Hello friends! I just realised that it has been 11 months on the blog and I haven’t declared this officially which is just, to say the least, preposterous, so here we go:I’m seriously obsessed with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).
I thought I was over that phase of my life a few years ago but Disney + brought back all the nostalgia and all the new films and TV shows (Black Widow! TFATWS! Loki!) reminded me of my love for this fandom!
And hence, after reading Maya’s lovely review of Loki, I was inspired to put together a list of book recommendations based on some of my favourite Marvel movies, finally a recommendation post breaking the monotony of solely book reviews and wrap-ups this year, and one that won the popular vote as to what posts y’all wanted to see!
Without further ado, let the gushing commence. (click on the book titles which will lead you to their respective Goodreads pages.)
If you liked: THOR: RAGNAROK…
I spent half my time watching Thor: Ragnarok with my eyes wide open, and jaw ajar, and the other hopelessly cackling like a maniac.
Read: PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS
Honestly, what is there to say?We preach Percy Jackson supremacy in this household and you better know it.
The Percy Jackson and The Olympians series has and will always be a comfort series for me no matter how old I get. Rick Riordan shapes flawed, at times “seaweed-brained” heroes that we just can’t help but devote ourselves to and root for all the way. They exhibit growth and yet still hold on to their core no matter how many revelations and monsters they’re changed by along the way. The series is one based on Greek mythology, which perfectly parallels to the Norse mythology of Thor: Ragnarok.
Honestly, the more I think about it, the more Percy Jackson is perfect for Ragnarok. Both are simply hilarious, the banter and comedic relief during scenes of tension and seriousness are just priceless. Both follow a little band of heroes, and at their core are explorations of identity and power.
All that talk aside, Percy Jackson is my entire childhood, and still owns all my soul (or at least all that’s left after The Poppy War). It’s a brilliant, hilarious and heartfelt series that will continue to delight and capture the hearts of many more, it’s one of those books I know are worth all the hype and truly have shaped the bookish world!
If you liked: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER…
Sigh, I have a weakness for small, sharp pointy *things* thrown in the air purposefully…
Read: THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTSDid I just pair my favourite MCU film to one of my favourite YA novels, that in the slightest don’t even seem related?
Yes, but also hear me out.
At first glance, what does a modern super-spy, fancy-hero, large scale drama movie have in common with a 1920s retelling of Romeo and Juliet? The dichotomy is vast, but once I thought hard about it, the similarities were glaring.
Both The Winter Soldier and These Violent Delights are about confronting the past. They both relive past friendships and love, now twisted into something darker in the present, which suddenly comes back to haunt our characters. They’ve to rely on their morals, their conscience to make the best decisions despite all the conflicting elements, and the internal conflict in both movie and book was poignantly fleshed out.
Furthermore, both of them are about questioning the status quo, if I can put it like that. These Violent Delights exhibits a commentary on Western colonialism, one that is full of ire, as opposed to the image of dazzling, advanced and benevolent foreigners they were painted to be back in the past. Similarly, The Winter Soldier sows doubt as to who the “good guys” really are, and reveals a world of subterfuge, and I’ll leave you to be aghast by the movie or smile knowingly if you know.
Lastly, how can I not mention the fact that both The Winter Soldier and These Violent Delights have characters with daggers/knives/sharp pointy things? The Winter Soldier has intense hand to hand combat, while These Violent Delights kills it with all the action.
Once again if you’re not convinced, my I refer you to my own review (ft. gushing) of These Violent Delights. Ahaana, Jan, Sam and Sanah also wrote thoughtful discussions and reviews of it!
If you liked: BLACK WIDOW…
I watched Black Widow recently and wow I am still reeling from the ending.
Read: THE ALICE NETWORKBadass ladies? Spies? Revenge? Past secrets?
Both Black Widow and The Alice Network, revolving around a network of female spies during WW1 alternating with a mission of truth and revenge in the future, have all of the above.
I know of many whom have yet to dip their toes into the historical fiction genre because of the notion that all war novels are sentiment and are full of hope and endurance… I love those kind of novels with all my heart, though yes I admit they may be cliche at times. But if you’re looking for a different type of historical fiction, one that still maintains the influence of a historical setting, but also is an action-packed rampage which is more super spy, revelations and revenge rather than dwelling on emotions, The Alice Network is for you.
Apart from the above mentioned, Black Widow for me was a story of identity, confrontation and empowerment. And The Alice Network also managed to do this through a juxtaposition of the lives of two women whose paths are interwoven as each goes on their own journey. Complex characters were illuminated in both book and movie, their growth, their depth explored, just excellent characterisation of our main characters.
Check out my review of The Alice Network if you’re curious!
If you liked: BLACK PANTHER…
Guys this movie is the epitome of “cool” and so much more, cannot recommend it enough!!
Read: SLAYSlay is not just a book y’all, it’s an experience.
Slay follows Kiera, a high school student who developed the game Slay, a space for Black gamers, whom like herself have suffered under the racism widespread in the gaming world, and Slay becomes a community for Black gamers to take pride in who they are. All is well until because of a conflict, a gamer gets killed and the news goes viral, and Kiera has to grapple with keeping her identity a secret as well as dealing with how Slay is labelled as a “racist” game.
Slay was such an eye-opening experience for me. It is a celebration of Black culture, and I’m heartened to hear that Slay resonated with many Black readers, and will be a place of solace for many more.
It was especially explored through Kiera, our main character. She’s such a strong character, loving, passionate and fiesty, not afraid to bite back if anyone crosses her. her relationships with her friends and family, especially the dynamics between her and her sister were all so wonderfully endearing.
Throughout Slay, we accompany on her journey of identity, getting meaningful insight into her thoughts on the issues Black people are facing, even more significant seeing how she tries to be unapologetic though the world is against her because of her race, and these stirred up so much anger, but admiration as well in me.
Apart from being such a powerful one in its message, Slay radiated power in the world-building of this book, that of the virtual reality the game Slay is set in. If you liked Warcross, you will definitely love the world of Slay. It was so vividly described that I was properly immersed and invested in all the fighting scenes.
A beautiful, power book, Slay gave me so much Black panther vibes whether it be the messages, the characters, the technology world, I definitely recommend it!
I am not an #ownvoices reader and hence please consider checking out #ownvoices reviews as well. I came across C.B.’s review on Goodreads and truly appreciated the sharing.
If you liked: THE AVENGERS…
This scene gets me every time.
Read: SIX OF CROWSOut of every 10 people, 9.5 love Six of Crows, rounded up to the nearest integer, that is 10. So virtually, everyone loves the Six of Crows duology.
Okay I’m definitely being a bit hyperbolic, but it is no secret that Six of Crows is one of the most well-received and well-loved YA book series in the community. It’s pure brilliance and soul and of course naturally, I loved it too! (Fun fact: I reread Crooked Kingdom the day after I finished it because. ah. the. feels.)
It’s a mastermind heist story anchored by our 6 favourite diverse outcasts, each with such strong personal voices as well as incredible dynamics with the whole crew. It will keep your heart pounding with the fast-paced, ingenius plot… I loved every second of it!
And The Avengers feels rather reminiscent of it to me, another story of a band of heroes (well SOC is even better we have morally grey folks!!) who have to work together to save the world. I know the difference between the two is vast, but The Avengers has always been such a comfort movie for me because of all the character dynamics, the punchlines and just the overwhelming excitement of an epic fight against evil.