Mid Year Freak Out Tag (2020)

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve done a book tag here, in fact not since Christmas which feels like far longer than six months ago, and I’ve not done this particular tag since 2018, so thanks to my friend Hannah at Books, Life and Other Oddities for tagging me!

Best Book You’ve Read So Far This Year

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I’ve read a lot of books I’ve really enjoyed so far this year so it was tough to pick a favourite but I decided to go with this one. It’s wonderfully diverse (written by a WOC and featuring almost an entirely POC cast), it’s super fun with an incredible found family/squad dynamic and offers some really great discussions of colonialism and identity within a historical context, which I of course loved!

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2020

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I can’t say I’ve had the best luck with sequels this year, most of them have been kind of mediocre but I went with this one because I really enjoyed this historical murder mystery set on a cruise ship. The Stalking Jack The Ripper series is kind of uneven with its sequels, but this one was really great!

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

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I’ve been meaning to read this since it came out back in May, but it’s a lot chunkier than I was anticipating and I just haven’t got around to it yet. It’s on my TBR for this month though, and I’m really looking forward to reading it, even if the reviews have been wildly mixed!

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

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I mean is anyone at all surprised at this one? It’s the newest VE Schwab, everyone who has been lucky enough to get advanced copies has been raving about it and all of the snippets she’s released have just made me more excited. Roll on October!

Biggest Disappointment

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I so wanted to love this one as much as the first book and I was so excited for it, but sadly it just didn’t live up to my expectations at all. It was classic middle book syndrome unfortunately, the characters backslid a lot in their development and it felt like the plot was going around in circles most of the time. I’m hoping the third book will be back up to the same standard as the first one.

Biggest Surprise

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I’ve never read anything by Addie Thorley before and I’m not familiar with the original The Hunchback of Notre Dame so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this retelling, but I ended up really enjoying it! It was a super creative world, I loved the characters and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out next year.

Favourite new author (debut or new to you)

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I read The City of Brass back in April and since then I have devoured the second book and am currently reading the final book. SA Chakraborty is definitely a new favourite author I’ve discovered this year and I will be excitedly looking forward to seeing what she has coming next now that the Daevabad trilogy is done.

Newest Fictional Ship

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Enrique and Hypnos definitely seemed to have a spark going in this book and I look forward to seeing where that goes, if anywhere, in this next two books.

Newest favourite character

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Without meaning to be a broken record here, my newest favourite character(s) definitely came from The Gilded Wolves. I can’t really pick between Enrique, Laila and Zofia, I loved them all for very different reasons, so I’m going to say all three of them for my favourite characters of this year. Though honestly I could say pretty much everyone from the squad in The Gilded Wolves because I loved them all.

Favourite new audiobook narrator (this one I made up because I wasn’t feeling the Book That Made You Cry)

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Soneela Nankani who narrates the Daevabad audiobooks has a really relaxing voice and I love listening to her read, she really has a way of taking you out of whatever you are doing and transporting you into the world she’s reading about.

Book That Made You Happy

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I read so many long, quite dark fantasies that this one was a nice change of pace. It was a super fun little ghost story that I could just get easily immersed in and didn’t take very long to read. It reminded me why I enjoyed middle grade books in the first place, short, fun and focused more on friendship than romance.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Pre-Ordered This Year (I changed this from bought or received as none of the books I’ve bought this year have had particularly “pretty” covers)

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I love this cover so much, it reminds me of Christmas, which is my favourite time of year, so I can’t wait to have this book on my shelf come September!

What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year

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Aside from all the books on my #RockMyTBR Challenge list which I obviously intend to get finished by the end of the year, these are some of the others that I really want to get read by the end of the year.

Favourite Book Community Member

Hannah (who tagged me) from Books, Life and Other Oddities is my IRL best friend, we met at school almost ten years ago, bonded over a shared love of books (Percy Jackson in particular) and are still fangirling together now!

I don’t really know who to tag for this, so basically if you want to do it, then please go ahead!

Top Ten Tuesday #243-12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

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Hi everyone, Happy Christmas Eve! I hope you’ve all had good weeks since I last did one of these, I went to the Edinburgh Christmas Market with my friend Nicola yesterday, which was great fun, we hadn’t seen each other since graduation, so it was nice to get a chance to catch up after so long.

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week was meant to be Books We Hope To Find Under The Christmas Tree, but as Santa spends all year telling me I have too many books, I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting many of those! Instead, I’m going to be doing the 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag, which was created by Falling Down The Book Hole, since I haven’t done a Book Tag in a while and I wanted to still be Christmassy!

1. On The First Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me: A Partridge In A Pear Tree.

The Partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favourite standalone?

78090192-421A-4F92-9765-6374BD250420As a general rule, I tend to prefer series, as I love getting to know characters and worlds over the course of multiple books, but if I had to pick on favourite standalone, it would definitely be The Book Thief. It’s such a beautiful story, told in a unique way, with characters I completely fell in love with.

2. On The Second Day of Christmas, My True Love Sent To Me: Two Turtle Doves

Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

Long time followers of this blog could probably have guessed this one pretty quickly but my OTP is of course, Percabeth! They have such a sweet relationship and it’s actually a loving and healthy one, which is far rarer than it should be in fiction!

3. On The Third Day of Christmas, My True Love Sent To  Me: Three French Hens

In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?ADSOM

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In a surprise to exactly no one, my favourite trilogy is of course VE Schwab’s Shades of Magic Trilogy. So well plotted, one of the few trilogies I’ve read that doesn’t have a middle book slump, it has brilliant world building, wonderful characters and is just one of my favourite fantasy series of all time.

