Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Go ahead, do a double-take; this is indeed a tag post, and no, I’m not less shocked than you. Perhaps I’ll even get around to completing all the tags you guys have so sweetly tagged me in over the past [embarrassingly large number I won’t cite here] months?

My new bud Diana @ Diana Prince Reviews tagged me for this one (thank you!), and the tag was created by Kirsty @ Kirsty and the Cat Read (thank you, too!).

A Tale as Old as Time

A popular theme, trope, or setting you will never get bored of reading:

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

The character arc I’m most drawn to is the descent of an originally upstanding/righteous person into a morally grey one. You know the character I’m talking about: the one who starts off sneering “How on earth could you do that? That’s so wrong,” but slowly realizes that the world isn’t black and white, and they themselves need to bend or break their moral code in order to survive/achieve their goal/whatever.

I’m pretty sure the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton was the first series I found that truly satisfied this particular character-arc obsession of mine. Anita (a human vampire-slayer who can raise the dead) began with a couple unshakable beliefs: (a) humans are inherently good and vampires are inherently evil, and (b) there’s no blurring line between good and evil. But oh, how that changes over the course of the series, as Anita’s drawn deeper into the non-human world and forced to make decision after decision that challenges both her identity and her worldview.

It’s serious fun, watching a blissfully naïve or proudly upstanding character slowly morph into a monster.

Belle

A book you bought for its beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful on the inside:

Deerskin by Robin McKinley

I didn’t originally buy Deerskin for its cover; I bought it because Robin McKinley. But look at that cover! I was instantly in love with it.

And even though I knew I could expect the book to be amazing (because, again, Robin McKinley), I’ll admit the story still blew me away.

Deerskin tells the (brutal, quietly hopeful, beautiful) story of a princess struggling to reforge her identity and create a new place for herself in the world after being the victim of incestuous rape. It’s a deeply emotional story, and its impact is intensified (for me, anyway) by the beauitful, lyrical, very fairy-tale-esque writing style that seems initially so at odds with the atrocity of her rape.

I dislike every synopsis Goodreads offers for this book, because they make it sound like either an adventure or a romance—and yes, there is some adventure and a smidge of romance in the book, but the story truly focuses on the heroine’s struggle to overcome her trauma.

Beast

A book you didn’t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you:

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

After falling immediately in love with the Anita Blake series, I dabbled in quite a few unsatisfactory urban fantasy series—so many, in fact, that by the time I picked up Diana Rowland’s Mark of the Demon, I was well and fully jaded. “Yet another disappointment,” I (probably) muttered as I sat down to read it for the first time. But nope; I actually enjoyed it. 

It’s no masterpiece, but the series has some great things going on—including an overarching plotline and a major plot reveal/twist that are almost identical to the plot and reveal/twist in a popular YA series. I really wish I could tell people, “Hey, you liked that plot and twist? Have you heard of this adult paranormal series??” except that, in so doing, I’d be spoiling so much about these books. *Shakes a fist.*

All that said, I haven’t read past book five, and I’m not sure how well these books hold up to rereading (or even critical reading). Guess I’ll have to go back through them to find out, and keep my fingers crossed that the latest installments are decent.

Gaston

A book everyone loves that you don’t:

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Oh, lord.

Lefou

A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart:

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Hulking Scottish Alpha werewolf Lord Maccon might be the love interest in Gail Carriger’s Soulless, but I infinitely prefer Lord Maccon’s Beta, Professor Randolph Lyall.

Despite his slender stature and and politely unobtrusive manners, he’s second in command of the pack for a reason: he has exactly the necessary combination of cunning, control, and calm to balance Lord Maccon’s more volatile nature. He’s highly intelligent, efficient, and will work himself to exhaustion to help others. Add to that Lyall’s gentlemanliness and quiet sense of humor, and there’s no contest. I mean, look at him: he’s basically a Hufflepuff, and Huffpuffs are the best.

Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth

A book that helped you through a difficult time or taught you something meaningful:

Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey

Can all of us who were awkward and shy booknerds as kids agree that childhood can be difficult all on its own, without any additional external complications? Because yeah, I’ve had a great life, but the awkward-and-shy-booknerd thing sure felt rough at the time.

Add in the fact that I spent all my non-book-related free time with horses, and you can see why I was obsessed with Mercedes Lackey’s numerous Heralds of Valdemar books, starting with the Arrows of the Queen trilogy. Lackey writes about quiet kids who gain power, self-confidence, and an important place in the world after being magically soul-bonded to intelligent telepathic horse-creatures. These books and I were destined.

I’m pretty sure these are the first books that I ever reread for comfort.

“Something There”

A book or series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end:

Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

As I’ve said before, Mary E. Pearson’s The Kiss of Deception wastes its first two-thirds or so prioritizing ridiculous romantic maneuverings and silly angsting over actual plot development, which just about killed me. But once the plot kicked in (with actual action, adventure, conflict, and stakes!), I was all over it.

