The Opposites Book Tag

I came upon this book tag by chance and knew that I wanted to do it. As with all book tags I participate in, I always want to give credit for the tag creator. The blogger (Imyril @ There’s Always Room For One More), whose own response to this tag I found, mentioned BookForager and Dreamlands Book Blog, but that it started on BookTube a while back and that the original vlogger no longer has a public channel.

Anyway, here are my answers to this tag:

First Book in Your Collection/Last Book You Bought

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

I honestly can’t remember what my first book was, mostly because I owned books since I was a baby that my parents purchased for me. I also wouldn’t be able to tell you the first book I bought with my own money, but this book is definitely one of the first books I ever owned. We got it through school, it was a classroom read. I love this book and I still own my school copy to this day! This is definitely one of those books that stays with you long after you read it. I remember being super into it when I did read it. I’d actually like to read it again now, as an adult, and see if I still feel the same about it…

We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans and Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff

This is the most recent book I’ve purchased. I discovered this book in a book review magazine and knew I wanted to read it. I’ve also been trying to support my local, independent bookstore during the pandemic, so I pre-ordered it. I’m excited to read it, it sounds like a really fascinating book!

A Cheap Book/An Expensive Book

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

I bought a paperback copy of this book from Goodwill for…maybe $4? It might not be the cheapest book I’ve ever bought, but it is one of the cheapest. I probably bought a couple of other books at the same time, but this is the one I remember out of the others. I still haven’t read it, though I definitely plan to. I have yet to read anything by See, but I do know that this book was made into a movie and I’d like to see it, so that means reading the book first. I have heard good things about it!

Illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I know I’ve bought some pretty expensive books, but the one that most readily comes to mind is this book, mostly because any book that has glossy pages and lots of illustrations is going to be pricy. I have bought each one as it comes out. I don’t know about the upcoming ones because of all the Rowling transphobia controversy. I know many fans who have vowed to never buy anything HP again because they don’t want to give her money. I feel like I lean that way, even if I can’t give up on the books themselves because I grew up reading them and their story is so intertwined with my childhood. We’ll see.

A Book With a Male Protagonist/A Book With a Female Protagonist

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

I just finished this book and really enjoyed it! Not as much as the first book, but enough that I want to keep reading the series. It features Darrow, the male protagonist, as he tries to take down a hierarchical society in which he is at the bottom. It’s high sci-fi, and I’d definitely recommend it, the writing is excellent. I’m hoping the ending is epic!

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I also recently finished reading this book, which features Nora, a young woman who is presented with the opportunity to try out parallel lives in order to find one that she considers worth living. It’s decent book and provides a lot of interesting discussions on life and philosophy. I read this book for a book club and there were definitely mixed responses!

A Book You Read Fast/A Book that Took You a Long Time to Read

Song of the Court by Katy Farina

I read this book in one sitting (which is rare for me!). It’s a super cute, middle-grade fantasy graphic-novel about a cat who has a garden, but wants to pursue music. The book is very short, but it’s so enjoyable and the story is really well developed! The colors are beautiful and bright. I would definitely recommend it because it’s a very sweet story.

The Yorkist Age: Daily Life During the Wars of the Roses by Paul Murray Kendall

Boy, this book. It took me four months to read. I don’t think I’ve taken longer on any book before that I didn’t DNF rather than finish. I pushed myself to finish this book because it was loaned to me by a family friend and I felt obligated to read it. I have a keen interest in this time period, but Kendall’s writing is…very dry and factual, to say the least. I did not find it engrossing, like I do other historical books I read.

A Book With a Pretty Cover/A Book With an Ugly Cover

Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston

This is one of my favorite covers of all time. I think it’s so beautiful. I am already a big Star Wars fan, but whoever did the design of this cover knew what they were doing. It’s so, so pretty! I am obsessed with Queen Amidala/Padme, and this cover is just perfection to me. I tend to gravitate to bright, complimentary colors, and I also appreciate the harmony between the graphic text and the cover image.

Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson

Boy do I hate covers like this. First of all, I do not like the divide between two images. It just looks like someone didn’t know how to use Photoshop to blend images, so they just picked to photos and plunked them in. I also don’t love the ugly orange/red color of the text and how it’s just in a giant box in the middle of the book. Honestly, this cover looks like they couldn’t afford a designer so they picked some random guy to put this together. It stinks.

