Liebster Award Part 3!

Thanks so much to Katie (katiejaysbookblog) for the nomination! I appreciate it and you should check out her blog!

Liebster2

1) What are your hobbies?

Reading, writing, drinking tea, and eating (I’m joking about that last one)(not really, though).

2) Whats your favorite book?

Outside of the Harry Potter series, my favourites include Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted and Robin Benway’s Audrey, Wait!.

3) What fandoms (if any) are you in?

Harry Potter, of course, and Sherlock, to a certain extent (I have a fondness for Sherlock gifs!).

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4) What’s your favorite music?

I’ll listen to anything, but I gravitate towards pop-punk and alternative. My top five bands are: You Me At Six, Panic! at the Disco, All Time Low, The Maine, and either Fall Out Boy or Paradise Fears, depending on my mood!

5) Pancakes or Waffles and why?

Well, #wafflesaturday is my favourite day of the week (that’s when my sister makes waffles for breakfast), so I’m going to say WAFFLES!

6) Left or Right handed?

Right handed.

7) What was the last movie you saw?

In theatres: The Peanuts Movie, which I loved. At home: Legally Blonde Two: Red, White & Blonde which I couldn’t remember at all.

snoopy

8) Where are 3 places you’d like to visit?

Ireland, Greece, and San Francisco!

9) Would you rather have your favorite character come into your life or be inserted into your favorite novel?

Ooo, this is a tough one! I’d say be inserted into my favourite novel; I’ve always wanted to visit Hogwarts, and the world in Ella Enchanted is just as magical, full of goblins and fairies and attractive princes. Audrey, Wait! takes place in LA, which I wouldn’t mind visiting either!

10) Favorite beverage?

Tea! I have a large, almost ridiculous, collection (mostly from England, because the Brits really do know their tea).

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I <3 Helena Bonham Carter.

11) What are your goals for 2016 (if any)?

My goal is to read at least 120 books, finish a manuscript (any of them that are currently in progress), and possibly start querying agents (once I finish writing something!).

Thanks again, Katie!

I’ve done the Liebster award twice before, so I won’t nominate blogs (mostly because I don’t have the brain power to come up with questions), but here are the last eleven blogs I followed – you should check them out!

Shelly’s Rambles
Mud and Stars
Cafe Book Bean
That’s So Jacob
Untamed Shrews
The Geek Couple
The Worn Bookmark
RedHeaded Book Lover
Wanderlust: Becoming a Traveler
AroActionCat
Ana Spoke

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Fairytale Retellings

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read/Want To Read. I absolutely love fairytale retellings, and there are a ton on my TBR list, so I’ve split the list into five that I’ve read and five that I want to read.

Note: I’ve definitely read more than these five, but they’re the first ones I could think of!

Five Retellings I’ve Read

1) Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine (retelling: Cinderella) (aka one of my favourite books EVER)
2) Another Pan – Daniel & Dina Nayeri (retelling: Peter Pan) (you can read an old review here!)
3) Snow – Tracy Lynn (retelling: Snow White)
4) Spinners – Donna Jo Napoli (retellling: Rumpelstiltskin)
5) Masque of the Red Death – Bethany Griffin (retelling: Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death) (you can read my review here!)

Five Retellings I Want to Read

1) A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas (retelling: Beauty and the Beast) (actually, I want to read all of her books, but this cover kills me)
2) Cinder – Marissa Meyer (retelling: Cinderella) (I’m including the rest of the Lunar Chronicles in this list, of course!)
3) Mechanica – Betsy Cornwell (retelling: Cinderella)
4) Splintered – A.G. Howard (retelling: Alice in Wonderland)
5) Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige (retelling: The Wizard of Oz)

Bonus: Five Retellings I’ve Reviewed on this blog

1) Spelled (ARC) – Betsy Schow (retelling: The Wizard of Oz and others)
2) A Whole New World (ARC) – Liz Braswell (retelling: Aladdin)
3) A Curse of Ash and Iron (ARC) – Christine Norris (retelling: Cinderella)
4) Dust City – Robert Paul Weston (retelling: Little Red Riding Hood and others)
5) The Fairest of Them All – Carolyn Turgeon (retelling: Rapunzel/Snow White)

What are some of your favourite fairytale retellings? Which ones should I check out?

