Since Valentines Day is coming up I wanted to give a shot out to some of my favorite duos. This list focuses on friendships or unrequited love. There is nothing like a good duo to give a otherwise boring book some flare. Now I’m all for trios and big groups of friends and may even do posts on that throughout the month. What do I look for in a good duo banter mostly. High levels of snark. A good camaraderie between the two parties. Here are my top five:
1) City of Ghosts
Cassidy and Jacob have just the right level of snark, and I know you might argue this is a trio since Laura makes her way into the books a lot, I can see that, but at the heart of it is Cassidy and Jacob, their connection anchors the books despite all the ghosts and other things we see it all feels real because we’re coming at it through the eyes of two best friends, and also they are extremely snarky to each other, about the situations they are in, it just add something light to the books that could get too dark and scary for the younger readers its aimed it.
This book is so special because you can only see one side of the friendship and the other is told through flashbacks, it is an elegant portrayal of mental health and the friendship that was made through it. It’s a lovely tale of understanding and reaching out for help, and trying to find justice. This is the one serious pick for the list but I’d read it again. The friendship between Corey and Kyra deserves its place among the top duos.
Ellie and her friend Catalina is the friend every young fat girl needs in her life. Ellie’s mom fat shames her while Catalina’s mom and her family accept her and her size. Catalina encourages Ellie’s confidence in wearing and doing things her mother had put on the no go list. These two help each other win. When Catalina has a problem Ellie is her biggest cheerleader. Okay so maybe Before I Let Go wasn’t the only serious book, but Starfish is wonderful if I can have a favorite book it’s this one, and also the next one I can’t just pick one favorite okay. Everyone go buy 10 copies.
Though Starfish is my favorite on the list Vespertine made me laugh the most. Artemisia and the Revenant are the ultimate snarky duo. Seriously every other line is a smart remark and yet the have a strange way of caring about each other, who would have though the death nun and the possing somewhat evil spirit would win for win for best comedy but seriously they do. I’d like to have tea with them just for the laughs.
Moon and Christine are a great duo Though Christine is initially put off by Moon unique way she soon finds she has a lot to learn from her next door neighbor, like the way Moon is willing to be friends with everyone and do things that are a little off the wall. They also do things Christine’s strict mom won’t allow like painting their toenails! But when a medical event happens Christine wonders if Moon will still be her Moon after the operation of if things will have changed. This is a great book for apricating people as they are.
Most of these are pretty easy; you can also double up, so one book can count for two prompts.
I’ll go over the prompts anyway
A Partridge in a Pear Tree: A standalone book, a book about someone being alone.
Two Turtle Doves: This does not have to be romantic, it can be, but just a pair of friends, a hero and an enemy. Or you can read a book that is part of a duology.
Three French Hens: Does the book have a trio? A love triangle? Is it part of a trilogy? Some way that fits in three that I’m not thinking about? Count it.
Four Calling Birds:This one is a little more abstract but this is a book with secrets or a mystery, because we all know those calling birds will be gossiping about it soon.
Five Golden Rings: This book is just pretty, pick the shiniest metallic or glittery book you have.
Six Geese a Laying: Did this goose lay a golden egg? Read your five star prediction.
Seven Swans a Swimming: A book you can’t wait to dive into.
Eight Ladies Dancing: Strong Female or Non Binary Lead, any book where you thought the lead was cool, strength can come in any form, not just combat.
Nine Lords a Leaping: Strong Male or Non Binary Lead, any book where you thought the lead was cool again strength doesn’t have to be combat.
Ten Ships a Sailing: A book you DNFed but are willing to give another shot.
Eleven Pipers Piping: Great ensemble cast, fun group of side characters, found family.
Twelve Bells a Ringing: A book you’ve been looking forward to or a book you’ve been avoiding.
The Bonus Prompts
Now if you want to make things extra hard for yourself I’ve come up with some alternative prompts you can fill these while filling the regular prompts. Basically these are just for fun you can do other meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas.
A Partridge in A Pear Tear-I want there to be an actual bird somewhere in the book, a familiar, a magic bird anything works.
Two Turtle Doves-Find a living married couple that still accepts their child. (Much tougher than you think)
Three French Hens-A book with some kind of French influence or based on a French story (ie Cinderella)
Four Calling Birds– A book where gossip gets someone in trouble or killed.
Five Golden Rings-Someone (not required to be the main character) gets married.
