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The Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag.png

So, half of the year is over, and I think this gif easily explains my feelings: 

I'm Not Okay

I’ve been failing on everything reading so far. I haven’t finished one series, and I’m not anywhere close to reading 200 books (I’m pretty sure I’m going to shorten it to 100 this year), and whatever other goals I had, I probably am not close to accomplishing as well. So, yeah. 2017 has been a pretty rough year for reading. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to be doing this tag, though!

I was tagged by Marija over at Inside My Library Mind – you can check out her post here! I was going to do this one anyway, whether I was tagged or not, so let’s get right to it!

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1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017?

Aw, that’s cute, you thought I’d be choosing one book. Let it be learned that I cheat on tags. Like, all the time.

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson – This is the first book of his I’ve read, AND I NEED TO READ ALL OF THEM. The perfect blend of contemporary and a little bit of magical realism and science fiction. Also, was that the best or worst ending I’ve ever experienced? I still don’t know.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – SO DARK. SO TWISTED. SO AWFUL. But it was oh so good. This was one of the best thrillers and books featuring a small town that I’ve read so far. I only hope that Engel continues to write more thrillers in the future.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – BECAUSE DUH. But it was also extremely relatable, an overall powerful book, and Starr is a character that will always manage to stay in my heart.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera – THE MAN IS A GENIUS. Once again, I read this book in a day (during a SCHOOL DAY, no less), and was on a rollercoaster of so many emotions. It was just a beautiful, raw story.

Final Girls by Riley Sager – I’VE BEEN WAITING 84 YEARS TO RAVE ABOUT THIS BOOK. This was actually the first ever e-ARC I received from Netgalley, and one of my most anticipated reads of this year. I’d like to thank the publicists I talked to who were kind enough to give me a copy even though I literally had, like, twenty blog followers. But, seriously, this book was fantastic, tense, addicting, and had such an incredible plot twist. I loved it.

2. Best Sequel of 2017 So Far?

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Okay, admittedly, I haven’t read many sequels so far this year (I say as I anxiously look at my half-read copies of A Conjuring of Light and A Court of Wings and Ruin), but I read Gemina at the beginning of the year, and even if I had read a lot of them, it’d still take the cake. It dealt with the coolest sci-fi concept, and, personally, I thought it was better than the first book. I can’t believe we have to wait SO LONG for Obsidio.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?

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A LOT OF THEM. I’m not even going to bother to answer this question because I have failed on every level to read any of my most anticipated releases. I’M SORRY.

4. Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of 2017?

they both die at the end

After getting so many amazing ARCs of pretty much all of the books I’m anticipating for the second half of 2017, it’s really hard to choose just one, but if I had to, it’d be They Both Die At the End. I’m a masochist, and I enjoy getting my heart crushed by Adam Silvera twice in less than a year.

UPDATE: I have read this book, and it has crushed me; 10 out of 10; would like to feel all those emotions again.

5. Biggest Disappointment?

Ugh, it’s terrible that I had so much to choose from. I’VE BARELY READ ANYTHING THIS YEAR, PEOPLE.

The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle – This one ended up just being pretty boring and nothing like I’d expected. Also, it was annoyingly racist in some parts. So, there was that.

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich – Ugh, it sucks to say this about one of my most hyped and anticipated releases of the year, but this one ended up just being meh. Not enough of the romance I was hoping for, the premise definitely didn’t reach its full potential, and the ending was sloppy and didn’t make sense. I saw his second book had been bought, though, and I’m still definitely going to read it, damn it!

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen – Another thriller with an awesome premise that totally fell on its face. Some parts just didn’t make sense at all, and the ending just had too much going on that I couldn’t keep up.

Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger – Yeah, this was a big pile of nope. Eric, one of the main characters, was a douchebag, the romance was so insta-lovey, I just couldn’t deal with it, and it was just plain unrealistic, especially when it came to the needlessly complicated ending. Not impressed.

Frostblood by Elly Blake – Another book I was really hoping I’d like, but this managed to just be pretty much every fantasy book that has ever come out in the last couple of years combined. Nothing really original about it, and it was super boring to boot.

6. Biggest Surprise?

Frost by M.P. Kozlowsky – I really didn’t expect much from this book, but I ended up really enjoying it and finding it entertaining. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I really liked it!

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough – THAT ENDING THOUGH. Not to mention that the entire novel was just completely fascinating filled with characters I hated and so many twists and turns. I had so much fun reading it.

Boy Robot by Simon Curtis – I ended up reading this entire book in a day, completely glued to the pages. I loved the characters, felt all the feelings, and it ended on such a cliffhanger! I demand all the sequels, like, right now.

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry – When I started this one, I didn’t really know how I’d feel about it, but I really ended up loving it! It definitely had an interesting story-telling style that I enjoyed, and I just couldn’t tell where the book would go next, up until the very end. And this one also had characters that were super fun to hate.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs – Such a brilliant, addicting sci-fi that delivered so well on its concept and had a completely mind-blowing ending that I really enjoyed. Can I have the sequel now, please?

7. Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)?

For debut, it’s definitely Angie Thomas. The Hate U Give was absolutely brilliant, and I can’t wait to read another book from her! And for new to me, it’d be Shaun David Hutchinson. I will read the rest of his books, damn it!

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

Bring me August from This Savage Song and Nik from Gemina to life, and I will be a very satisfied girl.

9. Newest Favorite Character?

Starr from The Hate U Give because she was just so damn relatable and wonderful. Cassian from the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series because he is sweet and funny and tragic, and I don’t remember being so in love with him in the second book (but this could also go for Mor, Azriel, Amren, and Lucien, because Sarah’s characters give me life)? And Ella from Gemina, because she is one badass fifteen-year-old girl.

10. Book That Made You Cry?

 The closest to making me cry was History Is All You Left Me during the eulogy scene. TEARS IN MY EYES. Oh, and They Both Die At The End made me cry for real. ARE YOU PROUD, ADAM SILVERA? ARE YOU PROUD?

