Tropes: Likes and Dislikes

Hey bookies! I am back with a new post and yes I know it has been two weeks since my last one… I’m REEEAAAALLY sorry! 

Sorry Fluffy.gif

I hope you guys can forgive me?

I have a really interesting topic to discuss today! It’s all about popular book tropes! You know which ones I’m talking about so I thought I would write a list talking about some of my favourite and least favourite young adult book tropes! 

Likes:

1. The bad boy is a really great guy trope

This is one that I actually really enjoy reading about. The typical bad boy is quiet, closed off, comes across as cold to everyone around them but to our main character is actually really sweet. I like to think that everyone with this outer persona is secretly that sweet and kind on the inside. Now, I understand that there are two sides to this trope as well. You have those bad boys who open up to the main character and then soon to the rest of the characters as well and he’s kind all around. But then you also have those Damon Salvatore types who are pretty much a **** to everyone except the main character… I can’t really decide which I like better. 

2. Hate to Love Relationship Trope

This one is super common in all young adult genre types and usually runs something like this: 

– Boy meets girl/boy meets girl
– Do not get along 
– Take a (sometimes dangerous) journey together
– Bonds throughout the journey
– Fall in love.

I’ll admit, it is very cliché but I love it! I really enjoy seeing the relationship grow and develop and the little things that end up changing their views of one another. 

Those are the two tropes that I could think of that I really do like however, you will see that there are way more tropes that I don’t like… let’s get started. 

 

Dislikes:

1. The girl doesn’t think she’s pretty trope

This trope is so overused and so ridiculous… why can’t people just admit if they’re good-looking without being conceited? I can maybe understand if self-esteem issues are a major part of their personality/character development but most of the time it isn’t and it takes their main love interest to tell them that they’re beautiful for them to see it… WHY? Why are writers giving male characters that kind of power over the female ones? The fact that they are or are not pretty doesn’t even have to be addressed but most of the time the main character will flat out say that she doesn’t think she’s pretty… (Imagine the eye-rolling emoji here). This will never be a good trope. 

2. Love Triangle trope

We all knew this one would be on this list right? I don’t really get why authors are still writing this. Maybe because it provides drama and social intrigue along with testing the person’s morale and character by having them pick someone? Whatever the reason is, I am not a big fan and rarely (if ever) does the triangle even work. From early on, it becomes quite obvious who the main character will choose so why is that other person even there? (imagine the instrument triangle… you know how one side of the triangle doesn’t connect? Yeah, that’s the character that doesn’t get chosen. He/She might still be important to the MC or story as a whole, but ultimately doesn’t directly connect to the MC). [Here’s a reference picture:] 
Triangle.jpg Do you see??

And the love triangles have also become VERY repetitive. Have you noticed that the one chosen is almost always the person they meet/date second? No? Here, let me show you:

Shatter Me: Juliette meets Adam first, she chooses Warner.
Twilight: Bella met Jacob when she was little, she chooses Edward.
City of Bones: Clary is friends with Simon first, she chooses Jace.
The Awakening: Chloe dates Simon first, she chooses Derek.
The Raven Boys: Physically meets Adam and dates him first, she chooses Gansey.
The Hunger Games: Katniss is friends with Gale first, she chooses Peeta. 

Need I go on?

Also, who in real life has ever been a part of a legitimate love triangle? The answer is not many, so then why does it frequent YA literature?? Beats me!! Let’s move on…

3. Insta -Love trope

I don’t even think I need to talk about this one. It’s unnatural, unrealistic, cringe-worthy and overall does nothing for the arc of the characters. Why do we do this? Are we so desperate for romance that we result in instantly loving the first semi-attractive person we meet? I guess so…

4. Tragedy befalls the parents of MC trope

Is it just me or do parents just not exist anymore? This happens especially in fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian worlds where the main character goes through the entirety of the book (sometimes even the series) without any adult guidance. I’m sorry, but if we let 15-18 year old adolescents run amuck without any supervision, the world would be in utter chaos (no offence to anyone in that age group, I was there). The parents/family of the characters are either dead, seriously ill, disappeared or will die eventually in the story. Why do they all need to die? Even in war, I’m sure there were parents or family members of children who DIDN’T die! I guess I understand that it makes it more interesting if the author can stick to writing teenagers running around in the world but having them be dead? That seems like a cop out like they just didn’t feel like writing them in so they opted for them to be dead/missing instead. 

