This tag was created by Becky @beckysblogs. I wasn’t tagged and I’ve never eaten a pancake in my life, but I saw this tag because of Marie @drizzleandhurricanebooks and I thought it looked really cute, so why not.
- Link back to the original creator in your post.
- Feel free to use any of my pancake graphics in your post, or create your own!
Tag 5 other people at the end of your post, and let them know you’ve tagged them.(I won’t because I wasn’t tagged and because I’m lazy)
1. Since we’re talking about beautiful descriptions and about food, I can’t not talk about The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad, as one of my favorite parts of the book were the food descriptions. So much food, from so many different cultures (if you like reading about multicultural fantasy cities, you need to read this book), and detailed writing = the perfect combination.
And I mean, there isn’t one thing about this book that isn’t beautiful, starting from the cover (just look at it). The writing isn’t exactly easy to get into but it was so worth it for me. I especially recommend this book to those who like Roshani Chokshi and desert fantasy books in general.
2. A sharp character? What’s sharper than a blade? I’m so glad this question was there, I get to talk again about ezuzuacat Nineteen Adze, “whose gracious presence illuminates the room like the edgeshine of a knife”, who could stab me and I’d thank her, from A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine.
She’s the best non-PoV female character I’ve ever read. She’s exactly what I mean when I say that I want to see more competent, seriously morally gray women who know what they’re doing when it comes to political intrigue. While she isn’t a villain, the way I like her is similar to the reasons I like many of my favorite villains. She’s so fascinating.
3. The thing is, I don’t really like “comforting”? Or, it’s not something I will go back to and reread. The closest thing I can think of is The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz, which is a low-conflict atmospheric novel I like to read/reread during August.
However, calling it comforting is a stretch – this is about perfectionism and death and unrequited feelings and wanting to retreat inside your head and never live outside again. But it’s not depressing in any way? I once said it was “the happiest sad book you’ll ever read” and I stand by that description. This is such a gorgeous novel following a bisexual Puerto Rican girl and I still can’t believe how underrated it is.
4. There have been many, but the most recent and strongest book hangover since Ninefox Gambit has been The Fever King by Victoria Lee.
For more than two weeks, I could barely think about anything else. Maybe I was even reading other books, but I was still thinking about this one, its morally gray characters, its really original magic system based on science and knowledge, its complex exploration of trauma and how people respond to it, and the questions it raised about ends justifying or not the means. This really is dystopian done right (finally, with a villain that is actually really interesting.)
5. I’m not sure what “indulgent feels” means exactly, but I feel like it’s a good description for what Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan felt like: a Gothic book that was unapologetically just there for the aesthetic but that still had a solid, interesting plot, characters I loved, and quite disturbing undertones.
Maybe saying that it’s just there for the aesthetic is an exaggeration, because the book is also clearly there for the disaster villain romance unfolding, but for something that was so purposefully dark and morally messed up by YA standard, it was also… a really fun read? I loved that it didn’t take itself too seriously.
6. When I saw this question, I immediately thought of Runa, the archer from The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke. She’s grumpy and abrasive and a pessimist and doesn’t really want to be there, but… she’s also so much more than that? And she ended up being my favorite character in the whole book, for how much I loved Frey and Juniper.
And I wouldn’t even say that the characters are the strongest point of this book – the main reasons I loved it were the themes of agency and heroism for women (finally a story in which the main characters end up on a quest because they want to and not because they were forced to!) and the lost, distant atmosphere.
7. I’ve never read a book as “slippery” as Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water by Vylar Kaftan. In theory, this novella is about lesbians and cave horror. In practice, it’s not at all (but it is gay), and I felt like I was reading an oddly coherent transcription of a bad dream. Which was probably the goal, but it was such a weird experience that I still don’t really know how I feel about it.
If the narrator had suddenly stopped, declared a part of the book “all just a dream” and turned it into a a cute romcom, I wouldn’t even have been that surprised (it’s not what happened), because it felt so much like it was going to come apart and become something else from one moment to the next.
8. Lei and Wren from Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. I didn’t really feel it at first, but that’s how it is with slow-burn romances. It ended up being one of my favorite romances ever in one of my favorite books of the year. It means so much to me that f/f couples – following two Asian girls, too – are finally getting the development that is usually dedicated to m/f ones and getting they hype they deserve. Also, I’ve finally found a “forbidden court romance” novel I actually like.
I can’t wait to see how Lei and Wren are doing in the sequel, even though I’m also worried, because the world they live in is all but kind.
9. I’ve never eaten peanut butter, so I don’t know if it would make me recoil, but a character who does is Kujen from the Machineries of Empire series by Yoon Ha Lee. It’s just… there are so many terrible people in these books that I can’t even really tell if some of them are villains or not, but Kujen gets to some unparalleled levels of fucked up – especially in Revenant Gun. It takes a lot to write such an interesting character considering that he has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Spoiler-free explanation for those who haven’t met him: he kind of feels like the sci-fi version of a sadistic immortal fae, but like, very into math and gayer (…like everyone here).
10. I don’t know what to answer, because so many books I know would fit (…as do most books I’ve mentioned on this post) and I don’t want to be the person who is like “this book does diversity better than any other”, because that’s not how diversity works, and I know I’m just overthinking this, but I don’t know which one to choose?
I’m just going to tell you about the most recent I haven’t already talked about here, which is Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali, a love story between two Muslims set in Qatar which features multiracial main characters and also talks about disability and women’s rights.
I’m not tagging anyone, but I’d love to see other people’s answers to this! Also: have you read any of these? Do you have “comfort” reads?