4. On The Fourth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Four Calling Birds

Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favourite series?

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I might get more and more disappointed every time JK Rowling tweets anything (seriously someone needs to take away her Twitter) but I still love the Harry Potter series, it’s the series I grew up with, the books that made me the reader I am today and it will always have a special place in my heart.

5. On The Fifth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Five Golden Rings

One ring to rule them all! Who is your favourite Villain/Antagonist?

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Going with a more recent one here, Vianca Augustine from the Shadow Game trilogy is one of my favourites of the last few years. I love female villains and definitely think there need to be more of them and Vianca is a truly terrifying villain, whose power strips people of their free will.

6. On The Sixth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Six Geese A Laying

Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favourite world/world building?

 

ADSOMI reckon pretty much everyone could have seen this one coming, of course my favourite world/world building is the Londons from VE Schwab’s Shades of Magic Trilogy (yes I still love Hogwarts). I love how each of the Londons becomes a character in its own right and they are all so different in feel but the world still feels like one cohesive thing? Truly masterful worldbuilding.

7. On The Seventh Day of Christmas, My True Love Sent To Me: Seven Swans Are Swimming

Who needs seven swans when all you need is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favourite animal sidekick?

I could have gone for several for these but I decided to go with Buckbeak from Harry Potter. I mean who wouldn’t want a Hippogriff, flying one looks like so much fun!

8. On The Eighth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Eight Maids A Milking

Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes food/beverages to another level?

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I couldn’t pick anything else for this, Heartless is definitely a foodie’s dream! Cath bakes so many delightful sounding things in this book and I would like to try them all!

9. On The Ninth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Nine Ladies Dancing

Dancing is just one skill of a Lady. Who is your favourite kickass female lead?

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She would definitely not describe herself as a Lady, but Lila Bard is definitely my favourite kickass female lead! I wish I had half the confidence that she does.

10. On The Tenth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Ten Lords A Leaping

How about your favourite leading lad?

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In a surprise to once again, exactly no one, my favourite male protagonist is of course Percy Jackson. He’s sassy, slightly dorky, incredibly loyal, what is there not to love?

11. On The Eleventh Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Eleven Pipes Piping

What is your favourite book or bookish thing with a musical influence?

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Schwab’s Monsters of Verity duology not only have musical themed names, but the Sunai (a type of monster in the books) steal souls through using music. They’re also structured like music with a prelude, several verses and an elegy.

12. On The Twelfth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Twelve Drummers Drumming

Drumroll please…what is your favourite read of the year?

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Okay this is a cruel question as I’ve read so many books I’ve loved this year, but if it had to pick one favourite, it would be VE Schwab’s Vengeful. It took everything I loved about the first book and made it even better, I loved the new characters, the story was so compelling and it was definitely some of the best writing I read this year.

So there we go, that’s the Twelve Days of Christmas Book Tag, thanks to Falling Down The Book Hole for creating it, and PaperFury for giving me the idea to do it!

What books are you hoping to get for Christmas? Any other presents people are hoping for? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with my final TTT of 2019, talking about my favourite books of the year! In the meantime, I’ll be taking a bit of a break from the blog for the rest of this week over the Christmas period, so Merry Christmas to everyone and I’ll see you all next week with various end of year wrap up lists!

 

The Lover Book Tag

Hi guys! It’s been forever since I last did a book tag, and so when I saw this tag on Vicky (What Vicky Read)’s blog, I thought it would be perfect since I love Taylor Swift, I love books, it’s the perfect combination. Her last album, reputation, wasn’t a favourite of mine, but I have been seriously loving (pardon the pun) Lover, I think it’s my favourite album of hers since Red (not that I didn’t enjoy 1989, I did, I just didn’t love it as much as her earlier stuff). My favourites off the album so far are Soon You’ll Get Better, Daylight, Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince, Cornelia Street, The Archer and Lover, but that might change as I listen to the album more. So without further ado, here are the rules of the tag:

  1. Thank the creator, that’s Vicky from What Vicky Read.
  2. Tag 5 friends.
  3. Have fun!

So here we go, The Lover Book Tag:

  1. I Forgot That You Existed-A book on your TBR that you had completely forgotten about

This could honestly be like half my TBR, but I think I’ll go with Pegasus and The Origins of Olympus, by Kate O’Hearn because I bought the book like four years ago after finishing the first three and I still haven’t got around to reading it yet. I forget quite a lot of the books that I have because I have too many to store them all in one place!

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2. Cruel Summer-A Perfect Summer Read

I don’t tend to go for your typical “summer” books because they tend to be contemporary romances that aren’t really my kind of thing, so instead I’ll go for something that is both summery and a bit more my speed and say Dangerous Girls, since it takes place in sunny Aruba, and I think psychological thrillers make pretty great beach reads because they are so fast to read.

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3. Lover-Your favourite book/series

OUCH. I hate having to pick favourites when it comes to books, so I will caveat this by saying that this is just ONE of my favourite series. I love the Shades of Magic trilogy, I think it’s one of the few trilogies I’ve read where the standard is consistently high across all three books, and it has one of the most satisfying conclusions I’ve ever read.

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4. The Man-An Amazing Female Character

Without meaning to repeat myself, I have to go with a character from the above series, and say Lila Bard. She’s an absolute BAMF, and has my entire heart, defying the gender expectations for women in her time period, whilst fighting to save the world(s) from the brink of disaster.

