Hey, blogging world!
Today, I’m borrowing from our friends over on BookTube. Becca and the Books created a book tag based off of the newest Panic! At The Disco album, Pray for the Wicked. Because a) I love P!ATD (I saw them in concert last month, and it was INCREDIBLE!), b) I love books, and c) I don’t [currently] have a YouTube/BookTube channel, I’m gonna be laying out my picks for this tag here.
Here we go!
1. “(Fuck a Silver Lining)”: A book you didn’t expect to like but loved, or a not-so-great book that had a silver lining that kept you hooked
The Girl With all the Gifts
M. R. Carey
I almost never read this type of horror novel; zombies are perhaps my least-favorite monster. But many people whose book opinions I respect told me I should read this one, so I did. And let me tell you, I was shocked by how much I loved it!
2. “(Say Amen) Saturday Night”: Either a book you were thankful was over OR a book you could spend all Saturday night reading
For this one, I have two books from the same duology for each half of the prompt:
I could read this book every Saturday night for the rest of my life. The story is so timely and important. The characters are super authentic. I love the plot and the twists and where the story ends up–this offers everything we need in a book like this, particularly with the ongoing prominence of the #MeToo movement.
Us Against You
This book took everything good in Beartown and made a mess of it. To be honest, I didn’t go in with super high expectations. I was totally satisfied with the ending of Beartown and I was worried that a sequel would attempt to elaborate too much on themes that were better left open-ended. Now that I’ve read this, I believe my fear was well-founded. I feel that this book lost a lot of the sensitivity used to address “touchy” topics in the first book, and in the end we were handed a more opaque, inaccurate portrait of bigotry with an insufficient and inappropriate solution.
So, I’d read the first book over again in a heartbeat, but I won’t be picking up the second one anymore.
3. “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”: A book you felt accomplished for reading
I felt so accomplished when I finished this book! I love Russian literature, but I do wish it weren’t so doggone long… Still, Anna remains one of my favorite “classics.”
4. “High Hopes”: A book you had high hopes for but fell flat
Before I Let Go
I read This is Where it Ends in one sitting on my couch on a Saturday morning. I literally couldn’t put it down.
Finishing Before I Let Go felt like pulling teeth. The plot was so flat, and the characters so distant and, quite frankly, unreasonable. I felt like Nijkamp came up with an awesome premise and then couldn’t figure out how to execute the story. I was extra bummed for not liking this one since it had good LGBTQIA+ representation, but the benefits of a more “diverse” character were lost in the poor storyline and plot development.
5. “Roaring 20s”: A book that makes you feel nostalgic
This book always makes me feel super nostalgic. I remember reading it for the first time in middle school, curled up on my bed, and feeling like I understood Dinnie on a deeper level than any other character I had encountered to date.
6. “Dancing’s Not a Crime”: A book that BookTube makes you feel is a crime for loving/hating
So, I actually can’t think of a specific book for this one, although I do feel “left out” for “not favoring” a specific genre. There’s one genre BookTube elevates above most others: fantasy. And I, for one, don’t gravitate toward that genre. So, I suppose I feel like a criminal for not favoring fantasy, and YA fantasy in particular.
I also recently watched a BookTube video from a specific YouTuber who said he did not care for Mosquitoland by David Arnold. I absolutely loved this book, and I cannot wait to read Arnold’s other books! I don’t feel like a criminal for liking this book, since I’ve only seen one YouTuber speak ill of it, but I suppose I’ll include it here.
7. “One of the Drunks”: A book you got drunk on that left you in a book hangover
In a Handful of Dust
I can usually predict when a book is going to make me cry. This book brought on full-throttle sobs from out of nowhere. And after it was over, it took me several days to recover. A definite hangover-worthy masterpiece.
8. “The Overpass”: A book that deals with a difficult subject matter
Um, how about everything I’ve ever read, ever?
But, to pick:
The War that Saved My Life
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
I’ve chosen this one not because it deals with the most complex, difficult themes I’ve ever discovered, but because it delivers this tough stuff to a young audience. The War that Saved My Life addresses several important and timely topics, from war and violence to LGBT issues and the real meaning of family and unconditional love. It’s another one that left me broken, and I so loved the sequel as well.
9. “King of the Clouds”: Your go-to book to lift you up when you’re feeling down
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Is anyone surprised anymore? Charlie makes me feel like I belong to something, and this book makes me feel infinite.
10. “Old Fashioned”: Your favorite book published before 2000
Brave New World
This was basically impossible to narrow down, so I figured I’d highlight one of my favorite “classics” that I don’t talk about much here. Brave New World has proved to be a timeless allegory and cautionary tale. I would suggest everyone read it now, but I don’t want to incite mass panic…
And I’m only sort of joking.
11. “Dying in LA”: A book that you love that is underhyped
I received a free copy of this book at ALA Annual 2017, but I haven’t really heard anything about it since then. I really enjoyed the characters in this book. This is another one that tackles difficult stuff in a format for a young audience, and I found Nora to be very authentic. It’s one I think more people should be reading, for sure.
And there you have it! I feel like I could start this tag over right now and pick all different titles (except, of course, Perks), but I’ll spare you that repetition.
If you haven’t listened to the new Panic! at the Disco album yet, I highly recommend it! It’s one of the best yet.
And if there are fellow Panic! fans out there who like when worlds collide, I highly recommend checking out some of these BookTube videos. It’s been so fun to see what books others have picked to match up with these tunes. Finally, if anyone in the book blog world wants to try out this BookTube tag, go for it! I’m not going to tag anyone specifically since I’ve change the format.