Liebster Award Part 2!

You guys! My ego is going to explode from all this blogger love: I’ve been (re)nominated for the Liebster Award by two people, SJ (Delirious Antidotes) and Cassie (Book Reviews & Haikus)! Thanks so much SJ and Cassie! Please go check out their blogs :)

I love answering random questions, so here we go!

Sidenote: when I was 17-18, I spent half my time on Facebook filling out those random questionnaires that you could post as notes, so this is pretty much my jam.

liebster_award1

Last time, I used the standard turquoise-y one, this time I wanted the pretty pink badge!

Questions from SJ:

1) Let’s kick this off with a little bit of self promotion, as it never did any harm: tell me about a project, website, post etc. that you want to draw attraction to. (URL’s are allowed)

My friend Jane and I are working on a pop culture website which we’re both very excited about! It officially launches on June 1st, but you can check out our snazzy home page here!

2) How did you/do you cope with exam season?

I made a lot of notes. Mostly on graph paper because, for some reason, it helped me focus (I was an English/French major, so I actually had to go out and buy graph paper, come exam time).

3) Who is your favourite band/musician?

How much time do you have?? I can narrow it down to my top five (in no particular order): You Me At Six, Panic! at the Disco, All Time Low, The Maine, and Fall Out Boy.

4) What is your favourite book?

One of my most favourite books of all time is Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

5) When did you start blogging?

I started my blog in August 2013. I started talking about books in October 2013, and I’ve been reviewing ARCs/giving books actual ratings since April 2015 (before, I just talked about whether or not I liked the book).

6) What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“Everything happens for a reason”. It’s not really advice so much as a proverb (is it even a proverb?) and I know it’s somewhat cliched, but it’s something I hold on to.

7) Explain the title of your blog.

My oldest sister nicknamed me “Bella” when I was little; she still calls me that and so now my three nieces call me “Bella” as well. When she was about three (she just turned nine), my oldest niece figured out that “Bella” and “books” both start with “b”, and thus she christened me “Bellsiebooks”.

8) Tea or coffee?

Tea! I have a borderline absurd collection of tea, but I love it.

9) What is your least “politically correct” opinion?

That’s a tough one…I don’t know how to answer that!

10) What did you think about before you fell asleep last night?

I’ve been telling myself stories to fall asleep ever since I was a child. For years, it’s been how I’ve worked out plot points for the books I’m trying to write.

Questions from Cassie:

1) What are three things you want to do/accomplish in life?

a) Publish a book (multiple books, ideally)
b) Become a kids’ book editor (or work in marketing for kids’ books…I’d take anything at this point)
c) Travel the world

2) Do you have a favorite musical genre and/or musician/band?

Pop-punk and similar genres (pop rock, metal, “emo”, etc). Please see above for my top five bands!

3) What was your first concert?

I saw Bon Jovi on the “One Wild Night” tour in 2001 with my sisters (I was 11).

4) Who is your favorite author? [If you don’t have one, what’s your favorite book genre?]

I love many authors, including Neil Gaiman, Libba Bray, Melissa Marr, and J.K. Rowling. I read a lot of YA (which is a category, not a genre), and I tend to enjoy contemporary or paranormal/supernatural/urban fantasy.

5) What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

I cannot possibly pick just one!! Ella Enchanted has been one of my favourite books for 17 years (I read it when I was 8), but I’m always swooning over some book or another.

6) When do you read most?

When I was working, I’d read on the morning commute and then continued for a bit when I got to work. Since my internship ended a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been reading a lot more at night.

7) What’s your preference: “real” physical books, e-books, audiobooks, or a mix of all of them?

Real books!!! I have a Kindle (which I stole from my dad) for my NetGalley ARCs and I sometimes use my phone if I don’t want to carry the e-reader around, but I much prefer the feel of physical books.

8) If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Telepathy!

9) What fictional character would you like to be friends with most? Why?

Oh, so many! Anyone from the Harry Potter universe, of course, but sometimes I wish I had a tiger friend like Hobbes (he’s furry and good for conversation!). And if we’re going outside of books, then I’d want to be BFF’s with Marceline from Adventure Time because she is my hero.

10) Do you have hobbies besides reading?