A National Book/An International Book

The Ex-Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

This book, which I read recently, takes place in Washington State, USA, and it’s about the world of public radio. I really liked the book, it’s a very steamy romance, and it deals with some pretty interesting, contemporary topics! I have never visited Washington, but it sounds like a really cool place.Also, it has a beautiful cover. I could have used this book for the previous prompt.

Heartstopper: Vol. 3 by Alice Oseman

I just finished this book and it’s so good! It takes place in the UK, but also in France, as the main characters go on a school trip there. I wish I could just take a quick jaunt over to France! Sadly, the USA is large and traveling internationally usually means a long, expensive plane flight. Anyway, this series is brilliant and I love the characters so, so much. I can’t wait for the next book to come out. I have to wait a long time because it’s published in England, sigh.

A Thin Book/A Thick Book

The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo

I just read this book last month and it’s only 121 pages, very slim. That was one of the reasons why I picked it, actually, but I also like some of Bardugo’s work and I was curious to see what this book was all about. I’ve not read any Saints stories as I’m not of the Christian background, so I can’t compare. Rather, these stories read a lot like fairytales. I liked a few, but mostly the book was like the same story over and over with different people/setting.

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

Yeah, I read this book. I was very into Twilight when it first came out and I was super into Edward, so this book was always going to be something I’d want to read. Well, I read all 658 pages of it, most of it unnecessary and repetitive, but there it is. It wasn’t anything other than what I expected, so really, I chose this. But I don’t regret reading it, I just regret purchasing it (yes, I admit to pre-ordering it, I have a weakness, okay!).

A Fiction Book/A Non-Fiction Book

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

I’m currently reading this book and it is delightful! It’s no secret that I’m an Austenite and I love reading any iterations of her work. This book ticks so many boxes for me: murder/mystery, period drama, badass heroine. The writing is really smart and reads very similarly to Austen, which is really cool! I am really hoping I love every bit of this book by the time I finish it. I’m excited to see how it ends and I’m so here for the Lizzie/Darcy tension!

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer

I’m also currently reading this book! I tend to read widely and eclectically, since I’m usually in the mood for anything. This book is fascinating and I’m learning a lot. Treuer is an excellent guide on this journey. I love the way this book is sectioned out so that you don’t have to read it all or read it linearly if you’re just trying to find a quick answer to one of the questions he covers. I have been growing the diversity of my reading and have been trying to read more books by Indigenous, First Peoples, etc.

A Romantic Book/An Action Book

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss by Amy Noelle Parks

I love, love, love this book. It’s so sweet, cute, romantic, etc. It’s told in duel-perspectives and it’s about a very math-brainy girl and her childhood best friend who is in love with her. It’s a contemporary YA and I love that the author based these characters off of Anne and Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables! The writing is so smart and the dialogue is some of the best I’ve read in a long, long time.

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

I don’t read a lot of action, but this book is first and foremost an urban fantasy set in London. Sign me up! Plus, I love Nix and most of his books, so that’s another plus. I really love this book. It’s fast-paced and action-packed. The world Nix creates with this book is engrossing and different than other books I’ve read in this series. I also enjoyed the blend of time-period setting as well.

A Book That Made You Happy/A Book That Made You Sad

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

This book is such a fun read and it made me really happy while I was reading it. I love the writing and the characters are just so relatable and cool. The situations they get into are just so crazy! I have read other books by Lauren since, but this one is and probably always will be my favorite. It’s definitely a light-hearted, summer read and I would recommend it.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

On the opposite end of the spectrum, this book made me so, so sad. I don’t tend to read a lot of contemporary fiction for this very reason! Most of it really depresses me. This book is written by a son to his mother. The book explores race, class, and masculinity. I had a hard time getting through the book. It’s very poetic and abstract, which is not my favorite thing, either. I do want to read some of Vuong’s poetry and see if I like it more than his prose.

Thoughts & Thanks

Though I like participating in tags, I’m bad at tagging people. My favorite thing is just to say, if you’ve read this post and like it, please consider yourself tagged! And feel free to share your Tag post in the comments so I can see what you picked.

As always, thank you for visiting and happy reading!

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