Friday, May 6, 2016

"Look Around, Look Around at How Lucky We Are to Be Alive Right Now!"

I'm shamelessly stealing the "Hamilton book tag" from Emma at "Kittens on Bookshelves." Although I guess technically she said to consider myself tagged, so it doesn't count as stealing anymore. I DIGRESS.

I've been obsessed with the soundtrack for about a month now. It's all I've listened to for weeks. And it's fantastic. I may or may not have even had dreams about somehow miraculously winning tickets to see it on Broadway, even though it's sold out for months. If you haven't heard any of the music, DO SO NOW. It's all on YouTube and Spotify! I've never heard anything like it, but it's amazing. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius and has a serious fanbase behind him for this. I recently got my whole family into it, too, so now we'll randomly shout things like, "What time is it? SHOWTIIIIME." after walking into a room.
And now because of listening to the entire album approximately 90871284 times over, memorizing half of the songs, making plans to do a lip sync battle to "Farmer Refuted" with a friend at a talent show (she's the Samuel Seabury to my Alexander Hamilton), and scrolling through dozens of Tumblr posts of "Hamilton" fanart, I'm taking on the challenge of reading a 750 page biography all about Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Now I just need to get my hands on the Hamiltome . . .

Me upon watching it for a second--*coughs*--seventeenth time.
So this is all a preamble (see what I did there?) to say of course I had to snatch up a "Hamilton" book tag as soon as I saw it, plus add a few more songs myself because I couldn't resist. Here we go!

(Note: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson spoilers toward the middle of the post!)

"Alexander Hamilton" - A Character With a Rich and Complicated Backstory

There are so many characters I could go with here, but for this one I'll say Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. It's hard to explain just how much crap she's gone through without giving anything away, so you'll have to read the series yourself to find out. Let's just say she's crazy awesome but also haunted by her painful past, just like the best characters are.

"Aaron Burr, Sir" - Two Characters Who Constantly Butt Heads 

Oh my gosh, totally Simon and Baz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I've never seen two characters bicker more than they do, and yet it works. It kept me entertained the entire time, made me giggle, and didn't stop me from shipping them in the slightest.

"My Shot" - A Protagonist That Goes After What They Want and Doesn't Let Anything Stop Them

Alanna from the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce. Disguising yourself as a boy to train to become a knight in a medieval fantasy story is pretty dang gutsy. Obstacles are constantly hurled at her throughout the series, and yet she keeps fighting.

"The Story of Tonight" - Your Favorite Historical Fiction or Non-Fiction Book

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, as of recently. It's an excellent audiobook, too, probably the best one I've listened to since Harry Potter. If you decide to pick it up, I highly recommend going that route, at least for some of it. The whole story is so realistic, you have a hard time believing it didn't actually happen.
"The Schuyler Sisters" - An Underrated Female Character

Nimona from Nimona by Noelle Stevenson! And I say she's underrated only because hardly any of my other bookish friends have read the book (so fix that and find a copy!). She's an impulsive, hilarious, eager-to-please, "villainous," shapeshifter, and she's one of the best characters I've read in a long time. I love her.

"You'll Be Back" - The Sassiest Villain 

Sadly, I've read very few books with sassy villains in them, but I want to remedy this, so recommend all your favorites in the comments! But every character in the Order of the Stick Series by Rich Burlew is pretty sassy and/or sarcastic, so there's that. If you like playing Dungeons & Dragons, it's the book for you.

"Right Hand Man" - Favorite Bookish Friendship 

Blue and her raven boys from the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater are pretty much the definition of #SquadGoals. But Clary and Simon from the Mortal Instruments and the Golden Trio from Harry Potter all deserve mentions, too. Oh, and the Marauders, also from Harry Potter! (Can you tell I'm a sucker for friendship stories?)

"Helpless" - A Relationship You Were Pulling For From the Very Start

How am I supposed to pick favorites with this one?!?! Gah. I guess instead of mention all bazillion of my ships, I'll go ahead and say Simon and Blue from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Their mutual love and respect for Oreos, flirtatious e-mails, and general adorableness made for a happy, fluffy read that made my fangirl heart go "sqeeeeeee."
"Satisfied" - Favorite Book with Multiple POVs

I could pick a ton, because multiple POV books tend to be my favorites (they're usually the kind I write), but I'm trying to be diverse with my selections so I won't mention another certain Rainbow Rowell book that starts with Eleanor and ends with & Park. (And I do realize I just mentioned it even though I said I wouldn't, but shh, the devil's in the details.) I'm gonna go with These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, because yes. That just about sums it up. 
"Wait For It" - A Book Worth Waiting For

CAN WE ALL SAY The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling?!?! I know it's a script, but it's in book form, so it still counts!!! July 31st can't come fast enough. But like Aaron Burr, I'm willing to wait for it.

"Stay Alive" - A Character You Wish Were Still Alive

It's probably been like five years, but I still don't think I've recovered from the childhood trauma that was (highlight for Bridge to Terabithia spoilers!) Leslie's death. So did not see that coming.
"Ten Duel Commandments" - Favorite Fight Scene

It's hard for me to pick out a single fight scene, but any of the craziness that happens in Tamora Pierce's books and the Divergent series comes to mind as great action. Medieval fantasy and dystopian tend to bring that side of stories out.
"What Comes Next?" - A Series You Wish Had More Books

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. I could've read so much more of that story had it existed. I'm a sucker for time travel. That book basically had me reading for three straight days, breaking only to eat and sleep (a little).
"Dear Theodosia" - A Book With Great Parent-Child Relationships

Three books come to mind immediately: August's parents with August and his sister in Wonder by R.J. Palacio, the Finch family in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and the March family in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Two of these books came out a really long time ago, so clearly family dynamics is something I'm longing for in modern YA stories especially. Feel free to share your favorite family-centric books in the comments! I'm always looking for suggestions.

