A few days ago Andie @ Andrea’s Nirvana and I agreed on our mutual love of The Greatest Showman’s music even though we had a few issues with the story. So I was super excited (read: HYPED) to see that she then created a whole new tag based on those catchy, catchy tunes that I still sing in the shower. While we’re there, go and check out her blog. Seriously. It’s filled with good stuff, and not all limited to The Greatest Showman.
This tag was originally created for all media–films, TV shows, anime etc–but I’ve decided to stick with books, as they’re what I’m most familiar with. Now let me display the gorgeous tag logo before we get started:
- Thank the person who tagged you and provide a link to their post!
- Maaaybe include a link to my (the creator’s) post, which is this one right here.
- Include the logo somewhere in the post.
- Find a book/anime/movie/manga/K-Drama/TV show or anything else that fits the prompts below.
- Cliche rule here, but have fun!
- Tag 5 to 10 people (or more, if you’re feeling like it, no biggie).
The Greatest Show | In Which The Intro Is Amazing
The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen | A retelling of the opera Turandot, this book opens with a short prologue showing Jinghua and Prince Khalaf’s first fateful meeting, then immediately jumps to the end of the timeline where Khalaf is taking on the princess Turandokht’s challenge: Answer three riddles correctly and win her hand in marriage; or make one mistake and be executed gruesomely. Turandokht delivers the first riddle, then we jump back in time again and begin Jinghua and Khalaf’s long journey to that last day.
That first riddle is one of the most gripping Chapter Ones I’ve read. Megan Bannen writes the high stakes beautifully, with such awareness.
A Million Dreams | In Which Things Get A Little Too Dragged
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas | I’ve not been a fan of most of SJM’s recent work, and Tower of Dawn is no exception. In my opinion, it had the potential to be a nice palate cleanser novella where she could take a break from Aelin’s heavy storyline, but then it expanded and expanded until it became a 600-plus page tome in its own right. The problem is, 600 pages’ worth of plot doesn’t actually go down in Tower of Dawn. By the time I got a third of the way through I was praying for something, anything to happen.
Tower of Dawn‘s cover style isn’t the only reason Maas is seen as a YA George R.R. Martin, that’s for sure.
Come Alive | In Which There’s A Nice Plot Twist
The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson | This book gets shit for a lot of reasons, some of them more justified than others, but can we just agree that those plot twists at the end are ace? Like, just forget for a moment the debate of whether Bill Clinton spent 500 pages jerking off a self-insert main character, James Patterson has an incredible ability to blindside readers. Just when I thought the case was closed, he pulled out the biggest twist that had me giddy like the first time I went to the cinema.
Patterson’s work may not have much literary merit, but if I’m looking for an easy thrill with plenty of unpredictable twists he’s the author.
The Other Side | In Which A Villain Turns Into A Good Guy or Vice Versa
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang | I’m not going to stop fangirling over this book anytime soon. Have I mentioned yet that this book is AMAZING? Amazing as in 110%, 6/5 stars, I’d sell my left arm for the sequel (ok, maybe not quite my entire arm but you get the idea). Aside from being crazy good, The Poppy War is also a villain origin story. Fang Runin starts out as an ambitious, impoverished orphan, and by the end of the book she is, without giving specifics, well on her way to becoming Mao Zedong. The author’s words, not mine.
So yeah, maybe Rin is a genocidal megalomaniac, but I don’t love her any less. As a fictional character though, please.
Never Enough | In Which You Hate The Love Triangle
The Island by M.A. Bennett | This isn’t quite what you’d think of when you hear ‘love triangle’, but I tend to avoid books with conventional love triangles so this is my nomination. Basically Lord of the Flies but including girls, The Island sees its protagonist eventually gain a position of power on the eponymous deserted island. At this point he gets a little drunk on the power and sets up a…very watered-down version of a harem, where he has the three girls on the island, two of which he’s attracted to in different ways, take turns ‘performing’ for him. (It’s not as bad as it sounds.)
But yeah. Gross.
This Is Me | In Which Representation Is Amazing
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo | I’m a big fan of the representation in this book because it comes across as very natural. It’s not in-your-face, there are no shoehorned lines like “I don’t know. I’ve never had a husband. Or a wife.” One of the two protagonists is a POC, many women hold positions of power and various supporting characters are LGBT, and in Alexandra Christo’s high fantasy universe it’s all treated as completely normal. While books in which minorities face challenges for their race/ethnicity/sexuality are important, I think there’s a lack of books showing minorities respected regardless of what makes them different, hence normalising their status.
So props to Christo for writing an egalitarian high fantasy and not falling back on the convention that fictional pseudo-medieval worlds must be misogynistic because historical accuracy.
Rewrite The Stars | In Which It’s ‘Us Against The World’ [Not Necessarily Romantic]
The Empress by S.J. Kincaid | In The Empress, second book of The Diabolic trilogy, it’s literally Tyrus and Nemesis against the world. They may have been crowned Emperor and Empress of the galaxy, but thanks to his progressive ideals and her Diabolic identity would-be usurpers lurk around every corner. I loved their partnership from the second half of The Diabolic to this book. It’s a partnership of equals, based on platonic trust and common goals rather than romantic love, and they’re each in their own way pragmatic first and foremost.
The third book in the trilogy has been delayed until 2019. Part of me actually sees this as good news, because The Empress‘s ending set up an epic truly unlike anything else in YA, and more power to S.J. Kincaid if she’s taking the time to get it perfect. Still, give me a moment to crawl into a corner and cry.
Tightrope | In Which The Love Triangle Took A Wrong Turn
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart | Not so much ‘took a wrong turn’ as ‘got off on the wrong foot.’ It’s painful when your first love turns out to be not all that you expected, but you can always switch to the other corner of the triangle, right?
From Now On | In Which The Main Character Only Gets Their Stuff Together In The End
A Secret Beat by Tracy Banghart | Honestly, I find it a crime that this book is almost unknown. It’s a funny, often frustrating foray into the music industry, and main character Alexia Falls is a hot mess at the start. It’s only natural to hate her for being an entitled rich kid. Thankfully, she gets her stuff together by the end, just in time for the Happily Ever After.
To sum up all of the prompts, here goes [just so y’all can copy and paste them more easily]:
- The Greatest Show | In Which The Intro Is Amazing
- A Million Dreams | In Which Things Get A Little Too Dragged
- Come Alive | In Which There’s A Nice Plot Twist
- The Other Side | In Which A Villain Turns Into A Good Guy or Vice Versa
- Never Enough | In Which You Hate The Love Triangle
- This Is Me | In Which Representation Is Amazing
- Rewrite The Stars | In Which It’s ‘Us Against The World’ [Not Necessarily Romantic]
- Tightrope | In Which The Love Triangle Took A Wrong Turn
- From Now On | In Which The Main Character Only Gets Their Stuff Together In The End
Purple Manatees | Jennifer @ Tar Heel Reader | Sara @ The Bibliophagist | Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky | Tiana @ The Book Raven | Marina @ Books of Magic | Jennifer @ Sleeping Suburb | Erin’s Bookish Fave’s
As always, no pressure to do the tag. On the other hand, if you’re a Greatest Showman fan or anyone else interested who’s seeing this and hasn’t been tagged, feel free to go for it and be sure to link me back so I can see your nominations. Thanks for reading!