The Rocky Horror Picture Show Book Tag

Hi everyone,

So it’s October which means it’s the annual time of year where I listen and watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show on repeat. It is just the perfect time of year for this incredible queer cult classic film. And as I was dancing along to the music this month, I thought it would be fun to create a book tag to go along with the film! I’ve used the songs as prompts because I absolutely adore the music from this film, it is one of the most catchiest musicals ever and I know every word. I have never ever created a book tag before and tagging people without knowing if they want tagged gives me so much anxiety so who knows how much attention this will actually get. But I hope you enjoy this, and if you love the film as much as I do, please consider yourself tagged! Please feel free to use all the artwork as well.

For full transparency, I did have a search to see if anyone had done one of these, and BookTuber Sophie Holden had created a book tag based on the characters from Rocky Horror in 2014, you can check out their video here!

1. Science fiction, double feature: Rocky Horror is a parody film of scifi and horror films from the 70s, so let’s start with a book that has been made into a TV show or film!

2020 has been pretty shit, but it has also given us the announcement of several amazing books which are going to be made into TV! Not only are we getting Mexican Gothic and The City of Brass, but we’re also getting the absolutely legendary gangster fantasy Jade City by Fonda Lee. This book has the best fight scenes I’ve read, characters who you would give your life for, and such interesting family dynamics that I know this show is going to be outstanding.

2. Damnit, Janet: Damnit, Janet is the song where we first meet Brad and Janet, two innocent young lovebirds who are about to go on the awakening of a lifetime. So this prompt is for a YA romance book!

For this prompt, I thought I’d talk about one of my favourite YA romances of the year, It Sounded Better in my Head by Nina Kenwood. And it surprised me that I loved this as much as I did because there are no queer people ANYWHERE. BUT! Have faith my friends, this one heterosexual YA book has rights. This was just such a funny book, I love sarcastic, self-deprecating characters and Natalie is both of these things. This book literally just felt like a hug, it was happy and full of joy, which I needed so badly this year!

3. Over at the Frankenstein Place: In Over at the Frankenstein Place, we see the towering castle in the rain where Brad and Janet take refuge, so what’s your favourite gothic fiction?

We all know what book I’m going to mention don’t we? Of course Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is my favourite gothic fiction. This book destroyed me when I first read it earlier this year. The atmosphere is so foreboding and so creepy, there’s just such a sense of darkness in this house, and then it gets so so so fucked up. I read this every night before bed when I first read it, and boy DO I REGRET THAT. This is a daytime book only, or your dreams will be HAUNTED.

4. Time Warp: In Time Warp, we first meet Columbia, the character who wears just an incredible amount of glitter and sequins. So for this prompt, what is the prettiest book cover you own?

As a side note, I actually dressed up as Columbia for Halloween one year, and spent many painstaking hours sewing on sequin fabric to a black blazer. The only picture I have is with a cat (because I am an introvert stereotype at parties) and you can’t really see the blazer but check it out!

There have been some incredible book covers this year, Felix Ever After, The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea and Mexican Gothic being some of my favourites. But the prettiest book cover I own has to go to The Animals at Lockwood Manor. Not only is it such an intricate, delicate illustratrated cover, but I have a special edition which comes with beautifully patterned sprayed edges and special endpapers and so this book is just GORGEOUS.

5. Sweet Transvestite: Frank N Furter, is just one of the most iconic characters in film, so for this prompt, give us an iconic queer book!

I had lots of ideas for what book to choose for this prompt, but in the end I’ve gone with The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon because I think this book has really done a lot in changing the way the fantasy genre is viewed. It’s a fantasy world completely free of many of the elements so common in adult fantasy (rape etc…), and it really sort of shows you how ingrained a lot of opinions are. There were so many moments I read this, where you are introduced to a new character and are shocked when it turns out the character is a woman. And I’m someone who reads a lot of fantasy written by not white men, and so I was so shocked at how this book challenged subconscious expectations I hadn’t been aware I held. So I think this is definitely an iconic queer book because it completely subverts your expectations for the genre, and it’s just incredible to see an 800 page fantasy book actually feature queer women at the helm.

