Taylor Swift Book Tag

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I’ve been a bad blogger lately since I’ve been spending most of time on NaNoWriMo instead of reading (books, I miss you!), so I looked through some “book tags” and decided to go with the Taylor Swift Book Tag. Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like to do it!

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Pick a book (or book series) that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. I loved the first book! And liked the second! I was sooooo looking forward to the conclusion of the series, and then Allegiant came along and I HATED it! It ruined my enjoyment of the series as a whole and I was not excited at all anymore for the movies.

2. Red: Pick a book with a RED cover.

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

3. The Best Day: Pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was just as naïve about things when I was in high school as Lara Jean is in this book.

4. Love Story: Pick a book with forbidden love.

Forbidden

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. I mean, it’s right in the name in everything. (While it’s a forbidden romance, I don’t think the song would be appropriate for it at all!)

5. I Knew You Were Trouble: Pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – The Darkling!

6. Innocent:  Pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.

Sentinel (Covenant, #5)

Sentinel by Jennifer Armentrout. No one ruined the ending, per se, but finding out about the spin-off before reading this book definitely gave some things away.

7. Everything has Changed: Pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Juliette throughout the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi.

8. You Belong With Me: Pick your most anticipated book release.

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

Fairest by Marissa Meyer. Out January 27th!

 9. Forever and Always: Pick your favourite book couple.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

The Raven Boys + Blue. They aren’t technically a “couple” but they’re all kind of love in with each other and me with them!

10. Come Back, Be Here: Pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.

Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. It’s one of my all time favorites and has a signed bookplate sticker in it.

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Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Forbidden

Synopsis from Good Reads:

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

So this was not a happy book. In fact, the description above states, “…a love this devastating has no happy ending.” So that’s not exactly a spoiler. If you are fan of books that exist just to make you feel and you want to feel bad, then this book is for you. However, while it did make me feel bad, I just didn’t find it done quite well enough to make it worth my time.

Lochan and Maya are the oldest of five siblings who have long been taking care of themselves and the others. Their father has left and their mother is an increasingly absent alcoholic. Lochan has some serious issues. He has super severe social anxiety, panic attacks, and is prone to violent outbursts. He shoulders the family’s responsibility and feels heavy guilt for their situation. He is depressed and lonely and the only time he ever feels any peace or happiness is around his sister, Maya. She’s always seemed more like a partner and friend than a little sister. So, I can see why he might fall in love with her.

I don’t, however, find it plausible that Maya would fall in love with him. She has friends at school and while she helps Lochan care for the family, her anxiety is not much more than the average person would be in the same situation. It would make more sense for her character to be a party girl or go after older men. But, she’s a quite sensible teenager and just happens to fall in love with her best friend, her brother.

This taboo relationship is supposed to be what makes this book so hype-able. Mostly I just found it boring. I did not root for their relationship. I was not brokenhearted for their precarious situation. I felt bad for them. I felt bad for their father leaving and the abuse from their mother and their unconventional childhood. I feel bad for them that they think having an incestuous relationship is a viable option. But I just didn’t really care enough about the characters to feel emotionally crippled by it.

The only place the book really worked for me was with Lochan. He really is a tragic character. I wish the book would’ve ended with him getting some closely monitored care for his mental health issues. His panic attacks and thought processes were well written and descriptive. He’s the only one in the book I felt any sort of emotional connection with.

Overall, I just did not care for this book. I don’t think it’s a “must read.” Some people may love it. Some people might think that writing about incest is “brave” and give it a better review. For the most part, I just found the book boring and almost didn’t finish it. I feel like if the characterization of Maya would have been as well done as Lochan, I might have bought more into their relationship and feel more badly for the repercussions. However, it was just a book that made me a little sad.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 1.5
Characters: 3 (mostly for Lochan!)
Readability: 2
Enjoyability: 1.5
Overall Rating: 2 stars

WWW Wednesday

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WWW Wednesday is a feature from Should Be Reading that asks:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

WHAT I AM CURRENTLY READING

Forbidden

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. There’s so much hype about this book, so I decided it was finally time to read it. I haven’t gotten to the forbidden part of the story yet.

WHAT I RECENTLY FINISHED READING

One Plus One

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. I Loved it! You can read my review for it here, but it totally doesn’t do it justice.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins. This book has finally come available at my library. I’m excited to get to it!