This or That Tag

I saw this over on A Little Haze Book Blog literally forever ago and have just been hoarding it for months, but it was originally created by PaperFury, and I am always down to chat about my favorite of something, so let’s get cooking!

Series OR standalone?

Honestly, I was originally going to say that this was such a hard one, but there’s just something about series that get me. I love being able to hang out in the world for as long as possible, and while I do sometimes really enjoy a standalone, enjoy being able to dip in and out, there are some books that I just want to weep over because they’re not series.

This book took me on a journey. 💀 It was absolutely incredible from start to finish, and while it definitely works as a standalone, I want so much more. I love these characters. I love this world. I love this writing. Just wow. . Also, if anyone so...

LIKE GIVE ME MORE OF THESE CHARACTERS FOREVER PLEASE

Magic earned OR Magic born?

OHHHHH, this is hard.

There’s something so fun about both. I think The Paper Magician series is my favorite example of magic earned because it’s so relatable to the real world. Like, yeah, I could totally go to school to become a magician in that universe. It’s not like Hogwarts, where you only get to go if you’re born with it, it’s literally open to everyone. And I really love the real-world consequences of that series because Ceony gets slotted with paper magic even though she wants terribly to be a smelter, but it’s because they’re running out of paper magicians, and they don’t want the practice to die out, and that’s just? So cool to me.

But magic born, man. I think magic born usually goes hand-in-hand with the Chosen One archetype, which I’m not opposed to, but it’s also kind of like–alright, so we’ve got a Harry Potter, obviously he’s going to be the hero of the story. Like, you’ve done nothing to get this power, now save the world with it. Although, I’d like to argue that a lot of magic born characters end up feeling like they have to earn that magic?

I’m literally talking myself in circles right now, but I think my conclusion is that I like magic earned.

Enemies-to-lovers OR friends-to-lovers?

I saw a bunch of different people combining these to make it enemies-to-friends-to-lovers (wow that’s a lot of dashes when push comes to shove), but I’m a friends-to-lovers fan through and through.

Wylan and Jesper by taratjah on DeviantArt
Art by taratjah

These two assholes over here. Give me friends slowly realizing they’re crushing hard and then eventually falling in love, and I will scream every time. And don’t get me wrong, I’m always here for an enemies-to-lovers, but I just love that beginning as friends where they’ve already got some banter and casual touching, and then both of those things slowly gain a little more meaning, and then it’s oh shit we’re in love. It gets me every time.

Hilarious banter OR emotional ruin?

HILARIOUS BANTER FOR LIFE, PLEASE. Sure, sure, sure, I love when characters cry and discover themselves, but I want knee-slapping jokes and laugh in case you die moments every time.

Love triangle OR insta-love?

Oh, hm. You know, if you’re gonna make me pick, I’m gonna go hard:

I think about Lazlo Strange so often, it hurts my heart a little. Is there a character that you’re just never going to let go of? . #maryreads #amreading #reading #readersofinstagram #books #booklover #bookish #bookreview #bookstagram...

Love triangles are never good. I’m not particularly fond of insta-love, either, but if you can back it up with lots and lots of romance after the insta-love initially happens like Laini can, then I guess we’ll be alright.

Keyboard smash fantasy names OR all names start with the same letter?

Oh god, please, save this world from fantasy names everywhere. They’re so bad! Don’t do it to yourself. For the love of Satan, I saw a name the other day, jfc, what was it, it started with an x, and there were a lot of vowels, and the character was white, and I just WHY.

why

why

why

It’s so unnecessarily. Look, all my favorite characters are so easy–Kaz and Karou and shit I dug a hole what’s another K-name and niKolai. I like them phonetic and short usually.

Mean parents OR dead parents?

Look, both are going to make me cry, so both are bad.

Wow, actually, now that I think about it, are there any nice parents in Maggie’s books? And if they were nice, I’m pretty sure they’re dead? Well, Maura’s okay, but Blue’s dad is very much not okay, and uh, that’s about where that ends.

I like nice parents, so I’m going to be a rebel and not choose between either. I understand utilizing both, but it’s kind of become a thing where bad or dead is the only way to go in fiction anymore, and that’s really kind of sad because good parents are out there, I’ve got some, and I want to read more about healthy family dynamics.

Supermodel looks OR constantly says how plain they are?

Okay, look, here’s the thing:

From this moment forward, I want you to remember that when my characters have the stereotypical “sharp jaw, defined cheekbones, tousled dark hair” IT’S BECAUSE OF THIS MAN, NO ONE ELSE, TOMMY SHELBY OR DEATH. My characters are not modeled after starving to death Kaz Brekker or bloodthirsty Malachiasz or literal angel Akiva or even also starving to death Levi Glaisyer, they are modeled after Cillian Murphy in the role of Tommy Shelby, and I will never stop fainting dead over him.

I think that means neither?

Face on cover OR typography on cover?

I’m such an asshole, I’m so sorry.

So, when I go book shopping with my friend, Erin, who is pretty much the only person I’ll go with unless it’s been an eternity (hi Alex), both of this do this really rude thing where if a title intrigues us, we’ll take the book down, but if the cover has a person on it, we don’t even read the summary. I KNOW, IT’S BAD. Very occasionally, I’ll cave if the cover’s not that atrocious, and I have found some good books, but I just hate people on covers so much.

Villain turning a little good OR hero turning a little bad?

Met a hilarious, super cool author tonight after getting glitter-bombed, and I think it’s safe to say tonight was amazing. @veschwab was funny, engaging, and just all around one of the most badass Slytherins I’ve ever met. I’m so grateful that I got...

I think Queen Schwab is one of those authors who does both of these ambiguously constantly, and I’m in love with it. Because both. I recognize that I’ve gone off the rails in these last ones, but I’m always down for both. I want a tiny bit of redemption in my villain, but also a little bit of darkness in my hero. I just had a revelation. Oh boy. I write both of these also, WHAT FUN. I get why people love a pure, good character, I do, but also YAWN, I want them to do questionable things, and I want to maybe wonder if I should actually be liking them. And I understand wanting to see motive and backstory for a villain, but also, let them quietly try to do something nice in the world.

What I’m saying is, be Victor Vale.

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Mary RYT 200 Tibetan Buddhism Gryffindor Part-time witch, full-time novelist. Lover of words, planets, dragons, and mountains.

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