Game of Thrones Book Tag

Game of Thrones funkos

You know those annoying FB comments that go something like these: Am I the only one that does not watch Game of Thrones? No, you`re not, but I don`t know why you expect a medal for that. Also, why comment if you don`t watch it? Like, get a life! I sometimes leave blog comments about books that I have not read, but only to mention if the review intrigued me or not. Like seriously, what`s the point of those comments?

Anyways, I watch Game of Thrones and I think it`s the best show out there. Don`t try to argue with me because I shall unleash my dragons on you. So when I saw this tag over on Claire Rousseau`s channel I knew I had to do it.

1. Arya - a character that`s all about revenge

We have the big players like Carrie or Heathcliff. But personally, I was quite fascinated by Amy Dunne from "Gone Girl". Nobody was a saint there, but Amy was a total nutjob.

2. Varys - a book featuring political intrigue
I have no mention one of my favourite books and you might have guessed it, I`m talking about "The Queen of the Tearling". Despite the confusing setting, it`s an amazing story full of magic and political intrigue, featuring a strong female lead.

3. Joffrey - a villain you love to hate

I will keep it in the family and mention his mother, Cersei. She`s cunning and deranged and I love her for that. My husband doesn`t really understand my fascination with her, but like Jon Snow, he knows nothing. I mean, I`m not saying that I want her to win. But she`s a cool villain to watch.

4. Jon Snow - a coming of age story
Coming of age stories are my drug, so it`s hard to choose one. But let`s go with "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." Because when I was reading it, it reminded me of how it is to be young.

5. Jaime and Cersei - a ship you just can`t get behind
Let me angry Cassandra Clare fans once again, why not? I love having angry mobs torching my house. I did have my fair share of negative things to say in the past, but this will be the worst. Why? Because I don`t like Tessa and Will together. And not just because I`m Jem`s biggest fan. But Tessa is the worst and she should have ended up sad and alone.

6. Lady Olenna - a kick-ass older character
Minerva McGonagall. Do I need to justify myself?

7. Dany - a book featuring dragons
Game of Thrones? I don`t know, I don`t read that much fantasy. I`m more of a contemporary/ urban fantasy person.

8. Sansa- a character you grew to love

I still don`t like Sansa, but details. Because I have upset some TMI/TID fans, let me make it up for it. While I did not care much for him at the beginning, I quite like Alec Lightwood now. The TV show helped as well, as I love how moody Matt portrays him. I`m moody all the time, and I can definitely relate with that.

9. Melisandre - favourite magic system
Let`s be predictable and go with Harry Potter. I know, I`m shameless. But shouldn`t blogging be all about honesty? And isn`t HP the most magical thing in the world?

10. Tyrion - a character whose weapon is their mind

Sherlock Holmes. Because without him girls wouldn`t be into brainiacs. 

Like always, I hope you`ve enjoyed this post. If you like this tag, then feel free to do it, just remember to tag the creator.

A quick guide to Bookstagram

Instagram Autumn feed

What is Bookstagram, you might wonder? Well, it`s the love child between books and Instagram, hence the Bookstagram community. And let me tell you, it`s the best community in the world. It`s a place where people can talk about their favourite books, give professional advice on getting out of a reading slump and discuss all sorts of bookworm problems. Everyone is nice even if you don`t like their favourite series. I mean, they might do some voodoo in private, but nobody is threatening to burn you like a witch for having different opinions. Yes, Bookstagram community is the best. You share some pics and connect with people. 

Now, I`m not going to address the importance of a huge following. We all know how that works, influencers get the sweet deals. And that`s fine because a good Instagram profile takes a lot of effort. Let`s not be haters just for the sake of it. Personally, I admire people that can make a living out of Instagram. Heck, I`d settle even for enough money to buy 10 extra books monthly. But I try not to get distracted by things like these. What`s important is socialisation and building a true relationship with those that follow you. Whilst this is just an introductory post, I will address the importance of 3 things that will change your Bookstagrammer life.
White Bookstagram Theme

Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags
I know that the big influencers will tell you that you shouldn`t use more than 5 hashtags. I agree on some levels, but not entirely. You see, at the core, all you need is a good picture and a catchy description. But when you`re small, people need to discover you. Nobody has any idea who you are. And this works both ways because through hashtags you can discover people with similar interests. I use the popular hashtags like #bookstagram, #booksofinstagram, #bookish, #igreads, etc. But I also try to include some less known ones. Why? Because when you use a less known hashtag, chances are that if you get enough likes, you get featured on the top page. And more people will take your account into consideration.

