The Fellowship of the Ring Book Tag

This tag was started over at Unputdownable Books by Nandini Bharadwaj. You should know by now that I have a deep love for Lord of the Rings. When I ran into this gem, I knew it was perfect for this week's Book Tag Tuesday!

Gandalf – A book that taught you something

This book will remain one of my favorites to the end of my days. Sara Crewe never fails to melt my aching heart. Moreover, she's taught me some important lessons at a very fundamental level.

Sara is always happy. Even while her father leaves her at a boarding school while he is away to fight in a horrific war, Sara uses her imagination and good nature to make the best of things. Of course, the catalyst to the story is when Sara loses everything--her creature comforts, money, and the life of her best friend when her father is lost in battle.

Even when life is at its absolute worst, when Sara is ridiculed by everyone around her while forced to be a servant, she keeps her spirits high. Sara holds on to her beliefs and values, regardless what the world tries to tell her. She is one of the strongest ladies I've ever read about, and she has taught and inspired me to strive for the same.

Frodo – A book that left a mark on you

This book broke me. It left far more than a mark. It strung me up and smashed me open. Meet Frankie Presto, the greatest guitar player who has ever lived. From his precarious birth, to his ever mournful death, and through each of the heart-wrenching twists and turns along the way. The only constant in Frankie's life is his beloved guitar and six blue strings filled with magic.

The slight taste of magic in this book is almost nonexistent, so please don't ignore this book if you are strictly a literary fiction reader! This book explores the power one's presence can have in the lives around them, in a most unusual way. Frankie's strife as a musician, is all too real to me. I love this book dearly. It's insanely powerful and evocative. It does not get enough attention.

Legolas – A book you finished in one sitting

Nimona is a super adorable graphic novel about a shapeshifter turned evil apprentice. Nimona wants nothing more than to feed her villainous tenancies. Throughout beautifully illustrated frames, she joins up with the evil Lord Ballister Blackheart and hatches a grand scheme. The two decide to expose the Hero's guild as a fraud, and prove that Heroes aren't as good of heart as the people are led to believe they are. However, no one was prepared for how unpredicable and powerful Nimona's mysterious shapeshifting powers are. The resulting adventure is as full of intrigue as it is hilarity.

Gimli – A book that features an unlikely friendship

Cameron is just trying to fly under the radar, and make it through high school (and life in general) in as mundane a way as possible. Things were going pretty well for him until he got sick... with mad cow disease. Now Cameron is living on borrowed time, and racing to find meaning for the time he was alive.

While on his sick bed, a punk-rock angel appears to Cameron promising a way to cure himself from the disease. He is forced into an extremely unlikely friendship with a video-game obsessed dwarf and a garden gnome who may or may not be the Norse god Balder. The only thing more unlikely than these friendships, is the extreme road trip across the country that they go on.

Merry – A book that pleasantly surprised you

You can find my review of The Court of Owls here!

The Court of Owls is not only a novelization of Batman, but is an original story rather than a prexisting story adapted to prose. For this reason, I was quite worried about this experience. It would be too easy to skew Batman's voice and lose the authenticity of the story. DC writers come from far and wide to write comics, but something about a writer making a new Batman story via novel made me nervous.

I was very surprised with how well this novel added to the Batman world! Now, I absolutely look forward to comic book characters adapted to a traditional novel form. Not only did the author expand on the Court of Owls that we met within the comics, but made an ultimately better explanation as to who they are, and what they desire. The writer opened up Batman's thoughts to the reader, as well as some history of Gotham from well before our beloved Caped Crusader's reign.

Pippin – A book that made you laugh

Full review coming soon!

This graphic novel is honestly too cute for me to bear. We witness a sassy vampire lady and an ever-loyal werewolf meet at a bar. Soon following, we are blessed with frames of their tentatively blooming romance, everyday comforts, and hilarious supernatural/nocturnal antics.

I knocked this one out in one sitting. My poor fiance was trying to focus on the video game he was playing, however his thoughts were always rudely interrupted by me CACKLING like an idiot to every. single. page.

I hate to include a book that hasn't been released yet within a book tag, but I couldn't think of a book that fits this prompt better than Fangs. Have no fear, this book will be available for purchase next month on September 1st!

Boromir – A book/series that you think ended too soon

I think the Illuminae Files wrapped up perfectly. I don't think more books are necessary in the slightest. However, I thought of this series first when I saw this prompt, because I just want to spend more time in this world, with these amazing characters, while reading this absolutely unique multi-media story-telling design. It didn't wrap up too soon story-wise, I'm just a greedy bastard.

If you've somehow missed when these books where everywhere, let me catch you up:

Kady and Xander thought their big breakup was the most dramatic part of their day on the illegal mining planet Kerenza IV. They were proven wrong when a legion of war crafts show up to blow their planet to smithereens. Now, they are stuck on a small battalion of ships with an extremely defective AI (think 2001: A Space Odyssey), an enemy warship on their tail, a mysterious wave of exceptional paranoia among the crew, and many deep conspiracies.

Sam – A book with memorable side characters who stole the show

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

There. I said it.

If angsty brat Harry got pissy one more damn time, I was going to jump into the book and give him something to complain about!

...but the other characters were all fantastic, as always. (Except you-know-who. No, not Voldemort. The other you-know-who. I wish I didn't call her that, because now I'm imagining her with Other Mother button eyes... *shudder*)

Aragorn – A good book with a bad/average cover this prompt insinuating in any way that Aragorn is average or bad looking. EXCUSE YOU! WRONG!! I will come after everything you love dearly!! This is worse than the time Karo had the stones to talk smack about Christopher Paolini to my virtual face.

If you somehow haven't heard the gist of it yet, Outlander follows Claire Randall to her second honeymoon with her husband following years of separation due to WWII. Through a chance encounter (and some good ol' Samhain magick), Claire is transported back two hundred years to the Scottish highlands amidst violent friction between the Highlanders and the English. Claire is forced to come to terms with this dramatic change, and try to forge a life in such drastically different times for an English woman, until she can escape and find her way to her home time.

Terrible covers. Great series.

Gollum – A book that had great potential but disappointed you in the end

I picked this book up when Ready Player One was receiving a lot of buzz. After reading Armada, I have no intentions to seek out Ready Player One. I was extremely exciting to have two of my favorite things (video games and books) merged together, but it was quite the disappointing experience.

"I really wanted to love this book, and I did... at the beginning. It started to go downhill faster as the book progressed. My first problem fell with character development. I'd be totally fine with the cheesy plot if the story was more character-driven. Unfortunately, we only really scrape the surface of the characters' personalities. DON'T WORRY! We get to know just enough for some insta-love more than one time throughout the novel! It would have been just fine if I could have been more invested in the characters, but I just couldn't. The book was too busy shoving the plot in my face.

I'd also be fine getting the plot shoved into my face if it was compelling and original. Alas, twas not to be. There wasn't a single plot development thrown my way that I couldn't guess a mile away, including the ending which was supposed to be built up into some crazy plot twist. It was really a downer. In general, the ending was one of the laziest attempts to wrap up a book that I've ever experienced. It'd almost be better if the epilogue was left out to leave readers guessing a little bit. Instead we get a snooze-fest about characters we don't even care about."

- A Goodreads review from yours truly, circa 2017. She summed it up pretty thoroughly...

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