Tags

The #NotAll Book Tag

Thanks so much to Norees @ No Reads Too Great for tagging me! Also, thanks to the Orangutan Librarian for creating this #notall book tag in the first place. This is such a fun idea for a tag, so let’s dive right in!

#NotAll Cover Changes || A cover change you liked

Normally I’m not a fan of cover changes that involve movie adaptations, but the new cover of Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman is perfect. I love how simple it is and how the solid blue background really make the people and the typography pop.

#NotAll Adaptations || An adaptation you love more than the book

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I enjoyed the book, but after watching the movie I knew it would be my favorite of the two. Not only was the film beautifully done, but the soundtrack is also incredible. I still listen to it years after having seen the film for the first time in theaters.

#NotAll Tropes || A trope you’ll never tire of seeing

BOARDING SCHOOLS. If you’ve been around this blog long enough, then you’re probably already aware of my adoration of books set at boarding schools, summer camps, etc. There’s just something about these kinds of settings that I love (lots of kids, little supervision, plenty of shenanigans, etc.).

#NotAll Insta-Love || You insta-loved this insta-couple

Usually I really dislike insta-love situations, but I couldn’t help rooting for Westley and Princess Buttercup from the very beginning of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. I couldn’t think of a more stereotypically picturesque couple!

#NotAll Love Triangles || An example of a love triangle done well

This is a tricky one because I really dislike love triangles. Perhaps an exception would be Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, although I guess that novel technically involves a love square. 

#NotAll Parents || Bookish parents that actually parent

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I listened to the audio book version of this beloved classic a few months ago for the first time and couldn’t help but adore Marilla and Matthew. How could you not after reading this adorable book?

#NotAll Villains || A villain you love

I think he technically counts as more of an anti-hero than a villain, but I’m still going to go with Victor from Vicious by V.E. Schwab. There’s just something about his wit and ambiguity that makes him fascinating to read and think about, even years after I read the book for the first time.

#NotAll Chosen Ones || A chosen one you can get behind

Sophie from Roald Dahl’s The BFG. I want to be chosen to hang out with the BFG! Pick me! Please?! (As you can probably imagine, this was Young Holly’s childhood dream.)

#NotAll Hyped Books || A hyped book that lived up to the acclaim

One of my worst bookish pet peeves is when a book is spoiled by unrealistically high expectations. Fortunately, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley lived up to all of the hype and more. Such a bizarre, hilarious, thought-provoking novel!

#NotAll *Insert Favorite Genre* || A book you’re not keen on from your favorite genre

It’s no surprise that I LOVE classic literature. However, I must admit that I simply do not enjoy reading Ernest Hemingway’s novels. There’s just something about his choppy, terse writing style that grinds my gears.

#NotAll *Insert Least Favorite Genre* || A book you liked from a genre you don’t often read

I’m not sure I actually have an answer to this question! I tend not to read anything from my least favorite genres, so I think I’ll have to pass!

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Character Names {For Plants}

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is supposed to be Best Character Names; however, as per usual I’ve decided to put my own spin on it. A few years ago I made a Top Ten Tuesday list of Characters I’d Name My Plants After, which was a blast. Today I’d like to do a similar list along those lines, so I’ll be sharing ten character names for plants. {Shout out to my plants back at home in the States– hope you’re still alive on my window sill!}

What are some of your favorite character names (for plants or otherwise)? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

Location Book Tag

I hope you’ve all had a lovely week! Today I’m here with the Location Book Tag from ages ago (I was tagged in the summer, I think). Thanks so much to Charlotte Annelise for tagging me!!

1. You’re sat in a coffee shop trying to read when a group of excited six year olds come in with their parents and begin screaming in the play area. Which book can you push past the noise and lose yourself in?

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. Not only is this book incredibly suspenseful and gripping, but it’s also such a fun story. I could block out any and all noise while reading this!

2. Your (rich) friends dare you to spend the night in a haunted house for an undisclosed but inevitably large sum of money. Which book do you bring to distract yourself with?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Imagine reading Frankenstein in such a spooky atmosphere! It’s kind of like the time I read Stephen King’s The Shining while staying at a lodge on a mountain in the wintertime…

3. Though the landscapes are beautiful, your delayed train journey is starting to drag. Which book do you take out?

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. While reading this book I couldn’t help but think about the beautiful landscape it must have taken place in.

