BOOK TAG #19 | Rocky Horror Picture Show Book Tag

Rocky Horror Picture Show Book Tag
Rocky Horror Picture Show Book Tag

Hey, y’all! I hope you’re having a great day/night and getting through the first full week of 2021. Today, I’m doing another book tag ’cause I need to ease myself back into blogging, and tags are easy. This one is the Rocky Horror Picture Show book tag brought to us by Rach over at Anxious Nachos. That link leads y’all to Rach’s original book tag post, in case you want to do the tag yourself! She actually tagged me for this back in…uh…October? So here we are, three months later, lmao. I swear I wasn’t ignoring it, I was just in a blog hiatus. But let’s get into it now!

Science fiction, double feature: a book that has been made into a TV show or film

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

I haven’t watched the series on Hulu or read the book, but it sounds interesting! I’ll have to pick it up sometime soon and watch the adaptation.

Damnit, Janet: a YA romance

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Let’s Talk About Love – Claire Kann

While it’s not my favorite book (I think I rated it 3 stars?), I thought Let’s Talk About Love was cute! It was the first YA romance (the first romance ever, even?) that I read that had an asexual protagonist.

Over at the Frankenstein Place: your favorite gothic fiction

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I don’t read much gothic fiction — in fact, Mexican Gotchic might be the only gothic book I’ve read outside of the Poe I read for high school. And honestly, I think I need to read more because, while I didn’t finish Mexican Gothic (I ran out of time on my library hold 😭), I absolutely loved the vibes of it all.

Time Warp: your prettiest book cover

Six of Crows: Collector's Edition
Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo (Collector’s Edition)

Aaron gifted me the UK collector’s edition of Six of Crows for Christmas one year, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. This picture really doesn’t do it justice. I love the read on black and how shiny it is. Definitely one of my prettiest books, along with the collector’s edition of Crooked Kingdom.

Sweet Transvestite: an iconic queer book

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

I read this one last year and fell in love. Such a good book! The world-building is super interesting, and I love the characters, especially Wren. Can’t wait for the third one to come out this year!

I Can Make You a Man: a book set in a medical setting/about medicine/with a doctor or nurse main character

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington
Medical Apartheid – Harriet A. Washington

This is a non-fiction book about the history of medical abuse, neglect, and racism against the Black community in the United States, from colonial times to more recently. While it was hard to read at parts, it was a phenomenal book that I definitely recommend.

Hot Patootie: a book set in the 1970s or 1980s

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
The Miseducation of Cameron Post – Emily M. Danforth

This prompt was a bit challenging: I don’t know many books set in the ’70s or ’80s. I eventually found The Miseducation of Cameron Post; I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard others liked it. I may read it in the future, when my owned TBR isn’t so high…

Toucha Toucha Told Me: a book where a character loses their innocence

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, from left to right: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.
The Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins

It was hard for me to think of a book for this prompt, too, but once I did, it seemed like a “duh” kind of moment. Prim in the Hunger Games trilogy seems like a character that loses her innocence, but doesn’t lose hope. I could be wrong, it’s been a minute since I read the series, but that was the impression I remember.

Eddie: a book where one of your favorite character dies

Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
Girls of Storm and Shadow – Natasha Ngan

I included GOPAF already, so it’s only right that I include its sequel. No spoilers, but let’s just say I do not forgive Miss Ngan for what she did. 😤

Rose Tint My World: a book that makes you happy

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
Not Your Sidekick – C.B. Lee

I read this book twice already, and I absolutely love it. It’s just a cute and fun superhero book that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Ant the romance? Adorable! I definitely recommend it if you want some (not Marvel) superhero media.

Don’t Dream It, Be It: a book by a trans, non-binary, or gender diverse author

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Dragon Pearl – Yoon Ha Lee

I haven’t read Dragon Pearl yet, but! It’s definitely one that I want to get to, especially since it’s from a trans man. I’ve been wanting to get more into sci-fi, especially middle grade sci-fi, so this book seems perfect for that, too.

