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 🙂

Bonus Content, Book Tags

The Valentine’s Day Book Tag

Hello, bookish loves, and welcome back to the blog! Since Valentine’s Day is just two short days away, I thought we could celebrate this holiday of love by talking about my very first love: books! This is one of those posts that requires little introduction, so let’s just jump right into this, shall we?

1) Stand alone book you love

Romanov was one of my first reads of 2021, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it/recommending it to anyone who loves strong family dynamics and tales of history blended with a little magic.

2) Dystopian book you love

I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a true dystopian novel, but Legend is one of the few that feels like I just read it yesterday. It was published in 2011, but if you haven’t given Legend a read yet and are itching for a good dystopian read, I highly recommend giving this beaut a try!

3) A book that you love but no one else talks about

It absolutely flabbergasts me that people STILL aren’t talking about this book! It literally had everything I was expecting and more. I laughed out loud on numerous occasions, fell in love with the Shakespearian tie-ins, and was wishing for more of this tale by its end. Just read it so we can chat about it together, you guys!

4) Favorite book couple

This question always gives me legit anxiety to answer because there are SO MANY amazing book couples to choose from! In honor of this being a Valentine’s Day post, I think I’m digging Lara Jean and Peter from Jenny Han’s To All the Boys series. They’re just one of the sweetest fictional couples out there, plus I’ve been dying to give this series a re-read!

5) A book that other people love but you haven’t read yet

Some of you may be having a mini heart attack reading this, but Harry Potter has just never been a good fit for what I’ve always enjoyed reading. No other comments from me on this one other than I am v sorry to disappoint all of you Potterheads. I swear I am a real booknerdigan like the rest of you, but I just don’t think this book/series will end up on my TBR anytime soon.

6) A book with red on the cover

In addition to this cover being the most beautiful shade of red, I am obsessed with this series and can’t believe this is the final book in this world!

7) A book with pink on the cover

This beautiful pink book has been on my TBR for so long, and I really hope 2021 is the year I finally dive into this read!

8) You were given a box of chocolates. What fictional boyfriend would have given them to you?

Daniel from Jenn Bennett’s Serious Moonlight would 100 percent be the guy to go the traditional route (albeit so sweet and delicious!) for a Valentine’s Day gift. And as much as he loves pie, there’s no doubt he has as much of a sweet tooth as I do!

9) You are single on Valentine’s Day. What book would you read? What TV show would you watch? What movie would you watch?

Ha, this is funny because I’ve been single most of the Valentine’s Days I’ve been alive and never thought about any of these questions until right now. I’d probably re-read one of my favorite Jennifer L. Armentrout books, watch some kind of Valentine’s Day-themed Food Network show on TV, and any Hallmark movie because those are always so adorable and romantic.

10) You are in the bookstore. All of the sudden you get shot with an arrow by Cupid. What new release will you love?

Though I haven’t read it yet (just a few days away from its release date, hallelujah!), A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas takes the cake, for sure! I’m wrapping up my re-read of the ACOTAR series as we speak and I cannot contain my excitement without the help of Cupid’s arrow. I think I would be losing my mind if I had actually been shot with one because this read is one of my most anticipated forthe year!

That’s a wrap on the Valentine’s Day Book Tag! Thank you all so much for reading, and I hope you get to spend this beautiful holiday with those you love! What are some books that put you in the Valentine’s Day spirit? Drop me your recommendations below and let’s chat about them!

Until next week, bookish friends! May your weekend be filled with sweet reads and lots of love! ❤

Bonus Content, Book Tags

The Hamilton Book Tag!

One of the things on my bucket list is to see Hamilton live in New York City, but come this very evening, I’ll get to do the next best thing: watch a recording of the real deal on Disney+ while overindulging in all the snacks and singing along (I’m tone-deaf and don’t even care because HAMILTON) to all my favorite songs. And yes, before you ask, I’m getting Disney+ for the sole purpose of watching this musical (judge me if you want, but I am HYPE!). While there’s nothing like seeing a play in a real theater, let’s celebrate this awesome soon-to-be alternative with a fun book tag!

*Maureen Keavy created this tag, so be sure to head over to her YouTube channel to check her version out!*

I think it would be so much fun to spend some time with Andi and her crew from Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings’ Androma Saga, traveling through the Mirabel galaxy. I already felt like I was on a whirlwind of an adventure while reading it, so actually being there experiencing what the characters were would be pretty cool (err, well, the parts where they were not in harm’s way, that it!).

I could pick so many for this one, but Brienna from Rebecca Ross’s The Queen’s Rising has got to take the cake! She’s so driven and works incredibly hard to achieve what she wants, which for the majority of the book is to study a Passion and learn it well enough to be chosen by a Patron to work alongside. I just find her so likable and relatable, and her tenacity served her well when things didn’t go as planned. I’m hoping more people will be able to see how awesome she is in Book #2, The Queen’s Resistance.

I read the Legend series by Marie Lu years ago (it was one of the first series that got me into reading, actually!), and to this day I don’t think I’ve ever seen another character who is as dedicated to their cause as June was when it came to finding her brother’s killer. At only 15 years old when this series kicks off, June has gone through some pretty tough times, and I can honestly say that she rivals, and, in a lot of ways, surpasses so many of the older protagonists in other books in terms of tenacity and motivation to achieve her goals. Pretty incredible at such a young age, if you ask me!

