Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

It’s been a while since I posted here, almost a month to be exact πŸ™ˆ Life has been busy which has left little time for reading and blogging. I was recently offered a new job starting in September and I’ll be going into my final year of my MA, so I’ll be a busy bee 🐝 but I’m hoping to read more this month and get back to posting at least once a week. Today I’ll be doing the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag.

This tag was originally created by The Book Archer on YouTube.

A popular book or series that I disliked

The Wayward Children Series – Seanan McGuire

I’ve seen this series recommended everywhere. It’s actually what led me to pick up the series. Whilst the concept was cool, the first two books I read completely lacked depth and I simply didn’t care enough about the world’s to continue reading. Even with them being short reads, I still didn’t feel compelled to spend any more of my time reading on.

A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but I love

I don’t have an answer for this one. I feel like generally, all of the books or series that I love are well-liked.

A love triangle in a book or series where the main character ended up with the person I did not want them to end up with

Twilight – Stephanie Meyer

Remember the days of Team Edward vs Team Jacob that quite literally defined most millenials teen years? Well, I was always in the latter camp waving the Team Jacob flag. I recently binged the Twilight movies on Netflix and it propelled me back to my angsty, teenage, Twlight-obsessed years and reaffirmed that Jacob and Bella make so much more sense to me than Edward and Bella. Let’s clarify, that both of these relationships have issues but Bella and Jacob’s connection is built on friendship and builds slowly over time, rather than being lust at first sight. He doesn’t control her or endanger her to the extent that Edward does and treats her like a human rather than a fragile doll that must be protected. I also find Jacob and Bella’s chemistry more natural and less forced.

A popular book genre that I hardly reach for

Thriller

Every now and again I’ll pick up a thriller novel on the slim chance that this will be the time where I’ll actually enjoy it, but unfortunately, it’s very rare. I find thrillers to generally lack in character development, substance and suspense. The main appeal hinges on the mystery itself, but very often the answers are either predictable or so damn hard that it’s impossible to play along as the reader. In the past, I’ve read thrillers that I have enjoyed only to be completely let down by the ending. Agatha Christie might be the exception to this rule, since And Then There Were None is by far the best thriller I’ve ever read, but it’s still not a genre I generally reach for.

A popular or beloved character that I dislike

Hermione Granger – Harry Potter

I know, I know. Shocking, right? Here’s the thing, I love Hermione. I really do. She’s such a complex, dynamic and well written female character that has had such a huge impact on young girls of all ages across the world. However, as a character, I just don’t like her. All of the flaws that Hermione has make her annoying rather than endearing to me. There’s no denying she’s a well-written and incredible character, but on a personal level she’s not my cup of tea.

A popular author that I can’t seem to get into

Brandon Sanderson

As a fantasy reader it feels like you can’t be part of the club unless you’ve read everything Sanderson has ever written because he’s so loved in fantasy circles. So far I’ve read Warbreaker and The Final Empire, and attempted Elantris. I really enjoyed Warbreaker but generally I find it so difficult to get along with Sanderson’s writing style. It’s so basic, clunky and completely lacks flow. His writing actually pulls me out of the story he’s trying to tell because it’s so glaringly bad at times. I’m still planning to read The Way of Kings, but itf it doesn’t go well, it might be time to call a day on Sanderson.

A popular book trope that I’m tired of seeing

The Chosen One

Do I really need to explain? It’s not only over-done, but annoying because as a concept it’s unrealistic. There are no “chosen ones” in real life. This idea that someone is destined for greatness and is naturally gifted at everything, adored by everyone and wins by default because they’re the Chosen One, is difficult for me to get behind..

A popular book or series that I have no interest in reading

Six of Crows

I think if I’d read this book when I was a teenager, I would’ve loved it. But as I’ve grown up and my reading tastes have evolved, I’ve really shifted away from YA fantasy. I just don’t think I would vibe with this book now. But hey, never say never.

A movie or TV show adaption of a book or series that I like more than the book/s

Dexter

Dexter is one of my favourite shows of all time (yes, even with that finale haha), but my experience of reading the books just didn’t live up to the show. The show is thrilling, suspenseful, fast paced but the books were dry. Generally, Dexter works so much better as a show because it’s visual and Michae C. Hall brings Dexter’s character to life brilliantly.

What are some of your unpopular book opinions? Share in the comments!

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

So, we’re half way through 2021. Where has the time gone?! I don’t know about anybody else, but this year has flown by for me. We’ve been living with COVID for over a year now and it’s been good to see the UK slowly getting back to some normalcy. I celebrated my 27th birthday just over a week ago and will be setting off on a UK caravan holiday this weekend (hoping for lots of sunshine and looking forward to dipping my toes in the sea for the first time in over 8 years!). But enough of that, today I’ll be doing the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag. I’m excited to reflect on what I’ve read so far this year and share t with you all.

This tag was originally developed by Earl Grey Books and Chami on YouTube.

