While this post doesn’t follow my traditional book review format, I am still reviewing, albeit swift-ly (see what I did there?!), and hopefully I inspire you to read some of these books!
Okay, so here’s the gist:
Purely Olivia’s Wonderstruck Book Tag prompts you to choose books that are inspired by the songs of Taylor Swift that she loves. If you wan’t to read more about her inspiration for creating this tag, see the link above, or just click here! There are a few guidelines:
- Link back to the creator (Purely Olivia)
- Answer as many or as few of the questions as you’d like
- Feel free to use any of the graphics in this post (I used the headings for each song, provided by Purely Olivia)
- Tag however many people you’d like at the end!
Let’s get to it!
I didn’t honestly know what I was getting into when I first read this book, back before it was a major best seller and the hype for it had blown up to epic proportions.
This was my second John Green novel – the first I ever read was An Abundance of Katherines, which I did like a lot – but I was completely blown away by The Fault in Our Stars. Hazel’s and Augustus’ relationship was so sweet and so loving, but Green still had to stomp on my heart after making me fall in love with these two. Boy, this book was a heart-breaker for sure.
I first read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle as an ARC. I was so intrigued by the premise: a murder, a man having to relive the same day over and over all while trying to solve the mystery, Gosford Park meets Agatha Christie (two of my favorite things!). I honestly had to get my hands on this book.
And I whipped through it, too, it was such a page turner! The twists and the turns kept me up at night. Even after I was finished reading this book, I could not stop thinking about it. I recommended it to everyone I knew. I still think about it to this day. This is a book that’s going on my re-read list (a hard to attain feat, since I barely have time to re-read things because I’m always picking up new books).
If you haven’t read it, please give it a look. It’s fabulous.
Rae Carson has a gift for storytelling. Her Gold Seer Trilogy is fantastic, each and every book is pure gold (yes, I went there). The first book in the series, Walk the Earth a Stranger is pure magic. It’s got historical fiction: it’s takes place in the gold rush era. It’s got magic: Lee has the ability to sense gold, which is both awesome and incredibly dangerous. It’s got adventure: a wagon ride to the west.
Honestly the cinematic possibilities for this book are endless. If this were made into I movie, I would fully expect my breath to be taken away by it. With the right cast and the right directer, and well adapted screenplay, this could be a major hit. I would love to see this brought to the big screen.
Honestly, there are so many books that could fall into this category, and there are plenty of books that I have not read yet but are on my TBR that I would have put here, but alas, I must choose one – and one that I’ve actually read.
I chose Emergency Contact because I love the color scheme, I love the graphic look of the two characters, and I love the gold foiling. It all comes together to make a really gorgeous cover. I’m a sucker for minimalist covers, and the simple color palette and the starkness of it is really appealing to me.
It’s a fantastic book, too. Choi’s character development is spot on and the story is original and relatable. I also appreciate her treatment of mental illness and the anxieties that come with growing up. It’s a very real, contemporary story with a cute romance that will surprise you with its freshness.
I know that this book is generally loved – it has an average rating of 4.04/5 stars on Goodreads. But still, if you look through the comments, there are many 1 or 2 stars and some of my good friends who have read this book have disliked it, citing many reasons, from the fact that it doesn’t live up to it’s jacket cover description, to it’s back and forth time jumping, to being boring.
Here’s what I know: when I read The Night Circus, I fell in love with it. Not only does Morgenstern create a completely unique world, it’s beautiful. Unbelievably so. The cast of characters is also amazing and so diverse. I loved learning about each of them and as a whole, they make a truly imaginative ensemble and this book wouldn’t be half so great without them.
While the “fierce” competition is not quite as thrilling as people might be expecting when they crack this book open, I feel that the magic and the spellbinding story are enough to hold attention and capture the imagination. I absolutely love Marco and Celia, and their abilities are fascinating and wonderful and their love is tragically romantic.
A quick side note: if you love Harry Potter, you probably know who Jim Dale is (he reads the American audiobooks for the series). If you want a special treat, listen to the audio of this book because marvelous, fantastic Jim Dale is the reader and it’s amazing.
I’m pretty sure I read every Sharon Creech book I could get my hands on when I was younger. She was my go-to storyteller and Walk Two Moons forever changed me because it introduced me to twist endings. Honestly, if I were more of a crier when I was younger, I probably would have cried when reading this book. It is so heartbreaking and touching and I absolutely adored Salamanca Tree Hiddle and all I wanted was to have hair long enough that I could sit on it, just like her.