11. Book That Made You Happy?

“But, Mikaela, didn’t you say that you still haven’t finished this book?” YES, YES I DID. But what I’ve read from it has made me smile so much. I just can’t help but feel happy whenever I read a Maas book. They never fail to brighten my day. Also, Genuine Fraud because I’VE FOUND A GOOD YA THRILLER. PRAISE BE THE GODS.

12. Favorite Book-to-Movie Adaptation You’ve Seen This Year?

“But, Mikaela, this isn’t a book-to-movie adaptation.” First off, IT TOTALLY COUNTS. I’m sure there are X-Men or Wolverine comics out there somewhere, and the movie takes place in that universe, so there. And, second, because I’ve watched Logan THREE TIMES already, and it’s still one of my favorite movies of ever and I love it and it gives me life. Like, I hadn’t even watched any Wolverine or X-Men movies before this, and I still loved it (but I did watch the other Wolverine movies after it. Not as great, but entertaining, and the Wolverine is now one of my favorite superheroes, so yeah). If you haven’t watched it, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? WATCH IT.

And, okay, if you want a legit answer, then 13 Reasons Why. Even though it’s a TV show adaptation. And I haven’t read the book. But who cares because I loved it. GIVE ME SEASON TWO, PLEASE.

Oh, and I watched Brokeback Mountain yesterday. And it was actually a novella before it became a movie. So, I guess it counts. That movie was an emotional roller coaster, and I was definitely not crying at the end (okay, I was; I’m weak).

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

Even though I don’t like writing reviews, I will say, my one-star reviews of Frostblood and Follow Me Back were fun to write (and surprisingly, two of the more popular reviews I posted). For something on a more positive side, my review of Follow Me Down was great as well because I got the opportunity to interview the author, Sherri Smith, who was so sweet and so amazing! That was my first author interview, and I hope to do more in the future!

14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought or Received So Far This Year?

I haven’t bought or received too many books this year, so I’m just going to include some pictures of some 2017 releases with stunning covers!

15. What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?

SO MANY. Definitely A Conjuring of Light and A Court of Wings and Ruin because I refuse to go into next year with half-finished finales (I already have too many unfinished books on my plate). And, also, pretty much my rest of my Bookcon haul, which I’m very excited to dive into!

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And that’s it for the Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag! 

Hopefully you enjoyed that and you’re doing ten times better at your reading goals for this year than I am! Please don’t follow my terrible example of “blogging so much, you forget what even is reading.”

Also, I don’t specifically tag people to tags, I just let anyone who’s read it be tagged! So if you haven’t done it yet, and you’re reading this, you’re tagged! But I’m late, so you’ve probably done it already.

Let's Chat

Do you agree with any of my answers? What have been your favorite and least favorite reads of 2017? How has your reading gone this year? 

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41

[TAG] In Which I’m Dared…To Talk About Books (The “I Dare You!” Book Tag)

File_000 (68).pngYeah, a tag!

This one has been making its rounds among the book blogging community, and I thought, “Why not do it?” I was tagged by Kelly’s Ramblings and Mixed Margins to do this one!

(Also, I don’t have a review prepared for today, so ACCEPT THIS BACK-UP POST.)

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1. Which book has been on your shelf the longest?

So, I had this HUGE contemporary phase in middle school, so there are a couple of books belonging in that genre that I STILL haven’t read yet. They’re still on my TBR TO THIS DAY. Yes, it’s been four years. STOP JUDGING ME.

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It’s Kind of a Funny Story:

I don’t even remember why I bought this, to be honest? I think it may have been because it got really good reviews on Goodreads, so I decided to go ahead and get it. I actually read half of this, but wasn’t in the mood to read the rest of it. But what I read of it, it was really entertaining, and I really want to finish this one!

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I’ll Give You the Sun:

I purely bought this because I read the summary on the inside flap of the cover, and I had money to buy it because it was after Christmas and I had a lot lying around, so, I bought it. And I haven’t picked it up since. #oops

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Fangirl:

I’ve literally picked up and attempted to read this, like, four times. And it’s not like I don’t like the book – I love it – but everything gets in the way every single time I try to read this book. Like, I get further and further each time I read it, but I NEVER FINISH IT. Why? I don’t even know. Someone help me.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

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Current Read: A Court of Wings And Ruin

At the time I’m writing this post, I’m reading the finale of the ACOTAR trilogy. Obviously, I love it, and I predict I’ll give it 2208028 stars because Sarah J. Maas wrote it, so, I’m unashamedly biased. #sorrynotsorry

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Last Read: ???

IT’S BEEN SO LONG, I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER.

Reading Next: ???

I’M IN A SLUMP OKAY.

3. What book(s) did everyone like, but you hated?

Regarding series:

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The Winner’s Trilogy:

A book that fell into the depths of romance even though it could have been a really good fantasy novel. I’m still disappointed about all the wasted potential this book had. And I also hate Arin and his possessive nature. Ugh.

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The Shatter Me Trilogy:

Unfortunately, these books got progressively worse and worse, and the finale was basically just a hot mess. Am I glad that Juliette and Warner are together? Yes. Am I satisfied with the shoddy, rushed ending I was given that left more questions than answers? No.

the-unbecoming-of-mara-dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Trilogy:

Again, a book that wasted its potential. I’ve seen people say this book is scary and has an unreliable narrator? Yeah, no, it’s just another boring paranormal romance. And Noah deserves to be thrown off a cliff. Just saying.

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The Wrath and the Dawn Duology:

Personally, this book was just boring to me. And I felt like it was missing this spark that really made me want to fall in love with this book. It impressed so many people, but it just fell…flat for me.

The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds Trilogy:

Incredibly, unnecessarily slow-moving. And I also really hate road trip books. I mean, objectively, I feel like I should love it because it’s one of the stronger dystopian/sci-fi YA novels, but I just couldn’t bring myself to love it.