5. “Nerdy girl” makeover trope

You guys are probably very familiar with this trope as it happens all the time in books and movies alike. The nerdy girl goes through some otherworldly, extravagant makeover that apparently changes her entire appearance and makes her “beautiful”. Let me just insert another eye roll right here:

eye roll.gif  

Why can’t people just embrace themselves!? If you’re nerdy, BE NERDY. Honestly, I hate this trope because it’s telling girls that if you wear glasses, your hair is curly, you don’t wear expensive clothes, or you don’t wear makeup; then that inherently makes you ugly or “less beautiful” or that they’re squandering their potential to be beautiful and that is such ****… Be you, love yourself and don’t let other people bully you into changing. (Preaching is over)  

 

Finally, there are some tropes that I don’t have a strong like or dislike for which include, “the chosen one” trope and the “best friend has a crush on MC” trope. I feel that the chosen one trope is one of those that kind of becomes necessary in YA fiction. That doesn’t mean that they need to be explicitly told that they are the chosen or possess some innate ability that only they can use to “win the war” but they take the responsibility in order to defeat the antagonist. For example, Katniss from The Hunger Games. There isn’t something specifically special about her. She’s just a girl from district 12 but her actions led her to become the face of the rebellion and she took it upon herself to defeat President Snow even though anyone could technically have done it. As for the best friend trope, I can kind of dismiss it because that does happen a lot in real life even though I don’t agree that male-female relationships always have a romantic underlying.  

And that’s it! I hope you guys enjoyed my little rant about some of the tropes that I do and don’t like. I would love to know your thoughts on any of the ones I’ve mentioned and let me know if there are any major ones I missed, I’d love to know! Until next week,

Sincerely,

B ❤

 

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If You Like This… Then You’ll Like That!

Hi everyone! So for today, I am going to try to recommend books based on other books you might have read and enjoyed. This is a popular Youtube video idea but it still works here! I’ve tried my best to choose different types of genres as well. Let’s get started!

1. If you like:                                                     Then you might like:

starflight  zenithBoth of these books take place in space with badass female characters and space pirates. I think they both give off the same kind of vibe which is why I have grouped them together. Starflight follows a girl who is trying to escape her planet and live life on the outer rim where she doesn’t have to follow absurd rules. she finds herself with a crew who are running away from less than friendly people and tags along for the adventure. Zenith follows a group of girls who are known in the galaxy for their piracy and gives-no-shit attitude. when their past catches up with them, they are given an ultimatum: help the governor find his missing son, or be executed. 

2. If you like:                                                    Then you might like: 

missing  need.jpgThese two books don’t share many similarities when it comes to plot, however, the feeling that I got when reading them both are the same. Missing is about a small town that no one who lives in really likes. The majority of teenagers in high school have a plan to leave the town once they graduate like so many did before them. When Winter discovers a body in the woods, threads of her smalltown life start to unravel and she begins to wonder if the people actually left or if they’re really just missing. Need, on the other hand, is all about this new social media app that grants you anything you wish for. you just ask for something you “need”, complete a task and your wish is granted to you. When the tasks start getting more and more extreme and the body count rises, Kaylee must discover who is actually behind this “game” and she learns how far people are willing to go to get what they need. Both books share a thriller type feeling that leaves the reader on edge. 

 3. If you like:                                                   Then you might like:

Fangirl.jpg  Geekerella  These two books are super adorable, cute and so well written. Fangirl follows a girl named Cath who is in her first year of college. Cath is an introvert who loves to read and write fan-fiction and would rather be doing that than going out to parties like her twin sister. It follows her path to self-discovery and how she handles all the stress that comes with living away from home. Geekerella is a magnificent, modern-day retelling of Cinderella and was one of my favourite books of 2017! It follows Elle, a young girl living with her two step-sisters and step-mother after her father passes away. When she finds out there is going to be a remake of her favourite series, she’s less than happy to find out who’s playing the main character. it’s told from two points of view; neither of them knowing who the other one really is although they continue talking every day. When the series convention comes around, Elle will do whatever it takes to go but she is met with something she wasn’t quite ready to find. These books are just….😍 

4. If you like:                                                   Then you might like:

sea of shadows.jpg           the winner's curse.jpgBoth of these fantasy trilogies are action packed, fast paced and full of emotion. Sea of Shadows reads like a traditional high fantasy story with magic, political intrigue and badass characters. When the spirits of the damned are awakened, twin sisters Ashyn and Moira are faced with monsters they never thought were real. The world is being ravaged by mythical beasts and it’s up to them to set it right. grouped with an imperial guard and an exiled thief, they set out to warn the emperor of the future dangers, however, a frightening secret awaits them in court. The Winner’s Curse is more of an urban fantasy set in a different world. Kestrel is the daughter of the governor of her country so her only options are to join the military or marry; however, Kestrel has a different idea. When she connects with a slave up for sale, she instantly buys him, but she has to keep her feelings for him hidden. It isn’t long before she discovers that he has a secret of his own and the price she paid may have been more than she was willing to part with. 

