The Cake-Flavoured Books Tag

I would like to open by admitting that I am stealing the blog version of this tag from Cait @ Paper Fury, a) because nobody tells me what to do when it comes to cake or blog tags, and b) because she told me I could.

Please. I'm badass, but I'm no thief.

Originally, this was a #Bookstagram tag, so don't forget to go check out all the pretty pictures! Unfortunately very few of them actually feature cake - although, let's be honest, even if they all did it still wouldn't be enough cake - but maybe you could look at them ... then look at some cake?

Oh, I see. You've already eaten it.

#1 ~ CHOCOLATE CAKE

a dark book that you absolutely love
Not only is Deidre Sullivan's Needlework one of the most unapologetically fearless books I've read in my entire life, but it's properly dark. Beautifully dark. There are so many gritty YA books that seem like they're being gritty for the sake of it. They feel like some poor misguided person has decided all they need to do for the teens to like them is be "edgy". But this was dark because it needed to make a statement. And I adored it.

On a slight side note, I GOT TO MEET THE AUTHOR AT YALC TODAY, and she is genuinely one of the nicest people ever. I will treasure that signed copy for ever.

#2 ~ VANILLA CAKE

a light read
Oh gosh I think The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli might have caused me to lose an eye thanks to excessive squeeing. It was cute and fresh and cute and self-discovering and cute and diverse and cute and did I mention how cute it was yet?

There's also an awful lot of lovely food descriptions going on, so I'm pretty sure its characters would be very happy to be in a vanilla cake category. Preferably one with mini eggs on the top? And lots of super-special cookie dough that's made specifically to be eaten raw? (Actually, I'm now imagining Molly baking a cake like that for Reid and now I'm dying of the feels AGAIN.)

#3 ~ RED VELVET

a book that gives you mixed emotions
This would absolutely have to be Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

The full review I was planning to write on the blog at the time never materialised, but you can get an idea just how torn up I was feeling after reading this book by reading my Goodreads review. On the one hand, I guess I was kind of glad that disability was being represented to the masses? And, unlike an awful lot of people, I felt that the ending was at least in character, despite it being a little bit problematic.

But I'm also of the opinion that any portrayal of pretty much anything that ends up being this patronising has not been researched or thought out properly. Lou's absolute inability to think anything through when it came to what might be difficult for Will was properly frustrating (it's possible to do an awful lot of things in an electric wheelchair, but not through sheer optimism. You need a PLAN. And almost everyone else in the book would have told her that, if she'd bothered to ask.); the author's constant assumptions that a disabled person definitely wouldn't be reading the book left me furious, and the general feeling that lives with physical disabilities are inherently tragic was just utterly heartbreaking.

Is that mixed enough for you?

#4 ~ CHEESECAKE

a book you'd recommend to anyone
Oh WOW so so many. I hate to be prescriptive about what people read, because of course there's no book that everyone's going to love equally. (The original draft of this post contained a very elaborate metaphor attempting to explain how stupid it would be to expect everyone to love one book, but ... it was a fashion metaphor and I know exactly nothing about fashion.)

My point is, there's no book that everyone's going to love. But there are books that have subject matters so important that I think everyone should at least try to read them.

What springs to mind right this instant is The Hate U Give by Angie Stanton, because, to quote the slightly all-over-the-place notes I wrote immediately after reading: "As a white person, I'm sure I probably won't ever fully understand how important this book is, but I will spend my entire life trying."

You heard me. Go read it!

#5 ~ COFFEE CAKE

a book you started but never finished
I really wish that this wasn't the case, but I never got to the end of The Handmaid's Tale by Margret Atwood. I KNOW. I'm TERRIBLE. It really makes me sad - I absolutely definitely wanted to finish it before the TV show started so I could watch it and be well informed.

But then it was long and there were other books on my TBR that just seemed more interesting and apparently I'm terrible at making excuses.

#6 ~ CARROT CAKE

a book with great writing
Since the astronomically late Wrap-Up that I posted on Wednesday, I have actually finished The List by Sioban Vivian, and while it wasn't one of my favourite books of the year (mostly because it ended about four chapters before I think it should have - much growling), I can't deny that I have absolutely no clue how the author managed to keep all the different characters and their viewpoints separate, to the point where I could tell who was narrating each chapter within sentences, without reading their name headings and despite long breaks between readings.

I thought it was very well written, anyway. But it appears that Goodreads disagrees with me.