Note:

  • All books on this list are books I’ve read this year in 2021 or books I want to read.
  • I have reworded/condensed most of the questions.
  • I’ve changed a couple of questions to suit my own preferences. All questions that have been changed are marked with an asterix.

Best book

The Heroes – Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie is one of my favourite fantasy authors and The First Law one of my favourite trilogies. The Heroes is the second stand-alone novel set in The First Law universe and it blew me away. Spanning a three-day war, this book is a meticulous examination of the damaging impact of war. Abercrombie’s stellar character work shone as always and although it was a slow started, the action and plot was built up fantastically with an explosive conclusion.

Best sequel

The Dragon Republic – R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War was one of my favourite books of 2020 and The Dragon Republic had a lot to live up to, but it accomplished it. It built upon the world, characters and plot that was established in the first book and elevated it to the next level. I didn’t love it as much as The Poppy War, but the ending will be a moment that will stay for me for a long time #PlotTwist. You can read my full review of The Poppy War Trilogy here.

New book series you want to start*

Stormlight Archive – Brandon Sanderson

As a fantasy reader, I feel like a fraud for having not read the Stormlight Archive. Sanderson’s works are raved about in every corner of the fantasy community and this series is championed. One of my close friends adores this series and is constantly begging me to read is so I can jump on the Stormlight train. I’m excited to learn about the characters I’ve heard so much about like Kaladin and Dalinar. I just hope that it meets my expectations, which are very high based on the great things I’ve heard.

Most anticpated read for the second half of 2021*

The Sword of Kaigen – M. L. Wang

The Sword of Kaigen exploded in the fantasy community this year. It’s a self-published stand-alone fantasy which has been highly praised by readers and reviewers. I recently starting reading it but have put it aside to focus on other books I’m currently reading, but I am beyond excited to sink my teeth back into this and have a feelng it will be a favourite 2021 read.

Biggest disappointment

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe – Fannie Flagg

This had been on my TBR for a while and I was expecting feel-good small town vibes with friendship, found family and romance. Although I did like this book, it just wasn’t what I wanted or expected going into it. It reads more like a historical drama and the disjointed timeline and wide cast of characters was difficult to follow at times. Generally, it was an okay read but rather forgettable.

Biggest Surprise

Ballad of Reading Gaol – Oscar Wilde

I’m not a poetry reader. As much as I’d like to be, I struggle to connect to or understand poetry. Quite frankly, I feel too stupid for it. However, I adore Oscar Wilde’s writing style so decided to listen to the audiobook on a whim through my library and fell in love. Wilde’s use of language and ability to craft an emotive, complex and rounded story of his time in jail through poetry was staggering. Having the audiobook to set the rhythm of the poetry helped me to become immersed in it completely and I’d like to read more poetry in the future in this format.

Favourite newly discovered author

Robin Hobb – Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy)

Despite having only read one of her books so far, I can already sense that Robin Hobb is an author I’m going to love. Her world-building and character work immediately pulled me in. Whilst Assassin’s Apprentice was slow paced, I appreciated Hobb’s attention to detail and the time she took to flesh out her characters and allow the reader breathing space to become anchored in the world.

New favourite relationship*

Rin and Nezha – The Poppy War Trilogy

I know I’ve already spoken about this trilogy, but it deserves to take another spot on this list. The enemies to friends to lovers to enemies relationship between Rin and Nezha was compelling and I became deeply invested. Kuang created such an intruiging, complex dynamic between these two characters and developed it well. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the way the relationship was concluded, but nonetheless enjoyed following their relationship a lot.

Book that made you cry

We Can Do Better Than This: 35 Voices on the Future of LGBTQ+ Rights – Amelia Abraham (editor)

We Can Do Better Than This is a collection of essays from LGBTQIA+ individuals who share their experience of their queerness and their hopes for the future of LGBTQIA+ activism. The diversity and breadth of voices in this book was beautiful but the topics that explored were hard hitting and made me cry multiple times, sometimes with sadness and sometimes with joy. It was a very impactful read and the words and stories in this book will always stay with me.

Book that made you happy

Emma – Jane Austen

Emma is one of those books that could cheer me up no matter what mood I was in. It’s light-hearted, fun and dramatic. Emma as a character is incredibly flawed but endearing and her incessant meddling is entertaining to watch. You can read my fulll review of Emma here.

The most beautiful book you’ve bought or recieved

Wuthering Heights – Emily BrontΓ« (Folio Society Edition)

My brother bought this for me for my birthday and OMG, I’m in love. The illustrations in this book are stunning and although I already own two copies of Wuthering Heights, my motto is you can never have too many copies of your favourite books.

A book you want to read by the end of the year*

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow – Jessica Townsend

I love the Nevermoor series and have enjoyed the first two books immensely. The world is whimsical, fun and charming. These books are like a warm hug. It’s one of my favourite fanatasy series currently and I’m excited to dive back into the world and follow Morrigan’s adventures. The only reason I haven’t read it yet is because I have to wait until October 2022 for Book 4 and I want to reduce the wait as much as I can.

