25 August 2013

A to Z Book Survey

Surveys complete me. And so when I saw this A-Z Survey going around on Twitter, I decided that it must be done. I pressured Amber into doing it with me, because I know how much she enjoys surveys, and I know how much I love reading her answers. I didn't know this was a regular thing, created by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner, until I discussed it with Amber a bit more. Who knows, I may do some of the other surveys that Jamie comes up with too! This is going to be a super long post, since Amber's here too, so prepare yourselves.

Author you've read the most books from

Tatum: According to Goodreads that would be Enid Blyton. I've pretty much read all of Enid Blyton's boarding school series (St. Clare's and Malory Towers are superior, it is known) and one of my absolute favourite trilogies ever are The Faraway Tree novels. Also the Famous Five series and the inferior Secret Seven, pshhh. I've still got the St. Clare novels, a Malory Towers trilogy and The Faraway Tree series on my bookcase. W1NN1NG.

Amber: Jacqueline Wilson is my most read author on Goodreads with a grand total of 30 books, closely followed by Darren Shan with 26 books, and Richelle Mead with 18. I'm not surprised that Wilson is #1, since I read her books like crazy growing up, and I used to buy her new releases as soon as they came out.

Best sequel ever

Tatum: Oh, dear. I read too many books with sequels for this to be a simple answer.

I'll go with The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led The Revels There, the sequel to Catherynne M. Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. The sequel explores how September, our protagonist, has matured since the end of the first book and has her go to the land beneath Fairyland, where the missing shadows of everyone above have come to life. The Land below Fairyland is ruled by Halloween, known to everyone as The Hollow Queen, but September recognises the Queen for who she is - her own missing shadow. I love this series a whole lot, you guys.

I'll also give special mention to The Ask and The Answer, the sequel to The Knife of Never Letting Go. The sequel gives us Viola's POV and basically every other female protagonist wishes. Viola is terrifying and beautiful, whose ruthlessness is only matched by her unwavering loyalty to and love for Todd. Wanna read a book about how dangerous women can be? THIS IS IT. Also a new (AND WONDERFUL) character who I'm pretty sure was written just for Amber. You will cry so many tears, I promise you.

As my third choice I've picked Dragonfly in Amber, the sequel to Cross Stitch (or Outlander in some countries) by Diana Gabaldon, because this fucking book ruined my life.

“I will find you," he whispered in my ear. "I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you - then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest."

His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.

Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”
Amber: How in the world am I supposed to answer this? Okay, so there's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, both of which are fabulous sequels in an amazing series. Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian was an excellent follow up to Burn for Burn, A Storm of Swords is amazing, Here Without You by Tammara Webber killed me, and If I Die by Rachel Vincent is brutal. I refuse to choose one! And this isn't even my whole list.

Currently reading

Tatum: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray :D

Amber: I'm finishing up The Elites by Natasha Ngan, and I plan on starting Insignia by S. J. Kincaid next, hopefully!

Drink of choice while reading

Tatum: Coke. Always Coke ~open happiness~

Amber: Water. I don't drink much else unless I'm out for a meal or getting a takeaway. Water is superior.

E-reader or physical book

Tatum: Physical books ftw. I love my Kindle, it's very useful; I prefer to read classics on it but nothing beats the weight and smell of a paperback in your hands. Now if only they'd invent a way to subtly light the words on a page so that I wouldn't have to sit with a lamp on, everything would be grand.

Amber: Really? Physical books! I do enjoy having the option of highlighting and making notes with my ebooks, because there is no way on earth I would do that to a physical copy, but ebooks don't smell and you can't feel them.

Fictional Character you probably would have dated in high school

Tatum: HARRY POTTER *gross sobbing*

Also Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments and Jacob Black from Twilight because I have questionable taste, and three out of four of the dudes in Altered. I would also totally date Derek from The Darkest Powers if he and Chloe weren't such a life-ruining OTP ;______;

I suspect, though, that my true soulmate is actually the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. Pretty okay with it tbh.