Regarding stand-alones:

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An Abundance of Katherines:

I love John Green, I really do. But this book is probably one of the worst stand-alones I’ve ever read. It was super boring and dabbled way too much into math for my taste. And, again, the whole road trip books thing. Not a fan.

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The Couple Next Door:

Just a bit too crazy and unbelievable. And I hate Marco.

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The Kind Worth Killing:

WAY too many plot twists to the point where it was plain gimmicky. I felt like this could’ve been better and maybe developed the characters a little bit more since the reader is jumping from one point-of-view to the next, but I seem to be the only person alive who doesn’t like this book.

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With Malice:

I’m not one to call out plagiarism or anything, but this was basically a low-key rip-off of Dangerous Girls. Like, even the tiniest details were the same. So, this book was incredibly boring and predictable, because I’d already read it when it was done well. So, yeah.

The Bird Tribunal

The Bird Tribunal:

Literally EVERYONE loved this book, and I just don’t get it. It’s short, yes, but it was the most predictable thriller I’ve ever read. I knew what the ending would be, and was waiting for some sort of twist, and, nope, it was what I knew it would be. Nothing surprised me, and I was bored.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t.

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Yeah, I’m probably never going to read this book. I’M SORRY!

5. Which book are you saving for retirement?

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I honestly don’t think the world will even be around for my retirement, to be honest? So, I’m attempting to read everything I’m interested in right now. I’m currently failing at it, but I’m trying, and isn’t it the effort that counts?

6. Last page: read it first, or wait till the end?

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I’ve seen people say that they literally read the last page first before they even start the book, and I still don’t get it??? WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THAT? Literally the only time I did that was with Crown of Midnight, and that was because I wanted to see how many page numbers the book had, and my eyes accidentally wandered and read the last sentence of the last page (which is a huge spoiler, if you guys don’t know). NEVER AGAIN.

7. Acknowledgments: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I honestly don’t read acknowledgements that much, but one that’s really stood out to me is the one for A Court of Thorns and Roses. If you guys don’t know, Susan Dennard (the author of Truthwitch) is one of Sarah J. Maas’s best friends, and I thought her acknowledgement was adorable:

 Susan Dennard, my jaeger copilot and Threadsister, the Leonardo to my Raphael, the Gus to my Shawn, the Blake to my Adam, the Scott to my Stiles, the Aragorn to my Legolas, the Iseult to my Safi, the Schmidt to my Jenko, the Senneth to my Kira, the Elsa to my Anna, the Sailor Jupiter (or Luna!) to my Sailor Moon, the Moss to my Roy, the Martin to my Sean, the Alan Grant to my Ian Malcolm, the Brennan to my Dale, and the Esqueleto to my Nacho: I literally don’t know what I’d do without you. Or our inside jokes. Our friendship is the definition of Epic – and I’m pretty sure it was written in the stars. (Like a thousand years before the dinosaurs. It’s the prophecy.)

And in the same Acknowledgements of the same book, to her husband, Josh:

And lastly, to my husband, Josh – this book is for you. It’s always been yours, the same way my heart has been yours from the moment I saw you on the first day of freshman orientation at college. Considering the way our lives mysteriously wove together before we ever set eyes on each other, I have a hard time believing it wasn’t fate. Thanks for proving to me that true love exists. I’m the luckiest woman in the world to get to spend my life with you.

ALL THE FEELS.

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8. Which book character would you switch places with?

It’s a tie between Feyre and Aelin. And, no, it is NOT because I love Rowan and Rhysand and would give anything to be with them! What are you talking about?

(Okay, I lied; it’s totally about getting to Rowan and Rhysand.)

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9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?

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The Hunger Games:

I received this book as a present in the fifth grade for my birthday, and this was the first YA book I ever read, so it basically started it all, really. I remember this was back in my phase where I was obsessed with romance, so I literally flipped through the entire thing for Peeta and Katniss to kiss. What even was my younger self?

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe:

I actually bought this book as a graduation gift (it was probably some irrelevant graduation, too), and I literally read this book in probably five hours? I was just so into it, and I only put it down once, and then read the rest of it when I picked it up again. I don’t even know why, but I was just addicted to it. And it easily became one of my favorite contemporaries of ever. So, I always remember this as the first book I read in less than a day!

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

cassandra_clare_city_of_heavenly_fire_book_cover

So, FUNNY STORY. When this book came out, I was dying to get it. I mean, Malec had broken up in the previous book, AND I NEEDED MY SHIP TO GET TOGETHER AGAIN. This girl on my track team was also a huge fan of the series, and after she finished it, she was kind enough to lend it to me to read. I actually ended up reading this 700+ page book over the weekend because my brother had an all-day track meet that lasted until late, late at night, and I literally had nothing to do. I was planning on giving it back to her once I returned, but it was near the end of the school year, and the girl decided to leave school early (she was transferring to another school the next year). I never saw her again, so I now have a permanently borrowed special edition of City of Heavenly Fire. Oops.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

No, I haven’t, because I’m a selfish person and want to keep all my books. UNLESS, you count that one time where I gave a friend of a friend my copy of The Scorch Trials a week before school ended, and on the last day of school, told me that she forgot the book at her dad’s house over the weekend. Then, yeah, sure.

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12. Which book has been with you the most places?

Um, pretty much all of them? I mostly read e-books nowadays, and I carry my phone everywhere, so, like a lot of my books.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Well, I’m STILL in high school, so the question technically isn’t applicable, but in middle school, we read this book called Tuck Everlasting, and though I thought it was meh when I was twelve, I might like it much more now! Not like I’ll re-read it to find out or anything.

14. What’s the strangest item you’ve found in a book?

I think I once found a bookmark just left in the middle of a book I bought once. That was a nice surprise! And I always remember when I buy a book from Barnes & Noble and I find those magnets in the middle of the book.