Favourite book to movie adaptation

Wuthering Heights (1939)

I’ve made no secret of my love for Wuthering Heights and because of how much the book means to me, I didn’t have much faith that I would enjoy an adaptation of it. This film does get a lot of things wrong and isn’t a very accurate portrayal of the book, but I still really enjoyed it. The acting was strong and the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff was encapsulating. I generally don’t watch classic films, but really enjoyed the old-school style and felt that it being in black and white fit with the tone and the setting of the moors perfectly.

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.

Pride Flag Book Tag πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ

In celebration of Pride Month, today I’m going to be doing the Pride Flag Book Tag. This looks like such a creative, fun and colourful tag! I’m excited to do it and to share some of my favourite LGBTQIA+ books with you all that I may not have had the opportunity to speak about until now.

This tag was originally developed by Common Spence on YouTube.

Red – Life

A book with a spirited protagonist totally proud of who they are. Someone who gives you LIFE!

Black Flamingo – Dean Atta

Black Flamingo is a heart-warming story of pride and celebrating who you are. The protagonist Michael goes on a journey of self discovery and although he faces struggles along the way, he remains true to himself and isn’t afraid to stand up and be his most authentic self. His sense of identity and unwillingness to compromise himself based on the judgement or prejudice of others is inspiring.

Orange – Healing

A book that made you, as the reader, find a deeper meaning or catharsis in your own life.

Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender

Felix Ever After is a YA tale about a young trans guy called Felix. He questions his gender and sexuality throughout the story as he attempts to find the labels that best reflect his identity and to understand himself better. His process of exploring his identity and finding himself resonated with me on a personal level and helped me to better understand myself. This book will always be special to me because it was the key to finally opening me up to my own queerness.

Yellow – Sunshine

A book that fills you with so much joy it could brighten even your darkest day.

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics – Olivia Waite

A wonderful, fluffy and romantic WLW story which gave me all the feels. The dynamic between the two main characters, Lucy and Catherine, is refreshing. Their relationship is honest, passionate and tender. I love that both women have their own dreams and insecurities and that they support and encourage each other to reach their dreams and overcome their insecurities. They develop hugely from meeting each other and reading their journey will never fail to warm my heart.

Green – Nature

A book that is set out of this world β€” a reality different to our own.

This is How You Lose the Time War – Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

I’ve spoken about this book at least twice in previous posts, but I will never stop talking about it, because it’s so AWESOME. This story is so other-worldly, from the language to the setting and the overall story. Readng this book is like falling into an abstract dream that you feel but cannot quite see or touch. It has the added bonus of a wonderful queer romance which takes the enemies to lovers trope and executes it with breathtaking results.

Blue – Peace

A book where one of the characters finds peace with a difficult truth.

The Passion – Jeanette Winterson

The Passion is a recent read for me but I fell in love with it. One of the main protagonist’s, Villanelle, is a queer young girl who goes on one hell of a journey. She has to come to terms with multiple difficult truths throughout regarding loss and the injustices of the world. Her resillience and determination is admirable and I deeply connected to her character and journey.

Purple – Spirit

A book that deals with LGBT+ themes and religion.

Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta

Under the Udala Trees tells the harrowing and emotional experience of Ijeoma’s experience as a gay woman living in Nigeria. Throughout Ijeoma battles against the illegality of homosexually and the conflict between her mother’s Christian faith and her sexuality. It’s not an easy read, but an unforgettable and powerful story nonetheless.

I wanted to share some LGBTQIA+ charities you can donate to in the UK, if you would like to:

This is not an extensive list. If you would like to donate, I would recommend doing your own research to find a charity that aligns with your ethics and does the work that you feel most passionately about.

Happy Pride Month ❀️ 🧑 πŸ’› πŸ’š πŸ’™ πŸ’œ

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.

The Last 10 Books Tag

Thank you to the lovely Amy @A Fangirl’s Opinion for tagging me to do this ❀️ Amy is a very supportive blogger who gives so much to the book community. If you love bookish and fandom related content that’s insightful, unique and fun be sure to check out her blog and follow her if you don’t already.

1. Last Book I Bought

And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East by Richard Engel. I have a huge interest in history and studied at history at university, but unfortunately, I know very little about the Middle East’s history despite being very interested in it. I bought this on Kindle deals and I’m really looking forward to learning more about this topic.

2. Last Book I Re-Read

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It was a favourite the first time I read it and it’s still a favourite after my re-read. I adore this book and it means a lot to me. You can read my review here and an analysis of Evelyn’s character here, if you want to know more of my thoughts on the book.

3. Last Book I Gave Up On

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. It’s the second book I picked up from the Discworld series and I really like the series, but wasn’t in the mood for this particular book at the time I was reading it. I’ll definitely come back to the book to finish it and will continue with the series.

