Friday, April 7, 2017

Hello, Sun! (The "Spring Has Sprung" Book Tag)

Engie tagged me for the "Spring Has Sprung" book tag, and now that the weather actually feels like spring and the sun is coming out more*, I thought I'd finally take a shot at it!

*Of course, as soon as I was able to finish and post this, it got cold, rainy, and windy again . . .

Look on your shelves. What is the most beautiful book both inside and out?

The cover of I'll Give You the Sun is simplistic, but it totally screams spring/summer, especially once you take the title into consideration, too. And the writing is so GORGEOUS AND ARTSY. I wanted to devour the book and also take my dear sweet time so I could savor each sentence.

What is a book that you find others like way more than you do?

I wanted to like it, you guys, I really did. Every single person in the blogosphere seems to be head over heels with this book, but I couldn't get into it. After 50 pages, I marked it DNF and returned it to the library. It felt too juvenile to be a YA book and there was no plot compelling enough for me to be invested in. Sometimes even if I'm hating a book, I'm curious about how something will turn out and push through and end up liking it. I didn't even have that to hold onto with this. It wasn't horrible, just boring and not my cup of tea.

What’s a great book that lifts your spirits when you’re down?

I was flipping through Cress the other day for this exact reason! I have distinct memories associated with this book because it was one I read as my family was moving into a new house. The house was wide open and empty but full of sunlight because it was close to summer, all of my things were in boxes (including any books that weren't from the library), and the only thing I had to occupy myself with were my library books. This one in particular. I lost track of time when I dove back into the world of Cress and Thorne and the rest of the Lunar Chronicles gang. They were great characters to keep me company.

What book made you feel alive?

That's a pretty vague question, so I'm interpreting it as something that was so exciting it left you breathless. The entire Darkness Rising series did that. I haven't read it in ages, but when I look back at the books, I remember being utterly addicted and blazing through them in less than a week. It was pure action and fun, sort of in the way "Teen Wolf" is.

What book did you find unpredictable?

I never knew what exactly was going on or in what direction the plot was headed. AND THAT ENDING. (For the people who read it, you know what part I'm talking about. Owowow.)

What was a book that you struggled with only to be happy that you read it in the end?

For what ended up being such a nail-biter, Misery had a slow, slooowww start. It paid off, particularly in those last 100-150 pages, but I almost put it down at first.

Chilly Weather
What’s a book that you couldn’t finish or didn’t enjoy?

The title is apt. I hated it. I gave it thirty pages before barely restraining myself from throwing it across the room. I'm not a prude by any means, but the amount of sex jokes crammed into the book was just tasteless. Who were those characters? Why were they complete idiot pigs? How was any of that supposed to be funny???

Warm Weather
What book did you love and want more of?

I could have listened to Lin-Manuel Miranda narrate this masterpiece forever. It took me a day to finish the audiobook and afterwards I spent a while just staring out the window and letting the story sink in. It was a fuzzy blanket and a cup of tea in book form.

What book have you not read yet but really want to?

It only took one book to make me a big fan of Jennifer Niven. After All the Bright Places, I couldn't wait to read anything else she published. Somehow I still haven't gotten around to grabbing a copy of Holding Up the Universe, but that day will come.

(Side note: while googling Jennifer Niven to get a picture of the book cover, I fell down a rabbit hole on her website and discovered she's a huge fan of "Supernatural." I love her that much more now.)

What book made you feel a strong connection to the characters?

Did I absolutely love these killers and criminals? Yes. Should you be concerned by how much I loved them? Probably. But the Six of Crows gang stole my heart before I even realized it was gone (a little thief humor for ya). I was sad to leave their world, but they feel very much alive and real even after the series ends.

What book makes you feel safe when you read it?

This weird little graphic novel series was my obsession for the longest time, so much so that my parents tracked down every out-of-print copy so I could reread them over and over again (thanks, Mom and Dad). It's a strong childhood memory for me, so it makes me happy every time I see the books on my shelf.

What book do you feel is intelligently written?

Considering the majority of the book consists of lyrics from "Hamilton," I'd say it's pretty dang genius. The essays are great, too. I loved learning about the behind-the-scenes of the musical and how it all came together. It's a must read for "Hamilton" fans.

