Monday, August 29, 2016

The Olympic Book Tag

I didn't really plan to step away from most blog-related things for the last couple of weeks, but, you know, sometimes that happens. I wish I were a better, more consistent blogger, but I'm just not. I write when I feel like it (and when I have the time).

One of the reasons I haven't been working on this stuff as much lately is because I was completely sucked into the Olympics this year. (Obviously they haven't been on for a while now, but, like I said, it was one of the reasons I wasn't blogging. And, also, I'm not talking about the craziness surrounding Lochte and some of the other swimmers right now. I will say that I'm embarrassed that people like that are representing my country ... But this is supposed to be a fun, happy post. So I'll leave it at that.)

Anyway, my obsession with the Olympics led me to discover a new blog. (Well, new to me.) Shannon at It Starts at Midnight came up with this very fun and creative way to get book lovers (like myself and many of the people reading this!) into the spirit of the Olympics: the Olympic Book Tag.

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So, while the actual Olympics are over, I thought it would be fun to give this a shot. If nothing else, it got me back into blogging mode. Plus I got to use Shannon's adorable graphics!  (Seriously, I love these!)

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This book is centered around a school shooting in England, and it sucked me in from the very first page. There's no real mystery here (the gunman is revealed in the second chapter), but it was a very chilling look at the cruelties that both children and adults can be capable of.

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I know everyone doesn't love Chuck Palahniuk, but he remains one of my favorite authors (even if I haven't loved much of his more recent work). Invisible Monsters is one of my all-time favorite books, and, since I haven't read it in years, I'll likely be rereading it at some point in the near future.

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Trying to come up with a choice for this category was harder than I thought it would be. I guess I don't read a lot of books featuring love triangles. I will say, though, that even though I didn't love the way things played out in the end of Wreckage, it was an enjoyable read with a memorable love triangle (or maybe even love square, if you consider the fact that both main characters were married to other people).

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I wouldn't say that I didn't "get" this book, but it's definitely a complete mindfuck. It's also probably one of the most complex books I've ever read. (It took me around 6 months to get through it!)

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As the title implies, most of the events in this novel take place during the summer. If you've never read a Herman Koch novel, trust me when I say that he creates some of the most horrible, despicable characters ... And somehow it works. Summer House with Swimming Pool is no exception: it's filled with characters you'll love to hate.

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Full disclosure: I actually never finished this book. I rarely leave books unfinished, but, for whatever reason, one day I put this down and never picked it up again. (Well, I picked it up to put it back on my bookshelf.) This isn't a bad book, but I do think you have to be in the right mood for it because it's pretty horrific. I still think about some of the scenes to this day! (And, if you're wondering, I do plan to read the entire thing at some point.)

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It was kind of tough to choose just one book for this category because I've read several with really awesome twists. But The Man From Primrose Lane deserved this honor because it was a complete "didn't see that coming" mindfuck (in the best possible way). It's bizarre, but it's so good.

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This was another tough category because several books have made me ugly cry for ridiculous amounts of time, but The Nightingale managed to break my heart multiple times. And the ending? I was a complete wreck.

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I really liked The Silent Wife, but it definitely was not a fast-paced novel! It eventually sucked me in, but it took a while for me to really get invested.

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There are so many books I could have chosen for this category, but I can remember really falling in love with this one. It's been years since I read it (I was probably somewhere in the 10-13 age range), but I still remember being deeply affected by the story. (Don't judge it by the awful cover!) It was unlike anything I'd ever read at that time. I don't know how I'd feel about it if I read it now, but I did ask my mom to keep the copy I have at her house just in case I ever want to revisit the story.

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This book easily could have been my pick for childhood favorite, but it also definitely works well for this category. If you've never read this book, you really really should. It's just so heartbreaking and beautiful.

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Since I usually push myself to finish a book once I've started it, I've struggled through my fair share of "meh" (or even awful) novels. I felt like Grotesque was probably most deserving of this "award" (if you can call it that), though, because I had such high hopes for it and it was such a disappointment.

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I had a really tough time coming up with a book that didn't center around a friendship turning into a romantic relationship. (And, to be honest, Oscar and Eli's friendship dipped into the romance zone at least a few times.) I chose Let the Right One In, though, because the friendship between Oscar and Eli is strong. (This becomes even more apparent by the end of the book.)

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It may be cheating to include a book I haven't read, but I'm currently on the waiting list at the library for this one ... So it's going to count. I loved Megan Abbott's novel The End of Everything, so I'm looking forward to reading this one (especially since it gives readers a look into the world of elite, competitive gymnastics)!

If anyone decides to steal borrow this idea, please just make sure to credit Shannon at It Starts at Midnight. I hope some of you do write a post like this. I'd be interested to see your picks for each category!


  1. i'm embarrassed people like Lochte exist, representing the human race, let alone a country lol.
    i LOVE this post. Shannon is so creative! i'll definitely be doing it, because duh. hahaha.
    adding the starlight book to my list :)

  2. Oh, wow. Wasn't this fun?!? I added a couple that aren't on my tbr list already. I'm intrigued by A Thousand Cuts, because many "school shooting" books are American based (understandably so). It should be interesting to read one set in England.

  3. Flowers for Algernon was a good book. I completely forgot about that one! I have House of Leaves on my shelf but haven't gotten to it yet.

    I'm totally going to play along with this post! I first saw it on your blog but since then on a couple others too. I love posts like this.