Bonus Content, Let's Talk Books!

Let’s Talk Books: My Reading Comfort Zone

Hello, bookish friends! I hope you have all had a wonderful week thus far and have a restful weekend ahead of you. I always love to read posts by other bloggers that ramble about their favorite genres and the kinds of books they are most content with reading, so I thought I would share some of the same little tidbits with you all in a low-key, discussion-type post. Let’s get to it, shall we?

When I first started reading for fun back in 8th or 9th grade, I found that I would only read books that were ridiculously hyped up. Back then, this mostly consisted of (somewhat) cookie-cutter dystopian novels and a few fantasy series. However, I quickly learned that there were so many other great genres of fiction that I hadn’t yet discovered, and when I did, there was no turning back to my Hunger Games/Divergent days.

One genre of writing that I’ve been reading for years and don’t think I will ever tire of are young adult contemporary romance novels. There’s just something so calming about picking up one of these lighthearted, fluffy beauties that fills my heart with so much joy. When I was later into my high school years, I also started reading contemporaries that were a little bit darker and more mature. I quickly grew out of the “tough stuff” contemporaries that were uber dark, but have continued to read those that cover very current and complex topics.

Since starting college, I’ve realized that my reading comfort zone has certainly become much more vast than it once was. In addition to my love of contemporary romances, my go-to genres are fantasy (young adult, new adult, and adult), historical fiction, and even a few true new adult romances thrown in there. I’ve also found that I enjoy reading memoirs, occasionally. I have yet to branch out into the sci-fi and thriller/horror/suspense genres yet (and likely won’t just because I have never been a fan!), but almost anything else is fair game. I also think I’m starting to become a reader that is more inclined to branch out from my reading comfort zone these days, which is so exciting because you never know what hidden gems you may find by taking a chance on something out of your standard box!

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile now, you know that my love of young adult and new adult novels knows no bounds, and it is extremely unlikely this is going to change too drastically for a good long while. I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about how my reading tastes have changed (and all that have remained the same!).

What genre(s) of books fall within your reading comfort zone?

Until next week, bookish loves! May your weekend be filled with all the reading your hearts desire 😊

Bonus Content, Let's Talk Books!

Let’s Talk Books: OTPs – Can You Have More Than One???

Hello, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! I’ve been reading so many books lately that have some of the most shippable characters I have ever seen, and it got me thinking: Is it permissible for us readers to have more than one OTP? After doing a quick Dictionary.com search to define the parameters of an OTP, I was left feeling a little dead inside. One True Pairing (OTP), according to their definition is “a term that signifies a person’s favorite fictional romantic relationship.” Yes, you read that correctly – SINGULAR, both in definition and the meaning of the acronym itself. As in you can only have ONE.

I got a little amped up after pondering this for a lot longer than I probably should have, so I’ve decided to write an entire post explaining exactly why I completely DISAGREE with the singular OTP thought process. This post could get a little controversial (but in a respectful/kind way!), so feel free to hit me up in the comments with your thoughts on whether or not One True Pairing should only be limited to one per reader or naw. Cool? Dope! Let’s get it, let’s go!

OTPs kind of remind me of when you ask someone what their favorite color is – some people have more than one and therefore, have a tough time only answering this question with the name of a single color. Similarly, if someone were to ask me what my favorite couple from the young adult fantasy genre would be, I’d probably list out at least five couples from five different book series. I mean, HELLO! Virtually an impossible decision to make when there are so many fabulous pairings to choose from.

Speaking of genres: I find that because there are so many books out there in all kinds of genres, it would be super hard to limit OTP to just one couple out of all the books in the world. This is because the fictional romances you see popping up in different genres can be very different from one another. For example, a romantic connection may blossom between old friends in a contemporary novel, but in a fantasy novel, there may be some enemies-to-lovers action going on. If a reader were to love both equally as much, then it is absolutely preposterous to ask them to choose only one oh-so-deserving couple as their OTP.  

As you can clearly see from this very ramble-y yet therapeutic post, I am all for us readers being able to have an unlimited number of OTPs stashed away in our brains to enjoy for all of eternity. Writers want us to fall for their fictional romantic pairings (even when some make us hate them at first!), and therefore, asking us to only choose one out of a sea of irresistible choices would just be cruel!

