The Chocolate Book Tag

So last night, as I was trying to escape my ridiculous mental merry-go-round, I found an interesting Tweet from Laura Plus Books. I originally thought that The Chocolate Book Tag was something that was going to give me some awesome books bursting with chocolate recipes. I love to bake and I’m addicted to chocolate, so it felt like a good way to distract my thoughts.
As it happens, the “chocolate” part of the tag was just a metaphor. A pretty awesome metaphor, but still. I’ll admit I was a little disappointed to find out I wasn’t going to see some delicious cupcakes, but my waistline is thanking me now!

So, without further ado, here it is. My Chocolate Book Tag:

Dark Chocolate
A book that covers a dark topic.
Sleeping Dogs by Sonya Hartnett
This was a book I had to study for my Youth and Children’s course during my undergrad. To date, it is the darkest book I have ever read. It is all kinds of messed up and I’ve read my shared of messed up books, (Flowers in the Attic anyone?) but this one is still the most harrowing, sickening tales I have ever read. It’s set in Australia, around a family that lives out in the middle of nowhere. They are incredibly isolated and have developed a few despicable idiosyncrasies. And the ending? Left me reeling.
I think the reason we were studying it in a Youth and Children’s writing subject was because of the subject matter. Hartnett doesn’t write for any particular audience, she writes for herself. I believe it was Hartnett who said that she doesn’t “dumb down” her writing just because it’s classed as YA. She follows the story and lets her publishers deal with the classification. It brought up a rather interesting point. Well, for me anyway: where do you draw the line when marketing toward young adults?

White Chocolate
Your favourite light-hearted/humorous read.

Thinking about it, I don’t actually read a lot of funny books. The books I read have funny moments, but as a rule I tend to shy away from comedic novels. I guess my inner book snob feels as though these “funny” novels don’t have the same kind of depth as other novels. Now, I know that is unfair. Being able to tackle the deep issues with humour is a skill I am yet to master as a writer. Maybe that’s it; maybe it’s professional envy that makes me avoid these books.

I guess I’ll stick with the “light-hearted” part of this one. And I think I’ll go with:

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

They turned this book into an horrific movie that doesn’t come close to what the book originally meant or was or even represented. It was just … awful. Worse than your usual book-to-movie scenario and that is saying something.

I’ve always had a fascination with the King Arthur legend. We know he was real, and that Camelot was a real place, but there is so much magic and mystique surrounding the tale that reality and fantasy become a little intertwined. I mean, Merlin? He was probably just an awesome advisor who was so good at his job that they made him the grandfather of wizardry in the stories, but still.

This novel weaves the Arthur legend into a modern high school with modern teenagers. It is brilliant, an easy read, and we all get a bit of a warm, fuzzy feeling after finishing the last page.

Milk Chocolate
A book that has a lot of hype that you’re dying to read.

Being Jade by Kate Belle

I am currently in the middle of a book buying hiatus. Well, trying to be. I bought Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth today because I was so taken with the concept when I first heard about it. Plus, well, Mr. Groth’s originally from Brisbane. Aussies represent!
Anyway, I kept seeing rave reviews for Being Jade by book bloggers whom I hold in high esteem (Book’d Out and Debbish. Seriously guys, go check them out!), so I decided to have a look at the GoodReads page. And the blurb? Wow. Just, wow. I was sold immediately. This book will be the very next book I read. I would be reading it now, but I figured I would save it until I was in the midst of my semester and dying for a little beautiful prose. And again, guys, Belle is an Aussie, hailing from Melbourne. I will plug Aussie writers until both my fingers and vocal chords give out, so here’s the blurb. Tell me after reading it that you aren’t hooked. I dare you:

A tragic death. A family divided. Only truth can set them free.
Banjo Murphy is killed on the night he finally walks away from his wife, Jade, after twenty-five years of her adultery. In the aftermath, Banjo is bewildered to discover he still exists, and in despair he watches Jade collapse into deep depression and his daughters, Lissy and Cassandra, struggle with their unexpected loss.
Lissy is tortured by the mystery surrounding her father’s death. What compelled Banjo to leave the night he died? And why won’t Jade talk about what happened? Despite their volatile relationship, Lissy believes her parents’ love to have been enduring, but sensible.
Cassandra sees things differently. When Cassy discovers a sketchbook chronicling Jade’s affairs, the truth of their parents’ relationship begins to unfold and Lissy’s loyalties are divided.
Searching for answers, Lissy contacts Jade’s ex-lovers. And watching from afar, Banjo aches as he discovers what these men meant to Jade – until Lissy’s quest reveals an explosive truth …
One that will finally set their family free.

