While I struggle through my reading slump and take a bit of a break from reviewing I thought I’d light the spark of inspiration by doing a fun book tag. Today I bring you the This or That book tag. But beware – the spark of inspiration exploded into a roaring, uncontrolled flame and I got a little carried away… This is a bit of a long one – no one sentence answers to be found here. I hope that’s okay but I had a lot of fun and wanted to share some of my opinions with you guys. #sorrynotsorry. So let’s get to know each other, and don’t forget to discuss your own answers with me in the comments below!
So, without further ado – lets get into it! Strap in and pour yourself a cup of tea…
Series or standalone?
Hmmmm… I’m going to have to cheat on this one and vote both. I think that series and standalones have their strengths and weaknesses. On one hand when I get attached and fully invested into a character’s arch I’ll tend to want more and more. Put it this way, it is a well-known fact that I am certified trash for Sarah J. Maas and would read her grocery list. I was beyond thrilled when she announced the continuation of the ACOTAR series and her secondary characters. But, sometimes when I’m suffering from a reading slump or just need a change a standalone can be refreshing.
Magic earned or magic born?
Another difficult one… When done right magic earned can be interesting but I think I prefer magic born. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the character needs to know they were born with magic right from the start. Harry Potter was born a wizard and though he displayed signs of magic he didn’t learn he was a wizard until he was eleven years old. The same can be said for Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass which sees many of the beloved characters revealing in later books their true abilities. I do love the adventures and training montages that come with discovering your inner power and learning to hone it. On the other hand I did love Feyre’s arch in ACOTAR as she is gifted with an immortal body… Still I think magic born.
Enemies to lovers or friends to lovers?
As much as I love friendship which blossoms into something more I am 100% here for love-hate archs. I’m talking Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, Catherine and Heathcliff, Feyre and Rhysand, Aelin and Rowan, Bella and Edward, Katy and Daemon… Should I go on? There’s just something about the intense chemistry and sexual tension that comes from enemies to lovers and the will-they-won’t-they drama.
Hilarious banter or emotional ruin?
Gimme, gimme, gimme that banter! I live for snark, wit and anything that will leave me in stitches or reaching for my phone to make a note of the fabulous lines. Some of my favourite characters in literature have been those whose wit is as sharp as their tongue. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve used one of Will Herondale’s insults, uttered one of Jace Wayland’s one liners or snuck some good ol’ Thomas Cresswell humor into everyday situations. Plus, I don’t think I need to mention just how steamy teasing banter between our OTPs can become. Feysand anyone?
Love triangle or insta-love?
*Hides face in shame and braces myself for the coming mob, pitchforks and whatnot* Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here and express my shameful love for love triangles of any kind. Triangles, squares, hexagons… I love the drama they bring and the tension. Not to mention the feels that are inevitable when the MC chooses your ship. I live for that stuff even if it is a trope that most bloggers avoid like the plague. Also can I just say, I believe that sometimes *hear me out!* they can feel so realistic. I think that anyone who says they haven’t struggled with feeling between two people before are lying their asses off. I know I’ve had that issue. Can you honestly say you haven’t??? Growing up is hard – suddenly you’re maturing into an adult, your developing feelings and crushes and sometimes your faced with the advances of others. It’s so easy to question your feelings towards two people. Especially if they are both incredible individuals! It’s called being human. That being said, a writer does need to handle the triangle/square/whatnot in the right way. They need to be respectful of the characters. One series which does this in the right way is Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy. We loved both Will and Jem and only wanted the best for them.
Keyboard smash names or all names start with the same letter?
Alliteration can be interesting – when done the correct way. A lot of the character names in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books followed this pattern (Moaning Myrtle, Bloody Baron, Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall to name a few) but I still love the unique, fantastical feel of keyboard smash name. I love to some across different and original names that are just as beautiful as those classic names we see all the time. Celaena Sardothien is one name that I just adore – I love the way the play on Selena rolls of the tongue and flows. Actually I love most of the names SJM uses for her characters and the places in her universe.
