TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: 5 Books For My Hogwarts House

Hello friends! This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, brought to you by Top 5 Wednesday on GoodReads, is ‘Books For Your Hogwarts House’. My house is Slytherin (which… may have already been obvious), house of ambition, cunning, unfathomable camaraderie, and loyalty so fierce it can become deadly.

Before I start on these books I’ve chosen for my beloved house, I feel as if I must begin with a disclaimer: as a Slytherin, I’m aware, of course, that we are not ‘the evil house’, that there are Slytherins who aren’t pure evil, however, horror is my favorite book genre. So there’s gonna be some characters in here that maybe aren’t the best representatives of Slytherin as a whole, but are just some of my favorite characters because they happen to be in horror novels. There are a couple of non-horror ones, though!

So let us begin!

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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Hah! Like we could get through a Slytherin book rec list without talking about Amy Dunne. This bitch is a poster girl for Slytherin house: resourceful, ambitious, determined, cunning, good at making all her moves behind the scenes and under the radar.

Gone Girl tells the story of a man named Nick Dunne, who’s approaching his fifth wedding anniversary with his wife, Amy. Suddenly, just before the date approaches, Amy disappears, leaving behind a diary filled with accusations toward Nick, that he’s been abusive, that she’s frightened of him. The only problem is, Nick hasn’t done any of those things (and we know this; the first half of the book is from his point of view). But what motive does Amy have to make all of this up about him? And how far will she go?

Gone Girl is probably most famous for the movie starring Rosamund Pike and Batman Ben Affleck, and, admittedly, I saw the movie before I read the book, so a lot of the twists and turns were perhaps lost on me. Still, in a twisted way, Amy was someone who awed me, someone so intelligent and calculating, using her powers for evil instead of good. A Slytherin through and through.

2. The Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris

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Another incredibly smart and suave baddie. I’m pretty sure everyone on planet Earth has heard of Hannibal Lecter, at least in passing, mostly because of his portrayals by Anthony Hopkins and Mads Mikkelsen. But I think less people have read Thomas Harris’s original books, which is a shame, because they’re amazing.

The first book in the series, Red Dragon, is told from the point of view of Will Graham, an FBI instructor with a special gift for hunting madmen, like Hannibal himself. But it’s not enough to be talented at catching killers; this time around, he has to take the advice of a killer himself, visiting Hannibal where he sits dormant in a high-security prison and taking what advice he gives Will in order to bring his current maniac to justice.

But it’s not just Hannibal I think represents Slytherin in these books. Will himself (and later, Clarice) shows remarkably Slytherin-ish tendencies himself; who else would use a convicted cannibalistic serial killer as a valid resource in a case, just because he knew that Hannibal would have exactly the mindset he needed? No, no, Ravenclaws would be too sensible, Gryffindors too proud, Hufflepuffs too loyal to the justice system. Will Graham is a Slytherin, through and through.

3. The Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo

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This one is definitely not horror, although I guess it has some spooky elements. This is actually a middle-grade series, that I read when I was much younger, probably still in elementary school, but I still remember it quite vividly because I loved it quite a bit. It has the added bonus of being set in a school not unlike Hogwarts itself, but with academic departments instead of houses. Let me explain.

The first book, Midnight for Charlie Bone, introduces us to Charlie, a little guy totally normal except for the fact that he can hear people in photographs talking. Turns out, he’s the descendant of some weird dude called the Red King. And he’s not the only one. There are actually quite a few kids around his age who appear to be descendants of this Red King, and all of them go to a place called Bloor’s Academy, a school for prodigies in music, art, and drama.

But what would a boarding school story be without a slimy little Draco Malfoy type? Yeah, we got one of those. His name’s Manfred Bloor, which is the nerdiest name in existence and reminds me of Mandark from Dexter’s Laboratory. He’s the son or grandson or something of the person who founded Bloor’s Academy, and a descendant of the Red King himself. Now that I think about it, the only reason I included these books is because he reminds me of Draco. whoops.

4. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

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This badass, amazing book gets double the points because Nefertiti was a real, badass, amazing lady, and a Slytherin without a doubt. There is nothing I love more than a ruthless, ambitious woman, and this novel by Michelle Moran shows off Nefertiti’s Slytherin side in spades. I really am overdue to reread it.

The story is actually told by Nefertiti’s younger sister, Mutnodjmet, and the two of them are the youngest women in a powerful Egyptian family. Because of this, Nefertiti is all set to marry Amunhotep, Egypt’s newest pharaoh, and honestly, a little bit of a nutjob. He’s talking about worshiping only one god, to totally ignore Egypt’s pantheon, which is basically making all of the priests hate him. But she’s alright with it, as long as she gets to be queen, which, hey, same.

Throughout Amunhotep’s rule, Nefertiti just goes with whatever nonsense he’s spewing in order to maintain her high status, all the while making sure her sister wants for nothing. Until they start realizing the priests might not just kind of hate Amunhotep. They might despise him enough to kill him. So, yeah, probably do something about that.

