WARNING! This post has spoilers!
So I came across this tag on Jesse The Reader's YouTube, originally created by Kristina Horner. It seemed such fun, so I'm changing it up for the written format. Starting with...
Joy - The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
I really did rack my brain to find another less clichéd book that gave me half the joy Harry Potter does. And I just can't do it! This series is my go to for warm fuzzies! All I want after a bad break-up, an argument with the family or a stressful day at work is to crawl into a big wing backed chair with a cup of tea and disappear into Hogwarts.
Not only is the story, characters, world and pretty much everything about it brilliant, it also makes me think of all the great memories I have had reading it over the years... my brother and I racing through The Order of the Phoenix on our American road trip when I was 15. Dressing up and going to queue at Waterstones at midnight for Deathly Hallows. Weeping in a cinema in Slovenia having watched the last of the movies and facing the crushing realisation that the series was over (okay, that one's not quite so joyful but you get the picture). All the brilliant Potter fanfiction and fanart I have ever read or seen, which enters me into another world of joy all its own. It introduced me to the world of fandoms and lead me down a path into awesomeness. Thanks JK, you really are a beacon of generation Y.
Disgust - Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill
Disclaimer - I love this book... in retrospect. But at the time I found it rather disgusting. Not a gross out kind of way, more a general despair for the human race way. Louise, why you so bleak? Why you so right?
I think why I was so repulsed (in a good way) by the fictional world Louise created was just how much of it I recognised in our own reality: girls tearing each other down and judging each other’s appearances, the barbed things they say that make freida self-abusive, the matter of fact approach to starvation, food and purging, the surgical manipulation, the overwhelming need to belong to a group even if it is a self-destructive one. And then there was the more fantastical stuff that doesn’t yet feature today: the termination dates for companions, the abuse of the concubines, the overly sexualised and powerful young men acting like animals… wait…
The way freida is treated in the final closet challenge made my stomach churn, her desperation was palpable. And let’s not mention that ending shall we… bleh!
Fear - Say Her Name by James Dawson
I don't read or watch horror. Partly because I have a very overactive imagination and get the world's scariest nightmares, but mostly because I'm a woos! I don't find being scared entertaining like other people do, so I prefer to spend my time money on other more pleasurable pursuits.
However, I resolved to read the whole of the YA Book Prize shortlist and so I got myself a copy of Say Her Name. Lots of people tell me this isn't even that scary, but I punked out after about 50 pages. I'm a baby!
Sadness - All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
I am a massive crier in real-life and particularly at movies (I can't watch My Sister's Keeper without a bucket to catch the ocean of tears that follows). But oddly enough, books don't really make me cry all that often. The exception to this was certainly All the Bright Places.
The moment where Violet is rushing to find out what's happened to Finch, my heart was pounding and I had a pit in my stomach the size of my fist. And then when he is pulled from the lake, and her numbness sets in, I had big fat, ugly crying tears running down my face. So much so that that page in my copy is forever stained and smeared with tears.
And then I read the author notes at the back, found out that Jennifer Niven had been through something very similar and I just cried all the harder for how real everything became. All the feels!
Anger - Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Everyone loves this book. I really want to like this book. So I pick it up where I left off, get two pages further and just throw it across the room. I really don't like it. I don't get the world, I don't get the characters, and I certainly don't get the odd sub-plot of deities, beasts and weapons etc hidden under the castle for the heroine to casually stumble upon. I'm sorry, I just can't.
And I'm afraid to say the same is true of ACOTAR, despite desperately trying with that one also. It's not the book that really makes me angry, just my inability to like it like everyone else and the following waves of despair for my sense of taste that result. I know I shouldn't care, but I feel like there's something I'm obviously missing. FOMO I guess...
So these are my picks, what about yours? I tag Chelle from Tales of Yesterday and Maisie from Maisie's Marvellous My Reads.