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TOP TEN TUESDAY: My Favourite Musicals

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To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly book meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, click here.

This week is an audio freebie, so I decided to mix it up a little and talk about my favourite musicals! I’ve been hugely passionate about musicals ever since I was in my early teens, and I used to travel a lot to go and see my favourite ones, back when I wasn’t broke and housebound. I miss going to the theater, but even just listening to musicals brings me a lot of joy, and to all of my neighbours who’ve had to listen to my sing-alongs: sorry not sorry.

It was really hard to whittle my choices down to ten musicals since they’re pretty much all I listen to music-wise, and I love them all! But these are probably the ones I listen to and come back to the most.


Ciske de Rat

This musical, y’all. It’s a Dutch musical based on a book series by Piet Bakker. It follows Cis, nicknamed “the rat” because of all the mischief he gets up to. He is abused by his mother and stepfather and kills his mother in a fit of rage when she destroys a book that a now dead friend gave to him. When he is drafted to fight in WWII he is still grappling with his childhood trauma. I had the opportunity to see Ciske de Rat in Scheveningen once, and it was absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking.

Elf

Christmas is my favourite time of the year, but I can listen to this Christmas musical all year round. It never fails to cheer me up.

Hamilton

Surely everyone has heard of Hamilton by now, right? It’s a hip-hop musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton, and it’s explosive, emotional, and amazing.

In the Heights

In the Heights was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical, and while it didn’t reach the same hype level as Hamilton, it’s still really good. The beautiful songs tell the stories of people living in the Latinx NYC neighbourhood the Heights.

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre has always been one of my favourite classics, so when I saw that there was a musical based on the book, I had to have it. Music-wise, it’s one of those musicals that lean a bit more towards the classical, which really lends itself to very dramatic sing-alongs. Again, sorry not sorry, neighbours.

Les Misérables

Are you even really a musical fan if you don’t love Les Mis? I mean yes, because gate-keeping is bullshit and there’s a wide range of musicals for every taste. But it’s not for nothing that Les Mis is one of the longest-running musicals in the world. I’m personally partial to the Dutch cast recording from 2008 because that’s what I listened to first, and I also had the opportunity to see the very same cast in Amsterdam in 2009, so it’s the version that lives in my heart.

Newsies

SANTA FE, MY OLD FRIEND, I CAN’T SPEND MY WHOLE LIFE DREAMING, THOUGH I KNOW THAT’S ALL I SEEM INCLINED TO DOOOOOOOOOOOOO—whoops, sorry about that. This is another one of those musicals that I don’t have to be in a specific mood for because it always hits the spot. I really hope that I get to see it live some day.

RENT

RENT is a true cult classic, and such a wonderful celebration of queerness, love, and life.

Urinetown

Urinetown is one of the most underappreciated musicals in my opinion. It’s inspired by absurdist theater and it’s just delightfully absurd, but the music is amazing as well, and you’ll find yourself crying to lyrics like, Ours was a love that never bloomed. Yet in that love there lives a brand new hope, it’s calling out to you. Its call is soft and gentle, tame and fine, it’s docile and benign, a pickle in the brine…

Wicked

 

Anytime I’m asked about my favourite musicals, Wicked will always be on the list because it lives in my heart. I’ve seen it six times, and listening to the cast recording brings back wonderful memories of travelling and staying with friends, and being transported to Oz every time that overture nearly gave me a heart attack, heh.


Are you a musical fan? What are your favourite musicals? Let’s chat in the comments below!

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books On My Spring TBR

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To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly book meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, click here.

This week’s theme is Books On My Spring TBR, but I’m putting a little spin on it, so I will be sharing my ten current library holds with you, which are technically all books I’ll be reading this spring. So… it counts, okay? (Title = Goodreads)


The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

A music-loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut.

A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna

In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire #1) by Natasha Ngan

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel. But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.