Six Geese A Laying– Someone lays a egg and makes a mistake leading them on a kooky adventure (Think most contemporary rom-coms)
Seven Swans A Swimming-The ocean or water is involved in any way.
Eight Ladies Dancing– Our lead has to dance at some point. This is interchangeable with Nine Lord a Leaping because yeah gender norms.
Nine Lords a Leaping– Our lead has to have a sword fight. This is interchangeable with Eight Ladies Dancing for example Lord has to dance/lady is in sword fight.
Ten Ships A Sailing-Pirates are involved in some way.
Eleven Pipers Piping-Deals with Music somehow.
Twelve Bells a Ringing-Involves Religion somehow.
Finally the rules of which there are few
Honestly just have fun, I not picky if you’re using a book for multiple prompts but lets say max four prompts per book. If you have a convincing reason why it needs more shoot me a DM @plaid_reader or @12DaysReadaton. Again I’m just really lookinh for people to read and have fun.
Help each other out.
Remember you can double up on the prompts and add bonus prompts into your reading.
We will have reading sprints throughout the month of December.
You can have any of these books be re-reads. It’s December we’re all tired.
So I’m not sure the exact date I started the blog I’m sure I could find it somewhere on WordPress but I forgot last year, so I wanted to say it was the second anniversary of me starting Plaid Reader Reviews. I’m pretty happy with how things have gone in these two years. I’ve gotten almost 200 followers (195) and written almost 500 posts (486) I’ve gotten a chance to be part of several fun blog tours, and read eArcs through Netgalley.
I’ve gotten to interview an author which I’d never thought I’d get to do, I’ve been to several virtual book festivals. Do I have any favorite moments to reflect on my 2nd anniversary, only that I hope the blog keeps growing and that I get more offers to work and be involved in things like readathons. I’m also doing my own readathon for Christmas but you’ll read more about. I think I’ve really grown as a blogger in the past two years. I’ve learned a basic amount about SEO, though I hope to improve that.
Where would I like to be next year? I’d like to maybe try Booktube or get back on Instagram. Since I’m disabled I need something lowkey I’m fine with working with lights but I don’t really have the money for a whole Booktube setup. Anyway it might be film degree to the rescue with simple ring lights.
I’d also like to get more ARCs, I haven’t contacted publishers but I might try that this year.
I also want to build on my Twitter following and be more active on Twitter I’d like to interact with more people, in fact I’d like to interact with people more across all platforms I want to find people that share my feelings on books as well as social issues like disability justice.
Anyway that’s what how I feel at 2 years. How did you feel on your blogaveries?
Before I had to take care of my family member I was going to be on Turn the Pages tour for the upcoming book For All Time. I wasn’t able to make my commitment for the tour due to my caretaker duties, however I however still wanted to spotlight the book.
For All Time
Tamar is a musician, a warrior, a survivor. Fayard? He’s a pioneer, a hustler, a hopeless romantic.
Together, Tamar and Fayard have lived a thousand lives, seen the world build itself up from nothing only to tear itself down again in civil war. They’ve even watched humanity take to the stars. But in each life one thing remains the same: their love and their fight to be together. One love story after another. Their only concern is they never get to see how their story ends. Until now.
When they finally discover what it will take to break the cycle, will they be able to make the sacrifice?
The premise of this book is so interesting and I can’t wait to have time to dig into this book and see how the author portrays all the different time periods. I want to see if Miles goes backwards or forwards in history or both and if the same kind of thing separates the characters every time of if that’s also diverse as well. Finally I want to see and how Miles puts the spotlight the character’s personalities despite the that the characters themselves are changing through time.
Anyway like me when you have a free moment take your time to Read for All Time by Shanna Miles.
A sorcerer’s magic wants to be wielded, and it has a tendency to spill out in unpredictable ways if it isn’t called on. Sorcerer’s often set of on adventures to understand the nature of their magic or try and understand it’s origin, while some sorcerers see their magic as a gift others see it as a curse from from draconic ancestors. With this list I’m focusing on character with a bloodline of magic, that is unpredictable or outside forces that cause them to use their magic.
Wings of Ebony
Making something out of nothing is just a way of life for Rue. But her changes for she and her younger sister when their mother is shot dead on their doorstep. Suddenly Rue is taken from her neighborhood by a father she never knew forced to leave her little sister behind. Her father wisks her away to Ghizon-a hidden island of magic wielders.