Chocolate with a Caramel Centre
Name a book that made you feel all gooey in the middle while reading.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Most of the books I read make me go gooey in some way. Usually because the book is part of one of my many book fandoms and I am in love with the characters. I was going to put Clockwork Princess down, but you guys all know how obsessed I am with The Infernal Devices  and so I thought I would talk up this book againEleanor & Park is genius wrapped in feels, pain, hugs, and love. It is an emotional roller coaster that makes you feel all gooey inside because, when all is said and done, Eleanor and Park still have each other. And, besides, it’s about first love. Gooeyness is essential.

Wafer Free Kit Kat
Name a book that surprised you lately.

Run by Gregg Olsen

Here’s something I hate about my reading life:
I’m a one genre kind of girl.

I read fantasy. Everything I read has to be a little unbelievable in order for me to pick it up. Well, that unbelievability can stretch to insane “real” scenarios, dystopia, and sometimes sci-fi, but most of the time I read about magic in all its forms. So when I won Run in a competition hosted by My Crazy Bookish World, I wasn’t entirely sure about it. It was short and all about crime and violence. Man, I was proved so wrong. This book lasted me less than a day. I actually felt breathless while reading it. I remember distinctly letting out my breath once I read the last page. Run has made me brave enough to expand when I go looking for new fiction. And so, I implore you to click here and see me gush about this book in a more structured fashion.

Snickers
A book that you are going nuts about.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

This book is amazing. Incredible. Sensational. Magnificent. Mitchell takes on so many voices, from so many different time periods, and he nails them all. Some of those time periods haven’t even happened yet. Mitchell makes you believe that the narrators are actually of their time period: Austen-esque verbosity to a futuristic world where capitalism has run even more rampant that it has now. The plot of this book comes together very slowly, but the techniques with which it is written just make me gush. You have to slog through the first part, I’m not going to lie, but once you make it through, the voices just capture you.

I recommend this book at every opportunity. I once recommended it to my ex, but he couldn’t get past that first part. It speaks to Mitchell’s skill that a modern author can write archaic prose with such accuracy that people are reluctant to read it. I describe this book as “writerly”, not “readerly” because the best parts of this book are the story-telling techniques, not the story being told.
If you appreciate a reading challenge, and the work of a literary genius, then please read this book. I regret that I read this book before starting this blog and that I have never reviewed it, but it was reviewed over at It’s Only Three, and Amy’s review says everything that I would have said anyway, just with a little more clarity than I could ever muster.

Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows
What book would you turn to for a comfort read?

In all honesty, I don’t turn to books to comfort. If I’m upset, distracted, or obsessing about something I don’t go near my books. Why? Because I can’t sink into the story. Books deserve nothing but 100% of my attention. So if my mind is in a messy place, I turn to my TV. Sometimes it’s superheroes, a certain Time Lord, or a man in a green hood when I feel like I need rescuing. When I just need a bit of cheering up, I turn to my sitcoms: Friends, Big Bang Theory, Will and Grace, How I Met Your Mother; anything that focuses on friendships.

I do get a sense of comfort from re-reading books, though. I always feel like I’m visiting with old friends. You know that feeling you used to get (or still get) when you see your friends on the first day of a new school year? That’s the feeling I get when re-reading something. As much as I love all of my new books and the adventures with which they’re providing me, I am missing that nostalgic feeling. If I could stop buying books, I’m looking forward to re-reading some of the series I’ve collected over the years.

Box of Chocolates
What series have you read that you feel has a little something for everyone?

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Yeah, because I was really going to say anything else. I love these books so much. And, I believe, everyone else will too. Do you love tales of epic friendship? Read these books. Tales of tempestuous love? Read these books. Steampunk? Magic? Evil? Mystery? Brilliant characterisation? Fast-paced plots? Read these books. There is nothing in these books that couldn’t speak to people of all genders and ages. Seriously. And, besides, if the covers are that gorgeous, it has to be for a reason, right? No one puts that much effort into a cover if the books can’t hold up (the exception? Fifty Shades. Beautiful covers, terrible books).

You guys should definitely give this tag a go. It was fun! And, besides, you get to talk about books for about an hour. It doesn’t really get much better than that.

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About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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4 Responses to The Chocolate Book Tag

  1. Debbish says:

    Oh, what a great tag! #lovechocolate

    I suspect I’d have to think too much to participate! I struggle to think back to books after I’ve read them – if that makes sense. They stay in my mind briefly but because I’m reading so much at the moment (3-4 books/week) only the very best stay with me for long!

    PS. Thanks for the mention!
    x

    • Bec Graham says:

      Chocolate and books together. It doesn’t get much better!
      I get what you mean. Sometimes I forget books and some books stay with me. There are certain books I always forget after I’ve read them. They’re in a series I love and I can never seem to remember the ending.
      No worries! We book bloggers have to stick together!

  2. What a fun idea! I just finished Are You Seeing Me? and I hope you enjoy Being Jade. Thanks for the shout out 🙂

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