#SixforSunday

S4S – Couples who need a sequel

Another week has gone by, another Sunday has arrived and it’s been somehow both a long week and a short one. It’s flown by but it’s been a hard one and I’m glad to see the back of it! I’m hoping things will calm down with any luck although amongst other things I’m off to Lego Land with my little family next week so we shall see. For now, at least it’s Six for Sunday time and this week the prompt is “Couples that deserve a sequel” which considering the past couple of weeks have been similar it was starting to get very difficult to pick some new and fresh ones but here we are and  I hope you enjoy them!

BRIEFING NOTE: Couple related spoilers are present throughout for Heartstopper, To Kill a Kingdom, The Mortal Instruments etc, Gemina/The Illuminae Files, Strange the Dreamer and Ouran High School Host club.

Nick and Charlie from Heartstopper by Alice Oseman.

I know they are getting a sequel and Alice updates Tapas with chapters regularly but these two will always need more because I love them so much.

Lira and Prince Elain from To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I would love for there to be a sequel with the gang all getting back together, crew and all!

Jace and Clary from City of Bones etc by Cassandra Clare

Okay so I know that they technically already have like, six books BUT I would love even just a short story about them running the institute or something. I hate to say it but I kind of miss them.

Nik and Hana from Gemina by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

I would love a story (short form or otherwise) of the two of them off on holiday or something after everything that happens. Hana just wants things to be normal so they try to go on a simple trip for a weekend, something like an exotic beach on another planet etc but then maybe there’s a hostage situation or something and things get all Die Hard? Oh my gosh. Die Hard meets Gemina yes, please.

Thyon Nero and Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

So I know these two aren’t really a couple but I loved the chemistry between the two of them right at the beginning of Strange the Dreamer and I think I would love a soft little story with these two just being kind, it doesn’t have to be romantic, although I think Thyron has always had a bit of a thing for Lazlo, to be honest.

Tamaki Suoh and Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

So this couple is actually from a manga series I read years and years ago that ran for eighteen volumes (80-ish chapters) it was a sweet, silly series about a girl who pretends to be a boy in a male host club at a school for insanely rich kids so that she can pay back a huge debt she incurs when she breaks an incredibly expensive vase. Both Tamaki and Haruhi have trouble understanding and later confronting their feelings for each other but everything turns out okay in the end as Tamaki moves to the USA with Haruhi and unbeknownst to them until the last moment, the rest of the Host Club are their neighbours! I loved the series and it did have a really great end but I would still very much like to see another volume or maybe even a small mini-series about what the gang get up in the USA.

Let me know what your choices would be in the comments or send me a link to your Six for Sunday post for this week!

 

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Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

I loved reading Sarah’s unpopular opinions book tag last week and decided I would try it out myself, you can check hers out here.

1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like?

The Witchlands series. I tried both Truthwitch and Windwitch but I just really couldn’t get on with them. I even tried Sightwitch and an excerpt of Bloodwitch but just had to conclude they’re just not for me.

2. A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love?

This question seems to be a bit contradictory, if everyone seems to hate it why is it popular? The closest book I coud think of was Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian. A lot of people (understandably) complain that it’s too samey, the story as all been done before etc but then eat up more of the same. For me, yes this story was a familar one but I personally really enjoyed the way Laura writes as well as main character, Theo who really made this book different for me, I loved her attitude, her resolve and her resilience, she really made this book for me and I can’t wait for the UK release of Lady Smoke!

3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR a OTP that you don’t like?

I really am not a fan of a lot of the pairings in throne of glass. Aelin and Rowan being the big one for me. Honestly I would have preferred Aelin and Manon, or maybe Aelin, Manon AND Dorian. Maybe just no one? I get that people like this “epic romance” but all I can think of was the time he hurt and scared her so much she wet herself or when he bit her into submission when she was very VERY much not up for it. Just ew.