I write and I’m a huge music fan, so I’m constantly a) updating my collection or b) attending a concert.

11) What’s your favorite food or drink to have while reading?

I don’t really eat/drink when I’m reading, but I guess tea. And I’ll eat chocolate at any time of the day, so I wouldn’t say no if someone were to hand me a piece of Dairy Milk while I was reading :)

Thanks for reading! And thanks again for the nomination(s)!

You may recall that I was nominated for this award in April, so I’m not going to officially nominate blogs. However, here is a list of the last 10 blogs I followed – you should check them out too!

a bookworm’s escape
aBOOkishOwl
iamkira
thoughts and afterthoughts
Becca and Books
Owls and Things
Just my humble life
Barda Book Talk
Gilmored
Hardcovers and Heroines

A Bookish Alphabet

If there’s one thing I like, it’s answering questionnaire-type things, especially when it has to do with books!

I stole this from The Hidden Staircase who in turn was inspired by Just My Humble Books. Go check out their posts and thanks for the great idea, ladies!

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From

Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket. I’ve read all of A Series of Unfortunate Events (13 in total), plus the “extra books” (The Beatrice LettersHorseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid, and The Unauthorized Autobiography – which is hilarious, if a little nonsensical, by the way) AND the first three books of All The Wrong Questions (just waiting for book four to be released this fall), AND his YA novel, Why We Broke Up.

I also think I have one of his adult books on my shelf (haven’t read it yet), and I’d like to read his latest, We Are Pirates.

B. Best Sequel Ever

That’s like asking parents of multiple children which kid they like the most. I could write an entire post about the sequels (and series) I love.

C. Currently Reading

It’s on hold right now, but I’m re-reading A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray). I’m also reading I am Half-Sick of Shadows (Alan Bradley), two manuscripts for work, and I’ve just started When Everything Feels Like the Movies (Raziel Reid).

D. Drink of Choice While Reading

I don’t often drink while reading, but tea is my go-to drink.

tea

E. E-Reader or Physical Books

Physical books!! I’ve recently been using a Kindle (it’s actually my dad’s but he doesn’t use it, so I “stole” it) for all my NetGalley ARCs, but I do miss the feel of a physical book (even if the Kindle IS lighter than a 300+ page novel).

F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School

James from Audrey, Wait! (Robin Benway). He’s a big music nerd and is genuinely sweet (plus at the start of the book, he was working at an ice cream store, so I would just eat ice cream ALL THE TIME. And then at the end of the book, he was working at a music store, so then I would buy CDs ALL THE TIME!).

G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance

I picked up The Beautiful and the Cursed (Page Morgan) on a whim because I liked that there was a character named Grayson (my current work-in-progress main character is named Grayson). SO GLAD I READ IT, IT WAS AMAZING, DEFINITELY ONE OF MY FAVOURITE TRILOGIES NOW.

H. Hidden Gem Book

Middle Grade: The Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimmo. I don’t know anyone else who’s ever read them – they’re excellent for (younger) Harry Potter fans.

Young Adult: People are all about Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles for some reason (I read the first one and thought it was awful), but her first YA series – Intertwined – was fantastic.

Adult: My sister, Ro, has a knack for finding excellent books that no one else has heard of. If I had had a rating system when I started talking about books on this blog, these would have gotten five interrobang hearts: Mathilda SavitchGods Behaving BadlyJohannes Cabal: The NecromancerProspero Lost.

I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life

I chose three big moments:

-my oldest sister (Vanessa) handing me Ella Enchanted for the first time when I was 8. It remains one of my favourite books of all time and it got me interested in the idea of re-tellings and fractured fairy tales.

-my other sister (Roanna) starting to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to me around the same time and eventually just handing it over so I could finish it myself.

-reading The Sweet Far Thing (Libba Bray) at 17 and realizing that books don’t always have to have happy endings.

J. Just Finished

The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath (Ishbelle Bee) and A Red Herring Without Mustard (Alan Bradley). Both reviews will be up this Friday!

K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read

Satire type things and/or stuff by Chuck Palahniuk (sorry if any of you are fans). I read Invisible Monsters in high school (because Panic! at the Disco‘s song “Time to Dance” is based on it), and while I appreciated how well the song retold the story, I didn’t actually enjoy the book.