This book brings back so many memories of childhood. I honestly had so many books come to mind for this prompt, but in the end I knew I had to pick a Sharon Creech story (I was so close to choosing Chasing Redbird, so I’m going to sneak in this recommendation real quick because you should read this book too, if you haven’t!). Walk Two Moons is a classic and it deserved all the honors it received.
In anticipation of the movie coming out, I picked The Martian up, not really knowing what to expect. I was blown away.
Mark Watney is hilarious and instantly relatable. His narrative voice is so perfect and completely unexpected! When you think you’re about to read a science fiction drama, Mark comes out of left field and completely flips the table on you. He’s a scientist and is funny as hell. Using his humor to make the best of a bad, a very, very bad situation, he regales you with his steps to surviving on Mars, relaying science in such an accessible way that you won’t get bogged down by the details and you won’t even believe this is fiction!
I finished this book in two days, which is impressive for me (a slow reader) and Mark had me laughing all the way. It’s such a great book and you get sucked in immediately. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s definitely on my re-read list.
Honestly, how could I not put the fantastic Jane Austen in here? Of all the classics, I never tire of this story and I absolutely love Austen’s witty commentary on the social classes of England. She’s legitimately the best at it. I adore her.
Pride and Prejudice was the first book I read by her. I’ve since read many of her other books and I love each one of them. Though Northanger Abbey is my favorite, I went with good old P&P because, honestly, it’s the one people think of first when they think of a Jane Austen classic.
If you’re not a fan of the fabulous Elizabeth Bennet, I don’t know what we could possibly talk about and we’ll simply have to agree to disagree.
So this might be an out of left-field choice, but books are favorites for a reason, and Ella Enchanted is one of my favorite books (of all time) and it deserves some recognition in this category.
Perhaps Gail Carson Levine has spoiled me for any love that doesn’t develop out of friendship. Ever since I read about Ella and Prince Charmont, I absolutely cannot imagine a better pairing. Not only do Ella and Char respect each other, but they also deeply admire each other and their friendship is so deep and true. I’ll never read a more romantic love letter than the one Char writes to Ella when he realizes that he’s in love with her. It’s one of the sweetest, most beautiful things and I absolutely have to quote it here:
“What a beautiful bride you’ll be, whomever you marry at whatever age. And what a queen if I am the man! Who has your grace? Your expression? Your voice? I could extol your virtues endlessly, but I want you to finish reading and answer me quickly.”Char, Ella Enchanted, pg. 181-182
Isn’t that just beautiful? And that’s only part of it! They are both such strong characters and they truly suit each other in every way. If you haven’t read this book, I emphatically urge you to pick it up immediately. It’s short, it’s sweet, it’ll knock your socks off.
Gail Carson Levine is the queen of strong female characters and Ella is the best female empowerment character I’ve ever read.
I knew before I started this tag that I’d end up putting Harry Potter on here somewhere. I began this series as a child, but I grew up with it as it was being published, and I would wait impatiently for each installment to come out, sometimes standing in line at midnight to get my hands on a copy.
I was obsessed with it then, I’m obsessed with it now. J. K. Rowling’s world of witchcraft and wizardry is pure magic (oh yeah, I said it). I fell in love with these characters, with Hogwarts, and this story is clearly a classic in the making. I think we can all thank Harry Potter for starting the fandom movement, because really, when I was a kid, such things did not exist. If you aren’t a Potterhead, who even are you?
P.S. If you’re wondering, I’m a Ravenclaw.
This is so frustrating – I was totally sidelined by Crooked Kingdom because I absolutely loved Six of Crows. So when I cracked it open I was devastated because it was going so well and then my favorite character gets bumped off, out of the blue and completely unnecessarily and it has forever pitted me against any book Bardugo puts out. If you want, read this article where she discusses the necessity of killing off my favorite character and I think it’s hogwash (can you tell I’m mad?).
If you haven’t read her first series Shadow and Bone, (the universe of which Six of Crows is a part), check it out. The world is interesting, though I’m not the biggest fan of the characters in this series. I’ve since learned that Bardugo has a tendency to let me down with each successive book in a series she writes.
With Crooked Kingdom, I was so upset that I vowed never to pick up another of her books again (unless under extreme recommendation from close friends who know me well).
I will say this, it’s the mark of a good author to get me to care so much for characters that I’m absolutely destroyed when they’re killed. I was destroyed and honestly I’m still not over it.
So there you have it!
This was a blast to do and I hope I’ve done the tag justice. What do you think? What would you choose for these prompts? Do you agree with any of mine? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.
I’d love to tag some peeps to boost this tag, but I’m new to the review/blog sphere and I’m just getting my footing. But, if you read the post and you’ve got your own blog I would love for you to keep this tag going. Just follow the instructions from the top and as always, keep reading!