Monthly book challenges
I am cheating a bit because I can never finish a monthly challenge. I start with such enthusiasm and after 10 days something happens and I mess up. But book challenges are a great way of interacting with people. Just use the hashtag #Augustbookchallenge (or whatever month you`re in) and see what comes up. Then choose the ones you`re interested in and voila. You have enough content for the whole month.

A cohesive feed
Autumn Instagram Theme
Some of you might not be up for it and that`s OK. Having a theme can be very limiting. But it just makes your account stand out more, in my opinion. I don`t always have a specific theme, sometimes I go with the flow. But when I stick to a certain colour scheme, it does show in my following.

Like I said in the beginning, interacting with other bookworms is essential. But don`t we afraid of hashtags and definitely get involved with the community. Most importantly: try to have fun. 

The love and hate relationship with Cassandra Clare`s books



Time for an unpopular opinion: I hate Cassandra Clare`s books. Time for a popular opinion: I love Cassandra Clare`s books. Truth be told, I have a complicated relationship with them. On one side, I am completely fascinated with the Shadowhunters world. I love me some vampires, werewolves, warlocks and sexy angels. So what`s the problem them? Well, I just can`t stand her main characters. I am a proud feminist and yet every time I hear a sentence from Clary or Tessa, I feel the need to punch them. I hate the Mary Sue types, especially when they are rude and bratty, yet all the male protagonists seem to fall for them. And of course, they fall for the jerk, ignoring the nice guy.
Both Clary and Tessa are meant to be compassionate, smart and sensitive, but I don`t see it. On many occasions, they`re superficial. I was so disgusted by Tessa`s remarks about Sophie`s appearance, I wanted to throw the book out of the window. And don`t get me started about Clary`s attitude! The way she makes poor Izzy the enemy, whilst stringing Simon along was crude. I had problems rooting for Clary and Tessa throughout the series. I know their personalities get a bit better, but it wasn`t enough. I would have given up on the entire Shadowhunters universe if it wasn`t for the side characters. And here comes the loving part.

Whilst I believe Cassie Clare did a poor job with our heroines, she did a phenomenal job with all the other characters. You have Simon, who`s the funny and nerdy character every bookworm can relate to. You have Jem, who gave me unrealistic expectations of how guys should be (though my husband is pretty awesome too, I`ll admit). Charlotte Branwell is the feminist character I always wanted to read about. I have all the love in the world for the Lightwood brother, Luke and Maya. And last, but not least, Banus Bane the BAE. He is one of my favourite fictional characters ever! 

I guess that one of the things I dislike is that these amazing characters don`t get enough exposure. The stories are too focused on Tessa and Clary. And yes, I know that`s how books go. The main character gets all the glory. But when you create such a diverse cast, it`s nice to share the spotlight. While it gets so many things wrong, I do like that the TV Show focuses so much on other characters besides Jace and Clary. Malec is giving me life, for real!

At the time of writing this post, I`ve yet to start Lady Midnight. Maybe Emma will be the one to break the curse (Once Upon a Time shameless plug in). I don`t know. I just wanted to make a post where I clarify my feelings. Because I don`t want to be branded as a hater. Considering some of my favourite characters are from the Shadowhunter universe. I just want a main character that is not a spoiled white girl who feels entitled to everything. And treats the people who SAVE her miserably.

Book Review: Because You Love To Hate Me


Anthologies are my Achilles heel. As you know by now, anthologies will have some hits and misses, making it impossible to rank the book. You`ll also feel biased towards your favourite authors. Yes, reviewing anthologies is not an easy job. Especially when they`re as controversial as "Because You Love to Hate Me". In my opinion, this collection of short stories received an unnecessary amount of hate. People on Goodreads were giving it one star based on the fact that some booktubers worked on it. Which is unfair towards the authors. And it also makes me think you`re a hater (God, I hate that word) that jumps to conclusions before knowing all the facts. 