4. It’s beach time! You have your family and friends around you and don’t want to miss out on the conversation too much but still want to read. Which book do you choose?

Probably something I’ve read before and loved, such as The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg. I’ve read this book so many times that I feel like I know it by heart at this point!

5. You’re backstage ready for your big emotional scene but the tears just won’t come. Which book do you get out to make you cry?

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. This collection of poetry is so emotional, raw, and honest that it’s bound to make me tear up at times.

6. You’re camping in the woods with your friends and you’re the first to wake up. Which book do you read under the early morning light?

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. This lovely story set in a magical woods would be perfect to read from a cozy sleeping bag in a tent.

7. You’ve had an amazing day on your solo trip but now that you’re back at the hotel, you’re starting to feel a little homesick. What do you read to feel less lonely?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This book always reminds me of my childhood and is sure to make me feel less homesick.

8. You’ve been invited for an interview for a place at a prestigious university. Which book do you lay flat on your knee to hide the cover while you wait?

Probably something Shakespeare that I feel like I should have read by now as an English major.

9. The book exchange stall at the library finally has the book you’ve wanted for so long, and you have a book in your bag that you’ve been dying to get rid of. Which do you give away, and which do you take?

I’d give away The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han and I’d pick up Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.

10. You were just browsing the children’s section of the library and boom, you’re hit with a sudden blast from the past. Which book have you found that you haven’t seen for years but that you used to love as a child?

The BFG by Roald Dahl. I loved this book SO MUCH when I was younger. Recently I reread it and it was everything I remembered and more. Roald Dahl is a brilliant storyteller!

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn Vibes

Happy Tuesday!! It’s autumn (AKA the best season of the year) and the lovely bloggers behind The Broke and the Bookish are celebrating with a fall-themed Top Ten Tuesday topic. Today I’ll be sharing ten books that give off autumn vibes. Some of these are obvious (they have to do with starting a new school year, changing seasons, etc.) but some remind of autumn for rather random reasons (it was autumn when I first read them, the cover is vaguely autumnal, etc.).

What do you think of the books on my list? What books give you autumn vibes? Is autumn your favorite season? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Crushes

Happy Tuesday!! I hope you’ve all been having a lovely week. Today I’m here to do another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a fun one: fictional crushes! We all have those characters that we secretly wish were real, right? Time to share!

Harry from Harry Potter and the Sorcerors’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Ah, the original book crush. Reading this series in second grade was probably the first time I had a fictional crush. (But it wouldn’t be the last!)

Jesse Tuck from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

I feel like this one sort of goes without explaining if you’ve read the book. So sweet! So kind! So enthusiastic!

Jonah Griggs from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

A thousand times yes. Is it a stereotypical tough-guy-is-actually-sweet trope? Yes. Does it matter? Absolutely not.

Gabriel Oak from Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Oh, Bathesheba. Though you couldn’t appreciate the thoughtful, loyal, hard-working guy right in front of you, the rest of us certainly could!

Westley from The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The movie might help a little bit with this one… but there’s no denying Westley’s bravery, wit, and devotion. Princess Buttercup is a lucky girl!

Turns out this list was more difficult to make than I expected… I guess the books I’ve been reading lately have been lacking in the crush department?

What are some fictional crushes that you’ve had? What do you think about the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read in a Weekend

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Happy Tuesday!! This week is another Top Ten Tuesday freebie, so I’ve decided to share a list of books that I’ve been looking forward to making for quite some time: Ten Books I’ve Read in a Weekend. Some of these books I read over the course of a single weekend because they were very short; however, some of them were just too good to put down for long!

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What great books have you flown through in a single weekend? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish, Tags

Sims Book Tag

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Hello, hello! Today I’m here to do the Sims Book Tag, despite the fact that I think I’ve only played Sims about once before. The prompts for this tag are just so fun that I couldn’t resist participating anyways. Thanks so much to Michelle @ Book Adventures for tagging me! This tag was created by Hailey from Hailey in Bookland.

WHERE THINGS COME BACK by John Corey Whaley

The Original Sims – The best author debut.

