For those of you who didn’t know, here in the US, July is Disability Pride Month! I myself didn’t know about it until this year, which is a little embarrassing, but better late than never, I suppose. I hardly see anyone in the bookish community talking about disability rep in books – especially where YA is concerned – so I wanted to make a post of my own with some YA reads with disability rep of all kinds. Unfortunately, not all of them are from disabled authors, but it seems like there’s such a dearth of disability rep in YA as a whole, so for now, I’ll share these ones, and I’ll always be on the hunt for more books by disabled authors in the future. But as with all of my posts like this, AMPLIFY DISABLED VOICES 24/7/365!
And if you’re looking for book bloggers who talk about disability, disability rep, and breaking down ableist tropes, I’d highly recommend checking out Luminosity Library and The Inside Cover. (They’re both amazing!! Show them some support!!)
Kaz Brekker (otherwise known as the “morally gray” teen idol of the YA book fandom) uses a cane for mobility (and it’s a really snazzy cane, too), and his experiences are based off of Leigh Bardugo’s own experience with osteonecrosis.
I just finished this one up a few days ago, and it was INCREDIBLE! I don’t usually jump for rom-com, but this was one of the most tender books I’ve read in a while. Gave me all the warm fuzzies…
The protagonist has rheumatoid arthritis, and the love interest has Gaucher’s disease. And lemme tell you, I GOT SO EXCITED THAT WE HAVE A DISABLED, BISEXUAL LOVE INTEREST. BI DISABLED CHARACTERS?? NO KIDDING, MY BRAIN DID THE “WOOOOOHOO” FROM SONG 2 WHEN I REALIZED IT…
Again, it’s been a while since I’ve read this one, but I LOVE how diverse this one is; we have the dual POVs of an epileptic Latino character with a missing leg and a mute bisexual girl who uses sign language to communicate. It’s an interesting blend of fantasy and sci-fi as well!
Adam, the love interest of this novel, has multiple sclerosis, and both of the protagonists are Muslim; there’s a lot of great conversations about Islamaphobia and other pertinent issues in this one, but it’s also a really sweet romance!
This one’s a romance between a girl with ADHD (the author has ADHD as well!) and an autistic boy, and like Love from A to Z, tackles a lot of discussions surrounding mental health and disability while still being a sweet romance!
GENRES: Science fiction, space opera, LGBTQ+, romance
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(There is no escape from the Aurora Cycle-posting on this blog…)
Even though Finian’s disability is fictional (bc, y’know, he’s an alien), he uses mobility aids, and we get to see a lot of his inner thoughts surrounding his disability. Disability in realistic fiction is all cool and good, but it’s even better to see casual disability rep in fantasy and sci-fi too!
Queens of Geek features a protagonist with Asperger’s and an anxiety disorder, and there’s lots of queer and POC representation in this one as well! If you love stories set at Comic Cons with lots of pop culture references, then this one’s for you!
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! What are your favorite books with disability rep? Favorite disabled authors? Any recommendations for me?
That’s it for this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, take care of yourselves, and happy disability pride month!
I’ve been trying to think of more original posts to do, and I figured that this one would be something really fun to explore. I’ve seen a lot of posts talking about tropes, but genre-specific ones are always interesting to think about/discuss, and in much of the YA book fandom, I feel like sci-fi doesn’t get as much love. So I decided to look at six tropes that are specific to sci-fi (for the most part). Sci-fi is my favorite genre, so I got super excited thinking about all of these different tropes, and some (mostly) YA books that use them in different ways.
So let’s begin, shall we?
WARNING: This post may contain some book spoilers (Aurora Cycle & Dare Mighty Things series), so read at your own risk!
CRYOSLEEP, BUT FOR WAY TOO LONG
Ellen Ripley – and Aliens in particular – probably set the blueprint for this one, but as the trope gets more popular, authors have started to push the limits on this one, which I think is a really cool move.
It’s most often the protagonist that this happens to – our hero, on the eve of something great, is put into cryosleep for an interplanetary mission, only for something to go terribly awry and stay in cryosleep for longer than they were supposed to. Ripley got an accidental 50 years, Auri from Aurora Risinggot 200 years, and Andra from Goddess in the Machinegot a whopping 1,000 years.
