March Wrap Up // i am become a reading machine

(no the title is not a grammatical mistake, shadow&bone anyone?)

Hullo inhabitants of the mortal realm, how are we doing today?

Ok here’s a joke. The guy who invented the umbrella was going to name it the brella. But he hesitated.

Wait why aren’t you laughing? *dramatic widening of eyes* Ohh I get it. You must be an agelast, which means a person who doesn’t laugh!

Believe it or not that was the weird word fact of the day. Oh well. It seems I’ve lost my touch since I haven’t written a wrap up since two months. Oops.

A quick note before we start this section- I might have gone full ballistic with my reading this month because I haven’t had free time like this since what, a whole year? Plus March is my birthday month so I decided to sort of treat myself by going on a reading spree especially during the last two weeks. I haven’t read these many books in a month like ever so that’s something to remember this March by right? Anyway another amazing thing is that I loved (like, loved loved) most of the books I read this month?? It seems the bookish gods have been showering me with blessings hehe.

Down Comes The Night by Allison Saft An immersive atmospheric read perfect for a dark wintry night! Brr I shiver just thinking about it. ★★★★

When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord The characters? Love. The plot? Love. The writing? Love. Literally everything about this contemporary is quirky and witty and it shall forever hold a place in my happily-ever-after loving heart. ★★★★★

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz What a letdown. Here be dragons, but apparently here be disappointment as well. ★★

Heartstopper Volume 1-4 by Alice Oseman I’ll be honest, I went in expecting lots of fluffy gay adorableness and was unprepared for the many heavy themes that were handled, BUT I’m so glad I read this. Also the art was unparalleled. Also also yes I finally picked this up because I wanted to read the books before the Netflix show (!!) came out.

Fable & Namesake by Adrienne Young It’s a testament to how obsessed I was with this duology that I read it completely in two days—which unexpected because I’ve never read full length novels that fast. A gripping pirate-y adventure if I ever saw one! ★★★★★

Geekerella by Ashley Poston I don’t know if it’s just my inexperience in the world of contemporary novels speaking, but Geekerella was very different from any other ya romance i’ve read. I believe it was also my first ever Cinderella retelling and OH. MY GOSH. The way the elements from the original story were given a twist (scratch that, they were turned 180 degrees) had me squealing into my pillow. ★★★★½

Tahira In Bloom by Farah Heron Technically not counting this as a read because it was a DNF. *gasps from audience* i know i know, i dont think I’ve ever dnf’ed a book in the past few years but idk something just felt wrong about this which is sad because I had HIGH hopes.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord Another Emma Lord book! Not surprising in the least, because I’ve made it my personal mission to devour everything this genius of a woman writes. With family rivalry, anonymous texting and DESSERTS (ok i swear i dont know how that found its way in this sentence) it was a fun, totally adorable contemporary. ★★★★½

I posted quite frequently this month, especially compared to February when I was writing part of a different post every day and finishing none of them. Click on the featured images to be taken to that post!

Part 2 of the iconic (if I do say so myself) Book Recommendations Based On Disney Movies is here! There are book quotes and movie dialogues and whatnot.

Someone evoke my mood reader license please because TBRs? But atleast seasonal tbrs are easier to follow than monthly ones right? Right?? Anyway, I present my TBR for Spring & Summer!

New blog series alert! Maddie from Inking & Thinking and I collaboratively started a series called March Madness But In Books where we pit two books against each other every week and choose a winner!!

You know I’ve gone full bad when I put together my own crew of fictional characters for a heist! Anyway its a lot of fun assembling characters according to heist archetypes, go check it out!!

March was my birthday month (which you couldn’t POSSIBLY have missed, given that I mention it a million times in my posts) and I decided to do a bookshelf reveal!!

Ash @Ink & Ash talks about the found family trope and gives recommendations!

Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner recommends books based on weird Duolingo sentences!

Kaya @The Fictional Bookworm recommends books for fantasy beginners!

Emily @Frappes And Fiction talks about why book blogging is dying!

Suhani @Random Reader’s Rambles lists things she does not like about her favourite books!

Zainab @Dead Bookish Society recommends poc-poc romance books by bipoc authors!

Phoenix @Books With Wings lists things she has used as bookmarks!

