The Sims!: A Booktag

I recently saw Booktuber, hailsheartsnyc, make a book tag based on The Sims. Since I love The Sims, I thought that this would be a fun thing to bring to the blog. Without further ado, let’s get to the tag!

 

THE QUESTIONS

1. The Original Sims~ Best Author Debut ~ Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

Trail of Broken Wings

I read this novel last year, and it immediately made it’s way on my all-time favorite books list. It’s a touching family drama about an Indian American family coming to grips with their overreaching father/husband and the lasting effects his presence had in their lives.

2. The Grim Reaper ~ Saddest Character Death ~ The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner 

The Serpent King

This is also a debut novel; it was released this year by Jeff Zentner. I’m not going to spoil the book for anyone, because I really do think it is worth reading. However, the character death in this book was so unexpected that gut-wrenching. I definitely recommend this book!

3. Sims Getting Stuck ~  A Character That Just Got In The Way ~ Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Made You Up

I was really struggling and trying to remember the character’s name, but I can’t for the life of me. The main character, Alex, works at a diner of some sort with another male character. That character needed to go. I felt he often got in the way of the budding relationship between Alex and Miles. I also think that he was a flat character, and I didn’t need him in my life. This book also was written by a VERY young writer. She’s a boss a proves and good authorship is just good authorship. Definitely check this book out.

4. Simlish ~ Book With Amazing Writing ~ How To Talk To a Widower by Jonathan Tropper

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I’ve mentioned this book before on my blog, because Jonathan Tropper is one of my favorite authors. I really enjoyed the perspective of the main character in this novel, who was a writer. He was hilarious, and I think that Trooper always does a good job writing the writing that his characters are supposed to be creating. More people should read his novels!

5. Expansion Packs ~ Series Where the Books Kept on Getting Better ~ Shades of Magic Trilogy by V.E. Schwab

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This is sort of a cop out because the third book hasn’t come out yet, but I feel that these novels have just been getting better. I’m not a big magical realism person (i.e. Harry Potter is okay…), and so I thought the first book was just okay. However, I found myself really enjoying the second book, which I feel allowed us to gain more insight about the key characters. I’m excited for the third installment, and I’ll probably end up buying all these books.

6. Sims Romance ~  Worst Case of Insta Love ~ The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

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I wrote a review of this book earlier this year. It’s amazing, and it has the worst case of insta love. But you know what, it’s great. I actually don’t mind instalove. I want instalove. You want to be with someone and just know. While I don’t really think that’s a thing, it’d save everyone a hell of a lot of time if it was.

7. Cheats ~ A Book That Was Entirely Unrealistic ~ My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

My Heart and other Black Holes

I enjoyed this book at the surface; I really did. However, this book sparked all sort of crazy thoughts about these books that are highlighting, if not glorifying mental illness. This book focuses on two teens, who are both battling depression among other things. The two are an unlikely pair, through their struggles they find a romantic connection and blahblahblah. UNREALISTIC. It’s hard to talk about without spoiling it, but let’s just say I’m not so sure that high school jocks would fall in love with a nerdy, lonely, and sad girl just because they happened to talk to one another. I’m not sure this book gives someone hope as much as it sets unrealistic expectations of HS romance and what there is to live for in life.

8. Needs Fulfillment ~ Character Who Made All the Wrong Decisions ~ Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom 

Not If I see You First

Parker, the protagonist of this novel, is blind. The novel revolves around her ability to be closed to the world due to her physical disability. She refuses to let it limit her ability, which I found inspiring. However, I was frustrated with her character throughout the book. I thought she made crazy wrong decision after decision. I know that’s one of the reasons people seem to dislike this book, because they dislike her character. But even though she was frustrating to read about, she was very realistic. We all make a lot of mistakes when we should know better.

9. Error code 12: ~ Series That Started Off Great, then Went Downhill ~ The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella

Shopaholic Series

This one is kind of not fair, because I’ve literally read like 4 series in my life. And I already used one of them for the others series question. I LOVE LOVE Sophie Kinsella, and I would recommend every single one of her novels (including the ones as Madeline Wickham). However, The Shopaholic Series has got to stop at some point. Shopaholic and Sister was a little too much for me, but there are 8 books in total in the series. I still need to read the last one, but sometimes you can beat a horse to death.

10. The Sims vortex ~ Book or Series that Completely Engrossed You ~ Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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One very exciting Friday night last year I had just finished another YA book and thought that I still had another couple of minutes to read. I picked up Everything, Everything and then it was over. I read this book in one sitting, no bathroom or food breaks, constantly text messaging my friend Katie to tell her about the book. Although the ending is a little wonky, I definitely would recommend reading this cute book.