This trope presents two main advantages for writing: a vehicle for exploring the novel’s world through fresh eyes, and internal conflict within the character. If your cryosleep character is completely unfamiliar with the world, seeing it through their eyes gives the reader a more in-depth look at the world than they’d get with a character that’s already familiar with it. They’ll inevitably notice more things and fixate on different things than another character might, which gives the reader more insight about what’s unique about the world that the author has crafted.
As for the internal conflict piece, this part’s always touched on, but in most of the novels I’ve read with it, it’s a lot more shallow than you’d think. There’s the existential crisis that inevitably occurs when the character realizes that everything they know and love is all but gone, but beyond the first few chapters from their POV, they get over it…relatively quickly? It seems like the kind of trauma that would leave lasting psychological scars, and probably physical health repercussions as well. I’ve yet to read any book that explores all that in depth, but it seems like the perfect setup for a sci-fi novel.
So this one’s a trope that can make for a lot of creative choices, but often has a lot of untapped potential.
GOTTEN INTO A SITUATION YOU CAN’T GET OUT OF? TIME TRAVEL!
Apparently this one is a lot more common than I thought, but I’ve only started to see it in YA more recently. (Well, there’s Avengers: Endgame, but it took me a while to realize how common of a trope it is…)
This trope has the possibility of ENDLESS freaky hijinks whilst traversing through time. Sometimes it’s just pushing the events of the past so that everything lines up a little bit nicer, and sometimes it’s rocketing back to another time period entirely. It usually happens only with the last book in a trilogy or duology, just so everyone can fix the mess they got into in the first books.
I have mixed feelings on this one; one the one hand, there’s never a dull moment – time travel jokes, fitting VERY badly into a different time period, and very high stakes, most of all. If the first books have followed a similar formula, it might be good to try for something else to end the series with a bang.
On the other, though, something about it almost feels…lazy to me. Often, this trope arises from The Gang™️ getting a situation so bad that there may not be a feasible way out of it, but…maybe they could? If done wrong, it can feel like lazy writing – an easy way out, and one that provides instant comic relief. And often, the means of said time travel are vague, and often reduced to technobabble from The Smart Character™️, which, hey, I don’t know much about the science of it either, but maybe at least put a little time into it?
So this one’s a double-edged sword: instant plot, or lazy writing? The choice is yours!
*this one doesn’t come out until November [screams] but we know that time travel will play a big part in this one, so…
ALIENS THAT BASICALLY JUST LOOK LIKE HUMANS (BUT WITH A FEW MINOR DIFFERENCES)
Most of the other tropes I’m going to be discussing in this post are ones that I like on some level, but…this one gets on my nerves. For the most part.
Far too many times, I’ve fallen into the trap of picking up a sci-fi book that promises aliens, only to discover that the aliens just look like humans, but with either a) unusual eye colors, b) some sort of powers, or c) a combination of both. And of course, they have to be ✨ridiculously attractive✨ as well. 🙄
Now, I completely get making your aliens humanoid (hey, I’m doing it with some of my aliens for my sci-fi WIP), but there’s a certain point where it feels a bit lazy. Unless there’s some way you can back it up, it seems weird to me that in this entire universe, the only other intelligent beings, by some cosmic chance, are similar to us in almost every way.
But I’ve seen some authors use it to their advantage – in particular, One Giant Leap(the sequel to Dare Mighty Things) does this especially well. The main alien civilization there look exactly like humans, but it’s because of genetic modifications performed so that they could survive on Earth. See? That’s actually a really good way of turning the trope on its head, and doing so in a practical way!
For the most part, this trope never ceases to bug me, but there’s a few ways to turn it on its head.
For me, at least, this trope is the most fun – and it presents some of the scariest and most formidable antagonists in sci-fi.
Villainous AI are some of the most fascinating characters to explore – they have unmatched power, in some cases, and whether they’re a pre-installed ship AI or an android, it’s always interesting to hear their perspective on all of us puny mortals.
Given that humans trust AI a bit *too* much in most sci-fi novels, they often have a fearsome amount of power at their disposal. AI installed inside of a ship? Access to all the security footage, navigation, communications, and controls of the ship. They know their crew up and down, and have the possibility to play everybody’s weaknesses against each other. They have the power to sabotage anything and everything, and more often than not, they do. WITHOUT HESITATION. A corrupt AI often harbors a hatred or jealousy of human beings, and if it’s not that motivating them, it’s some sort of technologically-stemmed god complex, which is always terrifying to watch play out. (Lookin’ right at you, David…) It’s even more of an interesting development if their moral compass shifts over the course of the series – if there’s one thing I’ve learned from sci-fi, it’s that benevolent robot overlords never stay benevolent for very long.