That’s all I have for now. I hope you enjoyed this and hopefully, it helped you find some books you might enjoy. Until next week,

Sincerely,

B ❤

 

 

Author Dedication!

Hi everyone! How’s your week been going so far? Get any good reading done this week? I’m currently reading Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsey Cummings; showing some support for our fellow book lovers. I hope I enjoy it!

Anyways, today I’m here to talk about a certain author that has become an instant buy for me in the last few years. I am dedicating my post to the one and only Kasie West! In honour of International Women’s Day, I’ve decided to share my thoughts on one of my favourite female authors and rate her books from my least to my most favourite! 

Kasie West is an American young adult author of mostly (but not limited to) contemporary novels. She was born in California and enjoys Junior Mints. If you’re interested in learning more about Kasie West, I’ve linked her Goodreads profile here and her website, here. The awesome thing about her, (well awesome for us readers but maybe not our wallets haha) is that she writes really quickly; releasing a new book every year, sometimes even two! 

Without further ado, here are all of Kasie West’s books and my order of preference. (Reminder: this list is my own personal opinion and is not meant to offend the readers or the author. I thoroughly enjoy all of her books and with that, this is a very difficult decision). 

📚 Number 6: On The Fence
Release Date: July 1st, 2014

On the fenceOn The Fence is about a girl named Charlotte who grew up with three brothers and raised by her father. In all sense of the word, she is a true tomboy. She loves to play with all the boys at their favourite sports and usually wins at their own game. When she gets caught for speeding, she finds herself working in a little chic boutique in order to pay off the ticket. There she becomes the girly girl she never knew how to be and starts hanging around a boy who doesn’t know the real her. She finds solace in her best friend Braden when they share midnight talks through their backyard fence, however, Charlotte’s heart is betraying her and she begins to fall for the boy she can’t be with.
First of all, I will answer the question that I know is burning in your minds right now… Yes, all of her books have really cute covers 😝 I think this was the second book I ever read by her and I enjoyed reading someone who was very different than me. I wouldn’t call myself a girly girl but I am definitely not a tomboy so it was a lot of fun reading from Charlie’s POV. 

📚 Number 5: Lucky in Love
Release Date: July 25th, 2017

lucky in love Maddie is the typical super smart girl who always works hard for her grades and dreams of going to university even though she knows she can’t afford it. She doesn’t believe in luck, however, when she wins the lottery the first time she ever she plays it, she can’t say that it isn’t lucky. Now, Maddie has gone from the girl no one ever sees to the one everyone wants to know and while the attention is fun at first, when random people she’s never met start asking her for loans, she starts to think that the money might be more of a burden than a gift. The only place she can truly be herself is at her job; the local zoo and with a friend who doesn’t know her secret.
This is the most recent book of West’s that I read, just finishing it up in January of this year. With most of her books I find that they get better and better everytime she releases one, however, this one wasn’t my favourite. I am not sure why, but I can’t seem to love books that have to do with winning the lottery. For some reason, I get really anxious about how careless the characters are with the money and can’t just enjoy the story. This has nothing to do with West and it’s not to say that the book isn’t good, it’s just a personal thing I suppose. 

📚 Number 4: The Distance Between Us
Release Date: July 23nd, 2013

the distance between us Caymen has been warned against boys with money. Good looking teenage boys with so much money they don’t know what to do with it and ultimately spend it on things they don’t need and will never use. So, when Xander walks into her mom’s small porcelain doll shop, she thinks he’s just the same as all the rest, but Xander keeps coming around. Just when she starts to open herself up to loving him, he surprises her and she realizes that money was a bigger part of their relationship than she first knew and that she should have been asking her mother more questions about why she never trusted anyone with money to their name and why Caymen shouldn’t either.
This story was super fun and really easy to get through. I found Caymen enjoyable to read from and Xander was charming as all rich boys are I’m sure. I especially loved it because I actually didn’t put 2 and 2 together when I first read it because I was so enthralled by the characters. I love when books can surprise me. Just one thing… a porcelain doll shop? I mean talk about CREEPY. 😖

