Since I’m wrapping up my posts on The Lord of the Rings, I thought now would be an appropriate time to do this tag, originally created by Unputdownable Books Blog, which you can find here.
Gandalf: A book that taught you something
I feel like all books teach us something. I recently reread The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, and I took away a message from it: While it’s incredibly satisfying to get revenge on people who have wronged you, there is a price to pay for that revenge. I’m sure we’re all wronged by someone at some point in our lives, and revenge can seem appealing. Edmond Dantes taught me that revenge can be satisfying, but it also takes something away from you. Dantes becomes a different person because of his thirst for revenge, and there are also unforeseen consequences to it as well. Dantes has to live with those consequences. This book taught me that revenge is best left in the realm of fiction, not real life.
Frodo: A book that left a mark on you
Again, I feel like most books leave an impression. One that really changed the way I think about my country’s history is Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I know this book has faced some controversy lately, but it is one of my favorites. In school I learned about the Civil War at least three different times, and every time we covered the same basic facts that don’t teach me anything. While Gone with the Wind is a work of fiction, I feel like it made me think more critically about the Civil War and its consequences. I didn’t even know what the South faced after the war until I read this book because my teachers never talked about it. While I don’t in any way support slavery, I love seeing the war from the perspective of a character who grew up in the South. In all things, it’s important to know both sides of the story. By seeing the Civil War from Scarlett’s point of view, I feel like I’ve gained a better understanding of that turbulent time in our history.
Legolas: A book you finished in one sitting
I’ve read a lot of books in one sitting. When I was younger, I would frequently knock out five or six short chapter books in a day. One of the lengthier books I finished in one go is Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent by Veronica Roth. I read that book in less than twelve hours. I don’t remember anything about it, but I read through it quickly.
Gimli: A book that features an unlikely friendship
If you read my discussion on friendships, you know I love unlikely friendships; and I provided several examples there, including Gimli and Legolas. I’m going to have to go with Fangirl for this one. If you haven’t read the book, skip this because it’s a little bit of a spoiler. I love how Cath and her roommate Reagan become friends over the course of the story. They’re very different in terms of personalities and interests, but they grow close to one another. They even agree to be roommates again the following year. I wish my experience with college roommates had been that positive.
Merry: A book that pleasantly surprised you
I read The Count of Monte Cristo for a book report project in high school. The reason I read it is because I had read The Shadow of the Wind, and my teacher told me to read Monte Cristo before reading The Shadow of the Wind’s sequel. I read the sequel first, which I regret doing. I should have listened to my teacher. Anyway, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Monte Cristo, and I was a little daunted by its size (1243 pages). I never expected it to be my favorite book of all time. I love that book so much.
Pippin: A book that made you laugh
I’m going to have to go with Fablehaven by Brandon Mull for this one, though not the first book. Any of the other books in the series qualify. In particular, I’m thinking of one of the side characters, Warren; and he’s sadly not in the first book. He’s always cracking jokes and being funny, and I love his character. He’s my favorite in the second, third, and fourth books. A new character in the final book is my favorite overall, but Warren is great. He makes me laugh a lot.
Boromir: A book/series you think ended too soon
I had a hard time coming up with an answer for this one. While I go into withdrawals when I finish reading really good books or series, I feel like adding more to them would ruin the story. They’re just the right length. I’m going to tweak this a little bit and change it to a character whose story ended too soon. My favorite characters almost always die, and one that I really hate losing is a character in Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. If you haven’t read the last book Ruin and Rising, and you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read this. It’s a major spoiler. Skip to the next question.
In Ruin and Rising, my favorite character, the Darkling, dies, and I really wish he had lived longer. There was so much potential for him to have a different story, and I feel like he was robbed of that opportunity.
Sam: A book with memorable side characters who stole the show
This one is super easy for me. Harry Potter has the best side characters. I virtually never like a book’s protagonist. I’m not sure why. I’m not a huge fan of any of the main characters in this series, especially Harry, but I love the side characters. Sirius is my favorite, followed by the Weasley twins. During my last reread, I found myself seeing Neville and Snape in new ways; and I love their arcs. I read that series/watch the movies for those characters, not Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
Aragorn: A good book with a bad/average cover
I’m going with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak for this one. My copy has a picture of dominoes on it, and I’m not really sure why. I don’t like that cover at all. I would love to see a better cover on that book because it’s one of my favorite books of all time, and it deserves a better one.
Gollum: A book that had great potential but disappointed you in the end
This one is also an easy pick for me. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson had great potential despite the terrible title. A princess runs away from an arranged marriage and is hunted down by the prince she was supposed to marry and an assassin. At the beginning of the book, readers get the names of the prince and the assassin, but they don’t know which one is the prince and which one is the assassin. That gets really interesting when the princess becomes attracted to one of them. This trilogy had so much potential in terms of the romantic relationship, the opportunity to subvert tropes, and the plot; but I feel like it failed on all three accounts. It doesn’t subvert the tropes like I had hoped it would. The romance ends up being terrible and abusive. The plot isn’t as interesting as I had expected. I stuck with the series through the end, hoping it would utilize its potential; but it doesn’t. I have every intention of writing my own stories that subvert the tropes Pearson didn’t.
That’s it for this tag. My responses are a little longer than I expected, but I hope you enjoyed reading them. If one of the questions jumped out at you, feel free to share your response in the comments. If you end up doing this tag on your own blog, YouTube channel, etc. let me know, and I’ll check it out.
Are any of your answers to these questions the same as mine? If so, I’d love to hear about it.