Corrupt AI as antagonists are often more compelling than human or alien ones (for me, at least) partly because so much is left up to the imagination about the inner workings of their minds. We’ve never developed any kind of artificial intelligence that’s become intelligent enough to have devious tendencies like many sci-fi villains, so a lot of it is the author’s personal choice. There are endless possibilities – but more often than not, they’re all terrifying.
And even if they aren’t main antagonists, the addition of a slight unstable AI as a character is always amusing; for all of its flaws, I loved Gregorovich’s existential musings in To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, and his character added some much-needed flavor to the rest of the cast.
TL;DR: There’s nothing more terrifying than a villain that knows everything about everything, and uses that power for its own gain at whatever the cost.
HIGH-STAKES COMPETITIONS TO GO TO SPACE…WITH SOME SERIOUS ULTERIOR MOTIVES
Scared to send your experienced, highly intelligent scientists to space? Send some teenagers instead!
This one tends to crop up the most in YA, as it’s primed for a book that has a primarily teenage cast. The ones I’ve read do tend to follow a formula, but for the most part, it’s one that’s actually a lot of fun!
The worldbuilding/motives behind it are always a little bit messy (again: sending teenagers into space! What could possibly go wrong?), but often times, you just have to hang in there; it’s a given that whatever program is funding the competition is doing something astronomically shady. (No pun intended.) Part of the fun with this trope is the mystery of it; slowly but surely, the competition starts dropping like flies, and things go very wrong very quickly.
More on the mystery aspect – the mystery that often occurs in these types of novels is very slow-burn, building on itself before the heartstopping reveal at the end (often a cliffhanger). From program superiors lying to scheming androids to deaths under mysterious circumstances, there are endless possibilities for many, many things to go wrong. Add in the not-so-friendly rivalries between the competitors (also scheming, along with everybody else), and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a nail-biting sci-fi mystery.
And once/if they get to space? Everything gets way worse. There’s bound to be aliens, but whether they’re intelligent or just parasitic, things are bound to go way, way south. But there’s never a dull moment – there’s no shortage of suspense, and our protagonist is often at a loss as to how to escape their situation.
Plus, for reasons I’ve yet to figure out, these ones always tend to have the most clever pop culture references. (See: all of the Radiohead songs in the Final Six duology)
EXPLORING OTHER PLANETS GOES VERY, VERY WRONG (Or, “Don’t do intergalactic colonialism, kids”)
Here’s another common – but by no means overdone – trope that’s always open to endless possibilities!
Because our planet was never enough, apparently (or if we destroyed it…probably), there’s a whole host of sci-fi stories that are set on entirely new planets, with the sole goal of making them a new home for humankind. But just like with our planet, it’s always unpredictable, whether you’re dealing with a foreign contagion, carnivorous wildlife, or superiors who aren’t what they seem.
I’m always a nerd for creature design in sci-fi, and life on other worlds presents all sort of possibilities for creatures lurking in the bushes. Whether it’s flora or fauna, exploring these sci-fi worlds along with the characters is an adventure, especially if the author is particularly creative. Of course, most of the wildlife ends up being carnivorous, or malicious on some level, so there’s all sorts of danger lurking.
But beyond that, this trope is often a great commentary on colonialism. Human history is rife with frightening periods of raping and pillaging land that wasn’t ours to begin with at the cost of those who originally lived there; telling the same story on alien planets serves as a particularly potent comment on the malicious tendency of our species to overstep and overstay our welcome. Books like A Conspiracy of Starsand The Pioneer explore what happens when humanity comes in contact with intelligent life and unlawfully sets foot on their land; both of them do an amazing job of exploring the intricacies of the political implications, as well as the tense conflict that results. I think sci-fi as a genre is one of the best mediums for raising commentary on this kind of thing. Exploring new frontiers in space is bound to happen once we get the technology, but we must always ask ourselves if it’s the right thing to do. Just because we can doesn’t necessarily mean that we should. (Let’s be real: I would be SO excited if we found evidence of life elsewhere in the universe, but…let’s not have a repeat of all of human history, okay?)