What book puts a smile on your face?

Fun, fluff, laugh-out-loud moments, unforgettable characters, great illustrations. Why aren't you running to the library to grab a copy already?

Tag, you're it! Take these prompts for your own blog or answer some questions in the comments.


Cait @ Paper Fury said...

Oh I have SUCH good news for you about Holding Up The's full of Supernatural references. ;D ;D IT'S LITERALLY THE BEST THING OF EVER. YOU HAVE TO READ IT SOON!! *flails* Also So much love for I'll Give You The Sun and Ari & Dante. 😍😍 And Crooked Kingdom just afjdkslafd so many feels and so much awesome.

Boquinha said...

Fun post! I've read several of these and I see several more I'd like to read. Also? Even seeing that picture from the WITCH graphic novel series makes me smile. :)

Dr. Mark said...

Remember how Santa couldn't even find those books very easily? You really made him work for it!

I agree. This is a really fun post. I've seen so many of those covers around this house, and I've even had a chance to read some. I'm impressed with how you can come up with these. I'd be scanning our shelves for days to pick out the right books for each category.

The Magic Violinist said...


YAY. Little fandom references in novels are my favorite thing. It makes the book 10,000 times more enjoyable. xD

Both of those books are just so pretty!! And I'm glad I read Crooked Kingdom in the winter because there was something strangely cozy about curling up with it despite all the feels I DID NOT ASK FOR. *grumbles at Leigh Bardugo*


You would like lots of these that you haven't read yet! Hehe, it's been a while since you've seen those graphic novels, hasn't it?

@Dr. Mark

Ohhh yes. But it was so much fun to get packages from the "North Pole" after Christmas was over.

Ha, Goodreads definitely helped with this, as well as many other book-themed blog memes. There's no way I'd be able to finish a post in a day without my organizing system on that site.

Jimmy said...

What is the most beautiful book both inside and out?
The Color Purple. That book means so much to me. I think it's because it was that book that made me realize there's a difference between telling a story and creating a work of art.

What is a book that you find others like way more than you do?
Oh this is so hard to write, but honestly, I'm still wondering how the Harry Potter series became such a huge phenomenon. I admit that each one gets better. But the writing doesn't even get good until the third book, so how did the first and second books become such hits? I'm enjoying them now, but still don't understand how it became so huge. Happy for the author though!

What’s a great book that lifts your spirits when you’re down? Bean and Ivy crack me up! I love them. I got into them when my youngest had her tonsils taken out and so I'd read them to her in an effort to cheer her up and it worked! I loved their imagination and their personalities. Good memories to go with a the books.

What book made you feel alive? The movie didn't do what the book did for me. Life of Pi.

What book did you find unpredictable? The Orphan Master's Son. I knew nothing of North Korea when I read it, so every page I was learning something new.

What was a book that you struggled with only to be happy that you read it in the end? The Goldfinch. The drug use got to me, but I think it's an important book.

What’s a book that you couldn’t finish or didn’t enjoy? Eleanor and Park. I saw that the author has talent and I think I even sense her passion in her writing, but the stories were just not that interesting to me, I didn't think she captured the voice of youth all that well, and I think there's room for growth in her style.

What book did you love and want more of? Gilead. To me that book captures the essence of pure love like no other book has ever done.

What book have you not read yet but really want to? So many that you've recommended. I'd have to go with...oh man there's one that I commented on that I have to go back to your blog and find. It sounded like the author was an Hispanic female and I remember you quoted something from her book and I thought, "I have to read this now." If you know off hand which book I'm referring to, tell me in your comments please!

What book made you feel a strong connection to the characters? American Pastoral is that book for me. That dad, who in so many ways had it all and it all came so easy for him for so long. And then trying to be kind when he should have probably taken a firm stand. And yet I have a hard time recommending this book to anyone.

What book makes you feel safe when you read it? Oh man this is so cheesy, but I think Jack Weyland's Sarah, Whenever I Hear Your Name is such an underrated YA novel and if you have any connection to the LDS church and haven't read this book, you are missing out.