4. A popular book genre that you hardly reach for?

Contemporary. I know I sound like a broken record whenever I say this and I do love some contemporary books but I’m very VERY picky when choosing them and it’s very rarely that I do so.

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like?

Chaol Westfall. I feel like Chaol may be the marmite of the fantasy world, a lot of people, like myself liked him to begin with but then severely disliked him after the way he treats Aelin when he discovers her identity (understandably). A lot of readers seemed to like him again after Tower of Dawn but it didn’t really do much for me apart from make me like him less to the point where I really could not care less for his character right now (I do still need to read Kingdom of Ash though!)

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into?

Laura Dockrill. I’ve tried a few different books of hers such as Loreali and Big Bones but I just couldn’t get on with them and DNF’ed both.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing?

Kick-ass girl/woman who is suddenly helpless for almost no reason or who’s personality totally changes because of a love interest.

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading?

The outlander books. They seemed to have had a revival in popularity with the show coming out and I understand that people enjoy them but they’ve never really held any interest for me.

9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book? 

Stardust!! The book is good don’t get me wrong but the film is absoluteley brillant and one of my favourites.

Thank you so much for checking out this tag! It’s made me really think about some the books I read and why I’ms still so determined to actually read Kingdom of Ash at some point when I dislike so many of the characters in it (I’m pretty much just in this for Dorian and Manon at this point). I won’t tag anyone in particular for this but if it seems something you would enjoy by all means go for it and let me know so I can check out your post.

#SixforSunday

S4S – An ode to Sci-Fi

I always thought my favourite genre was fantasy because I liked sword fights, court intrigue and magic but after reading Once and Future I now know I can have my cake and eat it as over the past few years I’ve realised I actually really like space ships and new planets, moons and stars, I like rag tag crews flying their (usually) crappy ships through the black just trying to get by and getting dragged into the wrong fight for the right reasons or vice versa, sometimes both. I love rouge A.I’s, I love cyborgs and sentient machines and advanced technology. I love Science Fiction for so many reasons and today I’ll give you six.

Science Fiction:
noun
noun: science fiction; noun: SF; modifier noun: science-fiction
Fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.

1. SPACE. This point kind of covers a lot of ground, space means the potential for unexplored moons and planets, unearthing ancient civilisations and finding new ones, it means somewhere for our characters to hide because DAMN space is beyond even the concept of vast and then there’s the technology required to even live and travel in space which is often a lot of fun and then there are the consequences of it as well, be that the time it takes to travel anywhere or characters perhaps being confined in close quarters to each other meaning we get a great chance for interaction where it would have been a case of simply walking away if they were somewhere that didn’t need an airlock? Oh there’s also the fact that space will almost certainly try to kill you if you mess with it too. there are just so many interesting factors brought in when dealing with space and I am nowhere near articulate enough to explain them all but I hope this makes at least a little sense.
2. THE FUTURE! Although space isn’t always a given for science fiction time is often a factor, ether travelling through it or the fact that time is needed for certain technological advances and or changes therefore almost always putting us into the future. I can’t imagine there are a lot of people out there who haven’t imagined what the future will look like in one way or another even in the simplest of terms and so this is always such a fun part, looking at the way things have changed and sometimes imagining why things have come to be as they are. A good amount of science fiction based in the future, especially the dystopian variety I think also causes us to reexamine the way we do things and what impact our actions and even day to day lives can have on our own future.  Science fiction is at it’s heart, about where we’re going and how we get there.