5. The Archer-A book from your childhood because you never grew up

I could go with Harry Potter, but since that one is kind of a given, I’ll go with one of my other childhood favourites, and say Matilda, by Roald Dahl. I loved Roald Dahl’s books when I was a kid and Matilda was one of my favourites, I mean a bookworm girl with telekinetic powers, who uses them to punish all the evil adults in her life? What’s not to love?

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6. I Think He Knows-A book everyone knows you love

At the risk of repeating myself, I have to go with A Darker Shade of Magic. My Schwab love is pretty evident to anyone who reads my Top Ten Tuesday lists, and A Darker Shade of Magic has made multiple appearances on said lists since I read it three years ago.

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7. Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince-A book that makes you so sad, you could paint the town blue

I’ve only ever physically cried at two books, and I’m going to go with Rose Under Fire for this one. It makes me so sad and horrified that there were real people, like Rose, who actually went to Ravensbruck and weren’t as lucky as she was, and that the Rabbits were actually real women who were disfigured and experimented on by the Nazis. (For those who are interested, the other book I cried at was Between Shades of Gray, another WWII book).

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8. Paper Rings-Your favourite OTP

Percy and Annabeth from Percy Jackson, obviously!

9. Cornelia Street-A book that lived up to the hype

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I read The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue this year, after two years of seeing hype for it around the blogosphere and it was SO GOOD. Such a fun, brilliant, historical adventure, with an extremely shippable m/m romance and a female main character who was absolutely down for smashing the patriarchy.

10. Death By A Thousand Cuts-A book that saying goodbye to is death by a thousand cuts so you just have to reread it again

I’ve not really reread much since joining the book community in 2014, but without meaning to copy Vicky’s answer, I’m going to go with Harry Potter as well, it’s the first book series I’ve read that I actually remember ending and whilst it was so sad to say goodbye, returning to the series is like going back to an old friend.

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11. London Boy-A book based in London

So that I don’t repeat myself by using the Shades of Magic books again, I’m going to go with Samantha Shannon’s The Mime Order, which entirely takes place in a dystopian version of London.

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12. Soon You’ll Get Better-A Book That Brightens Up Your Sky

The Percy Jackson books never fail to make me smile, I love the world and the characters so much, plus they are just so funny.

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13. False God-A book you could reread over and over again because it still does it for you, babe

Again, I don’t really reread much anymore because I don’t have the time, but I think if I was going to reread a series over and over again, I’d go with one of my favourites from my teenage years, and one that I’m still enjoying now, and go with the Skulduggery Pleasant series.

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14. You Need To Calm Down-An LGBTQ+ book you’d GLAADly recommend

I’d go with Tara Sim’s Timekeeper for this, it’s one of my favourite LGBTQ+ books, and where else are you going to get an m/m romance between a human and a clock spirit?

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15. Afterglow-It’s Not The Book, It’s Me (a book that wasn’t for you)

I’d heard so many good things about Uprooted, but in the end, it turned out not being for me, I had a lot of issues with it and just didn’t really enjoy it.

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16. ME!-A Character You Relate To

For me, this is definitely Izzy O’Neill. We have a very similar sense of humour, we both really love food and have absolutely no patience for the patriarchy, I think we’d get along very well.

17. It’s Nice To Have A Friend-A Book Character You’d Love To Be Friends With

Hermione Granger! We could talk about books and unlike Harry and Ron, I’d actually be interested!

18. Daylight-A book that you weren’t sure of at first, but turned out to be amazing

The Priory of The Orange Tree started out really slow for me, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it, but it got better and better the further I got through the book.

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Bonus: Favourite Taylor Swift Album-It’s a toss up for me between Fearless and Speak Now, both have some of my absolute favourite songs on them and there’s honestly not a single dud on either. I think if I had to choose though, I’d go with Speak Now, she wrote the whole thing herself at 18/19 and that is SO IMPRESSIVE.

If any of my followers are Taylor Swift fans, then I tag you to do this! What did you think of Lover? What was your favourite song? What’s your favourite Taylor Swift album? Let me know in the comments!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #183: Villains Award Tag

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Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since my last one of these, I had reading week last week, which is basically my uni’s half term break, although it wasn’t much of a break, I was doing reading for my next essay for most of it! From now until mid December, the work is pretty much non-stop, and not in the fun Hamilton song way!

Also, BookLoversBlog has officially reached 1000 followers (well slightly over now)! I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me over the last four years, it has meant so much to me and there’s no way I would still be doing this now without you guys! In that spirit, I have an exciting giveaway going on over on my Twitter account, where you could have the opportunity to win any of the books I’ve reviewed here over the past four years, so definitely check that out, it’s my way of saying thanks to everyone for all your support and celebrating this milestone!

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Since Halloween is tomorrow, our theme this week is a Halloween freebie. I have to admit, I was a bit stumped for what to do for this one since I’ve already done three years worth of Halloween freebies and I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween. So I’ve decided to do an extension of last week’s Villain theme, and borrow The Villains Award Tag from Cait over at Paper Fury! Here is a link to her post if you want to see her answers:

https://paperfury.com/villains-award-tag/

And here are mine:

  1. Villian you absolutely despise and hate

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Come on guys, you had to be expecting this one right? If there is one thing that the Harry Potter fandom can unite on (aside from the obvious fact that we all love Harry Potter) it’s that Umbridge is THE WORST. And whilst A Very Potter Musical does have a slightly more comical version of Umbridge, the canon version is just….well completely psychopathic.