L. Longest Book You’ve Read

That I’ve finished? Probably Inheritance (Christopher Paolini) – 860 pages. It took me several months because I was bored to tears by it (and was also in my last year of university). I was just so unimpressed with that entire series.

Long books I haven’t finished: in third year university, I started both Our Mutual Friend (Charles Dickens – 880 pages) and Ulysses (James Joyce – 1056 pages), but didn’t finish either of them because my professor spoiled the ending of Our Mutual Friend and Ulysses was daunting, plus I had 5 other books to read that week (yay for being an English major!)

M. Major Book Hangover Because Of

This happens on a constant basis, but after crying my way through the end of The Wondrous and the Wicked a couple of weeks ago, I had a hard time functioning for about an hour after finishing it.

N. Number of Bookcases You Own

Three – two of them are double stacked (the third is too short and stout otherwise it would be too), plus there are four individual shelves on my walls that are packed with books.

O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times

There are so many, but I’m going to go with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) because I was just talking about it on the weekend and it made me want to re-read the series.

P. Preferred Place to Read

My room (i.e. my bed), or the living room.

Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feels

Just last week, I talked about my top ten favourite book quotes, but I’m really tied between the first two:

“Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.” – Instructions (Neil Gaiman)

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (spoken by Dumbledore)

R. Reading Regret

I regret buying all of the Cassandra Clare books in hardcover. Yes, they are gorgeous, but they take up SO MUCH ROOM and, as I’ve grown out of her, I cringe at the thought of how much I spent on them (thankfully, I bought them all at Costco, so at least my parents saved some money).

S. Series You Started and Need to Finish

I’m steadily working my way through Alan Bradley‘s Flavia de Luce series, and I’ve only read The Fellowship of the Ring (many years ago), so I should probably read the rest of those at some point.

T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books

  1. Ella Enchanted
  2. Audrey, Wait!
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

U. Unapologetic Fangirl For

Harry Potter!!!!!!! #always

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W. Worst Bookish Habit

Buying books because they’re pretty/look interesting and then not reading them for several years.

V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other

Calvin – Martine Leavitt

I’m a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan and this book will either be the greatest thing to happen to me or the worst. Either way, I’m intrigued!

X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)

I chose my biggest bookshelf because the selection is much more varied: The Boleyn Inheritance (Philippa Gregory).

Y. Your Latest Book Purchase

I haven’t bought a book in a while (one of the perks of working in publishing!!), but the last book I picked up was Vanessa and Her Sister (Priya Parmar).

Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)

Every Word – Ellie Marney (which I haven’t written a review for yet because it doesn’t come out until September!).

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favourite Quotes from Books

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Technically this week’s prompt was Top Ten Inspiring Quotes From Books, but since I’m more likely to find inspiration in song lyrics, I just chose quotes I like. Several of them actually are “inspirational” or have something to do with books/writing.

1) From Instructions – Neil Gaiman

“Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.”

2) From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” (Dumbledore)

3) From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

4) From Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine

“I had been able to break the curse myself. I’d had to have reason enough, love enough to do it, to find the will and the strength.”

5) From Audrey, Wait! – Robin Benway

“If you really want to know something about me, you should know this: I like my music loud. I mean loud […]You have to turn it up so that your chest shakes and the drums get in between your ribs like a heartbeat and the bass goes up your spine and fizzles your brain and all you can do is dance or spin in a circle or just scream along because you know that however this music makes you feel, it’s exactly right.”

6) From The Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde

“The artist is the creator of beautiful things.”

7) From Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid – Lemony Snicket

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”

8) From Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast…” (the White Queen)

9) From Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling

“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

10) From The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”

And a bonus gif:

always

What are some of your favourite quotes, inspirational or otherwise?

Liebster Award!

Thank you very much to Kristi (Hidden Staircase) for the nomination! I really appreciate it! Please go check out her blog! :)

Some of her questions are tricky, but I had fun coming up with the answers.
Liebster award

How it works:

  1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer 11 questions from the individual who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new bloggers (with under 200 followers) and come up with your own 11 questions. You cannot nominate the person who nominated you.
  4. Inform your nominee on being nominated.

And here are my answers:

1) J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series or J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings?