🪄Ok I’m actually regretting calling this section EXCITING because my life isn’t always that. But anyway. Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. *wards off evil* So there was this extremely bad family situation for most of March and while I do not wish to bombard you with details, I can tell you that I was miserable. But atleast it’s settling down now (i think)

🪄Yeah back to the actual exciting things! *drumroll* I started learning Spanish! Yes this was actually back in February but I did not do a february wrap-up so shh. Spanish has always been one of my dream languages but somehow it felt out of reach sorta? But after I’d assured myself that my German skills won’t go anywhere even if I learn Spanish, I felt invincible. Even more so by the fact that i now have a 24 day streak on duolingo and am constantly trying to beat my neighbour’s daily xp (he’s also learning spanish hehe)

🪄It’s hot here. Spring is not supposed to be this hot ok? I swear I’ll melt in the heat one of these days.

🪄School is starting offline from April after two whole years of online classes! Yeah I’d gone to school physically last year for exams but its the first time regular classes will take place offline. (also, despite what the exclamation mark led you to believe, I have mixed feelings about this whole thing)

🪄I ordered new books! Like for my birthday sort of? One of them was Tweet Cute, A Far Wilder Magic is on its way and there are a couple more.

🪄Surprisingly, I’ve still not given up on my fantasy wip, like I initially predicted I would. Instead now I’ve decided to go on full outlining mode and drafting now and then. I’ve befriended other writers on twitter and it’s all very encouraging.

🪄There’s a Heartstopper show coming on Netflix in April! Pretty sure you already know this (otherwise i hate to inform you that you’ve been living under a rock dear friend) but its an update fit for this section so i can’t just leave it out.

How was your March? Have you read any of these? Thoughts?? Any “exciting” things happening in your life? Let me know in the comments!!

~ Rachel

Bookshelf Reveal || it’s my birthday!

Hey! Everybody is supposed to be excited okay? Why, because it’s Rachel’s birthday today!

My questionable rhyming skills aside, it really IS my birthday! I’ve officially blessed this earth with my gracious presence for 15 whole years today (ohno no need to thank me).

I have sort of mixed feelings about this whole ageing thing. In some ways, it feels like I’ve lived an entire lifetime, you know? i’ve certainly read enough books for a lifetime But also, as long as I’m far far away from that cursed number we do not speak of (it starts with 1 and ends with 8 and there’s nothing in between), I’m good, thank you.

Soo I gave a LOT of thought (no seriously, i was daydreaming about this during physics class) to what sort of a post I should put up on this wondrous occasion (did i mention it is my birthday today?) but things turned out to be a little last-minute (pfft with me they always are last minute) so I decided to keep it short and sweet so guess what we’re doing today — *drumroll* BOOKSHELF REVEAL!

Ok I realize my drama probably amounted to nothing because the post’s title gave it away, but play along, will you? After all, it’s my birthday today *wink wink*

Yeah so I got this bookshelf just last year on Christmas (best gift EVER, am i right?) since my old one was practically overflowing. I have also bought new books since then and I’m pretty proud of it so shower it with love okay? Ta-da!

THE MIGHTY BOOKSHELF

I spent literal HOURS putting in the books (and I still pop my nose in now and then to get that book-y smell) so that they look just right. I didn’t really colour code the shelves like a lot of people do (mostly because I have zero aesthetic sense) but i did have a strategy of organisation. Sort of. I think?

Let’s talk about the left rack first. The topmost shelf on the left is for my classics like The Book Thief, Anne of Green Gables, Moby Dick etc. The shelf below that is mostly fantasy, with the Vega Jane quartet stacked on top of each other. My copy of Our Violent Ends, my pride my joy (and my tears), is front and centre obviously. To it’s right are other fantasy novels including A Dark and Hollow Star and King of Scars.

The two shelves below that (the 3rd and 4th shelves in the left rack) are mostly adult fiction with the only fantasy books (Aurora Burning, Blazewrath Games and Sweet & Bitter Magic) displayed proudly, cover and all. Notable adult fiction books from these shelves are those by Khaled Hosseini, Agatha Christie and Mitch Albom among others. (also this photo is a few days old so the 3rd shelf from the top now also houses Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute). The bottom two shelves are a random mix of middle grade and YA mystery thrillers.

Ok onto the rack in the right! I know its a bit of a mess but that’s because the entire rack is mostly filled with books from my childhood and comics and those are a nightmare to try and arrange neatly. There are two shelves dedicated to Enid Blyton (god her books had me in a chokehold) and one shelf each for my Tinkle comics and Geronimo Stilton. And there’s also those big picture books and all from when I had just started reading.