4. Last Book I Said I Read But Didn’t

I can’t actually remember. I don’t recall ever lying about reading a book. Even when I was at school and had compulsory reading to do I would read the books that were set because I liked reading or I’d straight up say if I hadn’t read it. My teachers did not appreciate that though πŸ˜‚

5. Last Book I Wrote in the Margins Of

Wuthering Heights, no surprise there. I love this book and I love annotating it with my thoughts and feelings as I read it. Generally, I don’t write in books that often but I want to do it more because I feel like it helps me to engage more with the book and get more from the reading experience.

6. Last Book That I Had Signed

Confession time: I’ve never had a book signed 😲 I’m not the type of person that gets invested in authors. Even with books or series that I’ve loved and been borderline obsessed with (*cough* Harry Potter *cough*), I tend to separate them from the author a lot and just focus my energy and love onto the book and the fictional world itself.

7. Last Book I Lost:

I don’t think I’ve ever lost a book. I have such little space to keep my books that if I lost one it would be very noticeable because I know every book I own and where it’s kept. I also tend to take ebooks with me when I’m out and about so I don’t really mislay books at other places.

8. Last Book I Had to Replace

I’ve never replaced a book because A) I’ve never lost a book and B) I tend to keep my books in good condition so they don’t need replacing. Although, I’m expecting that I’ll need to get a replacement copy of Wuthering Heights one day because I just can’t stop reading and annotating this book πŸ˜‚

9. Last Book I Argued Over

I wouldn’t say I ever argue over books, more that I have discussions or debates. The last debate I had was about The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I posted some of my thoughts online and was quite critical with my views, expressing the things that I disliked and someone who was a huge fan of the series disagreed with most of what I said. But it was all respectful and more of a discusson sharing our different views. That’s what reading is all about for me – discussing books with others and sharing differences in opinion and thoughts. After all, reading is completely subjective!

10. Last Book You Couldn’t Find

Again, never not been able to find a book because I own so few πŸ˜‚ My dream is to one day have so many books that it’s possible for me to not be able to find a specific book I’m looking for. Forever dreaming of Belle’s library from Beauty and the Beast.

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.

My Bad Reading Habits Book Tag

Dog earing pages, skipping chapters, writing in the margins, cracking spines… As readers, we’re all guilty of having “bad” habits and I have a fair few of my own πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚

I’m unsure who the original creator of this tag was. If you know, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to credit them.

1. Constantly counting how many pages are remaining of a chapter/book

When I’m reading a book, I cannot stop myself from constantly counting pages to calculate how much I’ve read and how long it will take me to reach a certain chapter, section or the end of the book. I count pages to create check-points for myself. In some ways this can be helpful to break down my reading into smaller, manageable chunks, but it does sometimes distract me from just enjoying reading a book. Kindle helps me to manage this bad habit because it calculates a reading time for each chapter.

2. Reading a book/series because it’s popular

I can be a bit lazy with my TBR and choosing the next book to read, so I often reach for something based on popularity and not because it’s actually the right book for me. I’ve found plenty of great popular books from online bookish spaces, but a majority of the time when I pick up a book based purely on popularity, I end up disappointed. I’ve learned that the amount of people that like/discuss a book is no reflection on how much I’ll enjoy it, so it’s wise to base my reading choices on more than just this.

3. Not researching a book before I read it

I like to go into books as blind as possible. Sometimes even the blurb or synopsis of a book reveals too much information because I have a huge aversion to spoilers (even mild ones). I want to read a book and experience the journey, and every twist and turn with the characters. The disadvantage of this is that I inevitably pick up books that aren’t for me which I probably would’ve realised if I’d actually taken the time to do some basic research.

4. Reading when I’m over-tired

I read most evenings before bed because it’s the most convenient time for me to read. Unfortunately, by the time I actually pick up the book I’m practically falling asleep so my comprehension and retention of what I’m reading is very low. I recently finished The Burning God (#3 The Poppy War) and completely forgot entire chapters because I read them when I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open.

5. Reading classics I probably won’t like simply because they’re classics

I love classics, they’re some of my favourite books but there are a lot out there that just aren’t my cup of tea. Books like The Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, War and Peace and The Count of Monte Cristo don’t really appeal to me but I feel a strong urge to read them simply because they’re well-known classics and featured on most “Books to Read Before You Die” lists.

6. Buying multiple copies of my favourite books

I have two copies of Wuthering Heights, and already have my eye on two other copies that I want to buy. Do I need them? Nope. But when I love a book, I have an uncontrollable desire to own every pretty edition that exists and to have a couple of cheap copies to annotate too. By the time I’m 50 it’s very likely I’ll have an entire shelf dedicated entirely to Wuthering Heights.

7. Playing an audiobook and not listening to a single word

Here’s the thing: I love audiobooks. I think they’re an incredible invention that make reading accessible and can elevate the reading experience. Unfortunately, I’m not an auditory person. Unless an audiobook is completely immersive with a talented narrator and other sound effects, the chances are my mind will wander and I will listen to hours of an audiobook but have no idea what’s actually happened.

