BoJack Horseman Book Tag! // Original

bojack horseman

So, to celebrate the release of the new series of BoJack Horseman, I wanted to do a book tag related to the show but I couldn’t find any so I guess I’m going to create my own! I don’t think it’ll be good enough for other people want to do but, if you do, remember to tag me so I can read your responses to the questions!

bojack

BoJack Horseman: Name a Book You Loved With an Unlikeable Main Character

I really enjoyed The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I like that it put the focus on the peers of the Chosen One and what its like to watch it from the outside without having any insider information, which I thought was unique and interesting, and I love love love Patrick Ness…but oh my god, the main character was annoying. Maybe it’s because he’s a lot like me and I annoy myself.

diane

Diane Nguyen: A Character You Feel is Misunderstood

I don’t know if this is a popular or unpopular opinion, but I think Tori Spring from Solitaire/Heartstopper Volumes One and Two by Alice Oseman is SUPER misunderstood. A lot of people didn’t like her and thought she was too cynical and pessimistic, but I think she was just…you know, sad. I enjoyed reading about someone who thinks the way I do and depression is different in everyone, and she absolutely deserved more love than she received.

mr peanutbutter

Mr. Peanutbutter: Name a Book You Just LOVE

I have a feeling a lot of people would pick the same answer, or Harry Potter, but The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s just a masterpiece that I don’t want to see turned into a movie, because it wouldn’t achieve anything close to the spectacular standards this book set itself. It’s just amazing how it managed to appeal to such a wide variety of people from all walks of lives with such a different set of tastes. Absolutely a classic.

todd

Todd Chavez: Name Your Favourite Book Featuring an Asexual Character

I have two answers for this one! The first one is Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. If you have the ability to, I really recommend reading this on an audiobook because it feels and sounds like a fairytale. It’s so fun and adventurous. My second answer is Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, especially since the asexuality came as a complete shock to me, as nobody told me it would be in there and it was a wonderful surprise.

princess-carolyn.jpg

Princess Carolyn: Name a Fiercely Determined Character

Ooh, I think Denise from On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis. I love how she fought so hard to get what she needed and wanted. She didn’t just fight for herself, either, she did a lot of it for her mother and sister. She’s one of my favourite characters in any book, ever. She’s just so kind and brave and a lot like Princess Carolyn, but a little less manipulative and sometimes quite mean. Sorry, Princess Carolyn, I love you anyway!

sarah lynn

Sarah Lynn: What’s a Book That Really Took You on a Journey?

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman which, for some reason, took me such a long time to read even though my school library had the entire series in their stock. I always passed them wanting to read them, but I never got around to it. I somehow managed to avoid any spoilers, and wow what a ride that was.

wanda

Wanda Pierce: What’s Your Favourite Historical Fiction Book?

Historical fiction really isn’t my favourite genre, but occasionally I do find a book among the genre that makes me keep on reading it. I can’t choose Evelyn Hugo again (well, I could, but that would be boring) so I’ll pick a different one! Although it’s by the same author, I did really enjoy Daisy Jones and the Six and it introduced me into the world of older rock bands and how could I not love a book that introduced music into my life?

 

I really hope you like it. I’m not a very creative person and I’m not very good at doing things, so I’m not going to be offended if nobody wants to do the tag, and I’m sorry to any other BoJack Horseman lovers who already created a book tag for this and I just couldn’t find it! Let me know if there are any.

Until next time,

A.W

My Least Favourite Tropes!

overdone tropes

Hello! I know this was a Thursday discussion prompt a little bit ago, but I’m pants at keeping up with things like that, especially when there’s a specific day you need to use it on so I’m just going to use some of the prompts and make posts seperate from the Thursday discussion posts – but, if you think it sounds familar, now you know why!

So, I’m going to start  with some tropes I don’t like in typical YA and then I’ll make another post for tropes I hate from horrors/thrillers that I read, because I feel like that can cover it’s own topic by itself really. Also, it’s October, it really fits in with the theme.

You can find the original discussion posts on Ally Writes Things

NOT ALL GIRLS

Of course, more and more people are speaking up on how they hate this trope, so we see it a lot less in YA than we used to (at least, from my perspective). When I do see it, though, it annoys me. You being “not like other girls” doesn’t make you special –  actually, I would love to know why you would want to divide yourself from other girls just to impress some medocre high school boy.

LOVE TRIANGLES

I know some people just loooove the tension and suspense this can add to the story, but personally it just bugs me. I wish they would just get into a polyamarous relationship together and call it a day.