3. NEW TECHNOLOGY! There is a never-ending of new technology in most science fiction, some of it wonderous, some of it terrible and some of it is overlooked as an everyday occurrence. I’m not especially technologically minded myself and even I find myself inspired by the new creations we see in Science Fiction. Did you know that American inventor Simon Lake was first inspired by undersea travel and exploration ever since reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and years later his company built the Argonaut which was the first submarine to operate successfully in the open ocean! OR when Martin Cooper, head of research and development at Motorola credited the communicator design from Star Trek as inspiration for his first design of the first mobile phone back in in the early 1970’s, Cooper was quoted as saying “that was not fantasy to us, that was an objective.” Not to mention influences on Atomic power, the rocket, helicopters, face time and many many more. Also just last month I had to google to find out if artificial gravity was actually a real thing…

4. TACKING BIG ISSUES! No matter when or where Science Fiction is set, often the issues that are at the heart of things can be directly tied to events that affect us in the here and now, Divergent explores early on, the repercussions of things such as stereotyping and shoe horning people into different categories and corrupt governments, much later going as far as to hold peoples genetics against each other and considering them lesser citizens for circumstances of birth which draws a frightening parallel to extreme racism and more (check out the ebook Divergent thinking for loads of great essays about this entire series) and then we have books like Enders Game which although they feature a ten-year-old main character and can easily be enjoyed as a fast paced, action packed, space fighty kind of book it is so multi-layered that it can also act as a scary close look at the ethics and accountability of modern warfare. These are two just two tiny examples, if you look closely there are a huge amount of Science Ficiton Stories out there that are no afraid to tackle big issues, even if they are disguised as an insectoid alien race.

5. ALL OF THE DEBATES AND DISCUSSIONS! Who would win in a fight, Han Solo or Captain Mal Renyolds? Could Spock beat Data at 3D Chess? Would a star destoyer or the Star Ship Enterprise win in a space battle? Is a lightsaber even possible? One of my favourite things about Science Ficiton are the discussions and debates!! I have spent COUNTLESS hours watching videos like the “Becasue Science” ones on the nerdist chanel, last week I watched one entitield “Are Alien Xenomorphs really no match for Darth Vader”, “How every Mass Effect Biotic Power works” and Could The Matrix actually be powered by human batteries?” and so on and so on. Then I go and talk about them to my friends and/or husband and some hilarious debates have come out of these, they’re fun and silly but also really get your head working.
6. NEW PROSPECTIVES! I love it when a “villains” story or prospective gets revealed and a story gets turned on it’s head, especially when the big bad is perhaps a seemingly crazy A.I or an alien race that just wants to survive, or maybe the Duplo pieces just want to be friends and play together!? (Don’t even get me started on how much I liked the new Lego Movie). These kind of reveals and reversals are one of my favourite science fiction “troupes” I love anything that can turn a story on it’s head and even better if they create moral questions and dilemmas like these often do, Star Trek has a great track history of doing this and as their crews are usually very moral people I love the turn of events this often gives the story and again it makes you think, what would you do in that situation, given that choice? I know this is something that can be present in many genres but it’s my favourite when use in Science Fiction especially.

So that ended up being a lot more involved than I thought it would so I apologise for going on, know this. I love science fiction and although those six points may suggest I love the big epics that make you think, honestly I’m such trash for space opera novels with some moral dilemmas and some good ole fighting. I’m easily pleased and happy to admit as much. Some of my favourite science fiction novels are (obviously) The Illuminae Files, Once and Future (review coming Tuesday!), The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, The Quiet at the End of the World, Skyward, Adrift, Invictus and much much more including a huge list of Star Wars, Star Trek and Mass Effect tie-in novels I won’t go in to now. Do you have a favourite Science Fiction book? Let me know!
Note: I’m aware that Star Wars isn’t technically Sci-Fi but I’m including it anyway.
 
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The Ship Tag

I found this tag via Book Princess Reviews a while back and as I’m well known in my circle of friends for shipping basically everyone and everything so I thought this would be a fun one to try out and what better time to do so then for Valentine’s Day?! (Not going to lie this was just a happy coincidence and I’m rolling with it). I tried to label each answer with any spoilers but there are technically spoilers about who gets with who in a lot of books but thats as far as any spoilers go so although this post is not technically spoiler free they are only mild spoilers.

1) If you could date a fictional character who would it be and why? Can I please date Kady AND Ezra please? I love them both so much and I wouldn’t want to separate them?