I guess this depends on your definition on “villain,” but Warner from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi takes the cake on this one! He’s so snarky, witty, and charming… ughh. Even when you’re hating on him for being a complete JERK, you still can’t help put feel a twinge of love mixed in there as well! He also has some of the most legendary comebacks of all time, and while I shouldn’t have laughed when he was roasting everyone, I just couldn’t help myself!

This one was a hard one for me because I’ve marathoned a lot of great series, but I think the one that’s the most impressive is the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Somehow I managed to read all six books in under a week. To this day, I have no idea how I managed to do it, but I guess that goes to show you how great of a series it is!

I really enjoyed Rhen and Harper’s alternating perspectives in Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark and Lonely. It was cool to see what was going on in both of their heads considering the circumstance they met under were less than ideal, and I thought it was really fun seeing what Rhen and Harper thought of each other and how those feelings shifted from each of their perspectives (no spoilers, friends! You’ll have to read it for yourselves!).

I know there are lots of Potterheads out there that probably want to punch me for not choosing Harry Potter for this one, but I wanted to be more original than that (and, well, ya see, I haven’t read Harry Potter….), so I’m going to go with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan! One of the things that I think makes this series stand out is that even though it’s technically classified as middle grade, readers across the age spectrum continue to have so much fun giving Percy Jackson a read. Plus, Greek mythology will never go out of style, right?

***ATTENTION! SPOILERS FOR QUEEN OF SHADOWS (THRONE OF GLASS #4 BY SARAH J. MAAS) ARE LAYING BEYOND THIS WARNING! MOVE TO NEXT SECTION OR YOU WILL BE SPOILED!***

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*I MEAN IT! PLEASE PROCEED TO NEXT SECTION TO AVOID SPOILERS! FINAL WARNING, MY FRIENDS!*

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While slightly unconventional, I have to go with Lysandra killing Arobynn Hamel in Sarah J. Maas’ Queen of Shadows. I mean sure, she killed him while he was sleeping, but that man NEEDED TO GO, and it was certainly one of the most satisfying moments of the entire Throne of Glass series for me. It was also one of the first times we really see Lysandra start to fight back against those who made her past pretty miserable, so while it may not have been a true, all-out fight on a battlefield, I think the internal wishy-washi-ness faced by the characters involved in plotting and executing Arobynn’s death still satisfies the “fight scene” aspect of this category!

Whenever I need a little pick-me-up, I always reach for any of the books in Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series. They’re just so sweet, fluffy, and entertaining, and I don’t have to think really hard about the plot– I can just kick back and enjoy the story!

I don’t usually wish that there were more books in a series, but I do find myself wishing that some standalones had sequels (weird, right?). However, there is one series that I’d really like to see more of, and that is the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie. I still remember reading this WAY BACK in 2014, and I loved every moment of it. I would pay big money to get another book in this series because I’d really like to know what kinds of trouble Cassia, Xander, and Ky are getting up to years after their original stories came to a close!

Most BROTPs consist of just two people, but I can’t resist assigning Rhysand, Cassian, and Azriel from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas to this one. Not only do they make a dynamite team, but they’ve also been through so many dark times together, which have only managed to bring them closer together. Unlike the very serious interactions they have with almost everyone else, these guys are always goofing off and making fun of one another when they’re together (err, when they aren’t busy saving Valaris, that is!).

My answer for this one totally has to be the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. For some reason, I decided to read four or five of her other works before I finally decided to pick this series up, and boy was I kicking myself for waiting so long when I finished it YEARS after it came out because it was SO GOOD!

***SPOILERS FROM KINGDOM OF ASH BY SARAH J. MAAS FOLLOW THIS VERY VERY YELL-Y WARNING!***

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*LEAVE NOW. I MEAN IT.*

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No death hit me harder than that of The Thirteen from the Throne of Glass series. Since (I hope) you’ve read it if you’re reading this, I’m not going to elaborate on what went down and relive this terribly heartbreaking moment for myself or you all, but I really hope I’m not the only one who cried all the ugly tears when reading their death scene!

***SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE ENTIRETY OF THE DARK ELEMENTS SERIES BY JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!***

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*LEAVE NOW, PLEASE! THIS SERIES IS SO GOOD. YOU DON’T WANNA GET SPOILED. TRUST ME!*

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Without a doubt when Roth gets sent back into Hell. I mean, yeah, he comes back and he and Layla get their happily ever after, but my heart FREAKING BROKE in the interim because I was convinced he was gone for good!

One plot twist? How about like a million all thrown in at one time (not to mention all the itty bitty ones scattered throughout the book) that managed to give me miniature heart attacks? Yeah, you guessed it– I’m talking about Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, the second book in the Six of Crows duology! I swear Kaz has to be some evil mastermind with all the tricks he has up his sleeve, but I couldn’t help but love every plot twist that was thrown my way over the course of this book!

QOTD: Are you going to be watching Hamilton in the very near future, too, or maybe you’ve already had the chance to go see it live? What did you think? Did it live up to the hype?

I’m encourage anyone who wants to do this tag to go for it! Or, if you’ve already done it, drop your links below so I can check out your answers!