Mean parents or dead parents
Maybe I’m slightly twisted and evil but I’m going with mean parents because I’m over the lack of parental authority and/or presence in books (and TV for that matter). Why the hell are there never any parents around to keep these characters in check??? I’m telling you – my mum would never have let me get away with half of the stuff some of my favorite MCs do. Plus, dead parents/chosen one trope is one that has been done over and over. I’d much prefer the Disney-like quality and the dynamic between the nastier parents and how that relationship shapes the MC. Also, family abuse is (unfouneatly) a thing and needs to be recognised and discussed. Seeing how our favourite protagonists deal with these situations can help or inspire others in similar positions.
Supermodel looks or constantly says how “plain” they are?
URGH!!! I’m choosing the third option and voting for neither – I DON’T CARE IF I CANT DO THAT. Hollywood and the industry can cause so much damage with their unrealistic display of body image and it has always really bugged me. We are not perfect. We are human beings but our flaws, our scars – that’s what make us truly beautiful. I’m sick of seeing these “supermodel” characters because it’s unrealistic and it causes more harm than good. That being said I hate “Plain” characters even more so. I don’t care if a MC isn’t stunningly attractive – beauty isn’t skin deep. Besides, when we read we fall in love with their souls. We love who they are as a person, their thoughts. I cannot stand those characters who are plain or average but then take every opportunity to shove their insecurities in my face. For example, Lisel from Wintersong… Urgh! She just… Nope, it’s too soon. Basically this character spent every single page whinny about how “ugly” she was and I was not having it. I want characters who are flawed but who love themselves anyway. It’s called self-love and there needs to be a lot more of it in the world.
Face on cover vs. typography on cover?
It really depends because both can be done really well but at the same time both can be done really, really bad. Some of my favorite covers are the simple but effective ones. It doesn’t really matter be they face or typography. Some of my favorite simple covers use silhouettes of the characters like the AUS edition of The Night Circus or even symbols with intricate script like the US edition of Caraval. If it conveys the overall atmosphere of the book and it looks eye catching and pretty on my book shelf I’m happy.
Villain turning a little good or hero turning a little bad?
OMG – *clutches stomach and doubles over in laughter* do you even need me you tell you my answer??? Villain turning a little good 100%!!! For those who know even the slightest bit about me, you’ll know that I have probably an unhealthy obsession with all things Phantom of the Opera and Labyrinth. I am all about the anti-hero, I just love how you can never completely figure them out or pin them down. They are complex, multilayered and I somehow always fall for them. Yes, they do bad things – they are by no means good guys but you can’t help but feel a little compassion for them. In the Final Lair when the Phantom (Erik) lets Christine go… OMFG I just get hit so dang hard in the feels! Not to mention the ball scene in the film Labyrinth – that sexual tension! Maybe it’s just me but villains are so much more interesting than heroes.
Awesome writing with a dull plot or amazing plot with murderously bad writing?
Um, neither? I guess it depends on my current mood. There can be times where a books has an interesting premise but the writing style gets in the way of my reading experience (Roseblood). Then again, I am more of a plot driven reader. I love action, adventure and drama with a fast pace so if there is a lack of plot I’ll get annoyed too (Wintersong). Hmmmm, what to pick!?! Ah, gun to my head… amazing plot? It’s too hard!
Cliffhanger ending or heartbreaking ending?
Maybe I am a seriously messed up person but I love those endings that completely and utterly destroy my soul and leave me reeling. I’m talking ACOMAF, Passenger, The Darkest Minds… I could go on. If a book hits me in those feels and evokes the book hangover I know it was truly an epic read. I love those endings that really make me stop and think, the ones that stay with me long after I’ve turned that last page. I have no patience for cliffhangers.
Breaking the spine or dog-earing the pages?
NEITHER, NEITHER, NEITHER!!! GET THEE AWAY FROM ME, SATAN!!!
“Bad boy” trope or “perfect golden boy” trope as the love interest?
*Please refer to my answer for “Villain turning a little good or hero turning a little bad?”* Bad boy 100% because do we really need to further establish my love for anti-heroes and romantic rebels? The Darkling and Alina, Erik and Christine, Jareth and Sarah, Severus Snape and Lily… Enough said.
– Actually side note: as much as I love a good anti-hero I do not tolerate abusive relationships and won’t appreciate a “bad boy” love interest who abuses the MC. That is not cool.