I’ve been hearing good things about the second and third books, too, and can’t wait to (eventually?) pick them up. One day! (Here’s hoping I don’t need to reread The Kiss of Deception first, though. I don’t know that I’d survive reading it twice.)

“Be Our Guest”

A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner:

Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

I’d invite Prince Laurent of Vere in a heartbeat, for two reasons:

  1. he can be a charming and engaging conversation partner (if you’re not his uncle or rebellious slave), and
  2. I want to stare at study him so I might better write characters like him, myself.

There are definitely other characters out there whom I’d feel more comfortable hanging out with, but I have priorities and those priorities involve staring at Laurent improving my writing.


Tagging

I’m going to follow Diana’s lead and tag my newest followers (who haven’t done the tag already).

So: hey, newest followers! If you do complete this tag, it’d be awesome if you could leave me a link in the comments, to make sure I don’t miss it. I’d love to read your answers, but no pressure (etc).

Vicky @ Books & Strips
Emily @ The Word Traveller
Sam @ onebookishgirl
Cate @ Midnight Biblio Blog
Sarah @ Reads Writes Blogs
Niraja @ Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them

And, of course, if anyone else wants to be tagged, consider it done!

Thanks again for the tag, Diana!

Hugs,

Liam


31 thoughts on “Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

  1. You are so welcome! I LOVE your answers, especially Professor Lyall! Have you had a chance to pick up the manga adaptations of the first three Parasol Protectorate books, by any chance? Imagining his facial expressions when Conall and Alexia argue was one thing, but seeing them on paper was quite another. The art was exquisite, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well every character came to life through it.
    I can’t believe I haven’t read that Robin McKinley book. My mom probably owns it; she’s the one who got me into Robin’s books. If not, the library awaits!
    To be honest, I haven’t gone past book four of the Anita Blake series because she was starting to drive me crazy. I own the whole series, so I’ll likely jump back into it at some point, but the love triangle was starting to grind my gears something fierce.
    Also, I am one of those many readers who adored The Wrath and the Dawn, so I am VERY interested to see what you have to say about it 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Professor Lyall for the win! I actually bought the first manga volume for my friend Ashers, and she said it was glorious, but I haven’t read it myself. I’ll have to now, because I need to see his expressions, and I need to see them asap.

      Your mom is awesome, two thumbs up.

      I feel you on the Anita-driving-you-crazy thing. As much as I love her character arc, I can’t binge-read the series because she sends me up a wall after two books in a row. And Richard? No. I never liked Richard. (I also am not a fan of how the series evolved into erotica with the occasional hint of plot thrown in; I stopped buying the books after (I think?) Cerulean Sins, because I just couldn’t do it anymore. Erotica isn’t my jam.

      If/when you do pick the series back up, I’d be curious to know what you think of it! Someone told me that the latest book or two actually tone down the erotica and regain some plot; I’ve been thinking about skipping ahead to them and seeing how I fare. (I haven’t braved up yet.)

      I’m glad you loved TWATD! That’s better than hating it, for sure. If you haven’t found it yet, my (rageful) review is here:

      https://heyashers.com/2015/12/05/the-wrath-and-the-dawn/

      Like

  2. I swear I had to look twice before realizing it’s really you 😂😂 then read the first sentence and laughed so hard at myself, it’s ridiculous!
    Anyway, some books on here I have never heard of -that I’ll definitely check out- some others I have heard but none of which I read. Oups.
    I still can’t get over you rant on TWATD hahaha! That one is epic.
    Maybe now I’ll start tagging you? Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! That’s exactly what I hoped would happen!

      I’m glad I could point you toward some books you haven’t heard of! My mission is therefore accomplished.

      Just between you and me (and anyone else who reads this comic), I’m considering doing TWATD as my next snarky read-along thing. That’s why I own that pretty new copy in the picture. Gorgeous, isn’t it? Pets it.

      If you do tag me, I swear I’ll try my hardest to actually do the tag. Salutes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll consider myself tagged too (crashing the party). It’s been a while since I’ve read Deerskin but I’d love to revisit it. McKinley certainly is great author and is one of my favorites.
    By the way, in the Goodreads awards I saw Captive Prince listed under romance. I always thought it was fantasy. Would you say it’s romance?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please do! You’re officially tagged. =D

      If you consider doing a reread-review of Deerskin, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

      I’d have to say that no, Captive Prince is definitely not a romance. I wouldn’t even call the trilogy a romance (though I haven’t read the third book yet, so maybe my opinion will change?). There’s zero romance in the first book, and only a little in the second. The trilogy’s central focus is on the growth and development of two princes struggling to regain the power that’s been stripped from them; the relationship they build along the way is secondary. I’d label these books fantasy, with the note that they include a powerfully-written m/m romance. Have you read any of them yet? If so, what’s your opinion? =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm, I wonder why Goodreads placed it in romance. It must have been miscategorized or something.
        I haven’t yet read it but I’ve placed it on my Goodreads TBR because some people think it problematic and I’d like to know why. I hope I’m not confusing it with something else, but I do believe I’ve heard that the relationship in it is abusive.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, that’s a good question. I wonder what the author thinks of Goodreads’s choice. The only hint of “romance” I see on her website is that Captive Prince was reviewed by RT Book Reviews. (Weirdly, on the RT website, Captive Prince is categorized as Paranormal Romance, which, uh, what? No.)