2. Villain Who Is Entrancing

Ooh entrancing villains? I have to admit, I think Cait hit the nail on the head here. The two villains of the Caraval series, Jacks and Legend are completely entrancing. On the one hand, you know that they are bad guys and that you shouldn’t believe a word they say but on the other hand, they are mysterious and sexy and you can’t help but being a little captivated by them.

3. Books You’d Like To Read From The Villain’s Perspective

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I mean honestly I feel like most books would be more interesting if they were from the villains’ perspective! One that I read recently which I think would be so much better from the villain’s perspective is Sea Witch. It acts as a villain origin story for the main character, who is at the start supposedly the hero, but the actual villain of the book (without wanting to spoil anything) is so much more interesting than Evie and I think the book would have been so much better if it had been from her perspective.

4. Worst Antagonistic YA Parents

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Honestly this one is hard because most of the books I read, the main characters parents are usually dead! One that came to mind which I read this year though, is King Saran from Children of Blood and Bone. He is just awful to his children, forcing them to fight and viciously hurt each other, no matter how little they want to.

5. Antihero who is a little bad, a little good

OK THIS IS MY CATEGORY. I have a soft spot for antiheroes, they straddle that line between hero and villain so well and let’s face it, plain old good heroes can get a little boring, it’s nice to have a hero type character that has slightly less….well morals. Here are some of my favourite antiheroes:

-Lila Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic

-All of the Dregs from Six of Crows

-Artemis Fowl from Artemis Fowl

-Rowan Damisch from Scythe

-Everyone in HIVE

6. Villain Made From Tragic Circumstances

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Okay granted, he is more antihero than villain, but Kaz Brekker definitely fits this one. It’s kind of hard to talk about without spoiling parts of Six of Crows, but basically Kaz went through some stuff in his childhood and that quite heavily informs his future life of crime.

7. Villain who gets in the hero’s way but isn’t necessarily pure evil

This one is kind of a tricky one! The book I’m reading at the moment has a character sort of like that, Zavier from the Timekeeper trilogy. He’s not necessarily a villain, but he is acting as kind of a roadblock for Danny and Colton at the moment, so I think he fits this category quite well.

8. A Non-Human Villain

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Opal Koboi is one of my favourite non-human villains, she is the villain for the latter half of the Artemis Fowl series, and she’s just so cunning and devious and incredibly clever, she is more than a match for our genius anti-hero Artemis.

9. Villain Who You Think Is Wicked But They’re Intriguing

Nashira from The Bone Season. I mean she’s awful, truly awful, but I can’t help but be a bit intrigued by her. I hope that we get to find out more about her in the upcoming books in the series!

10. Antagonist who gets a redemption arc

Luke Castellan from Percy Jackson! Sure he gets taken over by an evil Titan and causes some serious trouble, but in the end he was just a confused kid who was neglected by his father and he does try to make things right in the end.

So there we go, the Villain Award Tag! Who are your favourite villains? Do you like anti-heroes or flat out evil villains more? What did you do for the Halloween freebie this week? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Backlist Books I Want To Read and boy do I have a lot of those! My entire reading life is basically spent catching up on my backlist, so this should be a fun (and not gonna lie probably slightly shame inducing) one to do. I’m hoping to get a Writing Corner post up for you guys tomorrow, but if I don’t, then it will definitely be up at the weekend. I will also have a combined September/October Wrap Up post for you guys at some point this week, so there’s quite a bit coming up for you guys!

 

Emotions In Colour Book Tag

Hi guys! So I saw this tag on Cait (PaperFury)’s blog a while ago and since I’ve started work this week and am not really feeling like writing long discussion posts or writing posts right now (I’ll save that for Saturday, when I have a day off), I decided that a quick book tag would be just the thing! Here’s a link to Cait’s blog if you want to read her answers:

https://paperfury.com/10-emotions-in-colours-booktag/

And here are mine:

  1. Blue-Book That Made You Sad

I mean honestly I could think of a hell of a lot of books for this particular prompt, but I read a book this year that actually made me physically cry and that happens so rarely for me whilst reading that I felt like I had to chose it for this prompt:

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Rose’s story is just so sad, and the fact that there were thousands of very real women who actually were in Ravensbruck and that the Rabbit experiments were something that really did happen? Yeah that makes things ten times more devastating.

2. Red-Bookworm Problems that make you angry

Honestly my bookworm problems that make me annoyed are mostly little things. Like stickers on book covers THAT JUST WON’T COME OFF DARN IT. And cover changes IN THE MIDDLE OF MY BEAUTIFUL SERIES THAT I HAVE ALREADY PAID MONEY FOR AND CANNOT AFFORD A WHOLE NEW SET. Or when some idiot decides to read over my shoulder and not stay anything and just stands there-either ask about the book or go away, preferably the second one. Or some inconsiderate person not lifting up the spine of their book when you’re on public transport, I NEED TO SEE WHAT YOU ARE READING FELLOW READER. Or another inconsiderate person has the audacity to INTERRUPT whilst you are reading. Yeah just little things like that, no biggie, I’m fine.

3. Yellow-Upcoming book you’d be happy to have right now

Umm…..all of them? Ha ha kidding, here are the books I’d kill to have right now:

33590260I MUST HAVE THIS. IT’S GOING TO BREAK ME AND I DON’T CARE, I NEED IT NOW.

40139338But Jo, you haven’t read Vicious yet……shhhh minor problem people, which will be rectified very soon, let me be excited!

