I’m very late to this party, but after listening to Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ and ‘Shake it Off’ multiple times recently, I decided that if I were to do any book tag, it’d be this tag that I chose to do. I’m not entirely familiar with Taylor Swift’s songs, apart from the popular ones of course. But with the questions written out for each song already, that’s hardly an issue. The purpose of this tag is that each Taylor Swift song has a question associated with it, you need to pick the book that answers said question. So without further ado, let’s begin!
1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.
This one is hard for me; usually, I either love a book or series the whole way through, or I hate it from the beginning. However there is a stand-out series that sums this question up for me – ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins. If you read my ‘Hunger Games Book versus Movie Comparison’, you will understand my feelings for the franchise, but in a nutshell, I was pretty certain that I adored the series after reading the first two books. After ‘Mockingjay’, I felt very deflated and disappointed with it, and in hindsight, I realise that it is the ‘Hunger Games’ films that I am in love with, not the books themselves, which I feel now are slightly sub-standard.
2. Red – Pick a book with a red cover.
A very simple question. I scanned my shelf to find my prettiest red book, and I settled on ‘Crown of Midnight’ by Sarah J. Maas. I know, technically this cover is white with a bit of red, but I think that it is a gorgeous cover, so I’m including it. I love the covers of all of the ‘Throne of Glass’ series (apart from the original US cover… eurgh), although I think that ‘Crown of Midnight’ is the prettiest (and also my favourite of the series so far).
3. The Best Day – Pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.
I was originally going to be stereotypical and boring and choose ‘Harry Potter’, but I’ve decided to be more imaginative than that and choose something a bit less obvious. I have selected ‘Alone on a Wide Wide Sea’ by Michael Morpurgo. This book was read to my Year 4 class for our reading session every week, back when I was about 8. I loved it so much that I asked my mum to buy it for me, and then finished it before we were even halfway through in the class readalong. I was an incredibly emotional book, that I didn’t quite grasp the meaning of when I was 8, but having since reread it multiple times, I think that it succeeds in making me cry slightly more each time. This book is one that I associate very strongly with my primary school, and how I would sometimes wish to be back in Mrs McDonald’s Year 4 class again.
4. Love Story – Pick a book with forbidden love.
I generally hate romance. Hate it. More often than not, it is the love aspect that will put me off a book. This factor made choosing a good book for this one difficult. I have settled on an answer, however, and decided on ‘The Iron King’ by Julie Kagawa. With Meghan the daughter of the Summer Court and Ash the son of the Winter Court, their love is very much forbidden. I love this series, and it was the first instance to spring to mind where I actually agree with and like the forbidden love completely.
5. I Knew You Were Trouble – Pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.
*Spoilers for ‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’*
This one is impossible for me, as I HATE bad characters. I know that most girls love a bad boy, but I loathe them, and while I usually like the way in which villainous characters are constructed, I generally hate them as characters, as I feel that is the natural instinct to the villains. My answer here is not so much ‘love’ but ‘really rather liked’, and that is Luke Castellan in the ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ series by Rick Riordan. As I read these books earlier this year, quite a bit older than the target audience, it was obvious to me from the start that Luke was a bad character waiting to be revealed. I was in denial of this fact right until the reveal at the end of the first book, as I really, really liked him. When the series progressed I developed a hatred for him, but at first I was completely in denial that he was a bad guy. This is the closest I can recall coming to the question.
6. Innocent – Pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.
I am generally very good at not being spoiled, however when I am I very often do not care too much, as knowing what happens does not usually ruin my experience of reading the book. This book’s ending was ruined for me before I even started the series, but I have to say that I really did not care one iota; ‘Allegiant’ by Veronica Roth. Everyone under the sun knew the big ‘shock’ at the end of this book. I can’t remember when I found out, but I just know that I was aware of it well before I read ‘Divergent’. I did not care, as I hated the sound of the ‘Divergent’ trilogy in principle. Then, when I eventually read it as I felt obliged to, I hated the series, and especially the character that this spoiler concerns, so it didn’t matter to me one drop.