2) If you were to go on a date with said fictional character where would you go and what would you do?
I feel like there would be sweet waffles or pancakes and hamburgers? I bet Kady has some weird taste in food like she puts syrup in her burger or gherkins on her pancakes and Ezra and me are just like wha and then we try it too because we’re idiots.

3) A favourite “ship”/ couple you’ve read?
I can’t pick just one and you can’t make me.
Katherine and Matthew from The Next Together series because I love them so much and they are couple goals.
Kady and Ezra from Illuminae, I loved their relationship and dynamic together so much and that it didn’t feel too intrusive or over done.
Yelena and Valek from The Poison Study series, I wasn’t too sure about their relationship originally but it really grew on me, I love their balance of give and take as well as the real trust and teamwork they share too.
Also low key shoutout to Kieran, Mark and Christina, I’ve not finished Queen of Air and Darkness yet but my favourite thing about the entire book so far has been the beautiful relationship between these three and I’m glad to see it done well.

4) A “ship”/couple you hated?
(ToG and ACOTAR couple spoilers)
I’m not a huge fan of any of the couples in the A Court of Thorns and Roses or Throne of Glass books. I’m not sure if its the way Sarah J Maas writes but I absolutely hated Roawn with a a passion and then he’s suddenly her Caranam, which I could just about stand but then he turned out to be her mate? Ew. I enjoy some pretty unhealthy relationships in books (see next question) but for some reason I just can’t look past the way Rowan treated Aelin. I’m a little better with Rhysand and Feyre but it just makes me feel eehhh.
Ooo there is one ship I like in ToG, Dorian and Manon (Pre EoS at least as I’ve not finished that yet!)

5) A book that had the classic Hate to Love trope?
(Couple spoilers for The Cruel Prince and The Vampire Diaries)
I feel like I’ve read quite a few of them but honestly most of the time there was never any real hate, occasionally mistrust or just a general dislike, genuine hate is a bit more difficult. I would say Damon and Elena from The Vampire Diaries books? I am also SO here for the hot mess that is Jude and Cardan from The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. I really enjoy this trope for it’s intensity and the line “Kiss me until I’m sick of it” has become one of my all time favourite quotes.

6) A book that had insta love?
A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris, I love the way the insta love is played out in this little book, from the main character thinking she was too wild and untameable to ever actually love a human boy and then seeing him for the first time and falling head over heels in love with him. It’s described so well as are the consequences later which is nice and refreshing for a book featuring inst

7) A book with a light cutesie relationship?
Maybe Fangirl? That was pretty cute? I don’t read a lot of light cutsie books.

8) A book with a relationship that made you cry?
Lazlo and Sarai from Strange The Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares, they’re so beautifully tragic

9) A book without romance (or with very little)?
Vengeful and I’m so pleased for it, I like a little romance in books but I really don’t think there was room for it in this book and not having any was absolutely the right choice.

10) If you could delete one “ship” from a book who would it be and why?
Simon and Clary from the Shadowhunter books, it was painfully cringey and ironically it felt like she was dating her brother.

11) A new couple you read that you ship?
Matthew and Diana from the All Souls books, I know these aren’t a new couple technically but I only read the first book recently so they’re new to me. I like that although Matthew is partially still a ‘you must do what I tell you’ sterotypical male vampire Diana very much still does her own thing and Matthew learns to trust and value her and her opinion as she does his like a real couple and I’m really enjoying that at the moment.

book reviews, spoiler free

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe Review

32601841.jpgThe Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Rating: XXXXX

Published September 7th 2017 by Walker Books

“Love takes so much energy, and it just leads to pain. I think it’s probably best for people to be self-sufficient. If I was strong enough to be independent, then I wouldn’t be so desperately lonely. I’m sure of it,”

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

I stumbled across this beautiful book at YALC in 2017 on early sale at the Waterstones stand and although to me it looked like it was probably just a contemporary, maybe set in space? (I know contemporaries can be good too, I’m just not usually as interested in them). After I read the blurb I figured it was maybe a cross of Fangirl and the lake house somehow? Either way, I couldn’t say no to that shiny, sparkly cover. That and on behalf of Walker to celebrate the books release I’d just had a sparkly makeover so figured the least I could do was to check out the book they were promoting (and that sweet sweet cover). I had no idea that The Loneliest Girl would end up being one of my absolute favourite books. Two years later and now eagerly awaiting Lauren’s new book “The Quiet at the End of the World” which is out in early March, I decided to revisit the book that started it all for me, “The Loneliest Girl in the Universe.”