8. Completely ignoring my TBR

So far this year I’ve read 22 books and out of those only 8 were actually on my TBR. The combination of being a mood reader, picking up books based on popularity and not doing enough research before reading a book leads me to read books on a whim either because I’ve seen them in a blog post, in a YouTube video or at the library. I forget that my TBR is there to help me make wise reading decisions and read books that I’m more likely to enjoy. I really should attempt to use it more πŸ™ˆ

I turned out to have even more bad habits than I anticipated when I first decided to do this tag. I feel like my bad reading habits reflect my complete indecisiveness as a person πŸ˜‚

What are your bad reading habits? Share in the comments!

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S Book Tag

F.R.I.E.N.D.S is one of my all time favourite TV shows. I grew up watching it and it owns a piece of my heart. Since I’m currently re-watching friends for the thousandth time, it seemed like the perfect time to do this tag.

The tag was originally developed by ALittleButAlot.

Ross: Seems harmless, but problematic

Name a book you had problems with

Did I Mention I Love You?

I read this way back in 2019 when I was first attempting to get back into reading and experimenting with what I liked and boy, this book was a lesson in what I don’t like in a book. The premise is that 16-year-old Eden falls in love with her “bad boy” step-brother. What ensues is a “love story” built on toxicity, secrecy and manipulation. It promotes the single message that I despise most in romance – if a girl loves a bad boy enough she can save him. This book also *attempts* to address a bunch of complex issues around addiction, body image and child abuse but does so terribly.

Monica: neat and tidy

Name a book/series that ends satisfyingly

The Hobbit

Tolkien knows how to write satisfying endings. I love the falling action in The Hobbit and the way in which Bilbo’s character arc ends having come full circle with him returning to The Shire with an entirely new perspective from his adventures.

Chandler: funny and relatable

Name a firm fave

Wuthering Heights

At this point, I think I’ve established that Wuthering Heights is my all time favourite book. It owns my heart and soul, and I will read it over and over and continue to love it. I’d be surprised if any other book in my life will knock this one from the top spot.

Phoebe: reliable and friendly

An author you always rely on

Joe Abercrombie

I’ve read five books from Joe Abercrombie so far and really liked all of them. Although none of them would make my top 10 favourites, I love Abercrombie’s writing style, tone, world building and character work. Whenever I pick up a book from him, I know what I’m getting and I know that I’ll enjoy it.

Rachel: she grows on you over time

Name a book/series that’s grown on you over time

This Is How You Lose the Time War

I started out strongly disliking this book and almost DNFd it, but fell in love with it around the mid-way point and would love to re-read it in the future. You can read my full review of This Is How You Lose the Time War here.

Joey: Looks good on the outside

A book whose cover is better than its contents

The Binding

Absolutely stunning cover; average content. This book was the pick of the month for my book club with friends and we were all drawn to this gorgeous cover. The dark purple and blue tones with the gold is just stunning. Although the premise is interesting, unfortunately, the execution is sloppy and it doesn’t reach its full potential.

Gunther: always there, always ignored

A book you’ve had on your TBR forever

My Cousin Rachel

I’ve wanted to read this since the moment I finished Rebecca. I adore Daphne Du Maurier’s writing style with its gothic tone ad she expertly crafts suspense and mystery. If it wasn’t for the fact that this book is a future read for my book club, I would’ve read it by now. But I’m waiting for the month that it gets pulled out of the hat! I’m excited to finally read it and to buddy read it with friends.

Carol and Susan: Keeping it diverse

An LGBT+ book you love/hate/want to read

A Little Life

This book has been huge in the book community in recent years and the share amount of discourse around it has intruiged me beyond belief. I’ve heard so much about how heartbreaking this book is so I’m a bit nervous about the emotional reaction I’ll have but I like my books to be emotional and explore dark, complex themes so I simply have to check it out.

This was SUCH a fun tag! The prompts were unique and connected well to the characters. If you like F.R.I.E.N.D.S and haven’t done this tag before, I tag you to do this on your own blog 😊

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.

DNF Book Tag

Over the last couple of months I’ve found myself DNF’ing more and more books, so thought it was a fitting time to do the DNF Book Tag.

The tag was originally developed by Gunpowder, Fiction and Plot over on YouTube so be sure to check their video out. I’ll be using the questions from the original tag as a guide but putting my own spin on them.

Here are the original questions for those of you that would like to do the tag:

1. Do you dnf?
2. If you dnf a book does it count towards books read for the month?
3. Is there a difference between dnfing and ‘just putting down for a bit’?
4. What popular book did you dnf?
5. What book do you wish you had dnfed?
6. Do you ever re-attempt to read a dnf? Has this ever been successful for you?
7. What do you do with books you dnf?
8. Do you choose more or less risky titles because of your stance on dnfing?

