Book Pastry Tag

Book Pastry Tag

Hey, guys! I have another book tag to fill the time between reviews. This one, I got off of B O O K W O R M I A C ‘s blog—it’s called the Book Pastry Tag. Let’s get right into the prompts:

1. Croissant: Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) loves.

For this one, I’m going to go with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Everyone seemed to know about this book when its popularity exploded, even people like me who didn’t normally read historical fiction.

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Additionally, the movie was fairly well-received when it came out in 2013 (its Rotten Tomatoes rating was average). The story’s plot structure and emotion were two strong points.

2. Macaron: Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it at the end.

There were several books I considered here; but many weren’t worth the effort. I chose C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. A good number of Lewis readers can probably attest to the fact that his theology, even when blended with fiction, can be mentally tiring in large doses.

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And The Great Divorce isn’t even that long! Still, reflecting on the implications of what I was reading took some time. At the end, when I was able to reflect on the entire work, it was satisfying and definitely made it worth the read.

3. Vol-au-vent: Name a book that you thought would be amazing but fell flat.

Wondering what in creation a Vol-au-vent is? So was I! According to the Internet, it’s “a small round case of puff pastry filled with a savory mixture, typically of meat or fish in a richly flavored sauce.” I suppose the writer of this prompt doesn’t care for meat in the middle of his or her pastry.

For this prompt, I’m going with Inkdeath, the third installment in the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke. While the first book merited enough attention to garner its own movie, the sequels (and said movie) fell flat. The second and third books had action that was as drawn out as taffy.

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By the end of the third book, I just wanted it to be over. Funke has definite skill; I just saw less of it in the second half of the trilogy.

4. Pain au Chocolat: Name a book that you thought would be one thing but turned out to be something else.

Basically, this pastry is bread with chocolate in the middle—self-explanatory. As a past, seasoned Fanfiction writer, I assumed Rainbow Rowell’s great novel, Fangirl, would center less on Cath’s real world and more on her beloved imaginary one. However, this didn’t turn out to be a disappointing surprise. In fact, it was necessary for Rowell to center on reality: any book can provide fantasy. But the point of Fangirl was that Cath has to come to grips with her identity in reality.

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Minimizing the fantasy world and digging into the real one caused this message to be delivered in the best way. As someone who’s struggled with this, it struck several chords with me. But it wasn’t exactly what I initially expected. 😉

5. Profiterole: Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention.

Have any bread left? Good. Take that bread, make it into a small, circular shape, and slather it in cream/chocolate. Now you’ve got this delicious-looking thing that I really want to try right now.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, though written in 1938, has the classic charm and a character cast that reminds me of Austen.  While not as popular or as refined, perhaps, it’s a unique story about a new bride who arrives at an estate called Manderley, where mysterious clues hint at more than what’s on the surface.

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The ending genuinely surprised me, and the action never falls flat. Today’s readers may not love the difference in style, but, as far as literary merit goes, it at least deserves more attention, if not more acclaim.

6. Croquembouche: Name a book or series that’s extremely complex.

I’m not really sure how to describe this pastry; but if you Google the name, you’ll get some very pretty pictures of pastry towers! My pick for this one is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. This is one of the classics that taught me how intricate plots and character relationships can be.

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I admire Dumas’ way of showing consequences for actions—something you do today can have an impact on another’s life (and your own) years from now. And all the characters’ choices played into this skillful spider web in a way that brought the book to a natural climax and conclusion (or several, if you want to look at it that way). Dumas’ grip on plot is something I gleaned from in high school and something that has stayed with me.

7. Napoleon: Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.

Maybe it’s that I’m slightly hungry, but my inclination for this one was to say it looks good and you’d want to eat it, instead of actually telling you what it was. I’m not going to tell you what it is—you all have search engines and local bakeries. At least, I think so.

Normally, I’m in the traditionalist, read-that-book-before-claiming-to-be-a-fan, “movies are merely adaptations” camp. However. However! Sometimes, movie additions can enhance the story presented. I didn’t used to think so. But Lois’ Lowry’s The Giver movie added a completely different ending than the one presented in the book. But I loved it!

