First of all, I need to apologize for my lack of interaction this month. Basically, my computer broke down twice on me and I hate drafting posts/commenting on my phone, so I’ve been pretty absent. Also, I’m writing two book tags almost in a row, because of the lack of time to plan – again THANKS TO MY TRASHY COMPUTER.
The ‘Lover’ book tag was obviously inspired off of Lover, by Taylor Swift, her most recent release. I’ve been listening to this album non stop since it came out and even more recently, since she announced she’ll be coming to Brazil for the first time EVER with her Lover tour and I’m already dying of excitement and anxiety.
I was actually tagged to answer this one by the lovely Marie, a fellow Swiftie, and I was so excited because I absolutely love the questions for this one. The tag was created by Nish and Ngoc, btw.
I FORGOT THAT YOU EXISTED
A book that you want to forget you ever read
Lived in the shade you were throwin’, ‘till all of my sunshine was gone.
The first time I read this question, I thought it said “a book that you forgot you ever read” and that’s kinda how I want to answer it.
The Square Root of Summer was an okay read, but one that I hardly ever look back on. I truly do not remember a ton about the plot: one because it was *very* confusing, but also because none of the characters were truly memorable. So, yes, definitely a super meh read I kinda forgot that I even owe sometimes.
A book you turn to when the going gets rough
And I screamed for whatever is worth: I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard? He looks up, grinning like a devil.
First of all: can we just take a second to appreciate Cruel Summer as a song? That’s storytelling in its Finest.
There are quite a lot of books I think to answer this question. I am very passionate about re-reading and reuniting with my favorite characters, but The Dream Thieves is one I’ve re-read three times now and planning to do so again. Next month is my birthday month, so I’ve sort of curated this TBR filled with titles that I know are going to comfort me, and of course The Dream Thieves had to be on the list.
It’s not even a *comforting* title if I’m being honest, because this book is very intense, but I love everything about it and am so ready to see Kavinsky again.
Your book OTP
With every guitar string scar on my hand, I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover.
Why was this, all of a sudden, the hardest question I’ve ever been asked?
I don’t have a lot of bookish OTPs to be fair and I wanted to answer something original for this tag, but I guess I’ll have to go back to the basics because my brain has blanked and I haven’t been able to think of any other couple but Tris & Four: the real MVPs.
I’m sure I’ve rambled about how much I adore this couple before, but their dynamic is so pure and yet so heart-wrenching for me. I love how they grow together and support each other, while also being a realistic couple who fights and argues, but always find each other in the middle. Ugh. So great.
Your fave kick-ass female protagonist
What I was wearing, if I was rude, could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves.
I think The Illuminae Files has definitely provided us with a lot of great, kick-ass female characters, but Kady will always be my favorite. I don’t know if it’s her sass, or wit, or the fact she’s also a really sentimental character underneath it all, but I simply adore her.
I felt so much throughout this series, whenever we were in Kady’s POV. She definitely doesn’t have it easy and the authors didn’t spare her of anything, but the fact she still held her head strong makes me so incredibly proud.
How worrisome it is I’m this affectionate to a fictional character? Honestly.
A book with good mental health representation
I see right through me, I see right through me.
I’ve read quite a few books with mental health rep this year, which I’m very proud of, but the one that impacted me the most was probably Challenger Deep, by Neal Shusterman.
I’ve talked about this one plenty of times before as well, but it’s just such a great book that I don’t think gets enough recognition. It is a first-person perspective on what it is like being in the schizo spectrum and the story is basically told in two different layers: Caden’s life, with his friends and family; and the ship Caden believes to be in, headed to Challenger Deep.
It is so interesting see how these two layers of his life intertwine. It is also incredibly heartbreaking. But what I loved the most about it was how it didn’t provide a happily ever after or ended with a perfect cure. The book shows that with mental health, it is always possible to have a relapse and it’s likely you’ll never be 100% cured, but it doesn’t mean you can not be happy for now.