5. The Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay

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Last but not least, a Slytherin favorite. This was a thing I actually read the book of before the show came out, which was cool (but not like, necessary). But this is a story where a Slytherin uses their powers for (debatable) good.

Dexter is a serial killer (stay with me!) who only kills shitty people. Honestly, that’s enough for me to consider him not a horrible person, though I know my standards are a little low. He also, conveniently, has a job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department, so he gets front row seats to all the really horrible people and the evidence that surrounds them. Which is awfully handy.

However, one fine day, they come across a crime scene that looks… weirdly similar to the stuff Dexter himself does to all the dicks he disposes of. A copycat killer. He’s half flattered and half creeped out. Cause, on the one hand, hey, it’s nice to have your work appreciated. But on the other hand, what if this other dick-killer is using this as a threat? What if he knows who Dexter really is? Or even worse, what if it’s Dexter himself doing these things, and he somehow doesn’t remember it?


That’s it for Top 5 Wednesday this week! Join me next week for Side Ships, aka ships between secondary characters I totally love. Until next time!

♥ Kell

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KELL READS HET (WHAAAT?): When Dimple Met Rishi

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So here’s something probably everyone knows about me by now. I do not really like het romance, especially YA het romance. Everything is so cringe-worthy and stereotypical and they use the same 5 tropes over and over again and they’re always white and pretty, except the girl is definitely ordinary looking because she looks in the mirror and says so about a dozen times before the book is over.

But! Something I will always give a chance is a diverse YA romance. Which is why I liked Everything, Everything and The Upside of Unrequited. Because when you step outside the mold, the tropes don’t fit into it anymore. And that only proves beneficial to these authors and books. I also really, consciously try my best to read not only sexually diverse novels, but racially diverse as well, and as sad as it is, there aren’t a lot of LGBTQ books that feature main characters of color. So I turn to the hets.

My boss at the library hyped this book to me for like, months  before it was released, and I was so excited I ran out to Barnes and Noble literally the day it came out, and finished it in three days. Which is fast for me, though I’m aware it’s a snail pace for a lot of other book bloggers. I know she was genuinely worried she’d over-hyped it and I would end up liking it less than anticipated, but au contraire. Reading it made me feel so happy and bright and I’m so glad I did!


When Dimple Met Rishi is about a girl named Dimple and a boy named Rishi (duh). Dimple is extremely enthusiastic about coding and computers, and is ecstatic when she’s accepted into Stanford. Rishi (that’s Rih-shee, not Ree-shee) is one hundred percent devoted to his Indian culture, from traditional garb to arranged marriage. Dimple’s parents, concerned that her ambition will prevent her from finding a husband and giving them grandbabies, contact Rishi’s parents and arrange a relationship for the two of them. Or, what was supposed to be a relationship. The thing is, Rishi knows all about it, and Dimple doesn’t have a clue. So when Rishi shows up at the web-developers-in-training camp Dimple persuaded her parents into letting her spend her summer at, and introduces himself joyously as her future husband, she throws her coffee in his face and books it. And things only get better from there.

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A Note on Pride Month!

Hello, my fellow LGBTQ readers, and happy pride month from one queer girl to any others!

I’m happy to report that the entire month of June, I will be reading only LGBTQ books and reviewing them as I finish them. I started When Dimple Met Rishi on May 30th, so I will finish that one first, but after that, I’m going to start on as much queer lit as I can fit into one month.

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I will almost certainly not finish all of them. But dangit, I’m gonna get as far as I can. Honestly, I’ll probably save The Captive Prince for last (or not at all) not because I’m not excited to read it but because it’s part of a series and I want to have all 3 books before I start reading it.

So I am very excited, and want to hear about the LGBTQ reads you guys are reading this month too!

♥ Kell

MY FAVORITE BOOKTUBERS!

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I’m more than a little bit of a YouTube addict, but most of the people I watch are either makeup and fashion channels, dudes doing stupid stuff, a la Good Mythical Morning, or BookTubers, who, coincidentally, I get most of my book tags for this blog on.

I really love watching BookTubers, and honestly the entire reason I started this blog was because I really like and admired what BookTubers do but don’t really like making videos as a medium (not because I think I’m ugly or anything, I’m just better at writing). So this seemed like a nice compromise for myself.

But I thought, hey Kell, if you were inspired to make this blog by BookTubers,  how come you’ve never talked about any? Well, me, you make a fine point. So I think this post is long, long overdue.

So without further ado, let me tell you my favorite BookTubers to watch!

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TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Fandoms I’m No Longer In

Before I get started on this Top 5 Wednesday (something that’s going to become routine, by the way), I need to share some special news. Well, it’s probably not special to anyone but my boss, Jen, and I, but…

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I HAVE ACQUIRED MY MOST ANTICIPATED READ OF 2017, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI!

