This week, I will be doing the Summer Book Tag because what better way to celebrate summer than with a summer tag … and books?!
I actually found this tag on This is the Story of My (Reading) Life and according to this site, islandOFbooks created this tag. I’ve been searching around YouTube for the original video from islandOFbooks, but unfortunately, it looks like the video is unavailable.
But anyways, let’s begin!
Lemonade: pick a book that started off bitter but got better.
For this one, I have to go with Morning Star by Pierce Brown.
Now, I don’t know how you define ‘bitter’ in this case, but to me, it means that maybe the book started slow or maybe it started off on the wrong foot, maybe you wanted to put it down at some point, but you persevered through it and you’re glad you did.
That is how I’m defining this question-that’s-not-really-a-question.
I’m not saying this is the author’s fault. I’m taking full responsibility here. The reason I’m saying this is because I’m a slow reader so big books that is heavy on sci-fi or fantasy world-building is very daunting to me. Usually these books start off slowly and there’s a lot of things to learn about this universe so whenever I pick one of these big boys up, it’s hard for me to get into them. It takes a while for me to finish them. But in the end, I never regret it, and after looking back at everything I read in that book, I think to myself, Wow, that was a really good book.
I did that with The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, I did that with The Inheritance Cycle, I even did it with the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. And now I’m doing it with Red Rising.
Also, I chose Morning Star because it was the longest book out of all the other Red Rising books, and because, according to Goodreads, it took me 3 months and 11 days to finish, which also happened to be the longest time it took to finish a Red Rising book (aside from Iron Gold, which is taking me over a year to finish but I promise I will get back to it!)
Golden Sun: pick a book that made you smile beyond compare.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon!!!
All I remember after reading this book was getting all giggly and excited. I thought the way it ended was so cute, I think I called my friend after reading it and I was freaking out about how it ended. I loved all the illustrations, I loved the story, I loved the romance, I loved everything about it! Everything!
If you’re looking for a cute, romantic, quick read then I highly recommend you check this book out!
Tropical Flowers: pick a book set in a foreign country.
This is actually really bad on my part, now that I think about it, because all the books I have are set in the United States (technically the U.S. is foreign because I’m Canadian) or England (thank God for Harry Potter). Does a fantastical or a futuristic society count as a foreign country? I mean I’ve never been to Tolkien’s Middle Earth nor Pierce Brown’s Solar System in Red Rising. They both seem very foreign to me.
Jokes aside, after doing extensive shelf-browsing, I’m going to go with this children’s version of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark by Ryder Windham.
This book helped jump start my love for reading. I remember being obsessed with the movie at a young age (I’m not going to lie, I definitely had a crush on Harrison Ford when I was like 6) so when I saw the book in the Scholastic catalogues, I couldn’t resist (did you ever get those flyers at school? I remember feeling like I won the lottery when the teachers would hand them out).
This book is pretty much the movie in a paperback so if you’ve seen the movie then you know what this book is about. For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie (please go watch it ASAP, it’s amazing), Indiana Jones is a handsome professor by day and a bad-ass archaeologist by night, who is sent to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis get their hands on it. This means that he has to leave the U.S. and travel to … Egypt!
So there we have it, folks!
Note to self: Buy more books that take place in foreign countries.
Tree Shade: pick a book in which a mysterious or shady character was first introduced.
Thank you, Queen of Mystery and Shade for helping me out with this one! For this section, I chose My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews.
I love V.C. Andrews. I’ve been obsessed with her since Flowers in the Attic and I think her books are creepy, suspenseful, mysterious and every character is shady and hiding secrets. There are so many plot twists and turns in her books that you won’t believe.
Ahh, I love her so much.
Now I chose My Sweet Audrina because this book is about a girl named Audrina, the “second” Audrina, if you will. The thing is, she had an older sister, the “first and best” Audrina, but she died. This death took a huge toll on the family, especially on Audrina’s father, who keeps trying to make the second Audrina as perfect as the first one.
Everyone seems to know all about the first Audrina, everyone but Audrina herself. But what will happen when she finds out the truth about her sister, the truth everyone has been hiding from her?
Everyone’s keeping secrets, which means that every character in this book is mysterious and shady. You can even argue that the second Audrina is mysterious too. We’re reading this story from her perspective and because she doesn’t know anything, we don’t anything either. Not to mention, in the book, sometimes she can’t tell fiction from reality so you might want to ask yourself if you even trust what she’s saying. Does she really not know anything or is she pretending? How reliable do you think she is?
You’ll have to read the book to find out.
