I was tagged for this post … ages ago. So long ago, that I’ve forgotten who’s tagged me! I had these questions in my drafts for a while and I’ve been meaning to get to all these old posts for a long time now. So … here we go? I guess!
1) What was the last book you read?
I finished Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta! I rated it 5 stars because it’s such a beautiful novel about a young Nigerian woman named Ijeoma living in the 70s during the Nigerian Civil War, who realises that she’s a lesbian and having to deal with the pressures of heteronormativity and religion.
2) Was it a good one?
Oh … yes! I didn’t realise this would be a question because I already gushed about the book in the question above so …
3) What made it good?
The writing and the plot! Okparanta’s writing is so beautiful, it’s very easy to get swept up into the story. The plot is actually quite straightforward, focusing more on Ijeoma’s personal journey from childhood to boarding school to marriage, all the while trying to keep her feelings for other women a secret. It’s both sad and beautiful.
4) Would you recommend it to other people?
Absolutely! I think it’s a book every should read.
5) How often do you read?
I try and read every day. Usually I can manage this, but sometimes I’m too tired from work and don’t get the chance. But most days I can!
6) Do you like to read?
Of course I do! I have a Master’s degree in publishing so it would be kind of weird if I didn’t like reading lol.
7) What was the last bad book you read?
The last bad book I read was XX by Angela Chadwick. It’s about two lesbian women who become the first women to take part in ovum-on-ovum pregnancy trials, meaning a child born from two eggs, no sperm.
8) What made you dislike it?
I hated this book because it’s obvious the writer thinks that only lesbian women want to have children together and that bisexual women, non-binary people, and trans men don’t exist. I’ve read books about homophobia before (the most recent one was Under the Udala Trees which I rated 5 stars) because they are important, but in XX it felt like the author gets off on queer people’s pain. I don’t know if the author is queer or not but it feels like she’s not, because when queer authors write about their pain and trauma, it’s cathartic, it helps us move on and there’s a central message at the end of it, whereas XX felt like emotional/traumatic porn for the sake of it/for no reason whatsoever. It’s feels like the author sat down and thought, “How can I make these two queer women as miserable as possible?” It’s very clear the target audience of the book is straight people. I realised this while reading Under the Udala Trees, because that book is also about homophobia too but it doesn’t feel as violent as XX.
9) Do you wish to be a writer?
Yes for sure! I’ve been writing since I was kid. I once had an eight-book series planned about a female detective. I finished the first book in high school (during my crime genre phase) but don’t have any plans to go back to it.
10) Has any book ever influenced you greatly?
Might sound a little cringey, but Captive Prince. Laurent goes through so much in this series and I’m inspired by his confidence and how he’s overcome his sexual trauma.
11) Do you read fan-fiction?
Yeah I do, but I’m super picky! I can’t read any AU (alternate universe), the fanfic has to be an extension of the canon. And the characters NEED to be in character; one thing that annoys me the most is when I’m reading fan-fiction and the characters don’t seem like themselves. So, I read only a certain amount of fan-fiction.
12) Do you write fan-fiction?
No I haven’t, but I kind of want to write Captive Prince fan-fiction. But I’m intimidated by writing Laurent.
13) What is your favourite book?
My favourite book of all-time is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I just love the characters in this book and the romance! Gets me every time.
14) What is your least favourite book?
I don’t read a lot of books that I would hate, because I tend to pick books to read that I’m genuinely interested in, but I’d have to say Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I hate that book with a passion. Here’s something more publishers need to know: we don’t need books trying to humanise pedophiles, thank you, good bye!
15) Do you prefer physical books or reading on a device (like Kindle)?
I actually don’t have a preference! I love physical books and I love my Kindle. I’ve never been the type of person’s who’s like “ebooks aren’t REAL books!!” All books are created equal!
16) When did you learn to read?
I’m not sure, my parents can’t remember! But I think maybe 2 or 3?
17) What is your favourite book you had to read in school?
They Came on Viking Ships by Jackie French. I read it in year 8 (so I was about 13) and it’s about a girl who is kidnapped by vikings and becomes a slave to one of the viking female leaders, along with her dog. It’s a middle grade book and its super inspirational (from what I can remember of it).
18) What is your favourite book series?
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat! It’s a three-book series about a prince who’s sold into slavery by his half-brother who seizes the throne, and sends him to their country’s enemy. I swear I don’t read a lot of books about people being sold into slavery, it’s just these two 😅. Anyway, this series is a romance between the prince, Damianos, and the prince of his country’s enemy, Laurent, who’s brother Damen killed. I adore it and I’ve met the author multiple times! I also own many copies of the series:
19) Who is your favourite author?
C.S. Pacat! She wrote Captive Prince and Fence comic, and is currently working on a YA series.
20) What is your favourite genre?
Fantasy! I tend to read any kind of genre, but fantasy is always the one I go back to.
21) Who is your favourite character from a series?