Song of the Dead (Reign of the Fallen #2) by Sarah Glenn Marsh

In this enthralling, heartrending sequel to Reign of the Fallen, Odessa faces the fight of her life as the boundaries between the Dead and the living are challenged in a way more gruesome than ever before.

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

For a Muse of Fire (For a Muse of Fire #1) by Heidi Heilig

A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader. Heidi Heilig creates a world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism.

Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara Holland

Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.


The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes The Gilded Wolves, a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change—one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires…

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

The Thief (The Queen’s Thief #1) by Megan Whalen Turner

The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.

Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) by Maureen Johnson

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham. Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case.


Have you read any of these books? Or are any of them on your TBR? Let’s chat in the comments below!

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I Didn’t Get to in 2018

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To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly book meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, click here.


There are way more than ten books I meant to read in 2018 and didn’t get to, mostly because I couldn’t afford to buy books or even a library subscription. Here are ten of the most overdue books on my TBR that I’m determined to read this year.

#1 Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

#2 Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate’s doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try. For her child.

#3 Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic. And a coyote shapeshifter . . . And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it.


#4 – #5 Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

#6 The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S. A. Chakraborty

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…


#7 Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee

Magical jade—mined, traded, stolen, and killed for—is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. For centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.

Now the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon’s bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.

When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone—even foreigners—wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones—from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets—and of Kekon itself.

#8 To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

#9 The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1) by Roshani Chokshi

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

#10 Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.


Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your TBR? Let’s chat in the comments!

TOP TEN TUESDAY: My Library Book Wish List

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To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly book meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, click here.


These days, I get most all of my books at the library, which sometimes means a bit of a longer wait, but I also get to recommend pretty much any book for purchase. I have accumulated quite a list of recommendations, so for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday I’m collecting the books I’m most wishing my library will get asap!



#1 Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews

Kate Daniels is my favourite urban fantasy series, and one of my favourite book series, and I cannot wait to finally be able to read the highly anticipated conclusion. I’ve been invested in this series almost since the first installment was published, so it’s been a steady companion for many, many years. All I’m saying is, no one had better die.

#2 Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

This is a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy with a Native American protagonist, which are all things I love.

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Doesn’t it sound amazing?

#3 Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers #3) by Becky Chambers

The Wayfarers series is one of the most diverse series I’ve ever read with regards to sexuality and gender, and it has so many found family feelings. The author really knows how to make me feel all warm and fuzzy, so when I pick up one of their books I know it’s going to be good.



#4 We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

This is fantasy set in a world inspired by ancient Arabia, which is exactly my cup of tea. It’s the author’s debut with an expected publication date in May 2019, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it when it comes out.

#5 Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha #1) by Tasha Suri

This is another fantasy debut with a really cool setting. It’s Mughal India-inspired and the summary sounds fascinating. I just love fantasy with a non-Western backdrop, mythology, and gods! This has already been published, so hopefully my library will purchase it soon!

#6 The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

I’ve been seeing a lot of reviews of this book in the book blogging community, and it’s made me so curious to read it. It sounds like such an epic sweeping story about war and survival, and it’s apparently inspired by real historical events, which being a bit of a history nerd makes it even more appealing to me.

#7 Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London #7) by Ben Aaronovitch

This is another one of my absolute favourite series, and I’ve been yearning to read the sequel ever since it came out in November. I’m so completely hooked and in love with the characters; sitting down with a Rivers of London book feels like coming home.



#8 Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

I don’t often go for non-speculative YA, but an updated take on classic romantic comedies about queer girls with a brown girl protagonist was always going to snag my attention.

#9 Marriage of Unconvenience by Chelsea M. Cameron

I have never read a book summary that sounded more like fic or more delightful, so I’m just going to leave you with the summary:

Lauren “Lo” Bowman is in a bit of a pickle. She needs money, like ASAP. She lost her job, the rent is due, and her car needs repairs. Problem is, the inheritance left to her by her old-fashioned Granny has one stipulation before she can collect: she has to be married.

