Friday, May 26, 2017

30 Day Book Challenge

It's been a while since I did anything other than a ranking or list on here, so I thought it would be fun to do something that used to be a regular series on here-- an entire 30 day tumblr challenge in a single post! AKA: a One Day Tumblr Challenge. If you want to see more of these type of challenges, there's a page linked in the sidebar to the right with all of the One Day Tumblr Challenges I've done.

Back in 2014, I did a different 30 Day Book Challenge. Oddly, many of the questions are the same, but either way, that was quite a while back and my answers are going to be pretty different this time around (trust me, I checked!). If you do want to check that out though, you can do so by clicking here.

1) Best book you read last year

Seriously, this book was amazing. Generally, my all-time favorite books are series. When I think of my favorite books, the first ones to come to mind are always books from my favorite series. But this book rose well above everything else that I read in 2016. It was everything I could ever want in a book-- amazing world, complex characters, intriguing plot, plus a cool magic system. I found it so easy to sit down and binge read it, but it wasn't one of those books where its addictive quality was the only good thing about it. It was just overall awesome. 

2) A book that you've read more than 3 times

Although I really enjoy re-reading books, this question actually made me realize that there aren't a ton of books that I've read more than 3 times. I wanted to choose something that wasn't obvious (AKA Harry Potter & And Then There Were None). So, I ended up going with All-American Girl by Meg Cabot. This is one that I first read back in elementary school, before even reading Harry Potter. This quickly became my favorite book and I read it over and over. It's been a while since the last time I re-read it, but I've probably read All American Girl upwards of 20 times.

3) Your favorite series

I wasn't going to go for the obvious, but I found that (for once) my second-favorite series was getting a lot of love on this list, so for the sake of variety I decided to talk about Harry Potter. It is, has been, and will always be my favorite book series. It's sheer perfection in every way and holds a very special place in my heart. 

4) Favorite book of your favorite series

Piggybacking off of the last question, I have a tie for my favorite book in the series. When forced to choose, I often say Half Blood Prince is my favorite, but occasionally Deathly Hallows wins out. They're just both really amazing in different ways. HBP gives so much backstory to Voldemort and it just enriches the entire world and story and Deathly Hallows follows an entirely new and unique structure from the other books. They're just both absolutely phenomenal. 

5) A book that makes you happy

This entire book is just really cute. I'm not necessarily saying that the ending made me happy (it might have, or it might not have-- no spoilers here!) but pretty much the entire way through, I found myself smiling at everything from the characters, to the plot, to Simon's voice. Overall, the book was just fun and happy throughout. 

6) A book that makes you sad

Once again, no spoilers for the ending-- I'm not trying to tell you whether or not the ending made me happy or sad. But this is just one of the most emotional stories I've read. The entire premise of the story is that our MC, Naho, is trying to save her new friend Kakeru from a seemingly negative fate. So, the entire story is full of emotional low points, tears, and just generally emotional people. I considered putting this in the happy field because a lot of the tears were happy tears throughout, but despite the fact that it's generally a heartwarming story, there are some really low, low, emotional points that can hit home in very sad ways. So I put it here. 

7) Most underrated book

I considered several books for this one, but settled on Coda because it had the least reviews/ratings on Goodreads. This is a dystopian novel in a world where the only legal music is addictive, government-sanctioned music. But, our MC, Anthem, is in a band and regularly performs and creates illegal music. It's just a really interesting plot and a really intriguing world on top of that. Some other criminally underrated dystopian novels that I considered mentioning here were The Chimes by Anna Smaill (long-listed for the Manbooker, and also dealing heavily with music), as well as The Body Electric by Beth Revis (a sci-fi dystopian that personally gives me Lunar Chronicles vibes).