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! What are your favorite/least favorite tropes in sci-fi? Have you read any of the books I listed, and what were your thoughts? This’ll probably be one of several posts on the subject, so I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
That’s it for this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I figured I’d do another book tag, and since I love all things Star Wars, I wanted to give this tag a go! (I would’ve done it on May 4, but alas, I was very busy.) I found it over at Brooke @ The Reader’s Game, who also created the tag. (And if you haven’t checked out her blog, I highly recommend it!)
Thank the person who tagged you
Link back to original post
Tag around 10 people
You don’t have to watch anything Star Wars related to do this- only to get the references!
Let’s begin, shall we?
🚀THE BOBA FETT BOOK TAG🚀
LIGHTSPEED SKIPPER: A character who is constantly in danger or on the run
Maité from Off Planetis certainly on the run for quite a lot over the course of the novel – there’s quite a lot of planet hopping in this book!
RAZOR CREST: A character with a spaceship
Captain Siege from Heart of Ironhas her formidable ship, the Dossier, and she’s proud of it! (So is Jax, come to think of it…)
DARTH VADER:A villain who always hidestheir face
Oh jeez, I can’t really think of any character that would fit this prompt…don’t mind me…
EX-IMPERIAL: A character who is not what they seem
Cee from The Ones We’re Meant to Findcertainly fits the prompt, but for…ah…shall we say spoiler-y reasons, so I won’t say why. If you know, you know.
MANDO: A character tracking down something that was stolen from them
I suppose none of these characters are tracking down something that was stolen from them, specifically, but the whole plot of The Smoke Thievescenters around a stolen bottle of smoke, and Tash in particular is most involved with capturing demons for their smoke, so I’ll say this fits.
YOUNG BOBA FETT: A character who had a family member killed/taken/beaten before their eyes
Kaz from Six of Crowswitnessed the death of his older brother Jordie firsthand, which…yeah, I got choked up re-reading this recently. It’s a ROUGH flashback scene.
BESKAR: A character who wears armor/weapons
This was another hard one – my first thought was Speaker from The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, though her armor is more for mobility outside of her homeworld than anything.
RAISED ON MANDALORE: A character who isn’t allowed to show their face
Uh…yeah, I’m blanking on characters with masks/characters that can’t show their faces, so I think I’ll have to skip this one…sorry…[Mandalorian theme plays on a kazoo]
UNEXPECTED DOCKING: A character who joins a mission at a random point on the mission
Auri from Aurora Risingcertainly joins the rest of Squad 312 at an unexpected time in the mission – but ends up setting the course for the rest of the book.
HIGH BOUNTY: A character in debt and/or on the run
Fitting that I used mostly sci-fi books for this tag…hehe…
+ anyone else who wants to participate! If you see this tag and want to do it, I’d love to see your answers! And if I tagged you and you’ve already done it/don’t want to do it/don’t know Star Wars, my bad! No obligations.
And may the Force be with you!
That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles! I have the day off school today and not much homework, so I thought it would be a good day to do one of the many book tags I need to do. It’s snowy and chilly outside (we’re still not out of snow season yet in Colorado), so all the better reason to stay inside…
I found this tag over at ohsrslybooks (Joy has a lovely blog that you should absolutely check out!), and the tag was originally created by thebookishunderdog.
Let’s begin, shall we? This looks like a lot of fun!
📚HOW I CHOOSE MY BOOKS TAG📚
Find a book on your bookshelves with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?
Marie Lu is one of my favorite authors, and I knew I needed to pick this one up because she’s never failed me. I picked up The Kingdom Backat my first trip back to the bookstore after the pandemic started.
Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?
For some reason, I was initially hesitant to read Crier’s War, but I ended up picking it up for the sci-fi/fantasy blending and the sapphic romance. Oh, and that GORGEOUS COVER. And I enjoyed it so much! At the time I’m doing this tag, I’m reading the sequel 🙂
Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?
I think I found Honor Among Thievesfrom Goodreads and EpicReads, and picked it up because I’m always hungry for sci-fi. I eventually bought it at Barnes & Noble, and it paid off 100% – one of my favorite sci-fi trilogies now!
Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?
I picked up The Absolute Book after a family friend recommended it to me. And…man, I feel really bad about it, but this was just not for me. Way too many characters, concepts, and plotlines to keep track of, and it simultaneously felt like everything and nothing was happening. I was pretty sick of it by the halfway mark, but…it’s 640 pages long. Not that I have a problem with that, but it was confusing all the way through.