Soo that was all about the mighty bookshelf (she says, nice to meet you guys) aand we’re all done with this post as well because I don’t really know what else there is to be said. (except, it’s my birthday today did you know that?)

How do you organize your bookshelf? What do you use to decorate it? (I’m thinking some Funko Pops might add better aesthetic…) Do you still own books from your childhood? OH AND WHEN’S YOUR BIRTHDAY? Let’s chat in the comments!

~ Rachel

UPDATE: apparently i also decided to do a face reveal? anyway my profile picture for today is my real face ✌️

January Wrap Up // apart from the year, nothing new really

Gosh. Let me say it again on behalf of all those like me are confused by the mechanisms of time – How are we already a month into 2022? It’s like I blinked and the year went by. Hold up, does that mean–

*blink* How are we already a month into 2023? *blink* How are we already a month into 2024?

Okay enough of that. Many of you might be kind enough to wonder where my usual bird fact intro is, so let me finally explain. In 2022, we have a brand new category of introductions to my monthly wrap ups – and it is *drumroll* uncommon and weird words! *waits for applause, instead gets the sarcastic slow clap* Hey hey, hear me out at least.

Finifugal sounds like nonsense, but it means “afraid of finishing anything”. (speaking of which, my biology assignment is pending, brb)

If This Gets Out
Sweet & Bitter Magic
Portrait of a Thief

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales Boy bands, secret parties and a glimpse of the stage life with an added dose of heartbreak and identity and fighting back. (Mom squad forever!!) ★★★★

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley I’m a simple gal. Give me some magical witchy-ness, grumpy-sunshine romance, and perilous journeys leading to epic facedowns, and I’m sold. ★★★★

Portrait Of A Thief by Grace D. Li Not gonna lie, I came only for the heists. And while that certainly did deliver, nothing could have prepared me for the internal conflicts of identity and futures at stake. This one was full of surprises, and I mean that as a compliment. ★★★★

Caraval (Caraval, #1)
Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game, #1)
Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber No we do not need a reminder on how dangerous the game is and a warning of not being swept away every two pages, thank you very much. Plus Scarlett was annoying and a little dumb. ★★

Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody Uhh I think dark fantasy is just not for me?? ★★½

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong Miss Gong did it again. The number of times I died and got resurrected while reading this is not even funny. ★★★★½

My first post of the year, and what better than to review three books from my newest favourite genre and my newest favourite author? Read my mini reviews of Perfect On Paper, Only Mostly Devastated and If This Gets Out here.

I never knew there were so many Disney fans here until I wrote this post and got an overwhelming response? But anyway, I compare some of my favourite disney movies to some of my favourite books, so it’s a win win really. Read it here!

A random post in which I try (and perhaps fail miserably? but shh) to guess the zodiac signs of some of my favourite characters based on their personalities! Read it here.

I review an ARC of This Last Adventure by Ryan Dalton, a middle grade focused on the grandson of an Alzheimers’ patient. You can read it here.

We have a special guest on the blog in this one, and it’s none other than my friend Anoushka from Dipped In Ink! She cleverly answers a set of (extremely hard, if i do say so myself) questions and i do the same on her blog! Read the whole shenanigan here.

Kaya @A Fictional Bookworm reviews Disney’s latest movie Encanto!
Andge @Down The Rabbit Hole reviews You’ve Reached Sam!
Ritz @Living Loving Reading writes a discussion on banned books!
Charvi @Not Just Fiction recommends books based on board games!
Rania @Rania’s Rambling Reads reviews Portrait Of A Thief!
Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner lists 7 bookish details she misunderstood as a kid!
Suhani @Random Reader’s Rambles recommends books based on zodiac signs!

🪄Academics wise, January was top tier in the sense that I got selected for courses for the next academic year in the institute I’m studying in, with very good ranks (1 and 4 respectively for two different courses) and generous scholarships. Ok now i’m going to stop the bragging.

🪄Not ‘exciting’ per se, and I think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts as well but the third week of January was pure torture, in terms of health at least. I was sick for nearly that entire week, and it was PAINFUL. And I still have a bad cold, which is annoying at the very least.