Rue is the odd girl out, being half god/half human. Leaders on the island protect their magical power at all cost and thrive on human suffering. Rue is miserable and desperate to see her sister again. So on the anniversery of her mother’s death she breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston only to discover that Black kids are being foreced into crime and violence. Worse yet her sister Tasha is in danger of falling sway to the forces that claimed their mother’s life.
But evidence is pointing to the fact that the evil on East Row is also in Ghizon, and it will stop at nothing until it takes everything and everyone Rue loves from her. To beat it Rue must embrace her true power to save her neighborhood before the gods destory it. .
J. Elle is fromTexas but currently lives in Southern California, she enjoys reading, writing and cooking. She also love elevating fearless, unapologetic Black heroines.
Genie is a perfectionist feeling the struggle to get into a top-tier college. It consume her every waking though, until she discovers she’s a celestial spirit powerful enough to bash through the gates of heaven with her fist. Then college, well it’s not exactly at the top of the list, maybe like number two though.
Then there is Quentin a transfer student from China. He’s tone-deaf assertiveness intruges Genie, yet it also annoys her to the point of madness. Quentin helps with Genie’s outrageous transfromation sometimes gently sometimes agressively as their sleepy suburb in the Bay Area comes under threat from hell-spawn.
Drawing from Chinese folklore Yee perfectly balences a larger than life heroine’s high school life, with the supernatural world she finds herself commanding.
F. C. Yee grew up in New Jersey and went to school in New England, but has called the San Francisco Bay Area home.
MUTI Creative Studio designed the cover for The Epic Crush of Genie Lo.
Usagi was born in the year of the wood rabbit, she can hear a squirrel’s heartbeat a mile away and soar over treetops in a giant leap. The year of her birth gave her extraordinary zodiac gifts.
But she can never use them not with the mysterious and vious Dragonload in charge, he hunts down all those in her land with zodiac powers. Instead she must keep her powers and her rambunctious sister Uma’s powers a secert.
But after Uma is captured by the Dragonlord. Usagi can’t ignore her powers anymore, She must journey to Mount Jade with the fabled Heirs of Twele, a mystical group of warriors who once protected the land.
But as new mysteries unfold Usagi must decide who she’s willing to stand with and trust, as she goes after deadly foe after deadly foe in her path to the elusive and dangerous Dragonlord.
A former award winning journalist Cindy Lin love reading, yoga and has recently taken up archery and kendo.
Life was perfect for Maren Partridge before her sister’s accident. Now her sister is in a coma and her parent are talking about the hospital bills, and putting her sister Hallie in a long term care facility. Maren knows what this is code for, Hallie never getting better.
While Maren isn’t worried about Hallie she works in her family’s dream shop, with her Gran Gran Lishta where she can hand craft any dream imaginable. The shop only has one rule. Dreams cannot be given without the person consent.
Maren has never had a problem with this until Hallie got sick, if dream can help people with other problems then maybe they can help heal her sister. Maren’s certain she can cure Hallie with a few well-chosen dreams. And when no one is watching, she slips her a flying dream.
But someone is watching, a strange new customer, Ms. Malo to the shop has been watching Maren, and she knows what she’s been up to with trying to heal Hallie. Now she’s planning to blackmail Maren into creating custom nightmares’ for a dark and terrible purpose. Now she must make a choice protect her family or the town she loves?
Nicole Lesrpance is a young adult and middle grade author, and she lives near Boston with her husband, two kids, and two black cats. Her debut MG novel, THE NIGHTMARE THIEF, was published by Sourcebooks Kids. Her debut YA novel, THE WIDE STARLIGHT, was published this month.
Federica Frenna, was the illustrator, and Jordan Kost was the designer for THE NIGHTMARE THIEF
A wonderful book about the Gullah people who I’ve never seen in a middle grade book before (please correct me if I’m wrong!)
Set during 1963 when things are changing for Jezbel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. Her family is the target of harassment from the local police deputy. And with school integration beginning in South Carolina Jez and her twin brother are going to start school with a bunch of new kids.
But the biggest change comes from their Uncle Doc who tells them he’s going to train them in rootwork. Jez and her brother Jay have alway been intrested in the African American folk magic, that has been in their family for generations.
They are especially curious about the potions and powers Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out her family’s power is much bigger than she ever could have imagined, and not a moment too soon. Because her family will have to deal with both natural and supernatural evil as it comes to town and it’s going to take every bit of Jez’s magic to see this problem through.
Eden Royce is from Charleston, South Carolina and is a member of the Gullah-Geechee nation.When she’s not writing or reading, she’s probably roller-skating, watching quiz shows.