Hi everyone! It has been a couple of months since I’ve done a tag, and was fancying one on this humid (and grey) Scottish morning. I’m not sure who the original creator is – sorry! If anyone does know, leave me a comment down below and I will add their blog here. As usual, I bend the rules of tags, which for this one are:
- Answer questions truthfully
- Tag 5 bloggers to do the tag
Whilst I can do rule no.1 no problem, no.2… I shall just leave open. There are so many bloggers that I don’t know who has done this particular tag, so if you haven’t and would like to do it, consider yourself tagged! Now without further ado, let’s get into the questions:
1. Which book, most recently, did you not finish?
This is quite a hard one, as I tend to finish novels even if I’m not loving them. I suppose I cling on to the hope that the second half will be so much better than the first. So instead, I will give you the book that I wish I had DNF’ed:
Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill. It was an interesting premise but bogged down with clunky writing, terrible characters, and a pace so slow a snail would whizz by it. I also found myself getting irritated by the repetition throughout. I understand why it’s used in the novel, but because I didn’t like spending time with these characters it was just so frustrating.
Normally, I tend to look back on books more fondly, forgetting their flaws. Not here. In fact, reflecting on Only Ever Yours makes me realise how damaging the novel is to young girls – despite its warnings about what damages young girls. The main character is portrayed as ‘not like other girls’ whilst secondary ones are portrayed as shallow for liking reality TV. It seems to defeat the purpose of the book.
2. Which book is your guilty pleasure?
Is The Book Thief the best novel I’ve ever read? No – it’s probably not even in the Top 10. But I still love it and have loved it for over a decade now. I read it at a certain point in my life when I wasn’t reading as much. I was a young teenager and books/reading were never seen as ‘cool’. I was also feeling really isolated due to a number of reasons. The Book Thief restored my interest in reading and gave me back one of my main hobbies; it also made me feel less alone. So I always hold fond memories of it. I think it is nostalgia rather than the writing style that makes me enjoy it so.
3. Which book do you love to hate?
I’ve not even read 50 Shades of Grey, and was completed confused when my friend tried to explain it to me when it first came out. And whilst I have never been tempted to crack open the cover (maybe when I’ve read every single book in existence) that hasn’t stopped me from reading snippets people have posted online. Because I’m a masochist apparently. My favourite part of the novel? The talking ‘gopher’. It took me a couple of re-reads to work out what James meant.
4. Which book would you throw into the sea?
Tangerine by Christine Mangan is not a bad book. I really enjoyed the plot and suspense of it all. What frustrated me, and thus its getting thrown into the sea, was the writing. Here was a great plot let down by clumsy writing. Mangan at times felt like she had to explain everything to the reader, which ruined the rhythm of the sentence and overall flow of the book. It’s a debut and you can see it in these moments.
Nonetheless, if you like thrillers I’m sure you’ll like Tangerine. There is a lot to enjoy. But in the end it became quite a frustrating read for me.
5. Which book have you read the most?
Jane Eyre. Without a doubt. It is my favourite novel and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. All I know is that my copy is now falling apart at the seams because I’ve read it so much.
6. Which book would you hate to recieve as a gift?
This is a hard one for me. I love many types of books, and there isn’t something I wouldn’t read (apart from 50 Shades of Grey). Even if it is a genre I’m unfamiliar with I would still give it a shot.
With that being said, I wouldn’t like a diet book as a gift. I like cooking and learning new recipes/trying new foods so the content wouldn’t be the problem. It would be the implication. Ditto on self-help books. I don’t know how I would feel if one of friends saw one of them in the shop and went, ‘I know who would be perfect for these!’ For someone to imply I need to lose weight or improve myself…yeah that would get me down. So probably don’t get me one of those.
7. Which book could you not live without?
Snarky bitch answer would be: a ‘how to’ manual. But I would probably pick Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. This is a very close second behind Jane Eyre, both in terms of my favourite books and the amount of times I’ve read them. I love Gothic- inspired stories, and basically anything with a potentially haunted house is a plus for me. Plus Du Maurier’s writing is gorgeous. There are passages I’ve read several times over, just to bask in the word choice and imagery. If stuck on a desert island, I would definitely take this. And maybe that ‘how to’ manual.
8. Which book makes you angriest?
There are two contenders for this title. First is the previously mentioned Only Ever Yours. But my anger for that novel only started to brew upon finishing it. Whilst with Heroes & Villains, I was angry from a quarter of the way through. There were times I wanted to throw the book away. I won’t go into details here – mainly because I can feel the anger towards it resurfacing and I don’t want to turn this tag into a rant – but here is my review from earlier this year. It pretty much sums up the many, many problems I had with this book. It is especially disappointing as Carter’s The Bloody Chamber is my favourite short story collection.
9. Which book made you cry the most?
This was also a hard one too. Quite a few books have made me cry. To Kill a Mockingbird, The Book Thief, and Lincoln in the Bardo have all caused me to sob. But none of them have made me cry harder than The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy. I can’t even say why – it occurs towards the end of the novel so will be a massive spoiler if I said it. Yes, the story is melodramatic but I adored the characters and just wanted to follow them forever so the ending was emotional. I’m still not convinced it was the best ending for some of these characters but I still love it regardless.
10. Which book cover do you hate the most?
Hot take alert: I don’t like the Persephone covers. Those pale grey ones. I think they look so bland, and more like home décor than an actual book. I’ve noticed quite a few Booktubers buy them, but not actually read any of them. Yes, they may look nice and tidy on shelves but if you’re not going to read them what’s the point? Apart from Ana Steele, they are the only people who seem interested in grey. I’m also not convinced on not using a blurb, with Persephone putting a snippet of the novel on the French flaps instead. I quite like having a couple of lines summing up the plot, it gives me a better idea on whether or not I’ll enjoy it. So…yeah. There’s not specific book for this answer, but a whole collection of them. Sorry.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!