        That’s a great reason to give the books a try! If you haven’t heard yet, they should probably come with certain trigger warnings (which I’d be happy to list, if you’d like). Hopefully you’ll be surprised by how much you enjoy the book, though! =)

        Like

      3. Yea, I do wonder what the author thinks. It’s still there under romance in the Choice Awards (I had to double check to make sure I didn’t tell you the wrong thing there).
        Thanks for the offer, but I think I’ll be okay. I will check out your review though to see what you thought. Many of the reviews I’ve seen have low ratings mostly because the reviewer doesn’t feel comfortable with the content.
        But the more “controversial” a book is or diverging in opinions, the more I want to read it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I can certainly see why some people would be horrified by the book, and not enjoy their reading experience.

        The more controversial books are definitely alluring! It’s fun to determine your own opinion, and dive into discussions about it. (It helps that the book blogging community–as far as I’ve seen–is a friendly and engaging place where fights don’t tend to break out. =)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for tagging me, I hope I’ll get round to it soon 🙂
    Also you’ve just increased my already ridiculously long wish list 😀 Especially Deerskin sounds very intriguing!

    Like

  5. I enjoy the double entendre of Prince Laurent’s invitation re: dinner. Although, I read this a while back and have no recollection of what this book is about haha.

    I’ve never really been interested in The Kiss of Deception et al. but it’s great that you mention the propensity of romance overtaking political conflict, action, and the like, to push its “OH WHICH BOY SHOULD I GO FOR” [non] dilemma. Because it is usually very obvious (or at least I think so?). Blergh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blergh indeed! But hey, there are apparently plenty of readers out there who believe WHICH BOY SHOULD I GO FOR is the ultimate conflict, and I’m glad they such a wide range of suitable books to choose from.

      (Just kidding. Someone needs to teach the kids that who you pick for a romantic partner is SIGNIFICANTLY less important than society collapsing into a bloody ruin, etc., because that’s a valuable life lesson. Come on, books, teach our youth better priorities.)

      Like

  6. I just found your tag in my spam folder – so sorry about the delay! Thank you so much for tagging me, and I promise to get to as soon as possible (unfortunately, I am so, so behind on tags/awards). I also wasn’t a big fan of The Wrath & the Dawn, and it’s always refreshing to find someone who didn’t love it… sometimes I feel like I’m the only one out there who didn’t! The second book The Rose & the Dagger was a lot more enjoyable for me, personally, but I’ve heard most fans say they liked the first book more. Either way, let’s just say that I’ve read better fantasies than that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The dreaded spam folder! Shakes a fist.

      Don’t worry about timeliness, or even getting around to it at all! I know it can be stressful when unaddressed tags/awards start piling up, and hey, blogging shouldn’t be stressful.

      Hurray, another not-a-fan-of-TWATD buddy! High fives. We aren’t a common phenomenon, for sure.

      Thank goodness for all those better fantasies! Where would we be without them?

      Thank you for commenting! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You are oh so lucky that WordPress doesn’t allow me to include gifs in the comments. Like… this is the one you’d be getting right now (https://66.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mcyp6vOvzs1qhp1v5o1_250.gif) because look at all the tags and memes on your blog!

    My friend has been trying to get me to read Laurell K Hamilton for years now. I really need to get on top of that… eventually.

    Side Note: Let us all count the ways in which you are OBSESSED with Prince Laurent of Vere. I’d hold an intervention; but I want to wait until I finish the book before I maybe scold you for loving a guy that I, too, will wholeheartedly stan about for the rest of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WordPress, why do you prevent such adorable gifs from appearing in my comments? Shakes a fist.

      Okay, Laurell K. Hamiltion confession time: I adored the first few books, but the series goes downhill pretty quickly, in my opinion. Each book is centered around its own internal mystery/crisis, mostly murder mysteries, and the outcomes are easily predictable. The language also pretty repetitive; the books are told in Anita’s first person perspective, and after a couple books, you can make a drinking game out of her thoughts and dialogue, and be smashed halfway through the book. Anita’s overall character arc is (for me) the best part of the series–but even that gets pushed aside once the series becomes plotless erotica. I’m not an erotica reader, personally, so the series eventually lost my interest. (Although I do appreciate that it portrays both polyamory and bisexuality, which is neat.) So . . . yeah. Depending on what you’re interested in and what flaws you can easily overlook, you might love the series! But it’s not a masterpiece by any means. (All that said, I’d love to hear what you think of it, if/when you do get around to reading it!)

      Wait, hold on, let’s NOT count the ways in which I’m obsessed with Laurent, because we have lives to live (and I could instead spend that time planning every stitch of my future Laurent cosplay). I do approve of your plan to finish the book though; go do that while I decide which wig looks the Laurentest. ❤

      Like

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