What book puts a smile on your face? The Godfather. It was the first grown up book I ever read and I was pretty proud of myself for having read it. So when I took Spanish in HS our teacher went around asking everyone "Que es tu libro favorito?" I answered, "Mi libro favorito es The Godfather." So my friend behind me, who hadn't picked up Spanish very well, was asked the same question and he stumbled for what seemed like eternity finally saying, "Mi libro favorito es...Pizza Hut?" And the whole class busted out laughing. This story only works if you live in an area that has both a Pizza Hut and a Godfather's pizza chain. .

The Magic Violinist said...


Thanks for doing the tag! :) I'll admit, the writing in the first couple of Harry Potter books isn't the greatest, but I think the heart of the story and characters makes up for it. It also probably helps that J.K. Rowling was one of the first children's authors to write a series like she did.

It wasn't a woman, but could you be thinking of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz? I know I quoted that book in my end of the year wrap-up.

Oh my gosh, that's a great story from Spanish class. xD Poor guy. I've answered a couple questions in my own Spanish class when it wasn't the answer my professor was looking for, but nothing quite that bad.

Jimmy said...

Thanks for the book title. I will get to it eventually.

And I got to thinking, not a book, but a story that I found unpredictable--

Your short story in Fauxpocalypse!

Rain said...

OH MY GOD, IS THAT W.I.T.C.H?!? I LOVED those comics when I was a kid! XD

I'm slowly (because coursework/books) working my way through Six of Crows at the minute. It's good. I'm a happy reader.

Boquinha said...

Jimmy, I'm always impressed at the wide variety of books you've read!!

So, I have problems with my tonsils, and have for a long time. It's kind of gross, but my tonsils are big and have rather big holes in them and sometimes food can get stuck in them. It's awful. I try to figure out and avoid foods that could be causing issues (usually nuts and sesame seeds), but it's a bummer because I actually like nuts. Anyway, I've heard horror stories about getting them out as an adult, so I keep just dealing with them. As I read about you reading "Bean and Ivy" to your youngest to cheer her up, I had the thought that maybe I'd go ahead and get my tonsils out if I knew you'd read me "Bean and Ivy" to cheer me up, because that is super sweet.

I need to revisit "Life of Pi" given my life decisions regarding religion. I know what the allegory is about, but I think I somehow missed that back when I read it. I was more caught up in whether or not it was real or imagined. :P

Oh man, I'm sorry you didn't love "Eleanor and Park." I just loved the simplicity of a character-driven story. I love movies like that, too. I will say the WHYS of the characters come more to light toward the end of the book, if I remember correctly. But yeah, I can see why it may not have been your cup of tea. (But the 80s references!!)

I remember you mentioning American Pastoral on my blog a while back and every time I hear it mentioned, I think of you because of that. It's on my "someday" list.

Oh man, I loved Jack Weyland's books!! I own a bunch of them and I actually think I have that one in a box around here. I just told Kate I have it if she wants to read it. Fun fact: I went on a date with Jack Weyland's son when I was in college (and I do believe I may have fangirled about his dad - poor guy.)

That Godfather story is hilarious.

Okay, I had to comment to Jimmy because his comment made me think of so many things!!

Jimmy said...

Love your comments Stacy. Thank you.

Seriously, I was surprised at how much pain Eva was in after getting her tonsils out. It's kind of a bigger deal than I realized. At least the first three days are just not fun, and Eva is kind of tough and the worst part was is she was all excited to get them out. She had no clue what comes after. But yes, if you get them out I probably won't be around, but in spirit I'll be sending Bean and Ivy vibes your way!

The 80s references are a redeeming quality of that book. Almost anything can redeem itself with references to 80s music and hairstyles. (The Wedding Singer!)

I hope Jack Weyland's son was a nice guy. I hope Kate reads that book! Travis is still one of my literary heroes.

It's decided. We're going to Godfather's pizza for dinner tonight. It's Friday so I'm in charge of dinner. And my kids need to hear that story.

Boquinha said...

Oh wow. I'd heard that a tonsilectomy was a little easier on littler ones. I'm sorry it was so rough on her!

He was very nice. It was a one date kind of thing, but he was very sweet, as far as I can remember (oh how I wish I'd kept a better journal in college!).

Hilarious! We all laughed out loud at that. Hope dinner/storytime was great! :)