Wile and Untamed Thing: a book that makes your heart race

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray
Before the Devil Breaks You – Libba Bray

Out of the four Diviners books, I think Before the Devil Breaks You is the one that had me on the edge of my seat the most. I thought it was the best out of the series, partly because the stakes seemed to be the most personal. And oof, that last quarter of the book? It almost gave me a heart attack. Definitely recommend the series!

I’m Going Home: a book with the found family trope

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers

Yet another book I haven’t read, but I own it, so…half points? My friend Makenzie recommends it big time, and literally all I know about it is that it’s one big, queer found family book. Which, I mean…what more do you need?

Superheroes: a book with one of your favorite villains or monsters

And I Darken by Kiersten White
And I Darken – Kiersten White

So this may be cheating a little bit because Lada could be considered a grey character, not an outright villain, depending on the perspective. But! I absolutely love Lada’s development throughout the first two books of the trilogy, and I cannot wait to read the final book to see how it all ends.

And that’s the Rocky Horror Picture Show book tag! Like I said in the beginning of the post, feel free to do this tag if you’re interested. Below will be a list of the prompts, and link back to Rach’s original post if you want her to see it.

See y’all next time!

Kait | sixcrowsbooks

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REVIEW #63 | NOT YOUR VILLAIN by C.B. Lee (Sidekick Squad #2)

Title: Not Your Villain

Author: C.B. Lee

Series or Standalone?: Sidekick Squad #2

Publishing Date: 5 October 2017

Synopsis:

“Bells Broussard thought he had it made when his superpowers manifested early. Being a shapeshifter is awesome. He can change his hair whenever he wants, and if putting on a binder for the day is too much, he’s got it covered. But that was before he became the country’s most-wanted villain.

“After discovering a massive cover-up by the Heroes’ League of Heroes, Bells and his friends Jess, Emma, and Abby set off on a secret mission to find the Resistance. Meanwhile, power-hungry former hero Captain Orion is on the loose with a dangerous serum that renders meta-humans powerless, and a new militarized robotic threat emerges. Everyone is in danger. Between college applications and crushing on his best friend, will Bells have time to take down a corrupt government?

“Sometimes, to do a hero’s job, you need to be a villain.”

Trigger/Content warnings:

  • mild violence

Representation:

  • biracial bisexual character
  • Latinx aroace character
  • sapphic character
  • f/f relationship
  • Black trans man main character

⭐⭐⭐⭐
4/5 stars

Can I just say that I think this series is probably the most fun compared to other superhero books I’ve read? It has everything you’d ever want in a superhero series: superpowers, diversity, and teens sticking it to The Man.

Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee picks up before the start of Not Your Sidekick, but it quickly catches up to where it left off at the end. Instead of following Jess, it follows Bells, Emma and Jess’ lovely, hair color changing friend who just so happens to be a superhero turned supervillain. Or at least, that’s what the Heroes’ League of Heroes wants everyone to think. Bells, Emma, Jess, Emma, and Jess’ brother Brendan work together to try and find the Resistance and take down their tyrannical government.

If it were completely up to me, this whole review would be me gushing about Bells. But, since y’all probably want more than that, here we are. Seriously, though, I love Bells’ character, and I’m glad we have an entire book from his perspective. But my goodness, he pines so much. Seriously, Bells, just…tell her how you feel, my dude.

Oh, and Emma?? Our aroace/questioning queen. Seriously, though, I have read only a small number of books that have aro and/or ace characters, and I’m glad that the Sidekick Squad series is part of that list!

I love how Abby’s struggles aren’t shoved under the rug, too. She lost her powers — things that she’s had for years — and she is basically grieving throughout the book, even if it may not be permanent. She is frustrated and angry because she feels useless to her friends, but Jess and the others try their best to make her feel included and not inferior to them. I hope that it’s expanded upon in the next book in the series.

When it comes to the writing, I have similar thoughts when compared to Not Your Sidekick. It’s pretty fast-paced while also spending time on the characters. In general, it’s a wonderful superhero story where teens are trying to take over their corrupt government. Ya know, like ya do on a Saturday night. It can be a bit cliche, but in my opinion, that adds to its charm. Why can’t we have a diverse cast of characters in fun, cliche/trope-y stories? (Answer: no reason, we’re totally getting them, and I love it.)