🪄Some better news is that I’m now paying more attention to my WIP (atleast I was, until I fell ill hmph) which had been pitifully neglected the past few weeks. Progress is still extremely slow though (there go your dreams of seeing a published copy in your lifetime MWAHAHA) but we’re getting there. Slowly. Very Slowly.

🪄I’m also starting to be more active on twitter now, so go give me a follow there! My tag is @callmeabookworm

How did you like the transition from “birds” to “words”?(no it has not escaped my notice that they rhyme) Have you read any of the mentioned books? Thoughts?? And link your monthly wrap ups if you’ve posted, I’d love to read them!

~ Rachel

The Know Your Buddy Tag With Anoushka!

Wow. The past week has been H-E-double hockey sticks. I was so sick for 4 days that I couldn’t even get out of bed, but what’s more important is the fact that everything hurt so much that I couldn’t READ. Yes I am pausing here for a huge gasp. There. Thank you.

Moving on to less scandalous things, today’s is a collab post with none other than Anoushka from Dipped In Ink! As is evident from the title, we’re going to be doing the Know Your Buddy tag (which neither of us were tagged for but we have a habit of snatching what is not ours so…) together because we are friendsies daisies. In this post you’ll find Anoushka’s answers to my questions; my answers to hers are in her post!

Rules

  • Tag the original creators of this tag – Tallblondetales and Proxywords – and tag the original posts from each of their blogs. If you do, you’ll be eligible for the roundup post and grand ‘Know Your Buddy’ tag winner! If not, you can still take part in the tag you just won’t be a contender for the overall winner. 
  • Thank the bloggers who nominated you (and your buddy), share the badge and rules in your post. 
  • Pick a blogger with whom you’d like to do this tag with, answer the questions together, and share each other’s answers on both the blogs.
  • Nominate 10 new Bloggers and keep spreading the love.
  • Notify the bloggers (tell them you nominated them) by commenting on one of their posts.

What is your favourite blog post of mine and why? 

THIS. IS. DIFFICULT.
I really like your ‘recommending books based on Disney movies’ one AND ALSO YOUR
YEARLY WRAP UP BECAUSE ALL THE GRAPHS!! And also your top 10 books BECAUSE THE
GRAPHICS ARE SO PRETTY! Oh and also (EXCUSE ME while I just casually proceed to
mention all of your posts here) the “Guessing the Zodiac signs of my favorite characters”
obviously. Because the idea is honestly THE BEST! AND YOUR WE ARE NOT FREE
REVIEW. Yes, I’m done. 

What would you rather be known for – your blog name or your name?

My blog name. See I’m a VERY boring person in real life who has been rumored to be
the reason people scream (out of boredom), but I sometimes like to think my blog is
different. Plus real life is boring and I just love my blog way more because we can
believe in the existence of dragons and also scream a lot?? THAT probably wasn’t
exactly what the question was about BUT LET’S JUST MOVE ON before we start to seem
suspicious okay

What is the weirdest comment you have gotten on your blog?

Umm I don’t know? LIKE I DONT THINK I HAVE ANY?! I used to get a few spam
comments in the very very beginning when Dipped in Ink was smol and innocent and
had never seen the world (we’re talking more than 1 year ago over here when the blog
in question wasn’t even called dipped in ink SO) NONE.

Do you think cereal is soup? Why or why not?

Ha. Hahaha haha. It’s not like I spent the last few days puzzling over this question
okay?! (at least I didn’t mean to) I’VE OBVIOUSLY GOT BETTER THINGS TO DO WITH MY
LIFE and am not a COMPLETELY jobless idiot the way I sometimes claim to be. But no.
The answer is NO. Cereal is NOT soup. SOUP IS SUPOSSED TO BE AMAZING AND
DELICIOUS while cereal is… Milk and cornflakes? Maybe some sugar added in if you’re
lucky? 

If you had a controller that had a power to rewind or fast-forward, which would you
press for WordPress?

As much as I’d love to fast-forward time and look at all my future post ideas AND STEAL
THEM so I don’t have to think of any (#genius) I also really want to go back and maybe
POST MORE OFTEN and stick to schedules and scream at myself to blog hop more (WE
ARE CONSIDERING ALL OF THIS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE RULES OF USING A REWIND
CONTROLLER. And no, topic is not up for discussion. So I get to choose said controller’s
powers, WHICH I AM MORE THAN GLAD TO DO thank you) so we shall rewind. (we’rengoing to see the future at some point anyway right? SO WHY NOT WAIT A LITTLE LONGER WHILE WE ENJOY THE PAST FIRST, dear olive of mine – or rachel’s in this case-?)

