#T5W: Best Books I’ve Read So Far in 2018

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic is pretty self explanatory and it’s also a difficult one. I’ve read some really good books so far this year and it was a huge challenge to try and choose only five (I excluded the books I reread). I also tried to pick a little more objectively based on overall enjoyment + how objectively good I think the book is, and this is the result.

 

In no particular order:

The Nowhere Girls

Big Little Lies

Far From the Tree

The Hate U Give

I’ll Give You the Sun

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What are the best books you’ve read so far this year? What’s your current or next read?

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#T5W: Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

June 27th: Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year
–Halfway through the year, and it’s time to evaluate our reading goals and take a look at our TBRs for the second half of the year! 

For the sake of this post I’m only going to talk about books that are already out and that I haven’t mentioned in other similar posts already! There are many more that aren’t out yet but that’ll be its own post next week. I’m also not going to talk about my ARCs because I’m ashamed of how behind I am with reading them ghslkghs and I won’t talk about the books I plan to reread either because otherwise I’ll be here all week.

Moving on, these are some of the books I *hope* to get to before the end of the year, but who knows if that’ll happen.

 

Of Fire And Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Black Iris by Elliot Wake

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

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What are some books you keep postponing, but you hope to get to before the end of the year?

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#T5W Rewind: Characters I’d Want as Family

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This month we’re free to choose whichever past topic so I went with an easy one from September 2016:

Characters You’d Want as Family
— You can say this in a broad way or be specific (i.e. _______ would be a cool aunt, ______would be a great older brother, etc.)

In (more or less) no particular order:

  • Laurent of Vere from the Captive Prince trilogy
  • Nico di Angelo from PJO and Heroes of Olympus (and The Trials of Apollo which I haven’t read yet)
  • Magnus Chase from the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy
  • Kell and/or Rhy from the Shades of Magic trilogy
  • Liraz from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy

Wow would you look at that! I definitely see no pattern at all! Not like I’ve wanted a brother my whole life or anything! Or that I relate to (on the surface) cold characters that secretly hide a lot of emotional turmoil inside! Or queer characters! Or any combination of these!

Anyway I know the prompt said they can be anything but I definitely want all of them as my siblings or cousins. I mean, even best friends will do really, but okay let’s play. Let’s see, I’d definitely want Laurent as my brother, Nico can be my adoptive brother, Magnus can be the queer cousin (I mean, are you really the gay cousin if every cousin is gay though?), Kell and Rhy (shhhh I know they’re two people but they can’t be separated okay) can be mmmm also my cousins? Or maybe they’re those friends you’ve had since you were all babies and you’re basically like siblings now. And Liraz can be my older sister because yes I’ve always wished I had a big bro but a sister would be really cool too and I love her.

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Which characters would you want as your family? And do you think they’d get along with each other

#T5W: Auto-Buy SFF Authors

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

April 11: Auto-Buy Scifi and Fantasy Authors – Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic! 
— This month’s crossover topic is your auto-buy authors that write SFF.

Victoria Schwab: granted I’ve only read Shades of Magic and Vicious (because I have commitment issues and also I’m a mood reader), I’m still going to buy all her books, both the ones already out and the upcoming ones.

Leigh Bardugo: I already own everything by her and have read all of it except The Language of Thorns (but I have my beautiful hardcover that I look at when I’m feeling sad). I will definitely buy everything she writes, no matter what genre.

Jay Kristoff: granted I haven’t read his early work and I’m probably not going to, I fell in love with Nevernight and Godsgrave, and of course I love The Illuminae Files, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to want to check out everything he writes. I am aware that he’s used some problematic things in his books here and there and I also don’t always agree with his online behavior, but if I have to choose only one problematic favorite to stan for the rest of my life, it’ll be him (unless he does something truly unforgivable, then I’m returning my stan card).

Rick Riordan: listen. I’m still getting through all his books so this is both a case of retroactive auto-buy and future auto-buy if that makes sense. I’m not totally sure if he counts as fantasy author but hey, mythology is kind of fantasy okay.

Elise Kova: I really love her ability to create new words and concepts. Sometimes I might not like the executions of the romantic tropes or stuff like that, but so far I’ve read (or partially read) all of her series and there isn’t one world that’s similar to another and they all blow my mind in their originality. So I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep buying her books.

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Who are your auto-buy SFF authors? What makes you say, “I’m going to have to buy everything this author writes”?

#T5W: Favorite F/F couples

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

February 14th: Favorite F/F Couples
— Who are your favorite ladies loving other ladies? (Note: this isn’t specifically cis lesbian couples, but also applies to couples that include bi women, trans women, pan women, ace women, etc.)

Last week was kind of a wild ride with everyone’s posts about m/m couples and I can only imagine what a mess this week will be. If you follow me on twitter you’ll know what I mean, but anyway here’s my list of favorite f/f couples in random order!

(Usual spoiler warning because these are canon couples!)