8) Most overrated book

OK, hear me out. I considered listing several popular YA trilogies here, but the majority of them were series where I've seen many people with dissenting opinions. Series like The Selection (which many people do dislike), Divergent (I think we all hate book 3), and Shatter Me (which has pretty mixed reviews across the board) are all ones I considered. But everyone loves The Hunger Games and my general opinion toward it can be summed up by: *shrug*. I did enjoy hunger games, but it goes downhill from there. I didn't hate it by any means, but I just didn't see why everyone loves it so much. And I think most people have mixed or negative feelings about Mockingjay. The series is fine, but if you want a Hunger Games-esque story, check out Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, which did it both first and better. 

9) A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving

If I don't think I'll like a book, I typically just don't read it. Life's too short to read books you aren't interested in. So for this one, I turned to a re-read. I loved the Pendragon series, but this book, the finale, was a major disappointment the first time through. So, when I re-read the series, I wasn't really expecting to enjoy it. But the second time through, I really loved it as a conclusion. I'm not sure what changed between the reads-- maybe I was just more mentally prepared given that I already knew some of the explanations. But overall, the re-read really took it from a disappointing conclusion to a book that I gave 5 stars. 

10) Favorite classic book

Once again, I wanted to avoid the obvious (And Then There Were None). I don't read a ton of classics, but when I do, I read dystopia. It was a hard choice between 1984 and Brave New World, but I chose 1984 because the world terrifies me even more. Every single thought and word are monitored by Big Brother. It's just a terrifying reality to think of, and the book explored this world in such an interesting way. It's really awesome. 

11) A book you hated

Hate is a really strong word, and I'm hesitant to use it to describe books. But ugh, I really don't like this book. I hated the characters. Alaska was a manic pixie dream girl stereotype and I was not here for it. I thought that the book was pretty predictable and I honestly can't think of a single thing that I actually liked about it. Even though I liked The Fault in our Stars, Looking for Alaska has dissuaded me from picking up any more John Green books. 

12) A book you used to love but don't anymore

I mean, I'd have to go back and re-read it to be sure, but I think all of us have dealt with a huge shift in opinions when it comes to this book and series. Bella is such a pathetic character, and HOW did I not think that Edward was creepy to watch her sleep? I still totally recognize the inherent addictive quality to these books, but I think that's really the only good thing about it. That being said, I really do want to go back and re-read the series to see what my opinions are now. I mean, the books are super easy to find at used bookstores for $2, so maybe that'll happen. 

13) Your favorite writer

I picked up my first book by Brandon Sanderson almost 2 years ago, and I've never looked back. I've enjoyed every single one of his books that I've read so far, and many of them are among my favorite books that I've ever read. His magic systems and worlds are always so interesting and complex, his writing is well-done but easy to read, and I always find it difficult to put his books down. I've read 9 of his books so far, but I still have so many more that I still need to get to, because the guy publishes multiple books every year. It's just so impressive and overall, he's definitely become my favorite author. 

14) Favorite book of your favorite writer
The Final Empire absolutely blew me away. Not only is it my favorite Brandon Sanderson book to date, but it's my favorite book that I've read (for the first time) since discovering BookTube. Everything about it just really clicked with me and I fell in love with both Sanderson as a writer and with this book and series. Everything from the characters, to the world, to the magic system impressed me. It's such a good book and I really want to re-read the series sometime in the near future. 

15) Favorite male character

Per usual, I decided not to go with the obvious (Fred Weasley), so I went with my second favorite, Magnus Bane. Magnus is such a fun, snarky, sassy character who makes me laugh every time he pops up in a Cassandra Clare book. I haven't read the Dark Artifices yet, so I don't know if he's in that series, but he's popped up in all of the other Shadowhunter books I've read, and that's always one of the most fun aspects of Shadowhunter novels for me. 

16) Favorite female character

Once again, avoiding the obvious (Hermione Granger). I had such a tough time with this one, because I have a lot of female characters that I really like, but don't necessarily consider to be my favorites. I have some beef with the way female characters are written sometimes. However, eventually I landed on Paige from The Bone Season series. Paige is such a strong female character, but she has a lot of depth to her as well. I love her voice within the series, and I just think she's overall a really awesome character. 