7. Everything Has Changed – Pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.
I’m going to say a character from a book I finished rather recently: August Pullman from ‘Wonder’ by R.J Palacio. Auggie starts the book terrified by how he will be perceived by the students at his new school, due to his severe facial deformities. The whole book is about the journey of Auggie and his friends and family as they face new experiences concerning his condition. In the beginning, Auggie is very reserved and also rather spiteful about his condition, but by the end of the book, he has embraced his differences and shows an acceptance of the person that he is. Auggie Pullman’s story was certainly one of the most poignant that I have read.
8. You Belong With Me – Pick your most anticipated book release.
Another tricky category. I rarely anticipate book releases, as I tend to be behind on the times and read things long after they are released. However, one book that I am dying without is the as-of-yet-unnamed fourth instalment in the ‘Throne of Glass’ series by Sarah J. Maas. This series has become one of my favourites of all time, and whilst I was not completely satisfied with ‘Heir of Fire’, I cannot wait to continue on with the series. Unfortunately, the next book doesn’t have a name or cover yet, and is anticipated for release next September.
9. Forever and Always – Pick your favourite book couple.
There are too many! I probably have about ten favourites, but the answer to which one I like the most generally changes from day to day. As I recently reread ‘The Bane Chronicles’ and it reminded me how much I loved this couple when reading the series for the first time, I am going to say Alec and Magnus from Cassandra Clare’s ‘Mortal instruments’. They were always a slightly unconventional but well-matched pair, and while there were so many issues standing in the way of their relationship, they eventually worked through all of them. They were always miles ahead of Clary and Jace for best ‘Mortal Instruments’ couple (although Simon and Izzy come a relatively close second, as I love them as a pair too).
10. Come Back, Be Here – Pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.
I do not lend out my books. I have a pretty hefty collection and I would hate to see anyone damage them. The only people who I would lend books to are my dad and my best friend, and even then I watch them like a hawk whenever I am around them with the book. But one set I would not lend even to them is my ‘Harry Potter’ signature box-set. This box set was a birthday present, and they are all pristine. ‘Harry Potter’ will always be special to me, and even though I still have another edition of them all (apart from books 2 and 7), I would be fuming if any damage was inflicted on my complete box set.
11. Teardrops On My Guitar – Pick a book that made you cry a lot.
For this one, I am going to say ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon. Following a boy with Aspergers as he comes to grips with the world around him, this book is extremely emotional to anyone. Having a severely autistic younger brother, this book impacted me a lot, not just through the point of view of Christopher, but by seeing the struggles of his parents. Autism Spectrum Disorders is something that has affected my life in many ways, and so I keep an eye out for books on the topic. This one has to be the best one I have read, as well as being one of the best books I have read full stop. Not only did I cry buckets reading the book, but when I did my Drama GCSE, we had to analyse the stage adaptation, so went on a trip to London’s Apollo Theatre to see it. It was an amazing adaptation with brilliant acting that brought the story to life in front of me, and that left me in floods just as the book did, so ‘Curious Incident’ is now notorious for leaving me in tears, down to the sheer beauty of it.
12. Shake It Off – Pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters.
Now that I have answered eleven questions prior to this, I feel that I can get a bit stereotypical here, and go with my boring but honest answer: ‘Harry Potter’ by J.K. Rowling. Due to the popularity of the series as a general, it also receives a lot of negativity. Whatever is said about it, or however many times I hear “aren’t you too old for ‘Harry Potter’?” I will shake off the haters and remember that was the first proper book that I can remember reading, and it shaped my childhood and my love of reading and writing monumentally, and for that, I will always love the ‘Harry Potter’ world.
That just about sums up the Taylor Swift book tag! I’m now off to listen to ‘Blank Space’ and pretend that I don’t dance around my bedroom when no-one is looking…