35403058Another Victoria Schwab book Jo? Yes and? Everything this woman writes I will read. Plus a ghost story set in Edinburgh one of my absolute favourite cities? Yeah, I’m not missing that!

39080732I’m so sad, I actually won a competition for an early reader’s event for this book, but I have work so I can’t go. Ah well October isn’t that far away……

34324484Literally everything about this book screams “JO” but sadly Netgalley declined me for it. If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me crying over my lack of this book in my life.

36220335THAT COVER THOUGH. Plus the story sounds amazing, a bipolar puppeteer who can bind souls of the dead to puppets? Totally sold.

4. Green-Favourite Unlikely Friends

Well Cait took the first one I thought of when I saw this prompt, The Dregs crew, but since I don’t want to use any of her answers, I’m going to go for Valkyrie and Skulduggery from Skulduggery Pleasant. She’s human, he’s a walking, talking, magical skeleton detective, how much more unlikely does it get?

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5. Grey-Book You Are Totally Emotionless About

This is actually kind of hard, because even if I hate a book, I do have a strong emotion about it? A few that are just meh for me though are:

-The Hazel Wood-Melissa Albert: I should have loved it  but yeah, it wasn’t amazing, but wasn’t totally awful either, so it’s definitely left in that kind of meh area.

-Cinder-Marissa Meyer: It was fine, nothing earth shattering though.

-The Burning Maze-Rick Riordan-I can’t believe I am putting a Rick Riordan book down as a “meh” book, but it really was. Sadly The Burning Maze caught middle book syndrome and was SO SLOW.

-The Crown’s Fate-Evelyn Skye-I really enjoyed the first book, but I wanted so much more from the second, and it left me feeling cold (and not just from the wintery Russian setting!).

The Hazel Wood Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo #3)The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game, #2)

(Sorry for the blurry pictures!)

6. Pink-A Book Ending That You Love (no spoilers)

-A Conjuring of Light-VE Schwab

AHH! This was just the perfect ending to the Shades of Magic series (even though I am super excited to go back to that world in Threads of Power), it brought everything together beautifully, it crushed my feelings and was just generally amazing.

-The Raven King-Maggie Stiefvater

Much like ACOL, The Raven King was just the perfect topper to an amazing series, it brought everything together whilst leaving some threads deliberately loose to be able to return to the world in the future. (Who else is excited for The Dreamer Trilogy?)

-Undivided-Neal Shusterman

Again, Undivided was just really satisfying, it brought all of the threads of the story together super nicely and it was actually kind of refreshing to have a dystopian finale where it isn’t all out war in the end but they still get their change through-democracy can work people!

-Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows-JK Rowling

I have mixed feelings about JK Rowling now, I completely idolised her as a child, and whilst I am still really impressed with what she managed to achieve, I’m not so keen on some of the things she does and says on Twitter. Having said that, The Deathly Hallows was one of the first series finales I’ve ever read and bar a few things (THE GOSH DARN CAMPING), it was really satisfying and everything from all the books came together so well.

-The Last Olympian-Rick Riordan

Still my favourite of Rick’s final books, this last one really hits it out of the park, ending the first arc of Percy’s journey in a wonderful and really satisfying way (*side-eyes Blood of Olympus*).

7. Purple-Book You Never Really Understood

The Fault in Our Stars

I just generally don’t understand the love for John Green’s books, they all sound the same to me, but I particularly don’t understand the love for this one as it’s the only one I’ve read and I just couldn’t? Like the pretension, the overwrought metaphors, the NOTHING HAPPENS-ness, yeah I just couldn’t deal.

8. White-Authors You’re Scared Of (They’re So Mean To Their Characters)

VE Schwab-You know the saying “kill your darlings”? Yeah VE Schwab is not afraid of doing that and it makes me slightly scared of her.

Rick Riordan-I HAVE STILL NOT FORGIVEN YOU FOR THAT CLIFFHANGER IN MARK OF ATHENA RICK.

Sarah J Maas-I am emotionally traumatised by what this woman did to Dorian and now what she has done to Aelin.

Samantha Shannon-The things you have done to poor Paige? Yeah I’m a teeny bit scared of you.

Tara Sim-Oh hey Tara, it’s just me over here in the corner, still suffering from what happened in Chainbreaker.

9. Black-Book you think is powerful and influential

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I feel like people have kind of forgotten about this book, which is really sad, because I LOVED it, when I was younger. It was my first real introduction to any kind of discussion about race, and it covered a myriad of other different topics from teen pregnancy to alcoholism and other addictions (in the later books) to terrorism and it does it so well, plus it’s a gorgeous and heartbreaking story.

10. Orange-Playful characters who are just too adorable

Oh my gosh so many! Hayden Upchurch from Unwind is definitely just too adorable. Wylan and Jesper from Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are also really adorable. Leo Valdez from the Percy Jackson universe definitely falls under this category as well. And of course, the Weasley twins from Harry Potter. Basically if you are a playful character I am pretty much guaranteed to love you (although I’m struggling to think of female characters like this, does anyone know any? I’m sure I must have read some somewhere and I’m just forgetting right now).

So thanks Cait for this awesomely fun tag! Anyone who wants to do this, feel free to consider yourself tagged.

 

 

 

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag (2018)

It’s the middle of the year, so it’s now time to flail about how much of the year has gone already, how we don’t know how we got here, how many books we’ve read and how many we still have to read! I didn’t specifically get tagged for this by anyone, but I saw it on my friend Hannah’s blog and then on Cait’s over at Paper Fury and then basically everyone else seemed to be doing it, so I decided that I would jump on the bandwagon. Apparently this tag was originally created by Chami and Ely, so thanks guys!

