The Gauntlet Book Review: Cate Mulqueen

Blogger Cate Mulqueen reviews a few contemporary reads in this post from her blog "C8's Rad Reads."

*For all you booklovers out there, The Gauntlet will be partnering up with different bookworms around campus to hear the latest and greatest in fiction. 

This week’s review features a post by Cate Mulqueen’s from her very own blog dubbed “C8’s Rad Reads.*

Greetings Rad Readers!

When I was perusing some other book blogs in school, I came across this bookish tag and it was just so absurdly funny and creative that 1: I gasped due to my rad reader excitement, confusing those in the library with me, and 2: could not help but do my own take on these bookish questions.

So here we are… enjoy my variation of the Taylor Swift Song Book Tag. Also, on a separate note, bring back the old Taylor. Her older songs were absolute bangers, so much so that if they were presently like that, they could have landed a spot on the Sweet Song of the Month segment. “Back to December” slaps and that is all that I have to say. #bringbacktheoldTaylor

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: A book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.

This hurts to admit, but the Divergent series. I remember reading Divergent for the first time and absolutely devouring and obsessing over it. It is what got me into, like, serial reading. I read that book in less than a day because I couldn’t put it down and every time I had to I kept on thinking about it. It was amazing! Insurgent, the second in the series wasn’t great but I figured we were just in the “second book slump” that us rad readers are far too familiar with. It was Allegiant that seriously hurt my heart. I just didn’t like it. I wasn’t interested in what they were talking about. The whole, “this is all a social experiment” take is a tough one for an author to pull off, and I just don’t think that it was pulled off well enough in Allegiant. 🙁

2. Red: A book with a RED cover.

This is an odd requirement, but I shall oblige… 3 fold!

The Elite by Kierra Cass– This cover is not only red, but it is gorgeous! All the covers in this series are beautiful. The actual content of the book is stellar as well. Check out my book talk on it!!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer– This is perhaps the prettiest book I own. When you take off the dust sheet (which I ALWAYS do and if you don’t, I don’t think I trust you…) the cover is a checkerboard pattern with red and black and it is soooo pretty. I have the hardcover and I rarely buy hardcovers for a variety of reasons. They aren’t as comfortable when reading and they make my backpack heavier and they can be as much as ten whole dollars more expensive than paperbacks, but this one was definitely worth it.

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff– I am including this because I have not yet read this book, and thus I cannot say that it is the most beautiful book I own because that just seems wrong… to judge a book by it’s cover… oh wow, we are getting deep here. Just kidding, I judge literature by its cover all the time… seriously I always buy books because their covers are cool! For example, when we started reading “Heart of Darkness” in AP Lit, I knew that it was going to be of the utmost boring degree simply because the cover was pencil drawn trees on a cream background. For shame! Anyways, back the Illuminae. This has a red dust jacket and red detailing on the actual cover, and once I read it I will in fact say that it is the most beautiful book I own, but until then, it just feels wrong to declare. In fact, that is the next book in my TBR, and I am very excited to read it because I have only heard the best things!

3. Never Grow Up: A book that makes you feel nostalgic.

Oh boy! So many books make me nostalgic! I will not be so extra as to chose very many as I did in the last question. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth makes me VERY nostalgic. I got it for Christmas in 2018 and this was before I started reading a book virtually every week, and I absolutely loved it. This was around the time I had to start studying for the SAT/ACT and the Junior year grind had to really be pushed into high gear. Reading became a fun little creative outlet for me and it mainly started with Carve the Mark. Of course, I always loved reading but this is when it started becoming a HUGE hobby. I found Carve the Mark enthralling and exciting, and I just wanted to talk about it! And now look at what you are reading! My book blog! Where I talk about books! Ah, the nostalgia…

4. Love Story: A book with forbidden love.

Ugh, one of my least favorite cliches because it is the definition of predictable. If two people aren’t meant to be together, surprise surprise, they will end up together. Since this is in just about every book I will just reference the one that I have just finished reading. Mare and Cal in the Red Queen series. I am rolling my eyes as I write this. Authors, here is some rad reader advice. SKIP AHEAD! Blah blah blah can’t be together. Blah blah, Mare is a red and Cal is a silver. Blah, blah, blah, don’t make it drag on foreverrrrr. In the beginning, it is okay, it is a requisite even to explain the inequalities of the world that they live in, but for god’s sake do not make it go on for three more books! I did really enjoy this series, however, and you should check out my reviews for them. They are very positive because I loved the books as a whole, but this was an annoyingggg aspect of them.

I will now elect to put my own spin on this question: a love that I forbid– Juliet and Warner in the Shatter Me series. Homie was the definition of evil in the first and majority of the second book but now we’re just going to let that slide? I would rather not…

5. I Knew You Were Trouble: A book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.

*IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THE FIRST BOOK IN THE RED QUEEN SERIES THEN– SPOILER ALERT* I hate to repeat books in answers, but Maven in the Red Queen series is by far and wide the most lovable evil villain in any book that I have read. Actually, let me clarify. I mean lovable as in I didn’t want him to be a bad guy anymore. I wanted better for him. I loved Sebastian from the Mortal Instruments series because he was so extremely evil and you never knew what he was going to do next. He was good at being a bad guy. I wanted something better for Maven because I knew that he wasn’t inherently evil and I genuinely wanted his character to be redeemed in the end. Thus, I loved him rather than in the case with Sebastian where I loved to hate him. If that makes sense?

6. You’re Not Sorry: A book that someone ruined the ending for.

Does it count if I ruined the ending for myself? I watched The Hunger Games movie before I read the book. I knew how it was going to end, but it wasn’t that big of a bummer because as we all know the book is better than the movie. There was a lot in the books that weren’t said in the movie so I didn’t feel too spoiled. A great series for sure, even after I knew how it ended!

7. You Belong With Me: Pick your most anticipated book release.

AH! The Last Confessions of Mara Dyer and Noah Shaw. I. NEED. THIS. BOOK. Not even the most elite use of vocabulary could explain to you how invested I am in the Mara Dyer chronicles. Michelle Hodkin’s books are just absolutely incredible and I love them so so so very much and I need to read that book ASAP. I know it is not coming out until August, but I fear the anticipation of its release may be the death of me. Also, I am excited about Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare to come out, I am a huge fan of the Shadowhunter chronicles as well. However, I do not think it is fair of me to say that I am excited about its release because I have not even started the Dark Artifices yet… I feel like I owe you a bookish apology for that confession.

8. Mine: Pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.

All of them! I am extremely, absurdly protective over my books! They each have a piece of me within them and thus I am overwhelmingly hesitant to share their magnificence.

9. Teardrops On My Guitar: Pick a book that made you cry a lot.

There is not a long list of books that have made me cry, but it is a powerful list. Among the top of it would be The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. Both endings ripped my heart out, ran over it with a bus, then backed over it again, and then parked on it…

10. Shake It Off: Pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters.

There are quite a few books that I have loved yet the rest of the book-loving world has decided to universally hate. For example, the final book in the Mara Dyer series, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, I found to be a very excellent conclusion to that storyline in the chronicles. Some, however, thought it was boring and the lack of the character Noah took a lot away from the book. I couldn’t disagree more. I thought there was plenty of him included, and I thought the parts that he wasn’t in were just as great as well. I thought it was just as amazing as the second book which was also just as amazing as the first book, and thus my justification for why this series is one of the best I have ever read has been stated.

Wow, that was a lot of deep reflection that I had to do that I was not anticipating. Nonetheless, I enjoyed discussing books and Taylor Swift today with you today.

Bring back the old Taylor,

– C8 😉

For a link to the original blog post click here.

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