Let’s just say suitors (of any gender) are not knocking down her door. And then Cara Simms, her best friend from childhood that she’s recently reconnected with, pours her heart out and confesses that she needs money to pay for grad school. Lo has a completely brilliant idea: they should get hitched.

Not married married. Like, fake married. All they have to do is play the part for the lawyers, get the money, and then get the marriage annulled. Easy as hell.

Well, it starts out that way, but being fake married feels a lot like being real married, and Lo is flipping out. She cannot be falling for her best friend. Can she?

#10 Squee From the Margins: Fandom and Race by Rukmini Pande

As someone who has been moving in fandom spaces for over a decade now, and someone who is constantly trying to learn more about inclusivity and accessibility in online fandom (and all aspects of life), I’ve been waiting for this book to come out with much excitement. The author is a friend of mine, and I know she’s incredibly smart and insightful, so this is bound to be a very interesting read.


Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your TBR? What’s on your book wish list? Let me know in the comments!

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ways to Motivate Yourself to Read When You Have Depression

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To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly book meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, click here.


Reading is one of my favourite things in the world, and it almost always makes me feel better. However, depression can make it excruciatingly hard to motivate myself to pick up a book, if I’m even able to read at all, what with my other conditions like brain fog and fatigue. There are some things I’ve found over time that really help to motivate me to read and to stay reading in spite of depression. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday was a freebie, so I’ve collected some tips for you if you’re struggling in a similar way.

Asian woman with bright eye shadow reading a book with a light blue cover, overlaid with the words


#1 Don’t beat yourself up

This one might be obvious, but it’s also really important. I know it can be frustrating when you miss a day or two of reading, or even entire weeks, but it’s not a failure. Some days you’ll be too tired, stressed, or sad to read. That’s okay. The goal is to enjoy reading, not to read every day without fail. And just because you didn’t read yesterday, doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a book today.


#2 Recognise your avoidance behaviours and stop them

When I’m depressed, I tend to fall into patterns of not really doing anything for long stretches of time, like refreshing Twitter over and over, playing games on my phone, or watching YouTube video after YouTube video, but without really enjoying myself. When this happens, I have to make a conscious effort to stop drifting and to make myself read (or whatever else it is that needs doing). Observe yourself, figure out what your own avoidance behaviours are, and consciously try to influence them. This can be really hard at first, but it gets easier with practice. It’s worth putting in the effort in order to be able to surface from your aimless depressed haze to do something that actually makes you feel better.


#3 Avoid distractions, but remember to take breaks

If you know you get easily distracted, don’t read on your phone if you can avoid it. In fact, if you’re able to, turn it off or turn on airplane mode. Try to make your reading environment as free of distractions as you can so you can fully immerse yourself in your reading. However, remember that it’s hard for your depressed brain to focus for a long amount of time, so don’t be afraid to put your book down for a few minutes, do some stretches, go to the loo, and rehydrate. Ignoring your body’s needs for too long will only make you feel worse, so try to find a balance that works for you.


#4 Make reading part of your routine

black woman with glasses and natural hair reading at a cafe table

If you’re able to, replace another activity at a certain time with reading. If you watch YouTube videos in the morning while drinking your coffee or if you spend your commute on your phone, consider whipping out your book instead to get in a little bit of reading time. It doesn’t have to be long, but I find it helps me to get going when I have a specific time to get out my book and just settle down for a couple of chapters. A good time to do this is when you’re feeling relaxed, which for me personally is breakfast time. I drink my tea, snuggle my dog, and do a bit of reading. Knowing that I made progress on my book in the morning allows me more peace of mind during the day, but your mileage may vary with regards to what time works best for you.


#5 Be okay with only reading a little

Sometimes all the reading I do in a day is one short chapter before bed before my sleeping meds kick in. And that’s okay! Again, the goal is not to read as much as humanly possible, the goal is to be able to pick up your book and enjoy it for even a short while. So you “only” read for ten minutes? That’s ten more than zero minutes. You’re “only” reading comics or graphic novels? That’s still reading! You’re reading! Success!