15. Used or brand new?

Brand new! I’ve never bought used because it takes forever for shipping on Amazon, and I just prefer new books!

16. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

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And I probably never won’t. I’m not interested in his books, to be honest.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Poster

Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children:

I didn’t like the rest of the books in this series that much, and I thought this was actually a pretty good movie! No, it wasn’t faithful to the book, but it didn’t really matter too much to me, and I thought that it was still done well enough that it could have been incorporated into canon.

I Am Legend Movie Poster

I Am Legend:

I actually haven’t read the book of this one yet (but it’s on my TBR), but the movie gave me so many emotions and was so well done that it’s actually become one of my favorite movies! At least, the one with the second ending.

Man on Fire Movie Poster

Man on Fire:

I watched this movie on a whim because I was on an adrenaline rush for action movies, and I didn’t know this was a book until after I watched it, BUT THAT’S OKAY, I WANTED MY EMOTIONS TO BE CRUSHED. I’m pretty sure every movie with a Gruff Old Man helping out a Little Girl has gotten an A+ from me. IT’S MY WEAKNESS.

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Gone Girl:

I can never sing enough praises about this movie! It still wins for the best book-to-movie adaptation I’ve seen so far. The cinematography was great, the casting was fantastic, and pretty much everything was faithful to the book as much as possible. And even if you haven’t read the book or don’t care about it, the movie stands well on its own. This is one of the few adaptations I think is equal to the books (even though I like the book a little bit more).

18. Is there a book you think never should have been published?

Nope! No matter what, I don’t think a book should not be published that already is. That starts to get into some censorship issues, and those are never really good.

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks excluded?

No, unfortunately not. I don’t think I’d want to be hungry while reading a book, though, so that’s okay!

20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

Hm, I honestly don’t really HAVE a person, but I guess if I had to choose, it’d be one of my best bookish friends, Taylor! We met via Goodreads and have been friends ever since, and I don’t think I’ve met someone who’s as crazy for Sarah J. Maas as I am (and I can always whine and rant to her about anything, and she’ll 100% agree. TWINS).

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And that’s it for this overly-long tag!

Hopefully, you enjoyed it! As you guys know, when I do a tag, I don’t specifically tag people; I leave it open for anyone who is reading this tag! So tag away!

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[LET’S CHAT] What Makes An Original Book Blogger?

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Ah, yes, one of the biggest questions when you enter the blogosphere: do you have to be an original blogger?

I feel like that’s something that every blogger sees as some sort of requirement. Even in my own post when I talked about what makes me follow a book blog, I said that I really liked seeing original content that would continually inspire me. And, also, who wants to see a blog that looks like pretty much every other blog? We don’t just push creativity and non-conformity in the blogging world, but pretty much everywhere. How many times have you heard someone say that they’re tired of superhero movies and sequels and want an original movie? Or someone saying a song is overrated because it sounds like every other song on the radio? Or someone complaining about how a TV show is using the same old tired cliches?

But, is it necessary to be completely original as a blog? There seems to be a sort of look-down on people who just post memes and tags and awards, and even some people who have pretty much sworn off all of those things in favor of original content. So I wanted to talk about my experiences with all those things, because I am the blogging queen.

(Just kidding, I am 100% not the blogging queen.)

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So, of course, you’ve probably heard of these things called weekly memes, and contrary to what I used to think, memes aren’t just those things that get popular on Twitter and become annoying after a day. Basically, there’s a concept, and you’re supposed to pick books relating to that concept. Some of the popular ones I’ve seen around are Top Ten Tuesday, Saturday Situation, WWW Wednesday, and Waiting on Wednesday. There are definitely a lot more out there, and several for pretty much every day of the week.

If you’ve been around since the very beginning, you’ll know that I used to do WWW Wednesday for the month of January. Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t really enjoying them, and, surprisingly, they weren’t really doing too good in terms of stats (even though I’ve seen so many people say they’re memes do the best in terms of stats), so I ended up quitting. It’s definitely worked for me, since I’ve now opened up a spot that’s been taken in favor of more original posts, but I know that might not work out for everyone.

I’ve definitely seen a general consensus that seeing too many memes when you first stumble upon someone’s blog makes it less likely for them to stay, and I’ve also seen some people say that they just straight up avoid their Reader on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because of the amount of memes. I definitely get it; I feel like with WWW Wednesday and WoW, it’s hard to really say something other than, “Oh, cool; I loved those books, and that one’s on my TBR! Here’s my link!” and “Yes, I’m super excited to read that book as well! Here’s the link to my post!” With TTT, I can definitely find something to comment about, because I’ve seen several people turn those posts into something creative (like what Cait @ Paper Fury does), but even if it’s just a list, I can always find something to relate to!

I don’t know if it’s a way to meet new people, but I have seen lots of people say that’s how they got their outreach when they were first starting out, so I can see why new bloggers like me jumped on the train! Personally, I don’t think I was really discovered by my WWW Wednesday posts, but I guess it might depend on what type of meme you’re doing.

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I guess you can say it’s mixed regarding tags and awards. On one hand, I feel like they’re fun and easy to do, especially if you don’t have something to do that day, and it’s always fun being tagged in an award. But, I’ve also seen some bloggers say that they think that they can get boring every once in a while, which they definitely can be, depending on the tag. There are some tags that I’ve managed to turn into full-blown post ideas, so they’re not completely useless.

I used to do tags a lot, and those who’ve been here around since the beginning, again, know that all I used to do were tags and reviews, before I got sick of it and opted to do more original content. And, as you guys know, I’m a huge planner when it comes to my blog, and even though I’ve been nominated in so many blogging awards and tags, only about three or so tags are on my agenda until August of next year, and don’t even get me started on blogging awards. I just feel like I’d rather post a Let’s Chat or a recommendations post or a list over a blogging award, because even though they’re nice, I don’t get excited about posting them. So, I decided that since I’ve been nominated for so many, why not just combine them all into one huge Q + A post? That way, I don’t have 248028 awards to do, and it’s fun and creative!