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Enough about my thoughts on OTPs – what do you guys think? Do you have one couple that you believe will remain your only ultimate ship, or are you like me and have LOTS of fictional couples that you couldn’t possibly choose between? Let’s chat about it in the comments!

Until next week, bookish peeps! I hope the rest of your week is filled with beautiful visions of all your favorite fictional couples 😊   

Bonus Content, Book Tags

The Birthday Party Book Tag

Hiya, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! My birthday was on the 24th, and I really wanted to put a special post out to celebrate my 22 whole years of life. I saw this super fun Birthday Party Book Tag that was created by Kit at Metaphors and Moonlight and knew I just had to try it out myself. Here are the rules:

  • I will choose five different books to use to answer the questions
  • For each question, I will flip to a random page in the designated book
  • I’ll share at the end how I feel about how my birthday party turned out!

 

Step One: My Five Books

  1. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee
  2. A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
  3. Fable by Adrienne Young
  4. Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
  5. The Lovely War by Julie Berry

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Step Two: Q&A Time!

Open Book 1 – The first character name on the page is the one who plans the surprise party.

AHHH MONTY MONTAGUE! I seriously can’t think of a more perfect person to plan the party, though I do think he would create some very…. unique party favors and games, knowing him!

Open Book 2 – The first character name on the page is the one who ruins the surprise early (either by accidentally mentioning it or by telling you on purpose because they can’t keep a secret).

The winner is…. Gwyn Berdara! I think her fiery yet humorous personality is definitely one that would make it so she couldn’t contain her excitement about a little get together, especially if she was around Nesta and Emilia. But I think she would totally just drop clues about a party being had rather than be super obvious about it!

Open Book 3 – Wherever the current scene takes place will be the location of the party (as specific as possible, e.g. a person’s house, a grocery store, the middle of a forest, etc.).

The party would take place at a tavern in Ceros! Okay…. so like this location is a tad bit grungy since like people come from all over the place to drink their sorrows away after being at sea for a hella long time, but honestly, the more the merrier for a party, right? Hopefully it’ll be good company, as soon as Zola leaves, anyway… BLAHH!

Open Book 4 – The first character name on the page is the one who bakes the cake.

Awhhh, yayy! Fatima from Take a Hint is one of my favorite side characters, and she is so creative that I have no doubt she would bake an awesome cake for my birthday!

Open Book 5 – The first character name on the page is the one who sticks their finger in the icing when no one is looking.

James Alderidge is the culprit! I feel like he would only do this if Hazel was around and wanted to make her laugh though because he is pretty serious most of the time, but you never know!

Open Book 1 – The first character name on the page is the one who buys trick candles (those kinds that never go out).

I definitely don’t think Johanna, the most prim, proper, and ladylike of all the characters in A Lady’s Guide would be the one to buy trick candles! But, I think any other character in this book would do it. She’s just a wee bit of a buzz kill on all things fun, if you ask me!

Open Book 2 – The first noun on the page that is a tangible object is the first gift you open.

Okay well this is different. Evidently, some kind soul bought me a ramp for my birthday this year – hurrah! That would certainly be helpful when it comes to easily taking laundry upstairs, I suppose. Thanks for thinking of me, whoever you are!

Open Book 3 – The first character name on the page is the one who puts on the dorky party hat.

This one made me CACKLE: West! I love the guy, but he’s a bit of a stick in the mud and I highly doubt he’d be quick to trade his sailor garb in for party hat. I’d pay good money to see it, though!

Open Book 4 – The first noun or adjective (whatever works) on the page is what the party theme will be.

We’re going to go with a moon theme for the party! I think that would actually be pretty cool – dark room, those little stars on the ceiling, maybe a galaxy-esque cake? I like it!

Open Book 5 – The first noun on the page that is a tangible object is what the pinata will be filled with.

A cup of hot chocolate – eeepppp! That could get messy but I also love that stuff so I guess my pinata will be more like a hot chocolate fountain!

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Step Three: How Did the Party Turn Out?

