Dreamy Book Covers Tag

Hi everyone, a few weeks (maybe months) ago Silvia at Silvia Reads tagged me in this tag but I haven’t had a chance to do it until now. I’ve been thinking about book covers lately and how they influence our choices and what books become popular, I even wrote a thing about it here if you want to check it out.

The Rules: 

1. Thank the lovely person who tagged you, spread the love!
2. Mention Tiana @ The Book Raven as the creator of this book tag!
3. Use the original tag image in your post. (However, Feel free to add whatever other graphics your heart desires!)
4. At least tag 1 fellow blogger for this tag.
5. List the rules

No Ideas But In Things – A book cover that perfectly expresses the novel inside it

The Hazel WoodThe Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, this cover perfectly sums up the grim-darkness and chaos of the Alice-In-Wonderland-like modern fantasy.

Dark and Lovely – A book cover that is so creepalicious you just want to eat it up

Spellwork Syndicate by Lola Dodge. These baked goods are probably laced with necromancy magic and will kill at first bite but I’ll gladly eat them.

Sugary Sweet – A book cover that is so fluffy you want to give it a hug

Unclaimed Baggage

How cute is this cover???

 

The Simple Aesthetic – A book cover that stuns with the most minimalistic design

3101957110 Things I Can See From Here. This cover is minimalistic in design but colourful.

Cover Envy – A book cover you wish you had on your shelf but don’t yet

Six Of Crows Collectors Edition.jpgSix of Crows (Collector’s Edition) by Leigh Bardugo. This cover is so beautiful. And the pages are red!!

Travelling Abroad – A beautiful book cover featuring a country outside of your own

In Paris With You.jpgIn Paris With You by Clémentine Beauvais.

The Colour Wheel – A cover that showcases one of your favourite colours

At First Blush.jpgAt First Blush. I spent a lot of time pretending I didn’t like pink but I do, I love pink and makeup. This book cover encompasses those two things.

Switching Gears – A cover change that you absolutely agree with

I can’t think of a cover change that I agree with so I’m going to mention cover changes that I absolutely disagree with: movie tie-ins.

Oldie But A Goldie – A favourite cover of your favourite classic

Nervous Conditions.jpgNervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga – this is a Zimbabwean classic and one of my favourite books of all time. 

And The Winner Is – Which book cover mentioned above is your favourite

Six Of Crows Collectors Edition

The Collector’s Edition of Six of Crows.

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While you’re here, check out my book discussion on book covers and aesthetics here. What’s your favourite book cover ever? Do you pick up books based on their covers or the plot? Let me know in the comments!

I tag:

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Book Covers: Misleading Or Are We Just Into Aesthetics

What makes you decide you’re going to pick up a book? The summary? Reviews? The author? Or the book cover? When it comes to deciding on a book I’d like to say I’m all over the place but if I’m being honest the cover is a make or break for me.

As humans, we are automatically attracted to things that are aesthetically pleasing. But as nice as a cover is, it doesn’t always portray the book completely or honestly. We often mislead ourselves by equating a good-looking book cover to a well-written and engaging book, cancelling out self-published authors and indie authors who might not be able to afford all the bells and whistles that traditionally published authors have access to.

The first thing that I spot when I’m looking at books is the cover, if it’s visually pleasing to me, I look at the title, if I like it I pick it up turn it around and read the blurb. I don’t usually look at the author’s name (anymore) because I’m always hoping to discover books by people I haven’t read. Now, if I like what I read then it’s a go, if I don’t then I put it back once again disappointed in myself.butterfly_outline

Department 19
Badass Cover

Picking up a book based on the cover has its pros and cons. I’ll be the first book blogger to admit that I like pretty covers; I love this age of pastel covers and drawings on book covers. There are cons to pretty book covers though; a few years ago I picked up Department 19 at a second-hand bookstall because the cover is badass af, it didn’t matter to me that it was the first book of a 5 book series (I hate anything more than 3 books), it didn’t matter to me that I’d never managed to finish Van Helsing or Dracula. All I saw was that badass cover. The inside, however, was a disappointment. I never managed to finish it but my little sister loved it so I gave it to her.

An unappealing book cover that turned out to be one

Spud
Boring Cover

of my top ten favourite books of all time is Spud by John van de Ruit. I first saw it between Dickens and Dickens in the Classics shelf at the library, read the blurb and assumed it was about apartheid so I gave it a pass. It showed up three more times in completely random shelves before I decided to give it a go. 30 minutes later I was home, on the floor, laughing until I cried. The entire series is so good I read it once every year or whenever I’m in a reading slump. Imagine if I’d let the cover fool me and the misleading blurb guide me?

butterfly_outline

When you look at #bookstagram you see the most beautiful covers on display. This wouldn’t be a problem is it wasn’t the same 10 popular books with aesthetically pleasing covers doing the rounds. I understand that #bookstagram is art but what about library books, self-published books, secondhand books with old covers? What about the quiet books that aren’t popular in the book community?