6. I Can Make You a Man: Parodying the classic Frankenstein, Dr Frank N Furter makes us a man in this number, so give us a book set in a medical setting/about medicine/with a doctor or nurse main character etc.

Wow, go Rachel at making a prompt I seriously struggled to actually think of a book for… Turns out I don’t read many books that have healing/medicine as a core feature? But! I did manage to think of one. In Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist the main character really struggles with her mental health thanks to the horrific lonliness she suffers from thanks to her magic power, that allows her to see a person’s death if she touches them. So she checks herself into a mental health ward in the book when things get too much. It’s such a brilliant book and I really love that it explored the negative side of having magic and really looked at the impact of having such an awful power.

7. Hot Patootie: Hot Patootie is my favourite song in the musical, and it’s sing by none other than Meatloaf! So let’s go back in time, with a novel set in the 1970s or 80s (when Meatloaf was at his peak!)

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian just fits into the 80s, as it’s set in 1989 in New York during the AIDS crisis. Not many books have brought me to tears, but this one did. Every page is just so full of emotion. Even at the darkest moments of loss and grief in this book, there is still an undercurrent of hope and love. This book felt like a little slice of history and is such a powerful and unflinching look at a really awful time in queer history.

8. Toucha Toucha Touch Me: Toucha Toucha Touch Me is all about Janet losing her innocence and becoming a more confident woman. What’s a book with a character who loses their innocence, in whatever way that means to you?

Losing your innocence can mean so many different things to different people, but I decided to go with Crier from the duology Crier’s War/Iron Heart by Nina Varela. In Crier’s War, Crier is a very privileged and naive princess who isn’t really aware of what is going on in the human world. But by Iron Heart, she had to face up to the mistreatment of the humans and has had to learn how to take care of herself as she goes on the run.

9. Eddie: Eddie, the character who sings my favourite song, of course does not make it to the end. So what’s a book where a character you love dies?

I feel like this is such a mean prompt, but ALAS. I did consider choosing The Song of Achilles for this prompt, because that book broke me, especially the first time I read it where I hadn’t actually known how the myth ended. But I decided to go with The City of Brass by S.A Chakraborty! This series is one of my favourite fantasy series (even if I’ve been too scared to read the final book yet…) The worldbuilding, the history, the politics, it is so detailed and so interesting and I just found the whole world fascinating. AND THE ENDING! That was certainly a rough wait for book 2….

10. Rose Tint My World: To wear rose tinted glasses is to have an optimistic and idealistic outlook, keeping you safe from the trouble and pain in the world. So what’s a book that keeps you happy and distracted from trouble and pain?

I read The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune back when the pandemic was just starting to ramp and the terrifiying uncertainty of the future was a newer feeling and this book just provided so much joy in such a dark time. It is such a comforting, cosy book full of found family and love and with a main character who is so full of hopelessness finally finding the people that give him hope. It’s just beautiful and so full of love. I really need to reread it, because I need something hopeful right now!

11. Don’t Dream It, Be It: The creator of Rocky Horror says the line “don’t dream it, be it” came from an underwear advert in a magazine that was known to cater to trans women and crossdressers. So for this prompt, give us a book by a trans, nonbinary or gender diverse author!

I never give up a chance to talk about my favourite book! Victoria Lee is the bigender author of The Fever King series (and also one of my most anticiapted books of 2021, A Lesson in Vengeance). This book just blew me away, I am in awe of how much this book just destroyed me. It’s set in a world with a virus wiped out the population and those who survive wake up with magic. It’s also about overcoming trauma and overthrowing the government and everything about it is just excellent.