I honestly think this would be the most entertaining yet bizarre party ever! When I picked these books out, I thought I would choose a mix of both contemporary and fantasy novels and see how the characters from these books would get along, and I actually am totally diggin’ the vibes I’m getting from this guest list. Sign me up, y’all!

That’s a wrap on the Birthday Party Book Tag! Thank you all so much for checking this tag out and for celebrating my brithday with me by doing so. If I could actually make this party happen, would you attend? Lemme know in the comments, and tell me what characters you’d like to add to the guest list 🙂

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Bonus Content, Book Tags

Reader Problems Book Tag

Hiya, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! As fellow bookish nerds, I think there are many things we can all relate to, especially when it comes to the reading-related struggles we all face at one point or another. When I spotted a tag dedicated to talking about how we handle our bookish predicaments, I couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon myself! Enough small talk from me – let’s jump right into this thing!  

1) You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

I would totally consider myself a mood reader, which helps me narrow my field substantially when trying to decide what the read next. From here, it’s pretty normal for me to read the synopsis on the back of a few books, and then pick my next read from that small pool. I have also noticed that if I read something long/dark/violent/required a whole lotta brain power (like a fantasy novel!), I run straight to a contemporary or romance novel so that I can give my brain a break to reset itself before diving into another hardcore read.

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2) You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

The answer to this question definitely varies from book to book. Typically, if I am not loving a book that is in a series that I have really enjoyed so far and/or is written by one of my auto-buy authors, I’ll keep reading it until the end. Any other book I read until the halfway mark, and if I’m still not invested whatsoever, I’ll quit. It is very rare that I will give up on a book, though! I can count on one hand how many times I’ve resorted to this.

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3) The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

This really wasn’t something that affected me until I started college and working three on-campus jobs, and in 2020, this was a SERIOUS struggle for me. Here’s the thing, though: I simply cannot force myself to sit down and cram in a bunch of reading. If I’m not enjoying it, then there’s literally no point in taking the time to read, so there’s no rushing to the finish line at the end for me. I’m one of those people that values quality over quantity. If I don’t make my reading goal (which has only happened maybe once or twice!), I’m sad about it, but when I reflect on all the great books I do get to read each year, I don’t beat myself up about not hitting my goal.

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4) The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

In short? Myself and my bank account (if I can buy covers that do match) literally cannot.

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5) Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

Often times, I talk to my same bookish friends from college and/or those on my book-y social media accounts about all my feels, even if they loved the book I’m (lightly) smack-talking. Since everyone has their own opinions, expectations, and feelings about every book they read, I usually take everyone’s thoughts with a grain of salt and don’t go out of my way to talk to people who I think have the same opinions as me on the books I read. So far, this method has worked out pretty well!

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6) You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

In order to stop the tears from flowing, I typically just have to stop reading before I get too emotionally invested. It pains me to do sometimes especially when the book is so good, but to save myself the embarrassment of people realizing I don’t have a completely black, emotionless heart (GASP!), I have to just lay the book aside and redirect my brain to another task.

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7) A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!?

My answer to this question is very dependent on the book. I don’t normally re-read books because I find that the details start coming back to me within the first two to five chapters or so, but if I REALLY loved the book the first time (basically any JLA or Sarah J. Maas book, for example), I’d totally re-read the first in the series so that when I get to the second book, I have all the deets I need in order to enjoy it to the max. Most of the time, though, I would say that I rely on reading a couple of spoiler-y reviews and/or synopses to help jog my memory of the first book before moving onto the next book in a series.   

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8) You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

When I was in high school, I was literally the worst about saying no to book-borrowing requests because I felt like a jerk. Like SUPER bad. My old approach would be to just pretend like I forgot they asked/ignore the request, and if they insisted, I’d only let them have it for a two to three days before I told them I needed it back because I was so worried it was going to get damaged outside my tender-loving care. Then I went to college and realized that as an adult, I could politely turn someone down and they (probably) wouldn’t hate me forever, so now I just straight-up say no when asked. Sorry y’all, but my books are my babies!!!

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9) Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?