I’ve seen some people say that they don’t do tags and awards anymore, which I can totally understand if you want more original content on the blog. I think some tags are definitely fun to do since they reveal more about yourself, and same with blogging awards because you usually have to list facts for those, but I feel like they’re best in moderation, so I reserve them for every once in a while or when I just have nothing to post (which will probably never happen, so there’s that).

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As you guys probably know, I freaking love lists. Basically, for me, what falls under the “List” category are Monthly Recommendations, Anticipated Releases, Monthly TBRs and Wrap-Ups, and Book Playlists can be put under this category.

I did a lot of lists in February when I was trying to branch out in terms of more original content, and I was very happy to see that it gained so much popularity. I thought it was not only a great way to try something new on my blog, but I also got to share a lot about myself (my favorite ships, my favorite series, some facts about me, etc.), and I love doing that since it reminds everyone that there is a human being behind the blog. I also got a lot of comments from those types of posts, so they obviously push people to talk and share about themselves as well!

I’ve never done monthly TBRs, and I have an entire post dedicated to that whole subject that you can find right here if you’re interested. But, you’ve probably noticed that I don’t do much in regards of Wrap-Ups anymore. I realized during the month of March I really didn’t feel like doing a Wrap-Up post, and I realized that I don’t HAVE to do them at all. It’s my blog, and I can do whatever I want with it, so I chose to just skip out on it and just continue on with the month with more original content that I was really excited for. I like seeing other people’s wrap-ups, but it’s just something that I don’t really like doing, so I decided I wouldn’t.

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Ah, yes, the real money-makers. It seems to be that everyone in the book blogging community agrees that discussion posts are what’s really good for your blog and are what rake the numbers in, which is definitely true. When I posted my first ever discussion post – which I was incredibly nervous to do – I was blown away by how many likes and comments I received from it! And I realized how much fun it was to write that discussion, so I thought, why not keep doing this?

People seem to worry a lot about the topics they discuss, though. Some people never know where to get their ideas from or don’t really know how to get their thoughts into a blog post. Some feel like so-and-so topic has already been talked about by SO MANY PEOPLE, that their input will mean nothing in the long run. But, I definitely don’t think you SHOULDN’T talk about something just because someone else already has, and I don’t think that you have to be completely original to write up a discussion.

Personally, when I started out blogging, after getting frustrated with my lack of original content in January, I ended up brainstorming. So, really, pretty much all the discussion topics I’ve come up with have been thought up months ago. I don’t think I’ve ever thought up a discussion post the month of, basically. I use Discussions to talk about things that I don’t think too many people in the blogosphere have already talked about, and Let’s Chat is more for topics that have already been discussed by a range of people, but I just want to put in my own two cents anyway. Obviously, I post several Let’s Chat posts a month, but only one Discussion per month, and that works for me. They tend to get noticed a lot, and also generate conversation, which I love.

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So, that’s basically all the categories I can think of.

Hopefully, there aren’t many more than that. For me, the answer to the question is no, you don’t HAVE to be a completely original blogger. It’s pretty hard to come up with an idea that someone hasn’t already thought of and written down. But, it does seem like the general consensus is that bringing something new to the table can push your blog to several heights and even get better stats!

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What are your thoughts on each of the categories? Is there one you prefer over the others? What do you think makes an original book blogger?

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52

[TAG] In Which I Share My Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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Hey, look; it’s been forever since I’ve done a tag! So, let’s do that!

I’ve decided to do the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag, mainly because I love talking about my unpopular opinions and finding people who agree with me. I am the Queen of Unpopular Opinions, and I will fight you for the title. But, seriously, I do have a lot of unpopular opinions – not even just in books, but life in general – and I thought a tag would be a fun way to share them!

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1. A Popular Book or Series You Didn’t Like

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HAHA, where do I start? I actually have a whole list of my least favorite series – which I’ll be linking to here – so I’m not going to re-list them all, but probably my top unpopular opinion regarding series is The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. I thought I’d love this one, but the romance was just too much, and the sequel bored me to death. Kestrel is just too good for Arin. And for book, probably The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. I literally can’t find one single soul who didn’t love this book, but I thought it was just meh. It was over-saturated with plot twists that got annoying after a while, and I was just missing something, I guess? I thought the ending was pretty good, though!

2. A Popular Book or Series That Everyone Else Seems to Hate But You Love

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Funnily enough, I also have an entire post dedicated to unpopular books I like, which you can find right here! BUT, for the purpose of this question and not wanting to repeat my entire list again, I think my number one is probably The Cursed Child. Everyone literally hates it and found it SO disappointing – but I read it in a day and cried and I loved it. And this book also proved that my Albus and Scorpius ship that I’ve been sailing on since 2013 has solid concrete evidence, so, there’s that.

3. A Love Triangle Where the Main Character Ended Up with the Person You Didn’t Want Them to End Up with OR an OTP That You Don’t Like

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Fortunately, I’ve never lost a love triangle (MWAHAHAHA), so I decided on an OTP I don’t like. And that’s Mara and Noah from the Mara Dyer trilogy. Honestly, I just really hate Noah and think he’s a pretentious jerk, so he could just disappear and all would be solved and make me ten times happier, to be honest. But everyone seems to love him apparently??? Ew.

4. A Popular Book Genre That You Hardly Reach For

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I usually read a little something from every genre because I’m usually pulled in by synopsis’, not genres, but contemporary is probably the answer for this one. Especially the phrase “cute contemporary.” Whenever someone says that a contemporary book was “adorable” or “cute” or “fluffy,” I’m just never going to read it ever. Maybe I’m a masochist who likes death and torture and sadness and panic, but I just get bored reading about people falling in love in the real world with real problems. And I don’t think I’ve ever liked fluff??? Basically, I’m a monster.

