Posted in Book Tags, Books

What Cats Do Book Tag

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Hey there, bibliophiles!

As you can all probably guess from my icon, I love cats, and this tag instantly caught my eye! I found this on Time for Tales and Tea, and the tag was originally created by Kate@ meltingpotsandothercalamities.

First off, I’ve seen most other people who’ve participated put in some pictures of their cats, so I thought it would be fitting to put mine in here as well.

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This is Padmé; she’s incredibly chatty, and has an affinity for clinging to people’s left shoulders. Doesn’t matter who’s shoulder it is, so long as it’s the left shoulder. Don’t question her.

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Here’s Anakin, Padmé’s younger cousin. He and Padmé are inseparable. He’s also an itty bitty little cat, even at about 11 years old.

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Finally, here’s Hobbes, the newest of the bunch. Most of the time, she acts too dignified to be petted, but when she’s affectionate, she’s the sweetest little cat around. (In fact, she’s sleeping right above me as I write this out.)

Now, onto the tag…

RULES: 

 

PURR – As cats do this when they’re happy or relaxed, what is the book that makes you happiest or relaxed?

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Pumpkinheads never fails to give me all the warm and fuzzy feels, no matter how I’m feeling.

SLEEP – What is a book that put you to sleep or was just boring?

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Though the cover was deceptively gorgeous, The Light Between Worlds very nearly put me to sleep.

TWITCH WHILE DREAMING – Have you ever dreamt of a book you read?

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An after-product of having read this innumerable times (“I lost count at 50,” as I used to say), I’ve definitely dreamt about The Search for WondLa series more than one time.

SEEMS TO PLAY NICE UNTIL THE CLAWS ARE OUT – Which book had the biggest plot twist(s)?

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As far as Dare Mighty Things goes…two words: Brace yourself.

CUDDLES – Which book character would you give a hug to?

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Without question, March from the Smoke Thieves duology. After all that he’s been through, he’s fully deserving of it. 💖

CAT BREEDS – What are your favorite books?

Frankensteinthe Arc of a Scythe trilogy, the Heart of Iron duology, anything by Ray Bradbury, and Like a Love Storyto name a few.

GETTING THE CAT – How did you find your favorite book(s)?

Most of my favorite books have been recommendations from Goodreads, but just as often, I’ll find them hidden between the shelves in libraries or advertised in the back of other books.

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THE VET’S OFFICE – Your least favorite book:

I know I’ve talked ranted about Smokeless Fire, Red Queenand The Witch of Blackbird Pond innumerable times, and I don’t wish to be redundant, so I’ll try out one of my much-loathed DNFs…

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OH. OH. I forgot this book existed for a minute there…

YIKES. The corny names. The cringy, fake slang. The timeline. God, Earth Girl really was something of a train wreck…

BEING IN PLACES THEY SHOULDN’T – Least favorite cliché:

If I had to pick…most definitely love triangles. Much of the time, they only serve to muddy the existing plot with unnecessary angst and bickering. I won’t be sad to see them phase out of YA literature. I sure hope they do.

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THE GOOD OLD CARDBOARD BOX – Most underrated book series?

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AAH! Without question, the Faloiv series! (consisting of A Conspiracy of Stars and An Anatomy of Beasts) I doubt I’ll ever find another series with this amount of attention to detail in the worldbuilding.

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

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Today’s song:

 

That just about wraps up this tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Movies

I Am Mother (Movie Review)

Not sure if I should start out this post with my usual bibliophile greeting, since this isn’t the most bookish of posts, but hey, we’re all bibliophiles here, aren’t we?

Last night, I finally got around to watching I Am Mother, a movie that caught my attention when it came out last summer. I won’t detail the main reason why until around the end of the post, but needless to say, I put off watching it for a while. I’m not sure where my expectations were, but I was pleasantly surprised (and a bit freaked out, not gonna lie) from the results. An incredibly tense and well-done film that’s lingered in my thoughts since the moment I switched the TV off.

BE WARNED: I’m not sure if or how I’ll go about reviewing this without substantially spoiling the film, so for those who haven’t seen I Am Mother and intend to, you may not want to read this. 