12. Wild and Untamed Thing: For all the wild and untamed energy in this song, what’s a book that makes your heart race?

Most recently, the book that made my heart absolutely race is The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso. I need more people to talk about this series!! It is so anxiety inducing. My favourite thing about K.S Villoso is that you’re reading her books and thinking ‘okay, this is it, this is rock bottom, nothing else awful can possibly happen to these characters that I love”. And then of course it does. It’s a rollercoaster of feelings and anxiety as Tali the Bitch Queen fights to get back to her son, and when I say she’ll do whatever it takes, I really do mean that (even when the thing she has to do is HEARTBREAKING).

13. I’m Going Home: I’m Going Home is the song where Frank N Furter thinks he’s going home, to the place and people he has always dreamed of returning to, the family he’s longed for. So for this prompt, give us a book with the found family trope!

I usually talk about The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Weight of the Stars when asked about found family because those two are some of my favourites. But I thought I’d change things up by talking about Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn! This is such a fun historical fantasy about a group of disaster queers who are trying to free people from the guillotine in revolution France. Disaster after disaster happens to this group as they try to outsmart both the revolutionaries and the nobles looking to get back into power.

14. Superheroes: The last song of the musical has such dark lyrics when you listen to it, so for this prompt, what’s a book with one of your favourite villains or monsters?

I am a big fan of villain narratives and monster romances because villains always seem to be way more interesting characters to me? But for this prompt, I wanted to talk about a villain I found really scary, which is in The City We Became by N.K Jemisin! This is the first book in a new trilogy by Jemisin and it’s set in our world, in New York, where cities can have souls and when they “wake up”, they smash through several universes, destroying other worlds during their birth. So this enemy wants to stop New York City from waking up, and it uses this terrifying, really insidious way of manipulating New Yorkers susceptible to bigotry to twist them into their control. The way the enemy works with Aislyn, the character with the soul of Staten Island, was such a terrifying analogy for the way white supremacy and right wing ideaolgy sneaks it’s way into the minds of white people, and how social structures can be used to uphold white supremacy. Utterly terrifying and an absolute must read!!

And that’s the tag!! For ease of copy and pasting, here’s the questions again below in a nice list. Please feel free to use the artwork I’ve created, that’s totally fine. If you could also link back to my post to credit me so I can read your answers, I would love to see your posts!

As I mentioned above, tagging people when I don’t know if they want tagged gives me MUCH ANXIETY so thank you to those who showed interest/support in getting on Twitter – so I tag Justine from I Should Read That, Kal from Reader Voracious and Kait from Kaitlyn’s Cosy Reading Corner. (Obviously, no pressure to do anything, especially if I misinterpreted your interest!)

And if you liked this tag, or love Rocky Horror, please do consider yourself tagged in this!!

Prompts

  1. Science fiction, double feature: a book that has been made into a TV show or film
  2. Damnit, Janet: a YA romance
  3. Over at the Frankenstein Place: your favourite gothic fiction
  4. Time Warp: your prettiest book cover
  5. Sweet Transvestite: an iconic queer book
  6. I Can Make You a Man: a book set in a medical setting/about medicine/with a doctor or nurse mani character
  7. Hot Patootie: a book set in the 1970s or 80s
  8. Toucha Toucha Touch Me: a book where a character loses their innocence
  9. Eddie: a book where one of your favourite characters die
  10. Rose Tint My World: a book that makes you happy
  11. Don’t Dream It, Be It: a book by a trans, nonbinary or gender diverse author
  12. Wild and Untamed Thing: a book that makes your heart race
  13. I’m Going Home: a book with the found family trope
  14. Superheros: a book with one of your favourite villains or monsters

The Poppy War book tag

Hi everyone,

Today I’m doing a new book tag, created by the amazing Vee, Nandini and Krisha! They are fellow lovers of The Poppy War and have created a book tag all about this amazing series! Thank you so much for creating this tag, I had the best fun doing it and it has made me even more excited for The Burning God. Thank you also to Nidhi Shetty, the artist who created the header for this book tag, and to the three creators for letting us use this amazing piece of art with our posts!

Fang Runin: Who’s your favourite anti-heroine?