📚 Number 3: P.S. I Like You
Release Date:
July 26th, 2016

ps i like you This book follows Lily, a typical high school girl who has a hand full of close friends and a crazy family. While dozing off during a chemistry lecture, she scrawls some of her favourite lyrics on her desk, sure that no one would even know what the words were, but when she comes into class the next day, she finds that the lyrics have been continued and there’s a message. Lily and her new pen-pal become close as she juggles the struggles that come with high school. But who really is this guy? And is he actually the kind of person Lily can fall for?
This book was SO cute! Lily’s struggles felt like my own even though our lives are very different. The characters in this story have a lot of heart and their issues are real-life issues. I had a really good time reading this one and Lily’s counterpart is complex and pretty mysterious. 

📚 Number 2: The Fill-In Boyfriend
Release Date: May 5th, 2015

the fill-in boyfriend.jpg When Gia’s boyfriend dumps her right before her prom, she’s in trouble. She’s been boasting about Brayden to her friends all semester and this was her shot to prove to them that he’s real and not pretend like they think he is. When she spots a cute boy waiting for his sister in the parking lot of the rec. centre, she knows he’s her only hope. So, she recruits him to be her fill-in boyfriend for the night to convince her friends that he is Brayden. After the night, she finds herself thinking about the fill-in Brayden rather than the real one. As they start to hang out, she learns that he has secrets of his own and the real Brayden isn’t completely finished with her yet.
This was my first book by Kasie West that I ever read and it definitely holds a special place in my heart. This is the book that made me fall in love with her books so I can’t thank it enough. This one is super easy to get through, could probably read it in one sitting. The characters are all fun and the plot is just so funny! This book has a little more humour because of Gia’s personality but also some family aspects that are very interesting. 

📚Number 1: By Your Side
Release Date:
January 31st, 2017

by your side Autumn Collins is getting some last minute studying done at her public library before her and her friends head off for a fun camping weekend when she finds herself locked in the library with no way to escape. She thinks her friends will come back for her once they realize she isn’t with them but they never do. How can she survive an entire weekend in a library and how is she going to eat? Matters are made worse when she discovers that she isn’t alone and has to share the space with the bad boy at school Dax. He’s known for his bad reputation but Autumn and Dax have an unexplainable connection. Will that be enough once the weekend is over and they go back to their normal lives?
I LOVE THIS BOOK! I mean, it’s cute, happy, sad, emotions ring true and they’re trapped in a LIBRARY! Wouldnt that be amazing!? I mean maybe not the “I-can’t-escape-” part… but everything else. I loved Autumn and Dax’s relationship and I think it is one of West’s strongest pairing. The main character also has a mental illness which I can relate to on some level and I loved how the relationships with her friends and with Dax progress once they leave the library. 

Now, I will mention that there are three books by Kasie West that I have not read:

While I own Love, Life and the List and plan to read it this year, I probably won’t read the other two. Also, another one of her books is releasing this year so I can’t wait to read that one as well and figure out where it fits on my list! 

For now, that is all I’ve got. Remember that today is International Women’s Day so make sure you’re letting those lovely ladies in your life know that you appreciate them and that they are great. A unified world is a strong one! 

Thank you so much for reading this far and let me know if you’ve read anything by Kasie West! 

Sincerely,

B ❤

  

 

 

Book Playlist

Hey bookies! Hope you’re having an awesome week so far. This week I’ve compiled a little playlist for you. I pulled out ten of my favourite series and found a song that reminded me of that book/series or gives me the same feeling the book did. I tried to keep the music varied in styles and genre so hopefully, there is something for everyone to like.

Let’s get started!

1. Falling Kingdoms Series – Morgan Rhodes 

falling kingdoms series.jpg

🎵 Warriors – Greg Hulme

This song is action-packed and badass, much like the series itself. It always keeps you on your toes with the different tempos and I feel it accurately represents the feeling I got when I read Falling Kingdoms for the first time; you never know if someone is going to die in the next scene.

2. The Infernal Devices Trilogy – Cassandra Clare

infernal devices.jpg

🎵 Shatter Me – Lindsey Sterling & Lzzy Hale

I tried to find a song that had an intense yet soothing kind of sound. I realized that Lindsey Sterling’s style with a classical instrument was perfect for this. Lzzy Hale’s vocals added just the right amount of edginess that reminded me of the Infernal Devices and steampunk type of style.