Pick a book that you discovered throughbooktube/bookstagram/book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?
These Violent Delightswas easily one of the most hyped books of last year, and after reading it last week, I’m glad to say that it lived up to a good portion of it! Such a fascinating Shakespearean retelling.
Find a book on your shelves with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?
I think what drew me to Scythewas its highly original take on your typical YA dystopia, with an inventive concept that was executed beautifully over all three books! I’ll always recommend this one.
What book did you discover through a film/TV adaptation?
I watched the Netflix adaptation ofI’m Thinking of Ending Thingslast year and adored it, and I finally got around to picking up the book earlier this year. I loved the book as well – definitely had a more horror sensibility than the movie, but still thought-provoking and chilling all the same.
Think of your all-time favorite books. When did you read these, and why did you pick them up in the first place?
Lemme go back and look at my big three…
I read Frankenstein for a project in my English class freshman year. There were a lot of factors that went into picking it up – there’s a song I liked (and still love) that referenced it, I’d seen the National Theatre adaptation, and a lot of what I’d read/seen at the time was influenced by it.
I read Aurora Risingright at the end of my freshman year, and I specifically remember re-reading it three times in a row after buying it. (That’s how much it stuck with me!) I picked it up because of how much I loved the Illuminae Files, by the same authors.
And last but not least, I read Heart of Iron while I was on the plane to Chicago for a vacation a few years back. (I finished it in about a day, once we were in the hotel room.) I picked it up because it sounded like a fascinating and super fun sci-fi retelling…and because the Kindle edition was cheap, so it couldn’t go wrong, right?
But there’s more good news than bad! On Wednesday, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff announced that there would be a cover and title reveal on Friday, and yesterday afternoon, it came! So without further ado…
I CAN’T HANDLE THIS ALL AT ONCE THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL
FINIAN???? KING OF THE SPACE BISEXUALS??? FINALLY GETTING THE COVER HE DESERVES! AND THE RA’HAAM IN THE BACKGROUND
But can we talk about that title too? I certainly didn’t see it coming, but I guess we were foolish to think that Kaufman & Kristoff would stick to the Aurora [blank]ing formula for the past two books…either way, I am very excited. I’m also very frightened.
So as you can imagine, my brain has pretty much sounded like this since Friday afternoon:
The squad you love is out of time. Prepare for the thrilling finale in the epic, best-selling Aurora Cycle series about a band of unlikely heroes who just might be the galaxy’s last hope for survival.
Is this the end? What happens when you ask a bunch of losers, discipline cases, and misfits to save the galaxy from an ancient evil? The ancient evil wins, of course. Wait. . . . Not. So. Fast. When we last saw Squad 312, they working together seamlessly (aka, freaking out) as an intergalactic battle raged and an ancient superweapon threatened to obliterate Earth. Everything went horribly wrong, naturally. But as it turns out, not all endings are endings, and the team has one last chance to rewrite thirs. Maybe two. It’s complicated. Cue Zila, Fin, and Scarlett (and MAGELLAN!): making friends, making enemies, and making history? Sure, no problem. Cue Tyler, Kal, and Auri: uniting with two of the galaxy’s most hated villains? Um, okay. That, too. Actually saving the galaxy, though? Now that will take a miracle.
So let’s see how this all matches up with my cover predictions from my Aurora Rambling post.
My main three contenders for the cover were Scarlett, Finian, and Zila, though Tyler was in the mix there. I also had a dream at some point about Tyler being on the cover, and that it was green.
…well, I’m glad that the green part came true and not the Tyler part.
But anyway, here were some of my original thoughts, circa August 2020:
PERSONALLY? I’d like to have either Scar, Finian, or Zila, but more so the latter two.
SEMI-LOGICALLY? I think that Zila or Tyler have the best chance of being on the cover, judging from their previous roles. Of course, they’d face the wrath of the Finian side of the fandom, but will that stop them? I doubt it…
[insert an infinite string of clown emojis here]
Welp. Sort of screwed that up. But let’s revisit what I thought about Finian’s chances:
Finian: At this point, a good 80% of the fandom is willing to hand over their entire life’s savings to Kaufman and Kristoff for the chance to have him on the cover, so the chances here are…interesting.
And to be honest? I ABSOLUTELY understand the sentiment. Aside from Auri and Kal, he’s my favorite of the Squad, and such a wonderful balance between comic relief and a genuinely complex character. Beyond that, I think he might have an important role to play–after all, we haven’t seen how he uses the ballpoint pen, and how the “tell her the truth” note plays into that.