It’s no secret The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson is one of my favourite books of the year so far, and probably my favourite science fiction novel ever. At the heart of this incredible book is Cara! Oh my god I love her. She is definitely an anti-heorine (yes a mere 9% in we get one of the biggest plot twists ever that shows us just how much of an anti-hero she is and how much she’s done to get to her position). She starts out as this woman willing to watch the whole world burn for her survival. I love her and I love this book.

Chosen One Schmosen One: which character deserves more spotlight in your favourite series? 

I just finished reading my ARC of The Ikessar Falcon a week or so ago and OH. MY. GOD. If you like books like The Poppy War that are filled with incredible characters and lots of pain, you’ll love this series! The Ikessar Falcon is the sequel to The Wolf of Oren-Yaro and follows Queen Talyien as she chases after the husband who ran away, whilst watching her queendom slowly crumple underneath her. But the reason I’m mentiong this book is here because of the brilliant and loveliest and sweeest and most resilient character ever: Khine. He is such a light and beautiful relief in a very dark and painful story. And he does star quite a bit, but of course, I just want more of him!! He and Talyien together are just amazing and I love their relationship.

No Stone Left Unturned: who’s your favourite fictional genius?

Obviously Kitay is also very high up this list. But I also love two characters from one of the cleverest science fictions I’ve ever read, A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. This book somehow manages to combine hard scifi, political thriller, murder mystery and a love letter to poetry all in one book. And Ambassador Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass are the two at the heart of this story trying to work out what the actual fuck is going on; and Mahit manages to do this with another person in her head the whole time. It’s one of the most complex novels I’ve, and the way poetry is used as language was just so different and so interesting and so clever that I had to pick these two as my favourite geniuses!

The Epic Descent: What makes you empathize with your favourite morally grey character?

Okay of course I’m going to choose Dara as my favourite morally grey character, from one of my favourite fantasy series The Daevabad trilogy! Why do I emphathise with him? HE WAS ENSLAVED FOR 1000 YEARS AFTER WATCHING EVERYONE HE LOVED DIE, WHO WOULDN’T EMPHATHISE WITH HIM?! (Every one who loves Ali apparently). Anyway I’m still too terrified to read The Empire of Gold, I know more bad things are going to happen to Dara and I don’t know if I can cope.

Mad Gods & Their Maddening Power: what’s your favourite novel about gods and their powers? (Bonus points for dark fiction!) 

I love reading books with very powerful gods, particularly when said book involves those powerful completely losing all control which is what happens in The Unspoken Name by A.K Larkwood! This is a book about a lesbain orc who is supposed to be a sacrifice for her god, but instead runs away with a wizard. One of the civilisations in this world has a religion which believes those who can use magic are in fact gateways to old, venegful gods to come through, so magic users can never afford to lose control and let in the other side. It is such an interesting world, part fantasy and part scifi, it has necromancers and it has a very powerful woman losing control and I LOVE IT.

Immortals & Their Battles: what’s your favourite battle scene? 

Who else could I choose than the incredible Fonda Lee? Fonda Lee writes the best battle scenes in fantasy, and I am in awe of her writing! I am writing a fantasy novel right now and I am horrific at writing battle scenes and I want to beg Lee for her secrets! Her incredible Jade City trilogy is an urban fantasy following the Kaul clan, a crime syndicate in the city of Kekon and their feud with a rival clan. This series is mindblowingly good, it has the best family relationships in fantasy and the way Lee writes battle scenes is so tense and so unpredictable, you really never know who is going to win which I absolutely love.

This Poisonous Beauty: which character do you find as intriguing as you do terrifying?

Calix Leher from The Fever King by Victoria Lee is one of the most terrifyingly evil characters I’ve ever read about. His particular power (which I’m going to avoid mentioning directly for anyone who hasn’t read the book), is just so chilling because how can you ever know what’s real when you’re around him? The history of Leher though is also absolutely fascinating. Lee has small anecdotes and extracts throughout the book which reveal more about Leher – there is a reason why the preorder campaign for the sequel The Electric Heir included a novella about Calix Leher’s time during the war 100 years ago. He is both a fascinating villain, but also one of the most terrifying and evil characters I’ve read about.

