The Nope Trope Book Tag was created by Zoe’s All Booked on YouTube (Twitter @zoesallbooked), and it features 6 bookish questions based on common tropes in writing. I came across this tag on one of the other blogs I follow, The V Word. Thank you to both of you for the opportunity to have some fun with this tag!
Naturally everyone is welcome to participate in this tag, but I do have a list of names of people who are willing to be tagged, and I’m selecting 4 of them every time I do a tag to tag specifically. This round those four people are: Mariah M (Twitter @MariahNotes), littlereaderxoxo (Twitter @Littlereaderxo), Cat’s Book Corner (Twitter @CatsBookCorner), and VoyageThroughWor(l)ds (Twitter @VoyageInWords).
You are always welcome to tag me in bookish tags as long as you let me know I’ve been tagged, and you’re willing to be tagged as well. The same goes for tagging people in giveaways; tag me as long as I can also tag you!
If you’d rather watch and listen to my answers, I’ve also done this tag as a booktube video. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe on YouTube if you like my content! If you’d rather read my answers, continue on below the video.
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1. Eavesdropping with Miscommunication
Name a book you heard great things about and expected to love, but ended up hating.
Get out your pitchforks now and run me out of town, but I have never, ever managed to make it all the way through The Hobbit. I bought a copy when I was 12 and I tried many times to like it, but every attempt has ended in DNF.
I’m a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings, both print and film, and I enjoy the film trilogy based on this book. (Yes I know they took lot of liberties and added characters from the LotR that shouldn’t be there.) I can’t even put a finger on why this book doesn’t do it for me. It just doesn’t.
2. Love Triangles
Name a series where you can’t pick your favourite book.
For this I’m going to pick the entirety of the first and last trilogies that bookend Robin Hobb’s work: The Farseer Trilogy and the Fitz and the Fool trilogy. Both of these trilogies feature the same combination of key characters (well, as much as possible, and Fitz and the Fool are in both,) and they are chronologically the first and last three books in the grander story Robin Hobb set out to tell.
Pictured here is Assassin’s Fate, the third book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy and the very last book written in this world. Hobb’s work is beautiful high fantasy, and I highly recommend it for every fan of the genre, but definitely not as an introduction to fantasy. These are long, dense books, not light reading!
For those who want to start reading Robin Hobb, I would urge you to start at the beginning with book one of the Farseer trilogy, Assassin’s Apprentice, and read the Farseer trilogy in order. From there, if you wish to skip all the way to the Fitz and the Fool trilogy you absolutely can! The Tawny Man trilogy focuses on what the character of The Fool is doing after the end of the Farseer trilogy, but the rest of Hobb’s work stands quite apart from these books and their focal characters.
The Farseer Trilogy follows Fitz and the Fool (a.k.a. Beloved) from young boyhood into young adulthood as they learn about themselves and each other, hone their crafts, and change the world. Fitz is the illegitimate son of the heir to the throne at Buck, Prince Chivalry Farseer. When his mother gives him up and sends him to Buck, Chivalry acknowledges him, names him FitzChivalry (bastard of Chivalry), then abdicates and exits stage left, leaving Fitz in the care of the game master. He’s taken on as an apprentice by the royal Assassin, Chade, who is also a Farseer bastard and brother to the current king, Fitz’s grandfather.
Fitz possesses natural magical abilities in both the witt and the skill. The witt is an old, primitive magic that bonds humans to animals and allows them to communicate with willing animals telepathically. This is a source of prejudice in Buck and marks Fitz as even more of an outsider. The skill is a noble magic that runs in the Farseer bloodline, and it is linked to the Elderlings and dragons of this world’s history.
The Fool is a White, a pale-coloured and long-lived person from a faraway land whose dreams are prophetic. He has journeyed to Buck to find his catalyst, the one who will help him change the world, and that happens to be Fitz.
3. Not Like the Other Girls, or Don’t Know I’m Beautiful.
Name a book that has a pretty cover but it’s boring as hell.
The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson, which is book 3 of 4 in The Wingfeather Saga, is one of my recent review copy reads from NetGalley. I didn’t read the publisher’s note carefully when I requested this one, and wasn’t aware that it wasn’t an ARC. This book is about a decade old already, it’s just getting a fancy hardcover edition. Pretty and intriguing, isn’t it?
This is a middle-grade fantasy series centred around a trio of siblings, one of whom is essentially a werewolf. The synopsis sounded fun and cute, and I figured it would be an easy read and a sure thing for a high rating, so I hit request.
It turns out this is a Christian middle-grade fantasy written by a long-winded author who suffers from World Builder’s Disease. There’s a whole lot of in-your-face gender norms and heavy-handed metaphors about sin. A reader umping into a series at book 3 should expect to be confused due to missing information from the previous two books, not bored by history lessons. Older reviews on Goodreads promised that the last third of the book was amazing, and because of that I pushed through and didn’t DNF. Was the last third amazing? Eh. It was good. If the first 270 pages could have been condensed into 50-80 pages and then leave the last 130 as written it would have been a solid 4 star read. Did I forgive the book for the boring first 270 pages because of how good the last 130 were? Not at all.
If you’d like to read my full review on Goodreads, here it is. I acknowledged that I’m not the target audience (these days I consider myself a Quaker, and I’m 32 not 9) and gave it 3 stars.
4. All-Consuming Love
Name a book that gave you a book hangover.
I’m picking two books for this one! I’ve raved about The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern before, so I won’t talk about it too much. You can use the tags on this post to find the others where I actually talk about the premise. Just know that this is my absolute favourite stand-alone novel ever!
The First Rose by Mercedes Lackey is the beginning of the Elemental Masters series (though technically not part of it. There’s no series indicators on this book.) It’s a classic Beauty and the Beast retelling, except the beast is a werewolf, and the beauty is a fire elemental mage just coming into her power.
5. Douchbag Boyfriend
Name a book that took you a while to get into, but you ended up loving it.
I honestly don’t know if I have fond memories of Richard Bach’s novella Johnathan Livingston Seagull because I genuinely liked and understood it when I read it, or if I was just very proud of myself for reading it and impressing the person who had recommended it to me I was 12 going on 30 and the fellow my mother was dating at the time actually talked to me like an adult. I was flattered! When he saw a hand-me-down copy of this novella on my shelf he urged me to read it, so I did.
It’s weird. It’s really weird. This is the story of a seagull who essentially discovers the meaning of life, the universe, and everything (apparently not 42 if you’re a seagull) through flying as high and free as possible. He mentors younger seagulls to do this and find their own sense of wholeness and freedom. There in’t much of a plot, and it really feels like the whole thing was written just so the author could publish a collection of seagull photos his friend captured at the beach once.
Looking back, I’m amazed I read this book before advanced placement English classes in high school. This is the same sort of next level profound weirdness Kubla Khan, which I’ve been asked to read and analyze by a few too many teachers and professors in my time. At least I’m pretty sure Richard Bach wasn’t tripping on opium when he wrote about seagulls.
Did I answer this question correctly?
6. Tell Us Your Favourite or Least-Favourite Trope.
I love misunderstood villains. By that I mean the character everyone else perceives as the villain, but they’re just trying to live their own life or just trying to accomplish this one thing for all the right reasons, and something about their actions has been completely misinterpreted.
(I may or may not have one of these characters in one of my adult novel WIPs.)
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