I’m a firm believer that if you’re in a reading slump, your brain is trying to send you a message to take a break. While you may want to ignore that little voice in your head, I’ve found doing so just makes the slump worse. My main hack for moving past a reading slump is to take the few days after you feel one coming on away from your TBR pile to refocus your energy elsewhere. Then, when you come back to choose your next read, you may be more inclined to settle in a move past the slump. Granted, this may take a few tries to work, but in my experience, if you’re patient enough, you’ll be able to get back to your normal, booknerdigan self in no time flat! If you’re interested in more tips on fending off reading slumps, check out my list of tips here!

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10) There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

I usually buy all of them, since my list of “dying to reads” each year is pretty small!

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11) After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

While I wish I could get to most books within a week or so of buying them, adulting often gets in the way. Though it’s a long time, some books sit on my shelf for months before I get to read them. My goal each year is to read all the books I purchase that year by its end, though, so hopefully long before they even have the chance to collect dust!

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That is it for the Reader Problems Book Tag! Agree and/or disagree with some of my answers? Comment below and let’s talk about all of our bookish dilemmas together!

Until next week! May your bookish problems be limited until we meet again 😊

Bonus Content, Let's Talk Books!

Let’s Talk Books: Book-to-Film (and TV!) Adaptations

Hello, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! As you can tell from the title of this post, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on books that are turned into movies and/or TV shows. I have found that many readers have very strong feelings about these, and while I’d like to say I’m not one of those people, I do have some pretty fierce opinions myself. Let’s jump right into those, shall we?

First and foremost, I am definitely that person who has to read the book before seeing the adaptation, not the other way around. While this does make me more biased when watching the film (especially if I fell in love with the book first), I’m a firm believer in appreciating the original work at its source before exploring the various branch-offs of said work. I have plenty of friends who prefer to read the book only after they’ve seen the adaptation, and that’s cool, too, but since I HATE spoilers, this approach has just never worked for me!

On to the question you’re probably all thinking: What, in my opinion, constitutes a good book-to-film/TV adaptation? The avid reader in me says that the film should stay completely true to the book, and while I totally wish this were possible, it’s extremely difficult to include all 400+ pages of a book into a 2 hour movie or even a season or two of a TV show. Because of this, I would say that a solid adaptation should include some of the most important lines and plot points of a novel, and that the acting of the cast stay true to the personalities, attitudes, behaviors, etc. of the characters as written in the book to the best of their ability. Part of me doesn’t necessarily even care (well… okay. Sometimes I do in very limited cases!) if the characters look the way I pictured them in my mind while reading, as long as the way the characters are represented in the book are very similar to the way the actor portrays them on-screen.

There are very few things that I can think of that make me just straight-up not like an adaptation. The first is that the plot of the movie is changed drastically and is essentially completely different from the book. In my brain, I can’t even consider that kind of film an adaptation because the movie turns into a completely separate entity without much overlap with the book. While sometimes I can overlook this, I also don’t love it when there are characters in a book that never show up in a movie. Like with the plot, this is just a big inconsistency that makes the movie feel completely separate from the book itself.

Overall, I think my expectations for film/TV adaptations of novels are relatively reasonable, as many of those I have seen, I’ve really liked! Speaking of those I’ve seen… let’s end this thing with just a few of my own favorites and not-so-favorites!

My Favorites

My Not-So-Favorites

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Well, folks, I think that’s a wrap on my ramblings about book-to-film/TV adaptations! I know it can be hard to think objectively about these, especially when it’s one of your favorite books. However, I do think it’s pretty awesome that so many producers are willing to take on such a daunting task these days, so mega props to them for all their efforts!

