I have always been a huge fan of the Pokemon series. It started in third grade, when everyone suddenly became obsessed with the video games and the trading cards. Not too many of my friends were into it, but I was lucky enough to have a couple of close friends who I could play and trade with. I still have a massive collection of Pokemon cards, and play all the new video game versions! When Pokemon Go came out, I was interested but unfortunately my phone is not compatible. The hype around it died down pretty quickly, so I don’t feel like I missed out on too much.
This tag was started by Aentee at Read at Midnight (found here), and it is a very interesting one! I also really appreciate how she allows the rest of us to use her graphics!
When I play Pokemon video games, I often go for the fire-type starter for a variety of reasons. One of which is that fire types tend to be pretty rare in the game compared to grass or water, so it’s good to get one while you can. Also, the fire type starters tend to be very cute!
As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved to read. I actually don’t know what the first book I read was, but the first one I remember really loving and reading over and over was A Boy in the Doghouse by Betsy Duffey. This book is about a young boy who badly wants a pet dog, but his parents won’t let him keep his new puppy unless he can manage to train it. The book alternates between the perspective of the boy and the perspective of Lucky, his puppy. I always thought the puppy was adorable, and his perspective was so funny! It was hilarious to see what he thought of his owner’s behaviour.
To be honest, I’ve always found Pikachu very overrated. It is cute, but there are other Pokemon that are much cuter. It is decent in battle, but again there are others that are better. Plus it drove me nuts in the anime how much Ash favoured is Pikachu and made really stupid battle decisions just as an excuse to use it! Pikachu in a rock type gym…really?!
I have always really loved Little Women and The Secret Garden. Both were stories that I’d read and watched many times over the years, and in many different variants. I love Little Women because I related so strongly to both Jo, for her desire to be a writer, and Beth, for her personality. I absolutely adored the story and it is one that I’ve re-read multiple times. I first discovered The Secret Garden through a cartoon movie version that I must have taped off the TV back when VCRs still existed. That movie made me fall in love with the story, and it is another of the classics that I’ve re-read so many times.
Zubat is one of two Pokemon that drives me insane when I play the video games (Tentacool being the other one). Zubat’s a decent Pokemon, but there is nothing more infuriating than desperately trying to find your way out of a cave when you’re on low health, and being constantly accosted by Zubat that you can’t run from.
As I’ve mentioned a few times in past posts, I tend to actively avoid any book that I think is too overhyped. I’ve almost missed out on some great books because of this! I wouldn’t necessarily say this book is everywhere, but it was definitely in all of the YA recommendation videos I watched on Youtube, and yet I still have no interest whatsoever. The book is Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I have nothing against YA books or even romance, if they are done well. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to see what all the hype is about with this book. I’ve read samples of it online, and neither the writing style or the storyline appeal to me much.
Speaking of overhyped, I’ve never been a big fan of Ditto in the video games. It’s great for getting more copies of Eevee so I can get all the evolutions, but in battle it was not so helpful. Pinning a Pokemon against a copy of itself doesn’t do much when most Pokemon don’t have an advantage over their own type.
There has been a huge trend, that only recently seems to be dying down, for dystopian YA stories. There were several series that I avoided for a long time because they seemed too similar, but finally decided to give a fair chance last year. The best of which was Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, a book that had quite a bit in common with many others but I was still very impressed by it! The story definitely bears similarities to others — love triangles, a “chosen one” type of main character, fighting against a corrupt government, etc. But at least it does them well.
I have quite a few classics that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, but actively avoided because of their size. I read a lot throughout the year, but I still tend to find very long books intimidating.
The main culprit for this one would probably have to be Anna Karenina. I saw the recent movie version when it came out a few years ago and I loved it, but I’ve been hesitant to try reading the book itself. I’ve heard so much about how confusing Russian classics are because of the language and the tendency to have tons of characters, but I would love to give it a try at some point!
Gengar has always been one of my favourite Pokemon, both in the video games and the card games. It was a staple in many of the Psychic-type decks I built because of its ability to damage the Pokemon on the bench and move damage around to different Pokemon. In the video games, it was quite a powerful Pokemon but also frustrating because you had to trade in order to get it — and I didn’t have anyone who played the games that much to trade with.
There haven’t been too many books that keep me up all night recently, just because my schedule is too tight to allow that luxury. One book that definitely kept me up in the literal sense because it scared me so much was Little Girls by Ronald Malfi, by far one of the most terrifying books I’ve ever read. I’m a coward when it comes to ghost stories, but this one was so well-written that I couldn’t put it down, despite it literally scaring me off going to bed.
