I saw this book tag at S. Jae-Jones’ blog ages ago, but as I was foolishly hoping to see Hamilton live in LA, I held off on listening to the soundtrack for the longest time. Then Mike Pence and the #BoycottHamilton embarrassment happened and I found out tickets for LA 2017 were already sold out unless you’re willing to dish out $700, so I caved to reason. And it was amazing and what better way to resume blogging?
The Room Where It Happens
Book world you would put yourself in
The world of The Lunar Chronicles has its fair share of bigotry and civil rights issues, but man, world peace is looking nicer by the day.
The Schuyler Sisters
Underrated female character
Did anybody else feel like Celia got the fuzzy end of the lollipop? She was almost as witty as Rosalind and awesomely loyal to her cousin, and her more grounded perspective about love was refreshing. But then she got ditched for Orlando of the terrible tree-poetry (seriously, wtf?) and hastily married off to Oliver of the attempted fratricides just like that. Girl deserved better.
A character that goes after what they want and doesn’t let anything stop them
I wish so much that I had a Chinese-American girl character like Mercy Wong growing up. She’s such a firecracker (Chinese pun not intended): bold, ambitious, unconventional, hilarious, and genuinely good-hearted.
A character you wish was still alive
What’s an Agatha Christie book of all things doing here when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Mockingjay have multiple worthy contenders? As much as I loved Lupin and Finnick (honestly, do those even count as spoilers anymore), I could accept them. But why did Phillip Durant have to die? Man, he was the first character whose death I vividly remember being pissed about. I liked him! The fact that he’s apparently played by a total babe in the 2007 Miss Marple adaptation is just rubbing salt into the wound.
The most heartbreaking end to a relationship you’ve ever read
Going with my (broken) heart for this one.
You’ll Be Back
I read Lady Susan for Women’s Writing and it was delightful! Lady Susan is a truly horrible human being, but she was an incredible character. Can’t wait to watch Love and Friendship!
The Reynolds Pamphlet
A book with a twist that you didn’t see coming
I actually think The Kite Runner would have been even more powerful without the twist, which I’m still not sure was all that effective, but it’s still a great book.
A series you marathoned
I actually don’t remember the last series I properly marathoned since, like, elementary school, but I have kind of a funny story for this one. Last summer I volunteered at the VA hospital my aunt works at. She was my ride, so after I went in to get the necessary paperwork I was left with nothing to do until the end of her workday. I’d brought along some Ernest Hemingway books but stupidly left them in the car, so the only thing to read were three V.C. Andrews novels. The first in the series, Misty, wasn’t available but I finished Star, Jade, and Cat. They were pretty much as tawdry and exploitative as I expected, but the characterizations were actually not bad for this kind of thing.
Favorite book with multiple POVs
I’m usually not a fan of multiple POVs (except with third-person, which arguably doesn’t count) but THE SERPENT KING did it so well.
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
A book/series you feel like will be remembered throughout history
One thing I’ve learned from being an English major is that it really is impossible to predict which books will be remembered and which won’t. But this is one book that I hope will become a staple of school curriculums.
A relationship you were pulling for from the very start
A book about love needs a great love story, and Mimosa and Court are adorable. But they’re also both very nuanced characters, and The Secret of a Heart Note is another winner from Stacey Lee that elevates what could have been charming fluff into a genuinely thoughtful and intelligent exploration of the emotional complexities of the heart.
Ten Duel Commandments
Favorite fight scene
I read this in fourth grade, and as epic as Deathly Hallows was, the final fight at the Ministry of Magic still sticks out as the most exciting battle I’ve ever read!
Say No to This
Guilty pleasure read
I love Cake Literary‘s mission–addictive, high-concept, commercial reads that are also diverse? Yes, please! I did have some misgivings about the ‘flirtatious instructor’ plotline–it’s pretty standard soap fare but I can’t help but be a little cautious about it in these sorts of ‘fun’ books for teens–but Pretty Little Liars with badly behaving and diverse ballerinas competing to be prima donna? In the words of Alexander Hamilton, yes.
What Comes Next
A series you wish had more books
Anthology about badass girls in American history? Another yes! I loved the diversity of this first installment, but I’m also very excited for the more #OwnVoices stories promised in the second book, The Radical Element (which Spotswood awesomely describes in her newsletter as about “girls who are radical within their community, whether by virtue of their race, religion, sexuality, disability, profession, or some other factor”). I would love it if they kept making even more intersectional books.
Right Hand Man
I like David Wong’s books a lot–yeah, the sophomoric humor and post-Internet genre fic are hilarious, but they also have sharp, thoughtful writing and honestly excellent characters. I have something of a crush on David, but he and John are both awesome protagonists.
What I’d Miss
A book or series you were late to reading
I was way late to this one–finally read it a few months ago. I admit I was a little resistant to the Gone Girl train–Amy Dunne sounded like a pretty conventional stereotype of female villainy and I was skeptical of all the fuss about how ‘subversive’ this was. But I finally read it and found that Amazing Amy was a really great character. I’m excited to be late to the movie.
Wait For It
A book that was worth waiting for
What’s this doing here instead of, say, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or Winter (Mockingay was nay for me)? Well, HP and TLC were already represented, and honestly I just really loved this book. I was actually pretty worried this one wouldn’t live up to my expectations as a fan of the site, or it wouldn’t work in book form, but I loved it.
And that’s a wrap! If you want to get in on the fun, feel free to consider yourself tagged! And don’t be a dummy like me, LISTEN TO THE HAMILTON SOUNDTRACK.