Personally, I see how some authors might have a problem with the fact that these booktubers had their names on the book. I know many people get turned down by publishing houses and it`s discouraging to see that others are so lucky (at a first glance, at least). But as a book blogger, I also know the amount of time we put into our work. It`s not easy peeps! Obviously, we could go into the whole process of questioning why these people were picked and not others, but that`s a topic for another day. I just think that people should have read the book before bashing it. Or give it a try, because the stories are written by talented authors and not booktubers. This will be quite a long review, as I will talk about each story and commentary separately. 

"The Blood of Imuriv" by Renne Ahdieh, commentary by Christine Riccio
Christine`s challenge for Renee was to write about the grandson of an evil, matriarch dictator who wants to follow in her footsteps. While the story was beautifully written, I did not care for the main character. He wasn`t evil per se, more like spoiled and short tempered. I don`t know, I was expecting to root more for him. Because isn`t this the point of the book? To root for the villain? I also thought that Christine`s comment was stupid. I`m not trying to be mean or offensive, but she tried too hard to be funny. And to me, that came across as annoying. Overall, the story deserved 3 stars and Riccio`s ramblings 1 star.

"Jack" by Ameriie, commentary by Tina Burke
The story and poignant commentary were a complete surprise for me. Ameriie reinterpreted the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk" in such an original way. A teenager Jack befriends a teenager giant, making her more confident. Little does he know that this leads to his peril. Like I said, I loved everything about it, from the characters to the unexpected final twist. Tina`s explanation is really good, identifying giants as a metaphor for growing up and talking about the new perspectives fairy-tales can give us. 5 stars for both.


"Gwen and Art and Lance" by Soman Chainani, commentary by Samantha Lane
The format of the story was not for me, as it was told through text messages. I did not get a chance to connect with the characters and did not care for them. Also, Gwen was a self-entitled bitch, but I would not call her a villain. Many rich teenagers are like that (or so American teen shows made me believe). I am a big fan of Samantha and her commentary was OK. 1 star for the story, 3 stars for Sam`s piece.


"Shirley & Jim" by Susan Dennard, commentary by Sasha Alsberg
I was so fascinated by this story! As you might have guessed, it`s about a young Moriarty. But Sherlock is changed into Shirley, a teenage girl that falls for Jim and ultimately is tricked by him. I need this story to become a series! Right now! Because it was so good and it left the ending open to so many interpretations. 

"The Blessing of LittleWants" by Sarah Enni, commentary by Sophia Lee
The story focuses on a dark sorcerer's quest for omnipotence. It`s another one that made me want more. I think that the challenge with short stories in creating good plots and developed characters. It`s not easy doing that in less than 30 pages. But Sarah did a phenomenal job and I was very intrigued by her villain. 

"The Sea Witch" by Marissa Meyer, commentary by Zoe Herdt
Marissa Meyer is a Goddes when it comes to retellings and this story is no exception. She needs to come up with a 300 pages book inspired by this. Her villain is the Sea Witch, who was once in Ariel`s shoes. However, after being tricked she decides to kill the love interest and become a mermaid again.  The story was so compelling at I was rooting for Nerit the whole time. Like many others, she was a victim of circumstances. 


"Beautiful Venom" by Cindy Venom, commentary by Benjamin Alderson
This was about Medusa and while I liked the story, I wish she would have done more. Like in the previous case, Mei Du is a victim at first and these events turn her into a villain? Or do they? What can you do when society rejects you and defines you as evil? The story was good, but I would have liked the villain to get her revenge. Ben also makes some valid points about how society treats a rape victim, as they`re to blame for their misfortune.

"Death Knell" by Victoria Schwab, commentary by Jesse George
I was expecting to love this story because it`s written by Victoria Schwab. It also centres on a young Hades that wakes up at the bottom of a well in Ireland. But sadly, I wasn`t blown away by it. It was pretty basic and I did not care for the story.

"Marigold" by Samantha Shannon, commentary by Regan Perusse
Two Victorian gentlemen set up a rescue party for a maiden taken by the Erl-Queen. But as the story progresses we see that the heroes are the real villains. Once again, evil is subjective. Regan also made some poignant remarks about sexism in Victorian London and her overall analyse had something to do with the story.

"You, you, it`s all about you" by Adam Silvera, commentary by Catriona Feeney
You all know how much I love Adam`s writing so I might be a bit biased. The story was good, albeit not as fascinating as "Jack" or "The Sea Witch". His villain, a teen crime lord, was a total psycho, without any redeeming qualities.

