I was struggling for Christmas post ideas, and Lorraine (Geeky Galaxy) suggested a few tags, which sound amazing. I’m restricting myself to books I’ve read for the first time this year.
This is a book tag created by Jana (That Artsy Reader Girl), as is the graphic above. I’m useless with tags, so please join in if you feel like it. It’s based around Christmas songs, but I was assured I needed no knowledge of them to join it!
1. “All I Want for Christmas Is You”: Favourite bookish couple
REBEL is the long awaited sequel to Marie Lu‘s Legend trilogy and it brings June and Day back, a decade after they fell in love in the midst of revolt. They’re trying to adjust to their new lives as a new threat rocks Day’s life, while their old attraction lingers like an ember waiting to ignite.
I loved journeying with these two again, and though they aren’t the focus of the book, the hints of smouldering romance made me want to re-read the original trilogy to sink back into the tension and chemistry between them.
2. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: Name a book where a character is away from home (school, vacation, etc.)
In Danielle L. Jensen‘s THE BRIDGE KINGDOM, Lara is sent to the enemy kingdom in order to marry its King – and bring the country down from the inside. There she finds it’s not as black and white as she was told…
Sounds a bit cliche? Well, yes, but there is steamy chemistry between the leads, and the writing is wonderful. Better than all of this is the world. It’s so incredible – a country made of a line of islands linked by an ancient bridge that shapes the entire world’s economy and politics.
3. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”: Name your favourite “little” book (children’s book, short story, novella, etc.)
THE STARLIGHT WATCHMAKER is a very short lower YA book written by Lauren James especially for children who struggle to read. It’s well written, with simple but engaging language from Barrington Stoke (a specialist publisher for accessible books).
The world building is so out there and inventive, full of colour and life. It’s full of bizarre characters that no one thinks twice about, just accepted by the narrative as being part of daily life. The story’s heart is a tale of friendship and not jumping to conclusion.
4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town“: What book(s) do you hope Santa brings you this year?
I always ask for book vouchers (after years of family trying to buy books and usually getting the final installment in series I’ve never read!). However, I’ve asked my sister for Waterstones edition of THE STARLESS SEA, by Erin Morgenstern for my birthday (just after Christmas).
It’s a release that’s been everywhere, and this is the one pretty UK edition (in my opinion). I liked THE NIGHT CIRCUS, and I’m particularly excited by the fact that this is a book where the reader has to do a lot of the work. I love those sorts of books.
5. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: Which book turned your nose red (made you cry)?
I don’t usually cry over books but I cried absolute buckets over Laura Weymouth‘s debut, THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS. It’s so wonderfully written, wringing out all the emotions and all the tears, and yet leaving you feeling a little hopeful at the end.
It look at what happens after a Narnia-like scenario that finally redeems Susan who usually gets a lot of flack. There are some pretty heavy trigger warnings for self-harm and suicide with this book, but it’s a real tearjerker about family and adjusting to another world.
6. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Your favourite book/kind of book to read during the holidays
Over Christmas, I like to read wintry books that aren’t seasonal – books full of icy landscapes and biting winds, but not set around Christmas because contemporaries aren’t really my thing. Being me, I think fantasy books are the best ones to curl up with.
However, I usually use the holidays to bring down my TBR so it’s not at quite so shocking a number come new year. This December, I want to read down my hardback list, but I’m hoping to slip in the Snow like Ashes Trilogy by Sara Raasch.
7. “We Three Kings”: Your favourite trilogy
I’m restricting this to trilogies I’ve finished this year, even if I started them in previous years. That throws a bit of a spanner in the works, as there are several AMAZING trilogies that only have the first two books out. The series I’ve finished this year have, by and large, been duologies or disappointing trilogies.
However this year has included the brilliant THE UNBOUND EMPIRE, the finale of the Swords and Fire trilogy by Melissa Caruso. If you like political fantasy, or want to try this scheming sub-genre, then this series is essential reading.
Starting with THE TETHERED MAGE, this series is full of intricate schemes, rising tensions and an intricate world inspired by Venice at the height of its power.Amalia would rather read her books than follow her intimidating mother, La Contessa, into politics, but when she accidentally ‘tethers’ a powerful fire warlock, she’s drawn into the world of high politics.
8. “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”: A character you would love to be snowed in with
My criteria is someone bookish, who wouldn’t be pestering me while I read but would do the same in companionable silence. If they can cook, that’s a bonus. My gut instinct was Amalia, but as I’ve featured that series above, I need a new answer!
Elizabeth from A SORCERY OF THORNS by Margaret Rogerson would probably be a lot of fun (by my criteria). I think she’d like a rest to read after her adventure. I have no idea if she can cook, but I think between the two of us we wouldn’t starve.
9. “Last Christmas”: A book that seriously let you down
I was excited to read an eARC of THE SKY WEAVER, by Kristen Ciccarelli. I’d read the previous two books and really liked them, despite the consensus of the second book (THE CAGED QUEEN) being a dud. As those who didn’t like the second book were praising the finale, I was convinced that it would be amazing.
It rather felt rather nonsensical with an unbelievable romance at its heart. They were constantly fighting and trying to capture the other to gain a reward.
10. “White Christmas”: An upcoming release you’re dreaming about
I’ve been lucky enough to read a lot of my anticipated January releases (and they were very good). The one I haven’t read yet that I can’t wait for is A HEART SO FIERCE AND BROKEN by Brigid Kemmerer. This is the sequel to A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY, which is a brilliant retelling of Beauty and the Beast which broke my slump of reading retellings, as I’d been so snowed under for years.
This sequel follows a new character and one of the secondary characters of the first book – possibly with a few chapters from the original duo. I’ve heard only good things about this, and I’m excited by the announcement of a third book!
Which books would you pick?