Amber: Ramsay Bolton Nick from Altered, Fred Weasley, Tod Hudson from the Soul Screamers series, Stiles Stilinski from Teen Wolf (What? There's a Teen Wolf novel!), and Seth from Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan.

Glad you gave this book a chance

Tatum: Um, Wool by Hugh Howey. Mostly because I thought it was about sheep farming and I read it anyway.

I'm also so glad I read The Diviners by Libba Bray because I'd heard mixed opinions on her writing and that the main character was like Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diaries. 1) I adored her writing 2) Except for S1 (in which Caroline was actually a really well-written, flawed, teenage girl), Evie O'Neill is literally nothing like bloody Caroline -_____-

Amber: The Song of Achilles, which I only read because Tatum bought it for me, and now it's one of my favourite books ever. Also, Altered, which I read on a whim, Dark Life by Kat Falls, and Wool by Hugh Howey!

Hidden Gem Book

Tatum: Witch Light by Susan Fletcher. It's just such a beautifully written, poignant novel set in Scotland during the 17th Century; it made me cry. Because of course it did.

Amber: Dark Life by Kat Falls! I couldn't believe how much I loved it. Also, If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, and Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley, both of which deal with tough subjects and are brilliant.

Important moment in your reading life

Tatum: I have three :D

1) Reading The Lovely Bones when I was fourteen years old was a turning point in my reading experience because it was the first truly adult book I'd ever read. I was traumatised but after finishing it I found myself increasingly wanting to read books with more mature topics and drifting away from the teenage section. I'm not particularly convinced that a book with a murdered girl as its protagonist has done much for my psyche but whatever, I loved it.

2) Being really bored at my cousin's house one day and finding The Prisoner of Azkaban lying around. I'd never read Harry Potter before, dismissing it as too young for me and not something I'd ever be interested in. But that day I had nothing to do and time to kill so I sat down and began to read - I finished the book in a few hours and was completely hooked from that moment on. Harry Potter has been such a huge, important part of my life for so long that I look back now and wonder what I would have done as an unhappy kid without Harry.

3) And finally, I have to say that becoming friends with Amber and Lauren were huge moments for me. I've never had friends who love to read as much as I do so it was a novel experience for me to suddenly have friends who stayed awake all night shouting passionately about books to each other. Not just that, but Amber was basically the first person to actually take an interest in my opinions, and value what I had to say - without her I wouldn't have started reviewing or engaging in discussions. I can't actually imagine what it'd be like for me now to read something really good or bad and not immediately tell Amber. I've always loved to read but she's made it that much more enjoyable, which is a really big deal for me.

+ Shout out to Lauren, who spent months shouting at me to read her favourite book series without once ever telling me the title of the books XD

Me right now.
The obvious answer would be starting this blog. Without it, I wouldn't have met a lot of my friends, I would have missed out on a lot of great (and terrible) reads, I wouldn't have almost a thousand books in my room... The list goes on. Also, through blogging I have learnt a lot more than just what's good and bad. If I hadn't started blogging, I don't think I would have read as widely, I wouldn't have taken the time to educate myself on matters such as oppression or feminism, and I think I would have probably turned out to be an arsehole. Then again, Spartacus would have led the way. I hope.

Just Finished

Tatum: Stardust by Neil Gaiman. It was awesome but I'm pretty sad there wasn't a cross-dressing pirate, ngl.

Amber: I'm just finishing The Elites, but before that I read Here Without You by Tammara Webber and it was a beautiful yet horrible experience that I do not wish to go through again any time soon.

Kind of books you won't read

Tatum: This is a very short list and it consists of this - any non-fiction about child abuse. I refuse.

Amber: I'm not a huge fan of Christian fiction, because the last time I tried that I felt like I was being preached to. Which I guess I kind of was. I'm also not a huge fan of erotica novels, although reading erotic fan fiction is actually quite fun.