If you two were to be buddy characters in a movie, what characters would you be and
why?

EXCUSE ME while I silently look up all the movies I’ve watched because I am potato and
have similar memory to one, I APOLOGIZE. Perhaps AIDEEN AND MEABH? Wait no,
they’re from a book. Then what about Anne and Diana – wait that’s a TV show, BUT
LET’S IMAGINE THEY COUNT TOO.

What is the most boring part of doing blog posts for you? Or what part of posting a
blog are you laziest about doing?

This is not the boring part per se BUT i’d be forever grateful if someone came up with a
device that just typed up all the thoughts roaming your brain because like, I SPEND
HOURS THINKING UP POST CONTENT and even narrate it all in my head but then I ALSO
HAVE TO TYPE IT LATER which 1) takes TIME 2) I also forget things which is SAD 3) and if
said device is created I COULD STICK TO SCHEDULES SO EASILY which would be amazing.
AHEM but the boring part is definitely adding links and then also DOUBLE-CHECKING.
And trying to remember things (such as schedules), which is difficult.

If you could transform into any animal , what would it be and why?

I would become… A DRAGON! Flying is a life long dream which i’d get to fulfill and I
ALSO GET THE BONUS OF BEING ABLE TO BREATHE FIRE and DID I MENTION HOW
BECOMING A DRAGON WOULD BE AMAZING FOR WORLD-CONQUERING??! I would get
to live in an olive-tree orchard if I’m small enough. THAT WOULD BE HEAVENLY (and
before you object, the answer is YES. YES dragons are animals *glares*)

What reminds you of me?

  • Hearing the words ‘a bookworms paradise’. And other things such as:
  • Zayna
  • AND ALSO Harper
  • Writing
  • Rachel Elizabeth Dare
  • And PJO because of the above point

If you were given the power to exchange blogs for a day, what thing would you change
or adapt first?

First course of action would definitely be looking through ALL of your drafts because I
firmly believe I shall find lots of secrets there *cackles evilly* AND THEN BASICALLY JUST
STEALING ALL OF YOUR POSTS AND IDEAS BECAUSE DID I EVER MENTION BEFORE HOW
JEALOUS I WAS OF ALL OF IT?

Okay but seriously I probably wouldn’t change anything BECAUSE I LOVE EVERYTHING
ABOUT YOUR BLOG SO MUCH! But that DOES NOT mean I am saying no to discovering
all those hidden secrets in your drafts folder. grin

If your blog had a superpower/magical element, what would it be? 

I think I am going to steal Rachel’s answer for this one BUT MAYBE GET MY BLOG TO
WRITE ENTIRE BOOK REVIEWS FOR ME because I seem to have an inability to do so
myself. And also the aforementioned thoughts-device connection thing. WHERE
WHATEVER I THINK JUST MAGICALLY APPEARS ON SCREEN. that would be so cool.

Your blog is chosen to sponsor a charity. If funds were not an issue, which charity or
issue would your blog choose to support?

Maybe something to help provide literacy to as many people as possible? Building
libraries? Yes, something like that would be nice! Or we could also completely deviate
off the reading theme and talk about providing clean drinking water in poor regions
perhaps? 

What are the unwritten rules of your blog?

  • We should always be happy and try to make people laugh
  • OLIVES NEED TO BE MENTIONED SO THAT I DO NOT GET MURDERED BY THEM
  • And there’s others but most of them have already been broken by me, the rebellious
  • olive, and we do not talk about my many failures glares

If you had to swap niches, which niche would you change to?

I… Have no idea. I am nothing without stories SO?? THEY’RE?? NECESSARY?? Maybe
someplace where I post my writing? Like short stories and stuff. BUT IT SHALL STILL
DEFINITELY BE FILLED WITH BOOKS. And movies/tv shows if I’m feeling kind (which,
ususally, I’M NOT)

What new username would you give to my blog?

Proceeding with the assumption that we’re talking about the blog name here (because I
am kind of confused?) I really like your present name SO WE SHALL NOT CHANGE
ANYTHING thank you.