At the end of the day Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover is a good thing but at the same time, we’re a very visual people. My challenge to you is to give all books a chance even when the cover isn’t “pretty enough”, let’s hype up self-published and indie authors. Read outside of  “aesthetics”, look at books with more than “how cool this cover will look on a rumpled white bed sheet and some fairy lights strategically placed around it.”

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What’s a book with a horrible cover that you absolutely loved or a book with a great cover that disappointed you? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Pick Me Up Playlist

One of the directions of this tag was to write about how music helps my mental health and I left it for last and saved the rest in my drafts. Unfortunately today I’m feeling anxious and my thoughts are all over the place. I’ve been finding it difficult to write lately so if I’ll just start off with a quote about how I feel about the songs in my Pick Me Up Playlist.

“There is an incredible feeling that comes from being desperately in love with a song.” – Hold Still, Nina LaCour.

Trigger warning: brief mention of self-harm

Glamorous Indie Rock n’ Roll – The Killers

Everyone thinks Mr Brightside is The Killers’ best song but that’s only because they’ve never head the glorious number eight track on Hot Fuss.

You’re Somebody Else – Flora Cash

I discovered this song when I was listening to Florence + the Machine songs on YouTube. “You look like yourself but you’re somebody else”. This song found me at a strange time; I look like I always have but I didn’t feel like myself at all.

God Don’t Leave Me – Highasakite

The first time I heard Highasakite was on Skam and I immediately became obsessed with them. This song doesn’t feel religious, I don’t know if it is. I think it’s supposed to be a song about being alone in your bedroom at 2am and wishing you had someone or something to keep you from spiralling. And maybe in your weakest moments you wish God was there.

Umfazi (ft Kirk Whalum) – Zahara

Umfazi (woman) is about the trials women go through, even if you don’t understand isiXhosa you can hear the pain in Zahara’s voice. She’s an amazing vocalist.

Believe – Lea Michele

A song about believing in yourself when things don’t seem to be going your way or working out for you. Believing in yourself when your mental illness is working against you is the hardest thing to do.

Heartbeat Song – Kelly Clarkson

If only we could bottle Kelly Clarkson songs and turn them into anti-depressants…

Ride (+ monologue) – Lana Del Rey

This playlist wouldn’t be complete without a song by Lana Del Rey. Sometimes I just listen to the monologue. Don’t tell me it doesn’t sound like a prayer.

Breathe Me – Sia

Another song that found me in a strangely accurate time. I don’t remember where or when I first heard it but Sia’s words “I have lost myself again and I feel unsafe”. I couldn’t put a word to what I was feeling when I started hurting myself but I felt lost and unsafe.

You Ain’t Alone – Alabama Shakes

I came across this song in a novel about a black teen with a severe mental illness problem that I related to and instead of talking to her psychologist; they listen to punk rock instead, until she feels safe enough to talk.

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If you want to participate:

  • Link back to the “pick me up playlist” creator – laura spoonie
  • Tag the blogger who nominated you (I read Em’s Pick Me Up Playlist on her blog, From Famine to Feast, a few weeks ago, she’s one of my favourite mental health bloggers.)
  • Mention how music helps your mental health
  • List 10 songs that you would consider to be a part of your “pick me up playlist” (optional: explain why each song is on your list).
  • Tag 10 other bloggers to join in with the “pick me up playlist” challenge. (if you want to do this playlist, consider yourself tagged)

Let me know what songs are in your Pick Me Up Playlist in the comments!

 

 

Drag Teen by Jeffery Self | Wigs, Roadtrips and Conquering Your Insecurities

Title: Drag TeenDrag Teen
Author: Jefferey Self
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating:  ★★★★☆

Goodreads | Takealot

I always give five stars to books with endings that make me cry. I just love a good getting-out story, maybe it’s because I’m still trying to get out.

Give me a road trip and I’m yours. JT, his boyfriend Seth and best friend Heather embark on a road trip from boring Clearwater, Florida to the concrete jungle of New York where JT will be participating in a drag teen contest with the hopes of winning a scholarship.

JT does feel insecure about his drag teen aspirations. His first time in drag didn’t go down well in small-town Clearwater. JT’s favourite show is RuPaul’s Drag Race (obviously) so prepare yourself for Drag Race gifs.

