should be something relatable, right? It is very unrealistic that the parent is totally unaware while their child is off riding dragons and/or meeting dwarves and/or nearly getting killed and what not.

In Orion Lost by Alastair Chrisholm, the adults are all in cyro sleep, leaving only the children aboard the spaceship to deal with everything. The mc’s mother and father are introduced at the beginning of the novel, but then they play no role throughout the story whatsoever. I am not saying its a bad thing, but you know, just absent parents.

Same is the case with Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend. I mean, I loved all the three books (I rated them 5 stars!) but what I want to point out is that the mc’s father (her mother is dead) has no role throughout the trilogy except being mean to her in the first few pages of the first book.


And finally we have the books which actually give importance to the parents. I feel this one is the best there is. But you know what, I am not going to talk about these books in this post. I will be discussing these in the second part of this discussion. (Sorry if you came here only for these, but that next post will hopefully be worth the wait!)

Before you leave, I would like to share the results of a small survey I conducted. I put the following question forward to a group of readers –

In a YA or MG fantasy, would you prefer –

  1. Absent Parent (Little or no role in the story)
  2. Dead Parent
  3. Parent with an important role to play

The response was quite overwhelming and one-sided. A total of 85 people answered my question, out of which 73 of them favoured the last option i.e. parents with an important role to play. Of the remaining, 4 answered ‘dead parent’ and 8 chose ‘absent parent’. This means that about 85% prefer books with active parents. I think I agree with them, such books are fun to read.

Since so many of you like books with parent participation, this is what we will be (mostly) discussing in the second part of this discussion post, and teaser – I will be including some recs (books with active parents) too! Stay tuned, it won’t be long before the Part 2 goes up!

Which kind of fictional parents do you like best in MG and YA books? What are your thoughts on portrayal of parents in fantasy for young readers? Feel free to express your opinions in the comments, I would be more than happy to have a friendly discussion!