When I read Where Things Come Back I couldn’t believe that it was John Corey Whaley’s debut novel. It’s clever, well-written, unique, and woven with an intricacy and attention to detail that I can’t help but applaud and admire. Considering I randomly picked this book up at a bookstore years ago because I loved the cover design, it’s safe to say that I was pleasantly surprised!

looking for alaskaThe Grim Reaper – Saddest character death.

The book that immediately comes to mind is Looking for Alaska by John Green. Not only do I have a strong nostalgic attachment to this book, but I also believe that it’s a witty, touching, well-written story about love, loss, and growing up. I’ve read it countless times since middle school and each time I come back to it I’m filled with a sense of familiarity and comfort all over again. I’m not going to say anything specific about the death because I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice it to say that it crushes me every time.

Jurassic Park by Michael CrichtonSims Getting Stuck – A character that just got in the way.

When I read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, I was astonished by the level of frustration that the character Dennis Nedry caused me to feel in nearly every scene he was in. He’s obnoxious, conniving, malicious, and one of those opportunistic people who will do anything to in order to make a profit or move up in society.

14800528-2Simlish – A book with amazing writing.

Due to my lack of experience reading Thomas Hardy I was surprised to find while reading Far from the Madding Crowd that his writing style is beautifully and brilliantly descriptive, witty, and poignant. Even though the story itself was fantastic, his writing alone is enough to make me want to read more of his work.

city of bones coverExpansion Packs – A series where the books keep on getting better.

My initial response was to list Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, but I’d like to try to mention some books that I don’t talk about all the time on this blog. Instead, I’m going to go with a series that I haven’t talked about much since I finished reading it a few years ago: The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Though I love the beginning of this series, the complexity of the plot and the character development that occurs over the course of the six books makes the final one fantastic.

18475596-2Sim Romance – The worst case of insta-love.

The insane insta-love in Only Everything by Kieran Scott was almost unbearable. I barely even finished reading this book (to be honest, I basically skimmed the second half) because I couldn’t deal with how artificial and forced the romance felt. The main character’s annoying narration certainly didn’t help matters, either!

nick and norah's infinite playlistCheats – A book that was entirely unrealistic.

I don’t know about you, but when I read Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan I was pretty doubtful that the entire plot would actually be able to take place in the span of a single night. Someone needs to test out this theory once and for all and then report back to me about the results.

12977531Needs Fulfillment – A character who made all the wrong decisions.

I feel like the entire Torrance family made some pretty bad decisions in The Shining by Stephen King, especially considering that Danny had the Shining ability and could sense all along that something bad would happen eventually. They had so many opportunities to turn back, yet they foolishly and resolutely moved forward time and time again.

the maze runner coverError Code 12 – A series that started off great but went downhill from there.

I absolutely loved The Maze Runner by James Dashner and was incredibly excited to continue on with the rest of the trilogy when I read it in middle school. Unfortunately, the other books suddenly careened in a downward spiral that I wasn’t expecting. The arch of the story changed completely and I thought the original premise of the first book had a much more interesting twist with a lot of potential.

13581132The Sims Vortex – A book/series that completely engrossed you.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was so captivating that I ended up reading the majority of it in a single day. I’m so glad that my coworkers recommended it to me over winter break because I had never heard of it before.

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What do you think of the books on my list? What books would you pick for these prompts? Have you ever played Sims before? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Exceeded My Expectations

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Happy Tuesday! Today I’m here to share an incredibly positive bookish list with you all that will hopefully brighten your day with some recommendations. Usually I try to begin reading a book with an open mind, but it’s inevitable that there will be some initial expectations floating around. Fortunately, I’ve read countless books that I’ve ended up loving so much more than I first thought I would. Without further ado, here are ten books that have exceeded my expectations: 

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What are some books that have exceeded your expectations? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

The Totally Should’ve Book Tag

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Hello, hello! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day. Today I come to you with the fun little Totally Should’ve Book Tag. Thanks so much to Azia @ The Uncharted World for tagging me!

When We CollidedTotally Should’ve Gotten A Sequel

Does anyone else ever wonder what happened to Jonah and Vivi years after When We Collided by Emery Lord ended? Or Jonah’s family in general? Or the restaurant or the pottery place or any of the people living in Verona Cove? I would love to read even a novella about where these characters are at years later.