  • Cas x Swift from The Abyss Surrounds Us: I love them so much! All you need to know about this series is that it’s about sea monsters and pirate girlfriends and if that doesn’t make you want to read it then I don’t know what will! I love this romance because it’s so healthy and they recognize the power imbalance between them and know they can’t be together while that lasts. #whenwillyourhetcouple
  • Annie x Liza from Annie on my Mind: if you know me, you know it’s very hard for me to pick One favorite but if I have to go with one absolutely favorite f/f couple then it’s gotta be this. Silly me thought this book was going to be boring because it’s from the Eighties!!! How wrong she (me) was!!! I don’t know if I’ve ever felt a romance in my bones as much as I’ve felt this one. It’s like I was Liza and I was falling in love with Annie myself. Most importantly, this has a happy ending because sapphic girls deserve happy endings too.
  • Sunati x Austen from Always Human: okay okay I know I talk about this all the time now but LISTEN they stole my heart and this whole comic is purely amazing (the art, the friendships) but the romance, the romance!!! It’s literally the cutest thing I’ve ever read and I’m so happy that it’s becoming my legacy to have people add this to their TBR and read it.
  • Mia x Ash from Godsgrave: well who would have thought that after book one I’d be on board with this! But oh my god. Enemies to lovers is my all time favorite trope and this was done so right. I also love how Mia’s bisexuality wasn’t pushed aside for the sake of the romance – Mia was very aware of her attraction to men as well.
  • Barrie x Ava from A&B: I think this was the second or third f/f romance I’ve ever read and I still think about it all the time. It’s a perfect enemies to friends to lovers and it talks a lot about music and the creative process, as well as things like envy and social media exposure.

Also, just a quick reminder to enter my giveaway on twitter because today is the last day! These are all queer YA books and four of them have main f/f couples (two of which I’ve talked about in this post).


What are your favorite f/f couples? 

#T5W: Favorite M/M couples (+ mini rant?)

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

February 7th: Favorite M/M Couples 
–Who are your favorite dudes loving other dudes? (Note: this isn’t specifically cis gay couples, but also applies to couples that include bi men, trans men, pan men, ace men, etc.)

OMG YAY I love this week’s topic and the next (F/F couples)! Also I want to mention that I’m only going to talk about couples that are canon because as much as I like making up headcanons for my fandoms, I don’t believe in queerbaiting my followers and I want to give canon queer couples the space they rightfully deserve!

So since these are all couples that become canon within the book/series/anime, be careful of spoilers if you don’t want to find out who ends up with whom!!!


  • 🌈 Damen and Laurent from Captive Prince: listen, if you know me you better have bet at least €50 on me mentioning D&L at the top of my list otherwise I’m gonna be very disappointed in you. THEIR LOVE IS SO STRONG!!! NO SCRATCH THAT! THEY INVENTED LOVE!!!!
  • 🏳️‍🌈 Victor and Yuuri from Yuri!!! On Ice260px-yuri_on_ice_hug_or_kiss hey nobody said this had to be strictly about books right..? I can’t not make a post about favorite M/M couples without mentioning Victuuri. Yuri On Ice still owns my ass after more than a year and I owe it more that I can ever begin to explain.
  • 🌈 Andrew and Neil from The Foxhole Court: oooohhhhhh boy ohh boy. It’s been one year since I’ve reread TFC and I seriously need to read it again because I can’t possibly have read my second favorite series only twice. All three books make me Feel Things and I miss the Foxes a lot. And Andreil are just so *clenches fist* theY’RE IN LOVE!!!
  • 🏳️‍🌈 Ben and Severin from The Darkest Part of the Forest: aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh I actually don’t talk about them as much as I should? My problem is that the fandom isn’t really big but even though I never RT fanart and such (because there’s like, none), just thinking about them makes my heart explode.
  • 🌈 Patroclus and Achilles from The Song of Achilles: *bursts into tears* it’s still too soon and it’s been more than a year since I’ve read them.

Honorable mentions:

🏳️‍🌈 Pynch!!!

🌈 Snowbaz!!!

Also I know this is probably not the right type of post to discuss this but I do what I want so here is your friendly reminder that if you ship M/M couples you better also support LGBTQIAP rights in every form and shape in real life, like, you know, when it comes to actual, real queer people, and I better not catch you calling gay sex sinful and be generally gross about M/M couples. Thanks for coming to my TED talk and if you feel yourself called out, GOOD, now please go google how to not be a shitty human to queer people and come back to this blog when you’re ready to stop fetishizing queer people.

#T5W: Books you disliked but love to discuss

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

January 24th: Books You Disliked but Love to Discuss
— Some books we disliked or they were just okay, but they still have a lot of discussion points to sink your teeth into.

 

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin was such a fiasco I shouldn’t even get started talking about it. I don’t even care much about how a lot of the plot didn’t make sense but there were truly offensive elements and those are the ones I “love” talking about.

Flame in the Mist was another book I not only didn’t find great but I also thought it had many offensive elements. I haven’t seen anyone calling it out for its transphobia, but even without this element I would still be mad because it’s not realistic for a 2017 diverse release that’s supposed to be a Mulan retelling to not explore themes of gender and sexuality. It just feels like a huge loss of potential, but then the offensive elements came along and I just can’t help but hating this (but I’m happy to talk about it).

Ten Count had a great premise but it’s super problematic. Like, it’s not news for a BL manga to be very icky when it comes to consent, but here the non/dub-con elements even clashed with the whole premise of the story and it just didn’t make any sense. Also, it wasn’t just a kiss given without consent once (still icky), it was a lot of very heavy scenes like that and I just couldn’t bring myself to finish reading this.

Gilded Cage wasn’t the greatest book and I DNF’d it. The reason I like discussing it is bc to me too many elements of the fantasy/dystopic setting didn’t make sense and I love feeling validated when I talk about them and people agree.

Juliet Takes a Breath is a book I keep having to explain my opinion of and I’m actually tired of it. It probably shouldn’t even be in this list but oh well, I guess I do like talking abut it on some level. It’s not even about this book specifically but about a broader discussion about literature sometimes not being universal and this being okay. I might write a discussion post about this topic at some point if I feel like it (because it also ties back to my discussion about US-centrism and stuff that I wrote a while ago).

Have you read these books? Did you like them? Do you like talking about them?