Hey, everyone, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Coming at you with a very last minute post, but I saw this on Sofii’s blog @ A Book. A Thought. (sorry I keep stealing your tags, but you choose some very fun and creative ones!) and I had to join in.
The original tag was started by Lizzie Loves Books, so go and show her some love!
The Christmas season is always a hectic time for me, but also a nostalgic one. I love looking back on the year and what I accomplished as well as reminisce about times long past. What better way to do that this year than with all the books I’ve read?
So let’s look at my 12 Days of Christmas book tag!
♫ On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a partridge in a pear tree. ♫
The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favorite stand alone?
This was hard because I’ve read a number of stand alones in the past few years that have been awesome, but Naomi Novick brought her A-game this year with Spinning Silver. Three incredible heroines, expert weaving of narratives and folklore, stunning descriptions, beautiful blending of fantasy world-building with elements that are familiar to our world… This book has everything. I honestly didn’t think she could write a book on par with Uprooted but she did. Spinning Silver is also the perfect winter book!
♫ On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: two turtle doves. ♫
Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?
Jude and Cardan from The Cruel Prince stole the show for me this year. I love antagonistic/will they, won’t they/enemies-to-lovers pairings, but this pairing still played out in ways I didn’t expect. Hate, fear, respect, fascination, obsession, lust–Jude and Cardan’s feelings for each other are a chaotic, dangerous mixture of contradictions, and it’s so much fun to read, especially since neither of them wants these feelings, but they can’t help that they exist. Jude actually being the more ambitious and power-hungry of the two adds a fantastic element to the pairing that I didn’t know I needed, and I’m so excited to see where this messy relationship goes in the future.
♫ On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: three french hens. ♫
In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?
In doing this, I’ve realized I haven’t read and finished a lot of trilogies, haha. The ones I have simply can’t hold a candle to the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy by Susan Ee. These books are some of the top-tier ones in the YA game, with unique characters, a wonderfully forbidden romance, strong worldbuilding, angel and demon mythology, and a masterful horror element that will blindside you in the best way. Cannot recommend these enough!
♫ On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: four calling birds. ♫
Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favorite series?
I assume Harry Potter needs no explanation. So far, I haven’t run into another series that can hold a candle to it for me yet. I really need to do a reread because I miss my home.
♫ On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: five golden rings.♫
One ring to rule them all! Who is your Favorite Villain/Antagonist?
It’s gotta go to the Darkling from the Grisha trilogy, though, right? Not only was the Darkling never redeemed–either in a well-written way or in an obnoxious, ret-conning way on behalf of “true love” or whatever–he always believed he was right, that his ends justified his means. The Darkling is something beyond human, deeply seductive, a master manipulator, and a real genuine threat. I’m high-key hoping he’s coming back for Bardugo’s King of Scars because he deserved better than to go out Like That.
♫ On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: six geese a-laying. ♫
Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favorite world/world-building?
Patrick Rothfuss seriously impressed me with his world-building in his Kingkiller Chronicle. There are so many layers to Temerant and how Kvothe inhabits and interacts with the world, both past and present. Every place we’re taken with Kvothe describes both the mundane and the fantastical with both richness and accessibility. Reading about this world is as effortless as breathing, and like young Kvothe, we’re aware that there’s still so much more to it that we don’t know and grow ever more intrigued to find out about. Rothfuss paid attention to both the things that would make his world stand out as well as all the little details that make it seem real, all without overloading us on exposition or spilling all its secrets–and that’s how you world-build, kids.
♫ On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: seven swans a-swimming. ♫
Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favorite animal sidekick?
There’s so much to love about Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle (both the book and film version), and one of my favorite things of both is Calcifer, the fire demon Howl made a pact with. I just? Love him? And treasure him? And trust him? Even though he’s a pact-making fire demon? I love how willing he was to drop hints to Sophie while also not helping Howl hardly at all, haha. But despite not being wholly trustworthy, he’s still loyal in the end.
♫ On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: eight maids a-milking. ♫
Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?
Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate centers around food, as if the name isn’t implication enough. Each chapter begins with a recipe, and in true magical realism fashion, Tita’s emotions affect the food she makes and the people who consume it. I remember distinctly how her despair caused all her family to be sick while the love and lust she put into her cooking seduced Pedro. And that’s just the bare minimum of this story. It’s truly a wild yet delicious read.
♫ On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: nine ladies dancing. ♫
Dancing is just one skill of a Lady! Who is your favorite kickass female lead?
In this house, we love and respect Inej Ghafa from Six of Crows. I love the faith she still has in spite of being sold into sex slavery. I love how she’s a direct mirror inverse of Kaz: outwardly full of light but inwardly full of darkness that won’t hesitate to destroy you. As the Wraith, she absolutely captivated me with her acrobatics and skills with her knives, all named after saints. Her relationships with the other Dregs are equally captivating as much as they are diverse. I just love her so much, and she and Kaz? Oh, just destroy me. They would’ve made the top OTP slot if Jude/Cardan hadn’t been so fresh.
♫ On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: ten lords a-leaping. ♫
How about your favorite leading lad?
Speaking of which, Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows absolutely deserves this spot. He’s two steps ahead of everybody, and when he’s not, he takes it personally and he learns. He’s shrewd, he’s brutal, he’s haunted by all the past mistakes he’s made and determined to never be that weak again. He’s got the driest sense of humor that has me in stitches, not to mention that style. I probably fell in love with him earlier than I realized, but when he tore out a man’s eye for hurting his girl
who he totally doesn’t have feelings for ssh, I was sold. Plus, the only person he’ll be weak for is Inej, and if that isn’t choice, I don’t know what is.
♫ On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: eleven pipers piping. ♫
What is your favorite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot etc.)
If The Kingkiller Chronicle can’t go here, then Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones deserves it, hands down. Music chases almost every page of this beautiful, Labyrinth-inspired fantasy novel. The musical element is a large part of why there’s such a dreamy quality to the story, how it can cling to you well after you turn the final page (no doubt an effect of being around the fae). Having Liesl reclaim and explore her musical talents at the same time as she claimed and explored her sexuality was a stroke of pure genius. I would pay good money to have a soundtrack made of this book, because I’m sure it would be dark and beautiful and sensual and absolutely my jam.
♫ On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: twelve drummers drumming. ♫
Drum roll please…what is your favorite read of this year?
I really don’t think it’s too early to call it. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black won my affections back in January of this year. I remember calling that it would be the best book of 2018–and here I am, and the answer still hasn’t changed. I will say that Spinning Silver gave it a run for its money, but in the end, The Cruel Prince had everything I wanted: the fae politics, the backstabbing, the morally-gray characters, the ambitious and bloodthirsty protagonist, the best twists, and the hate boners. Oh, that lust between Jude and Cardan? Still peak. Still excellent. I mean, they’re up there as my top OTP right now, aren’t they?
Hope you guys enjoyed this one! I really had a fun time doing it, even as I strongly debated some of these answers. I just take that as meaning I have too many things that I love, and that’s not a bad problem to have.
If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you’ve had an amazing one so far. If not, then I hope this holiday season treats you kindly and that you’re having the absolute best time.
In the meantime, let me know what your favs are or link me to your own 12 Days of Christmas post! I’d love to read them.
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