Best Book You’ve Read So Far This Year

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I apologise in advance for using this book twice in one post, but it’s just that good! I enjoyed Caraval but this book is like a whole another level of amazing, we get Tella’s POV this time (and Tella is awesome) and the book is 10000 times more twisty and dark and amazing.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read In 2018

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Yeah okay, I’m using it again, but this book is just really, really good okay!

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

I’ve actually been doing okay with new releases so far this year, but there are still a few that I’m dying to read that I haven’t read yet:

37541828New Skulduggery Pleasant! Can you hear me squealing through the computer? AHHHHHHHHH!

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)Everyone has been talking about this book, so I’m so excited to finally read it next month in the build up to YALC.

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)I loved Scythe and after finally getting to meet Neal Shusterman back in March, I am super excited for his newest offering.

31076583Okay so technically I haven’t read the third book yet, but can you blame me for being excited for this one? JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER THOUGH.

4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year

33590260THE LAST THRONE OF GLASS BOOK! MY HEART IS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS, I CANNOT DEAL!

40512862Why does Victoria Schwab have the most aesthetically beautiful covers in the history of all covers? I’ve read both her adult books and her YA books and I’m sure my first MG book from her will be just as wonderful as the rest.

Vengeful (Villains, #2)Okay so I technically haven’t read Vicious yet, but shush, shush, let me be excited for more Schwab.

36220335This just sounds like a deliciously different fantasy, I love the idea of a puppet master binding souls of the dead to puppets and its ownvoices for a bipolar character which I think is awesome because mental health is not discussed nearly enough in fantasy.

A Spark of LightJodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors, so of course I’m super excited to read her newest book when it comes out.

5. Biggest Disappointment

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You have no idea how much it hurts to type this, but Crooked Kingdom is my most disappointing read so far this year. It’s not that it was bad, but I was expecting to be five star flailing all over it and instead it was just…okay. So yeah, disappointed.

6. Biggest Surprise?

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I didn’t have any real expectations for this one, I thought it might like it, but I was surprised by how dark and twisty and different that this one was!

7. Favourite New To You/Debut Author?

Laura Steven

Laura Steven, I loved her debut, The Exact Opposite of Okay, it was super funny, plus timely and relevant and I’m looking forward to meeting her at YALC next month.

8. Newest Fictional Crush

Probably Dante from Legendary!

9. Newest Favourite Character

Okay I have two, so I’m cheating slightly but I don’t care! Izzy O’Neill from The Exact Opposite Okay because I swear if Izzy was real, we would probably be best friends and also Tella Dragna from Legendary because again, I could definitely imagine us being friends if she was real.

10. Book That Made You Cry

Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity, #2)

There are very few books that actually make me physically cry, but this one was definitely one of them, it was heartwrenching to read about Rose and the Rabbits’ experiences in Ravensbruck and knowing that real people actually had to go through that.

11. Book That Made You Happy

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I might have been a little disappointed with the plot and pacing of this one, but Rick Riordan’s books never fail to make me smile.

12. Favourite Book To Film Adaptation

Okay, I’m going to cheat a little and use Book To TV, because I’m like that, because I absolutely love what they’ve done with the A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix adaptation, it’s SOOOOOOOOO much better than the rubbish film version with Jim Carrey.

13. Favourite Post You’ve Done This Year

I did a Writing Corner post this month all about my writing and editing process with my novel, This Is Not A Love Story and it was a great thing to write, to see how far I’ve come with it over the past couple of years. I’m looking forward to hopefully having a lot more subsequent posts about my journey as a writer and with TINALS.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/writing-corner-on-this-is-not-a-love-story-the-writing-and-editing-process-so-far/

14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE? I HAVE ACQUIRED SO MANY PRETTY BOOK CHILDREN THIS YEAR. Okay, okay if you insist:

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1)

I just can’t even with this book. Those colours, that border, that DRESS. Kudos to the cover designer because this book is gorgeous.

15. What books do you need to finish by the end of this year?
TOO MANY! Aside from the rest of the books on my #RockMyTBR list, I also need to read Tower of Dawn before the final Throne of Glass book comes out in October.

How has everyone else’s reading been going this year? What books are you guys desperate to finish by the end of the year? Let me know in the comments!

If you’re reading this, then consider yourself tagged.

This Or That Book Tag

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I last did a book tag, and I was tagged for this one by my bookish partner-in-crime, Hannah (if you recognise the name, she’s the one who goes with me to YALC every year), who has just started a blog, it’s called Books, Life and Other Oddities and you should definitely check it out, because if you like my blog then Hannah and I have very similar tastes in books and she’s been one of my best friends for eight years, so it would be great if you guys could support her blog! Here’s the link if you want to go visit it:

https://bookslifeotheroddities.wordpress.com/

So anyway, on with the tag:

Reading in bed or on the couch?

In bed. Honestly, if I didn’t have to, I would pretty much never leave my bed, I do most of my reading in bed, pretty much all my writing in bed, Uni assignments, everything.

Male or female main character?

Female, because I think most of my favourite characters are girls, but I do think there should be more male narrators in YA, as they’re really hard to find!

Sweet or salty snacks while reading?

Neither, I don’t eat whilst reading, I’d rather my books didn’t get all crumby!

Trilogies or quartets?

