I’m a bit late doing this tag since my birthday was June 11th but that whole week was quite busy (I’ll be sharing a bit about that in my next blog post!) and I didn’t get a chance to sit down and do this. I first saw this tag on Kristin Kraves Books blog and I recommend you go check out her awesome content! Anyway- here goes nothing!
Birthday Cake: A book with a plot that seems cliché but you adored it anyway.
This was definitely the hardest question to come up with an answer for since I have a hard time thinking of a book I loved as cliché… but I think its universally acknowledged that most (not all) contemporary romances follow a certain formula and while the formula is the same the details surrounding it are not. That being said- I adored the Beautiful series by Christina Lauren. Beautiful Bastard was great but I’m letting it represent the entirety of the series for my answer. Cheating? Maybe a bit- but its my birthday after all. I’d also like to add that if you’re looking for a binge-worthy romance series to listen to on audio this is an excellent selection. There are several books and novellas to get through plus a companion series with some overlapping characters (Wild Seasons).
Party Guests: You’re most anticipated book release this year.
While the first question was the hardest to answer, this was the easiest. Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff is my most anticipated release of the last two years. It was originally slated for a Fall 2020 release but got pushed back a year. We are finally three months away from this book hitting shelves and I am ecstatic. Pictured above are all the copies I have preordered so far. I know this seems excessive and crazy but I feel zero shame. I arrived late to the party with Nevernight and I wasn’t about to make that mistake again! From top to bottom and left to right these are the editions in the photo: Obsidian Mooncrate exclusive edition, Waterstones exclusive edition, Goldsboro exclusive edition, General U.S. edition, General U.K. edition, and the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition. I will link any editions listed that aren’t currently sold out. As an aside- this isn’t me flexing or anything like that. It’s just me celebrating a book I am so damn thrilled about.. and it wasn’t all roses and rainbows. The Waterstones edition sold out 3 times before I was able to snag one- the site kept crashing (a repeating theme here), and I wasn’t even able to get a Goldsboro edition the traditional way. I set my alarm, got up two hours early just to be awake and prepared, I memorized my credit card info and copied the number from another source just to make things quicker, I had three devices open and ready (my MacBook, my phone, and my mother’s iPad). Of course, as predicted by myself and many others, the Goldsboro site crashed. In fact it crashed ten minutes before the preorder even dropped. I then spent several hours refreshing and refreshing the page just to have it crash again and again until finally Goldsboro posted to social media that they were sold out. So that was a big bummer, especially after being as prepared as I was. BUT I was extremely lucky that my mother, knowing how important this edition was to me, went on Ebay and paid an extravagant price for one being sold by a GSFF member that had early access to the book. She did this because it was my birthday and also because I beat cancer last year. I appreciate her so much for many reasons, but especially for securing this book for me when I thought all was lost. I would also like to add an honorable mention: My Favorite Thing is Monsters Vol. 2 by Emil Ferris. I’ve been waiting on this graphic novel for the last year and it looks like it may finally release this fall!
Birthday Presents: A book that surprised you with how much you loved it.
The Thorn Birds is a book my mother insisted I read. It was originally published in 1979 and it’s a brick of a book. It was a slow moving but profound story and I am so glad that I finally made time to read it. An easy five stars. Another book I’d like to mention for this one is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I purchased a copy of Fangirl when I was still trying to decide what I really liked in contemporary books and it ended up sitting on my shelves for an age. Finally, I decided I’d either read it or un-haul it and decided to at least give this hyped book a shot. I could not believe how much I enjoyed it. It’s so far removed from what I’d usually pick up but I’m very happy that I did.
The Happy Birthday Song: A book that certainly deserves all the hype it got.
When this question came up a few books immediately came to mind- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Heartstopper by Alice Oseman, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid- but I feel like I’ve talked about all those titles at least a few times on social media. The Martian is a book that I read in the last month and haven’t had much of an opportunity to talk much about. I loved this book so much. I expected to like it since it was so popular in the book world but I had no idea that I would devour it. I immediately watched the movie after finishing it and while I did enjoy it, it couldn’t hold a candle to the book. I did love seeing all the elements of the story brought to life since a lot of the things described were hard to imagine, but the movie just couldn’t beat being directly in the mind of Mark Watney. I have since purchased both Artemis and Project Hail Mary and hope to get to them soon.
Happy Music: A book with some very beautiful and truly memorable quotes.
There are so many books that could fit for this one but Lady Midnight is one I read very recently and found myself reading and rereading passages just because they were so beautiful. Here is one of the quotes that stuck with me long after the story ended:
These pictures are my heart. And if my heart was a canvas, every square inch of it would be painted over with you.”Julian Blackthorn
Getting Older: A book that you read a long time ago but you think you would appreciate more if you read it as a more mature reader.
There’s no thinking about it- I KNOW I’d appreciate this more now than I did when I was 11. I read this when I was WAY too young and all that has stuck with me is the bleak atmosphere and the sheer terror I felt while reading. I bought a copy of this a couple of years ago and plan to reread it soon- possibly this fall.
Sweet Birthday Memories: A book that kept you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding time in your life.
I mentioned briefly above that I had and beat cancer in 2020 (at the right bold age of 35). Predictably it was one of the darkest times of my life and there was very little joy happening. That being said, there is very little in this world that could extinguish the happy glow emanating from this graphic novel and its other three installments. If you can read this without smiling then you must be dead. Another book I read with a smile on my face nearly the entire time was A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood. This Great Gatsby inspired novel was simply stunning and I loved everything about it!
Well, that concludes the Birthday Book Tag- I had a lot of fun answering the questions and sharing some tidbits of my life with you all. Looking back I think it’s awesome how many different genres were featured here. There is some adult romance, sci-fi, horror, YA contemporary, a graphic novel, both adult and YA fantasy, and even some historical fiction. I’m so glad that I read so broadly because each genre and age category has something wonderful to offer and I want to experience it all! If you’re reading this consider yourself tagged! And if you do it please let me know- I’d love to see your answers as well! Stay tuned for a Birthday Book Haul post coming soon. I don’t normally share book hauls but I had a great time book shopping/ordering and I’m excited to share all the titles with you! See you soon.