So I was browsing through all the blogs I follow when I came across this post by Amelie from A Wanderer’s Adventures. Since I love Disney (I can’t go a day without listening to my Disney playlist on Spotify, or even watching a movie or having it playing in the background) and I love books, this tag was pretty much a winning combo for me and I thought I’d give it a try.
Snow White – Name your favorite classic
I’m a sucker for all things dark and gothic, so it’s no surprise that my favorite classic is Dracula by Bram Stoker. I love it so much that I’m semi-considering naming my first daughter Mina!
Cinderella – Name a book that kept you up reading well past your bedtime
Oh, this is tough. Unless it’s a total bore, all books keep me up way past my bedtime. But if I had to pick just one, I’d say the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Okay, so it’s technically seven books, and not one. But all of them kept me up wayyyyyy past my bedtime. This was especially a problem with the first few books, considering I was still in elementary school at the time and had a bedtime of 9PM since I had school at 7AM the following day.
Aurora – Name your favorite classic romance
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, hands down! Not only have I read the book multiple times, I’ve also watched all its movie incarnations. Colin Firth will always have a special place in my heart, but my current favorite is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, mostly because Lily James is a total BAMF. (It was a box office bomb, but don’t let that deter you – it’s a wonderfully light-hearted zombie movie that just so happens to have been set in the Regency era.)
Ariel – Name a book that’s about sacrifices and fighting for your dreams
I had to think really hard and long about this, because a lot of books have the themes of sacrifice and fighting for your dreams, but I finally decided on The Giver by Lois Lowry. I first read this when I was in fifth grade, and it made such a huge impact on me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. This book probably launched me into my first existential crisis. If you haven’t read it yet, go now.
Belle – Name a book with a smart and independent female character
Like every girl who grew up reading Harry Potter, the first person that popped into my mind upon mentioning the words ‘smart and independent female character’ was Hermione Granger. But considering I’ve already mentioned the series in this tag, I thought I’d go with something a little different.
I’d like to point you in the direction of Yvaine from Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman’s female characters as a whole are abso-fucking-lutely brilliant (what else do you expect from a man married to the Amanda Palmer?) but Yvaine the star will always have a special place in my heart. She gave as good as she got at every turn, put male lead Tristran in his place when he got too big for his britches, and rescued him as many times as he rescued her. Love. Her.
Jasmine – Name a book with a character who challenged social conventions of his or her world
Oh, this one’s easy! She’s prickly, intelligent, sarcastic, green-skinned, and my all-around role model. I’m talking, of course, about Elphaba from Wicked by Gregory Maguire. The book on which the popular musical was based is not a light read, filled as it is with philosophical and political allusions as well as social commentary. But if you manage to power through it, you’ll be rewarded with a wild ride of a story that takes you from Elphaba’s early days in school to…well… I’ll let you read the book, if you haven’t already. But throughout the entire story, her acerbic comments and witticisms are a right treat.
Pocahontas – Name a book whose ending was a roller coaster of emotions
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch was a hell of a ride. I won’t describe it overly much to avoid spoilers, but let me just say this. Scott Lynch and George R.R. Martin are friends, and the ASOIAF author loves Lynch’s work. Make of that what you will.
Mulan – Name a book with a kick-butt female character
Another childhood favorite. Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell is as kick-butt as they come. After she’s accidentally left behind by her family on an island, Karana learns how to become a one-woman village – she builds her own house, learns to fish and hunt, makes her own clothes, cooks, cleans, adopts a dog and two birds, and is just generally an awesome survivalist BAMF. Perfect reading for those moments when you feel like a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man.
Tiana – Name a book featuring a hard-working, self-made character
YA is my guilty pleasure. There’s something about teenagers being swept off on grand adventures that just appeals to my baser needs. One of my most recent finds is Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page, which features main character Amy Gumm, a pink-haired girl from a trailer park who is sucked into Oz via tornado only to discover that Dorothy has turned into an evil dictator. These things always involve prophesies, of course, so it turns out she’s destined to defeat Dorothy and has to work hard to get herself into world-saving form. It’s a fun, engaging read and a modern twist on the Oz story.
(Also, this is the second time I’ve referenced a Wizard of Oz AU. Does that mean something, I wonder?)
Rapunzel – Name a book that features an artist
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd has Jessie Sullivan, a married mother who goes back to her hometown on a journey of self-discovery. I don’t really know how to describe this book without giving the plot away, but Jessie works through her problems and difficulties by making a series of beautifully-described mermaid paintings. Read this, it will give you all sorts of “I’m coming home” feels.
Merida – Name a book that features a mother-daughter relationship
She’s technically not a mother, but Alma Peregrine from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs cares for her charges just like one. Her relationship with the young children under her wing (readers of the Peculiar trilogy will get that joke) is not the main focus of the book, but it’s very well-written, and the children’s love for their ‘mother’ is the driving force behind them sacrificing their safety and comfort in order to save her life.
I didn’t particularly like the ending of Library of Souls, the last book in the trilogy, but it’s still worth checking out. The trilogy as a whole was a wonderful read. And a movie’s coming out this year, which I referenced in this post!
Elsa and Anna – Name a book that features a great relationship between siblings
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman has brothers Spider and Charlie, scions of the great spider god Anansi. They’re as different as night and day, but by the book ends they’ve learned how to live with each other, and how to proudly carry on the name of Anansi. The whole book is a delightful traipse through the world of gods and magic, easily of Neil Gaiman’s best.
(My second Neil Gaiman book on this list. Can you tell I’m a fan?)