 

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Also…this poster…*chef’s kiss*

 

The film follows Mother, a caretaker droid with one task: to nurture the next generation of humanity after an extinction-level event wiped out much of the human race. In her lair, she raises her female child, referred to only as “Daughter,” teaching her about her species as she grows. But when she enters her teenage years, Daughter begins to grow suspicious that Mother may be hiding something from her. Her suspicions are confirmed when a woman shows up outside of her dwelling. She and Mother take the injured woman in; while Daughter is eager to care for her, Mother is more hesitant, almost reluctant to help her in any way. The woman (who also goes unnamed…nice…) is also reluctant of the droid’s help, claiming that it was a droid just like Mother who caused her injury.

Conflicted by the opposing truths of Mother and the woman, Daughter begins to delve deeper into her situation, spurred on by the woman, who claims that it was droids, not the contagion that Mother claimed, that wiped out the human race. A delve into the laboratory where the other embryos are kept leads Daughter to the discovery that Mother’s intentions are far more sinister; the droids intend to make a new human race, one less fallible than the humans of old, and the children who do not live up to the droid’s standards are terminated.

After the disturbing revelation, the woman convinces Daughter to go back outside with her, where they discover that the droids have already begun to lay the groundwork of their plan, making the air and ground fertile. But the woman has been withholding secrets as well–though she spoke of more humans, she appears to be the only one left in the vicinity. Betrayed by both sides, Daughter returns home with the intention of rescuing her newly born brother, who is currently under Mother’s care. Reluctantly, she shoots the droid who raised her from birth, saving her baby brother as she breaks down into tears. The film ends with her beginning to raise her brother, and staring hopefully into rows of unborn embryos in Mother’s laboratory.

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Nearly every scene in I Am Mother is beautifully shot; the director clearly has a penchant for symmetry, which shone through in every camera angle, from simple landscape shots of Mother’s dwelling, to a particular shot of Daughter staring at the woman through the infirmary window, the glass pane separating them an on-the-nose portrayal of their moral divisions. For the most part, the FX were well done, though Mother herself, though smooth in design and execution, didn’t seem quite as computerized as she was intended to be, mostly in the way she ran, however tense some of those scenes were.

As a whole, I enjoyed the acting a fair amount. The best of the cast, in my opinion, was Clara Rugaard (Daughter); she stunningly portrayed Daughter’s naïvete and eventual growth into an independent young adult. I didn’t particularly care for Hillary Swank (the woman from outside) as much, but she did an excellent job of making her pain seem all too real.

Now, for the most part, I feel that Rose Byrne was a good fit for the voice of Mother, though she did add to the feel of her not being mechanized quite enough. Though the writing shone through, her voice didn’t feel as though it belonged to a robot, though it was on its way to being there. I haven’t seen her in much other than her role as Moira McTaggert in the newer X-Men films, but I’d say she did a good job with Mother other than that.

Other than some political undertones (possible anti-abortion weirdness; I’m personally more pro-choice myself, but the undertones weren’t blatant, and I may have misinterpreted them. They don’t align with my personal beliefs, but hey, think and believe whatever you want, as long as you’re not hurting anybody) and a few more nitpicky aspects, my only problem with this film was the second-to-last scene. In it, we see the woman in her dwelling on the outside. It is revealed earlier that Mother is part of a hive-mind who is working to “repair” the human race, and her consciousness exists in all of the droids that we see throughout the film. One of these droids, not so unlike Mother herself, approaches the woman, makes a remark about how she’s surprised that she’s survived this long, and hints that it’s “almost as though she has a purpose.”

The scene is the last that we see of the woman and this droid, and goes unresolved for the rest of the film.

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What? WHAT? What exactly are they hinting at? If they have the audacity to leave such a cliffhanger unresolved, is there going to be a sequel???

I dunno. Anyway.

 

Before I end this review, I’d like to address one more question I’ve had about I Am Mother since the trailer was released. The plot, or at least the first third of it, almost resembled a favorite series of mine, almost to a T.

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Yep. That’s right. GUESS WHO’S BACK…

Regardless, the first novel follows a strikingly similar plot–that of an adolescent girl, raised by a robot called M.U.T.H.R. in an underground facility. As she grows, M.U.T.H.R. continually tells her that she is not ready to go to the surface world, and that her being human is “special”.

