The #NowWeRise Book Tag was created by Bec’s Books back in 2018, and while I didn’t participate in it back then, I’ve been holding on to it since I saw it drop on Written Word Worlds. This book tag was create to celebrate Children of Blood and Bone, which was one of the first very impactful YA fantasys featuring rich minority cultures. Others came before, and other came after, but if you ask readers the first time they truly interacted with a non-White non-Western-European-inspired fantasy world… Children of Blood and Bone will jump first to many, many minds.
As it’s a truly fantastic novel and deserving of the praise it gets, it seems only fair that there’s a book tag to go along with it.
If you haven’t read Children of Blood and Bone yet, I highly recommend it! It’s a well-balanced story with characters that are easy to fall in love with, a world that jumps off the page, and stakes that will keep you reading well into the night. Honestly, one of my favorite books of 2018.
With that said, here’s the book tag! There’s no spoilers in the questions, but there’s a bit of the spirit of the book within the questions themselves.
No tags this month – in doing a book tag every month, I feel like I’ve been pegging a lot of people lately. If you’re a fan of Children of Blood and Bone and want to grab this one, feel free!
What’s a trope you’d love to see die, and one you’d love to see live, or flourish more often?
One of the tropes that drives me out of my mind is The Character Who Exists To Be a Romantic Interest. Gender here is irrelevant, I just prefer characters who have a bit of depth to them. Also, this goes in line with the fact that there are some books that have a decent plot which is promptly and unceremoniously run over by a stampeded of cliche romance and I am not into it.
On the other hand, I actually love the Royals in Disguise trope. Obviously the success of this depends on the book and the writer, but a well done secret Royal is my faaaavorite.
What do you immediately connect with when it comes to a book?
If you want to pull me into a book, either the world needs to be awesome or I need to click with the characters. Whether I’m writing or I’m reading, I always look to the characters first. It’s easy to root for a likable character!
If you could push a book on someone, what would you immediately recommend?
This is a bit of a complicated question, because which do you choose? Your favorite book, or one that will better humanity? And even then, there are some books that I’d push on certain people, but wouldn’t suggest to others.
I have recommended Children of Blood and Bone to a lot of people! It’s sort of a good mix of the two aspects – a book with great diversity and representation, but also just a book I really enjoyed. Of course, it’s not a great rec to someone who doesn’t like fantasy, but if you keep an open mind… it’s a really good book.
If your house was on fire and you could only save one book, what would it be?
Part of me is thinking I’d grab the book I’m currently reading so I know the end? But then I’ve got books that are signed that I really like (The Raven Boys, for one) and books that have covers that they don’t sell any more (Skinned). I feel like I need to know if I’m able to rebuy these books?
For sentimentality’s sake, I’d probably grab Time Cat. It’s a sentimental choice – I’ve had it since I was a kid and I’ve been carrying it with me for years. Time Cat helped me fall in love with fantasy and history and story-telling.
What’s a book that had you floating on air out of happiness?
Probably not the answer that most people would choose, but I absolutely love Anne of Green Gables. It’s one of those books I pick up any time I need a pick-me-up. If you like sweet, heart-warming books, you absolutely have to pick up this book. It’s filled with quotable moments and endearing stories. It’s really hard not to love Anne Shirley.
It’s not as exciting as some books others would pick, I know. But I don’t mind a classic if it makes me smile every time I read it.
A book that’s made an impact (on you, or the world)?
In recent years, this is an easy answer: The Hate U Give.
When this book first came out, it hit the world hard. And it’s good that it did – it arrived in the world when Black Lives Matter was consistently in the news, and the United States needed a good strong reminder that so many of us have a hell of a lot of white privilege. We needed to look into the life of someone not like most of us.
For me, reading this book was a reminder that I am lucky to have what I have. Any complaint I may have about my privileged life is petty compared to the struggles of my POC peers. It also reminded me to help lift up #OwnVoices authors, who are not widely enough recognized. We need more diverse books, and I’m really proud to be a part of a community that feels that way.
That said, since you’re reading my blog, do me a favor? When you’re done reading this b=post, go find a diverse book blogger or booktuber and give them some love.
What are your favourite morally grey characters, who do you love that walks between darkness and light?
In classic literature, I have gotten attached to the character of the Artful Dodger but the queen of morally gray characters is, without question, V. E. Schwab.
From the characters in A Darker Shade of Magic to, more notably, Victor Vale in Vicious… her characters do bad things for good reasons and good things for bad reasons. Victoria makes you love her villains and hate her heroes. There’s a special skill in that? I’m not typically a person who goes for the bad guy, but Victor Vale had been inexplicably attached.
Which book had a plot twist you DID NOT SEE COMING and it made you sick with feels?
Off the top of my head Mockingjay pops up first! There’s a couple different kinds of “feels”, and I’m going for the sad ones. The disbelieving shock. You know, a lot of YA authors “kill” their characters, then BOOM they are back in the next book like it’s not a big deal. That drives me crazy? Another trope I could do without.
But then, there’s Suzanne Collins.
When Suzanne Collins kills a character, she kills them dead. There’s heartbreaking deaths in all the books, but there is the most in Mockingjay. You’d think that by the last book, by the time there’s full-out war, the deaths wouldn’t come as a surprise? And yet somehow, they do. I remember reading and re-reading scenes to make sure that I had read the last passages right.
I read those books for the first time such a long time ago. I’ve read them multiple times. I’m still not okay with it.
Name your most anticipated releases for 2020!
I am not heavily following this year’s new releases?
I know. It’s a shameful thing to say when you’re a book blogger and you want to be relevant. There’s a bunch of 2020 releases that are on my TBR, but I’m not in a particular rush to get to them, I suppose? The two that I have pre-ordered and I am a bit excited for are A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks. I’m also looking forward to Unravel the Dusk and The Silvered Serpents.
Your favourite underrated or side character?
In theme with the previous question, I’m going to go with Zofia from The Gilded Wolves. I have an ARC of The Silvered Serpents that I haven’t finished yet, and I am so so so excited to go back into that world and see more of sweet Zofia. Also, she’s on the spectrum, so it’s so nice to see a character with a little bit of rep? I know that having MCs with diversity is ideal, but I’ll take it in side characters as well.
Also? Zofia is just wonderful. She definitely makes my list as one of my favorite characters, period. I’m interested to see where her character arc goes.
What books are you looking forward to in 2020? Is there something amazing and not-to-be-missed that I should have on my TBR? Let me know in the comments!