5. A Popular or Beloved Character That You Don’t Like

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Jace Herondale from The Mortal Instruments Series! I mean, I love all of Cassandra Clare’s books TO DEATH, but both times I read The Mortal Instruments, I was greatly annoyed by Jace. I mean, he probably wasn’t a trope when this book was published (way back in 2007), but after so many years of YA, I’m tired of sarcastic jerk-ish bad boys who have daddy issues and are using their sarcasm as a shield for how sweet they are. PASS.

6. A Popular Author That You Can’t Seem to Get Into

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This one’s easily Lauren Oliver. I read Before I Fall and LOVED IT – it’s still one of my all-time favorite contemporaries – and every single one of the books I’ve read from her after that have been total duds and I’ve DNF-ed them all. I only have Vanishing Girls left from her, but I love a good YA thriller, so, hopefully, this one’s good?

7. A Popular Book Trope That You’re Tired of Seeing

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I don’t even know if this counts as a book trope (it probably doesn’t), but when it comes to thrillers, YA or Adult, I’m getting really tired of the “OH MY GOD; YOU LITERALLY COULD HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS COMING BECAUSE IT MAKES ZERO SENSE AND IS IN NO WAY GROUNDED IN REALITY” plot twists. I feel like all the thrillers I’ve read this year so far have either been amazing, or they’ve fallen flat because of this strange need for a random plot twist that doesn’t have any evidence built up behind it. I’m going to blame the popularity of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train for this since everyone is trying to be the “next big thing,” but it only works the first couple of times before I get tired of it.

8. A Popular Series That You Have No Interest in Reading

Following the cute contemporary trend I mentioned earlier, I’ll probably never read a Kasie West book, a Morgan Matson book, a Jenny Han book, or any of the books in the Anna and the French Kiss series. I know everyone loves these authors and their books to the moon and back, but I literally get bored reading the synopsis’ of these books. I DON’T LIKE FLUFF. I’M SORRY.

9. The Saying Goes, “The Book Is Always Better Than the Movie,” but What Movie or T.V. Show Adaptation Do You Prefer More Than the Book?

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The Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie for sure! I read the first book of the series and really enjoyed it, but then read the second book and was so bored by it that I DNF-ed it. But the movie was actually SO GOOD, and I loved how Burton completely changed the plot because it made for a much entertaining movie. And, personally, I always thought that this series should have just been a stand-alone, and the movie’s storyline expressed it perfectly, so there’s that!

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And that was the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag!

I hope you enjoyed reading about all the things I like and don’t like that are totally unpopular! You guys really seem to like reading about my unpopular opinions because those used to be some of my most popular posts when I was a bit of a smaller blog.

Regarding tagging people, I never really tag specific people for these things, I just leave it open so anyone who wants to do this tag may do it! So, go ahead, and have fun with it!

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Do we share any of the same opinions (please say we do)? What are some of your unpopular bookish opinions?

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19

[TAG] Who The Heck Am I?

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So, it’s that time of month for yet another tag! I’ve been nominated for so many tags recently, but this was the one that interested me the most, obviously! A huge thanks to Puput over at Sparkling Letters for nominating me; you can check out her answers over here!

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1. What does your name mean?

I actually already know what my name means, but it’s “feminine of Michael, which means gift from God.” So, move over, everyone, I’m God’s gift!

2. What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?

Okay, so I got MEDIATOR (INFP-T), which is funny, because the first time I took this a while back, I got the same thing, except it was INFP-J. I don’t know if there’s a difference or not.

Apparently we’re only 4% of the population. WE’RE DYING.

We listen to many people, but talk few. That’s 100% true for me.

Some famous mediators: Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Johnny Depp (???), Julia Roberts, Lisa Kudrow, Tom Hiddleston (!!!), Alicia Keys, Anne of Green Gables, Frodo Baggins, Fox Mulder

Strengths

Idealistic. This is very true for me. I do think people are inherently good, which is funny, because I’m taught 384028402 times in my Christian school that people are inherently sinful and bad. Rage against the machine!

Seek and Value Harmony. I don’t like people fighting, and I would love to live in a peaceful world. And I definitely do like hearing other people’s opinions on things.

Open-minded and Flexible. Quite true. I do believe that people are free to do whatever as long as they’re hurting others, and I’ve actually changed my mind on a fair number of social issues (I used to think gay people shouldn’t get married, abortion should be outlawed, and that global warming wasn’t real. Obviously, I was a hot mess).

Very Creative. Oh, yeah, literally all my time thinking is spent in la-la land. I can drift off and forget what I’m even doing a lot of the time. It’s probably why I like reading so much.

Passionate and Energetic. Yep, I think the amount of time I’ve put into blogging and bookstagram can attest to that.

Dedicated and Hard-Working. Mm, it depends. Like, right now, I’m a hot mess when it comes to studying for school, but if we’re talking about blogging, I literally sat down for an hour and planned out all my blog posts through April 2018. I’m months ahead on my fully written blog posts. I try to make time to do bookstagram photo shoots. So, it all goes back to passion.

Too Idealistic. This is very true. I dream too much, and sometimes get disappointed when things don’t go my way, which is why I quit a lot of things.

Weaknesses

Too Altruistic. Hm, I don’t know about this one.

Impractical. Okay, so it says that I might forget to eat and drink because I’m so far into my head, but that never happens. I get headaches and my stomach hurts horrifically if I don’t eat for long. So, untrue!

Dislike Dealing with Data. “When the facts and data contradict their ideals, it can be a real challenge for them.” This is so me (though I don’t think this happens too much).

Take Things Personally. This is so true, which is probably why I don’t get caught up in debates and don’t bother getting into conflict. I just avoid it because I’m not in the mood to deal with people who take things so seriously they start insulting others.