"Julian Breaks Every Rule" by Andrew Smith, commentary by Raeleen |Lemay
In this story, we got another psychopath, albeit a charming one. I`ll admit that I did not read anything by Andrew Smith before, but I`m fascinated by his dark humour. It`s strange how much I was able to relate with his sarcastic villain.


"Indigo And Shade" by April Genevieve Tucholke, commentary by Whitney Atkinson
This was a retelling of "Beauty and the Beast", told from the suitor`s POV. But the problem is that I wasn`t too sure who`s the villain. The suitor or the beast?

"Sera" by Nicola Yoon, commentary by Steph Sinclair and Kat Kennedy
This story would make an awesome anime, so make that happen. Sera is the reincarnation of the God of War and although she fights it, she cannot deny her nature. I was so compelled by this story and the end definitely left me wanting for more.

As much as I liked some of the stories, I gave this book 2 stars. Some parts were amazing, but others were underwhelming and they left me wanting for more. I also don`t get why they had to include some of the commentaries. No shade, these are people that I follow (most of them, anyway), but I wish that their parts were more related to the stories. Obviously, it was an attempt to make more money, but I`m not sure that it worked. Personally, I expected more from this anthology, but like I said in the beginning, people should read it before dismissing it.






This or That Book Tag

I love book tags! While they have certain topics, they allow me to ramble on about different books, from YA to classics. I also feel that you get more interaction with your readers as they can agree or disagree with you. And they`re super fun to write. When I read a lot, I`m not always in the mood to write longs posts (doing the read-a-thon at the moment). Granted, I have more material to review, but I don`t always feel like doing that. It might not make any sense, but that`s me. I get easily distracted and I can never talk about just one subject. And I have no idea how to introduce this tag, so let`s get down to business. This tag was originally created by Ayunda at Tea&Paperbacks, but I`ve seen it on so many blogs lately. I don`t know if someone actually has to tag you for it, but details.

READING ON THE COUCH OR IN BED?
I prefer reading in bed. Or if the weather is nice, outside in the garden. The couch is too close to the fridge, which has food inside. And I can`t focus when I think about snacks.


 MALE MAIN CHARACTER OR FEMALE MAIN CHARACTER?
I know that lately, most YA fantasy books have women as main characters. And some have a problem with that. Which is bonkers because for years the Chosen Ones were only males. While it can get repetitive reading about the same type of heroines, I still enjoy a female POV. I just wish that some authors would forget about the Mary Sue types and gives flawed, real women. Who are not just strong or beautiful, but smart and multi-dimensional.

SWEET SNACKS OR SALTY SNACKS WHILE READING?
I love eating, but let`s not mix it with reading. Because I`m a klutz and I don`t want to see ketchup on my limited edition of "To Kill A Mockingbird".

FIRST PERSON POV OR THIRD PERSON POV?
First person POV all the way! Unless they are boring or annoying. But since I gravitate towards anti-heroes, I want to know what goes on in their mind.


BOOKS THAT MAKE YOU LAUGH OR BOOKS THAT MAKE YOU CRY?

I like sad books and I cannot lie! I like having my heart broken and feeling sorry for myself. Except in the summer. Then I want all the funny books I can get. Because crying at the pool will ruin my SPF and I don`t want to look like I zebra. And yes, in case you were wondering, I have a dramatic cry.

READING AT NIGHT OR IN THE MORNING?
At night I watch Netflix with my husband (the only precious moments he gets me away from my books). I enjoy reading in the morning, after a big coffee and some cinnamon porridge.

LIBRARIES OR BOOKSTORES?
I prefer bookstores, especially the independent and quiet ones, where you can read in peace.

BLACK BOOK COVERS OR WHITE BOOK COVERS?

I think there`s something aesthetically appealing about white books. Granted, you must protect them with your life so they don`t get dirty, but sacrifice is part of a bookworm`s life.

CHARACTER-DRIVEN OR PLOT-DRIVEN STORIES?
How is that even a question? Character-driven books, of course. I like to invest in my characters, so it`s nice to see their evolution.


What about you? Do you share my opinions or completely disagree? Let me know in the comments and don`t forget to leave your blog links so I can check them out.






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