Harry Potter always (*cries*). I’ve never been able to get into LOTR, but I’m going to try again soon.

2) What is the number one book you always recommend when someone is looking for a great read?

I feel like I constantly mention Audrey, Wait! (Robin Benway) but when asked, I always say my favourite book is Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine). I also can’t stop talking about the Every series (Ellie Marney) or the Dispossesed trilogy (Page Morgan).

3) You can spend a day with one author (living or dead). Who do you pick and why?

Neil Gaiman. He seems like a fascinating person and I think a conversation with him would be full of amazing advice and kooky anecdotes.

I mean, I wouldn’t say no to meeting J.K.Rowling, but I really don’t know if I’d be able to do anything except yell “WHY’D YOU KILL THOSE GUYS?” and then cry for an hour.

4) If you could transport yourself into any book, where would you be?

I’ve always wished I could fall asleep and dream my way into the alternate Italy in the Stravaganza (Mary Hoffman) series.

5) I love books, but I also love a good TV show. What’s your favorite?

Most of my favourite TV shows (Scrubs, Gilmore Girls) are over and have been for a while :( Other than those, I love Adventure Time and I became obsessed with Sherlock late last year.

6) You are forced to pick one book genre to read for life. *gasp* What do you choose?

I’m going super specific and saying urban fantasy (not just regular fantasy!) because there’s so much you can do with it! But I also can’t imagine sticking to one genre forever (YA is not a genre, so that doesn’t count).

7) How many books do you read at one time?

Lately I’ve been reading 1-3 at a time; right now I’m reading 6 because this week has been chaos and I haven’t had time to focus/finish one.

8) Quick pick: Billy Joel or Elton John?

Elton John, I guess. I’ve never been a big fan of either of them, but here is my favourite EJ moment:

9) What book are you looking forward to reading in 2015?

Ahh, so many!! Libba Bray finally announced the sequel to The Diviners, so probably that, but also The Hollow Boy (Jonathan Stroud). OH and I just started The Wondrous and the Wicked by Page Morgan which I was dying for!!!!

10) When you’re not reading, what is your favorite thing to do?

I love going to concerts, but since that’s (unfortunately) not an every day occurrence, I can most often be found writing.

11) The Doctor shows up with the TARDIS, and invites you to travel in time with him for one round trip. Where do you go? 

Elizabethan England. I would like to meet Elizabeth I because she is my favourite queen (I saw her tomb at Westminster Abbey and had to take a moment to fangirl). An added bonus would be an appearance by Shakespeare, but if I just got to hang with the queen, I’d be okay with that.

Nominations:

Um, I really suck at actually following other blogs (I’m working on that). So here are six that I’ve (relatively) recently followed. Some of them may have already been nominated (by people who pay more attention than me)!

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Books
Starlight Dreamer
Being Tori in Victoria
Reading Rachael
Bibliowormed
Once Upon a Bookshelf

And even though she has a fancy-cool website and not a blog:

My friend Jane at janesviews

Questions:

This are mostly simple, but some of the answers could be complex if you’re like me.

  1. Tea or coffee?
  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  3. Who/what is your favourite cartoon (or animated) character?
  4. What kind of music do you like?
  5. Winter or summer?
  6. Who is your book crush?
  7. If you could live in a fairy tale, which one would you choose?
  8. What is the best event you’ve ever been to (a show/concert/festival, etc)?
  9. Vampires or werewolves (or something else entirely)?
  10. What was your favourite childhood book?
  11. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

10 Books That Have Never Left You

There’s a “thing” (a Facebook note or something) that’s been going around asking a variation of the question: what ten books have stayed with you (in some way) after reading them?

I found out about this from a Writer’s Digest post, and decided to try it myself. The point is that you’re not supposed to think too hard, but I over-think everything, so this took me longer than it should have.

Sidenote: these aren’t in order and they’re not necessarily my favourite books (not all of them, anyway). They’re just books that stand out for me.

Also: SPOILERS ABOUND. You’ve been warned.

1) Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine

I’ve read this book so many times, my 16 year old copy is falling apart and there’s tape on one page from when I accidentally ripped it (and cried), but it’s one of my absolute favourites. Don’t talk to me about the movie, though.

