Things I love In Books + Examples Part 2

No I don’t know what you’re talking about I didn’t split this up into two parts so I could avoid a 3k+ word blog post… no not at all…

1. LGBTQ+ MC/ Characters

“Her advice, spot on. Her love life, way off.

Darcy Phillips:

• Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes―for a fee.

• Uses her power for good. Most of the time.

• Really cannot stand Alexander Brougham.

• Has maybe not the best judgement when it comes to her best friend, Brooke…who is in love with someone else.

• Does not appreciate being blackmailed.

However, when Brougham catches her in the act of collecting letters from locker 89―out of which she’s been running her questionably legal, anonymous relationship advice service―that’s exactly what happens. In exchange for keeping her secret, Darcy begrudgingly agrees to become his personal dating coach―at a generous hourly rate, at least. The goal? To help him win his ex-girlfriend back.

Darcy has a good reason to keep her identity secret. If word gets out that she’s behind the locker, some things she’s not proud of will come to light, and there’s a good chance Brooke will never speak to her again.

Okay, so all she has to do is help an entitled, bratty, (annoyingly hot) guy win over a girl who’s already fallen for him once? What could go wrong?”

I wrote about my thoughts on this here if you’re interested!

“What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius―his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.”

I liked the representation in this book, both in terms of Alex being half Mexican and the main pairing being a gay couple. The book was entertaining, and it’s widely liked as an enjoyable read. The story overall wasn’t super deep but had a good message, and didn’t surprise me too much being what I expected from it, however I did enjoy it, but wouldn’t mark it as a favorite.

“Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he barely knows—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .”

Yes, I am aware that this is the cover of the third book, but this was the book that was in the best condition for photos so just uh… go with it. These books, along with most things by Rick Riordan, were a huge part of my childhood and are filled with nostalgia. These book particularly, along with The Heroes of Olympus, had important representation for the LQBTQ+ community. This is particularly important because these books are targeted towards a younger audience, and these characters are portrayed as some pretty cool people, so it was lovely to see that being shown in within these books. Many, if not all, of Rick Riordan’s series (Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, Magnus Chase, Trials of Apollo, etc.) also include the found family trope which I love to death.

2. Diverse Characters And Authors

“After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.”

Ok. Besides the obvious diversity (yay) the synopsis itself. Sounds so amazing. So intriguing. That I want to read this immediately. This sounds wonderfully captivating AND it’s on my to be read for this month so I’ll luckily be able to get to this soon. A stunning and intriguing fantasy world? Count me in. Yes. Perfect.

“Frances has one job in life: to get into Berkeley and become a doctor so that her mother’s ambitions will be realized. And Frances doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with that, until the day she accidentally steps into a speech class and begins to discover a talent her mother wouldn’t approve of. Frances turns out to be a natural at debate and public speaking. But to win in competition, she needs to say things she really believes — and to hide what she’s doing from her mother. And once Frances steps out beyond her narrowly prescribed life, she begins to question many things about the way she is raised. Why can’t she go to a dance with a boy who likes her? Why can’t Frances get a job, or have any money of her own? And most of all, why is her mother never happy with her? Frances knows she should be obedient, and that her mother has sacrificed everything so she can succeed. But when it’s time to take the biggest step of her life, will Frances have the courage to defy her mother? First-time novelist Cara Chow creates an unforgettable story of a young woman finding her voice against a background of strong cultural tradition and a mother whose ambition for her shows two very different sides to maternal love.”

I’m a sucker for books with oppressed main characters who find their voice and themselves. The character growth, the questioning of standards and expectations you’ve always had to live by??!!!! I adore that in books, and always find them to end up being interesting reads. The theme of finding your voice and who you are while going against the typical expectations also applies with American Panda!

“At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how, unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.”

“Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to forswear–no matter what the cost.”

This book also fits into the retellings category, containing elements from The Wild Swans, Cinderella, the legend of Chang E, and the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and mixing it into a breathtaking fantasy world. Shiori’s journey throughout the book, and how her character changed throughout the tale while keeping her goals in mind was beautifully done, and the subtle hints in the relationships between characters support the story in a magnificent way. The ending of the book had me eagerly awaiting the sequel.

3. Found Family

“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price―and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction―if they don’t kill each other first.”

Six of Crows has been so heavily recommended for so long, that I’m very disappointed in myself that I haven’t gotten to it yet. Found family is a trope that I’m in love with, so honestly I really should’ve read this long before I did and I swear I’ll get to it in the next two months. probably.

Am I aware this isn’t a book? Yes. But I mean. Technically there are comics so that counts okay. But point is!! The show is amazing. Brilliant. Perfection. The character development, the storyline. Each of the four nations were also based on real places and cultures (WHICH IS SO COOL and I’ve probably spent too much time in the behind the scenes of this show but it was just. so well done???). The relationships between the characters were so interesting to watch develop, not one was perfect but they were all so well thought out. The worldbuilding!! The plot!! It was complicated enough to not be boring and mindless, but simple enough for a younger audience to understand and enjoy as well. I watched it a year or two ago, and while I don’t really have a favorite show, this one most definitely comes close.

Favorite tropes? Favorite books? Any academic rivals to lovers books you know of? Let’s chat in the comments!


6 thoughts on “Things I love In Books + Examples Part 2

    And perfect on paper is such a fun book, I love it so much!! And I’ve been meaning to read six crimson cranes for so long, can’t wait to get to it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TYSM!!!! Perfect on Paper is so lovely, and yess Six Crimson Cranes was good!! Hope you get to it soon!! AHHH AVATAR IS STUNNING I’VE REWATCHED IT SO MANY TIMES I LOVE IT!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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