May the rest of your week be filled with lots of fabulous reads, and thanks for tuning into this week’s bonus content post! 😊

Bonus Content, Book Tags

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag: 2021 Edition

Welcome back to the blog, bookish friends! I can’t believe it is already the middle of July. It kind of feels like this year just started, but we are already over halfway to 2022. I did the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag last year, and I had such an awesome time reflecting on my progress that I decided to do it again this year! Without further ado, let’s dive right into all this fun:

1) Best book you’ve read so far in 2021

Amazon.com: Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian  Mountains (9781984818935): Chambers, Cassie: Books

2) Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021

Amazon.com: Namesake: A Novel (Fable, 2) (9781250254399): Young, Adrienne:  Books

3) New release you haven’t read yet but want to

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

4) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (Montague Siblings, #3)
Fun Fact: This was the answer to last year’s most anticipated release question, but the publication date keeps getting pushed back. 2021 is the YEAR, baby! 🙂

5) Biggest disappointment

Amazon.com: The Chaos of Standing Still (9781481499194): Brody, Jessica:  Books

6) Biggest surprise

Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

7) Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

Amazon.com: Romanov (9780785217244): Brandes, Nadine: Books

8) Newest fictional crush

Much Ado About You - Kindle edition by Young, Samantha. Literature &  Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
We all need to find ourselves a freaking adorable farmer BF like Roane, am I right?

9) Newest favorite character

A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 5): Maas, Sarah J.:  9781681196282: Amazon.com: Books
Gwyn and Amelia give me LIFE so they are both my newest favorite characters!

10) A book that made you cry

Amazon.com: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (9780812984965):  Stevenson, Bryan: Books

11) A book that made you happy

Amazon.com: Get a Life, Chloe Brown: A Novel (The Brown Sisters Book 1)  eBook: Hibbert, Talia: Kindle Store

12) The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received so far this year

The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood And Ash Series): Armentrout, Jennifer L.:  9781952457258: Amazon.com: Books

13) A book/books you need to read by the end of the year

BONUS: I am exactly halfway to my reading goal for the year – YAYY!

Thank you all so much for tuning in for this super fun book tag! As the saying goes, there are so many books and so little time, but I’m super happy with the progress I have made this year in terms of number (and quality!) of books read. If you haven’t done this tag, I am officially tagging YOU!

Until next time 🙂

Sarah

A Few Updates, Bonus Content

I Haven’t Posted Since April… Here’s What I’ve Been Doing!

Hello, bookish friends! Long time, no see! I know that I’ve dedicated this blog to all things books, but since I haven’t posted in so long, I wanted to update you all on what I’ve been getting into. I’m also writing this piece just kind of for myself as a way to reflect on all that I have managed to accomplish over the past few months. Sometimes, we all get the feeling that maybe we aren’t doing as much as we could be until we really think back on what we actually have done, so in a way, this little post is going to serve as some good ol’ fashioned therapy. Here goes nothin’!

1) Survived My Final Semester of College

I honestly thought everyone was joking about Senioritis being a thing, but let me tell you: It is the real deal, and my final semester of college, I felt it hardcore. In addition to continuing to adjust to pandemic life, I was trying to stay on top of my studies, work three jobs, and start prepping for post-graduation life. There were days during this time when I honestly couldn’t wait for college to end enough, and I took the biggest sigh of relief when final grades were entered and I was officially home free.

2) Graduated – YAYY!

It wasn’t until I finally walked across that stage on May 29th of this year that I felt this great sense of pride wash over me. Four years, three jobs, a truckload of memories, and so much more is what came out of my time at Roanoke, and to see that chapter close was both a huge relief and a little sad. I am so proud to be an alum of Roanoke College, and though it was a crazy busy four years I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of all that hard work.

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3) Participated in New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute

For the month of June, I had the opportunity to attend the Summer Publishing Institute (virutally!) through New York University. This intensive was three weeks long, and during that time, we got to hear from tons of amazing publishing professionals about a variety of topics surrounding magazine publishing, digital media, and book publishing. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget, and I learned so much about the industry. I will be posting a recap of my experience in the very near future, so please do stay tuned for that in the coming weeks!

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4) Started Reading for Fun Again

During my final year of college, I was so swamped with schoolwork that I really didn’t have much time to sit down and read books for fun, much less create content for my bookstagram and blog. But, as soon as I turned in my final projects in May, I’ve been reading as much as I can for enjoyment. I don’t think I realized that I had kind of fallen out of love with reading until I got to pick up a book from my very own bookshelves, sit back, and just soak it in without an assignment being attached to it. Needless to say that while I’ve made a small dent in my TBR, it keeps on growing as more amazing books are released this year

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5) Jumped Back Into Blog Post Writing (A Tiny Bit!)