Favourite chapter: Hard to choose, but I’d have to say the letters between Ella and Char. No matter how many times I read it, I still feel all warm and fuzzy the first time Char tells her he loves her.

2) Audrey, Wait! – Robin Benway

The characters are so real, I want to be friends with them. Plus so many music references – as Audrey said, “You’re finally speaking my language!”

Favourite quote: “If you really want to know something about me, you should know this: I like my music loud. I mean loud. I’m not talking the kind of loud where your parents knock on your bedroom door and ask you to turn it down. Please. That’s amateur hour. When I say loud, I mean you-can’t-even-hear-your-parents-knocking-and-the-neighbors-are-putting-a-FOR-SALE-sign-on-their-house-and-moving-to-another-block-because-they-can’t-handle-the-constant-noise-anymore loud. You have to turn it up so that your chest shakes and the drums get in between your ribs like a heartbeat and the bass goes up your spine and fizzles your brain and all you can do is dance or spin in a circle or just scream along because you know that however this music makes you feel, it’s exactly right.”

3) Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

Do I even need to say anything?

Best back story: Prisoner of Azkaban (it was my favourite for the longest time) – the Marauders were amazing; and

Best series ending: Deathly Hallows – I love how she tied everything together.

4) Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Probably my earliest experience with death in a book. I remember being devastated when Charlotte died (I was about 7. This was also the one and only time I was sad about a spider’s death). My oldest sister (Vanessa) read it to me around the same time we read Anne of Green Gables together and it was an emotional year (Matthew’s death traumatized me for life).

Tearjerking moment: when three of Charlotte’s children decide to stay with Wilbur…even though the idea of a sack of spider eggs freaks me out.

5) Coraline – Neil Gaiman

Ask me again in a couple of years, and I’ll likely have replaced Coraline with Neverwhere (heck, half this list will probably be Gaiman-ized by then). A lot of Coraline’s story stayed with me in the 10+ years between my first and second reading of it: the dismembered hand, the button eyes…Scary but oh so good.

Creepiest scene in a children’s book: the three ghost children behind the mirror, especially when they explain that the Other Mother has their souls.

6) The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

We read it in grade seven and it was my favourite book we were ever required to read. Plus Hinton was only in her teens when she wrote it, which makes it even more impressive. My dad read it relatively recently and I kept flipping through it whenever he put it down. The ending made (makes) me cry.

Memorable quote: “Stay gold, Ponyboy.”

7) Wicked Lovely series – Melissa Marr

Easily one of the best YA fairy series I’ve read (sounds specific but you’d be surprised at how many YA fairy series there actually are). Extremely well written and fascinating. Also had one of the best series’ ending.

Best bromance despite being from separate courts: Seth, the Summer Queen’s beloved/the High Queen’s adopted son, and Niall, the Dark King – especially in my favourite book, Fragile Eternity (#3). They’ve always been my favourite characters, and I loved that they both had bigger roles in the second half of the series.

8) Gemma Doyle trilogy – Libba Bray

Admittedly, I don’t remember many of the details from this trilogy, but Libba Bray is one of my favourite authors and I’ve always loved her writing style. On my “to re-read” list.

Memorable scene: That time when Kartik turned into a tree and fans had a collective heart attack. I was distraught, at the time, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Plus The Sweet Far Thing was the first book to set me on the “endings don’t always have to be happy” route, which has definitely influenced me as a reader and a writer.

9) Archer’s Goon – Diana Wynne Jones

It took two readings before I fully figured out what happened. She took a basic idea (boy who doesn’t know he has powers) and exploded it into something completely new. You think you know what’s going on but then there’s the bombshell at the end and you’re all “WHAAAAAT the heck just happened?” Extremely well done.

Best set of siblings: Torquil and Hathaway. And Awful gets a shout out because, despite what her nickname suggests, she was hilarious.

10) Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen

A bookworm who has trouble separating fiction from reality – I relate to Catherine Morland on so many levels. (Sidenote: the “retelling” by Val McDermid is only good if you like stupidly stereotypical teen protagonists).

Best (Austen) hero (in my opinion): Henry Tilney. Mr. Darcy’s great and all, but you have to give Mr. Tilney props: he knows full well how naive and silly Catherine can be and yet still puts up with her. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.