1. Do you DNF?

You bet I do. Life is too short to force myself to read books that I’m not enjoying ✌

2. What is your opinion on DNFing?

I think DNFing is a positive thing and something that all readers should do. I started out being reluctant to DNF because it felt like I’d failed or somehow wasted my time if I didn’t read a book until the end. Then I realised that it was actually the opposite and that reading a book to the end that I disliked was more of a waste of my time than DNFing. Since I like to go into books blind, I often pick something up only to find that it wasn’t at all what I was expecting so being flexible with DNFing is important for me. I can tell pretty early on whether a book is going to be worthwhile reading and if it’s not, I don’t see the point in forcing myself to persevere when I could spend that time reading something else.

3. If you DNF a book does it count towards books read that month?

Nope. I only include books that I’ve read in full.

4. Is there a difference between DNFing and just putting down for now?

Not really. To me, DNF means what it stands for – Did Not Finish – so whether it’s for now or forever, it’s still a DNF. Having said that, I do have two types of DNF that I categorise my books into – hard DNF and temporary DNF. Hard DNF’s are books that I’m never coming back to and temporary DNF’s are books I plan to come back to and finish. Since I’m a mood reader, I often DNF books temporarily if I find I’m not in the mood for that particular book at the time I’m reading it.

5. What popular books have you DNFed and why?

  • Becoming (Michelle Obama) – This is a book I picked up because of its popularity. Despite not having a personal interest in Michelle Obama or her back-story, I thought I’d find value in the themes that Michelle was likely to discuss around politics, feminism and race. Unfortunately, there was little discussion of those topics and I didn’t connect to the detached, chronological narration style.
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Bejamin Alire Saenz) – I picked this up when I was looking for a reflective LGBTQIA+ read but simply didn’t connect to the characters or the story. It read too young for me and was too angst-ridden at the expense of any real development or discussion of the themes it was depicting.
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea (T. J. Klune) – Another book I reached for based on popularity and another lesson that a book being popular doesn’t always guarantee that I’ll enjoy it. I loved the concept of this but it fell completely flat. The characters were one dimensional, there was no real plot and it felt like it was purposefully written to be sweet and felt forced.
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Mackenzi Lee) – I really, really didn’t like this book. It was historically inaccurate, the plot was contrived and nonscencial and I didn’t like the portrayal of queerness which felt like it was shoe-horned in for the sake of representation.

6. What book(s) do you wish you had DNFed?

In hindsight, there’s a lot of books I wish I’d DNFed πŸ˜‚

How to Disappear (Gillian McAllister), Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice), Get Your Sh*t Together (Sarah Knight), The Guest Cat (Takashi Hiraide), Misery (Stephen King)… and the list could continue. Pretty much any books that I rated 2 or 3 stars were probably books that weren’t that worthwhile and that I could’ve/should’ve DNFed.

7. What book(s) have you recently DNF’d?

  • Reaper Man – Temporary DNF
  • I Capture the Castle – Temporary DNF
  • Anne of Green Gables – Temporary DNF
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea – Hard DNF

8. Have you ever successfully read a book that was originally a DNF?

Yes, I’ve come back to a lot of books that I originally DNFed and generally have a lot of success with it. As a mood reader, my DNFing a book is often a reflection of my own mood at that time rather than the book itself, so most of the time I can come back to a book I’ve DNFed and enjoy it. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are two prime examples. I tried multiple times to read them as a teenager but couldn’t get to grips with Tolkien’s writing style and pacing, then came back to them a couple of years ago and loved them.

Do you DNF books? Share your thoughts about DNFing in the comments!

I tag anybody that would like to do the DNF Book Tag to do it! You can use the original questions or my adapted version of the questions.

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.


‘Goodreads was wrong’ Book Tag

Like most readers I use Goodreads everyday. I’m always looking at average ratings or reviews and use Goodreads to decide what to read next. Since Goodreads is such a big part of my life as a reader, when I saw this tag I knew I had to do it.

The tag was originally developed by GabsAboutBooks over on YouTube so check here video out.

What is the highest rated book that you gave a low rating?

We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Average Goodreads rating: 4.44
My rating: 2

I had high expectations for this book since it was so highly rated and all of my friends rated it 5 stars. Unfortunately, I found Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s perspective on feminism to be very narrow. She conflates gender and sex, adopts a binary perspective and draws heavily on masculine and feminine stereotypes. Although she discusses feminism within a cultural context as an Nigerian woman, there’s very little discussion of the wider factors that impact feminism such as race, class, religion, sexuality, disability etc. Because I personally identify with intersectional feminism, I found this to be a huge issue for me.

What is the lowest rated book that you gave a high rating?

The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Mohsin Hamid

Average Goodreads rating: 3.71
My rating: 4

This literary novella is built on a very simple concept but manages to do so much with it. The main character, Changez, is a young Pakistani man who lived in the U.S. between the ages of 18-22. It’s set in a restaurant in Lahore, Pakistan and is a one-way dialogue in which Changez shares his story with an American man. This novella explores the rise in Islamaphobia and discrimination against Muslims post-9/11, the toxcity of the “American dream” narrative and the conflict that Changez feels as a Pakistani man residing in a place that has in many ways contributed to the conflicts that are destroying his hometown. I can understand why this book wouldn’t be for everyone since it’s slow and uneventful, but I found it to be a thought-provoking discussion around complex and hard-hitting topics.

