I was tagged by one of my BFFS Kelly of Belle of the Literati to do the Harry Potter Spells Book Tag. This tag was created by Kim of Kimberley Faye Reads, and may just be one of my favorite book tags that I've ever, ever, ever done. Because who doesn't love Harry Potter and book tags? It took me a while to come up with my answers for this one, but I'd like to think I did it justice!
AN UPCOMING RELEASE YOU WISH YOU COULD GET YOUR HANDS ON RIGHT NOW
I'm really just a massive fan of Sarah J. Maas and her novels! I really want Empire of Storms because I need more time with my squad. Basically, I just want all the Sarah J. Maas books ever (and she can just keep them coming!) (Thank goodness for A Court of Mist and Fury being out today! We have a new Sarah J. Maas novel, people!)
FAVORITE SERIES STARTER
I reread The Burning Sky a couple of months ago as part of my series binge, and I loved it even more than the first two times I'd read it. Thomas has constructed such a fascinating world and magic system, and she's crafted really incredible characters. It's really not a surprise that I think this is one of my favorite series starters ever, as it sets up everything for the next two books perfectly.
A BOOK THAT GAVE YOU ALL THE WARM & FUZZIES
I haven't mentioned it in a tag for some time, so I thought it was high time I professed my love for Open Road Summer again. I really, really, really adore this book, you guys. I reread it earlier this year, just because I could, and I loved it even more. Reagan and Dee have the most amazing friendship; Reagan and Matt have great banter and chemistry and bring on the swoons. I just love this story, and it just makes me happy whenever I read it.
A BOOK THAT MADE YOU UGLY CRY
I was going to go with my default answer (Second Chance Summer, in case you weren't aware) for this, when I realized that I had another novel that I could mention: One Plus One. It's this incredible story of family and friendship, and triumph over circumstances, and I absolutely loved it. It surprised me when the waterworks arrived, but I spent the latter third of this novel just sobbing my way through it because it was so lovely, so heartwarming, so perfectly well-written.
BOOKISH HERO OR HEROINE YOU WANT AROUND TO PROTECT YOU IN REAL LIFE
If you had me choose a hero to protect me, I'd go with Wrath from the Black Dagger Brotherhood (Here's my mini-reviews for Dark Lover, Lover Eternal and Lover Awakened!) . First of all, Wrath is a massive fighting machine who knows his way around a fight, with or without weapons. He has a protective instinct that goes beyond anything I've ever read, and I know he'd jump in the line of fire to save my life without hesitation. Second, Wrath happens to be King, and as such is guaranteed protection of all the Brothers... which would mean I would be too.
As for a gal I could see protecting me in real life, I'd go with Sybella from the His Fair Assassin series (Here's my review of Dark Triumph!). She's an excellent fighter, basically trained to bring death in various means, and I think having her on my side would be awesome. She would work hard to keep me safe, and she would also always have my back; I'd trust her implicitly to do what needs to be done.
A BOOK YOU WISH YOU COULD MAKE EVERYONE READ BECAUSE YOU LOVED IT SO
I really give a shout-out to this series whenever I can, but the Newsoul trilogy - Incarnate, Asunder and Infinite - is amazing. It's definitely not a story that can be sorted into a category (because there are hints of both science fiction and fantasy), but it has themes that any reader will be able to connect to. I still feel like this series is so underrated, and that needs to change!
A BOOK SERIES YOU WISH NEVER ENDED
It's probably cheating to say Harry Potter (though I certainly wish this hadn't ended and would happily read more stories set in this world and about these characters, so yay Cursed Child), so I think I'm going to go with The Lumatere Chronicles. It took me a little while to get my bearings in Finnikin of the Rock, but I tore through Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn without hesitation. Marchetta's world, and story, and characters, are incredible. I wouldn't mind having a little more time to spend with everyone, and in this world, fraught with peril and secrets as it is.
A BOOK WITH AN UPLIFTING MESSAGE
It was easy enough to choose a novel for this category - Rules for Stealing Stars, one of my favorite middle grade reads from last year. Even though the parents in this novel have serious issues to deal with, I love the overall messages that we can pick up from reading it. Like the fact that it does get better. Or the fact that it is important to have a strong, steady support system. Or the fact that holding on to hope is always a good choice. It's really very inspiring, and I feel like it's an important book for younger readers.
A BOOK YOU WISH YOU COULD FORGET YOU EVER READ
There are quite a few novels that I can think of to fit this category, but alas, I must give this category over to Dangerous. I read this one back in the days where I wasn't a big fan of doing the good ol' DNF, no matter how much I wasn't liking what I read. Unfortunately, that meant forcing myself through a story that felt underdeveloped in all elements - and it was my turning point where I finally felt like enough was enough and started to loosen up about dropping a book when it wasn't working for me. So, I suppose you could say some good came out of it!
