So, the lovely Esme was looking for a book tag, of sorts, to help introduce herself to the book-blog-verse, so I obliged by throwing her a few question suggestions! Sweet as she is, she’s tagged me in her own challenge, so I’m here to interview myself now, I suppose!!
Favourite genre: Hmm, I don’t think I have one? I do tend to read a lot of YA, and when I was younger I tended to gravitate more towards fantasy & scifi, whereas now I’m pretty much an open book (no pun intended) and eager to try anything!
Favourite male author: PatrickNess, I think. He’s pretty excellent, and while I’ve currently onlyread his Chaos Walkingseries, it stood out a mile. And, having now been lucky enough tomeet him twicein 2018 (once at the start of the year with the darling Esme herself,and once at the end of the year with my lovely Jenny), he’s quitesimply the loveliest man I’ve ever met. He was a joy to meet bothtimes, and both of his talks were informative and educational, fullto the brim with insightful conversations that spanned from race, tosexuality, to gender, and so so much more. He’s not afraid to callout injustices, and even himself, and to continue educating bothhimself and his audience – and all the while without beingcondescending or all-knowing. I’m absolutely thrilled just knowing Ihave more of his books waiting on my shelves, and I can’t wait tocheck those out. Not to mention, that second talk of his was utterlyfilthy,and he proved just how easy it is for you to be funny without beingoutright offensive.
Favourite female author: Rightnow, I think possibly Angie Thomas. Again, I’ve only actually readone of her books, that being TheHate U Give, but my God,it’s a book that will stick with me for a long time. Her writing isutterly gorgeous, and left me utterly raw by the end of the story,and I just know that she’s got what it takes to keep delivering. I’mso so excited for the release of OnThe Come Upnext month, and eager to dive in once I get my hands on it. Ofcourse, she’s extremely woke, and knowing that there are suchgorgeously talented women, women of colour, and, more to the point, astrong black womanwith fierce, empowering black female leads in their stories, isexactly what we need to see more and more and moreof. Plus – her instagram is a delight!
Forever favourite(s): ‘Alicein Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll, ‘The Raven Cycle’ by MaggieStiefvater, ‘Harry Potter’ by JK Rowling, ‘The Hate U Give’ by AngieThomas, ‘Chaos Walking’ by Patrick Ness… I could probably go on. Ihave a lotof books that have stuck with me over the years, but I won’t keep youall.
What was your first book of 2018?:‘Through the Looking-Glass’ byLewis Carroll.
How did you like it?: So,this was actually a reread. Anybody that knows me well knows that I’ma hugeAlice fan, and I actually had a particularly rough start to 2018, anddecided to dive into a comfort read to lift me up. So yeah, I lovedit!
What was your last book of 2018?:‘Olivia Twist’ by LorieLangdon.
How did you like it?: Iadored it! I’ve been dying to read this, actually, and Oliver Twistis one of my favourite stories, even ever since I was tiny. I’vealways been a huge fan, and so even hearing about this book, andknowing there was an adaptation out there, was really exciting to me.I wasn’t sure what to anticipate, from gender swaps, to the heteroromance, and obviously the fact that Langdon was adapting such aclassic. Turns out, I had nothing to fear! It probably wasn’t themasterpiece that many might look for in a novel, but it certainly wasexcellent. So much fun, really soft, sweet, with an endearing romanceto boot. And, credit where it’s due, Langdon done a great job ofadapting the story, and all the references were utterly excellent!While still accurately calling back to the original content, shemanaged to mingle some of the changes from the movie and musicaladaptations, as well as keeping it entirely her own with fresh, newtwists!