I’m gonna go with quartets because I’ve been burned by a lot of trilogies! I’ve only read a few quartets but none of them have let me down in quite the same way that a lot of trilogies have.

Reading first person or third person POV?

First person, I feel like the character’s voice comes across a lot better!

Reading at night or in the morning?
At night, I’ve always done most of my reading before I go to bed, though often I do both.

Libraries or bookstores?

I love both, but I’ll have to say bookstores, as I love not having a return date on books, I don’t feel so much pressure to have to get to something right away if it’s something I’ve bought. Plus bookstores generally have a better selection of what I want.

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Laugh! I do love a good dose of humour in my books.

Black book covers or white book covers?

Black, I think they’re more striking.

Character driven or plot driven?

Plot driven. The characters do have to be well rounded of course, but you can have the greatest characters in the world, but if they’re not doing anything, then I will not care.

So there we go! If you want to do this tag then consider yourself tagged as I can never keep track of who has done what, I can barely keep track of my own tags! And go check out Hannah’s blog 🙂

 

 

Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag

I was tagged by Emily over at AlwaysOpinionatedGirl for this particular tag, and it’s a Christmassy themed one, my first of the year! This tag asks us bookish questions about good or bad things we’ve done to books, so I guess it’s bookish confession time from me! So here we go:

Received an ARC and not Reviewed it-Naughty, yup I’ve done this!

I got approached to review an ARC by a publishing company, they sent it to me and I did try to read it, but there were so many spelling mistakes just in the acknowledgements that I couldn’t read it!

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley-Nice, my ratio is more than this

I currently have a 71% feedback rating on Netgalley, so I’m feeling good about it. I have definitely had below a 60% feedback rating on Netgalley before, but since I’m above at the moment, I’m counting this as Nice!

Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)-Nice, I’ve never done this

I always review everything on my blog first and then copy the link to the review over to my Goodreads, so I’ve never done this one! I have however occasionally lapsed on the adding the review from my blog to Goodreads though……..

Folded down the page of a book-Naughty, I’ve done this multiple times

I really don’t see what the big deal is here? As long as it’s my book, who cares whether I fold the pages down or not?

Accidentally spilled on a book-Naughty

Unfortunately yes, there was a minor incident with a Sarah J Maas book and a bottle of water in my bag…..and another one my first year at YALC with multiple books and a bottle of water…..I now carry my water in a separate bag from my books, always.

DNF a book this year-Naughty

Yup, I’ve DNF’ed several books this year, more than ever before (by which I mean like 2 or 3, let’s not get crazy).

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it-Nice, I’ve never done this

Yes I do buy books based on their covers, of course I do, but I would never buy a book with a pretty cover if I had absolutely no interest in reading it at all.

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else-Naughty

Of course I’ve done this! I once got into trouble for a reading a book under my desk at school when I was meant to be doing work. In my defence, it was English class, I had finished the work and Black Beauty is way more interesting than Oliver Twist!

Skim read a book-Naughty

Again for school, some of the books they made us read were so boring, you just had to skim!

Completely missed your Goodreads Reading Goal-Naughty

Yup, my first year doing the Goodreads challenge, I way overshot, targeted for 30 books, realised I wasn’t going to make it, cut it in half and still missed the challenge by two books. I won last year though and am pretty sure I’m going to win again this year, so just the one year I’ve missed so far!

Borrowed a book and not returned it-Naughty

Yup, I’m pretty sure there are still a few books from my Primary school library lying around somewhere…….

Broke a book buying ban-Naughty

Are you even a book lover if you’ve never done this?

Started a review, left it for ages, then forgot what the book was about-Nice

I’ve never done this, I always review a book as soon as possible after I’ve read it and if I don’t, I keep pretty detailed notes whilst I’m reading, so it’s basically impossible for me to forget what I think of a book!

Wrote in a book you were reading-Naughty

Yup I’ve done this! I don’t even care, they’re my books and I can do whatever I’d like with them.

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads-Nice

I’ve never done this, every book counts towards the Goodreads Challenge!

Well at nine Naughty and only three Nice, it’s pretty safe to say that when it comes to books, my habits are more Naughty than Nice!

 

#RockMyTBR Song and Book Tag!

Hi all! I’ve got a bit of fun for you guys today, since it’s Thursday and I’ve been tagged in a couple of things, I’m going to do some tags, it’s been a while since I last did one (August) and in the run up to Christmas, I thought it would be nice to do a couple of fun short tags. This is one I was tagged in by Icebreaker694 (check out their answers here: https://icebreaker694.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/rockmytbr-song-and-book-tag%EF%BB%BF/) so thank you to them for that. This is not to be confused with the #RockMyTBR Challenge I take part it, it’s not related to that at all! So here we go, my answers:

Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)-A Contemporary I Want To Read

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I’m not usually a big contemporary fan, but I’m really excited for this book because FEMINIST GIRLS FIGHT BACK DAMN IT. If that’s not a book written for Jo, then I don’t know what is!

Shut Up And Dance (Walk To The Moon)-Most Anticipated Book You Have

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I’ve had this book since September and still haven’t read it, do you know how much restraint that shows? DO YOU? I need to read this one ASAP, I’m hoping I will start it either before Christmas or sometime before the new year, because I have to read this one before the final book comes out next year.

Centuries (Remix) (Fall Out Boys)-A Twist on A Classic Fairytale

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I love Beauty and The Beast, so I am really excited to try this retelling of it!