Longest book you've read

Tatum: The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon at 1412 pages. I like long books, man, what can I say.

Amber: A Storm of Swords, although I'm still two thirds of the way through it. Shut up, it counts. It's 1100+ pages, and I'm loving every minute of it.

Major book hangover because of

Tatum: I don't have one, unless you count the empty hole in my heart where the Marauders Era prequel to Harry Potter should be. JKR needs to get on that tbh.

Amber: Harry fucking Potter. I will never be over that series. Nor will I be over Spartacus, which has given me the biggest TV show hangover I have ever experienced.

Number of bookcases you own

Tatum: One.

Amber: Two. One is a normal sized bookshelf, double stacked. The other has three shelves, and is also double stacked with piles of books on top of it. I keep the rest of my books in boxes underneath the first bookshelf, boxes underneath my laptop (I don't have a desk), and in piles on top of my clothes drawers. I desperately want to build a wall-length shelf in my room!

One book you've read multiple times

Tatum: Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Our copy was stolen from my brother's primary school library *whistles* It's this really sweet children's book told from the POV of the only boy in a small English village. From priceless art being kept in the local mountain mines to an umbrella parade every week, the story follows the lives of everyone in the town and the things that happen to them. Did I mention that the kid's name is Dylan and that he loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles more than most things? Yeah.

Amber: Are you going to get tired if I keep mentioning Harry Potter? I've also read Jacqueline Wilson's books lots of times, and the first two books in the Vampire Academy thrice. Nowadays, though, I don't have much time to reread. It's very sad.

Preferred place to read

Tatum: My bed :') It's so snuggly and warm under my duvet; I always close the door so that I have peace and quiet when I'm reading. Although I did read most of Clockwork Princess sitting on the couch while my brother played video games, reading aloud to him incredulously while he laughed hysterically at how terrible it was.

Amber: You can't tear me away from my bed. I lock myself in and crawl under the covers. Or I make the bed and get under a blanket. Or I get myself into a really weird position, and end up getting back ache. But still: my bed.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read

“...He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter - the boy who lived!”― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone

“There is no greater power on this earth than story.” Will paced the length of the room. “People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense—words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions—words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History.” ― Libba Bray, The Diviners

“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.” ― Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin

“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

“It is better to be alone, she figures, than to be with someone who can't see who you are. It is better to lead than to follow. It is better to speak up than stay silent. It is better to open doors than to shut them on people.

"She will not be simple and sweet. She will not be what people tell her to be." ― E. Lockhart, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

“A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he'll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?” ― John Grogan, Marley & Me

Reading Regret

Tatum: I don't really have any tbh? I just wish I had more time to reread all my favourite books while still being able to read all the new books I have.


Series you started and need to finish

Tatum: Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong. SHUT UP LAUREN, I'M WORKING ON IT.

Amber: HAHAHAHAHA. What? I don't have any unfinished series. I have no idea what you're talking about. Certainly not those 50+ series that I have yet to complete. Nope.

Three of your All-Time Favourite books

Tatum: Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. My favourites list is hundreds of books long so this is a really incomplete selection but you should all go and read these books, y/y?

Amber: These questions are so hard! *cries* Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and The Song of Achilles are the two that come to mind straight away. Also, my copy of Atticus the Storyteller's 100 Greek Myths is one of my most treasured possessions. It's one of the books my Nanny bought for me, and I used to reread it over and over. She died from cancer a few years ago, and ever since I have taken to diving back into the stories and illustrations in this book to feel a connection with her.

Unapologetic Fangirl for

Tatum: Harry Potter *waves wand*

Amber: Most things, to be honest. Do you know me at all?

Very excited for this release more than others

Tatum: Lair of Dreams, the sequel to The Diviners. It's so far away ;____;

Amber: The Retribution of Mara Dyer. I cannot wait. I need a TARDIS.

