Hey, everyone! Welcome back to another ABC Book Challenge post. I decided to do this to add more variety to the blog and also because it looked incredibly fun (and so far, it is!). Once again, thank you to Sofii @A Book. A Thought. for introducing this tag to me, and for her support. You should definitely check out her blog if you haven’t already!
Here’s the challenge: Every week, I’ll have a post sharing my most favorite titles as well as those on my current TBR list that start with the corresponding letter. (For weird letters like Q, X, and Z, I might have to bend the rules a little and just have those letters somewhere in the title, but we’ll see.)
This week is the letter B!
Favorite Titles That Start with “B”
Beastly by Alex Flinn was, I believe, my first foray into Beauty and the Beast retellings in YA (and outside of fanfiction). It was so charming, I remember flying through it and getting caught up in the sweet fluffiness of it all. I even really liked the modern setting of it, which caught me by surprise since that’s not my usual jam. It’s been forever since I’ve read it, and I have no idea if it would even hold up to my standards now, but the feelings of fondness, nostalgia, and warmth I have for it are still so real.
The Boss by Abigail Barnette is a complete divergence from the book above. You all remember when Fifty Shades of Grey happened? Remember how abusive the relationship was and then the sex was laughably bad on top of it? The Boss is your cure. I’d wanted to read a decent BDSM romance with two functional main characters, and I got it. Sophie and Neil aren’t just a breath of fresh air; they are a lavender-scented candle burning bright in our darkest hour. They actually communicate with each other and respect each other. Neil is 100% a Dom in the bedroom but also a functioning person outside of it. None of that “here sign this contract that legally allows me to physically abuse you and control every part of your life to suit my needs” crap. Sophie is young and inexperienced but collected and honest about her feelings. Their chemistry is magnetic on every page, never overstated, and the sex scenes are fantastic. Definitely not the “height of literature” or anything, but this is definitely a rare gem romance fans should not pass up, especially those curious about the kinkier side of sex.
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket is just so iconic, though, right? The entire series, in fact. I’ve never been so entranced by a constant play on words and by an author’s entirely distinct, original voice as Lemony Snicket’s. The Baudelaire orphans and Count Olaf are still in my brain, carrying out a series of unfortunate events that, despite their darkness, endlessly entertained and intrigued me. Writing this has reminded me that I need to continue with the Netflix series, too, because it’s so on point.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak physically and emotionally wrecked me, but it is so exceptional that I don’t mind the torment. If you love books about words and stories, this is the book for you. If you love books centered around Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, this is the book for you. If you love memorable characters and displays of human compassion, this is the book for you. Plus, it’s narrated by Death, and how cool is that? [Review]
Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeff Loeb and Tim Sale was my first graphic novel and Batman comic I ever read, and I fell in love instantly. First of all, this one is chock full of the Gotham rogues that I know and love while also being well-balanced towards more old school gangsters like Carmine Falcone. The year-long mystery surrounding the Holiday killer, the Two-Face transformation, the unique artwork, and everything in between make this one of the best Batman comics ever conceived and my personal favorite. I even got to meet Tim Sale at Dragon*Con, where he autographed my copy. It’s just so dear to me, and I can’t recommend it enough.
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton is unlike any YA book I’ve ever read. The beginning is a little slow, but once you’ve been immersed in the world of Orléans, you’ll be as enchanted by it as you are horrified. It has all the qualities of a new-age fairytale, one where the world is colorful and opulent while the people are strange and hiding monstrous secrets and desires of their own. Camellia is an outstanding protagonist, not just for being a POC, but for the resolutions of her character. Seeing the commodifications of female bodies through her eyes and her feelings towards it–how she longs to make people healthy and love themselves for who they are, not as this vogue ideal of themselves–is an experience you won’t get anywhere else.
Batman: Under the Red Hood by Judd Winick has to go on this list. It has to. I have many feelings for many Batman comics in general, but if The Long Halloween is my favorite, then Under the Red Hood is a close, close second. This comic has everything: a detective story, the tragic downfall of Jason Todd, Batman’s complicated relationships with his proteges and his villains, beautiful artwork. The Joker in this is a joy, and even if you don’t like him, there are plenty of other characters to love, like Black Mask, his trusty assistant David Li, Deathstroke, Nightwing, Ra’s al Ghul, Alfred. (Everyone loves Alfred, right?) I love it so much. I think I’m due for a re-read.
Books on My TBR List That Start with “B”
[screams at how much I have to read]
Which of my favorites have you read that you loved? Are there any on my TBR list you’d recommend become a priority for me, stat? Let me know!
Photo Credit: Paul Schafer