Six for Sunday #7

#SixforSunday is a weekly MEME hosted by A Little But a Lot, this week’s prompt is:

Favourite LGBTQIA+ characters

Not going to lie, this was an extremely difficult post to write because it turns out I don’t remember characters as well as I thought I did.

Nina Zenik (bisexual) from the Grisha Verse by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows follows a group of six unsavoury individuals who perform the ultimate heist.

Nina is the bisexual waffle-loving goddess of my dreams and I adore her. YA fantasy, and just books in general really, need more flirty, ambitious, strong-willed characters like her.

Noah Sweetwine (gay) from I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You the Sun is a dual perspective story following two twins, Noah and Jude, and how they went from being inseparable to being distant.

I easily preferred Noah’s perspective over Jude’s in this novel, and he really made the novel for me. He’s such a sweet character and watching his development over the course of the novel was such a great experience.

Benjamin Ovic (gay) from Beartown by Fredrik Bachman

Beartown takes place in a small town, whose community is extremely passionate about hockey. Its inhabitants rest its future on its junior hockey team in hopes that the team’s success will garner more business for the town. After an act of violence is committed by one of the hockey team members, the community is left divided and the fate of the town is in jeopardy. 

Benji is my favourite character from Beartown. I don’t usually latch onto the quiet brooding type, but he was just so well written, so easy to root for and empathize with, and so kind.

❥Tanner Scott (bisexual) from Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

The synopsis of Autoboyography can be wrapped up in a single sentence, bisexual boy falls in love with in-denial-about-being-gay Mormon boy. 

Tanner is a fantastic protagonist and by the end of the novel you’ll feel like you just made a new friend. He can be lazy, he’s the type of guy to think with his heart and not his head, and he is so open about meeting new people and having new experiences, he’s such an enjoyable perspective to read from.

Roarke Richards (gay) from The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

The Book of Essie follows a young woman named Essie whose extremely religious family has their own reality TV show. When it is discovered Essie is pregnant (and unmarried) her controlling mother tries to devise a way to avoid scandal. Meanwhile Essie has her own ideas in mind about how to deal with the pregnancy.

I think part of why I became so attached to Roarke’s character was his friendship with Essie. I don’t often come across memorable platonic relationships between two characters of the opposite sex and Essie and Roarke’s friendship was one of the highlights of the novel for me. It also helps that Roarke is such a good guy.

Willem (queer) from A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

While the actual synopsis of A Little Life describes this book as the life of four college friends, I would say this book is mainly about Jude and the different relationships in his life. The main ones being his relationship with his broken body, his relationship with the adult males who enter his life, and his relationship with his closest friend Willem.

Willem is one of my favourite characters ever. He is so kind and loyal and I just want him to have all the good things and be happy. He’s also a really great foil to Jude and really helps balance out this sad story. Also, I have a definite soft spot for flirty characters.

I’m not surprised this list is dominated by male protagonists, as I often have trouble finding books with queer female leads. If you have any recommendations please point them my way! Happy reading! 💗

Six for Sunday #6

#SixforSunday is a weekly MEME hosted by A Little But a Lot, this week’s prompt is:

Recommend some LGBTQIA+ books

For my list I made an effort to showcase queer stories by queer authors. I have listed what the authors themselves identify as if that information was available to me.

❥ The Wayfarers Series by Becky Chambers
If you haven’t yet read The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet you are seriously missing out. It’s a quieter story following a crew aboard a spaceship whose job is to create blackholes (if I’m messing up the plot forgive me, it’s been a while since I read this one). This story is incredible diverse, and reminds me a lot of Firefly in the best way possible.

❥How To Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (bisexual)
How to Make a Wish is a story about two girls connecting at the right time. It’s not just a romance though, and deals with some pretty difficult topics like the death of a parent and a neglectful parent. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for a sweet and impactful story.

❥We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib (queer)
We Have Always Been Here is a memoir written by Samra Habib, a Canadian photographer, writer, and activist. Samra is best known for her Just Me and Allah project, in which she photographs and documents the lives of queer muslims living in North America and Europe. Her memoir details her struggles growing up Ahmadi Muslim during the oppression of Islamic extremists, immigrating to Canada, and discovering her queer identity, all the while facing sexism, racism, and homophobia, and how her many experiences have been impacted by her muslim faith. I wanted to include a non-fiction on this list and thought this was the perfect choice!

The Afterward by E.K. Johnston (bi-romantic demi-sexual)
The Afterward follows a group of heroes after they’ve completed their quest, and unexpected outcomes said quest has had on their lives. The Afterward is one of the most diverse books I’ve had the pleasure of reading and I love how unique the premise is.