Clever Truths & Cleverer Lies: what’s a book rife with political intrigue that you enjoy the mind games of?

Okay I know I’ve already mentioned the Daevabad trilogy but how could I not mention it again for this category about politics?! The City of Brass by S.A Chakraborty is the best political fantasy I’ve read. It’s also the book with the most detailed and extensive political system and history and I adored the depth and detail we got about this world. It’s a slowburn, full of political mindgames as Nahri must try hold her own against the might of the Daevabad empire, run by King Ghassan who only wants to use her name as the last of the Nahids.

A Trio to Reckon With: Whose your favourite fictional trio?

YES it’s the book this tag is all about, I’m ending on the amazing The Poppy War by R.F Kuang! THIS TRIO!! Rin, Kitay and Nezha are each so different but so powerful and I love them all so much individually. Which I find very rare actually. In books with trios such as this, I usually find I much prefer some of them over the others (like in The City of Brass, LOVE Dara and Nahri, detest Ali…) But that is so not the case in The Poppy War! I adore Rin, Kitay and Nezha so much. Rin is one of the best (and most) morally gray characters in SFF. She’s done so much shit wrong, but you can’t help but admire the way she refuses to back down and will keep on fighting. And Kitay, the sweetest angel who is slowly corrupted and twisted by those around him to be used only as a tool for war. And then NEZHA gosh what do I say about Nezha after The Dragon Republic? He’s such a conflicted character and I loved seeing the end result of all these different pulls on his loyalty.

Thank you again to Vee, Nandini and Krisha for creating this book tag, it was so much fun!! And even though I’m terrified for The Burning God, I can’t wait to read it! If you are a The Poppy War fan, consider yourself tagged!

Folklore book tag

Hi everyone,

Today I’m coming to you with such a fun book tag! I’m a new Taylor Swift fan, I’ll admit I hadn’t ever really listened to her until Folklore, which is much more my style of music! So I was so excited when I saw this tag on Laura’s blog (The Book Corps!) This tag was created by Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink, so check out their post too!

Obviously before I start the books, I did want to talk about my favourite Folklore songs! I feel like I will get absolutely trashed for this order, because I haven’t seen a single other person say epiphany is their favourite…

Folklore favourites order:

  1. epiphany
  2. my tears ricochet
  3. this is me trying
  4. cardigan
  5. exile
  6. the last great american dynasty
  7. august
  8. illicit affairs
  9. betty
  10. hoax
  11. invisible strings
  12. the 1
  13. mirrorball
  14. mad woman
  15. seven
  16. peace

Okay so when I first read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, a retelling of the Achilles and Patroclus Greek myth, I wasn’t actually aware of how the myth ended (I KNOW). So you can imagine the utter pain and heartbreak I experienced with this ending. I think I was in shock for like a week, that unable to comprehend what the fuck had just happened.

I feel like literally every single book by T.J Klune could fit this list. I tossed between The House in the Cerulean Sea or Wolfsong but I decided to go for The House in the Cerulean Sea as I’ve read it more recently and therefore both the happy and sad feelings are still very strong. This is such a soft and beautiful story about queer found family (the happy), but I was also so heartbroken over Linus, who felt so worthless and hopeless, it just absolutely killed me and felt far too close to home (the sad), so this one definitely fills this prompt!

The City of Brass by S. A Chakraborty is one of my alltime favourite books (and the start of one of my favourite fantasy series). It has such a huge, expansive, incredibly detailed, fascinating political system and history behind this world, which is why I chose it for this category! It blew my mind when I first read this!

I don’t think there’s any surprise as to why The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is the book I wish I hadn’t read. It’s the only book by Mackenzi Lee that I’ve read, but thanks to her long list of recent behaviour, I really rather wish I hadn’t given her any money and read this one.

I’m really not one to cry uncontrollably at books. But I do get very very teary and I got very teary multiple times throughout Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian, so much my face ached from clenching to hold back tears. This book set during the 1980s AIDS crisis and follows three teens and there relationships with one of their uncle’s, who has AIDS. It’s a book just so full of emotion, so raw and will definitely cause tears!