AN AUTHOR WHOSE BOOKS ALWAYS GET YOU OUT OF A READING SLUMP
Reading a Lisa Kleypas novel, whether it's a reread of my favorite bits in my favorite books or starting something I haven't yet read from her, is always guaranteed to put me in the mood to read. I really love her romances! She always manages to create such excellent characters, write incredibly swoony moments and just tell stories that I'm always and forever going to want to read. I really adore her Wallflowers series and Travis series in particularly, and constantly recommend those!
A SWOON-WORTHY HERO OR HEROINE
I love a lot of book boys, to be fair. But at the moment, one of my favorite book heroes is Kol in The Shadow Queen. (This is one of my latest fantasy obsessions, and the best fantasy novel I read in 2016 thus far!) He is incredible. His love for his kingdom and comrades, his determination to do the right thing, his strength (physical and mental), his heart - it's just all so swoon-worthy. Plus, he's really great at banter and I love a hero who can dish snappy, clever remarks out in an instant.
A BOOK THAT CAUSED YOU TO STOP DOING ALL OTHER THINGS UNTIL YOU FINISHED IT
Six of Crows, hands down. I read this one a little bit early last year (at the end of summer, to be specific) and I was swept up in this incredible story from start to finish. I literally could not set it down (until I was absolutely forced to because of actual work needing to get down), and I finished it in under a day. It's a brilliant heist story, set in the Grisha universe that Leigh Bardugo introduced us to in her debut series, and I just love it so. (I actually want to reread it. I love the Crows!)
A BOOK THAT WAS PAINFUL TO READ (FOR WHATEVER REASON) OR BROKE YOU
I was dying of emotions when I binge read The Boleyn Trilogy last year. My goodness, but that series is so intense on the feels. I didn't expect to find myself so invested in what was going to happen in this alternative history, but man, I was sold almost right from the start! Kelly will know what I'm talking about, as she was the person I was venting all of my feelings to from start to finish. My feelings, especially about the romance, really, really, really overwhelmed me!
A BOOK THAT HAD YOU LAUGHING OUT LOUD
I recently read The Deal, and oh my goodness, I was laughing out loud so much when I read it! I giggled on trains, standing on subway platforms, waiting for my coffee, reading on my sofa, snuggled under my blankets. Honestly, it was impossible not to! I was so amused by Garrett and Hannah both, and I loved their banter and interactions so damn much. I enjoyed myself tremendously reading this NA novel, and I can't wait to read more of this series!
A BOOK THAT MADE YOU WANT TO SEND IT (OR YOUR E-READER) FLYING
I was so anxious-slash-angry-slash-confused while I read Dangerous Girls. It just gave me so many things to think about, and invited me to feel intensely while I read it - and I fell for it, hook, line and sinker. I do feel like it's really clever in terms of storytelling and characterization, but man, this story was a doozy on my feelings. I don't know if I could ever put myself through that experience again, even though it was worth it!
A BOOKISH WORLD YOU WISH YOU COULD VISIT
Oh, look, Harry Potter is sneaking into this book tag inspired by the books! But seriously, I feel like it would be so much fun to visit this world in particular - Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade in particularly. This is why my heart is so happy that the theme parks exist; it gives me a chance to sort of go to these places myself. I've been more than once (and love it) but I would definitely enjoy being able to experience the actual world for myself.
A BOOK WITH A SHOCKING TWIST OR ENDING
Oh, this is an easy one. Let's just say that both books in the Firebird trilogy - A Thousand Pieces of You and Ten Thousand Skies Above You - had twists that made me gasp out loud. I was not expecting the direction that Claudia Gray took for both, and I really like that she managed to surprise me! Both of these books are excellent stories, and I'm thoroughly invested in discovering what happens next for Marguerite.
A CHARACTER DEATH THAT DESTROYED YOU
The biggest character deaths that ever affected me all happened in the Harry Potter series. I won't say which characters but I will say that all the deaths I'm thinking of happen in the last three novels. Man, just thinking about it makes my heart hurt, and I totally felt the loss of all these people more deeply than I ever thought was going to be possible for me.
BEST SERIES CONCLUSION
I could have used Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or Inheritance for this one, but a recent favorite is Winter. It just perfectly wraps up the story that began in Cinder, giving equal amounts of attention to every single character's story even as it tackles the main plot arc that we've been reading about from the start. The blend of humor and heart was just perfection, and I was riveted as I listened to this one last year.
I'm not sure who hasn't done this one yet, but I'm tagging:
Rachel from Hello, Chelly
Kristin from Super Space Chick
Lindsey from Bring My Books
and whoever else wants to do this one!