This is actually the first tag I’ve participated in (though I made my own here called BURN, REWRITE, OR REREAD?), so I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I did answering the questions!
Huge thanks to Ju from Fictional Skylines for tagging me to participate in this fun, movie-filled tag! (And forcing me to make such hard decisions about characters and films. 😉 ) Graphic credits go to the tag creator, Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales.
Prepare for an onslaught of cute Pixar gifs! And probably some whining about how hard it was to choose favorites. I’m really bad at it, okay? There might be some cheating involved.
1. Warm-up: What’s your favorite Pixar movie?
I was kinda late to the whole WALL-E craze, because I didn’t watch it when it first came out, but gosh this was just bound to be my favorite! A Pixar movie about space?! How could I not love it? Funnily enough, I didn’t know going into my first viewing that the main characters (WALL-E, EVE) wouldn’t really be doing too much speaking, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it that way. That WALL-E is just as emotional and heartfelt as Pixar’s other movies even without too much speaking is just incredible.
Runners-up: Up and The Incredibles.
2. Toy Story: Favorite childhood book that you never grew out of?
For me, it’s hard to say there’s a childhood book I never grew out of (look, even Andy gave away his toys!). I feel like I read Harry Potter too late for it too count. There are books that I still remember fondly today that I was still reading in my early teens — though partly because they also stradled the Juvenile and YA sections at the library just like Harry Potter.
The day in fourth grade that I discovered Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Alice series was just the start of such a wonderful journey. I had no clue I would keep reading every book as they came out for years to come — there are about 25 books, and I’ve read nearly every one! Alice begins as incredibly awkward and easily embarrassed girl and grows into such a emotionally strong woman who stands up for what is right and is always there for the people she loves. She’s an incredible role model, yet she’s always felt so believable, like she was the girl next door. The books are so funny and heartfelt, and just get what growing up feels like. And you get to see everyone in Alice’s life, from her dad and her brother, Lester (he’s a riot), to her best friends, grow up right alongside her. Ok, I’ll stop now because I could could keep going for quite a while, haha…
Runner-up: the Warriors series and all the following series by Erin Hunter
3. A Bug’s Life: A book that felt too similar to another popular book?
(Confession: I always preferred Antz over A Bug’s Life, maybe because I’ve watched it more — but speaking of things that feel too similar…) Sometimes it seems just like coincidence that two books feel so similar in their plot lines, like they just happened to be published separately but around the same time. And other times it seems obvious that someone is trying to ride another book’s coattails of success. While there are always genres that are “hot,” you still don’t want to read a book that feels exactly like another you loved.
For me, that series is The Testing series by Joelle Charbonneau. Its premise feels quite the same as The Hunger Games, as it features an arena-like fight-to-the-death competition in a oppressive society. Now, I won’t say that I disliked this series, because it was actually quite good, and had so many adrenaline-pumping moments. It’s intense! But world-building wise, and even sometimes plot-wise, it didn’t have anything that truly set it apart from The Hunger Games. The sequel was not as good, and the final book has been sitting on my bookshelf for over a year.
4. Monsters Inc: A villain whom you couldn’t hate?
I’M NOT SURE I CAN DO THIS. I’ve been introduced to too many “good” villains as of late, and choosing is impossibly hard. But I’m going to have to go the popular and undeniable route and choose… THE DARKLING from the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo! (I would use his beautiful true name, but I do not want to spoil innocent ears 😉 ) I love this series to pieces, and I am sooo overdue for a re-read. The Darkling is a mysterious and enigmatic character, but undoubtedly bad. He’s done terrible things, and he’s probably evil beyond hope. He is filled with decades of darkness, is power-hungry, and is quite jaded. Yet underneath it all is an incredible loneliness and the knowledge that the great supernatural power he wields will always set him apart from everyone else. Everyone, except maybe our heroine, Alina, who also has incredible powers. And so ensues an a affair of seduction, power, and lust that rivals all others. Trust me when I say it feels so wrong, BUT IT FEELS SO RIGHT.
Runner-up: Victor (and maybe Eli? probably not) from Vicious by V.E. Schwab. This book really explores the gray areas between “good” and “bad” and who a villain really is, and it is fantastic. You just can’t hate Victor, he’s sarcastic and he really does care. ““If Eli really was a hero, and Victor meant to stop him, did that make him a villain? He took a long sip of his drink, tipped his head back against the couch, and decided he could live with that.”
5. Finding Nemo: Best family relationship you read about in a book?
I guess I’ve read too many books with orphans, because I’m trying to think of some of my favorite family relationships I’ve read about, and I’m coming up blank! A lot of books feature a dull or average family, or horrible parents, etc. There are some that are supposed to be good relationships, but they don’t really make me feel that much of anything. I want a family relationship that will give me ALL THE FEELS!