Sound familiar?

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Though I Am Mother takes a far more sinister turn, it shares some major similarities to the series, what with WondLa ending up as a journey on an unfamiliar Earth, now colonized by alien life forms while humans dwell in the shadows. The later books do take several dark turns, but not quite in the way that I Am Mother did. So why all these similarities? I’ve done a bit of digging on the internet, but all I’ve found is that either the (tiny but mighty) WondLa fandom just came out of its hole and said “Hey waaaaaaait a minute, that’s kinda funny…”, or that the film is “loosely based” on the novel. And if the latter is true, it’s very loosely based. Very. It went from “Sheesh, did they just paraphrase the dialogue from the first few chapters?” to “[glances at book] THIS is what it’s based off of?” in a split second. Even the outside view of Mother’s dwelling likened to the illustrations of the abandoned Sanctuaries in WondLa. I’m still scratching my head on this one, but either way, a very different interpretation, if that’s what it was.

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Though it wasn’t without its flaws, I Am Mother was certainly a well-done and thought-provoking movie that continually kept me on the edge of my seat. I’d give it a solid 8/10.

 

Today’s song:

(This one’s been lodged in my head since this morning…)

 

That just about wraps up this review! I hope you enjoyed this deviation from my normally bookish content…

Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Bedtime Book Tag

 

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Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag at A Little Haze Book Blog, and it looked absolutely adorable, so I figured that I’d give it a go! 🙂

 

– QUESTIONS –

What book kept you up all night reading? 

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I don’t read at night often, but the most recent example I can think of was Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams.  Not necessarily action-packed or anything, but I just COULD. NOT. STOP. LOOKING. AT. MIKE. ALLRED’S. GODLIKE. ART.

 

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What book made you scared to go to sleep?

Uh…not sure if I can answer this one. I honestly can’t remember any book, not even something from my childhood, that made me scared to go back to bed. Guess that’s because of my tendency to stay away from horror, so…

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What book almost put you to sleep? 

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Urgh, this book…we had to read The Witch of Blackbird Pond in sixth grade, and it was easily the most boring book I’ve read to date.

 

Which book had you tossing and turning in anticipation of its release? 

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Without question, Soul of StarsSince the moment I first finished Heart of Iron, I absolutely hungered for the sequel, for lack of better word. I’m so glad it delivered.

 

What book has your dream boyfriend? 

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uh…

Weeeeeeeell…

I suppose this is only a half-answer, because I really don’t have any book boyfriends. But I will give props to Leigh Bardugo in Shadow and Bone for making the Darkling sound drop-dead gorgeous, no matter how much of a manipulative creep he turned out to be. Villain crushes, guys, villain crushes. I dunno.

 

What book would be a nightmare to live in? 

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Don’t get me wrong, fighting monsters sounds pretty fun (maybe?), but once the B.P.R.D. comics hit the Hell on Earth arc, I kept thinking to myself, sheesh, I am so glad that we’re not living in a post-apocalyptic near-anarchy with giant monsters bursting forth from the ground. 

 

What book has a nightmarish cliffhanger? 

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It’s been a few years since I’ve read Dare Mighty Thingsbut I particularly remember the cliffhanger hitting me like a sledgehammer.

 

What book have you actually dreamt about? 

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I mean, dreaming about The Search for WondLa trilogy was practically inevitable, seeing as it made up a huge chunk of my childhood.

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I think I dreamed about it a few months ago, actually. There was a movie adaptation of it, and they used an animation style that looked kind of wood-cut. They also omitted a few key characters. Not sure why, but my brain really can’t be reasoned with.

 

What fictional monster would you not like to find hiding under your bed? 

Going back to Shadow and Bone, I’d say the volcra. [shivers] guhhh…

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I tag anyone who wants to participate in this tag! 

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Today’s song:

“In an interstellar burst,

I am back to save the universe…” 

 

That just about wraps up this tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Book Cake Tag

Hey everyone! I hope that you had a lovely Christmas, if you celebrate, and some very happy holidays!

