Happy Lunar New Year to those who celebrate!
Let’s celebrate the New Year with some books and a book tag! This book tag was originally created by Tiff at Mostly YA Lit and Joey at Thoughts and Afterthoughts (back in 2017) because I am too lazy to create my own and honestly, why mess with a perfect tag already there?
I know a month has almost passed already, and excuse my tardiness and all, but hey! Better late than
Now, without further ado, here are my answers and book recommendations I hope you pick up!
Rat (delicate, witty, and flexible): A book author that has flown under the radar
The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae
Why I feel like this book has flown under the radar:
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I hardly see this book on Bookstagram, Book Twitter, BookTube, or book blogs! I read this in one sitting and I LOVED it. It’s fun, adventurous, and exciting and who can I gush about this book to??? Almost no one!
✨So, here’s why you should read The Kinder Poison (so we can gush together): ✨
• funny and kind main character that has the ability to communicate with animals
• fast-paced action with plenty of adventure, trials, and mishaps
• Morally grey characters and cinnamon roll characters
• Easily digestible (devoured this in one sitting) and an enjoyable experience (I NEED more)
Bear by Ben Queen
I picked up Bear on a whim, and I LOVED it.
Perhaps because it’s for a younger audience and it’s a graphic novel, but this is the sweetest book ever.
Ox (diligent, persistent, honest): A character who has strong morals or ideals
Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto (Character: Naruto)
Come, on! If you’ve read or seen Naruto then you know what I mean. Rather than kill the villains like usual protagonists, Naruto would prefer to use “Talk-no-Jutsu” (the Talking Technique: talking and emphasising with the villain to stop their evil ways and realise their errors rather than killing them). Moreover, Naruto comes from a tragic background and yet continues to be optimistic, hard-working, and loyal. Of course I’m going to pick Naruto.
Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya (Character: Tohru)
Tohru, the main character, is the sweetest albeit most naive character I’ve come across. I love her diligence and optimism.
Tiger (powerful, confident, brave): A book that boldly addresses an issue
White Tears, Bown Scars by Ruby Hamad
Honestly just read this book!!
Why Do We Cry? by Fran Pintadera
In this book, Why Do We Cry? A mother and son explore various reasons why people cry. The accompanying art with each reason complements the emotion and explanation in a gorgeous manner. I also love how this book normalises crying and validates feelings—“it’s okay to cry if you feel like crying. It’s okay to cry if you’re happy/sad/etc.”
Rabbit (tender, graceful, sensitive): A book with a sweet romance
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
I don’t make it obvious (at least on my blog) but I LOVE and adore the main couple. They are adorable and deserve happiness and joy.
Dragon (authority, dignity, luck): A book with royalty in it
Blood Heirby Amelie Wen Zhao
We Hunt the Flame by Harsh Faizal
Snake (wise, cunning, & sly): A book with a manipulative character
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Character: Jude)
Manipulative character you ask? Of course I’m going to include Jude.
The Shadow Between Us by Tricia Levenseller (Character: Alessandra)
Another manipulative character that may not be as well known as Jude is Alessendra from The Shadows Between Us. Look, the book literally starts with this:
“They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart. And they never will.”
YES. This protagonist is conniving, scheming, and manipulative. I LOVE it.
Horse (enthusiastic, independent, zealous): A standalone book
Ace of Spades bye Faridah Abike-Iyimide
I love the narration, the tension and the suspense! I NEEDED to find the answers and refused to put this book down
• I love the two main characters—Chiamaka and Devon are both strong and endearing characters in their own right. Chiamaka’s strong-willed, go-getter attitude is something I admire
• Devon is sweet and caring, but willing to do what it takes for his loved ones
• The ending!
𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤:
• A nuanced take on and the exploration of institutional and systematic racism, classism, white supremacy, and sexuality
• A queer black story that shows a peek of living under the gaze of white supremacy
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller
A great standalone fantasy book! I’m always looking for more YA fantasy that is standalone.
I loved the protagonists determination and growth. Her journey to self-discovery and justice was a fun ride. Plus, I liked the friendship formed between the characters and their banter. This is a great feel-good standalone fantasy, perfect if you’re looking for something quick, fun, and easy.
Ram (tender, sensitive to art & beauty): Your favourite book cover or design
The Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
BEHOLD! Look! Look at how beautiful and marvellous the cover is!! Don’t you want to cry? Ugh! It’s too gorgeous. Whoever designed this book needs a raise!
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I hope this book counts because technically, there are like, four different covers for this one book and I love them all. To pick ONE cover is to pick a favourite child and one should never admit it aloud (though I have one, and it’s this one). Anyway, I hope this cover alone tempts you to pick up this book because it’s one of my favourite fantasy series!
Monkey (clever, lively, quick-witted): Your favourite comic relief character
The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang (Character: Kitay)
Listen, Kitay is the perfect balance between sass, wit, and tired of your shit™. If you love lush fantasy, rich politics and having your heart broken I highly recommend The Poppy War (although, check out the content warnings first).
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson (Character: M-Bot)
Despite being an actual machine, M-Bot is full of personality and as sassy as they come. Love it!
Rooster (honest, ambitious, punctual): Your most anticipated 2022 book
Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li
Yinka, Where is your huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
Dog (independent, sincere, loyal): A comfort book you always go back to
Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Whenever I’m in a slump, this book gets me out.
𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤:
• forced close proximity (including there’s only one bed!! trope)
• enemies to reluctant allies to lovers
• close family bonds + found family
• rich history and world-building
Gakuen Alice (Alice Academy) by Higuchi Tachibana
I will never get over this manga. I’ve read so many shoujo manga and I keep returning to this one.
𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤:
• cute and endearing read with relevant themes (made me cry!)
• explores friendship, love (platonic, familial), and identity
• honestly, I just love the protagonist—she’s hardworking, optimistic, and a loving character. It shows the strength doesn’t necessarily mean physically strong, but strong in character (resilient) and empathetic.
Pig (a symbol of affluence and wealth): A book or book-related thing you spent too much on
I spend way too much on Book Boxes! (Please don’t ask how much because I don’t know the price).