I THINK HE KNOWS
Your fave fictional crush
Lyrical smile, indigo eyes, hand on my thigh, we could follow the sparks, I’ll drive.
When I tried to look back on books I read this year to find any new fictional crushes, I realized there’s none. Is this me finally embracing my sexuality and coming to terms with the fact I do not have to find crushes in order to be relatable? Or all the male characters I read this year were just mediocre and not really memorable?
Either way, we’ll have to go for an oldie then. And that’s none other than Cricket Bell, the myth, the man, the legend.
I absolutely adore Cricket. With his long legs, fun pants and crazy hair. The way he’s obsessed with all things engineering and how he’s super sweet, but also deeply passionate. It’s just impossible *not* to have a crush on this guy.
MISS AMERICANA & THE HEARTBREAK PRINCE
Fave angsty romance
Voted most likely to run away with you.
I am just SO GLAD to finally have a chance to talk about my favorite “type” of angsty romance and Nina and Matthias are the perfect example.
They are opposites in some ways – Nina being super free-spirited, while Matthias is strict and traditional -, but still have a lot in common – both are loyal and care about their people. However, the angst truly kicks in because they have a lot of unresolved business topped with *a lot* of sexual tension. It is the perfect combination.
There’s also the fact Matthias is not supposed, at all, to fall in love with Nina, which makes things even more awkward for him. Basically: this couple made my heart wrench so bad and I’d read 10 more books just about these two.
Book with an ugly cover that you absolutely adored
You’re the one I want in paper rings, in pictures frames, in all my dreams
Okay, maybe absolutely adored is a bit too much, but I did like the inside of this book better than I liked the outside.
I don’t know exactly what I don’t like about the cover of Because You’ll Never Meet Me. Perhaps is the crooked font or the fact the colors are all dull, so it’s not eye-catching at all. Nonetheless, the book is actually pretty great. Again – I do not *adore* it absolutely and I did have my issues with the ending, but it’s still a solid read with lovable, three-dimensional characters, which can’t be said about that cover, that’s for sure.
A book or series you never want(ed) to end
And, baby, I get mystified by how this city screams your name.
Deep down, I never wanted the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy to end. I am so glad it got turned into a trilogy to begin with. Not only because it was the perfect arc for the characters, but also because I could read more with these characters. I just love them too much.
This series feels like a capsule of the high school experience I never had. I obviously didn’t have any of the American high school traditions – homecoming games, signing yearbooks, prom pictures -, but I got to live a little bit of it through these characters. It made me so warm and happy inside and I could read about it forever.
Even though most of the high school milestones are all covered and Lara Jean did graduate by the last one, so if the series went on it would be a different dynamic, I’m sure I would still love following Lara Jean and Peter K no matter where.
DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS
A book or series that deserved a better ending
Paper cut stings from my paper thin plans.
OF COURSE. It’s Opposite of Always. There’s no other answer for this.
I’m still broken by this ending, okay? It didn’t make ANY SENSE. This book had so much potential to be one of my favorites ever – I loved the characters, the relationships, it was diverse and witty -, but the ending was so ?????? and totally not what I expected.
I’m even more mad because the author could’ve gone for something different and I definitely saw other ways for this story to be wrapped up and that would offer a much more realistic “life lesson” for the readers.
Your fave British male protagonist
I saw the dimples first and then I heard the accent.
Is there any other answer for this, but Monty – the absolute love of my life, even though he’s sort of a trash can? Oh, okay.
Having re-read The Gentleman’s Guide this year, I just can’t stop obsessing over Monty. And I love how his character matches perfectly with this song because he ACTUALLY HAS DIMPLES.
He’s such a great and three dimensional character – funny, witty, passionate, but also somewhat problematic, trying to find his place in this world and dealing with heartbreak and trauma but throwing peace signs and finger guns at all his problems. He’s a bisexual chaos and I adore him.
SOON YOU’LL GET BETTER
A book that your heart will never recover from
What am I supposed to do, if there is no you?
A List of Cages was a really intense book to my poor heart. It broke me so bad, but then put me back together, making me feel absolutely everything – from pure hurt to true happiness and I never thought I’d feel so much when reading a book.