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It did homage to the story continued in later novels while still seeming natural and building realistic suspense. This movie taught me that the merits of the film industry are by no means confined to a certain printed volume.

8. Empanada: Name a book that was bittersweet.

Think taco ironed around the edges, with filling inside. That’s an empanada. I think. Heck, this is a book blog, not a cooking show!

I’m going to go with a popular one here, just to prepare y’all. I honestly thought this was a good choice for this category, though. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

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Sure, everyone goes into these stories expecting to feel sad emotions. But it’s not just the presence of cancer that makes it bittersweet. It’s the fact that the novel examines something immediate to us: life doesn’t last forever. We do meaningful things on earth, but ultimately our time has to end. And we don’t get a guarantee that it’ll be a convenient end date, either. Everybody has an expiration date. It hurts especially when those bodies are young.

9. Kolompeh: Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your home country.

As far as I can tell, these look like really decorative, round cookies filled with stuff. Hey, I’d try them.

In middle school, I picked up a book by Wayne Thomas Batson called The Door Within. The best way I can describe it is C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe mixed with some Lord of the Rings, for middle school aged readers.

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The protagonist, Aidan, enters a world accessed from his own mind and heart, where the people live in “round table” times and things like dragon-esque creatures and giant, moving mazes are normal…ish. Everyone’s eyes reveal the status of their soul—whether they serve the good King, are undecided, or serve the King’s enemies. The trilogy was one of my favorites in middle school and continues to have a place in my heart.

10. Pate a Choux: Name one food from a book or series that you would like to try.

These literally look like biscuits…I don’t know what else to say about them! For my food of choice, I would pick any meal from the Hunger Games Capitol city. One of those banquets—I’d grab some of that pea soup or something with bread and cheese!

All right, that’s it for this book tag! I tag anyone who wants to do this tag. Feel free to leave a comment so I can read yours as well. Later! 🙂

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Intergalactic Book Tag

Intergalactic Book Tag

What’s a fun way to post between book reviews? Tags, of course! I found this one on Katytastic’s YouTube channel (she’s awesome!)—it was created by her and a few friends. As soon as I saw the questions, I knew it was going to be right up my alley (the one with shiny metal, futuristic lighting and teleporters). So I’ll start off by also tagging anyone who wants to do this: sci-fi lovers, people who need post ideas, anyone who just likes tags… you get the idea!

All right, let’s get on with the books. 🙂

1: Space: Name a book that is out of this world—that takes place in a world different from our own.

When I went looking through my “Read” bookshelf, this was actually harder to find than I thought. I didn’t count post-war earth settings or anything like that. The story I chose actually begins on our world; however, more than 90% of its storyline takes place outside of it! For this one, I’m going with The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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Douglas Adams’ imagination and world building are delightful. From ugly monsters who recite the worst poetry known in creation, to a 5-star restaurant where one can witness the end of the universe—every night—Adams’ story is filled with so many different planets and peoples you’ll have to make a chart to keep track. I think he’s safely my best selection for this prompt.

2. Black Hole: Name a book that completely sucked you in.

Unsurprisingly, engaging series tend to become popular, regardless of how well their quality is continued. One thing I love about YA (and dystopian in general) is the amount of creativity with which authors introduce readers to a new society. Veronica Roth’s Divergent sucked me in with its narration, the factions (societal categories seem to be a trend in YA books– Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, etc; perhaps this is in part because readers wonder where we’d fall), and the consistent action pacing.

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While I can’t say the same about the end of the series, its beginning was captivating and fun to immerse myself in.

3. Light speed: Name a book you are anticipating so much that you wish you could travel at light speed to get to it.

This one was fun. This book is the fifth in a series that similarly captured my attention early on for some of the same reasons as Divergent—intriguing world, established objectives, competition, and colorful detail. Kiera Cass’ Selection series, while a bit of a guilty pleasure, has an intriguing ending in store. It will end with the May 3rd release of The Crown. The cover is beautiful and I’m looking forward to seeing how the last Selection ends.

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4. Nebula: Name a book with a beautiful cover.

Speaking of beautiful covers. For this one, I’m going with one of the new hardbacks I got with Christmas money a few months ago. Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, a story about a team of outcasts collaborating to pull off the most impressive of heists, has a sharp, eye-catching cover.