3. The Lunar Chronicles – Merissa Meyer

LUNAR

🎵 Kara Remembers – Bear McCreary

This song gives off the perfect amount of danger meets space vibes. It really portrays the life or death situations that Cinder and her friends get themselves into. Originally I was trying to find a Star Wars meets Cinderella song but then a friend made me realize that this song would be perfect! Battlestar Galactica fans approve I’m sure.

4. The Darkest Powers Trilogy – Kelley Armstrong 

darkest powers

🎵 Find Me – Sigma ft. Birdy

I love this song! When I heard it for the first time I was totally enthralled and it gave me such Kelley Armstrong feels! It is quick paced with lots of emotions. This series is fun and engaging even though it handles rather dark and potentially scary themes, it doesn’t come across that way at all which I love.

5. Geekerella – Ashley Poston 

Geekerella

🎵 Arms – Christina Perri

This song is super catchy and it’s got this feeling that I can’t really explain other than melancholy? It is definite Geekerella vibes, plus its a love song. It’s both upbeat yet sad at the same time which reminds me of the main character here.

6. Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling 

harry potter

🎵 Audiomachine – Fate’s Compass

This song is perfect for Harry Potter! I can imagine hearing it as he’s exploring Hogwarts or running in the Forbidden Forest. it has the little twinkling sounds that are very reminiscent of the movie soundtracks, however, it is also very intense and screams FANTASY.

7. Illuminae Trilogy – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman 

Illuminae-files.jpg

🎵 Dark Skies – Robert Slump

This song is so intense and it is filled with cool sounds that seem perfect for a space-themed book. the build-up is awesome and suspenseful much like this series. [Spoilers] I can imagine this paying as our favourite characters try to escape from the zombie-like illness that plagues the first book.

8. Six of Crows Duology – Leigh Bardugo 

six of crows

🎵 Youth – Daughter

This song reminded me so much of the minds of the heist crew in Six of Crows. It almost felt like the song of their souls. It has so much power but it has a range of tempos that can also represent the range of emotions I felt while reading this series. It especially reminded me of the relationship between Matthias and Nina; the up and down they have yet they’re unwavering loyalty to each other.

9. Salt to the Sea – Ruta Sepetys 

salt to the sea.jpg

🎵 Ashes of Eden – Breaking Benjamin

This book broke my heart. I couldn’t believe that people had to suffer through something so terrible, and worse is that most people don’t even know that it happened. When I read this for the first time I was filled with such grief that I couldn’t stop crying. when I first heard this song I was on my way home from and this song came on through my car speakers and suddenly without reason I found myself crying. It reminded me so much of Salt to the Sea that I couldn’t NOT pick this one.

10. The Raven Cycle Quartet – Maggie Stiefvater The-Raven-Cycle-Series.png

🎵 Uninvited – Alanis Morissette

Maggie Stiefvater has a weird atmospheric feeling to all her books that it really hard for me to relate to music, however, I think Morissette’s eerie vibe from this song can fit that feeling I got when I read The Raven Cycle. It’s definitely there.

 

There you have it guys! I hope you enjoyed my little book playlist that I made. I’ll admit that it was quite difficult and all together probably took me 4 hours to do. Until next week!

Sincerely,

B ❤

My Favourite Love Stories!

That day is fast approaching. Dreadful for some, and exciting for others. Whether you hate the day with the passion or you can’t wait to share it with your special someone; here are some books to get you in the lovey-dovey mood. Valentine’s day is one meant to be spent with the ones you love, but since it is generally geared towards a romantic love story, that is what my list will consist of. 

So, let’s begin! 

anna and the french kiss Anna and the French Kiss is such a cute love story about a girl who moves to France because of her dad’s success. At her new school, she forms new friends and falls in love with Étienne, a boy who already has a girlfriend. Their relationship is super adorable and such a fun and easy read. The other stories in the series are equally cute and follow secondary characters. They ultimately all come together at the end. 

saint anything Saint Anything is Sarah Dessen’s twelveth release and it doesn’t disappoint. It is told in the point of view of Sydney, a teenage girl whose brother Peyton, whom she had always looked up to, is now in jail for a DUI. While her entire family is doing their best to protect Peyton, Sydney is more concerned about the victim and his family. When she finds solace in a boy and his crazy family, she learns a few things about the night of the accident and about herself. 

safe haven Nicholas Sparks does it again doesn’t he? Safe haven is a beautiful story about second chances and new beginnings. It definitely contains some heavy content; death, abuse, stalking and trauma. I love how effortlessly Sparks is able to make me attached to these fictional people. You will be rooting for these two from the very start. Keep in mind that Sparks write new adult fiction and not young adult, this doesn’t change the fact that it is a beautiful story, especially for Valentine’s Day. 

by your side

This should be on everyone’s TBR. We’ve got great characters and character development, a cute romance, mental health issues, and they’re trapped in a LIBRARY. When two teenagers get trapped in their city’s library over the entire weekend, they start to open up to one another and realize they’re a lot more alike than they first thought. This is my favourite Kasie West novel and what I especially love is that it’s super easy to get through. You fall in love with these characters and get totally immersed in their situations.