I’ve read this one twice now and it’s crazy how much my experiences were different. The first time around, I could only feel the pain and the trauma. This book deals heavily with domestic abuse and even though I was ready, I don’t think you can ever be truly prepared to read about something like that.
At the same time, this book gave me Adam Blake – the brightest sunshine in the world. So I think you can imagine how it felt.
A character you would leap into the burning pits of hell to save
And I can’t talk to you when you’re like this, staring at the window like I’m not your favorite town, I’m New York City.
I’m talking about Adam, again. But a different Adam this time. It’s hard being an Adam, I imagine. You literally share the same name as 90% of the world and 97% of all YA protagonists. Like, no uniqueness to you.
But I can’t complain that much, because all Adams I know are cute and nice. Adam from Where She Went is one of the most intense perspectives I’ve ever read about and I’d do anything for this man.
He probably wouldn’t be worthy of it, if I’m being 100% honest, but I still trust him so much and feel like he deserves the whole world.
YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN
A book with a powerful message
‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay.
There are so many powerful and great messages in Darius the Great is not Okay. I feel like anyone can get something out of this book, either in the talk of identity, mental health, sexuality or body image. This book tackles it all and it never feels like it’s trying too hard.
Darius is an amazing protagonist and I’m still impressed by how this author was able to layer him so perfectly. He literally jumps out the page as you read it and you can truly feel for everything he goes through.
Again, no matter which side of the story you identify yourself the most with, you’ll get a powerful and great message from it.
A book you want to give a second chance
This ultraviolet morning light below tells me this love is worth the fight.
The Shiver series, by Maggie Stiefavter, is one I want to give a second chance. Even though I didn’t hate the books at all when I first read them, I also feel like I didn’t give as much attention as I could have to them.
I think I took a year between reading book 2 and book 3, so obviously when I got the finale, all the details were sort of blurred. And while I still remember enough about this series, I want to be able to read them more back-to-back in order to connect more with the story and also pick up Sinner, the companion novella.
I don’t know when this will happen, but hopefully soon because I need more werewolves in my life!
Best character development
And when we had that fight out in the rain, you ran after me and called my name. I never want to see you walk away.
Will I ever shut up about this book? I don’t think so.
I just really loved Heretics Anonymous, okay? Maybe when I have a physical copy I can re-read as often as I can, I’ll shut up about it. I’m accepting it as a gift for my birthday on October, 5th. Just saying.
No, but seriously, Michael has such a great development throughout this book. I’m still impressed by Katie Henry’s ability to write about someone who was supposed to be really annoying and selfish but that still came off as likable and relatable. Michael growing to understand that his problems are not the end of the world and learning the best way to deal with his emotions was *pure art*.
IT’S NICE TO HAVE A FRIEND
Fave friends-to-lovers story
Light pink sky up on the roof, sun sinks down, no curfew. Twenty questions, we tell the truth.
Friends to lovers is the best trope. Period.
Since I recently re-read I’ll Give You The Sun, I have to talk about Brian and Noah. Their friendship is so pure – they’re both really quirky characters, obsessed with things in their own worlds, art and astronomy. But they find comfort in each other and a surprising easy going friendship, that obviously evolves to something more.
It’s kinda funny because the first time I read this book, I could tell Noah was obsessed with Brian – obviously -, but it still felt blurry whether or not that was reciprocate. With my re-read, I realize it’s actually pretty clear. These characters start out as friends, but quickly realize they want more, and it always makes me feel all the things.
If you could only read one book or series again and again, what would it be?
I’ve been sleeping so long in a twenty-year dark night, but now I see daylight, I only see daylight.
You all know it. I’ll spare you from this answer.
Alright. 2k words later, we’re here, at the end of this post. Let me know in the comments: what are your favorite songs/lyrics from Lover or Taylor Swift in general? Your favorite character development? And angsty romance? Let’s chat! (And once again, thanks Marie for tagging me!)