_____________

Ookay so I am going to pretend I didn’t see that whole plot for stealing my drafts (now I am going to look over my shoulder my ENTIRE life, you’ve just succeeded in making me even more paranoid than I already am), not least because the sentiment is reciprocated (if I get the chance, Anoushka’s drafts will be swept clean, CLEAN i tell you and I’ll leave no traces MWAHAHA).

Since I wasn’t tagged for this, I am not tagging anyone either (there’s only this far my conscience can stay quiet okay?) and i don’t have anything else to say so goodbye i guess?

Do you think cereal is soup? (you better be ready to defend yourself if you do)

~ Rachel

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

Recommending Books Based On Disney Movies // ft. book quotes and movie dialogues because why not

I watched Encanto the other day and I think it’s fair to say that I was, once again, blown away.

Every time, every single time I watch (or re-watch because I’m obsessed) a Disney movie, I think “This is it. This movie is going to be the first disney movie I didn’t like and that would mean I’ve finally grown out of these cheesy stories”, but needless to say that has never happened and I don’t see it happening any time soon. Disney 8093, Rachel 0. (to be fair it’s a very strong competitor and my heart betrays me every time.)

Conclusion is that I LOVE disney movies (especially the animated “family” ones that my mother says I’m too old to be watching) and will probably continue to do so for an eternity. Today I recommend you books similar to certain movies (or the other way round, since most of you have probably read more books on this list than you’ve seen the movies).

So here’s how the formatting is gonna be – one liner premises each for the move and the book, and thirdly why I paired them, with the main reasons in bold. And some book quotes and movie dialogues flying about here and there of course ;))

Big Hero 6 – We Are Not Free

Photos:: Scenes from 'Big Hero 6' - Los Angeles Times

On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?

Baymax, Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 tells the story of Hiro Hamada (a teen robotics prodigy) and Baymax (the cuddly white inflated lump in the picture, Hiro’s late brother’s healthcare provider robot) who team up to fight the masked villain who killed Tadashi (Hiro’s brother).

“We’re standing on a street corner with everything we’ve ever known about to come crashing down around us.
And we’re angry.
And we’re smiling.
And we aren’t broken.”

We Are Not Free

We Are Not Free is a historical fiction told from the points of views of 14 Japanese-American teenagers just after the bombing of the Pearl Harbour, when anti-Japanese sentiments in the USA are at an all time high.

___________

Apart from the fact that both of these made me ugly cry like never before, a common theme was teens handling grief. Both start with a happy enough scene (such that it makes one almost suspicious, is this the calm before the storm), and then immediately there’s this horrifying event that changes the main character’s life drastically, as they lose what they’d always known and loved. Then the rest of the story shows the characters learning to live with their loss and moving on. Grab some tissues.

Coco – Cemetery Boys

How Pixar Made Sure 'Coco' Was Culturally Conscious - The New York Times

“If there’s no one left in the living world to remember you, you disappear from this world.”

Hector, Coco

Coco follows Miguel (an aspiring musician, but only in secret), who accidentally gets transported to The Land of the Dead (on the famous Mexican holiday “The Day of the Dead”) where he seeks the help of his deceased great-great-grandfather to return him to his family among the living and to reverse his family’s ban on music.

“I implore you to be more open minded, hermano. If we close ourselves off to the possibilities that lie outside of what tradition has dictated, we are destined for extinction.”

Cemetery Boys
Cemetery Boys

Cemetery Boys is about Yadriel, who while trying to prove himself to his family, ends up accidentally summoning the ghost of Julian Diaz. What follows is their adventures and misadventures as they try to solve the mystery of Julian’s death, and Yadriel’s seemingly never ending struggle with his conservative family.

___________

These two give me such similar vibes, I’ve always recommended Coco to fans of Cemetery Boys and vice versa. Both are centred around tight-knit Latinx communities and have a brilliant representation of ancient Mexican culture (especially the whole Day Of The Dead concept that I’ll never get bored of, any recs??) but that is not where the similarities end. Both stories are also about the main characters finding their true selves, even when this requires them to go against the wishes of their conservative families.

Zootopia – The Grishaverse

Did a Disney animated film really say that? If it's 'Zootopia,' prepare to  be shocked - Los Angeles Times

Judy: Nicholas Wilde, You are under arrest.
Nick: For what? Hurting your feelings?
Judy: Felony Tax Evasion.

Zootopia follows Judy Hopps, a police officer with big dreams (and she’s a bunny in case you haven’t noticed) and Nick Wilde, a con-fox who lives off trickery. They are reluctant partners in solving a grave case that has the whole of Zootopia shaken.

“Sometimes, the only way to get justice is to take it for yourself.”

Crooked Kingdom

The Six Of Crows duology follows six dangerous outcasts on a dangerous mission with high stakes… and a even higher reward.
The King Of Scars duology, which is also set in the Grishaverse, is about a young king trying to bring together a broken nation, while also battling monsters of his own. Literally.

___________

Did I just pair one of my favourite Disney movies ever to my favourite books ever? Why, yes I did.

Nick to me seems like a blend of Kaz and Nikolai, which are two of the best characters in existence, and this makes Nick one of the best characters in existence too (wow. incredible logic rachel). I mean, look at that scene I’ve put a picture of and tell me that’s not Nikolai’s smug grin pasted on Nick’s face. Then look at that quote beside the picture and tell me it’s not something Kaz would say. See what I mean?

Plus, Judy gives me Inej + Matthias vibes, she’s a rabbit with honour and this want to do good for the people, even though she knows she’s not going to get anything back. Do you need any more reasons to just go read those four books and watch that movie? (lemme know if you do, I’ll be happy to provide a list) Missing the deadline of that 12 page geography project will be totally worth it, i promise.

Monsters University – Not My Problem

Stop being a Sullivan and start being YOU.

Mike, Monsters University
Monsters University (2013) - IMDb

Monsters University follows Mike Wazowski (an ambitious, hardworking and studious first-year at the university) and James Sullivan (the “rich dad’s kid” who relies on his family name to make it through college), who hate each other but are thrust together by circumstances.

Not My Problem

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

Aideen, Not My Problem

Not My Problem is a coming-of-age contemporary about Aideen (who is funny and witty and has a million excuses for not doing PE and homework) and Meabh (the one everyone expects a lot from, also the principal’s daughter), and when Aideen solves Meabh’s tight-schedule problem by pushing her down the stairs, an friendship begins to blossom.

___________

There’s this common academic background in Not My Problem and Monster’s University – the former is set in high school and the latter in college. Both have a dash of rivals to best friends and show that friendships can be found in the unlikeliest of places (at some point, the mcs in both the movie and the book were told that the other mc is “out of their league”), The main characters couldn’t be more different than each other, yet as they get to know the other better, they discover edges of their personalities they’d never imagined. Sullivan from the movie and Meabh from the book were both pressured to live up to their family name, so that’s another similarity.

As we conclude, I’d like to remind you that regardless of whether you are obsessed with enjoy Disney movies or not (the latter is a crime I tell you, a CRIME), all of these books belong to my favourites of 2021 so you have to give them a read (i’ll haunt your dreams if you don’t) and later scream about them to me too! (also i do have some more recs in mind, so let me know if you’d like a part 2 of this post!)

Do you watch animated movies? Which is your favourite one? Any Zootopia fans here?? Do you vote for a part 2 of this post? Let me know in the comments!

~ Rachel

Mini Reviews: Perfect On Paper, Only Mostly Devastated and If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales

As much as I’d like to admit otherwise, I’m a mere fledgling in the world of YA contemporaries. Before November 2021, I could not imagine being more interested in high school drama over magical kingdoms and secret societies. But lo and behold, I finally pick up Perfect On Paper by the queen of contemporary romance (I said so, argue with the wall) herself on a whim, and suddenly I’m obsessed with contemporaries, and 3 out of the 4 i’ve read so far have been by Gonzales. Coincidence? I think not. I’m officially in love with everything she writes.

Today I bring you tiny reviews of the Sophie Gonzales trifecta!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Darcy Phillips:
• Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes―for a fee.
• Uses her power for good. Most of the time.
• Really cannot stand Alexander Brougham.
• Has maybe not the best judgement when it comes to her best friend, Brooke…who is in love with someone else.
• Does not appreciate being blackmailed.
However, when Brougham catches her in the act of collecting letters from locker 89―out of which she’s been running her questionably legal, anonymous relationship advice service―that’s exactly what happens. In exchange for keeping her secret, Darcy begrudgingly agrees to become his personal dating coach―at a generous hourly rate, at least. The goal? To help him win his ex-girlfriend back.
Darcy has a good reason to keep her identity secret. If word gets out that she’s behind the locker, some things she’s not proud of will come to light, and there’s a good chance Brooke will never speak to her again.
Okay, so all she has to do is help an entitled, bratty, (annoyingly hot) guy win over a girl who’s already fallen for him once? What could go wrong? 