Clary Fray! I adore this girl and I have since I was 14 years old.
22) Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?
Yeah for sure, mainly fantasy books! For me, the worlds come so alive and I can picture them perfectly in my head.
23) Which book do you wish had a sequel?
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan! I’d love to know what Elliot and Luke got up to after the conclusion of the book 😭.
24) Which book do you wish DIDN’T have a sequel?
The Raven Boys honestly. I absolutely hated the last book in that series and want to scrub it from my mind.
25) How long does it take you to read a book?
Depends on the book! I usually manage to finish a book in 1-3 days, but for those longer books (about 400-800 pages), about 5-7 days. Again, depends on book length and genre! I can usually read a romance book in one night, but a fantasy book that requires a lot of concentration can take about a week.
26) Do you like when books become movies?
Sure! But I think I prefer TV shows because there’s more time to develop the story.
27) Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?
Probably the Percy Jackson series! The first movie sucked, the second one was a little bit better, but they should have done a TV show!
28) Which movie has done a book justice?
The Hunger Games series! Jennifer Lawrence was great in this film and I loved how they brought the books alive and even expanded on it a bit more. The only thing that would have made it better was less focus on romance.
29) Do you read newspapers?
I used to in high school! Yeah, I was that nerd that read newspapers. We used to get them daily in the library. Now I don’t read physical newspapers, but I have Google News and Twitter has the news as it’s happening.
30) Do you read magazines?
Nope. They’re just trash tbh. Never been into them and seeing how much they go off about Meghan Markle has made me even more angry, and less likely to read them.
31) Do you prefer newspapers or magazines?
Newspapers I guess.
32) Do you read while in bed?
Of course! It’s my favourite place to read.
33) Do you read while on the toilet?
Ew! But sometimes.
34) Do you read while in the car?
I can’t concentrate while reading a physical book, I feel sick. However, I do listen to audiobooks in the car!
35) Do you read while in the bath?
No. I don’t take baths, and if I did, I’d be too scared that I’d get the book wet.
36) Are you a fast reader?
Very fast! I manage about 100 pages (or just a little bit more) an hour.
37) Are you a slow reader?
38) Where is your favourite place to read?
Probably on the couch, but it’s hard to read there sometimes because my family would be around me and they’re loud.
39) Is it hard for you to concentrate when you read?
Depends where I am! If I’m in a quiet place, no problem. If it’s loud around me, I might struggle a bit. It’s hard for me to read around my family for some reason, but I have no problem reading on a public train or something.
40) Do you need a room to be silent while you read?
Most of the time!
41) Who gave you your love for reading?
My dad! According to him, the second my parents brought me home from the hospital, he was reading to me. One of his cousins made fun of him for it because it “wasn’t like she’d [me] remember it”, and my dad told him to get lost. And look! Clearly I do remember!
42) What book is next on your list to read?
There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool. This book is 100% my brand: it’s about gods, an evil rising, and a group of diverse people coming together. So keen for it!
43) When did you start to read chapter books?
I’m not sure, but maybe about six or seven — the same age as other kids would.
44) Who is your favourite children’s book author?
Diana Wynne Jones! I adore her Howl’s Moving Castle, it’s hilarious and so adorable.
45) Which author would you most want to interview?
Oscar Wilde! I adore this man so much and I’m furious he wasn’t around during the invention of the radio, because he would have been a massive radio star.
46) Which author do you think you would be friends with?
Probably Alice Oseman! She’s my age, she seems really laid back and sweet, and when I see photos of her and her friends, that reminds me of my friends!
47) What book have you reread the most?
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat! Y’all know I adore this book so much!
48) Which books do you consider ‘classics’?
Basically, any book that is a staple of its genre. So I would classify The Hate U Give as a YA classic, because it’s a staple of YA. And I’d classify The Secret History a modern classic.
49) Which books do you think should be taught in every school?
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas! It’s a very important novel that many kids will be able to relate to. I also think The Hunger Games should be taught, because a lot of the issues in the book are relatable today too. LET’s GET MORE YA INTO CLASSROOMS PLEASE.
50) Which books should be banned from all schools?
I don’t think any book should be banned, but I do think a lot should stop being taught. To Kill a Mockingbird shouldn’t be taught in schools anymore because it’s not relatable, and it’s also wildly racist!
My sister taught at my brother’s high school for a few weeks as part of her teaching placement. Out of the 7 books her students had to read over the year, only one was written by a woman (To Kill a Mockingbird) and none were written by people of colour. Not to forget, this school is an all-boys school in a majority white, middle-class area. So these boys are only reading books about straight white men that were written from 1900-1950 (so they can’t even relate to them anymore). They’re not reading books about people who are different to them and we desperately need more straight white men to show empathy to people who are different to them. (This is a Catholic school, so don’t even get me started on their refusal to teach books about queer people.)
Please don’t feel obliged to do this tag if you don’t want to or have already done it!