As a queer teen growing up in a Christian household where I was told “I’ll pray for you” when I came out, good god I needed Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley when I was a kid. This book is all about the intersection of bisexuality, faith and queerness and it gave me so much strength as an adult reading this.

Yes I was an odd child. Instead of reading kids books, I would obsessively read and reread through my mother’s entire Poirot collection. I loved these books (and loved them even more after David Suchet brought the Poirot books onto our screens!) My favourites were The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Death on the Nile, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express, and Five Little Pigs.

How can you not think of summer when you see this absolutely gorgeous cover? It’s so bright and full of love and embodies summer for me! Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender is just such a personal story and one I identified with so much. Whilst it touches on some dark topics, it’s also so full of hope and joy and love for yourself.

Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist is one of my favourite YA fantasies. It’s about a girl who sees the death of a person in all it’s horrific, vivid glory whenever she touches them. It’s an awful power to have and Berquist really explores the very deep lonliness that accompanies that kind of magic. I just really loved how willing this book was to show magic in such a negative light. It is so devastatingly sad and lonely, the main character has depression and is completely alone as she can’t handle seeing the deaths of those she loves whenever they brush against her. It’s also a pretty epic thriller and has a ghost f/f romance!

Could anything match the book hangover that Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia gave me? I don’t think so!! It’s my favourite book of the year. I would read it every night before bed (terrible decision for this very creepy, gothic horror book), would spend all night dreaming weird dreams and wake up absolutely dying to get back into it. It’s just so fucking amazing, and I think it’s going to be hard pushed to find another book that comes close to how much I adored it this year. Took me days to recover and work up the courage to eat mushrooms again.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram is one of my favourite contemporary books. It definitely came into my life at the exact right time, just before I started seeing a psychologist for my depression and it really helped me come to terms with my own mental health, and I really appreciated the way it portrayed the normality of actually being treated for depression and having two characters who take antidepressants daily, I loved the way it focused on relationships and how you can lose someone to depression in other ways than suicide. It was just such a powerful book and really helped me at the exact moment I needed help so THANK YOU ADIB KHORRAM.

What other female character could I choose than Rin from The Poppy War by R.F Kuang?! She is such an incredible character. I love how deeply, deeply flawed she is. I love her descent to villainy. I love her determination. I love her sheer infatuation with the empress. She is such a morally gray character who is written so exceptionally well and I can’t wait to find out what happens to her in The Burning God (even if I am also completely terrified….)

I have been loving getting into horror this past year and I had so many choices for this one! But I went for The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling because I feel like haunting implies something really unsettling and and atmospheric and I really get that vibe in The Luminous Dead. It’s all about a character trapped in a caving system who is slowly losing her mind as she’s alone for so long and it’s just such a creepy, unsettling and haunting book to see such a strong character break down so much and never really knowing what’s real and what isn’t.

Cara and Dell from The Space Between Worlds are so full of yearning!! Cara thinks Dell doesn’t like her but keeps trying to flirt to get a rise, and Dell sometimes flirts back but Cara never really knows what to make of it and these two fools are just so clearly yearning for the other but won’t do anything about it and then there’s a bit of a twist that explains why they aren’t and it’s just so full of angst!!! I love it.

I would die for all of characters from The Fever King!! They’re one of my favourite casts of characters: Noam, Dara, Aymes, Taye and Bethany. They are all so broken but still so fierce and powerful and I love each and every one of them!

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles is comped to Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge which are pretty much my two favourite films so I was devastated when I didn’t love this because I was so sure it was going to be one of my favourites of the year. The plot was just a bit lacking for me and whilst the poetic langauge is gorgeous at times, it felt very repetitive.

I have absolutely no idea who is or isn’t a Taylor Swift fan, so if you loved her recent album, then I tag you! Even if you’re a newbie fan like me because this tag was so much fun to do, thank you Ilsa!