What is the most popular book that you disagree with the average rating?

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Average Goodreads rating: 3.93
My rating: 1

I read <i>The Great Gatsby</i> in 2019 right at the very start of my reading journey and man, I really did not like this book. The narrative, plot, characters and everything else fell completely flat for me. A 1 star rating was probably a tad harsh in hindsight, but the reading experience with this book was pretty grim and that’s reflected by the rating I gave it. I still struggle to understand how or why this is considered a well-loved classic. Since I’ve read more classics now, there’s a chance if I did a re-read I’d feel differently, but for now, I have no desire to pick this book up again.

What is the least popular book you disagree with the average rating?

Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Desire – Lisa Diamond

Average Goodreads rating: 3.89
My rating: 2

In my opinion, this book is rated higher than it should be. Although it does provide some interesting insights, for an academic text it’s very limited. It is almost exlusively reliant on oral interviews from 10 females and draws most of it’s conclusions from the experiences of this small group of women. Therefore, it’s completely lacking in diversity and representation. This would probably be a more impactful read for those that are new to the concepts of gender and sexuality in an academic context, but I found that it over-explained simple definitions and concepts which anybody that is likely to pick up this book wouldn’t need.

Choose two books that have an average rating of 3/5 stars but you gave a higher rating.

If There Be Thorns – V. C. Andrews

Average Goodreads rating: 3.71
My rating: 4

So it turns out that all of the books I’ve read that were closer to a 3 star rating were ones I’d rated lower than 3 stars, so this was the closest one. I read the Dollanganger series years ago when I was a teenager and loved the gothic vibes. This book is a fascinating and spine-tingling exploration of the toxicity of family and love. It’s over the top, explosive and sometimes even far fetched, but for the pure nostalgia, it’ll always have a place in my heart. In many ways, my love for this series as a teenager foreshadowed my love for Wuthering Heights 10 years later.

Carmilla – J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Average Goodreads rating: 3.82
My rating: 4

For me, Carmilla is a nearly perfect read – gothic horror, vampires, atmospheric, WLM relationship, sharp plot which is to the point and leaves you wanting more… I think that it’s deserving of a much higher rating. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always resonate with modern readers because they are already so familiar with the vampire genre. But for me, this is probably the best vampire novel I’ve ever written. After all, it’s where it all started.

Choose two books that have an average rating of 3/5 stars but you gave a lower rating.

The Reckoning / The Struggle – L. J. Smith

Average Goodreads rating: 3.40 | 3.47
My rating: 1 | 1

I picked up the Vampire Diaries series because like most other teens growing up in the late 00s/early 10s, I was obsessed with the TV show. Unfortunately, the books didn’t come close to measuring up to the show. It’s been years since I read these books but what I do remember is that the writing style was awful, the characters completely one dimensional and almost every single relationship was “insta love” (one of my least favourite tropes of all time). Think Twilight, but unlike Twilight, this isn’t guilty pleasure trash, it’s trash that you just want to toss into the bin.

Choose two books that have an average rating of 4/5 stars but you gave a lower rating.

Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice

Average Goodreads rating: 4
My rating: 2

I read this one as part of a book club with my friends and man, it was a slog to get through. The plot was slow, the characters annoying and the take on vampires wasn’t what I look for in vampire novels. I prefer the soulless, evil, vindictive predatory vampires than one’s that are constantly plagued by conscience and emotional turmoil. I appreciate that it was a pivotal novel for the vampire genre because it broke away from the one-dimensional vampires like Dracula and Carmilla to provide a more “human” type of vampire, but it just wasn’t to my tastes. If I’d read it as a teenager, I probably would’ve loved it but reading it at 26 didn’t work for me.

Letter to my Daughter – Maya Angelou

Average Goodreads rating: 4
My rating: 2

Letter to my Daughter didn’t meet my expectations and I felt that it was misrepresented. I expected heartwarming letters written from Angelou to women across the globe on issues such as education, family, love and careers. Instead, it read more like a bunch of diary entries on random topics which were disjointed and lacking in any central or coherent theme. I also found this book to be exclusionary since anyone that doesn’t identify as a Christian woman living in America, would find a lot of what Angelou discusses difficult/impossible to relate to. This would be a valuable read for some women, but unfortunately, only a very specific and narrow pool of women of which I’m not part of.

Do you tend to agree or disagree with GR average rating and do you use GR as a guide for books you want to read?

I agree with the average ratings generally. I wasn’t sure that I would until I did this tag, but most of the ratings I give the books I read align closely with the average ratings. I do use Goodreads as a general guide for the books I want to read. In my experience, anything that has an average rating below 3.5(ish) is probably not worth the read. But I rely more on reviews to help me decide what to read since they provide a fuller picture of what readers thought about a book.