Jurassic Park by Michael CrichtonTotally Should’ve Gotten A Spin-Off Series

I’m not really a fan of spin-off series in general, but I guess I’ll have to go with Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. Who doesn’t want more dinosaur fun? I’d love to read about the park from an outsider’s perspective living in another county or even the process of how they developed the idea for the theme park in general.

the night circus coverAn Author Who Should Write More Books

After reading and loving The Night Circus a few years ago, I’ve been eagerly waiting for Erin Morgenstern to write another novel. I would read anything that she writes in a heartbeat! A bookworm can always dream, I guess… fingers crossed!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsA Character Who Totally Should’ve Ended Up With Someone Else

Is it weird that I’ve always felt that Katniss should have ended up with Gale in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games? Few people seem to ever agree with me on this, but it’s a gut feeling that I’ve had ever since first reading the book years ago.

ready player one coverTotally Should’ve Had A Movie Franchise

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline would make such a fun movie! I once heard rumors that there was a movie adaption in the works for this novel, but I’m not sure how true that is. Hopefully a movie adaptation will be made someday!

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall coverTotally Should’ve Had Only One Point of View

I’m generally a fan of books with multiple points of view, providing that they actually add meaningful depth and intrigue to the story. However, I was really disappointed when I read A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall because the numerous different perspectives instead made the characters feel distant from the reader.

16156303Totally Should’ve Kept the Original Covers

My answer to this is basically any book with a movie poster as the cover design. *cringes* A recent example of this that I’ve come across is Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. There are so many better cover designs!

the maze runner coverTotally Should’ve Stopped At Book One

I absolutely LOVED The Maze Runner by James Dashner when I read it in middle school, but the rest of the series? Not so much. The other books don’t even feel like they’re a continuation of the same story. The series has so much potential stemming off from the first book, but unfortunately it all goes downhill from there.

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What are your answers to these prompts? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish, Discussion

More Than “Just” Love Stories | Discussion

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It often seems as though the romance genre has gotten a bad reputation as being merely “fluff” and lacking substance. Many romance novels are considered pure entertainment reading only; in other words, there is nothing between the book’s covers that could possibly educate, enlighten, or challenge the reader in any way. Don’t get me wrong– there are romance novels out there that probably fit this description, but isn’t that also true of any genre? Why is it that people automatically assume that romance novels are insubstantial? Why do people think that love stories must be fluffy?

This question popped into my mind while reading Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Far From the Madding Crowd, which is generally regarded as a stereotypical romance in the public eye. Such a reputation was exacerbated by the recent movie adaptation starring Carey Mulligan. Because details from the book had to be left out in order to keep the movie at a reasonable length, it primarily focuses on the tumultuous “love square” between Bathsheba, Gabriel Oak, Mr. Boldwood, and Sergeant Troy.

Though the romance is a large part of the novel– one could argue that it is the main point of the story altogether– it is more of a vehicle for promoting further discussion rather than the final destination. Whether or not it was originally intended by Hardy, the romance in this novel makes way for fascinating social commentary on the time period. We see the ways in which socioeconomic status and gender impact each other as well as how these factors impact relationships, marriage, and social life in general. The plight of Bathsheba also reveals the frustrating expectations that people held of women in both the workplace and the home.

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The specific relationships that Bathsheba forms with these men each provide an important and interesting look into society during this time period. Socioeconomic status is an obvious complication in the relationship between Bathsheba and Oak. Because Bathsheba is of a higher status than the poorer farmer, he is not a priority for her when it comes to entering a serious relationship. Later on she has the opposite problem with Mr. Boldwood, who is regarded as a worthy gentleman and praised by all who meet him. Many people encourage her to marry him because it would be a suitable match based on social status; however, a problem arises when she falls in love with Sergeant Troy instead. Here we clearly see the expectations of women in marriage, for Bathsheba is soon limited in her role as head of the farm when her relationship with Troy becomes more serious. It is expected that the man of house will control all aspects of the business despite the fact that in this case Bathsheba is actually much more skilled and knowledgeable than her male companion.

Far from the Madding Crowd is just one example of how the romance genre surpasses the limited boundaries set by the deceiving stereotype often associated with such books. This classic novel made me realize that not all love stories must be fluffy in order to be captivating, entertaining, and enjoyable to read.

What are your thoughts on this topic? How do you feel about the romance genre? Have you read any love stories that defy the stereotype of the “fluffy” romance novel? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY