Today I’m here with (what I think) is an incredibly fun post! Fadwa from Word Wonders, on her Youtube channel, has created one of the BEST MOST FUN BOOK TAGS evvvvaaah!
I’m a pretty new Halsey fan. But I have fallen in love. I can’t stop listening to her music on repeat. Every time I listen, I notice another lyric that just makes my heart and head hurt and cry and so emotional.
So when I saw Fadwa’s recent book tag creation on YouTube, I couldn’t wait to take part! Thank you Fadwa for creating this awesome book tag! You can watch Fadwa’s original video here.
1. ASHLEY: a book with great character development.
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
This is a book I read very recently, in Feb, and I was incredibly impressed with Martine’s epic worldbuilding and character building. The book does take a while to get into the swing of things, but that’s because so much effort and time is put into setting up this world and most importantly, to setting up the main character, Mahit. Much of the book takes place in her head, where she has the memories of her predecssor embedded in her brain and who appears as an additional ‘voice’ of sorts, helping her. This means a lot of time needs to be spent on Mahit and analysing her character and who she is with this other person inside her. It’s a very complex novel, but is absolutely spectacular if you can make it through the slow and complicated beginning.
2. CLEMENTINE: a book with mental illness representation.
Before Mars by Emma Newman
Emma Newman is one of the best authors I know at writing mental health. Her Planetfall series (4 novels) each deals with mental health in different ways. My favourite is probably Before Mars. Containing elements of psychological thriller as well as science fiction, it is a excellent genre-blending book that deals with the trauma of postpartum depression.
3. GRAVEYARD: a horror book.
The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling
As a horror newbie last year, this ended up being one of my favourite books of the year! With only two characters and one setting, the way this book creates fear and tension in such a small space is remarkable. Caver, continue will haunt me forever – in fact I got such a fright the other night when I spotted my gardening glove in the exact position as the glove on this cover, creeping along my window ledge.
4. YOU SHOULD BE SAD: a book with a morally gray character.
The Poppy War by R.F Kuang
Probably no shocks here – Rin seems to be many people’s favourite morally grey character! She is such a spectacular character. We see her grow from young orphan to trained soldier to….well I won’t give away any spoilers in case you haven’t read this yet! But suffice to say, shit goes down and it’s all because of Rin. Morally gray doesn’t even cover it.
5. FOREVER (IS A LONG TIME): a book with an immortal character or one that chases after immortality.
The Library of the Unwritten by A.J Hackwith
In The Library of the Unwritten pretty much everyone is immortal! Because they’re all well, dead. But they now have their immortal afterlives to live, as demons and librarians and angels. Immortality is here, but it is definitely not the focus of this book. This is a fun and snarky light-hearted fantasy that I adore. And it has on page pansexual rep!
6. I HATE EVERYBODY: a boon with a grumpy character who’s soft inside.
Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
Another very recent read of mine, I adored this f/f love story. And I definitely think Rachel, fierce and angry budding director fits the ‘grumpy but soft’ vibe. She is so angry at the world and angry at Sana for what she thought was a prank 4 years ago. But inside she is such a softie!!!
7. 3AM: a book that you stayed up to finish.
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
I must say, usually I am really strict about not staying up and reading all night no matter how much I might want to – a lifetime of insomnia means I go to bed early or else I get nowhere enough sleep. But, one of the only exceptions I can think of in recent years was Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. This was my first adult horror and holy shit it is incredible! I cannot express how much I loved it. The tension is so out of this world I had to stay up and read because there was no way I was going to be getting any sleep after reading it anyway!
8. WITHOUT ME: a book with a toxic and/or abusive relationship (no matter its nature).
The Fever King & The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee
Of course I had to mention these two somewhere on this list. And this prompt is pretty much made for them. My favourite reads of 2019, this dulougy is a remarkable and impactful story of trauma and survival, one that shows the multitudes of ways that abuse and victims can act and appear. I adore these books SO MUCH.
9. FINALLY/BEAUTIFUL STRANGER: a book with the second chance trope.
Ravensong by T.J Klune
I haven’t actually finished this one yet, but it was one of the only books I could think of with this trope! I loved the first book in this series, Wolfsong. In Ravensong, TJ Klune focuses on the (destroyed) relationship between Mark and Gordo. Years ago, Mark broke Gordo’s heart. And now, when the pack has returned to Green Creek, fought the evil in the first book, Gordo and Mark are drawn to each other again. I know this book will be amazing when I actually get around to recharging my Kindle so I can continue reading it.
10. KILLING BOYS: a book with a revenge story.
Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist
My faaaaavourite revenge story is here! Missing, Presumed Dead is not just a revenge story. It’s a ghost revenge story. Lexi knows when people will die – all she needs to do to see their death is touch. When Lexi sees Jane’s death and does nothing to stop it, Jane comes back as a ghost and forces Lexi to hunt down her murderer and enact revenge. As well as an epic revenge murder mystery, this book also has excellent mental health rep and an f/f human-ghost enemies to lovers relationship. Yes that does sound awesome.
11. MORE: a book with an intergenerational story.
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
One of the most heartbreaking books I read last year was Like a Love Story. Set during the 1980s AIDS crisis, this book crosses the generational gap, focusing on the lives of three teens who are mentored by Stephen, an uncle of one of the teens, who is living with AIDS.
12. STILL LEARNING: a book about a celebrity, either real or fictional.
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston & The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
Okay so I don’t really read many books with celebrities. I’ve tried a few and never really liked them. So instead, I thought I’d feature two ‘kind of about a celebrity’ in the hopes this completes the prompt to make one actual celebrity.
In Red, White and Royal Blue we have Prince Henry – who I’m counting as half a celebrity, as these days, royals really are seen as celebrities in the media.
In The Exact Opposite of Okay we have Izzy, who is unwillingly thrust into the spotlight when her nudes are leaked. Again, she kind of becomes a celebrity when photos are leaked of her having sex with a politician’s son.
These two half-celebrities = one full book about a celebrity.
13. 929: A memoir or a biography.
No Modernism Without Lesbians by Diana Souhami
Much like the previous prompt, I really don’t read many biographies or memoirs. I’ve never really got into them. But this is one releasing in 2020 which has me quite excited. Set in a Paris gallery after the end of WW2, this book documents, in an autobiographical style, the lives of the women who contributed to modernism.
Well that was so much fun! Thank you again Fadwa for creating this book tag. Tagging any other Halsey fans out there who read this post – I’d love to see your choices.