#7 ~ TIRAMISU

book that left you wanting more
First of all, I have a serious problem with this prompt. Tiramisu does not leave me wanting more, it leaves me wanting something very sweet to wash it down with and preferably a time machine to prevent my past self from naively biting into what I can only describe as a bitter, coffee flavoured hell.

Anyway.

I have been waiting for Obsidio, the final book in Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff's Illuminae Files, for almost six months now and there are still another nine to go. I am absolutely dying. So I guess you could say that the amazing Gemina left me wanting more.

*quietly explodes* 

#8 ~ CUPCAKES

a series with 4+ books
Uhhhhh ... brain coming up completely blank ... somebody please help.

Harry Potter?

*cowers under weight of own unoriginality*

#9 ~ FRUIT CAKE

book that wasn't what you expected
Oh, The Sellout by Paul Beatty, absolutely without a doubt. I decided to join my Mum's proper-grown-ups book club last year, which was possibly a mistake since the books they read are, like, intellectual and that. Me with my immature nature and my stack of teen books didn't know what I was getting into. But when I heard that this book was a satirical look at racism within America and its judicial system, I was interested. I like challenging racism. I'm interested in law within America.

But what I got was a horrible confusing mess that SOUNDED LIKE it might have been trying to condone slavery. I know it's satire, so clearly that wasn't what it was actually doing, but the sarcasm was just too advanced for poor safe-minded me.

I expected interesting. I got confusing.

How sad.

#10 ~ LAMINGTON

favourite Australian books
I was going to change this one into Victoria Sponge, because being British I actually haven't read that many Australian books. (Utterly heartbreaking, I know, but if you're Australian please don't hate on me. Just ... send me recs to help rectify the situation?)

Luckily, I then remembered about the existence of The First Third by Will Kostakis, which is possibly my favourite book portraying Cerebral Palsy (which is my disability, in case anyone wasn't paying attention) of, well - ever.

There's a full review and interview with the author over on the Disability Diaries section of the blog, but in short: disabled person existing in a book. Disabled person being ridiculously realistic in a book. Disabled person having thoughts and feelings independent of their disability in a book.

Disabled person (!) who is also gay (!!) having romance (!!!) IN A BOOK (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
I was going to tag every blogger I knew who liked cake, but then I realised that if I did that I'd literally be tagging everyone. Feel free to steal it if you fancy!

Kate @ The Magic Violinist - because those cupcakes she made for her Tony's party were absolutely extraordinary.

Ely @ Tea & Titles - because she obviously needs tea with her cake.

Marie @ Lots of Livres - because we have a newbie to the community! HUZZAH!

***
In the comments: (Because we all know this is the only question that matters) - WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE KIND OF CAKE?
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Wrapping Up June

So. This is late. I know. But I've spent far too much time and written far too much on this to just scrap it, so we're just going to stop talking about exactly how long ago this should have gone up, and then hopefully no-one will notice.

Act natural, 'kay?

BOOKS

First off, I'm just going to apologise for the fact I have done exactly no reviews of Goodreads for any of these books. I literally only just remembered to actually log that I'd read them. So ... let's hope my memory holds out, huh?

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton 
I was so, so excited for this book. I mean, there was no way I couldn't have been - the hype was absolutely astronomical, as I'm sure you'll be aware if you haven't been living under a rock for the last century. And the first scene was amazing. And I was so blooming glad to finally read a fantasy world which wasn't generically based in Western Europe.

But then, chapter by chapter, it got less and less amazing. As Amani got more in touch with her ... er ... mysterious side (that's a terrible adjective to use but I honestly can't think of any other which doesn't spoil the heck out of the midpoint of the book), she sharpshooted (sharpshot? shot sharply?) less and less. It made me sad. She honestly just seemed less badass.

That said, she was still pretty darn badass.

Spellslinger by Sebastian de Castell ☆☆
So, there were great things in this book. Great great things. But you know what I was saying about being sick of generically Western European fantasy world? This one was supposed to be based on parts of Egyptian culture, but other than the names ... eh, I didn't really see it. Don't get me wrong, the idea itself is incredible, and again the first scene was absolutely fricking incredible (plus great characters and moral questionability and all that cool shabang) but it wasn't my favourite book this month.

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus 
OH MY BLOODY WORD this book was incredible and brilliant and GAH!

I mean, there's murder. In a school. Being solved by a bunch of high schoolers who you think are labels; only they're not. They're people. And they're awesome and GOSHDAMMIT THEY'RE SOLVING A MURDER BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL SUSPECTS.