So the only book that I could think of is the book I’m currently reading, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, though I think this is kind of cheating because I haven’t finished reading it yet. The two narrators are twins that used to be inseparable but have become unrecognizable to each other after a few things went down years ago. It’s told both from the past and the present. Because I’m a triplet, the agony the twins feel over being estranged really makes me choke up, and I can say that Nelson writes their sibling-hood so well. :’)
6. The Incredibles: The superpower of a character that you wish you had?
This was kind of hard for me, because I feel like TV/movie characters get the really awesome powers, and book characters usually get left with the undesirable, super dark powers! What I would want most would be the ability to bend time and space that Hiro from the show Heroes has, because it allows him to teleport, time travel, and stop time. But if I had to chose from book characters… I would want the ability to churn milk into chocolate, like Emmeline The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors. I think no explanation is needed besides the fact that I luuuurve chocolate!
7. Cars: A book where the characters go on a road trip/travel a lot?
I LOVE books with a lot of travel in them, but I haven’t actually read as many as I would’ve liked. Even of the ones of read it’s pretty hard to chose. But I’m gonna have to go with a classic one that I read a long time ago which may have been one of my first YA “travel lit” books: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. This book is just so fun, as the main character travels across Europe fulfilling the wishes of her aunt who recently died and left Ginny 13 different instructions in envelopes. It turns into something like a scavenger hunt around Europe!
8. Ratatouille: Your favorite sidekick in a book?
I thought it would be hard to come up with a great sidekick until I realized my GR read list is FULL of them! The best one I’ve recently read is definitely Buruu from Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. I mean come on, a beautiful, fearsome thunder tiger by your side?! He is proud, he is fiercely loyal, and he is everything. Enemies at first, the main character Yukiko and Buruu form an unbreakable bond like that of siblings and would surely die for each other. They can read each others’ minds, use each others’ senses, and fight together like badasses. Oh, and Yukiko can fly on Buruu’s back. Yup, Buruu is where it’s at.
Runner-up: Nimona from the graphic novel Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. She solicits herself as an awesome sidekick to Lord Ballister Blackheart, and is basically an out-of-control sidekick who manages to save the day as much as she ruins everything. And she is a shape-shifter who can turn into any animal, real or mythological. And she’s unlike any character I’ve ever come across before!
9. Wall-E: What’s your favorite (or top 5) dystopian book/series?
Aww, man. I read so much dystopian back in the day! Some overlap a little with sci-fi, so it’s a little hard to distinguish, but… Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds series wins. Probably because they’re some of my favorite books ever, dystopian or not. Her dystopian world feels very real and frightening, as young kids who survived a disease that gave them powers are locked up in concentration camps and hunted across the country by bounty hunters.
Runner-up: the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. No one wants inflicted brain lesions dumbing them down and controlling them.
10. Up: The most beautiful love story you’ve ever read?
I feel like beautiful is such a high standard to live up to for a romance! A lot of YA romances tend to be filled with chemistry, angst, or problems. I think “beautiful” definitely borders more on “cute.” I’m going to go a less traditional route an highlight a MG romance from one of my favorite, most underrated series: Elliot and Madeleine from The Colours of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty. It’s actually less of a romance and more of a discovering of feelings for each other (at least so far). It is refreshing to read about a younger teenage relationship after so many of the usual YA romances. The feelings between Elliot and Madeleine are so pure, fragile, and tentative. There is so much hope, and also so much caution. It is a beautiful thing to behold, this falling, this orbiting of each other, this alignment of fractured pieces. It isn’t overwhelming in the book, but I was still rooting for them. They are friends looking for support that find a little more.
Runner-up: Jase and Samantha from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Their relationship is adorable and a really “healthy” teenage relationship, as Cristina from Girl in the Pages explains so well.
11. Brave: The most badass heroine you’ve read about?
The most badass ladies I’ve ever seen are definitely the women of the CW show The 100 (* warning * linked video has violence and a quickly flashed spoiler for season 2 in the last 10 seconds). I haven’t read the books though, because they supposedly aren’t that good and are really different from the show.
I’m not sure I’ve read of a YA heroine that is so clearly a badass, but I think Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a different kind of badass heroine. She may not have the fighting skills expected of her in her homeland, but she is incredibly cunning and strategizes like no one else. She’s not afraid to lie and resort to other tactics to get what she wants, and she will make ALL THE TOUGH CHOICES. Girl’s got guts, if not in the typical way.
12. Inside Out: The book that gave you all the feels?
I haven’t seen this movie yet, but I hope to! The last book that left me sobbing was Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. It takes the taboo topic of incest and makes it a devastating reality between two siblings who always felt more like parents raising their siblings. Nothing in the book is unrealistically romanticized, and everything is dealt with head-on and shown to be the true mess that it is. Yet the writing is beautiful, and the characters’ stories unforgettable. Let’s just say that not all forbidden romances end well…
Yikes, sorry for such a long post, I got carried away! Now I really want to re-watch a Pixar movie. Maybe Monsters Inc.? Anyways…
Totally optional, but it was a lot of fun 😀 Anyone else can feel free to complete it as well!