17) Favorite quote from your favorite book

It's not my favorite book ever, but my favorite book quote ever is from my favorite series so I'll let it slide. And that quote is:
"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here."- Albus Dumbledore
Not just that one line, but the entire scene surrounding it. This happens in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at the opening feast. The school sings the school song, with each student singing at their own tempo until only the Weasley twins are left, singing at a funeral march tempo, and Dumbledore conducts them. It's just such a wonderful moment, and that quote perfectly book-ends it. 

18) A book that disappointed you

The first book that came to mind was Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse. I was so excited about this book that I drove to Barnes and Noble (which at the time was a 30 minute drive) and bought it at full price. But in the end, I was really underwhelmed. The book is a collection of short stories that progress through the future, but for me everything remained at surface level and never got deep into anything. There were some other books I considered, like The Leveller by Julia Durango or Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, but with those books I'd already considered the possibility of disliking them. This one came out of left field. 

19) Favorite book turned into a movie

So this question is a bit vague to me. Is it my favorite book that has a movie adaptation, regardless of the quality of the adaptation? Or my favorite movie that is an adaptation, regardless of whether or not I liked the book? Or a book-to-movie adaptation where I loved both? You see my dilemma here, right? So, because of that, I've gone with the easiest answer. Harry Potter. Specifically, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I'll be doing a ranking of the movies in the series soon, so I don't want to spoil that, but when considering both the book at the movie and averaging everything together, this one typically comes out on top for me. Not sure that'll be the case in my actual ranking (there are a couple others that are really high up there), but that one wins out today. 

20) Favorite romance book

I don't really read "romance" romance books... if that makes sense. But as far as books where the central plot is a romance (AKA YA contemporary), my definite favorite is I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. There are multiple other plots going on within the book, but the romance is always the one that stands out in my mind. Another book that came to mind was The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols, but this one is definitely higher on my favorites lists and stands out more to me in the romance department. 

21) Favorite book from your childhood

Once again circumventing the obvious, I'm going with the Charlie Bone series. This is a series that I really enjoyed as a kid. It combined the dark tone and quirkiness of the Series of Unfortunate Events with the magic school intrigue of Harry Potter and it was just a really interesting and unique series. It's probably for kids around the age of 10, but this is a series that I really want to go back and re-read and finish. I was reading it when the series was incomplete (by the time I caught up, I think that the 4th book had just been released), so I kept up with the series for the next couple books, but have yet to actually finish the series. It was popular at the time, but it's not a series I've heard many people talk about since then, so I definitely think it deserves a bit more attention, because it's really awesome. 

22) Favorite book you own

OK, so this is obviously the most vague question on this list, because I own almost every book on this list. So, I'm going to focus on my favorite copy of a book I own. The ones at the top of the list are my copies of HP 6&7 because I got them the day of their release, but next on the list is probably my copy of The Diviners. I bought a signed copy online, so it's not like I got to go to a signing and meet Libba Bray, but it's one of my favorite books and I have a signed copy of it, so that's probably my favorite. But I also have a signed copy of The Song Rising so I might have to go with that once I read it. 

23) A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven't

I think that one would have to be Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I've had it on my TBR since I first started watching BookTube, and it's still one that really intrigues me... and yet I still haven't read it. The more I think about it right now, the more intrigued I get to pick it up, so maybe I'll pick it up sometime soon. 

24) A book that you wish more people would've read

I feel like this is kinda similar to the "underrated book" question, but I'll throw another one out there for good measure. I'd have to go with The Body Electric by Beth Revis. Out of all the books that I've loved, this is the one that's not super well known that I think a lot of people would like. Especially YA readers, and especially people who really love the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I read this book first, and when I finally picked up Cinder, I found myself constantly seeing (good) similarities between the two. The stories are rather different, but the worlds are intriguingly similar. 