Also, as with Zila, wouldn’t it be great to have his representation on the cover? He’s bisexual and has impaired mobility, so that would be amazing to have him front and center.
But hey, now we can rejoice, because we DO have a disabled, bisexual character on the cover! And I think we all adore Finian, myself included. (Plus, I’m glad we didn’t have to see the Finian side of the fandom go feral if he didn’t make the cut…) I’ll fully admitting to freaking out when I saw his face on the cover. I would’ve freaked out either way, but he’s one of my favorite members of Squad 312, so…
Now you can all join me in anxiously trembling and ferociously re-reading until November 9th of this year, I guess…(hey, I actually have an excuse for Aurora Burning…one of my friends suggested it for our my school’s book club and he’s amazing for it…) Also, I’ve preordered a signed copy, because I am nothing if not impatient and predictable.
So there you go. I guess I’m as bad at predicting covers as I am at predicting plotlines. Doesn’t matter, though. All that matters is that we have more Aurora Cycle content coming our way in November!
That’s it for yet another rambling, incoherent post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I figured that I haven’t done many book tags this month, and I’ve been in the mood to do one lately. This one’s been sitting in my sticky note for a bit and I figured it would be a lot of fun since I love the Umbrella Academygraphic novels & the Netflix show!
I mean, it’s impossible to choose just *one* best start to a series, but for the sake of not putting down Aurora Rising or Heart of Iron again, I’ll put Honor Among Thieves, because this was a SUPER strong start to the Honors trilogy!
THE HARGREEVES CHILDREN: Name a big book family. (Dysfunctional is optional)
THE WORLD ENDS IN EIGHT DAYS: If you only had 8 days left, which book would you choose to be your last read?
Frankenstein, for two reasons: it’s probably my favorite book, and just so I can have the possible luck of being resurrected. Pragmatism, folks, pragmatism.
SPACEBOY: Name a character who plays the leader, but may not be cut out for it.
BAJSDHFSJDHFSJDHF THIS PROMPT WAS WAY HARDER THAN I’D LIKE TO ADMIT
I just finished this one a few hours ago, and Abigail from Abandon just…wasn’t the best leader. I mean, most of the characters were [coughs] a wee bit interchangeable, but did you really think that going to a supposedly haunted mining town in the middle of nowhere was a good idea?
THROWING KNIVES: What literary weapon would you like in your arsenal?
MAN WHY ARE THESE PROMPTS SO H A R D
okay no I’m super stumped for this one, might just have to skip…shame on me
I HEARD A RUMOR: Name a book that has a misleading plot line.
I guess the case with Night Owls and Summer Skieswas more of a misleading synopsis, but I was lead to believe that it would be a sort of coming-of-age story about overcoming anxieties and first love. Instead, the anxiety part was barely touched on, and it was honestly just a toxic dumpster fire. Would not recommend.
KLAUS: Name a book that involves the dead/ghosts/etc.
can’t wait to see what else she has up her sleeve, because she absolutely has smarts and prowess to spare.
LUTHER & ALLISON: Name a questionable book couple, and why you do or don’t like them.
It’s been a bit since I’ve read Spinning Silver,but the relationship between Miryem and Mirnatius raised SO many red flags for me – toxic, abusive, manipulative, and…wasn’t there a significant age gap between them?
Anyone else who wants to participate! If I didn’t tag you and you want to do this tag, go ahead! I’d love to see your answers! And if I tagged you and you haven’t read/seen TUA or didn’t like it, my bad! No obligations to do it 🙂
That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Friday, bibliophiles! I’m off a bit earlier than usual because of my school’s asynchronous Friday schedule, so I figured I’d do a nice little book tag. 🙂
I found this tag over at Whispering Stories. I don’t know who originally created the tag, so if anybody knows, please don’t hesitate to tell me and I’ll credit them! It looked super cute, so I figured I’d give it a go.
Let’s begin, shall we?
📚THE BOOKISH BLOG TAG📚
What are 1-3 of yourfavorite books of all time?
I’d have to go with Frankenstein, Aurora Rising, and Heart of Iron. In no particular order…kind of? I love them all, but I suppose they have varying degrees of sentimental value/specific memories attached to them…
What are 1-3 of your favorite authors of all time?
