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!

Book tag: Manic

Hi everyone,

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.