I’ve also always been a fan of the Nidoran line, although their existence is a bit confusing. In the original games, the two evolution lines were virtually identical, so it seemed a bit strange that there would be two, really six if you include the whole evolution line, the same Pokemon in a limited set of 150. When the games branched out to incorporate the idea of gender differences in Pokemon, it at least gave a bit of legitimacy to the idea but still a bit odd that they were treated as completely separate.
I’ve never really been a big “shipper” when it comes to pairings in books. I usually end up liking whoever the author pairs together since the evidence points that way anyway. I guess one of the earliest pairs I was really a fan of was Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter, even though JK Rowling has since decided that putting them together was a mistake. Although their relationship was a bit rocky from the start, I really do think they are a good fit together and complement each other.
Rapidash is such a cool Pokemon! It was one of the first Pokemon cards I got when I started collecting, and it was a great Pokemon to have on a team in the video games, especially in early games where fire types were so scarce.
I’m going for a fairly obvious choice on this one, but I would have to say The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This was another example of a book that I actively avoided for a long time because of all the hype, but loved it as soon as I gave it a chance! The first book especially was very fast-paced and I devoured it so quickly.
Eevee was another of my early favourite Pokemon because it is just so adorable! I’ve always thought it was cool how it could evolve in so many different directions, but it can also be a pain when it comes to getting all the evolutions in the video games.
I’m actually not a huge fan of spin-offs because they often come across as a way of artificially extending a story that’s already over. I don’t mind them if they have something to actually contribute to the characters or the storyline, but I find spin-offs are often tangents that don’t really add too much. The only exception I might make is for Harry Potter, on the condition that the books were the same quality as the original series. I would love to find out more about Hogwarts in the past.
This Pokemon was one of the most frustrating to raise in the original games, but definitely worth it once it evolved! Before the games added items such as the Exp Share, Magikarp were a nightmare. They had no usable moves, and were very slow to level up. However, once they finally reached level 20 and became Gyarados, they became a real force to be reckoned with!
I’m not sure how much of this was really a surprise, and how much was just my own hesitance since I read it toward the end of my challenge. The book I have in mind is The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. I had it slotted in for a challenge prompt last year, but kept putting off starting it until close to the end of the year. I even strongly considered switching it out for something else — but I’m so glad I stuck to it. As soon as I started reading it, this book quickly became one of my favourites of the year. I thought the main character was such an interesting protagonist, although I can see where people might complain about her love interests. I would definitely be interested in finishing this series.
I still remember battling these Pokemon in the original games, and how frustrating they were! Articuno has always been my favourite of the three. I think the games have gone a little overboard since then with releasing more “legendary” trios, and especially with the level of power they now attribute to legendaries.
There are a few series that I’m excited to try, and that I’ve tried to incorporate into my challenges this year. Once again, these were a case of active avoidance until some of the hype died down, but is always seems to reach a point where I just have to give them a chance anyway. Some of the series are: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and The Selection by Kiera Cass.
Like the legendary birds, I can also still remember battling Mewtwo in the original games. Mew was always more frustrating for me since I had absolutely no way of actually getting one. I hated the idea that they would release a Pokemon that couldn’t actually be found in the games.
I’m actually not a fan of collector’s editions of items because I like to be able to actually read the book or use the item. I’d be too nervous about ruining it to touch a collector’s edition of anything.
Pokemon eggs were an interesting addition to the game, and baby Pokemon are adorable! They’ve always messed with my system a bit though, since I like to catch everything (at least, everything that can be found in the version I’m playing), and I don’t really catch duplicates. The baby Pokemon can be frustrating when you can only get them after you already have the evolved version — just seems like a step backwards to catch the evolved one just to get the baby, whose main purpose is to evolve anyway.
There are quite a few debuts that I’m excited for. If I had to pick just one, I’d probably say I’m most excited right now for Caraval, since it’s received so many comparisons to The Night Circus.
I have no idea what this is, so I’m guessing it’s something specific to Pokemon Go.
Definitely Jodi Picoult. I’ve always enjoyed her books. I don’t actually buy too many books anymore, but she is the one author that I would buy, no questions asked.
Since I don’t play Pokemon Go, I haven’t experienced this myself, but I’ve definitely had it happen in other games! It’s frustrating to have whatever time you have available to play eaten up by server issues.
This book has been released now, but I’ve been very eagerly waiting for Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Now that the book is finally out, I’ve been waiting and waiting to see if a paperback version will be released so it matches my copies of her other books — but no luck so far. I’m sure as soon as I buy the hardcover, they’ll announce the paperback!