Oooh, that’s hard…Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, and Ashley Poston, maybe? I’d put Mary Shelley on there too, but I’ve only read Frankenstein…
Who is your favorite female character from a book?
Again, such a hard pick…but I love Auri from Aurora Rising! Since the book came out, her character has spoken to me on so many levels, the most prominent of which being the fact that you don’t have to be brave to change the world.
Who is your favorite male character in a book?
Jeez, that’s super hard too…
Just one? Again? I suppose I’d have to go with Jax from Heart of Iron, maybe.
What’s your favorite fictional world?
The entire Grishaverse is so detailed and beautiful, just the kind of fictional universe that I’d want to get lost in. (Maybe. Probably not. Definitely not the Unsea.)
What book has your favorite cover?
For me, it’s impossible to pick a single favorite book cover. I have an entire shelf on Goodreads of books with covers that I like, so I just had to trawl through that…
I eventually settled on Skyhunterfor this prompt, though. The colors are just so beautiful, and even the inside of the hardback edition I have is gorgeous!
What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
Fantastic Mr. Fox, without question! Even though I myself abide by the general “the book is always better than the movie” adage, this is one of the few book-to-movie adaptations that’s even better than the source material. That’s just the magic of Wes Anderson, I guess.
If you could make any book into a movie, which would it be?
Illuminaewould make a super tense movie! Now that I’ve seen the Alien/Aliens movies, this novel gives off similar vibes, so I feel like it would be a good fit for the big screen.
What was your favorite childhood book?
The Search for WondLatrilogy shaped me as a person in so many ways…it made me fall in love with sci-fi literature, and it made me want to be an author. So for that, I’ll forever be in Tony DiTerlizzi’s debt.
Fantasy or sci-fi? (Or neither?)
Sci-fi, of course! Can’t say no to having strange adventures while hurtling through space. Plus, aliens are pretty cool, if I do say so myself.
Would you look at that…for once, I actually have a post that isn’t a meme, an update, or a book tag…
I’ve been planning for this one a little bit, and I’m excited to get into it! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know how much I love sci-fi. So for this post, I decided to go semi-in-depth on my favorite subgenre of science fiction and dole out some recommendations of mine.
Let’s begin, shall we?
So first off, what is space opera anyway?
In all forms of media, space opera is a subgenre of science fiction. It tends to focus less on the heavy science/physics of the universe it’s in, and more on aspects such as plot and characters. There’s often adventures at a breakneck pace, intergalactic war or conflict, strange planets/other locations, and drama between a set of characters. A lot of space opera media that I’ve consumed tends to throw in a ragtag bunch of characters with nothing in common together, and then throws them into an adventure of epic proportions. (Commonly referred to in many of my posts and reviews as “[chaotic] space misfits.”) More often than not, there’s some light elements of fantasy, sometimes as placeholders to explain the workings of the universe. And, as you probably can figure out, it’s usually set in space or on a distant planet.
Star Wars is often used as the quintessential example of a space opera–dogfights in space, romance, strange worlds, and (amazing) lightsaber duels. (What more could you possibly want?) Although it’s probably not *the original* space opera, it’s influenced a huge chunk of space opera/sci-fi media for the last 40-ish years. Guardians of the Galaxy is another widely-known example of space opera, and from= the world of literature, Dune and Foundation are some of the most well-loved space opera classics.
Sci-fi has only become my favorite book genre in the past…six or seven years; for a while, I was mostly drawn to fantasy, but after reading Tony DiTerlizzi’s Search for WondLa trilogy, there was no going back. And I was raised on a steady diet of Star Wars, so it was bound to happen eventually. There’s a multitude of reasons why I’m drawn to it. Even though fantasy has virtually no limits as far as making up universes goes, there’s just something about about flying through the vast reaches of space and traveling to strange worlds that has always appealed to me. And as someone who’s been something of an outcast for the better part of my life, I’m drawn like a magnet to any kind of found-family tropes. Now, I know full well that it’s not exclusive to space opera, but everything from Star Wars to Aurora Rising has a cast of strange and distinct characters that come to see themselves as a family, and I’ve always loved the theme of finding your tribe of weirdos.
So now, if you say “space opera,” there’s a good chance that I’ll immediately want to read it. (Doesn’t mean I’ll love it–there’s good and bad books in every genre, of course–but I’ll certainly read it.)
