Confession time: I’m not a huge Taylor Swift fan. I like her music! And her new album is really good! I just don’t really keep up with what she releases. Which, to be fair, I don’t only do with her. I’ve forgotten to check out an album by one of my favourite bands until over a year after it was released before. In fact, that same band released a new album a few months ago, and I still haven’t listened to it…
But that’s not the point of this post! The point of this post is to do the folklore inspired book tag, created by Nora @ Rating My Reads.
I’m not going to restrict myself to just mentioning prose novels, because manga / graphic novels / comics are just as valid and have just as much worth. I’m going to try my best not to reuse books or authors, but there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll fail ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
the 1 – a book where the characters remind you of your teenage years
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.
This book is about friendship, fandom, and the UK education system. I read Radio Silence at the perfect time of my life and I related to the characters and what they were going through so much.
cardigan – a book where the main character is familiar to you
Puella Magi Madoka Magica by Hanokage and Magica Quartet.
I’m fudging this one slightly, as Sayaka (the one with blue hair) is a main character, but isn’t the main character or title character. I’ve loved this franchise for a really long time, and she’s my favourite character from it. I relate to her in that she looked at the world, decided that she wanted to do everything that she could to make it better, only for her to quickly burn herself out in a big way. However, her having a huge crush on a boy who barely gives her the time of day is not something I can relate to at all, meaning that she fits the ‘not totally’ comforting aspect of the prompt. As of the latest installment in the series, she’s completely over that guy, and I love that for her.
the last great american dynasty – a book with a badass character
The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.
This series has So Many badass characters that it would honestly be easier for me to list the characters who aren’t. And, for anyone wondering, the twelve year old girl is firmly in the badass camp. I guess being told you’re the reincarnation of a God and being thrust into the world’s spotlight means some adapting has to be done.
exile – a book you didn’t like the ending of
Raging Star (Dust Lands #3) by Moira Young.
Everything that had originally motivated Saba at the start of the series got destroyed. And unlike in the big dystopian trilogy that this series was probably taking significant notes from, there was no point to any of it. This book’s ending ruined the whole series for me, and I prefer to pretend that the first book in the series is a standalone.
my tears ricochet – a book that made you cry
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
This book is very personal to me. Its subject matter is incredibly close to my heart, and this made me cry because it’s both tragic and accurate. If I’d read it closer to when it came out, and therefore closer to when I went through what Conor does, then I would’ve probably cried even more than I already did.
mirrorball – a book that makes you think about its ending
Paper Towns by John Green.
I know it’s trendy to hate on John Green right now, and aspects of this book have not aged well, but I love what this book was trying to do and I love how it ends. The ending makes you think back on the whole novel, and how toxic Quentin’s approach had been. He does not get the girl, not even close, and the whole book is a deconstruction of the manic pixie dream girl trope.
seven – a book with an unforgettable love story
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston.
In what is possibly one of my most popular opinions, this book is amazing and I love almost everything about it. You’ve heard about this book before, you know what’s it’s about, you don’t need me to rehash it. If for some reason you haven’t read it (yet), you’re valid, and you’re also missing out.
august – a book that gave you a hangover
The King’s Men (All for the Game #3) by Nora Sakavic.
I stayed up late to finish it, which I almost never did at the time, and all I wanted to do afterwards was reread it. It didn’t take long for me to give in and do just that. This series isn’t technically good, but I still love it and it’s still a favourite and I will still recommend it with certain caveats and a lot of content warnings (which if anyone wants a list of, I’m more than happy to provide).
this is me trying – a book you want to reread
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.
I can’t even explain why properly, but I’ve been wanting to reread this series since the end of 2019. I’m taking part in the Musical Mayhem readathon this month, and I just realised that I can read this for one of the prompts, so hopefully I’ll be getting to this very soon!
illicit affairs – a book that made you throw the book across the room (or made you feel like you wanted to throw it)
Shadow by Michael Morpurgo.
I read this when I was twelve, and it’s one of the very few books that’s made me actually cry. All I can remember about it is the exact bit that made me cry, and what happened immediately after, because that’s what made me want to throw the book. Without going into detail, my tears had been unnecessary.
invisible strings – a book that feels real
And here’s where I fail at not reusing books or authors lmao. I refer you back to Radio Silence and A Monster Calls. There are aspects of both of these books that didn’t 100% map on to my own experiences. With Radio Silence that was a me problem – I didn’t drink as a teenager. With A Monster Calls, well, I didn’t get any vists from any talking trees when my Dad was dying. Aside from these things, the rest of these two books were basically bang on.
mad woman – a book with a strong female character
Yona of the Dawn by Mizuho Kusanagi.
I have issues with the phrase ‘strong female character’ but I know what most sensible people mean by it, which is a well developed female character with strong characterisation. Yona starts off the series as a spoilt princess who’s only concerned about the state of her hair and the boy she has a crush on. Her growth from this is nothing short of incredible. I’m not fully caught up on the series (yet) but the Yona of where I’m at would barely recognise the girl she used to be.
epiphany – a book that gave you an epiphany
A Court of Mist and Fury (acotar #2) by Sarah J Maas.
It was in the middle of reading this book that I first considered that, maybe, this was how a lot of people see the world, and that I was the weird one. That maybe I was acespec. I then repressed this and did everything I could to convince myself that I was allo. This lasted until I got to university and everything about the culture meant that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I’m asexual, I’m comfortable with it, and it’s not weird at all.
betty – a book with an irredeemable protagonist
Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.
I could literally write essays about Light Yagami, how and why he rapidly descends into villainy, and how, without the notebook, he’s just as much a victim as everyone he kills. But there’s a certain point in the series where he gets to choose between being Light the innocent teenager and Kira the serial killer, and Light dies that day. From that point on there’s nothing that can be done for him. Redemption could be possible if he gave up the notebook again, but there’s no way he’d ever let that happen.
peace – a coming of age book
Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard.
This was actually a really hard prompt for me to answer because I don’t tend to read many contemporaries and I don’t know which of what I have read would count for this. This book is about friendship, trauma, and growing up. Protagonist Caddy wants to have a significant life event, and she gets her wish.
hoax – a book with a character who knows what they’re doing
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust.
Azad knew exactly what he was doing and every move he made was extremely calculated. Parvaneh’s plans and manipulations were also well thought out, and there’s a specific action she takes in the book that she took because she knew more then she was letting on.
And that concludes the tag! I’ve had a lot of fun thinking about my answers for each of these prompts. Thank you so much to Nora for making these questions! I don’t have anyone to specifically tag, but if you’re at all tempted to do this tag then 100% go for it!!