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There’s texture to it. As if the front wasn’t enough, all my edition’s page edges are dyed black—that’s something I’ve never seen done around the entire page before. Simply put, it’s striking.

5. Multiverse: Name a companion set or spinoff series you love.

I didn’t expect to feature one series twice in a tag post; but I also didn’t expect to enjoy Four, the companion novel to the Divergent series, so much.

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Actually, I prefer this to both Insurgent and Allegiant. Four brought back that freshness to Roth’s dystopian world by introducing things from the title character’s perspective: areas of Dauntless we couldn’t have seen without him. The action was ramped up, characters dynamically matured, and the pacing was done well. Overall, great addition to the series.

6. Gravity: Name your favorite romantic pairing that seems to have a gravitational pull to each other.

Now, to avoid the basic, popular fictional couples (we’ve had enough KatnissXPeeta, TrisXFour, GusXHazel for quite a while), I’m going to pick one that stands out to me as a definite strong point of an entire series. If you got through that sentence, thanks for sticking with me! My couple for this tag is Malencia Vale and Tomas Endress from The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau.

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Malencia (Cia) and Tomas compete together in a deadly program designed to filter out suitable university students. Needless to say, we’d have a drastically lower college attendance if this was our world. But getting to the point, the two of them are caring people, and they have chemistry with one another. They’ve known each other since they were children and it’s obvious there’s interest that’s remained unexplored until interaction is necessary. Tomas is quickly protective of Cia, befriending and teaming up with her once they begin testing. Cia, likewise, cares for Tomas and doesn’t leave him behind in times that she could. I started rooting for them to get together real early.

7. The Big Bang: Name the book that got you started on reading.

Easy—Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins. Her lesser known first series hooked me in middle school and I was all over fantasy and fiction in general from then on. Those were my first experiences with the excitement of the next installment coming out, and the bittersweet feeling of finally finishing a series.

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Plus, let’s be honest: we all wanted a personally-matched, huge bat to ride around on and bond with, too.

8. Asteroid: Name a short story or novella that you love.

This prompt turned me to a literary journal I’ve been a fan of for the past year or so—The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. In their March/April 2015 edition, they published  a dystopian story called “Things Worth Knowing” by Jay O’Connell. Connell’s short piece features an everyman security guard/proctor for an outdated study facility named Stanley. Stanley befriends a young prodigy named Joel who has to decide which institution he wants to sign with. Violent action ensues.

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What I love about this story are the little details: imagery, setting, the workings of a futuristic lab, and how everything still has a familiar, outdated feeling to it. The setting details especially intrigued me: wire-caged clocks, stun sticks, and study areas grouped by grade. Definitely worth the read, if you’re able to find it.

9. Galaxy: Name a book with multiple POVs (Points of View)

This was another prompt where I fought not to choose something obvious like Allegiant. Then I remembered that in my YA Lit class last year, we read Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: it’s an incredible story about two female friends trying to survive in World War II Europe.

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There’s secrecy, hidden messages, nighttime escapes, and the synopsis’ promise that only one of them has “a chance at survival,” which isn’t fulfilled in the expected way. This novel did a great job of using the perspective switches to conceal information and push the action forward to the intense ending.

10. Spaceship: Name a book title that would be a great name for a spaceship.

Yaay, this one! Last but not least. I looked through a bunch of tough, intimidating-sounding titles—things you’d expect an empire or fleet to name their flagship if they wanted to create a reputation. But none of those struck me as unique for that very reason. So, for this one, I’m going with Prodigy by Marie Lu.

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I’ve yet to read this book, but it’s the second in the Legend trilogy, and it’s got a pretty cover, which is also textured. I’d like to name my spaceship (if I had one, of course) this because it bespeaks promise while hinting at yet-unearthed potential. A prodigy’s not finished growing yet, just as we aren’t. Of course, that’s getting all psychologically projective with spaceship names…I could have chosen Champion. Or Legend. But they just didn’t appeal to me as much. 🙂

Aaaand that’s it! I hope you guys enjoyed this tag post. Once again, anyone who wants to do this is hereby tagged—and hey, comment below if you do so I can read yours, too! 🙂