It’s Tag Thursday time everyone! (Have we made
fetch it happen? Is “Tag Thursday” an accepted feature on my blog?) That means I bring you my weekly tag post and this week’s tag (as is so often the case) comes courtesy of the lovely ladies at Thrice Read whose post you can see here, and who have also reliably informed me that the original tag video can be viewed here. This week’s tag is called the Feelings Matter Book Tag.
What book made you feel confident, either about yourself or your life?
In a strange way, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I was hitting an uncomfortable period in my life where I felt lost leading up to graduating from university and not knowing what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and The Interestings helped me to realise two very sobering things: that some people “make it” based on nothing more than sheer dumb luck and that some people might look as if they’ve “made it” and are doing so much better than you but you have no idea what is going on behind that veneer of success. We’re all just mostly floundering along in life – it’s time more people admitted it openly and this book kind of did.
What book made you feel sympathetic or sympathise greatly with the characters?
I tend to read fantasy so, um, not so much with the sympathy with characters off gallivanting on quests. However, it is skillful of a writer to make you feel sympathy towards a character with which you have precisely zero in common and who maybe don’t deserve sympathy (cough Cersei Lannister cough), but let us stray from that avenue of thought and back to the question. One thing that does stick in my mind is how much this quote hit me, from It’s Not Me, It’s You by Mhairi McFarlane and I still remember it, a year later: “Instead of trying and failing, Delia never tried. She told herself that failure was inevitable and she’d only look silly in the process. It was fear, cloaked in rationalisations and self-deprecation.” Girl, I feel you.
What book made you feel anxious?
You by Caroline Kepnes – it’s told from the perspective of a guy who stalks women and it’s written entirely in the second person so he’s constantly addressing “you” as the reader as though you’re the woman he’s stalking. It’s terrifying to be honest, and Kepnes does such a good job of creating that feeling of unease and paranoia. Immediately after I’d finished this book (which I pretty much read in one gripped, frenzied sitting) I felt my skin prickling uncomfortably and the feeling didn’t fade for hours. It is that strange sort of anxiety and I can only say props to Kepnes for being able to invoke that (admittedly awful) feeling in a reader simply through her narrative voice.
What book made you feel annoyed?
Without doubt, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – a really great concept let down completely by sloppy writing, pacing, and editing. I was annoyed at the lacking of editing, the characters, and by the plot. I also felt a little annoyed because so many people in the blogosphere and on Booktube rave about this book and it’s so not worth the hype in my opinion, nor is Sarah J. Maas’ ability to write long series. Nope, not a fan. Sorry/not sorry. Sorry. (Yeah I still will apologise because I am nothing if not an English stereotype!)
What book made you feel disappointed?
Honestly? Probably The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, even though I hate to have to admit that. My enjoyment of this trilogy was mostly on a downward trajectory and, even though I could completely understand why it took the direction it took, I was a little disappointed in the end because I preferred the fantasy tone of the first book and not the dystopian it ended up being by book three. I turned to fanfic to ease the disappointment and then was disappointed anew to find that people don’t really write fanfiction about the Tearling series – I am very disappointed! I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
What book made you feel confused?
A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire is one of those fantasy series where it feels purposefully complicated. You have many lords and ladies and bannermen, all with different allegiances and families and friends and they’re all (mostly) backstabbing so you can’t take any connection at face value. It’s a little overwhelming and confusing at first until I realised the way to cope with it – don’t, don’t try to keep everyone and anyone straight in your head, just let it go unless they recur later and trust that you’ll end up remembering the important people as you are swept along in the plot of the book. Once I discovered that my confusion (mostly) cleared.
What book made you feel satisfied?
Whispers you will never be satisfied…
… Hamilton references aside, I have to say: the Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom duology by Leigh Bardugo. The first book especially had everything I was promised and even more and I ended up adoring it. Then the second book matched it and, though different in tone, I was so so happy to just be back with the characters and to see their heists play out and come together and go wrong and go right and it was just enormously satisfying. Plus, I was at the stage where I was getting annoyed at how many YA fantasies have to be at least trilogies, if not longer series, so the fact that Bardugo had written a nice duology all wrapped up neatly and nicely won the books extra brownie points from me!
What book made you feel like you could really relate to the main character?
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Unlike Cath, I’m not a twin or a fanfic writer (except for one ill-advised Graceland fanfic that only ever managed 1 chapter) but I could definitely relate to being a socially-anxious “freshman” at “college” (I’m not American either, can you tell by my use of “ “?). In fact, I probably related a little too hard to some of Cath’s struggles – it’s why I both love and hate re-reading this book, because it brings all that up again.
That was it, folks, that was the Feelings Matter Book Tag. Didn’t we have a fun time?
If you think this looks like fun and would like to participate, please consider yourself tagged by yours truly – and if you do do the tag then please do leave me a link to it in the comments!