Things That I Loved

  • Supportive friendships: It’s amazing how helpful JT’s friends are, his boyfriend practically forcing him to follow his dreams and Heather supporting him.
  • Trina Travis: JT’s very own personal fairy drag-mother in the form of big hair, big vocals and big motivation.
  • Road trips: for a person who gets stuck in a car for 12+ hours once a year on the long journey to Zimbabwe I am, surprisingly, a fan of road trips just not the 800km journey home.
  • Fat-acceptance: JT and Heather are both characters that struggle with insecurities regarding their weight but by the end of the book, they’ve both realised that their worth isn’t measured by how much they weigh.

Things That I Didn’t Love So Much

  • Lack of racial diversity, I understand it’s a small town in America but still, where are the characters of colour?
  • JT’s parents: they didn’t really understand JT’s dreams and aspirations but managed to come around in the end.
  • JT’s reaction to Seth’s secret: I know I’m not the best judge when it comes to lovers tiff but JT’s reaction was a little OTT and Seth’s secret was a little weird.

Drag Teen is a feel-good book about things working out in the end regardless of all the shit life throws at you. It’s a hopeful story about finding your “otherwise.”

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Have you read Drag Teen before? What did you think of it? What’s your favourite HEA queer YA?

October Wrap Up | Books and Bullet Journaling

Hi! I haven’t been blogging or reading as much as I used to lately. But November is looking better than before. Blogging has made me a little too careful of my opinion so sometimes it becomes a little bit difficult to write things while I’m trying not to say something that will offend any one.

Books I’ve Been Reading Lately

All I’ve been doing in October is reading fanfiction and watching tv shows. I literally read one actual book which was Drag Teen by Jeffery Self.

ARCs I’ve Been Reading Lately

Sugar Spells by Lola Dodge

A sugary sweet witchy book with a dash of bitter blood macarons. Sugar Spells is the perfect blend of pastel happy fairytale and a grimdark fantasy. This is the scond instalment in the Spellwork Syndicate series following MC as her sweet magic is now tainted by necromancy and everything she touches dies. 4-star review here

How To Fracture A Fairytale by Jane Yolen

A collection of fractured fairytales that have been stitched back together using questionable morals and unlikely endings. Some of the fractured fairytales are recognisable at a glance, some take a little longer to be recognised. Although I did enjoy the stories at first, it gets old and boring very quickly.

Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss

A look into the history of American YA from the 80s and 90s. I absolutely loved this book! It’s like discovering all the secrets and ins and outs of your favourite books. Gabrielle Moss just doesn’t focus on the pink covers, ridiculous story-lines and dramatic characters but delves into the social issues that surrounded YA at the time which are pretty similar to the ones surrounding YA right now.

Blogoween

During October I participated in a book blogger’s version of Blogtober initiated by Clo at Book Dragons. Halloween isn’t really a thing where I’m from but it was fun to write Halloween-y posts.

5 Books About Witches That Are Not Harry Potter: I recommended some diverse witchy books that are not Harry Potter.

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Squad: fictional characters I’d love to have in my zombie squad in the event of a zombie apocalypse because you never know.

Who Would Die First In A Horror Movie: I shifted this title around a little and wrote Book Characters as Horror Movie Character Tropes instead.

Shattering Stigmas

Marie at Drizzle and Hurricane hosted this year’s Shattering Stigmas and I wrote a post that focused on the stigmas surrounding mental health in most African cultures here.

Bullet Journal

I’ve been keeping a journals for as long as I can remember, one as a diary and anotherfor things I needed to do (homework, clinic, laundry etc) but I’ve recently started getting more creative with it. I even bought a fancy watercolour pens and washi tapes to go with it. I’ve turned into an Instagram aesthetic and honestly I don’t mind at all. Here’s a sneak peek into my November cover based on Noor Unnahar’s Poetry Journal Cover.IMG_20181025_095842-01

November TBR

I hardly made a dent in my October TBR which was literally three books so this month will just be two books.

  • In Paris With You (ARC)
  • Shadow and Bone (I need to read this before year end)

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What have you been up to in October? Did you read any books that you loved?

ARC Review: Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss + Throwback To My Favourite 80s and 90s YA Novels

Author: Gabrielle Moss40093255

Title: Paperback Crush

Publication Date: 30 October 2018

Publisher: Quirk Books

Rating:  ★★★★★

Goodreads | Preorder

Paperback Crush takes a look into the history of American YA from the 80s and 90s. Gabrielle Moss takes us through the different tropes that were prevalent at the time and some that are still going strong. It turns out unavailable parents, bury your gays and racist stereotypes predated time. Continue reading “ARC Review: Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss + Throwback To My Favourite 80s and 90s YA Novels”

Book Characters as Horror Movie Character Tropes

Today’s Blogoween prompt comes Sam at Fictionally Sam The actual prompt is The Sacrifice: Characters or Creatures Who Would Die First In A Horror Movie? but my brain veered a little of course and came up with book characters as horror movie character tropes.