I found this tag on Megabunny Reads, and it sounded super fun, so I figured that I’d give it a go! The tag was originally created by A Little But A Lot.

Here goes nothing…

FLOUR: A BOOK THAT WAS SLOW TO START OFF BUT PICKED UP AS IT WENT ALONG

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Shirley Jackson is the master of the slow-burn story, and The Haunting of Hill House is no exception. The slow building of this creepy, atmospheric masterpiece will stay with me for a long time after I’ve read it.

 

BUTTER: A BOOK THAT HAS A REALLY “RICH” AND GREAT PLOT

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The plot of Sally Green’s The Smoke Thieves  was incredibly intricate in every sense of the word–in the beginning, it was so complex that I found myself wondering how Green would manage to tie everything together in a way that made sense, but surprise, surprise, everything came back together towards the end. What a gem of a series.

EGGS: A BOOK THAT YOU THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE BAD, BUT TURNED OUT QUITE ENJOYABLE

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My expectations of Crier’s War were that it was going to be a steaming pile of cliches, but I was pleasantly surprised by the multi-layered world building, culture, and poetic writing…and not to mention, the swoon-worthy, enemies-to-lovers sapphic romance.

 

SUGAR: A SUGARY/SWEET BOOK

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Oh, Rainbow Rowell, master of the heart-meltingly adorable romance…

Most of Rowell’s novels have this level of romance, on some level, but the sweetness of Fangirl stood out most to me for the purposes of this tag, from bonding over books and music to specialty lattes.

 

ICING: A BOOK THAT COVERED EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT THAT YOU ENJOY OF A BOOK

You guessed it…

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I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again…

Aurora Rising is, for all intents and purposes, everything that I’ve ever wanted in a book–daring adventures in space, with a ragtag cast of unique characters.

 

SPRINKLES: A BOOK SERIES THAT YOU TURN TO WHEN YOU’RE FEELING DOWN

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aaAAAaAAAaaaAAAAaAa chILDHOOD–

The Search for WondLa trilogy was definitely a major part of what not only got me through middle school, but what inspired me to be a writer, and my gateway to the genre  of science fiction. I haven’t re-read it in a year or so, but I always love flipping back through the gorgeous illustrations: at this point, each one’s a different way to get to Memory Lane.

 

CHERRY ON TOP: YOUR FAVORITE BOOK THIS YEAR SO FAR

…First of all, as Megabunny Reads said in their post…what? Aren’t cherries on top reserved for sundaes? I’ve only seen…maybe two pictures of cakes with a cherry on top, and it doesn’t sound all that appealing…

[ahem] Anyway, now that I’ve already mentioned Aurora Rising, I think there’s only one other choice for the top spot this year…

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The heart-pounding conclusion to the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, Shusterman truly pulled out all the stops and then some in The TollThis is Shusterman’s storytelling at its very best, and an exemplary trilogy in the vast fount of literature that defines today’s sci-fi/dystopian novels.

 

And, that just about wraps it up! I tag:

And if you’ve stumbled across this post and want to participate, feel free!

Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! It’s almost 2020, you can make it…

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Posted in Book Tags, Books, Music

OMG This Song Book Tag

Good afternoon (or whatever time it is in your time zone), bibliophiles!

This tag was originally created for YouTube by Kate’s Book Date, and I was tagged by the wonderful A Little Haze Book Blog to take part in it. And honestly, how could I say no? I mean, books and music: two of my favorite things! (So thank you, both of you! 🙂 )

Alright, let’s get started…

1. MY JAM – a song you MUST listen to every time it comes on, no matter how old or how many times you’ve listened to it / a book you’ll never get sick of

This song is, without question, one of my favorites of all time, but it rarely comes on shuffle, and so I absolutely swell with joy when I hear it: David Bowie’s “Quicksand”.

 

The fact that Bowie created a song so profound, yet can also rock me blissfully to sleep like a baby, is sheer genius. If you haven’t listened to this song, PLEASE DO, AS YOUR LIFE WILL BE FAR BETTER FOR IT.

As for books, I’m going with Ashley Poston’s Heart of Iron

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In the 1.5(ish) years since its release, I’ve re-read it…oh, at least six times, and it never ceases to make me feel every possible emotion.

