I was tagged by Elise @thebookishactress. Thank you!
The Questions, The Answers
What color do you wear the most?
For most of the year, greens and grays. In summer, I’m either some combination of white and blue or a walking rainbow. There’s no in-between.
What’s your favorite episode of your favorite TV show and why?
I don’t have one, I have never watched a TV show. I don’t like watching anything that is on a screen and there are reasons for that that I don’t want to explain right now. (In one word, it’s anxiety.)
Pretend you work in a book store and are asked for three staff picks. What are they?
I’m not sure how staff picks work (I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen in an Italian bookstore?). Are they just three books I like or three books I like that fit some specific criteria like “published recently, not that hyped but could appeal to a large audience”? I’m going to chose three books that fit option #2 because if I only had to choose three books I like I wouldn’t know where to start. So, my picks are:
- This Is What It Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow, a YA contemporary which should be just as popular as Far From the Tree, with its focus on reconnecting (through music!) and healing. Also, it’s f/f and it has ownvoices black rep…
- The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark, a steampunk novella following two paranormal investigators and a haunted tram car in Cairo. Very atmospheric and it has a great message (it’s alt-history post-colonial fiction that talks about historical feminist movements).
- Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore: it may not be my favorite McLemore but it didn’t get half the hype it deserves. It’s a “Snow White and Rose Red + Swan Lake” retelling about sisters and the way women are pitted against each other, categorized as either “good girls” (princesses) or “bad girls” (witches). It has two gorgeous romances, latinx and trans representation, and (of course) beautiful writing.
What book first made you feel really seen?
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I could joke about it making me feel seen for the wanting to kiss and also kill the villain element, but that’s not the main reason. The main reason is Alina Starkov. I haven’t seen people mention it before, but what stands out the most to me is how tired she is. So tired that she kind of hates other people when they try to interact with her, so tired that she barely eats and looks sick, and wasn’t that my high school experience
The way this book alternated “can use magic, eats, is happy” with “too tired to eat and interact, constantly bitter” was… my life. Even though I’m definitely not magical and even though Alina’s powers aren’t an intentional metaphor for an illness.
Put your phone on shuffle and find a book that matches the song you got.
Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko? Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler because of the coming-out-as-a-lesbian part and overall light mood, The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown because of the steal-mediocre-and-toxic-boys’-girlfriends part.
Book to movie adaptation you’re genuinely excited for?
I… won’t watch them? But I’m glad The Sun Is Also a Star is getting adapted, even though I don’t love how they cast someone who is almost 30 to play a teenage boy. But I probably was never going to watch it anyway. I mean, I still haven’t seen Love, Simon and I really was interested in that one.
Choose one book for each season.
Spring: The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton, because it has a beautiful atmosphere, it’s full of life but hasn’t completely left winter behind, and because it never seems to end.
Summer: The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz, even though this book is actually set in spring-to-early summer. However, it talks about moving on, liminal spaces, and feeling removed from reality even though you’re being the most you that you’ve ever been. Those are very summer-y feelings.
Fall: When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore, because of the gorgeous atmosphere and… basically everything about the book is fall.
Winter: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. Sad, slow-paced, quietly beautiful, lonely? That sounds like winter to me.
Dump-him-challenge: What love interests do you think are just deeply, deeply overrated?
Most of YA fantasy male love interests are so mediocre I can barely tell them apart, and some of those who stand out, do so in a bad way (…Rhysand. No, I never liked him). However, in those cases the problem wasn’t the love interest, it was the whole book, so I don’t feel like it counts?
I also don’t like Cardan. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the romance in that book (I don’t have any problem with intentionally toxic romances and I think that’s what this is), but I can’t imagine anything more unattractive than a bully. I really don’t get it, and I usually understand the appeal of messed up romances.
Favorite Netflix original series?
What’s your current most anticipated release for this month?
I’m writing this post in February, and the current answer is Ann Leckie’s The Raven Tower. I haven’t heard a lot about it but it’s apparently about godhood and has trans characters in it. However, by the time this post will be up, this book will already be published. My most anticipated March release was A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine… which I’m currently reading. My most anticipated March release I haven’t read yet is The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley: she wrote one of my favorite books, The Stars Are Legion, and now she’s back – this is going to be so weird. I can’t wait.
What’s a situation in your life that you’ve learned a lot from?
It’s not that there aren’t any, it’s that I can’t think of one I’m comfortable talking about on the internet. On a not too serious note, I can say that a situation I learned a lot from was reading bad fanfiction at 15. What did I learn? Well, I couldn’t find that sort of thing in Italian, so… the English language.
- What was the last book you rated three stars, and why?
- Do you read short fiction?
- A book you’re anticipating that isn’t getting much hype?
- Have you ever felt like a book/its writing was manipulative?
- A trope you don’t like?
- Is there anything (like a trope, a setting, or a specific subgenre) that recurs often in your favorite books?
- Two random non-bookish facts about you?
- A book whose premise was better than the actual content?
- What’s the weirdest book you’ve ever read?
- Supposing that plot and characters are both well-written, which do you value more in fantasy: atmosphere or a well-defined magic system?
- Is there anything you wish was talked about more in the book community?
Which YA fantasy love interest is the most overrated?