the once upon a time book tag

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

Today I’ll be participating in a fun tag co-created by Merie Shen of Imperial Scribis. This one has been sitting in my inbox for a little while now as I’ve been stewing over my answers, and I think it’s finally time to share them with the world!

Without further ado…let’s jump right in.

the rules

  • thank the person who tagged you
  • use the tag graphic above (optional) (I opted not to for this one!)
  • name a book for each of the following 12 categories
  • tag as many people as you would like

the fairytales

Cinderella: a book that changed your life

Does the Bible count? I mean, technically it did change my life, but I don’t think that’s the answer y’all are going for here.

This one took me a lot of thought, but I’d have to say Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.

I read Stargirl in middle school. It was one of the first books that I read that could be considered YA romance (though it’s honestly debatable whether it’s YA or MG), and it kicked off my love for the genre. Pretty soon I was reading more and more of the genre, and that lead to me wanting to write it. I credit Stargirl, in part, with my love of writing.

Sleeping Beauty: a book that took you forever to finish

I received Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights for my birthday in December of 2021, started it, and didn’t finish it until last month. Whoops.

Technically speaking, I took a long break, but if you classify “taking forever to finish” as “the interval between which one started and finished the book being long,” I’d say fourteen months is a pretty long time. (In fact, it was almost exactly fourteen months!)

Also, can we take a second to appreciate the Penguin Clothbound Classics editions? One day I am going to own every single one of them. They are gorgeous.

A Thousand and One Nights: a book you couldn’t stop reading

I started Crumbs by Danie Stirling in the afternoon, and when my mom poked her head in my room to tell me to come help with dinner, I felt like I was waking up from a trance. I plan to post a book review very soon, so I don’t want to spoil too much, but this is the best graphic novel I have ever read. It was just so CUTE. And the art style was AMAZING. And I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I couldn’t put it down. AAAAHHHH.

Little Red Riding Hood: a book you recently read in an unfamiliar genre

I had to look way back in my reading log to find something that wasn’t contemporary, fantasy, memoir, or dystopian sci-fi, and the earliest deviation I found was from October of last year.

#MurderTrending was recommended to me by a friend who loves thrillers. I’m not super into them, but I’ll read them from time to time, and I had to admit that this was a fairly interesting read. It was certainly fast-paced and action-packed and kept me on my toes. It was a little bit too gory for my taste, but then again, I am unable to handle even the slightest amount of gore, so that might just be me. Overall, a pretty good book.

The Wild Swans: a book with your favorite sibling relationships

The entire Boxcar Children series holds so much nostalgia for me. The original series was twenty-one books (one of which I have been searching for for years), and they’re all chock-full of the siblings solving little mysteries.

They’re intended for a younger audience and published in the 1920s, so there isn’t a whole lot of plot (they just happen to discover a lot of lucky things), but I love it. Sometimes it’s nice to read something lighthearted, you know?

And I love Henry and Jessie and Violet and Benny (and, of course, their grandfather). Their dynamic is just so sweet. I highly recommend all of the Boxcar Children books.

Snow White: a book filled with beautiful prose

You know it already. I’ve ranted and raved about The Book Thief so often on my blog. This was the book that taught me how to write prose. The descriptions, the emotion, the phrasing—yes. Just yes. If you haven’t read The Book Thief yet, you are missing out spectacularly.

Rapunzel: a book that you procrastinated on reading after buying

There are several books that I have acquired years ago and still haven’t read. Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (although in my defense that thing is a brick), The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix…I could probably keep going. I need to get on that.

The Little Mermaid: a book that took you on a magical journey

Um…all of them?

I recently reread the WondLa series after a few years and ohhh boy. Ohhhhhh boy. I love these books so much. They’re such well-thought-out, well-written, all-around-amazing books with a teensy little bit of social commentary on humanity and nature.

I love the worldbuilding and the transformation of the characters, watching them grow up in just three books. I love the way the story never goes exactly where you expect it to. I love everything about this series, and I think that it’s a tragedy that it doesn’t get as much press as some of the more mainstream dystopian series.

