Never Have I Ever…

After my short hiatus from blogging (thanks allergies!), I came back and saw that I was tagged in a post by Whispering Stories. To be honest, I’m not the best at outreach on wordpress. I come here, write a post about what I’m reading that day, and *sometimes* I read a post or two on the discover section of my screen. So it was kind of cool to be tagged in something by another blog. I got oddly excited about it.

And then I started reading about the “Never Have I Ever” challenge and these were the rules:

  1. Link back to the original creator (Madame Writer)
  2. Link back to the person who tagged you or the blog where you first saw this tag.
  3. Answer all prompts.
  4. Add one more prompt of your own.
  5. Tag at least five people.
  6. Don’t lie.
  7. Have fun!

And I was like wow this is all doable! So here goes my best shot:

Never Have Ever… read a later book in the a series before reading the first book.

To be honest, I don’t know if I have or haven’t. It’d be easy enough to say that I haven’t, but I can think of plenty of series where I might have. There’s certain collections of books where you don’t necessarily have to read them in a specific order in order to understand and love them.

The Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore comes to mind right away, but considering I’ve already talked about that series (and my overwhelming love for it) at length, there’s definitely a couple more series that you could read out of order and be just fine.

1) Fell and The Sight by David Clement-Davies

When I read this prompt, my first thought was Fell. Fell was the follow-up for Clement-Davies’ first book in the short series, The Sight. It followed the story of Fell, the dark wolf brother of the beloved Larka, following the death of Morgra. While I found the first book to be a touching tale about good versus evil, I feel like the real magic of this series begins in Fell with Fell’s walk to redemption. There is something utterly captivating about the second book that I missed in the first and you absolutely don’t need to read these two books in the correct order to understand the appeal. However, I would recommend that you do just because both are absolutely read-worth and why not read them in order if you’re going to read both? Plus, it will probably make Fell’s story even more powerful if you understand where he is coming from.

2) The Night World Series by L.J. Smith

Let’s preface with this: I love this series and I one hundred percent read it in order. But you don’t necessarily have to and considering the fact that it seems like L.J. Smith isn’t ever going to finish this series, it might not even be worth trying to read them in order. There’s a lot of novellas in this series and the price of them seems to only have increased throughout the years. While they’re all good, some are exceedingly better. I particularly enjoyed Huntress and Witchlight. They’re all worth reading if you can afford because, well, they’re good, but again Smith probably isn’t going to finish them so don’t get too attached. I’ve been waiting for the last book for ten years!

3) Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I feel like I’m drawing from a lot of series that I read in my preteen and teenage years, but the Life As Knew It series is definitely one you don’t have to read in order in order to understand. Each book stands pretty well by itself. However, I would recommend reading the first and second book sometime before reading the third and fourth, just for the sake of getting to know all of the various characters. You can, of course, totally disregard that if you really wanted to. 

And I’d also like to add that, while I first read these books in my preteen years, I recommend them for people of all ages. Because of how quickly I read, I’m a habitual re-reader (hello rereading The Hunger Games for the millionth time) and I make sure to reread every single book in this series every single year. It’s one of my favorite collections. Pfeffer’s post apocalyptic world is startlingly realistic and utterly terrifies me. The dangers of space are really out of our control and it’s easy to imagine an asteroid impact on us or on the moon having a huge impact on life on earth. 

Plus, I particularly enjoyed how dark books three and four were. While many people prefer the more positive tone of books one and two, I absolutely adore dark and almost depressing post apocalyptic fiction. Watching people struggle to survive might sound horrible, but it makes for amazing literature. I also feel like it’s relatively rare to find a well written perspective of a teenager experiencing the end of the world. Can you think of other series that can do that justice without sounding trite? Life as We Knew It is very special in my eyes. 

Never Have I Ever… burned a book.

I actually considered lying when this prompt came up. I have actually burned a book. I’ve actually burned a couple of piles of them, maybe more. Thankfully, all of the books I’ve burned were super old and beyond repair. The pages were absolutely covered in mold and moth balls. They were beyond saving. You couldn’t even make out the words anymore!

