I really want to get back to blogging on the regular, but if I’m being honest, I’ve been trying to do so the last couple of weeks with mixed results. I am so glad to have gotten tagged by Natalie @ The Fine Art of Reading (who is also the creator) for the Future Nostalgia Book Tag, based on Dua Lipa’s newest album. It gives me a chance to work on a new post and listen to some new music (yes, I did listen to the album while doing this tag). Let’s get to the prompts! Covers are linked to Goodreads.
1. FUTURE NOSTALGIA: a book with a strong female character
No matter what you do, I’m gonna get it without ya (Hey, hey)
I know you ain’t used to a female alpha (No way, no way)
I love that we are seeing more female characters who are strong in complex ways. I love a female character with a sword, but I also like books where characters are allowed to be strong based on their determination and resolve. One character who immediately comes to mind is Casiopea from Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. She has an unwaveringness to her that you can’t help but be drawn to, she’s able to bend but not break, and is not afraid to rise to the occasion even when the odds aren’t in her favor.
2. DON’T START NOW: a book with a major glow up
Did the heartbreak change me? Maybe
But look at where I ended up
I’m all good already
So moved on, it’s scary
I’m not where you left me at all, so
When I think of a glow up, I think of people getting those super cliche makeovers, but you know what I really love? I love when a book gives a character a chance to glow up on a personal level. This can mean different things to different people. I personally loved Lula’s arc in Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova. I will never forget how a certain scene made me feel when Lula finally chose herself over other people. So empowering.
3. COOL: a book with awkward moments or set in summer
When it’s only me and you
You got me, you got me losin’ all my cool
I guess we’re ready for the summer
There are books that give you second-hand embarrassment and just have you shaking your head at a character and then there are books that give you second-hand embarrassment and yet somehow manages to carve a place into your heart and insert said character. Claire Kann did this to me with Alice in her novel Let’s Talk About Love. I felt every embarrassing moment as though I were experiencing it myself and just loved Alice all the more for those moments.
4. PHYSICAL: a book with steamy romance
All night, I’ll riot with you
I know you got my back and you know I got you
So come on (Come on), come on (Come on), come on (Come on)
Let’s get physical
I don’t read a lot of romance books, but I did get a chance this year to pick up Talia Hibbert’s Get a Life, Chloe Brown. I really enjoyed how fun this book was and am looking forward to more books by her.
5. LEVITATING: a book with “moon” or “star” in the title
I got you, moonlight, you’re my starlight
I need you all night, come on, dance with me
Two of my favorite books have the moon in them: Anna Marie-McLemore’s When the Moon Was Ours and Aida Salazar’s The Moon Within. Both of these are some of the most touching books I’ve ever read, with gorgeous poetic writing and characters who will pull at your heartstrings.
6. PRETTY PLEASE: a book with characters who support each other
Put my mind at ease
One of my favorite things about Mia Garcia’s The Resolutions is that it centers a friend group. I love that they challenge each other from the very beginning and yet are always there for one another when they need it.
7. HALLUCINATE: a book with a fun or whimsical setting
Pocketful of honey and I’m ready to go
No, I ain’t got no money, but I’m letting you know
That I’ma love you like a fool
Breathe you in till I hallucinate (Mmm)
My instincts say to go with an Anna-Marie McLemore novel since I think every book by them has a kind of whimsical feel to it, but instead I will mention the graphic novel The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg, which is very fairy tale-esque.
8. LOVE AGAIN: a book where the MC proves themselves wrong
I never thought that I would find a way out
I never thought I’d hear my heart beat so loud
I can’t believe there’s something left in my chest anymore
Emoni from With the Fire on High is an easy character to admire. She’s going to school and at the same time raising a kid, but what I really loved about this book is that Emoni’s journey is her reclaiming her dreams. She set aside her dream to become a chef because she has a daughter and because she also has to help her abuela with expenses. I loved that Acevedo gives her MC an incredibly happy ending where all those dreams she has have a chance to come true.
9. BREAK MY HEART: a book where a character is afraid of happiness
I’ve always been the one to say the first goodbye
Had to love and lose a hundred million times
Had to get it wrong to know just what I like
Now I’m falling
There are so many tragic characters out there who don’t think they deserve happiness and I just thought of about twenty so I apparently have a thing for these sad figures. I am going to go with my beloved Amun from Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. Amun has never spared a thought for his own happiness. There are too many dark deeds he has taken part in and it isn’t until he meets Mehr that any part of him thinks he can be happy and even then he is willing to save her even if it means sacrificing himself. I am tearing up, oh my gosh.
10. GOOD IN BED: a book with characters who are terrible at communicating
You love to disappoint me, don’t ya?
You tell me what I want, but ain’t no follow through
You don’t follow through, no
But if you only knew me
The way you know my body, baby
I’m going to gently throw little Leo from the Love Sugar Magic series by Anna Meriano under the bus for a quick sec. I love Leo, she’s young and still learning how to navigate different relationships, so I don’t fault her at all. But my girl is so good at getting into trouble and then doing her best to keep it a secret from those who could probably help the most. I’m so sorry, Leo, love you!
11. BOYS WILL BE BOYS: a book with themes of feminism / equality
Sick intuition that they taught us, so we won’t freak out
We hide our figures, doing anything to shut their mouths
We smile away to ease the tension so it don’t go south
But there’s nothing funny now
Tehlor Kay Mejia’s We Set the Dark on Fire is set in a patriarchal world but centers two female Latinx characters, their romance, and the struggle to topple the reining regime.
I am tagging Jenna @ Falling Letters, Annemieke @ A Dance With Books, Michaela @ Journey Into Books, Karina @ 24hr.YABookBlog, and you! As always, you are under no obligation to participate but if you do, let me know so I can check out your answers!