I was not actually tagged, but I got the list from Kristina @ Books and Dachshunds because I turn 20 today! Which means I am officially no longer a teenager, and will probably not be called on to save the world from some hitherto unknown supernatural threat. (Thankfully for both the world, because I don’t think I’d do very well, and for me. Between college coursework and reading and blogging and life in general, I just don’t think I’d have the time or mental energy to manage it.)
Anyway, hopefully you’ll get some book recommendations, or at least nostalgia or mild amusement, out of this post! You can click on the book covers below to see the Goodreads page; clicking on the title will take you to my review (most likely on Goodreads, because I haven’t cross-posted a lot of these).
BIRTHDAY CAKE 🎂 A BOOK WITH A PLOT THAT SEEMS CLICHÉ BUT YOU ADORE IT ANYWAY.
I had a hard time with this one because so many of my books earned their place on the favorites list by avoiding cliches, but then I remembered The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith.
To be quite honest I can’t remember what exactly I adored about this book; it may have been a case of right book, right time. But I originally gave it five stars, so until I finally get around to rereading it, it gets to keep that rating.
PARTY GUESTS 🥂 YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE THIS YEAR.
Oooooh, this was such a tough one because there are so many amazing books coming out this year, but I’m going to have to go with Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, just because I already know I’m going to love it (while some of my other top 2019 releases are still wild cards). It’s the sixth — and apparently last 😭 — book in the Queen’s Thief series, and while I’m so not ready to say goodbye to Eugenides (or Irene or Helen or any of them) I’m also so excited to see them again.
BIRTHDAY PRESENTS 🎁 A BOOK THAT SURPRISED YOU WITH HOW MUCH YOU LOVED IT.
Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that my best friend originally had to lowkey coerce me into reading the Raven Cycle. (I love each of the books pretty equally, but the first one gets special recognition for kicking off the whole adventure.) Though it probably would’ve helped if I’d realized it was by the same author who wrote The Wolves of Mercy Falls. I know it’s on the cover, but I had the Kindle books. I barely saw the cover.
Related: if I could have just a fraction of Maggie Stiefvater’s talent, my life would be complete. But I got myself a ticket to her Portraits & Dreams writing seminar in Brooklyn as an early birthday present (well, the ticket was an early present; the event will be a belated present 😂) and I absolutely can’t wait!
THE HAPPY BIRTHDAY SONG 🎵 A BOOK THAT CERTAINLY DESERVED ALL THE HYPE IT GOT.
I think my “agree with the hype” and “unpopular opinion” are split about 50/50, but here’s one I really loved: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
I still don’t know what it is about this book, because on the surface the plot and characters could even be called ordinary — but I’ve reread it several times over the years, and it still astonishes me how thoroughly I’m immersed in the Liars’ world and how deeply I care about them. Even knowing the twists and reveals that are coming, they hit me as hard as the very first time.
HAPPY MUSIC 😊 A BOOK WITH SOME VERY BEAUTIFUL AND TRULY MEMORABLE QUOTES.
If you know me and my taste in books at all, you knew this one was going to be on the list somewhere, beyond the brief mention it got earlier. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is my go-to whenever anyone asks my favorite book. It’s got pretty much everything I love: magic, a setting that just comes to life, kittens, precocious children, understated but well-developed romance … the list goes on and on. (You can see my Kindle highlights here, and I’ve also included several in an I Made a Thing post that’ll be up very soon!)
But, come to think of it, you could also put any Maggie Stiefvater book in this slot. So.
GETTING OLDER ✨ A BOOK THAT YOU READ A LONG TIME AGO, BUT YOU THINK THAT YOU WOULD APPRECIATE MORE IF YOU READ IT AS A MORE MATURE READER.
I really enjoyed Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift as a fantasy/adventure story (and getting to play the Brobdingnagian scientist in a theater summer camp play — I was in a class play every year of elementary school and in the school musical every year I was allowed to be, and I loved almost every minute of it!).
But I definitely missed out on a lot of the social implications and commentary that he was famous for, so we’re probably due for a reread.
SWEET BIRTHDAY MEMORIES 💖 A BOOK THAT KEPT YOU INCREDIBLY HAPPY DURING A SAD OR DEMANDING PERIOD OF YOUR LIFE.
I don’t know if “incredibly happy” is the right descriptor, but Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell has always made me feel seen and understood. Whether it’s social anxiety flaring up, deadline pressure, or just growing up in general, it’s so easy to relate to Cath; she makes plenty of mistakes and poor decisions, but she’s doing her best.
This book is one of the few fandom-centered YA novels that I adore, because it strikes a balance between the online (and, to a lesser extent, the offline) communities and the very personal nature of loving fictional characters. I also reread it whenever I need some inspiration to finish off my own multichapter fanfics, so expect to see it back on my currently-reading shelf sometime soon 😉
And there we have it! I’d love to hear which books you’d pick for some of these, or if you have ideas for new categories.
Feel free to say I tagged you if you want to do this tag for your birthday!