25) A character who you can relate to the most

The part of me that likes to see myself as a cool person reeeeally wants to say someone like Jace Wayland because I really like being snarky, sarcastic, and over humanity. However, realistically I think I'm some combination of Hermione Granger and Cath from Fangirl. I can be a huge know-it-all like Hermione, but I think that if anything, Cath is the one I relate to the most. She loves writing fanfiction and staying at home by herself and being on the internet all day. If that doesn't describe my life, I don't know what does. 

26) A book that changed your opinion about something

I really struggled with this one, because I don't think that I've had too many major changes in opinion because of a book. But the one that eventually came to mind was the Death Note manga series. I read my first comic series (Locke and Key) back in 2015. After that, I read a few more trade comics and was incredibly focused on the art style and colors, and less on the story. I generally enjoyed the trade comics but they never really hugely resonated with me. And then I picked up Death Note, and I fell in love. And it was in black and white, something that I didn't think I'd be interested in. Not every volume blew me away, but the series as a whole did, and it gave me a totally different perspective on visual books/storytelling as a whole. 

27) The most surprising plot twist or ending

Well that would just be really spoilery, so I'm not answering that. I hate when people even mention that there's a plot twist in a book because then I just find myself figuring out what's going to happen and looking for little hints dropped throughout the book to confirm my suspicions. So instead, I'm going to mention a series that constantly kept me guessing and on my toes. And that is the Mistborn trilogy. 

I've mentioned it already a few times in this post, but this trilogy (and honestly, all of Sanderson's books) gives you so many twists and turns that you didn't see coming. He keeps you constantly guessing as to what's about to happen, and often takes you in directions that you could never have guessed... ever. This is why I love both this trilogy and his books overall SO MUCH. 

28) Favorite title

I haven't really talked about it too much in this post, so I'm finally going to shout out my favorite standalone, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. The original title of the book was really awful-- if you didn't know, the original title included a racial slur that I'm definitely not going to repeat here. However, I love the title And Then There Were None. It captures the mood of the book so well and is just overall a really cool and foreboding title. Definitely my favorite title ever. 

29) A book everyone hated but you liked

I've said this a few times, but typically if everyone hates a book, I also dislike it. Not because I'm trying to agree with everyone, but because if most people think a book isn't very good... the book probably isn't very good. However, when I was scrolling through Goodreads, I discovered that one of my favorite books from last year has a rating of 3.4/5, which is embarrassingly low. Typically, even the most mediocre books fall somewhere around 3.6-3.75, so seeing such a beautiful book with such a low rating makes me sad. And that's why I typically don't think that this is a book for everyone. I think it requires a real appreciation and knowledge of music. Not that I think music novices wouldn't like it, but rather that the prose flows really simply and beautifully when you understand the musical terms that she's woven into the text as part of the language of the world. I dunno, I absolutely love this book and am sad to see that it has such a low rating on Goodreads. Both 3/5 and 4/5 are more common than 5/5 for The Chimes, which makes me sad. 

30) Your favorite book of all time

This one is super difficult. I typically try not to figure out my favorite book of all time, because it's so hard to compare a book in a series to a standalone. My favorite story of all time will always be the Harry Potter series. That's something that I find incredibly easy to say. But that's an entire 7 book series that spans thousands of pages. If I'm being honest with myself, my favorite book is probably:

Part of me really wants to declare a tie again, because realistically I always have trouble deciding between Deathly Hallows or Half Blood Prince when naming my favorite Harry Potter book. But when it gets down to the nitty gritty, Half Blood Prince feels like home every single time I pick up the book. Just reading the first few chapters brings me back to the first time I read it almost 12 years ago. The quote "Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home" always rings most true when I pick up Half Blood Prince.

So, that's it for this 30 Day Challenge! I had a lot of fun doing this again. I can't say that this is going to for sure be the return of the "One Day Tumblr Challenge" series, but I definitely do want to do some of these again, as well as some normal book tags, so keep an eye out for more of these in the future!  

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