Worst Bookish Habit

Tatum: I used to bend the pages of my books to mark where I stopped reading, but that's because I went through a phase of immensely disliking bookmarks. I've started using them again but my brother still bends the pages of the books he reads, although he bends at the bottom and it creeps me out because who does that.

Amber: Buying books without reading the ones that I already own. It's an addiction, and I desperately need to stop. I guess, as habits go, it's not an awful one, but it's actually quite embarrassing and I've running out of room in my bedroom.

Also, why in the world would you bend the bottom of the page? Les, you're weird and unnatural.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book

Tatum: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. WILL AND LYRA ;_______________;

Amber: Fire Study by Maria V Snyder. It's not my favourite of the series, but I do love it. Poison Study is AMAZING.

Your latest book purchase

Tatum: Shift by Hugh Howey. I am EXCITED.

Amber: The last books I purchased are the ones I showed off in my latest book haul video. I've put myself on a book buying ban, so I can't buy anything else until next week. Technically, the last book I bought was Elantris by Brandon Sanderson, although it was part of one of my charity shop buying sprees.

Zzz-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late)

Tatum: Umm, I don't really remember? I'm going to hazard a guess and say it might've been If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. I read it for the debutathon and remember sobbing into my pillow in the middle of the night because of this terrible book. Judith, I hate you.

Amber: Since I've started working, I haven't been able to stay up all that late. The last one that I couldn't put down, though, is Here Without You by Tammara Webber. Which I keep mentioning, and I will keep doing so until you all agree that it ruins lives.


  1. I need to read Fire With Fire right NOW. That crazy ending in Burn for Burn was too much. Also, STILES TOTALLY COUNTS. HE'S RIGHT THERE IN 'ON FIRE: A TEEN WOLF NOVEL' <3 Loved reading both your answers to this :)

  2. "Judith, I hate you."

    Gosh you guys are so friendly xDDDDD

    "Unapologetic Fangirl for

    Amber: Most things, to be honest. Do you know me at all?"

    This had me snickering.

    YAY. I'm glad you guys did this :) Super fun answers. I don't have much of a comment though. So. Just. Yeah. YAY.

  3. This is awesome. Now my struggle to decide what to read next has become TRUE TORMENT.

  4. "+ Shout out to Lauren, who spent months shouting at me to read her favourite book series without once ever telling me the title of the books XD" AND THEN YOU READ IT AND EVERYTHING WAS LIFE RUINING OTPS YOU ARE WELCOME


    I love both your answers to the questionnaire, I wish I had a blog so I could join in too (shut UP Tatum I am not using the forums)! Hmmm, I wonder what the author I've read most of would be. I think my answers would mainly be Harry Potter too, just like Amber! xx

  5. Awesomeeeee. I had so much fun reading this :D Buying books with too many unread books waiting for you.. Guilty.

  6. Argh 'St Clare's' is so good! I'm really annoyed at myself for not long ago getting rid of my copies thinking I would never read them again :(

  7. Wow, the comment above me is the most epically long spam comment ever. Oy.

    Let's see if I can make my comment longer. I will not be shown up by a fucking spammer! TAKE THAT.

    Oh, also, HE LIKES TO SPAM-A-LOT.

    It's funny because in my Feedly, the font for Amber doesn't translate to bolded, so it looks like only Tatum is important. LOL.

    Never have I read either of your top authors.

    AHHHHH, Must read second Fairyland book SOON. And the Ask and the Answer. Both are in my pileeeee.

    Nick! Way better than Sam! Was Sam the dude's name? Whatever. Who cares about him.

    Hahahaha, you thought Wool was about sheep farming.


    Tatum, I went through that same phase where I hated bookmarks, and I dogeared and guhhhh. Oh, also, I sometimes get library books with the bottom pages bent and I'm always like what the fuck is wrong with you people?

    Hahahaha, Judith recommended If You Find Me to me as well and it's coming up soon. Will I cry? Probably not. It is a test of my black heart!


Thank you for commenting!