Hi everybody! It has been a while since I have done one of these but I saw this on @toastiebooks and couldn’t resist. I am a bit of a closeted Swiftie but her latest album fell right under my taste in music. Shout out to Taylor Swift for always knowing how to put together a great *aesthetic.* Feel free to participate in this tag as well and don’t forget to tag others!
the 1: a book you grew out of
I definitely don’t think I can appreciate The City of Bones series by Cassandra Clare like I used to. Also, I’ll throw in the Twilight series and the Vampire Diaries. I am definitely over any teen paranormal romance.
cardigan: a book you keep coming back to
My first choice for a re-read is American Gods by Neil Gaiman because it just surprises me every time. Following that, I also love can read The Secret History by Donna Tartt and Dracula by Bram Stoker over and over again.
the last great american dynasty: a book where everything goes wrong (in the best way)
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a great example of hilarious confusion and some poignant thoughts about love and romance. Any Shakespearian comedy embodies this. As for novels, I would pick Pride and Prejudice because Darcy cannot communicate properly to save his life but ends up with Elizabeth because she understands how awkward he is.
exile: ending you didn’t like (ship that sank)
I initially went into The Circle by Dave Eggers with some hope but the ending was super anti-climatic and lame. It’s a very boomer view of “wow! technology is evil!.” Also the main character could have escaped with a pretty nice guy but drove him away.
my tears ricochet: broke your heart
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller gets me every time. It goes right up there with The Book Thief, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and The Kite Runner for me.
mirrorball: a book that speaks to your soul
Honestly, I felt very connected with Jane Eyre as Jane is so confident in her own quiet way. I’ve never been a bold person so it is nice to see someone who is quiet and self-assured. I am using this book for one of my big projects for my final grad school portfolio. I am glad I chose this one.
seven: character that you want to take home and protect
I’m picking Aziraphale from Good Ones because the guy just wants to enjoy his books and spend time with his demon boyfriend. He may be kind of dumb but he must be protected at all costs.
august: summer love
I really don’t read a lot of romance but I would have to say This is How You Lose the Time War was actually really romantic in its own weird way. It’s a great enemies to lovers romance (that’s also LGBTQ+).
this is me trying: mental illness rep
I definitely clicked with how John Green depicts anxiety in Turtles All the Way Down. The main character, Aza, always gets stuck in these “thought spirals” where she keeps going through the what ifs and worst case scenarios. I know not everyone is a huge John Green fan but I really connected with this book in that aspect.
illicit affairs: forbidden romance
The Song of Achilles is going to have to go up here again but I will add on Celia and Marco from The Night Circus. They are supposed to be competitors but end up falling for each other.
invisible string: soulmates
Zachary Ezra Rawlins and Dorian from The Starless Sea have a fantastic “destined to be” relationship in a fantastical setting. For something even more fairy tail-esque, Tristan and Yvainne from Neil Gaiman’s Stardust fit the criteria.
mad woman: vengeful woman
Gone Girl may be a controversial book but Amy Dunne is certainly a woman on a mission who will stop at nothing to get her way. I also can’t not acknowledge basically every woman from The Song of Fire and Ice series, but especially Arya Stark.
epiphany: a loss you’re not over
I still have not forgiven JK for killing off Dobby or Hedwig. My biggest/most recent fictional loss that got me was (spoiler) Kara Resnik from The Themis Files series. That one was unexpected and hurt like a mother. I would still recommend that series, though.
betty: love triangle, f/f romance
I’m choosing f/f romance and This is How You Lose the Time War also gets this one. To summarize, it’s about two warriors, Red and Blue, who come from opposing futuristic societies. Both are sent to change the timeline so their society comes out triumphant but the two end of developing a playful (albeit violent) friendship that turns into romance. I would highly recommend it as its very poetic as well as immersive.
peace: found family
The Percy Jackson series is still a great example of the found family trope, including reliable parental figures. The Unwritten Library by AJ Hackwith is more recent but includes a bizarre but lovable group of misfits that include a feisty librarian, an ex-muse, a novice demon, and an angel who is trying to figure out where he belongs. I’d highly recommend that book.
hoax: a character that fooled you
When I was reading The Shades of Magic trilogy, I really thought Holland was just an *sshole but I actually ended up getting really attached to him. I guess that’s kind of the reverse of this question but Holland had an incredibly tragic past and some valid reasons for his actions. I’d recommend this trilogy too.
the lakes: a book written in verse
I really haven’t read a lot of books written in verse, but the one I am familiar with is Girl, Woman, Other. I’d highly recommend it is as it is intersectional as well as feminist. The style is very unique but easy to follow and incredibly profound.