Geekerella I think I’ve recommended this book a million times already but maybe if I keep at it, everyone will read it! Geekerella is a modern day retelling of Cinderella and it works surprisingly well. It is an accurate tale of how technology affects the way we meet and communicate with people. The best part is that the main character is a total fangirl! This book is so relatable and what’s great about it is that it is told from both the girl’s and the boy’s point of view!

nowhere but here I had never read a Katie McGarry book before this one so I really didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! it follows a girl and her dealing with her separated parents. she goes to stay with her dad for the summer and he’s basically the leader of a “gang” like community; although the term gang is somewhat offensive. There she forms new relationships and begins viewing these new people as family, however, there’s a secret that no one is willing to tell her. 

And that’s all I have! I hope these love stories get you guys in the mood for Valentine’s Day and whether you’re single, dating or in a relationship, make the most of the day.

Sincerely,

B ❤

Recommendations Based on Your Hogwarts House!

I think it’s fair to assume that everyone knows about Harry Potter by now. I mean seriously, it’s 2018 already! Even if you have never read the books (which you should), you’ve probably still heard about the Hogwarts houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin and maybe even taken the Pottermore test to find out which house you belong to. If not, well you can do it right here.  Go ahead, I’ll wait. 

Waiting gif.gif 

Done? Great, now that you know your house, let’s continue.

Each house at Hogwarts has a different set of traits that everyone in that specific house values over everything else. These values define the kind of person you are on the inside, even if you appear to be something else on the outside. For example, Neville is very loyal and hardworking which are traits of a Hufflepuff, however, what he values is bravery so he is sorted into Gryffindor. One person can have traits that describe all four houses but it is what the person values most that ultimately places them in their proper house.

That being said, I decided it would be interesting to recommend books based on what your Hogwarts house is. A way for everyone to see themselves in a main character of a YA novel. Let’s get into it!

Gryffindor_Crest

 

Values: bravery, daring, nerve and chivalry.
Animal: lion
Element: fire
Motto: “Do what is right.”
Quote: 
“Where dwell the brave at heart,
their daring, nerve and chivalry set Gryffindors apart.”

 

Books:

These books are fast-paced, intense, action-packed adventures with main characters who are always looking to be the hero of their story. Red Queen is a high fantasy world with a dystopian arc/revolution. Percy Jackson is a middle-grade mythology story with the main character finding out he’s the son of Poseidon. Lastly, The Winner’s Curse reads like an urban fantasy which takes place in the middle of a war. Members of Gryffindor are sure to find their next favourite book in one of these. 

Ravenclaw crest

 

Values: intelligence, knowledge, wit
and creativity
Animal: eagle
Element: air
Motto: “Do what is wise.”
Quote: “Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind.”

Books: 

I am a little biased to Ravenclaws because I am one so maybe these are just my favourites? Lucky in Love is a cute contemporary that follows a quirky girl who is super smart and determined to make her way to university. Rebel Belle is a superheroine tale where our main character is at the top of her school but one day discovers she’s meant to save the world. Finally, Illuminae is a science fiction novel written in an innovative format following a super genius technology nerd. Ravenclaws are sure to relate. 

Hufflepuff crest

 

Values: hard work, dedication, patience and loyalty
Animal: badger
Element: earth
Motto: 
“Do what is nice.”
Quote: “You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,
And unafraid of toil.”

 

Books: 

These books are very different from each other but they each demonstrate an important aspect of Hufflepuff. Truthwitch is a high fantasy that follows two best friends who are so incredibly loyal to each other it’s almost a bad thing. The Raven Boys is an eerie, paranormal read with a group of boys and one girl looking for “treasure”. Gansey is the most Hufflepuff of them all, so loyal to his search and patience in the years it takes him to get there. Last but not least, A Book of Spirits and Thieves is an urban fantasy/high fantasy novel following two sisters who are doing everything in their power to find their way back to each other. Stand back because these Hufflepuffs are badass. 