But there are some books that have been so bad, so poorly written, so deeply offensive to me that I wouldn’t necessarily mind someone setting them on fire. It’s rare for me to say that I genuinely hated a book, but I have genuinely hated a few books. Dawn: The Final Awakening Book One by J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon fall into this category. My boyfriend recommended it to me a while back and I attempted to read this book, but the entire thing just felt ridiculous. I hated the writing style. It was the first book in a long time that I had to give up reading just because of how much I disliked it. It was somehow simultaneously all over the place, but also super boring at the same time. I’d love to give it the benefit of doubt and assume it got better after I stopped reading it, but based on what I read? Definitely fire-worthy.

Never have I Ever… read a book I knew I would hate.

My answer is a little bit iffy on this one as well. I was ninety nine percent sure I would not enjoy Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyers. I went into it fully expecting a drawn out creepy monologue about Edward’s obsession for Bella. Unsurprisingly, I got just that. Because of that, it wasn’t my favorite book and I probably wouldn’t recommend it to even the most diehard Twilight fans. Every time I found myself hoping the book would improve, it fell flat. There were some moments where my hopes were so high that it almost crushed me to be let down again. If you’re interested in reading my chapter-by-chapter analysis, it’s probably better than the book itself.

That being said, I’d probably read part two if it came out. Does that make sense? No. Would I do it? Without a doubt. After a couple of months of thinking about it, I know I wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to talk about how creepy and unlikable Edward is again.

Never Have I ever… wrote a fanfiction about my favorite books.

Nope. I have a hard time getting into fanfiction in general, particularly when the author of the fanfic takes the characters away from the situations where I got to know and love them. If you take a person out of their normal surroundings, it can be very hard to recognize them. I’m sure there are *many* exceptions to this rule, but most fanfics I’ve read have failed to connect with me. I find myself wanting to read the original books more than the fanfic. If you have any good recommendations, let me know. I’m probably just not looking in the right places.

Never Have I Ever… loved a book when I was young, yet hated it when I got older.

I honestly can’t say that I have. Even books that I’m technically too old for now, I still love. The Warrior Cat series by Erin Hunter immediately comes to mind. I just love that series and I reread the first six books every year… sometimes twice a year. Rusty’s story from soft kittypet to warrior cat gets me every time.

I also really loved The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer and The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner when I was younger. While I haven’t reread either of those in years, I still remember them fondly. In fact, I’ve been thinking very seriously about rereading them.

However, I would like to note that I don’t really enjoy The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling as kid. Every book lover in the world seemed to adore them growing up, but I never managed to get as into them. I always felt like they were missing something. As I got older, that disconnect really continued – much to the series detriment. I wanted Harry to grow up with me instead of acting the same every book. I never got into it and, while I don’t hate it now, it’s not my favorite series in the world. Plus, Rowling is kind of unbearable herself.

Never Have I Ever… dressed up as one of my favorite literary characters.


Never Have I Ever… hated a book by an author I love.

Lately I’ve been trying to read one of Jodi Picoult’s newer books, The Book of Two Ways. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I hate it, but I’m definitely not super into it. I’ve actually had a hard time with a lot of her newer material, particularly because a lot of it feels repetitive. I’ve read her style of writing a million times and I know what books by her look like. They’re a bit stale for me now. And when she branches out a little bit, I always feel like something’s missing. Maybe I’ve just outgrown her as an author in general and it’s definitely not hate, but it’s probably the closest I’ll get.

Never Have I Ever… gone into a bookstore to buy one book and come out with many more.

This may break your hearts, but I don’t buy paper copies of books anymore. I used to have gigantic book shelves in my room absolutely full of books, but after moving a few times… dozens of times… hard copies are just too difficult. They make moving a real pain and I always end up having to leave some behind. I’m a digital reader!

Never Have I Ever… read the ending of a book before reading the beginning.