❥Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki (queer)
I love Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me. In this graphic novel we follow a young woman named Freddy whose girlfriend continues to cheat and break up with her. Toxic relationships are something that I wish was more explored in YA, and I think this story handled them very well and very accurately. I also absolutely love the art style and colour palette chosen for this story, I highly recommend it.

❥Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
And we’re ending off the list with a book from my TBR. F/F romances are something that is severely lacking in the adult romance genre, so naturally I was really excited to find out about Something to Talk About. Something to Talk About is a Hollywood romance following an actress and her assistant. I don’t really know more than that, but I’m super looking forward to giving this one a read.

Doing this topic has made it abundantly clear to me that I do not read enough LGBTQIA+ books, and I’d love to change that, so if you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments! Happy reading! 💗

Six for Sunday #5

#SixforSunday is a weekly MEME hosted by A Little But a Lot, this week’s prompt is:

Favourite series

I don’t think it’s fair for a series to be called a favourite unless I’ve read it in its entirety, so on this list is only completed series, though I do have some uncompleted honourable mentions.

❥Six of Crows (Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom) by Leigh Bardugo
My husband claims duologues are not series, but I disagree. I’m a character driven reader and Leigh Bardugo is a master at crafting characters, so naturally I get along very well with this series. Nina and Inej are two of my all-time favourite characters, so of course this duology had to make this list. It also helps that the character interactions/relationship dynamics are some of my favourites and watching the crew get along (or not) is one of my favourite things to read about.

Soul Eaters (Cracked, Crushed, Crossed) by Eliza Crewe
Because Meda Melange. She’s the snarky, sarcastic Slytherin of my dreams and I love her. Also, this series is everything I could have ever wanted from a paranormal fantasy, it pokes fun at a lot of YA fantasy tropes, and it has one of the most brilliant best-friend pairings I’ve ever read about.

❥The Story Girl (The Story Girl, The Golden Road) by L.M. Montgomery
The Story Girl is a love letter to storytelling. There’s something about it that just gives the feeling that Montgomery was writing a story she loved and felt passionate about. The Story Girl is so special and so underrated and I think everything about it is beautiful

❥The Anne Series (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside, The Blythes Are Quoted) by L.M. Montgomery
I can’t write a list of my favourite series and not include Anne. Anne is one of my most beloved characters in literature and I adore getting any amount of insight into her life. While the first three are definitely my favourites and best embody the fun and good-natured side of Anne, this series has a lot of amazing novels and I recommend it to everyone.

❥The Bartimaeus Sequence (The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem’s Eye, Ptolemy’s Gate, The Ring of Solomon) by Jonathan Stroud
I don’t understand why this series isn’t more beloved in the book community. Dare I say it, it’s like Harry Potter but better, like imagine Harry Potter but with Malfoy as the chosen one. Nathaniel, our protagonist grows up in a situation where he’s influenced by a lot of people with shady intentions and this greatly affects who he becomes as he gets older and I love it. I don’t always like him, but he and his story are so compelling. Also, Bartimaeus, his demon “familiar” is one of the funniest characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about and the way this series comes together as a whole is just perfection.

❥Harry Potter (and the Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows) by J.K. Rowling
I maybe, slightly, bashed Harry Potter in the above paragraph, but it’s still a favourite. I have so much nostalgia attached to this series and I love its characters so much. Rowling is a master at writing characters, they pop off the page and I think they truly reflect real-life and how different and complex people can be. I’m always going to have love for this series.

Honorable mentions (incomplete series)

Yona of the Dawn by Mizuho Kusanagi
I started seriously rereading this series this month and I’m obsessed all over again. The attention to detail Kusanagi puts in her art, story, and characters is phenomenal. If you’re looking for some really slow paced but extremely rewarding character development, this series has it. It also helps that YotD features my favourite romance.

❥The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Rothfuss is such a talented writer, and Kvothe is such a compelling character. I love his story, his love of music, his recklessness, the magic, the world building, everything.

What are some of your favourite series? I’d love to know! Happy reading! 💗

Six for Sunday #4

#SixforSunday is a weekly MEME hosted by A Little But a Lot, this week’s prompt is:

Favourite characters from series

This month has been series themed and next week’s topic rounds things out with favourite series. This week, to avoid repetition, I’m going to refrain from mentioning any characters from my top six favourite series.

❥Ruby Oliver from the Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart
I don’t really know what this says about me, but I wanted to be Ruby Oliver when I was younger. I just thought she was the coolest girl ever. Ruby is quirky, cute, and really just tries her best. I find her so endearing and I can relate (or rather could in university) a little too well to her boy troubles. If you’re looking for a cute story with great anxiety representation and that focuses a lot on the falling out of a friendship, this is your book and Ruby’s your girl!