 

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robot (The Flaming Lips)-A Science Fiction Book or A Book Set In The Future

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This book about a time traveller suffering from PTSD due to his trips to and from 1945 in WWII sounds really interesting and I’m super excited to read it.

She Looks So Perfect (5 Seconds of Summer)-A Book With A Girl On The Cover

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I’m not overly keen on covers with people on them, but I do absolutely love this one, I think all the different colours overlaying the girl on the cover looks really good. It helps that the book sounds amazing too-now I just need to get my hands on a copy!

Africa (Toto)-A Book Set In A Foreign Country

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This book is set in 1930s Germany.

Another One Bites The Dust (Queen)-A Book or Books That Will Complete A Series

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This book, releasing in 2018, will complete the Rebel of The Sands trilogy. February cannot come soon enough, I need to see how Amani’s story is going to end!

Someone New (Hozier)-A Book By An Author You Haven’t Read Yet

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This is one I’ve been wanting to read for a while and I’ve never read anything by Martha Brockenbrough before. It sounds so good though, so I hope I’ll read it in 2018!

Hello (Adele)-A Book You DNF’ed Or Weren’t In The Mood For At The Time

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I was meant to read this in November, but I just wasn’t in the mood for a 600 page book when I had so many assignments due, and I just wasn’t getting into it at all, so I had to DNF it.

Love At First Sight (Kylie Minogue)-A Book You Bought Because of The Cover

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Yes I did enjoy Bardugo’s Six of Crows, but I will admit that a lot of the appeal of this book was its gorgeous cover!

I tag anyone who wants to do this, it’s a lot of fun!

 

 

Hogwarts Tag

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a fun week, mine has been relatively quiet so far, but I’m going to see Mamma Mia with my friend Ellie tomorrow as an early 21st birthday present (in a happy coincidence tomorrow will be exactly one month till my birthday!), which should be awesome! Anyway I was tagged for this by Never Not Reading and I’m super excited to do it because I’m sure it’s no secret by now how much I love Harry Potter (if it ever was), so this tag is right up my alley (I would make a bad joke about Diagon Alley here, but I’ll spare you). So here we go, the Hogwarts tag:

Are you a pure blood, a half blood or a muggle born?

Neither of my parents are particularly into Harry Potter so I guess I’m a muggle born? Just like Hermione!

Which wand chose me?

Picture of wand

My wand is a 12 1/2 inch, spruce wood with a phoenix feather core. It has surprisingly swishy flexibility. Apparently spruce is a difficult wood and requires a firm hand (so basically, it’s stubborn, just like me!). Pottermore describes the ideal user of a spruce wood as a bold spellcaster with a good sense of humour. Phoenix feathers are the rarest core types and are often very picky when it comes to potential owners and are hard to win over but have the most versatility when you do-that’s good, I wouldn’t want an easy wand, I prefer a challenge! I’m surprised I got such a flexible wand, I’m not the most flexible of people!

Did I take an owl. cat or a toad with me?

I took an owl, obviously! I’m not big on cats and there’s no way I’d want a toad. This is only of the options though, if I had a choice of any animal I could bring to Hogwarts with me, I’d want a puppy!

Where did the sorting hat put me?

Hufflepuff!

What house did I want to be in?

Well when I was a kid I wanted to be a Gryffindor, but I think now I’d rather be a Ravenclaw.

What lessons are my favourites and least favourites?:

Favourites:

-History of Magic-Okay so Binns is supposed to be really boring, but imagine you get taught by someone else, I think this class would be fascinating! I’m a total history geek, so of course I’d love learning about the history of magic.

-Charms-This seems like one of the classes you learn the most magic in? So I think I’d like it.

-Transfiguration-Turning random objects into other things? Sign me up! Plus I love McGonagall 🙂

-Quidditch-Does this count? I just really want to do Quidditch and the real kind, not the muggle version that involves running around with a broom between your legs.

-Defence Against The Dark Arts-If you had a good teacher like Lupin, this class actually sounds really cool!

Least Favourites:

-Herbology-I am so not a gardener! I’d probably kill anything I tried to grow in this class.

-Muggle Studies-Okay so I’m sure this is seriously interesting if you’re a pureblood (and not an ass who believes muggles are beneath you) but if you’re a half blood or a muggle born you’ll have experience of the muggle world, so I doubt it would be as fun.

-Ancient Runes-I’m sure this class would be interesting, but it sounds really hard!

-Divination-Sorry, I don’t believe anyone has the ability to tell the future!

The form my patronus takes

According to Pottermore, it’s a Manx cat, which uhhh…..no? I don’t even really like cats much. I’ve always thought my patronus would be a horse, like Ginny.

What does a boggart look like to me?

My boggart would be the same as Ron’s, I’m absolutely terrified of spiders!

Do I partake in any magical hobbies or school sports?

Like I said, I’d love to play Quidditch! I’m terrible at ball sports and don’t have great aim so I probably wouldn’t make the team, but I’d love to give it a try!

Where would I find myself hanging in my free time?

I reckon I would probably spend a lot of time at Honeydukes’ since I have a bit of a sweet tooth!

What would I most likely get detention for?

Probably being late! I wasn’t always the best at making it to class on time so that would be likely.

What career do I want after leaving Hogwarts?

I don’t really know! I’m a journalist, but I wouldn’t want to work for the Daily Prophet. Being an Auror sounds way too dangerous. I wouldn’t want to be a teacher, not even at Hogwarts. I don’t know, I might just have a muggle job!

Any Harry Potter fans out there, considered yourself tagged!