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The Sceptic

This person doesn’t believe anything is wrong. They’re the human form of that dog sitting in a burning room meme. People are dropping dead left, right and centre but nope it’s not a serial killer, zombies aren’t real and ghosts obviously don’t exist. Star from The Sun Is Also A Star. Continue reading “Book Characters as Horror Movie Character Tropes”

ARC Review: Sugar Spells by Lola Dodge | Magic Macarons and Vampy Bats

As part of Blogoween, I’m only reviewing Halloween-y (is that a word???) books, so expect a lot of witches, vampires and horror-ish (again, is that a word) content.

Publication Date: 30 October 2018Sugar Spells
Publisher: Ink Monster LLC
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Book 2 of Spellwork Syndicate
Rating: ★★★★☆

Preorder | Goodreads

Anise has just moved into her aunt’s magic bakery to begin her witch baking apprenticeship but her magic’s acting up. Her sugary sweet spells have turned into death dark magic. Her brush with death in Deadly Sweet has left some necromancy in her blood; death magic. She goes through a series of trials to remove it and finally decides to wait it out while baking death-infused macarons for a mannikin to help her bodyguard Wynn pay of his indenture. But everything goes sideways when the mannikin in question, Girrar, holds them hostage. Continue reading “ARC Review: Sugar Spells by Lola Dodge | Magic Macarons and Vampy Bats”

5 Characters I’d Want In My Zombie Apocalypse Survival Squad

The prompt is “They Got My Back” 5 Characters I’d Want With Me During The Zombie Apocalypse from Kaleena at Reader Voracious. If I had to choose what type of apocalypse the world should for through I’d choose zombies. I’d probably last for one day before suffering from a heart attack due to a jump scare from a zombie attack. There’s this thing that I do when I sleep in a new place where I go through a zombie invasion scenario in my head to see how the house I’m in would hold up. Usually, they don’t hold up so well. I’m also hindered by the fact that I can’t drive. Continue reading “5 Characters I’d Want In My Zombie Apocalypse Survival Squad”

5 Books About Witches That Are Not Harry Potter

Listen, I love Harry Potter as much as the next person does. It’s one of the books that defined a genre but it’s time to let go and discover witches anew. This blog post was inspired by a Blogoween prompt from Kaleena at Reader Voracious. This is my first post of Blogoween.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and BoneChildren of Blood and Bone is inspired by Nigerian mythology and if that isn’t enough to make you want to read it then I don’t know. Zélie Adebola lives in Orïsha world where magic is outlawed. The maji were killed under orders of a cruel king but Zélie has a chance to bring back magic and fight the monarchy. Zélie, with the help of a rogue princess, goes against the prince who wants to eradicate magic forever and struggles to control her powers and feelings.

 

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida CόrdovaLabyrinth Lost

Alex, a bisexual Latina, is a bruja just like everyone in her family but she doesn’t want to be. On her Deathday celebration, she performs a spell to remove her powers but it backfires and sends her entire family into a spirit realm. With the help of Nova, a brujo, she travels into the dangerous Los Lagos with the hopes of bringing them back. This book is filled with Latin mythology, spirit realism and mystery and incredible worldbuilding.

 

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

When The Moon Was OursMiel, a queer Latina, grows roses out of her wrists and Sam, a transgender Italian-Pakistani, paints moons and hangs them in the trees. They are strange and inseparable. Four sisters who live in the town believe that the roses that grow out of Miel’s wrists can be used as a love potion. They want the roses and would do anything to harvest them from Miel.

 

 

How To Hang A Witch by Adriana MatherHow To Hang A Witch

The Salem Witch Trials but the roles are reversed and it’s set in the modern day. Samantha is a descendant of Cotton Mather (as is the author), the man responsible for the witch trials, when she starts school in Salem she is marked as the enemy by the descendants of the witches who are known as the Descendants. People start dying the minute Anna arrives and soon enough, the entire town is on the hunt for her.

 

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor7507944

Sunny, a Nigerian living with albinism, just wants to play football. When she becomes friends with Orlu and Chichi and they form the youngest ever Oha Coven that seeks to take down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children.

 

 

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I hope these witchy books are amongst your favourites. What are your favourite books about witches and no, you’re not allowed to name Harry Potter?