Listen, y’all. I normally avoid het romance like the dang plague. But Jen has talked this up to me so much that she made me shake like a nervous chihuahua waiting to get my hands on it. It’s about an aspiring web designer (Dimple) whose Indian parents have arranged her to meet Rishi, a respectable Indian boy they want her to marry. Dimple cringes at the idea of an arranged marriage, but Rishi is very into the idea of the tradition, and when his parents tell him he’s going to the same web developers’ camp as Dimple, with the intent of courting her, he’s excited as heck. The only problem is, while he knows their parents’ intent here, Dimple doesn’t until they meet.

POC romances are the only het I’ll read (hence why I enjoyed Everything, Everything), since it often seems to avoid the tropes that annoy me most about cishet romance, and this sounds cute as heck. So I’m extremely excited to start reading it. I’m strongly considering disappearing to the bathroom at work for ten minutes to read. They’ll think I’m pooping, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

ANYWAY. Yes. Top 5 Wednesday.

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COMICS AND BONDAGE AND LESBIANS (OH MY!) – Sunstone by Stjepan Šejić

WARNING: This graphic novel, and its review, both include heavy sexual content. Proceed with knowledge! 

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This was recommended to me by a friend at my volunteer work and I could not be more thankful. See, I don’t usually go looking for books that have to do with BDSM because it usually means that some big handsome dude is tying a poor, naive girl up and spanking her (not that I’m referencing any series in particular… no sir). And that’s just not what I’m about. I harbor no ill-will for real-life relationships between male doms and female subs, but it’s not something I’m at all interested in devoting my own time to. To me, men have too much societal power over women for me to get anything out of a straight BDSM relationship in which the man is the dominant one.

I’m getting a little off track here.

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LIBRARY HAUL! Lots of Female Authors!

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It is Wednesday, my dudes. And as I do every Tuesday, last night I went to the library for my volunteer job and managed to stagger home with a stack of ten books in the process. And seven out of those ten were written by women! So that’s a score to me. I actually found a lot more that were on my to-read list, but these were the ones I ultimately chose to take home, so I guess I just instinctively cling to female authors. Sue me.

Anyway, this is the format I’m going to do hauls in from now on: first the title and author, then the first line of the book, then the blurb from the book’s back or inside dust cover, and then my thoughts after reading the first chapter of the book. This’ll be especially important with library hauls, since I don’t know if I’m going to buy the books or not!

Anyway, enough talking, on to the books!

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BEST FRIENDS DO THE ABC BOOK TAG!

Currently, my best friend Alejandra and I are sitting in my living room after spending a whole lot of store credit at our local bookstore. So just for funsies, we thought we’d both take a crack at this book tag I scraped up from BookTube. The questions are themed by the letters of the alphabet (obviously) so we each went down and both answered the questions.

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WHY AREN’T WE TALKING ABOUT THIS? Underrated YA Reads

When I was an actual teenager and not an adult obsessed with reading books made for teenagers, I wasn’t really a big part of the reading ‘community’. In fact, when I was in junior high and high school, there wasn’t nearly as big of a community as there is now. There were no BookTubers, no GoodReads, or if there was, they were still babies. I know, how old is this bitch, right? But I digress.

My point is, I didn’t have those resources to have books recommended to me, so I literally went to my public library, started with A, and went down the shelf reading at least the first chapter of everything there, until I found something interesting and stuck to it. Some of the stuff I read is talked about a lot, or was back then at least, but the real gems were hidden. And yeah, a lot of these I’ve seen recommended,  but they aren’t talked about nearly as much as other YA books; even some oldies still get a lot of attention (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, for example). But I’m about to dig out the ones that I haven’t heard many people talk about. And I noticed that when I was making my list, a lot of them start with S. Which is irrelevant, but a fun fact all the same.

So here’s what we’re gonna talk about today:

  • Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
  • Wide Awake by David Levithan
  • Sweetblood by Pete Hautman
  • Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klaus
  • Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman
  • The Curse Workers series by Holly Black
  • Side Effects by Amy Goldman Koss

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FAT GIRLS IN LOVE! The Upside of Unrequited (Spoiler-Free Review)

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This is the second time in my entire life in which I’ve actually gotten up off my ass and bought a book the day it came out, and oh god, am I glad I did. If this had been a library book I was reading, I would have finished it and immediately bolted to Barnes and Noble to own it. Most of us who make a habit of reading YA know Becky Albertalli from Simon and the Homo-Sapiens Agenda, but this is, dare I say it, even better. This is a story that I, a mentally ill, bisexual, fat, young adult girl desperately needed, and I’m so grateful that I managed to get a copy as soon as I did.

The Upside of Unrequited is centered around a girl named Molly and her sister Cassie. Cassie is a force to be reckoned with, a fiercely confident lesbian with more than a little sexual experience under her belt, while Molly is a much more reserved, creative soul who pines after the affection her sister so easily receives. When Cassie finds the perfect girlfriend, a half-Korean girl named Mina, the two of them are determined to set Molly up with Mina’s best friend Will. But Molly’s met someone else: her cute, chubby, nerdy coworker Reid, who she feels she can be herself around. But a relationship with Will means less chance of growing apart from Cassie, and a relationship with Reid points to a future Molly isn’t sure of.

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