 

2. THROWBACK – a song that reminds you of the cringiest time of your life / a book that also reminds you of this time (or just something you wouldn’t like as much if you picked it up for the first time now)

Cringiest time in my life? 6th grade, here we come…

 

For the longest time, this was my favorite song of all time. I couldn’t stop listening to it, I tried to get my friends into St. Vincent, and…well, I pretty much became associated with St. Vincent among my classmates. (A blessing and a curse.)  Don’t get me wrong, I still love this song, but…man, 6th grade me was a nightmare. And speaking of being associated with certain things…

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This series…

The Search for WondLa  trilogy was my moon, my sun, and all the stars in my sky at that age. And, as with “Bad Believer”, I carried this bad boy around me whenever I re-read it, and that meant getting weird looks from my classmates, because, yet again, it was “that book

I still stand by that it’s a phenomenal series, but man, does it bring back a boatload of memories.

 

3. REPLAY – a recent song you have on repeat right now / a recent favorite book

I’m very, very late to hop on this bandwagon, but I just discovered Pink Floyd’s “Time” a few days ago, and I have not stopped listening to it since.

That surreal, dream-like quality, the poetic and yet blatantly real lyrics…man oh man, I love this song.

As for books, the last book (I believe) that I gave a solid five stars to was Like A Love Story. 

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gAH, TALK ABOUT FEELING ALL THE FEELS KNOWN TO MAN…such an expertly written, heartstring-ripping novel…

 

4. GETS ME – this song IS ME / this book is me in book form

[clicks on YouTube link] [gets flooded with Hellboy II memories circa 8th grade]

 

I’m not sure if this is necessarily me in book form, but I have often felt like an outsider, for several reasons. I’ve struggled to fit in for most of my life, and it’s only been in the past two or so years that I’ve been able to find my tribe. So, in a way, this song gives me hope. Hope that someday, maybe I’ll find true love from someone who sees me for who I truly am.

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As for books, I’d say…yeah, you guessed it, Aurora RisingBut really, the central theme of this book is finding your people, finding those who see you for who you are, and cherish you for the qualities that others abhor.

 

5. WUT – weird but I like it? / a unique book that stuck out to you for whatever reason

I mean, the weirdest part of this song is the title, but Sidney Gish’s music is generally filled to the brim with absolutely lovely, crafty lyrics that not only catch my eye (and ear), but resonate with me on some level.

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Good Omens would be my obvious literary choice for this question. An absolutely madcap gem, this book never fails to make me cry laughing. Same goes for the series, too–I’m only three episodes in, but I adore it.

6. LET’S GO – best pump up song (for workouts or just life) / a book that inspired you

 

This song makes me feel unbelievably powerful, no matter when or where I listen to it. Björk is nothing short of a visionary.

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As for the book, The Martian Chronicles , I’d say. Yeah, I know, not the most inspirational, uplifting collection, but Bradbury’s writing is what makes me want to be a writer, what motivates me to dream, to create. Although I’ve read a few of his works, this is the first of his that I’ve read, and my personal favorite.

 

7. CHILL – fave chill, relaxing song / a book you’d curl up with and read on a rainy day

 

I mean, I could probably put most anything by Frankie Cosmos for this question, but this was the first song of hers that I was introduced to. Mellow, with a warm, nostalgic feel that never fails to make me smile.

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Kindred Spirits  is easily the shortest novel I own, and it’s filled to the brim with adorable, slow-burn romance. Not to mention the fact that it centers around Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Gotta love Star Wars.

8. ADDICTING – guilty pleasure song (one that’s catchy and addicting but not a whole lot of substance) / guilty pleasure/trashy/fast/light read

 

Yeah, pretty simple lyricism here, but I feel little pink hearts forming in my eyes whenever “Johanna” comes on. 💗

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Again with the Rainbow Rowell…you guessed it, folks…

I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again: Pumpkinheads is the ideal antidote for any of the sadness and troubles in your life.

 

9. NOSTALGIA – throwback you look back on fondly / a book you read forever ago that you look back on fondly or reminds you of a happy childhood time

 

I know, more Hunky Dory era David Bowie. But personally, I stand by my belief that this is easily the best album in the history of music.