#6 Do not read (too far) past your bedtime

Asian woman lying in the dark with a

I know it can be incredibly tempting to just stay up and finish your book when you’re really into it in the moment, but I personally recommend not doing it. It’ll cause your sleep schedule to get out of whack, which will probably make you more depressed and unlikely to read. Instead, save your momentum to keep going the next day! It’ll be easier to pick your book back up again if you’re dying to know what happens next.


#7 Have your next read lined up before finishing the last

This is in the same vein as the last tip. Whether I’m reading a series or a stand-alone, I always give some thought to what I’d like to read next before I finish, so I can have the sequel or a new book ready to go as soon as I’m done with my last read. Making sure you have your next read downloaded to your e-reader, or in your bag if you read on your commute, or next to your bed if that’s where you do your reading makes it so much easier to pick up the next thing. Personally I even like to go so far as to open the next book I’m reading as soon as I’m done with the last, and sometimes that means I immediately get sucked into my next read. No in-between-books slump for me! If you’re someone who reads multiple books at a time, this will obviously be less of an issue, but this could really help any of my fellow one-book-at-a-time readers out there.


#8 Give yourself permission to not finish a book

Have you ever found yourself pushing through a book you hated just because you feel the need to finish it, becoming more and more reluctant to pick it up as you go along? I’m definitely guilty of this. Here’s the truth: whether or not you finish a book doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make the time you’ve already spent reading it a waste of time. You know what would be a waste of time though? To keep reading a book you’re not enjoying just because you feel you have to. When you’re depressed and motivating yourself to read is a struggle in itself, don’t make it harder on yourself. Put that terrible book away and delve into something more enjoyable.


#9 Get an e-book library subscription

I know this is not possible for everyone, hence why I’m putting it at the bottom of my list. If you have free access to a library and/or can afford the subscription fee, get an e-book subscription. This will allow you access to a free or unexpensive never-ending supply to books that you do not even have to leave the house to schlepp to and from the library. And the best part is that if you’re struggling to finish a book in the allotted time, you can put your e-reader in airplane mode and keep it on there for a couple of extra days to take the pressure off. Don’t tell anyone I let you in on this top-secret trick.


#10 Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Person with colourful bracelets holding an e-reader, legs stretched out in front of them

You’re not making progress with a book as fast as you’d like? You’re not on track to finish your Goodreads Challenge? You’re not reading as much as you’d like to? Stop, take a breath, and remember that this is not a competition. Like I said under #1, you’re reading to enjoy yourself. When you put too much pressure on yourself with arbitrary reading goals, it can suck all of the pleasure out of reading and make you feel like a failure, which in turn will make you want to read even less. Cut yourself some slack and get to reading when you can. And lower that Goodreads Challenge goal to a number that’s feasible at your own reading speed, instead of whatever number you think you should be able to read in a year.


I hope some of these tips were helpful for you. Let me know what you think in the comments, and please leave any further tips that you might have for reading while depressed or chronically ill down below as well! Happy reading!

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Platonic Relationships in Books

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To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly book meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, click here.

I was really excited when I saw that the theme for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday was platonic relationships because I love platonic relationships. Found families, snarky siblings, unlikely friendships – they’re all my jam. Here are, in no particular order, my top ten platonic relationships in books.


#1 Percy and Sally Jackson (Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan)

Cover of Percy Jackson and the Lightning ThiefMy mother can make me feel good just by walking into the room. Her eyes sparkle and change color in the light. Her smile is as warm as a quilt. She’s got a few grey streaks mixed in with her long brown hair, but I never think of her as old. When she looks at me, it’s like she’s seeing all the good things about me, none of the bad.

It’s always so obvious how much Percy and his mom love each other, and that they would do anything for each other, and that’s why I love them.