"Non-Stop" - A Series You Marathoned

The amount of sass in this coat flip is perfect.
The W.I.T.C.H. graphic novels by Parke Godwin were a favorite of mine when I was younger. Heck, they're still fantastic! I'm pretty sure I read all eight of them in a day or two and became obsessed enough to write terrible, terrible stories about characters similar to all five of the main girls. It was my sad attempt at fan-fiction. But hey, imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?

"What'd I Miss" - A Book or Series You Were Late to Reading

I'm dreadfully behind on the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, which I embarrassingly only started a couple years ago. And also the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I'm horrible, I know. But they're both amazing and I will finish them one day.

"Take a Break" - A Good Beach/Vacation Read

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum! Much like Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, it's involves anonymous e-mails from someone at the same school. The whole time I was reading it I was trying to guess who it was while also thinking, "please don't be him, please don't be him, for the love of everything don't be him." It reads really fast and it's not one that involves a lot of brain power, perfect for lounging by the ocean.

"Say No To This" - A Guilty Pleasure Read

The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I know, I know, it's not the greatest writing in the world, but I absolutely adore the characters and the stories. I didn't think I'd be able to stomach it after not even getting past the first couple of chapters of Twilight, but I was pleasantly surprised.

"The Room Where It Happens" - A Book World In Which You Want to Live

Hogwarts, plain and simple. I've never met a single person who didn't want to go to Hogwarts. I don't even understand Harry and Ron when they're complaining about their homework. Um, you're LEARNING FREAKING MAGIC. Sign me up, please and thank you.

"The Reynolds Pamphlet" - A Plot Twist You Didn't See Coming

Why yes, yes that is King George throwing the Reynolds Pamphlet in Hamilton's face and then prancing away.
Look at all their faces!!
That, ladies and gentleman, is Thomas Jefferson making it rain while chanting a taunting, "Never gon' be president now."
(I had to include more than one gif because I couldn't decide between the three!)

How about everything that happens in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn? Talk about insanity. That and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Oh, and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas! Gah, so many "*GASP*" moments.

"Burn" - Most Tragic Ending to a Relationship

That moment when your ship goes down in flames.
Ugh, even people who haven't read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green knows it's tragic. During rereads I still sometimes trick myself into thinking it'll end differently, but it hasn't worked so far.

"Blow Us All Away" - A Character Who Changed the World

Katniss Everdeen! She's the original dystopian "face of the rebellion." The reluctant hero, inspiration to society, willing to stand up to tyrants, she's got it all. And half of it she wasn't even trying to do!

"It's Quiet Uptown" - A Book That Made You Cry Ugly Tears

There are about a dozen I could pull out for you right now, but basically any book with a dog on the cover is destined to be something that makes me cry into my pillow before bed. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare had me bawling over Simon feels, too.

"The Election of 1800" - A Book or Series That Made the Fandoms Take Sides (i.e. Team Edward vs. Team Jacob)

I have to mention Hunger Games and Throne of Glass again. The Katniss-Peeta-Gale and Celaena-Chaol-Dorian love triangles make the fans go nuts. (*coughs* Not that I would ever get into shipping wars, nosiree, Bob . . .)

"Best of Wives and Best of Women" - A Favorite Heroine

The protagonists of the Lunar Chronicles are all just so amazing for different reasons, but they work well as a team, too! So many feels in that series, I tell you. So many.

"Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story" - A Book Series That Will Be Remembered Throughout History

Like Emma said in her tag, how can this go to anything but Harry Potter? A lot of stories can seem outdated, but I don't think that'll be the case here. It'll stand the test of time because it's so unique and complex and rich with emotion. The characters are all as complicated as the plot, but it's not at the expense of the story. I can't find a single negative thing to say about it.

Tag, you're it! What are some of your favorite "Hamilton" songs? Feel free to steal this for your blog or answer a few questions in the comments. Enjoy!


Boquinha said...



This is awesome. I hope you tweeted this. At Lin-Manuel, because #Hamilton. Wow.

Dr. Mark said...

Whoa! Instead of remembering all the books you mentioned (I'm pretty sure Harry Potter along with some other things were on the list), I now have bits and pieces of every Hamilton song in my head. Not that they weren't there already. But that's not the point. This was a really fun list.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha LOL, pretty much. xD Oh yeah, I absolutely tweeted it with the hashtag and everything. It's been fun reading the other Hamilton book tags I found when googling it!

@Dr. Mark Harry Potter always makes the list in one way or another. ;) I've had songs stuck in my head every day since listening to the soundtrack for the first time. But now I have some visuals to go along with them. All the gifs only make me want to see it more!

Rain said...

Now I have to look up Hamilton and find out what it is. ;)
A character death I'll never get over...well, there's a certain female demon who dies in Supernatural season 8. I am almost at the end of season 9 now, and I am still not over that.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Rain Yes, yes you do!

NO ONE IS. I'd like to imagine they'd bring her back sometimes, but honestly I don't think it's happening at this point, which makes me incredibly sad.

Siths and Jedis said...

I really enjoyed reading what you had to say about Hamilton. I kind of already knew that you like Hamilton though . . . I liked how you compared all of the songs to books.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Siths and Jedis What, you already knew?? ;) I couldn't have guessed . . . and thanks!