“Kooks”, in particular, has a special place in my heart, for the simple reason that it’s the center of one of my earliest childhood memories. I was in the car, probably still a baby, and my whole family was with me. No idea where we were going, but “Kooks” was playing.

 

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Most of Roald Dahl’s novels have a special place in my heart, but Matildain particular, has the most vibrantly fond memories for me. My teacher read it to my class in third grade (we were on a Roald Dahl kick, as this followed both of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory books), and I got it as a gift later that year.

 

I tag:

And you! If you want to do this book tag, feel free to give it a go! Have at it, fellow nerds!

 

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Autumn Book Tag–Are You Ready for Sweater Weather?

That’s right! A perfect tag for SPOOKY SEASON!

This tag was created by Jenn @ Jenniely, and all of the tag headers in this post are from her original post. I was tagged by A Little Haze Book Blog (THANK YOU!), and I’m so excited to do this tag! 🙂

 

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Hot Chocolate: What is your comfort book? 

Sci-fi books are usually my comfort book; more specifically, those who have an extra-special place in my heart, such as The Search for WondLa trilogy, the Heart of Iron duology, and Aurora Rising.

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Pumpkin Carving: What is your favorite creative outlet?

Ooh…probably a toss-up between drawing and writing. I’ve loved to draw since I was little, and I usually like to experiment with pencils, ink pens, markers, and, as of now, a bit of watercolor.

As far as writing goes, I’d like to be an author someday. I try to write every night, and my mind is absolutely filled to the brim with all manner of story ideas. I mean, I’ve gotta let ‘em out somehow, right?

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Falling Leaves: Changes that appear bad that you secretly love

In a weird way, the first week of school always makes me a little nostalgic. I know, I know…school…but hey, there’s very little homework, and often times, it’s the first time you get to see all of your friends again after three months apart. It was better in preschool, but the first week is still oddly nice.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte: Something you love that others tend to judge

I mean, I know I’m not exactly a minority here, but I LOVE cats. It’s so strange that cats and dogs are such a polarizing subject: people either seem to adore them, or think that they’re heartless goblins bent on destruction. I’ve been around cats for as long as I can remember, and they’ve been my constant companions through thick and thin, always there to be adorable or snuggle with while I watch movies.

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Bonfire Night: What makes you explode with joy?

Going to see a movie or picking up a new book that you’ve been waiting for anxiously, and realizing that it was even better than you expected it to be. It’s the little things.

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Fright Night: Favorite Scary Book or Film

I’ve never been one for horror–movies or books. I mean, I totally chickened out on Aliens (1986), if that’s any indication.

However, I’m all for something spooky–just don’t give me much suspense, and I’ll be just fine.

In that creepy-but-not-nightmare-inducing vein, I’d have to say the Hellboy comics, and the Guillermo del Toro adaptations. NOT the 2019 reboot, mind you. Hellboy and that related universe will eternally have a special place in my heart.

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Halloween Candy: Favorite sweets to eat

Candy corns,  York peppermint patties, and anything with Oreos/oreo chunks in it.

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Scarves: Your must-have autumn accessory

October’s the perfect jacket season. I always like wearing my denim or leather jacket in Autumn, but I’ve got a soft spot for one jacket in particular; it’s black, with David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane lightning bolt on the back, and my collection of enamel pins and buttons on the front.

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Fire: A book or film that burns your soul

As far as books go, I’d definitely have to say Frankenstein. I haven’t gotten around to re-reading since I first bought it, but it’s left a permanent mark on my soul, to be sure.

For movies, hands-down, it’s The Shape of Water. Such a beautifully thought-out and moving film…I really don’t think I’ve been the same since the first time I watched it.

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Toffee Apples: A book or film that seems one thing but has a different inside

For this one, I’d have to say…Rainbow Rowell’s and Faith Erin Hicks’ Pumpkinheads. From the premise (and the pretense of Rowell’s previous works), you’d think that it would have some family drama or frustrating conflict. But, no, this one was so sweet and fluffy! Highly recommend it 🙂

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Well, that just about wraps it up!

I tag:

 

Thank you so much for reading this! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and be sure to stay tuned for more content next week! 😉