Review

My introduction to the contemporary romance genre, Perfect On Paper was a memorable first. I absolutely loved the first person narration (which, as I later came to know, is apparently a Gonzales trademark) and Darcy was snarky and sarcastic and upbeat (while also slightly insecure in her relationships) and she made the perfect main character. And might I mention that the romance was *chef’s kiss* because obviously it’s BROUGHAM (did you think I was actually gonna offer an explanation?). Among other things (it’s important to add this because there’s no way I’m ever going to be able to list all the wonderful things about this book), I absolutely loved Libby’s relationship with Darcy because I’ve come across SO few non-toxic sister duos in YA. There are heavier themes as well like Darcy being confused about her identity as bi. Despite this, the story had this overall distinctly cheerful vibe, especially compared to the other two books. So if you’re looking for a quirky narrative to cheer you up when you’re feeling dull, Perfect On Paper is here to save the day.

Only Mostly Devastated

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Will Tavares is the dream summer fling ― he’s fun, affectionate, kind ― but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to… except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted ― and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.
Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts “coincidentally” popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.
The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.
Right? Right.

Review

Leave it to Gonzales to make a contemporary unexpected. Like, don’t 99% ya contemporaries have an happily ever after guaranteed right at the beginning? (pfft don’t give me the look. so what if i haven’t read a lot of contemporary romances? i’ve read a lot of their synopses okay?) This one most certainly didn’t. I was in full edge-of-seat nail-biting avatar (which is normally reserved for thrillers) with one and only one question in my mind – will they or won’t they? I can’t obviously tell you the answer because i want you to go through the same apprehension MWAHAHA spoiler.

Ollie was one of those characters I’d give my chocolate chip cookie (that’s obviously more superior than my life) to protect. I smiled when he laughed and burst into tears when he cried and his life became my life for the timespan in which i read this book. Will, though, I did have mixed feelings about him (and somehow I feel Gonzales had intended exactly that) but if he keeps my boy Ollie happy so be it (ok I sound like a parent now). All this said, Only Mostly Devastated was definitely more towards the emotional side of things, so I’d recommend sitting with a few tissues.

If This Gets Out

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Eighteen-year-olds Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturday, one of the biggest acts in America. Along with their bandmates, Angel Phan and Jon Braxton, the four are teen heartbreakers in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, cracks are starting to form: their once-easy rapport is straining under the pressures of fame, and Ruben confides in Zach that he’s feeling smothered by management’s pressure to stay in the closet.
On a whirlwind tour through Europe, with both an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, Ruben and Zach come to rely on each other more and more, and their already close friendship evolves into a romance. But when they decide they’re ready to tell their fans and live freely, Zach and Ruben start to truly realize that they will never have the support of their management. How can they hold tight to each other when the whole world seems to want to come between them?

Review

Wow. I didn’t know dual pov romance was a thing I NEEDED until this book. The mutual yearning was everything, and I know it’s cheesy but Zach and Ruben actually completed each other. Zach is another one of those characters I’d protect with my chocolate-chip cookie. While I’m fiercely protective of all the four members of Saturday (nobody dare to touch them, i’d go to lengths to defend my boys *adds knife emoji for emphasis*), Zach is a little bit special.

One thing about this story was that it was all vibes, and I’m always ready for some ~feels~. But to be honest, the whole plot wasn’t anything out-of-the-box. Plot-wise, I’d say Perfect on Paper was better written. But hey, the lack of a concrete plot didn’t stop me from getting attached (to an unhealthy extent) to all the characters. Each member of Saturday had a brilliant character arc, and I may sound like a fantasy reader now (which I actually am, but eh) parents actually existed in the story (Mom Squad forever!!). Also I’m filled with righteous rage for Chorus (they had no damn right) so if anyone happens to know where to find them, let me know. I just want to talk (*secretly pulls out dagger*). Anyway, the point being, there’s so much to read this book for.

So this felt less like a review post than a Sophie Gonzales appreciation post (that woman definitely deserves one) but instead of paying attention to that, we are going to GO READ ALL THESE BOOKS IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE RACHEL SAID SO.

Have you read any of these? Which are your favourite YA contemporary novels? Lemme know 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