The Christmas Stocking Tag (Blogmas)

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I haven’t done a tag in so long and after Jaz from Travels in Fiction tagged me in this a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t resist! Christmas Day may be over but I’m still in the festive spirit so enjoy!

You get up on Christmas morning and your stocking is full! You take it down and start to unwrap the treats inside. The first thing you see is…

An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?

Doing It! Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton
I read this last year and think it is truly a refreshing read – and it’s definitely vibrant! The front cover stands out in a good way with it’s bright blue cover and neon pink writing. The book is aimed mainly at teenagers around 14 and up and covers sex, relationships and much, much more. Whenever Hannah doesn’t feel she has the knowledge, research or personal experience of a certain subject such as varying LGBTQ+ identities, she has guest writers which include people from all different professions, not just authors and YouTubers. It’s easy to read and approachable and I honestly think it should be read in schools.

The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. Which book have you recently bought that was expensive, but totally worth the high price?

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
This was mostly only expensive because I bought two! I already pre-bought a copy along with my ticket to the signing/talk they were doing in Manchester and yet I bought the American cover in Amsterdam which was more expensive! However, I don’t regret it because I love Becky and Adam, the American cover is beautiful and What If It’s Us is a delightfully charming and adorable read!

You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Okay, so I haven’t finished this yet, that’s true but I just read such a fantastic action scene and that’s just in the first 80 pages. I’m completely gripped by the story and I’m loving it! The action scene was tense and a lot is at stake and it feels that way whilst reading it too. I sadly had to stop reading just after it because I had to get off the tram and go to work but I kept thinking about it. I’m excited to get even further into it.

Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
This was such a hard one for me to choose because there are a few series’ I love however, I wouldn’t really describe them as winning me over. I’ve chosen the Percy Jackson series because l don’t think I expected liking them half as much as I do now. I remember reading them years because my little brother and dad enjoyed them. Now, I’ve started the Heroes of Olympus series and want to read the rest and also have a huge interest in Greek Mythology sparked by reading these! I have a lot to thank these books for.

Starr Carter in The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
To be honest, The Hate U Give is a symbol of hope in literature generally in my opinion! Starr is an amazing protagonist. She’s so brilliantly written and has such wonderful qualities and is so unbelievably human. She is always learning but also knows when to trust her judgement and her gut. She grows throughout the story, becoming a beacon of hope and a light for those around her and also for herself. She proves people wrong and firmly stands up for what she believes in, even when she’s scared. I can’t describe how much I love her.

There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?

Markus Zusak
When we attended the Markus Zusak event in October, I was really excited but enjoyed it way more than I anticipated. He’s very relatable and down to earth. I thought his writing process, particularly for Bridge of Clay was interesting especially as it took so many years to write, which he spoke openly about. He also said that he comes up with titles first and they often inspire the stories. I’ve never heard this really before and thought it was fascinating as most writers I’ve spoken to struggle with the title the most.

To go with the notebook, there’s a fancy pen. Is there a book or a series that you’d change if you’d written it yourself?

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
I love this book in many ways and I’m warning you now that this next bit IS a spoiler!!! I’m unsure how I feel about Leah and Abby getting together. I love that they’re both bisexual (we need that representation!) but I don’t know how I feel about them as a couple. There were some issues I had with how Leah treated Abby when she was struggling with her sexuality and I think she should have learned more from that than she did and apologise to Abby for the way she was with her at times. I still think the Abby/Nick relationship breakdown worked really well (even though it upset me greatly) but I just think Abby and Leah could have become closer just as friends and find different partners for them both.

There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
I didn’t necessarily own this forever but I wanted to read it for such a long time before I eventually did pick it up. In the end, it was because we chose it for our book club choice when were still doing it online. I really am glad we chose this because who knows when I would have finally chosen to read it if not! I loved the story and the characters and how in depth it all was. It’s quite different to any other queer YA story I’ve read and I really do recommend it. The film adaptation is also fab!

Your pile is getting really big. You reach in to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden snitch. Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
I feel bad even IMPLYING that this book could be a lump of coal. However, it did surprise me. I don’t usually ever like books about bands or musicians – I think it’s usually because I find it hard to relate to stories of mega rich, famous, glamorous lifestyles because they seem so far from ‘reality’. I Was Born For This never came across as feeling unrealistic however. Of course there are two perspectives, one being from a fan and not a rich, famous musician! But even Jimmy’s chapters felt so real – I connected because we were told more about him and his reactions to being famous than about the fame in general. I adore this book and it really did surprise me!

I’m not tagging anyone, simply because I know it’s a tight fit now to write and post this before New Year/the end of the festive period. However, if you found the tag from this post then please tag me in your post and I’d love to check it out!

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