❥Royce Melborn from the Riyria novels by Michael J. Sullivan
I also don’t know what this says about me but I have a thing for Slytherin main characters. I love a character who’s more interested in their own goals and ambitions than in being altruistic, I think it adds a lot more depth to the character, especially when they’re faced with something that isn’t in their best interest but is for the greater good. Give me all that inner conflict. Royce is especially ruthless and cold and unintentionally funny and I think he’s so great.

❥Quan Diep from The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
While we haven’t gotten a novel where he’s the main character yet, Quan stole my heart in The Bride Test and I am so looking forward to The Heart Principle where he’ll finally get his chance to shine. Quan was just so sweet and kind to his younger brother, and he really looks out for the people he loves, I love that.

Adrian Everhart from Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Look, I’m not one to do the whole book-boyfriend or book-girlfriend or book-significant other thing, but I make an exception for Adrian Everhart. While I love me my self-centred, self-interested characters, I also love some of the characters that fall on the opposite side of the spectrum, characters that are so selfless and that are so set on doing the right thing and do all they can to make it happen. The hero type can be pretty hit-or-miss for me, but they’re especially my thing when they’re as sweet and kind as Adrian Everhart.

❥Pen Alcott from The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
I have such a soft spot for when a guard falls in love with the person they’re protecting. Pen is a perfect example of this, and he’s so brave, and kind, and sweet, and loyal, easily my favourite character of the series.

❥Danika Fendyr from Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas
The older I get the more I appreciate a good friendship, and what Bryce and Danika had, it was everything. Give me two best friends who will literally do anything for each other and I’m almost guaranteed to love them no matter what. I also greatly value loyalty in a character, and that is Danika to a T. It also helps that I think she’s so cool!

Who are some of your favourite characters from a series? I’d love to know! Happy reading! 💗

Six for Sunday #3

#SixforSunday is a weekly MEME hosted by A Little But a Lot, this week’s prompt is:

Series you can’t wait to get into

From putting together this post I’ve come to realize that my TBR is made up of a lot more standalones than series. But anyways, here are my top picks!

❥ The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski
This was an obvious choice for me, The Midnight Lie is one of my most anticipated releases for 2020. I don’t actually know the synopsis, only that it takes place in the same world as The Winner’s Kiss, and that’s good enough for me. The only reason I haven’t picked this up yet is that I want to shorten the length of time I have to wait between sequels. I’m planning to pick this up at the end of the year.

❥Kiss Me At the Stroke of Midnight by Rin Mikimoto
Shoujo manga is my biggest weakness, and I’m always looking for more to read. Super Space Chick mentioned liking this one in one of her videos and that’s how it ended up on my radar. What is this about? I don’t remember, but it has decent ratings and cute art so that’s enough to draw me in.

❥The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Have you read the Broken Earth Trilogy? If not, you really need to! It’s a masterpiece and it’s made me want to check out more of N.K. Jemisin’s works, and this series is where I’m starting next.

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Admittedly, I could totally see myself starting this and then DNF-ing it, but because of the Neflix adaptation I’m super intrigued and will at least give this a shot.

❥Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
Kings of the Wyld isn’t something I’d normally pick up but I have heard nothing but good things about it and so now I really want to give it a try. I do try to step out of my comfort zone every now and again, and I am looking forward to giving this a shot.

❥A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
This is legitimately my most anticipated novel of 2020. The only thing stopping me from picking this one up is the fact that it hasn’t been released yet. Naomi Novik wrote my favourite book ever, Spinning Silver, and it’s now a guarantee that I’ll pick up anything she writes.

Do you have any series you’re really looking forward to? Have you read or are interested in any of these titles? I’d love to know! Happy reading! 💗

Six for Sunday #2

#SixforSunday is a weekly MEME hosted by A Little But a Lot, this week’s prompt is:

Heartwrenching endings to series

I debated whether or not I actually wanted to do this topic because I do think just knowing what the books are in this post is a major spoiler. But here we are anyways, proceed with caution if spoilers aren’t your thing, though I do keep them to a minimum. Also, I have some unconventional answers here that I think probably affected me more than they would most people.

The Unconventional Answers

❥ The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery
The Story Girl duology is actually my favourite of Montgomery’s works controversial, I know. This ending isn’t meant to be heart-wrenching, and as a whole Story Girl is a pretty up-lifting series. I was just so sad to see it end, and for it to come to the conclusion you knew was going to happen since the beginning.

❥Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
I’m still not sure if I’m glad I read the last book in the Anne series or not. It’s so strange to follow a beloved character throughout pretty much their entire life, over the span of nine novels. And to watch them go from happy-go-luck to loosing a piece of themselves? That hurts.