Now, I’ve compiled a list of some YA space opera recommendations! Each one is tailored to different types of readers/tastes, because I firmly believe there’s something for everybody, even if sci-fi isn’t normally your thing. So let’s get to it, shall we?
A retelling of Arthurian legend where the reincarnation of King Arthur is a pansexual woman of color and a spell gone wrong made Merlin age backwards…into an awkward, voice-cracky teenager. Super diverse, super feminist, and super fun!
In short, this is what happens when you put Captain America in a spaceship with his sister, his ex, a whole bunch of random students from the bottom of his class, and a girl with a glowing eye that may or may not start an intergalactic war. Hands down, my favorite series of all time.
(Would you look at that…another pansexual protagonist!)
I had my expectations a *bit* too high for this one, but it was still a whole lot of fun! A lot of reviewers have pitched it as Aurora Rising meets The Hunger Games, and I’d say that’s pretty spot-on. I’m excited to see what Coffindaffer has up their sleeve for book 2.
This one has elements of both sci-fi and fantasy woven in–royal intrigue on other worlds, and lots of clockwork hearts! Plus, it’s a beautiful queer story; we have a wlw romance, as well as a beautiful aro-ace coming out scene for one of the main characters.
Another space opera retelling of Anastasia, comin’ right up…
Last of Her Name is a truly beautiful novel, with intricate and detailed worldbuilding, tender romance, and no shortage of twists that I couldn’t see coming. I do wish we’d gotten a larger glimpse into this world, but it was still satisfying as one book.
Normally, I’d try to avoid putting two series from the same author(s) in a post like this, but Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are masters of sci-fi, so I kind of *had to.* Composed of interviews, emails, security footage, and more, this is truly a trilogy like no other.
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK? What are your favorite space opera books? Do you have any space opera recs for us? Tell me in the comments!
That’s it for this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I’d have to say Heart of Ironfor this one! It’s been a little while since I’ve re-read this one, but I can always count on these space misfits and Ashley Poston’s signature wit to cheer me up.
SNOW ANGELS: What’s a book that you love so much that you would want to be buried with it? (A little morbid, but…)
Back at it again with the MISFIT SPACE OPERAAAAAAAA
Anyway, Aurora Risingis easily my favorite book; not only does it have a special place in my heart for the writing, the story, and the characters, but Auri taught me that you don’t have to be brave to change the world. For that, I will always hold these books highly.
WARM SOCKS: What’s a book that makes you feel warm inside?
(Hey, I’m wearing fuzzy socks today! 🧦)
I read Tweet Cute a few months back, and it was just what I needed at the time–cute romance, wonderful chemistry, and grilled cheese. Can’t go wrong with grilled cheese.
HOT COCOA: What winter-themed novels have you previously read?
I suppose Ice Wolvesworks, right? Ulfar Academy has a pretty wintry atmosphere.
SLEDDING: What’s a book with the best plot twists? Who’s an author that always keeps you on your toes?
I read The Pioneerabout a year and a half ago, on vacation in Canada (remember when vacations were a thing?); I specifically remember how blown away I was by THE PLOT TWIST RIGHT AT THE CLIFFHANGER…
UGLY SWEATERS: What’s a book with the ugliest cover?
This was the cover of the edition of Nights at the Circusthat I got from the library, and that art style just does not do it for me…
MOVIE MARATHON: What’s the last book you binge read?
I recently finished Cemetery Boysin close to one sitting. Didn’t quite live up to all the hype for me, but it was definitely a lot of fun. (Expect a review next week!)
LETTER TO SANTA: What’s a book that’s on your wishlist this year?
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you all well.
Now that all of the big tests and quizzes that I’ve been stressing out over are over with, I’m feeling a lot better. And now I have a long weekend to look forward to next week, which I’m ECSTATIC for! Just the break I needed.
I had another fairly lackluster reading week, but I enjoyed everything that I read. I only got around to reading two books (well, one, technically–I finished the first one on Sunday evening), and that’s all because of the sheer length of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. (Expect a review next week.) I also had my school’s book club meeting for Aurora Rising, and everybody seemed to love it, which filled my heart with immeasurable joy…🥺
Other than that, I went back to the library and got a good haul, caught up on Fargo, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Raised by Wolves (nearly finished with the latter…), and I’ve finally gotten slightly back into the groove of outlining for NaNoWriMo. Oh, and The Other Side of the Sky and Skyhunter just came in the mail!