I don’t think so, but I might have when I was in school. Some books they have you read are just so boring. Skipping to the end and reading the last few pages can help you convincingly fake having read them for school assignments. Not that I recommend that. You might as well just read the sparknotes instead if you really don’t want to read a book.

Never Have I Ever… read a book without the dust cover.

I read on my phone… so yes.

Never Have I Ever… skim read nearly half a book.

Probably? Again, some teachers give you boring books. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Never Have I Ever… pretended to have read a book that I haven’t.

Only when I was younger and had to read boring books for assignments. If I don’t finish a book now, there’s a reason and I’m going to say what the reason is. Most of the time, it’s because I genuinely didn’t like the book.

Never Have I Ever… saw the movie before the book.

Yes. A few weeks ago, I saw the trailer for I’m Thinking of Ending Things and immediately watched the movie without looking into it at all. I had no idea it was a book!

However upset I felt in the moment, however, I’m almost glad I watched the movie first. I’m Thinking of Ending Things has so many layers to it that watching the movie probably helped me understand the book better. I found myself looking for clues about the ending instead of focusing too much on how confused I was.

Never Have I Ever… had a book boyfriend.

Can’t say that I have. Although Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses does have a piece of my heart and always will. Or Will Herondale from The Mortal Instruments. The problem with book boyfriends is that they almost always have book girlfriends that they couldn’t bear to be separated from. I can’t fall in love with someone who already has the perfect partner for them!

My new prompt: Never Have I Ever… read a history book or anthropology book for fun.

I personally have, but I wonder how many book bloggers really go outside of their normal range. I recently reread Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and really enjoyed it. It was so far out of normal for me that I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It’s one of my favorites now! However, it is very opinionated so whether it can truly be considered a simple history book is up for debate. I definitely recommend Harari’s books if you haven’t read anything by them so far.

Bloggers that I have tagged for the “Never Have I Ever” book tag challenge

Because I’m a very bad blogger, I very rarely interact with other people’s blog posts. I’ve been trying to be better, but there’s too few hours in a day. Thankfully, this post gave me an extra shove towards looking for new (for me) blogs to check out. Of course, I started first with my followers because why not? It was an easy way to find bloggers that like the same things I do.

  1. Books with Bain – I really, really, really love the fact that this blogger includes actual tags to goodread shelves so I can check out the books she’s reviewing, or considering reading. Plus, I absolutely love the photos she takes. Check out this one. They’re pure magic! I’d love to see her take on this challenge.
  2. Midnight Book Blog – This is one of the few book blogs I’ve had a chance to really check out prior to this challenge. I really love how fun and genuine their posts come across. It feels like I’m sitting around talking to my best friend about what they thought about a book, but without having to fly my best friend to my house. Saves us on airfare! Plus, she sells absolutely gorgeous bookmarks. I almost wish I read paper copies of books now… Do you think I could get a digital version of one?
  3. Roses and Thorns Books – I love the set up of their blog. I may be the only person who nerds out over fonts, but wow what a font they have chosen. I love it. It makes me feel like I’m reading classic literature on a snowy winter day right in front of the fire place. Plus, they don’t shy away from calling attention to the good and the bad parts of books. I really like that in a book blogger. I also really like the fact that they sometimes take a break from reviewing books to give advice to writers. That’s awesome!
  4. Becky’s Book Blog – This blog is new to me and I’m about 50% sure I saw their name in the original tag post… But either way! When I went to go find a couple of new blogs to tag, I saw her post about books that Netflix should adapt and I was hooked. Sadly, I haven’t read any of the books she was talking about (I might have to get reading), but it was such a good idea for a post and it gave me a lot of options of books I apparently should be reading that I’d love to see her take on the ‘Never Have I Ever’ challenge.
  5. Foxes and Fairy Tales – To be honest, I was attracted to this blog because it’s so much different than my own. I tend to focus on one book for a very long time; Louise seems to favor top fives and top ten lists. And she does it without going on and on for decades like I would. I love that! Plus, she talked about The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller in this post and that book is one of my personal weak spots. It is SUCH a powerful story and now I want to check out every other book on that list.