Slytherin Crest

 

Values: cunning, pride, resourcefulness, ambition
Animal: serpent
Element: water
Motto: “Do what is necessary.”
Quote: “Or perhaps in Slytherin,
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means,
To achieve their ends.”

 

Books: 

These books are so captivating and I love that they feature some great Slytherin characters that are NOT evil! Alive is a science fiction young adult novel following a group of teenagers who wake up without any knowledge of who they are. Em is relentless and becomes a natural leader for the group, always doing what is necessary to survive. Falling Kingdoms is a high fantasy which includes an overly ambitious prince with excess pride. Finally, Rook is a post-apocalyptic story which kind of reads like an urban fantasy portraying a character who is conniving and scheming, making you always second guess his intentions.  Slytherins are sure to get a bite out of these.

*          *          *

And that’s all I have for this week! Let me know in the comments if you agree with my choices or if you have recommendations of your own for the Hogwarts houses! I would love to know your thoughts. (Remember, these books and their characters may have aspects of all four houses, this is entirely my own opinion)

Thanks for reading and until next week, keep reading bookies!

Sincerely,

B ❤

P.S. Oh, and if you haven’t read Harry Potter yet… what are you waiting for!?

Let’s Talk About Mental Illness

Hey Bookies! We’re back with another post and today we’re going to be talking about some of our favourite portrayals of mental illness in books that we’ve read. In honour of Canada’s Bell’s Let’s Talk Day on January 31st, we thought this would be a good time to post some of these books that deal with sensitive situations and more heavy content (although they are not all like that). We hope you guys can find some of these characters relatable and give some of these books a try! 

Recommendations by Bia:

Book One: This Song Will Save Your Life – Leila Sales

This song will save your life.jpg

 

This book is a young adult contemporary novel that follows the hardest point of a person’s life: adolescence. The main character deals with bullying, depression and has suicidal tendencies. While the subject matter of the book is quite heavy, the story is written with such fluidity and flow (kind of like a song) which makes the content easier to read without taking away any of its importance. I would recommend this to teenage readers who are going through depression brought on by the need to “fit in” and the overall devastating feeling of not belonging. If that is something that relates to you, then I think you will like this book. 

Book Two: The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman

the yellow wallpaper.jpg The Yellow Wallpaper is one of those books that takes things to an extremely real but uncomfortable place. It takes place in the twentieth century where a woman receives the rest cure after giving birth. Essentially, this means she isn’t allowed to leave her bed until the doctor deems she is fit to carry on with her regular life. After a while, we learn that there isn’t any known reason as to why she needs to stay in this condition when she seems perfectly healthy. Locked in this room with barred windows and a ghastly swirling- designed yellow wallpaper, the woman begins to see images in the intricate lines of the wall. Over time, she becomes entranced with the “woman in the wallpaper” and it takes her to the brink of insanity (although some may say she went past the brink). I recommend this to young adults who enjoy a psychological illness that is almost haunting and atmospherical.      

Book Three: The Rescue – Nicholas Sparks

the rescue.jpg Ah… Nicholas Sparks. The man who fills our hearts and then breaks them. It’s a trend, let me tell you. The Rescue is, of course, a love story, however, it handles mental illness in a different way. The main character’s child, Kyle is a four-year-old boy who has a learning disability as well as a speech impediment. We learn a little bit about what Kyle goes through as a child living with this condition but what is really beautiful is how the mother, Denise learns to raise her son. The love she has for him is wonderful to read and I think this is a book that will touch everyone’s heart. I recommend this to parents who are learning to raise a young child with an illness or disability or to anyone who has a family like Kyle. 

Book Four: Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf 

Mrs Dalloway This is a book when you read you will never forget, and not because the writing is revolutionary or because the characters are outstanding (although both are true), but because Woolf decided to write this entire book without punctuation. That’s right, not a single comma, period or break. Not only that, but she also switches perspectives between main characters and DOESN’T TELL YOU… I swear my OCD could not handle this book. However, she does a great job writing a character going through PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) since this takes place shortly after the war. I would recommend this book to anyone with a sharp mind who is able to differentiate between the characters and to anyone who doesn’t want to throw the book across the room due to the lack of punctuation thing. 

Book Five: Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

six of crowscrooked kingdom

This is a fantasy duology and probably doesn’t scream mental illness but it is so much more than just an epic fantasy tale. Each of the main characters deals with their own demons and Kaz Brekker is particular tries to carry on with major PTSD. His circumstances force him to keep his hands gloved and have as little human interaction as possible. Another main character is Wylan who suffers from illiteracy, and not because he isn’t smart because he is a genius. I highly recommend this series to anyone, whether you are looking for a “mental illness awareness” type of book or not. Its a definite 5/5 stars for me. 

