Hello, Book Lovers, and Happy National Book Lovers Day!
I’m spending the majority of my day at a virtual library conference called SLJTeenLive. I am enjoying hearing from YA authors about their books and what they’re reading. It seems to be one of the best ways to spend a day dedicated to book lovers!
I also thought it would be fun to honor the day with a Book Tag. I’ve never done one before on this blog, and it seemed like the perfect way to highlight some of my all-time favorite works, as a lifelong book lover! I stumbled across the Disney Book Tag a few weeks back. It’s categories highlight some of the best titles I’ve ever read, and I can’t wait to share them with you! I hope you enjoy.
The Little Mermaid:
A Character Who is Out of Their Element
Wonder, for me, is the uncontested winner for this category. Auggie is thrown totally out of his element when he goes to school for the first time. His classmates, even, experience some of the Little Mermaid syndrome as they learn how to relate to him. This book has a powerful message about bullying and acceptance. I can’t say enough about how much I loved this story and its characters.
A Character Who Goes Through a Major Transformation
I thought I’d be a little humorous with this one and name the Ranma 1/2 manga series. Ranma, the main character in this story, has fallen into the Pool of Drowning Girl during his martial arts training. Thus, every time he gets splashed with cold water, he turns into a girl! And every time he gets splashed with hot water, he turns back into a boy. Absolute madness ensues in adventures galore as he uses his curse to get out of bad situations. Absolutely hilarious and adorable, this is one of my favorite manga series.
And, you have to admit, fluid transgender modifications make for a fairly large transformation!
A Book with an Eclectic Cast of Characters
I feel like any fantasy series is a good fit for this category, but I wanted to honor one of my favorite stories from my childhood: Bruce Coville’s Unicorn Chronicles. With all of the mysterious and wonderful characters that usually appear in a fantasy world, this series is captivating. Cara is one of my favorite female lead characters ever, and I loved reading about her adventures in Luster. Also, if I could have my own Lightfoot, that would be pretty cool!
A Book that Put You to Sleep
Most of my followers know how much I love Peter Pan, so you may realize how painful it was for me to add this book to my DNF pile. The film Hook is one of my favorites, but the story version was too long and detailed to hold my interest. I know Terry Brooks is a huge and important name in fantasy literature, but I found this work unreadable. Rarely, if ever, do I say that the movie was better than the book. But in this case, I’ll go even further–don’t bother reading the book; just enjoy the movie!
The Lion King:
A Character Who Had Something Traumatic Happen to Them in Childhood
Spoiler Alert! But not really–it doesn’t take long when reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower to figure out that Charlie has experienced something traumatic in his past. The Big Reveal of what that was shook me the first time I read this book, and it inspired me to write my senior thesis on this title in my undergrad. To date, Charlie is one of my favorite characters, and in many ways I consider him a friend. I am grateful to the story Stephen Chbosky tells through him.
Beauty and the Beast:
A Beast of a Book that You were Intimidated by,
but Found the Story to be Beautiful
I actually signed up for a class because Anna Karenina was on the syllabus, and I knew if it weren’t required reading, I would never make it through the entire book. I’m so glad I took that class, too, because this ended up being one of my favorite classics of all time. The story is beautifully written and hauntingly memorable. If you haven’t experienced Tolstoy, I beg you to give him a go. And if you really want to dive in, push yourself to read this amazing story of love and betrayal.
A Character Who Gets Their Wish Granted, For Better or Worse
This is another sort of ironic inclusion, because the premise of this book is essentially be careful what you wish for. I spent the entire time I read this book wondering if it was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, because it combines a very literal experience with satirical extremism. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s sort of both. (And, while several people have their wishes granted, I can think of one specific young man who asks for an enhancement to his anatomy in the form of a metaphor, with hilarious and disastrous consequences!)
A Character Who Pretends to be Someone They Are Not
Another (potential) Spoiler Alert!
If you haven’t yet experienced the mystery that is Vida Winter’s life, you need to read this book. The plot twist at the end is totally mind-blowing. I’ve read this twice, and I bet if I read it a third time I would discover even more hints toward the revelation of the mystery. This is such a great book for people who like to try and solve the riddle, and a perfect fit for this Mulan category.
A Book with Characters You Wish Would Come to Life
I mean, do you even have to ask? I would love to meet Peter Pan in real life. I feel like we would have a blast reading books together. And I’d love to go to Neverland, even if at this point I would have to be a pirate or an aborigine (because, unfortunately, I’ve Grown Up).
Your Favorite Villain or Morally Ambiguous Character
So, I’ve never experienced The Descendants, but I like the connection this category makes. And this book cover is actually a stand-in for another of this author’s books, The Female of the Species. My sister has my copy, so I couldn’t snap a picture of it today. However, in terms of a villain/morally ambiguous character, you needn’t look any further than Alex. The Female of the Species opens with the line, “This is how I kill someone.” And the story that follows will haunt you and challenge you on your ideas of morality and justice.
I just received Not a Drop to Drink in the mail this week, so unfortunately I haven’t been able to read it yet. If it’s anything like her other book, I know I’m going to love it–and perhaps it has its own ambiguous character to inspire us!
So, that’s it! I had a lot of fun working through this challenge, and I’m so happy to have mentioned so many favorite books on this very special day. Celebrate today in your own way: by reading a new book, picking up an old favorite, tweeting a favorite quote, or visiting a bookstore. And if you have favorite titles to meet these categories, let me know! I’d love to hear your ideas, too.