Last but not least, my creative juices are finally flowing back again and I have begun creating new blog content – YAYY! It has been a slow process, but I hope to get back on my normal, twice a week posting schedule shortly. I have already read so many amazing books that I can’t wait to review for all of you, plus began creating some super fun bonus content posts!

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Thank you all so much for giving this post a read! I’m so excited to be getting closer to posting on a regular schedule again, and I can’t wait for you all to see what is in store.

<3,

Sarah

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Bonus Content, Favorites Lists

Most Memorable Opening Lines of All Time

Hello, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! Over the years, I’ve read a lot of books, but one thing that always remains memorable to me are intriguing opening lines. Sometimes they’re funny, super serious, or in one way or another end up snagging my attention. For today’s post, I thought I’d share eight of my favorite opening lines with you. It was so hard to narrow this list down because there are so many great ones, but I hope you enjoy those I’ve found pretty darn memorable. Let’s get into it then, shall we?

“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.”

“There is blood under my fingernails.”

“I’ve been locked up for 264 days.”

“There was a demon in McDonald’s.”

“Spontaneity is overrated.”

“I’ve been looking for Sawyer for half a lifetime when I found him standing in front of the Slurpee machine at the 7-Eleven on Federal Highway, gazing through the window at the frozen, neon-bright churning like he’s expecting the mysteries of the universe to be revealed to him from inside.”

“I’ve read many more books than you.”

“I have just taken an overly large bite of iced bun when Callum slices his finger off.”

There you have it, folks – eight fabulous opening lines that, I’m just now realizing, happen to come from books I thoroughly enjoyed reading! Did one of your favorites not make the list? Drop it in the comments below! There are seriously SO MANY hooks that are sure to pull all of us avid readers in from the start.

Until next time! May the rest of your week be filled with all the books 😊

-Sarah

Bonus Content, Favorites Lists

My Favorite “In General” YA Tropes

Howdy, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! If you’ve been following for a while now, you know that my love for YA books knows no bounds. Part of why I love this category of literature is because there are certain trends that pop up again and again in these works – no matter how different the pieces may be – that keep me coming back for more. Today, I’m going to share some of the tropes I come across all the time that I can’t help but love!

1) Kick-Butt Female Lead

This trope comes up SO MUCH in YA that I really did think I was going to get tired of it… but I really haven’t! I always think it’s so awesome when writers make their female leads just a tough if not stronger than their male leads. I also appreciate when these strong females aren’t just physically strong, but also have some evident mental toughness to them as well, which in many novels they need just to survive the circumstances they’re put in.

2) Epic Battle Montages

Let’s face it: the vast majority of us can hardly walk on a flat surface without tripping, much less wield a sword like a complete BOSS. There’s something so exhilarating about reading novels that have characters throwing down when they need to, and watching those moments play out over the course of even just a few chapters is always such a blast for me (even when I am also equally as terrified that my fav characters are going to be killed off in said battle scenes).

3) The Dark and Mysterious Male Lead

Haters gonna hate, but this has to be one of my favorite tropes of all time. While any character with a mysterious past intrigues me, those male leads that are super quiet, dark, and maybe even a little creepy are always quick to draw me in. I love watching their stories unravel as the novel goes on, and even though I’m no detective, I always have so much fun guessing what the heck happened to these guys that made them so heartless (well, APPEAR to be so heartless, anyway!). This trope has been around for as long as I can remember, and I can’t even fathom a world in which it no longer exists!

4) Witty Characters that Keep You Laughing… Even When the Story Gets Dark

These days, I have a hard time reading books that get super dark and intense because HELLO PEOPLE, 2020 was a mess of very upsetting for so many. Something I’ve seen a lot recently in YA are characters making jokes or continuing their sarcastic conversations in the most intense of moments, and I am all here for it! This also includes dark humor that I know I shouldn’t laugh at but simply can’t refrain from (like jokes about dying on a battlefield when they’re literally about to fight in a battle… yikesss but I can’t help myself!).

