For the fifth day of Blogmas, I decided to create my own original festive book tag, all about the things you’d sometimes find in a Christmas stocking. This is the first tag I’ve ever created, so I’d be thrilled if you decided to do it.
- Link to the person who tagged you
- Link to me, as I’d love to read your answers
- Answer all 10 questions, choosing books for each theme
- Tag five people to do this
You get up on Christmas morning and your stocking is full! You take it down and start to unwrap the treats inside. The first thing you see is…
An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?
I don’t seem to be able to stop talking about When Dimple Met Rishi at the moment, but that’s because I loved it and I keep remembering how much of fun it was to read. The cover is refreshing because it has a young woman of colour on the front and the story is vibrant and fresh because it explores all the positive aspects of arranged marriage that westerners (particularly white people) tend to ignore. I honestly can’t recommend this book enough.
The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. (Yum) Which book have you recently bought that was a little expensive, but totally worth the price?
My lovely French edition of ADSOM was around €20 (£18), which is more than some hardbacks, but it was 100% worth it. The cover art, internal art, and chapter headers are just stunning and it makes me happy every time I look at my shelves. People say you can’t buy happiness, but apparently you can and it costs €20.
You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.
Two Victoria Schwab books in one post? Yes. We’re going there. My heart almost stopped while reading the action scenes in Vengeful, because they were that intense. (I’m only half joking.) Abilities clashed, gunshots sounded, and chases ensued. Those scenes were some of the most electric I’ve ever read.
Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?
Surprisingly, I found Strange quite a slow starter. For the first few chapters, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about, but then everything changed (
when the fire nation attacked) at around page 50. The main plot kicked in, the action ramped up and I was FULLY ON BOARD.
You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?
I’ve got to call out my girl Alina from the Grisha trilogy because she’s literally the Sun Summoner. Her powers are a symbol to her people that she’ll be the one to drive out the darkness and evil from Ravka and she takes on the burden of their hopes without complaint. We stan a selfless Sankta.
There are socks inside too. Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?
I only read The Handmaid’s Tale for the first time earlier this year, but it was exactly what I expected from a 1980s dystopia. It had twisted morals, public discontent, extreme social hierarchies, patriarchal abuse of power, rampant sexism, and a lone rebel/hero. It’s a dark, but important story.
There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?
This will come as a surprise to exactly 0 of you, but I find Victoria Schwab’s writing process hugely interesting. I find it fascinating that she needs to know the ending of a book before she can start (makes a lot of sense to be honest) and I love seeing her star charts and detailed plans. Watching her IG story updates about her writing process never fails to inspire me. Other honourable mentions go to Laini Taylor for the way she lets the words flow out and doesn’t force them, and Alice Oseman for her character plans and word count updates.
To go with the notebook, there’s a fancy pen. Is there a book or a series that you’d change if you’d written it yourself?
I absolutely adored What If It’s Us, but there’s one scene at the end that I would change ever so slightly if I had the chance. No spoilers, but if you’ve read it, you’ll know which one I mean!
There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?
My friend let me borrow their copy of The Name of the Wind during my second year of university and it took me a while to get to it (I kept putting it off because it was a chunk and I had essays to write), but when I finally did I soared through it. It’s fantastic.
Your pile is getting really big. You reach go to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden gem. Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.
I picked up an ARC of this at YALC in 2017, not knowing anything about it and I didn’t even properly read the Goodreads synopsis before I started it. (I’ve since become a firm believer that this is a good thing not to do sometimes.) But, wow. What a brilliant story. The Arsonist is a story of two girls, divided by time, country, and power, and yet inherently connected. It’s narrated between two POVs over two time periods and it’s utterly brilliant. Stephanie Oates please take my money and write more spine-tingling books.
I had a lot of fun creating this so I hope you enjoyed reading it. In the rules I suggested tagging five people (or as many as you like!) but I’m going to tag a few more, as people said they’d like to be tagged!