The Book Aesthetics Tags (+ my top indie novel recs!)

For my last tag of the year (holy crap we’re nearing the end of 2017 you guys!) the Queen of Aesthetics herself, Lia of Lost in a Story tagged me to do this. Like months ago. Like August, months ago. Took me t h i s long, yes. But I finally did. Thanks Lia! You should definitely check out her blog that’s filled to the brim with bookish goodness and gorg aesthetics. Just—you know, G O  T H E R E.


 Thank whoever nominated you (maybe you’re bitter that you have ANOTHER tag to do on top of the billions you already need to do (#relatable), still though. Someone thought of you. Be thankful. At least pretend to be

 Credit the creator of this tag (Michelle!)

 There’s no limit of how many aesthetics you can make for a question, but think of your poor readers.

 Make your OWN aesthetics, please don’t steal them from someone else. Also what’s the fun in that?

So here’s the thing.

There are books I’ll mention below that are probably titles y’all haven’t heard of. And that’s because this past year I joined Underground Book Reviews as one of their new reviewers and this opened the door to indie and self-published novels for me.

Underground Book Reviews is a magazine website that promotes indie novels through reviews, features and columns. They have other tools and services to help indie and self-published authors, too! I’m seriously glad I stumbled upon their website last year. Through UBR, I was able to find great novels that, if I’m going to be perfectly honest, I probably wouldn’t have known had I gone to Goodreads or on any social media. Like seriously. So do check it out. You might find a great read on there, gush about it all over Twitter, and make an indie author happy.

So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Disclaimer: The images I used below are not mine and I don’t, and will never, claim them to be mine. If you own any of the images and wish for me to remove them, please contact me and I will do so immediately.

Also: some links below are affiliate links. That means, if you clicked one of my links, I may get a small commission with no additional cost to you  🙂 If you and I would be eternally grateful 🙂

Favorite Book of the Year

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Here’s why you should read The Final Empire:

+ Thieves. Sophisticated, passionate and well-educated thieves.

+ Philosophers and rebels.

+ Awesome worldbuilding. Actually, I take that back. “Awesome” doesn’t even cut it.

+ Morally crooked characters. I love me some villainous main characters and enigmatic antagonist.

+ People who drink metals. (I am not joking.)

+ People—or creatures?—who turn into other people (or creatures.)

A Character You Relate to A Lot

Olivia Davenport from Not Every Girl by Jane McGarry

I have to admit: I don’t like Livy. She could be so dead-set on getting what she wants that she doesn’t see how it affects other people. I don’t think I’m like that. (I mean. I hope I’m not…?) But that doesn’t mean I can’t relate to her.

She’s stubborn and strong-willed (like yours truly.) And all she wants is to do the thing that she loves to do the most and that I can understand. A HECK lot. You could read my review of Not Every Girl here.

A Character You Look Up To

Samirah al-Abbas from The Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan

Sam is the real MVP in this series, let’s all be honest here. While eternally adorable, Magnus is lowkey pathetic. And I love Alex bits but anyone who does not let any crisis she’s facing waver her faith and will?? She deserves a big Toblerone, man.

An Underrated Gem

Hidden Dawn by Elke Silvarain

Arguably one of the best books I’ve read this year. The author’s ability to paint the mystically charming and wild landscape of British Columbia through words made the subtle fantasy element of this book SO SO GOOD.

And then there’s Sky. She’s a precious child you’d want to hold tightly and close to you because of what she’s been through. But, at the same time, you also want to push her out into the world so she can spread her wings and find the happiness she rightfully deserves. Read my review on this beautiful YA novel here.

A Character that Deserves More Love

Tecumseh from The Last Great American Magic by L.C. Fiore

This novel was my introduction to magical realism, and I didn’t even fully understand what the magical realism genre really is until I read a long Twitter thread on magical realism 101.

Tecumseh is an honorable warrior and he’s lived his life with compassion and dignity until the very end. Seriously. He’s a model character, you guys, and honestly needs more love. Plus his trickster spirit guide is hilarious.

An Underrated OTP

Blitzen and Hearthstone

It’s still debatable if this is an underrated OTP hekhek but I haven’t really read that many novels with underrated OTPs this year, so sue me.

But anyway. I don’t care if they’re really canon or just friends. OTP = One True Pairing and mygosh, these two are the most adorable pair in the entire series okay??? I love the canon pairs, sure, but the friendship these guys have is beyond the Nine Worlds.


Special mention to A Book of Revelations which is a compilation of some of THE BEST short stories I’ve ever read! Lots of life lessons to learn in this anthology, folks. And if you like learning your life lessons by decoding a story’s theme and moral like yours truly, you’ll have a field day reading this book. Pinky promise.

But if there is one book in this whole post that I want you to read, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give The Last Great American Magic a chance. It is a beautifully-written book with an interesting cast of well-developed characters. Tecumseh will have your heart wrapped around his finger, break it, and fix it ever so well (because he’s dedicated to a fault like that), and break it again. It’s fun.

Also, if you find this fun, please feel free to do the tag! 🙂

Have you read any novels this year that needs more love? Share them below and I’ll check them out!


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6 Replies to “The Book Aesthetics Tags (+ my top indie novel recs!)”

    1. Thank you so much Raff!

  1. OH YESSSS. I absolutely LOVE Sam!! She is such a strong female character, and it’s amazing to see a Muslim girl in books these days — portrayed in such a healthy, positive way!

  2. omg this is gorgeous! You’re so good at making aesthetics!!

  3. I love the aesthetics you put together for each of these novels. It makes me want to start making these for the books I read as well. 🙂
    I added The Last Great American Magic to my TBR list. Funnily enough, the character/historical figure of that book is the namesake of a small city here in Michigan called Tecumseh. I actually go there fairly often to visit with friends. It’s a really nice area. 🙂

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