MISCOMMUNICATION CAUSING CONFLICT

I know in young relationships, romantic or platonic, miscommunication will happen. It happens all the time, no matter your age (but I feel like it happens less frequently as we get older and learn that actually communication is quite important). When it’s the only conflict in the novel, though? Like Ally said, it just feels like lazy writing.

THE CHOSEN ONE

As much as I love books like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, the idea of there being one “chosen one” strikes me as a bit ridiculous. Sure, in a world of dragons and sea monsters and actual Greek Gods, maybe my prime concern shouldn’t be what’s realistic or not – but I can believe unicorns. One thirteen year old boy out of billions of people is the ONLY one that can save the world? That’s reaching.

SEXUAL ASSAULT/RAPE

Let me expand on this by saying, sometimes, this is pretty vital for the story. It’s important to share the stories of people who have had this happen, to talk about how little people who have been assaulted are believed, etc. I think my problem with this arises when it’s used as a conflict, or when it’s used to build strength within a character. Just no.

BEAUTIFUL BUT UNAWARE OF THIS

This trope doesn’t actually bother me when the person in question is not conventionally attractive and would, therefore, not have been told their entire life that they are in fact beautiful. When it is a conventionally attractive person, which is usually is, it’s like “…there’s no way this tall, skinny blond with perfect skin doesn’t know she’s attractive”. Body dysmorphia are a thing, and everyone feels insecurities, but it feels overdone to me. Like, an effort to make the male love interest feel more empowered and important by him being what makes her feel beautiful and not her friends, her family and herself. Kind of like the writer is making the female character rely on the male character, and it just doesn’t feel right to me.

 

So, these are just some of the tropes I really don’t like in young adult! Stay tuned for the horror/thriller tropes I hate. Which ones do you agree with and which tropes do you hate?

Until next time,

A.W

eARC / The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason / Is it REALLY Haunted?

the wayward girls

Summary

The Girls meets The Little Stranger in this dark and captivating debut about sisterhood, family secrets, and a dangerous game that becomes all too real.

THEN
1976. Loo and her sister Bee live in a run-down cottage in the middle of nowhere, with their artistic parents and wild siblings. Their mother, Cathy, had hoped to escape to a simpler life; instead the family find themselves isolated and shunned by their neighbours. At the height of the stifling summer, unexplained noises and occurences in the house begin to disturb the family, until they intrude on every waking moment . . .

NOW
Loo, now Lucy, is called back to her childhood home. A group of strangers are looking to discover the truth about the house and the people who lived there. But is Lucy ready to confront what really happened all those years ago?

What I Liked:

  • I liked how it jumped from the past to the present day
  • It kept you questioning whether or not the house was really haunted, especially towards the end
  • The writing style was engaged
  • It was told in the setting of an isolated farm, making every feel that little bit more eerie
  • The sibling interactions were really interesting and compelling, I still don’t know if they loved each other or hated each other

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The ending was rushed so I didn’t know what the author thought about what really happened at the farm (maybe that was the point?)
  • It reminded me of the Netflix show, The Haunting of Hill House, and what I wanted the book to be and the book never really turned out that way
  • There were too many characters to keep track of
  • The book was 480 pages long, which in my opinion is WAY too long for a paranormal horror
  • It was hard to keep track of who was narrating the chapters, especially because it wasn’t actually stated at the start of each chapter who it was and their voices were so similar so you just had to look for things that stood out, such as interests and family relations, to know who they are

 

Overall, I gave this a three our of five stars. I got this from NetGalley in exchange for a review. I’m still not sure if I would reccommend it, but I’m sure it’s many peoples’ cups of tea and it’s not that I didn’t like it, I think I just had different expectations.

Until next time,

A.W

eARC Review / SLAY by Brittany Morris / Similar to Ready Player One, But Much Better

slay

Summary

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process

What I Liked:

  • EVERYTHING – main character was really likable, gamer girls, coding, discussions, intersectional feminism, amazing f/f friendships, a beautiful female sibling relationship, good parental figures…
  • This was clearly written for black people by a black person and about black people/culture, and even though I’m white this is 100% a positive because the YA literature world is so white and we need more stories like this out there
  • It had an equal balance of entertaining and engaging
  • Kiera has a great personality – she’s passionate, loving, kind, and always tries to see the good in people even when they really don’t deserve that, but she’s still realistic alongside her optimisim
  • The sisters argued a lot but, when it mattered, they had each others’ backs and had a strong love for each other which feels like a more realistic sibling dynamic
  • I really wished SLAY actually existed because, although I wouldn’t be able to play it, it sounds incredible and amazing

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The ending felt really rushed, especially with such a build up towards the ending, but that’s basically the only negative thing I can say about it, and that the pacing in general was a little off – but with how incredible the rest of the book is, you hardly notice that

 

I’ve noticed a lot of hype around this already but there needs to be a LOT more, it deserves as much hype as Evelyn Hugo, I promise (although that book was perfection, I know). Even if you don’t like gaming, coding or action packed books this will probably still appeal to you. I gave this four out of five stars but I’ll probably boost this up to five stars soon.

