I hope we’re all doing well! It’s been a long while since I’ve done a tag, and the lovely Naemi @ A Book Owl’s Corner tagged me in this a few months ago so here I am (finally) getting around to doing it. The tag was created by Ash @ Ink Words & Ash, and I had a lot of fun answering the prompts!
enemies to lovers — a book you formerly hated/disliked but now love
★ Paper Girls ★
summary: In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.
Okay starting off with a tough one! Usually if I dislike a book then I dislike a book, and I’m too stubborn to change my mind. I will say that when I read the first volume of Paper Girls, I didn’t immediately like it. The first volume is pretty confusing (but with gorgeous illustrations) but I was intrigued enough to try to continue the series. I’m glad I did because I enjoyed the rest of the volumes (still quite confusing at times, but very fun!). By the way – I’ve just started watching the tv adaption of the show and it’s so good.
second chance — a book you previously did not finish but now adore
★ Down Comes the Night ★
summary: Wren’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate and cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself.
Unfortunately for Wren, her patient is actually Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Despite this, Wren and Hal are forced to work together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they may have no escape from the monsters within the mansion…
I remember starting the novel just after it was released because many of my friends raved about it, I think I just wasn’t in the mood at the time for something gothic, because I never made it past a few pages before putting it down. I’m glad I tried again because I really enjoyed it; it was so refreshing to have a main character who was both soft and brave. Plus – enemies to lovers! I love when that trope is done right, which it really was here.
love triangle — a duology where you love both the books
★ Six Crimson Cranes & The Dragon’s Promise ★
summary [six crimson cranes]: Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control – catching the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.
Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die. Now, alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do that she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.
My first thought was Six Crimson Cranes; I fell in love with the first book so quickly. Shiori was such a fantastic protagonist and loved her journey and growth that we got to see in both novels. Six Crimson Cranes had somewhat of a slow pace which let me become adjusted to the world and the characters, while The Dragon’s Promise was much more fast-paced to tie up all the plot threads. I thought this duology had a great start and conclusion.
friends to lovers — a book recommended to you that you enjoyed
★ Cover Story ★
summary: After a rough year at NYU, aspiring writer Lora Ricci is thrilled to land a summer internship at ELLE magazine where she meets Cat Wolff, contributing editor and enigmatic daughter of a clean-energy mogul. Cat takes Lora under her wing, soliciting her help with side projects and encouraging her writing.
As a friendship emerges between the two women, leading Lora to be swayed by Cat and becoming her ghostwriter. Writing during the day and accompanying Cat to extravagant parties at night, Lora’s life quickly shifts from looming nightmare to dream-come-true. But as Lora is drawn into Cat’s glamorous lifestyle, Cat’s perfect exterior cracks, exposing an illicit, shady world…
I read this a few months ago and the book still has me reeling. My friends raved about it and just had to pick it up. It was an incredibly fast-paced mystery/thriller that I just couldn’t put down.
I loved the format – it’s basically a mixed media book as the story is primarily told through diary entries, with email extracts and texts and social media to add to the story.
insta-love — a book you knew you would love (at first sight!)
★ Cemetery Boys ★
summary: Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death without tying up some loose ends first. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
This was one of my anticipated releases back in 2020, and I just knew I would fall in love with it. And I did! I adored Yadriel, he was such a wonderful protagonist, and the story and the magic were all so well-written. It’s a perfect blend of mystery and magic and romance, and so much character development! I’m so excited about the sequel too (from Julian’s pov!!!).
the chosen one — your all-time favourite (of the year/month)
★ The Space Between Worlds ★
summary: Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.
On this Earth, however, Cara has survived – but trouble finds Cara when she is sent into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.
At the moment, I’m still thinking and obsessing over how good The Space Between Worlds was. This will definitely be on my favourites list for 2022.
I don’ typically delve into sci-fi, or enjoy it too much, but this one was fantastic. There was dimension-jumping and mystery and action, and so much character development, that overall made for a great ride. I’m sure I’ll still be singing praises about the gorgeous writing and fascinating plot (and such a fun unique take on the multiverse!) for months to come.
forbidden love — a loved book you don’t talk about often
★ Circe ★
summary: Circe is a strange child–neither powerful like her father nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power: the power of witchcraft. Banished to a deserted island, she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts, and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Medea, and Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians.
This is a tough one because I don’t know which books I don’t mention that much! I’m assuming everyone knows of my immense love for The Song of Achilles, but I don’t think I’ve spoken much about Miller’s other novel, Circe.
Miller’s writing is even more expressive and beautiful in Circe, and easily weaves together all the threads of Circe’s myth into a well-written story.
secret billionaire — a book you read and enjoyed before you knew it was popular
★ Red, White, and Royal Blue ★
summary: First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.
Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
The thing about being in online book spaces is that I usually am aware of what books are popular, or have a feel for what books are going to be popular once they’re released.
However, back when I was getting back into reading in the beginning of 2020, I decided to pick up RWRB, without any idea of the reception it had gotten. If I’m remembering correctly, I first heard about RWRB from a meme I saw on tumblr and I was curious enough to give it a go. I enjoyed it so much and it kickstarted my love for books again, and was pleased to see that so many other people had also enjoyed it.
And, suffice to say, that book is incredibly popular – currently with over 500k ratings on goodreads. Not to mention it’s currently being made into a movie
though I have many thoughts about this.
found family — your most cherished books!
★ The Song of Achilles ★
summary: Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.
They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.
I almost put The Atlas Six here, no surprise knowing my love for it, but I thought I would provide a blast from the past and mention The Song of Achilles again. Another book I read in 2020, The Song of Achilles easily made a place in my heart when I read it.
I’m always interested in reading retellings/reimaginings of mythology, but what I loved the most about TSOA was the writing. Miller has a beautiful way of writing, it’s so lyrical and beautiful and quiet, and it was easy to flow through the story. Patroclus was an amazing main character; I have a soft spot for the quiet and sweet protagonists, the unsung heroes, so it was lovely to see Patroclus getting the spotlight. It’s a heartwrenching book, and one I still think of fondly.
forced proximity — a required-reading book you read and enjoyed
★ Macbeth ★
summary: One night on the heath, the brave and respected general Macbeth encounters three witches who foretell that he will become king of Scotland. At first sceptical, he’s urged on by the ruthless, single-minded ambitions of Lady Macbeth, who suffers none of her husband’s doubt. But seeing the prophecy through to the bloody end leads them both spiralling into paranoia, tyranny, madness, and murder.
I knew I would have to include Macbeth when I saw this prompt. A lot of the required reading texts were not ones I really enjoyed, despite my love for English class in general, but I thought Macbeth was fantastic and loved the lessons when we covered it.
It was the first tragedy by Shakespeare I had read, and I loved how eerie and atmospheric it was. It was also the first time I saw a female protagonist who was vindictive and villainous and ambitious, all of which made me love Lady Macbeth and the play overall.
Thank you for reading!
Let me know what your answers would be!