Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

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I hope December has been great for all of you so far! We’re finally down to the last week of the year and all the craziness with family, snow, sugar, presents and any traditions (family, religious, etc.) have begun. Today I wanted to interrupt my time with family to do the Twelve Days of Christmas Book tag! I saw Sofi do this post (check our her stunning post). There’s 12 questions here so let’s go!

1. On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me: a partridge in a pear tree. What’s your favorite standalone?

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It’s been about 12 years since I picked this book up, after trying to find more Phantom of the Opera books. After all these years, it’s probably still my favorite standalone novel. (There are more recent reads that compete with this) This is from mainly Erik’s POV, with his birth/childhood/circus life/assassin life before he meets Christine. This is a dark, tragic yet fascinating character study that I’ve read many times. There’s a HEAVY trigger warning for child abuse and neglect, but if you’ve wanted more on Erik as a character, go find this book.

2. On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me: two turtle doves. What’s your favorite romantic pairing?

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Yep, I still can’t stop thinking about Lazlo and Sarai from the first book. I just love the intoxicating world building surrounding them and the mystery of each other at first. Lazlo is THE male character that YA needs more of and Sarai has some great complexity to her. Together, they made the first book so beautiful ♥

3. On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me: three French hens. What’s your favorite trilogy?

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Yep…no questions asked. I’ve read a few trilogies in my lifetime and very few have stayed with me like this one has, since reading the first book way back in 2011. This world can be bleak, but it’s filled with an original magic system, heists, politics, scary creatures and themes of bravery, destiny and having hope. This is a fantasy staple 🙂

4. On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: four calling birds. Since a series is usually four books or more, what’s your favorite series?

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If you have followed my blog for a decent amount of time, then you know that I talk about the Old Kingdom series all the time. This series has had a special place in my heart for 16 years since discovering Sabriel in my junior high school library. The world of the Old Kingdom, with the Abhorsen bells, the rivers of death, necromancy, talking animals, strong female characters and lore is just so rich! This series is currently at 5 books with two short story collections on the side. I can’t recommend this series enough if you love dark magic, talking animals and girls who find their destiny.

5. On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: five golden rings. Who is your favorite villain/antagonist?

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This was really really hard to think about. So I went with the Man in the Stovepipe Hat from the Diviners series. He’s one creepy dude that lurks in the shadows and has still freaked me out in the series overall. You know that he’s watching and that he has eyes everywhere and the author really gives you those small but freaky details about his power and reach. I think I do need to visit the series again just to get scared again right?

6. On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: six geese a laying.

What is your favorite world/ world building?

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Whenever there is a world building questions, I always pick the Stormlight Archive series. This world is HUGE and epic on every level and we only have 3 books out. To try and sum it up, this world is called Roshar. A king named Gavilar was assassinated by the Parshendi (their skin looks like lava) and so a war between the humans and Parsendi goes on for years. But some characters are investigating further into Gavilar’s death, and Dalinar Kholin realizes that Gavilar knew that the legendary Knights Radiant were returning.

That’s the basic synopsis I can come up with. But this world has its own culture, mythlogy, religion and deeply complex and flawed characters to follow.  Not only that, but I think there is great rep for grief, self loathing, depression, loss, mental health/identity and overcoming personal fears as well as many characters being people of color. These tomes are just three pieces of a masterpiece! If you want to get sucked into an amazing world, this series will be worth every page 🙂

7. On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me: seven swans a swimming.

Who needs swans when all it takes is a good animal sidekick? Who’s your favorite animal sidekick?

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                                            Harry Dresden and Mouse

Mouse, the huge and lovable dog from The Dresden Files is the best animal sidekick ever! Dresden rescues him and his litter of siblings in the first chunk of the series, not knowing that Mouse was special. Mouse is a huge, magical guardian dog that becomes apart of Harry’s family. He’s such a cute boy and I need to read the short story called “Zoo Day” that has his POV!

8.  On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: eight maids a milking.

Milk is so 18th century. What book or series takes food/beverage to a whole new level?

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This first book still makes me salivate at the mentions of the food. From coconut scones to all the other sweet and Lain inspired food, this book made me hungry! No book has matched the amazing food mentioned in this series opener 🙂

9. On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: nine ladies dancing.

Dancing is just one skill of a Lady. Who is your favorite kickass female lead?

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This book has stayed with me after reading it clear back in May! Daisy, known as Willie, is our protagonist who must hunt down her no good father to fulfill a dangerous debt, before her younger siblings suffer the consequences. I loved Willie so much and whenever I think of this book, I think of her. She is scared of these bad guys who want the debt paid, she cries over her siblings and is afraid at times. But she pushes through and does her best to make sure that her family is safe. She had many sides of herself that you see in the book and this is amazing!

10. On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: ten lords a leaping.

How about your favorite leading lad?

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I have a few favorite male leads in books (there are NOT enough in my opinion), but Memphis Campbell is one of my top leading lads in a book series. Memphis is a African American teen who works for essentially a mafia like boss that runs speak easies in the 1920’s. He aspires to become a poet like the famous ones of the time and he also cares for his younger brother Isaiah. This guy is sweet, honest, hard working and also true to himself. His romance with Theta is EVERYTHING and I love his story arc so far in the series.

11. On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me: eleven pipes piping.

What is your favorite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot, etc.)

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I actually have two for this answer! My first answer is the underrated Roseblood, a modern retelling of Phantom of the Opera. I got the same Gothic, operatic vibes of the original story and it didn’t disappoint. Also, while I don’t completely love the book, the music in Wintersong is stunning and perfect. The author truly knows her musical theory and composition with all the terminology and references of the time period. Both these books make music haunting and make you feel things that classical music brings.

12. On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: 12 drummers drumming.

Drum roll please…What is your favorite read of the year?

I’m NOT gonna say my top favorite (that’s a future post coming up), but ONE of my favorite reads this year is totally:

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What would your answers be for this tag? I know with it practically being Christmas that I’m not going to tag anyone since many of us will be busy this week. But if you do this tag, let me know of your answers down below! Merry Christmas everyone 😀