Difficult to Get to Know. I don’t know about this one. I am reserved in real life, for sure, but on the Internet, I feel more comfortable talking about myself. I think it’s mostly because my ideas/opinions are more liberal, and I live in a conservative state and go to a Christian conservative school, while the Internet is more progressive, I guess?

3. What is your zodiac sign?

Sagittarius!

Strengths: Generous, idealistic, great sense of humor

Weaknesses: Promises more than can deliver, very impatient, will say anything no matter how undiplomatic

Likes: Freedom, travel, philosophy, being outdoors

Dislikes: Clingy people, being constrained, off-the-wall theories, details

This further teaches me that zodiac signs are BS, because apparently, I’m supposed to be extroverted, optimistic, enthusiastic, and likes change. I’m apparently able to transform my ambitions into concrete ideas and I’ll do anything to achieve my goals. In real life I’m an introvert, I’m highly pessimistic, it depends on what I’m enthusiastic on, and I don’t know if I like change??? I am very impatient, though, so there’s that.

4. What Hogwarts house would you be in?

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Haha, I got Hufflepuff??? Which is 100% not me. I’m a Ravenclaw through and through; I don’t care what this quiz tells me. My second highest in terms of results was Ravenclaw, though, so that’s interesting.

5. What are your learning styles?

I actually took this exact test last year but I totally forgot my results. So, I apparently have a multi-modal learning preference.

Visual – 10

Aural – 6

Read/Write – 9

Kinesthetic – 7

That’s definitely right. I’m going to apply this to math since that’s my toughest subject to learn. Listening to something explained to me doesn’t work, but seeing someone work out the problems or having me solve some problems really helps.

6. Are you more of a left-brain or right-brain person?

It says I use my brain equally, but the left side is 59%, and the right is 41%. I think I should be more right-brained if we’re linking up to the words, but whatever.

7. What is your blood type?

I don’t know, and I don’t care unless I’m bleeding out at the moment.

8. What career are you meant to be in?

I got Writer, like I thought I’d get! I don’t really want to write too much anymore, but, hey, blogging is a form of writing, right? I don’t really take a Playbuzz quiz too seriously, though.

9. What Divergent faction do you belong in?

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Surprise, surprise, I belong in Erudite. I do like education, and I think ignorance is what stems a lot of hate and conflict, so I think it’s very important. And then there’s the fact that I could rant about the education system all day long, BUT LET’S NOT GET INTO IT.

(Also, I 100% chose the “Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose” life motto because I love Friday Night Lights.)

10. What does your birth order say about you?

So, there’s only one more sibling in my house, so just by being the older sister, I’m the firstborn. Apparently, I’m supposed to be ambitious, responsible, and a natural leader. I honestly don’t feel like any of those things are true.

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Okay, so this was a really fun tag to do! I’ve learned a lot about me throughout this entire thing, and this was super fun to do, so I hope it was just as fun to read!

Again, like with most tags, feel free to do this one if you want to! I’d love to see your answers!

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Do we have any answers in common? Do you think your Hogwarts house is correct according to this quiz?

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18

The Ultimate Book Tag

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Yes, Mikaela is doing another tag (because what I like to do is participate in tags that I was never nominated for)! Even though I’m trying to do more original content on my blog, I do like taking a break and answering some already-made questions instead of creating something from scratch. And I thought it’d be fun to do the Ultimate Book Tag today!

I know I usually don’t book review today, but that didn’t happen, so here we are! 

This tag was apparently created by Megan, so a big thanks to her for creating this tag!

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Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Nope. I’ve never gotten sick while riding in a car ever. However, I do get pounding headaches. I read a large majority of Throne of Glass stuck in traffic on a highway for, like an hour. #nostalgia

Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

It’s a three-way tie between Maggie Stiefvater, V.E. Schwab, and Laini Taylor. All three of these ladies have gorgeous, magical writing, and they also write super weird characters and super weird books in the fantasy genre. I highly recommend all their books.

Harry Potter or Twilight?

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Harry Potter for me! I actually read Twilight when I was 12, and I thought it was okay (I read that baby in two days!), but got to New Moon, and DNF-ed halfway through because I was bored out of my mind. I’ve actually finished the Harry Potter series, and it’s one of my all-time favorite series, so, it was an obvious choice.

Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it?

Nope. Two-thirds of my books are now stored on my phone, and I don’t carry THAT many books around that I just can’t hold it in my hand.

Do you smell your books?

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Duh. By the way, Eleanor and Park is the best-smelling book. Fight me.

Books with or without little illustrations?

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Definitely with! I loved the little illustrations for the different POVs in the Six of Crows duology, and same with the Harry Potter series. I have a theory that all books would be ten times better with tiny illustrations.

What book did you love while reading but discovered later that it wasn’t quality writing?

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I’m going with Under the Never Sky, just for the fact that I read this in middle school and enjoyed it, but reread it last year because I finally had the full series and I’d totally forgotten everything that had happened in the first book, and I hated it.

Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood?

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I used to read this book series called the Mallory series (which, by the way, is still being written to this very day), and the main character’s full name was Mallory Louise McDonald. My full name shares the same initials, so I was so happy to have a character whose initials matched up with mine!

What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

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Probably The Hunger Pains, which is an obvious parody of The Hunger Games by The Harvard Lampoon. Yes, it’s stupid, but it’s hilarious and short.

What is the thickest book on your shelf?

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Uh, probably Order of the Phoenix?

Do you write as well as read? Do you yourself in the future as an author?

I used to be a huge writer, and one of my aspirations was to be an author, but I’ve sort of fallen out of love with writing, so no, not really. I used to be lowkey famous on Wattpad, though, but I quit it, as predicted.

When did you get into reading?

I really don’t know. Probably when I was super young? Does anyone truly remember?

What is your favorite classic book?

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The Giver by Lois Lowry. It’s still the only book I’ve had to read for school that I fell in love with, and I still consider it one of my favorites to this day.

In school, is your best subject English?