Until next time,

A.W

REVIEW / Words on Bathroom Walls / Julia Walton / A Teen With Psychosis Attending a Catholic School?

words on bathroom walls

Summary

Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He sees and hears people who aren’t there: Rebecca, a beautiful girl who understands him; the Mob Boss, who harasses him; and Jason, the naked guy who’s unfailingly polite. It should be easy to separate the real from the not real, but Adam can’t. Still, there’s hope. As Adam starts fresh at a new school, he begins a drug trial that helps him ignore his visions. Suddenly everything seems possible, even love. When he meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the great guy that she thinks he is. But then the miracle drug begins to fail, and Adam will do anything to keep Maya from discovering his secret.

Things I Like

  • I don’t see psychosis representation in young adult books very often at all, or really in any kind of book, so this representation was awesome – it’s not OwnVoices, but the author did a lot of research and has someone with psychosis I really liked the representation although mine is mostly audio
  • It was really informative about the stereotypes of scizophrenia and what it actually is as well as some good facts to understand about them, including what kind is the most common and their suicide rates as well as ways you can help instead of being a part of the problem
  • It has a very unusual storytelling style where Adam is writing in a journal aimed at his therapist as he is non-verbal in his sessions, so he becomes angry at you and you as a reader sort of…become the therapist, which was really interesting
  • Adam has absolutely no filter, and he is very honest, which I personally really liked about him and it made him more likable and realistic as a character, and he’s also very self aware which I feel is rare in mental health books but also rare in most YA novels, as well
  • Talks about how some medications you try for a mental illness might not work but that doesn’t mean other medication you try will also not work
  • The romantic relationship in this book was…pretty realistic. They both sort of had the ideals of a relationship that you’d expect in two disfunctional teenagers, and I don’t personally see many realistic romantic relationships portrayed in YA like this…although sometimes I do also like how they can be unrealistic, but that’s a whole discussion post for another time
  • It has some pretty humourous moments, providing relief for the other moments that are otherwise emotionally heavy
  • How it reassured me and others with psychosis that just because it’s happening in your head doesn’t make it any less real

Things I Didn’t Like

  • It used some language that I consider offensive/problematic and that didn’t really need to be used in the story, especially when later on in the story he would contradict himself by explaining why it’s problematic while still contributing towards it
  • I did not enjoy the sex scenes, which isn’t a reflection on the book but more so my own personal tastes
  • His girlfriend, Maya, was spoken about like she would be the cure for his mental illness but as the story progresses we know that she isn’t and she’s just there to support him and add something positive to his life which I feel was a positive way to interconnect a relationship in a mental health story

 

As you can probably tell, I absolutely had more positive emotions about this than I did negative, and I would absolutely say this is reccommend but be warned beforehand that this does have some offensive language used (but I think he had character development)

Until next time,

A.W

REVIEW / Toil and Trouble by Various Authors / 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft

toil and trouble

Authors: Jessica Spotswood, Tess Sharpe, Brandy Colbert, Zoraida Cordova, Andrea Cremer, Kate Hart, Emery Lord, Elizabeth May

Summary

A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era. Are you a good witch or a bad witch? Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth. History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations. Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.
A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane. From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely–has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored

What I Liked:

  • Witches!
  • The diversity in this was super good and showed different perspectives, a different voice and a different writing style to every story that each had a different message but were all equally powerful
  • It was intersectionally feminist, which I really enjoyed
  • It had queer witches!! (f/f, as well, and included polyamory)
  • Each story was really interesting, and educational on the history of witches without really knowing you were being educated
  • Really highlights the power that women posess

What I Didn’t Like:

