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i, as usual, have been spending my summer break stalking the booktube community as opposed to doing productive things like reading, working out, writing for this blog… but! the time has come for me to combine my obsessive nature when it comes to booktubing with blogging as i do the first date book tag!

i first saw this tag by lily here and the original tag was created by katie on her channel here! lets get into this tag!! oh yes i added a bonus question to this tag because i wanted to. yep. let’s go x2!!!

DISCLAIMER: i am really sorry if i somehow insulted your book preferences with this tag, because that was 100% not my intention. these are all my opinions and i do hope you understand that i mean no harm!!

1. awkward first date: a book where something felt off. it wasn’t a bad book, just lacked that spark for you.

MILK AND HONEY by rupi kaur. i am a big fan of poetry. i write it, i read it, i attend competitons for it. however, i can’t see why every praises kaur as an brilliant poet, because, at least for me, MILK AND HONEY contained nothing extraordinary. in fact, none of the prose in the book stuck with me, something very rare for poetry for me. i did, however, love the illustrations in MILK AND HONEY! they felt raw and honest and i looked forward to them.

2. cheap first date: a book that turned out less than you expected

i have two for this one, and it is mostly due to the fact that people (bloggers/youtubers) hype me up for certain releases and then i am severely let down!!! so the two for this one are ELEANOR AND PARK by rainbow rowell and RED QUEEN by victoria aveyard. *sighs* these books just didn’t do anything for me. i’m a really big fan of rainbow rowell’s writing (fangirl is one of my all time favourites) but i just found that ELEANOR AND PARK kind of fell flat, especially after all of the raving reviews i read. it was supposed to be a book i related to, and i didn’t, so i was definitely a little disappointed when i read it. and then there is RED QUEEN. when this book came out back in 2015, it was the talk of the book community. with the fantastic characters and brilliant writing, that plot twist and the swoon worthy relationships, RED QUEEN was to be the next THRONE OF GLASS. and it came up just a bit too short for me. the characters, i found, were dry, i didn’t really like any of the relationships, and the writing was some i’ve seen before. the plotline was cliche in the sense that pretty much every single dystopia has to seperate people by some obscure characteristic. also i really, really, really dislike mare. she annoys the heck out of me!! the plot twist though? yeah, that one did shock me.

3. well prepared first date: a book that was better than you expected.

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by mindy mcginnis for sure. this book rocked my world in the best and the worst ways possible. i was, as the kids say, Shooketh. outstanding characters, troubling moral questions asked, complex relationships and a superbly written relationship, the female of the species knocked my socks off. i did not expect it to be as a good as it was at all, and holy cow, i am so thoroughly impressed. the best way for me to describe this book is going on a date with someone who wears offensively bright t-shirts only to discover that they’re personality is so shockingly excellent nothing else matters. anyways, i loved THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES so. much. my favourite thing about it would probably be that it made me cry at work and it gave me a new favourite character, one i was probably supposed to hate, but whatever. i’d protect branley jacobs with my life.

4. hot but dumb: a pretty book, but not so hot on the inside.

when planning for this post i knew i didn’t like popular books all that much, mostly because people hype me up and then i’m let down. this question, however, really put me through a ringer because i think that most books are pretty and a lot of books aren’t so nice on the inside. however, i ultimately decided that TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE by jenny han is my hot but dumb date. i’m sorry!!! please don’t murder me!! this book has such a huge following (a lot of my friends love it) but i just… couldn’t get into it? lara jean annoyed me a lot, i wasn’t terribly fond of the writing, and … well i don’t know. it just didn’t sit well with me! please don’t murder me again. maybe one day i’ll pick it up again, but right now, it just sits on my shelf looking at me sadly, whispering “why couldn’t you love me?!”

5. blind date: a book you picked up not knowing anything about.

SIX OF CROWS by leigh bardugo was one of those books that immediately upon reading, i knew i had to give to one of my best friends tasha. you see, tasha and i had this thing where i’d read a book and quickly give it to her if i liked it enough. i’ve done this with the grisha trilogy, the raven cycle, the lunar chronicles, and many more. but SIX OF CROWS was different because when i grabbed it i had absolutely no idea what it was about, besides the fact that it was written by the same person who wrote the grisha trilogy. and let me say: picking up SIX OF CROWS was one of the best decisions i have ever made. i love nina with my entire being; i couldn’t believe how much i related to her. also, i’d take one tall glass of kaz brekker any day, thanks.