Uh, I guess so? I do well in a large majority of my subjects, except math, which I’m just straight-up garbage in. Thankfully, none of the jobs I want to do involve that, so I’m all good.

If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?

This scenario would never happen because I ask for gift cards not books, and for this exact reason. I’m more nervous that someone will get the wrong book or won’t remember it or won’t get it in the right format, so I do it for myself.

What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?

Funnily enough, I just wrote up an entire post about this, which you can check out right here!

What is a bad habit you always do while blogging?

Um, I don’t really know. I honestly don’t think I have any bad blogging habits, unless you count working over an hour and a half on one single post to the point where your legs get cramped and your eyes start to glaze over or being two months ahead of time on your posts as “bad habits.”

What is your favorite word?

Well-thumbed.

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(God, I love Arrested Development.)

Nerd, dork, or dweeb? All of the above?

Nerd, I guess? I’m more of a geek, and that’s not included!

Vampires or Faeries?

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Fae, for sure. I am 100% obsessed with fae because of Cassie Clare and Sarah J. Maas, and I will forever love them for it. Unfortunately, there’s not enough books about fae out there, even though they’re sneaky, sexy, conniving, complicated creatures. Vampires are just boring.

Shapeshifters or Angels?

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Angels! Again, I’m totally obsessed with angels again because of Cassie Clare, but also because of the Unearthly, Angelfall, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. For some reason, my favorite PNR creatures have the least amount of series. #sad

Spirits or Werewolves?

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Spirits, I guess, just because I don’t like werewolves, even though I don’t know what those are? Do will-o-wisps or whatever you call them in Brave count?

Zombies or Vampires?

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Zombies, definitely! I love The Walking Dead show and comics, and I also loved the I Am Legend movie (still haven’t read the book yet). So many people are tired of zombies nowadays, but I can’t get enough!

Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

Forbidden love! Pretty much a majority of my ships are involved in sort of forbidden love, even if they’re caught up in some sort of love triangle.

Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

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And that’s it for the Ultimate Book Tag! Even though I’m not huge on doing too many book tags these days, I don’t mind doing one every once in a while, and I thought this one was fun.

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If any of you guys want to do this tag, feel free to try it out! If you do, feel free to link to your post in the comments so I can read through some of them if I can find time!

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13

My All-Time Favorite Book Boyfriends

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Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about my book boyfriends. I decided to do the Book Boyfriend Tag because if I just talked about my book boyfriends in general, we’d probably be here all day, to be honest. But, who cares? Let’s talk about the cute boys!

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Most Romantic Boyfriend

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Darrow. I mean, would I necessarily call him romantic? Probably not. But, he’s a total romantic in my mind, so it counts. Plus, he’ll probably give amazing pep talks and speeches when I need encouragement and/or I’m low on self-esteem. Have you read the Red Rising series? #inspirationgoals

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Dark and Moody Bad Boy with a Good Side

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Warner. A.K.A. The only good thing to come from the Shatter Me trilogy. Of course, pretty much everyone was wary of Warner when he first popped up in Shatter Me, but the more you get to learn about his character, the more you just fall in love with him. He’s probably one of the few bad boys in fiction that I don’t roll my eyes at.

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Paranormal Boyfriend

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Percy Jackson. You’re probably thinking, “How is Percy paranormal?” He’s a demigod. That’s totally not human, so, again, counting it. I mean, do I really need to explain why Percy Jackson is the best book boyfriend ever? He’s funny and kind and look at how he treats Annabeth! Give me sweethearts over bad boys any day.

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Boyfriend You Want to Tame

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Kaz Brekker, of course. I mean, I’m not going to try to stop him from going on heists and being a criminal because that’s what makes him awesome, but, you know, he could take me on a date once in a while. Just saying.

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Boy You Friend-Zoned  

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Noah Shaw. I don’t have time for wimpy bad boys who sleep with every girl in the high school, and then spout Edward Cullen-like sentences because “I’m not like other girls.” Barf.

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Your Soul Mate

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Rowan Whitethorn. He’s my top book boyfriend of all time, and even though I love him with Aelin and they’re the most perfect couple ever, he’s meant for me and me only. Sorry, Aelin.

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Boyfriend You Want to Elope With

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(Image from Cassandra Jean’s Wiki)

Jem! I know so many people prefer Will over Jem, but, unpopular opinion: I don’t like Will that much. Again, I always go for the sweethearts, and the violin is actually one of my favorite instruments to hear (I blame Lindsey Stirling). And look at the way he treats Tessa. He’s so perfect.

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Boyfriend You’d Venture Anywhere With

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Rhysand. Look at what happened when Feyre went with him instead of marrying Tamlin. She got to visit the freaking Night Court. To the Night Court I go!

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Boyfriend You’d Want to Be Stranded on a Desert Island With

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(Image from LauraHollingsworth)

Thorne. He’s absolutely hilarious, plus, he and Cress already survived the Sahara, and that was when he was rendered blind. He’ll find us a way out (and, hopefully, he’ll realize I’m the one for him, not Cress, and he’ll fall in love with me and we’ll get married).

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Most Badass Boyfriend

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(Image from Gemina courtesy of Marie Lu)

Nik. Um, who wouldn’t want a drug-dealing criminal to go around kicking everyone’s ass?Okay, he’s actually more of a sweetheart, and he was traumatized after he had to shoot a living human being, but, you know, I’d still totally want him on my side to protect me.

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And that’s just a sneak peek of some of my book boyfriends! Too bad they don’t really exist and boys in real life always seem to just disappoint.

Also, I feel like I’m on a blogging and reading high right now! I’ve finally gotten back into reading, I’m back to writing reviews again (and I hate writing reviews, so this is a miracle), and I’m on break, so that means I can finish my posts for April (yes, I’m that far ahead)! #killingit

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What are some of your book boyfriends? Do we share the same ones (if we do, I called dibs first)?