The Frog Prince: a book that made you want to turn into a frog because you hated it so much

How about Apologia Exploring Creation through Chemistry?

Nah, just kidding. Chemistry and I have a mutual hatred.

It took me a while to find this book in my reading log, but once I read the synopsis, I was reminded why One Night That Changes Everything had the “would not reread” tag on it.

The premise was promising, but the characters were flat, the plot was unrealistic, and the writing was terrible. I put it down feeling completely dissatisfied and like I had just wasted my time reading it. Not a good feeling to walk away from a book with.

(I’m going to be honest—I hate trashing books like this. I’m terrified that the author is going to see it and be hurt. So if you’re Lauren Barnholdt and you are reading this, I am so sorry.)

Peter Pan: a book that reminds you of your childhood

My copy of The Wishing Spell is so beat up by now that the entire book split in half. I loved this whole series as a kid, probably because the bookish, introverted, overly geeky heroine reminded me of myself. I remember my mom getting this for me at a homeschool book sale (because of course) and being utterly absorbed in it for the rest of the day. Good times.

The Goose Girl: a book you had low expectations for but ended up loving

I am not particularly a fan of John Green. When I first read The Fault in Our Stars, I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about. It was slightly absurd and overly pretentious. So I wasn’t expecting to like Paper Towns, but I ended up falling in love with it.

It’s still absurd and pretentious, mind you, but the premise, the plot, the characters are all so three-dimensional. The high stakes kept me on the edge of my seat. I still reread it every so often, even though the long philosophical ramblings don’t really make much sense. (I feel like you either love or you hate John Green’s style. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.)

Hansel and Gretel: a book that made you hungry

The Magic Cake Shop by Meika Hashimoto feels like a fever dream of mine. When I was a kid, elementary school perhaps, I used to check this book out of the library at least every other week. There was just something about it. Maybe it was the illustrations that looked somehow exactly like the illustrations in the American Girl books of the time.

I barely remember what happens in this book. It feels like something my fourth-grade brain made up, but I just asked my sister and she remembered it, so I guess not? Unless it was a shared hallucination.

Anyway, there was cake. Lots and lots of cake. I remember that. I mean, obviously.

Okay, I just checked, and our library still has it. I’m going to read it and report back to you.

the tags

Honestly, tagging people on blog tags has always been a struggle for me, so I’m going to just leave this open for whoever would like to participate. Let me know if you do! I’d love to see your answers.

Thank you again, Merie and Diamond, for this lovely tag! I had a lot of fun answering your questions.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!


23 thoughts on “the once upon a time book tag

  1. Anoushka March 8, 2023 / 9:50 am

    once upon a time long long ago, i borrowed a copy of stargirl from the library because it looked smol and kind of nice. but, as is habit, i apparently never got around to actually reading it before the due date came to pass?? and was then forced to return it unread, like so many of the other books i borrow (OOPS??) BUT LOOK IM VERY MUCH REGRETTING IT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE ‘BOOK THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE’?? ALSO ‘LIESL’S FAVORITE BOOK’?? THATS ACTUALLY VERY PROMISING. i must get ahold of a copy again 👀

    HA look the penguin clothbound classics ARE THE SINGLE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IN LIFE. my library has them AND I SOMETIMES DREAM SWEET DREAMS OF STEALING IT FOR MY OWN (but the knowledge that they shall forever ban me STOPS ME EVERY SINGLE TIME because the library is my whole entire life okay 😭)

    also shall remember to forever keep away from one night that changes everything IT SOUNDS TERRIBLE SORRY YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH THE TORTURE

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liesl Brunner March 10, 2023 / 9:57 am

      My friend, you simply HAVE to read Stargirl. It’s fluffy. It’s cute. It’s gorgeous. It’s evocative. It’s…everything. AND it’s short! Like, one-sitting short! Please please please please read it. I’d love to see you rant about it.