And to tie it all together, I personally believe the opening sentences in My Sweet Audrina says it all :
There was something strange about the house where I grew up. There were shadows in the corners and whispers on the stairs and time was as irrelevant as honesty. Though how I knew I couldn’t say.”Andrews 3
The first “mysterious/shady” character this book introduces is a house. A creepy house. A house filled with secrets. This house sets the tone to this novel, and with it comes the strangeness of its inhabitants, including Audrina.
Beach Sand: pick a book that was grainy, and the plot barely developed.
So I’m actually going to go with a series for this one and that is A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
Now I’m only on book 8, The Hostile Hospital, because I’m taking a break from the series for my Summer Reading Challenge so this is how I feel based off of reading more than half of the books in the series and after watching the Netflix TV series (so yes, I technically know what’s going to happen).
Each book has its own plot (let’s call it the main plot) where the Baudelaire orphans are dragged from one place to another while Count Olaf is at their heels, using schemes and disguises to inherit their fortune, and the orphans manage to constantly escape Olaf’s grasp.
Meanwhile, the subplot to each book is that the Baudelaire orphans are trying to figure out who killed their parents and how their parents, their caregivers and even Olaf are all connected. I wish this subplot kind of acted more as the main plot because I’m more curious to read about that. I find that this subplot drags on throughout all thirteen books, so you can argue that this plot barely develops.
However, this is a children’s book and I’m almost 20 so in a child’s eyes, they probably enjoy the adventure each book has to offer, whereas my eyes just want to know all the secrets and backstories that explain how their parents died, how the Baudelaire children ended up in this mess and how Olaf is related to all of this.
Green Grass: pick a character(s) that were full of life, making you smile.
I’m going to have to go with Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.
I read this book in Grade 11 for a high school project and I just remember his optimism, his thoughtfulness, sweetness, kindness and caring. He’s literally boyfriend material, especially how supportive he was towards Cath’s Simon Snow obsession.
I remember thinking to myself, Why can’t I find a boyfriend, or at least why can’t I find a boyfriend like Levi?
Who would have thought years later I would find myself a tall, handsome, blonde (okay dirty blonde … sometimes golden brown), green-eyed boy.
Watermelon: pick a book that had some juicy secrets.
Got a secret“Secret” by the pierces
Can you keep it?
Swear, this one you’ll save
Better lock it in your pocket
Takin’ this one to the grave”
How can I not pick this?!
I am definitely going to go with the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. Specifically, I’m going to pick Wanted, which is book 8 in the series.
Holy! I remember this book scaring me when I was 13. Of course, this entire series had juicy secrets, but what I remember vividly is reading a letter at some point in this book, and I personally thought it was the biggest secret of them all. I was not expecting it, I thought it was crazy, I thought Sara Shepard was a genius, I just … I was shocked.
For some reason I was also scared. See, I was reading ahead because I really wanted to find out what happened and when I came across this part in the book, I was terrified. I remember having nightmares, like I was one of the characters who found the letter and all this terrible “A” stuff was happening to me too. I think it was late when I was skimming ahead so everything I read just got imprinted in my dreams.
But yeah, if you’re ever looking for a book with juicy secrets, Sara Shepard or V.C. Andrews is the way to go!
Sun Hat: pick a book that had a vast, big universe/setting.
Okay now this is where Middle Earth and Red Rising come in!
I’m going to have to go with The Lord of the Rings trilogy/The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien here, just because I already mentioned Red Rising so I want to give my books equal opportunity when it comes to the spotlight.
Tolkien’s universe is so big that I can’t even explain it. Like, I’m speechless.
There’s nothing much to say except that if you’ve read the books or watched the movies, you know what I’m talking about.
BBQ: pick a book in which a character was portrayed as a hunk.
Umm, can I just say every book I’ve ever read?
No? Okay ….
I’m going to go with a recent read of mine, While it Lasts by Abbi Glines. This is the third book in the Sea Breeze Collection.
The main character is named Cage York, and he is your sexy bad boy, the rebel without a cause type of hunk. He’s even got that dark hair and blue eyes going on.
If you need a closer look, I’ve got you!
Not too shabby, eh?
He’s also a player, so ladies beware of his devilish charm. He might be hot, but if you get too close, you’re gonna burn.
Summer Fun: pass the tag on.
Okay, I’m going to pass this tag along to you! If you read this post, now it’s your turn to tell me your answers to this summer tag! Post your answers in the comments below so we can all share our picks, as well as what books we’ve read!
So that’s the end of this book tag, I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know in the comments below what your answers are to this summer tag!
See you next week!