This was a fun tag! I liked that it gave me the opportunity to talk about books I wouldn’t usually get the chance to.

Do you use Goodreads as a guide for the books you read? How much do you agree with average ratings on Goodreads?

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.


Book Blog Newbie Tag

Since I’m in my first couple of weeks of my new blog I’m going to – you guessed it – be doing the Book Blog Newbie Tag! I first saw this over at Saniya’s blog Sunnyside Reviews and really liked the questions, so thought I’d give it a whirl.

I’m not a big fan of writing book tag posts (although, ironically, I love reading them), so it’s unlikely you’ll see many on this blog in the future, but I thought it’d be a fun way for people to get to know me and the blog a little better 😊

Why did you want to start a book blog?

Like everybody else that has a book blog – because I love books! Books have been my saviour over the last year and when I started reviewing every book I read on Goodreads, I thought why not go the whole hog and create a blog devoted entirely to bookish content? I also felt like I could offer a different perspective as someone that had a long break from reading and then returned to it, to inspire and encourage others to read.

Where did the name ‘Rekindled Bilbiophile’ come from?

Rekindled = revive (something lost or lapsed).
Bibliophile = a person who collects or has a great love of books.

So there you have it. The name came from the fact that I recently rediscovered my love of books having not read properly for pleasure since I was a child.

What can we expect from your blog in the future?

Book reviews, reccommendations, in-depth book analyses, advice and tips on reading for new readers, discussion posts, lots of book related series (which I’m currently planning and am incredibly excited about πŸ‘€) and perhaps even the occassional fandom related post about my favourite TV shows and films.

Why do you love reading? Did you always love reading?

I love reading because of the escapism and imagination involved. The feeling of being swept away by a book and fully immersed into another world is unlike any other and is an emotion that can’t be replicated for me by any other medium. It’s also an incredibly cost effective and convinient mode of travel – I can visit places all over the globe (and sometimes completely new universes!) all from the comfort of my own home and for the price of around Β£10-20.

I have always loved reading, but unfortunately, because of life circumstances and commitments, I didn’t have the motivation or time to read for many years and my love for reading became dormant. Thankfully, it’s been rekindled and I know now that I’ll be an avid reader for the rest of my life πŸ˜„

What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

A fresh perspective as someone that’s somewhat of a novice when it comes to reading. Because I’m so new to reading, my content will be accessible to all readers regardless of how well-read they are or where they are in their reading journey. I’m always striving to be innovative and creative, so I’ll also be developing new post ideas and series . And of course, I’ll be bringing my own unique voice, opinions and personality to the blog because we’re all unique and individual as bloggers and humans!

When and where do you read?

I typically read at night in bed because it’s the most convenient time and place. Occassionally I read on the sofa in the living room in the morning or afternoon, but living in a family home, I don’t always have the luxury of peace and quiet to be able to focus on reading.

What kinds of books do you like to read?

According to StoryGraph I mainly read “fiction books that are emotional, reflective and dark”, which is pretty darn spot on. I typically enjoy character driven stories which explore complex themes and emotions. I’m very open and diverse with what I read (particularly because I’m still experimenting with what I like to read), but the main genres I enjoy are classics, fantasy and historical fiction.

What is your favourite book and why?

I have to choose just one?! This is every book lover’s greatest dilemma in life πŸ˜‚ If I absolutely have to choose, it’d be Wuthering Heights. The reason for that is because it explores the complexities of toxic love and abuse unlike any other book I’ve read. It also has some of the most stunning writing and prose I’ve ever read and one of the most interesting and dynamic anti-heroes in literature in Heathcliff.

Who is your favourite author?

At the moment I don’t have one. I don’t feel like I’m well-read enough to choose just one author as my favourite. I also haven’t read enough books from one author to be able to confidently say they are a favourite. Hopefully as I continue to progress in my reading journey, I’ll be able to give an answer to this.

What is one book that has been on your TBR for ages?

The Count of Monte Cristo. I’ve wanted to read it since I was a teenager and finally started it in November, but took a bit of a break from it. I’m hoping to finish it this year and to post a full review πŸ™Œ

What is your favorite show?

I am an avid TV show watcher and lover, so there are a lot I could choose here. My current top three are: Angel, Friends and Gavin & Stacey. Honourable mentions include Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Miranda. You can expect to see posts about my favourite TV shows in the future on this blog πŸ™Š

What’s a non-bookish fact about you?

I’m a horror fanatic and horror is almost exclusively the only genre of films that I watch πŸ’€

That concludes the Book Blog Newbie Tag! I hope you enjoyed getting to know more about lil’ ol’ me. If you’re new to the book blogging community, I tag you to do this. Leave a comment if you do decide to do the tag, I’d love to read your responses to these questions and have the opportunity to get to know more of you 😊

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.