#2 Pepper (Jane) and Owl (Wayfarers Series by Becky Chambers)

Owl had been good to her. She stayed on the screen by the bed all day, and she taught Jane about something called music, which was a weird bunch of sounds that had no point but made things feel a little better.

The Wayfarers Series is chock-full of wonderful found family dynamics, but this AI becoming a parent to a little girl in need is my favourite. Their relationship is so sweet and sometimes heart-wrenching.


#3 Shahrzad and Irsa (The Wrath and the Dawn Duology by Renée Ahdiee)

Cover of The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh“Do you trust me, Jirjirak?” Shahrzad took Irsa’s hands in her own.

Irsa had never known what to expect from Shahrzad. But trust had never been an issue. At least not for Irsa.

“Of course I trust you,” she said.

This exchange, and their relationship in general, just says so much about sisterhood and solidarity.


#4 Scarlett and Reem (Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham)

“We’re going to Jumu’ah prayers together.”

“I’d like that,” I said. And it was true. Because even though I wanted Gemma home safe and Solomon’s ring in my pocket and the Children of Iblis destroyed, what I needed more than anything else was to stay alive long enough to pray with my sister on Friday.

This is another relationship between sisters who really, really love each other even though they don’t always see eye to eye. Their affection for each other is heart-warming.


#5 Katsa and Bitterblue (Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore)

Katsa hugged her for a long time, and Bitterblue understood that this was always how it would be. Katsa would come and then Katsa would go. But the hug was real, and lasting, even though it would end. The coming was as real as the going, and the coming would always be a promise. It would have to be good enough.

It means so much to me for Bitterblue, a traumatised child, to find safety in Katsa, and for Katsa to find strength in Bitterblue.


#6 Peter Grant and Sahra Guleed (Rivers of London Series by Ben Aaronovitch)

Cover of The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch“I don’t know if you’ve noticed but just about everyone else is off working that murder in Fulham,” said Guleed. “It’s basically you, me and whatever time we can bully out of David.”

“I hadn’t noticed,” I said, although it did explain where everyone else was that morning.

“Not surprising,” said Guleed. “You were too busy blowing up Harrods.”

Snarky coworkers who respect each other (kind of). Their dynamic is one of my favourites in the series. I haven’t gotten around to reading the comics featuring both of them yet, but I definitely will at some point.


#7 Mae and Jamie (The Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan)

Cover of The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan“Oh, I am planning things,” said Jamie. “Great, great things. I could join a band.”

“You gave up the guitar after two lessons.”

“Well,” he said, “I could be a backup dancer.”

“Backup dancers have to wear belly shirts and glitter,” said Mae. “So obviously, I support this plan.”

Silly bantering siblings who would literally lay down their lives for each other? Sign me up.


#8 Kate and Julie (Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews)

Kate looked at me. It was her hard-ass stare. Kate could be really scary.

“That doesn’t work on me,” I told her. “I know you won’t hurt me.”

The Kate Daniels series is one of my forever favourites, and these two are so near and dear to my heart. Kate has a tendency of adopting strays, and even though she acts like a hard-ass, she’s really mushy on the inside.


#9 Samirah and Magnus (Magnus Chase Series by Rick Riordan)

15724396“Somebody once told me that a hero’s bravery has to be unplanned – a genuine response to a crisis. It has to come from the heart, without any thought of reward.”

Sam huffed. “That somebody sounds pretty smug.”

“Maybe you didn’t need to come here,” I decided. “Maybe I did. To understand why we’re a good team.”

This relationship is a great example of the kind of friendship dynamic I like: some bickering, some teasing, but mostly lots of love and respect.


#10 Cinder and Iko (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)

“You need a system debug if you’re suggesting that I would abandon you now.”

You didn’t think I could end this post without another mention of an unusually emotional AI, did you? Cinder’s and Iko’s unwavering loyalty to each other definitely earns them a spot on this list. They seem very different from the outside, but they’re really not so different if you look close, and all the more protective of each other.


Comment below to let me know what your favourite platonic relationships are! Are you a found family fiend like me?