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The first time I read The Loneliest Girl I found out far too late that this book is a thriller. It starts off fluffy and light, very much in the vein of Fangirl, despite the darker sides to Romy’s backstory and her situation it feels like boy meets girl but are thousands beyond thousands of miles away from each other, cute emailing ensues etc. When I realised it was a thriller it was far too late to turn back, I was utterly hooked and terrified at the same time. I want to say that it’s different the second time around but to be honest it still pulls you in, lulls you into a false sense of security and makes you complacent so that when it really gets going you still feel like you’ve hit the floor at the bottom of the stairs when you were convinced there was one more step. This book is a wild ride that will not let you go, as the story goes on you recognise that feeling when you know something bad is going to happen but you can’t stop looking anyway and it is WORTH IT.

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Romy is a fantastic character, she’s realistic and relatable despite living her entire life on a spaceship she is wracked with anxiety and real fears and wants that just really hit a note with me and from having spoken to others who have read this she has the same effect on them as well. There are only a small number of characters in this book and I think in a lot of other books I might have found that boring but it works so well with The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, it adds to Romy’s isolation and you feel how important any kind of communication between the small number of characters really is and makes you appreciate them all the more which I imagine is the same case for Romy. This is one of my favourite aspects of the book because it really puts you in Romy’s shoes and heightens so much of the story.

The science is fantastic and fairly easy to wrap your head around instead of the pages of confusing words that don’t actually make sense together or sound ridiculous like you find in some Science Fiction books, strangely especially the adult ones… I now realise after having read Lauren’s other books that this is always a defining feature as well as featuring female scientists in prominent roles which gets a huge thumbs up from me! I actually found out after reading this book for the first time that it was inspired by a physics calculation Lauren was tasked with completing while at university! How cool is that?!

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If for some reason you haven’t checked this book out yet I highly recommend you do so, it’s only a short read and you can even buy a personalised and signed copy from Lauren’s Etsy store (it’s a dangerous place) there are pin badges and different versions of the books of which I now own all of…my personal favourite is the doodle in my US copy of a space cat because I like space. and cats. You get the idea. Don’t forget you can also preorder The Quiet at the end of the World, I just read the prologue and I HAVE CHILLS.

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spoiler free, tbr thursday

TBR Thursday – February

After what feels like the longest January possible we have finally reached the first Thursday of February and that means it’s time for my monthly TBR (to be read) post! I was hoping to have a Sci-Fi filled February but alas I had forgotten that King of Scars was coming out and that I still hadn’t read some of the other books that are advised to be read beforehand, also my most anticipated contemporary for the year has just arrived ready for me to read in time for the blog tour let alone all of the other stuff happening. I will absolutely be reading a sci-fi book by the end of the month though, you’ll have to read on to find out which one!

A Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
I’ve been trying to get this finished since it came out and I’M STILL reading it. Well listening to it, I have just under seven hours to go. So close yet so far. It’s not that it’s bad it’s just SO long.

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
As mentioned above King of Scars is out now and I’ve read the Grisha Trilogy but I still hadn’t managed to get around to Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom! I’m rectifying that this month by finally reading these. I’ve even got the auido book for Six of Crows and enjoying listening to that to avoid listening to AQOAAD, not gonna lie.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
I was lucky enough to recieve an early finished copy of this book from Ink Road books and I can’t wait to get stuck into it, I’m not a big contemporary reader but after reading Akemi’s first book, Starfish, she’s became an insta buy author for me.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
I enjoyed most of the Grisha books I’ve read so far (we don’t talk about soggy bread Mal) and I’m excited to read more in the same universe, I figured it would make the most sense to read this after finishing Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. Also the sooner I read it the less likely I am to end up seeing spoilers I hope.

Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
A female pansexual King Arthur. YES PLEASE. Those who know me will no doubt be aware of the fact I love kick ass girls with swords (I mean most weapons are fine but swords or daggers BIG yes) and to top it off she’s queer and Merlin is a gay teenager. This honestly sounds like the best thing and I genuinely can’t wait to get into it. It looks like I’m probably not going to get an ARC of Aurora Rising so I’m instead going to use Once and Future to kick start my incoming sci-fi binge.

 

#SixforSunday

S4S – Bookish Loves

How is it the end of the week already? I’ve been so busy I have no idea where the time has gone!! This week’s prompt for Six For Sunday by Steph from A Little but A lot is “Bookish Loves” and I’ve been trying to decide how to interrupt this all week but I’ve just decided to make six points and go with whatever comes to mind when I think of the phrase Bookish Love.

1.Kick-ass Space Operas. Especially Space Opreas that involve a rag tag crew, ideally they kick a lot of butt and are a bit morally grey but stick it to the man. Once Febuary comes around I am sticking my head into all the books with this troupe that I can get hold of, I’ve already got three or four lined up but more on that in the next couple of weeks!

2. Love/Hate/Want. One of my favourite, and admittedly not healthy love interest interactions I’ve come to realise is absolutely the “I hate you so bad but I want you so much and I hate it” troupe. Obviously this is not something I want mirrored in real life relationships but thats why we have books and Kylo Ren.  I’m not sure weather to blame Adam Driver or Holly Black for this, maybe we can even go as far back as blaming L.J Smith in the first few Vampire Diaries Books for Damon Salvatore? Who knows? What I do know is that “Kiss me until I’m sick of it” is my one of my new favouite bookish quotes.

3. Bookish Mail. I know this is probably a given but I’ve had some fantatsic bookish mail recently and it’s such an amazing feel when you get a package from a publishing company or author, especially with the whole ARC debate going on around Twitter recently that they decided to effectively spend money to print this book for me. I know it’s not exactly like that but that’s the feeling I get when I see my lovely postie at my door with a jiffy bag and a smile on her face because she knows how excited I get about it too.

4. Reccomending Books. This is especially true if said person then likes and/or loves said book. Almost every week I reccomend books when I write reviews for them but outside of that fairly removed platform where I can feel like I’m shouting THIS BOOK IS AWESOME YOU SHOULD BUY IT into the void – until someone replies and then I panic, when I reccomend books face to face I panic – I wonder what if this person won’t actually like the book and I’ve RUINED BOOKS FOR THEM FOREVER!!! Okay I’m being a bit dramatic but that’s how my brain works sometimes. It can also be the best feeling along with being terrified, like so many things are, especially when someone specfically asks your personal opinion it makes me want to do a happy cry and don’t even get me started on when said people enjoy said books, that literally IS the best.

5. Just looking at my books. This one probably sounds a little strange but I love looking at all of the books on my bookcase because, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure I own more books I’ve not yet read than I have, they make me feel this strange mix of happiness, excitement and calm. I look at them and feel all the memories of reading them and the anticipation of all those I’ve yet to read and the potential there. I think this is one of the reason my bedroom is my favourite place to read, because that’s where all my bookcases are.

6. Being absolutely destroyed by a book. As strange as it sounds I love it when a book pretty much rips my heart out or smacks me in the back of a head with a plot twist I didn’t see coming. I think you only feel that strongly about a book you really enjoy and these are both good signs of a good book for me personally, not that everything has to be full of twists or turns but when they’re there I want them to make sense but also take me completely unawares.

Let me know what your Bookish loves are?