5) The Revenge Seekers

I find protagonists who aren’t afraid to obtain revenge for themselves and those they love to be quite admirable. Watching this journey unfold on the page always makes me feel like Nancy Drew – I get to try and uncover clues right alongside the protagonist who is on the hunt for the person or people that did them wrong. Books with this trope are often fast-paced, and I love a plot that moves along quickly and keeps me on my toes from beginning to end!

6) Supporting Characters Equally as Likeable (Maybe Even More So!) Than the Leads

While some supporting characters are kind of just floating around, doing whatever the protagonist tells them to do, I am a HUGE fan of authors who invest time and effort into their supporting characters. Just like with the protagonist(s), I love when I feel like I am getting to know the personalities of their sidekicks. Lucky for us, many more writers are starting to do amp up their games when it comes to this trope, and I am here for it!

7) Destroying the Corrupt Hierarchy

In many dystopian and fantasy novels, there are often various power structures/groups that have preexisting tensions with one another. Through I went through a period of time when I got so sick and tired of this trope (the Divergent and Hunger Games years brought me to my wit’s end), the way this trope has been laid out in novels published within the past couple of years has made me love it again. Nobody likes to see the bad, powerful dudes and dudettes at the top of the food chain win, am I right?

8) Characters with Super Dope Powers

Fun fact about me: I literally cannot stand watching those Marvel superhero movies. I know – I probably just crushed some hearts with that little tidbit of info! However, I think part of this stems from the fact that the powers they have are never as cool as those so many literary fictional characters have. Some of my favorite novels of all time have characters that on the surface appear human, but actually have super wicked powers that I think could really come in handy. Like how cool would it be to be able to heal someone’s injury with the touch of your hand? Ughh… so jealous of my literary pals that can do just that!

….

I think that’s a wrap, you guys! I hope this list of tropes brings fond memories of some of your favorite books to the forefront of your mind. Did I miss a trope you love, or maybe you dislike some I had on my list? Leave me a comment below and let’s chat!

May the rest of this week’s reading be filled with some of your favorite tropes! 🙂

Bonus Content, Book Tags

The Folklore Book Tag!

Hello, bookish friends! I hope you have all had a fabulous week thus far. I’m a tad bit late to the game on this tag, but once I saw Erin’s @ Rin’s Reads’ version, my old-school Swiftie heart couldn’t resist the temptation of doing it myself! I mean, come on. Can anyone think of a better combination than TSwift and books? Yeah… I thought not 😉 I know you all must be anxiously awaiting to check out what I have goin’ on in this tag, so without further ado, let’s get this thing rollin’!

The Rules:

  • Tag the original creator: Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink
  • Tag at least three people: If you haven’t done this tag yet and are as obsessed with this album as I am, I am officially tagging YOU!
  • Declare the rules and list of prompts in your post
  • Thank whoever tagged you and link to their post: thanks so much for the inspiration, Erin!

This award has to go to A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout. No spoilers here, folks, but that ending was WILDDDD. Thank goodness April is only a few months away so I can get my hands on the next book in the series!

One of my more recent reads totally fits the bill: Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton. Our protagonist, Adam, suffers from schizophrenia, and while his narration is absolutely hilarious due to his matter-of-fact attitude, the moments where his fears of remaining in control of his hallucinations shined through were really sad (but eye-opening) to witness. The rollercoaster of emotions the audience goes on as they read the novel is one of the many ways in which this tale stands out from the crowd!

I could pick any number of books for this one because there are just so many out there, but I’d have to hand this one to Romanov by Nadine Brandes. I found the mysterious history of the real Romanov family so interesting to read about along with the magical elements Brandes included to provide explanations for why Alexei and Nastya’s bodies were found in a separate location than those of the other members of the family. The story was put together in such a clever way and Brandes’ writing was so beautiful to read that I can’t help but rave about Romanov every chance I get!

Hands down The Cellar by Natasha Preston. There was nothing inherently wrong with the book, but I read it when I was around 14 or 15 years old and now, at 21, I still have flashbacks of how creepy it was every time I see the cover. Needless to say, I rehomed the copy I bought a long time ago as to avoid any further stress to my psyche!

