The Disney Book Tag

This tag was created by Katytastic over on YouTube to celebrate the release of The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz. I was tagged by Aria at Book Monster and Maren at The Worn Bookmark! Thanks so much for the tags, Aria and Maren!

Disney

  1. The Little Mermaid – a character who is out of their element, a “fish out of water”

Rachel from Jennifer Mathieu’s latest novel, Devoted, leaves the home and family she’s known her whole life to start fresh in the “real” world. She doesn’t really understand how the real world works and must navigate first jobs, first roommates, and figuring out what she truly believes.

  1. Cinderella – a character who goes through a major transformation

Kristin from I.W. Gregorio’s debut None of the Above finds out that she is actually intersex. Her life, identity, and world are completely turned upside down and she must figure out who she really is while everyone else does too.

  1. Snow White – a book with an eclectic cast of characters

I’m going to go with a children’s book for this one: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers is filled to the brim with eclectic characters…er, crayons. Overworked Blue and Mediator Green and WHO IS THE TRUE COLOR OF THE SUN? Yellow or Orange?! Love it.

  1. Sleeping Beauty – a book that put you to sleep

Hands down: If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Ugh.

  1. The Lion King – a character who had something traumatic happen to them in childhood

Harry Potter. Duh. He had like a million traumatic things happen to him while he was a child. Actually, all of those kids who went to Hogwarts during those years had pretty traumatic things happen to them.

  1. Beauty and the Beast – A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber is 500 pages long and absolutely intimidating. I’m so glad I read it though. Not only is it physical beautiful (the pages are gilded – they are gold-edged) but the story is incredibly fascinating and strange and…definitely beautiful.

  1. Aladdin – a character who gets their wish granted, for better or worse

I’m going to have to go with Maren on this one: Simon from Becky Albertalli’s debut Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda wishes with everything he has to meet Blue, the boy he’s been emailing back and forth for months, and is it for better or worse? You’ll just have to read it and find out. 🙂

  1. Mulan – a character who pretends to be someone or something they are not

Lila Bard in V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic dresses up like a man in order to be accepted socially, or at least so she doesn’t draw attention to herself. I chose her because even though she’s pretending to be someone she isn’t, she’s an incredibly badass character.

  1. Toy Story – a book with characters you wish would come to life

Hands down, I would want the characters from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle books to come to life. I just want to be best friends with all of them: Blue, RONAN, Gansey, Noah, Adam, and definitely Chainsaw. I want to hang out at 300 Fox Way and fly around in helicopters looking for Glendower.

  1. Disney Descendants – your favourite villain or morally ambiguous character

I’m a big fan of morally ambiguous characters in books. They are often more complex, more interesting, and more terrifying than the protagonists. My favorite is probably Kevin from We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver. He may not be so morally ambiguous. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that he is absolutely evil, but why is he that way? Nature? Nurture? It’s just absolutely fascinating to read about him. Plus, Ezra Miller does a pretty amazing job at portraying him on screen.

I’m tagging: 

Rachel at Confessions of a Book Geek

Alison at Hardcovers and Heroines

Shaina at Shaina Reads

Kay at It’s a Book Life

Joey at Thoughts and Afterthoughts

Stacking the Shelves: #booksfortrade, #NOVLbox, and BAM!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

I hardly EVER do Stacking the Shelves, but I got so many awesome books this week that I HAD to share! 🙂

If you’re on Twitter, you might’ve seen the #booksfortrade hashtag that started recently. It’s AWESOME. All you have to do is post a picture (or list) of the books you no longer want and would like to trade, and you are able to trade them with other people for books you DO want! A lot of the time it happens pretty quickly too, which is great. For example, I posted that I was interested in finding an ARC of I.W. Gregorio’s None of the Above, and I traded with Eden Grey for my HC of The Girl from the Well in TWELVE minutes! How cool is that? So this week, I received None of the Above from Eden and Article 5 (which I traded for my HC of Dorothy Must Die) from Sarah!

None of the Above ARC Article 5 HC

I also received the NOVL box I won from the amazing people at The NOVL (the cool people at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers). April’s NOVL box was curated by Jennifer E. Smith who I LOVE, so I was so excited to get it! I loved everything in it. The only problem was that I actually already own all three of Jen’s books as well as an ARC of her new book, so the only new book I got is Jessica Darling’s It List, which I’m looking forward to reading! Plus, I got some whoopie pie mix I can’t wait to try! I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the duplicate Jen books, but it’ll probably mean a fun giveaway! Thanks so much to the lovely people at The NOVL for this awesome box!

April NOVL box

Today I went to Books-A-Million with a friend of mine and bought a few things! I got: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS ONE), issues #3 & 4 of Return of the Living Deadpool (both for cheaper than the list price of ONE!), and Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up (for $4.97!!). I got ALL of this for only $21 which I was pretty excited about.

BAM haul

One more thing! I was waiting on my friend to get her stuff together at the library (where she works) before we went to BAM, and I found a HC copy of Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings in the sale section for ONE DOLLAR! It has a part cut out in the back where the barcode used to be (it was a library copy that was replaced) but it’s still in pretty good shape and it was A DOLLAR! I loved her most recent book Belzhar, so I’m looking forward to trying this one.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Did you get any books this week? Tell me what you got in the comments or send me pictures!

Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

None of the Above by I.W. GregorioAuthor:  I.W. Gregorio

Genre: YA, Contemporary, LGBT

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

None of the Above is incredible. I finished reading it more than two weeks ago and I still can’t quite figure out how to properly tell you why you should read this important, incredible, entertaining, beautiful book.

Kristin is in her senior year of high school and she’s the star of her track team and loved by both her friends and her boyfriend. But when Homecoming night doesn’t really go the way it should, she makes an appointment with an ob-gyn and finds out that she’s intersex. Her life, identity, and world are completely turned upside down and she must figure out who she really is while everyone else does too.

Like a lot of people, I didn’t know much about what being intersex meant. I had a general idea, but this book taught me so much (I love when I can learn about something real when reading). This book is so important for that very reason – not only is it a well-written, entertaining, heartbreaking, uplifting story about a fictional character, it’s also a book about a real condition and realistic reactions to it. None of the Above is exactly what a book about diversity should be. Yet another book I wish I could make everyone read.

Something that has come up in conversations recently (I posted about books that feature characters with mental illnesses which sparked conversation in the comments but also with friends) is a certain lack of empathy that some people have, which is disheartening in a lot of ways, but that’s not the point. I’m bringing this up because I am not intersex. Nor do I know anyone that is (as far as I know). But I connected so well with Kristin because of her struggle with identity throughout the book. Her identity (as a woman, as herself) is challenged several times throughout the novel. (Quick note to say how heartbreaking it was to read the sections in which Kristin is bullied, which felt so, so realistic; I hated it, but I’m glad that nothing felt exaggerated nor sugar-coated). Kristin no longer knows who she is (her doctor tells her that she is a woman, but is she when everyone tells her she isn’t? When she has male chromosomes?). Is she Kristin because of her chromosomes? What makes you you?

The bottom line: None of the Above is important, and you really don’t want to miss it, not only because it will teach you more about something you may or may not be familiar with, but because everyone can relate to Kristin’s struggle to figure out how she is. We all deserve to be reminded that we can get through anything.