HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
Admittedly, I’m a little in shock that I’m turning 28 today, but I’m also having the time of my damn life this year so far, so I guess it’s going to be a good one. Sofii @ A Book. A Thought. did this tag on her birthday, and it looked like a ton of fun from the very first question, so here we go!
a book with a plot that seems cliche but you adore it anyway
Y’all, Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene truly leans into every possible cliche and trope you could ever find in a YA high fantasy book, and I love every single second of it. We’ve got a special snowflake main character, so many references to night/dark/shadows/dusk, an angry sad boy, best friend unrequited love, long lost royalty–I mean, the list goes on and on. But they’re done in a way that’s meant to be celebrated and excited about, and I just really appreciate how much fun Selene clearly had while writing this.
your most anticipated book release this year
I considered not listing The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty because I feel like everyone and their mother is talking about this book this year, but like, can you blame us? 10/10 predict my death this summer. I’m not ready for this, but I want it anyway. I don’t think there’s a single book this year that I’m freaking out about more than this, and who knows, maybe I’ll even perish before we get there because the waiting will do me in.
a book that surprised you with how much you loved it
I know what you’re thinking. “But Mary, it’s queer + space + King Arthur, OF COURSE you were going to like it.” Yeah, yeah, I know that, but I wasn’t quite prepared for just how much I was going to fall in love with Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy. I knew that I was going to like it. It’s all of my favorite things smashed together. But I literally wanted to scream about this book nonstop for the entire time I was reading it, and anytime someone mentions it, I just want to keep screaming.
The Happy Birthday Song
a book that certainly deserved all the hype it got
Either The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow actually got hype, or I just saw it eighty-five thousand times on Instagram because of the gorgeous title and because it was January, and sometimes I make up hype in my head because it’s my own hype, but I’m pretty sure this got hype, and it 1000000% deserved it. This was an absolute masterpiece, and I am over the moon that Harrow just announced a new book.
a book with some very beautiful and truly memorable quotes
Probably not what you were expecting, but An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield is probably my most-quoted book, and I honest to goodness think about it at least once a week. I read it back in 2016, and it’s still standing out in my mind. It absolutely changed the way I look at my daily life, and I’m eternally grateful to it.
a book that you read a long time ago, but you think that you would appreciate it more if you read it as a more mature reader
I genuinely like The Odyssey by Homer (and The Iliad), and there are very few classic books that I hated (yes, Nathaniel Hawthorne, I’m looking at you) in high school & college, but I do think that my current life as a reader would enjoy the hell out of these two epic poems a lot more than I already did. Which I realize is not really the point of this question, but honestly, I think I’m more in a place in my life now to enjoy this than I was previously, which is saying something since I took an entire semester in Shakespeare.
Sweet Birthday Memories
a book that kept you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding period of your life
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling has been pivotal for me in a lot of different moments in my life. It’s not only what got me into reading and writing, but it’s been what I’ve turned to in every different emotional state. This particular book, too, none of the others. There’s something innocent and wholesome and untouched by this often terrible world we live in when Harry’s still eleven and just discovering how truly incredible magic can be, and that draws me out of whatever is going on in my head and helps me to remember that it’s all good.