Overall, I thought Not Your Villain to be a fun read with amazing characters and a quick plot. Can’t wait to get my hands on Not Your Backup!

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TOP TEN TUESDAY #5 | New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2018

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday (we’ll just ignore the fact that it’s technically Wednesday because, damn, I just want to get a single post up finally…). For those of you that don’t know, TTT is a weekly meme ran by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s meme is new-to-me authors read in 2018. However, instead of ten, I’ll have five because as some of you may know, ten is usually too much for me.


5. John Aljvide Lindqvist

The first (and so far, only) book I read of this author’s was Let the Right One In, which is, essentially, a character-driven vampire novel. I only rated the book three stars, but I did like some aspects of the book. If I found another one of his novels, I would probably pick it up. My biggest issue with Let the Right One In was actually the characters, so maybe if I tried something else of Lindqvist’s, I would enjoy it better. So, yeah, long story short, while I wasn’t over the moon about the first book I read of his, I would probably try out another novel by him.

4. Rachel Caine

I feel like I don’t giver Caine, or Ink and Bone, enough love. Seriously, both the book and the author blew me away, and it was amazing. I’m not going to lie, I almost completely forgot about Ink and Bone; not because it was horrible or anything. I’m just really bad with remembering what books I read. I loved Ink and Bone and its characters and the world that is built. It was very unique for me, and I should have picked up the sequel, like, six months ago. (I think I actually did, but was too busy to read it, unfortunately)

3. Mark Oshiro

I think I read Anger is a Gift back in May, and it was amazing. I loved all the characters and how anxiety was protrayed. I thought Oshiro did a wonderful job with the portrayal of the effects of trauma and mental illness on people. While I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about the way Moss treats his mom in various parts throughout the book, I thought that, overall, Oshiro has a wonderful way with words. It would be an honor to read something else written by him.

2. Roxane Gay

Believe it or not, Bad Feminist was one of my first reads of 2018, and I’m so glad it was. It was such a good book, and I really enjoyed reading it. If you find yourself liking “un-feminist” things (I think one of Gay’s examples she uses for herself is a certain subgenre of rap music) while calling yourself a feminist, and feeling guilty about it, I would recommend you give this a read. I also read Hunger later on for a class, and it was phenomenal. (I would point out a heavy CW for fat-shaming and sexual violence, though, just as a heads up). Finally, last week, I actually won another of Gay’s books in a raffle, called Difficult Women. Anyway, I think Gay is a wonderful author, and I cannot wait to read more of her work.

1. C.B. Lee

Is literally anyone surprised by this? It wouldn’t be a “new-to-me” list if I didn’t have C.B. Lee, would it? (By the way, she liked my tweet screaming about how I wasn’t ready for the cover reveal of Not Your Backup, which…I almost died. Again.). I remember that Not Your Sidekick was the first book I have ever annotated outside of Six of Crows, and I was so nervous about it. Honestly, thought, I found myself squeling and writing variations of “awww” and “omg!” all over the place. It was such a fluffy book with a fun f/f romance, and I am so glad I impulsively bought Lee’s book because then I would have truly missed out.


And there you have it, everyone, my top 10 5 new-to-me authors of 2018. I tried to give a shoutout to authors I haven’t talked about much on my blog, and I think I did a pretty good job! So, tell me: what were your new authors, either last year or one you just got to this month? Were any of these authors new to you, or where they old favorites (or not-so-favorites)?

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REVIEW #29 | “Not Your Sidekick” by C.B. Lee (Sidekick Squad #1)

Not Your Sidekick.png

Not Your Sidekick

Title: “Not Your Sidekick”

Author: C.B. Lee

Pages (paperback):

Original Publishing Date: 283 pages

Synopsis (from the back):

“Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • mild violence
  • eugenics
  • racism

Representation in the novel:

  • biracial (Chinese and Vietnamese) bisexual main character
  • trans man side/main character
  • sapphic love interest
  • f/f relationship

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

Continue reading “REVIEW #29 | “Not Your Sidekick” by C.B. Lee (Sidekick Squad #1)”