Happiness

So this is definitely going to be a continued talk and review of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, because I really did honestly just like it that much. Another theme this book explored, in a very discrete way, is happiness. The scene that sparked my thoughts around this is when Louisa is talking to Nathan (Will’s personal nurse) about Will’s happiness. She asks Nathan if he thinks that Will is happier since she’s come around, and Nathan states that he thinks Will just likes when Louisa is happy. This isn’t a revolutionary concept, but it sparked an important question. Are you truly happy just by seeing other people happy?

I can think of a couple potential examples, even though I haven’t experienced a lot of them. One that seems to fit the mold would be parenthood. I don’t have kids, nor do I want them, so I can’t be sure – but it seems as thought parents thrive off of their children’s happiness. I’ve always said the love of a parent for their child seems unfathomable to me, because I’m not sure children have the capability of expressing such love for their parents. Parents, generally, seem happy when their children are healthy, receive awards, thrive in social situations, and become successful adults. A lot of people talk about parenthood being the most enjoyable part of their life. It’s easy to see how a small human’s whole presence can help contribute or take away from a parent’s happiness.

However, I can also think of a couple of examples that might be contrary to this. Postpartum depression is the first that comes to mind. Acknowledging that this is a very serious disease that effects parents, generally mothers, after birth, their mental and physical well-being is not wrapped up in how well their child may be doing. It’s important for these parents to work on their own well-being, as a separate issue than the well-being of their children. There is also the example of the absentee parent. The image that society presents of parents are those that are involved and concerned about their children’s lives. As unfortunate as it is, that is not always the case for families. For some, children are a burden that contributes to a person’s lack of happiness.

Another, and perhaps the most relevant to the novel, would be happiness that is derived from the happiness of a significant other. Can you truly live a happy life based on the happiness of your significant other? For me, I find that when my partner is in a negative headspace or mood that affects me much more than when he is in a good mood. On the other hand, my favorite thing about people is the passion they show when they’re talking about something that is of great interest to them. When my partner is excited about something, that enthusiasm is contagious. It is often seen as dangerous and detrimental to have one’s happiness tied up in another person’s. Young women are often (sexist, because it’s far less common for men to be arbitrarily told this) told not to rely on a man for their happiness. While this is usually said out of concern for the person, it seems this piece of advice and what is typically “expected” out of partnership often differ.

I’m not really sure where I fall on this topic, but the fact that Me Before You sparked this train of thought is a telling of how powerful the novel can be for a person. What do you think about this?

Until Next Time World…

Sometimes I Just Can’t…

Last week I took a road trip home to visit my mom. Being the avid reader that I am, I was really excited to get some “reading” done on my 36 hour drive to and from Georgia. Well, there was a debacle with the audiobooks I got from Audible, which meant that I was only able to really listen to one audiobook for the majority of my drive; thanks to my local library. Since I listen to all of my audiobooks and double speed, I was without a good story for the majority of my trip. When I stopped before the last 4 hours of my drive back home, I found out Audible is pretty great, and I could return the bum audiobooks easily. Uncertain about what to use my credit on, I decided to cave and listen to Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

I just finished this book yesterday, and I’m not sure I have all the words to express my true feelings about it. At the core of the book, it’s set up like a very unlikely love story. But the story allows the reader to reflect on how they love, live their life, and view their particular set of circumstances. I didn’t know a lot going into the book, other than it was going to be a movie, but I think that most other people are a little more in tune with popular best sellers. The overwhelming hype about this book from the book community and general pop culture set made me a little hesitant, but now I’m totally a fan girl.

I’ve talked about physical disability on my blog before, and I think this novel does a great job alerting the general population to some of the struggles of quadriplegics. Moyes didn’t stop and a general caricature of the condition, but consistently referred to the illnesses that frequently occur, the support systems available, and the mental states of the people who are affected. I think that this was great, because it added a grittiness to the book that usually isn’t seen in popular literature. Moyes did a good job of not making Will’s pain a stick, but an unfortunately intimate part of the reader’s experience with him.

I also think I read this book at a pretty good time, because I’ve been floating around the idea of a book talk around depression and suicide. I think that this book presents a different and interesting perspective to many of the fictional books I’ve been reading focusing on this topic. It explores the topic in a different, but real way. The concept of assisted suicide has, and probably always will be, controversial. Moyes again does a great job of approaching a touchy issues, giving the reader to examine their own thoughts on the issue at hand.

It’s not often that I truly read a book that makes my reflect on my own experiences. However, Me Before You did this for me. Two nights ago, when I was about half way through with the book, I dreamt myself into the world of Ms. Clark and Will. It was a very weird experience, that sort of left me unsettled. I think that this probably means there are some things that I need to examine in my own life, but it’s not every book that will allow the reader to transcend the story and find personal meaning.

I would HIGHLY encourage all of you to go out and pick up this book. I didn’t find it to be overly sad, but it did present some hard facts of life that many people have to face. It’s been added to my all time favorites list, and I can’t imagine the book that would bump it off.

Until Next Time World…