Recommendations by Cass:

Book One: Every Last Word – Tamara Ireland Stone

every last word “I didn’t go there looking for you, I went looking for me. But now, here you are, and somehow, in finding you, I think I’ve found myself.”

Mental Health Issues Discussed: Purely Obsessional OCD, anxiety and depression.
+: This novel does not dress down or dress up, OCD. This was a book that changed my perspective, this book made me really fall in love with poetry and the power it has to restore a sense of power and acceptance. This book reflects true emotions, and it will most likely become your favourite book. Following the life of a teen who in everyone’s eyes is popular, happy, normal – breaks down what truly comes with having a mental health disorder.
– : Triggers: Anxiety, depression, explicit poetry.

Book Two: I’ll Meet You There – Heather Demetrios

ill meet you there.jpg“It gave me hope: if you could make a beautiful piece of art from discarded newspapers and old matchbooks, then it meant that everything had potential. And maybe people were like collages—no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.”

Mental Health Issues Discussed: PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder),  depression and alcoholism.
+: This novel is a powerful story of love, loss and acceptance. Following two teens in a misfit town, a town of typical expectations. When Skylar and Josh meet, their individual isolation seems to disappear and a friendship soon becomes more. With the power of art, Skylar speaks her mind in a town her mother despises.
– : Triggers: emotional and physical abuse, alcoholism, depression and PTSD. 

Book Three: The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

the perks“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

Mental Health Issues Discussed: PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety and depression.
+: This novel shows the growth and changes Charlie our protagonist, goes through after a very traumatizing moment in his life. Following his journey through high school, being the wallflower of the group, falling in love, and loving yourself.
– :  Triggers: Sexual assault, sexual abuse, drug abuse, physical abuse and homophobic shaming.

Book Four: We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

we were liars.jpg“They know that tragedy is not glamorous. They know it doesn’t play out in life as it does on a stage or between the pages of a book. It is neither a punishment meted out nor a lesson conferred. Its horrors are not attributable to one single person. Tragedy is ugly and tangled, stupid and confusing.”   

Mental Health Issues Discussed: PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and depression.
+: A story that is woven in itself full of secrets, tales, magic, destruction, lies and family. We Were Liars occurs in the lapse of one summer, a summer that changes the lives of both the characters and the readers. I would rather leave this story to interruption, as many have felt better to just dive into this story without a solid explanation.
– : Triggers: Hallucinations, PTSD, and self-harm imagery.

Book Five: Looking for Alaska – John Green

looking for alaska.jpg“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die.

Mental Health Issues Discussed: Depression and Suicide.
+: A John Green classic, this coming of age story involves a boy on a summer journey to find himself. Through camp and an unlikely friendship between two odd teens, Pudge and Alaska form a romantic friendship. Between days of finding himself and nights shared with the girl of his dreams, Pudge grows and searches for more than just school and summer vacation. With Alaska’s wild imagination and Pudge’s sweet disposition, this story will truly make you fall in love with being a teenager again.
– : Triggers: Depression, suicide, and possibly social anxiety.

Unsurprisingly, a book we both recommend is:

Book Six: Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl Bia: 

Fangirl definitely doesn’t scream mental health issues but taking a closer look into the story shows that this book is not just about a young girl going through university who loves to write fanfiction; but also about a completely socially anxious girl with separation issues from her father who frequents the hospital due to his condition. I love this story and it is great to see how Cath gets through all of these challenges and how she learns to live with her issues especially since I think all readers can see themselves in Cath. I would recommend this to any fangirl/fanboy or to anyone starting/currently in university/college. 

Cass:

“I don’t trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am they’re going to get tired of me and take off.”   
Mental Health Issues Discussed: Social anxiety.
+: Fangirl follows Cath and her college experience as an introvert with social anxiety. There is no immediate clearness of Cath’s inability to react to college life, but it is shown in the behaviour she has towards the many college students she interacts with. With humour, teenage angst, Harry Potter-esque fanfiction, and a quirky love interest – this will soon be your next favourite contemporary!

And that is all for this week! Thank you so much for the visit and don’t forget to join in on Bell’s Let’s Talk Day on January 31st! And if you live outside of Canada and can’t join in, remind family and friends that mental illnesses aren’t something to be ashamed of and it’s okay. The best thing they can do is talk to someone about it because you’re not alone. Happy reading bookies, and until next week. 

Sincerely, 

B & C ❤