The fact that I'm incoherent only means that it's better.

Show Stopper by Hayley Barker 
This is honestly one of the most important books I've read this year and I want to recommend it to absolutely everyone currently living on the face of this earth. The world is a scary place right now - to be frank the endless divisions between people are driving me insane - and Show Stopper was absolutely unashamed about showing that in all its terrifying truth. Along with a healthy dose of compassion and hope.

And luuuurve. In fact, I'm pretty sure the romance was the one element that was out of balance - it was in no way graphic, but ... I don't know, maybe it slightly took away the importance of platonic love towards the end?

Read this one anyway. Because I could be very wrong.

The War on Women: And The Brave Ones Who Fight Back by Sue Lloyd Roberts ★
This book ... wow. It's one of the best introductions to modern-day feminism - and the issues it's facing worldwide - that I've ever read and I honestly think that it has a lot of power to open eyes. There are parts which I guess you could consider controversial, and since it contains such a personal view on many issues I feel like I have to do more research ... but I'm really glad I read this because otherwise I would never have known to do that research.

Also, I think Sue Lloyd Roberts might be my new hero. I really wish I'd known about her work when she was alive.

THE BLOGGERSPHERE

First off, I believe I must apologise for the tiny amount of blogging I've ended up doing this month. I wish I could say that I've had exams or something else that makes up a good excuse, but honestly it's just a combination of it being the end of the Summer Term (so all my music commitments and representing-the-school gigs have gone up a notch or two) and it being the end of the Summer Term (so my traitorous brain has decided it would rather switch off and watch YouTube videos than do literally anything that vaguely resembles work).

Although - if I'm going to be even more honest - it does that all the time anyway. 

I did, however, do a guest post at the lovely Alyssa's blog a few weeks ago (although it seems like absolutely forever now. How time flies when you're procrastinating) as part of her Local Book Nook series. It's an awesome project and Alyssa still needs more contributors, so go ahead and check it out!

(Thank you so much for having me, Alyssa. I had a slightly geeky amount of fun writing that post.)

Anyway, here are some other posts that I have enjoyed this last month. I have been ghosting out on the blogging world for a bit lately ... but I have been reading things! And these are the things I have loved.

How to Feel More Included in the Blogosphere by Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf
Oh, my days, how I wish this post had existed when I was a baby blogger. How I wish that, when I'd published my first post expecting everyone to come say hi immediately, I'd had this to turn to. Because it would have made me feel so much better! I would have had strategies to use and online places to go and meet people, rather than just thinking it was all my fault and nobody liked me. I worked all this stuff out in time, of course, but it was a stressful few months.

And, honestly, since I've not posted for a while and therefore put myself in a kind of mini-exile ... it's nice for the current me to have these tips available too.

Meet My New Kitten by Ely @ Tea and Titles
I don't know about you, but this month's been a busy one and I definitely needed a bit more cute kitty cat in my life when I stumbled across this one.

Because CAT. Cat = relaxation. And I don't care how full the internet is with kittens, moggies and other form of feline - it can always squeeze in one more.

TBR PILE


The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy
This is not my usual kind of book. Magical realism is often just too fairy-story for me? Or maybe I just can't deal with the melding of fantasy and reality because of my teeny tiny common sense brain? Anyway, I almost definitely wouldn't be picking it up if it hadn't been chosen by my online book club. The girls that run Book Box Club (which you should totally check out, by the way, because it's WONDERFUL #notspon) haven't given me something I didn't like yet, so fingers crossed!

The List by Sioban Vivian
So this book seems ... ambitious, let's put it that way. Eight POVs? Most of whom don't even know each other, so their days are full of completely different things? It sounds like a recipe for a hot head-hopping mess.

But the premise sounds incredibly interesting, so I'm willing to give it a try.

URGH LOOK AT ME BEING SO NEGATIVE! *VIOLENTLY CHANNELS INNER POSITIVITY*

*FAILS*

Girlhood by Cat Clarke
I can talk all I like about wanting to read this book because I've read one or two from the same author before, back in my hazy pre-internet days, and loved them. I can say that, although I'm not especially a Zoella fan, I'm sort of intrigued by the whole book club thing and wanted to give a few of this year's picks a go.

Honestly ... I am a transparently manipulated person and the copy they had in the bookshop was signed.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This one comes highly recommended by my mother. I obviously have no choice but to love it.
***
In the comments: What have you guys been reading recently? Anything you think I might enjoy? And can you think of ANYTHING that's ever been later than this wrap-up?
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