Hello everyone and welcome back!! ❤️ I’m sorry for going AWOL the past two weeks—I’m currently halfway across the world in South Korea, and things have been way too chaotic for me to properly sit down and draft a post. Who knew there could be so much paperwork and stress involved in visiting your extended family? It’s all necessary to limit the spread of the virus, but I won’t lie and say the entire process has been anything other than extremely exhausting. On the bright side, it’s great being back in South Korea again and seeing all my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents! There are obviously some limitations to what we can do together because of the pandemic, but it’s so wonderful getting to see each other again.
Anyway, I figured I’d do something quick and fun for today’s post, and what’s quicker and more fun than a book tag? Thank you so much to Ritz @ Living, Loving and Reading for tagging me to do the Makeup Book Tag 🥰 I had so much fun answering these questions (despite the fact that I haven’t put on an ounce of makeup in my life 😅) and I hope you all enjoy reading my answers!!
Primer—Pick a book that left a lasting impression.
It would be easier to pick a book that didn’t leave a lasting impression! In my opinion, a book that doesn’t leave an impression is worse than a book that leaves a bad one. One particularly memorable book that I don’t think I’ve ever talked about here is Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King. This Ancient Roman saga is narrated by Thrasius, a young chef enslaved to Marcus Apicius, an obscenely wealthy nobleman whose sole ambition in life is to become Caesar’s culinary advisor. Thrasius tells the story of Apicius’s rise to power and the dark places the man’s ambition takes his young household, and boy, it is a RIDE. Ancient Roman politics is the best kind of politics, and it was even more fascinating to read about it from such a unique perspective. Also, the political intrigue and the household drama are seriously top-tier. I was completely engaged throughout the entire book, even though the beginning was slow going. I highly recommend this one!!
Foundation—Pick your favorite first book in a series.
Just one??!! I’m probably going to think of another (better?) answer as soon as this post goes live, but Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray was one of the best first books in a series that I’ve ever read. Plot, characters, themes, and tropes were all perfect, not to mention the romance 😍 Enemies to lovers at its best!!
Concealer—Pick a character you wish you could get rid of.
George Wickham, in every shape and manifestation. I recently finished Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price and while I found the book itself to be rather mediocre, one thing it did right was make Wickham’s character even more despicable, which I hadn’t thought was possible. Something about that man just ticks me off. Villains in general are annoying enough, but villains who pretend to be good people are a whole other story. And don’t even get me STARTED on villains who pretend to be good people and slander the prickly, misunderstood love interest 😒
Powder—Pick your favorite last book in a series.
These questions are killing me 😫 I refuse to choose between Winter by Marissa Meyer and Champion by Marie Lu. I think that both are literary masterpieces, but objectively, Winter is the better of the two. It introduces a whole new storyline to the series, masterfully carries over the other three that were developed in the previous books, and expands the worldbuilding, in addition to making us all swoon with the ships and giving every single one of the characters depth and motivation.
But emotionally, Champion will always be the finale of my heart. The characters and story may be a bit cliché but man, the EMOTION. The ENDING. (Marie Lu invented the bittersweet ending and nobody can convince me otherwise.) DAY and JUNE. THEM. 😭 I feel like my heart is being wrenched out of my chest just thinking about it.
Eyebrows—A book you think everyone should read.
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee. I said this when I first finished the book and I’ll say it again: This book should be taught in schools. I know firsthand that English class is more than capable of sucking the fun out of a perfectly good book, but I think We Are Not Free would be one of the rare required reading picks that students read ahead in for fun, not just for analysis.
Eyeliner—Pick a dark and mysterious book.
“Dark and mysterious” in general is not my aesthetic, but I remember reading The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick for school a couple of years ago and thinking it was way darker than what I typically read. It takes place during World War I and is about Sasha, an aspiring nurse who suddenly gains the ability to see the future. When she foresees the fate of her two brothers who have gone off to war, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Considering that the book is inspired by the story of Cassandra, the Trojan priestess cursed to have nobody believe her prophecies, the ominous atmosphere doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but I was still very much creeped out by just how somber it was. It was a really interesting book overall, though!
And if I really can see the future, then what does it mean? Is there any sense in our lives if everything is already out there, just waiting to happen? For if that were so, then life would be a horrible monster indeed, with no chance of escape from fate, from destiny. It would be like reading a book, but reading it backwards, from the final chapter down to chapter one, so that the end is already known to you.The Foreshadowing, Marcus Sedgwick
Mascara—Pick a long book.
Jade City by Fonda Lee is a recent TBR addition of mine, and it’s pretty long, with the paperback edition clocking in at around 560 pages. I’ve heard the best things about this series, which makes me want to pick it up ASAP, but I can’t say that the size of it isn’t intimidating 🥲 If anyone is interested in buddy-reading this one with me, let me know in the comments! I need someone to keep me accountable 😂
Blush—Pick a book that had a cringe-worthy romance.
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto. Don’t get me wrong, this book was ridiculously entertaining and perfect for escapism purposes, but I definitely do not think that romance was its strong point. Meddy and Nathan were cute, I guess? But they were so madly in love with each other from beginning to end without any concrete reason that I quickly got tired of it.
Highlighter—Pick a book that brightened your day.
This question is making me realize how depressing my reading taste is… 😅 The first book that comes to mind is Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean, which I’ve already gushed over way too much on this blog. Just thinking about this book puts a dotty smile on my face 🥰 To recap, this was literally K-drama in book form. Not one of those trashy K-dramas that feel like a fever dream of poorly executed tropes. No, this was high-quality—too sweet, just the right bit of angst, and so much swooning. And I loved the messages about self-acceptance and confidence as well 😍😍😍
Lipstick—Your favorite book kiss.
You know, now that I think about it, I don’t really care about physical intimacy when it comes to my ships? The thrill of romance for me is the emotional journey, and to be frank, reading about excessive physicality makes me uncomfortable 😅 That being said, a kiss that’s written well can be VERY cathartic and impactful (not to mention swoonworthy 🥰). One that sticks out to me is Matthias and Nina’s kiss in Crooked Kingdom—THE Helnik kiss that we all know and love, ft. blossoming flowers and twirling and impropriety. Matthias and Nina are my favorite Grishaverse ship, period, and I felt so proud and so HAPPY reading the specific kiss we’re talking about. It felt like an ending to the long, arduous journey that was Helnik, filled with hate and love and conflicting loyalties and everything in between.
“Meeting you was a disaster.”
She raised a brow. “Thank you.”
Djel, he was terrible at this. He stumbled on, trying to make her understand. “But I am grateful every day for that disaster. I needed a cataclysm to shake me from the life I knew. You were an earthquake, a landslide.”
“I,” she said, planting a hand on her hip, “am a delicate flower.”
“You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.”Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo
Be right back, currently swooning ❤️
If only this had been their actual ending… 😃
I’d love to see the following bloggers’ takes on this tag! But no pressure if you don’t have the time or inclination to do so 😊
That’s it for today! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post! What’s a book you think everyone should read? Any dark and mysterious books you enjoyed lately? Let me know in the comments down below!
As always, thank you all for reading! 💖