What do you look for in a book/whatmakes it really stand out?: Isuppose saying to ‘justmake it good‘is a bit of a mundane, obvious response? Yeah, I mean… Everyone’sdifferent, and everybody looks for something different in a book. Iknow a lot of people, for example, enjoy villainous characters,people that they can disdain.What I will say on that note, is that if your story requires avillain, I’m not looking for them to be redeemed. If your characteris despicable, let them be despicable, but also don’t feel as thoughyou have to fall back on damaging tropes (i’m sick and tired ofvillains having to be racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist,abusers and assaulters), when there are plenty ways in which you canmake them terrible. If you’re writing a character who is flawed,however? Excellent. I loveflawed characters, because it makes them real. No matter who decent ahuman being you are, how kind of heart, how morally decent, we’re allflawed, and we all make mistakes. Give me a character who is flawed,and show that you’re willing to work on that behaviour, willing toacknowledge it. Let your characters face the consequences of theiractions, let them be called out. Even main characters can’t bepicture perfect just so your audience will love themunapologetically; give them depth.Give me a plot that keeps me guessing, a story that makes me neverwant to put it down again, and leaves me ranting and raving about itfor all my days to come;
- Strong, fierce characters, and ladies who empower one another rather than tear each other down.
- LGBT+ rep! Give me goodrepresentation. Show that you’re not afraid to branch out from the predictability of white, cishetero garbage that has grown oh-so tired. Do your research, make them real, make sure you’re representing an audience, a group of people, that you’ve activelytaken an interest in, and let their voices be heard.
- POC rep! The same as above. If you’re going to discuss and explore different cultures – which, quite frankly, you should– then do it right. Research. Learn. Educate.
Justgive me a story that you wrote with love,one that came from a place of meaning. And even saying that, itdoesn’t have to be some angst-filled story with shocking twists andturns at every corner. Even if the plot’s not all that deep, and it’sjust a simple, fluffy love story, make it unforgettable. Make itsomething you poured your heart and soul into, and not something thatmerely came together just to meet a deadline.
Do you collect any particular sets/editions of books?: I do! I collect copies of Harry Potter, and copies of Alice in Wonderland. I always have done, since I was small, and I haven’t stopped even now. I’ve got an absolute overabundance of both, luckily, and I collect various different adaptations and retellings of Alice, and the world in which she lives – even if I haven’t quite gotten around to reading them all just yet! Though not all pictured, you can take a look at my Alice shelves below:
Do you prefer ebooks, audiobooks, orphysicals? Hardback or paperback?: Interestinglyenough, this was actually a conversation Esme and I had recentlyourselves! I’ve always loved hardbacks. I used to be absolutelymeticulousas a child about the shape I kept my books in; I could never crackthe spine, dog-ear the pages, or get even the slightest speck of duston it. It was a little bit toomuch, in all honesty. I’m a lot more laid back now, though, and farmore aware of the price of hardbacks, too. They’re gorgeous, andperfect for aesthetic reasons – especiallywhen it comes to classics and collectibles – but a good paperbackis always my go-to, now. I especially love the newer floppy editionsof books, as they’re sort of a happy medium. But yeah, I candefinitely say I prefer physical books, though I don’t mindebooks and audiobooks if i’m feeling a little slumpy.
Do you keep books you didn’t like orget rid of them?: Sadly, yes, Idokeep them. It’s ridiculous, really. I’m not exactly doing well forspaceas far as my shelves go, but I hate letting them go. I read a fewlast year, in fact, that I ended up not only disliking, but hating,yet I can’t quite bring myself to let them go. Maybe one day.
Which literary character best defines you/do you best relate to?: This is tough! I think it’s fair to say that there are a few characters out there, ones like Annie (Thomas Meehan), Alice (Lewis Carroll), and Luna (JK Rowling), who I have my own personal connection to. Those are just three examples, but they’re all from books that I adored growing up, and are all particular characters that I’ve got a really strong connection to, one that hasn’t wavered in all these years. I think, having grown up with them, I’ve probably picked up on certain traits, and growing up, books have definitely helped raise me to an extent. So, if I had to choose, I’d say that I definitely relate to them to a degree! But, I think i’m still waiting on that perfect character that I can really loses myself and see myself in!
Besides the darling Becca, I don’t have anybody else to tag, but if you’re reading this and you’re eager to take part, please have at it!