I just spent over an hour of my life trying to figure out the Block editor 😩. There are some cool design ideas in there, so I wanted to try out one I had in mind with this post. Obviously, it didn’t work for me. I know I did the things right, but the previews had it looking kind of wonky. I give up. I’ll just continue with the Classic editor. Anyway…
Whenever I want to post something but can’t come up with a post idea or am too lazy to do a review or a discussion post, I turn to the trusty book tag! That’s what I’m doing today.
I found this tag over on Never Not Reading. It was created by Phoenix at Books with Wings. The tag focuses on trends in 2020 that relate to corona. Although this is a 2020-themed tag, not all the books I mention were read in 2020.
Part one: Beginning of the year
A book that you were really excited for
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
I was really looking forward to reading this last year, and I did and really enjoyed it. It’s the third novel in the Nevermoor middle grade fantasy series about a girl who everyone thinks is unlucky until she’s taken to a new place where she learns she’s quite special… and possibly dangerous. We learn more about the wundersmiths and the Wunimals in this one, and since the story is about a virus, it touches on similar issues we struggled with in 2020.
A book that started out really well
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen
I’m focusing on the series here. The Steampunk Proper Romance series are all paranormal romance, historical fiction novels inspired by fairytales. I really liked the first book (featured above), which is inspired by Beauty and the Beast. I listened to it on audiobook and got swept up in the story. But although I liked the two novels that follow this one, I didn’t enjoy the most recent one — the fourth book, Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts — as much.
Part two: The world goes on hold
A book that had an unexpected plot twist
Wicked + the Divine, Vol. 6: Imperial Phase, Part 2 by Kieron Gillen, illus. by Jamie McKelvie
The big plot twist in this volume of the WicDiv series caught me by surprise. I was like, WAAHHH??!! 🤣🤣 Loved it! The Wicked + the Divine is a fantasy comic book series set in modern day about gods who are reincarnated as pop stars. There’s a mystery to the story because someone is murdering the gods. The story is great and the illustrations are gorgeous. I highly recommend it.
A book where you felt like nothing happened
Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert
I recently read this and, unfortunately, I didn’t like it as much as everyone else did. It’s a Christmas-themed romance novella that I thought would be lighthearted and fun but was instead quite drab and dreary and in no way steamy. The plot seemed to stagnate because most of the story is spent in the characters’ head. It didn’t work for me at all.
A book where two main characters are separated (quest, disease, forbidden, etc.)
Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
It’s the first novel in the hella-long Wheel of Time series. I’m currently stuck at the sixth book, AGAIN, and am procrastinating by listening to podcasts on the series. I’m currently stuck on the Wheel of Time Pod Thru, which the creators have discontinued. I was sad to learn this after I got hooked on the podcast. I think they were doing a great job. Hopefully they change their mind and continue with it.
Part three: The world tries to reopen (and begins a second wave of the pandemic)
A book in which the characters make a bad decision
Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
Two words: elfbark tea.
Royal Assassin is the second novel in the Farseer trilogy, a fantasy series about the bastard son of a prince who becomes an assassin’s apprentice. The series is pretty dense and slow paced but SUCH a good read. I highly recommend it.
A book with an impatient/overly eager character
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson, illus. by Brooke A. Allen
That would be Ripley from the Lumberjanes middle grade fantasy series, which is about the friendship between five girls at a summer camp where they go on various fantastic adventures. I didn’t like this comic book as much as everyone else did. It was not what I expected, and I guess the hype got to me too and increased my expectations for it. But Ripley was my favorite character because of her enthusiasm.
Part four: The world adjusts (not sure this ever actually happened but… I’ll bend this a little)
A book in which the character’s goals change midway
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
It’s contemporary romance with some humor about a young Black woman who has fibromyalgia who makes a list to insert some excitement in her life. About halfway through the story, she makes an edit to the list. This was a sweet romcom that was a quick read.
Part five: The end and looking forward
A book whose sequel you really anticipated/are anticipating
Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
I’m not anticipating anything at the moment, but I am eager to read Lords and Ladies later this year. It’s the fourth novel in the Witches subseries of the Discworld books.
A book whose sequel was better than its original (we’re all hoping….)
Grin & Beard It by Penny Reid
I typically love the first book in the series, even if it’s not the best, simply because I read it first, and that was the case with the Winston Brothers books — contemporary romance novels set in Tennessee. I read the second book first and loved it and then read the first book but didn’t like it as much.
A book that you read just to finish it (didn’t like it but wanted to finish it anyway)
Kenny & the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi (illus.)
I thought I’d like it because it’s the type of story I’d get hooked on when I was younger, but I guess I’ve outgrown it. It’s middle grade fantasy about a young rabbit who befriends a dragon. I liked the illustrations, but the story bored me.