  • I wished some of these stories were more developed and weren’t short stories, because they’re so good and it’s hard to cover such a large subject in such a short amount of time
  • Some of the stories had a lot of references to social media, and some makes sense because social media is a big part of our world but constantly is a little overkill
  • I didn’t like that pretty much every story was about romance, I don’t feel like every story needed romance in it, and although I believe a woman can be romantically involved with whoever she likes and still be powerful and strong I would have really liked at least one or two stories where romance wasn’t key to the character

TRIGGER WARNINGS; Rape/sexual assault, confinement, rape victim blaming, abuse, violence, blood, gore, fire, death, racism, sexism, homophobia, child birth, animal death, animal death descriptions, parental loss, bullying, labour camps

 

So, next time I read something involving short stories, I should probably take note on each indivudual story as each voice and each plot and tale was different to one another and I don’t think lumping them together and reviewing them like this is fair or accurate but overall I enjoyed this and I should have probably looked up the trigger warnings beforehand, but it was great. I would reccomend it.

Until next time,

A.W

 

The Song Request Book Tag

Yay! I was tagged this time! I was tagged by Rosie at RosieFreckleReads, a good friend of mine, and this tag is about two of my favourite things – music and books. Hopefully this doesn’t reveal too much about my embarassing music tastes.

Rules

  • Thank and link back to tagger (done!)
  • Credit to Daniel @ Page to Page
  • Listen to tagger’s song requests! After you’ve done listening to the three songs the person who tagged you has chosen, choose a book that you think goes best with that song and tell us why you chose it
  • Request three songs of your own! Give any three songs (and your corresponding book choices that think go well with said song) and wait for your taggers to listen and respond!

So, the songs that Rosie has tagged for me to link a book to (her spotify was shuffled so these are random songs, which is an idea I’m going to steal):

  1. Look What You Made me Do by Taylor Swift
  2. Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner
  3. Angels by The XX

Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift

(Video)

I really like this song! It makes me think of someone who has been abused and hurt, but rose from the pain stronger than they were before and they want to take revenge out on the person who hurt them – kind of like a villian as Rosie said, but also maybe like someone who is tough and hard.

Although I didn’t enjoy it, the first book I thought of was Heartless by Marissa Meyer as it is about a girl who went through hardships and became the Queen of Hearts.

It also made me think of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi as they stole the magic away, so she goes on this trek with a couple of other people in order to reclaim her magic back.

Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner

the seven husbands of evelyn hugo

This one throws me back! I remember singing along to this when I was back in school. This one is talking about someone who is of course cooler than him. Well, Mike thinks she thinks she’s cooler than him. This makes me think of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I think this is because Evelyn Hugo was just so…cool, and everyone else thought so too. I always thought she’d be the sort of person that would walk into a room and everyone would stop talking.

Angels by The XX

(video)

the sun is also a star

This is the first time I’ve heard this song and…that was heartbreaking and emotional, but it’s exactly the kind of music I enjoy. So, considering it’s about being deeply in love but not being able to stay together this is definately The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon as the book is about how they fell in love in a day but they couldn’t really stay together forever the way they should have done.

 

So those are my choices! Now for my music. I’m just going to put my Spotify on shuffle and see what comes up:

  1. Bury a Friend by Billie Elish

my sister the serial killer

This one instantly made me think of My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite as the song talks about death a lot and how she doesn’t think people should be friends with her as she gives the impression she is dangerous and shouldn’t be someone you should be friends with. That probably isn’t what the song is about, but it’s how I interpret it. In the book, she is caring for her sister and enabling and protecting her even though she’s a serial killer and is after someone she is in love with.

  1. Photograph by Ed Sheeran

red white and royal blue

This one makes me think of Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston because this song always makes me feel strong love, and how he wants to preserve the memory into a photograph because our actual memories over time will fade and taint it. The love between Alex and Henry reminds me of this song, and I’d like to think they’d slow dance to this at their wedding.

  1. Nothing Without You by Emma Blackery

a monster calls

This song is about love and heartbreak and how someone who loves you can shape you into who you needed to be and, although they may be gone now, their love will last because the effect they had on your life won’t leave with them. At least, that’s how I personally interpret the song, but you can interpret it any way you like. Honestly, this kind of makes me think of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness because his mother shapes him into who he needed to be and she’s gone now but just because she’s gone doesn’t mean she’s really gone.

 

Yay! That tag was actually extremely fun to do. Not that I don’t enjoy all the tags I do, but this one was especially fun as it combined my two interests. I have nobody to tag but if you want to do this then feel free! Please tag me because I want to see what books you would reccomend for the songs I chose, or you can do in the comments if you don’t want to make a blog post – I’m really curious!

Until next time,

A.W