❥The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Again, this isn’t a bad ending, and it’s not meant to be sad either, but it feels so melancholy and every time I read this ending I wonder if it’s one I’m happy with. I definitely feel a bit lost every time I read it.

The more relatable few

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Here I’m referring to Sisterhood Everlasting, and not Forever in Blue. I spent so much of my adolescence with the Sisterhood, and while these novels were never a favourite of mine, I can’t deny I was deeply attached to the characters growing up. It wasn’t just the ending of the series that got me though, it was the entire novel. I cried. A lot. In fact my mom walked in on me reading this and bawling my eyes out. Years later and I’m still not over it.

❥Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone describe the ending of Six of Crows as heart-wrenching, but I felt that ending, and for reasons I won’t get into I’m still, to this day, not over it. It’s gotten to the point where I own a copy of Crooked Kingdom that has those heart-wrenching moments blocked out because I’M STILL IN DENIAL.

❥The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I think we can all agree that the last book is no one’s favourite and that there were many characters we wish were not killed off. That being said, I’m older than I was when I first read Mockingjay and I can now appreciate a bit more why Suzanne Collins chose to end things the way she did and I respect her for it.

So, I didn’t actually include my number one pick in this post because I refuse to be the person to spoil that for you, though I’m sure at some point I will review the unnamed series on my blog and hope you pick it up and get to experience the ending yourself. I’m also not going to ask you what your picks are because I don’t like knowing if the ending of a book is going to be heart-wrenching, but I’d love to know your thoughts on any of these titles! Happy reading! 💗

Six for Sunday #1

#SixforSunday is a weekly MEME hosted by A Little But a Lot, this week’s prompt is:

Favourite first book in a series

I thought this prompt was going to be challenging in that I tend to prefer second books in a series the best. As I was going through my Goodreads shelves, however, I realized that wasn’t as much the case as I thought it was and I had a bit of a struggle narrowing down my list, so of course I’ve also included some honourable mentions.

My picks

❥Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I read books three and four in this series last year and I really didn’t like them, where as I love Little Women so this was a no-brainer. I might be cheating a bit here though, because I’m not actually sure if I prefer Little Women or Good Wives. If you’re unfamiliar with Little Women it follows four sisters in New England during the Civil War (~1861) as they grow up.

❥Defy the Stars by Claudia Grey
Again, this one was pretty easy as I love this first book and think it can be read as a standalone, whereas I wasn’t as big a fan of the other books in the series. Defy the Stars follows a soldier named Noemi who has a chance encounter with an enemy AI.

❥Cracked by Eliza Crewe
Soul Eaters is one of my all-time favourite series. Cracked sets up the series perfectly, and Meda is especially snarky and questionable in this first novel, I love it. Cracked follows a half-demon, half-human named Meda who believes she is the only one of her kind. One day, in the middle of one of her human meals, she runs into demons and demon hunters. Meda tricks the demon hunters into thinking she’s harmless in order to infiltrate their base and learn more about herself. 

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Listen, I don’t know how any book following this one could have ever been as good. The set up and thought put into this novel was absolute perfection and a story has never unfolded as perfectly as this one. The Fifth Season is a masterpiece. The Fifth Season takes place in a world where there are people who can control the movements of the earth. We follow Essun who is on a search for her missing daughter.

❥Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Aside from Cracked and The Fifth Season, there may be a common theme here. While I loved Renegades, the other two novels in this series fell a bit flat for me (especially the last book). Renegades is always going to be a novel I love though, because Adrian Everhart is one of my favourite characters ever. Renegades takes place in a world where prodigies exist, people with superpowers, and it’s their job to control crime and run the city. We follow two characters, Adrian Everhart, son of one of the city’s most important people and Nova Artino, an enemy to the Renegades who is looking to take them down from the inside.

❥Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
I stand by the first Study series (but not so much the Soulfinder series). Poison Study can be read as a standalone in my opinion, but if you want more world building and exploration then I recommend continuing on in the series. Poison Study is a fantastic novel and I love how different the premise is from most other books I read. Poison Study follows a young woman named Yelena who, to avoid a death sentence, becomes the food taster for her country’s commander.

Honourable mentions (companion series)

I thought I’d mention a few of my favourite first books in a companion series. All these books can be read as standalones, and they’re easily the best in their series. They’re all incredible so I highly recommend you check them out if you haven’t already!

❥Graceling by Kristin Cashore
❥The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
❥Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
❥Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Honorable mentions (unfinished series)

And lastly I thought I’d mention some first books I love from series that are still on-going or that I have yet to finish.

❥The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
❥The Diviners by Libba Bray
❥The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
❥My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
❥The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington
❥Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
❥A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
❥When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
❥The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I’d love to know what your favourite first book in a series is! Happy reading! 💗