6. speed dating: a book you read super fast

THE RAVEN CYCLE by maggie stiefvater is a series not a book but honestly fight me because i read the first three books, THE RAVEN BOYS, THE DREAM THIEVES, and BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE, in the same amount of time it takes me to read one novel, so i’m letting this slide. i brought the series with me when i went to iceland in november 2015, and i read them all during my week long trip. the characters! the magic! the romance (or lack thereof)! the psychics! the powerful women! THE RAVEN BOYS blew me away. also i loved gansey with such a fiery burning passion i bought a pair of boat shoes. is that love or obsession? i honestly couldn’t care less. give me dick gansey’s aesthetic.

7. the rebound: a book that you read too soon after a book hangover and it kind of ruined that book for you.

i could not think of a book for this one for the longest time, until suddenly it hit me: i have never been able to read A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by v.e. schwab because i always try and read it after a mind consuming novel, like LADY MIDNIGHT or THE SECRET HISTORY. so while it doesn’t actually answer the question, it’s almost there, right? i’ll definitely read this book eventually.

8. overly enthusiastic date: a book you felt was trying too hard.

i’m sure i lost some people at question number four, and i am sure i will lost people here too. the THRONE OF GLASS and A COURT OF THORNES AND ROSES series by sarah j. maas. sorry not sorry? i think these are mostly due to my aversions to sjm (THRONE OF GLASS is basically the story of colonization featuring a white saviour heroine and ACOTAR is an na erotica disguising itself as a series suitable for young people) but also i find its just reused tropes? now, i’m a sucker for a good fairy tale retelling, and in the case of ACOTAR, i just wasn’t feeling it. with both series, i don’t really like the characters, and for me, that’s the most important part of the books! don’t get me started on the relationships either. maybe one day i’ll write a tell all piece about my objectification to sarah j. maas’s writings…

9. the perfect first date: a book that did everything right for you.

have you ever read DANGEROUS GIRLS by abigail haas? no? yes? if you haven’t, please go do that. if you have, can you hear me still flailing a year later? i read this book in the fall of sophmore year (it’s almost fall of junior, for reference) and sometimes i think back to it and my heart begins to race and my palms start to sweat because thats how good it was. i’m a sucker for a good mystery as my love for nancy drew runs deeper than my love for pizza, but even my years of drew-sleuthing experience didn’t match up to abigail haas’ genius mind of mastery. you spend the whole book wondering whodunnit and literally everyone is a suspect!! i still can’t believe this book isn’t more raved about. i think one of the absolutely best parts about it is the ability to go back after you’ve finished and re-read, picking up the clues that seemed like they pointed to someone else or seemed useless. wow. this book still shocks me.

10. humiliating first date: book you’re embarrassed to be seen reading in public/to say you like

i honestly can’t think of a single one? actually wait… THE BLACK WITCH by laurie forest. this books i have not, and will not read, because it deals with subjects i find repulsive, especially ones that are being sold to young people: racism, ableism, homophobia, and more. i have nothing against laurie forest at all, but i am going to link a review of this book that can go into better detail about why this is such a damaging book here.

11. BONUS! the second date: a sequel you are most excited to read.

while technically not a sequel, i cannot wait to pick up A CROWN OF WISHES by roshani chokshi. THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN was definitely one of my favourite books of 2016, and i cannot wait to dive into another one of roshani’s equsite worlds, a blend of indian mythology and kick-ass heroines. the premise of the book sounds facinating, and i’m so exited to meet guari and vikram.

i tag… everyone!! if you wanna do this tag, absolutely do so!

note: while writing up this tag i kept having flashbacks to that breadstick meme and then i began to wonder if there was a book that on a date, someone could say they disliked and i’d shove all the breadsticks in my purse and bolt, and i think that book would be the raven boys because i love me some gansey. what about you guys?

Chelsea Parker

chelsea is a grandmother in a sixteen-year-old's body with a passion for ancient rome and picking apart the inaccuracies of historical dramas. she has a particular love for cats, sappho's poetry, the magnetic fields and tarot card readings.