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas totally takes the cake for this one. I don’t typically cry for very long even if something that happens is super sad, but since I’ve followed the Throne of Glass series for so long and this book was the finale, it just hit me different. There were SO MANY moments in this almost 1,000-page beauty I got misty-eyed at, and for that reason, it’s gotta be the winner.

The overall message of Jenn Bennett’s Starry Eyes was without a doubt meant for people like me, who plan their lives away and leave little to chance. I could totally understand Zorie’s struggles with this and saw a lot of myself in her — both the good and the not-so-good. While both of us are sure to still plan some things out, I think both of our adventures have taught us that going with the flow won’t kill us and sometimes, the plans we don’t make turn out way better than those we could have possibly laid out for ourselves!

I recently made a whole post just on some of my favorite childhood reads, but the one that stands out the most to me is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I just love the “give and give freely” message it sends to readers of all ages, and I think it’s a lesson that’s so important for all of us to remember as we go through life!

I am 100% addicted to summery contemporary reads, so this is a super hard one for me to answer. The first book that came to mind was The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen, so we’ll go with that one! I loved the summery lake setting and the hilariously relatable characters that, as high schoolers, just wanted to live it up (even to their own detriment sometimes!). Whenever I pick up a summery contemporary, I expect it to bring a smile to my face, and The Rest of the Story kept me smiling from ear to ear throughout the entire novel!

Watching Camryn’s journey to work through her grief and find herself again in J. A. Redmerski’s The Edge of Never was one I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget. Being in your early to mid twenties sure does make life feel like a super tricky maze, but sometimes trying to navigate through it is part of the fun, even if you find it in the unlikeliest of places. Ughh… just writing about this book makes me want to do ANOTHER re-read!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo — ’nuff said. I honestly don’t think I’ve been able to work through this one yet, and I read this book going on three years ago now! I’ve heard that there are plans in the works to have one more in the series that takes place quite a few years down the road from the other two, and I really hope this is the case because I MUST know what the Ketterdam gang is up (and if a certain two characters did end up sparking up a little romance after all!).

As I was thinking up an answer to this question, I realized how many amazing female characters there are in YA and it made my heart so happy! One of my favorites is Katherine from Virginia Boecker’s An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason. She is just such a dynamic character — on one hand, she’s content enjoying her role in Shakespeare’s upcoming play, but on the other, she’s secretly having to come up with a plan to murder the queen. Seeing both sides to Katherine’s character and watching her true, witty and hilarious personality shine through from time to time was just a blast to watch play out. I so wish there was a sequel!

I hardly ever read books that I would consider “haunting,” but I do remember reading Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick many years ago and Britt’s story has remained ingrained in my brain ever since. Getting stuck in a snowstorm, being taken hostage, attempting to escape alive… yeah, I’d say that qualifies as haunting, just in a non-ghostly way!

Mackenzi Lee’s The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy totally fits the bill for this one! Well, the entire Montague Siblings series does, basically, but that’s because these books are so much fun to read! I absolutely adore Lee’s writing style, the quirkiness of the characters, and how any time I open one of these books, I’m completely captivated and feel an overwhelming sense of adventure. Since the release date for the final book keeps getting pushed back, I am yearning hardcore right now for more of these fantastic characters!

I’ve always said that animals are so much better than humans, and I guess this holds true for fictional animals as well because I would totally lay my life down for Bambi the snake from Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Dark Elements series. Not only is she totally dope, but it’s clear that he people love her very much and after a certain EVENT happened in one of the books, I can’t deal with Bambi not getting the chance to live a long, happy life.

I’m so sad to even be typing this, but The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. It’s one of only a handful of books I wasn’t able to finish, and I was so upset because the synopsis was right up my alley. I may try to give it another shot in the future, but that possibility looks grim as of the moment.

That’s it for the Folklore Book Tag! I absolutely love putting together these types of tags because 1) I love music and 2) they make me think super hard about all the books I’ve read so I pick the best ones I can for each question! Agree/disagree with some of my picks, or maybe you’ve done this tag yourself? Leave me a comment below and let’s chat! Drop me links to your versions, as well – I always loving seeing your answers! Until next week, bookish buddies!

May your weekend be full of fun reading with TSwizzle providing a relaxing ambiance in the background 🙂