Sunshine Blogger Award #3

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?
(See above.)

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.

My Questions:

  1. What was the last book you rated three stars, and why?
  2. Do you read short fiction?
  3. A book you’re anticipating that isn’t getting much hype?
  4. Have you ever felt like a book/its writing was manipulative?
  5. A trope you don’t like?
  6. Is there anything (like a trope, a setting, or a specific subgenre) that recurs often in your favorite books?
  7. Two random non-bookish facts about you?
  8. A book whose premise was better than the actual content?
  9. What’s the weirdest book you’ve ever read?
  10. Supposing that plot and characters are both well-written, which do you value more in fantasy: atmosphere or a well-defined magic system?
  11. Is there anything you wish was talked about more in the book community?

I’m tagging [don’t feel obligated to do it!]: Silvia @SilviaReadsBooks, Caro @Bookcheshirecat, Ngọc @ReadWithNgọc, Sahi @MyWorldofBooks, Marie @Drizzle&HurricaneBooks.

Which YA fantasy love interest is the most overrated?


10 thoughts on “Sunshine Blogger Award #3

  1. “Steal-mediocre-and-toxic-boys’-girlfriends” I just added The Truth About Keeping Secrets so fast, this is the energy I want in my life.
    I’m honestly struggling to think of a YA fantasy love interest who isn’t overrated – I’m so with you on Cardan. I’m always here for messy relationships and I don’t mind that romance, but bullys aren’t attractive to me? at all? I don’t get it! I’m also just so tired of seeing men/boy’s shitty behavior justified by their tragic back stories. Pretty much every love interest written by SJM is also super overrated, they just brood? Is that supposed to be interesting? Cause I’m bored.
    All your seasonal picks are so on point! Love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Messy relationships are great! But I agree, I don’t like the “tortured boy you’re supposed to like even though he’s terrible” trope, and I never get why the bullied person would like the bully back in the first place. Some people say it’s a great set up for sexual tension but I don’t know, I’ve been through that and there’s nothing attractive or interesting about it.
      …all of SJM love interests feel the same to me. I mentioned Rhysand because he’s the most popular, but really, the other men in that book (and Rowan too) felt like slightly different versions of the same broody dude.
      And thank you, I hope you like The Truth About Keeping Secrets!


  2. Ohhh i haven’t done one of these in a while and I love your questions! Thanks for tagging me, I can’t wait to do it!

    I think a staff pick is just people who work in a book store putting notes (like 2-sentences reviews) in front books they’ve enjoyed! I’ve seen it here in big libraries and I’m not sure if there’s a method or everyone can just pick a book they liked. But I’ve seen it both for very famous books and for less famous ones!

    I’m glad to see you think the relationship in tcp is intentionally toxic. I haven’t read it yet but that’s what I got from people talking about it, but everyone just seems to either ship it or hate it. I’m really curious about their dynamics but I think I’ll wait for the last book to be out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh that makes sense. I haven’t seen it done here yet, but it’s a cool idea.
      Yes, the ship in The Cruel Prince is polarizing, but I think most agree about it being toxic by design. I also see that there are many conflicting opinions about what Black should do with it (“they shouldn’t end up together”/”it’s fine if they get development and it gets healthier”/”I’m fine with the ship as it is I love the trashfire”) and I think it will be interesting to see what the author will choose. I dislike how it began because of the bullying element (I will never get it.) but it does have the potential to become something really entertaining to read about.

      And I can’t wait to see your answers, I’m glad you liked the questions!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Same, I don’t think he’s my kind of love interest? That could change with the sequel – I still haven’t read The Wicked King, but I want to at some point – but apart from the bullying aspect I just… don’t feel that strongly about him
      And I’m glad you like the questions!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on the award, and thank you so much for thinking of me!! ❤ ❤
    I really liked reading your answers, I loved This is what it feels like, this book deserves way more hype, it's such a good book ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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