  2. Pearl • March 8, 2023 / 9:56 am

    Yesss, the Boxcar Children has been one of my favorite comfort reads for forever! Until last year, I’d read all 152 of ’em, but the originals are my favorites, haha. What book are you searching for, by the way? I have the first 25 in print, so I’m curious. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liesl Brunner March 10, 2023 / 9:56 am

      THERE’S 152 OF THEM?!?!?! Holy cow. I guess I didn’t know that. I’m searching for #16 with the original cover. I haven’t looked very hard for a little while, but it bothered me a lot that I didn’t have it as a kid.


      • Pearl • March 10, 2023 / 11:35 am

        YESSS! 😀 And they keep creating more spin-offs of the series. xD Oh, cool! That was always my favorite when I was a kid.


  3. Mia Harden March 8, 2023 / 11:05 am

    *sighs happily* Stargirl is perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • that guy March 8, 2023 / 9:06 pm

      Do you think I’d like it? I’m not sure I fit the demographic it was written for.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mia Harden March 9, 2023 / 11:44 am

        I think you might like the ending. You strike me as the kind of person that appreciates bittersweet endings *shrug* I don’t know if you’d like the rest of the book though XP


      • Liesl Brunner March 10, 2023 / 10:01 am

        Hon, you don’t have to fit the demographic things were written for to read them. Just saying. But honestly I’m not sure if you’d like it.


  4. Diamond March 8, 2023 / 5:23 pm

    Yay, you did the tag! I loved reading your answers!
    Also, yesss, the Penguin Clothbound Classics are beautiful! I don’t have any of those, sadly. But I have a few of Barnes and Noble’s flexibound classics and I love them.
    I also have had Mistborn on my shelf for a while and haven’t read it. I even convinced my dad to buy the audiobook and still nope.
    The Book Thief is amazing! Great choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liesl Brunner March 10, 2023 / 9:55 am

      I have a bunch of the Barnes and Noble classics! They are so beautiful. And thanks so much for this tag! I loved doing it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Saraina Whitney March 8, 2023 / 5:36 pm

    Oh dear, I started reading Wuthering Heights for school yesterday…and I have to finish it next week. 😂 Did you like it? I’m finding it pretty interesting and slightly hilarious (Lockwood’s sarcasm really gets me XD) and much easier to read than a lot of the books I’ve had to read for British Lit, but by the time I’ve finished it, I may change my mind lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Merie Shen March 8, 2023 / 7:58 pm

    Ah, so fun to see you did this tag! I love your answers. The Book Thief has gorgeous writing, and #MurderTrending sounds weirdly intriguing to me (I’m probably stuck in a dark thriller mood??). Thanks for doing this tag!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That Guy March 8, 2023 / 9:02 pm

    So I’m late the the party (naughty TG *slaps wrist*). I haven’t read basically all of those, though the murder one is piqueing my interest. However, Mistborn is such a good book! I didn’t like the next two as much, but oh my heck is that first one good. I pictured the main character as you the whole time. Don’t get offended, she’s amazing, and she gets to wear beautiful ball gowns!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Liesl Brunner March 10, 2023 / 9:52 am

      Okay, that made me incredibly happy, and now I feel like I have to read it. I started it, but high fantasy just isn’t my thing. Maybe someday I’ll get around to it. We’ll see.


      • That Guy March 10, 2023 / 10:42 am

        I’m not sure if he was high when he wrote it, but it definitely is fantastical! In all seriousness though, is there a difference between “high fantasy” and “fantasy”?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Liesl Brunner March 11, 2023 / 8:48 am

        Fantasy is kind of an umbrella term, and underneath it there’s high fantasy and low fantasy (but those aren’t the only two categories). High fantasy takes place in a different world, while low fantasy takes place in our world with fantastical elements.


      • That Guy March 12, 2023 / 11:02 pm

        Nifty! You’re so knowledgeable!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Sarah Jayne Photography March 10, 2023 / 11:59 am

    This is such a fun tag! I’m going to try it and see how it goes. I’ve read WondLa and some of the Boxcar Children. I’ve heard of a few of the others but some I’ve never heard of.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Chloe Ruth March 11, 2023 / 2:46 pm

    I finished Stargirl recently and it was pretty good!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s